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Tuesday, 18 September


Prime Minister Shouty McShouty is just being his normal obnoxious self North Coast Voices

There has been some advice offered to Australian Prime Minister and Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison by mainstream media.

Some journalists are suggesting that he should shout less.

Here are videos of his performance in the House of Representatives as Treasurer to demonstrate that he had little volume control even then :


When a prime minster fails to grasp the basics of climate change policy..... North Coast Voices

The Australian Prime Minister for Fossil Fuels and Liberal MP for Cook, Scott Morrison, has been repeatedly insisting since he came to office on 24 August 2018 that Australia is on target to meet its Paris Agreement greenhouse gas emissions targets.

Apparently he is telling journalists that the business-as-usual model gets us there in a canter.

Business-as-usual of course includes those cuts to climate change mitigation programs Morrison made as federal treasurer - including no further funding for the Abbott Government's Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) which has so far failed to purchase enough abatement to outpace Australia's emissions growth.

Those agencies outside of Morrison's magic circle are quite frankly contradicting his prediction of success.......

The COAG Energy Security Councils Energy Security Board expects that Morrisons refusal to revive National Energy Guaranteelegislation will see the electricity sector fall short of the emissions reduction target of 26% below 2005 levels.

According to Dept. of Environment and Energy  ...

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Monday, 17 September


Dealing with the highest standards of political madness Catallaxy Files

This is the accusation: that the nominee for the Supreme Court, when he was 17, which is thirty or so years ago, did the following:

One summer in the early 1980s, Kavanaugh and a friend both stumbling drunk, Ford alleges corralled her into a bedroom during a gathering of teenagers at a house in Montgomery County.

While his friend watched, she said, Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it. When she tried to scream, she said, he put his hand over her mouth.

I thought he might inadvertently kill me, said Ford, now a 51-year-old research psychologist in northern California. He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.

Ford said she was able to escape when Kavanaughs friend and classmate at Georgetown Preparatory School, Mark Judge, jumped on top of them, sending all three tumbling. She said she ran from the room, briefly locked herself in a bathroom and then fled the house.

Ford said she told no one of the incident in any detail until 2012, when she was in couples therapy with her husband. The therapists notes, portions of which were provided by Ford and reviewed by The Washington Post, do not mention Kavanaughs name but say she reported that she was attacked by students from an elitist boys school who went on to become highly respected and high-ranking members of society in Washington. The notes say four boys were involved, a discrepancy Ford says was an error on the therapists part. Ford said there were four boys at the party but only two in the room.

Notes from an individual therapy session the following year, when she was being treated for what she says have been long-term effects of the incident, show Ford described a rape attempt in her late teens.

In an interview, her husband, Russell Ford, said that in the 2012 sessions, she recounted being trapped in a room with two drunken boys, one of whom pinned her to a bed, molested her and prevented her from screaming. He said he recalled that his wife used Kavanaughs last name and voiced concern that Kavanaugh then a federal judge might one day be nominated to the Supreme Court.

On Sunday, the White House sent The Post a statement Kavanaugh issued last week, when the outlines of Fords account became public: I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time.

Through a White House spokesman, Kavanaugh declined to comment further on Fords allegation and did not respond to questions about whether he knew her during high s...


What do think tanks think? The AIM Network

By Henry Johnston Auguste RodinsThe Thinker is universally regarded as a symbol of science and philosophy. But Rodin originally called it The Poet as a detail of a larger work known as The Gates of Hell to be used as an entrance to a Parisian museum. Neither the museum nor the bronze doors the

The post What do think tanks think? appeared first on The AIM Network.


Complicit in corruption reprint The AIM Network

Breaking news.well kind of. Company linked to alleged foreign bribery conspiracy in Nauru received $2.5m Australian government contract Shock horror.  Our AFP have discovered corruption in Nauru.eventually. Which leads me to repost an article I wrote over two years ago.. August 14, 2016 In June [2016], in an interview with A Current Affair, Naurus Justice Minister

The post Complicit in corruption reprint appeared first on The AIM Network.


Marketing Pixiedust The AIM Network

Regardless of the prognostications of politics in Australia, the message delivered by politicians from the larger parties is always professional, well-rehearsed and well delivered. Even as the dust was settling on the Turnbull/Dutton/Morrison brouhaha recently, Morrison had his message sorted (hes representing us in case you didnt pick up on it). Its just like a

The post Marketing Pixiedust appeared first on The AIM Network.


Australia and the new social democratic movement Independent Australia

Australia and the new social democratic movementLed by Bernie Sanders in the U.S. and the UK's Jeremy Corbyn, a new socially democratic force is dawning, writes Dr Steven Hail. read now...


Bring them home No Right Turn

In 2016, Labour promised that they would withdraw kiwi troops from Iraq if elected. They lied:

New Zealand will extend its military presence in Iraq until June 2019, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced.

Cabinet signed off on five military deployments on Monday.

The deployment in Afghanistan has also been extended to September 2019 alongside three smaller peacekeeping missions.

Our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are neither moral nor necessary. In Iraq, kiwi troops have been directly assisting the Iraqi army in a murderous war. The Iraqi government has declared its enemies defeated. So why are we still there? And in Afghanistan, Kiwi troops have been directly implicated in war crimes, which are now the subject of an inquiry here in New Zealand. In both cases, all our presence does is directly support the corrupt, murderous regimes in Baghdad, Kabul, and Washington. Instead of doing that, we should bring them home - now.


Predator-free Waiheke? No Right Turn

Over the weekend the government announced an ambitious plan to make Waiheke Island predator-free:

Waiheke Island is set to become the world's largest predator-free urban island under a bold new $11 million plan to rid the Hauraki Gulf Island of rats and stoats.

Millions of passengers visit the Auckland tourist destination each year and the head of Fullers ferry company says it will be extremely difficult to introduce biosecurity measures similar to those imposed on other pest-free islands which involve checking visitors' gear, ensuring food is in sealed bags and cleaning footwear.

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage will today announce plans to make the island, which is already free of possums, free of other pests by 2025.

This would enable North Island kk, kkriki, kerer, t, korimako or bellbird, piwakawaka or fantail, tturiwhatu or New Zealand dotterel, i or grey-faced petrel and koror or little blue penguins to breed safely and increase in number on Waiheke, she said.

While there's not a lot of money involved, this is a big, ambitious policy. It will also be a field-test for the wider goal of a predator-free New Zealand, and how to prevent rats spreading from urban areas into protected ones. But even if its not ultimately successful, and they end up merely vastly reducing predator numbers on Waiheke or restricting them to urban spaces, it will still have huge conservation benefits. And they can then take the lessons they learn and apply them to Stewart Island or the Coromandel.


Zeev Vinokurov: Schools out Catallaxy Files

Think back to university or high school. Were you or your classmates ever left bored or wondering whether one of your subjects would ever help you get a job? When was the last time most of us wrote an essay on literature or foreign policy, or solved an advanced mathematical equation? Youre not alone: An Australian government survey recently reported that more than a quarter of the nations graduates say their degrees are close to useless for their jobs, while more than half of employers say management and commerce degrees, the most popular field of study, are not important. Yet Australian taxpayers spent about $87 billion on education last year, $31 billion of which is spent on university education. Is that money well spent?

Economics Professor Bryan Caplans provocative, well-written and sometimes witty book, The Case Against Education: Why the Education System is a Waste of Time and Money, argues that taxpayers wastefully sponsor students to study courses that many wont enjoy, dont find relevant, dont learn much from, and dont remember much of after graduation.

So why do students study boring, irrelevant subjects? Graduating from university is valuable because it signals to employers that students are hard-working, capable, and willing to tolerate serious boredom as demonstrated by years of study. Indeed, graduate salaries tend to grow dramatically compared to nongraduates but mostly after they graduate. Thats called the sheepskin effect. The sheepskin effect even works for near-failing graduates, who still earn substantially more than students who drop out with one semester lefteven though theyre often separated by sheer luck. By graduating, students signal their work ethic.

The problem? Taxpayer sponsored education encourages excessive credentialism. Competent high school graduates benefit from a university degree even if it doesnt offer a career path, simply because it allows them to further demonstrate their pre-existing work ethic. But those too poor to enrol in university or complete it are effectively left behind when competing with tertiary graduates in the workforce. Thats because employers prefer to hire university graduates over high school graduates, even though both may be equally capable. State-sponsored higher education punishes university graduates by forcing them to engage in years of make-work while also punishing high school graduates who cannot afford university studies.

Moreover, and contrary to popular belief, students dont gain critical knowledge, reasoning skills, networking, discipline and social skills from studying the humanities. Studies conducted by educational psychologists indicate that most students dont learn these skills from the humanities, dont transfer what theyve le...


No more charter schools No Right Turn

National's charter schools are now officially dead:

All 12 of New Zealand's charter schools have been approved for transition to state integrated schools.

It marks the end to a rather short era.


"We have worked with the charter schools to find a way forward for them within the state system and no existing charter schools are closing their doors," Education Minister Chris Hipkins said.

The last two schools to be approved for transition were Tranga Tangata Rite in Gisborne and Waatea School in Auckland.

Te Kura Mori o Waatea will open as a year 1-8 state integrated school in 2019, and Tranga Tangata Rite, which was not yet up and running, will open as a state-integrated school in 2020.

And that's that. No more second-rate, for-profit schools to exploit the poor with unqualified teachers and quack curriculums. Instead, they'll be required to have qualified staff, teach a proper curriculum, and be subject to the normal oversight of the Official Information and Ombudsman's Acts, just like any other school.


The police owe us some answers on Thompson & Clark No Right Turn

Back in March, the State Services Commission began an inquiry into government departments' use of Stasi-as-a-service firm Thompson & Clark. But there's one significant group which appears to have a deep and disturbing collaboration with TCIL which isn't covered by the inquiry: the Police:

There are calls for the inquiry into government agency links with controversial private investigation firm Thompson & Clark to be expanded to also take in the police, after a Stuff Circuit investigation exposed a long history of contact between police and the company.

"It's completely extraordinary that the police are not covered by the inquiry into Thompson & Clark," said Greenpeace executive director Russel Norman.


When police undertake surveillance there is oversight, from the judicial warrant system, for instance.

"Thompson & Clark don't go through any of those processes," says Norman. "They pay people who then turn up at groups and pretend to care about whatever the issue is and then if they're passing that information on to the New Zealand police without ever getting any proper judicial oversight of what the police are up to, that is very problematic."

The Stuff Circuit investigation makes a strong case that the police used Thompson & Clark to spy on animal rights activists, and has an admission from a police source that they shared a paid informant with them. And from reading the article, the police may also have lied on a search warrant application - a sworn statement to a judge - to hide the source of their intelligence. All of which is completely unacceptable. An investigation is necessary to uncover any police wrongdoing, as well as restore public confidence in the police. As for who should be tasked with getting to the bottom of it, it seems to fall within the ambit of the Independent Police Conduct Authority, and if it doesn't, then its covered by the Ombudsmen (the police being a specified organisation). But the IPCA would require someone to make a complaint, and may be reluctant to look at general matters of police policy - something the Ombudsman is generally far more willing to do. And I think people would be far more willing to trust the Ombudsman than the police's patsy "investigators".

Amnesty In...


The Woes of Climate Change States The AIM Network

As Australias tattered yet new government, led by the increasingly oafish and amateurish Scott Morrison trundled into its post-climate phase, states which see their existence as dependent on the cutting of carbon emissions have been more than a touch concerned. Their reality remains divorced from the paper clip conspiracies of Canberra and the energy cliques

The post The Woes of Climate Change States appeared first on The AIM Network.


More plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050 Independent Australia

More plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050Scientists warn that, unless we take action, by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans. read now...


Semantic drift in the climate debate Catallaxy Files

Reading some academic literature by warming alarmists on the appropriate way to respond to criticism suggests that we have a shift in the meaning of key concepts in the debate. Cutting to the chase, in this literature the role of human emissions has shifted from likely one of the causes of warming in 1988 through discernible human influence in 1995 to causing most of the Earths warming since then.

So the image or the connotation of human-generated CO2 has shifted from traces of plant food added to the air by human activities that could have some influence on the climate to a global emergency that calls for trillions of expenditure to fix although it might be too late.

The technical term for this kind of thing is semantic drift or shift.

Awful Originally meant inspiring wonder (or fear), now usually has negative meaning.
Demagogue Originally meant a popular leader from the Greek dmos people + aggs leading, guiding. Now a politician who panders to emotions and prejudice.
Egregious Originally meaning good from the Latin egregius illustrious, select, literally, standing out from the flock, now really bad or flagrant.
Gay Originally meant (13th century) lighthearted, joyous or (14th century) bright and showy, it also came to mean happy.
Disinterested, once even handed or objective, now not interested.

In Climate scepticism and the manufacture of doubt [Ref below for nerds] we read Since at least the mid-1990s there has been a consensus that most of the Earths warming over the last half a century is likely due to increases in greenhouse gas emissions. In 1988 James Hansen testified [that it is] very likely on one of the causesIn 1995 the IPCC Second Assessment concluded that the balance of evidence suggests that there is a discernible human influenceand since that time the debate within the field of climate science [re the dominant contribution of human emissions] has largely been settled.

Observe the drift from likely one of the causes (1988) through discernible (IPCC 1995) to most of the Earths warming and debate largely settled since that time. Moreover the warming is alarming and it is mostly CO2 that is to blame.

Observe how the drift is propagated by the Reuters report on the 97.4% consensus paper by Cook and others. Incidentally the paper itself, read closely, indicates that most of the climate scientists think like most climate realists, that there has been some warming in recent times and there is a human influence (magnitude of both unspecified).

The Reuters item leads off with a summar...


Adani on life support John Quiggin

I have a piece in The Guardian under the headline Adanis rail line cut shows project is on life support but still a threat to climate, starting with the observation

The recent announcement by Adani that it will halve the costs of its rail line to the proposed Carmichael coalmine by building a shorter, narrow-gauge line raises an obvious question: if such a massive cost-saving is feasible, why didnt Adani go that way in the first place?

I also address the broader question

If coal is doomed, why has the price recoverd


Sandpit John Quiggin

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


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


Recollections of youth while examining a judge Catallaxy Files

This is the Instapundit post which already has more than 1300 comments. If the right is going to fold every time some woman makes an accusation from decades before, they are not only sensationally vulnerable but fantastically stupid. Not one Democrat believes any of it, but they know some Republicans will, or at least will pretend to. Remember Roy Moore?

ANITA HILL, REDUX: Kavanaugh Accuser Breaks Anonymity, Is Liberal Professor.

UPDATE: Heres what we know: Judiciary Committee chair Chuck Grassley reacts to new Kavanaugh allegation report. (Bumped).

MORE: Sen. Jeff Flake wants to postpone vote on Brett Kavanaugh; Update: Statement from Sen. Collins.

Plus: Thread: IF you wanted to detonate an 11th-hr, unfalsifiable smear & strategically leak it for max impact, this is how youd do it.



A Parliamentary Democracy for Everybody Pigs Fly Newspaper

Spin, Halftruths or simply Bulls**t

Forget what politicians say.
What truly matters is what they do.
And what they do is vote, to write our laws which affect us all.

A Parliamentary Democracy for Everybody

In Australia, every 3 years or so, we all head to polling places across the country to elect individuals to represent us in Federal Parliament. They become Australias Members of Parliament (MPs), and theyre there to advocate for the interests of the people who live in their electorate (whether we voted for them or not), vote on our behalf, and pass legislation to create a society which works for us.

They vote for you

Between elections, how do you know that the individual speaking for you, in your electorate, votes in your interest?

Have they ever voted against their party on an issue people like you in your electorate care about? Do they even turn up?

How your MP votes on issues you care about

Weve peeled back the layers of stuffy jargon, arcane procedures and language so you can find out whether a member voted on expanding powers to intercept communications or for Aboriginal land rights. There is a whole list of policies. If you see one missing, you can add your own.

Find your MP

Its easy to get started by searching
or head to the full list of Representatives and Senators.

Thanks for making this

They Vote For You was built by the OpenAustralia Foundation, an independent, non-partisan not-for-profit. It is based on the ground-breaking UK Public Whip site originally created by Francis Irving and Julian Todd in 2003. We owe Julian and Francis a massive debt of gratitude for everything theyve done.

A huge thank you to Google Australia whose donation made the development of this project possible.

They Vote For You was created by Henare Degan, Matthew Landauer, Luke Bacon and Katherine Szuminska. Political research for the resea...


Thomas Sowell hits the nail Catallaxy Files

From the wisdom of Thomas Sowell:

What socialism, fascism and other ideologies of the left have in common is an assumption that some very wise peoplelike themselvesneed to take decisions out of the hands of lesser people, like the rest of us, and impose those decisions by government fiat.

If there is ever invented a proven and working potion of youth, Spartacus would vote that Sowell be the first recipient if he wants it that is.

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus
Subscribe to the Sparta-Blog at


Morrison's Coalition Government in complete disarray Independent Australia

Morrison's Coalition Government in complete disarrayComplete with a new leader, this Government remains in complete disarray merely keeping the seat warm for Labor. read now...


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

On 15 September 2018 The Daily Examiner reported that:

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

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

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

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

I got an email from their managing dir...


In which the pond takes a break, but not before gorging on a final serve of Oreo ... loon pond


Everything old is new again, and the onion muncher survives again, because that's all he knows a professional politician, with the abilities of a rank amateur ...

The pond contemplated it with a weary grim joy and decided to take an extended break. 

We're all dying but some are going a tad more quickly, and the pond's ill-health has undercut its ability to tend to its reptile herpetarium and in any case for what? To make a fresh round of Direct Action jokes, and marvel at the inherent uselessness of the onion muncher?

Well at least the pond's banner retains some ongoing relevance, with the onion muncher's direct action nonsense still rampant but the pond wanted to go out with a bang, and who better than the Oreo to provide an Oscar Wilde rocket for the pond's buck?



This power to censor must end Catallaxy Files

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

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

My reply:

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

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

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

THE CREEPY LINE: It is all coming out as a movie. A big issue with growing momentum.

More at The Creepy Line | Film News. You can also google it here.


Will Dutton face the High Court? North Coast Voices

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

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

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

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


Sunday, 16 September


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

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


ScoMos debut ruined by his own treachery. The AIM Network

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

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


CARTOON: Paul's pardon Independent Australia

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


Scomo, Politicians & Prophets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Failing upwards John Quiggin

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

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


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


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

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

The pond could hardly contain itself.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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


Further notes on an offensive cartoon Independent Australia

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


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

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

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

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

Of course

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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

Images found on Twitter

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


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

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

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

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

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


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