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Sunday, 16 December


Once again peak scam is here for the summer "IndyWatch Feed"

Throughout the year there are periods where I receive scam calls up to twice a week.

Sometimes I am warned about my imminent arrest for tax evasion, sometimes I am informed that I have compensation money coming to me from a motor vehicle accident in which I was allegedly involved, but most often I am told by a fake Telstra representative that there is something wrong with my computer [substitute various alternative scenarios here] and that my Internet service will be cancelled unless I power up my PC and follow instructions.

I stopped listening to their spiel years ago and now simply hang up.

However, telephone and email scamming is now ubiquitous and peak scam is on us for another holiday season.......

ACCC ScamWatch, 11 December 2018:

Watch out for holiday season scams

Scamwatch is warning people to be careful about being caught out by holiday season scams.


Proposed Religious Discrimination Act looks a lot like PM Scott Morrison appealing to his 'base' ahead of the May 2019 federal election "IndyWatch Feed"

On 13 December 2018 Australia's 'interim' Prime Minister and Liberal MP for Cook, Scott Morrison, announced that his government intended to protect religious freedom in Australia and to protect the rights of Australians to be themselves by way of a new piece of legislation titled the Religious Discrimination Act.

Not a line of this legislation appears to have been put down on paper to date even though it is apparently expected to come before the Australian Parliament in the seven days or so it will sit before the May 2019 federal election.

One would have thought that religious freedom and diversity of faith was thriving in Australia given over 127 different formal manifestations of religious faith/spirituality exist in its cities, towns and villages without ongoing overt community discord or institutionalised discrimination.

Even former Liberal Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock concedes the Religious Freedom Review he led found little evidence that discrimination is occurring in Australia. That lack of hard evidence at population levels mean that government cannot reliably assert that religious discrimination as a form of harm is an existing problem requiring the 'solutions' it is prop...


Dont lose sight of the fair go, Bill. "IndyWatch Feed"

Australians are spoilt for choice this week in politics. On the far right is Scott John Morrison who is determined to improve on his last weeks Slow-Mo filibuster fiasco by pretending that religious freedom is the biggest issue facing the nation along with encryption-busting and stopping kids needing medical treatment off Nauru. Not only that,

The post Dont lose sight of the fair go, Bill. appeared first on The AIM Network.


Viv Forbes writes Stop Wasting our Dam Water! "IndyWatch Feed"

The Saltbush Club today accused state and federal governments of wasting water often desperately needed everywhere west of Australias Great Dividing Range. The Saltbush Water Watch has been established to monitor government action and inaction and report on priorities.

The Executive Director of the growing Saltbush Club, Mr Viv Forbes, said From Adelaide to Longreach we have allowed green subversives to prevent new dam construction and to dictate the waste of water caught in existing dams.

Without water conservation the Murray River would turn back into a string of disconnected waterholes every big drought. More reliable fresh water has benefitted humans and nature all along the river.

Luckily (and predictably), Tim Flannerys climate alarm forecast of endless drought has proved wrong, or this area of Australia would now be depopulated.

The green activists behind the water waste are not pro-environment they are anti-human.

The Saltbush Club is in the process of setting up several Watch Groups to investigate, monitor and report on this political war on human activity. It has appointed Mr Ron Pike, A Bushie from the Back of Barellan to lead the Saltbush Water Watch.

Ron has a lifetime of experience of farming, irrigation and politics in the Murray Darling Basin. He was the first farmer to use water from the Snowy Scheme to irrigate his farm in 1961.

Ron says: The food we eat, the water we drink and the power we use for most of our endeavours, are available only because previous generations invested their know-how and money for the future.

It is time this generation did the same.

Rons first statement on behalf of the Saltbush Water Watch can be found here.


Anarchy : Deep in the Woods "IndyWatch Feed"

I recently read this rather interesting article Children of Ted: The Unlikely New Generation of Unabomber Acolytes (John H Richardson, New York Magazine, December 11, 2018) which left me feeling curious as to what is, in fact, the Continue reading


Trust in God and man "IndyWatch Feed"

It's not really work
It's just the power to charm
I'm still standing in the wind
But I never wave bye bye
But I try, I try ...

- David Bowie Modern love
Having blown his precious first Hundred Days to define himself and his government, Scott Morrison has finally found an issue to make his own.

Conservatism needs religion, and vice versa. Conservatism is the default form of government in overtly pious countries. In postwar Australia, the Coalition consistently won government when people felt obliged to put bums on pews; this was particularly true in Victoria, South Australia, and Queensland, the states with highest church attendance; it was less true in the other states where church attendance was traditionally lower.

The last time a conservative government in Australia put its relationship with religion to the test was in 1961. Before then, marriage legislation basically ratified weddings consecrated in what were then the three major Christian denominations: the Anglican, Catholic, and Presbyterian churches. The changing demographics of postwar Australia saw increased numbers of marriages in Orthodox churches and synagogues; the Marriage Act 1961 removed the primacy of churches and even allowed for civil ceremonies facilitated by public servants or registered celebrants. It allowed for adults to be married despite church rules limiting marriage, such as where one party was not of the same denomination as the celebrant.

Churches were livid at what they saw as the intrusion of the secular state into their core business. Prime Minister Menzies, a church-going Presbyterian, felt the full force of ecclesiastical displeasure. His government had a one-seat majority in the House thanks to a misjudged economic policy that resulted in a credit squeeze; nervous backbenchers fretted at the government being denounced from the pulpits to a significant proportion of voters.

The following year, Catholic schools in the Goulburn diocese near Canberra locked students out and sent children to the local overstretched state schools. Church schools had been able to employ ordained clergy or devout loyalists as teachers, but the growing professionalism of teaching combined with the increased importance of science meant church schools could not compete with public schools for quality of education. Menzies found a way to mollify the churches without backing down: he lavished money on church-run schools so they could expand at the same rate as government schools did at the time, in response to the postwar baby boom.


Always follow your dreams: One womans story from Cambodia "IndyWatch Feed"

Always follow your dreams: One womans story from CambodiaYou should always have a dream, Rossokna told me. Shes a 39-year-old woman from Cambodia. read now...


Having it All Ways: Scott Morrisons Jerusalem Compromise "IndyWatch Feed"

The pieces were already put in place during the Wentworth federal by-election, a hopeless, needless gambit that reduced the Coalition governments majority whilst giving the outgoing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull a crack at some vengeance. His successor, Scott Morrison, decided to make himself a prisoner of policy in advance. That prison cell, it transpired, was

The post Having it All Ways: Scott Morrisons Jerusalem Compromise appeared first on The AIM Network.


Marrakesh express derailed "IndyWatch Feed"

This is the final para in a post by Judy in The Weekend Oz: World in no hurry to board the Marrakesh Express on migration.

The principal roles of a sovereign government are to protect the nations borders and to act in the best interests of its own citizens. To do otherwise is to invite internal dissent, something Macron is beginning to learn. There are lessons for other world leaders.

Such as our own! A few more quotes for those who are paywalled out.

Individual countries are more than capable of sorting out the size and type of immigrants they require.

Last week, a spokesman for the US government summed up that countrys refusal to sign the compact by labelling it an effort by the United Nations to advance global governance at the expense of the sovereign right of states.

The central aim of the compact is to convert illegal migration into regular migration, with all the associated privileges accorded to legal migrants. Economic migration is seen as an inalienable human right.

The compact then dives into equally dangerous water by stating that one objective is to eliminate all forms of discrimination and promote evidence-based public discourse to shape perceptions of migration. In other words, descriptions of migration that are not positive and fulsome should not be permitted.

If we look at the attitudes of ordinary citizens to migration around the world, it is clear that a rising proportion is opposed to high migrant intakes. Indeed, in many countries, the largest proportion of citizens would prefer reduced or zero migration.


Saving the climate for future generations "IndyWatch Feed"

Saving the climate for future generationsThe recent school strikes held across Australia signalled the importance of protecting our planet for our children, grandchildren and beyond. read now...


Who does Scott Morrison serve? "IndyWatch Feed"

By 1PeterMCC  Interfering in religious unrest (by recognising West Jerusalem as Israels capital) and to the disadvantage of Australias trade agreements with Indonesia, only makes sense when you remember who Scott serves. He openly identifies with Prosperity theology which sits firmly within the Born Again (BA) off-shoot of Christianity, mixing fast-talking sales people with a

The post Who does Scott Morrison serve? appeared first on The AIM Network.

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Saturday, 15 December


Fuel poverty in Germany, a glimpse of the future "IndyWatch Feed"

Reposting from 2015. Freezing in the dark. Welcome to Bill Shortens brave new world, the German experience.

Some 800,000 German homes have been disconnected from the grid victims of what is euphemistically called fuel poverty. In response, Germans have picked up their axes and have headed to their forests in order to improve their sense of energy security although foresters apparently take the view that this self-help measure is nothing more than blatant timber theft (see our post here).

German manufacturers and other energy intensive industries faced with escalating power bills are packing up and heading to the USA where power prices are 1/3 of Germanys (see our posts here and here and here). And the green dream of creating thousands of jobs in the wind industry has turned out to be just that: a dream (see our post here).

A handy piece by Don Aitkin (as usual).

An interesting reference to Ross Garnaut.

You say Almost every reputable economist believes that a market mechanism like an emissions trading scheme is the best way to reduce carbon pollution. I shake my head again at that ignorant phrase, but how many of them have actually looked at the challenge of global warming? Ross Garnaut didnt, and said so. It was all too hard for him. Rubbish! None of it is very hard, for him, for you or for me. The basic science is accessible, but so many commentators refuse to look at it. They happily accept what they are told is the settled science.

That recalls the modelling that Garnaut used to plan our climate change strategy. With the Coalition in power, what about making the model public so we can see what sort of assumptions went into it?


Don Aitkin taking a break "IndyWatch Feed"

Somehow I missed this, last month Don decided to take a break for a while. He has earned it. You can still visit the site to find an amazing wealth of material especially on climate issues. Lets wish him well and hope he is up and running in the new year. He is a national treasure.


There are no winners in the Coalition's internal conflicts "IndyWatch Feed"

There are no winners in the Coalition's internal conflictsThe Coalition's internal tussles threaten to cast it into the electoral wilderness. read now...


Will the curse of the despatch box strike again? "IndyWatch Feed"

As the Prime Minister of the day strides to the despatch box in Question Time, the cameras focus on the back benchers sitting directly behind him as they nod dutifully and call out hear, hear, or point accusingly as they call out shame. These people are deliberately placed there in order to raise their profile

The post Will the curse of the despatch box strike again? appeared first on The AIM Network.


At least the pond stayed in the game a little longer than the ABC in the silly season ... "IndyWatch Feed"

This is the last post by the pond for the year, and the pond offers no excuse, except to say that at least the pond lasted longer into the festive season than the ABC

The reptiles will have to look after themselves until the new year, and if a few soil the nest or make fools of themselves, well, that's the way it works in the Darwin Awards

The pond wishes everyone who's dropped in, but especially regular correspondents, who respond to reptile musings with exceptional good cheer and a clarity singularly lacking in the reptile world, a merry Xmas, happy holydays, io Saturnalia!, felix dies nativitatis, or whatever else turns you on, and while doing the Molesworth thing, felix sit novas annus!

The good thing is that hopefully everything in the new year will look up.

The bad thing is that things never look good to nattering "Ned", and the pond has decided that a dose of portentous pomposity is the only right, fit and proper way to bring this year's reptile proceedings to a close

Beside, that means the final post will be an endless yammering, and a heartfelt dose of handwringing and sackcloth and ashes, and that will give the pond a sense of seriousness that it tends to lack whenever in reptile company

It might even help the pond's business model, which is to replicate the reptiles' plan, and send stray readers screaming from the room.

Provided they scream in nattering "Ned"'s patented pontifical, pretentious, grandiose and sententious style

 After all, gravitas is needed in these perilous times, which is perhaps why the Murdochians take their cue from the Donald

That''s the only way to explain the a...


Unions likely to be more challenging for a Shorten government than boats "IndyWatch Feed"

How much of the unions agenda a Shorten government would be willing to embrace?

On Thursday he had a double-header news conference, with two major, unrelated, announcements a proposed new federal integrity body, and a plan for a Religious Discrimination Act. In normal times, each would have had its own day in the spotlight.

Grattan on Friday: Unions likely to be more challenging for a Shorten government than boats

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

In this weeks Newspoll 55% believed Labor would win next years election, compared with just 24% who thought the Coalition would. These are figures to frighten Scott Morrison, and make Bill Shorten just a touch nervous.




Baby power appears to be a ticking time bomb for consumers "IndyWatch Feed"

Reuters Investigates, 14 December 2018:

Facing thousands of lawsuits alleging that its talc caused cancer, J&J insists on the safety and purity of its iconic product. But internal documents examined by Reuters show that the company's powder was sometimes tainted with carcinogenic asbestos and that J&J kept that information from regulators and the public.

J&J didnt tell the FDA that at least three tests by three different labs from 1972 to 1975 had found asbestos in its talc in one case at levels reported as rather high.

J&J has been compelled to share thousands of pages of company memos, internal reports and other confidential documents with lawyers for some of the 11,700 plaintiffs now claiming that the companys talc caused their cancers including thousands of women with ovarian cancer.

A Reuters examination of many of those documents, as well as deposition and trial testimony, shows that from at least 1971 to the early 2000s, the companys raw...


Australian Electoral Commission sets up temporary counting house in Grafton ahead of 2019 elections "IndyWatch Feed"

The Daily Examiner, 10 December 2018, p.4:

After  more than two years without a tenant one of Graftons largest retail outlets has a new tenant.

The store at 51 Prince St, formerly tenanted by failed electronics retailer Dick Smith, has been leased to the Australian Electoral Commission to be used as a vote counting centre in the upcoming state and federal elections.

The commercial manager at Ford and Dougherty Natasha Watkinson, said the lease was for just six months, but would be a welcome change to the main street after being so long without a tenant.

She said the owner has given the building a new coat of paint to cover up the previous tenants corporate colours.



One is too old the other too young and both are mortal dangers "IndyWatch Feed"

One is too young to think of herself as president. But she does. The other is too old to take on the job but wants it anyway.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez has not spent so much as a second in a legislative role anywhere, and will only enter the House as a junior Democrat in January, the youngest female ever elected. Do you therefore think she is out of the running come 2024? Ha!

Meanwhile: Too old to run? Biden wrestles with age as he eyes 2020 run.

As he considers running for president, Joe Biden is talking with friends and longtime supporters about whether, at 76, hes too old to seek the White House, according to several sources who have spoken with the former Democratic vice president.

The real issue is this: Dont Underestimate Dumb Voters Appetite For Idiot Leftist Politicians. From which:

Of course, Ocasio-Cortez blabs about socialism, but her rantings are straight out of Marxism for Dummies. Nothing she says threatens the rice bowl of the zillionaire donor base Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have cultivated. Free college, free medicine, free this, free that its all just more graft for the Democrats to distribute, and it will all come from the pockets of people like you. Do you think the people who write the checks to the DNC are going to end up paying the bill for this nonsense? Really?

I wish it were only money at stake. Im afraid the future will just have to take care of itself, since you may be sure that these are the sorts of people who will continue to rise to the top on the left. If there is going to be an actual resistance, preventing such people from rising to the top is where it will have to be found.


The Kosovo Blunder: Moves Towards a Standing Army "IndyWatch Feed"

There never is a time not to worry in the Balkans. The next conflict always seems to be peering around the corner with a malicious enthusiasm, eager to spring at points of demagogic advantage and personal suffering. The centrepieces of future disaster in the region tend to be Kosovo and Bosnia. The former is now

The post The Kosovo Blunder: Moves Towards a Standing Army appeared first on The AIM Network.


Media ethics and journalistic integrity "IndyWatch Feed"

Media ethics and journalistic integrityThe decline of journalistic standards has appreciably contributed to the political malaise we find ourselves in.  read now...


Creating conflict "IndyWatch Feed"

By Stephen Fitzgerald  What started out as a pathetic little grab for votes in the Wentworth by-election, by the LNP, has now been escalated to include threatening every Australian citizen and Australian trade. Wentworth voters see embassy relocation as a targeted pitch to Jewish voters: The response to the proposal relocation of the Australian Embassy

The post Creating conflict appeared first on The AIM Network.


The Boogeyman Is Coming for You "IndyWatch Feed"

The anti-terrorism unit suited up.

This was an international affair a deal between the USA and New Zealand, two members of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance.

Helicopters, tactical suits, high caliber firearmsthe whole shebang. They busted in the doors and successfully raided the multi-million-dollar compound.

What was this capturing the next in line after Bin Laden? Busting an international human trafficking ring?

Actually, elite New Zealand law enforcement was acting at the request of the United States to arrest a guy named Kim Dotcom.

Kim Dotcom is a large, jovial man of German-Swedish origins. He founded Megaupload, an online platform that allowed us to basically watch movies online for free.

Unfortunately for Kim, a lot of that content included American movies, with American copyrights.

US artists didnt get their money, which meant the US government didnt get its tax dollars.

But Kim Dotcom was a German citizen hanging out in New Zealand. So tough luck for the USA, right?

Wrong. US jurisdiction extends globally and the government is getting its pound of flesh.

Violate US copyright laws, and get your door kicked in by a SWAT team, even half a world away.

Then there was the Australian, living in London who shared leaked, classified and sensitive documents with the public.

Im talking about the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange.

He walked into the Ecuadorian embassy in London six years ago, asking for asylum.

There was a Swedish warrant out for his arrest, alleging rape charges. He faced extradition to Sweden, and feared he would then be turned over to US authorities who wanted Assange taken down for exposing the extent of the spying the US government was carrying out on its own citizens.

For years it was suspected that there was a sealed US indictment against Assange. Last month, the proof emerged when the US accidentally revealed the filing, but not the specific charges.

So, weve got an Aussie journalist who might get arrested in the UK (which has an extradition agreement with the US) for a crime allegedly committed in Sweden all because the US government has a hard on for this guy.

But this journalist made the mistake of providing the world with the valuable insight that the authoritarian US government was surveilling its own citizens.

And, again, the US wants its pound of flesh.

Just recently, the US has once again flexed its glob...


Jesus Supports Discrimination! "IndyWatch Feed"

Ok, theres been one or two confusing messages coming from the Morrison government. And no, one of them isnt What would Jesus do? Strangely, for a government thats had two out of three PMs profess their strong Christian beliefs, this never seems to be a consideration. Im more confused about things like their recent thought

The post Jesus Supports Discrimination! appeared first on The AIM Network.


Screen Themes: Titans vs Elseworlds "IndyWatch Feed"

Screen Themes: Titans vs ElseworldsJohn Turnbull checks out a couple of small-screen superhero shows, the gritty Titans and the body swapping fun of Elseworlds. read now...


Oh what a difference a new job makes "IndyWatch Feed"

On Thursday, the Government announced a review into the integration, employment and settlement outcomes for refugees and humanitarian entrants. The Prime Minister said: We want to make sure we are doing everything we can to help people get jobs, and integrate into the community. Oh what a difference a new job makes. After the 2010

The post Oh what a difference a new job makes appeared first on The AIM Network.

Friday, 14 December


Liberals go for Peak Stupid "IndyWatch Feed"

Just when we thought the Liberals could not get worse.

A Religious Freedom Commissioner in the Human Rights Commission.

As John Roskam mused, think about someone like Dr Tim Soutphommasane or Gillian Triggs in the chair. She wanted to regulate whats said around the family kitchen table so you can imagine her concern about what might be said in church and church schools.

Who needs the ALP with leadership like that in the Coalition?


John Wren's week: Parliamentary bills, Aussies in space and a Federal ICAC "IndyWatch Feed"

John Wren's week: Parliamentary bills, Aussies in space and a Federal ICACJohn examines the encryption bill, Australia's entry into the space program and the truth behind the long-awaited Federal ICAC. read now...


At last, with political parties hopelessly divided, the war on Xmas and coal lands ... "IndyWatch Feed"

The pond reeled back in shock and alarm at nattering "Ned's" astonishing insight - the main parties disagreed, they're divided!! Split, and possibly full of splitters ...

Who'd have guessed it, who'd have thunk it? Now there'd be no harmony over Xmas, all was rooned, and yet yesterday, all the pond's troubles seemed so far away, now it looks as the divisive days are here to stay, and there's a shadow hanging over politics oh yesterday came suddenly and now the pond needs a place to hide away

Or some such thing, because the reptiles are truly alarmed, with Dame Groan earning her lavish salary by going full racist


Hmm, too many viewings of Midnight Express, the pond suspects. Cut back to no more than once a month, and perhaps substitute the Ayran purity of a Leni Riefenstahl film or three oh, and avoid hanging around Rick's Caf where all those bloody globalists congregate talking of free trade and imported coffee beans

Never mind, what relief this day brings, because the pond had thought it had avoided the war on Christmas, but suddenly there it was, full-blown, an epic sound and fury, and a braying of carols

Holy Jane Campion smoke indeed



Newstart living akin to house arrest "IndyWatch Feed"

Newstart living akin to house arrestTrying to survive on the Newstart allowance severely limits what a recipient can do, including looking for work, writes Aidan Jarvis. read now...

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