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Fifty years ago, the film Guess Whos Coming to Dinner challenged social norms by exposing the discrimination faced by inter-racial couples. In those days, it was considered unnatural for whites to marry blacks. Some people may still feel this way but the wider community has thankfully and rightly moved on from such ignorant prejudice. It
Sunday 24 September 2017 At the time of writing the following countries supported marriage equality. This is my final lengthy contribution on the subject. Argentina (2010) Denmark (2012) Greenland (2015) The Netherlands (2000) South Africa (2006) Belgium (2003) England / Wales (2013) Iceland (2010) New Zealand (2013) Spain (2005) Brazil (2013) Finland (2015) Ireland (2015)
The post Day to Day Politics: ITS TIME Marriage Equality my final contribution. appeared first on The AIM Network.
By Julie Grint Many issues about human rights are dear to me as a former refugee. Two of these issues: the genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar by the military junta and the inhumane and cruel treatment of asylum seekers by the Australian government in defiance of the United Nations, Amnesty
The post Australias shameful treatment of refugees and asylum seekers must end appeared first on The AIM Network.
(Demolition of Tennyson power station in Brisbane
now the site of the Brisbane Tennis Centre.)
Technically it would be harder to have a hot potato issue without electricity. Amongst other things, electricity makes it far easier to create the hot potato in the first place, as well as light, heating and cooling, traffic control, transport and giving you the ability to read this article.
However, if you listen to the Coalition who, in their best Hanrahan, are crying well all be rooned if any more of the coal fired power stations around Australia are allowed to close. The justification is that we need power that we can switch on and off like a lightbulb (pun intended). The problem with the justification is that there are other and better ways of getting power on demand.
Turnbull and his Coalition colleagues are not even sure what they want. At the Australian Forest Products Association Industry dinner in Canberra on 12 September 2017, Turnbulls remarks included
So weve taken action. Recently we commissioned the energy market operator AEMO, to analyse the future of dispatchable power in our energy market, in the immediate, short term, medium term and longer term.Apart from the illogical leaps of faith, the fundamental problem with Turnbulls speech is that the use of the terms dispatchable and baseload in connection with power production are...
Their finding, that youll have all read about in the news, is that the closure of Liddell power station in New South Wales in 2022 will create a large gap in reliable baseload power, in the national electricity market, the east coast essentially and South Australia.
Ive made it clear that we will not allow this gap in baseload power to occur.
So naturally we are exploring all options to fill this gap. We cannot have another event like the closure of Hazelwood, which whatever you may think of the Hazelwood power station, its closure at such short notice, taking so much dispatchable power out of the energy market, caused a dramatic rise in wholesale energy prices.
In New South Wales alone, it was over $50 a megawatt hour, nearly double the wholesale price of electricity. So you know ideology and good intentions are not enough; you have to be very hard-headed about this.
Thats why Israels policy regarding the nuclear deal with Iran is very simple: Change it or cancel it. Fix it or nix it. (Benjamin Netanyahu, UN General Assembly Address, 2017). While he is very much the traditional politician, whose sheen has been corrupted, whose approach to policy merits suspicion, Israels Benjamin Netanyahu was happy with
The post Benjamin Netanyahu, Penguins and the United Nations appeared first on The AIM Network.
QUEENSLAND graziers could be forced to shoot their cattle as parts of the state are savaged by soaring temperatures on top of an extended drought.
AgForce cattle president Bim Struss said if the rain didnt come soon, some graziers would be faced with no option but to shoot their cattle as the feed ran out and the animals grew too weak to be moved to market, putting them down for their own welfare.
Mr Struss said the devastating decision to euthanase could be forced on graziers in southeast Queensland hammered by the dry, early, soaring 40C-plus temperatures and sold-out or hard to find fodder and supplements.
He said many operators in western Queensland had already destocked selling their cattle on while they could still be moved.
He said he, like other graziers, had destocked and saved their paddocks for the rain that would eventually come.
He said areas roughly north of a line from Townsville to Mt Isa had received good rain and were having a better year.
It comes as Brisbane looks set to endure its driest September on record, with no rain having fallen at all this month.
An afternoon thunderstorm forecast for later today may break the two-month-long dry spell which has seen only 5mm of rainfall in Brisbane since July 20.
The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast a high chance of showers and a gusty thunderstorm with a top of 28C today.
Weatherzone meteorologist Graeme Brittain said conditions are shaping up for the seasons first real summer afternoon thunderstorm.
Its time for some animated action! Entertainment editor John Turnbull checks out two of the best adult cartoons around the downbeat BoJack Horseman and the anarchic Rick and Morty. read now...
And the week finished on a spectacularly self-mutilating note for the No side, with Cory Bernardi and Tony Abbott inadvertently exposing the dark spite at its crippled heart through a couple of straw-clutching stunts that only served to reveal the dire lack of substance in the anti-marriage equality tripe. Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott yesterday
By Dr George Venturini Heinz Alfred Henry Kissinger obtained a Ph.D. at Harvard University in 1954. His interest was on Castelreagh and Metternich two empire builders. He devoted his life to sublimate them. In an incendiary, studiedly defamatory book the late Christopher Hitchens described him as a mediocre and opportunist academic [intent on] becoming
While the Coalition blame blackouts and rising energy prices on renewable energy and call for an end to subsidies, the real culprits are going unnoticed. Aluminium smelters are the biggest user of electricity in Australia about 15% of total generation. They are also the most highly subsidised industry and have been since they began
The contest over the Marriage Law Survey has caused many to get involved whether they want to or not especially the family and friends of gay Australians read now...
And the week finished on a spectacularly self-mutilating note for the No side, with Cory Bernardi and Tony Abbott inadvertently exposing the dark spite at its crippled heart through a couple of straw-clutching stunts that only served to reveal the dire lack of substance in the anti-marriage equality tripe. Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott yesterday 
Saturday 23 September 2017 In writing this I will probably be accused of again drawing too much attention to Tony Abbott. That is in fact precisely what Im doing, and with some satisfaction, I might add. Besides being a pathological liar, Tony Abbott is a noted pugilist who in the past has thrown a few
The post Day to Day Politics: Is Tony never to be credited when he speaks the truth? appeared first on The AIM Network.
BHP, the worlds largest mining company, has demonstrated its clout by firing the head of the Minerals Council of Australia, Brendan Pearson. Amongst the most competent and seasoned energy specialists in Australia, Brendan had led the MCA with self-effacing charm.
He had sought to ensure an integrity in the organisation (this being the second most important of BHPs stated values clearly trumped by the organisations view of it first stated value sustainability). MCA commissioned GHD to do the basic research on the costs of new coal in Australian generation; though careful to doff a hat to Political Correctness by measuring only high cost HELE (high efficiency low emissions) plant it estimated the costs at under $50 per MWh, much less than half of the costs of unreliable wind and solar. Such costing confirmed those of my own, which were developed by examining costs of the most recently commissioned Australian generator and estimating cost increases in coal, labour and capital since then.
Perhaps because its executives have caught the greenhouse climate change disease or perhaps because they fear the campaigning left, BHP has been in the forefront of politically correct statements on the issue.
It was a major supporter of the Gillard carbon tax and contributed heavily to funding the ALP taxpayer floated think-tank, the Grattan Institute, for which it also got a free pas from the ALP to pursue its unconsummated takeover of its iron ore rival Rio.
BHP bankrolls organisations like the World Resources Institute to give it a clean bill of health as a greenhouse gas emitter, claiming that its in-house and related emissions have been halved to about 18 million tonnes of CO2. Of course that excludes its sales of the fiendish emitting products which involve some 70 million tonnes of coal and maybe half that in terms of gas and petroleum.
Coal and petroleum contribute $3.8 billion and $4.1 billion respectively to gross profits with only iron ore greater at $9.2 billion though this itself like the other major commodity copper (earning $3.5 billion in gross profits) is valueless without subsequent use of fossil fuels for processing.
The key Australian manager and deliverer of the death blow was Mike Henry who has overseen impressive cost cutting and for this may even be worth his $4.5 million a year remuneration. Henry doubtless believes that the world must move out of carbon fuels but there is no path for the Bad Australian to achieve this. Indeed in a delicious irony, its South Australian smelter lost $138 million as a result of the wind-induced state blackout debacle last year, a coal replacement strateg...
Ill be in Canberra for the first three days of next week for the meeting of the History of Economic Thought Society of Australia where I will be giving a presentation on the actual meaning and significance of classical economic theory. I am therefore putting up a post from way back in history that I did in 2011, so ancient that Maurice Newman was the Chairman of the ABC and I was still being published at The Drum. The rest of this post is what I said then. But before I get to that, I will put up this quote from a brief article on me [my name even comes first in the articles title!] which you may find in the June issue of the Journal of the History of Economic Thought:
Steven Kates is probably the best-known present-day proponent of the old classical macroeconomics of Jean-Baptiste Say, James Mill, David Ricardo, and John Stuart Mill.
But as I say in the heading to the slide, I am probably the best-known because I am probably the only one in existence. It was also, let me assure you, not intended as a compliment. Anyway, here is what I wrote back then.
I have an article up at The ABCs Drum website where I again look at the statement by the ABCs Chairman, Maurice Newman, on the value of classical economic theory in comparison with the modern. Here was the full quote from his speech:
We may think we are all Keynesians now, but perhaps contemporary teachings of Keynes are not faithful to the original doctrine, or, maybe, Keynes is now a defunct economist. Perhaps post modernist economics has so captivated our journalists that they have suspended the spirit of enquiry, open-mindedness and scrutiny that an informed democracy so desperately needs.
Under relentless pressure, classical economics has become all but a relic of a bygone era. Yet the work of classical economists most likely holds the solution to todays economic ills.
The point that Maurice Newman was making was that journalist really ought to take a look at the economic ideas of the classical economists, which using the modern Keynesian definition incorporate every economist before Keynes himself, with the exception of Malthus, Hobson, Major Douglas and Gesell (who these last three are you might very well ask, but this is Keyness very own and very short list). As for the rest, they were consigned by Keynes to the dustbin of history, whose theories are only kept alive by a very small band of economists scattered across the world.
In the article, I quote Alfred Marshall, arguably the greatest economist to emerge fr...
Recently I heard about a suffragette who threw a brick through a window early last century. Because of this, we should have never given women the vote. Ok, ok, I know thats a ridiculous argument for two reasons: Why should the violent actions of one person deprive others of their rights? Women in Australia already
The post Why Women Should Never Have Been Given The Vote And Sundry Other Matters appeared first on The AIM Network.
Australian factories are at risk of shutting down and sacking workers as the nations gas exporters starve local customers in favour of overseas clients, according to a dire warning from the competition watchdog that clears the way for a gas crackdown.
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission slammed the three gas giants in a clear sign to Malcolm Turnbull to impose the extraordinary export mechanism in order to guarantee supplies to Australian manufacturers and power stations and ease pressure on power prices.
The federal government may be faced with a choice of pulling a trigger on the mechanism on the one hand or seeing factories closed and jobs lost, ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.
Scott Morrison will receive formal advice on the crisis within weeks amid a wider government debate on energy policy, with Tony Abbott applying more pressure yesterday to prevent the government embracing a clean energy target that favours renewable power.
The Prime Minister vowed to act on the gas shortage and stepped up his support for a new coal-fired power station in Queensland, while insisting the Coalition was absolutely of one mind on energy despite Mr Abbotts implied threat to cross the floor of parliament.
Cabinet ministers are yet to decide the energy policy but Mr Turnbull emphasised the need to improve reliability and affordability, making no mention of a clean energy target or an increase in subsidies to renewable energy.
The Australian understands the government is considering a new framework to encourage investment in more power generation but this is not the clean energy target in the form recommended by Chief Scientist Alan Finkel in a report in June. Bill Shorten has demanded the government immediately pull the trigger on the gas export controls, which will force Origin Energy, Shell and Santos to supply more to the domestic market.
In a sign of the pressure on employers, Mr Sims said Bass Strait gas producers BHP and Esso were running reverse auctions to ration supplies, leaving some customers without energy despite their willingness to pay.
Mr Sims also blamed state governments for halting the development of new gas reserves, saying environmental concerns might justify some restrictions but not blanket bans an apparent warning shot at the bans in Victoria, NSW and the Northern Territory.
The ACCCs findings suggest there will need to be tight controls on gas exports from January 1, when the mechanism starts after the government gives the companies a chance to respond to its conclusions.
Those who criticise consideration of the gas security mechanism need to understand all the options available right now. There are not many. This is a very, very bad place to be, Mr Sims told the National P...
How bad is National's New Zealand?
Whole families are homeless and sleeping in doorways:
A homeless family-of-eight are among those sleeping rough on the streets of south Auckland.
The couple and their six children were recently found lying in the entry of the Manurewa Citizens Advice Bureau by its board chairman Gordon Myer when he arrived for work two mornings in a row.
"They lay matting in the area and set their beds up in the foyer," he says.
"There's another group of people who sleep around the back. There's about seven or eight of them."
To be a right winger these days, you have to be good at playing the victim. Victim-playing defines the behaviour of right wingers from the Prime Minister and his in-fighting colleagues, throughout the right-wing business world, all the way down to the rank and file right-wing-trolls on social media. This is not just an Australian
A series of big earthquakes in less than 24 hours could have been caused by seismic waves travelling along fault lines and triggering ruptures.
All were along the Ring of Fire that stretches around the Pacific from New Zealand to Chile through Indonesia, Japan, and California, in which 90 per cent of quakes happen.
Earthquakes in New Zealand, Japan, Vanuatu, Indonesia, Tonga, Taiwan, and Papua New Guinea over past 24 hours could be caused by seismic waves travelling along fault lines
There was also a big earthquake in Mexico that killed more than 230, but despite the country falling in the Ring, experts ruled out a connection to the other quakes.
Seismologists admitted the cluster of quakes, along with others near Tonga (5.0), Taiwan (5.3), and Papua New Guinea (5.2), on the same day was unusual.
It is unusual, theres no doubt about that, its been really busy, University of Melbournes Gary Gibson told Daily Mail Australia.
I must say these unusual clusters happen fairly often and it seems they are not totally random, we just dont know why.
Phil Cummins at Geoscience Australia and the Australian National University suggested seismic waves cascading along fault lines could be responsible.
He said waves could also jump between nearby fault lines and....
This is a twitter stream on Big Brother and Protecting Elections which really is not just funny but also relevant and serious. And speaking of Facebook, let me also mention this: Mark Zuckerbergs Fake News Problem Isnt Going Away. From which:
In early September, Facebook disclosed that it sold $100,000 in political ads during the 2016 election to buyers who it later learned were connected to the Russian government. Richard Burr of North Carolina and Mark Warner of Virginia, the most senior Republican and Democratic members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, have said theyre considering holding a hearing, in which case Zuckerberg could be asked to testify.
Meanwhile, special counsel Robert Mueller has made Facebook a focus of his investigation into collusion between the Russian government and Donald Trumps campaign. A company official says its in regular contact with members and staff on the Hill and has had numerous meetings over the course of many months with Warner. On Sept. 21, Zuckerberg said the company would turn over the ads to Congress and would do more to limit interference in elections in the future. Facebook acknowledges that it has already turned over records to Mueller, which suggests, first, that the special counsel had a search warrant and, second, that Mueller believes something criminal happened on Zuckerbergs platform. . . .
On Sept. 14, ProPublica reported that it had managed to purchase ads targeted at users whod listed interests such as Jew hater and How to burn Jews.
Well theyve stopped that now, but only after it was pointed out to them. Every new technology not only changes the way people find things out but also what things they find out. I am therefore a free speech absolutist which is why we should make it illegal for Facebook or Twitter and other platforms of the same kind to prevent people from saying things there that are perfectly legal to say anywhere else.
In a very joint announcement:
Announced this morning a new plan Making it easier to start a new business.
The new business registration service allows businesses to apply for multiple business and tax registrations at the same time online at business.gov.au. This has reduced the average time taken to register for an ABN from over an hour to less than 15 minutes. The service also supports businesses to meet their obligations and avoid applying for registrations that they dont need.
Great. But when will the new service that will allow for easy business de-registration and bankruptcy filing be announced?
One might wonder whether it will it be possible to use this new wiz-bang service when the electricity is out because the sun aint shining and the wind aint blowing? Will it also work when the NBN is down or internet is not otherwise available? Will it work remotely when businesses are up before the Fair Work Commission dealing with industrial relations matters?
As a citizen, I am very comfortable that Ministers ODwyer and Laundy are on the job here.
Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus
Local government. What does it exist for? In the inner west of Sydney, it does not appear seem to exist for local residents or rate payers.
You might think that local government is there for things like planning, pools and parks. Perhaps a bit of rubbish collection and road maintenance. But not for the new Inner West Council in Sydney.
lead a council which is both progressive and effective.
Councillor Byrne also said:
With our belief in social justice and our commitment to diversity, we can show the rest of the country how progressive principles can be put into practice at the local government level.
The Inner West Council is the forced amalgam of 3 smaller councils Leichhardt, Marrickville and Ashfield. Marrickville Council even managed to have its own foreign policy.
But hey. Who needs efficient planning and rubbish collection when you can have effective and progressive planning and rubbish collection with a touch of social justice and a commitment to diversity.
Perhaps a Council anthem to be sung before all Council meetings.
Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus
Leading climate campaigner, Leonardo Di Caprio has suggested that:
We should not have people in office who do not believe in facts, in truths, in modern science, that are able to manipulate and risk the entire future of this entire generation.
This is same Leonardo whose extensive familiarity with facts and science come from dropping out of high school to attended a free local drama center to perfect his acting skills.
This is also the same Leonardo who flew on a private jet from NY to LA SIX times in SIX weeks.
And again, this is the same Leonardo who rents a $678 million yacht that burns thousands of liters of diesel every hour.
But good ol Leonardo reckons that:
future generations will vilify current politicians who deny and refuse to fight climate change
Lets make Leonardo Supreme Ruler of the World Government. Then we can all eat cake.
Mirror mirror on the wall, whos the greatest dilettante of them all?
Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus
Today is the last day on which you can advance vote. It is also
the last day you can enrol to vote - for some odd reason we don't
allow enrolment on election day. So, if you're not enrolled, get
along to an advance voting station and do it. Likewise if you think
you might be busy tomorrow (and don't want your
two hours paid time off to vote), or just want the whole thing
to be over, get out there and vote! The polls are tight, so no
matter who you support, every vote is going to matter.
The Electoral Commission has a list of advance voting locations here.
Executive director of Internet Australia, Laurie Patton, believes the organisation must introduce modern corporate governance principles, including term limits that guarantee regular board renewal. read now...
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