Category: Uncategorized

It’s Not that I’m Negative, America Really is Screwed

There’s one way out, by the way, if you’ve followed me closely. Give people money. No strings attached, no questions asked, now, on a large-scale, more or less permanently, forget how much needs to be borrowed to make it happen. So people can fund a working society again. Or else. That’s the big question for America. The rest is noise. Until something along those lines begins to take shape — my answer is simple: Americans made themselves too poor to now afford to have the luxury of a functioning, civilized, modern society. Or is all that a necessity?

via It’s Not that I’m Negative, America Really is Screwed

We are being conned if we believe the government – » The Australian Independent Media Network

It is not as though the government is without options. If it had the intestinal fortitude it could use a COVID-19 recovery that would drive full-time sustainable jobs and growth on the back of a low-emissions transition that would last 50 years or more.

The other option is to use the recovery to continue with fossil fuels and pretend (lie your way through it) that in a time of great uncertainty you had a moment of gas led fossil fuel enlightenment. Jobs versus the environment.

History tells me they will take option two.

via We are being conned if we believe the government – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Coal industry will never recover after coronavirus pandemic, say experts | Fossil fuels | The Guardian

Climate activists in front of the coal-fired Jaenschwalde power station in the Lausitz region, Germany, protesting against open-cast mining in November 2019. Their banner reads: ‘Love for the Lausitz. Not for the coal.’

Crisis has proved renewable energy is now a safer investment, and accelerated the shift

via Coal industry will never recover after coronavirus pandemic, say experts | Fossil fuels | The Guardian

Taylor stares down objections to carbon capture schemes in $2 billion fund

Energy Minister Angus Taylor will fast track changes to regulations to allow funding of carbon capture and storage projects.

 

Energy Minister Angus Taylor will fast-track changes to a $2 billion climate fund as he rejects furious criticism of a new plan to spend its cash on carbon capture and storage projects.

Mr Taylor called on the government’s critics to give up their “ideology” in opposing the controversial projects and said he would consider putting changes to the Parliament to overcome their objections.

via Taylor stares down objections to carbon capture schemes in $2 billion fund

It’s time for Scott Morrison to play God

In the absence of a cure, it is widely touted that the virus can be managed as Australia attempts to get back to “normal”. Attempting to manage the mystery that is COVID-19 equates to punching at shadows.

via It’s time for Scott Morrison to play God

Trump Moves Openly to Steal the Election: Democrats Should Impeach Him Again | The Smirking Chimp

Ukraine Repeated Domestically- Voter Suppression,(ODT)

As Jack Holmes of Esquire pointed out, Trump is threatening two U.S. states in exactly the same way he threatened Ukraine: Claiming he will withhold funds authorized by Congress if the recipient doesn’t help him cheat in the 2020 election. This is election fraud and blackmail, but this time directed at Americans.

Not only are these tweets an effort to blackmail the states, but they are also a direct effort to scare ordinary citizens out of voting.

As political analyst Judd Legum pointed out in his newsletter, Popular Information, “Telling someone that an absentee ballot application they receive was sent to them ‘illegally’ could dissuade them from voting.”

Indeed, the tweets themselves are arguably voter intimidation, since Trump is literally trying to scare people into thinking they may be prosecuted if they fill out an application for a mail-in ballot. Voter intimidation is a federal criminal offense that could lead to jail time — except that Trump is hiding behind “executive privilege,” which has been used to argue against legal punishment for all his criminal behavior.

via Trump Moves Openly to Steal the Election: Democrats Should Impeach Him Again | The Smirking Chimp

Media wars are heating up in contempt for President Trump

Trump accordingly puts out his erratically changing messages through free-kick interviews on Fox News, essentially a propaganda outlet where whatever he says, true or blatantly false, is accepted. When in contact with other news media – professional journalists instead of professional propagandists – he tries to discredit them, insulting the reporters, squabbling, claiming incredibly they are liars.

via Media wars are heating up in contempt for President Trump

America Is Drowning in Problems, by Paul Craig Roberts – The Unz Review

Are there parts of America that look like third world nations ...

Throughout America, state, local, and federal government epitomize failure. Trillions of dollars have been poured into weapons systems that cannot be used without destroying the United States along with the rest of the world, while dams fail, bridges collapse, communities deteriorate, and homelessness grows. The government in Washington spends time, effort, and money manufacturing enemies to justify the budget of the military/security complex, while jobs and the US economy are offshored, the environment is degraded, and health care needs go unaddressed. The US rivals third world countries in terms of the percentage of its population that has no savings, no access to health care, and no prospects for advancement in life.

via America Is Drowning in Problems, by Paul Craig Roberts – The Unz Review

Lancet Study on Hydroxychloroquine Shows Trump ‘As Usual, Is Dangerously Wrong’ on Covid-19 Guidance | Common Dreams News

A study published Friday in a prestigious medical journal found that the anti-malarial drug President Donald Trump claims he is currently taking—and has repeatedly urged others to take—is not effective for treating Covid-19 and could increase risk of heart problems and death in coronavirus patients.

via Lancet Study on Hydroxychloroquine Shows Trump ‘As Usual, Is Dangerously Wrong’ on Covid-19 Guidance | Common Dreams News

‘Snap back’? Jacinda Ardern snaps forward with a four day week: no wonder she’s popular | Van Badham | Opinion | The Guardian

Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern speaks at a COVID-19 press conference at the Beehive Theatrette, Parliament on May 20, 2020 in Wellington, New Zealand.

Among a claque of western leaders yearning for “snap back” to the way things were before the virus – some pursuing “recovery” strategies of even lesser benefit – it’s New Zealand’s, conspicuously, who repeatedly shows the courage to snap forward. Little wonder she has become so popular.

via ‘Snap back’? Jacinda Ardern snaps forward with a four day week: no wonder she’s popular | Van Badham | Opinion | The Guardian

Australia’s Superannuation System Enshrines Inequality

Perhaps the most pathological problem with super is the most neoliberal: An enormous, extractive financial sub-industry has been built around it. Currently Australia pays over $30 billion dollars a year in super fees. Much of this is skimmed from low-balance accounts belonging to the worst off. It’s nearly the size of the military budget (roughly $40 billion) and twice what the whole country spends on electricity.

There are tens of different super funds, but all perform roughly the same role. This multiplication of effort means Australia’s superannuation system is absurdly wasteful. Super fees add up to more than $1,000 for every person in Australia, every year. By comparison, Norway’s nationalized pension fund has over twenty times lower fees per invested dollar.

via Australia’s Superannuation System Enshrines Inequality

Donald Trump says China’s ‘incompetence’ on coronavirus led to ‘mass worldwide killing’ – ABC News

President Donald Trump gestures while speaking during a meeting

China’s “incompetence” didn’t cause mass spread and deaths due to the disease 30% of the world’s current condition America’s and in particular is a result of DJ Trump’s personal and blind stupidity in not acting like other more responsible nation’s leaders did.  Trump’s attempt at a pathetic excuse simply doesn’t hold water.(ODT)

via Donald Trump says China’s ‘incompetence’ on coronavirus led to ‘mass worldwide killing’ – ABC News

President Trump: Fox News is a propaganda outlet | Media Matters for America

Trump-Fox-Interviews.png

Trump is pitting the two halves of the network’s business model against each other. If its executives respond by making the network even more supportive, they are risking flight from advertisers and cable providers concerned with being too closely associated with the president. If they don’t, they are risking outlets like OAN, which has little interest in pretending to be a real news outlet, peeling off their viewers.

via President Trump: Fox News is a propaganda outlet | Media Matters for America

Seeking the Post-COVID Sunshine: Time to Turn Consensus from the W.H.O. Assembly into a Political Charade? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Australia’s Defence Connect (20 May 2020) called for even greater loyalty to the US Global Alliance from Australia in this time of crisis over the spread of COVID-19:

“It is Australia’s indispensable relationship, the core of our national security and the key enabler, that has allowed Australia to freely engage and prosper within the post-Second World War order. However, in an era of mounting great power competition and disruption, the US-Australia relationship will become ever more important, explains retired Army officer Jason Thomas.”

Australia is being hurt commercially by its growing antagonism towards China, our best and most profitable trading partner. What is going on behind the scenes in the corridors of power in Canberra in the halls of the Defence and Foreign Affairs Departments to justify this wanton folly to protect US interests across the Indo-Pacific Basin?

Surely, the Trump Administration with the support of the Department of State and the Pentagon can fight their own battles with China. So, what is the real payoff for Australia in these difficult times? And if the war games in the South China Sea go astray, are Australians instantly at war with China through the chain of command in these joint patrols?

via Seeking the Post-COVID Sunshine: Time to Turn Consensus from the W.H.O. Assembly into a Political Charade? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Old Dog Thoughts- When Ego is a dirty word

Fighting Fake News with REAL 22/5/20. Sorry Skyhooks Ego is a Dirty Word; Covid not averted by Morrison but he’ll take the credit and won’t even give it to God;

Trump Threatens ‘Funding’ To States Expanding Mail-In Voting During The Pandemic | HuffPost Australia

The Quid Pro Quo President and another “Perfect Call” (ODT)

via Trump Threatens ‘Funding’ To States Expanding Mail-In Voting During The Pandemic | HuffPost Australia

Union says government proposal for ABC wage freeze threatens broadcaster’s independence | Australian Broadcasting Corporation | The Guardian

ABC head office logo

Kill the ABC for Murdoch and then we don’t have to worry about the voters. A Wage freeze is a cut.

But Paul Murphy, the chief executive of the MEAA, declared on Wednesday that Fletcher had engaged in overreach. Murphy said the warning about the pay freeze was “just another shot in the culture wars” and indicative of the Coalition’s “unhealthy obsession with the ABC”.

Murphy said the intervention by the communications minister turned this “into an issue of ABC independence”. He said pay outcomes at the national broadcaster were “none of the government’s business” and any variation of the current enterprise agreement was a matter for ABC management and the unions, not the government.

Exclusive: Broadcaster’s managing director, David Anderson, tells staff he will take a 5% pay cut due to budgetary pressures

Union says government proposal for ABC wage freeze threatens broadcaster’s independence | Australian Broadcasting Corporation | The Guardian

It’s Not MY Fault — The Governors Did It | The Smirking Chimp

Disaster Lurks

Another wave of COVID-19 infections is on the horizon and Trump is hastening its arrival. He views human lives as “embers” in what may develop into “fairly big fires.” With his inflammatory rhetoric, Trump is stoking those fires.

Lose a loved one in the inferno? Blame the governors — they’re the ones who decided to reopen.

via It’s Not MY Fault — The Governors Did It | The Smirking Chimp

Morrison government dangles new carrots for industry but fails to fix bigger climate policy problem

Abolishing Australia’s carbon pricing mechanism in 2014 was a consequential failure of politics. The fine-tuning of the patchwork of policies that followed does not make up for it.

via Morrison government dangles new carrots for industry but fails to fix bigger climate policy problem

Never ask advice from someone unless you are sure they will tell you what you want to hear – » The Australian Independent Media Network

We now have Angus Taylor looking to change the rules of the CEFC and ARENA to further prop up fossil fuels. And his ‘hand-picked for previously expressed views’ advisers are giving a veneer of consultation to what is a full-court press to prolong the ‘climate destruction for profit’ policies of Coalition donors.

via Never ask advice from someone unless you are sure they will tell you what you want to hear – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Battles over Barley: Australia, China and the Tariff Wars – » The Australian Independent Media Network

This move in the barley market have pushed other exporters up the ranks. France, Canada, even Argentina, seem like candidates for malt barley; the Black Sea appeals for feed barley. Australia, for its part, is considering the WTO for redress, something it did to India over claims of sugar subsidies. (That process grinds on in interminable slowness.) “China, we think in this case, has made errors of fact and law,” claims trade minister Simon Birmingham. But the hefty elephant in the room remains Canberra’s willingness to storm Beijing’s barricades on behalf of its chief security sponsor. This is coming across more as an act of misguided allegiance than valiant heroism.

via Battles over Barley: Australia, China and the Tariff Wars – » The Australian Independent Media Network