Category: Informed Comment

Slavoj Žižek: Will our future be Chinese ‘capitalist socialism’? — RT Op-ed

Slavoj Žižek: Will our future be Chinese 'capitalist socialism'?

Despite occasional exceptions, it was once considered almost gospel that democracy and capitalism went hand in hand. China’s successful rise knocks the notion on the head.

via Slavoj Žižek: Will our future be Chinese ‘capitalist socialism’? — RT Op-ed

Carl Bernstein: Trump Is Waging An Unprecedented War On Truth | Crooks and Liars

what we have never had is a President of the United States who uses lying and untruth as a basic method to promote his policies, his beliefs, and his way of approaching the American people and engaging with the world, that his default position is to use untruth to go toward his objectives.

via Carl Bernstein: Trump Is Waging An Unprecedented War On Truth | Crooks and Liars

The experiment of government and business being hand-in-glove has failed – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The experiment of government and business being hand-in-glove has failed.

In the relentless pursuit of profit, businesses have reneged on their part of the social contract.

In the pursuit of endless growth, and pandering to big money donors, government has ignored its duty to act in the best interests of the people.

via The experiment of government and business being hand-in-glove has failed – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Most voters believe Morrison has failed to transform Coalition – Guardian Essential poll | Australia news | The Guardian

Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg

A majority – 59% of a sample of 1,027 voters – say the Liberal leadership change in late September has made no difference, and the government remains the same as it was before the shift. Only 20% think the change of prime minister has created a refresh.

via Most voters believe Morrison has failed to transform Coalition – Guardian Essential poll | Australia news | The Guardian

Sorry, small business has no special sauce for jobs

since businesses are free to use their tax saving however they see fit, there’s no reason to think they’ll favour more jobs or higher wages. No more than big businesses would.

If Morrison’s on a winner, it’s a political winner, not an economic one.

But if there’s nothing special about small business, why do politicians on both sides keep spreading the sector’s propaganda that it is special?

Because the many more owners of small businesses have far more votes than the relatively few bosses of big businesses do. It’s politics, not economics.

Sorry, small business has no special sauce for jobs

Businesses need customers, not a feel-good few bucks a week – » The Australian Independent Media Network

In order to give some substance to his claim that the Coalition are for lower taxes, Scott Morrison has chosen to bring forward by five years tax cuts already legislated for small and medium businesses. To use his oft-repeated phrase, these are nothing new, they are ‘existing’ legislation, just fast-tracked for an election sweetener as Coalition governments always do.

According to ProMo, this will allow tradies and hairdressers and family businesses to hire more people and give wage rises to their staff and invest more in their businesses.

Sounds good…until you actually examine the real implications of this announcement and which businesses it will affect.

via Businesses need customers, not a feel-good few bucks a week – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Cantering towards destruction – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Whoever wins the next election is going to face a monumental task to reduce our emissions in order to tackle the existential threat posed by climate change.

In one way, it would serve Scott Morrison right to have to face the consequences of his lies. But the country cannot afford someone who thinks prayer is the answer to the drought.

Our Prime Minister, the man charged with making the decisions on how to keep us safe, is a bald-faced liar.

via Cantering towards destruction – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Why so many businesses are behaving badly

“Entitlement: When the Rich and Powerful feel it’s their Right” (ODT)

It’s an important, though sensitive, question for economists since their simple “neo-classical” model of markets predicts firms won’t mistreat their customers because, if they did, they’d lose them to a competitor.

Sims offers seven reasons for this evident “market failure” – a term economists use to acknowledge when real world markets fail to deliver the benefits the textbook model promises.
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via Why so many businesses are behaving badly

8 Times Donald Trump Claimed He Was A Self-Made Man

The source of Trump’s fortune was his father, who bailed out the son’s failing businesses many times, a bombshell New York Times investigation found.

Donald Trump has, for decades, attempted to portray himself as a self-made, up-by-your-bootstraps entrepreneur who benefited little from his father’s fortune, relying on his own gumption and wiles to overcome financial challenges.

But a bombshell investigation by The New York Times published Tuesday annihilated this claim

8 Times Donald Trump Claimed He Was A Self-Made Man

Different strokes for different folks – our non-egalitarian society – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Scott Morrison has nothing to say about the criminal behaviour of the banks. He has nothing to say about real problems like stagnant wages, sham contracting, or the death toll in the construction industry. And now he wants to leave construction workers with no representation.”

And they pretend we have an egalitarian society.

In his interim report into the banking Royal Commission, Commissioner Hayne pointed out that “Over the 10 years to 1 June 2018, ASIC’s infringement notices to the major banks have amounted to less than $1.3 million.”

Meanwhile, the other “tough cop on the beat”, the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), has imposed fines totalling over $15 million against the CFMEU since 2005, with around 80 officials still facing courts on some 44 matters.

In one case alone in September last year, the CFMEU were fined a record $2.4 million over an “unlawful blockade” at Lendlease’s Barangaroo site. This ruling is currently under appeal.

In June, the CFMEU and an official were fined $51,300 for abusing and threatening construction workers on the Gorgon LNG project in Western Australia. The ABCC took legal action against the union and official Brad Upton after a 2015 incident during which he abused workers for not being members of the union, calling them “f—–g dog c—s”.

“This is a f—–g union site, we have other union sites starting up next year and if you’re not in the union, you can f–k off too, you are not welcome.”

Federal Court of Australia Justice Michael Barker said the official’s behaviour and conduct at the meeting of employees on December 2015 was “appalling”.

via Different strokes for different folks – our non-egalitarian society – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Freedom of Speech — Why do we need to change?

If you were to ask the likes of Cory Bernardi if we live in an enlightened society, he would probably answer “yes”.

I’m not sure how he would answer if you asked: If we are an enlightened society, why do you think we need to enshrine in law the right to hate each other?

Surely you would think that an enlightened progressive free-thinking society would want to eliminate it, not legislate it.

If free speech’s only purpose is to denigrate, insult and humiliate, then we need to reappraise its purpose. There are those who say it identifies those perpetrating wrongdoing but, if it creates more evil than good, it’s a strange freedom for a so-called enlightened society to bequeath its citizens.

Are we saying that hate is an essential part of the human condition?

Is this really what an enlightened society means by free speech? Does it demonstrate our cognitive advancement? Is this what well-educated men and women want as free speech or should we see free speech as being nothing more or nothing less than the right to tell the truth in whatever medium we so choose?

One has to wonder why the so-called defenders of free speech feel they are inhibited by what they have now. I don’t. I have never felt constrained in my thoughts or my ability to express them. I’m doing it now. But then I don’t feel a need to go beyond my own moral values of what is decent to illuminate my thoughts.

Why is it then that the likes of Abbott, Bolt, Jones, Brandis, Bernardi and others need to go beyond common decency to express them and defend others who cannot express themselves without degenerating into hate speech?

The answer has nothing to do with an honourably noble sort of democratic free speech.

via Freedom of Speech — Why do we need to change?

‘Terrifying wake-up call’: Good news from a bad week for the ruling class

See the link between the two cases? When you’re on a board, it’s easy to see how things look from the viewpoint of the insiders – the people in the room, and on the floors below. What’s harder to see, and give adequate weight to, is the viewpoint of outsiders.

But that’s the board members’ duty, statutory and moral: to represent the interests of outsiders, including the shareholders, but also other “stakeholders”. To view things more objectively than management does. To avoid falling into groupthink. To rock the boat if it needs rocking.

A good question is: how would it look if what’s now private became public? Because that’s what happened last week. And now a lot of executives and directors are viewing the consequences of their acquiescence with fresh eyes and are not proud of what they see.

The ABC’s governance problems, we must hope, will be fixed relatively quickly. The misconduct of the banks is a much tougher problem.

via ‘Terrifying wake-up call’: Good news from a bad week for the ruling class

The incestuous relationship between government, the financial sector, the regulators, and the legal firms they use – » The Australian Independent Media Network

via The incestuous relationship between government, the financial sector, the regulators, and the legal firms they use – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The ABC, Rupert Murdoch and how to fix a media landscape in crisis

So what should be done about the rolling crises washing over what remains of the Australian media? Rupert Murdoch has been up to his neck in the elevation and removal of Australian prime ministers for the better part of a decade. The ABC has seen the conservatives politicise its board, demolish its funding and pressure its management to get rid of troublesome journalists. And now we face the prospect of the disappearance of Australia’s longest, independent print masthead (Fairfax) as it is consumed by a television company (Nine) which is chaired by Peter Costello.

If ever there was a case for a full royal commission into the abuse of media power in Australia, it is now. A free media is the lifeblood of a democracy. But media freedom in Australia is now under structural threat from a combination of extreme ideological conservatism, fuelled by rampant commercial interests.

via The ABC, Rupert Murdoch and how to fix a media landscape in crisis

Ralph Nader: Kavanaugh Is a Corporation Masquerading as a Judge

With Kavanaugh, it is all about siding with corporations over workers, consumers, patients, motorists, the poor, minority voters, and beleaguered communities.

Repeatedly Kavanaugh’s judicial opinions put corporate interests ahead of the common good—backing the powerful against the weak, the vulnerable, and the defenseless.

Apart from his declared views pouring power and immunity into the Presidency (which is why Trump wants him), Kavanaugh could be the most corporate judge in modern American history. Two meticulous reports on his judicial decisions, one by the Alliance for Justice (AFJ) and one by Public Citizen demonstrate that for him it’s all about corporations uber alles.

via Ralph Nader: Kavanaugh Is a Corporation Masquerading as a Judge

You don’t build trust by telling lies – » The Australian Independent Media Network

It shows that “Australia’s emissions for the year to March 2018 were 1.9 per cent below emissions in 2000.” That is a long way from the 5% reduction we committed to.

It also shows that “Emissions for the year to March 2018 increased 1.3 per cent” continuing the rising trend ever since they dumped carbon pricing.

Scott Morrison has recently assured us that Australia would meet its 26-percent emissions reduction target by 2030 “in a canter“. He is offering absolutely no proof of how and no policy to achieve it. Apparently, it will just happen of its own accord due to “improved technology.”

via You don’t build trust by telling lies – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Passing the buck – » The Australian Independent Media Network

On the release of the interim report from the banking Royal Commission, Josh Frydenberg has hit the airwaves to slam ASIC. He must think we have very short memories.

When Tony Abbott cut $120 million from the ASIC budget in 2014, ASIC Chairman, Mr Greg Medcraft, issued a statement saying staffing levels would have to be cut by over 200 and that “our proactive surveillance will substantially reduce across the sectors we regulate, and in some cases stop.”

In 2016, Scott Morrison announced reforms to shift the regulator to a “user-pays” funding model – in which the institutions it regulates are forced to pay for the ongoing cost of their regulation – so taxpayers no longer have to fund its operations.

The user-pays model was slated to begin operation at the start of the 2017-18 financial year, but little detail has been provided by the government to explain how it will work.

Morrison said if the regulator required any extra money in the future, it could claim more money from Australia’s banks.

Then, in May this year, Morrison cut another $26 million from ASIC.

via Passing the buck – » The Australian Independent Media Network

American Anomie

The economic disparity and political dysfunction have been exacerbated by the collapse of the judicial system, as Matt Taibbi writes in his book “The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap.” There is aggressive criminalization of the poor while the ruling elites are protected by high-priced lawyers and non-enforcement or rewriting of laws. Amid selective enforcement of laws in the ruleless society, the high rollers on Wall Street and in wealthy enclaves are not prosecuted for possessing and ingesting illegal drugs but the poor are thrown into prison and must forfeit all their property for being caught with small amounts of the same drugs. HSBC, the world’s seventh largest bank by total assets, after admitting to laundering $800 million for Central and South American drug cartels, was slapped with largely symbolic fines and a deferred prosecution agreement, which is the legal equivalent of a get-out-of-jail-free card. The poor, meanwhile, are hounded, arrested and fined for absurdly criminalized activities such as not mowing their lawns, loitering, selling loose cigarettes, carrying open containers of alcohol or “obstructing pedestrian traffic”—which means standing on a sidewalk. These fines are used to fill state and county budget shortfalls resulting from corporations and the wealthy fixing the rules to avoid paying meaningful taxes, if they pay taxes at all. This virtual tax boycott by the rich has broken yet another social bond, the idea that everyone contributes a significant portion of his or her income to make the society function.

via American Anomie

For a man who says he wants a united Australia, Morrison has a funny way of showing it – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Australia Day should not be a day for drunken white yobbos with Southern Cross tattoos and flag capes to terrorise anyone who doesn’t look like them, as happened in Scott’s own electorate in 2005.

Why should we celebrate a foreign state invading and claiming this country to use as a penal colony? I am fairly certain my ancestors who were transported here as convicts would not have been celebrating either.

Let’s get real here. The date is nothing to celebrate. Being Australian is. Surely, as a civilised society, we can consider others’ feelings and avoid deliberate hurt.

Can we cast off the shackles of a colonial past and move forward together in respect and understanding? Or are we to bow to the Anglophiles and sink into the hatred and division fostered by the ugly Hansonites?

via For a man who says he wants a united Australia, Morrison has a funny way of showing it – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Because ‘Richest Americans Do Not Need Another Massive Tax Cut,’ 776 Groups Urge Congress to Stop Tax Scam 2.0

The richest Americans do not need another massive tax cut; they and America's corporations need to start paying their fair share, so we have the resources needed to protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and to invest in education, infrastructure and many more services working families and communities need to thrive," the progressive groups wrote. (Photo: Stop the GOP Tax Scam)

Working Class Middle America voted and wereconned into this. No cuts Abbott did the same in Australia. (ODT)

via Because ‘Richest Americans Do Not Need Another Massive Tax Cut,’ 776 Groups Urge Congress to Stop Tax Scam 2.0

Robert Reich Exposes One of the Right’s Favorite Cons

Trump and his appointees are on a binge of deregulation that masks another kind of trickle-down economics, in which the gains go to the top and the rest of us bear the risks and losses.

They say getting rid of regulations frees up businesses to be more profitable. Maybe. But regulations also protect you and me—from being harmed, fleeced, shafted, injured or sickened by corporate products and services.

So when the Trump administration gets rid of regulations, top executives and big investors may make more money, but the rest of us bear more risks and harm.

via Robert Reich Exposes One of the Right’s Favorite Cons

Gutless wonders – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Yesterday we were subjected to a disgusting abuse of parliamentary privilege by a man who feels his actions should be beyond scrutiny.

Peter Dutton, outraged at what he calls a “personal smear campaign” against him, stood up in parliament and had what could only be described as a hissy fit, launching a cowardly and very personal attack on witnesses providing evidence to a Senate committee.

He also carried with him, every time he stood up, two large folders very obviously labelled with the names Chris Bowen and Tony Burke – the implication being ‘come for me and I will go for you’.

Asked to explain the rationale behind granting some people visas whilst rejecting others, his role in securing jobs for mates, and a possible conflict of interest regarding his businesses, he went into head-kicking mode.

All of the questions asked of Mr Dutton related to his actions as a Minister and his eligibility to sit in parliament.  None of those are personal smears.  They are legitimate questions.

Unfortunately, our Minister for Home Affairs does not think he should be held accountable and views any questioning as a personal affront.  If he has done nothing untoward, why is he so angry?  Why does he feel the need to impugn others?

 

 

via Gutless wonders – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The social sciences: so essential we neglect them

This is what  ultra-Conservatives rail against and want our universities to be rid off HASS Humanities and Social Science degrees. They were poison to the Nazis as well the  Catholic Church which banned Catholics from studying or reading Sociology it’s too dangerous for them the Curch that is. In fact the social sciences can cause individuals to break down. Sociology likens  social life of men as sitting on a mop bucket and caught by the balls. When trying to stand putting ones foot on the pedal each time trapped. By revealing the mop buckets of our social life social science has the ability to set one free and that for conservatives is dangerous. (ODT)

It makes no sense. As Senator Arthur Sinodinos said while minister for industry, innovation and science, “the advancement of the Australian economy relies on robust research from physical science and social science alike.

Not being ones to boast, the social scientists would like you to know their former students pretty much run the world. They’ve produced the majority of ASX-listed chief executives. Probably just as true of the public service and politicians.

Add the arts and humanities, and most of the tertiary-educated workers in Australia have HASS degrees. Almost three-quarters of university students are in HASS courses. Most of the overseas students paying full freight for their degrees – and now constituting one of our top export earners – do HASS courses, particularly business courses.

The social sciences: so essential we neglect them

A “new generation” or a bunch of old Christians and young fogies? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

When Tony Abbott first put his hand up for the Liberal Party leadership back in 2007 (withdrawing before the ballot), Paul Keating called him the “young fogey” – an apt description of an anachronistic man whose personal beliefs are out of touch with those of the majority of Australians.

Scott Morrison assures us that he has installed a “new generation” of leaders but it is increasingly apparent that what we now have is a government full of young fogies.

via A “new generation” or a bunch of old Christians and young fogies? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The corrosive decay caused by secrecy – » The Australian Independent Media Network

One lesson we should all take from the Royal Commission into Insititutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse is the horrific ongoing damage caused by the veil of secrecy drawn by the Catholic Church, and others, over the crimes that were being perpetrated on innocent children in their care. That enabled the abusers to continue.

That same veil of secrecy has been drawn by the government over the plight of people who came to us seeking asylum. Instead of offering sanctuary, we incarcerated them indefinitely causing irreparable damage to children and their families once again.

via The corrosive decay caused by secrecy – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The reality is new coal power is not the answer for cheaper electricity bills – Analysis & Opinion – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Loy Yang power station in the La Trobe Valley, east of Melbourne.

The reality is new coal power is not the answer for cheaper electricity bills – Analysis & Opinion – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The tipping point’s been reached: renewable energy is now a cheaper source of power for Australia’s future electricity needs than coal.

Surprised? That’s understandable, given the plethora of politicians in Canberra who keep saying that coal is the key to cheap electricity and renewables drive up prices.

He’s just a pig – » The Australian Independent Media Network

When their meaning is represented by their style (ODT)

“They’d been sobbing in shock and disgust at the threats and intimidation they’d been subjected to by the goons and knuckledraggers trying to gather the signatures on Dutton’s behalf.

“One of them purports to be a conservative family man of traditional Christian values. To those women now, he is just a pig.”

Dumped Minister for Small and Family Business, Craig Laundy, also spoke of the intimidation used by Dutton’s camp in an interview with 2GB.

“Some of the behaviour this week… I’ve had one female senator and two female members of the house, when it came to the letter – the petition, that were physically stood over to sign it, and they refused. That sort of intimidation and bullying is something you can actually file a claim against.”

via He’s just a pig – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Australia, you asked for it – » The Australian Independent Media Network

When Abbott went into the mode that I recognised so well from our uni days – the personal attacks, the bullying, the need for an audience, the misogyny, the homophobia – I got worried and figured I needed to do my bit to show the real Abbott because it seemed others couldn’t see it.

But it wasn’t Abbott I should have been focusing on. The Labor Party imploded and handed this inadequate man the reins of the country.

via Australia, you asked for it – » The Australian Independent Media Network

#LibSpill, NEG or NBN? It’s not poor MALsplaining Malcolm Turnbull’s fault

The Malsplaining has to stop!

Some of the dire problems we are currently facing include:

vast swathes of the nation suffering extreme drought conditions;
growing homelessness;
rampant domestic violence;
people literally starving on welfare — when they are not being punished by this Coalition Government;
the Great Barrier Reef in trouble;
increasing youth unemployment;
kids in danger and dying in offshore camps; and
a gap that is not closing, it is getting worse.

The list goes on. How are these things addressed? They aren’t! None of this is being addressed — none of it!

So Turnbull rolled the dice with a spill, being half-smart as he normally is. Funny thing is he only won by seven votes (48-35). Dutton didn’t have time to prepare and still got 35 votes? That will have emboldened Turnbull’s enemies, so my money is on three more weeks of turmoil before we see #LibSpill2 — at the most.

As the saying goes, piss or get off the pot!

Call an election now!

via #LibSpill, NEG or NBN? It’s not poor MALsplaining Malcolm Turnbull’s fault

Australian Psychological Society Medicare review submission betrays members and clients – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The APS explicitly excludes four “Area of Practice Endorsements” (AoPE) categories from providing MBS rebated services for “Severe and Chronic/Unremitting Disorders”, recommending, and thus inferring, that only practitioners holding endorsements for Clinical, Counselling, Forensic, Health or Education and Development Psychology are competent to treat clients with complex health issues. These endorsed psychologists make up less than 34% of all registered psychologists in Australia.

via Australian Psychological Society Medicare review submission betrays members and clients – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Human qualities v animal behaviour – » The Australian Independent Media Network

In the words of Noam Chomsky; “Corporates lobby politicians for legislation that favours corporates and corporates donate to election funds in return for favours and corporates are experiencing record profits at our expense.” It’s called the money/power loop and that is how western capitalist democratic society is run. It runs on lies, deceit and corruption hidden from the people by mainstream media.

[1] Corruption can only be contained if exposed to investigation and a legal process. Something lacking at a federal level. I couldn’t believe it either – there is no federal corruption watchdog in Australia. With hard evidence of corruption and with the prompting of Transparency International and some prominent QCs, Bill Shorten has promised the establishment of a national independent commission against corruption (ICAC) if he wins the next election. So that’s a starting point.

[2] It’s our ABC, not theirs … “Turnbull government hits ABC with $84m funding freeze” (Sydney Morning Herald). Because they didn’t like the editorials – first of all the Liberal government makes Pauline Hanson a political prisoner and then they impose censorship – so much for democracy. Second step is to reinstate the ABC’s finances and promote editorial independence. Have a section on the ABC that runs through what’s happening on Australian Independent Media so that all Australians can be well-informed.

[3] Human rights equate to freedom. Take away human rights and you take away freedom. Australia is a co-founder and signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and yet, there is no provision for human rights protection in Australian Law. When it comes to corruption, someone always suffers so there is always an element of human rights abuse woven into it. The UDHR needs to be written into the Australian Constitution and a Human Rights Court set up, accessible to all Australians. We, the people of Australia, can tackle corruption head on.

[4] Gee, no human rights protection and no federal ICAC in the land of OZ! We are getting screwed! The public demand transparency in government – no more corrupted decisions behind closed doors. If a federal minister or senator is asked a question they don’t like, the strategy is to ignore you and stick their head in the sand. We want answers and no more lies and deceit by omission. If politicians are held to account and the decision-making process is open to scrutiny, we have more chance of a better outcome for the bulk of Australians.

via Human qualities v animal behaviour – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Tony Abbott is responsible for our high energy prices – » The Australian Independent Media Network

This whole debacle can be sheeted directly to Tony Abbott.

Then the wrecker won in 2013 and threw out any certainty the industry thought they had. Investment in new generation ground to a halt. No-one was going to invest in coal and the rest of the world were more than happy to accept their investment in renewables.

Emissions started rising again for the first time in a decade and energy prices continued to rise astronomically, much higher than any increases due to the carbon price.

But Tony couldn’t care less about that as his tweet this weekend showed.

“To have a chance of winning the next election, the Coalition must create a policy contest on energy, not a consensus.”

Tony Abbott is a narcissistic anachronism who seethes with anger and resentment at being dumped by his own party less than two years into the gig he felt he was destined for.

Any idea that he gives the slightest shit about energy prices, or anything other than himself and his all-consuming desire for revenge, is laughable.

via Tony Abbott is responsible for our high energy prices – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Fascism claims another victim: Snowflake tantrum over misjudged tweet

Informed Comment on the ignorance of Sky News efforts to equate Socialism and Fascism in an effort to promote the latter. Why appearing to be “nice” is dangerous. (ODT)

Fascism can only thrive if the streets are flowing with the blood of working-class militants and socialists.

That is why the lies conflating Left and Right being spread by Professors of Political Science are so insulting to real socialists and to anyone who actually understands the dangers of flirting with fascists.

You only have to read this poem by the German Protestant priest, Martin Niemöller, to know that van Onselen and others who promote the “Left are just like the Nazis” golden lie need to be challenged over every stupid tweet and mis-statement.

First, they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out —

Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out —

Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —

Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.

via Fascism claims another victim: Snowflake tantrum over misjudged tweet

Our commitment to racial respect lasted slightly longer than our energy policies – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Christian Porter and Zed Seselja added a joint message.

This statement recognises that cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths; one that equips us to build a future where everyone belongs and has the chance to live a great life. It upholds the centrality of our democratic institutions and the rule of law, it highlights the importance of citizenship in our national identity, and it makes clear the responsibility we all have to respect our fellow Australians.

The above information comes from the Department of Home Affairs webpage.

I thought I’d share it before Prime Minister Dutton has it erased.

via Our commitment to racial respect lasted slightly longer than our energy policies – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Crime gangs: Facts, fiction and furphies

 

John Silvester

Yes, there is a sinister group (gang, if you like) well practised in the dark arts of moving quickly on the vulnerable for personal gain. They are the politicians who jumped into this debate with the subtlety of a belly flop in a wading pool.

Internal police figures show that of Victoria’s 15,000 “serious” crimes ranging from murder, serious assaults, rape and armed robberies to carjackings, around 200 are committed by offenders of Sudanese descent – which means you are 74 times more likely to be attacked by non-Sudanese.

So what do these statistics prove? Absolutely nothing, other than that you can always find a set of numbers to justify an argument.

Piss Weak on Law and Order Look No Further than Peter Dutton

The issue of law and order is squarely in Dutton’s domain, and while he has no responsibility on state matters, he has a major one on federal ones, particularly border protection. Which makes it all the more galling that while he wastes his energy on matters that are not his concern, he has been derelict on one in his own backyard. The problem is not that Dutton is too tough – it is that he is not tough enough.

For nearly 12 months the state government, at the request of senior police, have asked their federal counterparts to change the law to make it illegal to import Bute without a legitimate reason and still the loophole remains large enough to drive a truck (filled with drugs) through it.

So while the Feds can legitimately brag they have stopped the boats with asylum seekers on them, they have done stuff-all to stop the boats filled with 1,4-Butanediol. And make no mistake, more people are hospitalised from Bute than from being bashed by Sudanese crime gangs.

Yet we do have a serious black crime problem. In Australia, an Indigenous youth is 24 times more likely to be imprisoned than the community average for that age bracket. It is a national disgrace.
Rehabilitating young offenders is not the soft option, it is the smart one. The alternative of policies driven by anger, fear, half-facts and the pursuit of headlines or votes leads to more crime and more victims – and history shows that if you shut the door on people, they eventually want to kick it down.

Crime gangs: Facts, fiction and furphies

Turnbull may be standing in front of the orchestra pit but Abbott composed the cacophony they are playing – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Tony Abbott is being widely dismissed in the media as having little influence in the Liberal Party today but I beg to differ.

Abbott is, in fact, very much the architect of today’s Liberal Party strategy.

Malcolm had a go at telling us there was never a more exciting time to be us and that innovation would solve all our problems.

But he failed dismally to excite the nation. Talk of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists and innovation hubs meant nothing to an electorate struggling to get by with stagnant wages, insecure employment and inadequate welfare.

So Malcolm ripped up the science playbook and adopted the well-honed Abbott strategy of going for character assassination instead, with a fishing expedition hoping to find some mud that would stick.

via Turnbull may be standing in front of the orchestra pit but Abbott composed the cacophony they are playing – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Is the ACCC being verballed or has Sharri got it wrong? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Markson won the Kennedy award for breaking a story that been said she didn’t break(ODT)

According to the Liberal letterbox, Sharri Markson, “The Turnbull government will underwrite multi-billion dollar investments to build new coal-fired power stations…The Daily Telegraph understands Mr Turnbull will announce his support for the ACCC recommendation at [today’s] party room meeting.”

Except the ACCC didn’t recommend that at all Sharri.

Here is what they actually said:

via Is the ACCC being verballed or has Sharri got it wrong? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

When handshakes and reputation meant more than money – » The Australian Independent Media Network

It is easy to lie and cheat and steal and exploit. But infinitely more rewarding to know that you have done the right thing by others. We have to set our own standards. We have to honour our obligations, not because of fear of punishment, but because it is the right thing to do.

When you shake someone’s hand, whether physically or metaphorically, it should mean something.

via When handshakes and reputation meant more than money – » The Australian Independent Media Network

It’s getting crowded around here, and that’s a good thing

Politicians stoking malcontent, shock jocks firing up audiences, their message is simple: if you want to fix traffic congestion, crowded trains, housing affordability, inappropriate development, even African youth gangs, then just pull the handbrake on immigration.

via It’s getting crowded around here, and that’s a good thing

This goes beyond Bolt: It’s about racism and the government’s involvement. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

August 9 2018

On the same day that Indian-born migrant Akshay Venkatesh was receiving the prestigious Fields Medal in mathematics, the Australian born son of Dutch immigrants, mediocre columnist Andrew Bolt was publishing an article full of racist gobbledygook to titillate those on the extreme-right of Australian society.

The piece titled; “The foreign invasion” claimed that a “tidal wave” of migrants was “changing our culture.” In it he pointed out the proportion of Chinese, Cambodian, Indian and Jewish people living in various suburbs.

He has, as a consequence of his rather thoughtless, some say racist observations, been referred to the National Press Council.

via This goes beyond Bolt: It’s about racism and the government’s involvement. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

No need to import alt-right nutters, we have plenty of our own

Peter FitzSimons

Importing what’s already home grown. Making hay and being Alt-Right it’s a Gold Rush.(ODT)

As for paying up to $750 to see Ms Southern, close-up, and speak? Please.

Save your money, my friends. Turn on Sky News After Dark any day of the week. You can watch hours of that kind of stuff, from the comfort of your own home. You can call Bronwyn Bishop “Butter,” ’cos she’s always on a roll, on those very subjects. And don’t forget Ross Cameron. And that other fellow, someone-or-other Hargraves. On Sunday night, and I am not making this up, they even provided a platform for Blair Cottrell – previously notable for his criminality, and for advocating that every Australian classroom should have a portrait of Hitler on the walls – to give his views on immigration. I am not making that up, I said! And tell us, Blair, given your boast about using “violence and terror”, to get what you want from women, your views on feminism?

Yes, Sky News costs a bit, but if you divide the cost of subscribing by the number of cans of Pissed-Off they serve up, it is, seriously, as cheap as chips.

via No need to import alt-right nutters, we have plenty of our own

Andrew Bolt is a threat to our social cohesion – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Conservatives in this country have made it impossible to have a sensible discussion about anything.

Population is a topic we should be discussing. Infrastructure planning depends on it. Allocation of finite resources depends on it. Town and environmental planning depend on it. Education and training depend on it. Health services depend on it.

Immigration must be part of this discussion.

The statistics show that immigration is good for the economy but it is reasonable to question the effect it is having on employment, housing affordability and urban congestion.

It is also necessary to consider what can be done to assist people to become active and productive participants in the community and to recognise impediments to social cohesion.

Andrew Bolt is one such impediment.

In true Hansonesque style, Bolt has written a column headlined “The foreign invasion”.

Andrew Bolt is a threat to our social cohesion – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Race politics is back – and the far-right are loving it

Five years ago, when I began my term as Race Discrimination Commissioner, I wouldn’t have said it was likely that we would see the resurgence of far-right politics. I wouldn’t have expected that the biggest threats to racial harmony would come from within our parliaments and media.

Race looms large. It’s there in the panic about “African gangs”, the warnings about multiculturalism veering into “ethnic separatism”, the questioning of a non-discriminatory immigration policy, the alarm about foreign influence by China.

Debates about such issues help set the tone for our society. They have made some groups in our society more vulnerable than ever to racism. In Melbourne, for example, Sudanese-Australian leaders have spoken about how members of their communities fear being targeted. Many are fearful about leaving their homes.

This is how racism works. It creates doubts and divisions – and it forces its targets into retreat. And where the seeds of racism are planted in political speech, they bear bitter fruit in society.

And it’s false to charge that calling out racism is an act of national disloyalty. Anti-racism is in fact an expression of patriotism. We fight racism because it diminishes our nation. We fight it because it is an assault on our values and our fellow citizens.

 

via Race politics is back – and the far-right are loving it

ASIO seeing fewer young Australian jihadists

Security agency ASIO has confirmed it has started seeing a drop in the number of Australian youngsters pursuing violent Islamist extremism.

The agency has told a hearing in Canberra that the number of children and teens being drawn to jihad on the wave of the so-called Islamic State’s previous success in the Middle East has passed its peak, though it warns Islamist terrorism remains a significant threat.

ASIO seeing fewer young Australian jihadists