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IndyWatch Aussie Politics Feed was generated at Australian News IndyWatch.

Tuesday, 24 October

00:18

News Corp joins Turnbull Government in bashing welfare recipients yet again North Coast Voices


A report released by the Federal Government's Australian Institute of Health and Welfare [AIHW] on 19 October 2017 states that welfare spending in 2016 reached 9.5 per cent of Australia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) having been increasing on average by 0.09 per cent or est. $4 billion annually over the last ten financial years.

Some of this increase is inevitably due to population growth over the same period - between 2006 and 2016 the national population grew by 3.18 million people to reach a population total of 24.20 million.

However, the media suitably primed began to discuss welfare costs principally in terms of cash transfers to Centrelink clients.

But does such discussion take in the whole picture of welfare costs in this country? 

According to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) there are a large number of concessions, offsets and rebates available to working and retired individuals, active businesses, family trusts and superannuation funds.

These can reduce the annual tax payable by an individual, business, trust or fund sometimes as low as zero dollars.

Along with universal education and health services, Centrelink and Veterans Affairs pensions, benefits, and concessions; these ATO concessions, offsets and rebates are a form of government welfare.

So when the Murdoch media trumpet statistics like ...

00:16

Some serious money is being laid down in one political betting marketplace North Coast Voices


In October 2017 SportsBet stated that one punter has just bet $100,000 at $3.40 on Donald Trump winning the 2020 US Election and the same individual also has $20,000 at $3.75 as well.

SportsBet (Australia) and politics on 16 October 2017:

*Just the beginning of a large field ending with Beyonce.


NSW ELECTION

00:02

The October Revolution reaches 100 Catallaxy Files

What have socialists ever done that would make anyone think they care about other people? For myself, I cannot think of a thing. Socialist ideas have never, not in a single instance, not at any time in the whole of its history, improved the lives of the communities they ruled. Other than for its leaders, socialism has only caused misery for anyone who has been trapped inside a socialist regime.

This post is a reminder of what cannot be denied other than by liars or those with not a shred of historical memory, written in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Russias still celebrated October Revolution which was once the centre of a worldwide faith in a glorious future, that is, a glorious future once the tens of millions of regime opponents had been eliminated, driven into the gulag, or terrorised into silence. And while it was the October Revolution, that was old calendar, but in the new calendar that is the date we have now reached.

October Revolution, also called Bolshevik Revolution, (Oct. 2425 [Nov. 67, New Style], 1917), the second and last major phase of the Russian Revolution of 1917, in which the Bolshevik Party seized power in Russia, inaugurating the Soviet regime.

Socialists seek political power by pretending they have answers to genuine problems but never do; they only make such problems infinitely worse. We will never be rid of problems, nor will we ever be rid of people who will tell you that if only they are put in charge, our problems would go away. Any community in which the majority of its population are unaware of this massive danger to their future lives is in perennially danger of falling into the abyss of a socialist governing clique taking power.

Here is the reality. The socialist left is filled with people whose lives are driven by envy and hatred for the productive, contended and self-reliant. Ruining their lives makes no one better off but does lay to waste the lives of everyone involved, other than those who take power. No one can any longer be unaware that every socialist so-called solution to our existential and economic problems has been disastrous for everyone but those who seize power. Every socialist leader is a Stasi agent lying in wait.

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Monday, 23 October

20:44

Contaminated risk for western Sydney water due to poorly planned housing developments Stop Foreign Ownership in Australia

POORLY planned housing developments in Western Sydney are contaminating the water supply and could contribute to a citywide shortage in future, NSW government documents warn.

Documents obtained by The Daily Telegraph can reveal WaterNSW and Sydney Water have voiced concerns that Sydneys urban sprawl and booming population are putting increasing pressure on the water system, and steps need to be urgently taken to ensure Sydney is not hit by a water shortage.

WaterNSW has also revealed that housing developments built too close to pipelines and canals in Western Sydney have already resulted in impacts to the water quality. Increasing urbanisation, particularly in western and southwestern Sydney, have resulted in increased pressure on the integrity of critical water supply infrastructure, namely the Warragamba Pipeline and the Upper Canal, the documents state.

They also warn the Upper Canal one of the states most critical pieces of water infrastructure may need to be replaced because of its age.

WaterNSW says that housing and land developments need to start considering the impact building is having on water supply. It is investigating water augmentation strategies to service the booming population.

Sydney Water documents state that it wants utilities to have a bigger say in planning decisions to improve the delivery of infrastructure.

Dr Ian Wright, senior lecturer at Western Sydney University, said that whenever housing developments were built too close to canals there was a risk the water could be contaminated by waste and debris. You want sewage and drinking water far away from each other, he said.

...

20:04

Nuclear starts stop John Quiggin

A steady stream of negative evidence hasnt shaken the faith of believers in nuclear energy. Many of them are under the impression that the failure of nuclear energy is specific to the developed world, where some combination of environmentalism and NIMBYism prevents the adoption of an obviously sensible solution. It is widely imagined that China, India and other countries are forging ahead. This idea was plausible until fairly recently, but the latest evidence suggests that nuclear power is in terminal decline. Globally, only four nuclear plants commenced construction between 1 January 2016 and 30 JUne 2017. China hasnt started any new plants this year and is sure to miss the 58GW target set for 2020.

The problem, simply, is that while Chinas problems with delays and cost overruns have been less severe than those in the developed world, the same patterns are evident. New nuclear plants simply cant compete with renewables.

I dont expect that this will have the slightest impact on the Australian and US right, who have long since ceased to regard evidence as relevant to anything. But, for anyone who is still open to evidence, this debate ought to be over.

19:56

When Conspiracies Meet: Donald Trump and the JFK Files The AIM Network

It seems the perfect recipe, a union of minds and fates. A case, long disputed, deliberated over, conspired over, meets a modern US president who favours the notion of birther theories, rigged systems, corrupt elites and corrosive establishments. As President Donald Trump announced over the weekend, Subject to the receipt of further information, I will

The post When Conspiracies Meet: Donald Trump and the JFK Files appeared first on The AIM Network.

17:00

In which the pond offers up a Major Mitchell for dusk-loving owls ... loon pond


The latest reptile gambit has been to drag chairman Rudd out of the closet, or perhaps up from the political grave, and blame him for everything ...

The bouffant one was hard at it, and never no mind that the current mob has been in power in one form or another since the 18th September 2013 ...


Indeed, indeed, but as sure as hell, they had a hand in the onion muncher's farcical bunch of energy policies, down there with knighthoods for dukes ... with Josh finding it particularly hard to give up his love of onions ...

But as the subject has been raised yet again, there's just time to slip in the Major Mitchell, parroting the standard climate denialist reptile line ...


For a moment the pond thought it might have to lose the Major, what with Moorice and the Plimersplaining that went on this day in the lizard Oz. Why refer to a galah when you have two giants at the top of their climate denialist game?

The Major's splash tried to make him sound almost rational, but turn to the google splash for the piece, and we're back with the goats and the volcanoes and talk of carbon doomsayers ...

16:47

The public cost of supporting those who game the welfare system Catallaxy Files

This is how the welfare system works: it is as if someone has moved into your house, uses your kitchen, bathroom and one bedroom, but doesnt contribute to the groceries or help to pay the rent. There may be reasons to allow this: sick relatives, friends who are down on their luck or because of a charitable streak in the owner of the house. But whatever else, this outlay does draw down on what is available to everyone else and leaves those who offer the welfare less well off than they otherwise would have been.

Most societies have offered welfare assistance to the sick, the disabled, the elderly or others who cannot provide for themselves. But they have also always limited the amounts provided for a number of reasons including the ever-present possibility that some of those receiving welfare could be earning their own incomes and contributing to total output, instead of taking from the earnings of others while putting nothing back in.

I say all this because of an article that showed up on the front page of the Herald Sun this morning: Warning over booming Australian welfare bill. From which:

TAXPAYERS are coughing up $300,000 a minute for a welfare bill that has soared $40 billion in 10 years.

The Herald Sun can reveal that the total lifetime welfare bill for all those currently receiving benefits has been estimated at $2.1 trillion.

The frightening figure emerged as federal government debt reached a record $506 billion yesterday, renewing concerns about the public cost of supporting those who game the system or are locked into a cycle of welfare dependency.

Remarkably, anyone currently receiving government help to study is expected to be on welfare for nearly half of the rest of their lives, costing taxpayers an average of $247,000.

This is the equation showing in miniature how out ability to spend works:

Income Earned Taxes Paid + Welfare Payments Received

There is no reason in any particular instance that Income Earned minus Taxes Paid will be greater than Welfare Payments Received. Especially if for those receiving welfare are able to keep Taxes Paid to a minimum relative to Hidden Income Earned.

Welfare should not be a way of life, but assistance given when it is needed and only then. But now that Voting for a Living has become a viable alternative to Working for a Living, the constituency to do something about what is shown by these latest studies on our exploding welfare bill may no longer exist.

Not everyone on welfare is gaming the system, of course. But not every payment on welfare is legitimate either.

16:42

Fixing NBN requires tougher rules and stronger watchdog, parliamentary report finds Pigs Fly Newspaper

Fixing NBN requires tougher rules and stronger watchdog, parliamentary report finds

By James Oaten

A federal parliamentary report has called for an overhaul of how NBN Co is policed, citing regular concerns about the performance of the National Broadband Network and compensation for customers.

Key points:

The report warns a tougher approach is needed to ensure NBN Co meets minimum performance standards
Some Coalition members including committee chairwoman Sussan Ley were angered by the findings
NBN Co says it is already changing the way it operates to help customers
The Joint Standing Committee report was released today, warning a tougher approach was needed to ensure NBN Co met minimum performance standards.

It recommended new regulations be introduced, so the company would bound to service connection and fault repair timeframes, achieve minimum network performance and reliability and provide compensation for customers when such benchmarks are not met.

The report also calls for the industry watchdog, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, to be able to compel NBN Co to resolve internet problems when it is responsible for the outage.

Customers frustrated by lack of policing

Alex Gershenzon was looking forward to being connected to high-speed broadband, but the switch over to the NBN forced the Melbourne resident to struggle for three months without any connection.
Weve had no internet, no home phone and no real prospects of anything being connected, he said. Dr Gershenzon complained to his service provider, but the company could not do anything more than ask NBN Co to investigate. He also went to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, but this did not resolve the matter.

It appears NBN has absolutely no-one to answer to, Dr Gershenzon said.

My impression is theyre just trying to tick off the boxes and connect as many people at whatever cost they can. And allocate no resources to problem resolution and customer support.

Shortly after the ABC raised the matter with NBN Co, Dr Gershenzons internet was fixed.

NBN identified an IT issue preventing Mr Gershenzon from connecting to a retail service over the NBN network, an NBN Co statement said.

Calls for tougher policin...

15:01

The CIA Is Crazy "IndyWatch Feed Politics.us"

The question as to whether the DPRK is willing to engage in broad dialogue with potential international partners, has been answered. Last week, the DPRK sent an open letter to multiple governments, including the US ally, Australia, in which Pyongyang asked to form a united front against Donald Trumps aggressive stance towards Pyongyang. Australia, in taking an overly literal reading of North Koreas letter, threw away a chance to reply to Pyongyang. Had Australia engaged with Pyongyang, this would have literally been the beginning of dialogue between North Korea and a stanch US ally in the Pacific. The short-sighted attitude of the Canberra, demonstrates that when North Korea does reach out to countries in an unexpected way, this attempt to establish lines of dialogue is essentially met with a cynical and obstinate attitude that doesnt get anyone anywhere. Dialogue is never easy in such situations, but all countries owe it to the wider cause of world peace to try. Australia foolishly read North Koreas letter as a kind of geo-political prank, where in fact it was a thorny olive branch.

While North Korea has recently stated that they will not negotiate its nuclear programme until Pyongyang possesses the ability to strike all of the US mainland with nuclear missiles, the reality behind such dramatic remarks is far more mundane.

All negotiations in difficult situations have a cat and mouse element to them, with the roles of feline and rodent, often swapping by the day, if not by the hour. North Koreas actions are often far more reasonable than their words. The fact that the DPRK did reach out to a US ally, demonstrates that they are ready for dialogue now. The fault here, therefore lies with those who refused to respond.

Furthermore, with North Korea months away from reaching the final stage of its nuclear development, by Pyongyangs own admission, the treat to refrain from dialogue until such a state is reached, is becoming increasingly moot in any case.

While it is impossible to independently verify the DPRKs internal nuclear timeline, there is no reason not to test the waters and begin attempts to negotiate in both good faith and more importantly, with pragmatism. This statement applies to all potential negotiating partners.

The truth of the matter is that North Korea is not going to forego its nuclear programme at this point in time, in spite of any attempted efforts by others to change this, even from traditional partners. The world must come to accept that a nuclear North Korea is a fact of life and rather than risk provoking a nuclear war in trying to change this, instead, one should approach North Korea under the assumption that it will be a nuclear po...

14:00

Fake news or lousy reporting The AIM Network

A few weeks ago, there was another mass murder in the USA. This time the shooter, a 64-year-old male, holed himself up on the 32rd floor of a casino hotel complex in Las Vegas, Nevada and massacred 60, including himself, and injured more than 500 (at the time of writing). All the victims did wrong

The post Fake news or lousy reporting appeared first on The AIM Network.

13:00

In which the pond has its usual soft Oreo snack ... loon pond


The pond has long wanted to smash up its Godwin's Law swear jar and note the heavily fascist streak in the Oreo ...

Sure the Oreo is perhaps the most favourite, most loved of all pond treats, but here's what happens when you move from a deeply patriotic snack to a meal of fudge ...

You move from this ...   ... to this ...  

Or you cop this ...



Now the pond doesn't have the foggiest clue what "soft" treason might be ...

Treason is inclined to be treason, at least in a legal sense ...

It's not like there's an out like manslaughter, though the degree and nature and affect and impact...

11:35

Sandpit John Quiggin

A new sandpit for long side discussions, conspiracy theories, idees fixes and so on.

11:34

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.

10:36

Queenslands Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro Pigs Fly Newspaper

Australias largest pumped hydro storage project has taken a step forward, increasing its storage potential to 2000 megawatts hours.

Genex Power has completed a technical feasibility study into stage 2 of its Kidston project, slashing construction time and changing its design to increase operational capacity to eight hours of 2000 megawatt hours of continuous generationThe pumped hydro storage project will likely begin construction next year. The Kidston renewable energy hub is currently the most advanced, lowest-cost large-scale energy storage project in the country, Genex Power managing director Michael Addison said.

The optimisation study outcomes have been developed in response to direct feedback from potential energy partners amid the ongoing backdrop of the national debate on energy policy, and the importance of ensuring dispatchability of renewable energy via energy storage, he said.Genex executive director Simon Kidston and Energy Minister Mark Bailey sign the Palaszczuk governments first Solar 150 formal deed of agreement.

The pumped storage hydro project can provide up to 250 megawatts, ramping up to full generation capacity in less than 30 seconds

Genex Power director Simon Kidston told Fairfax Media: This project is shovel ready, and is the only large-scale pumped hydro energy storage in the country at thi...

10:30

Jeffrey A. Tucker: An Aesthetic of Liberty Catallaxy Files

Liberty-minded people are doing a lot of soul-searching these days. Its probably needed.

In case you havent heard, many academic and media observers are on a hunt to discover the origin of the bizarre and violent alt-right (Klan, Nazi, and so on) marchers and protesters who appeared in Charlottesville, Virginia, shouting genocidal slogans. Every day new stories appear. To the horror of many dedicated intellectuals and activists in the liberty space, some journalists have tried to link this movement backward in time to the libertarian political movement as it developed over the last decade.

Some of the most prominent alt-right voices in Charlottesville once identified as libertarians. 

It should be obvious that, in theory and contrary to what the socialist left has long claimed, there is no connection whatsoever between what we call libertarianism and any species of rightist totalitarian ideology. One negates the other. As Leonard Read wrote in 1956, Liberty has no horizontal relationship to authoritarianism. Libertarianisms relationship to authoritarianism is vertical; it is up from the muck of men enslaving man

And yet today, there does indeed appear to be a social, institutional, and even intellectual connection, and migration, between what is called the liberty movement and the alt-right. Some of the most prominent alt-right voices in Charlottesville once identified as libertarians. This fact has been widely covered. Its a fair question to ask: did these individuals ever really believe in a liberal worldview? Were they trolling all along? Were they just deeply confused?

Brutalism

Ive been interviewed many times on these questions. How did this come to be? The answer is complex.

The rhetoric at the extremes approaches nihilism.

It was more than three years ago that my article Against Libertarian Brutalism raised a conjecture: a libertarianism, rendered simply as nothing more than a leave me alone outlook, with no larger aspiration for the good life, could find itself divorced from a historical conception of what the advent of liberty has meant to human life and society as a whole. Without that, we fail to develop good instincts for interpreting the world around us. We are even reduced to syllogistic slogans and memes which can be deeply misleading and feed even illiberal bias.

And where does this bias end up? Where are the limits? I see them daily online. In the name of fighting the left, m...

09:15

Like it or not, youre getting the NBN, so what are your rights when buying internet services? Pigs Fly Newspaper

Like it or not, youre getting the NBN, so what are your rights when buying internet services?

Jeannie Marie Paterson, University of Melbourne

Complaints about the national broadband network (NBN), involving connection delays, unusable internet or landlines and slow internet speed are on the rise.


Read more: When it comes to the NBN, we keep having the same conversations over and over


Most Australians will be forced to move onto the NBN within 18 months of it being switched on in their area, and that means navigating what can be confusing new contracts.

So, what are your rights regarding landline and internet connections?

Landlines

Many consumers can and do manage without a landline. But particularly for those without a reliable mobile service, a landline can be essential. It is included in many phone and internet bundles offered by internet service providers.

Standard telephone services (primarily landline services) are subject to a Customer Service Guarantee enshrined in law under the Telecommunications Act 1997.

This means that standards apply to common services such as connection of a phone line, repairs of that line and attending appointments on time. The provider will have to pay compensation to the customer if the Customer Service Guarantee standards are not met.

Despite this, some providers suggest a customer waive his or her customer service guarantee rights. There are safeguards for this waiver to be effective, primarily in that the provider must explain the nature of the rights to the customer before asking for the waiver.

The idea behind allowing providers to request a waiver of the Customer Service Guarantee is that it will allow customers to obtain cheaper services than would otherwise be the case. However, we might question the integrity of the consent typically given to such waivers, given consumers generally dont read...

09:00

Religion, science denial, and our evolutionary roots! The AIM Network

Brian Morris specialises in secular politics and is the author of Sacred to Secular. Here he focuses on why science denial and religion are manifestations from our distant past and how a growing rejection of empirical evidence feeds this troubling era of post-truth. There is an evolutionary flaw we all share. It can drive

The post Religion, science denial, and our evolutionary roots! appeared first on The AIM Network.

07:35

The Green Hills of Tyrol. freef'all852

Was watching that new program on the ABC last night about the Brits in Aden back in the sixties and one of the characters was talking to his obviously fading father and he started to sing that old Andy Stewart standard; There was a Soldier, A Scottish Soldier , and it was about the green hills of Tyrol. I didnt know that Tyrol thats where my old man came from. You might have read that piece I put up about him in Willie Wilsons ferret.

Anyway, the old man got homesick and thats what that piece about the ferrets was all about; Home or at least that feeling of home of a place to belong, where one could roam freely as a child and have adventures and discover things with other kids. And when grown up, could point to a geographical location and say; Thats where I came from. Identity thats what it gave you. Identity Home.

* * * * *

Enclosure, also spelled Inclosure, the division or consolidation of communal fields, meadows, pastures, and other arable lands in western Europe into the carefully delineated and individually owned and managed farm plots of modern times.

This enclosing of public land, the locking off of access to open field and meadow to allow private property to flourish in a capitalist society is a terrible thing, a demeaning situation. This is a deliberate policy to diminish and to corral people into a crush of suburban town limits to shut down community and replace it with limited access property private property. To reduce all persons to nothing more than an identifiable commodity to be constructor, consumer, and then consumed ourselves. To take our identity away and replace our need for national home with some generic, jingoistic homeland.

The original confiscation of Indigenous land and renaming it crown land reduced the native peoples to allocated strips of territory and took away in one fell swoop their claim to right of wandering all other was private property. This right of ownership extended to water and wildlife, so that the Indigenous peoples could not even maintain their hunting culture. It was a deliberate action designed to genocide the native population.

The same philosophy is now being actively pursued by the right-wing elite of our country to shut down any large-scale projects that would extend the politics of community which could encourage a more inclusive social order..perhaps even socialism as a political reality itself. There is a driving imperative within the current political right to with-hold from the general populace a sense of community belonging any developing coherence of neighbourhood so that a cluster of like-minded people could form a block of mutual interest that could stop speculative development. Like the Shut the Gate farming community the Stop Ardani and remember the Green ban...

07:11

In which Moorice does the numbers for some Plimersplaining ... loon pond


Right from the get go, the reptiles managed to play tricks on the pond this Monday ...

We're still with "Labor's NBN", yet keen Greg Hunters will recall that Malware became Minister for Communications on 18th September 2013, and on the 9th April 2013 Malware and the onion muncher announced their party's alternative NBN plan, and now Malware is the head honcho in charge of everything ... and yet it's still Labor's gold-plated NBN?

How long before Malware owns what he and his mates made?

The pond was reminded of the almost infinite capacity for the reptiles to lie and dissemble by a recent report in the NY Times here ... 

By any account, a cool 32 mill, even amongst chums, is a meaningful figure, and must have been the result of meaningful actions ... and yet ...

In January, the reporting shows, Rupert Murdoch and his sons, Lachlan and James, the top executives at 21st Century Fox, made a business calculation to stand by Mr. OReilly despite his most recent, and potentially most explosive, harassment dispute. Their decision came as the company was trying to convince its employees, its board and the public that it had cleaned up the networks workplace culture. At the same time, they were determined to hold on to Mr. OReilly, whose value to the network increased after the departure of another prominent host, Megyn Kelly. Photo Lis Wiehl, a former Fox News legal analyst, in 2013. She appeared regularly on Mr. OReillys show for 15 years. Credit Taylor Hill/Getty Images But by April, the Mu...

06:05

Day to Day Politics: Free Speech or Licensed Abuse The AIM Network

Monday 23 October 2017 Within the debate on Marriage Equality there exists this silly assumption that everyone will lose their right to free speech. I wrote the following article back in 2013. It shows how people can be effected by the excesses of too much free speech. Most Australians would never have heard of the

The post Day to Day Politics: Free Speech or Licensed Abuse appeared first on The AIM Network.

01:03

Deputy Prime Minister & Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce in real trouble in his own electorate? North Coast Voices


This is allegedly a genuine National Party of Australia document. However, to the chagrin of many it has been revealed to be a fake.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DMs2L-vUIAALcUZ?format=jpg&name=large


Leaving aside the fake poll, the truth is that it is not just Barnaby Joyce's inappropriate dual citizenship which is a problem.

There is another issue which is not being denied at this stage......

According to News Corps Herald Sun on 21 October 2017:

Colleagues have told the Herald Sun they are worried the public figure has been punted out of the family home, which doesnt exactly coincide with their, er, political beliefs.

...

00:16

There is more than one path to academic success and a job you love North Coast Voices


Sharna Clemmett on Facebook:

On Friday I gave a speech at my old high school, for the year 12 final assembly. I was asked to publish it, so here it is.

********************
1. I am a former Kadina student. I was in year 12 in 1996.

2. It is 21 years since I last attended this fine school. That makes it 21 years since I dropped my bundle, dropped out of school, and spent about a year on Centrelink benefits, wondering what life was all about, what to do with it, and why.

3. There you have it: the thing that for years I felt was something of which to be ashamed: I never obtained a Higher School Certificate. I am a high school dropout.

4. At your stage, I didnt have a plan. My plan fell apart in year 12. I moved out of home when I was almost 17. I was sharing a house with a fellow Kadina student and her 6 month old baby. We had very little money. It was tough. Centrelink, in its wisdom, gave me a choice, which was the choice required by the rules: either study full time, or look for work full time. You are not eligible for out-of-home benefits if you study part time.

...

00:15

Australian politics, law, justice and eligibility to sit as a federal parliamentarian North Coast Voices


Excerpt from Ingrid Matthews article in Independent Australia, Hurrah! It's Section Forty-Forganza Week!, 12 October 2017:

REPORTING POLITICS, LAW AND JUSTICE
There are two other general points to make about the media framing of this case. 
The first is the oft-foreshadowed possibility that those MPs who have not done so may be "forced to resign". This is supremely irritating, because no force is involved (unlike, say, how police handled a child here). Any resignation would be a function of the MP failing to comply with our Constitution and of the High Court doing its job.
The absence of force is important, because the biggest claim that common law liberal democracies like Australia make for our system is this: legal and political conflicts are settled in a "civilised" manner. With words, not fists. With elections, not coups. Using evidence and argument, not violence and vigilantism.
The rituals of legal process are imbued with this pretension to courteous resolution. But that is not how the law looks to Black people in prison cells and their families. Or to welfare recipients sent AFP-branded debt notice...

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Sunday, 22 October

23:11

Turnbull government fails Australia on jobs and energy. The AIM Network

Super Mal, our super-antihero PM, the down-under wonder-gunner blitzes Canberras political firmament this week, lighting up the sky with yet another dazzling flash of super-power in Keeping The Lights on a love duet with the BCA and for history buffs an homage to the Liberal Partys naff 1975 election slogan, Turn On the Lights.

The post Turnbull government fails Australia on jobs and energy. appeared first on The AIM Network.

21:26

Chinese developers buy one-third of Australias sites in 2016 Stop Foreign Ownership in Australia

Chinese developers bought almost 40 per cent of the total $5 billion spent on Australias residential development sites in 2016, with a clear trend towards buying up land in far-flung Sydney and Melbourne suburbs, new research shows.

Knight Franks report, The Rise of Chinese Developers in Australia, found Chinese developers bought $2.4 billion of residential development sites in 2016, or 38 per cent of the total value of sites sold.

n 2015, Chinese developers bought 12 per cent of the total value of sites, Knight Frank head of residential research Michelle Ciesielski said.

Overseas investment in Australian development sites has evolved away from high-rises and towards house and land estates. Photo: Supplied

Despite overall total sales falling during 2016, and sales to Chinese developers and investors still being 11.2 per cent lower than the market peak recorded in 2014, their influence has grown, she said.

Since 2012, the size of the average development site bought by a Chinese developer has increased more than 18 times to 21,045 square metres in 2016, largely due to developers moving into lower-density developments.

Chinese developers initially came into Australia looking at a similar product to what they built in China  high-rise developments  theres a perception that Chinese developers only build high-rise projects but were now seeing them buyin...

21:01

The Green Hills of Tyrol The AIM Network

Was watching that new program on the ABC last night about the Brits in Aden back in the sixties and one of the characters was talking to his obviously fading father and he started to sing that old Andy Stewart standard; There was a Soldier, A Scottish Soldier , and it was about

The post The Green Hills of Tyrol appeared first on The AIM Network.

15:31

Judaeo-Christian John Quiggin

My son Daniel pointed out to me a feature of Trumps speech to the laughably named Values Voters summit which seems to have slipped by most observers. As summarized by Colbert King in the Washington Post

Telling a revved-up Values Voter audience that he is stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values, Trump suggested to the crowd, which already thinks a war on Christianity is being waged, that invoking Merry Christmas is a way of fighting back.

But Happy Holidays is exactly an expression of Judaeo-Christian values, coined to embrace the Jewish Hanukkah as well as Christmas. In this context, Kings suggestion that Happy Holidays is secular misses the point. The majority of secular Americans celebrate Christmas (happily mixing Santa Claus, carols, and consumerism). They say Happy Holidays as a nod to religious diversity among believers, not because they feel excluded from Christmas.

I havent got to a proper analysis of this, so Ill turn it over to commenters.

14:00

Police turn a blind eye to Russian cybercriminals preying on Australians Independent Australia

Police turn a blind eye to Russian cybercriminals preying on AustraliansWhat happens when you uncover clear proof of a Russian identity theft and dating scam? Unfortunately, in Australia, not much it seems. read now...

13:52

Robert Mugabe health envoy Catallaxy Files

The World Health Organisation is appointing Robert Mugabe, the tyrant of Zimbabwe, as its goodwill ambassador for health. This is absolutely bizarre.

In a meeting held at Victoria Falls of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa, the Director-General of the WHO,  Dr  Ghebreyesus who only took his position in May 2017 said

Thank you for your hard work and dedication to our noble cause. And thank you, Your Excellency President Mugabe, for joining us despite your busy schedule. This shows your strong commitment to health, and we value that, for coming all the way from Harare to join us. Please accept, Your Excellency, my greatest respect and appreciation. Thank you for accepting my offer to be the WHOs goodwill ambassador.

The latest reports show that the WHO is rethinking its nomination of Mugabe, but the damage has been done. They may as well appoint Kim Jong-Un as a goodwill ambassador.

13:48

Free Money And Was Googles Dont Be Evil An Anagram? The AIM Network

Ok, as anybody whos a regular reader knows, Im not an economist so I cant possibly explain how the economy works. Of course, like most people on the internet these days, a lack of formal qualifications doesnt stop me from having all sorts of opinions about all sorts of things based on something I read

The post Free Money And Was Googles Dont Be Evil An Anagram? appeared first on The AIM Network.

13:31

Willy Wilsons ferrets The AIM Network

Hello fellow travelers it being Sundee n all and I being a tad burred around the edges I thought Id try for another short, reflective piece for your amusement.. I was telling you about Willie Wilson and his ferrets Willie Wilson kept ferrets, he used them for trapping rabbits in any

The post Willy Wilsons ferrets appeared first on The AIM Network.

13:22

Will the National Energy Guarantee hit pause on renewables? Pigs Fly Newspaper

Will the National Energy Guarantee hit pause on renewables?

Frank Jotzo, Australian National University and Salim Mazouz, Australian National University

The federal governments new National Energy Guarantee (NEG) proposal looks likely to put the brakes on renewable energy investment in Australia. And based on the sparse detail so far available, there are serious questions about whether the plan really can deliver on its aims of reliability, emissions reductions and lower prices.

The broad mechanism design could be made to work, but to be effective in driving the transition of the energy sector it would need adequate ambition on carbon emissions and very careful thought about the reliability requirements of the future electricity grid.


Read more: Infographic: the National Energy Guarantee at a glance


The policy may well be used to force investment into the fossil fuel power fleet through regulatory intervention, and perhaps for the power sector to buy emissions offsets. This would risk locking in a carbon-intensive power system.

The NEG: top or flop?

Having rejected several options including an emissions intensity scheme, the Clean Energy Target put forward by the Finkel Review, and any continuation of the Renewable Energy Target the government has finally managed to get a policy proposal through the party room, formulated in advice by its newly established Energy Security Board.

Analysts initial reactions have ranged from unbridled enthusiasm to...

13:00

In which the Devine and petulant Peta get involved in a smack down ... loon pond


It doesn't seem to have occurred to the lizards of Oz that the Donald has been an unmitigated disaster ... and that Brexit bids fair to be a matching disaster, whatever mitigation they try to put in place ...

To make the Donald a clarion cry in the wilderness for the 'no' votes seems like wishing for a week-long barney about how to behave towards gold star families ... and come up with the answer, 'like a completely unempathetic dingbat ...'

What if they actually managed to catch this particular bus? How would the dogs manage it? What would they do with it?


Not worried by this, the reptiles tried a new angle, hitching their cry for the 'no' to defy polls like Trump with a fresh discovery of the perfidious Oscar ...


It seems like an attempt to boost the circulation of the Betoota Advocate ...


They really are so obsessed, these lizards of Oz, that the pond has to wonder...

12:52

Shambolic energy guarantee policy snatches defeat from the jaws of victory Pigs Fly Newspaper

Earlier this week the government, on the Electricity Security Boards advice, decided a policy that will substantially tear up our electricity market.

AEMO CEO Audrey Zibelman, Energy Security Board chair Kerry Schott, Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, AEMC chair John Pierce and AER chair Paula Conboy at a press conference on energy issues on Tuesday. Alex Ellinghausen

In its place will be quantity obligations that will require retailers to procure electricity from specific sources according to requirements to be determined by the Australian Energy Markets Commission and Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

In essence this approach mirrors recent proposals by President Donald Trumps Energy Secretary to require retailers to procure power from coal generators that, without that obligation, would close. In the US, as here, this is being dressed up as an energy security policy.

This latest wheeze marks a new low in the quality of Australias political and administrative processes in the energy sector.

Some time back, the government wisely commissioned Dr Alan Finkel to undertake a review of the issues. After working carefully, Dr Finkel produced a measured and credible report that deserved and won widespread support.

...

12:15

Another step in the descent of liberal culture Oz Conservative

There have been a couple of images doing the rounds lately on social media. The first is of a satanic-style drag queen reading books to young children in a public library in the U.S.:



The second is of a poster being displayed at train stations in Toronto, Canada, with the campaign title "The sex you want" and showing a picture of a homosexual threesome:



The instinctive reaction most people will have is that exposing children to these images is an attack on their childhood. And yet public authorities clearly believe the opposite - that it is either a good thing, or at least harmless, for the images to be displayed to children.

I understand the position of the public authorities, even if I think it is wrong. The liberal idea, dominant in our society, is that the individual autonomously determines his own goods and identity. But, as all desires are equally desires, they all have to be acknowledged as equally valid, as long as they don't claim primacy over others (which, for liberals, is the sin of "supremacy" or discrimination, intolerance, bigotry etc.) So the public authorities, following this liberal credo, don't really have a principled way to object to the imagery, without exposing themselves to charges of hypocrisy or inconsistency or lack of principle.

It seems we are witnessing another step down in liberal culture. Liberal culture had previously compromised by rating materials for their sexual content and allowing parents some control over what their children were exposed to. Apparently the aim of being inclusive toward transsexual and homosexual culture (making it normative) is now overriding the older compromise - it is now thought progressive to habituate children to these things.

And yet there is damage being done. The message being given to children is that sexuality is to be freely pursued in any direction and that there are no sexual impulses to be restrained or held in check. They are being exposed t...

10:45

Fake news or lousy reporting The Political Sword


A few weeks ago, there was another mass murder in the USA. This time the shooter, a 64-year-old male, holed himself up on the 32rd floor of a casino hotel complex in Las Vegas, Nevada and massacred 60, including himself, and injured more than 500 (at the time of writing). All the victims did wrong was attend a country music concert along with 22,000 or so other people on the Las Vegas casino strip.

While some may consider country music a crime, most Australians consider the apparent ease of gun ownership in the USA pure insanity. Both of these subjects have been done to death in the past and the reality is that even if the entire 24 million or so of us on this side of the Pacific told the USAs lawmakers they were crazy to allow the current lax gun laws to continue, it wouldnt make a scrap of difference. All we can really do to avoid a perceived safety risk is to choose to holiday in an area that you would feel safe in such as North Queensland or Tasmania, New Zealand or Canada the land of unarmed Americans with universal health care. (No, its not original, you can get the coffee mug or t-shirt here). As for country music well it aint gunna kill you!

What we should be concerned about is the reporting of the Las Vegas massacre as it does affect us and how we live. As you would expect, Facebook and Google reported the Las Vegas massacres on their newsfeed, as obviously, people were reporting the incident live on their social media accounts. Media outlets would also be looking at this traffic along with the reports from the police in the Las Vegas area. In this world of instant communication, there is an imperative to be first with the news in this case who was the person that committed this heinous crime and why did they do it?

Both Google and Facebook promoted incorrect information including the incorrect identification of the murderer.

Police have identified Stephen Paddock as the suspect who opened fire from a high-rise hotel room, killing scores and injuring hundreds more. But before authorities named the 64-year-old Nevada man, some on the far right falsely identified the man behind the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history as Geary Danley. Its unclear where exactly the hoax originated, but right-wing users aggressively promoted his name, seizing on evidence that he was a liberal.

On 4chan...

10:42

Sex and gender Skepticlawyer

This is based on a comment I made here.

If you think the bodies are sexed (clearly true) and psyches are sexed (a bit murkier, but broadly true) then it is easy to get more than two genders.

Male (male in body and psyche)

Female (female in body and psyche)

Third (body and psyche dont match).

Plenty of human societies have worked on that basis.

You can even work on a simple matrix and get four genders (male-male, female-female, male-female, female-male). But third gender classification (really other) is more common.

And some societies, without going all the way to third gender, have operated on sub-genders (e.g. males held to belong to a separate category because, hey, not sexually interested in girls). Western notions of sexuality are a way of modifying gender identity.

Sexuality or gender?

Back in the C19th, with the intersection between growing anthropological awareness of other societies takes on gender with a critical mass of urbanisation, secularisation and communication making gender/sexual minorities more able to begin to organise, there was an argument in Western circles about whether queer folk should be treated as third gender. The notion of homosexual (and its derivatives, heterosexual and bisexual) won out, as it seemed more scientific and less of a shift of basic presumptions.

What we are seeing is a revisiting of that debate. Unfortunately, it is turning up on the wrong side of postmodernism, so rather than being grounded in ethnography and empiricism, it is all about feelz and discourses. Hence the ludicrous explosion of genders.

Bio-error

What has not helped is that feminism has tended to talk so much about the penis & vagina, which actually do not mark the differences between males and females nearly as much as people think, as they both perform the same functions (bring gametes together, provide sexual pleasure). Ones an innie (so receives) and the others an outie (so penetrates), but they otherwise perform the same functions. If you take that as the key distinguishing feature between male and female, then, if one surgically turns one into the other, you have changed sex.

...

09:00

Challenging Conservative Populism: The Quest for Attainable Solutions The AIM Network

By Denis Bright The appeal of conservative populism has certainly gained momentum. It is hardly the shock of the new in mainstream Australian politics. Way back in 1998 at the Queensland state elections, One Nation won eleven seats with an unexpectedly high primary vote of 22.68 per cent. One Nations objective was to share power

The post Challenging Conservative Populism: The Quest for Attainable Solutions appeared first on The AIM Network.

08:03

In which the fat owl stinks up the tuck shop ... loon pond


There's no doubt that the lizards of Oz are are in a state of deep consternation ...dammit, uppity young folk, all energetic, not knowing the wisdom of their elders, and dammit right at the time the Victorians are talking of putting old folk to the long sleep, sending them up to the farm where Rover went for a nice holiday with the sheep ...

Oh there was much gnashing of flabbergasted teeth ...


The Caterists were in deep mourning, sighing and wailing, and beating their bosom and renting the air with their heartfelt sobbing ...


But the pond yearned for the thoughtful, nuanced analysis of a deep thinker ... someone like an Akker Dakker ... given his usual prominence this day in the Sunday Terror ...



There you go ... a fart joke ...

Why didn't the lizards of Oz cut to the chase like an Akker Dakker? All this bleating l...

07:12

Clinton, Assange and the War on Truth by John Pilger "IndyWatch Feed Politics.us"

Dandelion Salad by John Pilger John Pilger, Oct. 20, 2017 October 21, 2017 On 16 October, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation aired an interview with Hillary Clinton: one of many to promote her score-settling book about why she was not elected President of the United States. Wading through the Clinton book, What Happened, is an unpleasant []

04:30

Feeling The Pressure: Kim Jong Un Sends Unprecedented Letter To Australia "IndyWatch Feed Politics.us"

Appealing to others as to how mean Trump is means hes feeling the pressure and wants others to chastise Trump and let up on him. But its not happening with Australia. Via NY Post: North Korean despot Kim Jong Un sent a rambling letter to Australia, warning that his nation is a nuclear power that []

01:32

NZ the next Venezuela Catallaxy Files

The stupidity of some people plumbs depths that are always hard to fathom. Is it really all that hard to learn from history? Jacinda Ardern: Capitalism has failed New Zealanders. Listen to this bewildering idiocy and marvel how someone can remain so ignorant in the midst of a world of socialist horrors.

New Zealand prime-minister-elect Jacinda Ardern has described capitalism as a blatant failure in the country, nominating poverty and homelessness as her priorities when she takes office.

Speaking in her first sit-down interview, on TV3s The Nation, Ms Ardern said New Zealanders were not feeling the benefits of prosperity. Asked if capitalism had failed New Zealanders on low incomes, Ms Ardern was blunt: If you have hundreds of thousands of children living in homes without enough to survive, thats a blatant failure. What else could you describe it as?

When you have a market economy, it all comes down to whether or not you acknowledge where the market has failed and where intervention is required. Has it failed our people in recent times? Yes.

Wages are not keeping up with inflation (and) and how can you claim youve been successful when you have growth at roughly 3 per cent, but you have the worst homelessness in the developed world?

Such fantastic ignorance. From the comments, as always starting from the best and working down.

Doesnt she realise that capitalism gave her a home, a culture and welfare. Capitalism gave her a car, electricity and water. Socialism gives you depression, greed and envy. Poor NZ, descending into an abyss.

Capitalism is a blatant failure..Well, goodbye New Zealand, youve really done it now.

Heaven help New Zealand if they are her first comments. Capitalism produced the clothes she wears and stopped her from dying from polio and other childhood diseases. Perhaps she should read Alexander Solzenitsyn.

After 9 prosperous years, sure, Capitalism is a failure. What a dope. Of course, socialism has worked everywhere, hasnt it?

If capitalism is such a blatant failure, perhaps Jacinda could name one socialist or communist country that has done better? Didnt think so.

The ACT Labour Party has been in office for 15 years. The voters of the ACT keep electing them because the Canberra Times and the ABC continue the narrative that all opposition politicians are hopelessly inept. How the all-knowing left-leaning journalists have determined this is not clear. Regardless, the voters clearly believe the Canberra Times and the ABC. Do you know why am I telling you this? The ACT Government, the most socialist government in Australia, in coalition with the Greens, claims to support the homeless and the poor. Yet the ACT ha...

00:16

Castle Hill, Townsville carries the message "STOP ADANI" North Coast Voices


A major heritage-listed landmark shows that not everyone in Townsville, Queensland, appears to be happy with becoming a mining FIFO dumping ground hub for the financially dubious multinational Adani Group 

Castle Hill aka Cutheringa Mountain est elevation 264 metres
Image: Townsville Bulletin, 16 October 2016

Via...

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Saturday, 21 October

23:12

The usual, thanks oecomuse

When I started this blog in 2013, it was to debrief from the coming tsunami of nasty policy and toxic dishonesty that I was sure would inevitably flow from an Abbott government. Two years later, in 2015, I did not assume that Malcolm Turnbull would be an honest and statesmanlike Prime Minister.

I listened carefully to that first press conference, where Turnbull failed to restore the quantum of funding Abbott had cut from services providing shelter and support to women and children escaping male violence. Turnbull allocated a third of the $100 million funding restoration to advertising companies, presumably companies which benefit from Liberal Party ad-buys. He implied the money was new funding. He sounded smug and arrogant.

I assume the decision to make this grandiose announcement, rather than some other grandiose announcement, was political strategy. Liberal polling probably showed that Abbott alienated women voters, and so Turnbull was despatched to charm the swinging voter woman of the (extremely limited) Liberal Party imagination.

The same vibe was on show when Turnbull announced his first ministry, which was in fact a ministerial re-shuffle, given the Coalition government was still in its first term. With great fanfare, he trumpeted Marise Payne as the first defence minister, and political reporters duly accepted this as fact. When it was pointed out that Ros Kelly was a junior minister for defence science and personnel a full two decades earlier, the claim was refined to first stand-alone defence minister or some such.

Either way, the claim is bollocks. It is designed for headlines, not grounded in fact. There is no single or fully fledged defence minister when someone with the status and influence of Christopher Pyne is also in the field, in this case, as minister for defence industry. The submarine build in South Australia promise was a massive part of the almost-lost 2016 election (my longer thoughts on that expensive nonsense here).

In typical Turnbullesque style of which the hallmark is extremely poor political judgement the relationship between Payne and Pyne is reportedly toxic.

None of this bodes well for merit-based economically-efficient decision making in the defence portfolio. But then no Liberal Party appointment ever does. Its members are incapable of redistributing tax revenue for the purpose of providing essential government services. Basic government functions are not what a bunch of private school boy grads have any qualifications, life experie...

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Friday, 20 October

13:02

New energy obligations likely to spur more brutal politics Drag0nista's Blog

Weekly column for The New Daily.Filed under: energy, Political parties, Politics Tagged: Bill Shorten, Coalition, Labor Party, Liberal Party, Malcolm Turnbull, National Energy Guarantee

Friday, 13 October

12:53

Will Malcolm Turnbull bow to Tony Abbott yet again and do away with the Clean Energy Target? Drag0nista's Blog

Weekly column for The New Daily. Image credit: Alex EllinghausenFiled under: energy, Politicians Tagged: Clean Energy Target, Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Abbott

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