Australia might be saving our democracy. Can the UK and US? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Truss is, as the 2021 essay forecast, entirely immersed in the world and personnel of the billionaires’ ultra free market lobby groups masquerading as thinktanks. Her Chancellor is an ideologue and true believer in the message. The “thinktanks” face the moment of testing: who was the liberty for that they championed? Only the Ultra High Net Worth class and their High Net Worth enablers? Both the UK and the US stand on the brink of something unthinkable a decade ago. Australians must fight to ensure that our radicalised right (and the “thinktanks” that foster the internationally-networked radicalisation) don’t take us back down that path. We have a chance to rebalance the playing field. Will our right resume playing the game as a contest, or continue to try to trash the field?

Source: Australia might be saving our democracy. Can the UK and US? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Stinging retreat for President Putin in annexed Ukraine city

A day after Russia annexed four Ukraine provinces, its troops have been forced to withdraw from a strategic occupied city for its operations in the East.

Source: Stinging retreat for President Putin in annexed Ukraine city

and

Ukraine’s top nuclear power specialist abducted by Russians: Report

Why it’s such a big deal that Alla Pugacheva, ‘the tsarina of Russian pop,’ came out against the war in Ukraine

Portrait of woman with curly blond hair and tears welling in her eyes.

On Sept. 18, 2022, she published the Instagram post. Addressing the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation, Pugacheva asked it to designate her a “foreign agent” in solidarity with her husband. She added that her husband is “an honest and decent human being, a true and incorruptible Russian patriot who wishes his homeland a flourishing and peaceful life, freedom of speech, and an end to the deaths of our boys for illusory goals that are making our country a pasening the life of our citizens.”

Source: Why it’s such a big deal that Alla Pugacheva, ‘the tsarina of Russian pop,’ came out against the war in Ukraine

“Statewide book bans” are coming to Florida’s classrooms, enforced by the far right | Salon.com

Shot of a shelf with books in an empty library (Getty Images/LumiNola)

Fahrenheit 451- Radical Christians with their ISIS-based model state and religious police are coming your way

In combination with other recent laws restricting public schools from discussing LGBTQ issues or racism — including Florida’s 2022 “Don’t Say Gay” law (HB 1557) and “Stop WOKE Act” (HB7) and its 2021 ban on teaching “Critical Race Theory” — this has led some school districts to advise teachers to box up their classroom libraries until each book is vetted. Others have instructed teachers to stop buying or accepting donated books for their classrooms until at least January, to give the district time to hire mandatory new staff to serve as “media specialists” who review each title.

Source: “Statewide book bans” are coming to Florida’s classrooms, enforced by the far right | Salon.com

Trump’s Last Laugh – scheerpost.com

Trump lost the election, but he had his revenge, leaving us the worst Supreme Court since the Civil War. The irony of Trump’s success in creating a Court ready to approve the agenda of the far right is that the Republicans can now dump him in favor of a less polarizing but equally reactionary leader, say Ron DeSantis, and take advantage of a generational shift in power that can thwart progressive change for decades.

Like the United States Senate and the Electoral College, the Supreme Court presents a major barrier to achieving democracy in the United States. For over 200 years the Court has blocked efforts to abolish slavery and its ongoing legacy, achieve equal rights for women, defend and expand the democratic vote, regulate the distribution of increasingly dangerous weapons, and protect the planet from the dangerous impacts of climate change. Against this record, the assertion by Chief Justice Roberts that the role of a Supreme Court justice is akin to a baseball umpire calling balls and strikes is laughable.

The creation of a democratic society requires that the extraordinary burdens on progressive political change imposed by a Court that follows its conservative political agenda be minimized if not completely overturned. Some change in the institution can be accomplished short of a constitutional amendment. Congress has the authority to eliminate lifetime tenure on the Court by enacting reasonable term limits for justices or by expanding the number of judges on the Court. These are issues that must be addressed by the movements for progressive change in the United States.

Source: Trump’s Last Laugh – scheerpost.com

QAnon Conspiracists Buoyed By Trump’s Truth Social Embrace | Crooks and Liars

QAnon Conspiracists Buoyed By Trump's Truth Social Embrace

Morrison’s role model reveals his true QAnon self along with his IDU membership.Morrison signs on with political network home to ‘intolerant far …

Donald Trump’s recent open embrace of the QAnon conspiracy cult that deifies him has predictably metastasized into full-on identification. This became clear at his Sept. 17 rally in Youngstown, Ohio, where QAnon fans in the audience raised their fingers in a coded salute while Q-derived theme music played over the loudspeakers. Over the past couple of weeks on his Truth Social chat platform, he has repeatedly posted and reposted Q-derived memes and hashtags, including ominous suggestions of future Jan. 6-style insurrectionist violence.

Source: QAnon Conspiracists Buoyed By Trump’s Truth Social Embrace | Crooks and Liars

Old Dog Thought- Are we still 20 years behind or global political front runners?

Fighting Fake News with REAL 2/10/22; Giorgia Meloni ; Truss, Peter Dutton; Australia a political front runner again” Cancel Culture Not on Radio or Sky News;

Australia’s great energy transition reaches a ‘tipping point’ as clock winds forward for coal – ABC News

Victoria's LoyYang Power Station

In a big week for Australia’s energy industry, Bruce Mountain from the Victoria Energy Policy Centre perhaps summed it up the best.

“I think it’s a tipping point,” Professor Mountain told ABC radio.

Source: Australia’s great energy transition reaches a ‘tipping point’ as clock winds forward for coal – ABC News

Peter Dutton says the Coalition achieved ‘record’ defence spending after it fell to the lowest level since 1938 under the previous Labor government. Is that correct? – ABC News

Peter Dutton headshot wearing a tie with a dark background. VERDICT: Incorrect with a red cross

The verdict Mr Dutton is incorrect.

Source: Peter Dutton says the Coalition achieved ‘record’ defence spending after it fell to the lowest level since 1938 under the previous Labor government. Is that correct? – ABC News

How America’s Democracy Is “Ripe to Be Exploited”

Our American democracy, even when we were happy with it and thought it was doing really well, it already had a whole series of undemocratic natures that no other healthy liberal democracy has.

Our electoral college, nobody has that. That was a compromise to rural states. We have the fact that our elections are run by partisan agents. No other healthy liberal democracy has that. Canada, this enormous country, has an independent electoral commission that runs all of the elections. Every ballot is the same no matter if you vote in Prince Edward Island or the Yukon. Or that we allow so much money to be injected into our system. Nobody else has this.

Source: How America’s Democracy Is “Ripe to Be Exploited”

Britain’s Tory Meltdown Is a Case of Socially Determined Stupidity

The new Conservative prime minister Liz Truss has experienced a spectacular humiliation during her first weeks in office. Her self-defeating agenda reflects the mindset of a Thatcherite ideologue managing an economy already ravaged by decades of Thatcherism.

The new Conservative administration, a little over two weeks old, is already reeling. Its “mini-budget,” a cocktail of substantial tax cuts with high borrowing and state spending, has helped tank the pound sterling and discredit Britain in the eyes of traders.

 

Source: Britain’s Tory Meltdown Is a Case of Socially Determined Stupidity

Banks save UK economy as Liz Truss plays ideological games

Tory leadership candidate Liz Truss (Image: AAP/EPA/Neil Hall)

The near collapse of the UK financial system yesterday is one of the biggest economic stories of the year. It should be a hard lesson for politicians the world over about economic policymaking and the importance of independent central banks.

Source: Banks save UK economy as Liz Truss plays ideological games

Climate denial abounds on Fox as Hurricane Ian devastates Florida | Media Matters for America

Fox News with melting planets

 

On back-to-back nights during Florida’s Hurricane Ian nightmare, Fox hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham cast doubt on climate science

Meanwhile, Fox personalities attempted to gaslight viewers into complacency by describing any hurricane coverage that mentioned climate change as “alarmist.” Fox also cherry-picked information about the relationship between climate change and hurricanes to imply that the two are not related. Climate scientists and media outlets have acknowledged that there is not enough evidence to support the theory that climate change will increase the frequency of hurricanes. However, there is evidence suggesting that higher ocean and air temperatures are causing hurricanes and storms to intensify more rapidly instead of weakening as they approach landfall, as happened with Ian. Hurricanes are also absorbing more moisture and dumping more rain on affected areas. Fox ignored this crucial connection or refuted it all together. 

Source: Climate denial abounds on Fox as Hurricane Ian devastates Florida | Media Matters for America

Hurricane Ian Reminds Us We’re in This Together | The Smirking Chimp

America spends very little on social insurance compared to other advanced nations. Almost 30 million Americans still lack health insurance. Nearly 51 million households cannot afford basic monthly expenses including housing, food, childcare, and transportation. We are the only industrialized nation without paid family leave.

Source: Hurricane Ian Reminds Us We’re in This Together | The Smirking Chimp

Should one man decide on war? Labor declares inquiry into War Powers reform – Michael West

Richard Marles addresses the troops. War Powers Reform

One man makes the decision to send Australian troops off to war; no matter how futile, how distant, or how relevant the war. That man is now Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. Earlier this year it was Scott Morrison. In the US and the UK, it is Congress and Parliament respectively which make this fateful decision.

Source: Should one man decide on war? Labor declares inquiry into War Powers reform – Michael West

Ukraine bottles up Russian troops as Putin spruiks annexations

The Democratic Republic of Putin held celebrations in light of his forced decision on the Russian people.

Putin presided over the Kremlin ceremony followed by a Red Square pop concert to celebrate Europe’s biggest territorial annexation since Hitler.

Source: Ukraine bottles up Russian troops as Putin spruiks annexations

The US Military’s Culture of Lies – Consortium News

The U.S. military has no shortage of goods, given its whopping expenditures on weaponry and equipment of all sorts; among the troops, it doesn’t lack for courage or fighting spirit, not yet, anyway. But it does lack honor, especially at the top.

Much is gone when a military ceases to tell the truth to itself and especially to the people from whom its forces are drawn. And courage is wasted when in the service of lies.

Courage wasted: Is there a worst fate for a military establishment that prides itself on its members being all volunteers and is now having trouble filling its ranks?

Source: The US Military’s Culture of Lies – Consortium News

The best journalists are persecuted and despised – Pearls and Irritations

Demonstration in front of Sydney Town Hall in support of Julian Assange

The best western journalists are overwhelmingly despised while the worst are acclaimed millionaires. Western civilisation is built on lies, dependent on lies, powered by lies. Don’t seek widespread approval. It’s worthless.

Source: The best journalists are persecuted and despised – Pearls and Irritations

Why elect governments if they don’t care about the people? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

What about Australia?

Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison have similarly ransacked our national wealth for nine years. They have weakened Medicare, lowered taxes on the rich, stolen taxpayers’ funds to fund obscenely rich private schools at the expense of public schools, and gutted our universities.

They also spent billions adding to the fossil fuel companies’ ill-gotten gains, hamstrung climate change mitigation for a decade, and attacked our national cohesion with deliberate trashing of our international treaty obligations, especially regarding refugees, dog-whistling attacks on minorities, started an unnecessary war of words with China, and essentially destroyed our biodiversity so that land clearing can proceed.

But, I hear you say, we threw them out on their ear. We elected a reformist government, in whose DNA flows liberty, equality and fraternity.

We did change governments, but we are still on track to lower taxes to our richest minority. We still subsidise fossil fuel companies. We will not tax them for their ill-gotten gains, and we won’t even consider increasing the welfare payments of the poor.

Even though we know that it causes Australian children to go to bed hungry, and a recent finding that the average rent increase for the last year was $3000. That is, on average, $60 a week in rent alone. Then factor in energy cost rises, higher food costs due to shortages caused by floods, and you have a perfect recipe for a human disaster.

So there have been changes for the better, but this government is seemingly intent on ‘doing a Truss’, and going ahead with stage 3 tax cuts. Spare me from inhumane governments. They need to wake up as to why they exist, at all.

Source: Why elect governments if they don’t care about the people? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

“Massive achievement” but is the NACC anti-corruption commission missing some teeth? – Michael West

A federal integrity body is finally to become a reality. While it’s a significant achievement, there are shortfalls and political hurdles. Callum Foote garners expert opinion on Australia’s National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) draft legislation. Whistleblower protections and secret hearings are the two big issues.

Source: “Massive achievement” but is the NACC anti-corruption commission missing some teeth? – Michael West

Personal wealth shrinks as inflation soars – Michael West

This means personal debt has increased and the Shylocks are making greater profits

Household wealth has slipped for the first time since the pandemic, with superannuation balances taking a hit from bearish markets locally and overseas.

Source: Personal wealth shrinks as inflation soars – Michael West

Wanted for Robodebt crimes: Morrison, Tudge, Robert and Co

It is only fitting that, as well as senior bureaucrats who administered the scheme, the Royal Commission into the Robodebt disaster will likely call forth Scott Morrison, Alan Tudge, Stuart Robert, Christian Porter and Michael Keenan.

It is fitting because all of these men – two of whom still occupy parliamentary positions – oversaw the portfolio responsible for Robodebt. Each of them added to the pain and suffering of so many of Australia’s most vulnerable. And some of these men even added further muscle to an already drunk-with-power debt recovery scheme, wilfully creating deliberate fear among the populace and inciting hatred for the victims.

Source: Wanted for Robodebt crimes: Morrison, Tudge, Robert and Co

The religious school funding decision that flouted the Constitution

What’s the chance of a secular Australian Democracy?

A 1981 High Court decision to allow the funding of religious schools was a bad move that fractured Australia’s education system.

Source: The religious school funding decision that flouted the Constitution

Cheaper renewables drive coal closures – Michael West

Fossil Fuel Industry demands increased corporate welfare. It wasn’t that long ago Andrew Bolt was telling us the planet was cooling and renewables were too expensive. The LNP spent 13 years putting the brakes on transitioning.

Renewable energy becoming cheaper is behind the early closure of AGL coal-fired power stations, Tanya Plibersek says.

Source: Cheaper renewables drive coal closures – Michael West

Gautam Adani: Ecological Crossdresser – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Imagine the tobacco producer who invests in smoke limitation programs, or the arms manufacturer who attends a conference proposing to ban weapons and seek a better future. Gautam Adani, one of India’s most ruthlessly adept billionaires, has added his name to the growing list of corporate transvestism, using ecological credentials as his camouflage for fossil fuel predation.

Source: Gautam Adani: Ecological Crossdresser – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Is Putin in a Corner?

When a country starts casting around for 60-year-old veterans to send to the front, you know that something’s wrong. All hands don’t go on deck unless the ship is foundering. It’s not yet clear whether the Russian ship of state is taking on water. But its military effort in Ukraine is obviously at the SOS stage.

Source: Is Putin in a Corner?

The Carlson-Kremlin feedback loop | Media Matters for America

Tucker Carlson over a grey background featuring chyrons aired in his coverage of Ukraine, a stripe with the colors of the russian flag covers his eyes with the text of his infamous "why shouldn't I root for Russia" quote

Murdoch media intentionally act as agents for Putin. What would have happened had they done the same for Hitler?

Neoliberalism is a valueless marketing system of intended inequitable profiteering just like the Western Banking system is today. What may have once started as a service years ago has become corrupted.  The $$ it’s sole interest fo minimal return. Both political parties in America and here support it, one less than the other maybe but neither is prepared to change it entirely. In fact, Australia had the ABC as a counterweight and the LNP set out to destroy it. Will the ALP save our ABC?

The Murdochs left Australia and the UK to wallow in America’s contradictions magnified by it’s lack of media mainstream diversity, corporate control and market regulation. Fox News today is an example of America at it’s worst and what could develop here. What would have happened had they had the power to do this during WW2 or the Cold War and advocated “for” Hitler and Russia back then? Would they have been able to abandon values for profit as easily as they are today?

Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s dubious allegation that the United States sabotaged a natural gas pipeline between Russia and Germany as part of a sinister “escalation” of Russia’s war with Ukraine echoed the Kremlin’s own propagandists. Carlson’s report is now getting substantial attention from Russian state TV, which is promoting his theory — and his suggestion for how Russia could strike back at U.S. interests in light of the supposed attack.

Source: The Carlson-Kremlin feedback loop | Media Matters for America

Old Dog Thought- We pay the liars and shoot the messengers.

Fighting Fake News with REAL 30/9/22; Looking Back Going Forward; The Best Journalists; Stop the War; NACC; Why Elect Governments; Cheaper Renewables Cost of Electricity UP; Personal Wealth down Debt UP;

Who are the war criminals? – Pearls and Irritations

Stacks of money and a tank in front of a globe

We can hope that history will judge them harshly.

By the standards now rightly being applied to Vladimir Putin, the American and Australian leaders who brought devastation to Iraq and Afghanistan, George W Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard should arguably appear in the dock, subject to the presumption of innocence. Justice also demands a reasonable effort be made to bring them before a court. That hasn’t happened and won’t until the public demand justice.

Source: Who are the war criminals? – Pearls and Irritations

‘Habitual Offender’ Laws Imprison Thousands for Small Crimes — Sometimes for Life – scheerpost.com

Australia’s NT applies the 3 strike rule readily and makes the Indigenous people the most incarcerated First Nation peoples on the planet pp.

Data obtained by The Appeal show nearly 2,000 people in Mississippi and Louisiana are serving long—and sometimes life—sentences after they were labeled “habitual offenders.” But most are behind bars for small crimes like drug possession.

Source: ‘Habitual Offender’ Laws Imprison Thousands for Small Crimes — Sometimes for Life – scheerpost.com

Cuba’s Gay Rights Vote Is a Victory for Socialist Values

A referendum to end discrimination against gay couples in marriage and adoption just won big in Cuba. That’s a victory for the core values underlying the socialist project.

Source: Cuba’s Gay Rights Vote Is a Victory for Socialist Values

The election of Italy’s fascist-adjacent Giorgia Meloni is a public reminder that women can be just as awful as men | Van Badham | The Guardian

Brothers of Italy leader Giorgia Meloni flashes the victory sign at her far-right party's electoral headquarters in Rome on Monday.

I wouldn’t vote for her if I were on fire, but I’m in nauseated awe of what it must take for a woman to succeed among hard-right conservatives

Source: The election of Italy’s fascist-adjacent Giorgia Meloni is a public reminder that women can be just as awful as men | Van Badham | The Guardian

Iron Mountain CEO Says He’s Been “Praying for Inflation”

The CEO of Iron Mountain Inc. told Wall Street analysts at a September 20 investor event that the high levels of inflation of the past several years had helped the company increase its margins — and that for that reason he had long been “doing my inflation dance praying for inflation.”

Source: Iron Mountain CEO Says He’s Been “Praying for Inflation”

Irony Officially declared Dead as Israeli Foreign Ministry Decries Russian Annexation of Others’ Territory

In a further sign that all irony is dead, the Israeli Foreign Ministry rejected the annexation of four Ukrainian districts by Russia on Tuesday, saying that Israel “recognizes the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, and will not recognize the results of the referendums in its eastern districts.”

Source: Irony Officially declared Dead as Israeli Foreign Ministry Decries Russian Annexation of Others’ Territory

Fox personalities laud UK prime minister Truss’ tax cuts for wealthy Britons, say GOP should replicate in the US | Media Matters for America

Liz Truss

Right-wing media figures are toasting United Kingdom prime minister Liz Truss’ massive tax cuts geared toward the wealthy as a potential model for the U.S. if Republicans return to power.

Source: Fox personalities laud UK prime minister Truss’ tax cuts for wealthy Britons, say GOP should replicate in the US | Media Matters for America

“Grossly Inflated, Objectively False, and Therefore Fraudulent and Illegal” – Mother Jones

trump

At his Park Avenue condo building, Trump valued 12 unsold units at $49 million—but they were actually rent-controlled apartments that were unavailable for sale on the market, so their real value was closer to $750,000, according to Letitia James, the state’s AG. Trump figured the value of his Mar-a-Lago resort at around $739 million—perhaps a reasonable number for such a large piece of oceanfront property in Palm Beach if it could be sold as a residence and subdivided to build more homes. But, James alleges, Trump knew very well from the deeds he himself had signed that the property can’t ever be divided up into residential lots. It’s arguably worth about one-tenth of what he told bankers, according to James.

Source: “Grossly Inflated, Objectively False, and Therefore Fraudulent and Illegal” – Mother Jones

Old Dog Thought- Albo welcomes the Monkey Pod Room in to discuss the NACC behind closed doors

The Rich Get, The Poor Get

Fighting Fake News with REAL 29/9/22; Facts or Rumours about Peter Dutton; NACC Angst; Keating’s reply to Hartcher’ Russian Conscripts; Fascism Celebrated; Tucker Carlson; Roger Stone,

Put niceties aside, Albo – » The Australian Independent Media Network

I was immediately taken aback when I read that the Opposition was negotiating “in good faith” with the Government for their support in introducing the National Anti Corruption Commission (NACC).

Good faith sounds more like bargaining for an exemption from the obvious. At first, I thought I was mistaken.

Source: Put niceties aside, Albo – » The Australian Independent Media Network

NACC or SNACC? Labor delivers its anti-corruption body but will we get to hear about it? – Michael West

Mark Dreyfus, NACC, ICAC

The day has finally arrived: an Australian government today made good on its commitment to legislate an integrity watchdog, the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC). But there is one major bone of contention … secrecy. Callum Foote reports on the spectre of a Secret National Anti-Corruption Commission (SNACC).

Source: NACC or SNACC? Labor delivers its anti-corruption body but will we get to hear about it? – Michael West

Angst over corruption watchdog, first Queen’s death, now fear of Dutton deal – Michael West

National Anti-Corruption Commission, Peter Dutton

Transparency International’s global experience knows that too often great anti-corruption reforms get watered down over the years. We need to future proof Australia’s National Anti-Corruption Commission against any risk of being watered down by future governments by ensuring it is independent and its resourcing is shielded from politics

Source: Angst over corruption watchdog, first Queen’s death, now fear of Dutton deal – Michael West

Why Peter Dutton Is Such A Cuddly Koala… – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Of course, this has nothing to do with his capacity to be an effective Prime Minister. I mean, we don’t elect governments because they’re composed of nice guys and gals. We elect them to have the ability to show foresight, communicate their vision and make the tough decisions when necessary.

So, all this stuff I’ve heard lately about Peter Dutton being such a great fellow just makes me think that he’s too nice to ever be a good leader.

By the way, in case you’re not aware, you should only try to cuddle a koala under strict supervision. In their natural state they can scratch and piss on you.

Source: Why Peter Dutton Is Such A Cuddly Koala… – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Peter Dutton perjured himself trying to get $250,000 compensation new Four Corners interview showsKangaroo Court of Australia

Peter Dutton has given 2 greatly different versions of why he left the Queensland police force in 1999 which points to Dutton lying to the court in 2000 trying to get $250,000 compensation because he had “low confidence in driving”.

Source: Peter Dutton perjured himself trying to get $250,000 compensation new Four Corners interview showsKangaroo Court of Australia

Oil, gas firms want own terms on emissions – Michael West

Australia’s oil and gas industry is seeking special treatment in its pitch to a federal government review into how the nation’s heaviest greenhouse gas emitters should be constrained.

Source: Oil, gas firms want own terms on emissions – Michael West