29 Sept 2016

If you like a firm sausage, this could do the trick!

UK:- Now THESE are bangers! Sausages containing natural Viagra go on sale to help fight male depression 

  • SOS Viagra Sausages are on sale today for £4.99 from Fathers4Justice
  • Contain ginseng and horny goat weed to 'help with erectile dysfunction'
  • Created to raise awareness of men's health and male depression rates 
A plate of sausages may be recommended for their ability to put hairs on your chest - but a new brand of pork bangers is promising far more than that. 
A new line of sausages hitting shops today contain a very unusual twist - a natural alternative remedy to Viagra.
The SOS Viagra Sausages, which come in a pack of six for £4.99, contain ginseng, L'Arginine and the appropriately-named horny goat weed - all of which claim to help with erectile dysfunction.
The £4.99 SOS Viagra sausages are for over-18s only and contain natural alternatives to Viagra including ginseng and horny goat weed
The £4.99 SOS Viagra sausages are for over-18s only and contain natural alternatives to Viagra including ginseng and horny goat weed
As you might expect, they are strictly for over-18s only. 

Secret services open or closed?

Secret Services are out in the open, really?

The openness about their existence and leadership, but not about the activities of their thousands of staff, is rather rubbing the public’s nose in the fact that there are things we are forbidden to know, and forbidden to know about people whose salaries we pay.

In contrast, the previous policy of keeping the organisations as well as their activities secret shows a certain delicacy, even a fitting shame that such a recourse should be necessary in an ostensibly free country.
This shame is understandable in the context of the cold war, when the Soviet bloc countries over which the west, with considerable justification, asserted its moral superiority, kept so much secret from their own peoples.

In the free world, secrecy smacked of tyranny. It alarmed people so, ironically, the scale of it was best kept under wraps.

Nowadays, however, our security services want us to be alarmed. They want it because it will make us feel we need them, and this is the bigger problem with the current openness.

The Soviet Union gave spies an indisputable raison d’être. Since its fall, they’ve felt the need to justify their existence. Obviously, before you can justify your existence, you have to admit it – but that was just the first step.

The government proudly letting it be known, at a time of considerable national austerity, that thousands more security officers are to be employed shows how successful that self-justification has been.

The widely reported terrorist threat, the stories of “near misses” and “heightened terror alerts”, and the announcement of more investment to “keep us safe” create, from the security services’ point of view, a virtuous circle of increasing funding.

Modern espionage is about what they’re seen to do, when it used to be the opposite.
(Is this becoming my sort of job after all)

How far up the secrecy peak are we in Australia?

Have we reached peak secrecy?

More than 200 years ago, James Madison, the father of the US Constitution, observed that the greatest threat to freedom is not violence or revolt, but the "gradual and silent encroachments of those in power". He was reflecting on the past, of course, but he might just as well have been looking to our future – which is why his remarks were cited by Federal Court Justice Susan Kenny, just five years ago, in a speech on Australia's secrecy provisions.
The notion that the powerful should have the sole discretion to determine what information to disclose, and when,  according to Kenny, but it's as firmly entrenched in the political mindset as ever. And why would it not be? Secrecy is all about clinging onto power – something which, given our recent predilection for cliffhanger elections and chucking first term PMs, is getting harder and harder to do.
Illustration: Andrew Dyson.
Illustration: Andrew Dyson. 
Despite the Turnbull government's professed enthusiasm for transparency and accountability, this year – marked by a shroud of secrecy over border protection, the targeting of whistleblowers, and the intransigence of the Attorney-General around the release of his diary – this could well be the low point for open government in Australia since Freedom of Information laws were introduced three decades ago.
Welcome to Peak Secrecy.

Sisters tie the knot.

Two former Catholic nuns have celebrated their same-sex union in Italy after meeting on a pilgrimage
September 29

The two nuns reportedly met on a religious pilgrimage in Italy and fell in love. Picture: AFP/Gerard Julien

The La Stampa newspaper described the couple as two ex-Franciscan Sisters, both aged 44, who met on a pilgrimage.

The Turin-based daily named them as Isabel, from Latin America, and Federica, from Italy.

“God wants people to be happy and to live their love life openly,” Isabel was quoted as saying in the report.

“We ask our church to welcome all people who love each other,” Federica was said to have added.

Franco Barbero, a priest who was suspended from priesthood in 2003 because of his support for gay marriage, was also going to bless the couple in a non-official religious service, adding that he has already done this for 19 gay couples in the year to date.

Italy legalised same-sex partnerships earlier this year, after years of debate and staunch opposition from Vatican hierarchies.

The overwhelmingly Catholic nation was the last in Western Europe to adopt such reforms.

20 Sept 2016

Nauru support workers to leave before Christmas after decision not to retender

 By Helen Davidson and Ben Doherty
Are we running out of contractors who want to be involved with detention camps?
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Connect Settlement Services are the latest contractors to withdraw from Australian immigration detention regime.
Connect Settlement Services is believed to have consistently raised concerns about insufficient mental healthcare and child protection services on Nauru.

The company contracted to provide support for refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru will leave the island before Christmas, after deciding it would not retender for the contract.

According to sources on Nauru, representatives of Connect Settlement Services informed all employees – including Nauruans and expatriate staff – and refugees at a meeting on Monday.

A CSS spokesman confirmed the company would leave Nauru and would not tender for any further contracts but declined to comment further.

It is understood the employees were told the services required on Nauru were beyond the capabilities of a settlement agency. The agency is believed to have consistently raised concerns about insufficient mental healthcare and child protection services on the island.

The Nauru files paint a searing picture of the collapse of basic humanity in the detention centre. History is unlikely to be kind to those who endorsed it

Some senior CSS executives are believed to have flown in for the meeting.

It is not known who will take over on 7 December when the CSS contract ends.The organisation took over after Save the Children left in early 2015.

CSS is the latest in a string of offshore processing contractors to withdraw from the controversial Australian regime.

19 Sept 2016

Why doesn't Australia have proper oversight of our intelligence agencies

Image result for Asio cartoon
The US and Britain's intelligence agencies all have federal government oversight why doesn't Australia.
Is it in case the shit hits the fan, they(the pollies) can always claim ignorance or is it as we have seen so often in recent times they can always roll out the "its a case of national security".mmm!
Federal Parliament should generally oversee intelligence operations otherwise they can become a law unto themselves
Currently the parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security only looks at the agencies' budgets and administration, though operations are overseen by the independent Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security.
Australia's intelligence community is made up of ASIO, ONA, foreign intelligence outfit ASIS, the Defence Intelligence Organisation, the Australian Geospatial Organisation and the Australian Signals Directorate.
Australia's international intelligence co-operation should also be scrutinised by the federal government for obvious reasons.
The "five-eyes" arrangement in which Australia shares intelligence with the US, Britain, Canada and New Zealand is considered by insiders more vital than ever with each country constrained by resources amid a growing workload.
Since 2001, Australia has also been co-operating much more deeply with a wide range of countries including in the Middle East, including with foreign agencies that were previously targets of our spies rather than partners. Surely that makes it more important to have federal oversight.

18 Sept 2016

Who, by the way, is Team Turnbull?

Image result for Team Turnbull cartoon
Liberal commentator Janet Albreschtsen asks "who, by the way, is Team Turnbull?

Well there's  Turnbull and his wife Lucy for sure. Maybe Morrison? Arthur Sinodinos and his offsider Scott Ryan? Maybe Kelly O'Dwyer?

The numbers wouldn't make up a cricket team and if the Prime Minister's trajectory falls further, watch the Malcolm maybes scatter too." 
Laura Tingle writes in defence of Malcolm Turnbull, noting his office likes him (in contrast to the constant reports about the Abbott-Credlin office) and argues we need to stop judging the PM against the expectations we all had for him 12 months ago.

She is right he can't be judged on our  expectations before this present situation, so we have to give him the benefit of the doubt. He now has to show us just what and who he is.

Meanwhile Annabel Crabb, observes "Bill Shorten's having so much fun as opposition leader he should be taxed".

The fear of immigrants is not new. Pauline Hanson is just following an Australian tradition?

Image result for Australian irish immigration
The first ethnic immigrant group to attract a concerted public and media campaign was the 4000-odd Irish orphan girls who were brought to Australia in the late 1840s fleeing the Great Famine.

The Sydney Morning Herald led a campaign against the girls, who were feared to be stubborn, lazy and of bad character. But the settlers quickly assimilated them and turned their hatred on the Chinese, only to turn on the Irish Catholics, and then on the Italians (whom we threw into prison camps during World War II), and then on the Jews. Then the Vietnamese. Then the Chinese again. And now Muslims. Often, the fear is of lawlessness (Irish insurrection, Italian Mafia crime syndicates, the Triads, Lebanese crime gangs, Islamic State). Always, it's of otherness, of cultural incompatibility.
Twenty years ago, Pauline Hanson wanted us to worry about being swamped by Asians. Bang on time – evolutionarily speaking – she now boasts that her colleagues have married Asians, but it's the Muslims who really bother her.
What does all this teach us?
Two things. One: That there is nothing un-Australian about Pauline Hanson. Whether she's in the Senate or not, this lady represents a range of instincts that is written deep in our history.
Two: That this, too, will pass. And that the grit and forbearance shown by earlier generations of immigrants in the face of the Australian national hazing ritual will, in time, propel Australian Muslims to reach the final stage of the assimilative process: "Having a go at the next lot who come".
Image result for Australian irish women immigration cartoon
Annabel Crabb is an ABC writer and broadcaster. @annabelcrabb

15 Sept 2016

Tony Abbott? No Malcolm Turbull.Its iron clad, its dead and buried we don't renege, we never break promises. I'm not Tony???

We never break promises, this is not the Abbott government?

The Coalition election commitment to tackle the worst excesses of superannuation for the rich were thrown overboard.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull tells Parliament the plebiscite was a key election commitment from the government.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull tells Parliament its an iron clad commitment to tackle the worst excesses of superannuation. 

The $500,000 lifetime non-concessional cap, so unloved by the Liberal Party base and irritable backbenchers, has been watered down.
The same $500,000 cap that was an "iron clad" commitment for Turnbull and his Treasurer during the election campaign, where both were peppered with questions about changing the cap or the over generous other changes even more generous than its right wing supporters wished for.

12 Sept 2016

Are we proud of our egalitarian traditions in Australia. Are they being frittered away?

Image result for egalitarianism  cartoon
AUSTRALIANS ARE proud of their egalitarian traditions. The idea of egalitarianism has embedded itself in our nation identity and with it, so has the belief in a “fair go”. It is part of our national ethos. It is who we are, and what we stand for. But is this truly the case? Do we as a nation actively pursue policies that promote equality? Unfortunately the evidence suggests otherwise.
Since the 1980s, Australia’s “fair go” has been under attack. It has been undermined and overlooked in the name of free markets, productivity and rampant individualism.

Education has become a commodity and as such the market has taught our youth to to only look after number one and have "I WANT"attitude.

At the same time we have the so called 'real' live TV programs that reinforce the "I AM, I WANT" ,they have even turned personal relationships into a commodity. Will the media ever wake up to what it is creating? Do we really want to change Australians into such an uncaring bunch of commodities.

As a consequence, inequality is rising and capitalism has up until now been happy with its progression. However once inequality reaches a certain level it begins to hurt profits because the pool becomes smaller.

We have to wait and see if it is possible to change the "I AM, I WANT" attitude once it has taken hold.
Image result for automated people cartoons

Government Funding of campaigns for and against same-sex marriage would be political suicide for Malcolm Turnbull.

Image result for same sex marriage cartoon

The federal government is at war with itself over the proposed same-sex marriage plebiscite, as two former cabinet ministers demand the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull hand over millions of dollars in taxpayer funding to both sides of the debate. 
Could anyone tell me why we the people should fund such things when both sides of this argument are quite capable of funding their own campaign. Should Malcolm Turnbull agree to this funding, even though he might say its even handed, it will give the impression that he is controlled yet again by the right wing of his party. That he is merely a pawn that they control.
In a dramatic intervention, former defence minister Kevin Andrews backed church leaders, rather than the Prime Minister, in a dispute over whether Mr Turnbull promised taxpayer support to run the campaign against same-sex marriage. 
Malcolm will never be a real Prime Minister until he shows the voters that he leads the party and that he has ideas that he will not compromise.

7 Sept 2016

Islamic extremists are treated with glee by the West's press. Who spread fear to feed the machine.


Islamic extremists are treated with glee by the West's press, why because it fills the need to feed the machine, the 12 hour news cycle. There is no the need to add to the story because it is presented to them, as a boxed up story.
It seems as if they will use anything that's free. We now have most of media owned by accountants who have no knowledge of the business, they are only interested in a profit.

News has been dumbed down because thousands of journalists have been forced out. They have almost killed investigative journalism by starving it of time and personnel.

The media now is a mere shadow of its self, we now have so called breaking stories that are not new, most of them are copied. Look at the front pages of the main newspapers, they all have identical stories.

Once in a while we have an original that is touted as ground breaking, some of them are, however because they have become rare, are they ground breaking or really just small reminders of days gone by.

Islamic extremists are in love with the West's press, its as if our model was designed for them. All they have to do is keep on making the little boxes(stories) and our press will obligingly open these little boxes of fear and place them on every news media outlet. They, the extremists don't have to worry about accuracy because there is not enough staff to check authenticity anymore.

The alternative, social media, although useful is in its self not a replacement for real journalism.

Digital media is now a place where many journalists have found a home, many of the best now reside in this space if you take the time to find them.

Best of luck to all journalists and wannabe's in this strange new world.

5 Sept 2016

Morrison tells doctors Greatest load of rubbish.

Treasurer Scott Morrison has dismissed concerns about the continued freeze on Medicare rebates, suggesting that doctors would be compensated by the government's centrepiece company tax cuts.

The Australian Medical Association swiftly rounded on the "surprising" proposition, saying issues will persist because of the lower payments and most practices don't pay company tax.

On Thursday, Labor announced it would restore indexation to the payments to doctors for the provision of services, which they originally froze for eight months in 2013 when in government.

Mr Morrison said the freeze, which was extended until 2020 in the May 3 budget, would be reviewed after that date, and contended the $50 billion company tax cut package would have a "positive impact" for eligible medical practices.

"One thing that I'm pleased about is that the many medical practitioners who are out there, on the 1st of July, they will get a company tax cut, those who are operating in those structures but also those who are in unincorporated structures," he said.

2 Sept 2016

Government to give gifts to super rich. Boys toys are about to get a lot cheaper.

The government is risking consumer protection, road safety and industry jobs to help the super-rich
"Why the government has decided to stick the knife into car dealers who are traditionally supporters of the Liberal Party has everyone scratching their heads. How is saving thousands on a Ferrari going to help swinging voters who can't afford one? This policy is going to hurt the working and middle classes who service and sell luxury cars, because the dealership won't be able to keep everyone on once there is a downturn in sales of factory-imported vehicles".
Industry experts also warn the new law threatens to make Australia a "dumping ground for discounted demonstrator models" from abroad, that may have been repaired after a crash.
The government wants to allow "new" cars with up to 500km on the clock to be imported privately, even though the industry definition of a used car is one that has travelled more than 100km.
Furthermore, the government has warned private individuals would be responsible for seeking their own warranty, service and recall work.
"The government is risking consumer protection, road safety and industry jobs to help the super-rich," said the car industry executive.
Savings for the super rich
Lamborghini Aventador V12
Australian RRP: $795,000
Private import price: $622,790
Saving: $172,210
Porsche 911 Turbo S
Australian RRP: $444,500
Private import price: $342,154
Saving: $102,346
Rolls-Royce Ghost V12
Australian RRP: $595,000
Private import price: $531,548
Saving: $63,452
Mercedes-Benz S600 Maybach
Australian RRP: $448,610
Private import price: $386,828
Saving: $61,782
Ferrari 458GTB
Australian RRP: $469,888
Private import price: $413,387
Saving: $56,501

1 Sept 2016

Australian banks most profitable because they milk its citizens dry. Far more populous countries milk their cows less, their profits are garnished globally.

Australia's banks are too big for the nation's good

Updated yesterday at 1:02pm
The four big banksPHOTO: Australia's big four banks make profits well above institutions in much larger nations. (AAP)
Bank bashing is something of an Australian national pastime but, far from being driven solely by envy at their success, there are sound economic reasons to think the big four make way too much money.
Australia's major banks delivered combined cash earnings of nearly $15 billion over the first half of their financial year (which ends September 30 for three of the big four).
It is an astonishing performance for four financial institutions that are almost entirely focused on the globally tiny Australasian market (especially now that ANZ has largely ditched its Asian expansion ambitions).
In fact, on 2015 figures compiled by The Banker and released by The Australia Institute, the nation's banks made a total of just over $35 billion that year in pre-tax earnings — the sixth highest in the world, and only just edged out by Canada in fifth.
The other four countries ahead of us were, in order, China, the US, Japan and France — all far more populous countries, with banks that generally have large overseas operations as well.
Australian banks made more money than British ones — and London is the world's true home of international finance.
When bank profits are compared to total economic output, the results are more starkly revealed - Australia is number one.