|IndyWatch Australian News All Topics Summary Archiver|
IndyWatch Australian News All Topics Summary was generated at Australian News IndyWatch.
There may need to be a Great Migration of Black peoples out of Western Australia and the Northern Territory or some sort of revolution. Wherever there are significant Black population masses throughout Australia so too is there pronounced racism – flaring and rampant. White anger rages at Black identity. The more west and north we […]
NOTE: Look who bought a $795,000 home on the Gold Coast from a wealthy Lib donor on a nice taxpayer funded holiday.… Read More
THE republic debate has been trickling along at the same time as dissatisfaction with democracy and political elites grows and voters show a predilection for outsiders. Along with marriage equality, it is another example of political paralysis. A majority of people and parliamentarians favour both, but our politicians seems incapable of delivering either.
The do-nothing option prevails. Our avowedly republican Prime Minister prefers to wait until the Queen is dead before anything is done. He also prefers a plebiscite first on whether the Australian Head of State should be elected directly by the people or indirectly by Parliament.
Both proposition lack merit.
The first is a gratuitous insult to Prince Charles and is illogical because the timing of an Australian republic should not be dependent on who happens to be monarch at the time.
The second proposition invites a boycott by monarchists on the argument, “Who said we wanted a republic, anyway.” Rather than exclude the monarchists from the debate it would be better to have a plebiscite on whether Australia should be a republic first. When that is decided and accepted, a second plebiscite would be held on whether the head of state is elected by the people or the Parliament.
The message to monarchists would be: “Look, the people have decided they want a republic. That being the case, how about you stop the old 1999 divide-and-rule tactics and join in to decide what sort of republic.”
That choice would then have to be approved in a referendum to change the Constitution.
All or some of those votes could be held with elections to reduce cost. And the marriage plebiscite could be abandoned in favour of the Parliament doing the job with the power it was given in the Constitution “to make laws with respect to marriage”, among other things.
As things stand, the Prime Minister has an utterly unfettered power to propose to the monarch in London whomever he or she likes to be Governor-General of Australia. Son, daughter, union mate. big corporate donor, political nuisance to be got out of the way, quirky thought bubble of the moment, a British aristocrat, or occasionally, a passable legal or military identity. Highly elitist stuff.
Some of these have happened.
Surely we can now capture the anti-elitist sentiment of Brexit and Trump to dump this most elite institution in Australia – the hereditary British monarchy.
As a first step we could restrict this huge ambit power of the Prime Minister to appoint anyone he or she likes to be Governo...
January 6 2017 – 6:33AM
Ahmed Abou-eid was enjoying a beautiful day with family at Harmony Park in Coburg on Wednesday when things turned ugly.
“My wife and friends frequent that park often, and the kids have a great time. It’s called Harmony Park for a reason – there’s so much friendliness in the park,” the Thornbury man said.
“We had three female friends of mine with their children, and they probably had seven kids with them, the park was quite full and there were a lot of kids playing around.”
A man clutching a whisky bottle, hurling offensive language and racial abuse, quickly changed the mood from playful to frightening.
66. (1) Subject to subsection (2) and section 1359, age pension is absolutely
inalienable, whether by way of, or in consequence of, sale, assignment,
charge, execution, bankruptcy or otherwise. Payments to Com...
I can’t understand why Labor’s indefensible, possible illegal, use of taxpayers’ money to fund the 2014 election campaign in Victoria hasn’t got more traction in the press.
It’s a complete ripper – Labor rorting the rules by reassigning taxpayer-funded electoral officers to campaign for Labor; in particular, by training and organising volunteers to beg for votes in marginal seats.
It’s pretty obvious that this was against the rules; after all, these electoral officers were not even working in the electorates to which they were assigned.
To give the Greens their due, they have worked hard to have this issue exposed. The Libs too have complained loudly and publicly.
All the time, the Andrews government has used taxpayer money to resist all attempts to have the spending of the money in this way investigated; in this instance, by the Ombudsman.
There have been two court cases thus far and now Labor henchman and enforcer, Martin Pakula (the AG in Victoria) wants to take the case to the High Court.
Of course, all this legal manoeuvring makes it only more apparent that Labor in Victoria has a lot to hide and will go to almost any lengths to cover up the racket.
Watch this space.
THE Andrews Government will ask the High Court to stop the Ombudsman probing the Labor Party’s alleged misuse of parliamentary resources.
Ombudsman Deborah Glass was asked by the Legislative Council to investigate allegations Labor MPs misused staff budget entitlements in the lead-up to the 2014 state election.
The Supreme Court last year cleared the way for Ms Glass to investigate, declaring it was within her jurisdiction.
The Andrews Government appealed that decision and lost in December.
Attorney-General Martin Pakula said on Wednesday that the government would now seek leave to appeal to Australia’s highest court.
The Herald Sun...
I would be perfectly happy for Sussan Ley to quit as Health Minister. She has achieved nothing as Health Minister apart from setting up review upon review stuffed with the rent-seekers she should be taking on.
She seems much happier announcing the spending of additional billions of dollars (OPM) on subsidised drugs (thank god all those drug addicts can now be treated at close to zero cost to them for Hep C – that’s a good use of taxpayer money) or some fancy new health facility.
Never mind that there is no serious analysis undertaken about the cost-benefit of most of this additional spending. The dollars through at headspace, the youth mental health outfit, for example, are very difficult to justify with the evaluations pointing to very minimal impacts and very high unit costs. But the government just keeps throwing more money at the initiative because of some powerful and persuasive psychiatrists.
And how has the government got on with its response to Mediscare? Absolutely nowhere and no doubt the Turnbull government will be picked off again at the next election.
But let’s face it, her story about just deciding to buy an $795,000 apartment on the spur of the moment with her husband conveniently in tow (courtesy of the taxpayer) just doesn’t add up. This would have all be lined up and designed to suit her official travel arrangements.
But here’s the rub: why did she have to travel to Brisbane to make the announcement on whatever; she should have made the announcement in Canberra and be done with it. All that stakeholder consultation blah is just politics; it’s not about government.
Given that she has been a complete waste of space as Health Minister, Turnbull should use her lack of judgement on this matter as the rationale for moving her on. Just about anyone would be better in this portfolio than her.
Here’s the story:
FEDERAL Health Minister Sussan Ley charged taxpayers thousands of dollars for a trip to Queensland with her husband during which she bought a $795,000 Gold Coast investment property.
Government documents reveal in May 2015, after announcing at Brisbane’s Wesley Hospital $1.3 billion in funding to list new medicines and vaccines, Ms Ley went to th...
The great visionary Edgar Cayce once said, “The unseen forces are greater than the seen.” That esoteric statement extends to the cosmology of our physical universe as well, since scientists believe it’s comprised of 96% dark matterand dark energy, leaving just 4% of the universe seeable. And among the earth’s seven continents, no greater land mass has been more unseen, uninhabited and less known about than the mysterious frozen terrain that lies underneath the 2-4 mile deep polar ice shelf covering the Antarctic continent, a massive 5.4 million square mile (14 square million kilometer) archipelago that’s twice the size of Australia surrounding the south pole.
The story of Antarctica is the story of secrecy enshrouded in government nondisclosure and cover-up. Yet scientists from primarily the United States, Russia, United Kingdom and France, each largely working separately for decades, have guardedly unveiled layers of truth in small bits and pieces that reveal a mysterious, darkly hidden past. In fact up to 30 countries operate research stations on the continent. Despite the Antarctic Treaty signed by a dozen original nations in December 1959 promoting cooperation for shared scientific research that prohibits a military presence other than for adjunctive scientific purposes, more than a half dozen countries squabble over territorial claims – the UK, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, France and Norway. The US supposedly ceased its naval operations on the continent in 1998. But aside from US hegemon’s presence, Russia’s vested interest announced a year ago includes a naval expedition operating in Antarctica, its first in three decades, and seemingly a violation of the Antarctic Treaty. China also set up its first air squadron in 2016, ostensibly to support its four research bases. With increasing tensions between US and Eastern powers Russia and China, the geopolitics chessboard match on our southernmost continent appears to be gearing up like never before.
Apart from politics, a huge crack...
Welcome to The Weekend Quiz, which used to be
known as the Saturday Quiz! The quiz tests whether you have been
paying attention or not to the blogs I post. See how you go with
the following questions. Your results are only known to you and no
records are retained.
Let’s face it, elite insiders around the world have been caught out. And among the most egregiously behaved were the economists (and governor) of the Bank of England who overtly campaigned for REMAIN. (We should also throw in the economists at HM Treasury.)
The opposition of these elite insiders to Brexit had nothing to do with genuinely held views about the economic consequences of the UK leaving the EU but everything to do with their support for supranational governance and a complete lack of concern for the opinions and welfare of ordinary folk which latter they never encounter.
For the BoE’s chief economist to blame the models is akin to blaming the deaths in the Christmas market in Berlin on the truck.
Everyone knows these models are essentially rhetorical; that they are used to provide faux empirical ‘evidence’ to support the values of the institutions which develop and own these models. The idea that the models made the BoE support REMAIN is just laughable.
Just read this self-serving guff from Haldane who is a firm believer in behavioural economics which is code for believing that most people are idiots, but not him of course.
Note also the following:
Haldane and Martin Brookes co-founded a charity “Pro Bono Economics”, which aims to persuade economists to donate their time and expertise to help charities on a pro bono basis. It has partnered with charities such as St Giles Trust and Barnardo’s. They tapped Gus O’Donnell to help promote the initiative. It is also backed by Gavyn Davies, former BBC head; Sir Howard Davies, London School of Economics director; Rachel Lomax, former......
“We need to stop doing these things that aren’t working. They’re not just not working; they’re creating a problem now.” The success of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation was the story of the 2016 Federal Election and its implications have occupied commentators, journalists, community and family members, over the past six month. It has been fascinating to observe the […]
The post Who do we seek to persude? Climate change and right-wing populism – @JanB_QLD appeared first on Westender - West End 4101.
Police are investigating a crash at Cudgera Creek, near Tweed Heads, this morning (Friday January 6) which took the life of the 61-year-old motorbike rider.
Emergency services were called to the M1 Pacific Motorway at Cudgera Creek near the Cudgera Creek Road off ramp, 27km south of Tweed Heads about 8.33am following reports of a crash.
Police have been told that a white Ford Falcon station wagon and a motorcycle crashed on the motorway.
The rider of the motorcycle, a 61-year-old man was treated at the scene by NSW Ambulance Paramedics. However, the man died at the scene.
The driver of the car, a woman was not injured and was conveyed to Tweed Hospital for mandatory testing.
Officers from Tweed/Byron Local Area Command and the Crash Investigation Unit attended and have commenced an investigation into the incident.
A crime scene was established and one north bound lane of the M1 Pacific Motorway is currently blocked with local diversions in place.
A brief will be prepared for the information of the coroner.
For further information about traffic conditions visit www.livetraffic.com
Police are appealing for anyone who may have dash cam footage of the incident or any of the vehicles involved in the crash to contact Tweed/Byron Local Area Command on (07) 5536 0999 or Crime Stoppers.
All lanes of the highway have now reopened.
Original report: A serious accident involving a motorcycle and car on the northbound lanes of the Pacific Motorway at Cudgera Creek this morning has closed the highway and nearby off ramp.
Details are still sketchy, and a medical team from a rescue helicopter is treating those at the scene near Cudgera Creek Road.
Emergency services and traffic crews are on scene and motorists are advised to delay travel northbound.
Southbound lanes of the motorway remain open however intermittent closures may occur and motorists are advised to expect delays and allow extra travel time.
Emergency services and traffic crews remain on scene at the accident however there is no forecast for when the road will reopen northbound.
Southbound lanes of the motorway remain open but motorists should expect delays and allow extra travel time.......
Because Australia has convened a commission to terminate the $100 bill, in the wake of the currency being cancelled overnight in India, there is a growing distrust of high denomination euros and Australian bills. What is interesting is A$100 notes are nonnegotiable now in India. The same is happening in Europe with the €500 bills. There is a growing distrust of paper currency after Modi’s cancellation of high denomination notes in India. The word is getting out that this is a G20 trend that is being introduced in 2017. The last currency would be the US dollar and that would require Trump’s approval by 2018. Dollars in the streets overseas are starting to be the ONLY currency of choice.
This Week in Folk All the News From The Week That Was – New Zealand folk duo Tattletale Saints hit Australia this week with dates in NSW and VIC. Details here – Folk singer Kate Burke released a sad and beautiful track titled “All For Me”. Details here – Popular Adelaide folk night The Porch […]
8+ on both sides of highway. also 5 more along Jondaryan-Sabine Road. no sign of Black-eared Cuckoo here this time last year
One moment I was alone in the dust; the next, surrounded.
Without warning they began shifting on the ground around me like the shadows of predatory birds, emerging from clefts of the crumbly edifices they called home. Quiet, agile, they closed in until they brushed my legs, pulled at my arms. There was no escape.
Gripping the rupee notes into a crumple of promise, I looked at the group of Rajasthani village kids, then to my boyfriend – filming it all, bewildered – and back to the kids. They stared back, sandy-lashed, as if to loosen my grip with the sheer force of their gaze.
It was egg-frying midday in a nameless village compound on the edge of North India’s Thar Desert – stretching west towards Pakistan from Jaisalmer – where we stopped during our three-day camel safari.
While our guide collected supplies, three local children under 10 approached us bashfully and motioned for gifts. Without chocolate, I offered the sparkly keychain on my bag; in response to their ensuing mystification, I handed each a five-rupee ($0.10 AUD) coin.
This innocent ‘charity’ sent some 20 more village kids hurtling towards me, palms outstretched and shoving their companions. A few mothers, gums aflame with betel nut, joined in prying my hands for notes while I stood slack-jawed in the rush.
After distributing my remaining cash, we mounted the camels and left the dispersion of kids in our wake. But as the Thar’s harsh majesty ebbed and flowed in the dunes before us, my mind anchored back in the village: was money the right thing to give?
This isn’t the first time a traveller to India has contemplated this question. Yet the desert silence gave me a perfect setting to reflect its relation to two Westerner complexes in India, one far graver than the other (my boyfriend, having breakfasted on bhang cookies, was exploring his own complexity).
First, it’s fair to say most travellers to India crave authenticity, which exists no more vividly than within interactions with India’s people. We all want a Jamal Malik from Slumdog Millionaire, a Prabaker from Shantaram to drag us off the train and show us India’s real deal, shout us morning idly and impart philosophy bites to scribble in our new Ganesh journal.
However, as tourists, above all, we’re cogs in India’s money machine, a transient source of income. And so, more often than not, whichever character blesses you at the holy lake, shows you the best chai stand or poses for your photos will request a tip, albeit a small one.
But even the small can be big enough to bruise a traveller’s ego. Just when you thought t...
I was surprised to hear a Crake calling from the wetland near the Cloud Walk end of the Obi Obi Creek walkway early this morning. This may be the first Spotless Crake record for the Maleny plateau. Calls uploaded to attached eBird checklist.
1 Black Falcon chasing starling and crow. Many Brown Songlarks & Horsfield's bushlarks. Group of 5 White-winged Fairy-wrens.
Flock of 20+ Plum-heads including many juveniles in town centre 1 Black-faced Woodswallow, here at eastern extremity or range
Image Courtesy of Citizen of the World Sydney based nu-folk quartet Citizen of the World recently released their wonderful new single “In The Moment”. The track, which has a definitely Dave Matthews Band feel, is a little more melancholy than the foot-stompers we’ve come to expect from Citizen of the World. Check out the video […]
"The Internet Will Shut down for 24 Hours in 2017
Causing Financial Markets to Crash"
(RT) Millions of computer users across the world could be blocked from the internet this year as the global network will shut down for 24 hours, US technology security vendor LogRhythm predicted in December.
Source: RT News | by RT News Staff Writer
The company's chief information security officer and vice president James Carder told Business Insider, it won't just be a technical issue stopping people from uploading their selfies on Instagram.
"In 2017, we're going to see it hit big sometime, somewhere. If the internet goes down, financial markets will tank," he said.
According to Carder, there were all the signs in 2016, with criminals "testing missiles by shooting them into the ocean."
"We saw the massive DDoS [distributed denial of service] attack against DynDNS just a couple of months ago. That DDoS attack took down sites like Twitter and Spotify for a few hours. We saw a similar DDoS hit Brian Krebs before the attack against Dyn. These were really just tests," he said.
In October a mass cyber-attack crippled some of the world's biggest websites with users unable to access Twitter, SoundCloud, Spotify and many others for over two hours.
"If you can prove that you can take down massive sites and a large chunk of the US internet for a few hours, a 24-hour outage seems pretty easy to do?" said Carder.
The head of LogRhythm also said the issue of "fake news" will only get worse this year, with hackers targeting major media sites.
"The power of influence is starting to shift away from mainstream news outlets, and I don't think that is something those mainstream outlets can afford to let happen. They will respond to the fake news threat by trying to implement some level of media control that will likely take it a little too far," he said.
"I think hackers, in the name of protecting our freedom of speech, will retaliate by knocking down a major media outlet or two."
LogRhythm's Australia and New Zealand director of sales Simon Howe has predicted that ransomware on mobile devices will bec.........
In the computer business, the term “vaporware” refers to products that are announced, described in glossy brochures, and even offered for sale, but never actually delivered.
A similar term is certainly needed for books. My own book-in-progress, Economics in Two Lessons is years behind schedule, but a first draft is, at least, in sight.
The prize, in this respect, must surely go to Keith Windschuttle. His Fabrication of Australian History: Volume I, released in 2002, made a big splash This was not so much because of the contents (some quibbles over footnotes, along with a lawyerly attempt to blame Tasmanian indigenous people for their own disastrous fate). Rather, it was the promise of future volumes II and III, on a yearly schedule. Volume II, in particular, was supposed to be in advanced state of preparation and would refute Henry Reynolds’ work on the violence of the Queensland frontier. Volume III was to do the same for WA.
Year followed year, and nothing appeared. Windschuttle got a number of gigs on the strength of his promises, notably including a seat on the ABC Board and the editorship of Quadrant. He also turned out a book on White Australia and then, confusingly, a Volume III of Fabrication, which was not the promised WA volume, but a rehash of the rightwing side of the Stolen Generations debate. He then promised a Volume II, for 2015, which of course has not appeared.
In all the time since 2002, as far as I can tell, he hasn’t released so much as a magazine article backing up his claims about WA and Queensland. I doubt that this can be simple laziness. More likely, he started the research and realised that the evidence wasn’t going his way. Rather than act like the objective historians he claims to admire, and report the facts, he strung along his fellow-believers in the inherent goodness of British civilization with promises that, Real Soon Now, he would come up the facts to refute those nasty leftists.
I was going to let sleeping dogs lie, but Windschuttle has appeared with another new book, this time attacking constitutional recognition of indigenous Australians. So, in honour of the non-appearance of the book that was going to set the historians straight, I propose the term “Windyware” for all such non-books.
The time when you don’t need hope is when your hopes have been fulfilled. Hope is for when you don’t have what you need and for when things are not OK. It is the belief that liberation might be possible that motivates you to make it more possible, and pursuing hope even when it doesn’t lead to the ultimate goal can generate changes that matter along the way, including in yourself.
‘Another, more beautiful America is rising. Trump will be resisted‘, The Guardian, 30 December 2016
Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities (2004; this revised edition Haymarket Books 2016)
First published in 2004 by Nation Books, a small publisher whose motto is ‘Challenging power, one book at a time’, this book challenged the power of the bleak sense of defeat and despair that threatened to overwhelm many progressives after the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq. In three subsequent editions new chapters have been added, but the book is essentially rooted in its time – the millennium was new, the invasion of Iraq was fresh, the younger Bush had been elected twice. There was almost as much reason for gloom then as there is now, when the results of that invasion are still laying waste to thousands of lives, and a man who inherited vast wealth and who has never held political office is about to be inaugurated as president of the United States.
Any number of inspirational quotes could be extracted from this...
In the lead-up to Christmas, tens of thousands of Australians started receiving threatening debt collection notices from Centrelink and its agents. Coming from a government that couldn’t run an online census, you can probably guess what happened. Ben Eltham explains just in case you can’t.
The worried emails and social media posts starting piling up in my inbox in December.
The problem? Centrelink. The government’s monolithic welfare agency is sending nasty letters to people out of the blue.
The government is calling it a “new online compliance system.” I prefer the catchy phrase “robo-debt.”
In the week before Christmas, thousands of Australians received letters or communications from Centrelink, or its appointed debt collectors.
Some received scary letters, informing them of debts in the thousands of dollars. Some logged into MyGov, the government’s creaking online information portal, to try and make a Medicare claim, only to discover a message that they owed thousands.
For others, the news came in a more threatening form: dozens of missed phone calls, culminating in threatening answering machine messages from debt collectors. Once again, the message was terrifying: they owed Centrelink thousands for an over-payment they knew nothing about.
For many, the debts that they owed to Centrelink were utterly mysterious. They had reported their income correctly at the time. There was simply no evidence that they had ever been over-paid.
The robo-debt dragnet began back in September. It has already generated considerable community anguish and concern. 169,000 robo-debt notices have already been sent.
We’ll call one Centrelink client we spoke to ‘Sally’. Her experience is indicative of what some people are going through.
“For about two weeks, I was struggling with some pretty serious anxiety as a result of daily automated phone messages and texts telling me I owed a debt. Some did not even identify themselves.
After a while, I typed the debt collectors’ name into a Google search, assuming it was some sort of phishing scam and found others saying it was on behalf of Centrelink. I called Centrelink, who confirmed that I had a debt and needed to pay the collectors directly as it was now out of their hands.
They had already taken my last tax return to help pay the debt.”...
Photo by Voena
With 2016 now disappearing in the rear-view, it’s time to turn our eyes and ears to the future.
While you’re wrapping your head around this “twenty seventeen” business, crank the volume on two hours of the finest local dance music from the past twelve months. This one ain’t about looking back – it’s a little crystal ball into the future.
Sandro Dallarmi put together this genre-spanning mix for the new year’s eve edition of Switch, his Saturday night show on FBi. As the brains behind FBi Click, our digital station dedicated to the best new club sounds from Sydney and around the world, you’re in pretty safe hands. Packed with Sydney legends (Dro Carey, Basenji, Swick, Moonbase Commander and Nina Las Vegas just to name a few) plus big new names from around the country, it’s your best introduction to the new guard of Australian dance music.
On a local level, this is a zeitgeist of the year that was. But for many who are yet to meet the Aussie talent featured on this mix, it’s a taste of big things to come. Pay attention to these names!
Basenji – Chroma
Roland Tings – Eyes Closed
Hi Life – When I Get 2 The Club
Swick – Energy (feat. Henrik The Artist)
Collarbones – The Cut
V Kim – Gold Chains (feat. Divoli S’vere)
Pelvis – Dance Freak Anthem
Mall Grab – Kalumbo
Tkay Maidza – Always Been
Dro Carey – Elevate (feat. Cadell & Chocolate)
Moonbase Commander – Greyhound
Ruins – Gradient
What So Not – Divide & Conquer
Zeke Beats – Meltdown
HWLS – Gamma (w/ ShockOne)
Melt Unit – You Can Have This (feat. Simo Soo & Zsa Zsa LaFine)
Herzeloyde – Oh (No)
Rattraps – Swan Dive
Corin – Vexations
Tyler Touché – Feel That You’re Real
Young Franco – Drop Your Love
GoldLink – Dark Skin Women (Cosmo’s Midnight & Swindail Remix)
The Avalanches – Subways
Just as free immigration can be incompatible with a zombie welfare system (it attracts immigrants who become parasites)…free trade can cause problems in a fake financial system (it causes imbalances that threaten the world economy).
Trump’s big spending plans and animal spirits could produce the inflation while Yellen’s rate hike and tight money produce the recession.
The post How the Global Economy is Poised on a Knife-edge Between Inflation and Deflation appeared first on The Daily Reckoning Australia.
It's been reported regularly over the past year of so that 'The largest study on the DNA of indigenous Australians confirms Aboriginal people were here tens of thousands of years before European colonisation.'
SAMYANG 14mm f2.4 XP v's TAMRON SP 15-30mm F2.8 Di VC USD Coma tests
What is this test all about?
Both the new Samyang 14mm f2.4 XP and Tamron SP 15-30 f2.8 Di VC USD lenses are going to be lenses that really interest Wide field Astrophotographers due to their wide focal lengths, fast maximum apertures and similar price point. I decided to conduct a simple coma test by taking a few images from each lens at their maximum apertures f2.4 for the Samyang and f2.8 for the Tamron using the 15mm end of the Tamron's zoom range. I also shot images with the Samyang stopped down to f2.8 so we can see a direct comparison between the Samyang and Tamron at the same apertures. (I will include an explanation of coma at the end of this.)
The reason for the test is simply to help photographers, particularly Astro Photographers, decide what lens is better suited to their needs and satisfy my own curiosity.
How did I conduct this test? I set my tripod and camera in position, mounted the Samyang 14mm to my 6d used live view to get critical focus on the pointer stars and took a shot using the maximum aperture and settings mentioned below each image. I then mounted the Tamron to my 6d and did the same, I then repeated with the samyang at f2.8 the images were taken within minutes of each other.
Solar targets: ‘We’re already halfway there’ says Energy Minister Mark Bailey, Brisbane Times, Tony Moore , 5 Dec 16 The Queensland Government says it is halfway towards one section of its 2020 target of generating 3000 megawatts of solar power from Queensland rooftops by 2020.
“November’s peak of a...
China to spend $493 billion on green power by 2020 http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-05/china-to-spend-$493-billion-on-renewable-fuel-by-2020/8164434 China will plough 2.5 trillion yuan ($493 billion) into renewable power generation by 2020, the country’s energy agency says, as the world’s largest energy market continues to shift away from dirty coal power towards cleaner fuels.
The investment will create...
Steve Dale Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia, 5 Dec 16 What we call “Intermediate” level waste is called “High” level waste (HLW) in the USA, Canada, Japan, France and the UK. This mislabeling is so deceptive, that if it was any other product the ACCC would be sinking their gums into them.
Next-generation coal can fill gap, says Matt
Canavan, 5 Jan 17
Australia should turn to the next generation of coal-fired power stations to generate more domestic electricity, according to a key federal minister who has gone on the offensive against conservationists who want to end the use of coal…. (subscribers only)
New study confirms NOAA finding of faster global warming https://www.skepticalscience.com/new-study-confirms-noaa-karl-hausfather.html 4 January 2017 by John Abraham
Once again, science is shown to work. The laborious process in which scientists check and recheck their work and subject their ideas to peer review has led to another success. An independent test of global warming data has confirmed a groundbreaking 2015 study that showed warming was faster than prior estimates.
Because of its inconvenient findings, the study’s lead author Thomas Karl was subjected to harassment by Lamar Smith (R-TX), chair of the House Science Committee, in an effort to impugn his credibility. But now Karl and his co-authors have been vindicated.
Let’s take a step back and discuss the science. Measuring the temperature of the Earth is hard. There are many locations to measur...
France ready to save nuclear group Areva, regardless of election outcome, Globe and Mail, GEERT DE CLERCQ, PARIS — Reuters, Jan. 04, 2017 A government-led rescue of French nuclear group Areva and the wider atomic-energy industry may cost the state as much as €10-billion ($13.94-billion Canadian), but political support is almost certain whoever wins the presidential election in May.
As a U.S. Business, Nuclear Power Stinks http://www.powermag.com/blog/as-a-u-s-business-nuclear-power-stinks/ 01/01/2017 | Kennedy Maize Regardless of one’s views of the social values of nuclear power — compelling cases can be made all around — as a business proposition nuclear stinks.
The latest evidence comes from the giant Japanese conglomerate Toshiba, which saw a third of its market value vanish in two days of trading (20% in one day, a free-fall stopped only by a limit to trading losses imposed by the Japanese stock market). Credit rating agencies promptly downgraded the company’s debt.
Toshiba’s stock crash was a result of billions in reported losses from its Westinghouse Electric subsidiary and Westinghouse’s ruinous investment last year in nuclear engineering and construction behemoth CB&I Stone & Webster, itself the product of an ill-fated merger. Toshiba’s nuclear business has been hemorrhaging money at its U.S. construction projects in Georgia and South Carolina. Westinghouse is years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget at its two construction projects: Southern’s Vogtle and Scana Corp.’s Summer units, a total of four Westinghouse AP1000 reactors under construction. Toshiba faces the possibility that its nuclear troubles will lead the company to a negative net worth.
My colleague Aaron Larson describes the gory business details well....
Israel to build world’s tallest solar tower in symbol of renewable energy ambition, Independent, 5 Jan 17 With Israel traditionally running its economy on fossil fuels, renewable energy has long been hobbled by bureaucracy and a lack of incentives. In sunny Israel, solar energy supplies only a small percentage of the nation’s power needs, leaving it far behind countries with cloudier and colder climates.
Now the fledgling solar industry is trying to make a leap forward with a large-scale project boasting the world’s tallest solar tower, as a symbol of Isra...
from No High Level International Nuclear Waste Dump in South Australia, National Radioactive Waste Management Facility project, 5 Dec 16
• Productive capacity of cyclotrons and nuclear reactors
• Importing and exporting nuclear medicine
• Waste generation from Australian production
The webinar will be live online from our Sydney office and accessible from any computer. You will be able to send questions to the panel members at any point throughout the discussions. The webinar will run from 9am to 1pm on 23 February 2016.
Please signal your interest in attending this event in person in your area to email@example.com as this will assist us in our planning. If there is enough interest, we may look at hiring a hall.
Tesla Flips the Switch on the Gigafactory Musk meets a deadline: Battery-cell production begins at what will soon be the world’s biggest factory—with thousands of additional jobs. Bloomberg, by Tom Randall January 5, 2017 The Gigafactory has been activated.
Tesla’s solar roofs could revolutionize the industry
Hidden in the scrubland east of Reno, Nev., where cowboys gamble and wild horses still roam—a diamond-shaped factory of outlandish proportions is emerging from the sweat and promises of Tesla CEO Elon Musk. It’s known as the Gigafactory, and today its first battery cells are rolling off production lines to power the company’s energy storage products and, before long, the Model 3 electric car. 1
The start of mass production 2 is a huge milestone in Tesla’s quest to electrify transportation, and it brings to America a manufacturing industry—battery cells—that’s long been dominated by China, Japan, and South Korea. More than 2,900 people are already working at the 4.9 million square-foot facility, 3 and more than 4,000 jobs (including temporary construction work) will be added this year through the partnership between Tesla and Panasonic. 4
By 2018, the Gigafactory, which is less than a third complete, will double the world’s production capacity for lithium-ion batteries and employ 6,500 full-time Reno-based workers, according to a new hiring forecast from Tesla. The company’s shares, having touched their highest point since August, closed up $10 at $226.99 in New York trading.
The full activation of the Gigafactory carries existential significance for Tesla, representing...
I’m an Orthodox Jewish settler raising seven children in the West Bank. I’m also an American citizen and I voted for Donald Trump. Yeah, I’m that lady. I opened a local business here, and I did so on purpose — to respond to BDS anti-settler activities by encouraging Jewish West Bank residents to work in the West Bank and keep their own businesses local in the West Bank. I believe in annexation and I do not support a two-state solution.
And that makes me a peace-loving, Palestinian-respecting individual. I’m not the racist. You are.
You, my liberal, anti-settler, anti-Trump friends who hate my views — if not me (yet) — are the racists. I have spent a lot of time particularly in the past three months being told by US Democratic voters and UN supporters what a monstrous racist group of people we are, those people “like me.”
I’ve finally had enough. I’ve invited so many of you to engage and hear from real people instead of judging, and you show no interest. Apparently, it’s preferable to let television and the New York Times inform your views on my little corner of the world.
I want to start with the US elections. I have read post after blog after article telling me why Trump voters voted for him. What we think, how we feel, what matters to us (and what doesn’t, like women and/or minorities), and who we are. With some serious name calling. But you didn’t ask me. And you don’t actually know what I think or feel or want or why I voted. So you are pre-judging me. Based on a whole lot of stuff. But it’s prejudice, no matter how you slice it. And I have tolerated — just barely — eight years of a president who not only told me what to think and feel, but told the world assumptions about me as a white person who grew up with “privilege” that just aren’t true. I watched as my life choices and values as a person living in the West Bank of Israel were summarized, judged and assumed by the leader of the free world in a way that is just false, and offensive to my sense of fairness, justice and humanity. I have been misjudged and mischaracterized, in fact penalized, without a proper understanding of what reality looks like over here.
I have watched a president grab executive power while Congress screamed and the citizens ignored it. I watched a president on the political left, who was democratically elected and is entitled to his views, create a culture of demonization of the Right in a way that is unprecedented in my lifetime. I saw policies that moved the US towards socialism. And I voted against any more years of that. Not that you asked. But when you — or he, or Hilary — call me a misogynist or a racist or a pig or “deplorable” for voting the way I did, you are judging a whole band of “them” that isn’t you. And I know how much you hate it when other p...
Several people have been arrested after a series of co-ordinated raids in and around the Casino area targeting the supply and manufacture of the illegal drug ice..
Strike Force Thermal was established by officers attached to Richmond Local Area Command to investigate the manufacture and supply of prohibited drugs in the Casino area.
On Thursday, December 29, police stopped a vehicle on Bruxner Highway, Mummulgum arresting a 43-year-old woman, and the passenger, a 35-year-old man. The pair were subsequently charged with a number of offences relating to drug manufacture and supply.
They were both bail refused to appear at Lismore Local Court on 9 January.
Later in the day, police executed two search warrants at houses in Mackenzie Court, Tenterfield and Canterbury Street, Casino.
Whilst searching the property, police allegedly located a number of items including a clandestine laboratory.
The following day (Friday 30 December), about 8am, police executed several search warrants at properties located on Stapleton Avenue and Callistemon Street, Casino, and Nandabah Street, Rappville and Pinnacles Road, The Pinnacles.
During these search warrants police allegedly located firearms, cash, drug equipment and chemicals believed to be used in the manufacture of drugs.
A 35-year-old man and 43-year-old woman were charged with a number of offences relating to ongoing drug supply and manufacture.
As a result of further inquiries, about 12.20pm yesterday (Thursday 5 January), officers from Strike Force Thermal attended a house on Stapletone Ave, Casino.
Police arrested a 49-year-old man and 34-year-old female, and the pair were conveyed to Casino Police Station.
The 59-year-old man was charged with drug supply and given conditional bail to appear before Lismore Local Court on Wednesday 25 January.
The 34-year-old woman was charged with a number of offences relating to the manufacture of methamphetamine and knowingly taking part in a criminal organisation. She was bailed refused to appear before Lismore Local Court today (Friday 6 January).
The post Police raids targeting ice around Casino lead to arrests appeared first on Echonetdaily.
The 160-year-old Greyhound hotel was a centre for drag-queens and on Thursday night owners took to Facebook to break the news.
The venue was a safe haven for Melbourne’s LGBTIQ community, with many commenting on the post to say goodbye and praise the safe place that was created.
Minister buys apartment on tax payer funded trip
Federal Health Minister, Sussan Ley, claims she did not plan on buying a $795,000 apartment while on a tax-payer funded trip to Queensland.
176 investigations started against 226 persons in Norway as part of Operation Incognito, the Scandinavian side of the United States-led Operation Hyperion. Hyperion was a global law enforcement action against dark web criminals (who dealt mostly with narcotics).
Authorities already detained and remanded 12 of the suspects in custody from the Northern region. Most of the suspects are located in the Western part of the country, police information says.
“The results show that drug trafficking has moved into the homes, and that you can order drugs in the mail while sitting with your kids, or in the bedroom. We have, in these cases, managed to break the anonymity of the Darknet,” said Linda Staaf, head of the intelligence unit at the National Police Operations Department in a press release.
Law enforcement authorities in Norway warned dark net buyers that they will be “more suspicious” and there is an expectation of “more efforts like this in the future”.
Operation Hyperion was the first law enforcement action ever coordinated on a global scale against dark web vendors and buyers. It was initiated by the US federal law enforcement and involved agencies in different countries, including the Europol, the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency, Australian Federal Police, New Zealand Police and New Zealand Customs Service, Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada Post and Canada Border Services Agency, the Netherlands, French Customs National Intelligence and Investigations Directorate, Finnish Customs, Swedish Police Authority and Swedish Customs, Ireland’s Garda National Drugs & Organised Crime Bureau, and Spain’s Guardia Civil.
An official press release was given by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement:
While illegal drugs continue to be the biggest item purchased and sold on Darknet marketplaces, law enforcement agencies around the world are also seeing counterfeit prescription drugs and other counterfeit items, dangerous and deadly synthetic drugs like Fentanyl, deadly toxins, fake and stolen identities, identity documents and stolen credit card data, as well as illegal services like computer hacking, murder for hire and money laundering.
One of the most shocking news for the dark web community was the Netherlands launching a .onion site on the dark net. The website listed the currently active and arrested Dutch vendors and the usernames of the identified dark web buyers.
Soon after Operation Hyperion launched, law enforcement authorities in Australia arrested four suspects. Police executed 11 search warrants in th...
Byron Shire Council is asking Bangalow residents to do a bit of ‘brainstorming’ and come up with some ideas for the underutilised stretch of rail corridor that bisects the town.
Using the software ‘brainstormer’ residents can log in and register their ideas – although it seems that it being launched in the ‘silly season’ has resulted in just a couple of residents taking up the challenge so far.
Some of the suggestions the council has come up with include:
The council says feedback is needed by Wednesday, January 25.
If using the app isn’t exactly a ‘no brainer’ for you, ideas can also be handwritten and dropped in to the Bangalow Newsagency or at the community information stand at the Bangalow’s Saturday Farmers Markets on January 14 and 21.
Unfortunate news today, with Blood Orange cancelling his entire Australian tour – including his Sugar Mountain performance and both Melbourne and Sydney shows.
“I was looking forward to visiting Australia this year”, Dev Hynes says of the cancellation, which is said to be cause by a family member’s ill health. “Unfortunately due to personal and family matters, and after much consideration, I’ve decided to cancel these shows to spend time with my family. Sending love in the new year.”
In light of this cancellation, Sugar Mountain have expressed their regret and offered their apologies in light of the cancellation, and have managed to add four great acts to the bill: The Avalanches, Baltimore’s Spank Rock, 21-year-old NZ rapper Young Tapz, and Melbourne duo HABITS.
“With tremendous regret Frontier Touring, Sugar Mountain and I OH YOU wish to advise the cancellation of Blood Orange’s upcoming Melbourne and Sydney performances,” organisers tell us. “Dev Hynes’ current tour commitments have been cancelled due to a family member’s ill health. Frontier Touring, Sugar Mountain and I OH YOU sincerely apologise to fans effected by this cancellation, and wish Dev and his family the best.”
While it’s a great selection of new acts to be added to the Sugar Mountain bill, it’ll come as cold comfort for the many fans who would have been eagerly awaiting his appearance. Sydney fans are eligible for a refund through Ticketek.
Ballina ratepayers face an almost 17 per cent increase of their rates over the next three years, most of it to fund road maintenance, as well as improving the shire’s degraded waterways.
At its meeting last month, Ballina Shire councillors voted 7-3 to place on public exhibition their preferred option to increase rates over the 2017-18 to 2019-20 financial years.
Council will seek a 3.4 per cent rate increase, on top of the state-approved cap of 1.5 per cent, for the three years to pay for infrastructure (roads, building, playing fields etc) and improving the Richmond River estuary waterways.
The total increase is 4.9 per cent in 2017-18, then 5.9 per cent the following two years, a total of 16.7 per cent for the three years.
Of the extra income derived from the increase ($695,000 in the first year, $1.44 million in the second and $2.2 million in the third), 51 per cent will be used for roads and stormwater, 21 per cent on open space and sports fields, 15 per cent on the Healthy Waterways program and 12 per cent on community buildings.
The Independent Pricing And Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) cap of 1.5 per cent is expected to increase to 2.5 per cent in the second and third years.
Ballina mayor David Wright said the overall health of the Richmond River had continued to rate as an important issue in community and fishing industry surveys.
Cr Wright told Echonetdaily that the river and waterways health issue had been prominent ‘for quite a while now’ and needed addressing by funding action to rehabilitate them.
Ratepayers will soon be able to have their say on the proposed increase during a public submission period early this year.
Crs Phillip Meehan, Jeff Johnson and Ben smith voted against the option.
Contributed by Ugly There has been a lot of concern about various forms of violence against and abuse of people in Australian society over the...
The post Centrelink’s treatment of people is a form of violence appeared first on The Pen.
Image Courtesy of Noam Pikelny Punch Brothers banjo player and all round folk prodigy Noam Pikelny has announced plans to release his first official solo album Universal Favorite in March this year. The album features Pikelny without accompaniment – it’s just banjo, vocal and the occasional other instruments. Universal Favorite was produced by Pikelny’s Punch […]
The vaccine for Meningococcal B is only available through the private sector, despite repeated attempts to get it onto the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Bexsero has been out of stock since October, with manufacturer Glaxo Smith Kline blaming “unexpected demand” for the shortage.
Watchdog barks over 'CU in the NT' slogan
The Advertising Standards Bureau has labelled the controversial ‘CU in the NT’ slogan as “extremely denigrating to women” while ruling on a complaint that was lodged to the industry watchdog.
The retail copy popped up on Amazon overnight. I'm not going wide with this one. Not expecting to see much in the way of sales activity either, since there's a big warning at the front of the book that it can be had for free at the bookclub.
But, if anyone is inclined to drop a review on it, that will help with discoverability.
Or cut and paste this bad boy: http://amzn.to/2j9wUMx
If it should sell a few copies I'll try separate the specific amount from the rest of my operations and maybe see about getting some Amazon vouchers for the contribs. Don't count those Bezos bucks yet, though.
Continuing my series of posts about references to Australian material in overseas periodicals, I bring you items from thirty eight year's worth of the US 'The MUFON Journal.'
Two men have been injured in what NSW Ambulance is referring to as ‘an incident involving a light plane’ at Eviron, east of Murwillumbah this morning (Friday, January 6).
The ambulance service responded to an emergency call at around 8.20 this morning.
A spokesperson told Echonetdaily a man in his 70s was treated for ‘minor injuries’ and a second man in his 30s was treated for neck pain by ambulance paramedics.
Both men were transported by road ambulance to The Tweed Hospital.
Police are investigating and a duty officer was unavailable for comment at time of writing.
The post Two injured in light plane ‘incident’ east of Murwillumbah appeared first on Echonetdaily.
Centrelink has been increasingly under fire this week amid reports of false debt notices being issued to low-income Australians as a result of new data-matching with the ATO… In some cases, customers are being asked to provide payslips from six years ago.
Shelter told The Guardian the Department of Human Services has a culture of blame aversion, with only good news making it up through the chain of bureaucracy.
He says failures lead to blame shifting.
Thousands of collectors and sellers from all parts of Australia will converge on Byron Bay this weekend for the second annual Mega Antique Retro Fair at the Cavanbah Sports Centre.
In an interesting twist, the fair will also be encouraging collectors to donate their less valuable old stuff to the needy via online donations platform GIVIT Australia.
The unique concept of GIVIT is that it allows donors to match what they have to give with specific people in need in their area.
For the slightly more well heeled, the fair will offer a range of heritage retro and deco items to add to their collection or to make a start in this popular hobby or to furnish their home.
Everything from old toys and china to rare bottles, coins, books, jewellery plus many quirky collectables will provide a window into our past.
A feature of the fair will be a huge display of Australian and international vintage and custom jewellery, including a range of rare compacts.
It will also offer children an opportunity to learn more about Australia’s early pioneering days.
The fair will open to the public from 8am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday, January 14 & 15, 8am to 1pm. Admission $8 Children Under 14 years Free.
The Fair benefits GIVIT Australia.
Information on the Fair available on www.aussiefairs.com or 0427465407
THIS Saturday, January 7 and the following Saturday, January 14,
you’ll get double the interest if you visit the Christmas Carnival
on Phillip Island.
Not only will you be able to enjoy the popular rides and sideshows, but you’ll also be able to experience a great Monster Truck Show and fireworks display.
The gates for the Monster Truck Show open at 3pm with the Monster Trucks and Freestyle motocross show starting at 6pm.
“The show goes through from 6pm to dark, with an intermission, and then we have the fireworks display to finish,” said organiser Troy Garcia.
“It’s a great show and never mind the weather. Even if there’s a bit of rain we go ahead. In fact it can be a lot more fun when the trucks are sliding around the bit.”
That was the problem on Boxing Day, at Logan Park in Warragul, when the crowds stayed away despite the great show they put on.
So, it’s Phillip Island this Saturday evening, and the following Saturday, for some great piston-thumping action.
The community of Tweed shire is being asked to define what they think Tweed Shire Council’s priorities, goals, strategies and targets should be for the next 10 years.
‘Living and Loving the Tweed’ is the theme of council’s Draft Community Strategic Plan 2017-2027 which went on public exhibition this week for community comment.
The primary purpose of the plan is to document the community’s priorities for the next decade and to define Council’s related goals, strategies and targets.
Tweed mayor Katie Milne said a comprehensive community engagement process over the 58 days of public exhibition will provide a variety of ways for people to learn more about this important Community Strategic Plan and provide further input.
‘This plan aims to set out the community’s vision and Council’s commitment for the Tweed for the next 10 years,’ mayor Milne said.
‘A lot of people are doing it tough and our environment is suffering too. The most effective strategies need to be identified so we can all flourish with our limited resources.
‘We must urgently progress the opportunities of a better, fairer and more creative, clean, green future that is essential now more than ever with climate change. It’s imperative we get our priorities right so our future communities benefit rather than be left more vulnerable.
‘The draft plan has been shaped by thousands of initial contributions and conversations from the community; through our shire-wide survey and many community engagement events.
‘It’s important the whole spectrum of the community is represented in this plan and particularly in this final public exhibition period, so please have your say,’ Cr Milne said.
A series of community engagement events will be held across the Tweed in January and February to take the discussion into the community.
To view the Draft Community Strategic Plan and for information on making a submission please visit http://www.tweed.nsw.gov.au/OnExhibition
For further b...
Abu Ghraib – this is how we end up as a lawless culture. by Mary W Maxwell Using Tsarnaev’s Case As Basis for Real Indictments I am 99% satisfied that Jahar Tsarnaev had nothing to do with bombing the Marathon, killing MIT Officer Sean Collier, carjacking Danny’s car, stealing Danny’s money, shooting at cops, throwing […]
The organisers of the Falls Festival may be facing a class action lawsuit after the crowd crush in Lorne on December 30 that left roughly 80 people injured.
Maddens Lawyers have spoken to ten people seriously injured during the melee, and have appealed for more punters to come forward and take part in the class action.
They claim the crush was caused due to lack of access from the Grand Theatre; punters were attempting to leave the staging area after a DMA’s set in order to catch UK band London Grammar.
Class Action principal at Madden Lawyers Brendan Pendergast said in a statement regarding the incident that “entrances and exits to the venue in question, barricades surrounding walkways, even the material on the walkways themselves… these were all conditions that were well outside the control of festival patrons.
“These revellers purchased their tickets to, and attended, the Falls event in good faith that their safety, health and well-being would be preserved.”
Falls Festival Co Producer Jessica Ducrou released a statement following the incident, saying the organisers are “beyond shattered” and “completely devastated”, citing “a confluence of events” as the cause, before promising “an investigation into the various contributing factors, which will take some weeks to determine.”
Wild affairs are usually best kept secret, but there’s no hiding Australia’s infatuation with Summernats.
Organisers are gearing up for the 30th and biggest edition of the annual car festival, which rolled into Canberra on Thursday.
It kick-started with the traditional City Cruise, where 300-odd hot rods and street machines rumbled down the CBD’s main drag.
Almost 2,500 cars have registered for the four-day event – smashing the previous record of 1952 set in 2009 – and more than 110,000 people are expected to visit.
Camping at Exhibition Park has also sold out for the first time in its history.
‘It’s definitely shaping up to be the biggest Summernats festival ever,’ co-owner Andy Lopez said.
‘The scope and the variety of cars coming will be off the scale.’
A contingent from New Zealand has already arrived, including half a dozen entrants for the ever-popular burnout competition.
There’s also keen interest from rev-heads in the US, with a number of media outlets, including The New York Times, in town to cover the festival.
‘I think Canberra’s secret love affair with Summernats is now a very public one,’ Mr Lopez said.
‘The New Zealand market is one that will grow into the future … [and] the American market is a huge one for us.’
While admitting Summernats is still ‘wild and crazy’, Mr Lopez insists it’s all about the cars and is open to families and children.
ACT Policing said crowds have been well-behaved in recent years and expects the same again this weekend....
A Wikipedia article about former Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s father-in-law and his controversial military service in West Papua is believed to have played a part in sparking a suspension in military ties with Australia.
It was revealed this week the Indonesian military suspended defence co-operation with Australia last month without the involvement of President Joko Widodo or his defence minister.
The suspension was triggered after an Indonesian special forces trainer teaching language studies at a Perth military academy was offended by material being used by an Australian student late last year.
AAP understands the material concerned information taken from the online encyclopedia website Wikipedia about the late General Sarwo Edhie Wibowo, who is considered a national hero in Indonesia.
Wibowo was involved in leading the purge of communists in Indonesia in 1965.
Before West Papua became Indonesian territory, Wibowo oversaw the 1969 referendum dubbed the ‘An Act of Free Choice’, which has since been widely condemned as a sham when only 1,025 people were selected to vote.
The Indonesian trainer was also offended by a poster that ridiculed Indonesia’s founding ideology, Pancasila.
Pancasila stipulates Indonesia’s five principles of religion, civilised humanity, unity, democracy and social justice.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says he hopes the issue will be resolved quickly.
‘I look forward to this matter being resolved as soon as possible,’ he said in a statement on Thursday night.
‘I acknowledge and value President Widodo’s commitment to the strategic partnership between our two countries and value our personal friendship.’
A passenger suffering from a measles infection while on an international flight to Sydney has triggered a fresh public health warning about the highly contagious disease.
The young woman travelled on a Virgin flight from Denpasar to Sydney on January 1.
She also visited the Sutherland Hospital emergency department on January 4, with the hospital contacting people who may have been exposed during her visit.
NSW health authorities are warning fellow flight passengers and others who may have come into contact with the woman to be alert to measles symptoms in coming weeks.
Symptoms of the airbone virus include fever, sore eyes and a cough followed by a red, blotchy rash three to four days later.
‘The measles virus is highly contagious and is spread through the air by someone who is unwell with the disease,’ Dr Sean Tobin from NSW Health said on Thursday.
‘If you develop the symptoms of measles, seek medical advice. Please call ahead to your doctor or emergency department so that arrangements can be made to keep you away from others to minimise the risk of infection.’
The case is not linked to a cluster of four cases reported in December last year, authorities say.
Mullumbimby creative duo Potts and Anne Leon are staging a joint exhibition A Matter Of Balance at the Lone Goat Gallery in the Byron Bay library building. The exhibition opens on Friday January 6, 6pm–8pm and is described as ‘a provocative insight into the natural balance between habitat, humans, plants, animals, the ocean, and the balance required in surfing’.
‘Employing different approaches to the same theme, Anne and Potts found their work crossing over, which gave rise to some unique collaborative pieces that capture the imagination and sing with form and colour.’
Anne says, ‘This show has been a journey of discovery and wonders found, photographed, or picked up in everyday walks along the beach and bushland. My focus has been on interpreting the natural world, through materials and techniques that help to demonstrate the tenuous balance of nature.
‘In particular, plant-dyeing, where I use roots, leaves and flowers imprinted onto paper and cloth, to create a delicate but defined “eco-print”, formed by cooking the plant materials into the substrates. The dyeing often forms the first layer, to which I add screen-prints, etchings or drawings.’
For Potts, ‘Whether print-making, painting or collage, I am constantly fluctuating between genres and techniques to express my vision. The beauty of the trees inspires me to paint, the texture of the ocean lends itself to silkscreen printing and collage, while Australia’s wildflowers just come alive when translated to scraperboard, enlarged, hand coloured and printed.’
See more at facebook.com/AnneLeonDesigns.
A convicted murderer from Holland was able to walk through Britain’s porous borders without any checks and went on to attack two police officers with a claw-hammer.… Read More
The future of coral reefs under climate change
Press Release – United Nations Environment Programme
5 January 2017 New climate model projections of the worlds coral reefs reveal which reefs will be hit first by annual coral bleaching, an event that poses the gravest threat to one of the Earths most important ecosystems.New research predicts the future of coral reefs under climate change
· If current trends continue, severe bleaching will occur every year on 99% of the world’s coral reefs within this century
· More ambitious emissions reductions may give reefs an average
of 11 extra years before annual bleaching strikes
· High-resolution predictions of annual coral bleaching can help prioritize reefs for conservation
5 January 2017 – New climate model projections of the world’s coral reefs reveal which reefs will be hit first by annual coral bleaching, an event that poses the gravest threat to one of the…
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The government is struggling to decide the future of Tepco’s Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant, which has been suspended since the March 2011 disaster.
There have been increasing calls for decommissioning the power plant located just a few kilometers south of the wrecked Fukushima No. 1 installation.
The government has been finding it difficult to reach a clear conclusion on Fukushima No. 2’s fate, as it and Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings have been busy dealing with its older counterpart that suffered three reactor meltdowns following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
On Dec. 21, the Fukushima Prefectural Assembly voted unanimously to adopt a resolution calling on the central government to decommission the No. 2 plant “at an early date,” arguing that the facility is an obstacle to the prefecture’s recovery from the 3/11 disasters.
A temporary halt to the cooling system for a spent fuel pool at the…
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The Turnbull government plans to raise a windfall of $4.6 billion over the next four years, and this is how they intend to do it. Centrelink is averaging annual earnings over every fortnightly reporting period. This means that you are determined by them to have earned income at the same time as you received unemployment […]
A mysterious signal coming from deep in the universe has finally been traced to its source. Fast Radio Bursts, or FRBs, have only been heard 18 times and have been a puzzle to scientists since they were detected in 2007. Nobody knows where they could be coming from or how they might be triggered, with speculation ranging from a huge star, jets of material shooting out of a black hole - or even aliens. FRBs are powerful but very short radio waves, which last no more than a millisecond. The first was found by Australia's Parkes telescope in 2007. Since then, 17 have been heard, but only one of them has been heard repeatedly. That repeated burst was studied for six months, letting scientists find its exact position in the sky. It seems to be coming from a faint dwarf galaxy more than three billion light years away, scientists said. FRB 121102, as it is referred to, was found using the Very Large Array. That is a multi-antenna radio telescope operated by the US National Science Foundation.
By Staff of Fox News - Damning emails from Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman did not come from Russian hackers and the claim is being made to "delegitimize" Donald Trump, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told Fox News' Sean Hannity in an exclusive interview. Hannity sat down with Assange in London's Ecuadorian embassy, where the Australian native has been holed up for five years battling extradition to Sweden on unrelated charges. Part I of the interview is set to air Tuesday night at 10 p.m. on Fox News Channel's "Hannity." In excerpts released prior to airing, Assange is adamant that the hacked emails his organization released of Clinton official John Podesta did not come from Russia, as the Obama administration has claimed.
Sh. Mirza Yawar Baig
They say that reading biographies is perhaps the best way to learn real life lessons. That is because a biography is a record of practice. Of what worked and what didn’t. The life of Muhammadﷺ is perhaps one of the most well documented in human history.
Having said that one may ask why his life and all the detail is important at all? I am not speaking from the perspective of a Muslim for whom to study the life of Muhammadﷺ and to live his life in accordance with it, is a religious requirement. I am asking this from the perspective of a neutral reader, Muslim or not, who is looking for biographies to read.
The answer lies in the facts related to his life which are public knowledge. Here was someone who in a period of 23 years, took his people from being the weakest, most despised and oppressed in their community to being the leaders and role models in the same community. And he did all that without lies, cheating, corruption, violence or bloodshed. My question is, ‘Would you like to know how to do that? Would you like to know how to bring about not incremental but transformational change in your society? Then read the life of Muhammadﷺ.’
In the words of J. Krishnamurty, ‘It is no measure of health t...
It's time for the fifth annual giving of the Ehrlich
Awards, which round the start of each year go to the most
amusingly or staggeringly wrong predictions I observe in any field
of interest relating to the previous twelve months. The
Ehrlichs are named for Paul Ehrlich,
the evangelist of ecological end-times who put me on a path to a
lifetime of health scepticism of dark green gloomery when he not
just lost a famous
bet with economist Julian Simon but also gave poor excuses for
the defeat. For the past editions click the Ehrlich Awards tab at
the bottom, and for the ground rules see the
As usual I should note my own predictive efforts are hardly perfect, but I had a pretty good year in 2016, missing by only two on the Coalition's national Reps seat tally (for example). I did wrongly predict two Reps seats in my own home state, which was embarrassing, though I did indicate those were quite uncertain.
Two areas of widespread predictive failure that will dominate these Awards were the US election and Senate reform. They weren't the only ones I noticed. For instance the late Bob Ellis made a bold bid for posthumous glory with "It is likely, though not certain, that Malcolm Turnbull will lose his seat" - Turnbull won his seat 68:32 with a trivial 1.2% swing against him. But I think the two I've mentioned are the most interesting ones and I've decided to make the US election case the dishonourable mentions, saving Senate reform for the medals.
In the US election, poll aggregation methods systematically failed to predict the winner. They did so because while they had the national vote picture broadly correct, polling in a few swing states was wrong and Trump won these states by narrow margins. It isn't clear how any analysis of opinion poll data, whatever adjustments it applied from past results, could have got it right - some elections are difficult to predict and sometimes an underdog wins, seemingly no matter what you do. Had the national polls been wrong by a similar average amount in Australia's federal election, we would have had a hung parliament as in 2010, and we would now be having much the same conversation here, especially if Labor formed government.
There is hence a lot of hand-wringing in the US about whether poll analysis is any use at all, with one takedown of Nate Silver (language warning on that link) insisting polling analysts are "useless...
World (HRC) – In contrast to 2015’s largely upbeat report on the state of LGBTQ equality worldwide, the news in 2016 was more somber. While there were significant advances, such as the advent of marriage equality in Colombia and the creation of senior LGBTQ watchdog positions at the United Nations and the World Bank, the disturbing persistence of violence targeting vulnerable LGBTQ people around the world was a continuing cause for serious concern. Growing political backlash against LGBTQ rights in Latin America and Southeast Asia, a resurgence in the activities of American exporters of hate and the stunning November victory of Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential elections were other developments that could bode ill for global LGBTQ rights as we move into 2017.
2016 saw major legal momentum on achieving LGBTQ equal rights and protections. The number of countries that continue to criminalize consenting adult same-sex relations fell from 75 to 72. Three countries – Belize in Central America, Nauru in Oceania and Seychelles in East Africa – decriminalized same-sex acts in the span of just four months. The case of Belize was especially remarkable as noted activist Caleb Orozco fought in court for six years to overturn the country’s antiquated sodomy law. The march towards marriage equality continued in 2016, albeit at a slower rate than before. Colombia achieved marriage equality in April through a court decision, making it the twentieth country in the world with full marriage equality. Efforts continue elsewhere to achieve marriage equality, most notably in Australia, Chile and Taiwan. Transgender people also saw incremental progress in many parts of the world and a progressive gender identity law was enacted in Bolivia in September.
In Latin America, Europe and North America, LGBTQ people continued to win at the ballot box and hold high level political positions. The first openly transgender person was elected to Congress in the Philippines and a pro-equality candidate...
By Sandy English:
A century since the publication of Henri Barbusse’s antiwar novel, Under Fire
4 January 2017
In January 1917, French novelist Henri Barbusse published his novel Under Fire: The Story of a Squad (Le Feu: Journal d’une escouade), which related the experiences of a French army unit in the First World War. The book was based on the writer’s own experiences in the trenches facing the German lines in northern France, where he served for 17 months. The novel had been published in serial form toward the end of 1916, and appeared as a book in the first month of the new year.
After the passage of 100 years, Under Fire remains one of the most compelling works of art from the early part of the 20th century, and the first—and, in some ways, the most psychologically revealing—of the antiwar novels that the war of 1914-1918 produced in Europe and America over the next two decades.
Perhaps more importantly, the novel itself became a factor in the struggle against the war. It expressed, in the very middle of almost unimaginable destruction, the thoughts and feelings of millions of workers, small tradesmen and farmers from Europe, Canada, Australia and the colonies, and soon from the United States, as those around them were dying in fetid trenches, by poison gas, artillery bombardment and sniper or machine gun fire. Under Fire provoked an immediate reaction from hundreds of thousands of readers, and mirrored the revival of an antiwar movement in the French working class.
After the war, Lenin was to remark that Barbusse’s novels [Le Feu and Clarté (Clarity)], “may be cited as particularly graphic corroborations of the mass phenomenon, observed everywhere, of the growth of revolutionary consciousness among the masses.”
A year and a half of war produced a monumental shift in the opinions and sentiments of millions of people in Europe, both soldiers and civilians. It was inevitable and necessary that artists began to treat these earth...
Turned up yesterday at 5:30pm with no reservation thinking we would get a table. They advised they were booked out, so we made a reservation for the following night.
Went the next night and noticed lots of people being turned away because they were again booked out.
Shared a full rack of ribs, chips and Buffalo wings. Ribs were awesome as always, Buffalo wings could have been spicier.
TL;DR: make a booking to avoid dissapointment. Chips are better than mash potato.
Yet another massive pedophilia ring involving the New World Order has been exposed. Fiona Barnett has come forward at a Sydney Press Conference and bravely given names.
Fiona is a former victim of ritualistic abuse and was part of an international VIP pedophile ring. She has not only exposed this network for pedophilia and sex trafficking, as she also provided the names of three past Australian Prime Ministers and a former U.S president as participants in the ring.
According to her, the network is composed of actors, politicians, and figures of justice. While it exists in Australia, it also exists in the U.S and Britain as well.
In her testimony, Fiona explains that Australia is a haven for pedophiles and has even become the home to many Nazi war criminals including her grandparents. She was introduced to this dark world by her own family. Continuing, she states that victims are often taken from the streets, while many are bred for it.
Her mind is plagued with flashbacks of the abuse she has endured in her lifetime going back to the age of two. She says that she was taken to VIP parties where she was instructed to say that “the starchild is here” then watch as very elite politicians and celebrities took illicit drugs and performed horrific acts on her.
In the video, when she lists those who were involved, the following names were included:
While we must urge you to remember that what she encountered was horrific and that the pictures we are linking here are quite horrific, we have provided them in case you wanted further information. Please beware.
She further states that she was taken to Bohemian Grove, where she was taken to a pink bubble room and abused. The video depicts many terrible scenarios that will make your skin cr...
Usually early in a New Year we reflect on the previous one and that’s what I’ve done in the program this week. I’ve selected some tracks from CD releases that I’ve particularly enjoyed over the past year or two. Of course I can’t fit nearly as many as I would like to in one program so I may do the same again when I come back from my 2 months leave. Yes I’m taking some times off as I do each year, but the programme will continue in the safe and capable hands of my colleague Mick Paddon.
Mick is a long time presenter of his own program on Eastside Radio and is looking forward to taking on a program that features exclusively Australian material. He has produced a series called ‘The Changing Face of Jazz’ and I am proud that Mick has chosen Jazz Made In Australia for the debut presentation of this project over the coming weeks.
I disclose more of this project further into the program which this week features creative musicians/composers such as Hulian Wilson, Peter Knight, Barney McAll, Mike Nock, Michelle Nicolle, a female artist who has established a successful jazz career over the past 20 years, and some others. The program opens with Julian Wilson’s composition Rainman from his recording ‘This Narrow Isthmus’.
The post Jazz Made In Australia Monday 9th January ‘Last One Before Summer Break’ appeared first on 89.7 Eastside FM.
Obama appointed Ash Carter as Secretary of Defense - here are the two old mates today. I guess since they are just "handing these out" all of us should get one too https://t.co/vID7ONjnHR — 🎙Wayne Dupree (@WayneDupreeShow) January 5, 2017 By way of comparison, here is what happened in the...
We have this lovely 9 week old male kitten looking for a good home!
Healthy, playful, very used to children and litter trained. Totally adorable and cuddly...
We already have a cat, his mother and can't commit to another cat!!
Please help us find him a nurturing and loving family to live with!
Contact Rosa on 0430 162 408 or firstname.lastname@example.org
2016 saw the Coalition Government tally up a number of modest wins on the industrial relations front. The abolition of the anti-small business Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal and passage of the Registered Organisations Bill and ABCC were important, albeit modest, steps towards returning fair competition to sectors of our economy stymied by a lack of competition and rent seeking. But with potentially only two years left before a Shorten Labor Government takes the reigns and barely any discernible industrial relations agenda, a heady dose of New Years introspection could not come too soon.
With talk that a below-trend growth and lagging productivity could well be the new norm, Turnbull needs to strike while the iron is hot.
Here are five ways the Coalition could get started.
Give BOOT the BOOT
The Fair Work Act’s requirement that all employees be ‘better off overall’ under any proposed enterprise agreement as opposed to the award sounds like a well-intentioned safeguard to prevent employees being short-changed. In practice, the so-called ‘BOOT test’ has proven to undermine the core purpose behind enterprise bargaining’s introduction – encouraging productive and flexible work arrangements that meet individual employee and employer needs.
The problem lies in the fact that the BOOT test has been strictly applied to mean every single employee covered must be ‘better off overall’ under any proposed deviation from the award. For example, an agreement that trades a higher base rate of pay for reduced overtime or weekend loadings will not pass muster if 1 per cent of workers are not left better off based on their work schedules, irrespective of the other 99.
For retail and food chains open long hours, this is an impossible standard to meet. So much was confirmed by last year’s revelations that Coles and McDonalds enterprise agreements covering hundreds of thousands of workers did not pass the BOOT because some workers, typically those who only worked weekends or late night shifts, were not left financially better off.
Judith Sloan and other commentators have noted that the requirement that the BOOT must fit all, even in a workforce as large and disperse as Coles is likely to see a return to awards as the dominant mode of pay setting. In other words, without action we are likely to see a future labour market more regulated than the two decades just passed.
Giving the ‘better off overall’ test the boot and returning to the Howard era ‘no disadvantage’ test would be give some much-needed life support to an enterprise bargaining system at risk of going the way of the woolly-mammoth.
This would herald the return of the more flexible approach of weighing the benefits of the award against the proposed agreement to ensure that, over...
Now I’m no fan of AGL – it is mainly a green rent-seeker these days determined to make a buck by pretending to go along with the climate change story while seeking out the most profitable (and guaranteed) ways of fleecing electricity consumers and taxpayers.
(No longer content with the RET, these green rent-seekers are now seeking the mother of all subsidies by urging state governments to conduct reverse auctions on contract for differences, which is just a cute way of distributing taxpayer money to electricity companies using renewable energy on a guaranteed basis with extremely high coupon rates.
Watch Victoria, in particular, as the Andrews government uses reverse auctions to distribute cash to renewable energy companies (in which industry super funds are heavily invested) all the time arguing efficiency and sustainability (my arse).)
But having said that, it is not the role of AGL to prop up the Alcoa aluminium smelter in Portland. For that matter, it was indefensible that electricity should have been subsidised to the smelter for two decades – it was just a case of blatant industry protection that would eventually end. Mind you, it is not the fault of the workers at the smelter and the longer the subsidy continued, the greater the adjustment costs of a closure of the smelter.
The timing of the end of the subsidy could not be worse as the impact of crazy green interventions on electricity prices really begins to kick in and the Hazelwood brown coal fired power station is about to close.
But industry minister, Greg Hunt, is completely off his trolley when he says: “I think it would be unthinkable for a major electricity company to consciously and deliberately force 2000 workers out of a job.”
It is not the role of AGL to do anything other than to act in the best interests of its shareholders and to do otherwise potentially violates the Corporations Act. (Officers and directors must act in the best interests of the company and shareholders.)
The idea that AGL would cut Alcoa a special electricity deal is completely fanciful; it also begs the question whether AGL would seek to recoup the poor return from the deal by charging other customers more.
(In terms of the future of Portland, Boyne Island and other aluminium smelters in Australia, the outlook is grim. Smelters are being build in the west of China with cost of production half or less what is obtainable here. It is really o...
The other day I was communicating with a colleague, about the current state of Australian UAP research. My colleague remarked that their approach could best be described as 'nuts and bolts.' By this, they meant a reference to the idea that UAP are physically real, and should be studied using the scientific approach.
While I was digesting this thought, I received an email advising details of the January 2017 close encounter conference to be held in Byron Bay, New South Wales. Part of the conference email posed a series of questions, which included:
* What is the truth about UFO reality?
* Who is visiting us and why?
* What do these intelligences really want with us?
* What happens during encounters on space craft?
All very valid questions, and still along the 'nuts and bolts' line of thinking.
Image Courtesy of Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band English folk royalty Eliza Carthy will be releasing their new album Big Machine on the 3rd February. Carthy is joined on the record by The Wayward Band, a twelve piece band featuring the likes of Saul Rose, Sam Sweeney (Bellowhead) and Barn Stradling (Blowzabella). The result […]
Sandro Dallarmi is the main brain behind FBi Click, one of Sydney’s finest dance music stations, and to celebrate what was a towering year in Australian dance music, he has compiled almost two hours of Aussie-only 2016 bangers for your listening pleasure.
Featuring the likes of Nina Las Vegas, Collarbones, Tkay Maidza, Tyler Touché, Young Franco, Sampology, The Avalanches, What So Not and Friendships, this is the ultimate collection of Australian dance music from the past twelve months – and a perfect time capsule for you to break out at those parties in 2042 when you are nostalgic for those sweet ’16 beats.
Or you could just listen to it right now. The entire tracklisting is below.
Basenji – Chroma
Roland Tings – Eyes Closed
Hi Life – When I Get 2 The Club
Swick – Energy (feat. Henrik The Artist)
Collarbones – The Cut
V Kim – Gold Chains (feat. Divoli S’vere)
Pelvis – Dance Freak Anthem
Mall Grab – Kalumbo
Tkay Maidza – Always Been
Dro Carey – Elevate (feat. Cadell & Chocolate)
Moonbase Commander – Greyhound
Ruins – Gradient
What So Not – Divide & Conquer
Zeke Beats – Meltdown
HWLS – Gamma (w/ ShockOne)
Melt Unit – You Can Have This (feat. Simo Soo & Zsa Zsa LaFine)
Herzeloyde – Oh (No)
Rattraps – Swan Dive
Corin – Vexations
Tyler Touché – Feel That You’re Real
Young Franco – Drop Your Love
GoldLink – Dark Skin Women (Cosmo’s Midnight & Swindail Remix)
The Avalanches – Subways
Harvey Sutherland & Bermuda – Bravado
Prequel – Saints (feat. Cazeaux O.S.L.O)
Sampology – Thicker Than Water (feat. Tiana Khasi)
Christopher Port – Before (feat. Airling)
Null – Static
Jikuroux – Ruptured Pulse
Slim Set – Imports (feat. Kimchi Princi)
Air Max ’97 – Face Up
BV – 135 Doing It
Friendships – When I Feel Like Killing, I Murder
Denzel Sterling – Rev (w/ Amy Axegale feat. Moistbreezy)
Manu Crooks – Assumptions
Swell – Forgive Me
Strict Face – Murderer (feat. K-Major)
For quite a while now, I’ve been working through my book-in-progress, Economics in Two Lessons (partial draft here), focusing on applications of Lesson 2
Lesson 2: Market prices don’t reflect all the opportunity costs we face as a society.
Thinking about the standard market failures (monopoly, externality and so on), I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to say more about the interaction between market failure and income distribution. I’ve already looked at the opportunity costs involved in income redistribution and predistribution, but different kinds of questions are coming up in relation to issues like monopoly, privatisation and for-profit provision of public services.
The discussion here and at Crooked Timber has been very helpful in stimulating my thoughts, but I need to do a lot more clarification. Some preliminary thoughts are over the fold: comments and criticism much appreciated.
Market failures arise either when market prices don’t reflect social opportunity costs or when markets for some good or service don’t exist at all, so that some other method of allocation must be used (examples include household self-sufficiency, gift exchange and public provision). It might be thought that the problems are more severe in the case of non-existent markets. Indeed some followers of Lesson 1 see the expansion of market transactions as a universal solution to social problems (the blog Marginal Revolution runs a series of posts under the Heading ‘Markets in Everything‘, which now runs to over 1300 entries).
In reality, however, markets with the ‘wrong’ prices (those not equal to social opportunity cost) are often worse than no markets at all. The core problem is that a divergence between prices and opportunity costs creates a potential ‘free lunch’, that is, an opportunity to make profits without any net contribution to the production of useful goods and services.
Free lunches are beneficial for those who get to eat them. Precisely for this reason, strenuous efforts are made to secure free lunches by generating divergences between prices and opportunity costs. Among the ways of doing this, which will be discussed in this section
* Securing monopoly control of unregulated markets
* In regulated monopolies, obtaining a rate of return higher than the opportunity cost of the capital invested
* Avoiding the costs of waste disposal by engaging in unregulated pollution
* Providing publicly funded services at a price greater than the cost of provision
* Obtaining ownership of public assets through pr...
For our first ‘Australian’ video game review for this year, we reviewed ‘Orwell’, a surveillance thriller, which although was developed by German studio Osmotic, was co-developed and published by Melbourne based indie publisher ‘ Surprise Attack Games’. Listen in to our thoughts on Orwell and stalking people through their emails in the podcast!
Readers who have now seen the latest Ken Loach movie – I, Daniel
Blake – will know the frustration that it depicts when a
disadvantaged citizen is confronted with the reality of having to
deal with a national welfare agency. Many readers, presumably, have
first hand experience of the labyrinthic procedures, rude staff,
endless waiting on telephone lines, threatening letters and the
rest of the wall that neo-liberal governments have erected to
discourage access and/or push people of welfare benefits. While
this access and receipt became a right of citizenship in the social
democracies that emerged after the Second World War, the
neo-liberal era has degraded those rights in favour of a
bean-counter interpretation of the world – welfare payments are
dollars that can always be saved to balance fiscal accounts and
every opportunity should be taken to do so. Australia is way ahead
of the game in terms of using government policies and processes to
punish and isolate our most disadvantaged citizens so the
Government can reduce its welfare spending a few million. We now
allow our Government to implement the work of sociopaths and
threaten poor citizens with imprisonment on the basis of
half-cocked ‘automatic computer-matching’ algorithms that are
allegedly tracking welfare fraud. The evidence suggests these
processes are massively buggy and deliver wrong outcomes in almost
all the cases of fraud they claim to detect. However, that hasn’t
stopped the government from sending out tens of thousands of
letters to the most disadvantaged among us accusing these people of
receiving thousands of dollars in illegitimate welfare payments and
threatening criminal prosecution if these alleged overpayments (now
debts) are not paid back. Mostly, it seems, the debts are illusory
– mistakes by the ingenious (not!) algorithm that was introduced to
replace people sacked by the austerity push – sorry, by the
Government’s “efficiency dividend” policy. Some people should be
prosecuted for breaching human rights in this latest scandal!
I wrote about the movie in this blog – I, Daniel Blake – essential viewing.
As a followup I wrote this blog – Australia – where victims become criminals.
Today, I want to write about the latest scandal to beset the government’s privatised and outsourced welfare services system – the Centrelink debt disaster, which just leaves the mind in a boggled state – given its lunacy and … cruelty.
The Australian government effectively engages in the torture of its own citizens and cannot even do it competently! That is how bad things have become here.
The Australian government agency – Centrelink –...
When? 6.30pm, Wednesday 18th January 2017
Where? People’s Park, Boundary Street, West End.
**Wet weather contingencies will be updated closer to the event. Keep an eye on this page and the facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/events/1870986119809092/?active_tab=about) for updates.
What? A public discussion and panel conversation on the importance of public discussions and panel conversations.
In conjunction with a worldwide movement toward re-imagining and
rebuilding, intervening and transforming, Brisbane Free University
is thrilled to kick off our first ever ‘Radical Reading group’ with
a public lecture on the history, politics and potentialities of
public education projects.
This session will coincide with the global day of protest and public education called “Teach Organise Resist.” The session will take the form of a panel conversation and discussion group about free universities, reading groups, public learning spaces and the radical potential of collective thinking.
Jon Piccini is a historian of social movements at The University of Queensland and dad of one. He will be discussing the history of reading groups in Australia, and in particular how they served as a form of popular education for working class people excluded from higher education.
Max Chandler-Mather is a political historian, organiser, soccer-fiend and all-round intellectual babe. He’ll extrapolate on his Honours research into left organising in Indonesia, discussing the radical role that reading groups and public academia play in left organising movements.
Briohny Walker is a cofounder of Brisbane Free University and Radio Reversal, a politico-philosophical talk show on 4zzz Community Radio. Briohny’s current research interests include queer ecology, precarity, failure, education and climate change. She’ll speak about the history, philosophy, ethics and aesthetics of the Brisbane Free University.
Natalie is a critical geographer and environmental planner based at Griffith University. Her work focuses on social, spatial and environmental justice in human settlements, radical planning and the role of activism and community organising for just transitions, and the right to the city. She will be facilitating the discussion and otherwise saying very little.
ALL WELCOME! COMPLETELY FREE!
About the broade...
Every young cricketer in Australia dreams of playing on the SCG. Every member of Ocean 12 ( our Australian champion 20/20 team ) has also dreamt of playing on the SCG. This week they played in the Sydney Charity Cup and won. Along with winning the cup comes the privilege of playing on the SCG at the Primary Club Charity day.
The Brisbane leg of the Laneway Festival happens to land on Hottest 100 day, and because it is an Aussie tradition to host a backyard party to count down the nation’s favourite songs, the organisers of Laneway have announced they will be doing exactly that.
Hosted by Brissy girl Patience Hodgson (The Grates) and
comedian/writer Mel Buttle,
the Laneway Festival’s Hottest 100 Backyard Party will happen within the grounds of Brisbane Showgrounds while the rest of the festival hums along in the background.
The likes of Violent Soho, DZ Deathrays, and numerous other legends will be partying there, signing vinyl, talking to Patience and Mel, and generally helping to make this Hottest 100 a great one.
There’s a strong protest movement to make sure AB Original’s searing protest song ‘January 26’ takes the top spot, but as we reported earlier today, we could be in for one of the biggest Hottest 100 upsets in years. As Rob Thomas once said, “Man, it’s a hot one” (sorry).
I just hit send on the mailout and created a dozen or so new minty-fresh published writers. Huzzah.
From the Introduction:
My first book tanked. At first anyway. And then
it went on to sell hundreds of thousands of copies, and to be
adapted for the stage and the big screen. He Died With A Felafel In
His Hand was first published in 1996. The internet was a thing by
then, but not much of a thing. Book publishing was still an old
world business, yet to be disrupted by Amazon, the torrentz and the
Great Recession. I sometimes wonder what might have happened to
that book if it was released now.
Nothing good, I suspect.
I was lucky to be published by a small, independent house. Michael Duffy, the publisher, literally bet his own house on the business. A couple of months after release, with only a handful of copies sold, it must have looked like a bad bet. Happily, it did eventually pay off.
A couple of readers picked it up here and there. They told a couple more. Word spread slowly, and then quickly. After about six months it was suddenly an overnight sensation.
I"ve always remembered that. I wrote that book, but the readers made it. All writers live and die by their readers, but not all of them remember that. I try. This book is me, remembering. Over the years I"ve always been open to my readers playing in the story-worlds I make up. I created those worlds because I wanted to see what happened in them. For me, reading a story in my own imagined space, but one which I didn"t write, is a special sort of revelation. I love it.
So, I"m an unusual writer who actively encourages fan fiction. Or "reader fiction", as I prefer to think of it. I"ve read some cracking stories set in all of my fictional universes. It was only this year, dipping my toe into indie publishing, that was I able do something more than just post these pieces as an entry on my blog.
The book you hold now is the first of many more to come, I hope. In that way, it"s a rough draft for the future. I"d like to do more, and I"d like to get better at doing them. If you"d like to try your hand at spending a little time in the worlds of Prince Harry, The Dave or Caitlin Monroe, feel free. If you"d just like to read more stories set after the Transition, the Wave or the Emergence, that"s cool too. So would I.
The stories that follow have been written by some of my blog regulars. I"ve edited lightly, but it"s not a highly polished commercial release. It"s just for fun. And for members of my bookclub, it"s a little gift to say thanks for your time and attention.
I hope you enjoy these stories.
If you"d like to write your own, let me know.
Image Courtesy of Ryan Adams Alt-country legend Ryan Adams has just released his latest single “To Be Without You”. Taken from his upcoming album Prisoner (due on the 17th February) the track has a distinct Neil Young feel about it. Check out the track below: Check out the full track listing for Prisoner here: 1. […]
Huge thanks to Zeg for the illustration!!!!!!!!!!!!! And a message from her sponsors.
Loving live music isn’t just about attending music festivals and seeing an international artist’s massive arena show.
Even the biggest of big-name headliners started in the trenches, on the sticky carpets and bandrooms of your local bars and pubs – which is exactly where you should be if you want to discover your new favourite band or venue.
Here are our picks for this week’s best local gigs from Aussie talent – from Perth to the East Coast – and all for the price of a good meal.
Where: The Foundry, Brisbane QLD
When: 8pm – 11pm, Saturday Jan 7
Why: The Mums celebrate the release of their first ever 7″ record, Leather – four tracks of “pure punk and classic rock”, just as we’d expect. You can already pick this one up from Pissfart Records (love it), but why not swing down to The Foundry and grab a copy in person? Supports from Draggs and Voiid, too, so you’re in for a good one.
Tickets & Info: $12.75, more info here.
Where: Slyfox, Sydney NSW
When: 7pm – 3am, Thursday Jan 5
Why: The project of former Deep Sea Arcade guitarist Simon Relf, the eclectic guitar outfit The Tambourine Girls bring us into the new year with a free gig tonight, joined by Sydneysiders Easy Street as well as Lennie Tranter and the Bagism Revelation.
Tickets & Info: Free, more info here.
Where: The Foundry, Brisbane QLD
When: 8pm – 12am, Thursday Jan 5
Why: Get down to The Foundry tonight to catch a band with seven members for only ten bucks. Throw in supports, and that’s an even bigger bargain. How do they even afford beers after the set? You’ll get a ripper set from groovers Nice Biscuit as they launch their new single ‘Upside Down’, joined by The Delicates and Gooby Jim.
Tickets & Info: $10, more info here.
A woman has gone on a racist rant against two shoppers at a Coles supermarket in Melbourne’s west, threatening them with a food tin and abusing staff as they tried to defuse the aggressive situation.
An account of the rant suggests the woman became aggressive when she thought two women of African appearance had pushed in front of her at the checkout at Coles in the Woodgrove Shopping Centre in Melton on Wednesday afternoon.
“I was here, I was here first,” the woman yells in the video.
As staff attempt to take her to another register she picks up what looks like a Milo tin and threatens to throw it at one of the two women.
Ralph Blewitt is yet to hear from the police. He's fit, ready and waiting to tell all. This is a part of his story. On 23 April, 1992 Ralph Blewitt made his only application for the incorporation of the AWU Workplace Reform Association. That application was rejected - to quote...
The bulls just keep running. 2017 could prove to be very profitable for those in the market. Will you be there? I hope so. Opportunity is knocking!
The post 2017 Bull Market: The Time to Leave the Bears Behind appeared first on The Daily Reckoning Australia.
Every January, Sydney Festival enlivens and transforms Sydney with a bold cultural celebration based on the highest quality art and big ideas. The program is kaleidoscopic in its diversity, from burlesque, cheeky cabaret and Canadian circus, to high energy jazz, indie rock and Russian theatre; from contemporary dance to family programs to traditional Indigenous arts practice. This year, the festival proposes us a powerful new contemporary dance from Indonesia by renowned choreographer Eko Supriyanto with Balabala.
In the world premiere season of the sister work to Cry Jailolo, Eko Supriyanto‘s Balabala sees youth from Eastern Indonesia finding a powerful contemporary voice through movement. Hierarchies of culture and gender collapse before the might of this ensemble, with a hypnotic physical vocabulary tapping into the philosophy of the nine directions taught under the martial art of Pencak Silat. Five young female dancers from Jailolo give voice to the remote community of Eastern Indonesia. Slow, rhythmic movement patterns create an image of strength, not in protest nor opposition but through the carving of space. Space for the individual amidst the noise of duties. A space of potential, of creation – held by the women of remote regions. Poised at the brink of adulthood, they channel their energy with an intense focus building an irresistible momentum. The stirring image they produce is one of strength, commanding a space for the individual amid the crowded noise of duties – to family, to community, to the past. This is a space of potential, of creation, of now.
Every January, Sydney Festival enlivens and transforms Sydney with a bold cultural celebration based on the highest quality art and big ideas. The program is kaleidoscopic in its diversity, from burlesque, cheeky cabaret and Canadian circus, to high energy jazz, indie rock and Russian theatre; from contemporary dance to family programs to traditional Indigenous arts practice. This year, the festival proposes us traditional movement and contemporary dance from Indonesia by renowned choreographer Eko Supriyanto with Cry Jailolo.
The remote Indonesian town of Jailolo is home to some of the world’s most spectacular coral seascapes, and choreographer Eko Supriyanto spent two years diving with 350 local youth to understand their relationship with this ancient ecology. During his work on a major festival to promote tourism in the town, Eko began to see the communities and underwater diving worlds as something much more than a tourism campaign. He became deeply invested in the community, working with youth from disadvantaged regions and homes. Profoundly affected by these relationships and the experience of the underwater world Eko began to develop a contemporary dance work with a selection of committed young males, this became Cry Jailolo, a work of “silent tourism”. Cry Jailolo gives voice to the remote community of West Halmahera through performance, through the capacities and dedication of these young males.
The study monitored 800 vehicles, and several roundabouts across Brisbane, including Sunnybank and found more than 60 per cent failed to properly indicate.
Queensland road rules require motorists to indicate before entering the roundabout when either turning left, right, or performing a U-turn and must indicate left when exiting.
Failure to signal properly can result in a $73 fine and two
Image Courtesy of Winterbourne Sydney indie-folk duo Winterbourne are about to hit the road for their national My Perfect Sundae tour kicking off this February. The tour will see them joined by third member Josh Rea on cello, piano and vocals. Winterbourne have been hard at work on their debut album so you can expect […]
The recent death of Jake Monahan from Nimbin and the treatment and hospitalisation of two other men at the recent rave in Mount Lindesay has sparked renewed debate on the use of pill testing for illegal drugs.
However, responsible drug policy is falling on deaf ears as NSW Police Minister, Troy Grant has again ruled out pill testing. ‘Troy Grant, has his fingers in his ears and has no clue about pill testing,’ said Greens NSW MP and Drugs & Harm Minimisation spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi in a recent statement.
Dr Faruqi has even gone so far as to call for a pill testing pilot to be conducted on the northern rivers.
‘We have a NSW Government that has its head in the sand on drugs and harm minimisation,’ said Dr Faruqi. ‘The prohibitionist status quo is killing people, so we need new evidence based approaches. Pill testing provides information to people who are going to take drugs, and allows medical professionals to come in face-to-face contact with drug users and give them some sound advice.’
President of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation, Dr Alex Wodak, supports the introduction of pill testing in night clubs and at festivals and raves. ‘The principle is simple, every drug death of a young, fit, healthy Australian could largely if not totally be prevented,’ said Dr Wodak.
‘Testing has to answer three questions: Which drugs are in a the pill? The quantity of the drugs in the pill? And are there any dangerous contaminants in the pill? Not all testing answers all three questions. There is the regent test that can be bought from specialist shops that is a qualitative test that tells us what drugs are in the pill but doesn’t tell us how much or what other dangerous contaminants are in there. These tests are legal in Australia.
‘But you need an accurate form of testing combined with quality drug education with is currently illegal in Australia. Many countries make those tests available and there are up to 20 years experience in over a dozen countries – including Switzerland, Norway, G...
Three reasons to STOP Adani: Sovereignty, the Great Barrier Reef
and our planet | www.socialism.com: Murrawah Johnson is the
youth leader of the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners
Council and her uncle, Adrian Burragubba, is the senior
spokesperson leading these court cases. On behalf of other
traditional owners, the pair have said they are prepared to fight
all the way to the High Court. Johnson and Burragubba have
travelled the world to build the mass opposition needed to stop the
The Indigenous campaigners face many legal obstacles. The Traditional Owners Council’s response to the mine is an emphatic “No.” But big capital’s path is cleared by both federal and Queensland governments. In October, the state government invoked special powers to declare the mine as “critical infrastructure,” fast-tracking it so that construction can begin in 2017.
by Dee McLachlan A few years ago I was flicking through Youtube movies, and came across a woman standing for the US Congress. She was being interviewed by members of the press. I was just about to move on when she began berating the journalists for their inability to ask the tough questions about 9-11. […]
Byron Shire general manager Ken Gainger has contacted The Echo in an effort to address complaints about the shire’s controversial plan to raise rates above the state cap.
At its December meeting, council resolved to ‘lodge a notice of intent to apply for a Special Rate Variation (SRV) from the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART)’, although it is yet to determine how much of an increase it will apply for.
That decision will not be taken until February.
Meanwhile both Echonetdaily and The Byron Echo have been inundated with letters opposing the plan.
Mr Gainger has denied staff are leading councillors ‘by the nose’ by to adopt the plan and that they have been ‘lazy’ in not considering ways of making visitors pay their fare share, such as an ‘Airbnb’ tax or extending paid parking to other towns.
He has denied Byron’s rates are ‘among the highest in the state’ and said that in fact they are ‘among the lowest in the region’.
Mr Gainger also said that changes in the valuer-general’s land valuations, which have led to rate increases in some parts of the shire have had the opposite effect in others.
He has also reiterated that unless council increases its rates base significantly it will likely fail the state government’s ‘fit for the future’ test and be slated for amalgamation.
Mr Gainger’s points appear in full below.
Why are ratepayers being asked to foot the bill and not visitors?
While council has now informed the IPART that it intends applying for a Special Rate Variation it has also asked staff to explore how additional funds can be raised from tourist levies, local businesses that profit from tourists, and holiday let establishments. Staff will report back to council in February before the council determines the level of rate increase that it applies for.
Why wasn’t a ‘no rate rise’ option considered?
It was clear to the council that such an option was not feasible given the extent of council’s infrastructure backlog and the requirement to m...
Taghazout Centre, 9 behind West coast restaurant on the left،
Cost: 3080MAD for an all-inclusive week’s package; 133MAD for a night’s bed and breakfast
Free Breaky: Yes
Free Wifi: Yes
Taghazout Surf Hostel is tucked away in one of the tiny alleyways just off the main road of Morocco’s dreamiest surf town. Waves are great all year around but you’ll find the best ones during high season from November until March. The comfortable temperatures of around 20°C at this time make Taghazout a top destination for a sunny getaway from winter in Europe.
This backpackers is one of the budget-friendliest options for a surf trip. An all-inclusive package includes an airport pick-up, accommodation in a dorm, all meals, surfboard and wetsuit rental, surf lessons, two yoga classes a week and a trip to a public hammam. Surfers of all levels, ages and nationalities come here to enjoy the countless breaks in the area. Some of the best surf spots are walking distance (or a camel) from the hostel.
Unlike other surf camps Taghazout Surf Hostel keeps it cozy and only has three bedrooms with the capacity to host 16 guests. The rooms are basic dorms with an ensuite bathroom containing a hot shower and a not always working toilet. Luckily the super friendly staff repair the toilets daily, but if you are really desperate to flush the remains of last nights’ dinner, there’s nothing you can’t fix with a ol’ bucket of water.
The roof terrace with comfy couches and pillows is a perfect place to hang after a long day of surfing. Breakfast and dinner are served here overlooking the ocean. It’s also a great spot for BYO sunset drinks or a cup of coffee or tea (free all day long!). The food is a good mix between western and local dishes: baguettes and pastas for breakfast and lunch and Moroccan delicacies for dinner. Hours before dinner the smell of tajines and taboulehs fill up the stai...
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