Category: Uncategorized

Guthrie gone | The Monthly

The destruction of an Australian Icon is at hand and only the ALP can save it and Australian Democracy and values.(ODT)

In June this year, the Liberal Party’s peak council voted by 2:1 to privatise the ABC, as proposed by the Institute of Public Affairs, whose alumni includes communications minister Mitch Fifield, an arch-plotter who backed Turnbull over Abbott, Dutton over Turnbull and then Morrison over Dutton. Turnbull and Fifield insisted at the time that the ABC would never be sold, but those assurances are surely worthless now. With News Corp on the attack, and the Coalition so bitterly divided, it is hard to see anyone inside the government dying in a ditch over a high-minded defence of the ABC.

The Australian had another extraordinarily well-timed piece this morning [$], in which media diarist Stephen Brook reported a rift between chair and MD, including deep background that Guthrie had been upset at the chair’s push for the quixotic “Project Jetstream” overhaul of the ABC’s digital infrastructure. There was obviously more to that story. Whether or not Guthrie deserved to be sacked so summarily – and she is today reported to be devastated and considering her legal options – the ABC now appears vulnerable, poorly led, and in need of public support more than ever.

via Guthrie gone | The Monthly

Data centre power use greater than Woolworths, Coles combined

Australia’s obsessions with social media and search engines, alongside a cloud computing drive from corporations, is powering the growth in energy intensive data centres, which now use as much energy as regional cities.

via Data centre power use greater than Woolworths, Coles combined

Why Comcast aggressive bid for Sky is actually defensive

Neflix puts pressure on cable operators

It’s a defensive acquisition with an aggressive price.

Comcast is clearly looking to massively increase its geographical reach and swell its subscriber numbers, across the US, UK and Europe which this deal will achieve.

It would appear that this bulking up is what Comcast sees as its salvation – and its management was crowing loudly over the weekend about Sky TV’s great platform, it’s wonderful brand and talented management.
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via Why Comcast aggressive bid for Sky is actually defensive

Hold the front page, the reporters are missing

Independent journalism is a far more reliable source of news than the mainstream media’s biased coverage of events, with emerging sources of critical thinking banding together to keep the spirit alive, writes John Pilger.

Hold the front page, the reporters are missing

Follow the money: how News Corp wields power to defend its interests | Media | The Guardian

they say that Murdoch’s primary interest in politicians is not political; it’s commercial,” Davies writes.

“He may be a highly political animal, they say – obsessed with the details of life in the corridors of power and personally possessed of some extremely rightwing opinions – but what he most wants from politicians is favours for his business. He’ll betray his own principles, he’ll embrace politicians for whom he has very little respect, just as long as they have the power to help the company get bigger.”

In practical terms, Davies says that often comes down to a repeated demand to be freed from regulation and for the state to be cut back to make way for private enterprise.

But sometimes News seeks regulation to protect its own position. Like right now, when News is angling for regulation to thwart the advance of social media juggernauts such as Google and Facebook.

News’s campaigns to protect or further its commercial interests are often cloaked in principle that sometimes obscures another financial interest beneath.

via Follow the money: how News Corp wields power to defend its interests | Media | The Guardian

A battle is under way to end Tony Abbott’s 25-year political career

Tony Abbott after finishing The Cole Classic in Manly, a suburb in his electorate.

“It helped to expose the myth that the base of the Liberal Party is monolithic and all watch Sky News ‘after dark’.”

“I think tonight we can give a great example to our country, and a great example to our party, by showing that we are capable of rallying together, uniting together, and giving our country the leadership it wants.”

The request was straightforward, but some members fed up with his role in Canberra’s leadership convulsions and immovable conservative views on social issues were in no mood to comply. Shortly after his war cry, 32 per cent of members voted against endorsing his preselection. One in three preferred an empty chair to a former prime minister and Liberal leader. Abbott walked out of the RSL club a weakened figure, and facing questions over his political future.

A senior Liberal who opposed Turnbull’s toppling of Abbott in 2015 says “goading” doesn’t go close to describing the force of Abbott’s interventions: “Tony’s actions are destructive, selfish, and driven by bitterness and revenge. Unfortunately, that has proven very effective for him in the past.”

via A battle is under way to end Tony Abbott’s 25-year political career

Tony Abbott Warringah preselection result released by NSW Liberal Party

Former prime minister Tony Abbott will recontest Warringah for the 10th time.

Michael Regan, the popular Northern Beaches Council mayor who was elected in 2012 with 56.33 per cent of the vote, played down the idea that he would contest Mr Abbott’s blue ribbon Sydney seat of Warringah as an independent but he stopped short of ruling it out.

In pointed criticism of both sides of politics, he said the community was “fed up with the power plays and ego-driven games taking place in Canberra”.

“Our Parliament’s become a laughing stock and all of us deserve better,” he told Fairfax Media.

Friday’s vote has again exposed the deep rift between moderates and conservatives inside the Liberal Party.

via Tony Abbott Warringah preselection result released by NSW Liberal Party

The Far-Right ABC: The elephant in the corner of the room

But the Far-Right is OK. It’s just part of our Liberal Party. It’s normal. Nothing to see here.

Q&A represents the echo chamber of the political mainstream, but not the balance of the Australian people. The Liberal Party is tearing itself apart precisely because its Far-Right hijackers can’t seem to get the people to follow, so they blame the latest leader.

Remember when Q&A admitted an Islamic State suicide bomber into its studio? At least, that’s what the News Corp tabloids portrayed on their front pages after Zaky Mallah asked a question from the audience. Mallah had admitted to making threats against the lives of ASIO officers and served his time, but had been cleared of a terrorism charge. He was working to prevent young Muslim men from being sucked into ISIS.

There was a robust exchange. The Liberal panelist basically dismissed the legal process and said Mallah should simply be deported at the Minister’s discretion. Malah responded that the Liberal’s attitude would provoke young Muslim Australians to join ISIS. He was shut down by Tony Jones and a Murdoch frenzy ensued. The ABC grovelled and disavowed actual robust debate.

But it was Liberal John Howard’s Government that joined the illegal invasion of Iraq against the clear wishes of the Australian people and in the face of clear warnings, amply vindicated, that it would make us a target of terrorists. Who’s putting us more in danger?

Beyond that, Far-Right extremists advocate radical social engineering, steadily dismantle our open society and democracy, and exploit racism, xenophobia and any other social division they can get their tyre iron into.

via The Far-Right ABC: The elephant in the corner of the room

Billionaire businessman Frank Lowy slams Australia’s leadership woes – Business – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Frank Lowy speaking at the Lowy Institute

Billionaire Frank Lowy has offered a scathing assessment of Australia’s current political climate, describing the recent spate of leadership challenges as unacceptable and urging democracy to be “treated with care”.

“Having five prime ministers in five years is not acceptable,” he said in the speech in front of political and business heavyweights on Thursday night.

“Democracy needs to be nurtured and treated with care.”

via Billionaire businessman Frank Lowy slams Australia’s leadership woes – Business – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

No, Donald, The Statistics On Puerto Rico’s Death Toll Are Accurate | Crooks and Liars

Conscientious people applying appropriate methodology are always at risk of ridicule from right-wingers — it’s an extension of the right’s anti-science, anti-expertise bias. Conservatives regularly suspect researchers and experts of bad faith and political bias — see the climate change debate, or the smearing of the inspectors who correctly determined that Iraq lacked weapons of mass destruction in 2003.

Trump is wrong and the George Washington researchers are right — but they’re researchers, so of course they’re an easy target for conservative know-nothings.

 No, Donald, The Statistics On Puerto Rico’s Death Toll Are Accurate | Crooks and Liars

and

Right-wing media figures are defending Trump’s lies about the Puerto Rican death toll 

New Zealand’s politicians just came up with a good plan — together – Analysis & Opinion – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Jacinda ardern and her cabinet

As Australia prepares for another climate policy reset, it’s easy to look to New Zealand and wonder what might have been.

Like Australia, New Zealand is one of the world’s largest per capita emitters and for many years both countries developed their climate policy in tandem.

But as Australia adjusts to another prime minister undone by climate change, New Zealand has just released its comprehensive roadmap for transition to a low emissions economy.

via New Zealand’s politicians just came up with a good plan — together – Analysis & Opinion – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The Herald Sun’s Serena Williams cartoon draws on a long and damaging history of racist caricature

Bill Leek’s Cartoon got the same and it was deserved.(ODT)

In the aftermath of the dramatic US Open women’s final between Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka, Herald Sun cartoonist Mark Knight sketched a cartoon of Williams that has drawn opprobrium worldwide.

Critics such as writer J.K. Rowling and basketball player Ben Simmons have denounced it as racist and sexist. However, the Herald Sun’s editor defended Knight, saying the cartoon had “nothing to do with gender or race”.

via The Herald Sun’s Serena Williams cartoon draws on a long and damaging history of racist caricature

Australians are losing their trust in ‘the media’, but not in journalism – Analysis & Opinion – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Group of camera operators, photographers and journalists gathering outside Parliament House.

Australians are losing their trust in ‘the media’, but not in journalism – Analysis & Opinion – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Jail for syndicate kingpins with kilos of cocaine, $3.7 million cash

Former heavyweight boxer Julian Gallin was a popular bloke between August and November 2015, when he received thousands of SMS messages asking him to “catch up for a beer.”

His network of mates included a former AFL agent, lawyers, stockbrokers, builders and real estate agents, who would regularly contact Gallin at his partner’s Elwood apartment.

His associate in the “highly sophisticated” syndicate was Christopher Carron, 33, – a former Melbourne Grammar student who had studied finance at RMIT and earned more than $200,000 a year as a stockbroker with Broadbent Financial.

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via Jail for syndicate kingpins with kilos of cocaine, $3.7 million cash

Across All Seven Continents, #RiseForClimate Actions Demand Elected Leaders Commit to Fossil-Free Future

Building on actions that kicked off earlier this week, activists on Saturday hosted hundreds of #RiseForClimate demonstrations across all seven continents, drawing massive crowds “to demand our local leaders commit to building a fossil-free world that puts people and justice before profits.”

As of this writing there were more than 900 actions in 95 countries, according to the searchable database that enables those interested to locate protests in their area.

The main event was the Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice march in San Francisco, California, which is brought together some 30,000 people and is being hailed as the West Coast’s largest climate march ever.

via Across All Seven Continents, #RiseForClimate Actions Demand Elected Leaders Commit to Fossil-Free Future

All is not well on Nauru and we are being hoodwinked ! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

refugee

Abbott’s Legacy, Dtutton and Morrison’s Execution (ODT)

In June a third asylum seeker or refugee died by suicide on Nauru, and comes only three weeks after a Rohingya refugee on Manus Island killed himself.

Twelve people have died from injuries or illness sustained in offshore processing centres since the facilities were reopened in late 2012.

A spokesman for Australian Border force said: “the department is aware of the death in Nauru today, 15 June 2018. Further enquiries should be referred to Nauruan authorities”. Nauruan authorities advised that : “it is Australia’s responsibility, it happened in their camp”.
The apparent confusion over who is responsible for those detained on Nauru (and Manus) has been carefully and intentionally nurtured by Peter Dutton to the extent that even today the Nauru government are being blamed for defying an Australian court order and blocking the medical evacuation of a refugee requiring urgent treatment for post-traumatic stress and a major depressive order. This is despite the Australian Federal Court finding that the failure to transfer the woman left Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and the Australian government in breach of court orders previously made.

There is something seriously wrong on Nauru and the Department for Home Affairs and despite there being no effective rule of law on the island we can anticipate that once these people have been released and settled in a third country we will face a massive class action for unlawful detention – as was the case with the Manus detainees that cost the Australian taxpayer seventy million dollars in damages plus costs – and further payouts probably well after Dutton is just a nasty memory and a stain on our body politic.

via All is not well on Nauru and we are being hoodwinked ! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Total and utter racist bullshit | Overland literary journal

Melbourne scape

So it was all bullshit. Total and utter bullshit.

New official statistics confirm that the alleged Victorian crime wave – an outbreak of criminality supposedly so intense that, at one stage, Liberal MP Craig Kelly wanted road signs on the border warning travellers from New South Wales about the danger they faced – never existed.

On the contrary, Victoria’s safer than at any time in the past ten years, in line with a general decline in crime across the nation. As Fairfax’s Peter Martin notes, ‘at 1392 offenders per 100,000 people over the age of 10, Victoria’s offence rate was Australia’s second lowest, bettered only by the Australian Capital Territory.’

Crime in Victoria is not increasing. Rather, the new figures mark the fourth successive annual fall. That’s right. Contrary to just about everything you’ve read or seen on TV, crime in Victoria’s been declining for years.

via Total and utter racist bullshit | Overland literary journal

‘Dangerous times’: Barack Obama accuses Donald Trump and Republicans of ‘abuses of power’

Former US president Barack Obama assailed President Donald Trump and Republicans on Friday, urging Democrats to restore a “semblance of sanity” to politics by voting in November’s elections.

via ‘Dangerous times’: Barack Obama accuses Donald Trump and Republicans of ‘abuses of power’

Anti-Semitism on the rise in Europe along with racism in general

In Australia Murdoch media the largest media group in Australia happily allowed Andrew Bolt promote and give a platform to Southern, and Molyneus and News Corp did the same with Blair Cotteral why? The purpose is to increasingly fragment us culturally rather than allowing us to unite economically the difference between democratic equity and fascist constraint Internationalism and Nationalism  (ODT)

In Austria this year a state-level branch of the ruling far-right Freedom Party of Austria proposed a new law requiring Jews to register with the government if they wanted to buy kosher meat (the same rule would apply to Muslims buying halal meat). One of the party’s candidates in January’s national election had stood down after it was revealed he was a member of a fraternity whose songbook included lyrics about killing Jews, including “step on the gas, we’ll manage the seventh million”. He claimed not to have read all the pages.

In Germany, the increasingly popular far-right party AfD recently disciplined some of its local politicians for exchanging Nazi and anti-Semitic imagery and messages on WhatsApp. There are police guards outside Berlin synagogues and violent attacks on Jewish children in German schools.

via Anti-Semitism on the rise in Europe along with racism in general

Peter Dutton’s backers refused to leave Liberal Party members’ offices, demanded they reveal votes during spill – Politics – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Tight shot of Bishop looking stern. She's standing in front of an Australian flag.

When can bullies be seen flipping the argument and blaming the other side when they are ultra conservatives. Soon we’ll see them declaring that they are the victims. It’s not a strange practice and is a common ploy when backs are to the wall Corman is doing it here. He was a vote collector for Dutton and it wasn’t a last minute decision on his part as he tried to make out.  (ODT)

Cabinet Minister Mathias Cormann, who supported Mr Dutton, said Malcolm Turnbull’s unusual tactics ahead of the Liberal leadership spill added pressure to his colleagues.

“There’s nothing wrong with seeking to convince each other of the merits of our arguments, but it always ought to be done with courtesy and respect,” he told Sky News.

Some of Mr Dutton’s other backers, including young conservatives Andrew Hastie, Michael Sukkar, James Paterson, Zed Seselja, Tony Pasin and Jonathon Duniam, have denied any knowledge of, or involvement in, the alleged bullying.

via Peter Dutton’s backers refused to leave Liberal Party members’ offices, demanded they reveal votes during spill – Politics – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

In Down Under Abbey, the political class is taking it easy

The better Australia’s economy, the worse its politics. The bigger its boom, the smaller its politicians. And the greater the crisis in the world, the more trivial the crises that consume Canberra.

Australia’s economy has entered its 28th year of growth, unprecedented for any developed country.
At the same time, its federal Parliament pitched itself into its most dismal performance since coup fever took hold with sudden ferocity in 2010.

via In Down Under Abbey, the political class is taking it easy

Scott Morrison vows to change laws on religious freedom but won’t be a ‘culture warrior’ PM

So they say 52% of Australians identify as Christians in the last census what is the percentage if you take the Indigenous, Sudanese and Pacific Islanders out of the mix would the country still be Abbott’s majority Christian nation? Take the nonpractising ones out of the mix and Australia becomes a non-religious nation doesn’t it?( ODT)

Scott Morrison vows to change laws on religious freedom but won’t be a ‘culture warrior’ PM

It is time to teach colonial history in British schools | UK | Al Jazeera

Members of the Mesopotamia Commission at the 1921 Cairo Conference, including Gertrude Bell, T E Lawrence (fourth from the right, second row) and Winston Churchill (centre front row) [Getty]

What the Ramsay Foundation won’t be offering in it’s Western Civilisation Degree. (ODT)

If you grew up in Britain, like me, you probably would not be able to recall being taught anything substantial about British colonial history in school.

The British curriculum dedicates plenty of attention to the violence of others – in Nazi Germany or during the American Civil War – and goes into great detail on a few events in medieval and pre-Victorian English history, like the Plague, the Great Fire of London, and the reign of Henry VIII. But a British school would not teach you anything about the brutality of British colonialism.

We were told nothing of the concentration camps the British army ran during the Boer War, the Bengal famine of 1943 or the massacres of Kenyans in the 1950s.

via It is time to teach colonial history in British schools | UK | Al Jazeera

Unsettled business: Was sovereignty transferred by cession or conquest?

In a modern legal context, the transferring of the sovereignty of Australia from the Indigenous people seems even more criminal, writes Peter Kemp.

via Unsettled business: Was sovereignty transferred by cession or conquest?

Trump tops list of Germans’ fears ahead of terrorism and immigration – survey finds — RT World News

Anti Trump Rally In Berlin © Omer Messinger/Global Look Press

What’s keeping most Germans from getting a good night’s sleep? A survey has found that beating international terrorism, illegal immigration, and economic worries is none other than the US president. Well, his policies at least.

Anti Trump Rally In Berlin © Omer Messinger/Global Look Press Trump v the world? Belligerent unilateralism turning US into ‘rogue state’, analysts tell RT

Asking a sample of 2,400 Germans between June 8 and July 18 of this year, the multiple choice questionnaire found that 69 percent of Germans deemed Trump’s policies and attitude to allies were having a dangerous impact across the globe

via Trump tops list of Germans’ fears ahead of terrorism and immigration – survey finds — RT World News

Trump Shows Reporters an Article Praising Him, Then Lies About What It Says

President Donald Trump responds to a reporters question during an event with sheriffs in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

That report, from the pro-Trump Washington Examiner columnist Paul Bedard, was about the unified Republican government managing to avoid the disagreements over spending that were common in the past 20 years, when the White House and Congress were often controlled by different parties.
Trump’s blatant disregard for the actual text of the article he held up for reporters to photograph did contribute to one record he is on pace to set: as the first president to be caught lying more than 10,000 times during a four-year term.

via Trump Shows Reporters an Article Praising Him, Then Lies About What It Says

Whodunit? The Great Big Search for the Anonymous Op-Ed Writer and “Gutless” Right-Wing “Coward” Trump Hired

With President Donald Trump reportedly “volcanic” over the authorship of an anonymous op-ed by a “high-ranking” White House official in the New York Times, the game being played far and wide after the publication of the explosive and deeply troubling column is, of course: which of the many jerks hired, elected, (or born) into the president’s inner-circle wrote it?

via Whodunit? The Great Big Search for the Anonymous Op-Ed Writer and “Gutless” Right-Wing “Coward” Trump Hired

Trump’s Enablers boast of Saving Nation but Reveal they’re Looting the Nation

And that quote tells you everything you have to know. This author supported the tax scam passed by the GOP last February, which cut government services for most people and gave the super wealthy a huge and wholly undeserved tax cut.

The author supports “deregulation” of a sort that has gutted the environmental regulations that had reduced poisons in our air, soil and water. This regime is literally trying to poison babies. This guy thinks that is great.

Trump raised the US war budget to $700 bn. even though the US has no peer enemy. We spend as much on our military as the next 14 countries combined. All together, the US probably spends $1 trillion a year on military-related expenses. Military spending creates few jobs, and about half of that money is given out to private contracting firms, so that it is welfare for the rich. The money could have gone to student debt relief or rebuilding Puerto Rico. This guy thinks that the bloated military budget is an accomplishment.

via Trump’s Enablers boast of Saving Nation but Reveal they’re Looting the Nation

Booming global stock markets swell ranks of the super rich | Business | The Guardian

Global stock markets have boosted the fortunes of the super rich.

The global population of UHNW people, classed as those with more than $30m (£23m) in assets, increased by 12.9% last year to a record 255,810 people, according to a report by research firm Wealth-X.

Only 13.7% of UHNW individuals are women, but the number of women grew by 30% outstripping the 10% rate of growth for men. The study predicts that the size of the ultra-rich population will continue to increase, with the number of UHNW individuals expected to grow to 360,000 by 2022.

via Booming global stock markets swell ranks of the super rich | Business | The Guardian

Trump inauguration crowd photos were edited after he intervened | World news | The Guardian

A government photographer edited official pictures of Donald Trump’s inauguration to make the crowd appear bigger following a personal intervention from the president, according to newly released documents.

The photographer cropped out empty space “where the crowd ended” for a new set of pictures requested by Trump on the first morning of his presidency, after he was angered by images showing his audience was smaller than Barack Obama’s in 2009.

via Trump inauguration crowd photos were edited after he intervened | World news | The Guardian

Debating the definition of genocide will not save the Rohingya | Charles Petrie | Opinion | The Guardian

We could possibly reach an answer to the question of whether genocide is being committed. But at what cost? Will naming it so then risk fracturing international commitment to act and undermine a more robust response? War crimes and crimes against humanity are sufficiently grave offences to justify international action. However we refer to them, immense crimes have been and are being committed in Myanmar. It is time for the world to stop debating how to categorise them and focus on finding the necessary resolve to act

Conservative mantra is debate everything so do nothing. How often do we hear Murdoch’s men claim the need to debate. Andrew Bolt says he’s an Indigenous Australian and it needs a debate. Meanwhile it does bugger all for Indigenous Australians.(ODT)

Debating the definition of genocide will not save the Rohingya | Charles Petrie | Opinion | The Guardian

Bob Woodward’s Trump Book: ‘CrazyTown’ In The White House | Crooks and Liars

Bob Woodward's Trump Book: 'CrazyTown' In The White House

Woodard had the biggest scoop of last century with uncovering Watergate and having Nixon resign. Will he do it again this century by eyeglassing the White House? (ODT)

Bob Woodward’s Trump Book: ‘CrazyTown’ In The White House | Crooks and Liars

DonaldTrump lifts the ban on importing elephant head hunt trophies

No automatic alt text available.

 

#DonaldTrump lifts the ban on importing #elephant head hunt trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia. This is a devastating blow to the protection of elephants. 🐘 😢 Share this post to show your disgust with #Trump’s decision to lift this ban! — with Nick Sirotich and Donald Trump.

Robert Reich: The Next Great Crash Is Coming

But most Americans are still living in the shadow of the Great Recession. More have jobs, to be sure. But they haven’t seen any rise in their wages, adjusted for inflation.

Last year, about 40 percent of American families struggled to meet at least one basic need – food, health care, housing or utilities, according to an Urban Institute survey. 

All of which suggests we’re careening toward the same sort of crash we had in 2008, and possibly as bad as 1929.

 

 

 

 

Ken Livingstone: Decade after 2008 crisis, no changes made, richest get richer, inequality growing — RT Op-ed

Ken Livingstone: Decade after 2008 crisis, no changes made, richest get richer, inequality growing

Here in Britain the government claims that there is only twenty billion pounds worth of tax evasion and avoidance, but some economists estimate that it could be a hundred and twenty billion, and similar tax dodging carries on all around the world. Since Margaret Thatcher deregulated the banking system in 1986 and President Clinton abolished the bank regulation laws in 1998 the world’s been transformed with wealth being shifted all around the planet so that the super-rich and the giant corporations don’t have to pay their share of tax. The consequence of this has been a huge increase in inequality in Britain – it had doubled in the last forty years so that it is now as bad as it was in 1914. Labour’s new leadership under Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell would almost certainly be committed to reforming this appalling and unaccountable concentration of power, so we can expect the financial sector to do everything in its power to stop Jeremy getting into Downing Street.

via Ken Livingstone: Decade after 2008 crisis, no changes made, richest get richer, inequality growing — RT Op-ed

How Israel Spies on US Citizens | The Nation

Israeli Flag Silhouettes

Kleinfeld’s contacts told him they were spying on US citizens with the help of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, founded in 2006, which reports directly to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. One official said: “We are a different government working on foreign soil, [so] we have to be very, very cautious.” And indeed some of the things they do could be subject to prosecution under US law.

As Ali Abunimah, co-founder of the website The Electronic Intifada, says, “if you had on tape a statement of a senior Russian or Iranian or even Canadian official saying that they were running covert operations, to spy on Americans, and using an organization like the Foundation for Defense of Democracies as a front…it would be a bombshell.”

via How Israel Spies on US Citizens | The Nation

Anti-Semitism vs. anti-colonialism | The Electronic Intifada

When Australian Conservatives conflate Australia with all Australians and then claim disagreeing with their prescribed laws,policies, actions and ideology amounts to being unpatriotic then the most unpatriotic and undemocratic claims are being made by Conservatives themselves.(ODT)

The ongoing fight in Britain is fundamentally not over those few marginal racists who still believe in some Jewish conspiracy to take over the world, but over whether labeling Israel as a colonial-settler state is anti-Semitic, or whether anti-colonial resistance to Israeli settler-colonialism and racist laws constitutes anti-Semitism, or whether questioning the legal and institutional religious, racial and colonial privileges accorded to Israeli Jews over the indigenous Palestinians constitutes anti-Semitism.In naming its state “the Jewish people,” the Zionist movement conflated and conflates its colonial project with all Jews, even when the majority of world Jewry did not support the movement and continues to refuse to live in, and become citizens of, Israel

This is a most perplexing debate for any political observer, as it is Israel that claims to be “the Jewish state,” and that it represents the Jews of the world, even though a majority of them are not Israeli citizens.

Supporters of Israel cannot have it both ways: They cannot claim that the Zionist movement has a right to colonize the land of the Palestinians in the name of Jews, and that the movement has the right to privilege Jews and to oppress and discriminate against the Palestinian people in the name of Jewish people, and that it has the right to pass racist laws in the name of Jews, and that it has a right to name its state “the Jewish people” for whom it speaks, and then after all that advance the claim that those who condemn Israel are condemning Jews.

via Anti-Semitism vs. anti-colonialism | The Electronic Intifada

A chequered history: Matthew Guy’s most controversial decisions

Victorian opposition leader Matthew Guy has been caught up in a string of controversies involving Liberal party figures, donors or donations, notably in his time as planning minister in the Baillieu and Napthine governments between 2010 and 2014.

 A chequered history: Matthew Guy’s most controversial decisions

and

As planning minister, the Liberal Opposition Leader signed a multimillion-dollar settlement with taxpayers’ money to avoid a date in court.

  • by Royce Millar & Chris Vedelago

 

As Trump Obscures Anti-Worker Record Ahead of Labor Day, New Report Details His Actual Worker Agenda: ‘Drop Dead’

"The Trump administration has systematically dismantled fundamental health and safety protections, and undermined the very agency tasked with safeguarding America’s workforce," Public Citizen's Shanna Devine wrote in a new report. (Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

“Trump has betrayed America’s workforce, sacrificing lives at the altar of industry profits.”

via As Trump Obscures Anti-Worker Record Ahead of Labor Day, New Report Details His Actual Worker Agenda: ‘Drop Dead’

Big oil asks government to protect its Texas facilities from climate change – CBS News

PORT ARTHUR, Texas — As the nation plans new defenses against the more powerful storms and higher tides expected from climate change, one project stands out: an ambitious proposal to build a nearly 60-mile “spine” of concrete seawalls, earthen barriers, floating gates and steel levees on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Like other oceanfront projects, this one would protect homes, delicate ecosystems and vital infrastructure, but it also has another priority: to shield some of the crown jewels of the petroleum industry, which is blamed for contributing to global warming and now wants the federal government to build safeguards against the consequences of it.

via Big oil asks government to protect its Texas facilities from climate change – CBS News

‘Is this a red line for us?’ $15b European trade deal doomed if Australia dodges Paris pledge

EU doesn’t think Australia 1% of the words emmissions are insignificant as the Conservatives do (ODT)

The Coalition’s internal climate war risks damaging the economy after Europe declared it would reject a $15 billion trade deal with Australia unless the Morrison government keeps its pledge to cut pollution under the Paris accord.

The EU bloc is Australia’s second largest trading partner, third largest export destination and second largest services market. The EU was also Australia’s largest source of foreign investment in 2017.

Mr Morrison – who is in Jakarta for trade talks – and Trade Minister Simon Birmingham declined to comment on the European Parliament’s position.

via ‘Is this a red line for us?’ $15b European trade deal doomed if Australia dodges Paris pledge

The texts, threats and lies that will haunt the Morrison government

The failure of the Dutton campaign has left its architects denying it was their own work. Asked on Tuesday about what happened the week before, Victorian Liberal Michael Sukkar told Sky News said this: “All of us, including me, went into last week thinking it would be a perhaps lively but unexceptional week in Parliament, in all honesty.”

Yet this is the core argument now being made to excuse the shambolic coup: that the Dutton camp were not organising until Turnbull called the vote on the Tuesday.

“There’s a lot of rewriting of history going on,” says one Liberal.

Another is more blunt: “It’s complete bullshit.”

Says a third: “The idea they hit Tuesday from a standing start is fanciful.”

It is easier to wreck than rebuild in Australian politics. The nonchalant claims from ministers that they can all move on, that the public has no interesting in “tea-leaf gazing” over the spill, is a glaring false confidence about their ability to unify their party.

This may be the biggest myth of all from the spill: the idea that Morrison can “heal the wounds” in time for the election.

via The texts, threats and lies that will haunt the Morrison government

‘Absolutely Repulsive’: After $1.5 Trillion Tax Giveaway to the Rich, Trump Cancels Modest Pay Raise for Federal Workers

TRICKLE UP EFFECT (ODT)

“President Trump pushed through a tax scam that gave unprecedented handouts to billionaires and corporations—but believes it’s too expensive to pay hardworking federal workers a reasonable wage.”

via ‘Absolutely Repulsive’: After $1.5 Trillion Tax Giveaway to the Rich, Trump Cancels Modest Pay Raise for Federal Workers

Dutton’s au pair drama shows hypocrisy of immigration policy

Has there been a MP like Dutton whose constantly shown himself up as a fool? Yes, Tony Abbott who became as popular as a fart in a crowded elevator and look what happened to him (ODT)

Is there some principle being applied consistently that accounts for both cases? Or can we now admit that this posturing of law and order, of national sovereignty, of the solemn duty to banish “unlawful arrivals” is just so much bullshit, conveniently dropped for the right kind of people?

I’m not saying this is the scandal of the decade. I suspect this will all soon pass without much cost to Dutton and that’s probably fair enough. But if it passes without a clear verdict of hypocrisy, not just on Dutton but on the way we frame our public discussion of immigration, it will only be because we’ve long since abandoned any approach to the subject that has anything to do with principles.

via Dutton’s au pair drama shows hypocrisy of immigration policy

No Scott, we can’t just heal and move on – » The Australian Independent Media Network

“I’ve had Jones, Hadley, Bolt, Peta Credlin … insert name of right-wing commentator here … give me free character assessments basically for the past five years,” he said.

“And the last election campaign I think is the best example of what influence they actually have, if you are a shrewd marginal seat operator. It was an eight-week campaign where particularly Alan Jones would offer free character assessments that weren’t too complimentary on a daily basis. And when the state of NSW had a 5.1 per cent swing against (the Liberals) I had a 1.6 per cent to me.”

He said the broadcasters encouraged voters to contact him, with Mr Hadley publishing his official email address.

“I couldn’t thank him enough for that because what it does is it takes those fired-up people — a lot of times based on misinformation and that commentator’s personal opinion and a real personal dislike of me or Malcolm Turnbull — it makes that listener come to me,” Mr Laundy said. “I’ll ring them. I’ve done it thousands of times. And I read my own emails and reply, usually pretty quickly. And it shocks the living crap out of them,” he said.

I can personally confirm this. I emailed Mr Laundy asking him to back up claims he had made about convictions arising from the trade union royal commission. He responded with the details I had requested. And he was right – it shocked the living crap out of me to get a factual response, no obfuscation, from a Coalition MP.

There have been several Liberal party members suggesting that politics is no place for “snowflakes”, intimating that if you can’t cop intimidation then you aren’t up to the game.

Sadly, these people seem to think that being able to endure bullying is more important than being able to formulate, understand, and advocate for sensible policy direction. (Looking at you Craig Kelly for starters)

Political pundits will tell you that it has ever been thus.

Does that mean we should allow it to continue?

via No Scott, we can’t just heal and move on – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Mark Latham’s ‘extraordinary’ defence in Osman Faruqi defamation case struck out | Australia news | The Guardian

Former ALP leader Mark Latham. A judge ordered him to ‘start from scratch’ in trying to justify comments about Osman Faruqi in a video on the Outsiders program.

Faruqi, a former editor of pop culture site Junkee and a former Greens candidate, launched his libel action last year after the former leader of the Labor party accused him of “aiding and abetting Islamic terrorism” and fostering “anti-white racism in Australia”.

But Justice Michael Wigney on Thursday rejected Latham’s 76-page defence and ordered him to “start from scratch” in trying to justify comments about Faruqi in a video on the Outsiders TV program last year called “The Rise of Anti-White Racism and Terrorist Plots in Australia”.

via Mark Latham’s ‘extraordinary’ defence in Osman Faruqi defamation case struck out | Australia news | The Guardian