Tag: Dr Binoy Kampmark

Arise, Pandemic Profiteers – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Another parallel of the Black Death is worthy of note. The plague was so disruptive as to cause its own alterations of the feudal order. The wealthy might have scurried to their places of ornate and padded seclusion, but they were by no means guaranteed survival. Around them, aggressive depopulation fed the fulcrum of change. It emboldened the peasantry, resulting in a range of riots and a challenge to social and economic circumstances. The likes of Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have yet to see a modern version of a peasant insurrection. Perhaps it’s time they did.

Source: Arise, Pandemic Profiteers – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Dangerous Precedents and Hypothetical Threats: The Deportation of Novak Djokovic – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Australia’s treatment of Novak Djokovic, the tennis world number one, has been revelatory. Unintentionally, this has exposed the seedier, arbitrary and inconsistent nature of Australia’s border policies. The approval by the Australian Federal Court of the Immigration Minister Alex Hawke’s decision to re-cancel the prominent Serb’s visa left the country a heaving precedent that will be invoked, in future, with relish.

Source: Dangerous Precedents and Hypothetical Threats: The Deportation of Novak Djokovic – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Anachronistic Frivolity: Australia’s Recent Tank Purchase – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Critics of the purchase have included otherwise hawkish pundits such as Greg Sheridan of The Australian, who spent some of last year shaking his head at the proposed acquisition after it was announced by the US Defence Cooperation Agency. The decision, he opined unleashing his talons, was one of “sheer idiocy,” an “anachronistic frivolity.” Tanks and other heavy, tracked vehicles would “never be of the slightest military use to us.” Sheridan poses a range of questions. In any confrontation with China, could a tank defend shipping in the South China Sea? Or “take out enemy submarines?” Or “deliver attack missiles over hundreds of kilometres?” His solutions: buy more jets, manufacture more drones, and address naval capabilities. Others also argue that Dutton, were he to be genuinely interested in Australia’s security and safety, would be spending more time on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and coping with the threats posed by climate change, or investing in pandemic responses. Now that would be a big ask. The tank fraternity, a gathering of near cultic loyalty, are swooning in triumph. As Peter J. Dean, director of the Defence and Security Institute at the University of Western

Source: Anachronistic Frivolity: Australia’s Recent Tank Purchase – » The Australian Independent Media Network

How to Chill Free Speech: Defamation Down Under – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Not fit for office

In the public domain, individuals who had known a thing or two about the spiritual and physical torment of rape expressed their puzzlement over Dutton’s response. Higgins, who is seeking redress for her own suffering in this matter, found the minister’s legal response to Bazzi “baffling”. “I’ve been offended plenty.” Despite that, it still afforded “people … the right to engage in public debate and assert their opinion.” The whole case was a “shocking indictment on free speech.”

In finding for Dutton in November, Justice White ruled that the tweet had been defamatory, and that Bazzi could not resort to the defence of honest opinion. With classic, skewering casuistry, the judge found that “Bazzi may have used the word ‘apologist’ without an understanding of the meaning he was, in fact conveying.” If this had been the case, “it would follow that he did not hold the opinion actually conveyed by the words.” Let it be known: if you do no not understand the meaning of certain words, you can have no opinions about them.

Despite his eagerness to seek damages for all grounds, Dutton was only successful on one of the four pleaded imputations. Claims for aggravated damages and an injunction targeting Bazzi’s comments, were rejected. The Defence Minister’s appetite for pursuing Bazzi for his full legal bill also troubled Justice White, who had repeatedly urged the parties to reach a settlement. Why had Dutton not sued in a lower court, he asked? The reason, claimed Dutton’s barrister Hamish Clift this month, was because his client was a prominent figure requiring a prominent stage to protect his prominent reputation. “It would not be appropriate for the court,” retorted White, “to exercise their discretion more favourably to Dutton simply because of the important public and national office of which he holds.”

 

 

Source: How to Chill Free Speech: Defamation Down Under – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Diplomacy, China and Paul Keating – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Was Biden listening to Keating it seems the UK, US and China are in step with their backs to Australia when it comes to Climate. So where will that put AUKUS when trade strategies take into account  Fossil Fuels and what looks like CHUKUS puts tariffs on our position?

There have been some defenders of the former prime minister, insisting that he has something sensible to say. ABC host and commentator Stan Grant tells his audience that Keating “is not an apologist for Chinese authoritarianism but a cold-eyed realist about Chinese power and how it can be incorporated into a global political order.” But realism, for the moment at least, has been anathemised. The Anglophone alliance that is AUKUS is testament to that fact. Blood-thirsty nostalgia, and the fools, are intent on running the show.

Source: Diplomacy, China and Paul Keating – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Cheap Grace and Climate Change: Australia and COP26 – » The Australian Independent Media Network

It was not for everybody, but the shock advertising tactics of the Australian comedian Dan Ilic made an appropriate point. Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison, a famed coal hugger, has vacillated about whether to even go to the climate conference in Glasgow. Having himself turned the country’s prime ministerial office into an extended advertising agency, Ilic was speaking his language. The language was promoted through sponsored imagery in Times Square, New York, with advertising space purchased by a crowdfunding campaign of considerable success. Billboards featured the prime minister as a “Coal-o-phile Dundee,” mercilessly mocked Australia’s climate policies and responses to the murderously scorching bushfires of 2020.

Source: Cheap Grace and Climate Change: Australia and COP26 – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Trump, Twitter and the Digital Town Hall – » The Australian Independent Media Network

For all such righteous splutters, Dershowitz and Trump have a point in pointing out a symptom of the US body politic that has become cripplingly apparent: business and the interests of capitalism have come to control speech, its circulation, its distribution. For decades, they had already come to guide politicians and political parties, exercising influence through campaign donations. Why run for elected office when you can buy it? In 2010, the US Supreme Court decision of Citizens United v Federal Election Commission found that limits upon “independent political spending” from corporations and private interest groups violated the First Amendment. Those with deep purses could only deem this the natural order of things: if you have cash, spend it to influence opinion in the name of free speech. Put rather simply, such speech was a shield big capitalism could well employ if it needed to. (Rep. Lieu, take note.)

Source: Trump, Twitter and the Digital Town Hall – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Call in the Khaki: The Australian Defence Force and COVID-19 – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Australia’s resort to the military in these pandemic times is unexceptional. When found short in their civilian deployments, the authorities in many countries have called upon the armed forces to provide assistance. But the pressing concern when using such personnel, notably in instances where their roles and positions are unclear, can only trouble the purists of accountability. For Morrison, the move is very much in the tradition of mass distraction and excuse. If more things go wrong, blame the medically inexpert Lieutenant General.

Source: Call in the Khaki: The Australian Defence Force and COVID-19 – » The Australian Independent Media Network