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Friday, 27 October


In which the pond does a magical mystery tour in time with the meretricious Merritt ... "IndyWatch Feed"

Glorious days ...

There's the Donald revealed as part of a deep state vast government conspiracy to hide the truth about Ted Cruz's father ...

How long before the final redacted papers turn up, and Ted Cruz's father is found guilty, and/or Cruz finds a spine?

And there's the rooster Malware, who personally in his infinite wisdom, told the High Court what to think, and then they generously gave him a piece of their own sensible - the pond might even say obvious - mind ...

And the result? Why social media gone wild with a sense of fun ...


But the pond had other fush and chups to fry. 

You see, sensing that it might come in handy one day, the pond clipped this piece by the meretricious Merritt ... it will be noted that it's dated to the delusional day of 11th October, back in the magical mystery tour time of some long lost reptile Brigadoon ...

M'lud, if it might please th...


The perception that Turnbull & Co are conducting a political witch hunt is not going to go away anytime soon "IndyWatch Feed"

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, media release, 27 October 2017:

Timetable set for Federal Court action on unprecedented raids

A court timetable has been set in the AWUs fight to challenge the validity of this weeks unprecedented police raids launched by the Registered Organisations Commission (ROC) on the unions Sydney and Melbourne offices.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, who are representing the AWU, said today that court orders confirming a timetable for the case had been agreed to by all parties, removing the need for a Federal Court directions hearing that had been scheduled for this morning in Melbourne.

Maurice Blackburn Principal Josh Bornstein said critically that the orders were made together with commitments from both the ROC and AFP that no documents seized in this weeks raids by the AFP will be handed over to the ROC until the court has heard the case.

Mr Bornstein said the union's case compromised two key parts, namely: 
That the raid conducted by the AFP was illegal; and
That the investigation by the ROC is illegal because it is politically motivated.

Prior to these raids, the union had handed over disclosure statements from 10 years ago in relation to Get Up donations to the ROC, but in doing so had pressed the regulator to provide it with information about the political interference by the Turnbull government in this...


In case you are not familiar with Kates . . . "IndyWatch Feed"

The video is Economics for Independent Thinkers which discusses the way economics is discussed outside the mainstream. There are many many reason for watching the above video from end to end, but this especially works for me, starting at around the 14:30 mark.

The lesser known terms are mostly thanks to the Australian economist Steven Kates. In case you are not familiar with Kates, Kates wrote possibly the most thoroughly researched of the studies showing that there was a fairly strong consensus before the Keynesian Revolution about how the business cycle worked.

And not only that, I explain in modern terms what that theory was. And as strange as you may find this, there is no other modern source where you can find classical theory explained.

The presentation was to The Heritage Foundation in Washington. This is the synopsis and I could not agree more with what he says:

Too many mainstream economists view the world as a collection of equilibrium models, without concern for when these models fail to explain real-world risks. In Economics for Independent Thinkers, author Daniel Nevins scours under appreciated corners of the economics and investment worlds for more realistic thinking. What results is a no-nonsense approach to economics that appreciates the importance of credit and banks in business cycles, and provides a different perspective on Keynesian stimulus and the consequences of government debt accumulation.

The speaker is Daniel Nevins.

Daniel Nevins, CFA, has invested professionally for thirty years, including more than a decade at both J.P. Morgan and SEI Investments. He is perhaps best known for his behavioral economics research, which was included in the curriculum for the Chartered Financial Analyst program and earned him recognition as one of the founders of goals-based investing. He has an economics degree from the Wharton School of Business and a degree from the University of Pennsylvanias engineering school.

And you know what? Till now I did not think it was possible but you never know the way things are going. We may yet rid ourselves of this Keynesian economic mess, but to do that we will need to understand economic theory before Keynes. Speaking of which, have I ever mentioned my introductory text, Free Market Economics, now in its third edition.


Joyce to the World! Seven Little Australians... become two! "IndyWatch Feed"

Joyce to the World! Seven Little Australians... become two!Barnaby Joyce woke up Australian Deputy Prime Minister, but by day's end he was just another lonely sheep lover. read now...


The High Court sticks to the letter of the law on the citizenship seven "IndyWatch Feed"

The High Court sticks to the letter of the law on the citizenship seven

File 20171027 13355 8drbd7.png?ixlib=rb 1.1The High Court has ruled Scott Ludlam, Larissa Waters, Fiona Nash, Barnaby Joyce and Malcolm Roberts ineligible to have stood for parliament at the 2016 election.
AAP/Shutterstock/The Conversation, CC BY-ND

Gabrielle Appleby, UNSW

Today, the High Court announced the fate of the citizenship seven, with only senators Nick Xenophon and Matt Canavan surviving the legal ordeal. (Although the victory will be of limited relevance to Xenophon, who has in the meantime announced his resignation from the Senate to return to state politics in South Australia).

In the case, the High Court, acting as the Court of Disputed Returns, found that four of the six senators referred to it, and the only member of the House of Representatives (Barnaby Joyce), were disqualified under Section 44 of the Constitution. With the exception of Xenophon and Canavan, it was found that the MPs had never been validly elected.

The court has declared all five seats vacant. The senators will be replaced through a recount from the 2016 election. The House of Representative seat of New England will go to a byelection on December 2, which Joyce will contest.

In the meantime, Labor has refused to offer the Coalition a pair for Joyces absence, and the Coalition will maintain government on a knife-edge, with 74 seats plus the support of the crossbench, and, if necessary, the S...


I. Told. You. So. "IndyWatch Feed"

Isnt it funny how those who purport to be the most eminent often cant see whats right in front of their noses?

TMR breaks down the good bits of todays High Court decision in the Citizenship Seven affair. Trust me when I say its an absolute treasure trove of entertainment for everyone except George Brandis and those who were ultimately disqualified from Parliament.

Go and grab yourself a coffee or liquored beverage of your choice (it is Friday afternoon after all) and lets get busy!

Firstly, this was TMR two weeks ago:

How about we have a look at what section 44 of the Constitution actually says:

44. Any person who

(i.) Is under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power

shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.

If I could triple underline the word is up there or shove it up Brandis nostrils (in the hope that it reaches his brain), then I would.

Dear George, awareness is not the issue here. Its a matter of fact. If you have foreign citizenship, you are incapable of being an Federal Parliamentarian. Full stop. The status of a purported Federal parliamentarian who has foreign citizenship isnt voidable, its void. Full stop. Or void ab initio (void from the outset) if you want to get Latin about it.

There is no ambiguity here. As Yoda said: Do or do not. There is no try.

This was the High Court today:

At para 21:

The amicus submitted that s 44(i) has two limbs, not three as was suggested by Brennan J. He contended that the first limb disqualifies a person who is under any acknowledgment of the stated kind, and the second limb disqualifies a person who is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power. In the first limb,...


I. Told. You. So. "IndyWatch Feed"

Isnt it funny how those who purport to be the most eminent often cant see whats right in front of


Luke Simpkins: The Left Delivers for Home Grown Terrorism "IndyWatch Feed"

My contention is that the Left (ideological Socialists involved in education and media) within Europe and Australia, actively contribute to enabling this radicalisation to take place.  This occurs when our schools and universities, teach our young people to find fault with the Western Hemispheres Judeo-Christian culture and traditions.  They are literally taught that it is racist to not give greater credit and respect to immigrant cultures.  They are taught and in fact laws have been established that makes it extremely difficult and even risky to find fault with aspects of immigrant cultures or even Aboriginal culture in Australia, no matter whether those cultures or elements within these groups are anti-democratic, misogynistic, dysfunctional or even criminal.   In early September, Edinburgh University alleged that a student committed a hate crime, by saying on social media regarding a US strike on IS, Excellent news that the US administration and Trump ordered an accurate strike on a IS network of tunnels in Afghanistan.  Im glad we could bring these barbarians a step closer to collecting their 72 virgins.    It is truly bizarre that criticism of blood thirsty butchers and rapists is prohibited.

It seems that the only criticism now permissible is against Christianity and/or white people.  This institutionalised animosity towards the majority culture is even worse in Europe where the European Union and of course the United Nations actively undermine respect for the Judeo-Christian traditions, borne primarily out of Leftist ideology and reinforced by an anti-Semitic streak.  Nothing is safe from rebadged Socialists, that even try to tear down democracy along the way.   Clear examples of this bias, are those that think the national flag is a racist symbol, that Australia Day & ANZAC Day are racist symbols, that statues of people that did great things under difficult circumstances through our history should be torn down, etc etc.  As a young person, when all you ever hear is what is wrong with this country and the traditions/foundations of this country, of course you would lose confidence in it.  Couple that with the alternate view that Wahhabists cutting peop...


Fats Domino: I found my thrill "IndyWatch Feed"

Fats Domino: I found my thrillSeminal New Orleans rock and roller Fats Domino has died, aged 89. read now...


Broken Contract "IndyWatch Feed"

The people of Australia no longer have a contract with the LNP government of this nation. They now are a minority government Not only are they in the minority in the House, they are in all intents and purposes a minority in two party preferred polls in the last 21 polls! Now, with this

The post Broken Contract appeared first on The AIM Network.


Australian High Court hands down judgment at 2:15pm today concerning eligibility to sit of five current and two former federal parliamentarians "IndyWatch Feed"

High Court of Australia, email notification of judgment, 24 October 2017:

Friday 27 October 2017 at 2.15pm

1. In the matter of questions referred to the Court of Disputed Returns pursuant to section 376 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth) concerning Senator the Hon. Matthew Canavan (C11/2017)

2. In the matter of questions referred to the Court of Disputed Returns pursuant to section 376 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth) concerning Mr Scott Ludlam (C12/2017)

3. In the matter of questions referred to the Court of Disputed Returns pursuant to section 376 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth) concerning Ms Larissa Waters (C13/2017)

4. In the matter of questions referred to the Court of Disputed Returns pursuant to section 376 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth) concerning Senator Malcolm Roberts (C14/2017)

5. In the matter of questions referred to the Court of Disputed Returns pursuant to section 376 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth) concerning The Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP (C15/2017)

6. In the matter of questions referred to the Court of Disputed Returns pursuant to section 376 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth) concerning Senator the Hon. Fiona Nash (C17/2017)


Leadership "IndyWatch Feed"

The 3 keys tests of national leadership are judgement, temperament and character.

On the judgement question, it is worth wondering how much longer Prime Minister Turnbull will be taking advice from his Attorney General, the Hon George Brandis QC.

Off to the winners circle for George.

Does anyone know if the Australian High Commission in London has bookshelves or will new ones need to be constructed?

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus


Breaking News: Gawn "IndyWatch Feed"

Early reports say Matt Canavan is eligible. Others gone.

Update: No word yet on Xenophon.

Update II: Some media reporting that Xenophon is eligible too.



Peter OBrien: The Cash Affair "IndyWatch Feed"

There are two dimensions to the AFP raid on the AWU.

The first is the administration of justice.  The government had credible information that Bill Shorten may have made donations to GetUp and his own campaign without obtaining proper authorization and was within its rights to refer the matter to the Registered Organisations Commission.  Whether or not the ROC felt that this was a case they should pursue was up to them.  Being a statutory authority they do not act on the governments direction.  They could have declined to pursue the matter for any number of reasons, including:

  • it was so long ago,
  • it was an internal procedural matter within the AWU,
  • the AWU may not see itself as an injured party on the basis that the donations would have been approved anyway had proper approval been sought, etc.

They chose to pursue it.  Fair enough.

The other dimension to the affair is politics.  There is no doubt that the government saw this as an opportunity to embarrass Bill Shorten.  That alone should have given the ROC pause and, at the very least, caused it to act with the utmost discretion.

At the point of accepting the brief the ROC should have ceased all contact with the Ministers office on this matter.  The Minister should have instructed her staff likewise.  It is not believable that the AFP would have alerted a staffer in Minister Cashs office to an impending raid, so the information must have come from the ROC.

That speaks to an unhealthily cosy relationship between the government of the day and a statutory authority.  Why would not the ALP cry stitch-up?

Minister Cash, by her failure to enforce strict standards of probity within her office, has not only screwed up the politics in a spectacular way, damaging the whole government in the process, she has also managed to debase the Registered Organisations Commission to such an extent it is quite likely now unfit for purpose.

Cash should resign or be sacked.  Fat chance of that though, ministerial accountability being not even a shadow of its former self.

Incidentally, the real political damage to Shorten arising from this affair is not that he made donations without obtaining proper authorization, but that he gave a substantial amount to an organization devoted to destroying AWU jobs.  That is more likely to resonate with both unionists and voters than the arcane matter of authorization.  And that advantage could have been pursued vigorously without ever having to resort to the ROC.


Lamest. PM. Ever. "IndyWatch Feed"

So, weve wasted $100 million on a postal survey that wont decide anything. Its already evident that, even with a thumping majority for Yes, the bigots on the LNP backbench will fight all the way to protect the right to be a bigot. They are, in my view, playing a dangerous game here. The existing law gives lots of special privileges to religious organizations that are justified only on the basis that we all need to get along tolerantly. If that rationale ceases to apply, all those privileges are open to question.

Meanwhile, all the fine words about letting the people decide have gone out the window when it comes to indigenous recognition. Even though Abbott has gone along with Turnbull on the decision, I think, if he were still PM. he might have done better on this issue.

In any case, this confirms me in the view that Turnbull is the weakest Prime Minister in living memory. I thought that Billy McMahon was a strong competitor until I discovered that he took the decision to kill off Australias foray into nuclear power (theyd actually excavated the site at Jervis Bay) over the opposition of the redoubtable Sir Phillip Baxter who saw the project as a step towards an atomic weapons capability. The cancellation of this project was a bigger achievement than Turnbull can claim in his 20-odd years in public life, encompassing the Republic referendum, the Murray-Darling fiasco, the downgrade of the NBN and his two years as Prime Minister.


Government rejects Voice to Parliament "IndyWatch Feed"

The federal government response to the Referendum Council proposal for a constitutionally-enshrined Voice to Parliament was delivered in the form of a joint press release. The statement is attributed to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Attorney-General George Brandis, and Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion.

The government decision

This week we learned that the federal government decided to reject the consensus of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples who participated in 12 regional dialogues and the 2017 Uluru Convention. That consensus was for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament, to advise on legislation affecting Indigenous Peoples; as well as for Makaratta, a truth and reconciliation process.

Perhaps the best known Referendum Council members are Megan Davis and Noel Pearson.

Professor Megan Davis was interviewed on ABC radio this morning. The first question implied that the government had rejected recognition, when it in fact rejected a Voice to Parliament and resurrected symbolic recognition. When as experienced and relatively impartial a journalist as Sabra Lane has to be corrected on a basic misapprehension from the very start of an interview I mean, just imagine how exhausting this stuff is.

Noel Pearson was out of the blocks early. He condemned the dearth of political leadership on 4 August this year and has continued to do so since. Of all the Aboriginal people consulted by government, it is Noel who is called, Noel who gets the airtime. This week, you can hear his exhaustion and frustration, such as in this Radio National interview with Pat Karvelas.

Abridged and annotated: the government statement

Despite Turnbull and Brandis being named at the top of the press release, due to cabinet superiority, only Scullion has been on the hustings defending the Cabinet decision, which was leaked to the Courier Mail. According to Scullion, in an...


In which the pond offers a Flinty Friday lunch ... "IndyWatch Feed"

Having done Sharri early in the day, the pond was confronted with a dilemma ...

The reptiles were sullen, and the pond was over the NBN ...

There were no exceptional outbursts of the Moorice kind in the lizard Oz - they really do need to lift their paranoid conspiratorial game - and yet, it being a Friday lunch time, the pond had a yen for the apocalyptic ...

It was time to drop in on the Speccie mob ...

The pond knew at once it had made the right call ...

From the get-go, the pond was beguiled by talk of the "age of endarkenment", a singularly pretentious use of a rare word ... and it wondered where it had come from, apart from the editorial writer's ability to peer up himself and his rather dark fundament ...

A google provided a hint ...


A Foreign Affairs Alt-White Paper "IndyWatch Feed"

A Foreign Affairs Alt-White PaperA new Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade white paper is due to be released next month. Dr Alison Broinowski sets out what Julie Bishop should say in this document. read now...


The case of Michaelia Cash and her leaking adviser illustrates a failure of ministerial responsibility "IndyWatch Feed"

The case of Michaelia Cash and her leaking adviser illustrates a failure of ministerial responsibility

File 20171026 28036 pjf32w.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1Michaelia Cash has refused to resign over misleading parliament, claiming she was unaware of one of her staffers actions.
AAP/Lukas Coch

Yee-Fui Ng, RMIT University

The federal opposition is continuing to call for Employment Minister Michaelia Cashs resignation, claiming she misled parliament this week after repeatedly telling a Senate estimates committee that neither she nor her office had any involvement in tipping off the media about a police raid.

Cashs senior media adviser, David De Garis, later confessed he had leaked information about the raid on the Australian Workers Unions offices to the press. Cash retracted her statements and De Garis resigned.

Labor frontbencher Tony Burke argued that the wrong person has resigned. But Cash has refused to resign, claiming she was unaware of her staffers actions. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has defended Cash, saying she acted properly.

Who are these advisers?

Ministerial advisers are partisan staff who a...


Consequences "IndyWatch Feed"

Quietly, just after the election, the government has released a pile of Ministerial Policy Statements under the Intelligence and Security Act 2017. As required by the Act, these set rules on various issues, such as conducting surveillance in a public place or creating false identities. One of the MPS's is on co-operating with overseas public authorities (AKA foreign spy agencies). And it has some pretty interesting implications in light of the UK government's announced policy of extrajudicial killing.

Firstly, NZ spy agencies now have a legal duty to act "in accordance with New Zealand law and all human rights obligations recognised by New Zealand law". This includes rights not to be deprived of life and not to be subjected to torture or cruel treatment under New Zealand law as well as various international instruments. The MPS makes it clear that this obligation applies explicitly to "the sharing of intelligence, analysis and threat reporting with foreign partners". Spy agencies need to exercise due diligence and actively monitor to ensure that intelligence sharing or cooperation does not breach NZ law or make spy agencies complicit in human rights abuses, and must

decline or stop cooperating with the overseas public authority where a real or substantial risk of breach of human rights obligations (such as the prohibition of torture) is identified.

The UK government has just announced explicitly that it intends to breach the human rights of its citizens suspected of involvement in ISIS by murdering them. They have carried out such murders in the past, and clearly intend to do so in the future. This seems to have some pretty obvious consequences under...


Five claims about coconut oil debunked "IndyWatch Feed"

Five claims about coconut oil debunked

File 20171011 28044 1nefo1c.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1Is coconut oil all its really cracked up to be, or is it just another fad?
Sebastien Gabriel/Unsplash, CC BY

Rosemary Stanton, UNSW

Coconuts have been a valued food in tropical areas for thousands of years, traditionally enjoyed as coconut water from the centre of the coconut, coconut flesh, or coconut milk (made by steeping the flesh in hot water).

Solid white coconut oil (Ill use this popular term, although technically its a fat not an oil) is now the darling of celebrities and bloggers, paleo enthusiasts and sellers of so-called superfoods. Claims for its supposed medical value reverberate around the internet, but how well do they stand up to scientific scrutiny?



Politicians should face a penalty for costs stemming from their wilfully negligent decisions "IndyWatch Feed"

I have a piece ($) in the Herald Sun today in which I note that the Victorias Wonthaggi desalinisation plan, soon to be five years old, cost $19 billion and will never be required. As I say,

The money spent has been irretrievably wasted.  To put it in perspective, the Wonthaggi facilitys cost represents enough funds to replace three older coal fired electricity generators thereby future-proofing Victorians against unreliability and the doubling of wholesale power prices that has taken place.

Among the merits of the desalinisation plant, according to then Premier Bracks, were 4,750 full-time equivalent jobs during construction and a $1 billion economic boost to the state.

Unchastened by the experience of the White Elephant desalinisation plant, the Andrews government is directing funding into new areas of waste, namely wind and solar facilities.

Under its recently announced renewables policy, the Premier estimated some $1.2 billion of investment in these subsidised renewables was made in the current year alone.  Echoing the discredited prophesies made to justify the desalinisation plant, Mr Andrews claimed the policy will create 11,000 new jobs during construction of windfarms.

But for every job so created more (2.2 in the case of estimates form Spain) are lost as a result of the higher costs.

Subsidies to wind have forced unsubsidised power stations to close, bringing about the doubling of the average wholesale price of electricity.

For Victorians that doubled price means an annual cost of $2 billion, an impost on the average household of $800 in terms of direct charges and increased costs of goods and services.  And, by driving up electricity prices, the subsidies are threatening the future of the energy intensive industries including smelting and paper manufacturing that have created the prosperity Victoria enjoys.

I conclude, In the private sector, management pays personal penalties, sometimes criminal penalties if shareholders are wilfully misled.  Perhaps politicians and the public servants advising them should also be subject to such disciplines.

In days gone-by, prior to the eighteenth century rule of Robert Walpole, the political chief who later became known as the Prime Minister, usually paid such a penalty, often capital punishment, for peculation.

Self-enrichment from the use of office (except in the case of the Clintons) is unusual today and the gallows might be a tad excessive in the modern world.  However, it does seem that politicians who knowingly commit to very expensive programs of no value think desal plants, NBN, rooftop insulation, the renewable energy con, submarine programs shoul...


For bankers, acountability does not start at home "IndyWatch Feed"

For bankers, acountability does not start at home

Pat McConnell, Macquarie University

When the CEOs of the four major banks fronted the House Economics Committee, the common thread was that accountability does not lie with them. Even after a decade of scandals like interest rate rigging, gouging of interest-only mortgagees and alleged money laundering.

In August, AUSTRAC filed a claim against the Commonwealth Bank for some 52,000 infringements of money laundering laws, and ASIC finally got to hear about it.

The true hierarchy of power and the realities of regulators supposed independence were laid bare by Commonwealth Bank Chairwoman Catherine Livingstone when relating the sequence of events:

We were having board meetings at the time I was being called to Canberra by the Treasurer. When the board meeting, which went over multiple days, finished, which was lunchtime on the Wednesday, I immediately phoned the other two regulators, ASIC and APRA

Obviously, the Treasurer pulls the strings and banking regulators are last to know.

The whole charade illustrates why the Treasurers latest piece of regulatory fiddling around, the Banking Executives Accountability Regime (BEAR), is a...


Murray Goulburn sold to Canadian owned Saputo for $1.3 billion "IndyWatch Feed"

CANADIAN family dairy company Saputo Inc has won the battle for Victorian-based dairy co-operative Murray Goulburn.

Murray Goulburn has announced it has entered into a binding agreement to sell to Saputo Dairy Australia Pty Ltd, the Australian arm of the Canadian dairy giant, for $1.3 billion.

The deal is subject to approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

MG chairman John Spark said the weight of debt and significant loss of milk to competitors had forced MGs hand.

The sale includes all of MGs assets and operating liabilities.

The $1.3-billion price is equivalent to a net value of $1.10 to $1.15 a share, or listed unit.

Shareholders and unit holders are expected to be paid an initial distribution of 75 cents a share, or listed unit, after the sale is completed in the first half of next year.

MG said unit trust holders will be treated equally with the co-operatives shareholders.

MGs shares, or listed units, traded on the Australian Securities Exchange closed at 83 cents yesterday.

In the first half hour of trading on the ASX today, the price of MG shares, or listed units, jumped to 87c.

The deal is subject to approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Saputo bought Warrnambool Cheese and Butter in January 2014.

It may be required by the ACCC to dispose of MGs Koroit dairy factory if the deal is approved.

The agreement means Saputo will take on all MGs milk supply commitments totalling $114 million.

The co-operative said this would enable a step-up of 40 cents a kilogram of milk solids, taking full-year payments to $5.60/kgMS for milk supplied from November 1 and, on completion of the sale deal, back pay from July to October this year.

On top of that existing suppliers would receive a 40c/kgMS loyalty payment.

The deal comes as dairy farmers descend on Melbourne for MGs annual general meeting at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre at 11am.

It is likely to result in spirited debate at the AGM.

Mr Spark said the co-operatives board believed the transaction represented the best available outcome for suppliers and investors.

He said it had the unanimous support of the co-operatives board.

Saputo is one of the top 10 dairy processors in the world and active in Australia through its ownership of Warrnambool Cheese and Butter, he said.

This transaction will crystallise real value for MGs equity, while rewarding our loya...


British government supports extrajudicial killing "IndyWatch Feed"

The UK government officially opposes the death penalty and regards the right to a fair trial as fundamental. The right not to be killed by the state and to be tried if accused of a crime is affirmed in domestic law. They are party to numerous international agreements in both those areas, including the ICCPR and the European Convention on Human Rights. And yet, a Minister in their government is openly calling for the extrajudicial killing of UK citizens:

The only way of dealing with most of the British Islamic State fighters in Syria is to kill them, a British government minister has said.

Rory Stewart, an international development minister, said converts to the terror group believed in an extremely hateful doctrine and fighters could expect to be killed given the threat they posed to British security.


Stewart was asked about the comments on BBC Radio 5 Lives Pienaars Politics. The minister said there were very difficult moral issues, adding: These are people who have essentially moved away from any kind of allegiance towards the British government.

They are absolutely dedicated, as members of the Islamic State, towards the creation of a caliphate. They believe in an extremely hateful doctrine which involves killing themselves, killing others and trying to use violence and brutality to create an eighth-century or seventh-century state.

So Im afraid we have to be serious about the fact these people are a serious danger to us, and unfortunately the only way of dealing with them will be, in almost every case, to kill them.

Note that he's not talking about them dying in combat during war - he's talking about targeted assassinations. Extrajudicial killing. Murder. On the basis of their political views. The UK is now officially a state which murders its dissidents overseas, no different from Russia or North Korea.

This is not acceptable. Nor is it lawful. Those who authorise, plan or participate in such killings are guilty of murder, and they should be prosecuted as such. And if the UK courts won't do it, the international courts should.


The obvious solution "IndyWatch Feed"

Australia is planning to cut off food, water and electricity supplies to its Manus Island concentration camp next week, and (despite PNG government assurances) has brought in a notoriously brutal police unit to clear the camp by force and force the detainees into other camps. While their detention has been ruled illegal, the refugees do not want to move because the new camps are unsafe - refugees have been assaulted and even killed by locals, and there have been explicit threats if they move. Australia's response to this has simply been to shrug their shoulders and deny responsibility. Having kidnapped these people, rendered them to Papua New Guinea, and detained them illeglaly for years in appalling conditions, they're now pretending that they have no responsibility for what happens afterwards.

This is simply bullshit, and there's an obvious solution: PNG should return the refugees to Australia, where they belong in the first place. If they won't (or can't, because they're basicly an Australian vassal), then there's another alternative: us. New Zealand has offered to take these refugees, and our offer is still open. Australia opposes this, because we eventually give refugees citizenship, which means they could then in theory visit or even move to Australia (as if anyone would want to go to the society which rejected, abused and tortured them). But Australia can't have it both ways and deny responsibility while also claiming the right to determine these people's fates. And to be honest, we shouldn't be talking to them about it anyway. Instead, we should be making our offer directly to the government of Papua New Guinea.

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Thursday, 26 October


We finally know the results of Papua New Guineas elections "IndyWatch Feed"

Papua New Guineas parliamentary elections took place June 24 to July 8, and there was significant controversy. During the election, officials went on strike in the capital city, Port Moresby, and violence broke out at polling stations in Enga province, where at least 20 people died.

Election officials worked slowly to tally the votes, delaying the announcement of results as a way to protest lack of payment. It wasnt until late September that the last undeclared seat was filled.

Despite these and other setbacks, Prime Minister Peter ONeill formed a new government in Papua New Guinea in early August. Heres what you need to know about this countrys complex voting system.

The electoral contest was particularly crowded

In Papua New Guineas ninth election since independence from Australia in 1975, 3,340 candidates ran in races for 111 parliamentary seats. Half of those candidates came from 44 political parties including 25 new parties registered for this election. The other half of the candidate pool ran as independents.

Papua New Guineans selected their preferred candidates using a complicated voting system inherited from Australia known as the alternative vote. At the polls, voters rank their top three preferred candidates. If no candidate receives the absolute majority (50 percent +1) of first-round votes, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and his or her votes transfer to the remaining second-preference candidates (and so on).

In his research on Papua New Guinea elections, political scientist Ben Reilly found that the alternate vote system encourages moderation in an electorate that would otherwise be divided by ethnic clan structures. Papua New Guinea voters almost always vote for someone in their own clan as their first preference. Majoritarian elections are often decided by which candidate wins more second- and third-preference votes.

The labor and time spent to count votes in an alternative vote system is significant. Although ONeill formed a government on Aug. 2, there were still 20 empty parliamentary seats. With so many candidates running for so few seats, and because people tend to vote for candidates from their clan, th...


Cash does Turnbull no credit so why is she not a spent force? "IndyWatch Feed"

Cash does Turnbull no credit so why is she not a spent force?The Government tale about the AFP raid on the AWU is riddled with holes and looks likely to completely fall apart, says political editor Dr Martin Hirst. read now...


In which the pond checks the reptiles urging on a cash-less society ... "IndyWatch Feed"

Only an infallible Pope could fuse the NBN cock-up with the Cash catastrophe - more papal fusings here - but it left the pond with an agonising choice.

Should it watch as the reptiles once more, belatedly, with no remorse, but with monstrous stupidity, attempt to deal with the NBN disaster?

But the pond is over it. 

At the moment the drop-outs are down to about once the half hour, and each time it happens the malevolent hatred of the malicious Malware courses through the pond's veins ...

What delight instead to observe another singular act of Malware incompetence, especially as the Cash crisis has seen all the Malware knockers come out in force in News Corp rags.

Now it's not the pond's observation alone that Malware doesn't do dirty politics well. 

After all, the Godwin Gretch affair showed him at peak doofus, and soon enough the wits have been out and about with yarns like How the Shorten raid went south: Constable Godwin Gretch reveals all ...

It seemed the right moment to catch up on the Terrorists ... even the news story had a...


Morrisons BEAR trap unfairly demonises our banks "IndyWatch Feed"

Today in The Australian

Scott Morrisons proposed Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR) seems designed to neutralise Bill Shortens call for a royal commission into banking.


Cant anyone keep secrets anymore? "IndyWatch Feed"

The furor over the AFP raid of the AWU premises to gather information about donations to GetUp! has embroiled Minister Cash (who is one of the more effective Ministers in the Turnbull Government) in controversy as the media was tipped off and present at the raid.

The Registered Organisations Commission an independent statutory agency secured a search warrant from a magistrate and this was executed by the AFP. That should have been the end of it the media should never have heard of the raid until after the event. Had that been so, the Government would not be embroiled in any controversy, and depending on the material seized the pressure would be on the AWU and GetUp!.

Instead there has been an attack on two independent institutions the AFP and the AEC as well as Minister Cash.

It seems that a staffer in Cashs office exercised extremely poor judgement in alerting the media to an impending raid. That was stupid.

But why was the Ministers office informed of an impending raid in the first place? Was it from the ROC or the AFP? Either way they should not have divulged  that information. What it someone in the ROC or the AFP who also alerted the media? Certainly the AWU and GetUp! benefit from knowing about the raid before it happened documents can be destroyed. And by alerting the media it can deflect the pressure that would otherwise sit entirely on the AWU and GetUp!

So there you have it no one can keep a secret. Whether it be poor judgement (Cashs staffer), political deflection (ROC or AFP staff) it is a disgrace that has damaged the rule of law. If some Labor supporter in the ROC and/or AFP alerted the media to the raid, he or she has acted unethically and should be sacked.


Perspectives from a Recognised Seasonal Employer worker from the Solomon Islands "IndyWatch Feed"

This year saw more than 600 Solomon Islander workers participating in the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme, New Zealands equivalent to the Australian Seasonal Worker Program.

Below, Ann Cheffers interviews Florence about her experience as an RSE worker. Florence is a Solomon Islander who participated in the RSE scheme in 2014 and 2015. She is based in Honiara.

Can you tell me about yourself?

My name is Florence and I am part Isabel and part Russell Islands in Central Province. I am the first born in the family, there are 6 of us four boys and two girls. I am 36 years old and married, we have 2 boys who weve adopted, one is 7 years and the other 5 years.

How many times have you participated and what made you decide to participate in the scheme?

I have worked in NZ for two seasons in 2014 and 2015 but have not returned in the last two years despite being asked to. I found out about the RSE through my friend who had already been working for 7 seasons. When I applied, I was already working for a Sheet Steel company here in Honiara for some years. My partner didnt agree with my decision to go at first but my motive to travel out and work was because I was tired of depending on the company for everything.

What process did you have to go through?

The first part of the process was to fill out a form and lodge it with the Solomon Islands Department of Foreign Affairs. We had to list the reasons why we wanted to go. If you had a good job you werent likely to be chosen, mostly poor people who didnt have a good education or couldnt find good work were prioritised. Based on the applications the Department chose, the agents for the companies in New Zealand then had to further decide and contact the applicants for an interview. Once the agent, who was a Solomon Islander woman, chose me then she told me to prepare my passport and that she would call me again two months before we were due to travel, this is so we could undergo medical checks and other procedures.

Where did you go to in NZ and what work did you undertake?

For both seasons, I worked in Hawkes Bay as a pack house worker. There were 15 of us in the first season where 2 were part of quality control and one was a supervisor. There were 3 apple fruit graders including myself and the rest worked out picking on the farm.

Did you find that you were well prepared?

For me it was not my first time overseas. For others who travelled with me, they were more nervous but we went as a team and worked as a team. The agent really prepared...


Day to Day Politics: Please cut out the gutter politics "IndyWatch Feed"

Friday 27 October 2017 I was at my desk early yesterday morning thinking about the events of Tuesday, wondering why politicians do these things. Im referring to the Cash Affair. Why on earth do they keep putting their foot in it? It being the filthy gutter of anything that will hurt your opponent. I was

The post Day to Day Politics: Please cut out the gutter politics appeared first on The AIM Network.


Racing towards Gomorrah "IndyWatch Feed"

More putrid and disgusting than ever imaginable. Where is the media on this, who are as corrupt and dishonest as the people they protect. This is what was picked up from Ace of Spades but theres plenty more elsewhere, on the net:

Where is the balancing good that the Democrats and media can use to defend their actions and silence? Invisible and non-existent.


Are the NSW Berejiklian Government & local Nationals preparing to trash the Clarence River Estuary? "IndyWatch Feed"

If theres one thing the NSW Nationals can be relied on to do it is to run with any short-sighted idea which involves the threat of environmental degradation and risk to regional water catchments.

Here we have them joining the Liberals in touting what appears to be a deal done in Sydney (with no genuine local community consultation) to bring international cruise ships into the environmentally sensitive Clarence River estuary an act which would require a significant degree of initial and ongoing dredging to maintain access, with perhaps the partial dismantling of one of the internal training walls which were built to direct flood water flows.
Even cruise operators with smaller vessels will demand a guarantee of risk free access and some form of terminal demands which would see existing local tourism along with commercial and recreational fishing disrupted and perhaps diminished.
It seems that Nationals MP for Clarence Chris Gulaptis has all but forgotten that just last year he was not in favour of the last attempt to co-opt the Lower Clarence River for the personal gain of outside financial interests.
Perhaps he needs reminding that ships that meet his specifications such as this one pictured below would still require estuary modification and shoreline development which is also unlikely to tick any of the social or environmental boxes he once thought important.


WordPress Resources at SiteGround "IndyWatch Feed"

WordPress is an award-winning web software, used by millions of webmasters worldwide for building their website or blog. SiteGround is proud to host this particular WordPress installation and provide users with multiple resources to facilitate the management of their WP websites:

Expert WordPress Hosting

SiteGround provides superior WordPress hosting focused on speed, security and customer service. We take care of WordPress sites security with unique server-level customizations, WP auto-updates, and daily backups. We make them faster by regularly upgrading our hardware, offering free CDN with Railgun and developing our SuperCacher that speeds sites up to 100 times! And last but not least, we provide real WordPress help 24/7! Learn more about SiteGround WordPress hosting

WordPress tutorial and knowledgebase articles

WordPress is considered an easy to work with software. Yet, if you are a beginner you might need some help, or you might be looking for tweaks that do not come naturally even to more advanced users. SiteGround WordPress tutorial includes installation and theme change instructions, management of WordPress plugins, manual upgrade and backup creation, and more. If you are looking for a more rare setup or modification, you may visit SiteGround Knowledgebase.

Free WordPress themes

SiteGround experts not only develop various solutions for WordPress sites, but also create unique designs that you could download for free. SiteGround WordPress themes are easy to customize for the particular use of the webmaster.


Cardinal Sarah defends homelands and cultures "IndyWatch Feed"

Cardinal Sarah, who hails from Guinea in Africa, has given a speech in Poland supporting that country's stand against open borders:

Every nation has a right to distinguish between genuine refugees and economic migrants who do not share that nations culture, Cardinal Robert Sarah has said.

Speaking at the Europa Christi conference in Poland on Sunday, the African cardinal noted that the country refuses to accept the logic of migrant redistribution that some people want to impose.

In comments reported by Polish magazine Gosc, Cardinal Sarah added that while every migrant is a human being who must be respected, the situation becomes more complex if they are of another culture or another religion, and imperil the common good of the nation.

This is at least tending toward the reformed refugee policy that I have long advocated: that there should be a common fund to finance refugee resettlement, but that to avoid economic migration and to protect existing cultures, refugees should be resettled in the nearest safe country that is most similar in terms of both living standards and culture/ethnicity.

The most striking comment made by Cardinal Sarah was this:
The ideology of liberal individualism promotes a mixing that is designed to erode the natural borders of homelands and cultures, and leads to a post-national and one-dimensional world where the only things that matter are consumption and production.

The quote deserves to be read carefully, as it clearly suggests that Catholics not only can, but ought to, defend "the natural borders of homelands and cultures."


The Cash Less Raid "IndyWatch Feed"

A few years ago, I read a book called Spy The Lie. It was written by a professional interrogator who made various suggestions about how you could tell when somebody was lying. I cant remember it all, but I do remember that he made the point that there was no one definitive sign, but there

The post The Cash Less Raid appeared first on The AIM Network.


Government assures China over Adani mega- mine approvals "IndyWatch Feed"

China has officially been informed the controversial Adani coal mine in Central Queensland has received all government approvals, Federal Attorney-General George Brandis has told Senate Estimates.

Senate crossbenchers have questioned officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in Senate Estimates.

The questions were sparked by a Freedom of Information request to DFAT for documents relating to requests for foreign government financing for the controversial multi-billion-dollar mine and rail project.

While he did not confirm whether that had occurred, Senator Brandis said the Government had made representations to dispel misinformation about the Carmichael mine.

The Australian Government has written to the Government of China to confirm the project has received all necessary Queensland state government and Australian government environmental and mining approvals, he said.

Senator Brandis said he did not know whether the letter was sent on request by Adani, but department secretary Frances Adamson said she expected Adani did ask for the letter to be sent.

I would expect so because a letter setting out the status of the project would have been generated as a result of a perceived need for that I expect, Ms Adamson said.

Following a lunch adjournment, Ms Adamson revealed more details about the letter.

The letter was written by the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment and by the Deputy Prime Minister, she said.

It was a statement of fact where the project is up to and a statement of endorsement of support by the Australian Government.

Letter not an approach to a foreign agency

Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie asked why it was necessary to inform the Chinese Government about the project.

Has this got to do with money being lent from the Chinese? she asked.

Senator Brandis took the question on notice. He said it was not an approach to a foreign agency, rather it set out the facts of the project.

DFAT officials have told Senate estimates it was not the departments role to seek finance for the Adani project.

Responding to the delay in the FIO request, Ms Adamson said the fact it had captured several hundred pages of documents did not mean official approaches had been happening.

The fact that there are a significant number of documents that weve identified for review should not be read to imply that theres a significant amount of departmental activity, she said.

My understanding is there has not been a significa...


Back to square one in energy policy: we now have a plan to produce a plan "IndyWatch Feed"

A year and a day thats how long it took Frydenberg to kill off Finkel.

On 7 October 2016, just nine days after a series of tornados took out at least 22 transmission pylons in South Australia and set off a cascading series of events resulting in a state-wide blackout, federal environment and energy minister John Frydenberg commissioned chief scientist professor Alan Finkel to review the stability of our energy system. Finkels expert team met with regulators around the world, considered 390 submissions, held 120 meetings and commissioned modelling from multiple experts.

A week later, Frydenberg announced the national energy guarantee (Neg). In just three weeks, with no public process, no modelling, no consultation with the Coag energy council, whose approval it requires, the newly formed Energy Security Board (ESB) had knocked together an alternative conceptual framework, described in an eight-page letter and a media release, that proposes to push responsibility for reliability and emissions reduction to electricity retailers.

Many energy analysts have been surprised at how quickly many in the electricity sector have fallen in line, especially when so little detail exists. Perhaps they are all punch-drunk, and at this stage in the fight, perhaps anything looks better than another round. More likely, the apparent truce will endure only for as long as details remain scant.

The easiest part of the Neg to deliver is the reliability guarantee. Retailers already use so called cap contracts which act as a de facto capacity market. With minor tweaking and regulatory oversight, existing mechanisms are likely to suffice. Further, there is no urgent need for additional capacity on reliability grounds the Australian Energy Market Operator (Aemo) announced last week that it has contracted all the reserve capacity i...


Raids on AWU and attacks on GetUp should alarm citizens "IndyWatch Feed"

Raids on AWU and attacks on GetUp should alarm citizensThe recent raids on AWU offices in Sydney and Melbourne, seemingly in search for dirt on Bill Shortens time as head of the Union, should be ringing alarm bells, says Associate Professor Allan Patience. read now...


Marc Faber, Freedom of Speech, & Capitalism "IndyWatch Feed"

Political Correctness Hampers Honest Debate

What would the world be like today had Europeans never colonized Americas, Africa, the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, and South Asia?

Sargon learns about African history and culture at the American Museum of Natural History. Regardless of whether one considers Dr. Fabers remarks insensitive, it can hardly be doubted that they were correct in the context they were made in.

Reprinted with permission from Acting Man.

The post Marc Faber, Freedom of Speech, & Capitalism appeared first on LewRockwell.


John Adams: Hanson and Bernardi face a looming Senate showdown "IndyWatch Feed"

With speculation rampant that the Coalition will take Australians to an early federal election in September 2018 to avoid a spate of state election campaigns, political manoeuvrings have already begun in the race for New South Wales sixth senate spot the last to be decided at the expected traditional half-Senate vote.

At the 2016 federal election, a combined 12 minor conservative orientated parties obtained over 566,000 votes or 12.6 per cent of the Senate vote in NSW.

This result demonstrates that a pathway exists for a non-Coalition conservative senator to be elected in NSW if this disaffected voting block can be unified.

Since the election, an open revolt against the Coalition-ALP established order has broken out across the state resulting from visionless leadership, adverse economic conditions, collapsing social cohesion and suffocating political correctness, especially in regional NSW where support for the Nationals appears to have collapsed.

As many voters now seek out alternative political representation, NSW is likely to become the nations first real battleground contest between Pauline Hanson and Cory Bernardi as One Nation and the Australian Conservatives enjoy surging political momentum among conservative and anti-establishment working-class voters.

The Senate seat race will be a multi-dimensional contest fought on several fronts including policy, personality, candidate selection, tactics, organisation and preference negotiations.

As both parties register with the NSW Electoral Commission, supporter groups have been meeting across the state as they build their political base and begin to plan and coordinate for the coming contest.

Based on last years election results, Hansons existing political base largely stems from northern and western rural NSW, Newcastle, the Central Coast and Western Sydney.

Bernardi, who only launched his party earlier this year, has accumulated over 4,000 financial members in NSW to date and is expected to have a natural advantage in traditional liberal strongholds of the Lower North Shore, the Northern Beaches the Southern Highlands and in Sydneys Inner West such as Parramatta.

While both are railing against the current political and policy orthodoxy, pressure is on both parties to move beyond a purely reactionary posture and provide sufficient policy detail and cut-through messaging which convinces voters of their credentials to address their policy concerns in Parliament.

Many give Bernardi a natural policy advantage on the economy, education and on key social institutions such as marriage, and yet others give Hanson an advantage on addr...


Mills lost supply-side perspective has now been found "IndyWatch Feed"

Heres the subhead to an article on the editorial page of the AFR today with the title: Job creators dont need subsidy.

The billions spent on industry support seems to make very little difference to new job creation.

This is the rediscovery of classical economic theory, and here let me quote John Stuart Mill:

Demand for commodities is not demand for labour.

Alas, the amount of unlearning that would have to happen for Mills point to be understood is an impossibility, but it is interesting that someone has noticed the actual facts on the ground even if they dont understand why its true. As a wonderful example of someone who sees the point but doesnt understand it, here is the abstract of a paper by an economist by name of Roy Grieve criticising my paper on Mills Fourth Proposition on Capital in which I have, for the first time in more than a century, explained what Mill and the classics meant:

Steven Kates has recently (2015a) attempted to explain and justify J S Mills paradoxical fourth proposition on capital, which states that demand for commodities is not demand for labour, a proposition which notoriously over generations has baffled many eminent commentators. Kates intends to resolve the puzzle by offering a proper understanding of Says Law as it was understood by Mill and his contemporaries. We conclude that Kates does indeed reveal the logic of Mills proposition, making it clear that from Mills lost supply-side perspective, it is in no way puzzling or paradoxical. However, at the same time it becomes evident that Mills whole position is undermined by his acceptance of the untenable belief that demand is constituted by supply, which leaves us with the clear understanding that his fourth proposition, despite Katess rationalisation and defence thereof, as well as certainly being paradoxical, is simply untrue.

I hadnt even known the paper had been published until just now, but found it only because I was looking online for my own. But this is wonderful since he says five things I am extraordinarily happy to have said about what I wrote:

1) I really am the first economist in well over a century to understand Mills Fourth Proposition.

2) I do indeed reveal the logic of Mills proposition.

3) And what is shown by the Fourth Proposition on Capital is Mills lost supply-side perspective.

4) Says Law is the cen...


Here's hoping "IndyWatch Feed"

Back in May, National, ACT and United Future got together to vote down Jan Logie's Equal Pay Amendment Bill. The bill would have provided greater information and transparency around gender and pay, allowing discrimination to be uncovered and corrected. But now that the balance of power in Parliament has changed, it might be back:

A defeated private member's bill that would force the private sector to open up its books and reveal more about gender pay differences may be resurrected as a Government bill, in an effort to narrow the gender pay gap.

The Women's portfolio, to be held by Green MP Julie Anne Genter, was one of many allocations that were released today by Prime Minister-designate Jacinda Ardern. Genter said one of her top priorities was to close the gender pay gap, "both in the public and private sector".

Asked about bringing back the Equal Pay Amendment Bill, which was voted down in May this year by the narrowest of margins, she said: "That is a Green Party bill and certainly one of many things that I''ll be investigating in the role, and trying to win support for with the new Government."

Good. Because we have a real pay equity problem in New Zealand, and we need to fix it. Clearly, current policies aren't working so new ones are needed. And removing the secrecy which hides employer sexism would be a damn good start.


This is just wrong "IndyWatch Feed"

Its a known fact that WINZ benefits are deliberately not enough to live on, which forces beneficiaries into debt to survive. But it turns out that if you borrow money for food, WINZ considers it to be income and you guilty of fraud. And currently they're pursuing a solo mother through the courts for $120,000 she doesn't have, because they underpaid her in the first place:

In a case being heard in the High Court, the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) is arguing that a sole mother who took out loans to pay for her home repairs and to support her children - because she could not otherwise afford to on the benefit - should have to repay more than $120,000 in so-called over payments.

This Friday, October 27 is the last day of the hearing. Ms X. has name suppression and is represented by Frances JoyChild QC.

No form Ms X. ever filled out for her benefit asked her to list loans as a form of income. The cost of the nearly eight years of reviews and appeal is huge, both financially and in terms of her health.

This is wrong. Just fucking wrong. WINZ has already been told that by its own Appeals Authority (which pointed out both the absurdity and the unfairness of considering loans to be income while never asking about them), but they've persisted in persecuting this woman. It really gives the impression that their purpose is to grind people's faces into the dirt, rather than provide proper social support so people can live in dignity.

The government committed to reforming the welfare system and changing its punitive culture under the labour-Green confidence and supply agreement. Hopefully they'll start by putting a shit like this - and sacking everybody who has wasted public money on this immoral outrage.

Correction: The Social Security Appeal Authority had ruled some of the loans were not "income" (and noted that WINZ's forms are inadequate and do not ask about loans), but upheld that others are. Details here.


Jeffrey Tucker: What Gave Bitcoin Its Value? "IndyWatch Feed"

This article was written in 2014.


Many people who have never used bitcoin look at it with confusion. Why does this magic Internet money have any value at all? Its just some computer thing that someone made up.

Consider the criticism of goldbugs, who have, for decades, pushed the idea that sound money must be backed by something real, hard, and independently valuable.

Bitcoin doesnt qualify, right?

Maybe it does. Lets take a closer look.

Bitcoin first emerged as a possible competitor to national, government-managed money nearly six years ago. Satoshi Nakamotos white paper was released October 31, 2008. The structure and language of this paper sent the message: This currency is for computer technicians, not economists nor political pundits. The papers circulation was limited; novices who read it were mystified.

But the lack of interest didnt stop history from moving forward. Two months later, those who were paying attention saw the emergence of the Genesis Block, the first group of bitcoins generated through Nakamotos concept of a distributed ledger that lived on any computer node in the world that wanted to host it.

Here we are six years later and a single bitcoin trades at $500 and has been as high as $1,200 per coin.The currency is accepted by many thousands of institutions, both online and offline. Its payment system is very popular in poor countries without vast banking infrastructures but also in developed countries. And major institutionsincluding the Federal Reserve, the OECD, the World Bank, and major investment housesare paying respectful attention.

Enthusiasts, who are found in every country, say that its exchange value will soar in the future because its supply is strictly limited and it provides a system vastly superior to government money. Bitcoin is transferred between individuals without a third party. It is nearly costless to exchange. It has a predictable supply. It is durable, fungible, and divisible: all crucial features of money. It creates a monetary system that doesnt depend on trust and identity, much less on central banks and government. It is a new system for the digital age.

Hard lessons for hard money

To those educated in the hard money tradition, the whole idea has been a serious challenge. Speaking for myself, I had been reading about bitcoin for two years before I came anywhere close to understanding it. There was just something about the whole idea that bugged me. You cant make money out of nothing, much less out of computer code. Why does it have value then? The...


In which the pond dresses down with the bromancer ... "IndyWatch Feed"

The pond now spends far too much of its time furtively watching cable news from the United States, with hysteria and apocalyptic fear all the go, and endless celebrations of Steve Bannon - as fine a specimen of Ayran manliness as the world has seen since the likes of Himmler donned a double breasted leather jacket.

We're well down the path of the cult of personality when the dress habits of the leadership are top of the page ...

Here for more good dress sense ... 

The result whenever the pond returns home to the lizards of Oz? 

An unnerving sense of sanity ... where once the pond would have thought almost anything that the bromancer scribbled was a sign of being in the presence of the barking mad, now the flip-flopping, equivocations and contradictions seem almost charmingly normal, almost realist ...and so it was today ...


20 reasons why the Turnbull Government is gutting the ABS "IndyWatch Feed"

20 reasons why the Turnbull Government is gutting the ABSWhy has the Government axed 500 jobs from the ABS? Could it be to hinder its ability to track the Government's economic failures? read now...


Labor Style Governance thanks Mal "IndyWatch Feed"

Lets just set the scene.

The Hon. Bill Shorten MP is the leader of the opposition. Prior to entering parliament in 2007, Mr Shorten was (principally) the national secretary of the AWU (Australian Workers Union).

The recently established Registered Organisations Commission earlier this week obtained the necessary warrants to allow the Federal Police to forcible enter the Sydney and Melbourne offices of the AWU. They were seeking documents and files around the allegation that the AWU, while under Mr Shortens leadership, donated $100,000 to GetUp! and $25,000 to Mr Shortens 2007 campaign.

It does not seem disputed that the payments to GetUp! or Mr Shortens campaign were actually made. What appears in questions is whether these payments were made within the rules of the AWU. In other words, whether the person/persons making the payments did so with the appropriate authority of the Union and further whether the donations contravened civil penalty provisions of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission Act 1996, the predecessor to the Fair Work Registered Organisations Act 2009.

To put this in another way, were such payments made by government, were they properly authorised and appropriated.  Similarly, were such payments made by business, were they made within the terms of the constitution of the company and the delegations from shareholders to directors to management.

The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP is the deputy leader of the opposition. Prior to entering parliament in 1998 at the age of 29, Ms Plibersek was:

  • Womens Officer, University of Technology, Sydney.
  • Domestic Violence Unit, NSW Ministry for the Status of Women.
  • Electorate officer.

On current trajectory, come next election, Mr Shorten will be Australias next Prime Minister and Ms Plibersek will be Australias next Deputy Prime Minister. In the event Mr Shorten is travelling, on holidays or unwell, Ms Plibersek will be Australias Acting Prime Minister.

Both Mr Shorten and Ms Plibersek were members of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd governments, and held executive positions during parts of same.  Mr Shorten was also a key agitator for the...


Media women name and shame sexual predators unless they are politicians "IndyWatch Feed"

Further allegations have been made against Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, including multiple sexual harassment and molestation claims dating back to 2012. One of the allegations concerns a 17 year-old girl. On ABC TVs The Drum yesterday evening, a segment was devoted to the latest alleged high-profile offender, banished by Conde Naste from practising his profession

The post Media women name and shame sexual predators unless they are politicians appeared first on The AIM Network.


The Steele Dossier "IndyWatch Feed"

Spartacus is not a particular fan of President Donald J. Trump.  But he is even less of a fan of the Clinton Industrial Complex.  So it was no surprise to read in the Washington Post that the Steele Dossier, the document published by BuzzFeed with all sorts of allegations about Donald Trump, was actually opposition research conducted by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party.

The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about President Trumps connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said.


The Clinton campaign and the DNC, through the law firm, continued to fund Fusion GPSs research through the end of October 2016, days before Election Day.

Well knock me over.  Perfidy from the Clinton campaign and main stream media complicity.  Spartacus is also shocked, just shocked that there was gambling going on in Ricks Cafe.

David French from National Review puts it very well:

We dont know what role the Russia dossier has played or is playing in the Russia investigation. We dont know yet which parts (if any) are true. Indeed, when it comes to the full extent of Russian efforts to sow chaos in our election, influence the Clintons, or influence the Trumps, were like the proverbial blind men feeling different parts of the elephant. We know so little. But we did learn a bit more last night, and what we learned undermines the dossier, indicts the Clinton campaign, and helps Donald Trump.

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus


QLD federal redistribution draft released "IndyWatch Feed"

Ive been quite busy recently and hadnt had time to deal with the recent draft released for the Queensland federal redistribution.

To be honest its the least interesting redistribution Ive encountered in the nine years I have written for this blog. Queensland is maintaining its 30 federal electorates after a series of rapid redistributions which repeatedly increased its seat numbers. Twelve electorates were left entirely untouched, and most of the others underwent very minor changes.

Antony Green has analysed the boundaries and made estimates for the electoral boundaries. No seat flipped party, although a few have a changed margin.

You can now download my boundary map for this draft proposal.

I have also recently updated a number of other maps: the final Tasmanian federal map, the final NSW local government boundaries as of 2017, and the New Zealand electoral map updated to reflect the results of the 2017 election. You can download them all from the maps page.


When Government Wanted To Prosecute Tribune Reporter For LeakBut Feared Public Just Wouldnt Get It "IndyWatch Feed"

Newly published documents by the National Security Archive reveal why a grand jury refused to prosecute a Chicago Tribune reporter during World War II for a leak.

Correspondent Stanley Johnston was accused of revealing the United States cracked a Japanese code, which alerted the military to Japanese war plans before the Battle of Midway. A Tribune editor attributed the source of information to naval intelligence.

A prosecution was contemplated under the Espionage Act, but the government backed off because they feared what may happen if a trial publicized that the U.S. compromised the Japanese code.

The Justice Department under President Barack Obama fought against a lawsuit filed by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. It lost when a district court ruled in 2015 that disclosure would result in a more complete public record of this historic event and affirm the government is open, in all respects, to scrutiny by the people.

Yet, the government appealed, and it was not until September 2016, when the appeals court ruled against the governments claim that a federal court had no jurisdiction to order the release of transcripts, that an effort to keep 75 year-old documents secret came to an end.

During World War II, the U.S. military expected journalists accredited as war correspondents to submit stories prior to publication for censorshipor what the Pentagon may now refer to as prepublication review. Johnston was accredited by the Navy at Pearl Harbor.

In grand jury testimony from August 18, 1942, Johnston indicated that he knew he was to submit for the purpose of censorship all written or photographic material, either private correspondence, or anything for publication, released with the Navy or after my return. Letters or dispatches were even to be subjected to censorship like any person in the military forces.

Johnston, who was Australian but recently obtained U.S. citizenship, also testified, I have a son twenty years of age. The last word I had from my mother was that he had gone with the Australian Army to the war front. He is probably somewhere up there now where they are fighting.

If you think that I would do anything that would hurt the men in the United States Navy, or my son, there is nothing that I can do about it, Johnston added. If I am indicted in this case here, I know I havent done anythingthere has been no intent, and they tell me there has to be intent. And if there is anything I have done, and I am indicted on this, it will wreck me forever. I know that in court it will be....


Dentistry - Admission Statistics and Selection Process "IndyWatch Feed"

Response by Charles Sturt University to James Brooke on October 26, 2017.
Awaiting classification.
  [1]Charles Sturt University     [2][IMG]   Hi James, When it comes to chasing your dreams, there is no better time than the present. Every...


Justice for Teina Pora "IndyWatch Feed"

In 1994, then 17 year-old gang associate Teina Pora was stitched up for rape and murder on the basis of a false, coerced confession. In 1996 DNA evidence showe dhe was innocent, but it took until 2015 for him to finally be freed. In 2016, the government awarded him $2.5 million in compensation for the 21 years he had wrongly spent behind bars - but, being arseholes, they shortchanged him of $500,000 by refusing to adjust it for inflation. When Pora went to court on that point and won, National's arseholes promised to appeal to stop an innocent man from getting the compensation he was entitled to. But now, we've had an election. And the new Ministe rof Justice is not an arsehole:

Incoming Justice Minister Andrew Little has confirmed he will order Teina Pora's $2.5 million compensation to be increased to match inflation.

The outgoing government had reserved the right to appeal against the inflation decision but Mr Little, who will be sworn in with the rest of the government today, confirmed to Morning Report that appeal would not go ahead.

"The High Court was pretty clear that when Cabinet considered it last time they hadn't considered adjusting by inflation as a matter of fairness. The High Court has now said that the government must do that, so we will do that."

Good. Pora deserves full compensation from the government for what they did to him, and now he will finally get it. But it shouldn't have needed a change of government to get there.

Even better, the new government has promisd a UK-style Criminal Cases Review Commission to investigate and make recommendations on potential miscarriages of justice. While such a system won't be perfect, it will be an important backstop to the courts, and should reduce the chances of people suffering like Pora in the future. But again, that's an idea which has been banging around Parliament for over a decade (then-National backbencher Richard Worth had a members bill on it in 2006, but it was never drawn). Who knows how many people have been wrongly convicted while politicians have pissed around, refusing to provide proper justice so they can be "tough on crime"?


Federal Court action against Commonwealth (formerly Secretary, Dept of Defence) "IndyWatch Feed"

Follow up sent to Federal Court of Australia by Mona Krombholz on October 26, 2017.
Thank you for the prompt response. Yours sincerely, Mona Krombholz


Democratic Reform Dastyari Style "IndyWatch Feed"

You know you are living in a bizarro world when Senator Sam Dastyari gets on a stage with Van Badham and laments the state of democracy in Australia.

Senator Sam entered the Senate in 2013 on a casual vacancy, without the nuisance of being elected.  He was appointed on the whim of the Australian Labor Party.

In 2016, Senator Sam was actually elected if you consider being installed as number 2 on the ALP senate ticket as being elected.  Senator Sam was not elected to the senate on the merits of his candidature and he did not go through pre-selection to get the number 2 spot on the ticket.

Perhaps Senator Sams idea of democracy comes from his Iranian heritage where the wise and just clerics decide just who gets to run (and not run) in elections.

Oh and by the way, Senator Sams democracy in Australia interlocutor Van Badham self describes herself as an anarcho-syndicalist/libertarian communist.

Yeah.  An un-elected Senator and a Communist are concerned about the state of democracy in Australia.  Whats next.  Bill Shorten describing himself as a fiscal conservative?  I know.  How about increased salaries to Parliamentarians and longer parliamentary terms.  That will fix it.

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus


Good thing we have Laura "IndyWatch Feed"

Former member of the Australian Communist Party and the Australian Labor Party, Phillip Adams, has a radio program on the ABC.  Robert Manne has even described Phillip Adams as:

the emblematic figurehead of the pro-Labor left intelligentsia

Oxymoron aside of putting Labor left and intelligentsia in the same sentence, I am sure that Cats are not overly surprised that a former Communist Party member, Labor party member and figurehead of the pro-Labor left intelligentsia has a show on the ABC.

Earlier this week, Mr Adams had his regular segment with Laura Tingle of the AFR.  The segment is called Canberra Babylon.

The conversation between Adams and Tingle meandered until the subject of the Adani coal mine came up, at which point Ms Tingle said the following:

the finances and the figures of it just dont look like theyre ever going to stack up for me.

The finances and the figures just dont stack up for Laura.  Well gosh, sha-zam, gall-lee.  What with all of Lauras (project, corporate, any) finance experience, the number just dont stack up.  I just wonder whether the NBN, pink bats and renewable energy numbers stacked up for Laura.

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus

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Wednesday, 25 October


Moral Panic 101: Safe Schools and the new folk devils "IndyWatch Feed"

Moral Panic 101: Safe Schools and the new folk devilsMany social scientists of an older generation will have felt a warm glow at the appearance of Benjamin Law's recent Quarterly Essay, 'Moral Panic 101'. read now...


In which savvy Savva shamelessness is its own reward ... "IndyWatch Feed"

The pond tried to resist Get Shorty puns, but found it hard to walk by Pope's cartoon, with more papal insights here ...

Over at Crikey, the Major Mitchell himself was being celebrated in all his feathered finery ...

But the pond was more interested in the answer to the question, what to do when the mendacious Malware is revealed as the man behind the worst roll-out in modern Australian history? 

Why, do a Donald, and bung on a do ... and make sure you can pin your shameless lies on a staffer ... because shamelessness is its own reward ...

Naturally the reptiles fell into line, conducting the campaign as if blessed by the Major Mitchell's holy crusader spirit ...

Now right from the get...


Media women name & shame sexual predators. Unless they are politicians. "IndyWatch Feed"

  Further allegations have been made against Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, including multiple sexual harassment and molestation claims dating back to 2012. One of the allegations concerns a 17 year-old girl. On ABC TVs The Drum yesterday evening, a segment was devoted to the latest alleged high-profile offender, banished by Conde Naste from practising his []


Day to Day Politics: The getting of Bill Shorten. "IndyWatch Feed"

Thursday, October 26, 2017 I dont know how many times I heard Cory Bernardi when he was a Liberal say that the conservative side of politics needed an activist group like GetUp!. He understood how effective and successful they are. It seems to me that the conservative side of politics would be only

The post Day to Day Politics: The getting of Bill Shorten. appeared first on The AIM Network.

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Monday, 23 October


FCoA/FCC appointed Regulation 7 Family Court Consultants in Wollongong "IndyWatch Feed"

Response by Federal Circuit Court of Australia to Mr Watt on October 24, 2017.
UNCLASSIFIED Dear Sir   Please see attached letter in response to your request:   Kind regards   FEDERAL CIRCUIT COURT OF AUSTRALIA Federal Cir...

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Monday, 16 October


A "Credible complaint of a serious offence" "IndyWatch Feed"

Response by Australian Federal Police to Phillip Sweeney on October 16, 2017.
UNCLASSIFIED Dear Mr Sweeney,   Please find attached our decision in relation to your Freedom of Information request.   Kind regards,  ...

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Wednesday, 11 October


FCoA/FCC appointed Regulation 7 Family Court Consultants in Wollongong "IndyWatch Feed"

Response by Federal Circuit Court of Australia to Mr Watt on October 12, 2017.
UNCLASSIFIED Dear Sir Receipt of your request is acknowledged and it has been forwarded to the appropriate officer for a response. Kind regards Cust...

Monday, 09 October


A "Credible complaint of a serious offence" "IndyWatch Feed"

Response by Australian Federal Police to Phillip Sweeney on October 09, 2017.
Thank you for your email. Please note that this is an automated response to confirm that your email was sent to the Australian Federal Police Freedo...

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