27 Mar 2020

Are these people expendable?



People with a disability and the aged who are living at home often have underlying health conditions that make them more susceptible to serious illness or death if they contract COVID-19. They may also be more at risk of contracting the virus if they have disability workers entering their home.
The federal government has made several policy announcements to protect older Australians in aged care facilities, hospitals and GP clinics, but we’re yet to see the same consideration for the aged and people with disabilities.

18 Mar 2020

Pandemic.....Panic is an natural reaction for some people however it will be replaced by caring.

History tells us Australians will revert to "A FAIR GO"

As the current crisis develops, we would expect to see more and more people sharing food and groceries, behaving more hospitably toward each other and becoming more aware of vulnerable others. Developing social connections in times of crisis may be necessary for our collective survival as a species.

When disaster brings out the best in us

Most people look to support one another in such times. From natural disasters, like bushfires, droughts and floods, to human-enacted events, such as mass shootings or food contamination, after the initial feelings of fear, anxiety and helplessness, people soon come together to help one another. An underlying sense of community and connection is the “social glue” that brings people together to work altruistically for the common good.
During the recent Australian bushfires, social media were flooded with images of notes pinned to doors inviting volunteer fire fighters to “help themselves to what ever is in the fridge”.

27 Oct 2019

Just who has the most covert influence in Australia?


The attention being given to possible covert influence being exercised by China in Australia shouldn’t distract us from recognising that very overt foreign influence now occurs through investment.


Right now US corporations eclipse everyone else in their ability to influence our politics, through their investments in Australian stocks.
Using company ownership data from Bloomberg, I analysed the ownership of Australia’s 20 biggest companies a few days after the 2019 federal election in May. Of those 20, 15 were majority-owned by US-based investors. Three more were at least 25% US-owned.

Our big banks are majority-owned by American investors. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the nation’s biggest company, is more than 60% owned by American-based investors.
So too are Woolworths and Rio Tinto. BHP, once known as “the Big Australian”, is 73% owned by American-based investors.

17 Aug 2019

In America fear is a big time driver of gun sales


The mural on the side of the gun store proclaims: “A Savior is Born.” There’s a manger scene below the star of Bethlehem and windows festooned with red, white and blue bunting. And above it all a looming AR-15 assault rifle spewing fire. Yet inside Gun Central on Sunday, barely 24 hours after a terrorist gunman killed 22 people and wounded dozens of others in a local Walmart, the expected white Christian nationalists defending the second amendment were not there. Instead there were terrified El Pasoans, mostly Hispanic, buying firearms for the first time.
The scene on Sunday at Gun Central, located along Interstate 10 and two miles from where bodies are still being recovered, was more reminiscent of Black Friday than the wake of a national tragedy. People crowded shoulder to shoulder to consult with harried employees, pondering over pistols and assault rifles, banana clips and ammo. Others lined up for their turn inside the store’s indoor shooting range. Staccato gunfire thundered behind the thin walls.
“I’m on high alert,” said April Sanchez, a marketing executive who along with her husband was buying her first weapon. “I never thought I’d carry a gun, but now I want something to defend myself, to defend my fellow El Pasoans.” To that end she picked out a 9mm Taurus and her husband a .40 Ruger; their son had purchased his first handgun the previous evening. They sat near a Coke machine with several others awaiting their background checks. Before that day, Sanchez had never even held a gun. Now she’s registering for classes that will allow her to legally carry her firearm in public.
“This isn’t something I’m proud of,” she added. “It makes me sad and angry that I’m even here. I’m heartbroken, but I’m also afraid.”

Gun Central in El Paso.

Truth hurts if your to secretive

Image result for truth and secrecy
Based on an article by Laura Tingle

Recognising this, there is talk within the government of a shift in gear to deal with whistleblowers and journalists, and secrecy generally, in future.
The idea is what might be called a graded regime of leaking sins to better guide the wallopers of the Australian Federal Police who have been left carrying the can for the heavy handed nature of the most recent raids.
That is, much clearer guidance to the police about just how far and hard they go in pursuing leaks(sometimes referred to as truthfulness)  , and also greater emphasis on the idea that it is the leakers, rather than the journalists, who are in the law enforcement agencies’ sights.
The clear hope is that such a regime will reduce the pressure from media organisations. But it shouldn’t.
Journalists and news organisations should have as much, if not more, interest in protecting whistleblowers as they have in protecting their own interests.

27 Jun 2019

Refugees desperation in plain sight after Australian election.


The Newyork Times
A refugee center on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea.  Aziz Abdul/Australian Associated Press, via Associated Press

Despair spikes in Australia’s detention centers

Since May 18, when Australians returned to power a conservative government that has taken a hard line on immigration, there have been dozens of suicide attempts at the country’s offshore detention centers. Warning: The following content might be disturbing.
The government maintains that its strict policy, which bars settlement for migrants who reach the country by sea, has worked and fewer boats are showing up than a decade ago. But for those held at the refugee centers on the islands of Manus and Nauru, the recent election represented a loss of hope for change.
Details: The Times worked with human rights groups to create a rough timeline of events since the election. Within the first 48 hours of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s re-election, there were six suicide attempts in Manus. By June 26, the number of suicide attempts approached 100.
Quotable: “It was grim when I visited nearly two years ago to write about the situation,” reports our Australia bureau chief, Damien Cave. “Now, it’s worse. Every few days, it seems, a new instance emerges of people cutting themselves, setting themselves on fire or trying to harm themselves in some other way.”

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Are these people expendable?

People with a disability and the aged who are living at home often have  underlying health conditions  that make them more susceptible t...