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IndyWatch Aussie Politics Feed was generated at Australian News IndyWatch.
As a crisis and scandal ridden Liberal Party struggles to put our fires in so many different areas, speculation swirls over the future of Dunkley 'Duckgate' duckie deceiver, Donna Bauer. read now...
It is true: most Muslims are non-violent (in the straightforward sense that, outside defence of themselves and their immediate family, they do not engage in violence). In fact, as far as I am aware, that has true across the history of Islam, especially as Muslims includes women and children. But even if we just consider men, most Muslim men are non-violent. Again, as far as I am aware, that has also been true across the history of Islam (apart from its earliest years).
It is also irrelevant. Sadly, across the breadth of human societies through time, it is the violent who have been wildly disproportionately important in determining the trends and patterns of human history. So, with Islamic history, the key issues have far less to do with what connection it has to the non-violent majority, but what sort of connection it has to the direction, forms and patterns of violence (and violence-laden aggression) among any violent minority.
There the news is less good. We can observe among the Muslim minority (pdf) in France–including those born and raised in France, and given a secular state education–the same patterns of persecution of minority kafir as we do in Muslim majority countries.
What is striking about Islamic history is how powerful the recurring patterns are. While we currently observe violent movements claiming to purify Islam and return it to its original vision, such started not long after the death of Mohammad, with the Khwarij, and continued in medieval Islam, with the Almoravids and...
Actually, I don’t think this way about Americans at all. It is, in so many ways, the most admirable country on earth. But America is being taken for a ride by its political elites, and in this heading I am only echoing Donald Trump’s own concerns. This is a story from the Washington Post on Donald Trump’s first paid ad where the following sentiment is found:
In an interview Sunday with The Post, Trump said that he has six to eight ads in production and that his was a “major buy and it’s going to go on for months.” He said he hopes the spots impress upon undecided voters that the country has become “a dumping ground.”
“The world is laughing at us, at our stupidity,” he said. “It’s got to stop. We’ve got to get smart fast — or else we won’t have a country.”
The following is a very slightly (6 days) dated post by George Will in the National Review.
The final line captures it for me – the common thread is the collapse of judgment in, and the infantilization of society by, government.
Sadly, this thread extends to Australia.
Please detail your own examples.
2015′s Foolish Finish
E. B. White reportedly said “the most beautiful sound in America” is “the tinkle of ice at twilight.” In 2015’s twilight, fortify yourself with something 90 proof as you remember this year in which:
We learned that a dismal threshold has been passed. The value of property that police departments seized through civil-asset forfeiture — usually without accusing, let alone convicting, the property owners of a crime — exceeded the value of property stolen by nongovernment burglars. The attorney general of New York, which reaps billions from gambling — casinos, off-track betting, the state lottery — moved to extinguish (competition from) fantasy football because it is gambling. Florida police raided a mahjong game played by four women aged between 87 and 95 because their game’s stakes allegedly exceeded the $10 limit set by state law. A Michigan woman was fingerprinted, had her mug shot taken, and was jailed until released on bond because she was late in renewing the $10 license for her dog. New Jersey police arrested a 72-year-old retired teacher, chained his hands and feet to a bench, and charged him with illegally carrying a firearm — a 300-year-old flintlock pistol (with no powder, flint, or ball) he purchased from an antique dealer.
The University of Georgia said sexual consent must be “voluntary, sober, imaginative, enthusiastic, creative, wanted, informed, mutual, honest.” Imaginative consent? Connecting climate change to sex, the National Bureau of Economic Research warned that hot weather leads to diminished sexual activity. Elsewhere in “settled...
Paula Matthewson has an op-ed in over at The Drum on the Jamie Briggs affair. After a reasoinable summary of the story – complete with many links to illustrate the points we get:
Yet despite his carefully worded statement of contrition, the disgraced former minister does not appear to be remorseful and his supporters are now retrospectively trying to excuse his behaviour through actions that are tantamount to blaming the victim.
Right on cue, comments started to appear on social media sympathising with Briggs, bemoaning that a man can’t get fresh with a pretty girl these days without being accused of sexual harassment. Suddenly, and reprehensibly, in some quarters the leaked photos and texts pivoted public discussion of the event to the woman’s behaviour instead of the man’s.
Again no links.
Blaming the victim is reprehensible and completely unacceptable. Name the bastards doing this. Let us judge their poor behaviour for ourselves. Insert links into the story making those allegations.
What we have had is a secret trial and a judgement. We mere observers, Liberal-voters, and tax-payers are asking for more information. Turnbull hasn’t sacked his butler – that would be a private decision; he has sacked an elected politician – that is a public decision. Yet he is relying on private information for having made a public decision. We fully understand that the PM can choose his own cabinet – but again we also expect him to justify his choices.
An additional thought: There have been several comments in the posts and people have privately communicated with me that Jamie Briggs was sacked because he had a history of poor behaviour. That may be the case. I don...
Nuclear issues got next to no discussion in Australia in 2015. That is sure to change in 2016 from five explosive factors, writes Noel Wauchope. read now...
That's the only way to describe what has happened to Dick Smith
Electronics. They were bought by Anchorage Capital, a private
equity firm, for $20 million in 2012. Anchorage then
gutted the business, pumping up the reported profit in the
meantime, and used that increased reported profit to dump it on the
public for $520 million in 2013. Of course, that gutting led to
long-term problems, which have
finally resulted in the company going bankrupt again. But
Anchorage has walked away with half a billion dollars, ripped
straight from the pockets of the fools who bought in to their IPO.
And now that the company is bankrupt, they (or someone just like
them) gets to pull the same scam again. Rinse, repeat...
And this is why you should never trust stock markets. They're simply scams and tools for the sociopathic rich to steal more money.
Saudi Arabia has little to worry about – no state has the moral
authority or will to attack this butchery
The death of an Irish general during the Christmas period recalls an earlier bloody episode in the Middle East
Saudi Arabia's executions were worthy of Isis – so will David Cameron and the West now stop their grovelling to its oil-rich monarchs?
Françoise Frenkel's escape from the Nazis and Vichy France: A bitter, beautiful and important book
Over the weekend, the Herald had a piece on the racist
and sexist attitudes of New Zealand's spies. The New Zealand
Intelligence community had commissioned a
report on diversity from a Massey University intern, which
uncovered racism and sexism in their workplaces. Maori and
Pacific employees were subjected to constant low-level racist
abuse, while women reported being victims of sexual discrimination.
An "old boy" culture and a view that diversity and difference were
threats to security rounded out the horror story.
Unexplored by the story: the consequences of this racism and sexism on the GCSB and SIS's work. Because if the spies think being anything other than dead, white and male makes you a security risk and that all Maori are criminals, and feel comfortable expressing this to their non-DWM colleagues in the workplace, you really have to wonder how that spills over into their work - and how many people have been spied on and had their lives poked through as a result.
And here's the kicker (from 6.2.3.b of the report):
It became apparent through discussions that there was a significant proportion of staff who did not think of their organisations as a government department. This was more apparent by staff within GCSB but was evident in the NZSIS. This perception was perpetrated by staff that had significantly long careers in intelligence or had not worked in external government agencies, and did not see the work being performed
as a "public service". it was often mentioned by these employees that they did "not see the point of reflecting the outside community" because of this.
To the “bad” manners born! As the Turdball, alleged government enters the new year, still trying to sell the proposition that it’s a “New” government, not just a close, plastic, facsimile of the Abbott’s regime; anyone with even half a … Continue reading
It is hard to believe that Malcolm is the leader of any political party of significance. The latest instalment of the Jamie Briggs saga in The Oz defies belief. This is from the latest episode.
As the fallout from Mr Briggs’s resignation continues to rattle the Coalition, The Australian can also reveal that Right-aligned MPs in South Australia will today discuss potential replacement candidates for the blue-ribbon seat of Mayo held by Mr Briggs on a 12.5 per cent margin. The move comes amid heightened speculation that Mr Briggs, 38, may not want to recontest the next election and as Liberal strategists fear losing the seat, which is threatened by Nick Xenophon’s decision to run lower house candidates in South Australia.
Supporters of Mr Briggs say he is considering his future in parliament and “waiting for the dust to settle”, but feels aggrieved by the process put in place by Mr Turnbull.
The Australian understands that on December 10, after the formal complaint had been lodged by the consular staffer about Mr Briggs’s “inappropriate” behaviour at the Stormies Bar on November 27, Mr Turnbull phoned the then cities minister to discuss the complaint against him and his decision to launch an independent investigation.
In the phone conversation, it is understood Mr Turnbull suggested to Mr Briggs that while the investigation would run its course, it was likely that he would need to consider resigning his frontbench role. . . .
While some MPs say this is evidence that the investigation was a “stitch up”, others suggest Mr Turnbull made the assessment that there was little room for leniency because Mr Briggs had failed to apologise t...
OK Malcolm. Paying attention? Here’s the lesson: you are on your own side, you are on the same side as all the other people who sit with you and behind you in Parliament. No self-inflicted wounds. No creating hostages to fortune. No sacking of ministers, or anyone else, until the costs of not doing so are clearly overwhelming. That’s the lesson. Now a working example.
Exhibit A: Jamie Briggs. No doubt a story so terrible that if we heard it all, we would personally take every action to ensure that he was ostracised from decent company and run out of Parliament. At that point, out he goes, but not till that point is reached. Hasty action makes you look like a clown. This is where we have now arrived because of your intemperate actions. Although the heading looks OK – Journalist Samantha Maiden accepts Peter Dutton’s ‘mad witch’ text apology – the first paras in the Malcolm-friendly Oz are a bit of a worry:
Labor has lashed out at Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s “boorish” and “unbecoming” text after he called a female journalist a “mad f.king witch”, urging Malcolm Turnbull to explain the cabinet minister’s behaviour.
Mr Dutton has come under fire for the text message he accidentally sent to News Corp Australia’s Sunday political editor, Samantha Maiden, over her coverage of fallen junior minister Jamie Briggs’s late-night bar incident with a female public servant in Hong Kong.
Mr Dutton has apologised for calling Maiden a “mad f.king witch” after she reported yesterday that Mr Briggs had sent colleagues a photograph of the diplomat who complained about his behaviour, which ultimately led to his resignation from the frontbench.
Dutton would not have emailed anything had you not created the Jamie Briggs saga. You are not the calming influ...
Perhaps the most disturbing part of the festival of bad behaviour brought to us by Jamie Briggs and […]
Concern over rising inequality has certainly been a significant feature of recent intellectual and political discourse, particularly in the US (for example here). Let us suppose we were serious about reducing inequality, what would we do?
One thing you would not do is significantly raise top income tax rates, that would not have much effect at all. Besides, at a certain point, one runs into significant Laffer Curve effects, which is why income tax rates have remained much lower across the Western world than they were in the immediate postwar decades–governments don’t want to reduce their revenue by having tax rates too high.
Since folk who worry about inequality tend to be nostalgic for the low-inequality postwar era up to around 1970, we an easily identify a range of policies which will reduce income inequality.
(1) Massively cut back on higher education. Since higher education generates low income students in their 20s who tend to become high income professionals in their 40s, the higher the use of higher education, the greater is life cycle inequality. Also, since higher education is more expensive than primary or secondary education, and with very few positive social spillover effects (though we can identify some negative spillover effects), government support for higher education tends to be subsidising...
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