Category: Informed Comment

They will blame the pandemic for nine years of doing nothing, except for submarines – » The Australian Independent Media Network

My thought for the day Will we ever grow intellectually to the point where we can discern, understand and act on those matters that seek the good within us? ( John Lord )

Source: They will blame the pandemic for nine years of doing nothing, except for submarines – » The Australian Independent Media Network

A tale of two ideologies – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Marketing and the big Fail. Doesn’t the word Murdoch spring to mind just look where Harvey Norman’s Advertises.

The government’s response was the program was designed quickly to create the most stimulus and there was no mechanism to recover the funds from those that found out after the event they didn’t meet the criteria. Sounds like the same thing they pilloried the progressive side of politics for about a decade earlier. At the same time, the same conservative government considered chasing individuals who received JobKeeper as well as JobSeeker during the 2020/2021 Financial Year. In the government’s eyes this isn’t a correct and proper use of resources. The story is pretty clear – the progressive political party really couldn’t market themselves out of a wet paper bag. The conservative political party is all about the marketing. Anyone want a black coffee mug?

Source: A tale of two ideologies – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Dutton does defence – » The Australian Independent Media Network

In his maiden speech, Dutton said “I have seen the sickening behaviour displayed by people who, frankly, barely justify their existence in our sometimes over tolerant society.” Having watched Dutton enhance his personal fortune for twenty years, I have seen nothing to justify his existence in our parliament or the support of his over tolerant constituents and colleagues.

Source: Dutton does defence – » The Australian Independent Media Network

House Democrats are scared to tax billionaires – that’s a costly mistake | Robert Reich | The Guardian

Democrats seemed cowed by their donors’ gaze.

Political cowardice means those funding Joe Biden’s ambitious social policy plan want to leave the mega-rich unscathed

Source: House Democrats are scared to tax billionaires – that’s a costly mistake | Robert Reich | The Guardian

Tudge sore over suggestion we question Anzac Day

Education Minister Alan Tudge should look closely at history before criticising expert’s proposed curriculum changes, suggesting school students challenge ideas about Anzac Day, writes Dechlan Brennan.

Source: Tudge sore over suggestion we question Anzac Day

That Fella Down Under! Scott Morrison’s AUKUS deal designed to win election, not make Australia safe – Michael West Media

AUKUS, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, submarines

Strap in for a media blitz on the threat from China. Prime Minister #ThatFellaDownUnder Scott Morrison and his merry band are about to take a war to the election. Michael West reports.

The PM’s army of propagandists has been working around the clock over the past two days marketing the latest announcement to a fawning press: AUKUS, a new “Alliance for the Ages as China Threat Grows”, according to The Australian. And what results!

Christian Porter’s secret legal payments are off the front pages, as is the JobKeeper mega-rort, the biggest transfer of wealth in history from working Australians to wealthy Australians and foreign corporations.

Early Thursday morning there was no AUKUS. The AFR did have a scoop though, splashing with: “PM to announce $90b French submarine deal is dead”.

Source: That Fella Down Under! Scott Morrison’s AUKUS deal designed to win election, not make Australia safe – Michael West Media

Noam Chomsky: Average People Still Have the Power to Stop Wars

Noam Chomsky talks to Jacobin about why the US withdrawal from Afghanistan won’t change US imperialism, the many war crimes of George W. Bush, and why he still believes in average people’s ability to push back against the war machine.

Source: Noam Chomsky: Average People Still Have the Power to Stop Wars

Which major political party is more qualified to embrace urgent change? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Socialism comprehends empathy; conservatism and its partner capitalism do not.

Source: Which major political party is more qualified to embrace urgent change? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Republicans once called government the problem – now they want to run your life | Robert Reich | The Guardian

Ronald Reagan once said: ‘Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.’ Today’s Republicans are practicing the opposite.

Ronald Reagan would not recognise a party that wants to intrude the power of the state everywhere, making a mockery of values it once espoused

Source: Republicans once called government the problem – now they want to run your life | Robert Reich | The Guardian

Morrison Government sets more ‘worst ever’ economic records

Virtually every new data release confirms Australia’s economic demise under Prime Minister Morrison and Treasurer Frydenberg. Alan Austin updates the tally of disastrous outcomes.

INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT IS at an all-time low. As is Australia’s net worth and its global ranking on economic growth. Tax-free corporate profits are at an all-time high.

 

Source: Morrison Government sets more ‘worst ever’ economic records

Why are you so concerned, Poppa? (part 2) – » The Australian Independent Media Network

My thought for the day I think we can often become so trapped in the longevity of sameness that we never see other ways of doing things.( John Lord )

Source: Why are you so concerned, Poppa? (part 2) – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Manal Al-Sharif: Australia’s new surveillance laws remind me of home – Michael West Media

Identity and Disrupt Bill 2021

“I left Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s most oppressive regimes. But the Australian Government’s recent draconian rules remind me so much of home.” Cyber security expert and human rights luminary Manal Al-Sharif reports on the dangers of the new surveillance laws.

Source: Manal Al-Sharif: Australia’s new surveillance laws remind me of home – Michael West Media

The truth of the matter is we didn’t order enough of the vaccine. But that’s not all that’s wrong. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

My thought for the day

Sometimes wisdom jumps a generation. Well, we can always hope.

Source: The truth of the matter is we didn’t order enough of the vaccine. But that’s not all that’s wrong. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

When will I need my COVID vaccine booster shot? And can I switch to a different brand?

A man gets his vaccine.

Australia’s vaccine rollout is really starting to gain pace, especially in New South Wales and Victoria. We need to get two doses of vaccine into as many adults as possible — firstly because that helps reduce severity of illness and infection, but also because reaching vaccination targets is likely to bring some new freedoms. The COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna and Astra Zeneca) continue to be highly effective in reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalisation and death, even against the Delta variant. But as soon as we finish one vaccine rollout we may need to begin the next rollout of booster doses.

Source: When will I need my COVID vaccine booster shot? And can I switch to a different brand?

Trump’s coup attempt has not stopped – and Democrats must wake up | Robert Reich | The Guardian

A rar right rally attendee holds a Donald Trump flag in Portland, Oregon in August.

The former president’s attempted coup is not stopping. He still refuses to concede and continues to rile up supporters with his bogus claim that the 2020 election was stolen. Tens of millions of Americans believe him. FILE PHOTO: Trump family attends ground breaking of new hotel in WashingtonFILE PHOTO: (L-R) Eric Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump attend the ground breaking of the Trump International Hotel at the Old Post Office Building in Washington July 23, 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron//File Photo Trump reportedly nears DC hotel rights sale as ally says ‘I think he’s gonna run’ Read more Last Sunday, at a Republican event in Franklin, North Carolina, Congressman Madison Cawthorn, repeating Trump’s big lie, called the rioters who stormed the Capitol on 6 January “political hostages”. Cawthorn also advised the crowd to begin stockpiling ammunition for what he said was likely to be American-versus-American “bloodshed” over unfavorable election results.

Source: Trump’s coup attempt has not stopped – and Democrats must wake up | Robert Reich | The Guardian

There Is No Debate About Critical Race Theory | Washington Monthly

Screenshot 2021-09-07 at 06-36-01 There Is No Debate About Critical Race Theory Washington Monthly

Of course, the latest iteration of this battle is playing out in a dramatically different media landscape. Conservative charlatans can easily spread their misinformation on Facebook and Twitter, and right-wing cable networks like Fox, Newsmax, and OANN can amplify it. At this point, we can expect bad-faith arguments from Republicans to sow dissension and fear. But we should not expect everyone else who knows better to fall for it. With a new school year beginning, conservatives will surely continue to use critical race theory as a cudgel in the culture war. For the rest of us to fight it most effectively, we must know the true nature of what we’re up against.

Source: There Is No Debate About Critical Race Theory | Washington Monthly

Frydenberg dubiously claims Australia’s lagging economy ‘leads the pack’

Australia’s economic growth is at a 30-year low relative to comparable countries, yet the Treasurer claims it is now a world leader. Alan Austin reports.

LAST WEEK’S economic growth figures confirm three realities the Morrison Government desperately wants concealed.

First, that economic outcomes are far below where they should be given global conditions and the relatively well-controlled pandemic, except in NSW.

Second, that the Morrison Government is clearly the worst at economic management in Australia’s post-war history. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has achieved the poorest outcomes of any post-war treasurer.

Third, that Australia’s craven mainstream media continue to treat citizens with contempt by reporting these appalling outcomes deceptively – if at all – and refusing to expose the Government’s blatant lies.

 

Source: Frydenberg dubiously claims Australia’s lagging economy ‘leads the pack’

Morrison in damage control | The Saturday Paper

May be an image of 1 person

Scott Morrison is flailing about as he struggles to get back on the “narrow path” he keeps talking about to deliver him another election victory. Nowhere is this more obvious than the desperate damage control he embarked on earlier this week, when it was obvious he had misread the mood of the nation. Most particularly, what had escaped him was the deeper concerns of people in states free of Covid-19. It was a contrite Scott Morrison who on Tuesday blitzed the radio airwaves in Hobart, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane. He was on air to offer a new, conciliatory message. While we are all on a journey to a safer future, thanks to vaccination, he said, “we are starting from different places”. Rather than deny the bleeding obvious, as he seemed to the previous week, he was now stating it. He said: “There isn’t a common Covid position across the country”, just a common destination. On Perth radio he even praised West Australian Premier Mark McGowan for keeping his citizens safe and claimed an almost special relationship with him. This was despite the premier describing Morrison’s demands for border openings as “madness”. No doubt the prime minister has a keen eye to holding his 11 of 16 seats

Source: Morrison in damage control | The Saturday Paper

Why are you so concerned, Poppa? (part 1) – » The Australian Independent Media Network

My thought for the day We dislike and resist change in the foolish assumption that we can make permanent that which makes us feel secure. Yet change is in fact part of the very fabric of our existence. ( John Lord )

Source: Why are you so concerned, Poppa? (part 1) – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Crikey Worm: Paul Keating shoots down Australian ‘antagonism’

Paul Keating

Former PM Paul Keating has shot down Australia’s “irresponsible” antagonism towards China, and climate change once again comes into the global spotlight as the US is rocked by Hurricane Ida.

Source: Crikey Worm: Paul Keating shoots down Australian ‘antagonism’

“Mr Speaker, This Is Coalvid, Don’t Be Afraid, Embrace It, Step Toward The Light!” – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Like the people who seem to be able to embrace the idea that we need to worry about mental health while not actually doing much to help people with mental health issues, as well as feeling like the budget has to get back to surplus but we need to give high income earnings tax cuts, as well as telling us that we can’t afford the NDIS but franking credits refunds to people who don’t earn a taxable income are no problem*, Gladys seems to be able to hold two seemingly contradictory positions at the same time. Yes, she was unlucky in love and that Maguire guy pulled the wool over her eyes, but she should stay Premier because she’s very astute and makes good decisions.

Source: “Mr Speaker, This Is Coalvid, Don’t Be Afraid, Embrace It, Step Toward The Light!” – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Australian politics: Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg are odd housemates, but they’re tied together now

Mutual support, loneliness, convenience or a dose of good old-fashioned paranoia appears to have brought the two closer together. The object of that paranoia is Peter Dutton.

Frydenberg and Morrison are tied together by their apron strings now, but there is no knowing how or when it will end. Related Article Too often Scott Morrison finds himself on the backfoot. Editorial Scott Morrison Morrison’s leadership weaknesses all too clear The Age’s View The Age’s View Editorial In 2018 Frydenberg welched on a deal with best friend Greg Hunt to run for the deputy leadership which he won handsomely. He can be a mongrel when advancement beckons. In the first leadership ballot, enough of Morrison’s “God Squad” voted for Dutton to guarantee Malcolm Turnbull’s destruction. It didn’t stop Morrison throwing his arm around “my Prime Minister” Turnbull in front of cameras to deflect questions about his own ambition.

Source: Australian politics: Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg are odd housemates, but they’re tied together now

In the Liberal world empathy is as scarce as vaccines – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Take a deep breath… and go. “The NSW Government has been far from perfect in its handling of the virus. But at least it doesn’t place residents under 23-hour-a day house arrest because someone hundreds of kilometres away may have walked past someone who may have had Covid. Instead, NSW has tolerated a small number of new daily cases of coronavirus without resorting to lockdowns.” For the record this apathetic twaddle was originally published in The Herald-Sun. Now fast forward to Tuesday August 31, 2021 when New South Wales listed 1,164 Covid-19 cases and four deaths. In Victoria, the number is 76. None in the Liberal state of Tasmania, none in the Liberal state of South Australia (as of August 30) ditto, Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia, Labor states. Until we change this government, we can look forward to months of apathy: “a lack of feeling; the absence of passion, emotion, excitement, or energy. Lack of interest in things which others find moving or exciting. Apathía, from the Greek apátheia, insensibility.”

Source: In the Liberal world empathy is as scarce as vaccines – » The Australian Independent Media Network

As Our Children Head Back to School, Partisan Politics Threatens their Learning and their Safety | The Smirking Chimp

These lawmakers – and many of the people they represent – equate “freedom” with being allowed to go without a mask and to own a gun, while also being ignorant of the shameful aspects of America. To them, personal freedom means taking no responsibility. Yet this definition of freedom is precisely the opposite lesson our children and grandchildren need. To be truly free is to learn to be responsible for knowing the truth even if it’s sometimes painful, and responsible for the health and safety of others even if it’s sometimes inconvenient. The duty to help our children become responsible adults falls mainly on us as parents and grandparents. But our children also need schools that teach and practice the same lessons. America’s children shouldn’t be held hostage to a partisan political brawl. It’s time we focused solely on their learning and their safety.

Source: As Our Children Head Back to School, Partisan Politics Threatens their Learning and their Safety | The Smirking Chimp

JobKeeper shame and the collapse of business leadership in Australia – Michael West Media

JobKeeper, BCA, AI Group

Unless they disclose who got it, JobKeeper will remain a giant festering stain on the reputation of big business in Australia. Michael West reports on business’s greatest shame.

Source: JobKeeper shame and the collapse of business leadership in Australia – Michael West Media

The greatest con of all: It’s safe – » The Australian Independent Media Network

My thought for the day The true test of any nation surely must be the manner in which it treats its most vulnerable.( John Lord )

Source: The greatest con of all: It’s safe – » The Australian Independent Media Network

JOHN PILGER: How the U.S. ruined Afghanistan playing the ‘great game’

The current situation in Afghanistan is the result of decades of political interference by the United States Government with the support of other Western leaders, writes John Pilger.

Source: JOHN PILGER: How the U.S. ruined Afghanistan playing the ‘great game’

Happy anniversary, ScoMo – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The spiv with the shiv celebrates the third anniversary of his defining perfidy “Scott was in it from the word go.” Herr Schickltuber on the political assassination of Malcolm Turnbull. A piffler of modest abilities and questionable achievements who wanted to be PM, his only valid claim to the Prime Ministership was that he’s not Peter Dutton. A unctuous quibbler for whom a glib catchphrase passes for uplifting rhetoric, who goes on and on and on like a one-ended stick with utterances that are not so much Winston Churchill as Kuta beach kiosk t-shirt – “How good is Bali?”, “I’ll sunburn for you”, “If ya wanna go on the jet-ski you’ll get a go on the jet-ski.” Listening to Scooter attempt inspiring oratory is like watching a 3 year old draw a horse.

Source: Happy anniversary, ScoMo – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Has Australia ever had a Prime Minister so devoid of leadership qualities? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

My thought for the day When a political leader deliberately withholds information that the voter needs to make an informed, balanced and reasoned assessment of how it is being governed. It is lying by omission. It is also tantamount to the manipulation of our democracy.

Source: Has Australia ever had a Prime Minister so devoid of leadership qualities? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

“Some People Are Just Dying To Live With The Virus!” – » The Australian Independent Media Network

“And let me make it clear the government does not have a new position. The government’s position has always been that we need to open up immediately.” “So you’re saying that there’s no change and the government is committed to opening up as soon as it’s safe.” “No, I’m saying that Mr Morrison has been very clear that he wants these silly lockdowns to stop. Last year he told us to stop hiding under the doona even before we had a vaccine and now he’s saying that we can’t stay in the cave, so you can’t accuse him of being inconsistent.”

Source: “Some People Are Just Dying To Live With The Virus!” – » The Australian Independent Media Network

On Covid and climate we can achieve change – but we’re running out of time | Robert Reich | The Guardian

A large plume from the River Fire fills the air with smoke in Colfax, California.

Our collective tendency is to wait until big problems become catastrophic before dealing with them. Most of the time we’d rather not pay attention. We have all we can do to make a living, bring up our kids decently, save a bit for retirement, hopefully have a bit of fun along the way. We assume others will take care of the biggest threats. Or we tell ourselves there’s nothing more we can do. We may try to live modestly, recycle and conserve energy, use masks and get fully vaccinated. We might even write a few emails to politicians advocating for cleaner air and for stronger public health measures. Beyond this, it can feel hopeless. Hell, I was in a president’s cabinet. I personally know dozens of members of Congress. I have a big megaphone. But when it comes to this simultaneous pandemic and environmental crisis, I sometimes despair too.

Source: On Covid and climate we can achieve change – but we’re running out of time | Robert Reich | The Guardian

Gladys In “Pride And Prejudice” – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Gladys Berejiklian shows she knows Morrison will push her under a bus.

Yes, it’s the contradiction that gets me. I’m not suggesting that lockdown is easy, nor am I saying that kids unable to go to the playground won’t find it tough. I’m just wondering why now the same people who’ve been saying “Harden up, princess!” whenever anyone has talked about asylum seekers in detention, or the unemployed or any marginalised group, now suddenly find the fact that people are doing it hard a cause to be embraced. It’s almost like they’re pushing an « open up the economy and consequences be damned » agenda!

Source: Gladys In “Pride And Prejudice” – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Republicans split over Afghan refugees: Trump is now being led by the raging racism of his base | Salon.com

Afghanistan’s all-girl robotics team (First Global/Getty/Mark Wilson)

Murdoch promotes Nazi beliefs

Naturally, Tucker Carlson leads the pack, telling his rapt audience that any acceptance of Afghan refugees is just the latest chapter in the Democratic “Great Replacement” strategy to destroy the ethnic purity of America by polluting it with foreigners.

Source: Republicans split over Afghan refugees: Trump is now being led by the raging racism of his base | Salon.com

Simple, simple words, simple, simple thoughts. My methodology of writing when angry – » The Australian Independent Media Network

My thought for the day We would be a much better society if we took the risk of thinking for ourselves unhindered by the unadulterated crap served up by the government, the media and self-interest groups.

Source: Simple, simple words, simple, simple thoughts. My methodology of writing when angry – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Wikipedia v ASPI: on sock-puppets and Wiki-sneaks – Michael West Media

ASPI, Wikipedia

Something is rotten with the state of propaganda

(Editor: ASPI is also Australia’s most influential and aggressive crafter of anti-China propaganda, funded to the tune of $11m a year by government and the military industrial lobby, foreign arms manufacturers that is).

The top of the ASPI page comes with this warning from Wikipedia in bold text: This article has multiple issues. This article relies too much on references to primary sources. This article may rely excessively on sources too closely associated with the subject, potentially preventing the article from being verifiable and neutral.

It is the standard Wikipedia disclaimer when Wikipedia suspects Something is rotten in the state of Denmark—or, perhaps one might say, in the Canberra suburb of Barton.  

More than half of the reference sources on the Wikipedia page come directly from ASPI itself and all but one either endorses or praises ASPI.

 

Source: Wikipedia v ASPI: on sock-puppets and Wiki-sneaks – Michael West Media

Digital Slaves: how Big Tech tracks us for profit – Michael West Media

“You are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else, you were born into bondage. Into a prison that you cannot taste or see or touch. A prison for your mind” – Morpheus, The Matrix.

Source: Digital Slaves: how Big Tech tracks us for profit – Michael West Media

Lendlease fessus up to ATO tax scam audit, provisionally – Michael West Media

Lendlease, tax avoidance

Lendlease has finally admitted the Tax Office is conducting an audit on its $1 billion double dipping scam, while paying zero tax again in Australia.

Source: Lendlease fessus up to ATO tax scam audit, provisionally – Michael West Media

War Powers: immense profits for arms dealers, incalculable losses for Australians – Michael West Media

“Freedom’s always worth it,” said Scott Morrison. “What a waste,” said the father who had lost his son in Afghanistan. Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam. Tasha May totes up the immense cost of futile wars and the immense profits.

Source: War Powers: immense profits for arms dealers, incalculable losses for Australians – Michael West Media

The Coalition governs for those that have, and the have-nots are left far behind – » The Australian Independent Media Network

My thought for the day Economics and society are so inextricably interwoven that we cannot ignore the human cost in our decision making. Conservatives should consider that. ( John Lord )

Source: The Coalition governs for those that have, and the have-nots are left far behind – » The Australian Independent Media Network