31 Aug 2014

ABC is being hammered to death


THE coalition government's review of the ABC recommends deeper cuts than previously proposed.
The Lewis Review into ABC and SBS efficiency will suggest dramatically exceeding the $120 million of cuts over four years in the May budget.
More than $130 million in the next 12 months and more than $100 million in each subsequent year.
The Coalition promised  that they would not treat the ABC badly if elected, now what do we see, the ABC having its budget slashed. This looks like a payback to Rupert Murdoch who hates the ABC and attacks it continuously. First they cut the overseas section and now its our home ABC that's copping it.
It could decimate the ABC and allow Rupert Murdoch to deliver his version of the news without anyone to provide us with a balanced view.

The ABC should adopt a more commercial approach and charge users to access select content on its iView online catch-up service, says the Abbott government’s efficiency review.

Severe cuts would have a direct impact on vital and unique services and would likely reduce the number of foreign bureaus and cause a distinct drop in the ABC's rural and regional reach.


The Senate passed an Australian Greens motion on Thursday calling on the government to publicly release the review no later than September 1.
IS THE FUTURE OF THE ABC ON A THIN LEDGE?

Arthur Phillip is as significant to modern Australia as George Washington is to the modern United States? 'Bollocks"

In your dreams Tony! 
Tony Abbott's comparison between Arthur Phillip and George Washington is ludicrous, Arthur Phillip was under orders from England to settle Australia it was not his decision to make, he was selected for the job.

It could be argued that he was the best of a bad lot, as far as governors is concerned, however to place him alongside Washington is wrong. I am sure you would not find any historian who would link these two men as equals. He has bent the truth to suit his view of history

Tony Abbott obviously longs for the old British empire and he is trying to drag Australia backwards in time, his first step was to bring back the title system.

His plans for the future, who knows, perhaps he will make himself King, he has already made himself Captain of Team Australia. The state's could become Dukedoms and the premiers could become Dukes.

The idea of turning back the clock could be appealing to Tony, we could empty our prisons by sentencing our convicts to hard labor on Manus Ireland, Nauru or New Guinea, we already have the facilities there and now the boats have stopped they will be empty soon.

The mind boggles at the advantages we could gain by going backwards. we could reintroduce 'work houses' for the unemployed, problem solved. Mental institutions could be brought back and could do without a Health system. I could list many more improvements that would be available to us if we slip back in time with Tony Abbott.

We Australians however aren't like the convicts or early settlers we are better educated and we will not allow ourselves to be dragged back in time Tony, we don't want to become British subjects again no matter how you long for it.

The sooner Australia becomes a republic the better.
Britain did not make us what we are today, we did, yes we the average Australians have made this country what it is, we don't have to honor a person for doing his job for another country 13,000 Kilometers away.




29 Aug 2014

A Politcian telling the truth is a contradiction.

Based on an article by Warwick Smith
The Guardian: Edited by S.W.T.Read

Most politicians enter politics for ideological reasons. They want to contribute and make the country a better place initially.
However, the primary game of politics in a democracy is one of vote winning. You can’t implement your policies if you’re not elected and once elected the most important thing is to be re-elected so improving the country takes a back seat.
As a result, many politicians sell their soul in order to prolong their political careers.
They know that the best place to set up their ice cream stall is right beside their political opponent, with just enough flavors to differentiate themselves from the other side.
They face the choice of openly and honestly standing up for what they believe, or what will maximise their vote.They either lie or they lose.
The federal election of 2013 in Australia was a perfect example of this new era of political strategy. During this election campaign there was an unprecedented proliferation of fact checking units and web sites monitoring and reporting on the validity of politicians’ claims.

The verdict indicated that politicians of both major parties were lying and exaggerating their way through the campaign it was remarkable and they continued to make many of the false statements even after they were exposed.
Now that the Coalition are in government the lies haven’t stopped. In fact, it’s reasonable to conclude that the coalition government are using lies and exaggeration to justify the overwhelming majority of their agenda, this gives them licence to break many popular pre-election promises.
The Labor opposition tried to lie their way into keeping power. We know that the government is lying in order to cover up its real policy agenda. Yet, knowing all of this changes nothing, this is politics.
This contempt for voters and for democracy is a predictable product of the conflicting pressures politicians face.
The rise of the Greens and other small parties in Australia and elsewhere is largely a result of the same phenomenon. Major parties positioning themselves side by side on the political spectrum.

This opens up a lot of territory for other parties to move into. However, for Australia at least, preferential voting systems will see the majority of votes ultimately returning to the parties in the centre, making the strategy sustainable.
This framework explains many of the lies told by both major parties in the Australian federal election in 2013. Tony Abbott’s coalition government have won power through four principle strategies:
1) Exaggerate or lie about the record of the government they were trying to replace.
2) Make promises to the electorate they knew they would not keep (given the evidence of the budget).
3) Make promises to corporate donors they intended to keep.
4) Excuse breaking the promises to the electorate by inventing a budget and debt crisis.
These strategies have allowed them to appear to be all things to all people while actually delivering to their corporate backers.

The reality is that it’s much harder to justify to a corporate donor why you haven’t given them value for money than it is to an average voter as to why you haven’t done what you said you were going to do.

In a system where all the major contenders stretch the truth, lying is not that much of an electoral liability.
So how do we get great government, this is a mystery I've yet to unravel, should anyone have a clue to solving this mystery please let me know.

The government's bargaining policies were now hitting Australia's front-line crime fighters. Stopping crime is no longer a priority for gov't.

The government's bargaining policies were now hitting Australia's front-line crime fighters

Public servants who fight organised crime for the Australian Crime Commission have been asked to give up any pay rises for the next three years, yep the next three years.

The government want to remove legal protections around superannuation, maternity leave and redundancy rights for the 524 public servants at the agency.

It is the lowest offer yet made to any group of workers in the federal bureaucracy its "slap in the face" for the crime fighters.

This is a National criminal intelligence agency with specialist investigative capabilities and it is dedicated to understanding and combating serious and organised crime of national significance.

Apparently the amount of money which could be saved and attributed to a salary increase by adoption of these measures is very modest.

"These men and women have some of the toughest jobs in the country and they've already endured years of deep cuts and job losses.

These people have been asked to do more with less but this represents a new blow to law enforcement in Australia.

The government is on one hand pretending to fight crime while with the other hand they are treating dedicated men and women as valueless.



Help the wealthy first says Health fund boss

The first step towards an American health system

Medibank boss wanted its members to get priority treatment in emergency departments:



'via Blog this'

27 Aug 2014

Allowing the government to change laws to erode the presumption of innocence is a big mistake.

"WOW! YOUR ALL GUILTY, THIS IS DEAD EASY"
I wish I'd have thought of this years ago.
The proposal to erode the presumption of innocence by making it an offence to travel to a designated area — such as Iraq or Syria — without a valid reason(what is a valid reason) would make it easier to identify, charge and prosecute Australian fighters engaged in terrorist activities overseas say the government.
No doubt it would achieve the outcome the government wants but at what cost, if they really need these changes, then temporarily maybe they could be looked at, however to give them the power to change a law that is the basis of our legal system is ridiculous.
This is a panic reaction and it will curb the liberties and freedoms of all Australians in the future, this would mean “the terrorists  have forced us to over react and essentially lose our rights.
Surely this is a win for the terrorists, the presumption of innocence is the anchor of our legal system.
The government will have to navigate a hostile Senate thank god to remove this basic right and no matter what you may think of some Senators I am pleased to see some scrutiny before this citizens freedom and rights are destroyed by a panicking government.

25 Aug 2014

Australia's financial melanoma. Fix it with alternative thinking please.

People will bite the hand that hurts them!

COALITION frontbencher Barnaby Joyce says “hard decisions” must be made early to turn the budget around, its like a “financial melanoma” that would “kill us”
“If you’re trying to turn the finances of our nation around, there are going to be hard decisions that are made"said Barnaby.

Yes Barnaby I agree and one of the hard decision for you is to admit this budget, they way it is drafted stinks to high heaven.
You and the Coalition  just do not understand the concerns people have, you're all be a bit thick, if you can't understand there are alternatives?

Basically this budget is unfair it is not shared pain, it is targeted at the people that can least afford it. If the pain were shared equally they could get what they want from their budget.They could achieve their outcome and turn the debt problem around.

It's all about ideology and no common sense.
This is no financial melanoma, it will not kill us because unlike melanoma we have an alternative cure.

Shrill and irresponsible” rhetoric from the government is not a cure, and frightening the people is not a cure.

19 Aug 2014

Police Chief tells Detroiters to buy guns. Is shoot first the motto?

First the adults and then????
Detroit police chief James Craig has repeatedly called on “good” and “law-abiding” Detroiters to arm themselves against criminals in the city.
This city has the worst homicide rate among large American cities, Detroit experienced 12,935 burglaries last year.
With around 250,000 households, that means Detroiters have roughly a 1 in 20 chance of being burgled. To residents who have been victims of crime, being allowed to carry a weapon, whether openly or concealed, is not just reassuring, it’s part of the pragmatic reality of living in the Motor City.
Wayne County, which encapsulates Detroit and its metro area, counted 83,950 active concealed-pistol permits as of 1 August 2014 – meaning one permit for every 21 households.
The city, strapped for cash, has only 2,300 police officers – unchanged from a year ago, before the bankruptcy, but still not enough.
Michigan passed a self-defense act in 2006, referred to nationally as a “stand-your-ground-law”. The law removes an individual’s duty, when acting in self-defense, to retreat. 
Instead, it allows individuals who have an “honest and reasonable belief” that they are in imminent fear for their life, serious bodily harm or sexual assault to use deadly force.
Skeptics have called this a “shoot-first” law.
ONLY IN AMERICA

Australia going to 'unthinkable' lengths to return Syria detainees

Based on an article in the Guardian.

I can't believe the lengths to which the Australian immigration department has gone to repatriate traumatised Syrian asylum seekers detained in offshore detention centres.
It has been revealed in departmental emails obtained under freedom of information laws. Australia is doing the “unthinkable” by endeavouring to return Syrians.
The emails show that Syrians detained offshore told Australian immigration department officials they would be killed if they returned to Syria.
The department has facilitated plans for their repatriation nonetheless.
They even are sharing asylum-seeker identity documents with the Syrian consulate in Australia, booking flights via Jordan, and endeavouring to issue an “ultimatum” to force them into a decision on repatriation, despite a number of them being severely mentally ill.
At no point in any of the disclosed emails is conflict in Syria mentioned. We have seen more than 100,000 people die and 2.56 million refugees flee the civil war.
Am I proud to be an Australian, sadly no, not when such things are occurring in our name.
This was touted to be a caring government before the election, instead what do we have, a bullying government, one that cares little for those struggling to survive, be they refugees or there own citizens.

Bags of money are OK. It's labors fault for making the law says Tony Abbott.

WARNING DEVELOPER

The resignation of two NSW Liberal MPs over corruption allegations has prompted the prime minister to say, the “problem” was the former Labor NSW government banning property developer donations in the first place.
He apparently is not in favour of such a law.
In other words is he saying that to take MONEY IN BROWN PAPER BAGS from developers, who obviously expect something in return is OK?
“The problem was that the former state Labor government, because of a predicament it found itself in, introduced laws banning donations from developers.”said Abbott.
“Who exactly is a developer? That can sometimes be a difficult question he said.
Tony Abbott is our Prime Minister and you would think that if the average Joe in the street can pick a developer, he along with other members of his party should be able to also.
Then apparently to Tony Abbott's horror, they, the Labor party also introduced legislation to limit the total amount of donations and political parties need to raise money.
What a dastardly thing to do, goodness me.
“I think it’s right that political parties have to go to the public and seek support that way rather than just being able to rely solely on the taxpayer" said Tony.
There are suggestions about, that the Coalition will rescind these same laws if given the chance.
So these matters may never see the light of day in the future and it will be open slather once again for parties to be beholden to vested interests.
Now I wonder why we are loosing faith in members of parliament

18 Aug 2014

Is no news good news.Saving a dollar is killing real news. Half the world is a mystery.


The western news media are in crisis and turning their backs on the world, but we hardly ever notice.
Where correspondents were once assigned to a place for months or years, reporters now handle often 20 countries.
Bureaus are in hub cities, far from many of the countries they cover. And journalists are often lodged in expensive houses or five-star hotels. As the news has receded, so have our minds.
To the consumer, the news can seem authoritative. But the 24-hour news cycle rarely gives us the stories essential for us to understand the important events of our time.
The news machine, confused about its mandate, has faltered. Big stories are often missed.
Huge swaths of the world are forgotten or shrouded in myth. The news both creates these myths and dispels them, in a pretence of providing us with truth.

17 Aug 2014

Poor Joe Hockey first a stuff up. Now he has committed a 'Schlimmbesserung'

It's only a small hole!
When you're on the bottom looking up it's much bigger.

Little did Joe or anyone ells realise that he had committed such an act, apparently this little used German word that was in common use 200 hundred years ago has now resurfaced.

The Germans have a perfect word for Joe Hockey's stuff up of the week.

What is the word, well its 'schlimmbesserung'. It means an attempt to make things better that only ends up making things worse.

We of course have our own words for such things, however it's good to know that we are not alone in having words that are apt for such occasions.

'Schlimmbesserung' has a ring to it and as we have seen recently, we have many shenanigans that fit the description of such a word.

Our words I'm afraid are not as commanding as 'Schlimmbesserung', "It's a Stuff-up", "Makes aBooboo", "He's F***ked it up, none can match 'Schlimmbesserung'.

I can see its use in future headlines:

P.M. DOES 'SCHLIMMBESSERUNG'(Minor change to budget)

COLLINGWOOD COACH DOES 'SCHLIMMBESSERUNG'(Only lost by only a few points)

WALLABY'S DO A "SCHLIMMBESSERUNG'(A draw is a win)                        





15 Aug 2014

Political Truth: No, it's only a deliberate illusion


Excerpts from: Dee Madigan's Article in The Guardian

Guess what laws are in place to ensure that politicians tell the truth when advertising during an election campaign.

Does the content of political advertising have to be factually correct?  No there are NONE.

That's right there are currently no legal requirements for election advertising to tell the truth.
It does get raised from time to time. In fact, in 1984 a regulation was brought in:
A person shall not, during the relevant period in relation to an election under this Act, print, publish, or distribute, or cause, permit or authorise to be printed, published or distributed, any electoral advertisement containing a statement:
1. That is untrue; and
2. That is, or is likely to be, misleading or deceptive.

After a trial it was decided to have a committee formed to again look at the regulations.

This regulation was dropped six months later when the Committee found it just too hard to understand. They came up with the following reasons and they sound like a line from "Yes Minister".

Political advertising involves concepts, ideas, policies and images (often contested by the opposing parties) which cannot be subjected to a test of truth.
Truth itself being inherently difficult to define.
It was also concerned that decisions as to whether a political statement is “true” would necessarily involve a political judgement, based upon political premises, which an impartial body would be poorly placed to adjudicate in.
The result, that political advertising is more than likely to be a lie passing for the truth just enough to fool the electors.

So when we have politician saying that they took certain a policy to an election it not only bends the truth, it is often an outright lie.

14 Aug 2014

Could Australia do this? Not a bad idea.

A national campaign similar to this would work, however the need to make it compulsory  is doubtful. 

France;  MPs want to make it mandatory for supermarkets to hand over all their unsold food to foodbanks

A group of French MPs has tabled a law to make it compulsory for supermarkets to hand over all unsold food still fit for consumption to charity.
Many supermarket chains in France already donate unsold produce to charities, but 63 MPs from across the political spectrum would like to see the practice enshrined in law.
Late last month, they tabled a draft bill making it compulsory for supermarkets with 10,800 square feet of floor space to give their “unsold but still consumable food products to at least one food charity.”
Belgium was the first to introduce a similar law in May. The move followed proposals by the European Union to scrap compulsory “best before” labels on coffee, rice, dry pasta, hard cheeses, jams and pickles to help reduce the estimated 100 million tons of food wasted in Europe each year.

Slash and burn government policy could put Australian's at risk!

One eyed government

This Crucial Research is life saving.
The CSIRO

Up to eight researchers at Geelong’s Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) researching infectious diseases are set to lose their jobs.

Scientists at the high-containment facility recently started researching the deadly Ebola virus, currently the subject of a deadly outbreak throughout parts of West Africa which had killed 1000 people, and was also vital in protecting Australia from avian influenza and the Hendra virus.

These latest cuts to CSIRO are particularly illogical and short-sighted when we can see the importance of this type of research.

The CSIRO) has a world-class reputation for research into zoonotic diseases; viruses that can be passed from animals to humans.

This is just plain stupid, to save a miserable few dollars, it is beyond belief.

 This is terrible news for hardworking researchers who are dedicated to keeping Australians – indeed the world’s population – safe from illness.”


10 Aug 2014

Watching and Thumbs-up are banned from Nauru?

Five Save the Children employees working in the detention centre for families on Nauru were suspended during a crackdown on employees.

One was suspended after security guards observed her giving a “thumbs up” to a group of women protesting in the family camp, and another two were suspended after they were seen watching the protests from a distance.

This is seen to be encouraging or engaging asylum seekers who protest peacefully.

Some of the contractors it seems must have been swatting up on how to run a concentration camp rather than a detention camp.

Did Scott Morrison sent the wrong reading matter to the contractors.
The five employees, one teacher working with children, two recreation staff, and two case managers were suspended last week following requests from the immigration department.
The Nauru contractors said Australian that staff are being instructed not to engage with any asylum seekers taking part in the protests, apparently this also includes looking in their direction.
The suspension of the teacher has meant that teaching aides have been forced to teach classes to some of the 193 children detained on Nauru.
The allegations were sent by security company Wilson to Canberra where the department requested the suspensions.

All allegations were eventually dropped this week, but some of those suspended have already left the island. I wonder why?
I know Nothing, Nothing.......That would be what Sargent Scott Morrison's answer

7 Aug 2014

New Anti terrorism laws, what are they, your guess is as good as mine?

Team Australia what a laugh!
To build a team you have to be inclusive, you must give details, the Australian people including Tony Abbott's "Team Australia" don't write blank cheques.

Business and the people are in the dark, once again this government is treating us like mushrooms.

How necessary these laws are and how effective they may be is also difficult to gauge – intelligence officials insist the terrorist threat is set to rise when Australians fighting in foreign wars return home.
The Prime minister was clear that right now the terror threat has not changed from what it was yesterday, so why are we acting as if the world is going to end tomorrow if these new laws are not enacted immediately without consultation.
The government wants unity is on this matter, how will they get unity on this issue when most of the cabinet and the major telecommunications companies found out about the policy to force telcos to retain customers’ meta data from reading Tuesday's newspaper, after a meeting of the national security council.
Party members received short briefing with no details after cabinet, which suggested nothing much would change.
Now every Australian wants the security agencies to be effective in avoiding a terrorist attack, however where is the detail, it is impossible to tell whether the government is achieving its aim to “defend the system without damaging the system”.
It appears they are not considering defending freedoms but rather to unduly constrain them.
I’m not sure about members of “Team Australia” – whatever that means – but I prefer to judge policies on their merits.
Show them to us we are not children and neither are your own party members.

Based on an article by Lenore Taylor 'The Guardian" 


6 Aug 2014

Journalists be aware and beware!

There is no argument that in the name of national security we need tools that allow us to stop terrorist acts occurring in Australia however there is always a danger that these powers could be abused.

Generally in Australia we have had good government but we have to be careful what powers we give them.

For instance a government that is bent on remaining in power(would they ever do that) can know who a journalist is in contact with or who they have been in contact with and when. Be they whistle blower, public servant or a member of their party.

A government can know every contact you make and can glean from that what possible story you are working on.

So we are told this is only meta data, only basic information, journalists above all know that so called basic information is the most valuable, its the first step along the path to a good story.

The reforms have already sparked fears among some parliamentarians of an invasion of personal privacy from laws that would force Internet providers and phone companies to keep every record of a customer’s phone and web use for at least two years.
The powers that be will know who you contact, when and where they are and where you are, so my advice to journalists......is use a carrier pigeon or snail mail.
"Senators warn against giving more money and power to national ­security agencies"

5 Aug 2014

Israeli criticism will not be tolerated,even cartoons are out of bounds?

So now we have an Australian(The Sydney Morning Herald)  newspaper withdrawing a cartoon because Jewish leaders oppose it yet we have seen hundreds of cartoons over the years depicting Palestinians in similar cartoons and we heard not a murmur from any quarter.

Why I wonder does one cartoon deserve criticism and all the others deserve none.

It seems as if the Jewish lobby is all powerful and any criticism is obeyed immediately by the worlds press, do they really have that much political and monetary clout.

The present crisis in Gaza is a case in point, even reports from the UN telling Israel of the location of schools and warning given to the Israeli's are treated by Israel with contempt, not to be believed.

As for the worlds press, not one has treated the killing of so many children properly.

Israel has almost used up all the goodwill we have towards them after the Holocaust , their recent over the top actions are not winning any new hearts to the cause.

Imagine the coverage if these were Israeli children that were killed, there would be world uproar.

Yet they are all children, why is one life worth so little compared to another, children don't decide where they are to be born.

I don't condone the behaviour of Hamas in any way but also I can't condone the use of indisciminate heavy weapons in such built up areas.

Its about time we saw totally even reporting, I'll make an exception of the Guardian because I would like to believe they would not kowtow to pressure so easily.

The cartoon in question showed an elderly man, with a large nose, sitting alone, with a remote control device in his hand, overseeing explosions in Gaza. The armchair in which he was sitting was emblazoned with the Star of David, and the man was wearing a kippah, a religious skullcap.

There's an old saying sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me(this apparently does not apply to Israeli's)

2 Aug 2014

Marijuana for pain relief. Illegal, why!!


Canberra's politician struggle with an idea
This drug can be used for things other than getting high.

Chronic pain is e very debilitating thing, it is hard to believe that politicians are so blinkered when it comes to Marijuana.

Perhaps the anti-drug campaigns have been so successful that they have hidden from us the fact that this can be a very useful drug in some circumstances.

The time has come for us to look at the uses of this drug in a practical manner and for us to break the nexus between drug use and medical use.
Morphine is used every day for medical purposes and you know where it comes from.

I feel sorry for Ms Gallagher for in her position as Chief minister she had no option because she was dammed if she did and dammed if she didn't report "this so called illegal use of this drug" in the case of this young child, however it has highlighted the problem for those suffering in pain.

The A.C.T.should lead the way and legalise its use for medical purposes, forget the images of druggies and start thinking about how it could be used for good.


Ms Gallagher said on a ''very personal level'', she supported people using marijuana for pain relief, particularly having seen her parents pass away as a result of a terminal illness, but as a lawmaker she acknowledged the difficulties in setting up such a system.

She has previously said she would consider the legislation to legalise marijuana in the territory, which will not pass the assembly without the support of either Labor or the Liberals.

Over one million Americans are legally using medical marijuana—or "cannabis," as it is more properly called—under the care of their medical professional, and more than 40% of the nation lives in a state where this treatment is an option. 

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