In Israeli Democracy is speech “free”? (ODT)
The Israeli army is holding Anwar Makhtoob in administrative detention for two six-month-old Facebook posts. The military prosecutor admits there isn’t even a suspicion that he had committed a crime.
Recent highlight interviews on capitalism.
Corey Pein examines work, death and disruption in the digital economy. [01:19]
Julie Wilson views life within, and beyond, the neoliberal frame. [47:38]
Nomi Prins explains how central banks became a global superpower. [1:32:46]
Pavo Jarvensivu and Terre Vaden explore near future economics of a world in climate crisis. [2:19:14]
Helena Norberg-Hodge looks towards localization, worldwide. [2:57:47]
Jeff Dorchen imagines a world that can no longer afford itself [3:44:13]
Writer Maximillian Alvarez explores the sanctity of waste and ownership in the digital age. [50:36]
Policy researcher Stacy Mitchell examines the rise and risk of Amazon’s ascendant monopoly. [1:37:40]
Writer Adam Kotsko explains why we are all trapped in the moral logic of neoliberalism. [2:15:05]
Writer Pavlos Roufos dives deep into eight years of managed disaster for the Greek people under Europe’s austerity regime. [2:56:25]
In a moment of truth, Jeff Dorchen bites the invisible hand that feeds. [3:50:27]
A Nobel prize-winning scientist who helped discover DNA’s double helix structure has been stripped of his honorary titles for repeating an “unsubstantiated and reckless” suggestion that genes make black people less intelligent.
For many activists, it might be unwitting but objectively, the overpopulation, anti-people scare campaign sends xenophobic and racist messages.
As the noted socialist scholar David Harvey says,
“Whenever a theory of overpopulation seizes hold in a society dominated by an elite, then the non-elite invariably experience some form of political, economic, and social repression.”
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.”
Where the political DIRT BRIGADE is financed by Murdoch media Fox News (ODT)
Daily Caller which published AOC’s fake photo is financed by far-right Tucker Carlson. Carlson is a far-right commentator for the pro-Donald Trump Fox news.
“Many have recognized that @FoxNews has crossed a line beyond conservatism and into outright bigotry with their financing of Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham. Tucker finances the @DailyCaller, which posted fake nudes of me,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a tweet responding to the news.
The biggest lie ever told in American politics is the claim that Donald Trump cares about working people.
He never has. He never will.
As a bankruptcy-prone business mogul, Trump has always financed his lavish lifestyle at the expense of the workers and contractors he screwed over. Now he is doing the same thing as president, having engineered a government shutdown that on Friday denied 800,000 federal employees their paychecks.
The “core” problem is that “we have a president without shame who is backed by a party without spine that is supported by a network called Fox News without integrity,” Friedman said. “Fasten your seatbelt.”
Trump has told “one too many lies,” Friedman said. “I don’t know whether it’s lie number 6,000 or 7,000 — The Washington Post has been keeping tab — but … we’re in a moment now where people simply don’t believe a word out of his mouth. When he can stand up and say, ‘I never said Mexico would pay for the wall,’ we’re through the looking glass.”
“The findings demonstrate a persistent bias in coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian issue—one where Israeli narratives are privileged and where, despite the continued entrenchment of the occupation, the very topics germane to Palestinians’ day-to-day reality have disappeared,” Owais Zaheer, one of the study’s authors, told The Intercept. “It calls to attention the need to more critically evaluate the scope of coverage of the Israeli occupation and recognize that readers are getting, at best, a heavily filtered rendering of the issue.”
Let’s face it Murdoch’s business model is integrated with where the money and power is and it’s not in the grips of 99% of individual Australians who in the main only say hi to their fellow Australians in passing. News Corp is an instrument ensuring division in diversity not the unity of Multiculturalism we are all so proud of. (ODT)
This year will be an important year for three of the world’s oldest, continuing democracies – the United States, the UK and Australia.
The US will decide, post-Mueller, whether Trump’s presidency is terminal. The UK will decide whether to tear up a half a century of European integration. And Australia faces a general election.
The core objective of course is to avoid a Royal Commission that would lay bare the the way US Citizen Murdoch does business.
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.
NEOLIBERALISM IS AN ABOMINATION of a term. For a start, there is nothing “new” or “liberal” about neoliberalism. It is a chimera or a chameleon, changing all the time, depending on the situation, morphing but not new. It is about much more than economics. It is an ideological belief system built around elitism and a perceived “natural order” of things in which the 0.1% should own everything.
As for the effort to make NewsGuard compulsory, it was branded as “Orwellian” by MacDonald. “Brainwashing kids with pro-government or pro-elite or pro-status quo messaging sounds very sinister,” he said.
So, with some genuinely fake news floating around out there and apps like NewsGuard which are problematic in their own way, how can people consume news consciously?
“The best thing anyone can do is read as wide a variety of sources as possible and form their own conclusions,” MacDonald advised. “One thing the internet era has shown is that people are not stupid. And when they have a variety of information available, they will draw their own conclusions.”
and Alternative News5 hours ago
New App ‘NewsGuard’ Promises To Stop Fake News. Have A Look At Who Owns & Funds It
A new browser extension app called NewsGuard promises to give readers better insight into the credibility of news sites by providing…
In the real world it’s called pissing in each others pockets. Hannity actually declares over and over “I’m not news” (ODT)
This popular belief that nobody really does or can know anything is the perfect soil for an authoritarian leader to take root.
Only if we can trust each other to try to be honest can we hope to rebuild something resembling a truly functioning democracy. Otherwise, sooner or later this country will be seduced by the siren song of yet another strong and authoritative voice.
Humans are finite creatures and any truth we lay claim to will of necessity be partial, multi-faceted, and complex. At our best, we see only part of what is there and articulate only part of what we see. The promise of democracy — when it works — is the possibility of combining all those partially glimpsed and imperfectly reported realities into a still imperfect, but nevertheless better, whole.
This needs repeating over and over again unaccounted for bases and 44,000 troops hides the truth about a very flawed country that declares it’s a Democracy. (ODT)
President Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from Syria means that the 2019 Base Structure Report will likely be the most accurate in years. For the first time since 2015, the Pentagon’s inventory of outposts will no longer be missing the al-Tanf garrison (or then again, maybe it will). But that still potentially leaves hundreds of off-the-books bases absent from the official rolls. Consider it one outpost down and who knows how many to go.
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.
The St Kilda rally isn’t an aberration. It is the natural conclusion of the moral and intellectual collapse of Australian conservatism.
Scott Morrison deserves some praise. It’s not often a half-hearted condemnation of neo-Nazis deserves plaudits, but achievement is relative – among Australian conservatives, unequivocal criticism of the far right now puts you well ahead of the pack. That’s about the lowest bar that you can set, but rather than stepping over it, much of the commentariat takes it as an invitation to a limbo contest. The same people always claiming that “everything is racist now” seem to have decided that nothing is, not even Roman salutes.
This is why Scott Morrison can attack the gestures on display on the weekend, but he can’t attack the sentiments: because they’re shared by people on his front bench. “I have repeatedly asked of the crime-plagued Sudanese in particular: who let them in?” asked Andrew Bolt, and that’s the loudest voice on the Australian right.
It’s true that not every local conservative is like this. But the exceptions are marginal, or powerless, or paralysed, or can’t seem to wrest the megaphone away from the bigoted.
The left-wing caricature of the right-wing is that their ideas are just a series of shoddy disguises for sexism, racism and homophobia, that conservatism is the natural home of “homophobic, anti-women, climate-change deniers”, to quote the federal minister for women, Kelly O’Dwyer.
Who can say, here, that this wrong, when so many are determined to prove it? Where else, in the English-speaking world, is still having controversies over Sambo drawings in the 21st century? If recent years are anything to go by, the difference between the right and the far-right in Australia isn’t some ideological gulf. Too often, it’s what people are willing to say after they’ve had two beers.
The demise of Halifax Investment Services has led to the assets of 12,000 accounts being frozen as administrators figure out what went wrong.
“Halifax was the subject of an enforceable undertaking with ASIC in 2013 following regulatory action by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission over a slew of concerns about the operations of the business.”
It’s not the first time
When Corporations go to the wall it’s the the “free market” when the economy is rocked it’s the the “free market”. When the economy is on the rise it’s Liberal” good management,” When unemployment is rising it’s the “free market” When welfare is cut it’s Liberal “good management”. Someone seems not to have a clue when 12,000 investors are seperatedfrom their money. (ODT)
Donald Trump is practised at walking away from his financial obligations and leaving workers unpaid he did it 4 times before when he went bankrupt. He’s gone from shit business man to shit POTUS and stayed right on course. (ODT)
As the US Government shutdown edges towards being the longest in history, the impact it has been having on American families is becoming more overwhelming.
The Government has been shut down since December 22 and President Donald Trump has warned it could drag on for months or even years if he doesn’t get funding for a border wall.
“The big scam of the whole address is that there is a crisis,” Wallace said. “There is no crisis.”
Not on our Southern border, maybe. But if our news organizations keep caving to a President skilled at manipulation and fond of an authoritarian style of governance, there will be.
POTUS BUCK PASSING AGAIN BUT BEFORE THE EVENT (ODT)
he chose to follow recommendations he thinks will fail so he can blame the entire debacle on his press shop. He was already blaming Bill Shine for not rounding up enough loyal surrogates; now those surrogates are responsible for the events of this week, which will mean, in Trump’s mind, that they’re responsible for the whole debacle, even though Trump didn’t have to take their advice and do the speech and the border visit. That was his choice.
Trump cannot fail — he can only be failed, according to Trump. And now he’s established that Shine et al. have failed him. They gave bad advice and he took it, knowing it was bad advice, just so he could blame them.
The failed Democracy (ODT)
The Republican congressman says the diverse Democratic party appears to be ‘no country for white men’
Trump is in real trouble if Rasmussen is showing he is. Rasmussen is the most conservative pro GOP pollester in the USA. (ODT)
In the wake of the partial government shutdown, which is now lurching into a third week, Republican President Donald Trump’s approval rating stands at 45 percent — his lowest score since Sept. 12 — and 53 percent disapprove, according to Rasmussen Reports, whose polls traditionally favor the GOP.
Additionally, a recent Gallup poll revealed that the share of Americans wanting to emigrate from the U.S. jumped to 16 percent throughout Trump’s time in the Oval Office. The results are striking considering the partial government shutdown is being fought over a border wall to keep people out of the U.S.
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?
But Richard Kingsford, the director of the Centre for Ecosystem Science at the University of NSW, said it was a disaster that had been many years in the making because too much water had been diverted from the system for agriculture.
“Droughts would have contributed to the blue green algae outbreak,” he said. “But the river droughts are happening more often and they’re more intense as a result of the irrigation industry in the Darling diverting water from the river over the last 10 to 20 years.”
The cotton industry says it is not to blame for the mass deaths of hundreds of thousands of fish in the Darling River and is tired of being a “whipping boy” for problems associated with the drought.
Communities in the Menindee Lakes region, where two fish kills have occurred since December, have said over-extraction by irrigators helped cause the catastrophe that has put a spotlight on the environmental management of Australia’s largest river system.
What seems so hard for Liberal politicians and supporters to acknowledge is that it’s the culture of the Liberal Party – so masculine, white, and uninterested in listening to scientists or policy experts, to young people, to women – that has created the current rolling fiasco. Bullying is one index of this. Even in the wake of allegations by Julia Banks, Julie Bishop, Ann Sudmalis, Lucy Gichuhi and others, the party has done nothing to address its “women problem”. It will have even less female representation going into the next election. Candidates in the Liberal Party are selected according to merit? By what standard, though? They can’t even say why Scott Morrison is the prime minister. And yet, he’s exactly what they want: a leader who enacts their brand of paternal condescension while sticking to the same narrow politics.
What better example is there that the Liberal party must split than the proposed nomination of Peta Credlin for the seat of Mallee.
If, as Credlin says, “climate change remains Malcolm Turnbull’s kryptonite”, then her preselection could just be the Liberal party’s dynamite. The split already exists, but for now, it’s being held together with sticky tape and string. And Credlin’s preselection could well be the spark that lights the fuse, and blows the whole thing up.
Changing channels: the questionable influence of radio shock jocks and Sky after dark
The Liberal party is suffering an existential crisis. And no other issue defines this crisis like the looming threat to our safety and security caused by inaction on climate change. Credlin understands this and has used her position as a climate change-denying, hard-right mouthpiece of the Murdoch empire to advance her own political interests, and the interests of the coal industry.
Israel’s interference in the USA (ODT)
Davis said that the trip to Birmingham to receive the BCRI award was to be the “highlight of my year,” but despite its cancellation she would still travel there next month “for an alternative event organized by those who believe that the movement for civil rights in this moment must include a robust discussion of all of the injustices that surround us.”
The true nature of Israeli labor camps (ODT)
The checkpoint is perhaps the image most closely associated with Israel’s military rule in the occupied territories, where tens of thousands of Palestinian laborers pass through to work in Israel on a daily basis. For most Israelis, the checkpoints are a tool Israel uses to protect its citizens from terrorism. For Palestinians, particularly Palestinian laborers, part of a system of control, one so many are forced to accede to in order to provide for their families.
Officially, the Department of Defense (DoD) maintains 4,775 “sites,” spread across all 50 states, eight U.S. territories, and 45 foreign countries. A total of 514 of these outposts are located overseas, according to the Pentagon’s worldwide property portfolio
The Overseas Base Realignment and Closure Coalition notes that the United Statespossesses up to 95% of the world’s foreign military bases, while countries like France, Russia, and the United Kingdom have perhaps 10-20 foreign outposts each. China has just one.
The Department of Defense even boasts that its “locations” include 164 countries. Put another way, it has a military presence of some sort in approximately 84% of the nations on this planet — or at least the DoD briefly claimed this. After TomDispatch inquired about the number on a new webpage designed to tell the Pentagon’s “story” to the general public, it was quickly changed. “We appreciate your diligence in getting to the bottom of this,” said Lieutenant Colonel Baldanza. “Thanks to your observations, we have updated defense.gov to say ‘more than 160.’”
The headlines are shocking beyond belief: There are four warring factions, in Yemen, fighting over 4 billion barrels of oil representing 90% of the countries exports. For the war machine, arms manufacturers and arms dealers to prosper, you need something to fight over. In the Middle East it’s oil and natural gas. They don’t care about the 85,000 innocent children who have starved to death already, in Yemen. It’s all about money, power and control at any cost to humanity.
Mr Trump, as we well know, isn’t particularly partial to “facts”. He didn’t care about them in 1989 when he took out a full page ad in the New York Times calling for the death penalty for a group of innocent teenagers, and he doesn’t care about them now.
Mr Trump knows he’s lying. He doesn’t care. His supporters know he’s lying. They don’t care either.
Yet however this ends, Mr Trump may feel the wall is as useful as ever. His remarks in 2016 made it clear that it was as much about tactics as his strategy of fostering fear and division. It is to be invoked in times of need. Those have arrived. Mr Trump looks increasingly anxious for a deal in the trade war he started with China. Above all, Robert Mueller’s investigation moves closer and looms larger. On the same day that the president spoke, we learned that Mr Mueller has accused his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, of sharing polling data with a Russian man linked to Moscow’s intelligence agencies. Is it any surprise that Mr Trump would rather discuss the border? The wall does not have to be real to be useful: the only question is whether its magic is gradually wearing off.
Earlier this week, I was reminded of this conversation when I read a tweet from the Honorable Tony Abbott which said:
“People on unemployment benefits are supposed to be looking for work. Applying for one job a day is hardly unreasonable. These proposed changes show Labor is now the welfare class party not the working class one.”
Of course, this is one of those things- like harsher punishments for drug dealers – that sounds reasonable, untill you think abou it. People are meant to be looking for work and so applying for one job a day that’s a good thing, right?
Now let’s move it from the general to the particular. At various times over the past few years, I’ve been looking for work as a teacher. When I looked at the jobs available, there were sometimes jobs that I’m qualified for, but sometimes there weren’t. Using Abbott logic, should I apply for the Physics teacher job just so I’m applying for one job a day? Or should I just wait until there’s a suitable job?
I wonder if we all sent our resumes to Abbott’s office, asking whether he had any jobs available, whether he’d be so sure that one application a day was such a good idea.
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.”
Ignoring the the carnage of the Israel has put demonstrators of the Great March of Return has enabled Israel’s Illegal Suatters to committ an increasing number of attacks on Palestinians. (ODT)
It’s 2019 and Western Australia is still locking up people for not paying fines. Of course this abhorrent policy barely affects the rich, or the well-employed, or those with financial security. It doesn’t affect those who have access to money, or for whom a $500 – $1000 slap on the wrist is just a matter of flashing the credit card or at worst, waiting until payday. No, it punishes people for being poor, for which $500+ becomes an unmanageable percentage of their income/benefit. And before long, that slap on the wrist becomes a prison sentence.
But in the meantime, Australians who are appalled at the gross injustice of jailing people who have committed no crimes are stepping up. While Attorney-General Quigley hides behind bureaucracy, Debbie Kilroy, Executive Director of Sisters Inside, an organization which advocates for the human rights of women in the criminal justice system, has started a GoFundMe fundraiser with the aim to free 100 single Aboriginal mothers from Western Australian prisons.
It has raised over $87,000 in just two days.
This money has already been used to save a single Noongar woman, a mother of three children, from being imprisoned. The accumulated debt of $3100 came from traffic infringements and having an unregistered dog.
Attorney-General Quigley can put a stop to this draconian policy. He can put forward legislation immediately to end the discriminatory practice of jailing people for being poor. He can cease this barbaric action against the most vulnerable in the community. And he must do it now, before another family is torn apart and separated, by imprisonment, or death.
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.