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IndyWatch Aussie Politics Feed was generated at Australian News IndyWatch.

Saturday, 18 November


Weekend Reading "IndyWatch Feed"

My RMIT colleagues Chris Berg, Jason Potts and I have a new working paper out on the economics of identity.

Identification forms a key part of all but the least sophisticated economic and political transactions. More complex or significant transactions demand more formal identification of the parties involved. In this paper we develop an institutional economics of identity. We distinguish between a Demsetzian evolutionary view of identity institutions and a legal-centric view of identity institutions. In the former view, identity is a contextual, fluid and subjective, and evolved for market, social and political exchange. In the latter, identity is uniform and permanent, and created (imposed) by governments. Governments have an interest in identity insofar as identity is used in the process of tax collection, entitlements, and conscription. Private organisations free ride off state-provided identification services. The paper concludes with a discussion about technological change and identity management. We characterise two possible futures: one in which new technologies enable states to create more comprehensive uniform identities, and one in which new technologies enable identities to be federated and transferred to citizens.

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Friday, 17 November


Modern ministerial sackings (Part Two): Scams, sex, shares and citizenship "IndyWatch Feed"

Modern ministerial sackings (Part Two): Scams, sex, shares and citizenshipThree quarters of the Federal ministers forced to leave their posts in the last 45 years have been from the conservative side of politics. Alan Austin continues this exclusive Independent Australia series. read now...


In which, as alarums and panic spreads amongst the reptiles, the pond cuts directly to the prattling Polonius chase ... "IndyWatch Feed"

The Terror in terror, the Fairfaxians rampant, oh deary me, what's a reptile to do?

Oh what a stern and unhappy woman she is, not a hint of a smile, a frowning harridan ... but will it be enough?

Can the reptiles yet achieve what they managed for SSM? Or will Black Knight syndrome prevail yet again?

Who knows, who can tell, who can say? Certainly not the reptiles ...

The reptiles are in a state of uproar and agitation this day, confused and bickering amongst themselves ...



Gladstonian liberalism is the answer "IndyWatch Feed"

Im not sure I know the question to which Cosmopolitanism Is the Answer, but whatever the question, it is the wrong answer for me. As it happens, these are things I have lately been thinking about myself having come across another article looking at these same issues but from a very different perspective. And while it is difficult to sort through the various labels one can put on ones personal ideology, the closest I have been able to come up with for myself is Gladstonian liberal which is quite different from classical liberal. So let me take you to an article about the naming of things where classical liberal is the equivalent of insane while conservative represents prudential common sense.

The differences between the classical-liberal and conservative traditions have immense consequences for policy. Establishing democracy in Egypt or Iraq looks doable to classical liberals because they assume that human reason is everywhere the same, and that a commitment to individual liberties and free markets will arise rapidly once the benefits have been demonstrated and the impediments removed. Conservatives, on the other hand, see foreign civilizations as powerfully motivatedfor bad reasons as well as good onesto fight the dissolution of their way of life and the imposition of American values.

Integrating millions of immigrants from the Middle East also looks easy to classical liberals, because they believe virtually everyone will quickly see the advantages of American (or European) ways and accept them upon arrival. Conservatives recognize that large-scale assimilation can happen only when both sides are highly motivated to see it through. When that motivation is weak or absent, conservatives see an unassimilated migration, resulting in chronic mutual hatred and violence, as a perfectly plausible outcome.

Since classical liberals assume reason is everywhere the same, they see no great danger in depreciating national independence and outsourcing power to foreign bodies. American and British conservatives see such schemes as destroying the unique political foundation upon which their traditional freedoms are built.

Here is the definition of Gladstonian liberal from Wikipedia which seems accurate enough for me and is utterly distinct from the classical variety as defined above.

Gladstonian liberalism is a political doctrine named after the British Victorian Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Party, William Ewart Gladstone. Gladstonian liberalism consisted of limited gove...


Quotes of the Week "IndyWatch Feed"

Not sure if this has been posted but Jesus, this is wrong on levels yet to be described by science.  [Jeremy Parkinson writing in Facebook on 9 November 2017 with regard to a US newspaper opinion piece describing New Zealand as being in the grip of the far right]

The number of MPs and senators suspected of failing to obey the Constitutions requirements on dual citizenship is now 28 to 30 by some counts, and only the High Court can rule on their status.
 [journalist Malcolm Farr in, 10 November 2017]

"What is #absurd is people who under our constitution are illegitimately elected to parliament think that the problem is with the constitution" ...


Section 44iv "IndyWatch Feed"

Judith Sloan raised a fascinating question this morning whether Ministerial advisors are an office of profit under the Crown Presumably this would include all parliamentarian staffers.

But further to that question, what about persons who receive any governmental transfers?

  • health fund rebates
  • childcare rebates
  • Centrelink benefits

What about persons who work for businesses whose main or only client is Government?

  • Consulting firms
  • IT suppliers
  • Caterers

If owning a share of a shopping center where Australia Post is a tenant may expose David Gillespie and warrant High Court review, why not the above?

It is unlikely that most of the members of the ALP and Greens , and several of the current Liberals will have ever worked for a business, but what the hey.

Given the length and breath of Government in Australia, that might not leave too many people who would be eligible for Parliamentary services.  Maybe it might create the incentive to reduce government.  One can only dream.

Over to you Attourney Brandis QC.

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus


A Tale of Two teams: Australia, Italy and the World Cup "IndyWatch Feed"

Australia chose a rather round about, and dangerous way, of getting to the finals of the FIFA World Cup. Qualifying by playing a South or Central American opponent has its pitfalls, the most memorable being Argentina at the Allianz Stadium in 1993. On that occasion, the valiant Australians went down, if only just, losing the

The post A Tale of Two teams: Australia, Italy and the World Cup appeared first on The AIM Network.


As long as we have mobile phones what difference does it make? "IndyWatch Feed"

By Melanie Philips: The Deconstruction of Humanity. You will just have to read it for yourself. Ill give you the first para, then the last plus one from the middle.

If you want a break from the spectacle of Britain tearing itself apart over leaving the European Union, you can upset yourself instead watching the spectacle of the western world tearing apart the very notion of what it is to be a human being. . . .

Rigorous science. How quaint that sounds. In our ideologically fluid world, that too is being washed away as we steadily dismantle not just the foundations of western culture, not just morality, not even just the primacy of reason but our very understanding of what makes us what we are.

Heres the one from the middle. In her view this is the problem.

The ostensible aim of all this is to end discrimination, prejudice and social exclusion. This is untrue. The aim is unilaterally to change the entire basis of society from one governed by external moral rules and duties to one in which the only rule that has any authority is the duty to actualise our own inner potential and fulfil our own desires.

Could be. I actually think the left have run out of genuine problems to fix so are inventing distinctions to show how forward looking they are in comparison with everyone else. Whatever, it is the young and they are making the world in which they will have to live. Too bad for them.

MORE ON TOO BAD FOR THEM: This is Kurt Schlichter discussing At Least My Generation Will Have Our Revenge On The Millennials.

But while were still here together, with me owning stuff and you struggling to afford your daily kombucha smoothie, we face many shared challenges. Theres that giant debt, and there are those foreign people who want to kill us, and there is the terrifying fact that we are at each others throats here at home. We know how this plays out if we dont fix it bad for me, but super-bad for you. Maybe we should try and square things away. Maybe we should stop assuming the worst about each other, start thinking about what unites us instead of what divides us, and work together to make a better tomorrow. Maybe.

I just wish I thought it was funny, but things werent so great in Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire. In fact, it took more than a thousand years to get back to the same standard of living that had already prevailed in the second century AD.


Protest for Manus: Dutton blusters as Manus defies the siege "IndyWatch Feed"

Refugee Action Coalition Media Release Media Release Emergency rally: still no safe settlement as Manus defies the siege Despite constant claims from the Prime Minister and Immigration Minister that new relocation areas are safe and ready, photos from West Lorengau on Manus Island show that the area is still a construction site. Duttons claim that

The post Protest for Manus: Dutton blusters as Manus defies the siege appeared first on The AIM Network.


A blueprint for change NJP applauds NT Royal Commission "IndyWatch Feed"

Media Release The pro bono human rights law firm, the National Justice Project has applauded the forensic and thorough findings of the NT Royal Commission into Youth Detention as a blueprint for positive and much needed change. Principal Solicitor at the NJP, Adjunct Professor George Newhouse said today that the Royal Commission and Board of

The post A blueprint for change NJP applauds NT Royal Commission appeared first on The AIM Network.


Sparty McSpartyface "IndyWatch Feed"

The NSW Government has decided to name the newest member of its ferry fleet Ferry Mcferryface.  This is not a joke.  Apparently.

In homage to this wise and considered decision, for the coming week, your humble commentator will write under the nom de guerre of Sparty McSpartyface.  I suspect that 1 week will be about how long it will take for this decision to be reversed.

Catallaxy McCatallacyface comments are invited.


Overcoming neoliberalism: Sally McManus tries to 'Change the Rules' "IndyWatch Feed"

Overcoming neoliberalism: Sally McManus tries to 'Change the Rules'With the ACTU's new 'Change the Rules' campaign, Sally McManus is playing the long game, says Jay Goodall. read now...


Number of people removed from Cashless Card Trials "IndyWatch Feed"

Response by Department of Human Services to Sandra Legro on November 17, 2017.
Dear Ms Legro   Please see attached a decision letter in respect of your FOI Request No. 17/18-043.   Kind Regards     Legislation and F...


In which the pond kicks back with TGIF Sharri ... "IndyWatch Feed"

Choices, choices, always the choices ...

There was poor Henry "hole in the bucket" Ergas trying to hack his way through the labyrinthine thickets in the Amazonian jungle known as the Australian constitution - oh how arcane and befuddling, how cunning were these Daedalus founding fathers with their word trickery - but as Flinty had already sorted everything out by proposing that originalism means change, the pond turned towards safe harbour and the siren song of Sharri ...

The pond thought it might be poignant to juxtapose Sharri's thoughts with a few Terror comments below the Sharri piece, by readers inspired by her siren song ...

And where's the thanks he gets?

Oh dear, how quickly the cynical meme spreads ...



MONA FOR MERMAID! A Hecke of a challenge for Shakin' Ray Stevens "IndyWatch Feed"

MONA FOR MERMAID! A Hecke of a challenge for Shakin' Ray StevensShakin' Ray Stevens may be in trouble in Mermaid Beach, with a credible Independent candidate, Mona Hecke, challenging him at the 25 November Queensland State election. This is Mona's story. read now...


Bruce of Newcastle: Shy Voters "IndyWatch Feed"

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has provided good breakdowns of the SSM data by electorate, so I asked myself a question: was the turnout correlated with the % Yes vote?

Ive used the NSW data only since it has been reported that of the 17 No voting electorates 12 of them are in western and southwestern Sydney.  Furthermore SBS reports this:

The nine seats that voted No by the biggest margins are all controlled by the Labor party, with the seven biggest all located in west and south-west Sydney.

Here is what I find:

Ive highlighted those seven highest No voting seats which SBS says are Labor held.

Fairly clearly from the data there is a correlation between turnout and the percentage of Yes votes.  Furthermore the seven Labor seats with the highest No votes also have some of the lowest turnouts.

This suggests a couple of things:

  • That shy or disillusioned voters failed to put in their forms
  • That certain ethnic groups had both a low response rate and a high propensity to vote No

The first point suggests that the real proportion of voters who favour Yes to same-sex marriage is lower than the headline number of 61.6%. A cohort of as many as 10% of voters in low turnout electorates, who probably would choose No, in the end did not vote.  Whether this was because of fear of backlash, concern about confidentiality or other reasons is not clear.  But it does seem clear that the total Yes vote has been biased upwards somewhat by these shy voters.

I will leave to readers to draw their own conclusion about the second point.


Peter Boettke: Cosmopolitanism Is the Answer "IndyWatch Feed"

My answers to our current challenges are simple ones. Lets begin at the beginningwhich for the liberal is basic human equality. We are one anothers equals. There should be no confusion on this point. And if you are an advocate of liberalism and you find yourself standing (metaphorically or literally) alongside anyone asserting the superiority of one group over another you should know you are in the wrong crowd and you need to move in opposition quickly to leave no doubt in their or others minds.  

Liberalism is liberal. It is an emancipation philosophy and a joyous celebration of the creative energy of diverse peoples near and far. The liberal order is about a framework of rules that cultivates that creativity, and encourages the mutually beneficial interaction with others of great social distance overcoming such issues as language, ethnicity, race, religion, and geography.  

We are one anothers equals. There should be no confusion on this point. 

Bumping and Bargaining

At a foundation level, no one is privileged over any other in recognition of our basic humanity.

As the great practical philosophical teacher in my lifemy MomElinor Boettke, used to like to say people are people that is who we are, we just have to let each other live, and that is that.We are fallible but capable human choosers, and we exist and interact with each in a very imperfect world.  

No one of us, let alone any group of us, has access to the truth from the Almighty Above, yet we are entrusted to find rules that will enable us to live better together than we ever would in isolation. We bump into each other and we bargain with one another to try to ease the pain of bumping or avoid the bumping in the future. But, we must recognize that despite our basic human equality, we argue and we dont naturally agree with one another about how we are live our lives.

So in our bumping and bargaining with one another, it is critical to keep in mind that we will soon face severe limits on what we can agree on.  In particular, we have little hope of coming to an agreement among dispersed and diverse individuals and groups over a scale of values, of ultimate ends that man sh...


Moment of truth for refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island "IndyWatch Feed"

Australia can end this human rights tragedy. Wherever they end up eventually, the Australian government needs to immediately bring these men to safety.

Human Rights Watch Australia Director Elaine Pearson interviewing Iranian refugee Behrouz Boochani on Manus Island in September 2017. 2017 Human Rights Watch SYDNEY Since October 31, hundreds of men have barricaded themselves in an abandoned complex on a naval base where security forces have previously shot at and attacked them. Exhausted, with no power and no running water in the tropical heat, they stockpiled food, dug water wells, and collected rainwater in trash cans to drink. Now, they are dehydrated, starving, and scared.

These men are not in a war zone, though many of them have fled war in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and Sudan. They are refugees and asylum seekers trapped on remote Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. They are there because of Australias harsh refugee policies.  

The UN has described the situation as an "unfolding humanitarian emergency." On October 31, the Australian and PNG governments closed the regional processing center where these men have lived for the last four years. Other less-secure facilities are available in a town a 30-minute drive from their current location. But these men, refugees and asylum seekers, refused to leave, terrified by escalating violence against them by some local residents in the town and frustrated by the lack of a long-term solution to their predicament.

Since July 2013, male asylum seekers traveling by boat to Australia have been sent to Manus Island, while men, women and children have been sent to the isolated Pacific island nation of Nauru. As Paul Tyson wrote for openDemocracy, in real terms, it is the boat people themselves the Australian government has criminalized, dehumanized and demonized, and it is agains...


Heni Meke: from nurse to CEO "IndyWatch Feed"

An interest in supporting people with HIV/AIDS took Heni Mekes career from the frontlines as an army nurse to working in government. Now she heads Anglicare PNG, one of Papua New Guineas biggest NGOs, which has grown over the years with support from the Australian aid program. Anglicare runs a large HIV clinic in Port Moresby, which keeps 1,300 HIV-positive patients alive through anti-retroviral treatment. It also manages a nationwide adult literacy program and other development programs. 

In the latest in our 2017 Aid Profiles seriesHeni speaks to Stephen Howes about the challenges of running a complex national NGO, the impact of recent Australian aid funding cuts, and what drives her to keep going in a role that is sometimes just sleeping and work.  

Catch up on all the Aid Profiles here.

The post Heni Meke: from nurse to CEO appeared first on Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre.


Not that anyone will notice "IndyWatch Feed"

It still has to make it through the Senate, but this is progress: House Republicans pass tax reform bill.

House Republicans on Thursday passed a monumental bill to cut taxes on businesses and individuals, the biggest step yet in the GOPs once-in-a-generation effort to overhaul the American tax system. . . .

The House plan would permanently chop the corporate tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent and make other tweaks aiming to make businesses more competitive. It would reduce individual tax brackets to four from seven and make changes to several tax breaks. Among them, the bill would limit state and local deductions and the mortgage interest deduction, eliminate the personal exemption and nearly double the standard deduction.

On other matters of more interest to the media, if you were wondering about evidence and sexual harassment and what it looks like, here is an actual example. Its sort of even more obvious than the DNA on Monicas dress, and the woman was herself outraged: Senator Al Franken Kissed and Groped Me Without My Consent, And Theres Nothing Funny About It.

It doesnt much matter since the media is not trying to remove Democrats from the Senate, only trying to prevent Trump-supporting Republicans from being elected, the same approach being taken by Congressional Republicans as well. There are many reasons that the Republicans got around to finally doing something on the Trump agenda, and their clear willingness to throw away a Republican Senate seat by not defending the person who actually won the primary in Alabama is a not insignificant part of it. Really, what are they good for?

Meanwhile, the American economy is going forward, growth is accelerating and employment picking up. But since these are natural phenomena that have no relationship to who is president nor what he does, we can concentrate on what really matters, such as the sexual practices of actors and politicians in Hollywood and DC.

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Thursday, 16 November


Farmers ruin another river "IndyWatch Feed"

The Kaiapoi River is turning salty, and irrigation is to blame:

A freshwater Canterbury river is on the brink of turning into a saltwater estuary, in part due to water abstraction, new data shows.

It has blindsided some in the community and would permanently alter the river's character if the trend continued.

"The prospect of that river turning to a smelly, scum-filled seawater estuary is just totally unacceptable," Waimakariri District councillor Sandra Stewart said.

The problem is caused by farmers taking too much water from the Waimakariri River, meaning that its flow is too weak to prevent salty tidal flows from entering the Kaiapoi. The solution is obvious: reduce irrigation flows. But that means reducing farmers' profits, which was unacceptable under National. Hopefully with a different government (and a soon-to-be elected ECan) they'll be able to stop the farmers poisoning this river before its too late.


Dual citizenship: this parliament of foreigners is listing "IndyWatch Feed"

Today in The Australian

As braces of bloodhounds scour Parliament House for dual nationals, section 44(i) of the Constitution has crippled the government and, depending on the outcome in the seat of Bennelong, may make Bill Shorten prime minister.


Democracy wins in Tonga "IndyWatch Feed"

Back in August, Tonga's king dissolved the country's parliament, because he and the noble caste did not like the elected government. Yesterday, Tongans went to the polls, and re-elected Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva in a landslide. Pohiva's Democratic Party won 14 of the 17 "commoner seats", giving them an absolute majority in parliament and the ability to elect a government unchallenged.

You'd hope that the king gets the message: that it is for the people, not the monarch or the nobles, to choose governments. And hopefully Pohiva will be able to use this mandate to push for further constitutional change, such as the elimination of the noble seats and the restriction of monarchical power. Because the current situation, where a third of parliament is elected by just 33 inbred nobles, is simply unsustainable. The sooner this undemocratic power is removed, the better.


The Right And The Right Side Of History! "IndyWatch Feed"

An optimist sees the glass as half-full; A pessimist sees the glass as half-empty. Personally, Im more concerned about whether theres anything left in the bottle. Every now and then, someone will talk about mankinds current predicament and how were all going to hell and theres no hope. Others will argue that we all need

The post The Right And The Right Side Of History! appeared first on The AIM Network.


Bitcoin Uncensored about the global war on drugs "IndyWatch Feed"

Im currently working on a new, investigative book on the global war on drugs covering vast parts of the world consumed by the drug war (from Honduras to West Africa). Itll be published by Scribe in Australia, the UK and beyond in 2019.

This week I was interviewed by the US podcast, Bitcoin Uncensored, on this book, what my research has taught me so far, what legalisation/decriminalisation looks like etc. And yes, the words are out of sync (technical issues):


Modern ministerial sackings (Part One): Turnbull smashes Howards record "IndyWatch Feed"

Modern ministerial sackings (Part One): Turnbull smashes Howards recordAlan Austin analyses all Federal ministerial sackings and resignations since Gough Whitlams regime to show the Turnbull Government has by far the worst record. read now...


Section 44 (iv): where do ministerial advisers fit in? "IndyWatch Feed"

Now we are all agreed that Section 44 of the Constitution is creating the silly season of all silly seasons; but the Constitution still stands.

According to Section 44(iv):

Any person who holds any office of profit under the Crown, or any pension payable during the pleasure of the Crown out of any of the revenues of the Commonwealth

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

Now the law is clear that federal and state public servants are deemed to be persons who hold office of profit under the Crown and are ineligible unless they resign their positions prior to nomination. (Phil Cleary was a state school teacher and was knocked out.)

It is not so clear in respect of local government employees and councillors hence the hold up with the Jacqui Lambie nominee who is also the major of Devenport.

Where university staff fit in is also unclear.  Arguably they are employed the universities which are established by state legislation and there is a variety of funding sources that cover the salaries of staff.  But who knows really?  There have been a few former academics in parliament over the years Neale Blewett, for instance.

But where do ministerial advisers fit in?  They are paid by the Commonwealth.  They are surely persons who hold office of profit under the Crown.

Talk about a cat among the pigeons?  There are slews of current parliamentarians who were lobbed into their seats from being ministerial advisers.  Should they be deemed to be ineligible under section 44?

And dont just think it would be Labors problem; it is now the preferred pathway for the Coalition too.  Canavan and ODwyer spring to mind as former ministerial advisers.

Just a thought.


In which the pond is excited by fig leafs and calls on our man Flint ... "IndyWatch Feed"

All's quiet in reptile la la land, as we lose all our freedoms - oh, et tu gays with ball and chain jokes - as we learn belatedly from the lips of the chairman that print is struggling in this digital age.   

What an extraordinary insight, but how pleasing that the poodle has risen to the challenge and provided some light musical comedy relief ...

What fun for the twitterati, and how strange that print might be struggling in this digital age ...

But enough of the reptiles, because the pond was aware that this is the day things turnover at the top of the magical faraway tree known as the Spectator down under. Why is this becoming the pond's go to spot on a dull slow Friday?

Just look at what the cover offered ...


It is being suggested to Lower Clarence communities that inviting the cruise ship industry into the Clarence River estuary will bring financial gain to their towns - but will it? "IndyWatch Feed"

At this months ordinary monthly meeting Clarence Valley Council will be considering whether or not to give in principle support to the NSW Governments proposal to designate the Port of Yamba as a cruise ship destination and possibly build a cruise ship terminal in the Clarence River estuary.

The Berejiklian Government appears to be presenting this proposal as a way to increase the annual regional income of the Clarence Valley. But is it and will it?

Nowhere have I found any mention of the business model employed by the global cruise ship industry. An industry which seeks to create demand through the judicious use of political donations and paid lobbyists.

According to  Professor Ross Klein, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research, Memorial University of Newfoundland; Standing up to a cruise line can sometimes be difficult, especially given the industrys generous contributions to political campaigns, their active lobbying efforts, and their degree of influence with mass media [Klein, R. (2013) The Cruise Industrys Business Model: Implications for Ports

As an example, between 1997-2007 Cruise Line International Association spent US$10 million on lobbying the U.S Congress

In the first instance the business model used by cruise ship operators seeks to have passeng...


Day to Day Politics: And the losers were "IndyWatch Feed"

Friday 17 November 2017 1 On Tuesday this week my daughter, together with her two children, Jack 13 and Riley 11 visited for dinner. Its a standing date. Jack, who attends a Catholic college had previously told me that the boys had already openly discussed the issue of marriage equality and were on the Yes

The post Day to Day Politics: And the losers were appeared first on The AIM Network.


Global Atheist Convention cancelled for lack of interest "IndyWatch Feed"

A Global Atheist Convention was supposed to be held next February in Melbourne, Australia, but its been cancelled due to lack of interest. In a commentary for The Sydney Morning Herald, November 8, 2017, Dr.  Michael Jensen, rector of St Marks Anglican Continue reading


Roundup of Roundups "IndyWatch Feed"

The joy of insomnia, checking out past Roundups in CIS Policy.

From the Archive

John OSullivan, After Reaganism, National Review, April 21, 1997.
OSullivan takes conservatives to task for being too slow in matching the shifting positions of radicals who have nimbly moved on to map out new directions to Utopia. The Left ought to be more confused than the Right by the ideological flux of the post-Cold War world [but] it is moving more quickly to redefine the ground rules of the new political game. This game, as OSullivan calls it, is the disintegration of existing society and the replacement of traditional relations with bureaucratic management. He examines this process at work in three areas the economy, social and moral issues, and the national question of cultural or political identity.

The economy is undermined in the interests of consumer protection, workplace safety and the environment. He notes some estimates of the opportunity cost of clean-air and clean-water regulation (6 per cent of GDP) and affirmative action (4 per cent of GDP). A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon youre talking about real money. But beyond the dollar cost is the agenda of control, bringing industry under bureaucratic control without the responsibility or the bother of owning it socialism without tears.

Concern for the environment has extended to indoctrination of school children with a quasi-religious obligation to the earth or Gaia which is higher than the long-term interests of the human race. OSullivan points out that this gives the interventionist Left a whole host of silent constituents who cannot answer back, namely, the environment and the beasts.

Listening to Al Gore one wishes that the animals really could speak. If would be interesting to hear the candid opinion of the sloth on welfare, of wolves on foreign policy, and of the cuckoo on family values.

In the moral domain the Left first discredits the values of traditional society (duty, fidelity and chastity) which help society to work without close bureaucratic supervision, then tries to resolve the resulting moral problems by law and regulation. At the level of national identity, OSullivan finds the greatest threat of all in the multicultural agenda, apparently aimed at the disintegration of the American people into a babble of contending interests. According to this agenda, the ancient symbol of failed communication, the Tower of Babel, becomes the Utopian dream.

Andrew Greeley, The Other Civic America: Religion and Social Capital, The American Prospect, May 1997.
Greeley claims that religion can indeed be a source of social capital, in this case, by encouraging people to contribute their time I unpaid) for worthy causes. He drew upon two stu...


Oh dear, is the Turnbull Government asking chickens to visit the digital fox's den? "IndyWatch Feed"

The Turnbull Government has welcomed the eSafety Commissioners announcement today about the delivery of the pilot for a new national portal for reporting instances of non-consensual sharing of intimate images (colloquially known as image-based abuse or revenge pornography).  [Senator Mitch Fifield, media release,15 October 2017]

Given the dubious reputation Facebook Inc has managed to garner in relation to business ethics, transparency, consumer privacy, e-safety, data mining and data breach history, one wonders what the Minister for Communications and Liberal Senator for Victoria Mitch Fifield was thinking.

Facebook Newsroom, 9 November 2017:

Image Pilot
By Antigone Davis, Global Head of Safety

We dont want Facebook to be a...


Should Euthanasia Be Legal? A Personal Reflection. "IndyWatch Feed"

As someone with a degenerative illness for which there is no known cure, I have more than a passing interest in the euthanasia debate. My fear is not a slow and painful death. Parkinsons does not directly kill its victims. Most Parkinsons sufferers die from the complications arising from a fall that has come about because of their unsteadiness or from aspirated pneumonia that occurs because their ability to cough and swallow is impaired.

The challenge I will struggle with is the loss of agency. To date the losses have been significant but not crushing I no longer take my boat out for a night of fishing; I have given up my drivers license because I am unable to predict when my physical condition will deteriorate and I will be unable to safely control the vehicle; there are points during most days when I cannot do much but lie down and watch some telly (thanks goodness for Netflix and Stan). But most of the day I am either fully or reasonably functional. Over time this will change. The disease will eventually progress to the point at which my meds have minimal effect and I will be dependent to some degree on others to dress me, wash me, toilet me, and feed me. All this I think I can handle.

My one great fear is losing the ability to communicate, of reaching a point where people cannot understand my speech and my fingers are unable to command the keys on a computer keyboard. If I was to reach this state I suspect I might find euthanasia attractive.

Nonetheless, I am opposed to the legalising of euthanasia. A bill before the NSW parliament seeks to allow those who have a terminal illness, less than 12 months to live and are in severe pain, to take their life with the assistance of a doctor. I understand why people want this. It is an awful thing to watch someone you love stripped of their dignity, pain shooting through their body and mind, longing for a death that refuses to come.

My opposition is not grounded in the idea that to take life sees us playing God. We already do this. We give police officers the authority to use deadly force and we send soldiers to fight wars. When we are sick we dont leave our destiny in the hands of God but take medicines and have surgeries. As those who bear the image of God we are representatives of God on earth and quite rightly assume some of the prerogatives of the divine.

Nor is my opposition grounded in the idea that it is always wrong for a person to take their life. We are to cherish life, but the right to life is not absolute. There are occasions in which we do take life and I dont see it as problematic extending that principle to the reduction of suffering in terminal patients.

The reason I oppose the legalising of euthanasia is that it introduces terrible emotional complexities for both the sufferer and their loved ones.

Palliative Care...


In which the pond will have its savvy Savva, no matter the hour of the day ... "IndyWatch Feed"

Dammit, just because the Oreo is handy for everything, including scientific observations of the universe, the pond almost gave up doing its savvy Savva Thursday ...

The Oreo's almost as pervasive as the aquatic weeds in Ballarat's Lake Wendouree the pond decided it would send in the chopper so it could enjoy some quality time with the Savva, herself beset by saucy fears and doubts this day ...

Note the subtle way that the lizard sub altered the google text of Malware being bolstered by the 'yes' vote for the battles ahead to a simple fear-mongering PM faces perils ahead ...

Perhaps the Savva had a moan because in later copy the sub pulled a ninja trick ...

Kung fu eastern suburbs harbourside ma...


Did you know PDT has just come back from Asia? "IndyWatch Feed"

Among the other things that have been submerged by the Senate race in Alabama has been Donald Trumps singular successes on his tour of Asia. The OZ, being slightly less demented than the rest, still finds it hard to actually say something positive about the American president. So here is Rowan Callick to prevent us from being deceived by appearances: Trumps Asian tour had an air of success. He is no doubt referring to himself in his own first line.

Donald Trumps loudest critics have been confounded.

The US President did not embarrass himself, his office or his country during his tour of Asia the longest since George HW Bushs visit 25 years ago.

However, that is the best that can be said. The bar was set low.

Im becoming a patience-free zone with this kind of thing even with my own bar for journalist standards the lowest it has ever been. But really, such low-grade coverage puts our future at risk since it tears away at our alliance with the US. Lots of ignorance to choose from but let me focus on this:

There was no evidence . . . that the Trump administration has even tried to address with China the core issues that concern American and other international businesses, especially market access and the technology regime.

It appears China had been expecting tough negotiations on such issues. As soon as Trump had left, Beijing announced autonomously several market-opening moves that it had thought the US leader would have pushed for.

So it seems Trump didnt ask for a thing and they gave it to him anyway. But then there was also this.

As trade studies Trump has ordered start being published, new rules for engagement are expected to be drafted in the US, which will require reciprocity on access and policing technology transfers.

Well that sounds like something.


Ponzi Scheme "IndyWatch Feed"

What is a Ponzi Scheme

A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investing scam promising high rates of return with little risk to investors.

The Ponzi scheme generates returns for older investors by acquiring new investors.

This is similar to a pyramid scheme in that both are based on using new funds to pay the earlier backers. For both Ponzi schemes and pyramid schemes, eventually there isnt enough money to go around, and the schemes unravel.

A Ponzi scheme is an investment fraud where clients are promised a large profit at little to no risk.

Companies that engage in a Ponzi scheme focus all of their energy into attracting new clients to make investments. This new income is used to pay original investors their returns, marked as a profit from a legitimate transaction. Ponzi schemes rely on a constant flow of new investments to continue to provide returns to older investors. When this flow runs out, the scheme falls apart.

Ponzi Scheme: Origins
The first notorious Ponzi scheme was orchestrated by a man named Charles Ponzi in 1919. The postal service, at that time, had developed international reply coupons that allowed a sender to pre-purchase postage and include it in their correspondence. The receiver would take the coupon to a local post office and exchange it for the priority airmail postage stamps needed to send a reply. With the constant fluctuation of postage prices, it was common for stamps to be more expensive in one country than another.

Ponzi hired agents to purchase cheap international reply coupons in other countries and send them to him. He would then exchange those coupons for stamps that were more expensive than the coupon was originally purchased for. The stamps were then sold as a profit.

This type of exchange is known as an arbitrage, which is not an illegal practice....


Malcolm Turnbull, Manus and New Zealand: Time to let these people go "IndyWatch Feed"

Malcolm Turnbull, Manus and New Zealand: Time to let these people goNew Zealand has offered sanctuary to 150 refugees Australia has marooned on Manus Island, but our Malcolm Turnbull has refused to allow it. read now...


Jeffrey Tucker: A Beginners Guide to Bitcoin Chaos "IndyWatch Feed"

I cant remember a nuttier weekend in the history of Bitcoin than this one. Thats because the action gets more exciting by the day, with deeper plots, more options, growing complexities, and financial and personal drama all around.

You know why? Because this technology matters enormously for the future of the world. Its Day One in the birth of a new way of doing business.

My own Twitter and instant messaging blew up with questions, assertions, declarations, and anathemas. I loved every minute, but thats because I enjoy this world. Outsiders just getting into Bitcoin must be completely confused or even terrified.

I can only imagine what it must be like for someone who ventured into Bitcoin within the last 30 days. They must be wondering what kind of circus this is, especially if these people became curious and started examining the vibrant sector of Bitcoin news organizations. You can read this material all day and leave more confused than ever.

And it is true: Bitcoin is more confusing now than it ever has been. Its the last place anyone thought we would be five years ago, but such is the nature of an emerging and massively disruptive technology. Its going to be a long time before it is as easy and inevitable as electricity.

What exactly was going on? I could not begin to give a full account even if I did understand it all. Ive got no real dog in the fight taking place right now but rather write as an enthusiastic observer and minor participant in the most exciting technological drama of my lifetime. Its extremely hard to write about this for the uninitiated without seeming to speak Klingon, but here is my attempt.


Essentially a new currency called Bitcoin Cash (a fork from the main chain, meaning that all previous Bitcoin owners also own Bitcoin Cash) came into its own, after having been declared dead only a few weeks ago. I heard for weeks that this thing called BCH was going to zerojust before it didnt. It did the opposite.

The shock was (and is) palpable. For years, people have been wondering if Bitcoin could forever maintain its top spot in the cryptocurrency world, given just how much competition is out there. Anyone can make a token. Surely Bitcoin could be challenged at some point.

Two nights ago, the least likely candidate emerged from the pack. Plain-old Bitcoin (BTC) is still #1 is market capitalization at $...


The Friendliest Cities in the World "IndyWatch Feed"

The worlds destinations have been ranked according levels of happiness, friendliness, safety and treatment of tourists with some unexpected cities topping the list.

In a list released by holiday website Travelbird, Australia has been poorly represented with only Sydney and Melbourne recognised in the top 100.

Australians are renowned worldwide for their friendliness and jovial nature but it seems tourists arent impressed with the land Down Under when it comes to safety and welcoming travellers with open arms.

Travel experts and tourists who have jetted around the world were quizzed on their perceptions of each city they visited, and Australian destinations were harshly ranked by overseas holidaymakers.

Both Sydney and Melbourne were evenly matched in the overall happiness of citizens both scoring a pleasant nine out of 10 but it was the Nordic city of Oslo which took out the number one spot as happiest destination in the world with a perfect 10 score.

Trailing close behind Oslo on the happiness scale is Copenhagen in Denmark, while Reykjavik in Iceland made third place and three consecutive Swiss cities held down places four, five and six.

Buy Silver at Discounted Prices

European and Scandinavian cities dominated the top 10 happiest locations in the world but right behind Toronto, Canada, was Auckland at number 11 and Melbourne and Sydney tying at 9/10 for happiness too.

The cities with the unhappiest locals were found to be Kiev in Ukraine, Phnom Penh in Cambodia and New Delhi in India.

The next category each city was ranked in was safety sourced from United Nations data which investigated the perception of security and how safe people feel.

An unexpected winner of this department was the UAE city of Abu Dhabi with a perfect score, while Melbourne sat at 49th place and Sydney at 58th, likely because of the thre...


The end of Robert and Grace Mugabe at last "IndyWatch Feed"

It is perhaps too early to celebrate, but it seems that the Mugabes have been deposed. The tyranny of Mugabe knew no bounds, he raped and pillaged Zimbabwe and turned the once proud country to his personal fiefdom. Put on the throne with the support of Malcolm Fraser, Robert Mugabe is one of the most evil tyrants on the planet.

Robert and Grace Mugabe can be compared to  Nicolae and Elena Ceauescu, of Romania. Ceauescu. Elena was even more tyrannical than her husband; Grace looked like being the same compared to Robert.

As the Ceauescus stood on the balcony that day 22 December 1989, they were jeered. They were stunned having never heard anything but sycophantic utterings from acolytes.  They were arrested shortly after, taken to trial on 25 December 1989 and then summarily shot by firing squad (reportedly Ceauescu sang the Internationale as the bullets rang out).

Sic semper tyrannis.

Perhaps the Mugabes will avoid execution, but they well and truly deserve such a fate. France has long provided a home to deposed tyrants dictators maybe the Mugabes will move to Paris?


Introducing John Pilger into the Melbourne Press Club Hall of Fame "IndyWatch Feed"

The Melbourne Press Club periodically inducts journalists into its Hall of Fame.

I was asked to write the profile and be interviewed about John Pilger, one of Australias most famous journalistic exports:

During his acceptance speech for the Sydney Peace Prize in 2009, Australian journalist, author and film-maker John Pilger articulated a worldview that he has vociferously opposed during a career spanning more than 50 years. Democracy has become a business plan, he said, with a bottom line for every human activity, every dream, every decency, every hope. The main parliamentary parties are now devoted to the same economic policies socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor and the same foreign policy of servility to endless war.

Pilgers decades-long work in print and television has transformed him into one of the most successful and awarded Australian journalists in the modern era, yet this has not brought him universal praise from his media colleagues or a profession that often prefers safe insiders and embedded realities. Pilger is too confrontational towards state power and his industry to be widely adored and he embraces being the eternal dissident.

In the introduction to a 2004 collection of fine investigative journalism from around the world, Tell Me No Lies, edited by Pilger, he warned that the proliferation of public relations forced reporters to take an even more adversarial position towards governments and corporate power. Political and historical context is everything and Pilger rightly demanded more discussion about the hundreds of illegal [American] covert operations, many of them bloody that have denied political and economic self-determination to much of the world.

Pilger has spent years visiting the sites of these often silent wars, genocides and occupations from East Timor to Palestine and Australia to Vietnam. He has never been a cheerleader for our side and his journalism is stronger because of it.

In his classic 1986 book, Heroes, Pilger wrote that he had grown up in one of the most fortunate cities on earth. Born in Sydney in 1939 to socialist parents Elsie and Claude, he was brought up in Bondi and developed a love of swimming that continued his entire life. With a working class background, his journalism career began as a copy boy on the now defunct Sydney Sun newspaper.

As a cadet on Sydneys Daily Telegraph, Pilger soon discovered what he viewed as the dark heart of modern journalism. Writing in Heroes, he explained that writing one thing and believing another was the way the system worked and to do otherwise was...


Imagining a sporting/tourist boycott of Australia "IndyWatch Feed"

After 25 years of increasingly extreme Australian policies against asylum seekers both onshore and offshore, perhaps its time to think about more active measures to change course.

I was interviewed by the Guardian about my suggestions:

The author and journalist Antony Loewenstein is attempting to open up another front in the campaign against offshore detention. He has argued for some time that an international boycott of Australia over Manus is a key way to pressure the government. He wants to see a sporting and tourism boycott, and a boycott of companies profiting from onshore and offshore detention.

Protest is vital but the old methods have failed to change decades of bipartisan support for mandatory detention of asylum seekers and other human rights violations, Loewenstein told the Guardian.


Is it time to boycott Australia over its refugee policies? "IndyWatch Feed"

My following article appears in Australian news outlet, Crikey:

Lets talk about boycotting Australia.

Australias war on asylum seekers at Manus Island, Nauru and other privatised detention facilities on the Australian mainland is seemingly unstoppable by traditional means. While condemned by every human rights organisation in the world, Canberra is unmoved. The demonisation of (mostly) brown and Muslim individuals is an effective tool for politicians as well as many in the Murdoch and tabloid press to whip up fear and aggression against outsiders. And its been working for 25 years with Australia now inspiring hardline European policies.

When politics and international law fail to intervene if abuses occur, alternative tactics are required. Supporting a tourist and sporting boycott is one way to draw local and international attention to Australias mistreatment of refugees. It would inevitably lead to a hardening of views among some Australians, and vicious opposition by many in the media who would label it unrealistic or extreme but thats exactly the point. Business-as-usual ideas have failed for more than two decades. Its time to try something new.

Back in 2014, I wrote in The Guardian that the United Nations should impose sanctions on Australia over its asylum seeker policies. Then and now it was a highly contentious view, and the UN is a deeply flawed and corrupt body itself, but my aim was to make Australians realise that turning a blind eye to what was happening on Manus Island and elsewhere should come with a tangible, economic price. In other words, lets turn capitalism against a rich, capitalist country.

In 2015, I wrote in The Guardian again about boycotting companies, and divesting from them through shareholder activism, that financially benefited from Australias refugee policies. This included Serco, G4S and International Health and Medical Services. Earlier this year, when I raised the idea...


This is what you get when a politician has never had a real job "IndyWatch Feed"

Dr Jim Chalmers, for a doctor he is, is the (ALP) Shadow Minister for Finance. According to his public biography, Dr Chalmers work experience is limited to being a public servant, an academic, a policy researcher, a lobbyist and a political staffer. And not just any political staffer, but Chief of Staff to the Universes greatest Treasurer, the Hon. Wayne Swan.

The closest experience Dr Chalmers has to business is advising Wayne Swan on how to increase business taxes.  But notwithstanding his extensive commercial and investment experience, Dr Chalmers is now proposing that the Australian tax payers:

fund business ventures that cannot gain access to private finance.

Breathtaking isnt it.

Note to Dr Chalmers.  When a business, particularly a start up business cannot gain access to private finance, that is usually because investors (those people whose own money is on the line) dont think the business is a goer.

Dr Chalmers it seems, wants to turn the Commonwealth Department of Finance into a venture capital enterprise:

I want to make the case for an engaged finance ministry with a renewed focus on co-investment and for an entrepreneurial state as a source of new inclusive growth

Government as an entrepreneur.  Yeah.  That will go well.  Howz that return on the NBN investment going?

Dr Chalmers does not propose to use his own personal money to co-invest nor does he propose to use the Australian Labor Partys money.  Nope.   He wants to use tax payers money.  He thinks that he and the Department of Finance will be better at picking which businesses to invest in; better than those people investing their own money.

Perhaps rather than raising capital for his investment fund by taxing citizen (at the point of a gun), he should try first to raise voluntary money by pitching his and the Department Finances investment bona-fides to private investors.  Lets see how much voluntary money he can raise.

Yep.  This is going to work a treat.  I wonder how many of those non tax paying union business enterprises will be knocking on the door.  Not to mention every other half baked idea misreading the market.

Maybe the Hon...


In which the pond learns to like an Oreo a day, while a bonus bromancer never goes astray ... "IndyWatch Feed"

There was no way that the pond could walk around it, though the thought of an Oreo on a Thursday, in company of the bromancer, was vaguely sick-inducing ...

An Oreo a day? Where would it end?

Say what?

Damn you Oreo, damn you to hell ... let the real Oreo stand up ...

Back, and as barking mad as usual ...

Who else but the Oreo could scribble "The freedom of the political right is distinctive. It is not anarchy. It is the form of freedom that provides the spiritual, social, economic and political foundations for the flourishing of Western civilisation ..."

Or perhaps the flourishing...


Is this coming to a neighbourhood near you? "IndyWatch Feed"

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australias second biggest export in 2016 was coal.  It accounted for around $42.3 billion. Of note, Australias top 10 exports in 2016 accounted for $330 billion, so coal was more than 10% of that.

Spartacus does not have a time series at hand, but one might venture that coal has been in Australias export top 3 for many a year.

There are those amongst us who seek to not only stop coal electricity generation in Australia, but to stop the extraction and export of coal in/from Australia.

What might happen, and lets just assumes that the RBA does not jack up interest rates to prevent major AUD correction.  Aside from the impact on (direct and indirect) jobs in Australia, the loss of some 10% of Australias exports would likely put downward pressure on the Australian dollar. Yes, perhaps some of that downward pressure might be picked up by relatively more competitive other exports, but still there would be downward pressure on the AUD.

With a weaker AUD, the price of imports (once denominated in AUD) will invariably rise making things like mobile phones more expensive.

What are the odds that a future Federal Labor Government, or even a future Liberal National Government, will implement a Building the Social Network Revolution program.  You know, so that the government can better communicate with citizens. Under the BSNR, all school children, pensioners and unemployed would be issued with new Apple iPhones. And everyone else will receive a 40% rebate.

Not that ridiculous a scenario.

You know it makes sense.

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus


Horse trading "IndyWatch Feed"

In their coalition agreement, Labour and New Zealand First agreed to pass a "waka jumping" law, preventing MPs from switching parties. Now, it looks like the Greens will support it to keep the coalition peace. But naturally, they want something in return:

The Green Party is considering opposing NZ First's "Waka Jumping" bill - a deal struck in coalition talks - unless Labour gives it a national "Parihaka Day".

Green Party justice spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman, in an internal email obtained by Stuff, suggested some horse trading with Labour to acknowledge the fact the party has long opposed waka jumping legislation.

Ghahraman's suggested her colleague Marama Davidson's bill, which recognises the anniversary of the invasion of Parihaka by making it a National Day, be put on the table for Government support.

Waka-jumping laws are undemocratic, prevent the natural formation and evolution of parties, and give too much power to parties and their leadership to stifle dissent. At the same time, I don't think this is worth dying in a ditch over. It sounds as if there's been some additional limits on the ability of parties to throw out members, and if they sunset clause it for the end of the Parliamentary term, then its something that can be accepted in the name of getting along. And that said, the Greens should not let themselves be taken for granted, and its entirely right that they ask for something in exchange. If Labour and NZ First don't like that, then they're welcome to seek National's support instead.


Austerity kills "IndyWatch Feed"

Tory austerity has murdered 120,000 people in the UK since 2010:

The Conservatives have been accused of economic murder for austerity policies which a new study suggests have caused 120,000 deaths.

The paper found that there were 45,000 more deaths in the first four years of Tory-led efficiencies than would have been expected if funding had stayed at pre-election levels.

On this trajectory that could rise to nearly 200,000 excess deaths by the end of 2020, even with the extra funding that has been earmarked for public sector services this year.

The study attributes this to cuts in health and social spending. It attributes 10% of the death toll to cuts in the number of nurses. And those cuts have led directly to the deaths of people. Just as the Grenfell Tower fire was social murder, a result of "cutting red tape", this is economic murder, a result of cutting the vital services people depend upon to protect their lives. And in both cases, the architects of that murder, the policy-makers who cruelly cut those vital protections, need to be held criminally accountable for it.

Meanwhile, here in New Zealand National pursued a similar strategy of health cuts. How many people have they murdered?


NSW family hooked up to free power, as sonnenFlat deal rolls out across Australia "IndyWatch Feed"

The first of the Australian households to take up the offer of free energy from German battery storage maker Sonnen, are having their systems installed, leaving them completely free from electricity costs for two years and paving the way for Sonnen to become a player in the national energy market.

Sonnen whose original SonneFlat deal, launched in July, promised households who bought one of their home battery systems would pay nothing for energy but a monthly fee of between $30-$50 upgraded that deal in September, waiving the monthly fee and offering no cost at all for 24 months for the first 2000 customers to buy batteries.

Chris Parratt, the head of Sonnen Australia, says that since then, the company has experienced two months of ridiculous sales, which have doubled in the last month, as solar households scramble to take up the offer of battery storage at no cost for two years. Why wouldnt you take the extra...


Weaponising Section 44: The Australian Constitution and the demise of politics "IndyWatch Feed"

Weaponising Section 44: The Australian Constitution and the demise of politicsUntil the December disclosure deadline arrives, both sides of politics are using s44 of the Constitution as a weapon to weaken the other side, says Dr Binoy Kampmark. read now...


The same question, again "IndyWatch Feed"

The Independent Police Conduct authority has found that police used unjustified force, including pepper spray, to effect an unlawful arrest:

A Lower Hutt man who was pepper sprayed by officers trying to serve a trespass notice on him was within his rights to stop them entering his home and should never have been arrested, the police watchdog says.

The man complained to the Independent Police Conduct Authority that the officer who pepper sprayed him in his apartment complex on 23 December 2015 also kicked him and deliberately forced his arm up behind his back while he was being led away.

The authority has determined the officer did not kick the man and the force used to escort him from the building was not excessive - but it was unjustified.

Its chairman, Judge Colin Doherty, said the complainant, who was trying to close the door on the officers, had clearly revoked permission for them to be there, which meant they were trespassing and the arrest was unlawful.

The police could simply have served the notice on the victim by dropping it at his feet. Instead, they invaded his home, assaulted him with a weapon, and kidnapped him. If you or I did that, we would be prosecuted and would be facing up to 14 years in jail. So, to ask the obvious question again, why aren't the police? Or does the law simply not apply to them?

If the law is to mean anything, it must apply to those who enforce it as well as those they enforce it on. As long as police officers feel they are above the law, they will continue misbehaving and treating New Zealanders with contempt. These officers must be prosecuted, pour encourager les autres.


Forget are we there yet let me outta here! "IndyWatch Feed"

As parliament and political commentary are consumed by the citizenship debacle and the same-sex marriage legislation, the country lurches along with no clear direction on all the other things that matter. That is in no way to make little of the results of the survey its just that we all knew what they would

The post Forget are we there yet let me outta here! appeared first on The AIM Network.


The public should be shocked, dismayed and disgusted at the major banks "IndyWatch Feed"

The public should be shocked, dismayed and disgusted at the major banks

ANZ and NAB have settled with ASIC over manipulation of the Bank Bill Swap Rate.

Pat McConnell, Macquarie University The Australian public should be dismayed and disgusted that the major banks are still attempting to cover up the extent of their complicity in manipulating the Bank Bill Swap Rate (BBSW), a key interest rate benchmark. For years, the banks covered up the involvement of their traders in manipulating not only interest rate but also foreign exchange benchmarks, by attempting to outspend the corporate regulator, ASIC, in the courts, using shareholders money. Faced with publication of the evidence they...

Wednesday, 15 November


Too much of our current debate "IndyWatch Feed"

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus


The Trans-Pacific Partnership is back: Why lobbyists are pushing "IndyWatch Feed"

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is back: experts respond

Deborah Gleeson, La Trobe University; Belinda Townsend, Australian National University; Kimberlee Weatherall, University of Sydney; Pat Ranald, University of Sydney, and Peter Robertson, University of Western Australia

The latest incarnation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is said to have fewer bad bits. But as our experts point out below, theres still a great deal wrong with, or missing from, the regional free trade agreement.

The new TPP is informally known as the TPP11, after the United States pulled out of the original 12-country bloc earlier this year.

While the agreement has not yet been finalised, the 11 trade ministers have released a statement saying that the core elements have been agreed.

Twenty provisions from the original TPP have been s...


Marriage equality: Don't be distracted by false conflicts with natural allies "IndyWatch Feed"

Marriage equality: Don't be distracted by false conflicts with natural alliesMike Dowson says presumptions and false conflicts keep us distracted from our common enemy the privileged. read now...

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