Scott Morrison this week more or less trashed Australia’s top advisory body on immunisation, in remarks that were at best ill-judged and at worst alarming. On Wednesday Morrison told a news conference he (or the government) made a “constant appeal” to the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) to review its advice on AstraZeneca according to the balance of risk. On Thursday he said on radio: “I’ve just simply said balance of risk is changing, guys, so how is that impacting on your advice, and it’s time to think about that”. The “guys” (and girls) on ATAGI are obviously as aware as anyone of the changing risk profile as cases increase.
Source: Grattan on Friday: Morrison wrong to try to influence advice from expert immunisation group
However, for the past 13 years, only one party has been in control of the situation no matter the sentiments of the electorate. It s point of political difference as they believe ‘fear’ wins them the power game. Forget the service.
Neither side of politics can honestly claim to be above blame here. Both the Coalition and the Labor Party have played their part in the increasingly inhumane immigration and welfare practices imposed in the name of ‘compassion’. Both side of politics have weaponised human lives. It needs to stop.
Source: Compassion – you’re kidding – » The Australian Independent Media Network
Legal experts were in no doubt whatsoever that Christian Porter had given up but News Corp madly spun the line that it was a humiliating backdown by the ABC. Michael Tanner dissects the coverage of what had been billed ‘the defamation trial of the century’.
Source: Tamed Estate: Christian Porter ‘zero for three’ but News Corp claimed Porter victory – Michael West
A $600m gas power plant promised by the Morrison government is not needed and has no prospect of generating enough revenue to justify its cost, according to a new analysis. A report by Victoria University’s energy policy centre suggested the case for the Hunter Valley plant, to be built by the publicly owned Snowy Hydro with taxpayers’ funds, failed on several grounds.
Source: Morrison government’s $600m gas power plant at Kurri Kurri not needed and won’t cover costs, analysts say | Energy | The Guardian
The lack of a police response to the nighttime looting stood in stark contrast to the New York Police Department’s deployment of its riot squad, the Strategic Response Group, or SRG, to suppress political protests during the day. When a peaceful march reached Manhattan’s Bryant Park earlier that night, the police were ready: The SRG formed a line to block their advance. When the protesters knelt in the street, SRG officers struck with batons and made arrests. It was one example of many where the NYPD moved swiftly against demonstrators. The previous day, police mounted a “level three mobilization” against a protest in Brooklyn and responded in well under two hours, according to city records. NYPD data reported that at least 108 people were injured by police during last summer’s unrest. The NYPD was roundly criticized by elected officials and in three government reports for using violent riot tactics against political protesters. It was a double-dip failure in public safety: Not only did the city brutalize protesters exercising their First Amendment right to assemble, but it also stood by as throngs of nonpolitical actors rampaged the city’s storefronts. Risks to residents and pro
Source: Amid 2020 Protests, NYPD Took Hours to Respond to Riots
Under the agreement, Lapid and Bennett will split the job of prime minister in a rotation. Bennett will serve the first two years, while Lapid is to serve the final two years. The historic deal also includes a small Islamist party, the United Arab List, which would make it the first Arab party ever to be part of a governing coalition. The agreement still needs to be approved by the Knesset, or parliament, in a vote that is expected to take place early next week. If it goes through, Lapid and a diverse array of partners that span the Israeli political spectrum will end the record-setting 12-year rule of Netanyahu.
Source: Netanyahu Opponents Reach Coalition Deal To Oust Israeli Prime Minister | HuffPost
In a prime time address on Sunday evening, right wing extremist Israeli politician Naftali Bennett announced that he intended to join a government of national unity, including left wing and centrist parties, which would unseat long-serving Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The coalition was mainly put together by Yair Lapid of “There’s a Future” (Yesh Atid) Party, but Lapid is willing to have a rotating prime ministership and is willing to let Naftali take the first turn, for two years. Netanyahu himself went on an unhinged Trump-like rant on television calling Bennett a sham for being willing to go into coalition with the Left (which Netanyahu has often done). The move would allow Israel to avoid a fifth election in a little over two years this summer.
Source: Why proposed new Israeli PM, extreme-right Naftali “I’ve Killed a Lot of Arabs” Bennett, is even worse for Palestinians than far right Netanyahu
Real Concern “Believe me” Morrison’s Plea
Liberal and Nationals MPs are being urged to raise money for a federal election to be held next year out of concern at the power of activist groups and the union movement to threaten the government’s hold on power. Prime Minister Scott Morrison told government MPs to “turn up and shake hands” at events so they could gain the friends and finances they will need to fend off groups such as GetUp.
Source: Scott Morrison tells MPs to raise war chest for election next year
Epidemics are known for laying bare the hidden fault lines of societies. For many of us it may not come as much of a surprise that British colonial officers chose to let the Kumbh mela go ahead even at great cost to public health because it was politically convenient and sidestepped the possibility of having a rebellion on their hands. After three-quarters of a century of political independence, we see the democratically elected government of India, a country that prides itself on technological and financial progress, make a similarly crass political calculus, choosing to curry favor with Hindu nationalists at the expense of lives. Whether subjects or citizens, the public health of Indian people has too often been sacrificed for political gain.
Source: In India’s Covid Crisis, Echoes of a Colonial Past | Washington Monthly
Trump was not the only rightwing populist on the world stage. A combination of unregulated social media disinformation, backlashes against modernism, efforts to retain undue privilege by domestic ethnic majorities at the expense of disadvantaged minorities, and the elevation advantage-taking con artists have all contributed to the a disturbing global alliance of incompetent authoritarians. Nations as diverse as Brazil, Hungary, India, Russia, Turkey, Poland, Israel, the United Kingdom and the Philippines have all empowered far-right leaders, most with clownish conservative temperaments and a habit of doing more to troll the orthodoxy of international decency than to serve their own people.
Source: Trump Is Gone (For Now), But Right-Wing Populism Is Still a Global Curse | Washington Monthly
New research shows 72% of the sample backs the decision of the Andrews government to impose a curfew between 8pm and 5am, 71% supports curbs on leaving the house, while 70% endorse restrictions on business and the requirement that people travel no further than 5km from their house. Voters aged over 34 are more likely to support the current lockdown measures than younger people.
However, Morrison benefits from it too while denying and hiding everything and doing nothing (ODT)
via Essential poll: Victorians overwhelmingly support harsh restrictions to curb Covid second wave | Australia news | The Guardian
Autocratic leaders have obscured coronavirus data, cracked down on doctors and reporters, and used the health crisis to further erode democracies worldwide.
via Many Countries See The Pandemic As A Crisis. Authoritarians Spot An Opportunity. | HuffPost Australia
Bolt loves the attention he’d be jobless without the ABC. Murdoch Media’s loss of $1,5 billion has resulted in the wholesale sacking of journalists diminishing it’s News content but not it’s opinions and public relation activity yet it continues to falsely portray itself as selling News. Sporting and entertainment maybe but not sufficient to describe it as a News organisation selling news. Peter Foster Australia’s infamous con man was jailed for selling product under false pretences.
Murdoch is an American who has been increasingly involved in interfering with our elections with heavy editorial influence and modelling Sky News on Fox News the USA. When will this foreign interference in Australian Democracy be addressed for what it is foreign interference? After all how does a company run and what is its purpose with a $1.5 billion loss paying no taxes given subsidies but losing readers and viewers but being largest organisation in the country not selling news (ODT)
via Andrew Bolt’s views diagnosed as ‘disgraceful’ after coronavirus controversies | The Weekly Beast | Media | The Guardian
While the UK’s Met Office is out there educating the public, BoM is remarkably coy about any public discussion of climate change. Questions have also been asked whether its senior leadership is too close to the gas industry. Sandi Keane investigates.
Since the days of the Howard government, effective action on climate change has been held hostage by the big polluters’ stranglehold on policy.
Last week’s leaked report from the National Covid-19 Coordination Commission Manufacturing Taskforce comes as no surprise from a commission stacked with executives from the gas and mining lobbies. Its recommendations are a bonanza for the fossil fuel industry and a chilling harbinger of the nightmare to come if, courtesy of the taxpayer, Big Gas is unleashed across our prime farmland.
via Bureau of Meteorology: under pressure to toe the Coalition line on climate change? – Michael West
The Anti- Semitism of Right-Wing White Christian Addiction and Nazi thought in the USA. Overlooks the fact America’s Capitalism was based on the backs of Addiction and a drive to make it grow not Judaism alone. Finance in America is based on Addictions of all sort and given the money has run out Debt.(ODT)
No, the birth of the White Plague was largely iatrogenic, meaning “brought forth from the healer,” as legally prescribed OxyContin gave way to an opioid sea, as waves of oxycodone, hydrocodone, heroin, and fentanyl crested and crashed ashore, consuming our nation in its wake.
The White Plague is the handiwork of an irredeemably evil pharmaceutical industry, aided by innumerable pharmacists and physicians who both wittingly and unwittingly served as its facilitators and footsoldiers. However, if we peek behind the curtains of the great monolith of Big Pharma, we find the true culprits, the names and faces of the demons who deliberately crafted, planned, and inseminated the White Plague — the New York Jews known as the Sackler family, the patriarch of which was the architect of Big Pharma itself. Just as the Great Recession of 2008 provided us with a glimpse of the Jewish corruption of the American financial system into a malevolent oligarchy of organized crime, the tale of the Sacklers’ rise to power, of the Jewish perversion of the pharmaceutical industry, provides us with an incredible glimpse into the Jewish coup of the twentieth century, into the Jewish corrosion of every single one of our
via The White Plague, by Giles Corey – The Unz Review
Hospitals have been instructed to send COVID data to a central database in Washington, bypassing the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The information will no longer be accessible to the public, raising concern that the data is being hidden for political reasons and the lack of transparency will make it easier for the administration to mislead the public.
The administration is also blocking CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield from testifying before Congress about the safety of reopening schools. They are attempting to block GOP senators from allocating billions of dollars to the CDC, Pentagon, and State Department for pandemic response. And the administration even opposes sending billions to states for testing and contact tracing.
via Trump’s Authoritarianism is Ill-Suited to a Pandemic | The Smirking Chimp
He said China was “open” to international scientific cooperation to identify the source of the novel coronavirus, but stressed that the process must be professional, impartial and constructive.
By being “professional,” it means that the process should be based on science, led by the World Health Organization, and conducted on a global scale by scientists and medical experts. The goal should be to enhance the scientific understanding of this type of virus so that people can deal more effectively with major infectious diseases in the future, he said.
By being “impartial,” Wang said source identifying should be free from political interference, respect the sovereign equality of nations, and oppose any presumption of guilt. The research should cover all countries closely related to the virus. The whole process should be open, transparent, objective and rational, he said.
By being “constructive,” it means that the research should not hamper the work of saving lives, which clearly is the top priority at the moment. It should not harm the international cooperation against COVID-19 or undermine the statutory role of the WHO, Wang said.
Instead, it should be conducive to enhancing performances of various UN systems, to strengthening international solidarity and cooperation among countries, and to improving the global public health system and governance capacity, Wang said.
Regarding China’s aid to the global fight against the pandemic, Wang said China has never pursued geopolitical goals and economic gains, or attached any political strings.
“We Chinese are always ready to reciprocate acts of friendship and kindness from others,” Wang said.
via US pushing ties near brink of ‘new Cold War’
It does strike me as a little premature for the Treasurer and others to start saying that whatever we spend now will have to be paid back. While we need a nuanced discussion about the best way to get the economy roaring along like the turtle it was pre-Coronavirus, to tweet something like that seems a bit premature. Like a doctor telling a family just before someone has surgery that the bill will need to be paid even if the patient dies.
It’s true, but it does make him sound as though the main thing on his mind is the health of his bank balance rather than the health of his patient.
via They Tell Me The Internet Is Down; I Know Bill Gates Is To Blame… – » The Australian Independent Media Network
The level of Trump’s mendacity is far grosser than that used to sell the Iraq War by claiming that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Then too there were stories of secret laboratories developing biological weapons. Though Trump is purging US intelligence chiefs and replacing them with Trump loyalists, even they could not stomach his latest conspiracy theory. “The intelligence also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the Covid-19 virus was not man-made or genetically modified,” said a statement from the office of the director of national intelligence, Richard Grenell.
The purpose of Trump’s lies is not to convince by rational argument but to dominate the news agenda by outrageous allegations. This simple PR trick has previously worked well for him, but scapegoating China may not be enough to divert attention away from the price Americans have paid for his calamitous mishandling of the pandemic. The casualty figures tell their own grim story: in China there have been 84,373 cases of the illness and 4,643 deaths while in the US there have been just over 1.1 million cases and 64,460 deaths. Trump loyalists will claim that the Chinese are lying, but then they must also explain away the lower loss of life in South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan.
via Donald Trump is igniting a cold war with China to win the election, by Patrick Cockburn – The Unz Review
The act of encouraging members of his base to court death is clearly that of a man without an ounce of empathy, even for those who love and admire him most — and so of a stone-cold killer. You couldn’t ask for more proof that the only sense of empathy he has lies overwhelmingly in his deep and abiding pity for himself (which matches his staggering sense of self-aggrandizement) and perhaps for his children, other billionaires, and fossil-fuel executives. Them, he would save; the rest of us, his base included, are expendable. He’d sacrifice any of us without a second thought if he imagined that it would benefit him or his reelection in any way.
But there’s no point in leaving it at that. After all, as he pushes for a too-swiftly reopened country, he’s declaring open season on Americans of all sorts. And every one of us who will die too soon should be considered another Covidfire missile death and chalked up to a president who, by the time this is over, will truly have given a new meaning to the phrase assassin-in-chief.
via The Assassin-in-Chief Comes Home
It’s what China understands and turns to offer global assistance and what the US and Australian ultra conservatives ignore with their early calls of back to work while they social distance (ODT)
While the politicians offer reassurance, the scientists urge vigilance. And it is worth heeding the science. The medical experts who advise the government expect this threat to continue in waves for years.
Even if we eradicate the disease in Australia, says James McCaw of the Doherty Institute and the University of Melbourne, the virus will spread around the world and easily return.
“That epidemic in some places may also go locally extinct after a small or a large wave,” he says. “But it’s almost implausible to imagine this virus going extinct globally, which means that it will be here to stay. It will become a part of our everyday life and the transition to it not being a huge driver of complete societal change is a very difficult thing to work through.”
via Coronavirus Australia: This virus could change the way we live for years, not months
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
via Morrison’s twisted logic on the sports rort is perfectly Trumpian but no surprise | Greg Jericho | Australia news | The Guardian
“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.”
via The Power of Solidarity Is How Sanders Will Beat Trump
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)
via The Trump Organized-Crime Style: Bullying Europe, Bullying Iran and Impeached for Bullying Ukraine
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.
via A dangerously dysfunctional state of decay. – » The Australian Independent Media Network
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.
via Republicans Embrace Strategy of Trying to Gaslight the Nation Instead of Legislating | The Smirking Chimp
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.
via To save himself, Netanyahu is going to war with Gaza | +972 Magazine
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.
via The clock is ticking ever closer to Doomsday – » The Australian Independent Media Network
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.
Beyond a Morrison Police State. – » The Australian Independent Media Network