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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.
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.
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
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.
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
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...
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.
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.
Mark 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...
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.
Is President-for-Life Xi Jinping tightening the screws in China because he knows trouble is coming? Chinese expert Brian Hennessy reports. read now...
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.
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:
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:
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.
"QT was on fire today Good work, team. https://t.co/M6UWcQO0HU"
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.
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:Good morning!BuzzFeedOz Politics (@BuzzFeedOzPol) September 13, 2018
The prime minister deleted a tweet while you were asleep because it contained a song about fucking tonight. pic.twitter.com/oRxrIJi8aP
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
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.
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:
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
Recent events suggest the ABC is pandering more and more flagrantly to the Far-Right, writes Dr Geoff Davies. read now...
Most 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...
Dan Mitchell, our man in DC with current US data to demonstrate that all boats rise and fall together.
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.
Supreme Court of QLD found that Wagner brothers have succeeded in their defamation claim against Alan Jones, 2GB, and 4BC . Awarded a total of $3.754m. Read summary and judgment here, https://t.co/zze75fWRnnSupreme Court of QLD (@SupremeCourtQLD) September 11, 2018
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