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Friday, 24 March


He said she said media edition Catallaxy Files

The me in the title is Scott Adams, Dilberts Scott Adams: Some Fake News About Me from Bloomberg. A true exposure (via Instapundit and Small Dead Animals) of the cretinous actions of the media. This is how the article begins:

Last autumn, before the election, a writer for Bloomberg asked to spend a day with me to interview me for a feature piece about my blogging on Trump, and my life in general. I could tell from the initial conversation that it was going to be a hostile article. The reporter was open about being deeply frightened of Trump, believing him to be a racist, sexist, homophobic monster. So you can imagine how she felt about me for writing flattering blog posts about his persuasion talents.

I quickly determined that agreeing to the interview would be foolhardy. Obviously it was going to be a hit piece. The writer weakly tried to conceal that fact, but failed miserably.

If I agreed to the interview, I knew I would be making myself the target of ridicule and shame, baring my flaws to the world both the real ones and the fake news ones. No rational person would agree to such an interview. It was a suicide mission.

So I agreed to the interview.

Regular readers know I dont experience embarrassment like normal people. I just thought it would be funny to have them write about how wrong I was just as the election was about to prove how right I was.

The day I agreed to the interview, I told my girlfriend Kristina that I was going to be the subject of a hit piece in Bloomberg. When the writer asked to speak to my brother, for background, I told him it was a hit piece, but I invited him to do it anyway, just for fun. Obviously, no sane person would agree to be interviewed for hit piece on his own family.

So my brother agreed to the interview.

Well have a good laugh about it later today. He got framed as a gullible idiot for believing something my mom told us when we were kids.

Check the article here and see if you can spot the fake news and the places where context has been tweaked to make things look both true and misleading at the same time. Ill tell you what you missed, if anything, after you read it. Compare your impressions to my Fake News Report Card below.

Heres the Bloomberg article by Caroline Winter.

OK, now read the Bloomberg article and then go back to the original link at the top to read what he says about what she says. And I will confess that I could not get through the Carol Wint...


WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Old Mad Donald had a plan Independent Australia

WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Old Mad Donald had a planDonald Trump discusses his f**ken great plans for America. read now...


Consumer advice: Dont go paperless at ANZ John Quiggin

If youre a bank customer, youre doubtless getting plenty of messages urging you to go online and stop the waste involved in receiving paper statements each month. Its an appealing pitch, but, at least for customers of ANZ, my advice is DONT !. I recently had to replace a lost secondary card on my credit card. This used to be a painful process, involving reissuing all the cards, but its a lot simpler now, or so I thought. That is, until I checked my online bank statements and discovered they had disappeared.

A call to the helpline revealed the worst: the records were gone and there was no way of getting them back. The best that could be done is to print out paper statements and send those. Since I already had the paper statements, this wasnt much use. An amusing irony of the process was that, as I checked through the bank website trying to trace the problem, I was bombarded at every step with messages urging me to go paperless.

I emailed the ANZ PR department, offering them a chance to respond, but got no reply.


Episode 3 (Its like the star wars movies)!! Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery

You can catch my podcast on magic, sleight of hand, illusion and politics here   Filed under: Uncategorized


Chinese premier warns Australia taking sides could lead to new cold war Stop Foreign Ownership in Australia

The Chinese premier, Li Keqiang, has warned China does not want to see a new cold war, emphasising that throughout his countrys history, peace has always been the most precious thing.
With increasing tensions in the South China Sea a significant backdrop to his visit to Australia, Li told parliamentarians in Canberra on Thursday that China did not want to see countries taking sides, as happened during the cold war.

Li used a lunchtime address to say Beijing pursued an independent foreign policy of peace, and pursued national development paths suited to our traditions.
He said China respected Australias chosen foreign policies and that as long as they are consistent with the United Nations charter and international rules we will work together to maintain them.
Lis explicit warning against taking sides could be interpreted not only as broad ranging diplomatic advice to his host, but a rebuke to Australias foreign minister Julie Bishop, who recently argued the United States remained the pre-eminent global strategic power in Asia, and the indispensable strategic power in the Indo-Pacific.

In a rare negative public commentary about Chinas political system, the Australian foreign minister also used her speech in Singapore in mid-March to suggest Chinas lack of democracy was a constraint on the country reaching its full economic potential. Bishop is not in Canberra for the Chinese premiers visit, instead attending a meeting in the US about the campaign against Islamic State.
With Chinas assertive posture in the Asia Pacific region generating significant tensions, Li said Beijing was intent on executing a peaceful rise, and was not seeking to display dominance in the region.

He said China wanted to grow its economy, giving people a better life and boosting living standards, and that required a stable regional environment and a stable world environment.

Throughout Chinas history, peace is always the most precious thing, premier Li said. That is our tradition. Now China is firmly committed to being on the path of peaceful development.

That is determined by our tradition, that is also driven by our reality and it will continue to remain so in the future and that serves the interests of not only the Chinese, but people across the world.
Li said as China grows in the future, we will never seek dominance, and he said China stood ready to work with Australia for peace in our region, for maritime navigation freedom and the freedom of overflight, and we will continue to do that.
In Bishops Singapore speech, she noted Chinas provocative behaviour in the South China Sea was one of the challenging manifestations of emerging geopolitical competition in the region, and said the region was anxious in the absence of a clear signal from the Trump administration.

China close to finishing buildings on South China Sea islands that could house missiles, US says...


Instead of moving mountains, just build us a real NBN The AIM Network

I am having trouble understanding this energy debate. For starters, we own the resources and we make the rules.  Remembering that would be a good first step. Secondly, it is glaringly obvious that privatisation has not worked to keep retail prices down.  The bastards wont even turn the generators on unless they get paid enough.

The post Instead of moving mountains, just build us a real NBN appeared first on The AIM Network.


In which the pond reserves the right to call Islamic fundamentalists and their reptile fellow travellers knaves and fools ... loon pond

The reptiles must have heard the pond's request for another religion to appear on their pages.

Put it another way, how desperate are the reptiles in their ongoing 18C crusade?

Why, they'd even head off to the Islamics, on the basis that the enemy of the enemy is a friend ...

Indeed, indeed. Put it another way, in terms the reptiles would understand and appreciate.

Being a wog is considered a sin in certain parts of Australia, however it is also a sin to humiliate and insult people who belong to wog communities ...

However, say a wog is a wog within Australia is merely expressing an opinion, and that should not be considered illegal, or perhaps even a sin, the mad Mullah added for benefit of reptiles and their true believers ...

The pond has always argued that the one thing that can be said for religious fundamentalists is that they share around the bigotry, the fear and the loathing ... and so it came to pass today, because after all, the right to insult, offend and harass shouldn't interfere with the rights of zealots to do it on the basis of their religiln



Foreigners buying up quarter of all new homes NSW and Victoria Stop Foreign Ownership in Australia

A quarter of all new homes in NSW are being bought by foreigners, with almost 80 percent of them Chinese.

Foreign spending on new housing in NSW and Victoria is running at an annualised rate of $8 billion a year, according to a research note from Credit Suisse.
The bank said the rate in NSW alone was an extraordinary $4.9bn a year, the equivalent of 25 per cent of new supply.
The figures come from the results of a Freedom of Information request submitted by the bank.
Almost 80 per cent of the foreign demand in NSW was from Chinese buyers, with the second largest group, buyers from Indonesia, account for 1.7 per cent of offshore demand.
We think this (the NSW figure) is extraordinary given that current supply is nearing peak cycle, analysts led by Hasan Tevfik wrote.
Housing campaign could backfire

In Victoria, foreigners are currently purchasing an annualised $3.1bn of housing, snapping up 16 per cent of new supply.
The bank said there had been a noticeable pick-up in foreign capital entering Sydney and Melbourne in late 2016.
The figures come despite the introduction of measures designed to cool the east coast housing markets, including federal FIRB approval fees and taxes on foreign purchases in the two states.

Our analysis of the new data gives us more confidence that the coming downturn in Aussie housing will be less painful than many fear. We think investors could be overly cautious, the analysts said.
While Australian housing is at peak cycle, we believe the pace and severity of the coming downturn will be cushioned by Chinese demand.
It is hard for many Australians to think of property as a cheap asset, but from a Chinese investors perspective, there could be plenty of value in Aussie housing.
Over the longer term we believe there is good reason to expect more, not less, Chinese demand for Aussie housing.
The bank has added cement manufacturer Adelaide Brighton to its long portfolio, given its one-third exposure to residential housing in Australia.



All the worlds a stage and all our politicians merely players Independent Australia

All the worlds a stage and all our politicians merely playersPoliticians fill their roles day after day; some of the players may change, but the roles remain the same. read now...


Dogwhistling Malcolm's Disharmony Day Independent Australia

Dogwhistling Malcolm's Disharmony DayWatering down protections against racist hate speech on Harmony Day sends an unmistakable message. read now...


Places to go, people to be No Right Turn

Nothing from me today - I'm off to Hydra, Wellington's annual larp convention.

Normal bloggage should resume on Monday, unless I am eaten by Shoggoths.


Australia: Lost in Eurasia over China and OBOR Independent Australia

Australia: Lost in Eurasia over China and OBORAustralian media, academia, officials and politicians are all trapped in the same failing narratives and mythologies about China. read now...


In which the pond has a Friday frolic with the onion muncher ... loon pond

The reptiles are off on a crusade to save western civilisation this morning - they have been setting out every day of late - and this gives the pond the chance to pay attention to the narcissist attention-seeking onion muncher's latest forays ...

Unfortunately tragic events elsewhere have distracted from the onion muncher's efforts, though 'their ABC' sent Fran Kelly off this morning to Morwell, ensuring that this was another day the pond didn't listen to RN.

After all, if it wants news of Hazelwood, it'll tune in to the onion muncher ...

But first that story about Abbott being 'confident'.

That turned up in their ABC here ... and what was Abbott 'confident' of?

"I very much respect Peter and I am confident that what he has been trying to do is to secure the best possible way of realising the commitment that we took to the people at the election," Mr Abbott said.

He's confident the mutton Dutton doing his very best? He's a try-hard trier having a go ....

But is the onion muncher confident about the mutton Dutton's solution?

Mr Abbott would not specifically say whether he supported the idea of a postal vote when asked by reporters in Canberra.

And that's 'their ABC's' notion of an onion-muncher story ... is it any wonder that the pond turns to the HUN?

After all, if the pond wants luddite delusionalism, why not go direct to the source?

Now the pond senses that, but for tragic events elsewhere, the HUN reptiles and their onion-munching pet would have been at the centre of attention ...

You see, it wasn't just onion-munching climate denialism. In the usual reptile way - do the column, then do it again in a beat-up 'news angle' - here was a news report to go with the onion muncher piece ... and a special video clip which thankfully the pond's photo cap has reduced to stillness and silence ...


Day to Day Politic: What should progressives do? The AIM Network

Friday 24 March 2017 Authors note. Today I give up my daily article to a long-time friend Max Odgen. We played football together and share a love for cool Jazz. We have kept in touch over some 50 years. Max is well-known on the left of Australian politics, particularly in the Union movement as an activist.

The post Day to Day Politic: What should progressives do? appeared first on The AIM Network.


Fortnightly links: famine, feminist development policy, edible drones, snakebite, and more "IndyWatch Feed"

An estimated 40% of people in South Sudan and 50% in Somalia over 10 million people in total are in urgent need of food, agriculture, and nutritional assistance. Parts of Yemen and Nigeria are also at risk of famine. Beyond the sheer scale of the problem, insecurity is hampering efforts to deliver aid. At the same time, the South Sudanese government has attracted criticism by announcing plans to increase the cost of work permits for aid workers by 1000%.

What are typical elements of a feminist development policy? An analysis published on the Canadian International Development Platform suggests that Australia is doing pretty well on this front.

Vox has an article about GiveDirectys unprecedented study of universal basic income, in which some 6000 Kenyans will receive a basic income for 12 years, and another 20,000 people will receive short-term aid. As the study gets underway, Dylan Matthew talks to villagers about how they plan to use their new income.

On the Monkey Cage blog, Sverine Autesserre outlines 3 flawed ideas that are hurting international peacebuilding efforts.

Donald Trumps budget outline projects deep cuts to developing funding. Heres a helpful set of charts from IRIN showing US funding for the UN.

Innovation and tech enthusiasts are getting pretty excited by the concept of an edible aid drone, being developed by UK company Windhorse Aerospace.

Snakebite needs a Princess Diana. If the pope sent one tweet about this, the world would snap to. Usha Lee McFarling...


Australian Minister: London Attack Shows We Were Right to Reject 500 Asylum Seekers "IndyWatch Feed"

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton speaks to the media at Parliament House on May 3, 2016 in Canberra, Australia.


Turnbull and Co announce they are taking their ideological razors to the Racial Discrimination Act and Human Rights Commission legislation North Coast Voices

During this decade there have been three cases close to the hearts of the far right of the political spectrum in Australia.

The first was Pat Eatock v Andrew Bolt and the Herald and Weekly Times Pty Ltd in the Federal Court of Australia, the second the Cynthia Prior complaint to the Human Rights Commission and, the third was the complaint against Bill Leak lodged with the Human Rights Commission.

The Federal Court found against News Corp journalist Andrew Bolt, the Commission terminated the Prior complaint on the basis it was satisfied that there was no reasonable prospect of the matter being settled by conciliation (the complainant later commencing unsuccessful litigation) and, the complaint against cartoonist Bill Leak was eventually withdrawn by Ms. Dinnison.

The Racial Discrimination Act and the Australian Human Rights Commission Act appear to have operated as intended by the original law makers in all three instances.


Te Awa Tupua also known as the Whanganui River recognised as a living being by New Zealand North Coast Voices

Photograph by Janette Asche

On 15 March 2017 the longest navigable river in New Zealand, Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui), was granted full rights as "an indivisible and living whole" (a living person) under the Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River Claims Settlement) 2016 and will be represented by two officials, one from the Whanganui iwi and the other from the Crown.

According to The Whanganui Chronicle the settlement included $80m in financial redress, $30m towards a contestable fund to improve the health of the river, $1m to establish the legal framework for the river and brings to closure the longest-running litigation in New Zealand history to an end the Whanganu...

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Thursday, 23 March


My resignation from the Climate Change Authority John Quiggin

Earlier today, I wrote to Josh Frydenberg, the Minister for Energy and Environment, resigning as a Member of the Climate Change Authority. Mine is the third recent resignation: Clive Hamilton resigned in February, and Danny Price a couple of days ago. Theres a story in the Guardian here. My resignation statement is over the fold.

Resignation from the Climate Change Authority: Statement by John Quiggin

I have written today to the Minister for the Environment and Energy, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP to submit my resignation as a Member of the Climate Change Authority.

My immediate reason for doing so is the governments failure to respond, as legally required, to the Third Report of the Special Review undertaken by the Authority at the governments request. The government has already indicated that it will reject the key recommendations of the review, particularly the introduction of an emissions intensity scheme for the electricity industry.

The governments refusal to accept the advice of its own Authority, despite wide support for that advice from business, environmental groups and the community as a whole, reflects the comprehensive failure of its policies on energy and the environment. These failures can be traced, in large measure, to the fact that the government is beholden to rightwing anti-science activists in its own ranks and in the media. Rather than resist these extremists, the Turnbull government has chosen to treat the vital issues of climate change and energy security as an opportunity for political pointscoring and culture war rhetoric.

I do not believe there is anything useful to be gained by providing objective advice based on science and economic analysis to a government dominated by elements hostile to both science and economics.

I will therefore continue my advocacy for a sustainable response to climate change without the constraints imposed by membership of the Climate Change Authority. I wish the Authority as much success as is possible in its difficult task.


Fed up? Stand up! March in March 2017: For all the things our politicians are(n't) Independent Australia

Fed up? Stand up! March in March 2017: For all the things our politicians are(n't)Hundreds of thousands of Australians are ready to protest the Turnbull Government's unfair policies on Saturday. read now...


Doing the lefts work for them Catallaxy Files

This is the question Powerlines John Hinderaker asks: SO, WERE TRUMPS TWEETS RIGHT AFTER ALL?. This is what he quotes:

Members of the intelligence community collected incidental communications of the Trump transition team during legal surveillance operations of foreign targets, a top Republican lawmaker said Wednesday afternoon.

House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said this produced dozens of reports which eventually unmasked several individuals identities and were widely disseminated.

He said none of the reports he had read mentioned Russia or Russians and he was unsure whether the surveillance occurred at Trump Tower as President Trump has suggested. Nunes also was unsure if then President-elect Trump was captured by the surveillance, which occurred in November, December and January.

That the intelligence agencies of the American government under a Democrat administration should be undertaking surveillance in any respect of the Republican nominee for President is a scandal of the most extraordinary kind. This is the work of a police state, not an open and democratic society. The issue of the moment is to make it clear that IF this happened, then that is an INDICTABLE OFFENCE that should cause individual to END UP IN JAIL. Since we know that as far back as January, before Trump was inaugurated, exactly this kind of surveillance was being reported in the New York Times, there should be no doubting that something absolutely unacceptable was going on. This is from the NYT of January 19:

American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said.

The continuing counterintelligence investigation means that Mr. Trump will take the oath of office on Friday with his associates under investigation and after the intelligence agencies concluded that the Russian government had worked to help elect him. As president, Mr. Trump will oversee those agencies and have the authority to redirect or stop at least some of these efforts.

How did the NYT know? Who authorised such leaks? Why is there no one being prosecuted? What was the role of the previous administration the administration of the then-president in any and all of this? That is what we would like to know. Instead, this is what we find at Powerline, and so many others who are on the conservative side of politics:

Closer to the heart of th...


Congressmans Trump Surveillance Claims Have an Obvious, Mundane Explanation "IndyWatch Feed"

Rep. Devin Nunes, the California Republican and chair of the House Intelligence Committee, claimed Wednesday that the intelligence community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition between President Trumps election and his inauguration.

Nunes then headed to the White House to brief Trump. White House press secretary Sean Spicer read Nuness statement at a press conference and called it startling information, implying that it justified Trumps recent claims that Trump Tower was wiretapped on former President Obamas orders.

The underlying reality is likely significant but far less exciting: That Trump transition staffers were picked up by standard U.S. surveillance as they arranged for Trump to receive standard post-election calls from world leaders.

If so, what Nunes was describing would not vindicate Trumps claims, and would also be a separate matter from reported contacts by Trump associates with Russian intelligence officials before the election.

A key goal of the National Security Agency is to monitor the communications of foreign leaders and their staffs. As documents leaked by former NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed, this includes the leaders of allied countries like German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Friendly countries in turn spy on us just as enthusiastically.

Meanwhile, world leaders try to speak to newly-elected U.S. presidents as often as possible during the transition period, first to congratulate them and then to get a read on the incoming president and to influence their views on global politics.

But Trumps transition, as reported at the time, was extremely chaotic; the president-elects team apparently went outside normal procedures to arrange many such calls, an approach that involved many staffers and others in Trumps orbit.

For instance, former GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole played a role in setting up Trumps precedent-breaking call with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. President Mauricio Macri of Argentina said that he spoke with Ivanka Trump during his call with Trump. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull got Trump...


In which the pond contends that biblical drivel is the mainstay of the lizard Oz ... loon pond

The pond really does wish that the reptiles of Oz would publish defenders of religious texts other than the bible ...

No doubt the odds are low or high (depending how you do the book) that some barking mad Islamic fundamentalist was responsible for the most recent deluded attack, and it would be nice to rail about Saudi Arabia and fundamentalist Wahhabism, the treatment of women and the public executions in the square ...

It would also allow the pond to link to Adam Davidson's story in The New Yorker about the Donald's brand doing deals with oligarchs linked to Iran's Revolutionary Guard ... especially as Donald Trump's Worst Deal is outside the paywall at the moment ...

But perforce the pond must deal with the reptile hand it's dealt, and that includes bible bashers bashing away in the lizard Oz, even if the natural inclination is to hang out a shingle ...

Now the author will be familiar to many ...



Devpolicy Blog Reader Poll: the results "IndyWatch Feed"

Over 3 weeks in January 2017, we ran a Devpolicy Blog Reader Poll for the first time. This In Brief provides a summary of what we learned. The sample is by no means scientific (in total, 67 self-selected respondents took part), but the results provide us with some excellent feedback on what were doing well and where we need to try to improve. This is particularly valuable as we move ahead on a refresh of the Devpolicy Blog design.

First, though, about you: we learned that roughly a quarter of you are NGO employees (23.9% of respondents), followed by academics and students (17.9%), and government employees (16.4%). Half of you read the blog 1-3 times per week; 20% read more often than that. We also learned that you most likely first heard about the Devpolicy Blog via colleagues and friends (24%), via social media or the ANU website (18%), or at one of our events (15%).

In terms of topics covered on the blog, we learned that you are most interested in global development issues (78%), Australian government aid (70%), and Australian NGO aid (48%). But our readers have diverse interests on average respondents indicated interest in 5 of the topics listed in the chart below. Among those who indicated Other, disability and development and development effectiveness were especially popular.

Which of the following topics are you most interested in? (tick all that apply)

Which of the following topics are you most interested in? (tick all that apply)

In terms of the types of posts that we publish, respondents indicated that they are most interested in reading original research and analysis; summaries of research published by other organisations; and news and announcements.

What types of content are you most interested in? (please rank)



Top class! Free speech is a fundamental right ... but only for the ruling Right Independent Australia

Top class! Free speech is a fundamental right ... but only for the ruling RightAny debate about free speech in our society is really about free speech for the ruling class. read now...


Drawn No Right Turn

A ballot for three member's bills was held today, and the following bills were drawn:

  • Ombudsmen (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill (David Parker)
  • Equal Pay Amendment Bill (Jan Logie)
  • Crown Minerals (Protecting World Heritage Sites) Amendment Bill (Ruth Dyson)
That's a pretty good lineup, and all three of them deserve to pass. And hopefully we'll see National forced to support at least two of them by public opinion. A full list of the bills is here.


Before anyone starts yelling about those big bad unions, take a look at these workplace fatality statistics North Coast Voices

The following figures represent someones mother or father, son or daughter, brother or sister, niece or nephew, aunt or uncle, grandparent or friend.

The numbers also make clear that, averaged out, three people were killed each week in a workplace accident between 1 January and 14 March 2017.

This is no blip in workplace fatality statistics averaged out four workers died each week of the year in 2015 and three workers each week in 2016.

Worker fatalities

As at 14 March, 32 Australian workers have been killed at work in 2017.

The number of worker deaths listed on this page is based on initial media reports and is a preliminary estimate of the number of people killed while working. Once the appropriate authority has investigated the death, more accurate information becomes available from which Safe Work Australia updates details of the incident.
Updated information is used to publish Safe Work Australias annual Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities report which includes finalised work-related fatalities from 2003 onwards.

Year-to-date 2017: Preliminary worker deaths by ind...


We need an inquiry No Right Turn

I read Hit & Run last night. And having read it, I'm deeply disturbed. Several of Hager and Stephenson's SAS sources openly admit perpetrating war crimes - specifically, the destruction of civilian property for no military purpose. No-one admits to being responsible for the murder of civilians, but there's serious questions about who ordered the US helicopters to fire on the village and villagers, who fired the shots that killed Islamuddin and Abdul Qayoom, and why the SAS troops refused to provided medical care to obviously injured civilians. And while people can claim that all that happened "in the heat of battle" (as if that justifies anything), there's no such excuse for the subsequent raid ten days later which seemed to have the sole purpose of demolishing the houses of those the SAS believed to be insurgents. This was planned, pre-meditated, and had no military purpose. Again, Hager and Stephenson's SAS sources admit it was done purely for revenge.

And then there's the torture. Not just turning over a man to the Afghan NDS, but beating him first. The SAS need to answer questions about that too.

And the coverup. The SAS and NZDF appear to have lied systematicly about the raids, both to the New Zealand public and seemingly their Minister. They knew within 48 hours that civilians, including a child, had been killed. But Wayne Mapp, who was Defence Minister at the time, is saying that he only found out about it when he saw Stephenson's Collateral Damage documentary in 2014. There are real questions about who bullshat who here - did NZDF bullshit the Minister, or did SAS bullshit their superiors? - which only an inquiry can get to the bottom of.

Finally, there's the matter of the SAS itself. A secret military organisation which effectively runs its own foreign policy, lobbying foreign governments to get involved in other people's wars so they can prove how important and vital they are, is not acceptable in a democracy. Neither, obviously, is one that systematically lies to the public and to its superiors. The SAS needs to be inquired into and tamed, and its disproportionate influence on the wider NZDF tamed.

We can not trust NZDF to do any of this. They've proven repeatedly that they're a closed shop, hostile to civilian oversight. We need a truly independent inquiry to get to the bottom of things. And if the government refuses to provide such an inquiry, we should elect one that will.


Duttons marriage equality tantrum reveals a pretence of innocence Independent Australia

Duttons marriage equality tantrum reveals a pretence of innocencePeter Dutton has gotten himself in a a tizz over business leaders outspoken views on marriage equality. read now...


In which the bromancer experiences a gloomy petite mort moment, and the dog botherer rises up in anger ... loon pond

The pond knew it had to happen ...

After all the recent reptile excitement and euphoria about 18C, which the pond refused to encourage, now comes the gloom ...

Like any excitable child, the reptiles are prone to narcissism, mania, and accompanying depression, and today the cold chill of actual numbers sent the reptiles on a bad acid trip, compounded by idle chatter of devious Labor conspiracies ...

Of all the reptiles, the bromancer is probably the most petulant and childish, inclined to the sort of foot-stamping that's a feature of his onion-munching hero's political activities, and the bromancer took it in a Hanrahan "we'll all be rooned" hard way...

Talk of accents most forlorn ...

You see, 18C heralds the end of civilisation, decency, and anything else you can think of ... consider it an 18C-inspired rapture to the wrong place, hell-fire, damnation and lawless anarchy, the end of civilisation ...

Of course, speaking of identity politics, the bromancer was in his day, one of the more rabid members of the Catholic fundamentalist community ...communal politics and theology at its worst ....

Never mind, this particular rant is building up into a bromancer classic, a testament to the ages, and it is wrong of the pond to stand in the way of this feather...


Want to sell aid to the Australian public? Look to values, not national interests "IndyWatch Feed"

Bags of food aid donated by the Australian Gov't in Harare, Zimbabwe, 23 April 2009 (Flickr/DFAT/AusAID/Kate Holt CC BY 2.0)If recent speeches are anything to go by, politicians believe the best way to sell aid to Australians is to convince them it aids Australia too. Its an understandable belief, but is it actually, empirically, correct?

In her forceful opening address to the 2017 Australasian Aid Conference, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop framed her talk around seeing, our aid program through the perspective of Australias national interest. Citing examples of ways in which investments in economic development, gender equality, and security offer mutual benefits for Australia, she stated:

Ladies and gentlemen, there are many ways in which development assistance is building sustainability and resilience in our region and thereby is in Australias national interest.

Now this is an important point, too often lost because support for our invaluable aid program has to come from home, from the Australian taxpayer.

So the Australian taxpayers must support it, and that will come with a better appreciation of its purpose, its intent and the outcomes.

Meanwhile, at the inaugural DFAT Aid Supplier Conference on 17 February, in one of her most animated public presentations to-date, Minister for International Development Concetta Fierravanti-Wells stated,

The question is no longer what we are spending our [aid] money on, it is why are we spending our money, but more importantly what is the direct benefit to Australia.

Adding that,

We need to make it very clear to the Au...


Day to Day Politics: The Trump Report No. 11 Just kids stuff The AIM Network

Thursday 23 March  2017 She sat there edging forward with a tense look of bemusement on her face. It might have said, why is this child acting this way? He sat beside her looking like a spoiled kid with pouted lower lip giving the impression of a sulking child who had just been given a

The post Day to Day Politics: The Trump Report No. 11 Just kids stuff appeared first on The AIM Network.


Mark Steyn explaining the inexplicable Catallaxy Files

The main problem I have with watching or reading Mark Steyn is that everything he says is so entirely sensible and obvious I come away thinking no one could possibly be so idiotic that they could miss the point or see it any other way. Alas, the one thing I actually do know is that being on the left means that you are capable of ignoring all evidence from the past, are completely devoid of common sense and are prepared to see your entire way of life descend into oblivion based on no discernible principle at all. The above is his interview with Tucker Carlson from a few days ago. And then below are some from among his cancelled show which really is a major loss to us all.

Not hilarious, not funny but funny and hilarious in its own way. That was the second and here is the first also worth your time.

There were nine that Ive so far found. If money cannot be made putting Steyn on TV our side is definitely the losing side.

[Via Five Feet of Fury]


Trans Man Wins Womens Weightlifting Competition "IndyWatch Feed"


Mainstream media outlets universally refer to Laurel Hubbard, who won his weight class in an Australian womens weightlifting competition, as a transgender woman meaning a man claiming female status. But at the end of the day, he's a guy who beat the girls.


Shocker: Transgender Man Wins Weightlifting Meet While Competing Against Women "IndyWatch Feed"

Just a tad unfair. Via NZ Herald: Kiwi weightlifter Laurel Hubbard has dominated her first major competition, taking out the Australian International in Melbourne on a night she made history as the first transgender athlete to represent New Zealand. Hubbard, 39, won the womens over 90kg division at the Melbourne event, setting four unofficial national []


The climate change debate in Australia often focusses on temperature, rainfall and sea levels, but...... North Coast Voices

Theres more to climate change impacts than living in a markedly hotter, drier continent being nibbled at the edges by encroaching oceans or battered by storms - and it isnt only the very real threats to the natural environment, biodiversity and water security.

Theres the risk of an increased incidence of disease outbreaks in humans and animals and, the economic and social costs rising levels of disease bring to families, communities, local economies and the nation.

A range of tropical diseases will become more widespread in Australia due to climate change, including a dramatic increase in mosquito-borne illnesses, scientists warn. Their research has prompted leading doctors to call for a co-ordinated response from the federal and state governments to the pending crisis. 

In a paper released on Thursday, the Australian Academy of Science said diseases currently confined to the tropics would be unlocked and travel south. The incubation period for mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue would also be shortened.

Rising temperatures and changes to water availability were also likely to increase the prevalence of food and water-borne diseases. The scientists forecast an increased risk of respiratory diseases as more people spend time indoors to avoid extreme heat, and population density increases due to population growth.

"A clear problem facing Australia as it prepares to deal with the problem of the rise in infectious illnesses triggered by climate change is its lack of a single centre through which information about communicable diseases can b...

Wednesday, 22 March


The IPA and 18C John Quiggin

The obsessive desire of the current government to protect the right to offend and humiliate people on the basis of their race or religion has been driven, in large measure, by the Institute of Public Affairs. The IPA has a mixed* record on freedom of speech, and on the kind of offensive speech that is the subject of 18C.

Some IPA fellows, such as Chris Berg and Matthew Lesh take the Voltaire line, defending free speech even when they dont like the content. And, as far as I can tell, neither Berg nor Lesh has ever said anything offensively bigoted.

Unfortunately, they appear to be in the minority at the IPA. More representative of the general atmosphere of the IPA are cases like this and this, where IPA fellows were caught saying in public the kind of thing they want to protect legally.

And while Berg is keen to protect the right to boycott, the IPA also published this piece, suggesting that critics of coal could be prosecuted under the Corporations Act. I had a long series of Twitter exchanges with Tim Wilson, then Freedom Commissioner and now a Liberal MP, in which I asked if he would disavow this suggestion. He evaded the question repeatedly then (IIRC) blocked me.

Overall, Id say the IPA should clean up its own act before pretending to lead a crusade (or jihad) for free speech.

* I mean this literally, not as a euphemism for bad


Nobody cares about 18c Catallaxy Files

One of the arguments against amending 18c is that nobody cares about 18c.

Maybe true yet I suspect nobody cares about a whole lot of things that the Parliament legislates.

How many people would care about any law until they find themselves being secretly investigated by a government agency  for 14 months?



Sheikh refuses access to NT property Stop Foreign Ownership in Australia

A BILLIONAIRE sheikh Hamad bin Hamdan Al Nahyan from the royal family in the United Arab Emirates who made his fortune through oil has refused the exploration attempts of an oil and gas company on his pastoral property in Central Australia.
The actions have raised questions regarding the right of veto being sought by pastoralists when it comes to exploration, specifically foreign owned properties.
More than 45 cattle stations in the NT are foreign-owned.
Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan is worth an estimated $20 billion.
Sheikh Hamad bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, dubbed the rainbow sheikh due to his collection of different coloured Mercedes Benz, owns Idracowra Station, a 462,800ha property 190km south of Alice Springs on the Stuart Hwy.

The Al Nahyan family is one of the six ruling families of the United Arab Emirates.
He is reportedly twice as rich as mining magnate Gina Rinehart around $20 billion and hes one of the worlds largest car collectors with up to 400 cars and trucks.
Idracowra Station was highlighted by Santos vice president exploration Bill Overton during the recent public hearings at the hydraulic fracturing inquiry.

He was using it as an example where land access was not always agreed to and gas companies did not bully their way through.
APPEA NT director Matt Doman would not speculate on the individuals motivations for frustrating the attempts by Santos but said it highlighted the land access issue.
Australias natural resources belong to all Australians, or more specifically the states and territories in which they live, he said.
It is appropriate that decisions about resource development are made by their elected governments, not just the individuals who own or lease the land where development may occur.
In the case where those landholders are foreign interests, it is even less appropriate that they be empowered to block the development of Australian resources.
However, it is important that landholders have the opportunity to agree the terms of access to their land.
In the NT, government approvals for the start of any oil and gas-related activity will not be granted in the absence of an access agreement.
Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan has one of the largest car collections in the world.

The website for the company, Shoujaa Trust Pty Ltd, does not list any telephone numbers and all communication is completed by either email or online form submission including for jobs or purchasing cattle.
The station is currently selling Micky Bulls.
The NT News contacted the Australian office of the sheikh for comment but did not receive a response by last night.
Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison who is yet to visit the NT as Treasurer has previously been outspoken on foreign ownership when considering the bids for iconic cattle company Kidman & Co.
But he did not respond to specific questions...

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