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Monday, 17 September


This power to censor must end Catallaxy Files

Received a note from a friend, but not a Facebook friend but a real friend since I am not on Facebook. He wrote, in part:

If you are my friend on Facebook, you wont be seeing me for a month. I have been sin binned again.

My reply:

Didnt know you had been sin binned at all not to mention that this is well past the first time. Quite a mark of honour in its own way, although part of an extremely dangerous trend. The leaders of industries in the old days ran railroads and steel mills so their personal opinions about anything mattered not at all. Now these morons are at the centre of the information economy and their prejudices and ignorance affects everything. We are definitely in need of some means to fix this up.

Having seen the chap who runs twitter before Congress the other day and then the video of Googles post-election mass meeting, and knowing what I know about Zuckerberg, it is depressing to see how utterly out of their depth they are on any political or philosophical issue. They really are ignorant to a fantastic extent. They have immense power over the messages that are able to reach us all, and act as gatekeepers to prevent the ones they dont like from being received.

This should not be tolerated. If anyone any longer really does care about free speech, the ability of social media to censor what we say to each other should be stopped dead in its tracks. Google, Twitter, Facebook and others of their kind are supposedly designed to provide a platform for each of us to talk to each other or to learn from each other. The right to stop us from communicating among ourselves is intolerable and must end.


Castillo Copper Limited's Jackadgery Project: has spinning the truth already begun? North Coast Voices

On 15 September 2018 The Daily Examiner reported that:

Concerns  about the health of the Mann and Clarence rivers have been raised by community members following explorations by Castillo Copper at Cangai, near the historic copper mine.

Its the high grade of the finding that has some community members concerned, with the prospect of a mine opening in the area becoming more likely.

At a meeting attended by about 20 people, NSW Parliament Greens candidate for the Clarence Greg Clancy and John Edwards from the Clarence Valley Environment Centre explained their concerns with mining so close to the river.

After having trouble getting in contact with Castillo through its website, Mr Edwards took his inquiries about the exploration to the mining regulator.

I got an email from their managing dir...


Will Dutton face the High Court? North Coast Voices

On 23 August 2018 sixty-nine members of the Turnbull Coalition Government voted down a Labor motion to refer the Minister for Home Affairs and MP for Dickson, Peter Dutton, to the Court of Disputed Returns.

Included in this sixty-nine was Peter Dutton himself and most of the forty-five MPs who a day later refused to support Dutton's second leadership bid, as well as some reported to now be keeping their options open concerning referral to the Court. 

It seems that another motion is being prepared and there is no guarantee that the vote would go Dutton's way in a Morrison Coalition Government, 15 September 2018:

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has been dealt another legal blow as constitutional law expert Anne Twomey says her advice for his referral to the High Court is "stronger" than ever.


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Sunday, 16 September


A note on the International Brigades /// Simone Weil in Spain slackbastard

Back in April, it was announced that The Wire creator David Simon plans series based on Spanish civil war, one which will follow the adventures of the Abraham Lincoln and George Washington battalions and their contributions to the International Brigades. Continue reading


ScoMos debut ruined by his own treachery. The AIM Network

You are a fucking mendicant, Scott Morrison tells Tassie Treasurer, Peter Gutwein, reports Paul Bongiorno who quotes a Herald Sun article, Wednesday, citing senior Liberal sources. Gutwein doesnt dispute the claims. Bean-counter Gutwein cant find a good word for Morrison when asked how it feels to be so bullied and abused by his new leader.

The post ScoMos debut ruined by his own treachery. appeared first on The AIM Network.


CARTOON: Paul's pardon Independent Australia

CARTOON: Paul's pardonManafort has certainly caught Trump's attention! read now...


Scomo, Politicians & Prophets

There has been a lot of commentary over the past 2 weeks on the faith of our new PM, Scott Morrison. Here is my two bobs worth:

Politicians and prophets have very different callings. Prophets, or in their secular version, social activists, point us to what we can and should be. They are not satisfied with simple improvements in the human condition, but long for a world in which every person finds justice and is treated with dignity. 

We need prophets. They force us to recognise the vulnerable; they dispel the myths that the powerful create to justify the neglect of those with little power; and they call us dream of equity, love, grace and justice in our societies. 

Politicians are not prophets. When forming policy and passing legislation politicians are constrained by the demands of their colleagues, their party policy platforms, what they can get through the Parliament, their budgets and the demands of the electorate.  This means that government policies nearly always include compromise and concession. They will rarely be the best policy imaginable but rather will be the best policy a government deems achievable in the given political context.

When it comes to prosecuting policy in the public domain, Ministers of the government are not free to speak their own opinions but speak as representatives of the Government. They are responsible to publicly makes the case for the policy of the government even when they have deep reservations about it.

This means we cannot read the personal convictions of Ministers (or their opposition counterparts) off the policies they present. This is particularly the case with areas such as refugee policy, where there are no ideal outcomes. I have not spoken with the Prime Minister on this issue, but I have spoken with a number of politicians from both the Coalition and the ALP, including Ministers and Shadow Ministers and I have not met one who is not troubled by our policies towards asylum seekers arriving without visa authorisation. Yet they are also convinced that the current policy regime (or  the one their party proposes to introduce) is the most preferable of what are only suboptimal possibilities.

I dont think they have lifted their sights high enough. Our options are not limited to an awful choice between deaths at sea or locking up the innocent. I stand with the Prophets calling for political leaders willing to draw our nation down the path of moral greatness that will involve the acceptance of much larger numbers of refugees. Politically difficult but not politically impossible.

We should read the character and the personal values of Prophets off the policy positions they put forward. We should condemn the policy prescriptions of the Government when they all short of our longings for a better future. But I think we err when we try to read the character and integrity of politicians, particularly those in Ministries, off the policies of the...


Failing upwards John Quiggin

Ive been busy finishing the manuscript of my book, and dealing with policy issues as they came up, so I havent paid a lot of attention to the Liberal leadership saga. One thing that strikes me is that Josh Frydenberg has had exceptionally favorable coverage, apparently on the basis that hes likable and popular. Thats fine, but if youre going to appoint someone as Treasurer, shouldnt a successful track record be a necessary (though not sufficient) condition? Morrison, for example, had a political success in stopping the boats (whatever the morality of the policy) and was generally seen as a successful Social Services minister (unlike his successor, who messed up the robodebt program). He didnt impress as Treasurer, but at least his previous career justified giving him a go. And while he looks underqualified as PM, the alternatives were even worse[1].

Frydenberg has essentially had one ministerial job, covering environment and energy (though with various titles and temporary add-ons like Northern Australia). In this capacity, his big contribution was the National Energy Guarantee. It was a terrible policy, made necessary by the failure of Turnbull and Frydenberg to face down the denialists in the government. Designed to be all things to all people, it ended up being nothing to nobody. Frydenbergs failure to secure agreement on the NEG was the proximate cause of Turnbulls downfall as PM, and the policy was promptly abandoned the moment Morrison took over. In what possible world is this a basis for promotion?


fn1. Bishop was ruled out on tribal grounds. Her weakness as Treasury spokesman years ago was also held against her, even though she wasnt obviously worse (in retrospect) than Morrison, and much better than Hockey. About Dutton, the less said the better. After that, its daylight.


In which the pond turns to the urbane Urban and Dame Slap for a dangerous dose of critical and creative thinking ... loon pond

The pond deeply regrets that it had to delay consideration of urgent matters flagged by the urbane Urban, in order to get through its Saturday matinee trilogy but in a way, it's just as well, a kind of serendipity, because the urban Urban contained an astonishing example of screen villainy, more deeply disturbing than even the boogeyman in Halloween ...

The pond could hardly contain itself.

What an outrageous, fashionable but contentious skill set. Who on earth imagined that critical and creative thinking might be of use to modern readers of reptile publications?

The pond is deeply disturbed that fashionable but contentious 21st century skills such as critical and creative thinking are being contemplated

Where will it end if this filthy disease gains a foothold? 

The intellectual roots of critical thinking are as ancient as its etymology, traceable, ultimately, to the teaching practice and vision of Socrates 2,500 years ago who discovered by a method of probing questioning that people could not rationally justify their confident claims to knowledge. Confused meanings, inadequate evidence, or self-contradictory beliefs often lurked beneath smooth but largely empty rhetoric. Socrates established the fact that one cannot depend upon those in "authority" to have sound knowledge and insight. He demonstrated that persons may have power and high position and yet be deeply confused and irrational. He established the importance of asking deep questions that probe profoundly into thinking before we accept ideas as worthy of belief. (here)

As for creative carry-ons, the pond has had enough of that nonsense to last several lifetimes, and resorte...


REVIEW: A Word to the Wise worthy addition to your reference collection Independent Australia

REVIEW: A Word to the Wise worthy addition to your reference collectionMark Broatch's Word to the Wise gives substance and authenticity to this text's subtitle: Untangling the mix-ups, misuse and myths of language. read now...


Why is Melissa Price the Minister for the Environment? The AIM Network

First speeches in parliament can be revealing and so it was with the speech delivered by our new Minister for the Environment, Melissa Price, back in December 2013. She began by congratulating Bronwyn Bishop for her elevation to the role of Speaker of the House, assuring us that Bishops grace and good humour, will bring dignity

The post Why is Melissa Price the Minister for the Environment? appeared first on The AIM Network.


Trouble in China: Xi Jinping and the looming collapse Independent Australia

Trouble in China: Xi Jinping and the looming collapseIs President-for-Life Xi Jinping tightening the screws in China because he knows trouble is coming? Chinese expert Brian Hennessy reports. read now...


A Traditional Right: Jimmie kesson and the Sweden Democrats The AIM Network

Swedens elections are normally dull affairs. The same political arrangements have been in place for decades, featuring mild oscillations around the centre between the green-red bloc (Social Democrats, the Greens and the Left Party) and the conservative Alliance (the Moderates, Christian Democrats and the Centre and Liberal Parties). The favoured line for political watchers of

The post A Traditional Right: Jimmie kesson and the Sweden Democrats appeared first on The AIM Network.


Further notes on an offensive cartoon Independent Australia

Further notes on an offensive cartoonThere is something stupefying, depressing and yet familiar about Mark Knights Serena Williams cartoon in the Melbourne edition of the Murdoch gutter press a few days ago. read now...


In which the dog botherer pens the third part of the epic trilogy ... loon pond

And so to the third episode of the weekend reptile saga, and how thoughtful of the reptiles to avoid doing spoilers by referring vaguely to "ferals" in the dog botherer's splash

And how open and honest was the dog botherer, acknowledging he's a racist, climate-change (or even science) denying, bullying misogynist

But who are the villains in all this, who are the ferals? Well the pond doesn't mind doing spoilers in the cause of entertainment it's the ABC, of course of course, in much the sam way that a horse is a horse and the dog botherer is an asinine ass ...

Of course

Why didn't the pond realise it? It's all the fault of the ABC. It's always been the fault of the ABC, and it will always be the fault of the ABC in the future

Damn you ABC, and now the third episode has to be given over to an ideological rant about your villainy

Lex Luthor: Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it's a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe and understand how the ABC ruins everything.

No, that's not quite right. How about a reference to the dog botherer's epic support of Lord Downer in the Iraq war?

Superman: Is that how a warped brain like yours gets its kicks? By planning the death of innocent people? 
Lex Luthor: No, by causing the death of innocent people.

Yes, there's nothing like groupthink coagulating around extreme and irrational warmongering views, something the pond f...


Full interview with UK writer Johann Hari on his vital messages around depression Antony Loewenstein

Back in May, I interviewed UK journalist Johann Hari at the Sydney Writers Festival about his new book, Lost Connections, on fresh ways to see depression and anxiety. It was a sold-out event and the full audio is now available:


Interview on US radio station Loud and Clear about real life effects of failed disaster relief Antony Loewenstein

I was interviewed yesterday by US radio station Loud and Clear, the hosts are Brian Becker and former CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou, on Hurricane Florence in North Carolina and the ways in which disaster capitalism affects both the relief effort and long-term trends:

Listen to As Hurricane Florence makes landfall, will some corporations ultimately profit? on Spreaker.


A sign of increasing desperation on Australian Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton's part? North Coast Voices

After threatening to bring into the House of Representatives files he kept on members of parliament when he Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Minister for Home Affairs and Liberal MP for Dickson Peter Dutton made sure two particular files were very visible on 11 September 2018.

Images found on Twitter

After he quoted from these files the Opposition requested that they be tabled. A request Dutton refused.


The Scott Morrison Social Media Experience in 2018: expletives deleted North Coast Voices

"QT was on fire today Good work, team."

Three hours after he posted this tweet on 13 September 2018, Australian Prime Minister and Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison deleted it;

Some hours later he apologised for the profanity included in the Fat Man Scoop "Be Faithful" hip hop song, part of which he had embedded in video of that afternoon's HoR Question Time - pleading ignorance.

Remove that dodgy tweet from his Twitter account he may have, but the twitterverse being faster than Morrison's digits meant there was still an echo left on that social media platform:
The reason why the government benches were conspicuous for so many arms upstretched in unison in the video is because, in true tent revival-style, Morrison was asking his colleagues to raise their hands:


Saturday, 15 September


CARTOONS: Father Mark David meets the Muppets Independent Australia

CARTOONS: Father Mark David meets the MuppetsPrime Minister Morrison is rapturous about the Muppet Show! read now...


Snippets from the darkside of the moon The AIM Network

Out of a habit that dates back to 1964, I still trot along to the local newsagent each Saturday morning to get my copy of The Weekend Australian. Over the years in several overseas postings I would have to wait until Monday morning to get my copy after it had been air-freighted to its destination

The post Snippets from the darkside of the moon appeared first on The AIM Network.


In which the pond asks the Grand Inquisitor to write the screenplay and draft the charges of treason and treachery ... loon pond

For those who came in late, the pond is in the middle of a Saturday matinee marathon

In the first episode, nattering "Ned" warned it was madness to attack Malware's legacy, so the pond immediately called on the Grand Inquisitor, a man who would have been at home conducting the witch trials in Salem, to do the screenplay for the second episode

It should go without saying that the pond feels that Malware is responsible for everything, a mix of the Emperor and Darth Vader's sinister mind control, and he's as loyal as a viper cradled to Cleopatra's Wentworthian bosom

All that remains is to read the grand inquisitor's charge sheet, and note that it starts with a snap of Malware at TIFF, which back in 2016 Variety described as a dumping ground, too big, and something of a plain old embarrassment

Even worse, as a result of his lack of taste, Malware has forced Polonius to lead off with the 'cinemah' for post-ironic talk of domestic and foreign 'tiffs'

You see? Of course it's all Malware's fault, and how shameless and shocking of him to do what he said he was going to do, and resign from his seat. How could this country keep functioning if politicians do what they say they will do? Why didn't he just stay in parliament, and do his wrecking and sniping and undermining in respectable onion muncher (or now Jules?) style?

But that's only the beginning of the Grand Inquisitor's charge sheet, and there are some doozy crimes to be unveiled ...



Who Fracking Tonight? And Other Great Hits By DJ ScoBroMo The AIM Network

Ok, when somebody asks if Ive got a fifty dollar bill followed by, Put your hands up!, it suggests to me that Im about to be robbed. Just in case this is a little unclear, you need to see the clip which Sco The Bro Mo tweeted. Of course, you cant because Scottie put it

The post Who Fracking Tonight? And Other Great Hits By DJ ScoBroMo appeared first on The AIM Network.


Screen Themes: Disenchantment vs Mayans MC Independent Australia

Screen Themes: Disenchantment vs Mayans MCEntertainment editor John Turnbull checks out the new series from Matt Groening and the spinoff from biker drama Sons of Anarchy read now...


This suicidal infighting is a madness Catallaxy Files

The Liberal Party left are like the left in general, lacking moral scruples, but with a will to power without a shred of policy sense. Its not as if Malcolm were doing anything other than leading them to certain defeat on behalf of policies that should almost entirely be the province of the Labor Party. The moment they make it into government the open borders mentality of the left will almost by itself sink Australia as we know it into oblivion. And then there is global warming to push us down even more. But as big a fool as I have always thought of Malcolm, not to mention my disgust at his policy judgement, he was the leader of the non-Labor side of politics and that was that. Criticism of a leader is not seeking to sink the ship but drilling holes in the hull is. With the change of leader, the disgusting disloyalty to party and the party rooms decision by so many among the Liberals is repulsive.

Here are the issues of the moment. Any Liberal who finds these hard to accept in public are full-on leftists who found a sinecure in a party on the right but have no understanding of what is required if our way of life is to survive. Heres a shortlist of what it requires for a party of the right to succeed in todays political world:

  • strongest imaginable support for closed borders to self-selected migrants
  • defence of Western civilisation and our way of life
  • deep scepticism of man-made global warming as an issue of any substance
  • strong opposition to all efforts to ruin ones own economy to fix the non-existent AGW non-problem
  • full and unequivocal support for free enterprise and opposition to crony capitalist ventures funded by governments
  • support for a strengthening of national defence against foreign aggression with maintenance of the American alliance the top priority.

A political party is filled with hatreds diversity is seldom anyones strength. If there are policy differences, by all means discuss these and let us hear what they are. But this suicidal infighting is a madness that puts everything at risk


The Far-Right ABC: The elephant in the corner of the room Independent Australia

The Far-Right ABC: The elephant in the corner of the roomRecent events suggest the ABC is pandering more and more flagrantly to the Far-Right, writes Dr Geoff Davies. read now...


U.S. economy in steady decay: World's biggest tree rotting from the inside Independent Australia

U.S. economy in steady decay: World's biggest tree rotting from the insideMost of the news on the U.S. economy under President Trump has been upbeat and triumphant. But the reality, as Alan Austin reports, is quite different. read now...


In which the pond starts off an epic, bruising weekend forced to choose between sick bed and nattering "Ned" ... loon pond


As the pond's strength fades and its ability to reptile wrangle fades with it, this weekend presented a superhuman challenge, which the pond inevitably failed

There was the 'shift' to the 'radical' 'curriculum', with the urbane Becca 'extremely' 'alarmed', and there was Chip and Dame Slap on 'identity' 'politics' and then there was the crisis in the 'federal' 'government', and just the amount of 'inverted commas' needed left the 'pond' feeling 'exhausted' and wanting to spend the entire 'weekend' in its 'sick bed'

In such cases, what's needed is a healthy amount of doom-saying and endless braying, and as nattering "Ned" had been blessed with the cult status of a Lobbecke, the pond knew where it had to start on the Everest climb

Indeed, indeed, how unfair is that? The reptiles had endless hours of fun braying about comrade Bill's hypocrisy on such matters as 44(v), and now ScoMo does a comrade Bill, and some cynical wretches point it out, and how unfair is that?

Why it's enough to prompt nattering "Ned" to natter on for hours and hours ...



The importance of economic growth for the poor Catallaxy Files

Dan Mitchell, our man in DC with current US data to demonstrate that all boats rise and fall together.

See also Jim Rose and the NZ Taxpayers.

That reminds me, we are going to NZ at Christmas, travelling from bottom to top, NZ Cats might like to get in touch.

Other breaking news, Demons defeat Hawks, Sharks edge Panthers by a point and Wind and Other are doing 15% of demand at 7 am.

And Andrew Norton, the only classical liberal in Carlton, is still at work.


Quote of the Week North Coast Voices

Real power is I dont even want to use the word fear  [Then presidential candidate Donald J. Trump in a 31 March 2016 interview with Bob Woodward and Robert Costa at the Trump International Hotel, Washington DC]


Tweets of the Week North Coast Voices

* Between 28 October 2014 and 20 August 2015, 2GB Radio and Alan Jones published 30 broadcasts. Twenty-seven of these broadcasts conveyed 76 defamatory imputations of and concerning the Wagner brothers according to the Court*

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