Number 982


Michael Gawenda was the editor of The Age newspaper in Melbourne from 1997 until 2004. He is currently a Fellow of University of Melbourne’s Centre for Advancing Journalism, after serving as the inaugural Director of the Centre in 2009. After finishing school, he studied economics and politics, then he moved to Papua New Guinea to work as an economist. He returned to Australia in 1970 after deciding that economics wasn’t the career path for him.

An internship at The Age in 1970 led to a 37 year career in which Michael rose to become the Editor in Chief in 2003. Along the way, he was awarded three Walkley Awards and was a feature writer, news writer and foreign correspondent. The Age endorsed the Liberal Party in the 2004 federal election while Gawenda was Editor in Chief — something that was condemned by Crikey at the time. Ironically by 2009, Gawenda was writing the Rocky and Gawenda blog for Crikey.

All in all, Michael Gawenda is respected in his profession and has made an outstanding contribution to Australian life. Gawenda is also a refugee. Gawenda’s family are of Polish descent and Michael Gawenda was born in a displaced persons’ camp in Austria in 1947. His family arrived in Australia three years later and lived with his father’s cousin. You can read his personal account of early life in Australia here on the Refugee Council’s website.

Most Australians have heard of the ‘Ten Pound Poms’. The scheme was a result of the Curtin Government’s ‘populate or perish’ policy, designed to protect Australia from invasion by Japan. Briefly, adults from any Commonwealth country could gain passage to Australia for the sum of ten pounds — accompanying children were free. While the policy was changed over the years to increase the level of skill required, as well as to allow entry for immigrants from other European countries such as the Netherlands and Italy, the policy of increasing the population of this country for economic and security benefits continued, supported by both ALP and Coalition governments.

The scheme’s peak year was 1969 when more than 80,000 people immigrated to Australia using assisted passage arrangements and, while it is estimated that approximately one quarter of those that immigrated returned to their country of origin, ‘Ten Pound Poms’ have made a significant contribution to Australian life. Some of the better known assisted immigrants include Tony Abbott (current prime minister), Julia Gillard (past prime minister), The Bee Gees (musicians and song writers), Noni Hazlehurst (actor), Alan Bond (businessman), Frank Tyson (English test cricketer) and Harold Larwood (English test cricketer of ‘bodyline’ fame). In addition, actor/musician Kylie Minogue’s mother, and the parents of both Whitlam government minister Al Grassby and actor Hugh Jackman, were also assisted immigrants.

Tony Le Nguyen was born in Vietnam in 1968. Le Nguyen has worked as an actor, writer, director and producer — as well as being the first official Vietnamese Australian to be appointed as a Prison Visitor in Victoria. He had a role in Romper Stomper as well as a number of other Australian productions as varied as GP, Fast Forward, Stingers and Sea Change. Le Nguyen founded the Australian Vietnamese Youth Media in 1994 and has directed a number of community and professional productions since then.

Le Nguyen’s father was a teacher and interpreter working for the South Vietnamese government. The family made two attempts to escape from Vietnam using unsuitable boats and spent some in refugee camps in south-east Asia. In 1979, his family was accepted for resettlement in Australia. You can read his personal account of the struggle to live in Vietnam, leave Vietnam, and life in Australia on the Refugee Council’s website.

Dr Munjed Al Muderis is a hip and knee orthopaedic surgeon in Sydney. You may have seen some media coverage recently when he used a pioneering technique to ‘install’ artificial limbs. The Australian Women’s Weekly told the story of Mitch Grant in the November 2013 issue and the News Limited Sunday papers recently carried an article regarding his work with Michael Swain, a British veteran of the Afghanistan War. In both cases Dr Al Muderis affixed posts to the remaining stumps of legs and connected the artificial limb to the post. This ensured that artificial limbs would not be subject to the customary problems where the artificial limb rubs or doesn’t make contact with the remaining natural limb. In Michael Swain’s case, he arrived in Sydney in a wheelchair but walked down the aerobridge when it was time to return to London.

As you have probably deduced by now, Munjed Al Muderis is also a refugee — in this case from Iraq, where he was ordered as a junior surgeon to cut the ears off people accused of crimes against the Hussein government. His website has a biography and gives some detail of his experiences in becoming a world-renowned surgeon. His story is also told in the article that discusses Michael Swain — who is due to receive an MBE from the Queen in April 2014 and ‘walk down the aisle’ in June.

Dr Al Muderis is the ‘Number 982’ that heads this piece — that was his number at the Curtin ‘Detention’ Centre and all that he was called by the authorities when incarcerated there for ten months.

Humans have basic needs for shelter, food, security, protection and stability. Maslow’s Theory suggests that once basic needs such as food and shelter are met, humans will seek security, protection and stability. It is questionable that a human’s food and shelter needs are met if they are living under a government that is punishing families, as demonstrated by the narratives of Michael Gawenda, Tony Le Nguyen or Munjed Al Muderis. Those responsible for the decision to become refugees demonstrated their basic desire for food, shelter, protection and stability — as did a majority of those who emigrated to Australia in the past 40,000 years. To suggest that asylum seekers or refugees is solely an Australian problem is ludicrous. The UNHCR reports that Australia received 15,998 refugees in 2012 — 3% of the world total.

Most the people named in this piece are immigrants to Australia, as are the rest of us — regardless of whether we walked off an Airbus A380 last week or our ancestors walked across a land-bridge from Asia 40,000 years ago. We have all in our own way contributed to the vibrant, clever and prosperous country that we call home. Those people detailed above are a small sample of those that made significant contributions to our country — far outweighing any assistance the country gave immigrants to start their lives here. For the majority of the twentieth century Australia actively sought people to immigrate here through refugee programs, the ‘Ten Pound Pom’ scheme and the resettlement of some 200,000 people, mostly from Asia, in the period 1975 to 1982, including 2,059 ‘boat people’. Yet in the twenty-first century we have a prime minister that got to power partly using the mantra of ‘stop the boats’.

Not that the ALP is blameless here. Since Keating introduced ‘detention’ centres, there has been a considerable amount of ‘me-too-ism’ in the policies of both major political parties in this country in regard to assisting refugees from all parts of the world who are seeking asylum in this country. Howard’s Coalition government seems to have managed the Tampa Affair, when a Norwegian ship picked up some refugees and attempted to land them on Australian soil, only to be refused, to maximise his Government’s vote.

Since then there has been a number of efforts to make various Government’s look ‘tough’ on border protection, usually at the expense of refugees. The Australian Labor Party under Rudd and Gillard was no more humanitarian than the LNP under Howard and Abbott. They all saw the potential for votes and have competed in this race to the bottom in abysmal treatment to fellow human beings.

So, instead of demonising these people for domestic political purposes, why wouldn’t a political party that wants to demonstrate fairness and equity to all change the conversation within Australia? Instead of punitive action against fellow humans — that in the majority are doing it far worse that any Australian — why not a conversation about how refugees over the past 60 years have brought a great deal of material benefit to this country? Examples could range from the ubiquitous country town café of the 1950s and 60s up until today when people travel half way across the world to be treated by a refugee from Iraq — as in the case of Michael Swain.

The Liberal Party website tells us that many years ago:

Robert Menzies believed the time was right for a new political force in Australia — one which fought for the freedom of the individual and produced enlightened liberal policies.

Ben Chifley around the same time gave his ‘light on the hill’ speech in which he stated:

I try to think of the Labour movement, not as putting an extra sixpence into somebody's pocket, or making somebody Prime Minister or Premier, but as a movement bringing something better to the people, better standards of living, greater happiness to the mass of the people. We have a great objective — the light on the hill — which we aim to reach by working for the betterment of mankind not only here but anywhere we may give a helping hand.

It is neither enlightened nor for the betterment of mankind that people, who generally suffer incredible privations in order to better their lives, are treated as prisoners who do not have the same access to services provided to other immigrants and refugees who arrived here in the decades prior to the 1980’s.

How did the two major Australian political parties lose their desire to either ‘[bring] something better to the people … working for the betterment of mankind’ or fight ‘for the freedom of the individual and [produce]… enlightened liberal policies’?

When did the two major political parties become so morally corrupt that they both will use their fellow humans’ pain and suffering to gain political mileage? Isn’t it time that at least one of the two major political parties rediscovered morals and ethics?

What do you think?

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TPS Team

30/03/2014This week 2353 brings us a different take on the refugee and boat people debate. He looks at the success of a sample of refugees and their individual life stories. Like a good journalist he brings the problem to life — these are real people who were refugees and we see what they have achieved or, more importantly, what they have added to Australian society. How many people like these are we losing from Australia’s future by the current approach to refugees and boat people? We all know that migrants and refugees (and many assisted migrants after World War 2 were also refugees) have changed the way we eat in Australia. From the days when the most exotic food was a pineapple fritter or dim sim at the local fish and chip shop to now when not just restaurants but shops and supermarkets carry a range of product undreamed of in the 1950s. What 2353 also tells us is how refugees have added their skills to areas as diverse as journalism, politics, medicine and the arts. Without them, would we still be eating nothing more exotic than lamb chops with peas and mash, watching Chips Rafferty films and thinking the edge of the world was somewhere about the Great Barrier Reef? You be the judge. And that leads one to ask: why are our major political parties ignoring the benefits that refugees have brought and can bring to our nation?

Pappinbarra Fox

30/03/2014Not only are we losing people like these but we are also losing an essential part of our community humanity. Putting faces on the people that we so poorly deal with ought to make us rethink that treatment. But the faces of bigotry and hard line inhumanity sway the community. This morning's Insiders were quoting 65% support for the current approach and the hoary old chestnut that a large portion of our community think the gov could be tougher was aired again. It is very troubling the direction our once compassionate country is heading. Oh the humanity!

Ken

30/03/20142353 While endorsing your overall argument, I particularly like the historical references to Menzies and Chifley - a clear indication that both major parties have abandoned their founding principles. As I commented in a previous thread, it ia another indication that politics is now about "politics" not "policy". The idea that principles should guide policy has been subverted by the 'spin doctors' (aka media advisors).

Casablanca

30/03/20142353 Thank you for another excellent conversation starter. I have included your piece in Casablanca's Cache for tomorrow along with 4 other articles which address aspects of the points that you have raised. They are filed under [b]CULTURE WARS + PEOPLE MOVEMENTS.[/b] Here is a bit of a heads up - an amazing chart showing global movement of people. The compilers conclude that: 'It’s not the poorest countries sending people to the richest countries, it’s countries in transition—still poor, but with some education and mobility—that are the highest migratory contributors. [b]Where everyone in the world is migrating—in one gorgeous chart[/b] Nick Stockton It’s no secret that the world’s population is on the move, but it’s rare to get a glimpse of where that flow is happening. In a study released in today’s Science, a team of geographers used data snapshots to create a broad analysis of global migrations over 20 years. http://qz.com/192440/where-everyone-in-the-world-is-migrating-in-one-gorgeous-chart/ The article also includes an interactive chart showing regional flows over 20 years. The numbers for Oceania are so small you will need a steady mouse to trace the flow.

2353

30/03/2014Casablanca - thank you, I'm honoured. The chart you have linked to above is a wonderful demonstration that Australia really doesn't have a refugee problem. I would have thought that the greatest number of refugees was in Europe - but the text accompanying the chart suggests that the USA is the biggest 'importer' of refugees. 'Strict' (read inhumane) border protection policies work well there as well!

Ad astra

30/03/20142353 The answer to your penultimate question is: when politics took over from humanitarian concerns. Howard started the rot with Tampa and 'We will decide who comes to this country....', and Abbott saw the potential for creating division in the community and appealing to the base racist instincts of the electorate. Labor did not have the guts to expose this, lamely allowing itself to be led by the nose. The result is an embarrassment to decent people and our nation. Operation Sovereign Borders perpetuates the grotesque. Casablanca, your Neil Stockton link demonstrates what a miniscule immigration 'problem' we have had in the past, and now. So the 'problem' is not and has never been a problem for our nation. It is purely and simply a cynical political strategy that the Coalition has used to its advantage, and Labor has been suckered into following along. How can this country ever extracate itself?

Casablanca

31/03/2014CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Monday, 31 March 2014. [b]We have a Government committed to undoing and going backwards. [/b] Posted below and at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CC-2014-03-27.aspx

Casablanca

31/03/2014 TT Check out item 4 in CC

Patriciawa

31/03/2014I don't think we can really extricate ourselves, AA, but is there any way we can avoid digging ourselves any deeper into the mire? If only there was some way to have every little Aussie take in that gorgeous chart Casablanca has led us to at http://qz.com/192440/where-everyone-in-the-world-is-migrating-in-one-gorgeous-chart/ (Item 27). We'd have no worries then, would we? They could all go home and get their mums and dads to look at it too. Then they might stop complaining and start thanking their lucky stars they don't live in Texas on the Mexican border.

Casablanca

31/03/2014 [b]CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Monday, 31 March 2014: 62 items[/b] MARCH IN MARCH 1. Faces in the crowd: Melbourne #MarchinMarch Kevin Rennie The Marches in March continue to glow with controversy. Never did so few gather so many, without engaging the usual suspects of the old media, the political parties, NGOs, the unions and the activist groups. There had to be a dark side to these events. The people can’t have minds of their own! Or if they do they must be warped! http://nofibs.com.au/2014/03/28/faces-crowd-melbourne-marchinmarch/#sthash.wqxxgb3h.dpuf http://theaimn.com/2014/03/28/faces-in-the-crowd-melbourne-marchinmarch/ 2. Citizen journo @Jansant met Billy Bragg and asked him why he supports # marchinmarch Wayne Jansson After hearing rumours Billy Bragg (@billybragg) would be performing at one of the March in March (MiM) events, I contacted his publicists in both Australia and the UK hoping to get a few words out of the legendary musician and social justice campaigner. http://nofibs.com.au/2014/03/15/citizen-journo-jansant-met-billy-bragg-asked-supports-marchinmarch/#sthash.FurmbgNf.dpuf THE TONY AWARDS 3. Knights, dames – be honest, Australia, you love it Tom Clark There is an enduring sense that dames and knights are part of a peculiar game of dress-ups adored by those on the right-side path to power. Will the electorate indulge “Daggy Dad” Abbott in this conservative fantasy play, or will it resent an unnecessary shark-jump in his first year in office? http://theconversation.com/knights-dames-be-honest-australia-you-love-it-24875 4. My Country! A poem for our time… rossleighbrisbane I love a sunburnt country A land of dames and knights, Of rugged radio shock jocks Who tell us of our rights. I love her racist free speech Now we have no 18C Her bigots do have rights, you know, The great white land for me. http://theaimn.com/2014/03/30/my-country-a-poem-for-our-time/ 5. Grattan on Friday: In Conversation with Tony Abbott Michelle Grattan Tony Abbott has been in office six months, and this week marks 20 years since he was elected to parliament. On Thursday he sat down with The Conversation in his Parliament House office to talk about settling… http://theconversation.com/grattan-on-friday-in-conversation-with-tony-abbott-24895 6. Forget the budget - let's talk knights and bigots Barrie Cassidy At a time when it should be laying the groundwork for the momentous budget to come, the Federal Government is instead talking about distractions of its own making, writes Barrie Cassidy. Bigots and knights, distractions and indulgences - what a bizarre and wasted week for the Abbott Government. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-28/cassidy-a-budget-looms-so-lets-talk-knights-and-bigots/5350266 7. Downton Abbott: PM's vision for Australia Jacqueline Maley If John Howard, Australia’s great conservative elder, thinks you’re being a tad old-fashioned, it is a sure sign you are pulling some truly mediaeval moves. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/downton-abbott-pms-vision-for-australia-20140328-35opd.html 8. Arise, I dub me #KnightsAndDames burgewords When Tony Abbott added feudal to the fire, Twitter had a right royal week. Straight off the back of a nation sanctioned to be as bigoted as it wants to be without redress, on Tuesday this week, Prime Minister Tony Abbott, head of a self-described "no surprises government", pulled a fast one on everyone, even his own colleagues in cabinet, and reinstated the long-abandoned honours system of knights and dames. http://nofibs.com.au/2014/03/28/storify-arise-dub-knightsanddames-burgewords/ 9. Tony Abbott's discordant dame decision Peter Hartcher One way or another, most of Australia has been laughing at Tony Abbott’s discordant decision to revive knighthoods. Was the announcement dated 2014 or 1420? http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/tony-abbotts-discordant-dame-decision-20140328-zqo4p.html#ixzz2xQ21ZrRP 10. Quentin Bryce showed her true colours, quietly Julia Baird So subtle has her work been as governor-general, that many have completely missed what Quentin Bryce has done for women, and how extraordinary it has been to have a feminist occupy that position. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/quentin-bryce-showed-her-true-colours-quietly-20140327-zqnor.html#ixzz2xQP2YgYe 11. Giving due honour to the in-laws Jack Waterford ONE OF the advantages of a restoration of the honours system is that it can be very helpful in resolving how to address one's parents-in-law. Some people - parents-in-law and children-in- law - can get a bit funny about what to call each other, not least about adopting one's partner's terms of mum or dad. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/giving-due-honour-to-the-inlaws-20140329-35q2e.html#ixzz2xSL0zIts 12. Tony Abbott has gone barking mad Mike Carlton Philip," she said..." We had him to lunch at Windsor last year. You said it was the most excruciatingly dull occasion you'd endured since the state dinner for George Bush." "Ah yes. He kept banging on about being a Rhodes scholar." "And told us some of the colleges at Oxford were very old and historic," said the Queen with a wry smile. "Who'd have thought it ?" http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/tony-abbott-has-gone-barking-mad-20140328-zqnnv.html#ixzz2xQPtoe00 13. The Tele's disappearing act on Abbott's #KnightsAndDames Barry Tucker Every now and then the mainstream news media (MSM) does something that demonstrates the gulf between itself, its audience and social media (SM). It is almost comical because the MSM is trying to move from its dying print model to the digital world of SM. Much of the MSM has made http://nofibs.com.au/?wpmllink=eb2d16dab07da4955dbadf50a3d390d2&history_id=3&subscriber_id=877 14. Tony Abbott, rege mediaevalibus (01:24) The Prime Minister may only be 'primus inter pares,' but manages to unleash his inner nobility with the help of Sir Rocco and a lutenist called King. [There is an interesting pairing of Rocco's video with a Schweppes ad where diners hurl food at each other. The ad ends with "Here's to Adulthood" - reminds us of the Adult Abbott Govt] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/tony-abbotts-discordant-dame-decision-20140328-zqo4p.html POVERTY WARS 15. Creeping spread of income management must be challenged Eva Cox One of the bizarre bipartisan policy overlaps between the Coalition and Labor is in the area of income support known as welfare payments. Labor has been seen as the party that cared about the poor and… http://theconversation.com/creeping-spread-of-income-management-must-be-challenged-24560 BIGOTRY RIGHTS vs HUMAN RIGHTS 16. Rights to bigotry and green lights to hate Sarah Joseph Poor George Brandis. Our Attorney-General seems to have wedged himself on the issue of racial vilification. Soon after the election of the Abbott government, Senator Brandis defiantly declared that repeal of Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act would be his first task as Australia’s first law officer. http://theconversation.com/rights-to-bigotry-and-green-lights-to-hate-24946 17. Brandis' race hate laws are whiter than white Waleed Aly Perhaps the most remarkable thing about George Brandis' now infamous comment this week that Australians "have the right to be bigots" is that it was so unremarkable. Sure, it's a grating sound bite, but as a matter of substance it's entirely obvious. Of course we have a right to be bigots. We always have http://www.theage.com.au/comment/brandis-race-hate-laws-are-whiter-than-white-20140327-35lv7.html#ixzz2xSfAwVrK 18. Brandis Backs Down on Bigotry Federal Attorney General George Brandis has watered down his controversial changes to the racial discrimination laws, however community organisations remain steadfast that no changes should be made to the current law. Previously the Coalition Government’s proposed changes, as part of an election commitment, were to Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) , which prohibit public conduct that is reasonably likely to “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate” a person or groups because of their skin colour or national or ethnic origin. http://www.probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2014/03/brandis-backs-down-bigotry#sthash.x5gJrQFM.dpuf 19. Now is not the time to open the door to bigotry. Tom Calma and Melinda Cilento Today we join our fellow Australians from the Greek, Jewish, Chinese, Arab, Armenian and Korean communities in expressing our strong view that all Australians have the right to be protected against racial discrimination and vilification. For this reason Reconciliation Australia is opposed to any changes to the RDA which weaken protections against racial discrimination. Reconciliation Australia condemns all forms of racism. Racism is harmful. It destroys the confidence, self-esteem and health of individuals, undermines efforts to create fair and inclusive communities, breaks down relationships and erodes trust. http://www.reconciliation.org.au/news/now-is-not-the-time-to-open-the-door-to-bigotry/ 20. Australia, a country against genocide — most of the time Tim Robertson Australia has a shameful history of carrying out and sponsoring genocide and the Abbott Government is continuing this tradition http://www.independentaustralia.net/article-display/australia-a-country-against-genocide-most-of-the-time,6327 ROYAL COMMISSIONS + INQUIRIES + AUDITS + REVIEWS + WITCH HUNTS + TIME WASTING 21. Why 'inadvertent incursion' won't wash: @adropex analyses Sovereign Borders inquiry Lesley Howard On January 17, 2014, the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison, reported that Australian vessels had entered Indonesian territorial waters during operations conducted in association with Operation Sovereign Borders (OSB). On January 21, 2014, terms of reference were given for an internal review to be conducted by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service http://nofibs.com.au/?wpmllink=e5924e97ecaa1bb3657a1b23c8d5e7bd&history_id=3&subscriber_id=877 22. Corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald QC has weighed in: Gross abuse of power David Marler Corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald QC has weighed in yet again to condemn the Newman Government over its abuse of power. On Friday, March 28, 2014 Tony Fitzgerald condemned Campbell Newman’s Liberal National Party (LNP) government for proposed changes to Queensland’s Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC). http://nofibs.com.au/?wpmllink=e8d14ba73d37a9d664ab85f9f4e3bcff&history_id=3&subscriber_id=877 CULTURE WARS + PEOPLE MOVEMENTS 23. Number 982 2353 To suggest that asylum seekers or refugees is solely an Australian problem is ludicrous. The UNHCR reports that Australia received 15,998 refugees in 2012 — 3% of the world total...Most the people named in this piece are immigrants to Australia, as are the rest of us — regardless of whether we walked off an Airbus A380 last week or our ancestors walked across a land-bridge from Asia 40,000 years ago. We have all in our own way contributed to the vibrant, clever and prosperous country that we call home.... why not a conversation about how refugees over the past 60 years have brought a great deal of material benefit to this country? http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2014/03/30/Number-982.aspx#comment 24. Closed borders are holding us back Grant Wyeth The idea of a culturally pure state, neatly encapsulated within strict borders, has always been a fantasy, and one that increasingly bears no correlation to human communication and exchange in the 21st Century. It even bears no correlation to the multicultural makeup of modern Australia. But it is a persistent idea that continues to be sold by various public powers. Australia is an unusual case because we are an island nation, and our national psychology has been deeply affected by not having land borders with any other country. The number of asylum seekers who come via plane greatly exceeds those who come via boat, yet this isn't deemed as threatening. This, combined with our young (post-colonial) history and problematic national mythology, gives us a skewed perspective towards people movement. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-28/wyeth-open-borders/5351950 25. Open borders between hostile nations Vipul Naik In principle, one might say that having open borders with all countries except the few that the nation is officially hostile to is almost as good as having complete open borders. In most cases, a given nation is hostile to only one or two other nations, so curtailing the freedom to move to those specific nations is not that big an imposition. http://openborders.info/ 26. Ten myths around asylum seekers arriving on boats in Australian waters Candace Sutton. July 08, 2013 DO you believe that thousands of illegal boat people are swamping our shores in unprecedented numbers and threatening Australian jobs and the economy? You wouldn't be the only person to do so - and you'll be hearing more about it as politicians jockey for your vote..... http://www.news.com.au/world/ten-myths-around-asylum-seekers-arriving-on-boats-in-australian-waters/story-fndir2ev-1226676024840 27. Where everyone in the world is migrating—in one gorgeous chart Nick Stockton It’s no secret that the world’s population is on the move, but it’s rare to get a glimpse of where that flow is happening. In a study released in today’s Science, a team of geographers used data snapshots to create a broad analysis of global migrations over 20 years...It’s not the poorest countries sending people to the richest countries, it’s countries in transition—still poor, but with some education and mobility—that are the highest migratory contributors. http://qz.com/192440/where-everyone-in-the-world-is-migrating-in-one-gorgeous-chart/ 28. The class war is over — now the medals to the victors David Horton Tony Abbott's decision to reintroduce imperial honours is a calculated effort to instill class division in Australia and entrench neo-conservative rule. http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/the-class-war-is-over--now-the-medals-to-the-victors,6324 29. Soldiers’ lot a sorry Sir-vice, says ex-Digger Jim Jim Duffield Now, as we are about to spend some $325 million on a commemorative bunting and bugle-fest of self aggrandisement that is the centenary of Anzac, as highlighted by James Brown, one must ask for what purpose? We have veterans and service personnel committing suicide at record levels, and with consequences for their families. Then we are told by our ‘Jock-Strap in Chief’ that our Australian honours and awards are, again, to be pushed down the seniority list in favour of the Sirs and Dames of the Old Dart. Our Colonial cringe is showing in day-glow orange. http://nofibs.com.au/2014/03/29/soldiers-lot-sorry-sir-vice-says-ex-digger-jim-duffield/#sthash.Yk4kqGDT.dpuf 30. Save Mitchell Library from the barbarians at the gate David Lewis Through savage budget cuts, the NSW Government has put the repository of much of Australia’s history since colonisation ‒ the Mitchell Library ‒ under threat. THE MITCHELL LIBRARY is, as Dr Alex Byrne, State Librarian of New South Wales stated here, much loved by the staff and public of NSW. This is because of its role in the development of NSW and Australian knowledge. http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/save-mitchell-library-from-barbarians-at-the-gate,6325 ELECTIONS: WA 31. Freedom and Prosperity Party’s @NoDirectAction campaigns from east coast Guinevere Hall A handful of the 77 candidates vying to represent Western Australia in the rerun Senate election live in other states... Bill Koutalianos, president of the Freedom and Prosperity Party and its number one senate candidate...said he wasn’t intending to come to Perth in the lead-up to the election...I asked him how well he felt he could represent a state that he doesn’t live in. He agreed it was a fair question and that it would be a learning curve for his party. The Freedom and Prosperity Party ran in the September 2013 election under the name of The No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics party... http://nofibs.com.au/2014/03/29/wavotes-candidate-campaigns-east-coast-guineverehall-reports/#sthash.2SeUOT42.dpuf 32. Just a quick question; has the line been crossed? Michael Taylor From http://www.pm.gov.au – an Australian Government web site – today comes A message from the Prime Minister – WA Senate election. Without wishing to further promote what Mr Abbott had to say, here is the message: Next Saturday, the people http://theaimn.com/2014/03/30/im-not-sure-that-tony-can-say-that/ 33. A new low for political advertising GetUp! While bidding for a critical Senate seat in Western Australia, the Australian Sports Party have taken to advertising with topless women and crass jokes. With just seven days until the WA Senate Election, this is just about all we know about their policies. Join Fair Agenda in reminding the Sports Party that they'll win more votes with policies than with misogyny, and asking what they really stand for. http://www.fairagenda.org/sportsparty 34. Getting out reluctant voters is a crucial battle in WA Senate poll Michelle Grattan The centre of federal government is effectively decamping to Western Australia, at some cost and inconvenience, to wave the flag for Saturday’s rerun of the Senate election there. Tony Abbott will spend the next couple of days campaigning, and cabinet meets in Perth on Tuesday. Opposition leader Bill Shorten will also be on the hustings. http://theconversation.com/getting-out-reluctant-voters-is-a-crucial-battle-in-wa-senate-poll-25012 POLITICS, SECRECY, HYPOCRISY, DECEPTION 35. Liberal Speaker, Bronwyn Bishop, grossly incompetent and biased turnleft2016 For weeks, Australians have been calling the bias of the Speaker, Bronwyn Bishop into question. From across the spectrum – not just left, but also right (Sky News editor, Peter van Onselen has describer Bishop as “a disgraceful Speaker, plain and simple. A shocking selection”). http://theaimn.com/2014/03/28/bronwyn-bishop-grossly-incompetent-and-biased/ 36. Bishop gets through call for vote of no confidence billabonglime The government on the other hand although I’m sure not blind to this still managed to heap praise on the speaker and Christopher Pyne insinuating a misogynist approach from the opposition toward the speaker with Tony Abbott calling it “a juvenile stunt”. Ah the new adult government pot kettle methinks. http://nuclearidea.com/2014/03/27/bishop-gets-through-call-for-vote-of-no-confidence/ 37. Bronwyn Bishop doesn’t even give the impression of trying to be fair as Speaker Michelle Grattan Labor’s no confidence motion against Bishop might have been a “stunt”, as the government asserted, but it was a stunt based on reasonable grounds for complaint... The House will always be a bear pit. And given the Coalition’s tactic of maximum disruption during the hung parliament, it is not surprising Labor in opposition has returned the provocation. Even allowing for that, it seems clear the appointment of Bishop as Speaker was a mistake. http://theconversation.com/bronwyn-bishop-doesnt-even-give-the-impression-of-trying-to-be-fair-as-speaker-24994 38. Tony Abbott's pre-budget fortnight of blunders and stuff-ups Mark Kenny But the sitting fortnight just concluded, the last before the May budget session, has been anything but impressive, starting out badly and getting steadily worse. And with each day, the prime minister’s normally confident body language in parliament has chronicled that slide... But this week, it was the Abbott government which turned its back on mainstream opinion to pander to a couple of mouthy conservative commentators wanting to legalise hate speech, a cloister of protected banks wanting to reintroduce skimming, and a tiny cluster of 19th century monarchists. Little wonder the Prime Minister has been ashen-faced in parliament this week. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/tony-abbotts-prebudget-fortnight-of-blunders-and-stuffups-20140327-zqnkm.html 39. Tony Abbott stuffs it up . . . again Carol Taylor Fairfax’s Friday offering is from Chief Political Correspondent, Mark Kenny and comes accompanied by this impressive headline: Tony Abbott’s pre-budget fortnight of blunders and stuff-ups My first impression was, what only a fortnight? Where has Mark Kenny been during the rest of Tony Abbott’s term in parliament? http://theaimn.com/2014/03/28/tony-abbott-stuffs-it-up-again/ 40. Abbott’s Thus Far Annus Horribilis johnlord2013 Most Prime Ministers when they achieve Government with a sizable majority set out to put in place policy initiatives that might define a legacy they will be remembered for. John Howard’s GST, Paul Keating’s Native Title and Bob Hawke’s sweeping changes to our monetary system come to mind...Tony Abbott on the other hand seems more intent on burning up his political capital on issues of ideology: on his hatred of all things associated with Labor. With him it’s personal. This can be seen in his undoing of Labor polices regardless of merit or common good worthiness. His politically based Royal Commissions that will trash long held conventions for the sake of a personal vendetta. Commissions that may well come back to bite him on the tail. http://theaimn.com/2014/03/29/abbotts-thus-far-annus-horribilis/ 41. Dam(n) the nation, full speed ahead! Kaye Lee In 2011, Gina Rinehart flew Barnaby Joyce to India in a private jet, to watch the granddaughter of her business partner marry in front of 10,000 guests. Three months later, the GVK conglomerate bought a majority stake in the billionaire’s ”Alpha” coalmine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin for $US1.26 billion. http://theaimn.com/2014/03/29/damn-the-nation-full-speed-ahead/ 42. Fair Work Commission should consider carbon tax in minimum wage, Federal Government says The Federal Government has asked the industrial umpire to take into account the Government's promise to cut the carbon tax when it sets the minimum wage. The Government has asked the Fair Work Commission to factor in its plans to abolish the carbon price while keeping the associated income tax cuts and pension increases. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-29/fair-work-commission-asked-consider-carbon-tax-in-minimium-wage/5353530 43. Abbott – Making Australia the Country It Once Was. rossleighbrisbane Our Prime Minister, Tiny Abbott is growing into the role. At first media-shy and hard to find, lately he has been putting his distinct stamp on the country. As my previous predictions have proven even more accurate than the people who predicted another share market crash in 2012, I feel it’s my duty to offer a prognostication for the next twelve months. http://theaimn.com/2014/03/28/abbott-making-australia-the-country-it-once-was/ 44. Tracking Abbott’s Wreckage Sally McManus Tony Abbott has been in power since 7 September 2013. From that moment, he and his government have broken promises and hurt Australians. This post will be regularly updated to keep track of the Abbott Government’s broken promises and everything his Government does to hurt Australians. http://sallymcmanus.net/abbotts-wreckage/ ECONOMICS + BUSINESS 45. Let’s get real here Kaye Lee “TONY Abbott and Joe Hockey are convinced the government will be punished electorally if it does not produce a tough budget, and they believe there is a “public appetite” for decisive action to get the economy back on track.” http://theaimn.com/2014/03/28/lets-get-real-here/ 46. Hockey offers sell-off sweetener to states to fund infrastructure Michelle Grattan The federal government will give the states a substantial financial incentive to sell assets and recycle the funds into new… http://theconversation.com/hockey-offers-sell-off-sweetener-to-states-to-fund-infrastructure-24971 47. RBA seems happy to boom till we bust David Llewellyn-Smith It appeared the Reserve Bank had learnt the lesson of the GFC, that a private leveraging model of growth was overly risky. It hadn't http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-28/llewellyn-smith-rba-seems-happy-to-boom-till-we-bust/5351010 NBN 48. Turnbull, NBN Co invited to respond to Strategic Review criticism Renai LeMay Labor’s attack this week on the NBN Co Strategic Review is not the only time the document has been attacked. Regular readers may well recall that the document’s construction, right from the start, was politicised, with Turnbull having parachuted several executives in to NBN Co who he has had deep personal connections with going back many years. http://delimiter.com.au/2014/03/27/turnbull-nbn-co-invited-respond-strategic-review-criticism/ 49. The toll road to serfdom Sean Stinson You can still have Labor’s superior NBN plan....but you will have to be prepared to part with some hard-earned cash first. In 1888 a young Serbian American engineer named Nicola Tesla published an historic paper entitled… http://theaimn.com/2014/03/28/the-toll-road-to-serfdom/ 50. The politics of unshackling the NBN from politics Michael de Percy Nobody can ever state with certainty how much it will cost or how long it will take to deliver broadband services to more than 22 million people spread out over 7.6 million square kilometres. Even more… http://theconversation.com/the-politics-of-unshackling-the-nbn-from-politics-24880 SOCIAL CONSCIENCE + POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY + COMMITMENT + ACTIVISM 51. Karl Marx and climate change David Holmes Given the efforts around the world to discredit climate change science as a “socialist plot”, it is worth looking not at the relationship of socialist states to climate change, but to foundational socialist thinker Karl Marx. http://theconversation.com/karl-marx-and-climate-change-24896 52. Alain De Botton - a defence Brian McNair De Botton does what most scholars seem to find very difficult. He translates the theories and concepts of philosophers, art critics, media sociologists into headlines that grab even the tabloid media’s attention. He sparks debate, and dinner table conversations about quite deep and intense topics. http://theconversation.com/alain-de-botton-a-defence-25008 53. What’s wrong with TED talks – hint: quite a lot Nicholas Gruen ... a friend sent me this TEDx talk which is about what’s wrong with TED Talks. It’s terrific. Indeed, if you want to watch it you can, but you can also see the text of the speech reproduced on the speaker’s website and in the Guardian. It’s always annoyed me that transcripts aren’t provided as a matter of course. They save a lot of time. http://clubtroppo.com.au/2014/03/30/whats-wrong-with-ted-talks-hint-quite-a-lot/ 54. Who writes this stuff? Kaye Lee It is becoming increasingly obvious that Tony Abbott’s plan for governing is to work his way through the IPA’s wish list of 75 (+25) “radical ideas”. Since these people seem to be determining the direction our country will take I thought it worth investigating the qualifications of the authors of the paper, John Roskam, Chris Berg, and James Paterson. http://theaimn.com/2014/03/30/who-writes-this-stuff/ 55. Abbott and Hockey selling-off the silver: IAREM says Australians will suffer Alan Austin With ideological fervour, Joe Hockey says state governments must start selling their public assets. ....the evidence suggests this is not the path to national prosperity. DISMAY AT Treasurer Joe Hockey’s fervour for flogging off Australia’s productive assets seems strangely muted. Perhaps, at the end of a month which has seen craziness and stupidity descend to depths Abbott’s most hostile critics could barely have envisaged, the benighted nation is just weirded out. http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/abbott-and-hockey-selling-off-the-silver-iarem-says-australians-will-suffer,6328 MEDIA + BIAS + GROUPTHINK 56. The New News: Not Wrong For Long Antoinette Lattouf Australians spend more time consuming news than ever before. On average, we dedicate more than 23 hours a week online. We’re consuming more media and using more devices. This is all a “toxin” according to British writer and philosopher Alain de Botton. He says the western world’s addiction to the news is damaging. In Australia, speaking about his latest book, The News: A Users Manual he told ABC News Breakfast that news outlets bombard the public with catastrophe after catastrophe and this diminishes an individual’s ability to care or feel empathetic... “I think the problem is that journalism is at the sharp end of the infoglut. They are important editors of this news overload. But with more time pressures and fewer resources their job is exponentially more difficult at a time where it is arguably more important than ever.” http://thehoopla.com.au/new-news-wrong-long/ 57. Introducing the new “ABC free” AUSTRALIA… now with extra ignorance, selfishness and cruelty Letitia McQuade (Or why we need the ABC) Since the coalition’s Murdoch lead victory in last September’s federal election there has been a palpable shift in our national narrative. The images of a sun burnt country forged by convict sweat and hard… Read More › 58. Why The Saturday Paper’s design breeds disappointment Zoe Sadokierski Morry Schwartz, publisher of The Monthly and Quarterly Essay, launched The Saturday Paper on March 1 2014 – the same weekend Fairfax Media downsized its weekend broadsheets to “more compact” sizes. Launching… http://theconversation.com/why-the-saturday-papers-design-breeds-disappointment-24198 ENVIRONMENT + ENERGY 59. Explainer: how are IPCC reports written? David Karoly Every day there seems to be more confusing (and sometimes downright misleading) news about climate change. Depending on what you read and whom you listen to, climate change is getting worse, or not happening… http://theconversation.com/explainer-how-are-ipcc-reports-written-24641 60. Direct Action: Paying polluters to halt global warming Senate Standing Committees on Environment and Communications The committee recommends that the Australian Government immediately adopt the emissions reduction targets outlined by the Climate Change Authority in its final report released on 27 February 2014. Namely that Australia's 2020 minimum emissions reduction target be set at 15% below 2000 levels and that Australia's carryover from the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol be used to raise the 2020 emissions reduction target by 4%, giving a total 2020 target of 19%. http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Environment_and_Communications/Direct_Action_Plan/Report/index 61. Senate committee draws battle lines ahead of carbon price fight Michael Hopkin A Labor-dominated Senate committee has set the stage for the post-July tussle over carbon policy, recommending that Australia commit to much deeper emissions cuts than the current 5% target, and advising against scrapping carbon pricing. The report, from the Senate Standing Committees on Environment and Communications, has given a damning verdict on the Abbott government’s Direct Action climate policy. http://theconversation.com/senate-committee-draws-battle-lines-ahead-of-carbon-price-fight-24894 62. Direct Action remains a slogan, not a policy Sophie Vorrath The Abbott government’s Direct Action climate change policy is deeply flawed, not viable as a replacement for the carbon price, and is unlikely to achieve the most basic of goals required of Australia to meet its fair share of global carbon emissions reduction, a Senate Committee report has found...The report reveals that Labor and the Greens are united in calling for the Abbott government to keep Australia’s carbon pricing scheme in place; to adopt, immediately, the CCA’s recommended emission reduction targets – both short-term and long-term – and; to adopt a carbon budget approach to climate action. http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/direct-action-remains-a-slogan-not-a-policy-10965 OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Michael

31/03/2014In the Grattan interview with Abbott featured in Casablanca's Cache today (March 31,[b] Item 5[/b]), there appears the following: 'And what has he really, really enjoyed in the job? "The contact with the military, at every level."' Abbott's quote has so much in that barely a thousand words would suffice to explore it. I'm sure you can think of some.

TalkTurkey

31/03/2014Casablanca That is VERY good satire~parody~verse! [b](item 4)[/b]. Thanks. I would have written a second half if there hadn't been one (not that I have thought any words but I could have thought of some I'm sure) but this is beyond improvement. Viva satire! Here's a wonderful illustration of its point! https://twitter.com/StanSteam2/status/450058764092071936/photo/1

TalkTurkey

31/03/20142353 You make the point forcefully of the benefits of a policy of continuing immigration. Whenever I go to my local little Asian Kitchen (called 'Asian Kitchen'!) run by a delightful father-and-daughter Chinese duo, for some of their delicious Asian tucker, I am acutely aware of one way in which our society is far richer for immigration which has happened within my lifetime. But richer far than their food is their attitude, smiles of delight every time we go there. But there are downsides too, and they need acknowledging. I went to primary and secondary schools fully half of whose kids were (free) Ten-Pound-Poms' kids, from the Gepps Cross Migrant Hostel just across the road. But of course they were more of our British and Best, they didn't change things except for more of the same. We got whiter mainly. But even then there was a fair bit of not-real-friendly friction between Poms and Aussies, both white, English-speaking, [i]people always seem to focus on differences rather than commonalities[/i]. Fights Pom v Aussie at my primary school were quite common, but my own 3 school besties (all Daves!) were Poms, and my weekend mate Ray was Irish - "the North", he'd say often, "Not the South!" even here in Australia bringing ingrained antipathies to his otherwise pleasant calm personality. I know one Italian bloke - a good friend now - who with his mates made it their business to harass redheads on the basis that Italians were a minority treated unfairly by dominant British people, so they did the same to us. A syndrome repeated in the TV series Summer Heights High, but with a group of Pacific Islander boys giving Rangas a hard time, on exactly the same basis. I am shocked to hear my Australian niece - a well-travelled urbane clever woman married to a Dutch bloke, nice couple - speak of the everyday nastiness to be encountered with a concentration of Lebanese people in parts of Sydney. I can't comment really: I don't live there, she does. WRT Vietnamese immigration, I have always wondered just what proportion of those who fled here in the period after our disastrous involvement were, if not actual war criminals, at least heavily Right-leaning: they mainly came from South Vietnam, their reason for fleeing in many cases being that they had been at least complicit in the Western Alliance's war on the eventually-victorious forces of Ho Chi Minh. And I wonder how that might have influenced the politics of electorates in which they have become concentrated. And how that might have influenced Parliaments. These are all uncomfortable observations. See, [i]I'm not racist, [b]but ..! ..[/b][/i] But Yes, I truly am not troubled at all by skin colour or place of origin, but there are some ugly aspects of our notionally-egalitarian society. (Religion is at base of many(?most? ...ALL?) of them of course.) These are often not popularly acknowledged, let alone easily addressed, and in some cases I fear must continue to fester. Two points from your article: One, you say [i]The Australian Labor Party under Rudd and Gillard was no more humanitarian than the LNP under Howard and Abbott.[/i] I won't go into details, but acknowledging Labor's failure to make anybody except maybe Murdoch happy with its policies, I think that's unfair. It ignores, as if it didn't count, the fact that under *J*U*L*I*A*s Government - I won't excuse Rudd for his earlier wimpish part in this - our hands were absolutely tied, and all attempts at establishing a more humane system were knocked back - notoriously at last by do-gooder Greens and a disastrous successful High Court challenge to Labor's Malaysia and Regional plan. (Wasn't that by superdogooder Julian Burnside or am I wrong? Genuine query?) I believe that Labor does see and try to deal with the humanitarian issues, and here I'm talking about a matter of intent rather than accomplishment. Because the whole of Australian society, not just the Howards and Reiths and Morriscums, are the limiting factor on what Labor could have done, ever since Howard's [i]'WE will decide' [/i]speech. I do not think Labor values embrace any animosity, and little xenophobia, towards Asylum Seekers. But hey even here on TPS, one of Ad Astra's threads invited comment on what might/should/could be better alternatives to present policies and everyone was thoughtful and goodwilled, but we were miserably short on viable ideas. I think by contradistinction that the LNP has used the issue as the focus for the Two Decade Hate. It cynically employs it as a the most divisive tool of all, and its policies bear no relation whatsoever to humanitarian concerns. Secondly, you say [i]Instead of punitive action against fellow humans — that in the majority are doing it far worse that any Australian — why not a conversation about how refugees over the past 60 years have brought a great deal of material benefit to this country[/i]? I don't want to nitpick but '[i]any[/i] Australian' would have to include original Australians, and we all know that since European invasion Aboriginal peoples as a whole are doing very badly indeed, - lowest education, highest alcoholism & diabetes, poorest, and in every way marginalised. It is a bit as though White Australia has a sort of [i]"...(well yes of course, except for Aborigines, understood, goes without saying)"[/i] thing that allows us to close our eyes to this, the [i]original[/i] humanitarian issue here, and one entirely of our own making. [i]Sorry![/i] isn't enough. 2353 I've took issue with you on a couple of points but on the main thrust of what you have said so well, the overall value to Australian society of a diversity of peoples, well we are in total agreement. Well maybe not total ... In fact ... Oh another time maybe. :)

Michael

31/03/2014Still obsessing about the "military" here, in a story about Abbott moving himself and family 'reluctantly' into Kirribilli House. 'Mr Abbott said he was not complaining about his new digs. ‘‘I will have a good look at Garden Island and I will be able to see what ships are coming and going when they depart from the various operations they are embarked upon.’’ Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/prime-minister-tony-abbott-moves-into-kirribilli-house-20140329-35ppo.html#ixzz2xVSiuHQQ One hand on his binoculars...

Michael

31/03/2014And just to make sure he's truly comfy... $120,000 of mum and dad taxpayers' dollars to feel at home. http://www.news.com.au/national/luxury-renovations-for-prime-minister-tony-abbott-at-kirribilli-house/story-fncynjr2-1226796848301

42long

31/03/2014Do you think the GOD-EMPORER has MILITARY aspirations also? He's easily read, if not well read. Of course he does.

Ken

31/03/2014TT and 2353 TT. you raise some relevant points. I posted this in a comment some time last year. [quote]Refugees and migrants are an issue in the “west” [of Sydney] but this is not necessarily racism: it is a result of the day to day reality of living with different values. As my late father-in-law used to say of a Turkish family living a couple of doors away, “can’t stand their music, but they’re good people”. Before I left, there were instances when the garbos stopped collecting in certain areas because new migrants were slaughtering goats in their units and throwing the offal in the garbage bins – eventually goat meat became available in local shops. At Silverwater people have a mosque dominating the landscape which reminds them daily there is a different set of values operating around them. The shootings and drive-by shootings taking place in the west involve a number of migrant families (the NSW Police have a Middle Eastern criminal gangs squad). There is also a bikie war going on and one contributing factor is that a local chapter of one of the bikie gangs is now dominated by Lebanese. Politicians usually don’t refer to these issues for fear of being accused of being racist, but people out ‘west” live with it every day. People can and do draw a line between those involved in criminal activity and “good people” and, of course, the migrants themselves don’t like what is happening – it is also in their streets that the shootings are taking place.[/quote] This is not new – go back to when the Vietnamese congregated at Cabramatta and at that time the NSw police had an 'Asian gangs' squad. In my experience it takes a generation or two for the new migrants and refugees to settle in. Early on gangs are often formed because they provide a form of 'self-esteem' in the face of exclusion from the dominant culture: it happened with the Chinese, the Vietnamese, the Italians, and now with the Lebanese and other Middle Eastern groups. And it is probably happening with the Pacific Islanders and new refugees from Africa. (I know where I live, in the past few years there has been some trouble between Asian and Pacific Islander youth.) Their parents, glad to be in a new country, often accept the abuse and exclusion as part of the price but the young ones reject that and form groups where they can express, sometimes in a perverted or criminal way, their pride in their own culture. This has been a common occurence in 'excluded' groups for centuries - it was partly how the values of egalitarianism and mateship arose to distinguish the 'working class' from those that ruled and provide a sense of worth in a set of values that differed to that of the elite. But all that shouldn't detract from the fact that over time these 'new' arrivals have settled in and enriched our society. How often now do we see young people of Asian appearance speaking 'strine' with the best of them. It is a two way process. The migrants change over time as do we - which is how these things work. At present, the LNP is playing this 'settling in' period for all it is worth but, I think, even they realise it won't last forever.

Casablanca

31/03/2014Michael, re your comment about Sir Pository 'obsessing about the military' Have you read item 27, Soldiers’ lot a sorry Sir-vice, says ex-Digger Jim Duffield: "James Browne’s thesis is this week well supported by Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s errant phraseology in his interview with Michelle Grattan, in which he knows not the vernacular for our soldiers. Worse, he uses the Brits’ term of endearment for their soldiers. Still, it does match the Sirs and the Dames: “It’s nearly all been good. I suppose, being a fairly traditional person, the contact with the military at every level, from the service chiefs to the squaddies that I’ve been lucky enough to do PT with, has been a special highlight.” I am more than distressed; I’m pissed off. I’m Australian and was proud to serve in the Corps of Royal Australian Engineers, but now I am forced to wonder if I was a squaddie and not a Digger?" http://nofibs.com.au/2014/03/29/soldiers-lot-sorry-sir-vice-says-ex-digger-jim-duffield/#sthash.Yk4kqGDT.4pBC14ZU.dpuf

Michael

31/03/2014"Squaddies". Struck me as strange, too. Poor old Dolly Abbott, she gets all flustered surrounded by the boys.

2353

31/03/2014TT, Thanks for the comment and I understand your point of view. Up north of the Rio Tweed where I grew up, the Government in their wisdom built suburbs of "Housing Commission' houses for rental to 'new Australians' as they passed through the camps at Wacol. Prehaps the best known was Inala which at the time was a 'Satellite City' (loosely translated as miles from anywhere else). A lot of them worked in the industrial area near where I grew up, there was even a bus route between Inala and the factories matching factory starting times many years ago. Another area of Brisbane that had a lot of Housing Commission housing was Acacia Ridge - close to the factory that made every Holden Gemini ever made in Australia. While the people who initially immigrated attempted to bring along their existing value systems (after all that is what they knew and were comfortable with), as they educated their kids who went and found jobs all over SEQ, Inala and Acacia Ridge became home to others as the kids of the immigrants assimilated into the community. Do a bit of reading about Maslow's Theory - in general recent immigrants to Australia prove the proof that the theory has a basis in truth. The point of the conversation starter is this. As Ad Astra correctly states, Australia started the downhill spiral when Howard played the 'Tampa Card' and claimed that 'We will decide who comes to this country . . . '. Rudd and Gillard had the option of having a discussion with the community saying we as a country are better than throwing people who risk life and limb to get here into 'Detention Centres' for an indefinite timeframe while their claims are 'assessed'. I've written here before that Canada, a country with twice the population, a bit more land and three times the refugees arriving on their doorstep 'process' refugee claims generally within three days. Also I have previously questioned why if you arrive in Australia without correct documents on a leaky boat - you get chucked into a centre that may not be in Australia, if you overstay a Visa and arrive on a A380 (which statistically is a more frequent occurrence), if they find you - you stay close to a Capital City airport while you claim (if there is one) is processed. So I take the point that Gillard didn't have much luck in promoting a slightly more humane process; however why wasn't the process something similar to Canada's where those that are likely to be given refugee status are brought into the community as quickly as possible? Sure there would have been claims of outrage and The ALP's media management during the last term of government was woeful - but if the discussion had been crafted properly and examples like those I have quoted above used - there would have been a chance to pull out of the ever faster spiral to the bottom. Quite frankly - we as a nation are better than our treatment of refugees would indicate - and both sides of politics are equally as culpable in creating the current situation where humans are being used as political capital. That Abbott stood up yesterday and claimed that no boat had reached our shores in 100 days should be a day of shame to all Australians - after all, if you didn't migrate here one of your ancestors did.

Ken

31/03/20142353 Abbott's claim that no boat has reached our shores in 100 days is a pedantic 'truth' - or in broader terms a lie. We know from the reports of some of the boats that have been turned back, or people have been put into orange life boats, that some of these were actually in sight of Christmas Island. Others have been kept on board Australian vessels until placed into the life boats. So in a very pedantic sense Abbott is telling the truth - none have 'set foot' on Australian land in 100 days but it certainly seems as though they have been in Australian waters. And as someone argued in an article (from Casablance's cache), if they were on Australian vessels that is tantamount to being on Australian soil. Why don't the media and the ALP call Abbott on this? If not a blatant lie, it is certainly a pedantic twisting of the truth.

TalkTurkey

31/03/2014ABC now attempting to spike HEMP Party's guns. Deliberate politicking. ABC "Science" programs always oppose Cannabis liberalisation. They are desperate to keep the simple truth about Cannabis' innocuousness - and its benefits - and its usefulness! - from the public. ABC is a traitorous organization in my opinion. The gun they are attempting to spike will backfire on them. Great publicity. So many more people now know about HEMP! Curi-Oz I saw your comment at the end of last thread, I dunno where the candidate comes from, it's the issue I care about. I'll reprint it here with answers thus: > Curi-Oz Talk Turkey, I don't know any other state that would accept a senate candidate from another state, > I would assume that that is not within State's power to decide in a Federal election. Julian Assange was not even in the country and he was able to nominate for Senate in September. and that is what the HEMP party currently is offering Western Australia. As a result, I'm not too sure that the HEMP party will get much of its deposit back, > Well that really isn't the priority! as their candidates have been highlighted several times in the media here. > I think the ABC's exposure of HEMP will be a major positive for it! It's not a good look when the candidate for the State's House (aka Senate) can't even name the Premier of the state! > Why would that matter? The candidate knows his personal demographic 'way better than eg Greens or indeed any other party. Frankly, I am more concerned that the Liberals will get more senators out of this current exercise than they did before. > Me too. Does support for HEMP increase the Liberals' chance? HEMP's preferences will run at 90%-plus to Labor (this I know from actual experiences in SA, dopesmokers deliver the MOST disciplined direction of preferences of all.) [i]More than 98%[/i] in a by-election in the State seat of Norwood in the early 80's! In that case [i]Help Eliminate Marijuana Persecution[/i](Yes, all those years before [i]Help End Marijuana Prohibition[/i] we in SA had that acronym!) gained over 3% of the vote, in contradiction of expert predictions that they would get less than 1%. HEMP's second preferences were worth over 600 votes, [i]nearly all[/i] going to Labor because we asked them to do that, and tokers have a brain! The WA media are not owned by Murdoch, but they are saying many of the same things about our 'glorious leader'. Don't forget that many in WA are here to dig stuff out of the ground for Dame Gina, and what she wants she gets, by George (or Barnaby)! > I don't get the connection with HEMP here. Curi-Oz

2353

31/03/2014Ken, I agree - while no one has set foot on the soil of the part of Australia that hasn't been excluded from the country for refugee purposes - the orange boats that are apparently washing up on Indonesian beaches would tend to suggest differently. If the ALP seriously wanted to make a point of difference (and demonstrate some humanity at the same time) they'd be all over this. That is the point here. The ALP have demonstrated they are no better than the other guy.

Casablanca

1/04/2014 [b]CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Tuesday, 1 April 2014: 36 items[/b] MARCH IN MARCH 1. If you want my vote contriteshadow More than just being one of the tens of thousands who marched simply to express a dislike of the Abbott Government, I marched because of the the social and community issues that concern me. They are issues worth voting for. http://theaimn.com/2014/03/31/if-you-want-my-vote/ THE TONY AWARDS 2. Why Tony Abbott's 'royal finger' on knights and dames is wrong Amanda Vanstone While I don’t imagine there will be any backing down from this decision, I do have a suggestion for improvement. If the partner of a dame is not accorded any particular title, then the partner of a knight should be treated the same way. We might have a Sir Donald Bradman but his wife would stay Mrs Bradman in the same way that Dame Margaret Guilfoyle’s husband stayed Mr Guilfoyle. Treating men and women the same is surely something on which we can all agree. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/why-tony-abbotts-royal-finger-on-knights-and-dames-is-wrong-20140329-zqog7.html#ixzz2xVTgBLql 3. Abbott’s week of woe: Counting the cost Bob Ellis ...a tragic week or mishaps, mistakes, pratfalls and disasters from the Abbott Government. http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/abbotts-week-of-woe-counting-the-cost,6336 4. PM makes us nation without honour Martin Flanagan John Howard is what was once known as an Australian Briton...Born in England, Abbott is a Catholic monarchist – a curious combination....For a time, I likened Abbott to Guy Crouchback, a character from the pen of the English Catholic novelist Evelyn Waugh, a man with a reactionary and religious bent – hence Abbott's spell in the seminary as a young man. But how do you square Catholic theology with wealthy Australia offloading its asylum-seeker problem to impoverished countries such as Papua New Guinea and Nauru? Cambodia? I'm sure one Catholic who wouldn't buy it is Pope Francis. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/pm-makes-us-nation-without-honour-20140328-35ory.html#ixzz2xVZ1MrZQ 5. Abbott drags us back in time to a knights' realm Michael Shmith The imperial honours system was phased out by the federal government in 1982 and by state governments in 1989. Dead, buried and cremated as far as Australia is concerned. Ha! Along comes Prime Minister Tony Abbott - the Sir Lancelot emeritus of the monarchist movement - who, with a flash of his broadsword, flourish of trumpets and free tankards of mead for the men, has reinstated dames and knights. On Tuesday, Abbott, who should have been reading from a parchment scroll, proclaimed a new tier placed atop our honours system: the AK/AD, or Knight/Dame of the Order of Australia. Inaugural recipients: former governor-general Quentin Bryce and Governor-General-designate Peter Cosgrove. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/abbott-drags-us-back-in-time-to-a-knights-realm-20140326-35inb.html#ixzz2xVaNk65d 6. Knights and dames a boost for republican movement Matthew Knott, Mark Kenny The Australian Republican Movement has welcomed Tony Abbott's reintroduction of knighthoods and damehoods, declaring it has re-invigorated the republic cause and prompted a boost in members. The bizarre outcome was among the unintended consequences of Tuesday afternoon's surprise announcement, which sparked a tide of ridicule in Parliament, newspapers, radio and social media.... A spokesman for the Prime Minister confirmed Mr Abbott is considering reintroducing other imperial honours such as the Commonwealth Victoria Cross if the military supports it. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/knights-and-dames-a-boost-for-republican-movement-20140326-35ivg.html 7. Senator Sam Dastyari mocks Tony Abbott in Senate speech (03:37) ALP senator heralds the arrival of 'Game of Tones' from leader 'Sir Anthony Abbott of Warringah' after Abbott reintroduced knight and dame honours. http://media.canberratimes.com.au/news/federal-politics/sam-dastyari-mocks-tony-abbott-in-senate-speech-5294685.html?next_video=true 8. Rhyme and ruin in Tony Abbott's court Brian Matthews Which brings us to the court of Tony Abbott. There is much here that Thomas Wyatt, for example, would recognise — the obsessive secrecy, the suspicion of foreigners, the cruelty, the ecclesiastical connections, the dames and knights, the aggressive Anglophilia. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=39173#.Uzl6hhwQ9ZY 9. Quentin Bryce collects another title for retirement Peter Hartcher Thanks to a historical anomaly, government ministers and judges automatically receive the title ''the honourable'' for life, but governors-general did not. The former prime minister Julia Gillard wrote to the Queen about this, and she agreed to correct it, according to informed officials. The moment the Queen signed the letters patent, the mystical power of the monarch instantaneously made Ms Bryce, who was the governor-general at the time, ''the honourable Quentin Bryce''... For the first century of Australia's federation, all the governors-general were already deemed honourable because of birth or former occupation...Ms Bryce would have been the first to revert solely to the honorific of the mere mortal, Mr or Ms, but for the decision to endow her with ''the honourable.'' http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/quentin-bryce-collects-another-title-for-retirement-20140330-35rtx.html 10. Alexander Downer appointed to High Commissioner to United Kingdom Lisa Cox Former foreign affairs minister Alexander Downer has been named as the next High Commissioner to London. The widely expected announcement, which prematurely ends the term of ex-South Australian Labor premier Mike Rann, was made by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Monday. However, it's not all bad news for Mr Rann. As Fairfax Media reported last month, Mr Rann has been named as Australia's new ambassador to Italy. He will take up the posting in Rome from May. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/alexander-downer-appointed-to-high-commissioner-to-united-kingdom-20140331-35sfx.html 11. Thundering approval for Quentin Bryce as Dame Dee Dee departs Canberra Tony Wright All those years ago when she was sworn in as the Governor-General, Ms Bryce made the promise to Parliament: ''As I travel over our rich and testing country - into the vibrant and struggling sectors of our community, to our rural and remote places - forever deep in my heart I promise to be alive, open, responsive and faithful to the contemporary thinking and working of Australian society.'' As Governor-General she had made good on the promise, flying to comfort the victims of bushfires and floods, travelling to great cities, and visiting small towns and rural districts throughout her country. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/thundering-approval-for-quentin-bryce-as-dame-dee-dee-departs-canberra-20140326-35iwf.html CULTURE WARS 12. The Coalition Is Ancient And Disturbed Guy Rundle By putting anglo concerns back at the centre of public life, the Abbott Government has all but wrecked the conservative multicultural settlement built by John Howard https://newmatilda.com/2014/03/31/coalition-ancient-and-disturbed 13. The triumphalism of Tony Abbott Judith Brett "It all feels a bit like student politics in its short-term point-scoring, its payback and its intense personal antagonisms – yet another episode in the increasing disjunction between our adversarial parliament and the complex diversity of experience and opinion in contemporary Australia." http://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2014/april/1396270800/judith-brett/triumphalism-tony-abbott POVERTY WARS 14. You don't have to be a communist to stand up for the poor John Falzon Helder Camara, the Archbishop of Recife in Brazil, famously said: 'When I give bread to the poor I am called a saint, but when I ask why they have no bread I am called a communist.' http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=39171#.Uzl7VBwQ9ZY ROYAL COMMISSIONS + INQUIRIES + AUDITS + REVIEWS + WITCH HUNTS + TIME WASTING 15. Tony Fitzgerald QC slams Qld LNP, Newman and Bleijie's 'old, bad habits' Tony Fitzgerald In a submission to the Queensland Parliament, esteemed former anti-corruption commissioner Tony Fitzgerald QC takes the LNP – and in particular Premier Campbell Newman and Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie – to task over their total disrespect and disregard for democracy, probity and justice. http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/tony-fitzgerald-slams-lnp-newman-and-bleijie,6332 BIGOTRY RIGHTS vs HUMAN RIGHTS 16. George Brandis' race hate law changes condemned by respected indigenous leader James Massola, Jonathan Swan Indigenous leader Tom Calma has skewered Attorney-General George Brandis' proposed changes to race-hate laws, making for an awkward Monday as the two men will share the stage at a reconciliation launch. Dr Calma, the co-chairman of Reconciliation Australia, said Senator Brandis' changes would set back the reconciliation process between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians. Dr Calma and Senator Brandis are preparing to launch a ''reconciliation action plan'' for the Federal Circuit Court at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence in Redfern on Monday. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/george-brandis-race-hate-law-changes-condemned-by-respected-indigenous-leader-20140330-35rxc.html 17. It's hip to be a bigot in radical Abbott's Australia Ray Cassin The Howard Government's radical-right tendencies emerged gradually. By contrast, the Abbott Government has already sent multiple signals that it is intent to radically remake the political fabric. While the restoration of knighthoods to the national honours system is merely a wacky emanation of the prime ministerial psyche, the proposed amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act are corroding basic principles of constitutional democracy. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=39178#.Uzl6MBwQ9ZY 18. The bigots' friend Andrew Elder I believe Brandis is sincere in his belief that he went into politics to advance the scope of freedom available to Australians. He just hasn't done a very good job of it. The reason for this is because he isn't as committed to it as he makes out, which I've pointed out elsewhere. There is no strong, lifelong vow to anything that will define Brandis' career in any way other than as the bigots' friend. http://andrewelder.blogspot.com.au/ 19. Free speech deteriorates into slogans OnlyTheSangfroid It is a truth universally acknowledged that any significant issue of public policy will inevitably descend into ‘goodies vs baddies’ sloganeering. This is no less true of the discussion about the Racial Discrimination Act. http://ausopinion.com/2014/03/31/free-speech-deteriorates-into-slogans/ 20. Are we to favour bigotry over the right to live unaffected by it? Tim Soutphommasane When I commenced my term as Race Discrimination Commissioner last year, I never imagined I would be asked to comment on whether Australians enjoyed ''the right to be bigots''. It is a measure of how dangerous some of the debate about the Racial Discrimination Act has become. As we consider the Federal Government’s exposure draft of changes to racial vilification laws, there should be one question above all that should guide our deliberation. What kind of society do we want Australia to be? http://www.theage.com.au/comment/are-we-to-favour-bigotry-over-the-right-to-live-unaffected-by-it-20140328-zqo0t.html#ixzz2xYGXvW8a 21. The Acidic Cane Toad Bolt Test Gee "As Sir Peter and Lady Lynne travel the length and breadth of our country, visiting all the places that aren't important enough for Prime Ministers"...Tony Abbott 28 March 2014. http://www.independentaustralia.net/art/art-display/the-acidic-cane-toad-bolt-test,6333 POLITICS, SECRECY, HYPOCRISY, DECEPTION 22. Democracy Is No Laughing Matter Ben Pobjie Everything has a place in the world, and it's Bronwyn Bishop's job to make sure that mirth doesn't find a place in Parliament. https://newmatilda.com/2014/03/28/democracy-no-laughing-matter 23. Six Impossible Things About Privatisation Ian McAuley Selling state assets is a poor way to catch up on Australia's infrastructure backlog. The only winners from Joe Hockey's asset swap scheme will be the Coalition's mates. https://newmatilda.com/2014/03/31/privatisation-not-smart-way-pay 24. What's killing the charities regulator? Michael Mullins In the 20 years before the Productivity Commission started its work on the not for profit (NFP) sector, there was a near unanimous call from sector leaders for a single national regulator. The Industry Commission took note of the sector's concerns, and its support led to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), which the current Federal Government is now moving to abolish. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=39185#.Uzl8jRwQ9ZY 25. TPP a ‘high quality’ agreement — for multinationals Matthew Mitchell DFAT held a public consultation about the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership last week, but didn’t reveal much — apart from saying it would be good [...] http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/tpp-a-high-quality-agreement--for-multinationals,6337 26. Don Russell urges chiefs to flex muscles and 'save the APS' Noel Towell Public service bosses must save Australia's public policy from the ''dishevelled'' and ''untidy'' decision-making of political staff, a former departmental chief says. Dr Don Russell, sacked as secretary of the Industry Department in one of the Abbott government's first acts, said the public service must reclaim its place in government decision-making. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/don-russell-urges-chiefs-to-flex-muscles-and-save-the-aps-20140331-35uho.html#ixzz2xYKOWtjD 27. Medibank Private sale 'tantamount to theft', says founder Phillip Thomson The man who created Medibank Private has lashed out at the federal government over its proposed sale. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/medibank-private-sale-tantamount-to-theft-says-founder-20140328-35nat.html 28. A dummies' guide to politics (and how to serve ministers who follow these rules) Paddy Gourley The new Abbott government has a knack for 'creating its own realities'. In 2004, a member of then United States president George W. Bush's camp boasted: ''We're an empire now and, when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality … we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study, too, and that's how things will sort out. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/a-dummies-guide-to-politics-and-how-to-serve-ministers-who-follow-these-rules-20140301-33t5e.html SOCIAL CONSCIENCE + POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY + COMMITMENT + ACTIVISM 29. Labor needs the Liberal Left John Warhurst The fact that Liberal blue is the colour of Australian politics at the moment makes it all the more important that the Liberal Left speaks out. Call them what you like — social Liberals, moderates, progressives, centrists — the left of that party represents a distinctive strand in Australian politics. But they are very quiet at the moment while the voice of the Liberal Right is loud and confident. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=39174#.Uzl8_RwQ9ZY ENVIRONMENT + ENERGY 30. IPCC report: 'Climate change is happening and no one in the world is immune' "The negative effects of climate change are already beginning to be felt in every part of the world and yet countries are ill-prepared for the potentially immense impacts on food security, water supplies and human health, a major report has concluded." http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/ipcc-report-climate-change-is-happening-andno-one-in-the-world-is-immune-9224777.html 31. Climate change 'already affecting food supply' - http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/mar/31/climate-change-food-supply-un 32. Climate change and health: IPCC reports emerging risks, emerging consensus Anthony McMichael, Colin Butler and Helen Louise Berry The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Impacts volume of the Fifth Assessment Report will be released today. Here, three contributors to the health chapter explain the ideas and evidence… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-xlrudld-trhltityg-o/ 33. Reporting 'misrepresents' business sustainability: study Kylar Loussikian Several prominent Australian companies could be inflating their adherence to corporate social responsibility guidelines… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-xlrudld-trhltityg-p/ ASYLUM SEEKERS + THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HATE + REFUGEE RIGHTS 34. What’s there to crow about? Kaye Lee Tony Abbott is gleefully crowing about “100+ days without a boat”. What Mr Abbott seems oblivious to is that he has closed yet another door on people fleeing persecution and human rights abuses in places like Myanmar and Sri Lanka http://theaimn.com/2014/03/31/whats-there-to-crow-about/ 35. Operation Sovereign Absurdity is destroying the military's credibility Paddy Gourley The Abbott government might as well end the pretence and shut up the accountability shop. All hell broke loose when, during February's Senate estimates hearings, shadow defence minister Stephen Conroy told the head of the tendentiously designated Operation Sovereign Borders, General Angus Campbell, that he was ''engaged in a political cover-up''. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/operation-sovereign-absurdity-is-destroying-the-militarys-credibility-20140330-35rh1.html#ixzz2xYL8495c 36. Abbott government scraps taxpayer-funded legal advice for asylum seekers Lisa Cox Asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat or plane without visas will no longer have access to free immigration services. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said that from Monday the government would cease funding the services, which he likened to "taxpayer-funded legal advice". The move, announced during the 2013 election campaign, is expected to save the government $100 million over four years. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/abbott-government-scraps-taxpayerfunded-legal-advice-for-asylum-seekers-20140331-35sn6.html OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Casablanca

1/04/2014 CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Tuesday, 1 April 2014. [b]"It's hip to be a bigot in radical Abbott's Australia".[/b] Posted above and at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CC-2014-04-01.aspx

TalkTurkey

1/04/2014Watch this video re cannabis attacking cancer - and with no unpleasant side effects, in fact, what "side-effects" there are are both pleasurable and therapeutic! http://www.hightimes.com/read/biologist-explains-how-thc-kills-cancer-cells I will be apprising Bob Such of this video. Not that it is news to me, but it might be to him. If I could fly like Superman, I wonder if anyone would believe their eyes ? or would they just think ... ? ...?! .... ??!!!!! [i]WOW! Is it a bird? ...[/i] but then when I was out-of-sight they'd think... ? ... ....Nahhhh..]Couldn't be ... I must've imagined it. Well, Almost nobody really believes that Cannabis, in addition to being the BEST suppressant/preventative of glaucoma AND Alzheimers, could really cure cancer. [i]Garn, it's only those stupid hippies making claims so they can get dope legalised[/i]. So it is dismissed, and trivialised, and everywhere its champions are victimised. Voice of experience. The law enforcement agencies, pharmaceutical companies and purveyors of nicotine and alcohol have forever been in cahoots in keeping cannabis illegal, and almost nobody even on the 5th Estate seems to view the issue as anything but trivial. [b]Well it's not trivial. One day it might cure your cancer![b] Or repeatedly save the life of your little girl from asthma, as in a famous current case in the USA, now causing families with asthmatic kids to move to Colorado (where dope is LEGAL) or other States where it is available on prescription. Or it may be the one escape from pain that works on you without addicting you or tying up your innards or making you nauseous. (Oh yes, it is an anti-nausea agent too. Importantly.) [i]Nothing else cures cancer in the way that Cannabis does, why should cannabis be any different? It's crap[/i], says everyone. Well it does all the above, and much much more. Appetite stimulant in cancer patients; reportedly, an important aid in self-regulating Type 2 Diabetes, and I think Type 1 as well; vaso-dilator (exactly the reverse of nicotine, a vaso-constrictor) so it lowers BP; and especially, as a pain- ...?... not [i]*killer*[/i] like morphine, though it may help pain go away as analgesics do, but beyond that it enables one to experience pain as a more bearable phenomenon... The ways in which cannabinoids interact with our own chemistry are only now starting to be understood, as researchers, in defiance of the US' War on Drugs, continue to explore its near-magical medicinal and psychoactive properties. One thing that is certain is that in action it is like no other known drug, - indeed it even defies pharmacologists' attempts to categorization it as a drug, it is unique. So they made up a generic term Anandamide, meaning Bliss Stuff, they include cocoamides (Chocolate) in that group but it's nothing like. Nothing's like it, it's as simple as that. The ABC Science show Catalyst, in the person of Jonica Newby, Robin Williams' o-so-blond doxy, in about 2008, absolutely lambasted cannabis as undoubtedly causing schizophrenia, based on meta-data she said. No attempt whatsoever at any countervailing benefits, and no doubt about the certainty of her conclusions. Such is not a scientific approach, it is propaganda. It was a skewed, dishonest, agenda-driven program and I despise the woman concerned (for certain other reasons as well.) Yep it's psychoactive all right, certainly some novice users may have a [i]bit[/i] of a scary time, but its effects wear off completely within five or six hours. And it is certain that it will find increasing application in understanding mental processes and also in treating mental illnesses. Here's a Funny Thing though: in fact all those enemies of Cannabis - cops, tobacco, alcohol, paper manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies - are quite right to fight Cannabis for all they are worth. Cannabis really [i]does[/i] threaten them. Because its medical and recreational use, and its use as food, for fuel oil, as paper and building materials, will bring about a true revolution, a more congenial less road-rage less greedy more caring less damaging more health-conscious society. A society that treasures the only planet we're ever going to have. Still my dream. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjxSCAalsBE It's happening at last, most notably in America, so long the engine for marijuana persecution all over the world. What a pity it is taking so long. Here's that link again. About 5 minutes that might change your mind and save your life. http://www.hightimes.com/read/biologist-explains-how-thc-kills-cancer-cells reCaptcha: lawsica documents :)

Casablanca

1/04/2014 Medibank sale threat over ownership George Lekakis As Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann prepare to ramp the attractions of a $4 billion Medibank float to investors, new evidence casts doubt on their ability to execute a clean sale. Since the Howard Government restructured Medibank Private as a public enterprise in 1998, a debate has percolated on whether policyholders of the health fund would be entitled to some portion of the proceeds of a sale. http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2014/03/31/medibank-news-story/ The advice that scuttled the Medibank sale – what’s changed? George Lekakis Declassified cabinet records show that the Fraser Government believed in 1981 that Medibank Private was owned by its policyholders. For the next 17 years, government bureaucrats were adamant that the fund’s members were beneficial owners of its assets. What has changed in 2014 that will allow the Abbott government to sell it? http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2014/03/31/medibank-feature/

Casablanca

1/04/2014 Asylum seekers involved in case against Government to be transferred from Villawood to Curtin Peter Lloyd The Immigration Department is planning to move asylum seekers who are taking legal action against the Federal Government from Sydney to one of the country's most remote detention centres, just a day before their case returns to court on Friday. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-01/asylum-seekers-transferred-from-villawood-to-curtin/5359346

2353

1/04/2014Casablanca - I was a Medibank policyholder for a number of years and the publicity material I got from them at the time suggested that I was an owner. It is typical of this Government that they don't research first. To quote an old ad campaign "I feel better now"! Surely the lawyers for the refugees can file a document that stops the Immigration Department from moving these people. This is further evidence of people being used as political pawns. It is a sad inducement on this country.

Curi-Oz

2/04/2014http://media.watoday.com.au/news/national-news/missing-wa-senate-ballots-found-5312090.html I think that says it all!

Curi-Oz

2/04/2014Talk Turkey, thanks for your reply. I'm breaking this up into several messages because it's getting a bit response heavy – 1/2 I think the whole 'Senators from other states' thing is a reflection of the historic resentments in WA of those slacker eastern staters who try to steal everything from this state … probably goes back to the reluctance of WA to join the Federation, which was overcome by the influx of miners to Kalgoorlie in the late 1890s. *wry* Despite the more recent influx of miners from the eastern states, WA still has an undercurrent of resentment towards most points east of the Nullarbor (with the possible exceptions of NT & QLD – you can imagine why) The exposure of both HEMP and some of the other micro parties and their relationship towards the major three parties emphases that 'wise men of the east' vibe that West Australians get their backs up about. And since this is an election for the putative State's House/House of Review, then the thought that more easterners would represent us just … grates. One of those historical stupidities, like preferring blue or dark red when playing football. *lopsided smile* Talk Turkey, I don't know any other state that would accept a senate candidate from another state under these circumstances. Julian Assange may not have been in the country and able to nominate for Senate in September, doesn't make me think that was right either. And I suspect that he nominated in the hope that he could leave the Ecuadorian Embassy in London anyway. The reference to the HEMP party not getting it's deposit back was more of a throw away in that I don't think that they will get many votes at all. /......

Curi-Oz

2/04/20142/2 >>It's not a good look when the candidate for the State's House (aka Senate) can't even name the Premier of the state! > Why would that matter? The candidate knows his personal demographic 'way better than e.g. Greens or indeed any other party.    TT, It matters. Because they want to represent the state, it could be seen as mere courtesy to have at least worked out the Premier. Alternatively by not knowing, they are demonstrating that they are not focused enough on what matters/is important to West Australians. The impression they gave – and I won't deny that there may have been some prejudice in the reporting – was that they were concerned about the legislation on cannabis products and its uses, but that otherwise they just didn't have a clue or give much of a damn. >Does support for HEMP increase the Liberals' chance? HEMP's preferences will run at 90%-plus to Labor No. HEMP are preferencing the Shooters and Fishers party, who are preferencing Australian Voice and goodness knows who they are preferencing! But at least I can work out who these parties are and who they all want to preference now … http://www.aec.gov.au/wa-senate/gvt.htm >>Don't forget that many in WA are here to dig stuff out of the ground for Dame Gina, and what she wants she gets, by George (or Barnaby)! > I don't get the connection with HEMP here. TT, you may be aware of some 'alternative cannabinoids' that were made available for sale in Australia in the last year or so? They claimed to have similar effects to marijuana, but no detectable after effects. The mines have very strict drug and alcohol policies and found that these “Non-Pot Smokes” were not detectable by their usual drug regimes. So the big miners made a huge stink about it and the law was changed. Whether it is right or not, the implication of some of the talk about the HEMP party is in conflict with those draconian laws, and for some reason people get quite upset about it. I can actually get behind the Health and Safety aspects of not doing drugs or alcohol when dealing with machinery, but I am not necessarily comfortable with the way in which all the positive aspects of hemp are dismissed just because some cultivars have a higher level of THC than others. And I am uncomfortable about the way the mining companies leant of the current Liberal government to change the law. Surely they have enough clout in their own workplace agreements to enforce a drug testing regime? The use of Canabis Sativa as a crop for a variety of purposes is a whole different conversation that should be happening on a whole range of fronts. I just feel that this particular topic is more of a distraction than of use to returning a Senate that will actually be a House of Review for all Australians. And I have a suspicion that it is being used by some AS a distraction so that poor policies can be glossed over too. Isn't it sad that we are become so cynical when it comes to politics? *sighs*

Curi-Oz

2/04/2014I am so biting my tongue with comments about politicians wearing glasses with reference to the image at the top of <a hrer="http://theconversation.com/getting-out-reluctant-voters-is-a-crucial-battle-in-wa-senate-poll-25012">this article</a>!

Casablanca

3/04/2014 [b]CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Thursday, 3 April 2014: 50 items[/b] THE TONY AWARDS 1. The ignoble history of knighthoods Mungo MacCallum It was William the Bastard (an appellation some have also applied to his Australian imitator) who introduced the pompous idea of chivalry and titles. Have we found our modern-day imitation not in England, but in Canberra? http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-31/maccallum-the-ignoble-history-of-knighthoods/5355706 2. The revealing language of a cut-and-axe leader Neil James (Plain English Foundation) Prime Minister Tony Abbott might have more verbal clarity than his immediate predecessors, but he too could find his language coming back to bite him if his stopping and scrapping doesn't actually deliver... From the moment he became opposition leader, there have been three hallmarks of the Abbott style: attack language, verbal blunder and strategic silence... It's no wonder the Prime Minister only wants us to take his "carefully prepared, scripted remarks" as the "gospel truth". http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-01/james-the-revealing-language-of-a-cut-and-axe-leader/5357266 3. Prime Minister Tony Abbott exercises his prerogative over knights and dames John Warhurst The Australian Prime Minister holds office in a system that makes him both vulnerable and extremely powerful at the same time. These characteristics have led Labor MP Jim Chalmers to describe the PM as a like a “bigger dog on a shorter leash” rather than a smaller dog on a longer leash. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/prime-minister-tony-abbott-exercises-his-prerogative-over-knights-and-dames-20140402-zqpae.html#ixzz2xjpHGzHF 4. When everyone is laughing at the Government — it's serious Clint Howitt The Abbott Government is becoming more and more widely ridiculed - this is the litmus test of a failed government. http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/when-everyone-is-laughing-at-the-government--its-serious,6341 ENTITLEMENTS + RORTS + SUBSIDIES + RESPONSIBILITY + LARGESSE 5. The wolf hunters of Wall Street Michael Lewis "Eventually Brad Katsuyama came to realize that the most sophisticated investors didn't know what was going on in their own market. Not the big mutual funds… Not the big money-management firms… Not even the most sophisticated hedge funds… Most of them had the same reaction: They knew something was very wrong, but they didn't know what, and now that they knew, they were outraged." 6. Karen's Slipper-y claim: Doane you want me? Ashbygate Trust The Ashbygate Trust was at the Federal Court in Sydney yesterday, hoping to catch sight of the elusive Karen Doane, who alleges Peter Slipper's breached her "human rights". Here's what happened. http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/karens-slipper-y-claim-doane-you-want-me,6344 7. Prepare for a lot more about Arthur Sinodinos Ross Jones The esteemed senator, former right hand man to John Howard, is scheduled to front the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption on Thursday 3 April 2014. As a witness, of course, no allegations of corruption. But being a witness before the ICAC can be a very unhappy experience. Sinodinos had pretended he’d foregone a small fortune to become a senator, eschewing his potentially golden 5 per cent of Australian Water Holdings (AWH). http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/prepare-for-a-lot-more-about-arthur-sinodinos,6339 HEALTH WARS 8. Charging for 'risky behaviour' a flawed plan Jennifer Doggett Our health resources must be used wisely, but charging people for taking "avoidable health risks" makes no scientific, economic or logistical sense...Terry Barnes's proposal for people who take avoidable health risks to be penalised when they access public health services is unscientific, impractical, morally questionable and not supported by economic data. 9. The advice that scuttled the Medibank sale – what’s changed? George Lekakis Declassified cabinet records show that the Fraser Government believed in 1981 that Medibank Private was owned by its policyholders. For the next 17 years, government bureaucrats were adamant that the fund’s members were beneficial owners of its assets. What has changed in 2014 that will allow the Abbott government to sell it? http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2014/03/31/medibank-feature/ 10. Medibank sale threat over ownership George Lekakis As Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann prepare to ramp the attractions of a $4 billion Medibank float to investors, new evidence casts doubt on their ability to execute a clean sale...Since the Howard Government restructured Medibank Private as a public enterprise in 1998, a debate has percolated on whether policyholders of the health fund would be entitled to some portion of the proceeds of a sale. http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2014/03/31/medibank-news-story/ 11. Health academic says $140m could be saved by following drug advice Dan Harrison Philip Clarke, a professor of health economics at the University of Melbourne, estimates that if the government took the committee's advice on atorvastatin and another cholesterol-lowering drug, rosuvastatin, it would save about $143 million by December. And about 93,000 patients would save an average of $160 a year... Former Health Department head Stephen Duckett told the commission of audit that Australia pays, on average, almost 16 times more for off-patent drugs than Britain, New Zealand and Canada. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/health-academic-says-140m-could-be-saved-by-following-drug-advice-20140331-35u9s.html 12. Hockey says higher income earners should have no right to free health care Michelle Grattan Joe Hockey is so committed to the end of the “age of entitlement” he apparently has tried unsuccessfully to pay for his own bulk billed medical services. As the Treasurer continues to soften up the public for budget cuts in Medicare and other health areas as well as frontline social services, he agreed with radio presenter Alan Jones' proposition that “you and I shouldn’t be getting one cent of taxpayers' money for health”. http://theconversation.com/hockey-says-higher-income-earners-should-have-no-right-to-free-health-care-25050 BIGOTRY RIGHTS vs HUMAN RIGHTS 13. Section 18C and unravelling the government’s ‘freedom agenda’ Elyse Methven It is remarkable that the Abbott government has singled out one law, Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, as stifling free expression, but has remained silent on other more draconian laws that limit speech in Australia. http://theconversation.com/section-18c-and-unravelling-the-governments-freedom-agenda-25021 14. Racial law change could affect Asian engagement, says Race Discrimination Commissioner Michelle Grattan Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane will suggest today that the government’s proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act could harm Australia’s ability to most effectively engage with the Asian century. In a speech to be delivered to the Australia Asia Education Engagement Symposium in Melbourne Soutphommasane says that the principle of racial tolerance must continue to be defended as essential to the legislative architecture of a multicultural Australia. http://theconversation.com/racial-law-change-could-affect-asian-engagement-says-race-discrimination-commissioner-25053 15. Are RDA race hatred law amendments needed? John Walker The Bolt case was just one case- is there much information about how 18C has been applied, on a wider scale. Its pretty hard to judge whether there is a problem needing changes to the law , or not, on the basis of just one case. Do you have any info re other cases and judgements? http://clubtroppo.com.au/ ELECTIONS: WA 16. Explainer: the WA Senate re-election Natalie Mast and William Bowe Western Australians will head back to the polls to elect six members of the Senate this Saturday. But what are the issues that caused the original result to be declared void? And what are some of the more… http://theconversation.com/explainer-the-wa-senate-re-election-25074 17. Why the world has reason to watch the WA Senate election Natalie Mast There’s been a lot of international focus on Western Australia in recent weeks. The search for the lost Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 is being led from Perth. But it also turns out that Western Australia is garnering international attention as a result of this Saturday’s Senate re-election. Economist Ross Garnaut’s sobering presentation at a CEDA lunch in Perth, entitled The case for conserving the carbon laws, brought home the fact that in a globalised world, Western Australia is no longer as isolated as it once was. http://theconversation.com/why-the-world-has-reason-to-watch-the-wa-senate-election-25131 18. How many people does it take to tell the truth? Kaye Lee As Western Australia prepares to vote AGAIN for the Senate no doubt some people just feel over it all. Though aghast at the result, I remember last September feeling relieved that at least the endless campaigning was over, but they http://theaimn.com/2014/04/02/how-many-people-does-it-take-to-tell-the-truth/ POLITICS, SECRECY, HYPOCRISY, DECEPTION 19. The phoney war: waiting for real government Stephen Bartos Coming up with effective policies is proving much harder than the Coalition had expected. Since Australia's federal election in September 2013, Commonwealth public servants have been in their own state of watch and wait. It won't be until the release of the commission of audit's report and the May budget that they will have a real sense of what this new government wants from them. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/the-phoney-war-waiting-for-the-government-to-govern-20140301-33t57.html 20. The truth about the mining tax Kaye Lee It has become increasingly apparent that the onus is on citizen bloggers to inform the Australian public of the truth. We certainly can’t rely on our politicians who are too busy misrepresenting the facts to make the other guy look… http://theaimn.com/2014/04/02/the-truth-about-the-mining-tax/ 21. Tony Abbott a fool on climate change says Greens leader Christine Milne Judith Ireland In an address to the National Press Club in Canberra, Senator Milne launched a scorching attack on the Coalition, arguing there has been a "wholesale assault on Australian values" since the federal election last September. "We're starting to see Tony Abbott's real agenda unfolding. Things that people regarded as certainties, like our rights and our values, are being trampled," she said. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-a-fool-on-climate-change-says-greens-leader-christine-milne-20140401-35vkt.html 22. Glimpses of the Real Tony Abbott Peter Barnes Tony Abbott reveals much about the man behind the public persona – unknowingly – whenever he speaks. Peter Barnes looks at Tony Abbott’s recent interview with Michelle Grattan, where glimpses of the man – the real Tony Abbott – came http://theaimn.com/2014/04/02/glimpses-of-the-real-tony-abbott/ 23. Public servants should not lightly surrender policy pre-eminence Jack Waterford Today, by contrast, the direct access of public servants, even at the most senior levels, to ministers is quite restricted. The layers of ministerial staff, advisers, consultants, spin doctors and others are often deliberately keeping the public service at bay.... ''It is easier for the PM to sleep at night if he or she knows that ministers are being properly advised by a competent and properly co-ordinated APS.'' http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/public-servants-should-not-lightly-surrender-policy-preeminence-20140401-35wnv.html#ixzz2xeGGTd79 24. Give us your opinion ... Public Eye The public service has adopted a fiercely conservative approach to freedom of information law under the Abbott government. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/give-us-your-opinion--20140330-35rl1.html 25. Bronwyn Bishop and the history of speaker independence Geoffrey Robinson Seven Speakers of the British House of Commons were executed by beheading between 1394 and 1535. While Bronwyn Bishop, the current Speaker of Australia’s House of Representatives, is unlikely to face this fate, she faces an uphill battle to gain the respect of political observers and opposition MPs alike. http://theconversation.com/bronwyn-bishop-and-the-history-of-speaker-independence-24899 26. Looking back on Labor's departmental secretaries J R Nethercote The post-bureaucracy careers of department heads are just as interesting as who becomes a secretary. When the Labor Party won federal office in November 2007, it attracted a certain approbation by retaining the inherited group of departmental secretaries en bloc. This was perceived at the time as a contrast to the changes made when the Howard government took office in 1996. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/looking-back-on-labors-departmental-secretaries-20140330-35rh0.html#ixzz2xjudT8wd ECONOMONY + BUSINESS 27. Joe Hockey's budget will hurt your hip pocket Ross Gittins If you think you’re having trouble coping with the rising cost of living now, just wait until you see what the politicians have in store for you over the next three years. In all likelihood, you’ll be losing a significantly higher proportion of your pay in income tax, though people on low incomes will be hit a lot harder than those on high incomes. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/prime-minister-tony-abbott-exercises-his-prerogative-over-knights-and-dames-20140402-zqpae.html#ixzz2xjpfjeDP 28. Treasury secretary says Australia should rely more on indirect tax – aka GST Michelle Grattan Modern governments believe that during budget framing, it is politically savvy to parade the pain. We saw it with Labor and the Coalition is doing the same. http://theconversation.com/treasury-secretary-sends-strong-hint-on-need-for-gst-reform-25161 29. A statistical narrative: Australian economic development 1800 – 2010 in (about) 10 charts Matthew Butlin Long runs of data provide perspective – providing reference points for current business cycles .The Australian economy has enjoyed long sustained growth in real incomes in the long run. http://esacentral.org.au/vic/files/2014/03/ESA-Vic-PD-seminar-260314-Slides-Matt-Butlin.pdf SOCIAL CONSCIENCE + POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY + IDEOLOGY + ACTIVISM 30. Global Freedom Network Natalia Beghin Late on a Saturday night about two weeks ago I found myself walking through the backstreets of Shanghai city. Somewhere in along the dark road, I felt a tug on my arm, and when I turned I was met with a tiny child and an outstretched cup, jangling with small change. My friend, who has lived in China much longer than I cleared her throat and pulled me away quickly, hissing ‘you know children are stolen to do that, right?’ I did not. It was another four blocks before this child disappeared silently back into the cold night he had come from, while we continued on into the warmth. http://www.visionofhumanity.org/#/page/news/874 31. Are Ron Paul, Geert Wilders, Cory Bernardi and Marine Le Pen all ‘right wing’? Haydn Rippon The rise of the Tea Party in the US and the electoral success of both nationalist populists in Europe and the Abbott government in Australia demonstrates there are many parties with positions described… http://theconversation.com/are-ron-paul-geert-wilders-cory-bernardi-and-marine-le-pen-all-right-wing-24203 32. Where have all the Leaders gone? John Kelly John Stuart Mill once wrote that not all conservatives are stupid, but most people who are stupid are conservative. That is probably because they are afraid of what they don’t know. People seek guidance at every turn and accept the… http://theaimn.com/2014/04/01/where-have-all-the-leaders-gone/ 33. Apolitical, merit-based ... and out of fashion Richard Mulgan Conservatives no longer seem to be much interested in championing an independent public service. In right-wing ideology, the public service is joining the universities and the ABC as a publicly funded institution with a progressive, anti-business agenda. For the public service, this is a dangerous trend. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/apolitical-meritbased--and-unfashionable-the-bureaucracys-troubled-relationship-with-conservatives-20140330-35rh4.html 34. Uncomfortable echoes of Eichmann John Adams What should a public servant do if the government pursues a morally objectionable policy? In his essay ''The Inhumanity of Government Bureaucracies'' (2000), Hans Sheerer points out that, while news media tend to focus on the political leaders of inhumane governments, public servants and bureaucratic systems are responsible for transforming politically articulated agendas into devastating realities. The past century saw several shocking examples of bureaucrats serving morally reprehensible governments, such as in Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia, Miloševic's Yugoslavia and Saddam Hussein's Iraq. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/uncomfortable-echoes-of-eichmann-20140301-33t5l.html#ixzz2xk0yKkZW MEDIA + BIAS + GROUPTHINK + TROLLUMISTS 35. Mark Scott: News Corp papers never more aggressive than now Amanda Meade ABC managing director warns of dangers for Australian public debate in 'winner takes all' media battle http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/apr/01/mark-scott-news-corp-papers-never-more-aggressive-than-now?CMP=twt_gu 36. Murdoch’s newspaper dominance could increase, ABC chief warns Michelle Grattan News Corporation could increase its share of newspapers purchased in Australia’s capital cities to about 80% and have a weekday http://theconversation.com/murdochs-newspaper-dominance-could-increase-abc-chief-warns-25103 37. Dangers for public debate in media war Barry Tucker ABC managing director Mark Scott has warned of the dangers ahead for public debate in a “winner takes all” news media battle. He was giving a lecture at the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Advancing Journalism. The story was reported in The Guardian online by media writer Amanda Meade. “Fairfax is on the road to becoming a digital media company, migrating its traditional broadsheets through a tabloid format while actively discussing the prospect that the day may come where they will not publish them in newsprint at all, certainly not every day of the week,” Scott said. http://truthinmediaresourcecentre.wordpress.com/2014/04/02/dangers-for-public-debate-in-media-war/ 38. Lachlan Murdoch and News: the first-born son is ahead … for now Brian McNair After nearly nine years down under doing his own thing with Illyria, Network Ten and Nova, Lachlan Murdoch’s return to the family business as non-executive co-chairman of News Corp and 21st Century Fox has been widely reported as an “end” to Rupert Murdoch’s succession dilemma. The first-born son has returned to the position of preferred heir to the throne. http://theconversation.com/lachlan-murdoch-and-news-the-first-born-son-is-ahead-for-now-24884 ENVIRONMENT + ENERGY 39. Japan Ordered To Stop Whale Hunt Anna Greer Australia has won its whaling case against Japan - a great victory for activists. Changing the words of the convention will be the next step. https://newmatilda.com//2014/04/01/japan-ordered-stop-whale-hunt 40. Explainer: An end to Japan’s “scientific whaling” program in Antarctica David Shiffman .....the International Court of Justice declared that Japan’s scientific whaling program in Antarctica violates the International Whaling Commission moratorium, and ordered Japan to stop. This is big news for the marine conservation community, but like many legal policy decisions, it can be difficult to determine exactly what it means. I asked marine mammal biologists, conservation activists, and policy experts to help explain it. http://www.southernfriedscience.com/?p=16873 41. Shepherd Dreyfus makes whalers look like Moby Dicks Tess Lawrence In a landmark ruling by the International Court of Justice, Australia looks like it has ended Japanese whaling in the Antarctic. Contributing editor-at-large http://www.independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/shepherd-dreyfus-makes-whalers-look-like-moby-dicks,6343 42. Whaling not off the cards just yet Steven Freeland Australia celebrated a win over the Japanese whaling program in the International Court of Justice, but Japan still has a few avenues it can pursue if it's determined to keep hunting http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-01/freeland-whaling-not-off-the-cards-just-yet/5358258 43. IPCC Makes Climate A Human Rights Issue Matthew Rimmer and Alexandra Phelan Climate change is an issue for public health, law, poverty and even human survival, according to the latest IPCC report, released yesterday. https://newmatilda.com/2014/04/01/ipcc-makes-climate-human-rights-issue 44. Climate campaigns trip up on democracy at critical points Randal G Stewart By declaring climate change a ‘great moral challenge’, Kevin Rudd owned the issue. That set him up for a political fall when the Coalition and Greens blocked his path...The scientific modelling is compelling and the evidence alarming. The problems begin when the science crosses into the democratic sphere of politics and public policy. The scientists do not simply want a response. They want a disruption, a critical juncture, a new narrative challenging the status quo. This requires new institutions that create a new normal path to low emissions. http://theconversation.com/climate-campaigns-trip-up-on-democracy-at-critical-points-24832 45. Climate change action is the best insurance policy in world history John Hartz As someone living in the rich west, I am far from unusual in insuring my life, my house, my travel, my teeth and even my dog. What I do not have, and what the new landmark report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change makes very clear is urgently needed, is global warming insurance. http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=2478 46. IPCC says future in doubt if we don't act now: Time for climate disobedience Michael Marriott The just released IPCC reports details an horrific scenario for the planet. http://www.independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/ipcc-says-future-in-doubt-if-we-dont-act-now-time-for-climate-disobedience,6340 47. The end is nigh – don’t read all about it Mark Beeson The much anticipated latest summary of peer-reviewed climate science by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has finally been delivered. The jury, as they say, is unambiguously in, even if it’s going to take a while to wade through the verdict. I find it hard to believe that the authors of the latest IPCC report have actually read it from cover to cover, let alone the rest of us. http://theconversation.com/the-end-is-nigh-dont-read-all-about-it-25146 ASYLUM SEEKERS + THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HATE + REFUGEE RIGHTS 48. Asylum seekers involved in case against Government to be transferred from Villawood to Curtin Peter Lloyd The Immigration Department is planning to move asylum seekers who are taking legal action against the Federal Government from Sydney to one of the country's most remote detention centres, just a day before their case returns to court on Friday. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-01/asylum-seekers-transferred-from-villawood-to-curtin/5359346 49. The Truth About Reza Barati Must Be Told Ben Eltham Is the Federal Government encouraging Papua New Guinea to bury what happened during the attack on Manus Island detention centre? https://newmatilda.com//2014/04/01/truth-about-reza-barati-must-be-told 50. Children in detention: Is Australia breaching international law? The Australian Human Rights Commission is conducting an inquiry into Australia's practice of placing asylum seeker children in detention. Following a visit to Christmas Island's detention facilities in March, the president of the Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, said Australia was in breach of international law. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-31/children-in-detention-is-australia-breaching-international-law/5344022 OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Casablanca

3/04/2014CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Thursday, 3 April 2014: [b]Govt morally bankrupt despite their "christian" credentials[/b] Posted above and at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CC-2014-04-01.aspx

Casablanca

3/04/2014 [b]How Gmail happened: The inside story of its launch 10 years ago[/b] "If you wanted to pick a single date to mark the beginning of the modern era of the web, you could do a lot worse than choosing Thursday, April 1, 2004, the day Gmail launched… An awful lot of people briefly took it to be a really good hoax. (Including me.) Gmail turned out to be real, and revolutionary. And a decade's worth of perspective only makes it look more momentous." http://time.com/43263/gmail-10th-anniversary/

Ad astra

3/04/2014Folks Arthur Sinodinos is finished. Read this: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/icac-arthur-sinodinos-fronts-corruption-inquiry-20140402-35yaz.html

2353

3/04/2014AA - if there is justice - Sinodinos is finished. I think someone here suggested when the enquiry started that they were skating on thin ice. I think climate change is getting to the ice.

Casablanca

4/04/2014 [b]CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Friday, 4 April 2014: 50 items[/b] THE TONY AWARDS 1. Was Dame Quentin Bryce really a dame when Tony Abbott said she was? Peter Hartcher, Jonathan Swan After repeated requests over several days, neither the Prime Minister's office nor Buckingham Palace would give Fairfax Media the exact date on which the monarch signed the official instrument. On Wednesday afternoon - after Fairfax Media published this story online - a spokeswoman for the Prime Minister said "the documents" had been signed by the Queen on March 19. But the Prime Minister's office continued to refuse to release the signed parchment, saying the Letters Patent, which are public documents, would be published "in due course". However, there is no electronic version of Letters Patent, according to people familiar with Palace workings, and only the parchment bearing the monarch's signature has any force. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/was-dame-quentin-bryce-really-a-dame-when-tony-abbott-said-she-was-20140402-35xnu.html#ixzz2xmABfxZk 2. Tony Abbott's right royal disaster Barry Everingham Has Prime Minister Abbott and his office been misleading the public about his decision to restore imperial honours, compromising – and also offending – the Queen.. I then called the Palace to ask about Abbott's decision. I received a similar response — though the anger in the royal aide's voice was palpable. I asked the Palace whether the titles conferred by Abbott were legal at the time he made his announcement. I was coldly told that Abbott doesn’t confer titles, the Queen does, so I should ask Mr Abbott whether everything was legal. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/was-dame-quentin-bryce-really-a-dame-when-tony-abbott-said-she-was-20140402-35xnu.html#ixzz2xmABfxZk 3. Wherever I lay my hat that’s my home Kaye Lee In 1996 John Howard became the first Prime Minister to make Kirribilli House in Sydney his prime residence. Over the next 12 years, this decision cost the taxpayers $18.4 million in flights between Canberra and Sydney. According to the Department of Defence’s Schedule of Special Purpose Flights for the second half of 2002, Howard ordered 43 flights between Sydney and Canberra. Ten of those flights flew empty between Canberra and Sydney. Each flight cost $7500. http://theaimn.com/2014/04/03/wherever-i-lay-my-hat-thats-my-home/ 4. Abbott’s only claim to fame: persecuting the utterly helpless. Jennifer Wilson We have a government whose only claim to fame is that it has “stopped the boats”. (Whether they have stopped or not) they boast proudly of the feat, but should we the voters proud of the grotesque manner in which they have implemented this policy and of those entrusted with the task? http://theaimn.com/2014/04/03/abbotts-only-claim-to-fame-persecuting-the-utterly-helpless/ ROYAL COMMISSIONS + INQUIRIES + AUDITS + REVIEWS + WATCHDOGS 5. Lights go out over the Moonlight State Alex McKean The Queensland Government is about the use its numbers to nobble the State’s corruption watchdog and slowly but surely rekindle the days of Joh. The changes to the CMC will not turn out the lights, but it will mean a light can no longer be shone into some of the dark corners where corruption flourishes. It will create the conditions where a slide back into the swamp of political and police corruption, with all of its attendant miseries, is inevitable. http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/the-lights-go-out-over-the-moonlight-state,6345 ENTITLEMENTS + FIDDLES + CONCESSIONS + RESPONSIBILITY 6. Arthur Sinodinos tells ICAC he did not ask why AWH's expenses were soaring Bridie Jabour Asked if $200,000 salary for no more than 45 hours of work a year was reasonable, senator says: 'The fact I took the salary indicated it was reasonable from my point of view'. Sinodinos was then deputy chairman of AWH and has told the Independent Commission Against Corruption that while part of his job was to have a detailed knowledge of the finances, he did not ask anyone why the expenses to Sydney Water were increasing. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/03/arthur-sinodinos-tells-icac-he-did-not-ask-why-awh-expenses-soaring?CMP=ema_632 7. Parties, money and their masters: who do office holders serve? Anika Gauja It’s hard not to be disturbed by the allegations emerging from the inquiry into Australian Water Holdings (AWH) by New South Wales' Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). The proceedings have… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-xldiiky-trhltityg-h/ 8. Macquarie won concessions ahead of offshore banking tax crackdown Ben Butler Macquarie Group successfully lobbied the Abbott government to water down and delay moves to tighten laws over which the bank is fighting a tax battle worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Fairfax Media has learnt that Macquarie was among industry players who attended a November 6 meeting with then-assistant treasurer Arthur Sinodinos at which the controversial issue of offshore banking units was discussed. Moves by the previous government to crack down on the use of OBUs, which had already been delayed, were watered down the same day and further delayed in January. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/macquarie-won-concessions-ahead-of-offshore-banking-tax-crackdown-20140402-35ysd.html#ixzz2xn2kjisx 9. Abbott's expensive humility Jonathan Swan and Tony Wright Taxpayers now know the price of the PM's decision to forgo a $3000-a-week luxury home. Taxpayers now know the price of Tony Abbott’s humility. The Prime Minister’s unorthodox decision to forgo a $3000-a-week luxury home in Canberra for spartan accommodation at the Australian Federal Police College has cost taxpayers $65,000 in lease termination fees, Senate documents reveal. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/tony-abbotts-expensive-humility-20140403-zqq9c.html BIGOTRY RIGHTS vs HUMAN RIGHTS + JUSTICE 10. We shouldn’t look to a state that entrenches racism to legislate against it Antony Loewenstein Some of us who have spent years fighting discrimination also feel uncomfortable with laws which hinder free speech – which is why I cautiously support the government's move to amend 18C. I fundamentally share the view expressed by Noam Chomsky that “acceptable speech” should never be decided by the state, because we "don't want them to have any right to make any decision about what anybody says.” As a result, “a lot of people are going to say things that you think are rotten, and you're going to say things that a lot of other people think are rotten.” http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/02/we-shouldnt-look-to-a-state-that-entrenches-racism-to-legislate-against-it?CMP=ema_632 11. Chomsky and Free Speech Chomsky has defended free speech in an area requiring perhaps the greatest degree of personal courage and commitment: in the so-called Faurisson Affair....But first, to begin with the general right of free speech, note that Chomsky has always argued that there are conflicting rights:... For Chomsky, as for anyone interested in defending free speech, [i]defending a person's right to express certain views is independent of the views actually expressed.[/i] http://hass.unsw.adfa.edu.au/timor_companion/politics_of_starvation/chomsky_and_free_speech.php 12. Why Andrew Bolt's distress is truly uncomfortable Michael Gawenda "Andrew Bolt feels betrayed by Jewish community leaders. That he should feel this way is one small but illuminating -- and disturbing -- consequence of the debate about whether or not section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act should be retained or significantly reshaped as the Abbott government has promised. Bolt reckons he has earnt the support of Jewish community leaders because, in his words, “...they know well what I have done for their community.”" http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/4/2/politics/why-andrew-bolts-distress-truly-uncomfortable 13. I’d defend Israel even if every one of its leaders were like Michael Gawenda Andrew Bolt Andrew Bolt responds to Michael Gawenda's column (Why Andrew Bolt's distress is truly uncomfortable, April 2): An open response to Michael Gawenda, and any Jewish paper is free to reproduce it.... Michael, Your column today is a grotesque misrepresentation of me and of my argument with Jewish leaders supporting the Racial Discrimination Act. Michael Gawenda responds..... Finally, your suggestion that my piece implied that I consider you an unreliable goy and a closet anti-Semite is hysterical. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/4/3/politics/id-defend-israel-even-if-every-one-its-leaders-were-michael-gawenda 14. UN probe will give Sri Lankans justice Editorial In 2009, Sri Lanka secured a resolution in the UN Human Rights Council that cruelled plans for an international investigation into war crimes and serious human rights abuses. Sri Lanka argued that these concerns were ''a domestic matter that doesn't warrant outside interference''. It still holds to that repugnant moral relativism....A culture of appeasement, in which such atrocities are swept aside and never mentioned again, does not foster a sophisticated recognition of the rights of individuals. It conveys the message, wrongly, that grotesque violence is acceptable in times of war and that no one will pay a penalty for it. That is not the route to a sustainable peace, because without justice there cannot be equality for all and that leaves open the risk of hostilities starting over again. http://www.theage.com.au/comment/the-age-editorial/un-probe-will-give-sri-lankans-justice-20140331-35u3b.html#ixzz2xnTbMDPX 15. Un-doing white privilege: a love letter Elizabeth Dori Tunstall On Monday, I experienced anger in way that I rarely ever feel. The source of my anger was the continued institutionalisation of white privilege in the design of policy and legislation. It started when I decided to catch up on the discussions regarding the repeal of Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-xldiiky-trhltityg-s/ HEALTH INDUSTRY WARS 16. Medibank sale doomsayers are off the mark Stephen Duckett The private health insurance industry is overdue for a shake-up. Selling Medibank Private won't achieve that, but nor will it do harm. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-02/duckett-medibank-sale-doomsayers-are-off-the-mark/5360732 ELECTION WA[RS] 17. WA Senate Re-Election Preview Adrian Beaumont At the last federal election, there was a very close exclusion which affected the final result in the WA Senate. This was compounded by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) losing 1400 votes. Acting as the Court of Disputed Returns, the High Court declared the 2013 WA Senate election void, and ordered a new election. https://theconversation.com/wa-senate-re-election-preview-25147 18. Scott Ludlam Vs The Wild West Sarah Burnside How hard is it for Western Australian politicians to break the state's frontier-mining image? Sarah Burnside on Greens Senator Scott Ludlam's ambition for a 'WA 2.0' http://newmatilda.us5.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=bcde3b960b33e25d0c003ebc8&id=58f5f53347&e=0a1e2bdeb8 19. Can Western Australia redeem the nation? Jeff Schiller Eminent economist Ross Garnaut has weighed into the W.A. half Senate by-election, with some highly critical comments about the Abbott Government's climate [...]Professor Garnaut, far from a leftwing radical, has weighed into this coming weekend’s election with some valuable arguments for West Australian’s to factor into their decision — above and beyond traditional alliances. Other experts have also weighed in. http://www.independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/can-western-australia-redeem-the-nation,6348 20. AEC statement: Mobile polling in Western Australian Senate election at RAAFA Merriwa Estate AEC Press Release The AEC said today that an incident had occurred earlier this week during mobile polling of residents at the RAAFA Merriwa Estate.The AEC has since obtained legal advice about this matter, and those affected voters are considered to have not voted in this election. Accordingly, the AEC is able to remedy this situation and protect the franchise of those voters by enabling them to validly cast their vote. An AEC mobile team will make arrangements to assist the affected voters as soon as practicable. The AEC’s prime concern is naturally to protect the franchise of the residents affected. 21. The truth about Palmer's phony GST war Rob Burgess It was with considerable relish that Treasurer Hockey stepped up to the dispatch box...to answer a question from the member for Fairfax, Clive Palmer. The question was: “Why do the Australian and Western Australian governments allow GST raised in Western Australia to be spent in eastern states? Regardless, why doesn't Western Australia receive all the GST raised in Western Australia? .....It was not clear whether Mr Palmer was being ‘mendacious’ – the speaker-approved term for downright deceitful – or really didn’t know how the Commonwealth Grants Commission re-distributes GST revenue.... In the fog of electoral war, confusion reigns. Palmer’s phony GST pitch to WA voters may win a few votes after all. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/4/3/politics/truth-about-palmers-phony-gst-war 22. Clive Palmer and Ross Garnaut debate carbon tax ahead of WA Senate election re-run Lateline Clive Palmer and Ross Garnaut have gone head to head in a debate over the carbon tax, with the mining magnate saying it will "definitely" go when the new Senate takes over in July. The pair debated the issue on Lateline after the PM put the carbon tax front and centre as he campaigned in the west this week. Saturday's WA Senate election re-run will determine how many votes the Coalition will require from a diverse cross-bench of independents, micro parties and the Palmer United Party (PUP) to push legislation through the Upper House. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-04/clive-palmer-ross-garnaut-wa-senate-election-climate-carbon-tax/5366202 23. States can't say how much of Abbott's 'no-strings' funding will go to schools Daniel Hurst Labor and the Greens seek to highlight weakening of the Gonski reforms before WA Senate election rerun. Western Australia and Northern Territory – two beneficiaries of the Abbott government’s “no strings” school funding deal – have been unable to say how much of the extra money will flow into classrooms this year. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/03/wa-and-nt-cant-say-how-much-extra-no-strings-funding-will-go-to-schools POLITICS, SECRECY, HYPOCRISY, DECEPTION 24. Tony Abbott’s grandchildren could change his mind on paid parental leave Lisa Bryant Knowing that his expensive scheme was designed around what he thought would work best for his daughters seems like a narrow focus...Tony Abbott's love for his daughters, however, can sometimes make me feel a bit squirmy...Could it be that he is championing the wrong answer? Would better quality childcare, rather than paid parental leave be the answer?.. There is no doubt that Abbott's daughters are 'women of calibre' and they may well be the sort of women that he is keen to keep in paid employment. But is having a gold plated paid parental leave system the best way to get Bridget, Frances and Louise back into the workforce after they have had a baby? http://womensagenda.us5.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=30f81b85614c4a46de129a5d6&id=64b9d77e9e&e=87e80a7b7d 25. Abbott rejects whaling legal bid Michelle Grattan and Andrew Darby January 12, 2010 OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott says a Coalition government would not take international legal action against Japanese whaling - despite environment spokesman Greg Hunt urging the Rudd Government to do so immediately. http://m.smh.com.au/national/abbott-rejects-whaling-legal-bid-20100111-m2oe.html 26. Partisan indulgences leave middle Australia cold Peter Lewis and Jackie Woods New polling suggests Tony Abbott should follow the example of his political father John Howard, who recognised the importance of appeasing middle Australia first and foremost. Abbott's early days as Prime Minister have seen the opposite, a continuation of the partisan pointscoring and left-baiting that characterised his political ascendance, amplified by the parliamentary performance of his political mater. Knights, dames and bigotry dominated last week; they were preceded by attacks on the ABC, the axing of the Climate Commission and a fresh assault on politically correct school curricula. It's a performance that has left voters distinctly lukewarm. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-02/lewis-and-woods-partisan-indulgences-leave-middle-australia-cold/5359774 ECONOMICS + BUSINESS 27. People power the new economic driver Alan Kohler In the post-mining economy it will be our people who will drive economic growth. Or more specifically, the infrastructure required to house, feed and transport them. It's perfectly clear what is now taking over as the main driver of Australia's economic growth: population. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-03/kohler-people-power-the-new-economic-driver/5363646 28. Some 838,100 new jobs, but few with blue collars Greg Jericho Hundreds of thousands of jobs will be added to the Australian economy over the next five years, but that's of small comfort to workers in the declining mining and manufacturing sectors http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-02/jericho-838100-new-jobs-but-few-with-blue-collars/5360042 29. Martin Parkinson gets serious with bracket creeps and fiscal drags Lenore Taylor Treasury secretary warns of the perils of returning the budget to surplus within 10 years. Parkinson set out, in his direct factual way, that, even with very significant savings, the budget will only return to surplus within ten years if we get no personal tax cuts for that whole decade. And, since wages increase over time in line with inflation, not getting a tax cut is in effect the same as suffering a tax increase; “fiscal drag” pulls people into higher tax brackets (bracket creep) as their wages rise. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/03/martin-parkinson-gets-serious-with-bracket-creeps-and-fiscal-drags?CMP=twt_gu 30. RBA's Stevens backs Parkinson in calls for difficult fiscal reform Michael Janda Speaking at an American Chamber of Commerce lunch in Brisbane, Glenn Stevens said the path to stronger global economic growth was not via central bank money printing, nor spending or austerity by governments. "This goal is not to be achieved by clever programs of cheap money devised by central banks," Mr Stevens warned... He says Australia faces two great challenges beyond the mining boom and downturn, which are the lack of revenue over the medium term to fund social programs that Australians have voted for, and the demographic shift towards an older population with more people entering retirement and fewer joining the workforce http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-03/stevens-backs-parkinson-in-calls-for-difficult-fiscal-reform/5364918?WT.mc_id=newsmail 31. Parko foretells the great Australian decline Houses and Holes Treasury Secretary Martin Parkinson gave an epochal speech at the Sydney Institute last night. Highlights include arguments to raise the GST, the need to boost productivity to unprecedented levels if we’re not to get poorer and argued for radical steps to stabilise the budget. It was brilliant. Below I’ve excerpted the section on productivity and income [...] http://macrobusiness.cmail2.com/t/i-l-zjtktk-dtyueir-ju/ 32. More Tax Or Deeper Cuts - It's Time To Choose Ben Eltham Outgoing Treasury Secretary Martin Parkinson has made a grim assessment of the country's economy - but we deserve better solutions than what he's proposing. http://newmatilda.us5.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=bcde3b960b33e25d0c003ebc8&id=011000a4dd&e=0a1e2bdeb8 33. ASIC to look into prank Metgasco email from schoolgirl Kudra Falla-Ricketts Nicole Hasham Metgasco chief executive Peter Henderson said Kudra's fake press release could have had a ''devastating'' effect on shareholders. Sixteen-year-old Kudra Falla-Ricketts' prank has now been referred to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Under corporations law, false or misleading statements can attract a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail, a $765,000 fine, or both. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/markets/asic-to-look-into-prank-metgasco-email-from-schoolgirl-kudra-fallaricketts-20140402-35yy7.html#ixzz2xmzx7KeM 34. Our Rolls-Royce budget can handle a flat tyre Stephen Koukoulas Australia is in a fine budget position and the deficit isn't nearly as big an issue as some politicians would have you believe. Just ask the credit rating agencies. The budget debate in Australia is so pathetically inane that the fiscal blame game has reached a point where neither side of politics wants to take responsibility for Australia's triple-A rated fiscal settings. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-03/koukoulas-our-rolls-royce-budget-can-handle-a-flat-tyre/5363402 NBN 35. Turnbull, NBN Co won’t discuss Strategic Review Renai LeMay Early last week the NBN Senate Select Committee, which is controlled by Labor and the Greens, published an extensive 194 page interim report into its initial findings regarding the revamp of the project. You can download the report here in PDF format. Former Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said that the report showed there were seven major problems with NBN Co’s Strategic Review, including:... http://delimiter.com.au/2014/04/03/turnbull-nbn-co-wont-discuss-strategic-review/ 36. What does the telco industry really think of the NBN? Mark Gregory For the Nation’s elected representatives (the NBN wrecking crew) the NBN is a football, an elixir or something you find in a shop. But what does the NBN mean to the Australian telecommunications industry? SOCIAL CONSCIENCE + POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY + COMMITMENT + ACTIVISM 37. Activism, According To News Limited David Shoebridge, Bruce Knobloch Is activism a waste of time, or a threat to corporate power? At the Daily Telegraph, it's both! It's not hard to understand why people become activists... The Daily Telegraph is spending a lot of time and effort attacking activism and protests, particularly where The Greens are involved. Does this show a political and media establishment that’s becoming increasingly worried about its position to influence public opinion? http://newmatilda.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=bcde3b960b33e25d0c003ebc8&id=fea5238356&e=0a1e2bdeb8 38. Spite is good. Spite works. "After decades of focusing on such staples of bad behaviour as aggressiveness, selfishness, narcissism and greed, scientists have turned their attention to the subtler and often unsettling theme of spite — the urge to punish, hurt, humiliate or harass another, even when one gains no obvious benefit and may well pay a cost." The “Iliad” may be a giant of Western literature, yet its plot hinges on a human impulse normally thought petty: spite. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/01/science/spite-is-good-spite-works.html?src=me&ref=general 39. Universities Should Clean Up Their Portfolios Tom Swann Divesting from fossil fuels would be an ethically sound and financially savvy move for universities. The first step is to come clean about where their money is going now. http://newmatilda.us5.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=bcde3b960b33e25d0c003ebc8&id=92acff87fe&e=0a1e2bdeb8 40. Why the coal industry is right to fear divestment Ben Caldecott Divestment by Australia's Group of Eight universities would have little direct impact on the fossil fuel industry, but the message it would send would be powerful http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-03/caldecott-fossil-fuel-divestment/5365012 41. Who Wins From Globalisation? Shaun Crowe In the UK and Australia, globalisation is forcing labour parties to rethink their approach to their working-class bases - and helping parties like One Nation and UKIP succeed http://newmatilda.us5.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=bcde3b960b33e25d0c003ebc8&id=bf2e836dd2&e=0a1e2bdeb8 42. Globalisation improves quality of life University of Cantabria New research shows globalisation is improving quality of life and equality for more people compared with three decades ago. The University of Cantabria study used the UN Human Development Index, which covers almost 90% of the global population, as an indicator of quality of life. https://theconversation.com/globalisation-improves-quality-of-life-24621 43. Winners and losers in globalization of world's economy, health and education Vanesa Jordá and José María Sarabia Globalization has made the world a better and more equal place for many more people than was the case a few decades ago. However, it has also created two well-defined worlds of poor countries and wealthy nations, according to Vanesa Jordá and José María Sarabia of the University of Cantabria in Spain. In an article published in Springer's journal Applied Research in Quality of Life, they studied the distribution of well-being over the last wave of globalization between 1980 and 2011. http://phys.org/news/2014-03-winners-losers-globalization-world-economy.html#jCp INTERNET + TROLLS + FREE SPEECH + PRIVACY 44. The US and Australia Propose an End to Free Speech on the Internet Bea Edwards If the TPP moves forward as proposed by US and Australian negotiators, these legal burdens will apply to ISPs. Onerous legal responsibilities will oblige them to place their customers under pervasive surveillance simply to limit liability. Through this one indirect measure, freedom of speech on the Internet could be arbitrarily restricted... For good measure, as drafted, the TPP will criminalize copyright infringement. Rather than facing a lawsuit, whistleblowers and any ISP that carries their disclosures -- if copyrighted -- could face jail time. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bea-edwards/the-us-and-australia-prop_b_4956635.html 45. Surely defamation is the real threat to free speech Jonathan Green Even the most vigorous champions of free speech have at times been tempted to defend their reputations by using Australia's powerful defamation laws...The pre-conditions for vocal political concern exist. Just as he has been on the wrong end of legal action for racial vilification, Andrew Bolt has also been sued, with success, for defamation. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-03/green---defamation/5362868?WT.mc_id=newsmail YARTZ + LITERATURE 46. Quentin Bryce's official portrait: pedestrian art with no soul Andrew Frost A good likeness by Ralph Heimans but there's no insight in this shambles of hokey symbolism and compositional trickiness. A new official portrait of the outgoing governor general Quentin Bryce was unveiled in Canberra on Tuesday evening. Painted by the celebrity portraitist Ralph Heimans, it is very large, measuring 1.9m by 1.36m. The painting, which depicts Bryce at the doorway of her former office, gazing out into a sunset, achieves everything a contemporary portrait appears supposed to: it is easily recognisable, and it looks like an illustration. It is also utterly redundant. Heimans’s portrait of Bryce will become part of the Historic Memorials Collection and will be hung at Members Hall, Parliament House, next to William Dargie’s 1953 portrait of the Queen. http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/mar/25/quentin-bryces-official-portrait-pedestrian-art-with-no-soul?CMP=ema_632 ENVIRONMENT + ENERGY 47. Australian government may ban environmental boycotts Lenore Taylor Parliamentary secretary says there is 'an appetite' for removing environmental groups' exemption from secondary boycotts ban. Coalition MPs and industry groups are using a review of competition laws to push for a ban on campaigns against companies on the grounds that they are selling products that damage the environment, for example by using old-growth timber or overfished seafood. The parliamentary secretary for agriculture, Richard Colbeck, said the backbench rural committee and “quite a number in the ministry” want to use the review to remove an exemption for environmental groups from the consumer law ban on so-called “secondary boycotts”. 48. Climate policy: could it be the boxing Prime Minister's glass jaw? Nick Rowley Nine years ago, I spent long days inside Downing Street working with the then British Prime Minister Tony Blair on how to position his government on the global climate problem. Blair was keen to work out… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-xldiiky-trhltityg-k/ 49. Climate change and security: a wake-up call for Australia Matt McDonald and Ashleigh Croucher The most recent IPCC report included a chapter on security – the first time this has happened. The report pointed to a range of security threats associated with climate change, including ill-health, food… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-xldiiky-trhltityg-u/ ASYLUM SEEKERS + THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HATE + REFUGEE RIGHTS 50. Glory be! Inside Deborah Kelly’s No Human Being Is Illegal Tania Leimbach You may have heard of Deborah Kelly, the well-known Sydney-based artist with a work in the 2014 Biennale of Sydney entitled No Human Being Is Illegal (In All Our Glory). The work features a suite of life-size collaged portraits and is the product of Kelly collaborating with about 70 other people. Over the course of six months, collaborators, including me, worked with Kelly – and I would like to offer some reflections on the experience. https://theconversation.com/glory-be-inside-deborah-kellys-no-human-being-is-illegal-24408 OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Casablanca

4/04/2014 CASABLANCA'S CACHE. 04-04-14: [b]PM persists with 'drought & flooding rain' narrative: the data tell a different story.[/b] Posted above and at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CC-2014-04-01.aspx

Ken

4/04/2014Abbott and the LNP were often quick to accuse Labor of using the 'old' language of the class war. But the class war is now on: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-04/strikers-face-having-assets-seized-for-not-paying-fines/5367060

Michael

4/04/2014Will Queen Elizabeth 11, who renownedly has little patience for any who doubt that she is indeed "Her Majesty", accept Abbott's famous dictum, 'It is better to seek forgiveness than to ask permission' over his apparent jumping the gun when ennobling Quentin and Pete in the monarch's name? I very much doubt it, if, as seems likely he has taken her name, her role, her responsibility, and her right to raise her subjects' social rank through a semi-mystical concept of nobility as the 'gift' of an anointed monarch, in vain. In short, he's abused precisely what he claimed to be acting within - the special and direct relationship between an Australian Prime Minister and the monarch of England. Whatever one might think of the House of Windsor providing Australia with a Head of State, the actions of this Head of Orstrayleean Gumnint appear at the very least to be... demeaning of both parties, and by extent, each 'Dame' and 'Knight' so deemed, and by trickling down callow dismissiveness, every award an Australian receives from Her Majesty's current most distinctly ridiculous gumnint.

TalkTurkey

4/04/2014Thank you Casablanca, I managed to get through all you links today for the first time in a while. There is more in my heart for your effort than I can say, you are a Hero of the 5th Estate, you have kept this site as the Australian Archive even now the fever of the impending general election is behind us and depression at our failure is sapping our creative energies. I never don't appreciate your huge effort, but you know I worry about you as I worried about Lyn before, please treat your eyes and whole self kindly. Gee I've had a migraine really every day for well over a month, I know it's "just" a migraine (as opposed to tumour or like that) because all the other symptoms go with the headache, gastric stasis, light & sound sensitivity, visual disturbance some of the time, feelings of nausea ... not fun, though never extreme, just nagging. Not all the time, but every day. I saw a program on migraine last night, no-one really knows much about it but some people get it 'way worse than I - though the first time I got it at age 21 the pain was so extreme (and I hadn't a clue what was happening) I was terrified, and wishing for a quick merciful death from moment to moment. One comment on the TV program really resonated, that it intrudes awfully on one's life, taking away your resolve, making every thing confused and effortful. Not that I'd ever [i]complain[/i]. :) Am I not a M.A.N. ? Flickering lights I'm sure can bring on migraines but I think this, the longest bout of it I've ever had, was brought on by my use of Natvia, brand of Stevia-plus-something sweetener because I'm told I'm pre-diabetic and I want to cut down drastically on sugar. [i]Scyllam vitans, in Charybdis incidit[/i] as my father and Odysseus would say. Avoiding Scylla, (a deadly floating shoal of rocks), we fell into Charybdis, (a deadly whirlpool). Anyway I've stopped using Natvia but I still got dem headaches. Not so bad I think though. I was gornta write a pome but then I saw Joe Bullock's comments and I'm too gobsmacked now. So you can all breathe easy again.

Curi-Oz

4/04/2014Just come across something that might help those who wish to vote Below the Line. http://belowtheline.org.au/editor/wa#SOteB8Hp Select your own preferences, then print it out to take with you. This avoiding that horrible moment when you can't remember who you were going to put next ... I do enjoy the cleverness of people who can turn open access data into useful tools!

Casablanca

4/04/2014[b]2353[/b] I hope that you (& others) have caught up with the many excellent articles that I have listed under Bigotry Rights vs Human Rights and Asylum Seekers + The Psychology of Hate + Racism. They amplify your discussion piece very well but regrettably there has not been very much discussion happening at this blog for some considerable time. I guess that is explained in part by how demoralized we feel after the bruising experience of the trashing of the Gillard Government and the negativity of the Abbott Ascendancy. Come on Swordsters, fire up again! Eternal vigilance & all that. Sharpen and hone those swords!

Casablanca

4/04/2014Oops, even Ingrid has gone missing in action. Perhaps she hasn't moved across to my Tablet yet - I usually post comments from my desktop computer.

Casablanca

4/04/2014[b]Sorry WA, the Senate revote won't change much[/b] Barrie Cassidy The Government is fighting hard because it's never a good look to go backwards. Photo: The Government is fighting hard because it's never a good look to go backwards. (Australian Electoral Commission) The Coalition will want to keep up appearances at Western Australia's Senate re-run, but its upcoming trade mission and budget are much more significant.... http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-04/cassidy-sorry-wa-the-senate-revote-wont-change-much/5365698 ps Ingrid has returned to Casablanca. Yay!

TalkTurkey

4/04/2014Michael [i]With the power invested in me ...[/i] :) I have reposted your comment as you meant it to be. [i]Would you like me to delete the wrongun and the two corrections?[/i] I can't include your gravatar though. That would need you to copy and repaste the corrected version, then I would delete what I have just posted. I know what a pissoff it is to post a messed-up comment. What you have to say is too delightful to us Republicans to be spoiled.

Casablanca

5/04/2014 [b]Arthur Sinodinos dazzled by his dreams[/b] Jack Waterford In pursuit of that vision, Sinodinos paid no attention to signs or warnings that the AWH story was not as he believed it to be. Nor was he interested in being told. He was going to be a captain of industry and commerce - and, if perhaps ultimately a rich man too, what of it? There's nothing wrong, surely, with being rewarded for taking risks. It's what free enterprise is all about. And should a guy be damned for being insufficiently suspicious of leading lights in business and in the NSW party? Where would it all end if that happened? For Sinodinos, it is now impossible to see it ending with further executive political office. No one will say it directly to him - they hope he will see it himself - but he would be better out of the game altogether. Perhaps heading a charity, or something, until AWH is so long forgotten that Abbott can give him a knighthood. Or something. Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/arthur-sinodinos-dazzled-by-his-dreams-20140404-364d4.html#ixzz2xw3iZYyv

Michael

5/04/2014My earlier post about Abbott's knights and dames and the Queen's role in whether they are kosher or not might seem like small beer, but if Abbott really did rush in without the Royal imprimatur, then there is the possibility of real constitutional disaster here. Australian laws, post legislation, still have to be signed into law by the Queen's representative, her in loco monarchis as it were, the Governor General. They aren't law without the Royal Assent. If Abbott's taken this necessity for granted, that the Queen's acceptance after the 'facts' can be assured just because a Prime Minister has said she gave it, and she actually hasn't in real terms of charters signed and nominations ratified in her full knowledge, then Abbott has just made the monarchy redundant. Or ridiculous and irrelevant in his 'real world'. Which leaves Australia where? If the essential ratification of all our laws is considered a mere rubbertstamp by our Head of Government? The following is from Wikipedia, so I'm in danger of doing a Greg Hunt, but it makes clear how the British monarch is the final arbiter of this country's laws. "All laws in Australia, except in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Legislative Assembly, are enacted only with the viceroy's granting of Royal Assent, done by the governor-general or relevant governor, with the Great Seal of Australia or the appropriate state seal, while territorial legislatures, unlike their state counterparts, are subject to the oversight of the government of Australia. The governor-general may reserve a bill "for the Queen's pleasure"; that is withhold his consent to the bill and present it to the sovereign for her personal decision. Under the constitution, the sovereign also has the power to disallow a bill within one year of the Governor-General having granted Royal Assent." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monarchy_of_Australia Head of Government, Prime Minister or not, bypass the required procedures of engagement with the monarch and your enactments have no legitimacy. If Abbott has done this, not only aren't his new knight and dame legitimate titleholders, he has ignored and thus reduced to the appearance of irrelevance the cornerstone of Australia as a constitutional monarchy. The supposed dyed-in-the-wool monarchist Abbott may well have just set in train the dissolution of Australia as it has been since 1901. And all because he lacks control, commonsense, and respect. Perhaps because the Queen is female?

2353

5/04/2014Casablanca, YEs I have ben keeping up with your Bigotry 'series' There is more to be said on this subject sooner rather than later - I just need some time to do the research and formulate something that is readable.

Bacchus

5/04/2014Michael Building on the excellent work by TT, I have cleaned up the thread, reposting your comment as you meant it to be under your avatar...

TalkTurkey

5/04/2014Michael I guess we've told [b]Omar Khayyam[/b] what he can do with his moving finger! “The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”

TalkTurkey

5/04/2014O Yeah the Girl Can Write! http://theaimn.com/2014/04/05/pinks-batts-and-red-tape-are-not-naughty-words/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9_VOy7VipQ I LOVE this song! Groove with it, it's a great earworm for a weekend.

Ken

5/04/2014TT Good to see you in full flight and keeping our spirit up. As much as I like Dire Straits, I can't resist adding a couple of political songs - this time by Christy Moore. The first 'Ordinary Man' a song that is also relevant to what is happening in Oz at present. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIh5dUOz824 And 'Viva La Quinta Brigada' about the Irish who fought in the International Brigade against Franco. This is a live version from a concert in Glasgow. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQbXO828Vio

TalkTurkey

5/04/2014[i]Viva La Quinta Brigada![/i] Long Live the Fighting 5th! [i]NO PASARAN![/i] They shall not pass! [i]VENCEREMOS[/i]! WE SHALL WIN! It's always the same bloody fight, humans against fascists. Stirring stuff Ken, thank you. I think we need some Irish here now eh!

Bacchus

5/04/2014That's what we like to see - the turkey in full flight! http://www.birdsasart.com/rootjpegs/YL8X2890-Indian-Lake-Estates,-FL.jpg Magnificent! :D

Casablanca

5/04/2014 [b]Ms Fix-it[/b] Jane Cadzow As chief of staff to Tony Abbott, Peta Credlin is regarded as the organisational brain behind the prime minister - and by some as having way too much power. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/ms-fixit-20140331-35shb.html

Ken

5/04/2014TT Glad you enjoyed Viva La Quinta Brigade. Thought you might and it is a stirring song. One to keep our fighting spirits up as well! As I said in my Whither the Left pieces my politics was partly inspired by the Celtic liberation movements of the 1960/70s. And folk music has always been my other love which is where one finds most of the political songs - so the two come together. I sometimes wish I could put more of those songs up here but many that I have are not available on youtube. I have always felt that music should be part of the revolutionary spirit - as it has been in Ireland and in South America for centuries. Even Trades and Labour Councils in Oz (I know Queensland, Victoria and NSW definitely) used folk musicians to write political songs in the 1960s and 1970s - not sure if it still happens but it will be a shame if it isn't.

Ken

5/04/2014A PS. I think 'Quinta' should actually be 'Quinte' but as long as we have no Spanish speakers, I might get away with it!!
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