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Tuesday, 16 October

08:03

PDTs 60 Minutes Interview "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Apparently now deleted by CBS but here it is all the same.

The Interviewer thought she had his number, that she would take him apart. But she is dealing with the absolutely best, most articulate president possibly in history. A masterclass, as is every public presentation he gives.

And more than anything else, he demonstrates that the American media is almost entirely corrupt. Angry, bitter and partisan is almost perfect as a descriptor of the media people he has to deal with.

UPDATE: Transcript and some parts of the video if you cannot get sufficient volume on the link above. Sorry about that.

07:30

Stuart Robert's litany of transgressions "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Stuart Robert's litany of transgressionsStuart Robert still owes money to Australian taxpayers as well as an apology and an explanation as to why he should still hold office. read now...

06:34

Who said subsidies to renewable energy are finished? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

How can it possibly be justified for the Australian taxpayer to hand over money to an effective business to rope businesses into renewable energy contracts?

As we are told on a daily basis, renewable energy  is now the cheapest for of energy so no subsidies of any kind are needed.

Of course, the rent-seekers dont really mean this and have their hands out at every possible opportunity.

Here is yet another example SIGH.

It is a real tragedy that ARENA and assorted other renewable energy subsidy generating outfits think CEFC were not shut down when the Abbott government was elected.  Thanks, Clive for nothing.

 

Australias first Business Renewables Centre to help Australian businesses to switch to renewables

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has today announced it will help build Australias first Business Renewables Centre to encourage Australian businesses to make the switch to renewable energy.

On behalf of the Australian Government, ARENA will provide $500,000 in funding to Climate-KIC Australia, WWF-Australia and UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures for the project.

The New South Wales and Victorian Governments have each provided $150,000 in funding to the Project.

The Business Renewables Centre Australia will be a resource centre and an online marketplace platform designed to accelerate the purchase of renewable energy by Australian business.

The $1.74 million project aims to make it easier for Australian corporates and local councils to purchase or procure renewable energy through corporate Power Purchase Agreements. The initiative will establish an online resource centre and a marketplace platform, and will be supported by face to face events for its industry members.

The goal is to help Australian businesses and local governments procure 1GW of installed renewable energy by 2022 and 5GW by 2030.

The Centre draws on the proven model of the Rocky Mountain Institutes Business Renewables Centre in the USA, to provide members with information, a network of energy buyers and project developers, inexpensive training and advice on power purchase agreement requirements.
Last year, ARENA previously released a report on the Business of Renewables which outlined how Australias biggest businesses were falling behind their global peers in transitioning to renewable energy.

T...

04:55

British police spied on democracy "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

The Guardian last night had a horrifying piece on the extent of the British police's anti-democratic spying, showing they had infiltrated at least 124 green, anti-racist, and leftwing groups over four decades:

Police deployed 24 undercover officers to infiltrate a small leftwing political party over a 37-year period, the Guardian can reveal.

The police spies infiltrated the Socialist Workers party (SWP) almost continuously between 1970 and 2007, often with more than one undercover officer embedded within the party.

[...]

Undercover officers spied on 22 leftwing groups, 10 environmental groups, nine anti-racist campaigns and nine anarchist groups, according to the database.

They also spied on campaigns against apartheid, the arms trade, nuclear weapons and the monarchy, as well as trade unions. Among those spied on were 16 campaigns run by families or their supporters seeking justice over alleged police misconduct.

According to the database, police spied on 12 animal rights groups and eight organisations related to the Irish conflict.


And of course, they deceived women into sexual relationships and fathered children during this campaign of infiltration.

The police supposedly exist to fight crime. The conclusion to draw from this is that they think that leftwing, environmental, pacifist, anti-racist, republican and trade union political activity is inherently criminal, as is campaigning for justice from police. Alternatively, they're not really about fighting crime at all, but keeping a corrupt political system in power. And if its the latter, then the entire institution needs to be torn down.

04:40

From the Global Warming Policy Forum "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Good news from the Global Warming Policy Forum, subsidies axed for electric cars in Britain, fracking approved and other items around the world.

And a big win with Will Happer appointed as the key science advisor to Donald Trump.

04:17

The ridiculous state of politics in Australia "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Scrolling through Scott Morrisons twitter feed shows just how ridiculous politics in Australia has become. Do we really need ProMo to tweet about, and attend, every single sporting event going on in the country?  Do we need to see photos of him having a meal with his family?  Or perched in a truck going broom

The post The ridiculous state of politics in Australia appeared first on The AIM Network.

03:00

Australia's political silence enables the slaughter of women "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Australia's political silence enables the slaughter of womenSeven women have been murdered in as many days but their deaths are irrelevant to Australian politicians, writes Dr Jennifer Wilson. read now...

01:20

This will get people to care about climate change "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Danyl Mclauchlan thinks that people will never care about climate change, because its all so abstract. Here's something that will make them care: its goign to fuck up the global beer supply:

Trouble is brewing for the worlds beer drinkers, with climate change set to cause dramatic price spikes and supply shortages, according to new research.

Extreme heatwaves and droughts will increasingly damage the global barley crop, meaning a common ingredient of the worlds favourite alcoholic beverage will become scarcer. Key brewing nations are forecast to be among the worst hit, including Belgium, the Czech Republic and Ireland.

The researchers said that compared with life-threatening impacts of global warming such as the floods and storms faced by millions, a beer shortage may seem relatively unimportant. But they said it would affect the quality of life of many people.


And if you're not a beer fan, it will also do the same to coffee. And probably other types of food as well. Which is the real threat here: famine, and the consequent mass-migration and war it causes. And all because arseholes in America want to keep profiting by burning coal.

00:30

National's corrupt electoral practices "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

The National Party mess has just gone thermonuclear, with Jami-Lee Ross making public allegations that party leader simon Bridges repeatedly engaged in corrupt electoral practices. In his unscheduled press standup, he specifically accused Bridges of knowingly falsifying the identity of the "Cathedral Club" donor on his electorate donation return, in violation of s207G of the Electoral Act, and of instructing him to split a $100,000 donation from a "Chinese businessman" in order to avoid disclosure, in violation of s207LA. He says he has recordings and photographs, and will be going to the police tomorrow to make a statement.

(He also says he's been accused of multiple cases of sexual harassment by National Party staffers, which he portrays as a political stitch-up. We can treat that with the contempt it deserves)

This is an allegation of serious criminal behaviour. Both of these are corrupt electoral practices, and if convicted, both Bridges and Ross (because he's a self-admitted party to at least one of the offences) would be automatically removed from Parliament. Of course, that assumes the police will bother to investigate. And as we've seen, they are only interested in prosecuting electoral offences by small parties outside Parliament, not by those who might one day set their budget. So, I fully expect that nothing will legally come of this, no matter how compelling Ross' evidence. But if what Ross says is true, it should taint Bridges permanently, and renders him utterly unfit to be in Parliament, let alone a party leader.

00:26

David Leyonhjelm. Politicians with trustworthy eyes "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

In Leonard Cohens song Chelsea Hotel, there is a line that goes:

She told me again she preferred handsome men, but for me she would make an exception.

The song is about Janis Joplin, who had a brief encounter with Cohen in the hotel. What the line shows is that Joplin tended to discriminate against men she didnt consider handsome.

Discrimination is a part of life. Indeed, I dont believe Ive ever met anyone who doesnt discriminate in one way or another. When it comes to choosing a partner, whether for life or a brief encounter, discrimination is rampant.

It is also found in politics. My mother once told me she voted for a particular party because she thought the eyes of the leader of the other side were too close together. She would have agreed with Janis Joplin.

As a senator, my concern is whether this should matter to governments. Should we be left alone to discriminate as we like, or should certain types of discrimination be prohibited? If we are to prohibit certain types of discrimination, is there a rational basis for deciding what they are, and how might we prevent such prohibition becoming an unwarranted intrusion into our lives?

There is no doubt that some forms of discrimination are abhorrent. Many years ago I spent several months living and working in South Africa. It was during the apartheid era, when blacks, whites and coloureds were supposedly living separate parallel lives. There were separate buses and bus stops, public toilets, post office entrances and residential zones, all determined by race.
Such discrimination is now prohibited, and overt manifestations of apartheid are long gone. Nonetheless, there are still predominantly black, white and coloured residential areas in todays South Africa; people still like to live among those with whom they feel most comfortable. In other words, they discriminate.

Apartheid was a government policy, imposed by force of law. Choosing to continue living in particular areas is not. The difference is very significant.

In Australia it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin, age, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, intersex status, transgender status, carer responsibilities, marital or relationship status, pregnancy, breastfeeding, family responsibilities, religion, political opinion, social origin, medical record, criminal record and trade union activity.

Such prohibitions apply to employment, education, access to premises, provision of goods, services or facilities, accommodation, clubs, sport and requests for information.

Depending on how she defined handsome, a woman with Joplins taste in men might only be unaffected...

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Monday, 15 October

23:00

INVESTIGATION 2: Tom Tate, Frankie Four-names and the piggy forestry bonds "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

INVESTIGATION 2: Tom Tate, Frankie Four-names and the piggy forestry bondsIn the second part of an investigation into colourful Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate, managing editor Dave Donovan reveals the Mayor's connection to the trade of fraudulent forestry bonds and asks the question why have no charges been laid over this deeply troubling scandal? read now...

22:23

In which the pond suffers a Moorice overdose ... "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"


The question is, whether Media Watch last night was making a discovery, or simply doing a reminder in a long conga line of reminders, that News Corp is full of succulent climate denialists. (For those who missed it, it's here).

The pond long ago patented the simple equation:

Miranda the Devine = the Bolter = the dog botherer = Dame Groan = Dame Slap = Terry McCrann = lil' Timmie Bleagh = how many more do you want? = News Corp = Malcolm Roberts

Some insisted on a corollary: Malcolm Roberts = barking mad, but the pond insists on the simple elegance of its original equation. There's no need to state the obvious, and Malcolm Roberts is obviously barking mad. And anyone can work back from there. Always show your workings, as the pond's maths teacher used to say ...

The pond did accept that the original formula needed modification in a few exceptional cases, as in Lloydie = Bjorn = Malcolm Roberts + a remarkable capacity for disingenuous dissembling and epic ability to distort science for mendacious climate denialism.

And the pond has resolutely excluded the parrot and the entirety of the Speccie mob, because that intrusion from Fairfax and bizarro land reduces the elegance of the original formulation, and gets us into quantum loonacy.

Of course there are many other equations that might be made: ScoMo + Wentworth = the Donald and barking mad killers roaming Saudi embassies and so much for Palestinians, and today came an elegant proof

 

But the pond is on a strict reptile diet and is wary of flouting doctors orders, though today's glut of madness is singularly testing

Look at this flourish

...

15:10

North Coast Voices Update "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"


Due to illness North Coast Voices will not be posting this week.

Hoping to be back by 22 October 2018.

Apologies to our regular readers.

13:46

Datagate at the Hadley Centre "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Evasion and obfuscation over climate data at the Hadley Centre.

Finally the Hadley Met Centre team have replied to Graham Lloyd regarding John McLeans audit. Without specifically admitting he has found serious errors, they acknowledge his previous notifications were useful in 2016, and promise errors will be fixed in the next update. Thats nice to know, but begs the question of why a PhD student working from home can find mistakes that the 226 million institute with 2,100 employees could not. Significantly, they do not disagree with any of his claims.

12:33

Stability, Promises The PM Who Was Elected Eight Weeks Ago "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

With the Liberal Party, you know what you are going to get, says the unelected PM who replaced the elected PM causing the surprise by-election. He was speaking to the voters of Wentworth about the dangers of electing an independent. The Liberals are all over the dangers of the wrong result on Saturday. It could

The post Stability, Promises The PM Who Was Elected Eight Weeks Ago appeared first on The AIM Network.

12:02

Tony Thomas is on fire! "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Call 000, call the fire brigade, no call Connor Court and order a copy or two of his latest book on growing up a generation or two ago in the Deep West. Order the other one as well!

He is on fire in The Spectator lately as well, in the current edition it is Marxist education in the schools. He encountered Marxism early when he was in the Young Pioneers and travelled to Sydney for a significant youth festival. The tireless cadres were at work and now we are where we are. Surprised?

Actually there was resistance, check out the archive of Quadrant. And the stirring (partial) success of Santamaria and colleagues versus the communists in the trade unions.

11:39

The Fallout from Wentworth "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

It takes a brave pundit to predict the outcome of the Wentworth bi-election just days before the votes are cast, but the actual outcome, either way, will be less interesting than the swing away from the government, the fallout from which, will be what determines its fate between now and next May. A loss in

The post The Fallout from Wentworth appeared first on The AIM Network.

08:45

The predators behind the Trans-Pacific Partnership "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

By Stephen Fitzgerald Most of the problems we face, in Western society, are a result of the ravages of corporate greed. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is another example of corporates expanding their power base to the detriment of the countries they overrun. In the news today, you will hear the distant rumblings of the true

The post The predators behind the Trans-Pacific Partnership appeared first on The AIM Network.

07:30

Coalition's 'very, very weird' policies: A disastrous drain on Australia's net worth "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Coalition's 'very, very weird' policies: A disastrous drain on Australia's net worthA departmental report which the Morrison Government would prefer was kept hidden, confirms the worst fears of former Treasurer Peter Costello. read now...

07:15

Agents of Chaos: Trump, the Federal Reserve and Andrew Jackson "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes (President Andrew Jackson, Washington, July 10, 1832). They are three players, all problematic in their own way. They are the creatures of inconvenient chaos. Donald Trump was born into the role, a misfit of

The post Agents of Chaos: Trump, the Federal Reserve and Andrew Jackson appeared first on The AIM Network.

06:43

Sailing into irrelevance "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

The sails of the Sydney Opera House were being used as a billboard for a horse race a few days ago. Regardless of the value of the horse race, or the ethics about using a UNESCO listed landmark for promotion of gambling, there is a problem about the way it was done. According to The Guardian,

The post Sailing into irrelevance appeared first on The AIM Network.

04:40

Leaks, dirt, and ethics "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

So, National leader Simon Bridges thinks he has found his leaker: the same MP he granted leave to a few weeks ago for "embarassing" personal health reasons. Given that the leaker supposedly sent text messages to Bridges and the Speaker claiming to be mentally fragile, I'm not sure how much I really want to go near this. But earlier today Jami-Lee Ross tried to pre-empt things with a series of tweets claiming he was being stitched up, including this one:



Which is presumably related to this morning's revelations about a "clerical error" around donations. But if its more than that, and Ross does in fact have such recordings, he should release them. Because sitting on solid evidence of unlawful activities and corrupt electoral practices by a politician, presumably as "insurance" or "leverage", is not just unethical, but also being an accessory after the fact.

04:00

Australian Mom Acts As Human Shield For Infant Daughter During Monster Hailstorm "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Via NY Post: An Aussie mom took a beating from a monster hailstorm during a desperate attempt to shield her infant daughter and she said shed do it again in a heartbeat. Fiona Simpson, 23, was driving home with her 4-month-old daughter and 78-year-old grandmother during the supercell thunderstorm that battered Queenslands South Burnett []

03:00

Dole bludgers and other urban myths "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Dole bludgers and other urban mythsIt's time to put the dole bludger myth to bed and focus on helping young people down on their luck, writes Tarric Brooker. read now...

01:56

Our racist health system "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

When Don Brash and his ilk talk about "Mori advantage", they're ignoring a hell of a lot of empirical data showing that Mori are in fact disadvantaged. And now there's another data point for the pile: our health system is less likely to try and save the lives of non-white babies, and this is being explicitly blamed on racism:

Babies close to death are less likely to get life saving treatment if they're Mori, Pacific or Indian - and experts partly blame racial bias.

A Weekend Herald investigation can reveal the ethnic divide in resuscitation attempts on very premature infants.

[...]

Resuscitation was tried on 92 per cent of Mori babies, 89 per cent of Pacific and 86 per cent of Indian.

That compared to 95 per cent for "other" - mostly Pkeh and non-Indian Asians - which medical experts say is a statistically significant difference.

"Institutional bias or implicit biases are likely to play at least some part," concluded the Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee, a taxpayer-funded panel tasked with reviewing deaths of babies and mothers.


The Mortality Review Committee is now calling for training to minimise the impact of that bias, and that seems like a good idea. Because this should not be happening. The quality of health care you receive should not depend on the colour of your skin.

01:42

New website design "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Some of my more committed readers may have noticed that this website was unavailable late on Saturday night. Basically an attempt to install a new mobile theme screwed up the website and it took some time to fix the damage.

This prompted me to realise Id had my existing website theme since at least 2010 so have replaced it with a new theme. This new theme is responsive so should work much more smoothly on both mobile and desktop. Youll notice the ad placement has changed somewhat. I hope that this isnt too much of a problem for readers, but the ad revenue is a useful boost in funding my work (and pretty much covers all the costs of actually running the website).

I expect this will improve the website experience for the Wentworth by-election, but if you notice any weird things please let me know.

01:28

Welcome to the minority "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

The Ruddock inquiry into religious freedom obviously hasnt turned out the way its advocates in the right wing of the LNP expected. Far from securing their rights to discriminate against gays,  church schools are almost certain to lose that right with respect to students, and will probably also lose it in relation to teachers. A recent opinion poll shows overwhelming opposition to discrimination, even stronger than the vote in favour of equal marriage last year.

The situation has now changed, and rethinking is needed, both on the right but on the left. Rather than looking to expand the powers of employers to sack people on religious grounds unrelated to their performance at work, those concerned with religious freedom should be concerned about the possibility that such powers will be used against them in the future. A comprehensive protection for workers against dismissal on the basis of grounds unrelated to their performance at work is what is needed here.

As regards the left, we shouldnt allow large, publicly funded institutions like church schools to practise discrimination. But we need to think more carefully about individuals with religious objections to gay marriage (for example, bakers who dont want to bake cakes with messages of support for gay marriage) in the same light as other religious minorities who seek protection for their beliefs: Jehovahs witnesses who object to blood transfusions, Muslim women who want to remain veiled, and so on. Most of these beliefs seem strange and objectionable to non-believers. But where they can be accommodated without doing any serious social damage, we should do so.

More broadly, as I suggested when the Ruddock review was announced, we should take the opportunity to push for a comprehensive Bill of Rights. Now that they are clearly in the minority on crucial issues, perhaps religious believers might see the merit in a supporting such a measure.

 

...

00:36

The "solution" that wasn't "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

In 2013, National introduced its "solution" to housing unaffordability. Its "Special Housing Areas" were basicly a developer's charter, with fast-tracked resource consents and lax oversight. The aim, as stated in the bill's purpose clause, was to "enhance housing affordability by facilitating an increase in land and housing supply in certain regions or districts". Higher supply (via lower standards) was supposed to lead to lower prices. Instead, it raised them:

The previous government's solution to the housing crisis in Auckland actually made homes less affordable, research has found.

Special Housing Areas (SHAs) were created in 2013 and touted as "crucial" in "enabling young Kiwi families to get into their own home".

Developers were offered fast-tracked consents on the proviso a portion of the development would be "affordable".

But the creation of Auckland's SHAs have now been found to have pushed up prices by 5 per cent within the area.

[...]

"The SHA programme simply allowed developers to offer new homes with an additional attribute (a shorter delivery time), which allowed developers to set higher prices," the researchers said.


So, National lowered consent standards, and their greedy developer mates made out like bandits. Why am I not surprised?

The market is not going to provide affordable housing, because there's just no profit in it for them (or rather, less profit than building palazzos for foreign immigrants). The only way it is going to happen is if the government builds those houses for us (and enough of them to crash the market). The current government, at least, is taking the first few timid steps towards this.

00:33

Monday Message Board "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link
You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin, at my Facebook public page   and at my Economics in Two Lessons page

00:05

NZDF decorated a war criminal "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Nicky Hager has a new piece in North & South today, with new dirt on the defence force, including drunkenness in the field in Afghanistan, and a systematic failure to investigate a sexual assault. But the worst of it is that they decorated a war criminal:

Investigative writer Nicky Hager says sources from the Defence Force have exposed a culture of bullying, sexual violence, drinking and cover-ups in the military.

In Mr Hager's 12-page investigation, published in the North & South magazine today, he details how a source revealed that an SAS soldier - known as Corporal B for privacy reasons - was awarded the second-highest military honour despite previously being considered for court-martial action for killing two children in Afghanistan.

"The Americans asked the SAS commander if they could take one of the New Zealand medical staff, a medic, on a raid they were doing on a Afghanistan compound," said Mr Hager.

[...]

Mr Hager said the soldier got involved in a firefight and later found he had shot two young boys, who joined the adults in defending the compound.

"And then when he got back to base he became a very unhappy and confused person, because the SAS commander was saying 'well hang on a moment, you've broken all the rules here, we're gonna court-martial you'.


But instead, for PR purposes, they gave him a medal, relying on secrecy to cover up the circumstances (its mentioned as a footnote in Willie Apiata's press release). In this, they're behaving exactly like the NZ Police: rewarding staff who have behaved criminally rather than punishing them. And in both institutions the cause is the same: a secretive institution which believes itself to be above the law.

NZDF and its soldiers need to be held accountable for their actions in Afghanistan. The first part of that is cleaning out the command staff who ran that war and who believe themselves to be unaccountable to the New Zealand public. But there also needs to be a full investigation, followed where necessary by prosecutions. And needless to say, the latter can not and should not be run by NZDF, and probably can't even be run by the police (because their natural instinct is to grovel to power and not rock the boat). Instead, we will probably need a special purpose authority to handle it, independent of NZDF, the police, and the national security state. Its the only way we will be able to get any form of justice.

Sunday, 14 October

22:58

Empty Seats Plague NFL Stadiums in Week Six of Season (VIDEO + PHOTOS) "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Empty seats plagued NFL stadiums into week six of the season.

Week one of the regular 2018 NFL season kicked off in early September with a wimperthe ratings were at a 10-year low.

Americans are fed up with athletes kneeling during the National Anthem and it showedplenty of empty seats plagued stadiums on Sunday.

Look at those empty seats at the Mercedes-Benz stadium for Falcons vs Buccaneers at kickoff:

Texans vs Bills at NRG stadium:

More photos of Falcons vs Buccaneers:

A sea of empty seats at Cleveland Browns vs....

IndyWatch Aussie Politics Feed Archiver

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