The invoking of Religion in a Multicultural Democracy (ODT)
The invoking of Religion in a Multicultural Democracy (ODT)
When Politics gets in the way of rationality (ODT)
It goes to show just how American we have become. (ODT)
Marles refused even to offer a position on the inherent desirability of new coal-fired power stations, leaving Anthony Albanese to clean it up the next day by saying “I don’t think there’s a place for coal-fired power plants in Australia, full stop”. Now we learn of a group of some 20 pro-coal Labor MPs (including nine frontbenchers), calling themselves the OTIS group, meeting in secret without Albanese and with the aim of bringing Labor to a more coal-friendly position.
Whether this is merely an informal gathering or a more concerted lobbying attempt, it underscores Labor’s limitations on climate politics. This is a fifth of the party who probably see far greater political peril for Labor in distancing itself from coal than in making peace with it.
Coal-fired generation in the EU declined by a quarter, helped by a drop in gas prices and higher carbon costs under the EU’s emission trading system.
Super giants funnel billions into fossil fuels, vote down climate push
So, politically, what exactly has this summer changed? The Coalition is still split on the issue, meaning that a serious climate policy is not an option because it will tear the government apart from within. Meanwhile, it’s unclear precisely where the current policy vacuum will hurt them electorally.
And Labor seems to agree enough with that assessment to continue to be spooked by the damage it sustained last year in coal-mining seats. It’s worth monitoring how this evolves from here, because right now, the signs are that this is the summer that changed everything in politics, except what really counts.
Any notion of power for the Common Good has been tossed. (ODT)
The cynical logic goes like this: it’s in the country’s interest that you stay in power, so any means to achieve that end is justified
“We need a serious debate in this country on issues,” Sanders said. “We don’t need to demonize people who may disagree with us. … I appeal to my supporters: Please, engage in civil discourse.” He pointed out (rightly) that “we’re not the only campaign that does it. Other people act that way as well.” But he added, “I would appeal to everybody: Have a debate on the issues. We can disagree with each other without being disagreeable, without being hateful.”
A path well travelled by Mussolini, Hitler, Pinochet, Franco, Netanyahu, the de-democratisation of Democracy not by ideology but a pragmatic grab for power & wealth by a single-minded Party of self-interested gangsters with only 30% support of the nation.(ODT)
Instead it delights in thumbing its nose at democracy and transparency; turning its back on expert advice.
Above all, as the Liberal Forum annual gathering at Kevin McCann’s pad in Mosman last week so powerfully attests this is a government that has betrayed any ideals it may once have had in favour of Machiavellian pragmatism to keep itself in power for power’s sake and to serve the interests of its powerful corporate backers. It is not just a degenerate form of its earlier self; it is in a dangerously dysfunctional state of decay.
While Pelosi and House Democrats are trying to do the work of the people and keep the nation moving forward into the 21st century, Trump and McConnell’s Republicans are trying to rocket us back to the 19th.
Even as Israel becomes chronically unable to form a government, the ‘Gaza consensus’ — the endless pounding of the strip into oblivion — persists. It could tip the scales in Netanyahu’s favor.
The population, science and business are all onside but the LNP isn’t(ODT)
We have truly lost our moral compass, following get-rich-quick cults and ignoring the needs of those who do not have a chance to ‘have a go’!
We waste food while the poor in other countries – and some in our own – are starving.
We have developed a throw-away economy where manufacturers build in obsolescence.
We pollute to the point that some fresh water sources are no longer suitable for consumption.
The rate of loss of species diversity is enormous. No surprise, when we recognise that humankind is the Earth’s most dangerous predator!
The clock is ticking ever closer to Doomsday, and all the wealth, in financial terms, which a few have accumulated, will not save them forever when the air and water are polluted and the temperatures soar out of control! They might end up living lonely lives in luxurious caves!
Government funding cuts and concentration on research that brings in money has not yet quite destroyed the CSIRO. We have plenty of sources of viable plans for action.
Howard declared it a crime to stop Australians waving or wearing the Australian flag. Morrison agreed. It was 2005 and a Patriotism and jingoistic nationalism enabled and encouraged ultra-right Nationalists to continue to wage war on migrants and Muslims after Cronulla. Howards Hitleresque response was to the Big Day Out banning the flag as it encouraged sectarian violence, arrogance and disrespect of Australia and who we were by White Nationalists and their ignorant camp followers. morrison saw it as a political advantage. (ODT)
Scott Morrison’s pledge to crack down on climate protesters is in part a deflection, a ruse to encourage climate change deniers by implying that there’s nothing wrong with building more coal-fired power station; it’s the “extremist, radical activists” who are out of line. And it’s a way of wedging Labor. Yet it would be wrong to see it merely as an act of bellicose posturing from a wannabe populist strong man.
Morrison’s past record suggests more than a hint of an authoritarian, if not autocratic, personality beneath the evasions, the secrecy and the cultivated, folksy veneer of the sport-loving, cap-wearing , beer-drinking suburban dad as populist leader.
Given the proliferation of national security laws which have hugely strengthened the power of the state, since 2011, moreover, we must challenge Morrison’s latest florid, rhetorical assault on democracy; resist all attempts at division and the silencing of dissent. Our future as a civil society; our freedom depends upon it.
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — As Rudy Giuliani was pushing Ukrainian officials last spring to investigate one of Donald Trump’s main political rivals, a group of individuals with ties to the president and his personal lawyer were also active in the former Soviet republic.
Their aims were profit, not politics. This circle of businessmen and Republican donors touted connections to Giuliani and Trump while trying to install new management at the top of Ukraine’s massive state gas company. Their plan was to then steer lucrative contracts to companies controlled by Trump allies, according to two people with knowledge of their plans.
Uhlmann’s arguments hardly do justice to the Age as it’s senior political editor reminding me of the 60’s cry of ” All the Way with LBJ”.
Yes, we might have politically different systems the CPA of China recognises that. However, it has nevertheless raised the tide in China for everyone so much, so poverty and starvation for 1.3 billion people is something relegated to the past. Kids from rural China can be educated and are today’s Teachers Doctors and Lawyers in Shanghai, sending money home. These kids have never seen anything less than a 6% GDP in their life, so why shouldn’t they love and be proud of their country. Nationalist demand we all be here. The tiny population of Hong Kong and Uyghurs are they worse off than Indigenous Australians or people in detention on Manus and Nauru? We stole children and never sent them back to their families. China isn’t doing that. Does Uhlmann a political editor really believe that in the current world atmosphere nobody hasn’t an interest to keep the HK demonstrations ongoing? They started over a single law about extradition, which was stopped. Who has the most to gain by making China look bad?
Uhlmann’s talks of China’s aggression it has one military post outside the country we have more than they do and our closest ally the US has 8oo in some 160 countries. Australia and China really have a defence system. America has a business a military-industrial complex which is central to its economy. If that business of war grinds to a halt, so does America. So to talk of China’s aggressive interests seems stupid and hardly thought out to me. Is Uhlmann a paid propagandist for Murdoch and Trump?
As for 400,000 Chinese students and the mass of Chinese tourists flooding the world today does that really look like the moves of an increasingly totalitarian government or a decreasing one. It seems to me Peter Dutton is fast removing freedoms of Australians and becoming more paranoid than China. The CPA knows what it has done that freedom is dangerous and they know they are an anachronism, but they are still providing their people increasing freedom and allowing their citizens to do business across the world without an army to back them as the Americans do. Meanwhile, poverty is growing here as is debt and savings are falling we, in fact, seem to be heading in the opposite direction handing the country to the control of our corporate mandarins.
Universities had the funding cut and were told shape up or ship out to raise their own funds and maintain affordable education for Australians. They didn’t volunteer to do it so yes the Chinese are revenue forced on them by largely the Howard government. How mismanaged is our tertiary education system? It’s as mismanaged as the Australian governments have forced them to be? Are these Foreign students expected to stay on as graduates Uhlmann seems to think so? No, they are meant to go home yet he expects their standard of English is meant to be as good as his. When Australian University staff can’t be guaranteed tenure, how can the teaching at any level be regarded as first class?
What we hear today is the drum that was beaten back in the 50’s ban the Communist Party, the dominoes are falling, They are stealing our ideas is the anything new Uhlmann, and Ch9 it seems is taking us backwards (ODT)
“Australia is at an inflection point. For the first time our major trading partner is not a liberal democracy and it is a strategic rival of our key ally. We need to have a serious debate and have a right to expect more of those who lead our academic institutions.”
Your NEUTERED your a PUBLIC SERVANT you can’t join a UNION? (ODT)
Having a public service where employees are denied a platform for expressing political opinions makes for a poorer public service and distinctly poorer policy. To regard public servants as apolitical is tantamount to seeing them as amoral, executing the policies of the day with blind obedience. Precedents of history demonstrate how dangerous that path can be.
Just Cloning Around (OTD)
Much has been written about Andrew Hastie’s idiotic comments this week comparing the rise of China to that of Nazi Germany. Having James Patterson come out in support just added to the Nazi theme with his unnerving likeness to the stereotypical Hitler Youth image.
Tony thinks Jesus is still top dog, backed up by the military might of the English-speaking Judeo-Christian Western world crusaders.
Scott Morrison’s foray into the matter was not helpful when he relegated China to “customer” status.
And they wonder why our relationship with China is at an “all-time low”.
Few of our politicians (and this would be true in many countries) have an in-depth understanding of science, and in Australia, under Tony Abbott, we even abolished our Science Department!
IN RECENT MONTHS, many questions have been raised over the degree of influence Australia’s media corporations are having on the day-to-day lives of Australians.
The latest Federal Election makes it clear that Rupert Murdoch remains powerful.
He and his News Corp entities have had an enormous grip on much of the news media, particularly in print and online formats, which we consume daily.
When joined by Australia’s television juggernauts Seven, Ten, Nine and Win, and radio broadcasting giant Macquarie group, it becomes increasingly alarming as to the lack of diversity displayed across Australia’s media landscape.
It would seem Johnson isn’t his own man (ODT)
Sky cancelled a debate between Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson after Mr Johnson declined to take part
Mr Johnson has a 79 per cent implied probability of winning the top job, down from 92 per cent last week
Mr Johnson has repeated that he would lead the United Kingdom out of the EU on October 31 with or without a deal
Difficult to pin down when this narrative actually began, but for argument’s sake I’ll posit its start with the recent Australian Federal Election and the plethora of fake news trumpeting a Labor victory.
A successive run of negative polls published over at least two years, pointed to this mythical Labor win.
Indeed, dire poll numbers prompted Malcolm Turnbull’s putsch, which lead to the demise of Tony Abbott and ultimately the triumph of Scott Morrison.
The script suggested a brave new Shorten Labor Government replete with the sparkling post-modern trappings of a new Whitlam/Hawke/Keating imperium.
But the thumping hangover of this self-inflicted delusion is made worse by recent raids on the ABC and a News Corp journalist, both aided and abetted by the home-grown master of the dark art of fake news, the Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton.
If as I do, you believe that Jesus was the world’s first socialist then you would find it extremely difficult to accept the Pentecostal/charismatic church’s adoption of conservative political and social values.
In particular its adherence to “prosperity theology“, which links any scripture that suggests that God wants the very best financial success for his followers to you personally.
The Prime Minister will be taking a great risk if he chooses to unite his Christian beliefs with his political philosophy. Australians have never liked “Bible Bashers.”
My thought for the day
When asked as to my belief or otherwise in religion, or indeed my tendency toward a continuous search for truth. I can only say that I am in a perpetual state of observation which is the very basis of science or fact.
As the latest round of fighting in Gaza and southern Israel died down, it became clear that keeping Hamas in power has become a central tenet of the Israeli right.
Democrats have voiced frustration with Barr’s handling of the report, suggesting the attorney general’s actions were designed to protect the president.
Barr has on multiple occasions characterized the report in ways that appeared to absolve Trump of wrongdoing, even though a redacted version of the Mueller report released on 18 April showed nearly a dozen instances in which the president or his campaign sought to obstruct justice.
In contrast with the United States, among constraints on a balanced discussion in Australia of the Arab-Israel issue is that liberal Jewish voices in Australia are barely heard. This inevitably skews the public debate in favour of an Israel “right or wrong” position and in turn, leaves non-Jewish writers about the Middle East exposed.
In an interview with the Jerusalem Post, Leibler alluded to contrasts between American and Australian Jewry in attitudes to Israel, in which the Australian version is more accepting, less critical, of Israel’s actions.
“Leibler noted that among Australia’s 120,000-strong Jewish community, unlike in the United States, differences people may have with the policies of the Israeli government … have not ‘developed into fundamental shifts in the relationship between Australian Jewry and Israel’,” the Jerusalem Post reported.
At this point, I should declare a personal interest. In 1984 I went to the Middle East as correspondent for Fairfax newspapers and the Financial Times.
In 10 years as Middle East correspondent my beat included Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.
During those years, I observed the spread, day-by-day, week-by-week, month-by-month, of Jewish settlements on land occupied in the 1967 war. In the half century since the Six Day War, 400,000 settlers have, for want of a better word, colonised sections of the West Bank.
There is no fineness of oppression. We become the words we use. One small lie inevitably must be paid for with another larger lie, and that with more again. To rob one human of freedom demands that we must rob another, or the crime becomes too obvious. That is why to falsely imprison one human for no crime is a scandal while to kidnap and falsely imprison thousands for no crime is called a national necessity.
This was, and always was only about the basest electoral politics, playing to a racist idea of Australia, that over 20 years, gave cover and then legitimacy to increasingly dangerous and murderous groups in our society.
Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – The dishonest smearing of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) by the Rupert Murdoch press,including the New York Post and Fox Cable News, on which the despicable Trump piled on, contains more ironies than her defenders for the most par realize.
Omar spoke at the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) in March, saying, “Far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen, and frankly, I’m tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it . . . CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”
She is right. The 9/11 terrorist operation that killed nearly 3,000 Americans was the work of a small fringe extremist group, consisting of only a few thousand vigilante guerrillas out of a world-wide Muslim population of 1.8 billion.
Now that Brexit is indisputably established as one of the most monumentally stupid pieces of self-inflicted injury by a developed nation this century, other nations are learning key lessons from its mistakes.
The concept behind Britain’s decision to leave the European Union was that it would recover its sovereignty. On the day that Britons voted by 52 per cent to 48 in favour, its main cheerleader, Nigel Farage, declared it “independence day”. That was nearly three years ago.
My thought for the day
The left of politics is concerned with people who cannot help themselves. The right is concerned with those who can.
The more politicians lie to us, the more they think advertising replaces substantive debate, the more they rely on talking points rather than considered informed opinion, the more they use their position to reward their mates, the less relevant they become.
Scott Morrison can say until he is blue in the face that we will meet our emissions reduction targets but we can actually look up the facts for ourselves.
Tony Abbott can keep spinning on his arse doing the Paris hokey pokey – no-one is listening to him.
Matt Canavan and George Christensen can pray for more coal-fired power stations but no-one will put up the money.
Peter Dutton can cry wolf till he is hoarse but the citizens of Melbourne continue to enjoy its culinary delights.
The “better economic managers” myth is a persistent one but how long can they even hang onto that when we are in a per capita recession because of stagnant wage growth and increasing cost of living? I know company profits are high, but companies don’t vote.
Trade unions are habitually attacked because we can’t have the workers having a voice about the value of their labour. Groups like GetUp! and Greenpeace are likewise vilified. They seem to fear ordinary people having a say.
But our children have had enough. Girls are fleeing the oppression in Saudi Arabia. Schoolchildren in America are fighting for gun laws. They are bemused by the intolerance of some adults to diversity. And around the world, children will march tomorrow to demand that we put the health of the planet before profit.
More power to their arm. Politics is not confined to the Canberra bubble boys much as you may have fought to keep it that way.
We are people hear us roar
In numbers too big to ignore
Cause we know too much to go back and pretend.
Abbott told his interlocutor David Speers, because Angus Taylor was now the energy minister, and presumably is not in the grip of EO™.
Good man, Angus.
What is unclear though, is how Angus being a good man with EO™ immunity makes the Paris target any less than it was when Abbott signed up to it, recanted, then clambered back on board it again – but this way lies madness.
Instead of getting frustrated with a performance that could be fairly categorised perhaps as the last stand of the political opportunist, perhaps we should just look on the bright side and celebrate the backflip on the backflip.
Friday’s about face from Abbott shows that political pressure does have an impact.
You may have noticed that the word socialist and its related terms are tossed around a lot as political insults. Typically, the right-wing does this to place their opponents in a political phylum for ease of dismissal. They make no attempt to engage with the actual arguments of their opponents. The mere application of a label is supposed to make them go away. Such a tactic is, of course, a red herring. A shiny thing designed to distract from the actual issue.
The reality is that politicians do not actually hate socialism. In reality, they hate socialism for the wrong people. Socialism itself is not the problem, it is the recipients.
There is never any talk of cutting politicians’ pensions or pay. There is never talk of ending corporate subsidies in an allegedly capitalist system. The idea of ‘how will we pay for this?’ is only ever applied to social programmes such as medicare (and its counterpart in the US Medicare4All) but never to corporate subsidies or the military or any other corporate or rich priority. For those sectors of society, the treasury is their plaything. But when it comes to social programmes for the peasants (even if that term is never used) suddenly politicians evolve into deficit hawks. This hypocrisy must stop.
Australia, what happened to you? How did we become so cruel and hardhearted?
Earlier in the show, when McNeil and Qunun are holed up in Qunun’s barricaded Bangkok airport hotel room – after Thai officials have cancelled her visa to force her home to what she claims is certain death from her family – she finds that her Australian Immigration profile account is strangely shut down.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, Immigration Minister David Coleman and Border Force have very serious allegations to answer in relation to this. Unsurprisingly, they did not respond to requests for answers.
But they need to.
Things have become so downright psychopathic in Australia’s border protection regime that we are now in extremis in breaking the basic rules of civilised democracy willy-nilly. All for some profoundly misconceived idea that our electorate will be ruled by fear, fright and division.
The Coalition has no choice but to try and fix the self-created disaster that is its climate policy
Personally, I don’t think that Independents should be allowed to be part of a “co-ordinated well-organised national campaign”. It’s unfair on the poor Liberals who haven’t been able to co-ordinate anything apart from their blue ties.
White House’s Comic No 2 the Press Secretary (ODT)
A Nobel prize-winning scientist who helped discover DNA’s double helix structure has been stripped of his honorary titles for repeating an “unsubstantiated and reckless” suggestion that genes make black people less intelligent.
Yet however this ends, Mr Trump may feel the wall is as useful as ever. His remarks in 2016 made it clear that it was as much about tactics as his strategy of fostering fear and division. It is to be invoked in times of need. Those have arrived. Mr Trump looks increasingly anxious for a deal in the trade war he started with China. Above all, Robert Mueller’s investigation moves closer and looms larger. On the same day that the president spoke, we learned that Mr Mueller has accused his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, of sharing polling data with a Russian man linked to Moscow’s intelligence agencies. Is it any surprise that Mr Trump would rather discuss the border? The wall does not have to be real to be useful: the only question is whether its magic is gradually wearing off.
‘Among the many failures of micro-economic reform in Australia, the failure of the NEM has been the most spectacular. Not only have none of the promises of reform been delivered but the price increases [that] reform has driven have been used as evidence to obstruct the shift to a decarbonised electricity supply.’
The review was a scam. It used an inflated discount rate to deflate the estimated net present value of the FTTP option. It used a false shortened timeframe for an MTM rollout to inflate the NPV of the MTM. The long-term benefits of FTTP were buried under a mountain of propaganda.
Ridge concludes (p.235):
[The third-rate outcome results from] a combination of political opportunism and partisanship on the part of the Coalition Government and its intellectual fellow travelers, the mobilisation of market fundamentalist rhetoric to delegitimise the Labor Government’s NBN and a re-shaping of the NBN in line with the interests of Telstra. Previously facing the loss of a significant part of its business, Telstra, in receipt of billions of dollars of government funding for its “end of life” infrastructure, has emerged as the most significant beneficiary of the current NBN.