The coronavirus pandemic relief bill passed by the House of Representatives this week would raise the federal minimum wage in steps until it reached $15 an hour in 2025. But an increase in the minimum wage has been removed from the Senate’s legislation. At least for now, it is stuck at $7.25.Forget $15 an Hour — the Minimum Wage Should Be $24
My thought for the day Never allow racism to disguise itself in the cloak of nationalism.( John Lord)January 26, 1788: The day the white men came and plundered – » The Australian Independent Media Network
When former President Donald Trump expressed solidarity with the Proud Boys during his first debate with Joe Biden in late September, the far-right group felt energized. But now, at the dawn of President Joe Biden’s administration, the group is in a state of disarray and disillusionment. Proud Boys organizer Joe Biggs has been arrested in connection with the January 6 insurrection, and some members are now railing against the former president they once idolized.‘Trump will go down as a total failure’: The Proud Boys are in disarray as Biden’s presidency begins – Alternet.org
Political unrest within the White House led to a domestic terrorism event some in the media have compared to the attack on Pearl Harbour, writes Dr Lee Duffield.6 January 2021: America’s new ‘day of infamy’
Uncle Roy served his time, but he never had to apologize for what he’d done. A lifelong champion of the working class, not once did he doubt that he was on the right side of history.Communists Like My Uncle Fought to Expand American Democracy. Fascists Fought to Destroy It.
Thousands of members of Proud Bois, Boogaloo, QAnon (who believe that Democrats are Satan incarnate) and other dangerous militia-like groups gathered at the capitol, and at 2:30 pm, as Ted Cruz (R-TX) was trying to overthrow the government by talking it to death, the leaner, meaner versions of Cruz climbed walls, broke windows and invaded the Capitol for the first time since the Redcoats occupied and burned it in 1814.Terrorism and invading the Legislature, in the Middle East and America
For forty years, governments around the world have been cutting taxes on the rich, claiming that the result would be more jobs and higher incomes. A new study shows how catastrophically wrong that policy has been.They Said Tax Cuts for the Rich Would Create Jobs. It Never Happened.
A missed anniversary raises the matter of how well Australians are informed about their society. Alan Austin dons his quizmaster hat once again.Manipulated collective memory makes most Australians much poorer
“In a historic moment, the majority of Americans have voted for a new leader representing caring, decency, inclusion and multilateralism – and rejecting hate, divisiveness, narcissism and authoritarianism.World Watches America
Donald Trump considers any election in which he is not the “winner” to be null and void. Trump’s appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court is an obvious quid pro quo to secure his “reelection” if his attorneys and other agents can sufficiently sabotage the vote on Election Day and beyond.Historian Timothy Snyder warns that America is already in its own “slow-motion Reichstag Fire” | Salon.com
As the possibility of Donald Trump trying to undemocratically snatch the 2020 presidential election seems increasingly likely, we should look to a previous successful attempt by Republicans to seize the presidency while the Democratic Party all but stood by helplessly: the 2000 election’s Florida recount.To Stop an Electoral Coup, Study What Went Wrong in the 2000 Florida Recount
Trump is setting up the commission to teach students ‘the miracle of American history’ – which sounds like a core part of the fascist process of taking powerTrump’s 1776 commission is proof America is spiraling toward facism | Arwa Mahdawi | Opinion | The Guardian
Earlier this year, prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled that he was close to a decision to unilaterally annex the Palestinian West Bank, an aggressive and illegal move long championed by the Israeli right. Though Netanyahu ultimately abandoned the plan for temporary and tactical reasons, it illustrated a major theme of Shlaim’s historical work: the central role of unfettered military coercion in Israel’s conception of security vis-à-vis the Palestinians. In light of these developments, Douglas Gerrard spoke to Shlaim about the history of the two-state solution, the promise and reality of the Oslo Accords, the future of Gaza, and the prospect of a binational state in Israel-Palestine.Israel’s Iron Wall Still Stands After Nearly a Century
Professional historians are not interested in history as a celebration of anything. What excites historians is explanation. Why did something happen when it did? There never really was such a time. Professional historians have always been skeptical and the very tools of their profession are seditious, because history teaches us that things could have been different (contingency) and can still be different. And that is what terrifies Trump and his white supremacist cronies.Trump doesn’t Understand History any more than he Understands Epidemics
Hitler simply burnt the books sacked anyone that didn’t support or might not support the Nationalist version of history and it’s symbols in any Institution throughout the country. Trump is just cutting funding.(ODT)
Trump has claimed systemic racism is not a problem in America. Trump’s comments come in the middle of a nationwide reckoning on race sparked by protests against racism and police violence. Suggest a correctionTrump Threatens To Yank Funding From Schools That Teach 1619 Project | HuffPost Australia
Unlike Heather Heyer’s killer, Kyle Rittenhouse, the Illinois teenager who allegedly crossed state lines with an assault rifle to confront Black Lives Matter protesters in Wisconsin and shot three people, has become a conservative celebrity. Tucker Carlson praised him as a patriot willing to stand up where Democratic cities wouldn’t—“17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would,” he said. An incoming Republican member of Congress shared a meme hailing Rittenhouse for having “fought back.” A Christian fundraising site raised a quarter of a million dollars for Rittenhouse’s legal defense. And on Monday, Trump broke his silence on the episode by asserting that Rittenhouse had acted in self-defense. “He was in very big trouble,” Trump said. “He probably would have been killed.” This time, he didn’t equivocate; the very fine people are only on his side now.Donald Trump and His Allies Are Trying to Rewrite the History of Charlottesville – Mother Jones
A Henty speaks with pride:
We have the opportunity to address the violence of colonial systems. To ignore this opportunity is to perpetuate the actions of my forefathers
When the Prime Minister made the bold assertion that there was no slavery in Australia, many were quick to point out his poor knowledge of our history forcing Morrison to correct himself. Of course, many people would have left it as that, but not our leader.
No, we can’t have all these elites telling the PM that he’s wrong, so he sprung into action and doubled the price of doing a Humanities course at university. That’ll teach those smart-arises to correct him.
In Australia, our education system MUST incorporate the history of our First Nations if we hope to change our attitudes to any significant extent. We need to consult community leaders and involve them in decision making and we need to stop allowing mining companies from destroying heritage treasures tens of thousands of years old.
If we stopped worshipping money, just think how much better our world might be!
We cannot change the past but we can and should make a real effort to ensure our behaviour in the future leaves a history which does not make our descendants ashamed of their ancestors.
And if we are to have a future, we need to start listening to the experts in all of the sciences, not just health!
Cutting government services to pay off government debt post the current pandemic is not a necessity but rather a political and ideological choice. History has shown that if we focus on full employment and the real economy, the budget will take care of itself. Economist Warwick Smith reports.
When you look back through the ignominious history of the Republican movement and the LNP, there isn’t a single right-wing MP worth a dime. Every commitment made to a vile, nasty off-shore war (such as Korea, Vietnam and the horrendous genocidal Iraqi war) has been under a Republican/LNP government who consistently use war, terror, hatred and fear to divide nations. When things look bleak in the polls, the war-mongering right-wing are always prepared to stoop to using war as the last resort to cling onto power with bloodstained fingers – ready and willing to sacrifice millions of lives and spend billions to distract focus from their horrendous policies and/or use hatred and division for their own political agenda. It is always a hate-filled, xenophobic right wing government that drags us into war and it always takes a left-wing, socialist government to get us out of it!
Under the Trump regime, historical amnesia is used as a weapon of (mis)education, politics, and power. The notion that the past is a burden that must be forgotten is a centerpiece of authoritarian regimes, one that allows public memory to wither and the threads of fascism to become normalized. While some critics eschew the comparison of Trump with the Nazi era, it is crucial to recognize the alarming signs in this administration that echo a fascist politics of the past. As Jonathan Freedland points out, “the signs are there, if only we can bear to look.” Rejecting the Trump-Nazi comparison makes it easier to believe that we have nothing to learn from history and to take comfort in the assumption that it cannot happen once again. No democracy can survive without an informed and educated citizenry.
Fox News Rewriting History (ODT)
Sweden and Norway, for example, both experienced a major power shift in the 1930s after prolonged nonviolent struggle. They “fired” the top 1 percent of people who set the direction for society and created the basis for something different.
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. … It is not the light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”
Australia’s Ghetto Australia’s Shame will be on the historic record. (ODT)
It’s what the LNP did with the history of this nation they went to war the ALP took them out of Vietnam and the LNP kept helping in more Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, all losing ones. They needed a winning war and decided on calling Asylum seekers “illegals” saying ‘Nope to the Malaysian Solution and telling Australia that they were winning a just war against “deplorables”. A Democracy is diminished when it’s government has too many secrets and buys and lies their way into power without any reasoned policies just scare mongering on the undeclared donations of Palmer and Murdoch. (ODT)
Another piece of crap due to Tony Abbott’s political determination to block anything Labor for whatever the cost. (ODT)
It has taken several years for a clearer picture to emerge, but we now know the decision to change to the MTM was thoroughly flawed – and the network performance and NBN Co’s financials demonstrate this. The MTM network costs more and does less.
The nation will be bearing the consequences of that decision for years to come in an area that is critical to its long-term future.
Betting tens of billions of taxpayer dollars on a myopic, expensive and backward-looking network based on copper, as the Coalition has done – while the world was moving away from copper and embracing optical fibre – was a huge miscalculation. It was not driven by a sophisticated analysis of the best technology choices for Australia’s NBN, but by ideology and politics. As Paddy Manning observed in his 2015 biography of Turnbull, Tony Abbott was intent on killing off the NBN if the Coalition won government in 2013, and Turnbull believed the Labor plan for the NBN was flying in the face of 30 years of governments exiting from operating businesses.
The fact that such a huge amount of money has been invested in performance-limited MTM technologies means that a writedown of these investments is almost a certainty.
The Abbott government cut 117 mill from the Indigenous affairs budget. The NT conservative government redirected fund out and away from The budget allocated for Aboriginal affairs. The media run aggreesive campaigns claiming the dysfunction in Aboriginal communities is of their own making. Andrew Bolt insists Aboriginal Culture is to blame. Completely counter to the findings here (ODT)
In four of the cases, the person who killed themselves had done so not long after a relative had also killed themselves.
Fogliani said that trauma, grief and premature death are experienced at “disturbingly high rates” in Aboriginal communities, and there was a growing preparedness in government and the community to accept that “colonisation had severe and deleterious impacts upon this ancient and traditional culture”.
The coroner handed down 42 recommendations relating to alcohol restrictions for the Kimberley; programs for diagnosing, treating and educating on foetal alcohol spectrum disorder; better mental health and suicide prevention programs and facilites; and ensuring that the Indigenous population is consulted in the development of programs, and brought in to help enact them.
She made those recommendations due to a consistent theme of the inquest that Indigenous people often felt that these decisions were made for them, rather than with them.
Fogliani also said that better mental health services and suicide prevention strategies could have saved the 13.
“The deaths of the 13 children and young persons the subject of this Inquest were all preventable.”
The hell visited on Syrian society has been in many respects a continuation of the hell visited on Iraq in 2003, after 13 years of sanctions had already killed two million of its people, including half a million children.
During this sanctions period, former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright, in a rare moment of candor for a functionary of the empire, provided us with an invaluable insight into the pristine barbarism which lurks behind the mask of democracy and human rights that such people usually wear for the purposes of confusing the public mind as to who and what they truly are.
The interviewer, Lesley Stahl, put it to Albright that half a million Iraqi children had died due to the sanctions, and asked if she thought the price “is worth it.” Albright without hesitation answered Yes. “We think the price is worth it.”
In a modern legal context, the transferring of the sovereignty of Australia from the Indigenous people seems even more criminal, writes Peter Kemp.
Did you grow up on the site of a massacre?
On May 14, 1948, Israel declared its independence. Each May 15, Palestinians solemnly commemorate Nakba Day. Nakba means catastrophe, and that’s precisely what Israel’s independence has been for the more than 700,000 Arabs and their five million refugee descendants forced from their homes and into exile, often by horrific violence, to make way for the Jewish state.
Supporters of Israel among Britain’s ruling elite tend to recite mantras about the two nations sharing the same values.
If theft and plunder were regarded as values, the mantras would have a ring of truth to them.
Expecting full honesty and transparency from Theresa May’s government would, however, not be realistic. So it comes as little surprise that one of her cabinet colleagues has wished Israel a happy 70th birthday, while trumpeting its commitment to “justice, compassion, tolerance.”
The greeting – from Gavin Williamson, Britain’s defense secretary – was delivered at a time when unarmed protesters were being massacred in Gaza.
Britain’s ruling elites have never atoned for their role in enabling the 1948 dispossession of Palestinians. Rather, they have prolonged and exacerbated the suffering of Palestinians, while pretending to believe in justice.
“Cannabis has hit the headlines recently due to legalisation in many States across the US, however, prior to the legalisation, it was only illegal for a few short decades and was prescribed in many western countries up until the 1970s.” That triggered a huge Global Criminal Industry bigger than Prohibition. ( OD )
Israel, which has supplied numerous despotic regimes with advanced weaponry, is now helping the Rwandan government rewrite the narrative of the 1994 genocide. So much for the lessons of the Holocaust.
January 26, 1788, the day the British Empire jacked an entire continent; the day that marks the beginning of a 230-year reign of terror on the Indigenous peoples of this land we call Australia, which continues to this day.
Like most of Trump’s pronouncements, this was boilerplate projection. If anything is full of lies, it is the president himself. As The Washington Post documented back in November, Trump had made 1,628 “false or misleading claims” in less than 300 days in office ― for an astonishing average of 5.5 false statements a day. That pace has not abated.
“We have to be their check on power,” declares Post editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks), as he argues the case for printing the story with publisher Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep) while she wrestles with the possibility of losing her business and winding up in prison in the process. “We have to hold them accountable. If we don’t, who will?”
“In the absence of the governmental checks and balances present in other areas of our national life, the only effective restraint upon executive policy and power in the areas of national defence and international affairs may lie in an enlightened citizenry – in an informed and critical public opinion which alone can here protect the values of democratic government,” he wrote. “For this reason, it is perhaps here that a press that is alert, aware, and free most vitally serves the basic purpose of the first amendment. For, without an informed and free press, there cannot be an enlightened people.”
However then came Murdoch and Fox News and now Sinclair
Jere Van Dyk has reported on Afghanistan since the 1970s and has written extensively about the nation’s evolution from a hippie haven to a battleground for the war on terror. His most recent book is The Trade: My Journey into the Labyrinth of Political Kidnapping, which details his search for answers after being kidnapped by the Taliban in 2008. Van Dyk talks about his years in a surprisingly progressive Afghanistan in the early 1970s and the United States’ funding of the mujahideen in the 1970s and 1980s with the hopes of turning Afghanistan into the Soviet Union’s Vietnam. He also discusses harrowing experience of being held captive by the Taliban and explains why he returned to the country years later in spite of great personal risk.