Many people grumble about paying taxes, but if you look around the world, most of the citizens of the most heavily taxed countries are also the most contented. They willingly trade some of their earnings to ensure that everyone has a safety-net, there are no beggars, the sick get necessary treatment, education is available to all and necessary assistance in finding work is available.
This is not socialism in its derogatory context. It is essential humanity – which is MIA in Australia!
Peter Dutton has used his preferred diplomatic channel, 2GB, to mightily piss off our biggest trading partner by saying that the policies of the Communist Party of China are “inconsistent with those of Australia.”
Further wading into the mire, he proclaimed that “Australia is not going to allow university students to be unduly influenced by China, the theft of intellectual property or the hacking of government or non-government organisations.”
The reaction from the Chinese was predictable, calling his comments “irrational”, “shocking” and “baseless”.
Whilst the government repeats slogans like “in a canter” and the Murdoch press continues its misinformation campaign, the rest of the world regards us as pusillanimous liars and cheats, more interested in keeping our advantage than in helping with the heavy lifting.
Much to my shame, they are right.
Death by Trump (ODT)
Before he was deported, Jimmy Aldaoud had never stepped foot in Iraq. Born in Greece to Iraqi refugee parents, he immigrated to the United States with his family via a refugee resettlement program 40 years ago, when he was just 15 months old. He considered himself American and knew hardly anything of Iraqi society. Still, on the afternoon of June 4, he found himself wandering the arrivals terminal of Al Najaf International Airport, about 100 miles south of Baghdad, with around $50, some insulin for his diabetes, and the clothes on his back.
As a consequence, Australia now has one of the highest wholesale broadband prices in the world.
Here’s a word of advice to Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Unless he wants to risk a smudge on his reputation of the sort that accompanies John Howard to this day: don’t get involved in conflict with Iran beyond limited naval engagement in a Gulf peace-keeping role.
Australia’s Ghetto Australia’s Shame will be on the historic record. (ODT)
A trickle of misinformation about Labor policy became a torrent on Facebook as the campaign unfolded. A Guardian investigation has tracked the course of the death tax scare, revealing alarming implications for Australian democracy
The top 1% holds as much wealth as the bottom 70% of all households
Apply this to the offences Indigenous Australians are incarcerated for. We are worse than the US (ODT)
“Now we have presidential candidates, senators, bragging about their pot use while there are kids who can’t get a job because they have a nonviolent offense for doing things that two of the last three presidents did,” he added.
While he declined to name them, both Harris and Sanders recently attracted attention for joking about their past use of the drug during interviews with “The Breakfast Club,” a nationally syndicated radio show.
the gross disparity in the way that rich and poor users are currently treated by the criminal justice system makes it no laughing matter. “The privileged can break laws and not have to worry about it. There’s no difference between blacks and whites for using marijuana, or even selling marijuana, but blacks are almost four times more likely to be convicted,” Booker said.
Dr Evan Jones discusses the way Australian media frequently channels an unashamedly pro-Israel worldview at the expense of other legitimate perspectives.
Yes, how could we go past Kerri-Anne Kennerley calling activists protesting the date for Australia Day as paedophile enablers, also winning racist of the week at very the same time. Great work KAK!
The phrase, which has been described as “every urban Black woman’s angst”, was the first sexist comment ever levelled at me – and the first of many bizarre interactions I, along with many other Aboriginal women, endure when announcing our heritage.
Mostly, I am met with pure shock – and often, an onslaught of backhanded compliments:
“But you’re so articulate … and exotic.”
“You’re not like those other ones.”
“What percentage Aboriginal are you?”
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.
Fiji’s top immigration official has confirmed categorically that Islamic State fighter Neil Prakash is not a Fijian national, meaning the Morrison government’s stripping of Prakash’s Australian citizenship is not lawful.
Speaking for the first time to Australian media, Fiji’s director of immigration, Nemani Vuniwaqa, also said no one from the Fijian government was consulted before Australia declared Prakash had lost his Australian citizenship, despite the fact a second citizenship was vital to the legal process in Australia.
Asked whether he was absolutely certain Prakash was not Fijian, he said: “Yes I am. He is not a Fiji citizen.”
Why are our politicians so bad Peter Dutton is the the perfect example and damns himself with his own words. Regarded as the worst Minister for health and now the worst for Immigration. Dutton offers no incite into his job other than to keep it. No mention of duty to his electorate or the the people of Australia to to the service he’s being paid for. This Liberal lead government has since being elected in 2013 passed the least number of bills since John Gortan yet is one of the highest paid globally to lead a nation of only 24 million people. Julia Gillard broke records in bills passed while PM of a minority government. (ODT)
“Malcolm is charming and affable but he doesn’t have a political bone in his body and it’s not a criticism, but without political judgment you can’t survive in politics and he didn’t.”
Last year, 165 Indigenous Australians died as a result of suicide. Despite continued efforts to improve suicide prevention programs, there has been no no appreciable reduction in the suicide rate in ten years.
While suicide is the 14th leading cause of death for non-Indigenous Australians, it is ranked fifth for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
We often equate suicide with mental illness, but as a recent Senate inquiry report into rural mental health found:
… in too many cases, the causes of suicide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is not mental illness, but despair caused by the history of dispossession combined with the social and economic conditions in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples live.
This statement should not be a surprise, but it is all too easily forgotten. A diagnosis of mental illness is only one of a number of risk factors for suicide.
New Zealanders will soon be getting internet speeds 20 times faster than those enjoyed by most Australians for just a few dollars more a month, further widening an already-huge gap between the two countries’ broadband networks. Chorus, the ASX-listed company that operates New Zealand’s broadband network, revealed on Wednesday it would slash the wholesale price of its ultra-fast one-gigabit plan. From the middle of next year, the price of the plan will go from $NZ65 ($61) to $NZ60 ($56.30) a month. Chorus will further reduce it to $NZ56 the following year. Internet speeds of one gigabit per second (Gbps) are 20 times faster than the most popular speed available on Australia’s national broadband network of 50 megabits per second (Mbps), the plan almost half of NBN users are on.
Take protecting our borders. We can’t have people arriving by boat because we need to protect our borders, we’re told. Compare that with their statements on globalisation and how we need to be part of the world. We need to knock down artificial trade barriers and invite the rest of the world in… even if they want to bring their own workers.
Today, the potential for economic, environmental and humanitarian change lies with workers just as it did after World War I, writes Canberra correspondent John Passant.
History can be a wonderful teacher. For example, in 1939 the U.S. turned back the boat, St Louis, with 939 Jews on board. They were fleeing Hitler and were seeking asylum.
The ship returned to Europe. Estimates are that 254 of the Jews sent back died in the Holocaust.
The “reasoning” from politicians was base and racist:
We are left disillusioned and feeling hopeless because our government is so shackled by ideology that it can scarcely move, so immobilized by fear of contravening its entrenched beliefs that it cannot solve our nation’s problems, so sterile of ideas that it cannot think clearly, plan strategically, or put into action the changes the nation desperately desires and needs.
Is it any wonder voters despair?
Palestinians have been marching weekly to the fence in order to highlight the impacts of the siege on Gaza, as well as to re-center the issue of Palestinian refugees. Since protests began on March 30, Israeli soldiers have killed at least 205 Palestinians, and wounded tens of thousands of others. Last Friday, Israeli soldiers shot dead seven Palestinians — including two teenage boys — during the protests, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.
Vacating the moral high ground is part of ending the most terrible act perpetrated by the Australian state during my lifetime
The horror show that is Australian politics remains the gift that keeps giving for comedian John Oliver – and this time he’s set his ire on embattled Queensland MP Bob Katter.
On Sunday’s episode of his US show Last Week Tonight, the late night host showed his viewers footage of Fraser Anning’s notorious maiden speech in parliament last week, in which the Katter Party senator called for a “final solution” to Muslim immigration.
“That is just not a phrase you want to throw around for pretty obvious reasons,” Oliver told his stunned audience.
“It’s the same reason that we don’t name babies Adolf anymore, or have tiny moustaches, or call yoga retreats ‘concentration camps’.”
Implicit in much of the agitation of the past week is the idea that the conservative base has abandoned the Coalition for One Nation and must be won back by a shift to the right.
That has ominous overtones of Trumpian politics and more race-baiting.
Others, like Mr Joyce, argue it is as simple as making clear you understand the financial pain people are feeling on soaring energy prices.
Pollsters say a reading that Longman suggests the Coalition should move to the right would be completely wrong.
They say the potency of the company tax debate reflects the fact that, if anything, the push should be to the left: people are concerned about equity and getting a greater share of the pie.
Finally, there is the issue of personalities. Tony Abbott’s campaign against Malcolm Turnbull is relentless and this has meant it has kept shifting and morphing every time his apparent demands have been met.
So what happens next?
Some sources do say there is leadership stirring going on in Liberal ranks. (Certainly, News Corp appears to be helping fuel the situation — it’s a nice irony that a lot of trouble is coming from the Government’s favourite media organisation, not the one it so dislikes, the ABC.)
Are they going to allow a toxic combination of revenge politics, anti-climate change ideology, panic over the Longman result, and sheer muddle-headedness kill the chance of giving certainty to energy investment and tear down or mortally wound their Prime Minister?
Tony Abbott says “Emissions targets that made sense three years ago when all countries were supposed to be in Paris and we didn’t need policy change and wouldn’t face economic dislocation do not make sense now. @TurnbullMalcolm take note.
Sureley this in itself reveals that all Abbott is doing is stirring the pot of personal political revenge. Here he’s calling for flexibility in the National Interest which would best be by regulation. Any change by Legislation would lock Australia in to a far more rigid position.The man’s simply out to destrot the LNP and if he wins this it will be for a very long time.(ODT)
We rarely hear such sentiments because since the Howard years there’s been an undeclared war – yes, a class war – against public education, with our political lords eroding confidence in the system either through overt rhetoric or in more subtle ways, the negative messaging amplified by obscene funding inequities.
At a time of growing inequality, when liberal democracy finds itself under siege, the real balance to “what’s in it for me” is the local high school: open to all comers, accommodating many faiths and backgrounds but striving for a common language and universal truth. The case for public education is more urgent than ever.
The reasons for the war: 1. Like elsewhere in the West, Australia’s political elite is disconnected from the concerns of ordinary people, and 2. Our political leaders are hostage to a private schools lobby that purrs about wanting the best for all schools, but they don’t, obviously, because it’s a law of the market that competitors seek to crush each other.
For years we’ve been sold this con job that funding private schools takes pressure off the public system when the reverse is true. A bigger public system would offer economies of scale. Gutting high schools of middle-class families, their resources and networks, residualising public education so that it becomes an option of last resort, with plunging standards and expectations, simply increases the long-term welfare burden for taxpayers. And what about the long-term psychic injury we’re inflicting on ourselves by raising children in stratified and segregated environments?
Christian Porter and Zed Seselja added a joint message.
This statement recognises that cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths; one that equips us to build a future where everyone belongs and has the chance to live a great life. It upholds the centrality of our democratic institutions and the rule of law, it highlights the importance of citizenship in our national identity, and it makes clear the responsibility we all have to respect our fellow Australians.
The above information comes from the Department of Home Affairs webpage.
I thought I’d share it before Prime Minister Dutton has it erased.
Under Peter Dutton’s Watch
Days after a coroner found “systemic failures” caused the death of Hamid Kehazaei on Manus Island, doctors say healthcare on the island is the worst it has been. Guardian Australia has learned of at least two critical cases being left untreated: one man faces permanent blindness and another has been five days with a suspected fractured femur, given only Panadol and a bandage.
Doctors say more refugees under Australia’s care will die if healthcare is not reformed.
Iraqi refugee Mohammed Hamza Hussein, who lost sight in one eye when he was beaten with a post during the 2014 attack on the Manus detention centre is now going blind in his other eye.
Ophthalmologists have said he requires urgent intervention – including treatments not available on Manus Island – in order to save his sight.
Former border force chief says Australia should investigate all deaths in offshore detention
Australia the first since WW2 to lead the way. WW2 was fought in the name of liberation from tyranny. Australia turned it’s back and in shame and turned it’s back on accords it signed regarding the international rights of Asylum. It turned it’s backs on it’s own dead soldiers who fought for freedom and it forgot the meaning of Anzac day. (ODT)
Soon after President Trump assumed office in January 2017, he had a phone call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The transcript of the conversation, leaked in August, revealed that the new US president admired his Australian counterpart because Turnbull was “worse than I am” on asylum seekers. Turnbull had proudly stated, “If you try to come to Australia by boat, even if we think you are the best person in the world, even if you are a Nobel Prize–winning genius, we will not let you in.”
“We always hear from non-Indigenous people that we get so many benefits. In reality, the benefits are few and far between and usually come with many strings attached. Another reality is that we are still being exploited far beyond any benefits could ever compensate for. Give us a moment to explain some of the realities of how we are still being robbed today.” An indigenous Australian
“Putrid white supremacy fights to hang on, in government offices, rural communities and school curricula. Unless we call it out and shout it down, white supremacy will hang on, if even by dusty orange threads.
As for indigenous peoples, we are a hardy bunch. We stay firmly rooted and weathered into the natural landscape. We stay connected to ancestral lands where our grandmothers and grandfathers, the first human beings to touch and intimately know this continent, left vast footprints and prayers in order for us to survive. No white supremacist, no vile president, can ever change that. We are still here, and we have stories to tell.” An indigenous American
They have so much in common Colonization and it’s never ending effects today. (ODT)
You can read the story here or watch it below, but do it on an empty stomach. In the meantime, here are the facts that Arfier left out of the story, all of which I and many others have reported countless times over the last decade, apparently to limited affect.
Mulrunji Doomadgee was beaten to death on the floor of the Palm Island police station on November 19, 2004 for singing ‘who let the dogs out’ at Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley, the most senior officer on the island and a man almost twice the size of Mulrunji (Hurley was six foot six and weighed 115kg, Mlurunji less than 80kgs).
As Mulrunji lay dying, another Aboriginal man in the cell tried to comfort him and yell for help from Hurley and other officers. His screams were ignored.
When Mulrunji’s family arrived at the police station later that morning to enquire why he had been arrested, he had already been dead for hours. Hurley lied to the family and told them he was fine, but unavailable.
The upshot? Abbott became Liberal leader and later prime minister. Joyce eventually became Nationals leader and deputy prime minister. The destruction of a sensible national policy was their pathway to great power.
We’ve now had a decade of political posturing and parlour games on energy and climate change, and what has this achieved?
The price of electricity has soared. The lights have started going out on hot days in some states. And global warming is advancing relentlessly. The economy has lost competitiveness needlessly. The people have suffered an assault on their living standards pointlessly.
And as Australia goes through an endless summer with bushfires in April, the slow death of the Great Barrier Reef is just one of nature’s grim rebuttals of the ideologues and conmen who, even now, try to tell us that climate change is not real.
For the rest of Australia, for everyone from BHP to the Clean Energy Council, the National Energy Guarantee is a sign of hope for an Australian return to rationality.
For Abbott and Joyce and a handful of hangers-on, it’s a target.
Remember when Tony Abbott bragged he’d be the Infra Structure PM what a joke. This 55 km sea bridge too 8 years to build
China is about to open the world’s longest sea bridge to traffic in the latest demonstration of its infrastructure ambitions.
The 55-kilometre bridge and tunnel project links the two special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau with the mainland, slashing travel time and linking up to 60 million people into a metropolis-style economy.
The Report seeks to raise awareness of, and calls for action to address, the disproportionate rates of Indigenous incarceration across Australia.
This gap between the rates of Indigenous incarceration and non-Indigenous incarceration is fundamentally unfair. On any given day, there are around 10,000 Indigenous adults in prison – including roughly 1,000 women, 500 Indigenous youth in detention and many more Indigenous People in custody in police cells. (ABS (2016). Corrective Services, Australia, June Quarter 2016. Canberra: ABS; AIHW (2017). Youth justice in Australia 2015–16. Table S85a: Young people aged 10–17 in detention on an average day by Indigenous status, states and territories, 2006–07 to 2015–16 (rate). AIHW Bulletin no. 139. Cat. no. AUS 211. Canberra: AIHW).
Sometime in 2014, journalist Rob Burgess interviewed former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and discussed refugee policy. During the discussion, apparently Fraser made a prediction. Burgess recently wrote an opinion piece for The New Daily discussing Minister Dutton’s recent claims about South African farmers and recalled Fraser’s prophecy The cruelties of the offshore detention system, he…
MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS PETER DUTTON recently had a spontaneous brainwave — one that appeared to be completely void of consultation with advisers or fellow Ministers, detailed research or, indeed, actual thought.
Mr Dutton, who has previously only spat derision at refugees and migrants in general, decided it would be a good idea to fast-track visas for “persecuted” white South African farmers needing assistance from a “civilised” country like Australia — forgetting that there isn’t even a queue of white South Africans trying to obtain Australian visas (unlike the Rohingya, for example).
This sudden and – as many said – diplomatically disastrous idea, was met with much local and international condemnation.
South African revolutionaries call Dutton’s bluff
The Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania has called on Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to “come to our country and collect all his fellow racists who feel that they cannot live together with normal people and go live where they are accepted in that unbecoming society”.
“This follows Dutton’s call to fast-track visa applications by white South African farmers who he said were facing “horrific circumstances” of being murdered and having their land taken away.
He said they deserved to be resettled in a “civilised country”, a clear slur on South Africa.
He said they would be “hard-working and not become dependent on welfare”, a clear slur on non-white refugees accepted into Australia.
He said “They’re the sorts of migrants that we want to bring into our country,” a clear slur on the unfortunates stranded in Nauru and in Papua New Guinea.
He said all of this after only recently stating that Australia should further reduce the number of migrants coming to Australia.”
His comments on what he termed “the horrific circumstances” relating to white South African farmers, at the urging of white right-wing extremists, has done great harm to finely balanced race relations in South Africa and to the relationship between the two countries.
Had he sought a briefing from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) he would have discovered that the situation relating to the “persecution” of white farmers bears no resemblance to his ill-informed remarks. The Australian High Commission in Pretoria keeps DFAT very well informed.
It has been the great misfit Australian policy since the 1990s: a…
Every government department I have visited in the Territory, its personnel are a sea of White privilege. Every private sector enterprise I have visited is a sea of White privilege. There is no one-third of the workforce comprised of Aboriginal Territorians. This was the case two and three decades ago. It is obvious that the work of yesteryear in touting affirmative actions, the goal of workforce parity, was a lie.Today, the Northern Territory remains to Australia what Mississipi, Alabama and North and South Carolina were to the United States decades ago.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has invited the head of coal at multinational mining giant Glencore, a company which routinely avoids paying a cent of company tax, to join him on a gala diplomatic mission to the United States to visit President Donald Trump next week.
A refugee who needs to travel for heart surgery has been told by Australian Border Force she must leave her son alone on Nauru