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IndyWatch Aussie Politics Feed was generated at Australian News IndyWatch.

Sunday, 24 September


In which a mortified, chastened pond turns to the bromancer for well bodings this meditative Sunday ... "IndyWatch Feed"

Sometimes the pond wakes with a fright, deeply mortified, as if caught standing naked in church like Tara Fitzgerald in Sirens (these days should the real fear arise from standing next to Hugh Grant?), or even worse, having overlooked the bromancer scribbling about the Donald ...

The pond in part blames the reptiles, who, in their usual way, kept putting the onion muncher at the top of the page ...

Sure, that warm lettuce leaf spanking is tempting, but it's no excuse really ... how could the pond have missed "Fighting words bode well", or put it a google way, "Fighting words maybe, but Donald Trump's meaning sound"?

Let's face it, the bromancer is one of the pond's favourite reptiles, and now it's a tad tricky writing about his great domestic love, he's transferred his affection to the Donald, and how compelling and fascinating and tortured and ambivalent are his new love letters.

It might be an unusual way to spend a meditative Sunday, but dammit, attention must be paid ...


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Saturday, 23 September


Thats the story of, thats the glory of love "IndyWatch Feed"

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

The post Thats the story of, thats the glory of love appeared first on The AIM Network.


Day to Day Politics: ITS TIME Marriage Equality my final contribution. "IndyWatch Feed"

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.


Oh, it burns! It burns! "IndyWatch Feed"

News Corp hack Chris Kenny gets well and truly burned by ABC journalist Emma Alberici.


"My daughter doesn't need my permission to get married. But she needs yours." "IndyWatch Feed"

The Daily Examiner, Letter to the Editor, 15 September 2017:

Marriage certification

Those of us who thought, like the old song, that love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage have had a lot of confusing information thrown at us recently about same-sex couples and the way their non-marriages give them all the same rights as married people. My wife and I were surprised, therefore, to attend the Roads and Maritime Service Centre last week to change our car registration, where we were asked to produce our marriage certificate.

This led me to wonder what other equal rights might not be there, particularly when my daughter, currently unable to marry her long-time partner, gets to our age.

Will she be asked for a marriage certificate if her not legally recognised wife is in hospital, or worse? Australia Post apparently charges hundreds of dollars for a name change, but not if you can provide a you guessed it marriage certificate.

Those who oppose same sex marriage are resting their hopes on the oldies like me.

But if you think we are going to support discrimination against our own kids and grandkids, you are about to be very disappointed.

My daughter doesnt need my permission to get married. But she needs yours. Please join me in voting YES.



Australias shameful treatment of refugees and asylum seekers must end "IndyWatch Feed"

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.


Power to the people "IndyWatch Feed"

(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.

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.
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...


Benjamin Netanyahu, Penguins and the United Nations "IndyWatch Feed"

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.


Extended drought: QLD Farmers on verge of shooting cattle "IndyWatch Feed"

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.



Screen Themes: Rick & Morty season 3 vs Bojack Horseman season 4 "IndyWatch Feed"

Screen Themes: Rick & Morty season 3 vs Bojack Horseman season 4Its 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...


Bernardi and Abbott: a shared pyschosis "IndyWatch Feed"

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

The post Bernardi and Abbott: a shared pyschosis appeared first on The AIM Network.


In which the pond double dates with Dame Slap and Bret Stephens ... "IndyWatch Feed"

Whenever climate denialists gather together for a gaggle and a giggle, the pond likes to begin proceedings with a reading from the holy works of Dame Slap ...

...Emails started arriving telling me about a speech given by Christopher Monckton, a former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, at Bethel University in St Paul, Minnesota, on October 14. Monckton talked about something that no one has talked about in the lead-up to Copenhagen: the text of the draft Copenhagen treaty. Even after Moncktons speech, most of the media has duly ignored the substance of what he said. You dont need me to find his St Paul address on YouTube. 
Interviewed on Monday morning by Alan Jones on Sydney radio station 2GB, Monckton warned that the aim of the Copenhagen draft treaty was to set up a transnational government on a scale the world has never before seen. 
Listening to the interview, my teenage daughters asked me whether this was true. So I read the draft treaty. The word government appears on page 18. Monckton says: This is the first time Ive ever seen any transnational treaty referring to a new body to be set up under that treaty as a government. But its the powers that are going to be given to this entirely unelected government that are so frightening. ... Monckton became aware of the extraordinary powers to be vested in this new world government only when a friend of his found an obscure UN website and hacked his way through several layers of complications before coming across a document that isnt even called the draft treaty. Its called a note by the secretariat. 
The moment he saw it, he went public and said: Look, this is an outrage ... they have kept the sheer scope of this treaty quiet. Monckton says the aim of this new government is to have power to directly intervene in the financial, economic, tax and environmental affairs of all the nations that sign the Copenhagen treaty.

The pond's not sure why lawyers and paranoia fit so well together, but for those who like to Greg Hunt, here's Dame Slap's qualifications as a climate scientist ...

The daughter of Danish immigrants to Australia, Albrechtsen was born in Adelaide and attended Seacombe High School. She subsequently studied at University of Adelaide, graduating with a Bachelor of Laws with Honours. She subsequently attained a Doctor of Juridical Science from the University of Sydn...


North Queensland is a State of mind "IndyWatch Feed"

North Queensland is a State of mindOne of the mistakes of our Federation is that North Queensland is not a separate state, writes history editor Dr Glenn Davies. read now...


The strategies of a madman "IndyWatch Feed"

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

The post The strategies of a madman appeared first on The AIM Network.


Subsidies, blackouts and rising energy prices, but it isnt renewables who are the culprits the story of aluminium smelting in Australia "IndyWatch Feed"

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 post Subsidies, blackouts and rising energy prices, but it isnt renewables who are the culprits the story of aluminium smelting in Australia appeared first on The AIM Network.


Deciding your vote on same sex marriage one more view "IndyWatch Feed"

Deciding your vote on same sex marriage one more viewThe 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...

Friday, 22 September


Bernardi & Abbott: a shared pyschosis "IndyWatch Feed"

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 []


In which the pond hits a few private casinos in the Cross in company with prattling Polonius and cock Robin ... "IndyWatch Feed"

Say what?

It's all go in the Surry Hills bunker and the reptiles are leaping off their hot rocks with excitement.

The pastie Hastie is top of the digital page, and who knows, a stern defence of a young earth and creationism might be on the cards, as the onion muncher gazes in awe at someone even more devout and barking mad than he is ...

Meanwhile, there were japes and wheezes, dressed up as stern warnings ...

Too rich, too rich.

"I say, old thing, you really have gone a bit too far, wot wot, tone it down a bit, eh old chum, wot wot ... now let's put the warm lettuce leaf aside and practise saying 'no'" ...

Across the Pacific, there was much agitation and excitement at the way that one crazed psycho armed with nukes had out-Englished a tweeting psycho armed with nukes, by delivering the ultimate verbal weapon of "dotard" ...yes WaPo felt the need to go wild with "A short history of the word...


Political Tweets of the Week "IndyWatch Feed"


Day to Day Politics: Is Tony never to be credited when he speaks the truth? "IndyWatch Feed"

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.


The Big Bad Australian, Battling the Nations Interest "IndyWatch Feed"

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...


An NJRPP Public Briefing Meeting in Iluka, NSW, 20 September 2017 "IndyWatch Feed"

Section of the southern boundary of the Hickey Street land proposed for development

On 21 September 2017 North Coast Voices received this email from an Iluka resident on the subject of a recent meeting in that little coastal town:

At 4.30pm on Wednesday 20th September 2017 the Northern Joint Regional Planning Panel (NJRPP) held a Public Briefing Meeting at Iluka Community Hall concerning the proposed coastal subdivision of 19 hectares of environmentally sensitive land adjacent to the Iluka World Heritage Area.

The meeting was chaired by Gary West (Chair NJRPP) who was accompanied by three other panel members - Ms. Pam Westing, Clarence Valley Mayor Jim Simmons and Deputy-Mayor Jason Kingsley.

Four council staff members accompanied the panel members, including Carmel Landers who is responsible for progressing the development application through council planning processes.

Concerned residents and ratepayers filled between half and three-quarters of the halls seating capacity.



Classical theory explained "IndyWatch Feed"

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...


Quotes of the Week "IndyWatch Feed"

Tens of millions of dollars are spent annually on political lobbying for the interests of the fossil fuel sector. That investment serves the interests of a small amount of company shareholders in keeping a legacy industry alive, despite the availability of newer, clean technologies, at lower cost. In the wake of these behind-the-scenes policy negotiations, the real and present impacts of climate change, such as bushfires, coastal flooding and reduced crop yields are left at the door of future generations to deal with. [Professor Tim Flannery writing in The Guardian, 13 September 2017]

The main problem bedevilling Australias energy sector at the moment is a lack of settled policy to define the investment framework. It means companies like AGL have to guess what regulations they will face in the future. [Journalist Katherine Murphy writing in The Guardian, 12 September 2017]

Trump is the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime. His rise is a direct result of white supremacy. Period." [ESPN SportsCenter cohost Jemele Hill tweeting about US President Donald Trump on 11 September 2017]


Why Women Should Never Have Been Given The Vote And Sundry Other Matters "IndyWatch Feed"

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.


'The Vietnam War': The killing of history "IndyWatch Feed"

'The Vietnam War': The killing of historyA new American TV documentary series is rewriting the history of the Vietnam War, says John Pilger. read now...


Gas exports starve local firms, jobs: ACCC "IndyWatch Feed"

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...


National's New Zealand "IndyWatch Feed"

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."

This is simply indecent, reminscent of the Victorian cities many of our ancestors fled here to escape. And we should not tolerate a government which permits it, which allows families to be left homeless and on the street and without support. Instead, we should take our opportunity tomorrow to vote to end this indecency.


Right Wingers Playing the Victim "IndyWatch Feed"

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

The post Right Wingers Playing the Victim appeared first on The AIM Network.


Where Will the Next Mega Earthquake Strike? "IndyWatch Feed"

A series of big earthquakes in less than 24 hours could have been caused by seismic waves travelling along fault lines and triggering ruptures.

A 6.1 magnitude earthquake hit New Zealand on Wednesday followed by others off the coasts of Japan (6.1), Vanuatu (6.4), and Indonesia (5.7) early Thursday morning.

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.

Instant Access to Current Spot Prices & Interactive Charts

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

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....


What really matters is not what matters but who decides what matters "IndyWatch Feed"

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 which the pond is confused by the cawing Crowe and the parroting Ando ... "IndyWatch Feed"

The reptiles, and so the pond, always try to stay on the light side, but sometimes the comedy is too rich for even the best reptile correspondent, and it's best to go with dry understatement ...

The lawyer for One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts has said his client's credibility may have been affected by evidence given during a lengthy cross-examination at the High Court on Thursday. (ABC here).

The mighty Roberts had credibility? Who knew?

When he asked the High Court to consider his citizenship status, Senator Roberts further confused matters by repeatedly refusing to say when he filled in the form renouncing his British citizenship and paid the associated fee.

Never mind, the comedy is rich, and speaking of confusion, the reptiles, the cawing Crowe and so the pond were mightily confused this day ...

At first it seemed clear-cut, with the cawing Crowe at the top of the opinion page making a bold, brave statement:

That seemed might clear, but suddenly later in the day, the bold statement became a question ...



Keeping their eyes on the big stuff "IndyWatch Feed"

In a very joint announcement:

  • The Hon. Kelly ODwyer MP, Minister for Revenue and Financial Services on 19 July 2016;
  • the Hon. Craig Laundy MP, Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science;
  • the Hon. John Barilaro MP, NSW Deputy Premier, Minister for Small Business; and
  • the Hon. Victor Dominello MPm NSW Minister for Finance, Services and Property

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 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 in the Inner West of Sydney "IndyWatch Feed"

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.

Having done a deal with . the Liberals . Labor Councillor Darcy Byrne will be the new Mayor.  And Mayor Elect Byrne has promised to:

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


Is there a mirror anywhere? "IndyWatch Feed"

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


Career counselling with Rocky "IndyWatch Feed"

Career counselling with RockyRocky Dabscheck recently took on a position as a careers counsellor at a leading secondary college, where he discovers some of the students could make fine politicians. read now...


Last day to enrol "IndyWatch Feed"

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.


In which the pond honours an expert fund-raiser and salutes the Terror editorialist's silly points ... "IndyWatch Feed"

First, some good news, with the pond able to vote crushingly cute Cory the fundraiser of the day, and possibly the year. 

Can his elevation back to the pond's banner be far away?

Please, celebrate his good work and his good deeds ...

At the ABC here, but what a power of oomph ... from nine hundred bucks to over $140k, and all for playing dress-ups of a kind that didn't raise an eyebrow in Tamworth in the 1950s ...

The man's a marketing genius, a legend ... what next to outrage the senses? Women gallivanting, traipsing, and flitting around in men's jeans?

Egad, sir, that wouldn't have done for good Queen Vic. That must be worth 140k to some school charity ...

And now for the bad news ...

Usually on a Friday at some point the pond would spend quality tim...


Internet Australia needs board renewal and term limits, says departing boss "IndyWatch Feed"

Internet Australia needs board renewal and term limits, says departing bossExecutive 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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