“This is Uberification of education and there are plans to scale it up in the global north,” he says.
“These staff are not trained teachers. They are high school graduates who instruct kids for a fraction of the price that it costs to employ a qualified teacher.
“By and large, teachers make up about 70 per cent of a school budget. If you want to make money, you hire fewer teachers or unqualified staff.”
A new American documentary called Backpack Full of Cash shows how children who attend “virtual” charter schools can now do all their schooling from home without the need for any physical interaction with teachers or other students. That includes dissecting a frog on their computer at home.
Catholic Americans show what they are made of (ODT)
In them, a Native American man steadily beats his drum at the end of an Indigenous Peoples March on Friday while singing a song of unity for indigenous people to “be strong” in the face of the ravages of colonialism that now include police brutality, poor access to health care and the ill effects of climate change on reservations.
Surrounding him is a throng of young, mostly white teenage boys, several wearing Make America Great Again caps, with one standing about 30 centimetres from the drummer’s face also wearing a relentless smirk.
Native American Indian elder Nathan Phillips is taunted by Covington Catholic High School students wearing Make America Great Again caps near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.
Native American Indian elder Nathan Phillips is taunted by Covington Catholic High School students wearing Make America Great Again caps near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. Credit:Twitter
Nathan Phillips, a veteran in the indigenous rights movement, was that man in the middle.
Phillips, 64, said on Saturday he felt threatened by the teens and that they suddenly swarmed around him as he and other activists were wrapping up the march and preparing to leave.
Phillips, who was singing the American Indian Movement song of unity that serves as a ceremony to send the spirits home, said he noticed tensions beginning to escalate when the teens and other apparent participants from the nearby March for Life rally began taunting the dispersing indigenous crowd.
Democracy lives or dies by a fair and unbiased media. With Murdoch and his Channel 7 and Channel 9 allies, our democracy is under threat. Fortunately, social media and the growing independent media (including this publication) are helping to right the imbalance. Please support your independent media. It is the last bastion of democracy. Read it, subscribe, pay for it.
“Australia is the most successful
migrant country on earth”. Morrison
Declaring that our society is multicultural signals something different. It says that our
country isn’t threatened by diversity, but is confident enough to celebrate it. This isn’t about cultural relativism. At no time has a policy of multiculturalism sanctioned anything that runs counter to individual rights, the rule of law and democracy.
The idea of multiculturalism simply says that there isn’t only one way someone can
be authentically Australian. It says that everyone shouldn’t just be treated equally, but
also be comfortable in their own skin. It says that being Australian shouldn’t prevent
anyone from also being free to express their cultural heritage and identity.
Now why would such freedom and liberty be so threatening?
There is NO reasonable argument for constructing a 1000-mile steel (or concrete) wall along the U.S. border with Mexico – a boundary already possessing 654 miles of existing barrier. There is NO “national security” crisis at the U.S.-Mexican border. There is NOTHING remotely like an influx of terrorists across the border. The U.S. did NOT detain “nearly 4000 suspected terrorists” at the southern border in 2018.There is NO increase in attempted illegal entry, which is at a 20-year low. Building such a wall will do NOTHING to make the United States safer from terrorist attacks, dangerous drugs, and gang violence.
“Donald Trump is the result of a long process of political, cultural and social decay. He is a product of our failed democracy. The longer we perpetuate the fiction that we live in a functioning democracy, that Trump and the political mutations around him are somehow an aberrant deviation that can be vanquished in the next election, the more we will hurtle toward tyranny. The problem is not Trump. It is a political system, dominated by corporate power and the mandarins of the two major political parties, in which we don’t count. We will wrest back political control by dismantling the corporate state, and this means massive and sustained civil disobedience.… If we do not stand up, we will enter a new dark age.”
At least 30 Palestinians have been wounded by live Israeli fire at the Great March of Return protest in Gaza, the Palestinian Ministry of Health reports, including two members of the media and three paramedics.
Trump’s companies hasn’t simply hired foreign workers through the visa process. Multiple undocumented workers at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, have come forward to the press and have alleged that the club has hired many others like them.
Anibal Romero, an attorney for some of the undocumented workers, told the Washington Post that the company did not merely hire undocumented immigrants but actively recruited them, including one of his clients.
“The important point that I think has been left out is that Americans think these hard-working women get these jobs on their own — that’s not what happened,” Romero said. “People employed by the golf club recruited her and made her the phony documents” that allowed her to work without a valid visa or a Social Security number.
By one estimate, almost 80 percent of U.S. workers live paycheck to paycheck. Miss one check and you’re taking a second look at what’s in the back of the pantry cupboard.
From federal prison guards in small towns to airline safety inspectors in major cities, the partial government shutdown has forced 800,000 federal workers — and many contractors, too — to survive without a paycheck.
The shutdown is a Trump-made disaster, with an estimated 420,000 “essential workers” required to show up for work without a paycheck. They have full-time responsibilities, which makes finding another part-time job nearly impossible.
Another 380,000 federal workers have been furloughed, including Coast Guard employees that are being encouraged to take on babysitting gigs and organize garage sales. They saw their last paycheck on December 22 and are scrambling to pay rent, mortgages, alimony, and credit card bills, let alone the groceries.
The crisis on the Lower Darling, which has seen up to 1 million fish die, is largely due to the decisions by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority on instructions from the New South Wales government, a report by the Australia Institute finds.
It says the reasons for those decisions appear to be about building the case for the new Broken Hill pipeline and the Menindee Lakes project, which will see the lakes shrink and “save” water by reducing evaporation.
“It is clear what has caused the Darling River fish kill – mismanagement and repeated policy failure,” said Maryanne Slattery, senior water researcher with the Australia Institute. “To blame the fish kill on the drought is a cop-out, it is because water releases were made from the lakes when this simply shouldn’t have happened.
“It’s time to stop passing the buck.
A cotton farmer has pleaded guilty to illegally pumping water from the Murray-Darling Basin, after he was charged following an ABC Four Corners investigation.
A new study of parliamentary records shows teachers – the most common route into federal politics three decades ago – have been replaced by political operatives, with up to 40 per cent of all MPs and 50 per cent of all Labor representatives now hailing from backgrounds as political staffers.
Only one side of politics, Labor, has made any real progress on female representation, but overall only a third of federal MPs are women – compared to 51 per cent of the population. The Nationals have only added one female MP in 30 years.
Culturally and ethnically, Parliament is in a time warp. Since 1988, the proportion of Australians born overseas has risen from 22 per cent to 33 per cent, but their representation in Parliament has stalled at 11 per cent.Advertisement
When we thought we’d removed the idiots from the field we still find we have the greatest of them all left. (ODT)
As a wrecking ball, the Liberal Party has no further to look than Dutton. A man who manages to sail under the media radar by rarely making himself available to media scrutiny unless it happens to be a weekly love-in with Ray Hadley on 2GB or a scripted interview on Sky-After-Dark.
Even as the dust was settling over the leadership debacle Dutton declared that he had no regrets about bringing on a week of drama that had split the Liberal Party and halted Parliament. He continued to describe himself as a “better person” and a “person of greater strength and integrity to lead the Liberal Party” than Malcolm Turnbull.
You be the judge !
Victorian police want to bring former Adass Israel school principal back to Australia to face 74 child sex abuse charges
Benny Gantz is seen as the main contender to unseat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel’s upcoming elections.
But the former Israeli army chief is currently being sued in the Netherlands for bombing the home of the Ziada family during Israel’s 2014 onslaught in Gaza.
An Israeli airstrike destroyed the house in the al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza on 20 July 2014, killing six members of the Ziada family and a seventh person who was visiting at the time.
Palestinian-Dutch citizen Ismail Ziada lost his 70-year-old mother Muftia Ziada, three brothers, a sister-in-law and a 12-year-old nephew.
Ziada holds Gantz and Amir Eshel, then air force chief, responsible for the decision to drop the bomb.
Last year, Ziada’s lawyers summoned Gantz and Eshel to appear on 27 June in a Dutch court to answer the charges. The lawsuit demands more than $600,000 in damages plus court costs from the Israeli generals.
Shortly before that date, the commanders appointed a lawyer to represent them, thus avoiding a default judgment in Ziada’s favor.
How to really defeat ISIL (ODT)
The literature I’ve reviewed suggests that the best way totally to defeat an insurgency is to change the social and economic situation that caused part of the public to support it. Trump’s mean-spirited denial of reconstruction aid to Raqqa is a much better predictor of an ISIL resurgence than a few roadside bombs.
And that should be the question. How to reconstruct Eastern Syria so as to forestall a return of radicalism that might become a base for terrorism against, e.g. Europe? A couple thousand US troops are not what will solve the problems one way or another, at this phase of the struggle.
Trump may o may not be doing the right thing to pull out the troops. He is definitely doing the wrong thing by declining to put resources into reconstruction.
Rudy Giuliani has claimed that he “never said there was no collusion” between US President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia leading up to the 2016 presidential election.
In a remarkable, and at times contentious, interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, the President’s lawyer appeared to contradict his own past statements about collusion as well as what Trump and his supporters have repeatedly asserted. On Twitter, Trump has used the phrase “no collusion” dozens of times, and a number of those instances were direct denials that his campaign was involved with the Russian government.
Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, says he paid a firm to manipulate online polling data “at the direction of and for the sole benefit of” the future President.
Trump has lived a life of avoidance of duty — not just avoidance of military service and avoidance of taxes, but also the avoidance of duty to others, whether on the other side of a transaction or the other side of the street. Many of those who have served in the Trump Administration have cited a duty to country, rather than a duty to Trump. They know him too well.
But it is those who have avoided duty that have mattered most. The Republicans in Congress are Trump’s underwriters, the co-signatories of the Trump presidency.
They are bystanders underscoring the maxim:
‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’
They have failed in their duty.
While most of us see ourselves as ‘not racist’, we continue to reproduce racist outcomes and live segregated lives
I am white. As an academic, consultant and writer on white racial identity and race relations, I speak daily with other white people about the meaning of race in our lives. These conversations are critical because, by virtually every measure, racial inequality persists, and institutions continue to be overwhelmingly controlled by white people. While most of us see ourselves as “not racist”, we continue to reproduce racist outcomes and live segregated lives.
Radicalisation camps, fight clubs, hate campaigns and covert plans to infiltrate major political parties — this is the landscape for the far right in Australia today.
Some groups, like the Antipodean Resistance, don’t shy away from the Nazi label, with swastikas, Sieg Heil salutes and posters calling for the extermination of Australia’s Jews.
Others — including the Australia First Party, the United Patriots Front, the New Guard — don’t outwardly identify with Nazism but have doctrines littered with fascist ideas.
Murray-Darling gross mismanagement
While then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Barnaby Joyce was busy building up his “private” media brand enough to rival the Kardashians, under his watch, management of the Murray-Darling Basin was steadily careering out of control.
Perhaps the most damning part of this whole stinking mess is best summed up with this one little detail concerning the chief beneficiary of Coalition Government water policy, Webster Limited:
‘Webster, a Tasmanian company, is also one of Australia’s biggest water traders. Its shareholders include Australian Food and Fibre, which is controlled by the Robinson family, a major donor to the National Party.’
failure to act on climate change;
the ongoing persecution of refugees;
the destruction of the NBN;
a million dead fish;
draconian surveillance legislation;
towns without water;
withdrawal of funding from frontline agencies that offer protection to women and children fleeing violence;
the torment that Centrelink has become;
the rise and rise of the far right-wing;
nurtured politicians whose goal is to incite discontent and xenophobia;
contempt for concepts such as truth, morality and ethics — replaced by religiosity and ideology; hypocrisy in personal lives, masked by the propaganda of “family values” and “traditional marriage”;
a destructive focus on internal disunity and power struggles at the expense of good governance; and
lies, lies and more lies.
British MPs have defeated Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit divorce deal by a crushing margin, triggering political upheaval that could lead to a disorderly exit from the European Union or even to a reversal of the 2016 decision to leave.
The crushing vote margin is the biggest defeat in British Parliament since the 1920s
Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn has tabled a motion of no-confidence in the Government
The EU says is stepping up preparations for a no-deal Brexit
MPs voted 432 to 202 to defeat the proposal, the worst parliamentary defeat for a government in recent British history.
Isn’t this the “business model” of Murdoch Media the opportunity to influence rather than inform the social construction of our reality from just individual opinions to behavioural and institutionalised trends that guarantee the patterns of our behaviours. Ask Indigenous Australians, women and the disadvantaged they know only too well. It’s why critical thought is always necessary. (ODT)
“In reality, some people may not encounter any fact-checks at all,” the paper reads.
And both the paper and Mr Farrer warned people might eventually forget about being corrected and fall back on their default position.
The future of liberal democracy depended on overcoming our “epistemological crisis”, he said.
“Politics is in danger of breaking down if people aren’t able to or willing to make determinations based on factual information,” Mr Farrer said.
“We don’t know what is true anymore and it is going to get harder and harder.”
AUSTRALIA DAY (ODT)
Whose guardianship do you trust?
It has only taken Europeans 230 years to destroy what the First Australians preserved for over 60,000 years. In another 230 years there may be nothing left to preserve.
In the real world it’s called pissing in each others pockets. Hannity actually declares over and over “I’m not news” (ODT)
LNP Australia admires FLAWED DEMOCRACY and is determined to follow it down the the gurgler (ODT)
A new index released this week offers a sobering look at how democracy is faring in the United States.
According to the 2018 edition of The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index, the U.S. doesn’t even make the list of top 20—its demonstrably “flawed democracy” notching it the 25th spot.
To rank the countries the EIU gives a score out of 10 for a number of categories, such as political participation and the functioning of government, then classifies each country as either full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime or authoritarian.
What should I read next?
Want more charts?
The Government, of course, blamed the drought which they also claimed neither to be an extraordinary event nor a man made regulatory failure. (ODT)
The CSIRO told the ABC that this increased regulation of river water and restricted water flow from low rainfall have caused an increased number of algal blooms in recent years in the Murray-Darling Basin.
“We’re really angry about it because we know that this is not a natural disaster, this is a man-made disaster,” said McBride.
“We really want to make sure that we change the way the lakes are managed so that we never see this again because it’s just heartbreaking.”
“Trump’s primetime stunt is a campaign dog-whistle to his base, not a legitimate policy speech about a genuine crisis. Shame on every TV station that airs it.”
In this recent South African case we see yet another example of corruption between government connected people and the coal Industry. Trying to prop up a dying industry requires desperate measures and the hunt is on for pollies open to “incentives” to promote their product.
Australia finds itself in exactly this position and personally, I want to see a Federal ICAC in place to deal with the growing influence being exerted by the Coal industry because things are only going to get worse. Clearly the product is already too expensive and smoke appears to be seeping out from under under the door leading to the Coalition Party Room. I’m sure there’s a fire in there somewhere.
All the old political players are still in power. Donald Trump is President of the United States. And in Australia, we have our own wannabe Trumps and populists of the Right — people like Pauline Hanson, and Liberals like Tony Abbott, Peter Dutton and even Scott Morrison.
The big story in Australia last year was the Liberal Party dumping Malcolm Turnbull as its leader and Scott Morrison becoming Prime Minister. Morrison is now the PM because he is not Dutton. That is hardly a recipe for success.
Fiji’s top immigration official has confirmed categorically that Islamic State fighter Neil Prakash is not a Fijian national, meaning the Morrison government’s stripping of Prakash’s Australian citizenship is not lawful.
Speaking for the first time to Australian media, Fiji’s director of immigration, Nemani Vuniwaqa, also said no one from the Fijian government was consulted before Australia declared Prakash had lost his Australian citizenship, despite the fact a second citizenship was vital to the legal process in Australia.
Asked whether he was absolutely certain Prakash was not Fijian, he said: “Yes I am. He is not a Fiji citizen.”
Americans on the right, supporters of Trump and Israel, those rarely reached by the likes of this august publication, will become increasingly aware of the actual cost to the US of America’s support for Israel: $4.5 billion a year and more “frankly … if you look at the books.”
The Russian ultra-rich amassed their wealth during the economic and social turmoil following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the introduction of the market economy.
Many had ventured into commerce in the 1980s, unaware they were positioning themselves to benefit unimaginably from one of the fastest redistribution of assets in history.
Russia’s early post-Soviet elite were from modest social backgrounds who had genuinely benefited from the Soviet education system.
Mr Abramovich, for example, grew up in poverty.
Over the course of the 1990s, a group of bankers and tycoons appeared at the top of the new rich stratum by seamlessly turning their political clout into wealth.
“The early Russian oligarchs seemed to have appeared from nowhere and got their hands on the driving wheel of government,” Dr Schimpfossl says.
Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.
Audio: Rich Russians: From oligarchs to bourgeoisie (Late Night Live)
During the oil price boom that helped fuel President Vladimir Putin’s resurgence in the 2000s, Moscow regularly topped rankings of cities with the most billionaires.
“A whole new layer joined them getting rich on the back of the high oil price which lasted until 2008,” Dr Schimpfossl says.
“It was almost as important as the first round of privatisation in the ’90s.”
Mr Putin eventually brought economic liberalisation under his personal control and significantly reined in the oligarchs.
“If they didn’t fall out with Vladimir Putin shortly after he came to power, they now prop up his kleptocracy with injections of cash whenever he asks them to,” Dr Schimpfossl says.
Yasseen* was a senior officer in the Syrian air force of Bashar al-Assad when the country went to war against its own citizens.
He was a cog in the military machine as planes were used to strafe and bomb Syria’s cities and while helicopters dropped barrel bombs packed with electrical wire, designed to create amputees.
Just that in itself was significant in many ways. Australia doesn’t really like to acknowledge our white supremacy outside of Nazis, skinheads or the KKK, and even then there’s still plenty of media people who will call them “far-right activists” or even just “concerned citizens”. So to acknowledge that our governing party voted in favour of a white supremacist slogan was a pretty big deal for those of us who watch how Australian media all too readily ignore overtones of white supremacy.
So, in 2019 there are even less excuses for justifying the dehumanising and racist attitudes that plague Australia. There is no reason not to name white supremacist beliefs as such, whether they are coming from the fringes or from the Senate.
Having tested the limits of its power to marginalise Muslims, the government is slowly moving to everyone else
The cost for the Muslim community of constantly trying to placate people’s anger and fear by justifying itself is increasingly apparent. It is rare, especially for Victorian Muslims, to turn their back on a meeting with government. This is a sign not of anger, but of a community that has no hope in the political system.
But the fight here is no longer one about or for Muslims. In allowing our politicians free rein to do as they will with Muslims – criminalise, surveil and pathologise them – those strategies are now available for use not just against minorities, but as the encryption laws attest, all of us.
Legal cases set to define limits of free speech in Australia as human rights discourse is taken up in religious freedom debate