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Saturday, 24 March

08:05

Monster of Home and Inhuman Affairs "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

By Barddylbach Theyre dead to me Peter Dutton, 2018 Song of the Deadz, a poem I saidz in reply from below, but read on They sailed away, for a year and a day to the land where the bong-tree grows; And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood with a ring at the

The post Monster of Home and Inhuman Affairs appeared first on The AIM Network.

07:22

MeToo and Slut-Shaming "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Helen Dale is out and about in The Weekend Australian kicking butt and taking names well, just kicking butt.

I have a similar sense about the recent #MeToo movement, much of which seems to be so very high school: all the pretty girls from good families are congratulating each other for bravely speaking out about the advances they refused, while the women who made a calculation and opted to get their knees dirty are wisely keeping quiet.

Theres a smugly slut-shaming flip side to the solidarity: wearing black to the Golden Globes, telling stories about who touched whose knee, applauding Oprah Winfreys speech. 

Women who accede to male entreaties those who get their knees dirty can be written off as sluts (something women do to other women far more frequently than men do to women), which burnishes the refusers reputations.

Evolutionary psychologists suggest this is a reason more women are religious than men, at least in monotheistic societies. Conservative religiosity makes it much easier to shame all those promiscuous pagans. Viewed in that light, the now-common alliance between feminists and religious conservatives including, bewilderingly, Islamic conservatives becomes explicable, if still unreasonable.

07:00

In which the pond does a reptile omnibus for those who stay up late on the weekend ... "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"


Well that was passing strange one minute the stringent reptile paywall was there, and the next minute it was gone

It might come back again, or it might not. The reptiles might have realised they were cutting off their noses to spite their frill-necked blue tongues, or they might not.

Whatever, the pond was devastated to discover it was a bit like the Donald's Mexican wall - not paid for by Mexico, and not very long.

There was the pond thinking that the reptiles had retreated into their Surry Hills bunker - what a boon for humanity and civilisation - and now punters can drop back in for a modest sampling

Not that the pond thinks this will harm the business model. Either you like the goods enough to pay for them, or you don't, and the pond is but a gnat on the side of the behemoth elephant.

Not to worry. The sudden gushing of the goods led to a wealth of material, and none more rich than the moping, whining dog botherer attending to his civic duty


What to say about an idiot? If democracy in local government matters, get out and vote. If you don't give a flying fuck, just pay the fine and shut up with the moaning and the whining already

How hard is that? It's like the goose rabbiting on about mandates. No one votes on specific policies, a platform is presented and no one gets to chose with a vote, and with a bit of luck, some of the mandate might be implemented, or it might j...

05:01

The Explosion in Fake Gold and Silver "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

In the US, fake gold is now a growing problem that is not being tackled. Congressman Alex Mooney (not Money!) has just written to the US Mint of the growing problem of high-quality counterfeits. He also wrote a letter to the Mint in November 2017 but the Mint responded that the problem was not significant. But the US Secret Service has since briefed the office of Congressman Mooney about the extent of the problem and the lack of supportive actions of other agencies. There we have it  a complacent Mint on the one hand and a Secret Service which is involved in fake gold on the other hand. So this is clearly a major problem.

CHINESE GOLD FACTORIES

Counterfeit gold coins have been around since the coinage of gold first started in the Greek city of Lydia around 600 BC. Fake gold bars and coins are ubiquitous and many owners of gold are not aware that they have fake gold. I realised the widespread presence of fake gold when I was interviewed in Sydney by an Australian television news team a few years ago. This team had just visited a gold factory in China. They had covertly filmed the manufacturing of fake bars and coins. They told me that they bought $500,000 of fake gold for $500. These were gold bars and coins with well known brands of LBMA refiners in Switzerland and Australia. For a layman it was not possible to tell that they were fake. There clearly could not have been much gold in these bars since the price was 0.1% of the value of real gold. It would probably have been enough to scratch the surface to find the tungsten which I assume was the metal inside.

FAKE GOLD WILL FLOOD MARKET

Learning about fake gold factories in China gave me invaluable information of what will happen when the gold price goes up. It became very clear to me that the more gold appreciates the more fake gold we will see on the market. The natural consequence of a higher gold price will be a surge of gold factories around the world making fake gold. As gold goes to $2,000, $5,000, $10,000 and much higher when hyperinflation sets in, there will be opportunistic entrepreneurs flooding the gold market with fake bars and coins. The coming gold mania will create a massive demand for gold and desperate retail buyers will buy gold from any source, unaware if it is genuine or not. The coming shortage of gold will force buyers to obtain gold from whatever direction, whether it is Ebay or disreputable dealers.

BUY GOLD WITHIN THE CHAIN OF INTEGRITY

Eventually the media will catch on to the prevalence of fake gold and tell buyers not to buy gold. Professional investors are unlikely to be affected by this but many retail buyers could be badly hurt. The consequence of the Wild West market will be a concentration of gold tra...

03:00

In which the pond harrumphs about the quality of reptile harrumphing ... "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"



The situation is now so bizarre and mind-boggling in the United States that the pond turned to the reptiles to settle down, perhaps with a bit of decent domestic harrumphing

The pond loves a good harrumphing,  though there's the technical question of whether the modern spelling 'harumph' should be adopted, and there's the matter of the origins, with nobody having much of a clue, except it apparently came into vogue in the 1930s

There's something about imitative words that appealed to Lewis Carroll, and to the pond, and yet something also curiously old-fashioned about a good harrumphing


Don't ask where the pond found that, somewhere on the full to overflowing intertubes where gramps are always shouting at something


In these moods, when only a good harrumphing will satisfy, the pond turns on a Saturday to the likes of nattering "Ned", and indeed it seemed promising

...

03:00

Screen Themes: Annihilation vs Game Night "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Screen Themes: Annihilation vs Game NightThis week, entertainment editor John Turnbull checks out the trippy sci-fi Annihilation and the adult comedy Game Night. read now...

02:55

Tim Worstall: So You Want to Nationalize Facebook? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

The latest bright idea from Paul Mason is that Facebook must be regulated or changed in some manner to make darn sure it does what Paul Mason wants Facebook to be doing.

There are lots of problems with the Corbynista columnists idea. They include: not understanding how the internet or corporate law works; ignoring how innovation happens; and the political problem of allowing the government to control a social network, real or digital.

Thats not to mention the broader point that the people best placed to control Facebook are the 2 billion users of Facebook, who can choose to use the service or not. But such free-market liberalism isnt quite the fashion de nos jours, is it?

State-Managed Social Interaction Is Awful

Lets start with the question of ownership. That Facebook is a public, listed company therefore owned by the public seems to escape Mason. Perhaps by public ownership, he means government ownership. But that is something he rules out.

Heavy state regulation of Facebook would be to repeat the mistakes of the 20th century when governments really did try to control the social milieu. As Anne Applebaum points out in Iron Curtain, the first thing every Soviet-imposed government in Eastern Europe did was to make sure that all corners of society were state controlled. The local equivalents of the Womens Institute, the chess and jazz clubs, swimming teams, and simply every expression of civil society were brought under the control of the state and Party bureaucracy. People were actually sent to jail for continuing to run Scout troops.

There might be some manner in which public owned and state are different, but Im absolutely certain that this wouldnt be the case in modern Britain.

Mason, along with far too much of the British Left, is pretty relaxed about repeating Soviet mistakes, but theres no reason why the rest of us have to go along with it. That rather covers the regulation and ownership aspects. As to breaking the company up, we find more in his thread of tweets on the subject.

...

02:41

Just not right "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

By Kyran ODwyer There has been much written about such things as perception, bias, dishonesty, all manner of things relating to the media, our political parties and the world of massaging the truth. In plain speak English, thats called lying. This week has been no different to any other week in modern Australia. We are,

The post Just not right appeared first on The AIM Network.

Friday, 23 March

23:30

Wage Rises in the Neoliberal New World Order "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Neoliberals are often wrong but never in doubt. In pursuing its corporate tax cut agenda the Government is attempting to shift the industrial relations paradigm linking private sector wage rises to public sector funding cuts, despite the fact corporate coffers have rarely been in better shape, writes Rob Stewart. It is difficult to put

The post Wage Rises in the Neoliberal New World Order appeared first on The AIM Network.

23:00

Australia's unemployment: It's worse than you're being told "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Australia's unemployment: It's worse than you're being toldWhen it comes to jobs in a global context, Australia's missing out. Alan Austin reveals the unemployment rates the mainstream media won't. read now...

21:30

In which the pond gets off to a flying start with the dog botherer ... "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"


There's nothing like a frabjous, frumious bird standing by a tumtum tree to get the pond in an uffish mood and turn to the dog botherer, whiffling and burbling away  

As usual, the gyring and gimbling dog botherer manages to lather himself up into a galumphing rage - outraged indignation and hysteria being the natural resting state of the lizards of Oz ...


That line about the frenzied feeding ground of social media always makes the pond sentimental and nostalgic for the time when the pond was dangerously radicalised by the lizards of Oz.

Something snapped one day, the pond opened the window and shouted that it was as mad as hell and it wasn't going to take it anymore, and all the filling up the intertubes with useless bits of reptile arcana is all the fault of the lizards of Oz and assorted reptiles of the dog botherer kind

These are the worst of the worst, the most offensive and divisive, the sort that helped fuck over Iraq, for example, and never said sorry, but still maintain that it was all for the best ...

Never a backward step. Never give an inch. Day after day they ranted, hurling abuse at anyone they disliked, and never afraid to throw in a reference to fascism when it suited, or shouted out with joy and rapture when it suited Bill Leak

15:06

Chinese lining up for Australian agriculture businesses: HSBC "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

HSBC says asset hungry Chinese businesses are lining up to invest in Australian agriculture because of food production quality and tariff reductions under the free trade agreement between the two countries.

The global banking giant is expanding its operations in Australia to play a much bigger role in the sector and to strengthen its connection to China and other key markets.

It also wants to tap into the trend for big Australian producers to value-add through brand development and forging direct ties with overseas customers.

HSBC Australia head of commercial banking Steve Hughes said there were foreign investment opportunities across agricultures vast supply chains as well as in export-focused businesses.

A number of Asian and Chinese corporates are looking at Australia and looking to invest in this market either in their own right or in partnership with other corporates, he said.

Chinese customers also see value in direct ties with producers and exporters as consumer demand for wool, beef, wine and fruit and vegetables expands.

HSBC has just appointed former NAB and Rabobank executive Mitchell Adermann as its first head of agribusiness in Australia, which has been identified as a priority market.

What we have identified is that there is much more to do here, Mr Hughes said.

Mr Adermann said free trade agreements had created opportunities in China and other Asian markets with a rapidly growing middle classes to increase the size and value of exports.

As a former horticulturalist, who once grew avocados and macadamias, he said it exciting to see the export growth in citrus, table grapes, berries and nuts along with a China-fuelled revival in the wine industry.

Mr Aldermann said that despite the recent tightening of rules around foreign investment in agriculture and the media noise such investments attracted, Australia provided opportunities other countries didnt.

As soon as they scratch the surface, they (investors) see that firstly Australia was built on foreign investment and secondly that the number of FIRB (Foreign Investment Review Board) rejections is very low, he said.

It is an attractive and easy country to invest in compared to many nations which are making it very difficult for, or have closed the door to, foreign investment.

HSBC expects the trend of consolidation in Australian farming to continue and for big producers to bypass aggregation businesses to deal dire...

14:16

Quotes of the Week "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"


"We've started off a little bit on the idealistic, and maybe naive, side ... what we've learned over time very clearly is that the most important thing always is making sure that people's data is locked down."  [Mark Zuckerberg, founder Facebook Inc, CNN interview, 22 March 2018]


"I dont know why. They trust me  dumb fucks".  [Mark Zuckerberg, founder Facebook Inc, talking about Facebook users, 2004]

08:30

How the Kardashians of Aussie Communism kept up with the Jones' "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

How the Kardashians of Aussie Communism kept up with the Jones'The strange and twisting tale of the Yugoslavian spy, the Nazi hunter, the ABC journalist and the twice written book. Branko Miletic reports. read now...

07:00

Death and Impunity: Iraq Fifteen Years After "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

It might have made a bit more than a whimper had the US political scene not found itself in yet another paroxysm of the drama known as the Trump White House. Fifteen years before, governments aligning with the dogs of war decided, in defiance of millions of protestors globally, to invade a sovereign state. Papers

The post Death and Impunity: Iraq Fifteen Years After appeared first on The AIM Network.

06:26

Ai Weiwei Highlights Treatment of Global Refugees in Human Flow Documentary and Sydney Biennale Installations "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

My latest post for Global Voices:

During a visit to Australia, Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has blitzed the media with his concerns about the global treatment of refugees.

He is the headline artist with two major installations at the Biennale of Sydney that runs until June 2018. One, called The Law of the Journey located at the Cockatoo Island, features a black rubber, inflatable boat and figures. They were made with the same material used to produce the hazardous boats that some asylum seekers and migrants travel in while attempting to cross the Mediterranean.

...Ai also spoke at the Cinema Nova for the Melbourne opening of his documentary Human Flow, which features the stories of refugees in 23 countries in 2016.

...Kon Karapanagiotidis from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre conducted a live interview on Facebook and Twitter that has since attracted nearly 10,000 viewers.

More: From Sydney Biennale Installations to Film Screenings, Ai Weiwei Highlights Treatment of Global Refugees

04:28

IdentityTech "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

My RMIT colleague Alastair Berg has an essay up at Medium:

While self-sovereign identity is only one possible eventuality, the economic consequences of blockchain on the governance of identity, and other economic institutions will be disruptive. Perhaps a form of federated identity facilitated through blockchain technology, would allow users or citizens of one system or country to access services or facilities of another within a federation. This is analogous to single sign on (SSO) functionality, and reduces the cost to firms and governments of verifying the identity and attributes of individuals.

Blockchain technology could equally be used by government or firms to impose a single uniform identity on all citizens. If technology is morally neutral, then the libertarian future Satoshi Nakamoto and the other cypherpunks envisioned is equally possible to a world in which governments use blockchain technology to further centralise identity governance.

Read the whole thing.

04:26

On the brighter side "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

NUTELLA RIOTS IN FRANCE. PORTENT OF A NEW DARK AGE? H/T Dan Mitchell.

Dan Mitchell has a look at France and the contrast between Marcons plans for deregulation at home and dirigism abroad.

04:00

The dangers of appeasement (Part 3) "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Part Nineteen of a history of European occupation, rule, and brutal imperialism of Indigenous Australia, by Dr George Venturini.  The current meaning and consequences for Indigenous People of the slogan law-and-order will be revisited. For the time being it is worth mentioning that the process of constitutional recognition was never universally accepted by the Indigenous

The post The dangers of appeasement (Part 3) appeared first on The AIM Network.

03:00

In which the pond rises to the Canavan challenge ... "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"



That cartoon's just to start off with a tip of the hat to the latest developments in Donald land, what with porn stars, conspiracy theory lawyers and trade wars all the go but this being TGIF lunch-time, it's the pond's habit to kick off its heels, and relax with the Speccie mob

From the get go, it has to be said that it's a disappointing week.

There's no Flinty and no Giles, and so a little bit of magic wend out of the end of week celebrations.

Oh sure there's Andrew L. Urban parroting what he read in the lizard Oz about the "weakening of the West", showing he'd learnt a thing about the weakening of des Volkes ... and incidentally demonstrating how a lifetime of movie watching can dangerously weaken the mind (a condition the pond knows only too well).

But all in all, what with the Caterists in disgrace and the major stars on the sideline, it's a feeble effort.

The pond did think of taking up a Western Australian legal eagle's pious arguments about how Catholics should be given the right to keep on abusing poofters, but there was a feeling of having been there and done that, and instead the pond decided on taking the Canavan challenge

This isn't as easy as it sounds, and it goes without saying that the top player in the Canavan competition, the most adept at the Canavan challenge, is the Canavan himself

Aficionados of extreme sports will recognise that this is closely associated with the bromancer challenge, a herculean battle not to mention the Donald when talking of Russia or staff changes or lawyer changes or the world economy or whatever and if he is mentioned, how to find an ounce of light and hope in a pound of darkness and despair.

Here's the Canavan challenge to write about the future, and to celebrate coal, without mentioning climate science, climate change, or anything problematic about world resources

It's tough, but trust Canavan to show how the game can be played jousters, please enter the ring ......

02:00

China following the Wests example "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

By Dr Strobe Driver Having been in Taiwan for approximately one month, I have watched the constant commentary regarding the Taiwan-China crisis. To state that it is an everyday event is not an exaggeration and to state that it gets little mention in my home country (Australia), beyond how the US and Japan are coping

The post China following the Wests example appeared first on The AIM Network.

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