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.
This is what Australian Conservatives have been arguing all along in their denial of recognition and treaties. (ODT)
If Native Americans are reduced to little more than another genetic variation, there is no need for laws that acknowledge their land rights, treaty rights, and sovereignty. Nor must any thought be given to how to compensate for past harms, not to speak of the present ones that still structure their realities. A genetic understanding of race distorts such policies into unfair “privileges” offered to a racially defined group and so “discrimination” against non-Natives.
What they share is a single conceptual framework: the idea that the long history that has shaped US-Native American relations has no relevance to today’s realities.
John Sylvester’s response on behalf of the Victorian Police to idiots like Andrew Bolt, Peter Dutton, Matthew Guy et al (ODT)
Rarely have middle-ranked police in Melbourne suburbs been the subject of such ill-informed, politically-driven bilge generated from the mouths of people who should know better but consistently put self-interest in front of common sense.
At first, Judy Melinek didn’t know how to respond when she learned about an NRA tweet last week telling doctors who dared enter the gun debate to stay “in their own lane.”
But two days later, when the forensic pathologist was on her way to the morgue to examine the body of one of the country’s many forgotten gunshot victims, the words came to her.
US doctors are breaking their silence on guns.
US doctors are breaking their silence on guns.
“Do you have any idea how many bullets I pull out of corpses weekly? This isn’t just my lane,” she tweeted on Friday. “It’s my [expletive] highway.”
Joseph Sakran, a trauma surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, who suffers from a paralysed vocal cord after taking a stray bullet in the neck almost 25 years ago, refused to stay silent as the country’s latest mass shooting hit the news.
“I have Two Words for you Hell No! #Hell No for #ThousandOaks #Hell No for all black men that die & no one hears about it. #Hell No for all those that we still may be able to save,” Sakran wrote.
Melinek and Sakran are among countless medical professionals who have taken to Twitter in the past few days to fire back at the NRA – creating a viral response that has ricocheted around the Internet under the hashtags #thisisourlane and #thisismylane.
The United States’ economy is a military-industrial complex. Therefore any multilateral arms control treaty that limits weapons and war tensions is by definition incompatible with the functioning of American-style capitalism.
President Donald Trump’s announced intention of withdrawing the US from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty is but the latest move by Washington in undoing decades of hard-won arms controls agreements.
The US unilaterally scrapped the Anti-Ballistic Missiles (ABM) Treaty back in 2002 under then-President GW Bush. That breach of a decades-old treaty has led to the installation of American missile systems in Europe ever-closer to Russian territory, as the US-led NATO military alliance relentlessly expanded eastwards.
Ok, I was watching Sky’s coverage of the election.
We cut from the winner’s speech to the Liberal event because the Prime Minister was speaking.
Just to be clear, that’s still Scott Morrison … Although it may be Peter Dutton by the time you read this …
Anyway, after telling us that the Liberals were angry – meaning the voters – he then said that the Liberals – meaning the party he leads – would win the next election because of what they believed. He then reminded us that there’ll be a fair go for those who have a go and the best form of welfare is a job and …
Yes, you get the idea. It was just the repetition of all the cliches that lost them the by-election. He then put his arm round Josh Frydenberg and left. Strangely, I thought of this:
(MENA Tidningen) – For the past week, the news cycle on the Middle East has been focused, for obvious reasons, on the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Kashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Turkish authorities claim that they have hard evidence for the murder, which the Saudis are finding it increasingly hard to deny. The hired propaganda media of the Saudis are spinning a post-denial alibi of “rogue elements” to salvage the reputation of MBS as a great reformer. In this they are aided by President Trump, who would rather sell billions of dollars worth of weapons than reflect on the multiple human rights abuses of the kingdom. The Arab states who feast on Saudi money are, understandably in the Hobbesian sense, defending their royal oil daddies.
So, there we have it, the UN the IPCC and the scientists who have prepared 6,000 research papers, on the subject, are urging action on climate change. We have been told that we need to remove extreme right-wing governments to be replaced by more progressive thinking governments prepared to take up the challenge.
The solution then for this new government and, mechanism to gain across the board public support, would be a positive response. This aims at atmospheric Co2 management including, in particular, carbon capture at point of emission, removing Co2 from the atmosphere, reforestation, incentive-based emission reduction guidelines, electricity storage and support for alternative energy.
This has been promised by the Labor if they win the next election. Both government and big business need to take affirmative action on behalf of each and every one of us. If the fossil fuel industry wishes to survive they need to participate and work towards reducing or eliminating their carbon footprint.
The ABC has uncovered a covert plot by Australia’s alt-right movement to join major political parties and influence their policy agendas from within.
Our nation sighs with relief this week. Our banks are safe. Federal Treasurer, former Minister for resources and Northern Australia, energy, environment, serial failure and currently unelected Prime Minister, Scott Morrison’s Deputy, Josh Frydenberg, will not get tough on financial companies just because a Royal Commission uncovers incompetence, theft, forgery, impersonation, fee-gouging, usury amongst other criminal conduct while regulators looked the other way.
“Getting stuck into banks could hurt the economy”, he warns. Ah, yes. The economy – that lonely little petunia which blossoms on the dung-heap of consumption. As Richard Denniss observes, Australians have been told for decades that as long as the amount of stuff bought is growing we must be doing well. Yet it’s clearly never been the case.
Whoever wins the next election is going to face a monumental task to reduce our emissions in order to tackle the existential threat posed by climate change.
In one way, it would serve Scott Morrison right to have to face the consequences of his lies. But the country cannot afford someone who thinks prayer is the answer to the drought.
Our Prime Minister, the man charged with making the decisions on how to keep us safe, is a bald-faced liar.
The Morrison government has given Catholic schools more than 10 times the amount of money needed to maintain “affordable choice” for parents, according to analysis by the Grattan Institute.
Unless and until Australian media takes responsibility for its own role in bullying women, and in particular for slut shaming us, the answer to Baird’s question will be, sadly, “No”. Nobody can stop Australia’s slut shaming as long as the media is willing to engage in that vile practice.
And no journalist can honestly claim to be seeking a truthful answer to the question posed by Baird unless she or he is prepared to analyse the role of their own profession and their own complicity, whether through silence, denial, or their more active engagement in a practice that is guaranteed to destroy a woman’s career.
“Angus is bringing back a package of things right now to see how we can get greater investment in what I call fair dinkum power, that’s the stuff that works when the sun doesn’t shine and wind doesn’t blow.”
Personally I suspect that the day “the sun doesn’t shine” we’ll all be in a lot of trouble, but hey, I just love that they’re trying to get greater investment in “fair dinkum” power. Bloody bonza, mate. This is more important than a few sheilas being bullied, eh? God, if you can’t stand the heat, get back to the kitchen where youse belong.
Ok, that was just a little audition in case Scooter Morrison needs a speech writer. It’s a job I wouldn’t mind because – at my age – I don’t like taking on long-term jobs, prefering short term contracts.
According to the Right-Wing of the Liberal Party and a secret source of Sky News after Dark( ODT)