You may have to reconsider your reality, Scott – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Overall, according to the ABS, company profits rose by 20% to the year ended 30 September 2017, but the only wages that are going up are the excessive bonuses for CEOs.

The NAB monthly business survey for December said that “Strong business conditions are broad-based across all major industry groups with the exception of retail.”

The business conditions index was unchanged at a strong +13 index points, which is well above the long-run average of +5 index points.

So with business conditions and profits at very high levels, and supposed jobs growth of over 400,000, we should see wages going up.

Except they are not as the following graph shows.

via You may have to reconsider your reality, Scott – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Malcolm Turnbull’s dilemma as Barnaby Joyce becomes a liability

PM's office says Vikki Campion jobs did not breach rules because she was not Barnaby Joyce's 'partner'

The grounds for removal are arguably already there. Not only is there the distraction but there is also the revelation that Joyce failed to inform the PM of his changed circumstances including that his new partner was a staff member – a notification to the PM is required under the ministerial code of conduct

via Malcolm Turnbull’s dilemma as Barnaby Joyce becomes a liability

Ousted Labor senator Sam Dastyari weighs in to Barnaby Joyce scandal

Ousted Labor senator Sam Dastyari has threatened to expose other conservative MPs conducting illicit affairs.

Former senator Sam Dastyari, who quit parliament after it was revealed he warned a Chinese donor that he may be under surveillance, has become the first person linked to the opposition to call for Barnaby Joyce’s resignation, saying he quit for a “lot less”.

In a series of late night posts on Twitter, he also threatened to expose other conservative MPs he claims are “f—ing around” and said he was “seriously… so bored”.

via Ousted Labor senator Sam Dastyari weighs in to Barnaby Joyce scandal

Trump’s Plan to use Fossil Fuels dominate the Globe

klarepbk2012

Donald Trump and his administration of climate-change deniers are quite literally living in the wrong century. The militarization of energy policy at this late date and the lodging of fossil fuels at the heart of national security policy may seem appealing to them, but it’s an approach that’s obviously doomed. On arrival, it is, in fact, already the definition of obsolescence.

Unfortunately, given the circumstances of this planet at the moment, it also threatens to doom the rest of us. The further we look into the future, the more likely international leadership will fall on the shoulders of those who can effectively and efficiently deliver renewables, not those who can provide climate-poisoning fossil fuels. That being so, no one seeking global prestige would say at Davos or anywhere else that we are blessed with “a substantial ability to deliver the people of the globe a better quality of life through fossil fuels.”

via Trump’s Plan to use Fossil Fuels dominate the Globe

In the US, white supremacists have infiltrated police and military to get weapons training

 

Former neo-Nazi turned author and deradicalisation expert Christian Picciolini in Nazi garb at the Dachau gate in about 1992.

Christian Picciolini, a 44-year-old, award-winning activist from Chicago who now works to deradicalise racist extremists, says members of his former neo-Nazi gang pursued careers with police departments, joined the military, or ran for political office.

“A lot of these old skinheads and [Ku Klux] Klansmen have gone into the mainstream,” Picciolini told Fairfax Media.

via In the US, white supremacists have infiltrated police and military to get weapons training

Indonesian navy seizes boat with one tonne of methamphetamines in waters off Batam – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

 

Indonesian Navy displays bags of the methamphetamines

A shipment of more than 1.2 tonnes of methamphetamine was seized at Geraldton harbour shortly before Christmas.

via Indonesian navy seizes boat with one tonne of methamphetamines in waters off Batam – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Estate planning overlooks hefty fees charged by trustee companies

The fees charged by trustee companies are higher than comparable services.

When what was once an excercise in service became and excercise in servicing you( Old Dog)

the word “trust” was redundant in the entity described as a trustee company. I have had more than 50 years’ experience with a prominent trustee company; at the beginning the trust manager was experienced and knowledgeable in investment and property management and was able to reconcile his responsibilities to the deceased and to the beneficiaries. By the final years the trust managers were less experienced, constantly changing, sometimes entry-level employees who had to refer matters of investment and property management elsewhere in the company. By the end the company had become one-size-fits-all aimed to maximise the return to the company, the level of experience in property management was minimal and engagement with beneficiaries dismissive.

For example, Perpetual (which swallowed The Trust Company in 2013 which, in turn, had taken over Permanent Trustees in 2002) has a minimum upfront fee to administer a testamentary trust of $3125 or 1.1 per cent of gross assets, plus a minimum annual fee of $4125 or 1.375 per cent of assets. Thus a testamentary trust with $3 million in assets has an upfront fee of $33,000 and an annual fee of $41,250. That is merely for accounting

Estate planning overlooks hefty fees charged by trustee companies

Illustration: Matt Golding

Israeli jet shot down in Syria after Iranian drone intercepted

An Israeli F-16 jet at the Ovda airbase near Eilat, southern Israel.

Iran rejected the Israeli version of events as “ridiculous”. The pro-Assad military alliance denied that any of its drones entered Israeli air space.

Syrian state media reported two separate Israeli attacks. Syrian air defences opened fire in response to an Israeli act of “aggression” against a military base, hitting “more than one plane”, a military source said.

Israel’s claims a drone had entered Israeli airspace were a “lie”.

It seems Israel might just have been caught read handed assisting anti- Assad forces the coalition deem to be “terrorists”. ( Old Dog}

via Israeli jet shot down in Syria after Iranian drone intercepted

A downed F-16 and an Iranian drone: The other side always started it +972 Magazine

View of the remains of an F-16 plane downed Saturday morning by Syrian forces (Anat Hermony/Flash90)

According to the Israeli narrative, the timeline of violence that resulted in Syria shooting down an Israeli fighter jet began just a few hours earlier. But Israel has been bombing inside Syria for months.

via A downed F-16 and an Iranian drone: The other side always started it +972 Magazine

Left turn necessary for Labor to end narrow policy convergence

 

IN 1998, RADICAL American Leftist intellectual Noam Chomsky made the telling observation that:

“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.”

Another name for this phenomenon is convergence politics.

In Australia there is convergence on the economy, with debates focusing on relatively minor differences; but where heated debate on the so-called culture wars fills the vacuum.

via Left turn necessary for Labor to end narrow policy convergence

Woman charged with terrorism after alleged ‘Islamic State’ stabbing

Australian Federal Police Acting Deputy Commissioner National Security Ian McCartney (Left) and Victoria Police acting ...

Asked why police suspected that was the case, he said: “We know things like Inspire Magazine and some of the online publications of both al-Qaeda and ISIS can be a source of inspiration.”

 

“When that radicalisation occurred is the subject and real focus of the investigation,” he said.

The case highlighted “that the threat in relation to terrorism in Australia is real and ongoing”.

This sounds very much like a definitive political and irresponsible statement by the police rather than an investigative one. The trial seems to have run it’s course. If Penthouse magazines were found in Robert Doyle’s garage would that make him a predator guilty of sexual assault? Why are the police being so public and wait till Dutton and Andrew Bolt gets hold of this one?   (Old Dog)

via Woman charged with terrorism after alleged ‘Islamic State’ stabbing

A Crisis of Democracy: Trump’s block of Dem Response to Nunes

 

A Crisis of Democracy: Trump’s block of Dem Response to Nunes

Trump’s refusal to release the response of the Democratic minority on the House Intelligence Committee to the declassified Nunes memo cherry-picking intelligence reports has been decried as a politicization of intelligence. It has been pointed out by legal scholar Laurence Tribe that Congress could in any case override Trump and declassify the Democratic response itself, if the GOP representatives wanted to. So this controversy isn’t about Trump or Nunes. It is about a Republican Party determined not to play fair.

While these analyses is certainly correct, they miss a crucial problem with our declining democracy in the United States: classified documents are inherently undemocratic and should be rare.

via A Crisis of Democracy: Trump’s block of Dem Response to Nunes

Tone deaf? Trump warns ‘mere’ abuse allegation can shatter lives

Trump cautioned on Saturday that lives can be shattered by a "mere allegation".

Trump, in a pointed response to the uproar over charges of domestic violence by two top aides, cautioned on Saturday that lives can be shattered by a “mere allegation” and asked whatever happened to “due process?”

Self serving Trump seems to forget due peocess begins with ‘allegations” and the presumption of innocence. That presumption is squandered when 13 ++ persons are called liars  as in the case of Wienstein and the even the President. Trump has the option and the wealth to take his accusers to court but it seems under advice he never will.

via Tone deaf? Trump warns ‘mere’ abuse allegation can shatter lives

US, having Destroyed Iraq, won’t give a Dime to Reconstruction

US, having Destroyed Iraq, won’t give a Dime to Reconstruction

In an exclusive, Reuters reports today that the Trump administration is going into the Iraq reconstruction conference in Kuwait next week with no plans to contribute a dime to the effort. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will attend.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi estimates that Iraq needs $100 billion to rebuild. The country is still devastated from the 2003 US war of aggression and 8.5 year military occupation, which spurred Sunni insurgencies and led to the collapse of the US- and NATO-trained military in 2014. The past 3.5 years have been spent attempting to recover the Sunni Arab areas of the country from ISIL, which involved destroying most Sunni Arab cities in the country.

Donald Trump ran on a platform of “no more nation building.” (He needn’t have bothered to articulate it. What nation has the US built recently?)

In Australia we don’t hear Senator Jim Molan fighting for the restoration of towns he helped destroy either in fact he’s been heard arguing for even a more aggressive approach to destruction called defense. (Old Dog)

via US, having Destroyed Iraq, won’t give a Dime to Reconstruction

Jews feel safer in Iran than in US & EU despite Tel Aviv-Tehran tensions (VIDEO) — RT World News

Jews feel safer in Iran than in US & EU despite Tel Aviv-Tehran tensions (VIDEO)

What Israel and the West don’t want you to know

Iran boasts the largest Jewish community in the Middle East outside Israel with a population of more than 8,700. Despite tensions between Israel and Iran, Jews claim to feel safer there than they would in the US or EU.

“The Jews of Iran can freely worship and perform the traditional rights. They face no kind of pressure. Our synagogues here are safer than in the US or in Europe. The Iranian government supports us,” Homayoun Sameyehead of the Iran Jewish Association told RT.

READ MORE: Iran FM accuses Netanyahu of ‘fake history’ over ‘Persians tried to destroy Jews’ comments

Decades after the exodus which followed the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran’s is the only growing Jewish community in any predominantly Muslim country. The country boasts 65 synagogues, a 100-bed Jewish hospital and a Jewish cemetery established in 1933, while Tehran has a Jewish library with 20,000 texts, and an abundance of kosher restaurants.

via Jews feel safer in Iran than in US & EU despite Tel Aviv-Tehran tensions (VIDEO) — RT World News

Rejecting sexist behaviour is difficult when you’re conditioned to accept it – Analysis & Opinion – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

A woman's hands pluck at her long dark skirt.

Campaigns like #MeToo aren’t just creating a global movement to call out sexual harassment and abuse, they’re helping women to better recognise sexist behaviour.

But while becoming more conscious of the patriarchy is one thing, unlearning years of conditioning to accept it is another.

Rejecting sexist behaviour is difficult when you’re conditioned to accept it – Analysis & Opinion – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

and

Bonking, nepotism and the trials of being a politician away from home – » The Australian Independent Media Network

As Ted Mack pointed out in his 2013 Henry Parkes oration:

Over the last 30 years politicians’ staff has increased dramatically. At federal level there are now some 17 hundred personal staff to ministers and members. The states probably account for over two thousand more. Add to this the direct political infiltration of federal-state public services and quangos with hundreds more jobs for the boys and girls, there is now a well-established political class.

But it’s not just a political class – it’s blatant nepotism.

via Bonking, nepotism and the trials of being a politician away from home – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Can ABC be trusted to hold the government to account? | Andrew Fowler | Opinion | The Guardian

 

Gaven Morris, ABC’s news director

When gifted a large cache of secret documents, the normal journalistic process would involve the stories being written, with names and operational details removed. The reports would then either be published outright, or the government approached for comment, running the risk that they may seek an injunction to prevent publication. Whatever the process, not even completing the journalistic work in the first place is a strange way for the ABC to discharge its journalistic responsibility.

Even stranger still is the way the ABC allowed Asio to bring safes into the ABC buildings, supposedly so the documents could be kept secure and then taken away.

Handing over documents to any Australian intelligence agency signals the emergence of an unhealthy relationship between the ABC and the very institutions of government they should be holding to account. Yet it wasn’t always so.

Can ABC be trusted to hold the government to account? | Andrew Fowler | Opinion | The Guardian

Israel’s New Admirers: The White Nationalist Right | Informed Comment

Israel’s New Admirers: The White Nationalist Right

A famously anti-Semitic movement has come to admire modern Israel’s “ethnonationalism.” That speaks volumes about the ascent of the far right in the country.

 

However, there are some surprises.

Chief among them is the fact that Richard Spencer, one of the leading faces of the movement — who led a Nazi-style salute to Donald Trump before a crowd of close-shaven, rapturous followers — expresses great admiration for the one state in the world that calls itself Jewish. Other leading “alt-right” partisans, such as Milo Yiannopoulos and Steve Bannon, hold a similar view.

via Israel’s New Admirers: The White Nationalist Right | Informed Comment

Fox News executive VP rails against diversity of US Olympians: “Darker, Gayer, Different”

Murdoch’s senior staff revive memories of Hitler

 

Fox News’ John Moody, who serves as the network’s executive vice president and an executive editor, criticized the diversity of Team USA in an op-ed a day before the 2018 Winter Olympics were scheduled to open in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Moody suggested without basis that the focus on diversity may cost Team USA medals, and speculated that athletes were given spots on the team that they didn’t earn during their trials, because of their race. From Moody’s op-ed:

via Fox News executive VP rails against diversity of US Olympians: “Darker, Gayer, Different”

In embrassmentbut without apology  Fox News hides it’s Nazi face

Fox News Takes Down Op-Ed Claiming ‘Diverse’ Athletes Will Lose USA Medals

Turnbull’s plans for national apology to sex abuse victims should take Close the Gap lessons into account

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the report says the government “effectively abandoned” its long-term goals just five years on from the establishment of the policy, in favour of short-term political demands.

“A revolving door of prime ministers, Indigenous affairs ministers and senior bureaucrats have all but halted the steady progress hoped for by First Peoples,” the report said.

“After the initial funding commitments made for the Closing the Gap strategy … the strategy was effectively abandoned with the extensive cuts, over $530 million, made to the Indigenous affairs portfolio in the 2014 federal budget.”

via Turnbull’s plans for national apology to sex abuse victims should take Close the Gap lessons into account

Fueled by Broken Social Contract, Study Finds Inequality and Despair Driving US Life Expectancy Down | Common Dreams

A Reminder

Australian Conservatives are modelling us on America. The the country with world’s  biggest Wealth and Income Gap. Turnbull does want to close the gap by ensuring all Australians can have the advantages and opportunities of Aboriginal Australians and spiral down. ( Old Dog)

“A new report finds that a lack of social services including universal healthcare, public health crises, and declining social mobility have all contributed to growing despair and failing health in the United States, resulting in a decrease in life expectancy for the second year in a row.

According to the study, completed by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University and the Urban Institute, a suicide rate that went up 24 percent between 1999 and 2014, and abuse of drugs and alcohol have contributed largely to the decline.”

Fueled by Broken Social Contract, Study Finds Inequality and Despair Driving US Life Expectancy Down | Common Dreams

Victoria the safest it’s been for 10 years, says ABS

New official crime figures show Victoria is safer than it has been at any time for the past 10 years.

The Bureau of Statistics count of recorded crime across all states shows just 75,860 offenders in 2016-17, down from a high of 87,695 under the Baillieu government in 2012-13 and the fourth successive annual fall.

via Victoria the safest it’s been for 10 years, says ABS

EDITORIAL EXCERPT: The Barnaby Joyce affair — another case of #mediafail (except for IA)

 

‘There’s something of a convention in Aus politics: unless there’s criminality, coercion or abuse involved, private lives are private.’

This is nonsense, of course. There is no such convention — “something” or otherwise.

The media presented stories about Gareth Evans’ affair with Cheryl Kernot and Jim Cairns’ affair with Junie Morosi when there was not a hint of criminality, coercion, or abuse. The mainstream media also enjoyed reporting on the private life of Julia Gillard while she was prime minister, even outrageously asking her whether her hairdresser partner Tim Mathieson was a homosexual. The ABC then destroyed any notion of impartiality or discretion when it aired a tasteless and unfunny sitcom based on her supposed private life, called ‘At Home With Julia’.

via EDITORIAL EXCERPT: The Barnaby Joyce affair — another case of #mediafail (except for IA)

Turnbull will do anything to keep his job including sacrificing our democracy – » The Australian Independent Media Network

In a report by Liberty Victoria’s Rights Advocacy Project released in May last year, former Fraser-era immigration minister Ian Macphee said he was “disgusted by the power accorded to current ministers regarding the lives of people fleeing persecution”.

“Ministers now exercise power that is mostly beyond the review of judges,” he said. “Such power should be exercised humanely and in accordance with morality, not absolute law.

“The law and its practice is now unjust. It is un-Australian.”

Turnbull, in choosing Dutton in the first place and then expanding his power, shows no judgement of ability and no regard for the best interests of the country, the rights of individuals, or the separation of powers.

He will gladly sacrifice our democracy in order to maintain his position.

He is a self-serving coward.

via Turnbull will do anything to keep his job including sacrificing our democracy – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Veteran investor Jim Rogers says next bear market will be ‘the worst in our lifetime’

American businessman Jim Rogers has a bearish outlook for global markets.

The veteran investor says that’s because even more debt has accumulated in the global economy since the financial crisis, especially in the US.

via Veteran investor Jim Rogers says next bear market will be ‘the worst in our lifetime’

As Endless Wars Rage, ‘Aspiring Dictator’ Trump Orders Massive Military Parade | Common Dreams

 

A Navy A-7 Corsair jet is pulled down Broadway as sailors rejoice on its wings during the Operation Welcome Home ticker-tape parade in New York City on June 10, 1991

Bolstering his “image as an aspiring dictator” and further demonstrating that he has zero interest in drawing down the endless U.S.-led wars overseas that have killed millions, President Donald Trump has reportedly ordered the Pentagon to begin planning for a massive military parade in an effort to celebrate American military power and fuel his own ego.

“The marching orders were: I want a parade like the one in France,” a military official told the Washington Post, referring to the Bastille Day festivities that so impressed the president during his Paris visit last year.

Given that the U.S. is currently bombing seven countries and that civilian casualties have soared since Trump took office, anti-war groups were quick to denounce Trump’s “marching orders” as “totally disgusting.”

via As Endless Wars Rage, ‘Aspiring Dictator’ Trump Orders Massive Military Parade | Common Dreams

When Deportation is a Death Sentence: The Fatal Consequences of U.S. Immigration Policy | Democracy Now!

 s1 immigrant deporation deaths

Despite living her whole adult life in Texas, she was deported to Mexico after a traffic stop. She warned a U.S. Border Patrol agent, “When I am found dead, it will be on your conscience.” Within a week of her deportation, she was murdered by her ex-husband.

via When Deportation is a Death Sentence: The Fatal Consequences of U.S. Immigration Policy | Democracy Now!

The crackdown on the Eureka flag is another bid to destroy our unions | Jeff Sparrow | Opinion | The Guardian

 

CFMEU Canberra member Dusty Miller who once poured concrete when Parliament House was being built waves the Eureka flag on the front lawns of Parliament House, Canberra, 7 February 2018.

“We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties.”

The parallels between the oath taken by rebellious miners in 1854 and the solidarity required for successful organising explain trade unionists’ enthusiasm for the Eureka rebellion. They also explain the Australian Building and Construction Commission’s hostility to it – or, at least, to the famous Southern Cross flag

via The crackdown on the Eureka flag is another bid to destroy our unions | Jeff Sparrow | Opinion | The Guardian

Day to Day Politics: The saint of New England – » The Australian Independent Media Network

I recall the night when Penny Wong and Barnaby Joyce were on QandA together. They were discussing Marriage Equality, and Barnaby was spruiking the virtues of his Catholicism, putting Wong down for her immorality in the process.

 

For me, Mrs Joyce should be given all the sympathy we can muster and Barnaby Joyce is a disgrace to his family, his party, the electorate he represents and the people of Australia. Fancy giving him the distinction of the title Deputy Prime Minister of Australia.

An observation

“As deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce relentlessly, during the marriage equality debate, questioned the morality of thousands of our citizens as relating to his own particular Catholic beliefs. He can hardly complain if others question his.”

via Day to Day Politics: The saint of New England – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The Joyce affair reveals the media-run Coalition protection racket

Murdoch hack Sharri Markson claimed in the Telegraph on 20 October that there was a “dirty war” being waged against Joyce and that he was ‘battling vicious innuendo’.

We now learn that Joyce’s affair with his staffer was an “open secret” in Canberra circles, including the Press Gallery.

If this doesn’t smack of collusion, I don’t know what does.

via The Joyce affair reveals the media-run Coalition protection racket

George Brandis takes a swipe at Peter Dutton and ‘right wing politics’ in farewell speech

Senator Brandis delivers his final speech to the Senate.

He observed “powerful elements of right-wing politics” had abandoned the liberal tradition in favour of “a belligerent, intolerant populism which shows no respect for either the rights of individual citizens or the traditional institutions which protect them”.

Senator Brandis did not name Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton in his speech, but delivered a pointed barb at Mr Dutton’s recent disparaging of “un-Australian” lawyers and “weak” judges.

 

“I have not disguised my concern at attacks upon the institutions of the law – the courts and those who practice in them,” he said. “To attack those institutions is to attack the rule of law itself.”

via George Brandis takes a swipe at Peter Dutton and ‘right wing politics’ in farewell speech

News Corp expands its pro-Trump fakenews despite failing U.S. economy

Most TV news reports over the weekend cherry-picked Friday’s data on January’s jobs. The statistics were a mix of good news and bad. Total jobs increased. But so did people looking for work. The jobless rate for women decreased. But for men, it increased. The overall jobless rate did not go up. It did not go down either. Wages increased over the year. So did inflation.

Naturally, the pro-Trump media highlighted only the positive — in stark contrast to their approach through the Obama years.

via News Corp expands its pro-Trump #fakenews despite failing U.S. economy

Fox host says that Trump should take credit for the good of the stock market, but not the bad

Varney’s exhortations of “the Trump stock market rally” are misleading, as they fail to acknowledge that the growth continues the more than six years of steady stock market growth under Obama. From March 6, 2009, to November 7, 2016, the Dow Jones climbed about 11,632 points — almost a 157 percent increase.

Source: Fox host says that Trump should take credit for the good of the stock market, but not the bad

and

Hannity has been blaming Obama for downturns in the stock market for a decade

 

 

 

 

Is private health insurance a con? The answer is in the graphs | Greg Jericho | Business | The Guardian

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, and shadow minister for health, Catherine King, during a visit to Vermont Private Hospital in Melbourne, 4 February 2018. Labor are planning on making private health insurance more affordable to Australians.

We have a system that attempts to force young people to take out a private insurance policy they don’t want or particularly need in order to fund the use of it by older people. As the Centre for Policy Development research fellow Ian McAuley told Melissa Davey last year, it is essentially “transferring funds from the young to the old”.

We have a public and private health mix in Australia, but consistently over the past 40 years people have revealed through their spending choices they prefer the public system.

And yet rather than pick the winner, governments of both persuasion have attempted to prop up the private sector. And as ever the private system has taken advantage – offering less coverage while complaining about needing ever more government assistance.

via Is private health insurance a con? The answer is in the graphs | Greg Jericho | Business | The Guardian

Victim Mentality – » The Australian Independent Media Network

There is a big difference between wanting your history known and your cultural rights restored; and being stuck in the past with a ‘poor me’ mindset. Too often this statement is used to diminish and undermine our peoples’ perspectives and to make us feel unjustified in our endeavours. It is an easy way for the ignorant to brush it off and dismiss any lingering feelings of guilt or shame.

via Victim Mentality – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Landmark inquiry finds Australia’s banks are exploiting their most loyal customers

Australia's major banks are about to face a royal commission.

Remember when banks provided a service and didn’t just service the customers?

Well that’s when they were reminded it was a free market and the governments got out of the banking business (old dog}

via Landmark inquiry finds Australia’s banks are exploiting their most loyal customers

Republicans Run **Actual Nazi** In IL-03 | Crooks and Liars

Republicans Run **Actual Nazi** In IL-03

Arthur Jones is a former leader of the American Nazi Party and now heads a group called the America First Committee, which I’m sure that it’s only a coincidence bears the same name as the group fronted by Charles Lindbergh in the 1930s and 40s that tried to keep the United States out of World War II. And of course, there’s no relationship to the current Nazis occupying the White House.

via Republicans Run **Actual Nazi** In IL-03 | Crooks and Liars

A wall and a war: Two things every fascist regime needs | +972 Magazine

President Donald Trump stands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he arrives at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, May 22, 2017, for his first official visit to Israel as president. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Both Trump and Netanyahu want to secure their rule by attacking liberal, democratic forces. But in order to do so, they need two things: a wall and the promise of eternal war.

via A wall and a war: Two things every fascist regime needs | +972 Magazine

Can American Democracy survive six Standing Wars? | Informed Comment

dower_violent

Whether the rationale is the need to wage a war on terror involving 76 countries or renewed preparations for a struggle against peer competitors Russia and China (as Defense Secretary James Mattis suggested recently while introducing America’s new National Defense Strategy), the U.S. military is engaged globally. A network of 800 military bases spread across 172 countries helps enable its wars and interventions. By the count of the Pentagon, at the end of the last fiscal year about 291,000 personnel (including reserves and Department of Defense civilians) were deployed in 183 countries worldwide, which is the functional definition of a military uncontained. Lady Liberty may temporarily close when the U.S. government grinds to a halt, but the country’s foreign military commitments, especially its wars, just keep humming along.

via Can American Democracy survive six Standing Wars? | Informed Comment