Tag: Informed Comment

160 mn. Fell into Poverty during Pandemic as 10 Wealthiest Men doubled Wealth to $1.5 Trillion (Oxfam)

The charitable organization Oxfam reports this week that 160 million people fell into poverty during the past two years of pandemic, while the richest 10 men in the world doubled their wealth from $700 billion to $1.5 trillion. The authors of the report argued that this is not simply a matter of wealth inequality, but that the extreme wealth of the few is actually killing the poor. The United Nations defines poverty as living on less than about $2 a day and suffering from “hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion, as well as the lack of participation in decision-making.” Here are some of Oxfam’s findings by the numbers:

Source: 160 mn. Fell into Poverty during Pandemic as 10 Wealthiest Men doubled Wealth to $1.5 Trillion (Oxfam)

“Biggest cyber breach in history” as techs scramble to be heard above Omicron din – Michael West Media

Log4j, hacking, internet, cyber sescurity

Morrison spends $3.5B on tanks to keep us “safe” Ho Ho!

Australian governments and businesses have been warned they face their greatest hacking threat yet, Apache Log4j. John Stapleton reports on Australian Cyber Security Centre warnings of possible widespread systems failure.

Source: “Biggest cyber breach in history” as techs scramble to be heard above Omicron din – Michael West Media

Angus Taylor makes no sense – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Righto. Angus is on the job. Except … Australia’s largest producer of urea, Incitec Pivot, told the stock exchange last month it plans to close its main urea plant in Brisbane’s Gibson Island by the end of next year. The facility had been unable to secure “an economically viable long-term gas supply.” Paradoxically, Australia’s Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources said in its Resources and Energy Quarterly released June 28 that the global LNG market is likely to be marked by a surplus of supply over the next couple of years, which will place downward pressure on prices. “Given the large-scale expansion of global LNG capacity in recent years, import demand is expected to remain short of export capacity throughout the outlook period,” the report said. Then I read in the New York Times … Tanker ships carrying liquefied natural gas from exporters like the United States, Qatar and Australia have been steaming toward China and Brazil, drawn by higher prices.

Source: Angus Taylor makes no sense – » The Australian Independent Media Network

James McGrath’s crusade against the ABC – » The Australian Independent Media Network

How simple is simple. How easy to read between the lines. The UK’s BBC  holds up, with pride, their “misinformation department” the department Senator McGrath would label dangerous, biased and unnecessary because Murdoch and paid to comment media are sufficient. A “Misinformation Dept” in a public broadcaster would make him so transparent he’d simply disappear.

With a leader like ScaMo running the ship, the LNP’s biggest fear is the ABC installing “a misinformation department” before the next election and turning the lights on his efforts to diminish our democracy. The pillars of which are the universal franchisement of all citizens, their right to vote being interfered with by racing through new Voter ID laws to supress not free up voting. Their unexpressed dream to get rid of compulsory voting and the ABC the public’s auditor. McGrath and the LNP prefer to tear down the Aussie Democratic house rather than lose. However accepting loss is the linch pin the foundation of a Democracy. It’s the agreement made before  and on why we even have and elections.

When Queensland Senator James McGrath gave his first speech in parliament, he made his intentions very clear – this culture warrior was on a mission to destroy the ABC. “While the ABC continues to represent only inner-city leftist views, and funded by our taxes, it is in danger of losing its social licence to operate. I am calling for a review of the ABC’s charter. And if they fail to make inroads to restore balance, then the ABC should be sold and replaced by a regional and rural broadcasting service. In the meantime, Triple J, because of its demographic dominance and clear ability to stand on its own, should be immediately sold.”

“These are the people that are supposed to be the high-calibre Liberals. If this is the high-calibre Liberals I’d hate to go to a Liberal party branch in Queensland and see the low-lifes in operation.” (Doug Cameron)

Source: James McGrath’s crusade against the ABC – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Episode 64: QAnon protests in Victoria; “If 10 people are found having dinner with a Nazi you have 11 Nazis having dinned”

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https://theweekonwednesday.podbean.com/e/episode-64-qanon-protests-in-victoria-morrison-s-2022-election-re-run-of-2004-strollout-is-the-word-of-the-year-and-good-news/

Regional grants: the pork is succulent in super-safe seats – Michael West Media

”Magic” Mark Coulton and ”Not a little but a lot” David Littleproud have shown rare abilities in raiding the pork barrel. In the second part of his series, Jommy Tee examines the largesse being showered on two Coalition electorates as a result of substantial political interference.

Source: Regional grants: the pork is succulent in super-safe seats – Michael West Media

2021 was a bad year for glaciers in western North America — and it’s about to get much worse

In particular, glacier mass loss over the past two decades in western North America has accelerated, with losses in the past decade that were four times greater than the decade before. This acceleration coincides with warm, dry conditions over some of the region’s largest icefields, namely those in the Southern Coast Mountains of British Columbia.

Source: 2021 was a bad year for glaciers in western North America — and it’s about to get much worse

Using water wisely, Barnaby? Or another dicey deal in the pipeline? – Michael West Media

Arm End Golf Course, Barnaby Joyce

Barnaby Joyce has dipped into a water infrastructure fund to grant $5 million to a company well-connected with Tasmania’s Liberal Party elite so they can build a 7km pipeline under Hobart’s Derwent River to water a newly planned, privately owned golf course, reports Callum Foote.

Source: Using water wisely, Barnaby? Or another dicey deal in the pipeline? – Michael West Media

The CIA, Empty Assurances and Assange’s Defence – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The High Court justices will now consider whether to continue this lamentable, sadistic enterprise. The defence team are considering cross-appealing parts of the original decision on the grounds that it constitutes a grave threat to press liberties. Whatever the outcome, an appeal to the Supreme Court is likely. In the meantime, the torture of Assange by process will continue.

The CIA, Empty Assurances and Assange’s Defence – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Opinion | Assange: A Threat to War Itself | Robert C. Koehler

assange

By penetrating the realities of war and pulling it out of its carefully orchestrated public context, by publicizing its raw horrors, he became a danger to the country’s political status quo.

Source: Opinion | Assange: A Threat to War Itself | Robert C. Koehler

Malice in Blunderland – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Framing an anti-corruption body as the bad guys is Orange Donnie-level gaslighting. The capo dei capi of the most corrupt federal government in our history is cashing in on the martydom of St Gladys d’Berejiklian, seeing a chance to sell his omertà as a virtue. Gladdy, his “very good friend“*, had been persecuted by ICAC, she was a victim – he would not be distracted from his good works by such unjust scrutiny. *not his very good friend Ever the opportunist who trades on punching down Smirko shortly thereafter took a populist dig at social media with some performative outrage at anonymous trolls, some of whom besmirch the reputations of the alleged rapists, the sex pests and stalkers, the sousers and spivs whose presence he relies upon to stay in power.

Smirko’s been selling farts as rainbows since his brief gig as a child actor. In spruiking NSW’s rampant Delta outbreak as the gold standard that is leading the way out of the pandemic he’s betting the house that the born-every-minute schmucks are as thick as the curtains in a ground floor bordello and that they outnumber those voters with either a conscience or a functioning cerebrum. The problem is that he may be right – the gushing over St Gladys has no doubt chuffed the PMO’s Goebbels-Riefenstahlists and their RWNJ pamphleteer chums from the Murdoch sewers.

Source: Malice in Blunderland – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Paul Bongiorno: Scott Morrison’s credibility torpedoed by the French

Scott Morrison’s three ring circus last week unveiling an awkwardly named pact with the United States and Britain, at the expense of France, isn’t looking quite like the winner he had hoped. The greatest collateral damage of AUKUS is to the Prime Minister’s personal credibility.

Source: Paul Bongiorno: Scott Morrison’s credibility torpedoed by the French

Old Dog Thought-Biden’s ” little mate down under” has handed the Pacific over to an Anglo/American industrial-military trade deal and said FU EU and Asia

A US nuclear submarine in the water

Fighting Fake News with REAL 16/9/21; Morrison has handed the Pacific over for an Anglo/American Industrial Military bag of beans for which we will pay, News Corp the new Climate Change crusader. An Informed Comment, The world of alternative facts

‘The Economist’ Notices the Climate | The Smirking Chimp

Where’s the moral rejection, the shaming and the shunning, of the greed of its richest readers, a lust for money that will truncate the natural lives of most living souls, save only the geriatric few like Charles Koch? (Though I fervently wish him the opposite, Koch will probably die long before his sins can be visited on him. Live long, Charles Koch. I don’t trust the afterlife to serve you the treat you deserve.) It’s as if the Economist has decided to point out the soon-to-come wreck of the ship it’s sailing on, while neither getting off nor working its best to change course.

Source: ‘The Economist’ Notices the Climate | The Smirking Chimp

Afghan-Led Coalition Gives Biden Admin a Blueprint to ‘Prevent Further Harm’ to People of Afghanistan | Common Dreams News

Afghans make their way to the military entrance of the airport for evacuations in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 19, 2021. (Photo: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

How much did the Australian Government spend in 2020 assisting the occupation of Afghanistan?

According to a recent analysis by Lindsay Koshgarian of the National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, the U.S. could cover initial resettlement costs for 1.2 million refugees with the $18.6 billion the Pentagon budgeted for the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan in 2020 alone.

Source: Afghan-Led Coalition Gives Biden Admin a Blueprint to ‘Prevent Further Harm’ to People of Afghanistan | Common Dreams News

Why alternative truths? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

These ten factors contribute to the ongoing undermining of truth in society. We often seek simplistic answers to complex questions. Too many of us will not spend the time reading and examining the nuance and subtleties of issues. (Especially when they can be breezed over in a five-minute video.)

Source: Why alternative truths? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

“If Killing People Would Win This, We’d Have Won a Long Time Ago” | Washington Monthly

Israel sees killing as its most effective strategy to peace and stable government. Simply make 20% of its citizens second class and brutalize the rest. What lessons have the learned?

Yet killing, the application of lethal force, remained the central strategy in America’s 20-year campaign to create a stable government in Afghanistan. Why?

Source: “If Killing People Would Win This, We’d Have Won a Long Time Ago” | Washington Monthly

Media inequality: Labor is on an uneven playing field

The mainstream media has made progress difficult for Labor in its biased favouritism towards Liberal Party policies, writes Dr Victoria Fielding. THE MOST SAVAGE form of media inequality in Australian political reporting is the tired trope that the Labor Party are bad economic managers. Like all such tropes, its foundation is not only mythical, not backed up by facts, but rather underpinned by deeply held ideological assumptions by journalists that fan the flames of similar assumptions amongst voters. This media inequality – a form of structural media bias – leads the Labor Party to be framed as economically illiterate and a danger to economic growth every time they suggest even spending a cent. At the same time, the Liberal Party can spend as much as they like and that spending is characterised as good for the economy.

Source: Media inequality: Labor is on an uneven playing field

GG Picking his Spots Oblivious to the Crisis in His Own Backyard – These Common Threads of Office – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The GG Buffoon is a do-nothing Liberal backer and military general hand-picked by the Prime Minister, and unlike a predecessor 46 years ago who turned on Gough Whitlam for far, far less – then, there was no crisis in the population, no monoliths of government corruption, no gross government incompetence, and no threat to the people they governed, but a progressive and popular Labor government. Today we have all these serious constitutional transgressions and existential threats and this GG buffoon sits on his arse installing more corrupt politicians like cowboy beetroot water-rort Barnaby Joyce and sports-rort lying cowgirl Bridget McKenzie.

Source: GG Picking his Spots Oblivious to the Crisis in His Own Backyard – These Common Threads of Office – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Just who is this man named Morrison that he needs Murdoch’s defence? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Soon all his marveled PR will be shot on green screen as he won’t be allowed out in public

Who is this man who would have you believe that he is God’s gift to all that bothers us? Has the nation finally woken to his lack of leadership, his character and his lying? Can he keep up this façade of broken promises and false credibility?

Source: Just who is this man named Morrison that he needs Murdoch’s defence? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

AFL legend Gilbert McAdam calls out Andrew Bolt over Stolen Generations | NITV

Former St Kilda great Gilbert McAdam has revealed that he offered columnist Andrew Bolt a chance to listen to his father’s story of being stolen.Bolt has continually used his platform to question the validity of the Stolen Generations, going as far as describing them as ‘preposterous and obscene’.Speaking on NITV’s Yokayi Footy, McAdam spoke about his family’s personal experience. “My dad is Stolen Generation… He got taken away cause he had white (skin),” he told fellow panelists.

Source: AFL legend Gilbert McAdam calls out Andrew Bolt over Stolen Generations | NITV

Governments back privileged in education, public schools bear burden – Michael West

school funding and disadvantage

Nearly half of students at public schools are considered disadvantaged – either living remotely, with a disability, having an Indigenous background or from a low socio-economic background – compared to just 20 per cent at private schools, yet private schools receive far more government funding. Trevor Cobbold reports.

Source: Governments back privileged in education, public schools bear burden – Michael West

Guess what? The Trump coup against American democracy never stopped | Salon.com

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I would like to share a public secret: Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s coup attempt was not defeated on Jan. 6. The war against American democracy continues — and is gaining momentum. All one has to do is take off one’s blinders to see it. Unfortunately, too many Americans, including the Democratic Party’s leadership, the professional smart people and other members of the country’s mainstream media and chattering class, have waited for months to acknowledge what has been happening in plain sight. Republicans have rejected any independent investigation into the events of Jan. 6. Why? Because they feel implicated, explicitly or otherwise, in supporting and collaborating with Trump’s coup attempt and the assault on the U.S. Capitol. By rejecting any efforts to properly investigate those events, Republicans are also giving permission and encouragement for similar acts of right-wing political violence and terrorism in the future. Instead of being cowed by President Biden’s victory and the events of Jan. 6, the Republican Party and Trump’s larger neofascist movement have only been further empowered in their campaign to end America’s multiracial democracy.

Source: Guess what? The Trump coup against American democracy never stopped | Salon.com

Seven ways the Coalition’s 2021 budget is blue — not pink

Lastly, while this Budget makes extra-legal assistance available for victims of domestic violence, they will need it, since, in a move condemned by judges and legal experts, the Family Court was abolished earlier this year. This Budget, unlike previous ones, recognises that women exist and appears to target them for special small relief measures that may be afforded other minority groups. Except, as Helen Dally Fisher from the Equality Rights Alliance points out, “…Women aren’t a special interest group, we are more than half the population”. This type of fiscal approach, then, intended to address the systemic inequality long-endured by the majority sex, is tokenism at best.

Source: Seven ways the Coalition’s 2021 budget is blue — not pink

There’s Nothing Complicated About What’s Happening in Palestine

We should be absolutely clear about what’s going on in Jerusalem: one of the most militarized nations in the world, Israel, is carrying out its brutal occupation using racist violence and ethnic cleansing.

Source: There’s Nothing Complicated About What’s Happening in Palestine

Alan Kohler: The Coalition’s (sort of) conversion to debt and deficits

The budget measures for 2022-23 announced on budget night total $24.7 billion, half of which is the extension of full expensing for small business ($10.9 billion) and the loss carry-back extension ($3.2 billion). The other big-ticket item in that year is aged care ($4.6 billion). So, 185 per cent of the estimated improvement in the bottom line for 2022-23 was budgeted to be spent in the budget. Exactly the same goes for 2023-24: The pre-budget improvement in the deficit would have been $15.8 billion; measures announced on Tuesday – $29.3 billion, or 185 per cent of the gain. In other words, the Coalition has had a conversion towards spending money and accepting deficits, but mainly in two and three years’ time. By the way, there’s an interesting increase in the mysterious item called “decisions taken but not yet announced”, which I’ve always taken to mean “secret war chest”. It’s gone from $6.6 billion over four years to $10.3 billion. There must be an election coming.

Source: Alan Kohler: The Coalition’s (sort of) conversion to debt and deficits

Scott Morrison Knows Someone Who Can Change The World! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

‘Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’ ‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat. ‘I don’t much care where -‘ said Alice. ‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat. ‘- so long as I get SOMEWHERE,’ Alice added as an explanation. ‘Oh, you’re sure to do that,’ said the Cat, ‘if you only walk long enough.” – Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland / Through the Looking-Glass Ok, consider this: your friend, Jane tells you about her new relationship. “It’s the real thing but we’re not ready to move in together or anything. We both want to lead independent lives.” Fair enough you think, but when you meet her again a few months later and ask how it’s going, she tells you that they’ve been talking about living together but there’s no rush. After a few years of this, she eventually tells you that moving in together isn’t all that important, but Scott is inching his way towards a commitment because he told her that a formal arrangement wasn’t necessary; the important thing is the relationship itself which is better than most people’s, and she’s sure that he’ll be happy to make some sort

Source: Scott Morrison Knows Someone Who Can Change The World! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Time to see Trump as a normal politician: grubby, grasping, corrupt and banal | Salon.com

Time to see Trump as a normal politician: grubby, grasping, corrupt and banal | Salon.com
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Trump didn’t drain the swamp. He filled it up and fleeced it. This is what ordinary, corrupt, greedy politicians do. They come up with ways to use the business of politics to fill their own pockets. Trump was never a good businessman. He wasn’t a good politician either. He was always just a cheap crook like the rest of them.

Time to see Trump as a normal politician: grubby, grasping, corrupt and banal | Salon.com

Just Don’t Try To Make Sense And Accept That The Liberals Can Flip Position Without Anyone Noticing! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

This loosely is how the Google/Australian media controversy has gone. If I use Google to look up Scott Morrison to see whether he’s announced that he’s taking another break and I’m directed to an article by newspaper that doesn’t have a paywall, then they’ll be relying on advertising from the traffic that goes to their site in order to make money. Why they’d argue that Google should be forced to pay, I can’t work out. It would be different if Google was plagiarising the articles or breaching their copyright, but if the media companies aren’t happy with this arrangement, then they can put all their articles behind a paywall.

Just Don’t Try To Make Sense And Accept That The Liberals Can Flip Position Without Anyone Noticing! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

No, the Nazis Were Not Socialists

The idea that the Nazis were socialists is transparently absurd. Unfortunately, it’s also an idea that prominent figures on the Right like Sen. Rand Paul have taken up. So let’s all say it together now: no, the Nazis were not socialists. They were, in fact, committed anti-socialists.

No, the Nazis Were Not Socialists

Less than 8 Weeks to Save our Democracy from a Grotesque, Bigoted, illiterate Game Show Host and Real Estate Grifter

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In 2016, thanks largely to the antiquated, nonsensical design of its creaky electoral system, the U.S. presidency was awarded to a candidate who lost the election by nearly 3 million votes to his opponent. This elderly man, a functionally illiterate game show host and petty real estate grifter with an unbroken, lifelong trail of stiffed creditors, unpaid workers, disastrous bankruptcies, acrimonious divorces and criminal allegations, oozes at every moment a grotesque, seething and conspiracy-laced resentment against women, minorities, immigrants and what he nearly always calls “the Democrat Party.” He pours this toxic ensemble into a cocktail shaker with empty embarrassing braggadocio, adding in equal portions of a genuinely bottomless ability to lie shamelessly and an all-around lack of even the most rudimentary ability to head the executive branch of the most powerful country in the world. The resulting concoction has been force-fed to us for nearly four years now. It is the worst drink I’ve ever had.

Less than 8 Weeks to Save our Democracy from a Grotesque, Bigoted, illiterate Game Show Host and Real Estate Grifter

New forms of terrorism inspired by conspiracy theories may emerge after pandemic, warns EU counter-terror chief | The Independent | Independent

Two men at the Unite for Freedom protest in Trafalgar Square on 29 August 2020

New forms of terrorism rooted in conspiracy theories could emerge after the coronavirus pandemic, the EU’s terror chief has warned.

New forms of terrorism inspired by conspiracy theories may emerge after pandemic, warns EU counter-terror chief | The Independent | Independent

Morrison Promises Free Rides For All Once Unicorn Is Genetically Engineered! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Ok, I’ve realised that it’s not even worth commenting any more. I mean there are only three sorts of people in the world: Those who are already aware that Morrison is all about the announcement and the details can be worked out later, but they almost certainly won’t be because the devil is in the detail and he definitely doesn’t want to go round releasing the devil. Those who believe Scotty and, incidentally, are buying shares in my unicorn which is a certainty for the Melbourne Cup because unicorns can fly, and finally, Those with a vested interest in seeing Morrison succeed.

Morrison Promises Free Rides For All Once Unicorn Is Genetically Engineered! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Cardinal George Pell and the Victims of Child Sexual Abuse in Victoria. – CounterPunch.org

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Pell’s offending against the surviving boy (Witness J) goes back to the 1990s. At his trial at the end of 2018, the judge advised the jury that, if they believed the victim, they must convict. After they did, a suppression order restricted reporting on Pell. But his intimidatory, bullying manners are recorded. While his defence before the High Court stressed the unreasonableness of his alleged behaviour in the busy Sunday sacristy, it is possible that such normalities could have been outweighed by his “staggering arrogance” and ‘sense of impunity’. The times are different, in Australia as in Ireland. The quest for justice is strengthened by the Commission’s findings.

via Cardinal George Pell and the Victims of Child Sexual Abuse in Victoria. – CounterPunch.org

Scrap submarines project before it’s too late says former public service boss – Michael West

LNP Economic Management

In addition to some very serious problems with progress with the SEA 1000 program, there are some more fundamental questions to be addressed in the longer term. The first of these is whether the Attack class will embody the technologies required to be successful in its operations in the mid-2030s and beyond. In other words, will it be fit for purpose? An associated question is around the submarine’s cost effectiveness. The escalating cost of this acquisition means that the opportunity cost is also going up. With the submarines being designed mainly for joint operations with the US Navy, there are also significant risks in the future around whether a continuing US presence can be assumed.

via Scrap submarines project before it’s too late says former public service boss – Michael West

Surprise: Trump himself is the Deep State

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Just as we had gotten used to the fact that the president is, in effect, under congressional indictment, just as we had settled into a more or less stable stalemate over when (and if) the Senate will hold an impeachment trial, the president shook the snow globe again, by ordering the assassination of foreign military officials and threatening the destruction of Iran’s cultural sites. Nothing better than the promise of new war crimes to take the world’s attention away from a little thing like extorting a U.S. ally to help oneself get reelected.

via Surprise: Trump himself is the Deep State

The Real Reason Trump Assassinated Qassem Soleimani

Kashmiri Shiite Muslims protest following a U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

With the release by JustSecurity.org of unredacted emails on the Ukraine scandal showing that Trump personally (and illegally) withheld congressionally mandated military aid to an ally, the Republican defense of the president is collapsing. Some GOP senators such as Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski seem to be weakening on calling witnesses and subpoenaing records for the Senate trial, and the Democrats only need four Republican senators to ensure a proper proceeding, which would certainly put Trump’s presidency in peril.

It is extremely suspicious that Trump has abruptly begun trafficking in the sanguinary merchandise of all-out war just at this moment when his throne is on the brink of toppling.

via The Real Reason Trump Assassinated Qassem Soleimani