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Friday, 15 February

00:16

Minor parties mix it up over mobile phone after miners parliamentary dinner North Coast Voices


News.com.au - Senator Brian Burston (right) and One Nation adviser James Ashby. 
Picture: The AustralianSource:Supplied


Pauline Hansons One Nation (PHON) senior staffer and United Australia Party (UAP formerly PUP) senator were involved in an altercation near the Great Hall of Parliament House after a Minerals Council of Australia Parliamentary Dinner on the evening of 12 February 2019.

The senator was formerly a member of PHON who split from Pauline Hanson in 2018.

...

00:15

Clarence Valley 2019: keeping the Clarence River Estuary healthy for future generations North Coast Voices


like other heavy fabricating sectors shipbuilding involves the use of materials and manufacturing practices that can impact on the environment, can contribute to climate change[OECD Council Working Party on Shipbuilding (WP6), November 2010]

Shipyards are dangerous construction zones with many worker hazards. Shipbuilding, repair, cleaning, and coating use toxic chemicals and hazardous or flammable materials. These activities also can pollute water directly or through runoff. Repairs may require emptying dirty water from a ships ballast and bilge tanks into the surrounding waters.. Shipbuilding and ship repair use toxic chemicals that include chromium, copper, lead,and nickel. Ship cleaning activities use chemicals that include copper, hazardous or flammable materials, heavy metals, and solvents. They release lead, particulate mattervolatile organic compounds, zinc, and other air pollutants....

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Thursday, 14 February

20:25

How did we get here? The AIM Network

Scott Morrison may believe compassion is some kind of affliction, but I believe it is important just as I believe its absence is a glaring character flaw. And like anyone with any compassion, I was obviously happy to see the Phelps Amendment passed yesterday. But having said that, it is quite a limited and

The post How did we get here? appeared first on The AIM Network.

19:39

Asylum Seekers Forced To Share Accomodation With Dangerous People! The AIM Network

For the past five and a half years, the Australian Government has been forcing asylum seekers to share accommodation with dangerous people. I know this because weve been told by our government. Some of these people wholl be brought to Australia for treatment are rapists and murderers Actually, I think I may be quoting Donald

The post Asylum Seekers Forced To Share Accomodation With Dangerous People! appeared first on The AIM Network.

16:30

PRESS GALLERY SKETCH: The Medevac Bill and Banking Royal Commission Independent Australia

PRESS GALLERY SKETCH: The Medevac Bill and Banking Royal CommissionCanberra correspondent John Passant reports on the details of the two biggest parliamentary topics to happen this week. read now...

13:56

The law means nothing No Right Turn

Disposing of public records without authorisation is a crime. Destroying them to prevent their release under the OIA is an aggravating factor in that crime. But when push comes to shove, it seems that the Chief Archivist isn't actually interested in enforcing the law:

Archives New Zealand has decided not to prosecute the former chairman of RNZ Richard Griffin over a voicemail left on his phone by former government minister Clare Curran a year ago.

Ms Curran called Mr Griffin after it was revealed he and the RNZ chief executive Paul Thompson had misled the committee over the nature of a meeting between the former head of news Carol Hirschfeld and Ms Curran.

In the voicemail, she urged Mr Griffin to write to the committee to correct the record as soon as possible but Mr Griffin took that to mean she would rather he wrote than turned up in person.

He subsequently refused to hand over the voicemail despite formal requests for it.

Chief Archivist Richard Foy said the matter did not meet the threshold for prosecution.


I guess it was all just too hard. But with this decision, the Chief Archivist has sent a clear message to Ministers and officials that its perfectly OK to illegally dispose of or even destroy public records to thwart an OIA request, and that they will face no penalty for doing so - undermining our entire system of transparency. And from the public servant responsible for protecting that system, that is simply unacceptable.

As for Griffin, with this sort of approach to public records and accountability to parliament, he is unfit to ever work in government again.

12:00

Medevac Bill passing set to save lives Independent Australia

Medevac Bill passing set to save livesThe passing of the Medevac Bill shows a rare display of parliamentary compassion towards human lives, writes Jade Manson. read now...

11:22

He is Spartacus Catallaxy Files

The acronym TAFKAS stands for The Artist Formerly Known As Spartacus.  Why?  Many reasons, but one reason is that the pseudonym I Am Spartacus was pinched by the US Senator from the state of New Jersey, Corey Booker.

However, this is what Senator Booker said in 2000, well before he entered the US Senate:

I began to feel that the main theme of City Council life was really to do the following things: First, it was, by every means necessary, protect your turf.  Second, resist change.  Third, expand ones sphere of control, always hoping to control more and more resources and authority. Fourth, enlarge the number of subordinates underneath you because having subordinates means having power, having election workers, and keeping yourself in office. Next, protect programs and projects regardless of whether they are effective or not. Finally, maintain the ability to distribute the greatest amounts of wealth from taxpayers to people and organizations of your own choosing.

We now have a system in government where people are more loyal to the bureaucracy than they are to the outcome. We must be loyal to outcomes first and bureaucracies and systems last. If you are outcomes-focused, you start to realize often that you dont need these controlling and all consuming bureaucracies. . . .You empower citizens by asking more from them, not less. We need to start asking more from our citizens and start making our citizens more responsible and giving them more control and authority over their own lives.

Read those 2 paragraphs again and change City Council for Canberra.

10:38

The wisdom of Vaclav Klaus Catallaxy Files

From Desmog, not my favourite site but it often has useful background information.

As someone who lived under communism for most of his life, I feel obliged to say that I see the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity now in ambitious environmentalism, not in communism. [3]

And finally, there is another danger: the emergence of nonideological but very aggressive isms, which are really quite new. Let me at least name them:

We all care about human rights, but I am afraid of human rightism.

We all want to have a healthy environment, but I see the danger in environmentalism.

To put it politically correctly, I admire the second gender, but I fear feminism.

We all are enriched by other cultures, but not by multiculturalism.

I am aware of the importance of voluntary associations, but I fear NGOism. [4]

Read it all!

10:32

Green taxes killing European industry Catallaxy Files

Open letter to Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the EU.

Nobody but nobody in my business seriously invests in Europe. They havent for a generation. Everyone in my business does however invest in the USA, Middle East or China, or indeed, all three. The USA is in the middle of a $200 billion spending spree on 333 new chemical plants. China has spent that sum annually for many years, constructing its own chemical building blocks.

Europe, not so long ago the world leader in chemicals, has seen its market share in the last decade alone collapse from 30% world market share to 15%. This is an industry that employs over 1 million people in high quality jobs in Europe and five times that in indirect jobs. Worldwide, chemicals is an immense industry, considerably bigger than the automotive sector with revenues approaching $4 trillion.

10:22

The more women in government, the healthier a population Pigs Fly Newspaper

End Washington Corruption

Washington works great for the wealthy and the well-connected, but it isnt working for anyone else. Companies and wealthy individuals spend billions every year to influence Congress and federal agencies to put their interests ahead of the public interest. This is deliberate, and we need to call this what it iscorruption, plain and simple. Thats why Elizabeth has proposed the most ambitious set of anti-corruption reforms since Watergate to fundamentally change the way Washington does business.

We will start by ending lobbying as we know it by closing loopholes so everyone who lobbies must register, shining sunlight on their activities, banning foreign governments from hiring Washington lobbyists, and shutting down the ability of lobbyists to move freely in and out of government jobs.

Women work in more collaborative ways

The more women in government, the healthier a population

...

09:48

What is happening in Paris? Not much according to the MSM Catallaxy Files

There appears to be a different story to be told, but who would know?

Where is the media? Seriously, we are now 13 weeks deep in a massive movement that has garnered thousands of participants every week in one of the most famous cities in the world Paris France, and its crickets from the mainstream. Plenty of time to talk about Cardi B and Roger Stone but not even so much as a travel warning for those that think they are traveling to what they assume will be the most amazing and romantic experience of their lives. Instead, they are likely to be amongst thousands of protesters that have had enough of an unaccountable establishment who continues to attempt to tighten their grip on the general public through unfair policy and taxes.

09:00

"The most transparent government ever" - again No Right Turn

Remember when Labour promised to be "the most open, most transparent Government that New Zealand has ever had"? How's that working out?

Like this:

at present, there are 172 written questions that have not received a final reply. Many of the replies were due in December, but one was due in May last year. It appears that written questions are not working as they were supposed to as an accountability mechanism, so I intend to award the Opposition 10 additional supplementary questions each day until the end of this sitting block or until all the questions due last year have received their final replieswhichever comes first. I will review the situation again in the next sitting period.

And if you read down, you'll get to see Labour trying to blame the Speaker for their inability to run their ministerial offices properly.

Ministers playing bullshit games over written questions has been a theme of this government right from the beginning. And they have been repeatedly called up on it by the Speaker. In the process, they make work for themselves and bring parliament and the political process into contempt. But that's what happens when you have a government of childish, petty control-freaks. As for the solution, incentives matter: Ministers play these bullshit games because there is no real personal penalty for doing so. So, instead of pissing about with being read the riot act by the Speaker and additional questions, we should simply make it clear that answering these questions properly is part of their job, and if they don't do it, they won't be paid. Then if they want to engage in bullshit, they can do it on their own dime, without the public giving them a fat salary and a free car. Simple.

08:34

The end of tenure review? No Right Turn

High country tenure review is organised corruption, which has seen the privatisation of huge swathes of our country. Hundreds of millions of dollars of public land has been effectively given to farmers for free, and then flicked on for enormous profits. But now, finally, it looks like the process will end:

The Government is about to scrap tenure review.

Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage wont confirm the move, but Newsroom has been told by multiple sources that the controversial process, dubbed organised corruption by opponents, is finished. Whats unclear is how Sage intends to deal with two crucial elements: whether the 40 properties already within the process will be allowed to continue; and what clamps might be placed on the powerful Commissioner of Crown Lands.

Using Sages previous comments as a guide, it could be expected that those properties at the substantive proposal stage of the process, at least, will go on. That is likely to upset opponents of a massive dairy development at Simons Pass Station, in the Mackenzie Basin.

An official announcement may be made by Sage as early as this weekend. Its expected to be bundled with promises of tougher management of South Island high country leases. That will include more scrutiny of discretionary consents to farmers and better monitoring of their effects.


Good. But obviously, I'd prefer it if they just stopped it dead and walked away entirely. This is public land, and should be kept in public ownership, and the fact that a previous corrupt government opened negotiations on a corrupt transaction does not give any right for that transaction to continue. As for the long-term, we need to end the pastoral lease rort entirely, and start charging these parasites commercial terms rather than subsidising their environmentally destructive lifestyles. But one step at a time...

08:00

EDITORIAL EXCERPT: Morrison gears up to punish refugees after #MediVacBill Independent Australia

EDITORIAL EXCERPT: Morrison gears up to punish refugees after #MediVacBillIn an historic triumph for humanity, the Morrison Government was defeated on the floor of the House and the Medivac Bill was passed. read now...

07:52

In which the savvy Savva returns to discover a lack of ticker, and the bromancer reveals an astonishing defect in his character ... loon pond


The pond enjoys conversation stoppers as much as conversation starters, and what else is there to be said about the current fuss, after the infallible Pope's offering, with more papal stoppers and starters here

Even the reptiles ran silent, ran deep, with fear mongering giving way to a standard tree killer bit of Pravda news about HECS


HECS relief? What about the hordes pouring down from the north?

It left the pond grasping for content, and for a nanosecond, the pond thought of reverting to yesterday's reptile panic


But the pond already has a gay priest in the extended family, and 'Chrislam' is such a ghastly concoction that the pond recoiled in horror. Besides, everyone knows Christ's message how did it go?

We hate because She first hated us, what with all the rules and the genocidal flood and assorted other bits of weirdness. If anyone says, I love God, and doesn't hate his Abrahamic worshipping Islamic brother - or even sister - he, or perhaps she, is a liar; for he, or even she, who does hate his Islamic brother whom he or she has seen cannot hate God whom he or she has not seen. And this commandment we have from Her: whoever loves God must also hate his brother, or even sister. Everyone w...

07:29

Means of Control: Russias Attempt to Hive Off the Internet The AIM Network

Such measures were always going to come on the heels, and heavily so, of the Utopians. Where there is Internet Utopia, Dystopia follows with dedicated cynicism. Where there are untrammelled means of searching, there will be efforts to erect signposts, usually of a warning nature. Like the librarian ever worried of her reader finding something

The post Means of Control: Russias Attempt to Hive Off the Internet appeared first on The AIM Network.

00:15

How the National Party of Australia attempted to ruin Australias largest river system North Coast Voices


IMAGE: Murray Darling Wetlands Working Group Ltd.

Former Accountant and banker, Nationals MP for New England (NSW) Barnaby Thomas Gerard Joyce was deputy Prime Minister of Australia from 18.2.2016 to 27.10.2017and again from 6.12.2017 to 26.2.2018
.  He was also Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources from 21.9.2015 to 27.10.2017 and returned as minister once more from 21.9.2015 to 27.10.2017.

This particular politician is likely to go down in history as one of the worst leaders that the National Party of Australia ever had.

The Northern Daily Leader, 9 February 2019:...

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Wednesday, 13 February

16:30

Dutton's alleged corrupt link to drug kingpin Independent Australia

Dutton's alleged corrupt link to drug kingpinAn article has surfaced alleging that Peter Dutton has been accepting bribes in order to free captive drug lords. read now...

16:26

How bad are the Dems? This bad! Catallaxy Files

Northam, Omar, Fairfax, Herring, Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib

 

Read the whole thing, and its long: Extremism, Scandals Rip Apart Democrat Party: Radicalism, Racism, Anti-Semitism, Sexism, Socialism Threaten Lefts Return to Power. But the operative word is threaten. To the Dems themselves, these are their strengths, and whos to say at this stage they are wrong. You have to hope, but the world is crazier than you could ever imagine, as is being shown by the day.

13:16

Fresh air in a US classroom Catallaxy Files

Freeing kids from mediocrity and boredom.

A new video from Reason suggests that it is possible to liven up the classroom and in fact, is actually being done quite effectively. Host John Stossel found a school filled with kids who would likely be considered dysfunctional and troublemakers in the normal education system. Instead, Stossel found a group of thriving young adults, thinking intelligently and actively entering the real world as enterprising individuals.
Read all about it.

11:08

A good question No Right Turn

The government is currently waiting to formally consider and release the advice from its Tax Working Group, which is widely expected to recommend a capital gains tax. But Green co-leader James Shaw has pre-empted it by asking whether they deserve to be re-elected if they don't implement one:

Green Party co-leader James Shaw has pushed out the boat on a capital gains tax (CGT), asking whether the Government "deserves" to be re-elected if it doesn't implement one.

[...]

"The Green Party have long been calling for this fundamental imbalance to be addressed. Every expert group in living memory has agreed with us. But no government has been bold enough to actually do it," Shaw said.

"If we want to reduce the wealth gap, to fix the housing crisis and to build a more productive, high-wage economy, we need to tax income from capital the same way as we tax income from work."

Shaw rubbished discussion of whether such a tax would be politically palatable, saying it was needed.

"The last question we should be asking ourselves is, 'can we be re-elected if we do this?' The only question we should be asking ourselves is, 'do we deserve to be re-elected if we don't?'"


And its a good question. This government was elected on a platform of reducing inequality. Fairly taxing capital income is fundamental to that, and (despite scaremongering from the rich) an increasing proportion of New Zealand society recognises that fact: it is simply not just that the poor are taxed and the rich are not. If Labour fails to fix this, then they simply will not deserve to be re-elected. It is that simple.

11:08

Venezuela on the brink Catallaxy Files

Stories from inside Venezuela from The Rebel.

The people of Venezuela are rising up against their brutal dictator, Nicolas Maduro. Most of the worlds democracies have recognized Juan Guaido as the legitimately elected president of Venezuela; dictatorships like Cuba, China and Iran back Maduro, and for years Cuban soldiers have helped suppress democracy protests. But this time it seems different.

We at The Rebel looked into sending one of our reporters, but the security situation was just too difficult for us to overcome. But then we saw that Annika Rothstein a journalist and commentator from Sweden who has written for us before had made her way to Caracas and was there, in a bulletproof vest!

We contacted her by Twitter, asked if shed do videos for us, and we offered to crowdfund pay for her travel and other costs. She accepted and well be updating this site with her exclusive on-the-scene reports from the streets, as they come in.

11:01

Stephen Hicks. The Battle for the Soul of the University Catallaxy Files

Universities are political places, but theres good politics and bad. Some students, however, are always protesting.

First point: The protesting students are neither snowflakes who cant take the heat nor delicate flowers whose feelings have been bruised. University students have seen movie violence, broken up with boyfriends and girlfriends, read ugly things on the internet, viewed porn clips, lost grandparents, and heard distressing news from around the world. And they have survived.

We also learn from the protesters own vocabulary that many of them have a rich capacity for swearing, insults, and other crudities. Yet from childhood all have learned from their teachers, mom and dad, and Disney movies when and when not to say Fuck you and Your type disgusts me.
They may be angry, but they are adults who know what they are doing. Cry-bullies is half-right, as the tears are a tactic.

Second point: Most of the many grievances are not meant to be resolved. They are meant to fester and be used in the service of a power-politics strategy.

We have all experienced the same dynamic in personal relationships. Once youve decided you dislike someone, you can always find something about him or her thats irritating. The same point holds generally: once youve decided to attack an enemy, theres always an issue available to justify your actions.

Accordingly, the fact that the students complaints are often overwrought or semi-informed is a feature, not a bug. David Burge notes, wryly, that Campuses today are a theatrical mashup of 1984 and Lord of the Flies, performed by people who dont understand these references.

Amusingly true, but that does not mean that the thuggish behavior is stupid and uncalculated.
The protesters strategy is to make unreasonable demands, and their goal is to see how much they can get away with.

Third point: The student protesters have had expert guidance. Students are young adults with their own minds and initiatives, but they are still in development and can be shaped by prevailing orthodoxies. We see it in art and theater students who are cultivating creative identities and experimenting dramatically with their personal styles. We see it in science students who are passionately developing their capacities to make objective judgments about complexity in nature. In both cases, there is some self-selection, as students find some university disciplines more attractive than others, but in both cases there is also expert training by the disciplines leaders the professors who encourage, instil, and exemplify the mindset and character that is to be emulated.

So what we see in the protesting students, most of whom come from a handful of humanities and social studies departments, is the result of an academic sub-culture dedicated to a set of adversarial values, drawn from a bottomless well of curdled resentments.

Fourth point: Note that the pro...

10:40

Government as a branch of science Catallaxy Files

Somehow the meaning of the word liberal is different in Australia to that in the United States.  Same word, same spelling, same pronunciation but different meaning.

In this context, consider the following views expressed by the Young Liberals who:

claim to be the largest and most active youth political movement in the country.

In the context of energy policy, if it can be called policy, the Young Liberals have advocated for the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) .  Why?  Because

People forget the NEG was supported by the vast majority of the Liberal partyroom, mining companies, big business and also the renewable industry.

Policy by popularity contest.  But did anyone notice who was missing from that list?  Hmmm.  Look carefully.

CONSUMERS and CITIZENS.

As a consumer and as a citizen, TAFKAS does not particularly care in the slightest what big business is interested in, and even less what the renewable industry is interested in.

In the end, it is consumers and citizens who pay for everything including the Liberal Party room.  Perhaps if public policy was developed with the consumer and citizens in mind, rather than sectional, self interested, rent seeking parasites, Australia might be in a different state.

The grand commissar of the Young Liberals, Mr Harry Stutchbury also said:

Weve had 10 years of policy instability in this area and that has been a huge choke on investment.

Either Mr Stutchbury is suffering from dyscalculia or he thinks that the first 2 years of the Rudd Government offered policy stability.  He might also think that the last couple of years of Howard Government, which actually introduced and legislated the Mandatory Renewable Energy Scheme offered policy stability.

The Futures So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades.

10:30

Humanity triumphs as Morrison Government defeated on Medivac Bill Independent Australia

Humanity triumphs as Morrison Government defeated on Medivac BillThe Morrison Government has been defeated on the floor over the Medical Evacuation Bill. read now...

09:43

Basic humanity in Australia? No Right Turn

Australia's anti-refugee policy is based on cruelty. According to the Australian government, refugees claiming their rights under international law are a "threat", which can only be deterred by imprisoning them without trial forever in concentration camps, neglecting them, allowing them to be sexually abused and tortured by their guards, and denying them basic medical and psychological care until they either die of preventable diseases, or kill themselves. It is a monstrous, vicious, inhumane, criminal policy, for which its architects and implementers should be facing justice in The Hague. But now, there's a tiny crack, with the Australian parliament voting to allow its victims to be transferred to Australia to receive medical treatment:

Australian MPs have passed a landmark bill with an opposition amendment making it easier for sick refugees held offshore to be treated in the country.

This is the first time in decades a government has lost a vote on its own legislation in the lower house.

The move is a blow for Prime Minister Scott Morrison's minority government's highly controversial immigration policy.

[...]

Doctors will now have the power to recommend transfers for refugees on Nauru and Manus to Australia for treatment. However, the immigration minister could ask an independent panel to review the medical assessment, and would have some authority to overrule it.

Previously, doctors had reported that their medical transfer recommendation were ignored by authorities.

Refugee lawyers thus had to apply for court orders to bring ill people to Australia. There were 44 medical transfers achieved through court battles.


The way the Australian government is acting, you would think this was the end of the world. They have such an inflated view of their own country that they seriously think people will sign up to be tortured in a concentration camp for five years simply so they can set foot on Australian soil to receive treatment in a hospital. But what it is is showing some basic humanity which has long been missing from Australian refugee policy. The Australian government wants its victims to die quietly. The Australian parliament has said that that is simply not acceptable, and recognised that they have a duty of care. But while its a step forward, it also invites the basic question: what is so wrong with Australia and its politics that they had to pass this law, rather than behaving in a lawful and humane manner in the first place?

09:37

Claiming credit The AIM Network

Its one thing for the Coalition to blame Labor and the Greens for everything thats just politics, as ProMo would say but its quite another to claim credit for things you were dragged to, kicking and screaming and resisting all the way, by the persistent and growing voice of the people. Tony Abbott

The post Claiming credit appeared first on The AIM Network.

09:30

A Unified Korea: Good for All (Except Japan) The AIM Network

By Dr Strobe Driver   Korea has a strong and unique history as it is arguably the most ethnically homogenous country in the world with thirteen centuries of political unity and national and provincial boundaries older than almost any other state.[1] Unification of the country had been in place since 668 (Common Era) during the Three Kingdoms

The post A Unified Korea: Good for All (Except Japan) appeared first on The AIM Network.

08:07

In which Western Civilisation is saved, and Dame Slap shows how to be a damned good bigot ... loon pond


Late yesterday the pond was delighted for the reptiles, and was sure there'd be dancing in the streets today, with the reptiles donning party hats and celebrating with gusto yet amazingly this day, only a short time later, the good news was right down the digital page in higher education, and barely to be seen.

After all the Herculean labour, the news sounded like a damp squib. What had gone wrong, why were the reptiles so casual and dismissive?

They'd sold the University of Wollongong a pup, and its students were no longer referred to as University of Wollongong students, now they were Ramsay students it seemed like a complete victory.

And then the pond realised yesterday the reptiles had been cock-a-hoop about Comrade Bill, how he'd copped a big smack on the chops, how he'd made a fatal mistake, how SloMo was finally turning the Titanic around, and so on and endlessly forth

And today? Shock, horror, the vote done, the defeat noted, and consternation at the top of the digital page and on the front page of the tree killer edition

 

Oh it was too much for a reptile to bear, and the jokes and the cartoons were coming thick and fast, with the infallible Pope sensing a weakness in the reptile skin with more cartoons fabricated from crocodile leather here ...

...

08:00

Will it be third time lucky for the NBN? Independent Australia

Will it be third time lucky for the NBN?If we continue with the NBN based on conservative neoliberal policies, then NBN 3.0 will also fail, writes Paul Budde. read now...

07:26

Shortens victory will bring dangerous counter strikes from a desperate government Pigs Fly Newspaper

Scott Morrison suffers historic defeat as Labor and crossbench pass medevac bill

View from the Hill: Shortens victory will bring dangerous counter strikes from a desperate government

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

An extraordinary amount of hype and some confected hysteria preceded Tuesdays vote on the medical transfer legislation.

The government threw everything at trying to avoid a defeat. In a last stand, it fell back on a constitutional argument backed by
Solicitor-General advice that carried no practical weight and was simply circumvented by the majority that passed the bill in the House of Representatives.




Read more:
Crossbenchers must decide between something or nothing on medical transfers bill


While the government frantically attempted to thwart Labor and the crossbench, Scott Morrison also ran the line that he wasnt that fussed. Afterwards he told a news conference: Votes will come and votes will go, they do not trouble me. That claim wouldnt pass a fact check.

This was a big vote, and everyone knew it. Morrison operates a
minority government and Tuesdays loss underscored that he cant
automatically get his way. (Ironically, in the last days of Turnbulls majority government, the threat of losing a House vote came from internal dissidents.)




Read more:
The government was defeated on the medivac bill, but that does not mean the end of the government


The next test for Morrison will be on whether the House agrees to
extra sitting days to discuss the measures from the banking royal
commission. For procedural reasons, this needs 76 votes, one more than the 75 required on the medical transfer bill. The government has been leaning heavily on Bob Katter, the crossbencher who will be the key.

...

00:16

Australian Tax Office Excess Franking Credits: When people next receive their dividend refund cheque from the government, remember the government has had to borrow that money North Coast Voices



The Australian Government's public debt stood at an estimated $541.73 billion and growing on 8 February 2019.

On 8 February 2019 in Sydney economist Stephen Koukoulas made a short three minute statement before the House of Representatives Economics Committee inquiry into the Labor Federal Oppositions policy to eliminate excess franking credits.

Excess franking credits are refundable to a shareholder who receives a dividend but has no tax liability to use those franking credits against. 

It is free money - money for jam - granted to shareholders for the last eighteen years under a Liberal-Nationals federal government tax policy.

By 30 June 2015 these excess franking credit refunds were costing the federal government an est. $2.54 billion annually and, are currently estimated to be costing the Australian Government well in excess of $5.9 billion each year.

Below are the notes Koukoulas used for that oral ...

00:15

Australian Marine Life: lovely to look at but do not touch North Coast Voices


ABC News. 10 February 2019:

A striking blue dragon sea slug, that eats bluebottles and can give a powerful sting, has been washing ashore and capturing the imagination of residents on the north coast of New South Wales.

The unusual, soft-bodied nudibranch is sometimes described as resembling a dragon in flight, a Pokemon or a blue lizard, and goes by the official name of glaucus atlanticus.

Australian Marine Stinger Advisory Service director, Dr Lisa Gershwin, said it was a fascinating little creature..

...

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Tuesday, 12 February

22:14

Democracy on trial No Right Turn

Twelve Catalan political leaders went on trial in Madrid today. Their crime? Advocating peacefully for an independent Catalonia and organising a referendum on the issue. The Spanish government calls this "sedition" and "rebellion". But what it really is is democracy. In a democratic state with freedom of expression, people can and should be allowed to advocate for independence. And in a democratic state, when people peacefully demand independence, it is entirely right and proper for them to vote on it. Spain attempted to crush that vote with brute force - and failed. Now they are attempting to crush its advocates. But in a democratic state, democracy should not be a crime. If Spain thinks it is, then it shows that that country is not a democracy, and not a fit member of the civilised world. Democratic countries should condemn this political trial, and demand that Catalans get what they have demanded all along: a free, fair and binding referendum on their independence.

21:47

There are better ways to stop the boats than by destroying peoples lives The AIM Network

Labor finally found enough courage to actually remember we are dealing with people when we talk about the folk living in Hotel California (you can check out any time you want but you can never leave) accommodation on Manus and Nauru. But lets not forget that it was actually the courage of the crossbench that

The post There are better ways to stop the boats than by destroying peoples lives appeared first on The AIM Network.

20:50

Moral equivalence Catallaxy Files

Dr Paul Bauert from Flinders University in Darwin, a paediatrician, has said that the conditions and treatment of people in refugee camps in Nauru is worse than the treatment of the Jews at Auschwitz.

That someone could make such a claim shows just how far the political left has descended to the gutter.

The inhumane treatment of Jews at Auschwitz is beyond compare, with mass starvation, torture, beatings, forced labour and genocide on a scale unprecedented. The six part BBC documentary Auschwitz: the Nazis and the Final Solution documents the horrors of that camp.

Refugees at Nauru are free to move about (and depart if they choose), receive ample food, quality accommodation, do not have to work and are not tortured. No one envies their situation, but they are not mistreated and they have a better situation than those in UN run refugee camps.

To make the comparison that Bauert has is not only ridiculous but it is immoral as it is a form of Holocaust denial. Im surprised he hasnt been dismissed from his position because others have said things far less extreme have been hounded from office. This is an intolerable form of moral equivalence and shows that this man has lost his moral compass.

What happened at Auschwitz and Treblinka was an enormity in the proper sense of that word: a monstrous evil systematic and deliberate murder on an industrial scale. Shame on you Bauert, shame. Your views are unspeakable.

20:18

So Why Wasnt That Boat Turned Back? The AIM Network

Yeah, its satire, right? Its a newspaper article from next week. February 23rd, 2019  BOAT ARRIVES ON CHRISTMAS ISLAND A boat of asylum seekers/illegal immigrants/rapists and murders (this depends on whether you read ABC/Murdoch/radio shock jocks) has landed on Christmas Island. This is on Bill Shortens head, Peter Dutton announced to a waiting media, who

The post So Why Wasnt That Boat Turned Back? appeared first on The AIM Network.

17:56

What a good boy am I? So whats the go here? The AIM Network

The case of Hakeem Al-Araibi vs Behrouz Boochani and countless genuine refugees (assessed by UNHCR) in Australian offshore detention on Manus Island and Nauru By Jon Chesterson   Can someone, anyone tell me what makes Hakeem Al-Raibis case so special and different from say Behrouz Boochani or any of the other refugees on Manus Island and Nauru?

The post What a good boy am I? So whats the go here? appeared first on The AIM Network.

17:30

The return of Hakeem al-Araibi: Human rights and the sport factor Independent Australia

The return of Hakeem al-Araibi: Human rights and the sport factorHakeem al-Araibi's return should be celebrated but it begs the question of whether all refugees take up sport and seek a sponsor. read now...

16:35

The Prospects for Socialism Today The AIM Network

Writing in the Herald Sun, Chris Collins (11/1/19) argues that the Nordic countries have never been socialist because they have not conformed to the original Marxist definition of the centralisation of the means of production in state hands. In reality, though, there were always a variety of definitions, and even Marxists themselves have revised their understandings.

The post The Prospects for Socialism Today appeared first on The AIM Network.

12:29

Bill Gates on the prospect for batteries bailing out the unreliables Catallaxy Files

Two minute video. The punchline. There is no substitute for way the western economy is running today.

12:08

Open Government: Marginal No Right Turn

That's the verdict of the Open Government Partnership's Independent Reporting Mechanism on New Zealand's OGP progress for the last two years:

Although this report reflects high commitment completion, change in government practice stood as marginal overall. Notably, the governments early efforts to improve access to legislation could provide major efficiencies for lawyers and the public. In future action plans, the government could fully reform the Official Information Act and add open government performance to public sector chief executives contracts and to the new well-being indicators.

Which is what you expect when the "commitments" are all business-as-usual tinkering round the edges, rather than anything which might actually change things. And with similarly business-as-usual "commitments" (some of which were already completed before they were announced) in the 2018 - 2020 action plan, it looks like we'll have a similar level of thumb-twiddling in future.

The IRM's full report is here.

09:59

The culture of financialised capitalism John Quiggin

After the righteous fury that pervaded Royal Commissioner Haynes interim report on the financial system, the final recommendations came as a letdown to everyone (except of course the insiders who bid up bank shares in anticipation of the news).

This ought not to have been a surprise. Hayne correctly identified greed and dishonesty as the key drivers of wrongdoing. But greed (or, more politely, incentive) is the guiding principle of financialised capitalism as is seeking profit to the limits of legality, even when this involves what would ordinarily be called dishonesty. In these circumstances, its unsurprising that those limits are regularly breached, particularly given that most such breaches go undetected, and the few that are detected go largely unpunished.

The financial system is at the core of the problem but, as Bernard Keane observes in Crikey (paywalled, I think) its effects are pervasive. As he says, its not individual industries, its our system. Ross Gittins is also good on this. Even Eugenie Joseph of the Centre for Independent Studies has noticed that there is a big cultural problem here.

The only thing that will change the culture of greed and dishonesty is a reversal of the policies of financial deregulation that produced it.

08:19

Climate change: Our future is burning No Right Turn

Like many, I've spent the last week watching the Nelson fire in horrified fascination as the Australian-style spectacle of a huge long-lasting fire threatening an urban area played out. But while it looks like we were lucky this time, the bad news is that climate change means such fires are significantly more likely in future:

Parts of the country with low or moderate fire risk are likely to see dramatic increases in danger as climate change occurs.

[...]

Scion fire scientist Grant Pearce said the organisation, a Crown Research Institute, had studied climate change and its impact on fire risk.

Research in 2011 looked at 21 weather stations across the country and what the projected change in conditions - temperature, humidity, windspeed, and rainfall - would mean for fire danger.

It said drier conditions expected with climate change were "likely to result in significantly greater risk of large and damaging wildfires that threaten life and property, and economic and environmental sustainability. Longer fire seasons, increasing population and associated demographic impacts, changing land use and changes in vegetation cover are expected to exacerbate these risks."


The accompanying risk maps show serious fire risks in parts of the country that have never had them before, which means a real risk of rural firefighters facing something they're not equipped to handle. And it will probably end up costing lives, as it does in Australia. Which is another reason why we need to cut our emissions now: because people are going to burn to death if we don't.

08:03

Good riddance No Right Turn

Murray McCully's sordid Saudi sheep bribe is finally over:

The controversial Saudi sheep deal been shut down, which the Government says will save about $1 million.

[...]

But Trade Minister David Parker said the deal has now been axed.

"We're not spending any more money on its installation or delivery," Parker told 1 NEWS.

"We have managed to bring it to an end, saving the last million dollars or so. But I'm afraid the other $10 million that has already been spent has been flushed down the drain by the prior Government."


Good riddance. The sheep deal was dodgy on so many levels - a Minister lied to Cabinet and the New Zealand public, fearmongering over a lawsuit which didn't exist in order to pay a bribe in the hope of influencing a foreign government. That's not how our government is supposed to work, and its not how we're supposed to do business. And it makes me very glad that its architect, Murray McCully, a deceitful micro-managing control-freak, is out of our politics for good.

07:47

In which the pond joins the bromancer for the greatest show on earth ... loon pond


Sigh, another day amongst the shouty segment of the press that keeps everyone at the pond - all one of us - on edge all the time, and means the pond might not think the way sensible people think

though strangely none of the shouty press were shouty at Malware when he was fucking the NBN on direct order from the onion muncher, and carried out his mission with tremendous success and only now, it seems, are some of the punters taken for the ride slowly starting to realise

To quote the poodle, "And I thought that this is the Australian broadband of the future. This is what we've now got. And it's different to what I think is good for the country."

Oh okay, he was actually blathering about polity and the shouty press, but what do you know, sometimes the shouty reptile press fails to deliver the right shout at the right time.

Besides, along with the shoutiness, there should be circuses, because that means clowns, but look at today's measly offerings

Dame Groan thought she should be in a musical


What a dreary film it was, a one song show, and now one note Dame Groan is groaning about the cost of the Royal Commission? 

Well it wouldn't do to groan about the banks and the rip-off merchants ... the shouts and the moans and the keening and wailing have to be carefully aimed.

At least the lizard Oz editorialist got all shouty about being a climate denialist

...

07:32

Australia the runaway gold medallist for electricity grid destruction Catallaxy Files

A killer piece by Jo Nova on the ludicrous claims for the benefit of leading the world in unreliable energy. OK the grid will not literally be destroyed, indeed there will be an awful lot more of it but it will be very expensive to build and maintain and it will deliver more expensive and less reliable power. In the distant future storage options may make wind and solar viable but in the meantime we will have to shed power-intensive industries like ore-refining to keep the household lights on.

Jo describes this as a legendary paper and very helpful!

Summary:

Australia is installing renewable energy (solar photovoltaics and wind) far faster per capita than other countries.

The Australian deployment rate is 4-5 times faster per capita than the EU, USA, Japan and China.

Stabilising the electricity grid when it has 50-100% renewable energy is straightforward using off-the-shelf techniques that are already widely used in Australia.

The electricity sector is on track to deliver Australias entire Paris emissions reduction targets five years early, in 2025. This is one of the worlds fastest sustainable rates of emissions reduction.

Remarkably, the net cost is zero because expensive fossil fuels are being replaced by cheaper renewables.

Australia is on track for deep and rapid greenhouse emissions reductions through deep renewable electrification. Much of the world can readily follow the Australian path. Renewable energy offers real hope for a future liveable planet.

Circulate Jos commentary widely! And see the videos as well, why wind wont work until we have mass storage and the expensive failure of the German green energy transition.

06:43

What the Australian Parliament might look like after May 2019 North Coast Voices


The second Newspoll survey of the year polling 1,567 voters was conducted from 7 February to 10 February 2019.

The results were:

Primary vote Labor 39 per cent (up 1 point) to Coalition 37 per cent (unchanged).

Two-party preferred vote Labor 53 (unchanged) to Coalition 47 per cent (unchanged).

The two-party preferred result represents a 31 month long losing streak for the Liberal-Nationals Coalition to date.

If a federal election had been held on 10 February 2019 the swing to Labor would have been 2.5 percent.

This would have given Labor 82 seats in the House of Representatives to the Coalitions 63 seats (Liberal 38, LNP 16, Nationals 9).

Based on these percentages then at the May 2019 fede...

00:16

New South Wales State of Play February 2019: widespread drought North Coast Voices


The bad news just never ends.

All of New South Wales is drought affected to varying degrees in February 2019, incliuding the Northern Rivers region.

https://edis.dpi.nsw.gov.au/


00:15

The lies Liberals tell on the subject of aged care North Coast Voices



The Australian, 7 February 2019:

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt was handed a departmental briefing report showing the winners and losers from the Coalitions $2 billion savings drive in the aged-care sector shortly after Scott Morrison announced a royal commission and denied funding cuts.

Documents obtained by The Australian under Freedom of Information laws show the proportion of losers almost tripled to 53 per cent following the budget savings revealed in late 2015.

In the three-year period to 2018, aged-care services that had been classified as winners almost halved to 47 per cent, according to the brief sent to Mr Wyatt.
A series of hot issue briefs, question time briefs and general briefs sent to Mr Wyatt last year acknowledged the budget hit to the Aged Care Funding Instrument which is the basic taxpayer care subsidy paid to all nursing homes together with increasing cost pressures will be putting pressure on the sector.

...

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Monday, 11 February

20:49

A stable climate Catallaxy Files

There are two futures for the Earth. One is where there is insufficient dark matter and the expansion of the universe continues ad infinitum. In this case the Sun will in around 5000 million years expand out to Venus and then collapse and cool, and the temperature of the Earth will move and settle at a stable -273.15 degrees Celsius absolute zero. It would then remain at this stable climate for the rest of eternity.

The other future is that there is sufficient dark matter and the expansion of the universe is halted and reversed and the matter of the universe forms a new singularity with extremely high temperatures (having endured the expansion and collapse of the Sun as above).

Both futures are not conducive to life, although at least with the latter there could be another big bang and ultimately life would evolve again.

As an aside, is the definition of a budget balance now equal to a deficit of $273.15 billion?

Now the Chief Justice of the NSW Land and Environment Court, Brian Preston, like so many of his fellow travellers, seems to think that activities that emit carbon dioxide should be banned. Since all animal life emit CO2, is he proposing to ban breathing too? Endangered species emit CO2 if saving the planet is more important than saving a species surely we must encourage extinction?

But what are we preserving the planet for, if not for life? Life creates and emits CO2, yet we want to ban CO2 emissions leading to a conundrum. Effectively the Greens are saying we should control the amount of life on the planet. Not by some invisible hand, but by a UN cabal. And a cabal which doesnt wear hairshirts but continues to enjoy a high emission lifestyle while condemning the majority of the population to serfdom. Is this the future they strive for a return to pre-enlightenment days when a small elite enjoyed an expensive lifestyle while the vast majority slave away in poverty to appease the climate god? Inequality was much, much greater in those baleful days.

And cant we learn from history about attempts to control human populations that have been tried from time to time all ending in disaster. We are witnessing yet more hubris by those who pretend to know and can control the climate. Whether it be genocide or eugenics the results are equally vile and evil.

17:50

Courts start the process of terminating coal usage and all modern production Catallaxy Files

I had a piece on Quadrant covering the same issues asa Viv Forbes/Rafe regarding the pathbreaking decision of the head of the NSW Land and Environment Court.  This, if left as precedent, forbids any new coal mines and, though the judge may not have thought through the implications, most other activfities that create the modern worlds living standards.

One might imagine the decisipn would be appealed but the mines sponsor may see little point in this since the decision has other grounds.  Slowly our living standards are being strangled by the judiciary that foolish and short-sighted politicians have appointed.

14:05

Guest post. The Rising Tide of Climate Lunacy Catallaxy Files

A NSW judge (an ex-solicitor and activist from the Environmental Defenders Office) has stopped development of the small Rocky Hill coking coal mine because the Commonwealth Government has signed the Paris Climate agreement which requires rapid and deep reduction in GHG emissions.

Two things are obvious.

Firstly, this delusional decision must be appealed and overturned.

Secondly, Australia must immediately withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.

If this decision is not overturned, every development of coal, oil or gas in Australia can be challenged.

But the ominous implications go much further. The sports and tourism industries should be fearful. These industries encourage millions of competitors, visitors, tourists, officials and politicians to use cars, trains, buses, planes and ships to burn hydro-carbon fuels purely for entertainment. Car racing is out, as are new cruise terminals, stadiums, resorts, high rise hotels and fireworks.

Moreover, any new road, rail or airport development will add emissions and must be stopped along with any expansion of the grazing or timber industries and the brewing of beer.

There are some good things it should mark the end of tax-funded climate jamborees and study tours for politicians they should stay in their electorates and conduct electronic meetings via their own expensive NBN.

But if they can stop the mining of coking coal this will also stop metal smelting, refining and steel making.

Naturally Adani can expect even more green law-fare barriers.

This decision surely marks the high water mark of climate lunacy.

Viv Forbes

Courtesy of the wreckers who backed Turnbull over Abbott.

13:19

Post-natal abortion (infanticide) Catallaxy Files

NORTHAM: If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered, the infant would be kept comfortable, the infant would be resuscitated if thats what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.

Heres the backstory and commentary via Rush Limbaugh. But the video of the Governor of Virginia interviewed on radio demonstrates beyond all doubt that this is exactly what he said. The subsequent wish to clarify and explain has arisen only because of the fire this has lit, but not even remotely within the mainstream media.

I have only gone back to this, which is from January 30, because I have met people who have never heard a word of this, and will not believe it could possibly be true. I suspect it would not undermine their support for the left and the Democrats since there are more important principles at stake dont ask me what. The only evidence that the left is perfectly aware how barbaric this is comes from the fact that this kind of information is already hard to find on the net. If the Governor of Virginia is mentioned at all, it is only because when he was 25 years old in the 1980s he appeared in a photo either in blackface or wearing a KKK bedsheet when he had just graduated from med school, since which time he has been a paediatrician.

As for the health of the baby, this was also discussed at the link:

A tweet here from an MD and MBA, Omar Hamada . I want to clear something up so that there is absolutely no doubt. Im a Board-Certified OB/GYN who has delivered over 2,500 babies. Theres not a single fetal or maternal condition that requires third-trimester abortion. Not one. Delivery, yes, all kinds of conditions that might require delivery, but, Abortion, no.

The consent of two doctors is the kind of formality that is all pretence. How a baby can get to full term and only then at the ninth month discover some deformity is so improbable that it is just said to confuse the debate. At least till now, and possibly for a bit into the future, that there is something radically wrong with the child remains the cover story for murdering babies.

And if you are looking for another take on this same thing:...

12:21

Monday Message Board John Quiggin

Another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please. If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link


http://eepurl.com/dAv6sX You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin, at my Facebook public page   and at my Economics in Two Lessons page

11:43

Funding of proposals Catallaxy Files

Its as if she was coached in economics by Emma Alberici

Over the weekend, American political and legislative phenom Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez published the details of her Green New Deal proposal.  When asked how this plan would be funded, Ocasio-Cortez replied:

with public money appropriated by Congress.

07:34

In which Doctor Rowe diagnoses the medical condition afflicting the Major, the Oreo and the Caterist ... loon pond


As usual, the reptiles decided to overload the pond on Monday, no doubt in the hope of producing a melt down

All the usual dimwits were on parade, with Major Mitchell leading the march, and there was no need of a Freudian to diagnose the disease it turned out that Rowe had spotted the condition, but sighting all the symptoms and knowing the disease wasn't much of a comfort for the pond as it began the long haul


Resisting group think? What a laugh, what a joke. The rag is full of climate denialist group think, with the dog botherer turning up today for the umpteenth time


So tired, so tiring, so tiresome ...

And if it's not the in-house mob, then the lizards of Oz turn antique Pravda and publish the thoughts of the luddites in the denialist government


Activists are the new colonialists? But that implies that old colonialists of the WASP kind were doing something wrong, you abject goose of a twit you're defaming the extreme far right nationalist loons that are supposed to b...

00:16

Liberals taking yet another leaf out of Donald Trump's election campaign play book North Coast Voices


During the 2016 US presidential election campaign the Internet was littered with pressure groups which were not who they said they were and whose aims were not those they publicly stated.

Donald Trump and/or his supporters appeared to be behind many of these groups.

It seems the Liberal Party is also forming these faux pressure groups ahead of the 2019 federal election campaign in Australia.......

The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 February 2019:

A lobby group masquerading as a grassroots organisation of disgruntled retirees is actually a network of professional lobbyists involved in the trucking industry and the Liberal Party, with a history of campaigning against Labor government policies.

Defenders of Self-Funded Retirees says it was formed by "hard-working Australians who reject Labor's proposal to impose double taxation and to demonise us". 

However, the association is managed by Liberal Party member and ACT Senate candidate Robert Gunning, along with a numb...

00:15

Morrison & Co off to the Australian High Court to defend the indefensible - Centrelink's robo-debt North Coast Voices



The Guardian, 6 February 2019:

Centrelink has now wiped, reduced or written off 70,000 robo-debts, new figures show, as the governments automated welfare compliance system scheme faces a landmark court challenge.

Victoria Legal Aid on Wednesday announced a challenge to the way Centrelink evaluates whether a person owes a welfare debt under the $3.7bn system. It will argue the crude calculations created using tax office information are insufficient to assess a persons earnings and, therefore, are unlawful.

Victoria Legal Aids court challenge was also welcomed by the Australian Council of Social Service chief executive Cassandra Goldie, who said the scheme was a devastating abuse of government power..

Alternative Law Journal. Emeritus Professor of Law (Syd Uni) Terry Carney, ...

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Sunday, 10 February

08:03

In which there's much to meditate on this Sunday, even if the spell checker thinks coal and Dame Slap should spell 'medicate' ... loon pond


It's such an obvious troll, a cry for attention, but if the pond was going to do Jordan Peterson, it might start with The profound sadness of the Jordan Peterson phenomenon, and perhaps move on to Jordan Peterson's Flimsy Philosophy of Life, and perhaps wash it all down with I was Jordan Peterson's strongest supporter. Now I think he's dangerous

But that's what the reptiles and Peterson want - any controversy is good for an attention-seeking narcissist planing a tour of the provinces. So the pond moved on yet again to the old reliables


Now there's trolling at its reptilian finest

There's been a great deal of agitation of late in the reptile pages about coal and climate science and the like

Lloydie has been up there with the best of them, quoting well known climate science denialist Judith Currie to whip himself up into a state of indignation


...

00:16

Former banker and now Australian Treasurer promises market sensitive Banking & Finance Royal Commission final report would not leak - then it did North Coast Voices


On 1 February 2019 the Commissioner, Kenneth Haynes, submitted his final report on the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry to the Governor-General of Australia.

Then this happened...... 

The New Daily, 5 February 2019:

Last week Josh Frydenberg guaranteed the royal commissions final report would not leak while the government sat on it for three days.

About $22 million says that guarantee wasnt worth anything.

The welter of news in Kenneth Haynes report has tended to overshadow what appears to be some rather obvious insider trading.

...

00:16

And now for some good news...... North Coast Voices



David Morris, CEO of EDO NSW: Our argument was based on science, economics and we argued - the proper application of the law. The climate contention as a ground for refusing this mine was innovative; the first time climate change has been addressed this way in an Australian court using the concept of a carbon budget as its basis.
Like so many great ideas its strength was its simplicity. While there was lots of necessary evidence and discussion about the carbon budget, geopolitical climate policy and Australias legal framework for climate change, ultimately our argument was simple:  if you accept the science, then the local legal framework compels you to refuse the mine because its clearly not in the public interest to increase emissions.
As Professor Steffen said its one atmosphere, its one climate system, its one planet - and so we need to start thinking more carefully about the net effect of wherever coal is burnt, or oil or gas The projects contribution to cumulative climate change impacts means that its approval would be inequitable for current and future generations. ...

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Saturday, 09 February

07:14

In which the pond stays true to prattling Polonius ... loon pond


Serious question?

The pond was astonished that anyone would dare question the importance of Polonius and his prattle.

Now it's true that the reptiles are useful for many things. The pond wouldn't have known that a state election in NSW was rapidly approaching, if it hadn't been for the lizards of Oz doing their reliable impression of Pravda

 

Brave Andrew Clennell, doing toady duty for the weekend such a visionary, so capable, what a great tram project, how smooth it was last night at Sydney airport, how wise it is to tear down stadiums and tear up suburbs to build gigantic roads and cloverleafs evocative of all that was great in LA in the 1950s

Why it almost brought a tear to the pond's eye ...

And then there was Lloydie doing the weather and a scoundrel doing patriotism, it being the first refuge


And there are other reptiles standing by to make the pond aware of important matters like when everybody has lost interest in you back in your home country, it's time...

00:16

Tweet of the Week North Coast Voices


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Friday, 08 February

12:20

Climate change: A step in the right direction No Right Turn

Some good news on climate change from Australia: for the first time, a court has refused permission for a new coal mine, explicitly on the basis of climate change:

The controversial Rocky Hill coalmine in the Hunter Valley will not go ahead after a landmark ruling in the land and environment court on Friday that cited the impact it would have had on climate change.

Chief judge Brian Preston dismissed an appeal by Gloucester Resources, which was seeking to overturn a New South Wales government decision to reject an open-cut mine because of its impact on the town of Gloucester, north of Newcastle.

[...]

In his judgment, Preston explicitly cited the projects potential impact on climate change, writing that an open-cut coalmine in the Gloucester Valley would be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Wrong place because an open cut coal mine in this scenic and cultural landscape, proximate to many peoples homes and farms, will cause significant planning, amenity, visual and social impacts, he wrote.

Wrong time because the GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions of the coal mine and its coal product will increase global total concentrations of GHGs at a time when what is now urgently needed, in order to meet generally agreed climate targets, is a rapid and deep decrease in GHG emissions. These dire consequences should be avoided. The project should be refused.


If humanity is to avoid the worst of climate change, we need to stop burning coal, and this decision is exactly what is needed to push Australia down that path. Meanwhile in New Zealand our consent authorities are specifically forbidden to consider the effects of climate change when considering direct discharges of greenhouse gases, which suggests they're even more strongly forbidden from considering the indirect damage caused by extracting fossil fuels. It would be good if the current government changed that.

08:24

In which the pond overdoses on Flinty and Bella ... loon pond

Friday's usually a chance to kick back, relax, and head off to the Speccie mob, assured that the raskols will have very little in common with the lizard Oz

 

Say what?

The busy Bella is bursting out with an plethora, a profusion of D'Abrera abundance, and both the Speccie mob and the reptiles of Oz devour her copy?

Well surely they won't share Trumpian views of the world

 

Say what?

Flinty and the Cameron are as one about the suffering of the Donald?

So many choices, and so little time

The pond had to set aside old favourites, even as Henry "hole in the bucket" scored the Lobbecke of the day and shed tears for the brokers



Enough Henry, we get it, the pond is weeping for the brokers and financial advisers.
...

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Friday, 01 February

07:50

WHO IS THIS PETER O'NEILL? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

by MICHAEL GUISE

These are the real facts PNG ought to know. O'Neill was neither a tribal leader nor will he ever be one. He has no identity in terms of tribal heritage or being from an established stock clan in an indigenous community to become a leader. He has no traditional or customary identity. Therefore, he is not entitled to any inheritance, such as land for hunting or gardening. Moreover, he was born out of wedlock, meaning his mother bore him as a result of fornication with a colonial Australian Kiap/Magistrate called Brian O'Neill, who was a well-known womanizer in those early days in the Ialibu Pangia area.

O'Neill was born as a result of such promiscuous relationship from a village girl called Awambo, who was a well-known whore in the early sixties in the Pangia area. Her Kauwo village was near the Pangia Government Station, so she could easily slip into the expatriates house under the cover of darkness to ply her trade in exchange for a tinned fish, packet of rice, and occasionally two Australian Dollars.

In the highlands culture and tradition, O'Neill is an illegitimate child with no heritage or inheritance. He was never supposed to be an MP in the first place. This is O'Neills weakness, even to this very day. HE HAS NO STANDING IN IALIBU PANGIA. This is an open secret which PNG does not know about. This is the very thing Namah, Polye, Duma, and Somare would have exploited to rid O'Neill. Yet they chose not to support some credible people who had the support of the people, thereby allowing O'Neill to simply walk through, because the four candidates who challenged him are a bunch of unknown clowns, which insulted the intelligence and integrity of the Ialibu Pangia people, so much so that people simply refused do anything, because some credible candidates who the people supported to nominate did not do so, and the obvious was evident.  In fact, there was no polling in twenty-eight polling booths in the Pangia area, and the counting in Mendi was just bulldozed by making him the first-declared MP in PNG. Being declared four weeks early gave him an unprecedented advantage over his rivals to form the government, because that early declaration game him the advantage to manipulate the system to collect the numbers around the country to form Government.

Messers Namah, Polye, Duma and other aspiring political leaders have to rethink the way they play politics with the crafty O'Neill and his lieutenants like Ma...

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Friday, 12 February

05:48

THE REBEL: Why this first-time protester marched with PEGIDA in Birmingham "IndyWatch Feed Politics.eu"

The following is an excerpt of a piece published at The Rebel. You can read the entire article here.

On the 6th February, 15 countries across Europe and beyond demonstrated simultaneously against the mass influx of radical Muslims from the Middle East and Africa. Under the umbrella group Fortress Europe, announced only in recent weeks, patriots from across Europe, and even in Australia, gathered to protest.

Fortress Europe came about as a result of Tommy Robinson, a counter jihad political activist here in the UK, working with leaders of PEGIDA across Europe to form an international network. PEGIDA, a German acronym for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West, was formed in Dresden, Germany, in 2014 as a response to the migrant crisis.

On the 4th January, Mr Robinson joined forces with secularist and chairwoman of Sharia Watch, Anne Marie Waters, and chairman of the political party Liberty GB, Paul Weston at a press conference near Luton.

Watch: Robinson, Waters and Weston announced as leadership team.

The February 6th demo was the first unified Pan-European demonstration. Here in the UK 400 people marched silently and peacefully despite heavy rain and gale force winds. 5,000 gathered in Dresden, 1,500 met in Prague, and thousands of others met throughout the continent and Australia.

Families, Britons, immigrants, conservatives, liberals and people of all ages marched silently through the pouring rain in Birmingham, England, dispelling the assertions from the press that the group is far right and violent. The only arrest made in the United Kingdom was a 39-year-old anti-fascist counter protester from East London.

Being inside the protest was bizarre. Despite having stood for election, managed campaigns and handled press communications, I had never until Saturday actually attended a large protest. In years gone by, as a working class person who has seen the destruction of our communities by forced multiculturalist policy and social engineering, I had been tempted. However, the violence that has always erupted as a result of communist and far left activists had always put me off.

Nothing of the sorts was seen or heard at the PEGIDA UK demonstration.

The police did a fine job keeping away vio...

Monday, 23 February

23:25

Sharks and corporate raiders letter to Australia "IndyWatch Feed Politics.eu"

corporate raiders

We are not alone. The UK scene of privatisation, corporate take-over and a fearful, if not, colluding voluntary sector is far advanced in Australia.  NCIAs Penny Waterhouse has been talking to Colin Penter from her home town in Perth, Western Australia about how it looks to them at each end of the globe.

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