714 thoughts on “24 November 2018: Victoria Votes

  1. This came up today – I have personal experience of this sort of treatment, from almost three decades ago. It’s an issue that seems to be getting worse, not improving.

    Single people may get less aggressive treatment than a married person

    When surgery or radiotherapy is the treatment of choice, patients with spouses are more likely to get it.

    I had no idea that marital status might affect medical care until an oncologist, talking about what treatment to give me, asked if I have a spouse or children.

    When I said no to both, he looked genuinely concerned.

    “But how will you manage?” he asked. He then proposed to give me only one mild drug, although the standard of care was a much harsher – and more effective – combination chemotherapy.

    When I tried to describe my strong network of friends and extended family, he talked right over me.

    If I hadn’t moved on to another oncologist who gave me the recommended treatment, I probably wouldn’t have survived


    My problem was not the actual cancer treatment – that was brilliant – but getting a diagnosis. I was in increasing pain for months. My wonderful GP and I both believed(correctly) it was the return of a cancer we thought I had beaten five years earlier. Scans showed nothing wrong – the tumour was small, and well hidden, as it turned out. He did all he could, but the specialists he referred me to, over many months, let me down. Specialist after specialist – all male – dismissed my pain as imaginary, mere attention-seeking, due to me being neurotic because I was a divorced single mum with three kids and therefore, to them, depressed and unable to cope because I didn’t have a man.

    I’ve been reading tweets at #DoctorsAreDickheads and following Asha Wolf’s tweeted saga of her ongoing problems with doctors. Her struggles and the comments of so many women bring back a lot of unpleasant memories. It’s dreadful to know nothing has improved in almost thirty years as far as the treatment of single women by the medical profession is concerned.

  2. Both BBC and ITV are pushing ahead with plans to host a Sunday evening televised Brexit debate between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn, despite the physical impossibility of the prime minister and the Labour leader being in two different television studios at the same time.

    The farcical situation has occurred because neither political party is willing to back down on its preferred debate format. As a result both broadcasters are now officially insisting they are continuing with preparations for their own rival debates in five days’ time, with no idea which leaders – if any – will turn up to their event.


  3. Wow, Labor apparently winning Ripon by 31 votes. That’s a huge shock to be honest. I thought it was unsalvageable since the Liberals were 79 votes in the lead to start with. I think it will go to a recount, but, I doubt 31 votes can be overturned. If it was below 20 though, I’d be much less confident.

    My parents are in the Ripon district, so, that should make them pretty aware of how valuable their vote was there.

    • A young friend of mine went to Victoria and campaigned in Ripon, he will be very pleased to hear that.

  4. Marc Lamont Hill politically lynched for telling truth about Palestine

    telling truth about Palestine

    Ali Abunimah Lobby Watch 30 November 2018

    Marc Lamont Hill gave a beautiful speech at a United Nations event marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People this week.

    For this, the Temple University professor and long-time advocate for Palestinian rights has been the target of an orchestrated political lynching by Israel lobby groups.

    Smeared as an anti-Semite and grotesquely and falsely accused of calling for genocide against Jews, Hill was fired from his role as a political commentator for CNN.

    The same Israel lobby operatives who bullied CNN into ending Hill’s contract are also demanding that he be fired from his teaching position.

    The university has rebuffed these calls, citing Hill’s “constitutionally protected right to express his opinion as a private citizen.”

    The accusations against Marc Lamont Hill are outright lies promoted by high-level operatives of the Israel lobby in their latest effort to silence and punish anyone who dares speak out in support of Palestinian equality and freedom from Israel’s brutal regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid.

    They perfectly match the kind of smear and sabotage tactics revealed in the censored Al Jazeera documentary on the US Israel lobby that was recently published in full by The Electronic Intifada.

    Israel and its lobby see solidarity for Palestine from Black people as a particularly dangerous threat to be combatted with special zeal. It is no wonder that Jackie Walker, a Black Jewish anti-Zionist activist in Britain’s Labour Party, has likened the years-long smear campaign targeted at her by the Israel lobby to a lynching.

    At the top of this page is the full video of Hill’s UN speech, published by the anti-Palestinian group UN Watch, no doubt in an effort to embarrass him.

    You can also read a transcript.


  5. Duterte admits using marijuana to keep him awake

    President Rodrigo Duterte admitted Monday he was taking marijuana to keep him awake, citing his hectic schedule.

    “It’s a killing activity, and I think that at my age — ako hindi masyado, kasi nagmamarijuana ako eh, para magising. Sa iba, hindi na kaya,” Duterte said in a speech during the conferment of awards to the Asean-National Organizing Council officials in Malacañang…

    The President was referring to his hectic schedule during the 33rd Asean Summit in Singapore.

    “You know we start at 8:30 in the morning and we end up almost 10? 11


  6. American reporter, Martina Markota, goes to Paris – is shocked at how immigration has changed city. Just not fair huh?

    It broke my heart to see this beautiful European city struggling under this pressure (immigrants!!)

  7. https://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/news/geelong/new-poll-reveals-liberal-mp-sarah-henderson-would-lose-corangamite-if-federal-election-was-held-now/news-story/f5687b6e24407e66bd185c61c06fbdb5

    https://outline.com/xSPVJY no paywall version of the above

  8. On George HW Bush:

    If You Murdered A Bunch Of People, Mass Murder Is Your Single Defining Legacy

    Thought experiment:

    Think of an acquaintance of yours. Not someone you’re particularly close to, just some guy in the cast of extras from the scenery of your life. Now, imagine learning that that guy is a serial murderer, who has been prowling the streets for years stabbing people to death. Imagine he goes his whole life without ever suffering any consequences for murdering all those people, and then when he dies, everyone wants to talk about how great he was and share heartwarming anecdotes about him. If you try to bring up the whole serial killing thing, people react with sputtering outrage that you would dare to speak ill of such a noble and wonderful person.

    “Look, I didn’t agree with everything he did, but you can’t just let one not-so-great thing from a man’s life eclipse all the other good things he’s accomplished,” they protest. “For example, did you know he was a baseball captain at Yale?”

    “But… what about all those people he murdered?” you reply.

    “God, why can’t you just pay respect to a great man in our time of mourning??” they shout in exasperation.

    View at Medium.com

  9. Upper House update

    Eastern Metropolitan (recheck count: 87.19%)
    ABC calculator currently showing ALP: 2, LIB: 2, Transport Matters: 1. Result likely to stick

    Eastern Victoria (recheck count: 90.69%)
    ABC calculator currently showing ALP: 2, L/NP: 2, Aussie Battler Party: 1. Likely that below the line votes will overturn this and elect the Shooters party incumbent instead of the Aussie Battler Party.

    Northern Metropolitan (recheck count: 58.69%)
    ABC calculator currently showing ALP: 3 GRN 1, Hinch’s Justice Party 1. Lib vote is expected to rise once count has further progressed and displace 3rd ALP candidate while Fiona Patten (reason party) could get elected at expense of the Hinch candidate.

    Northern Victoria (recheck count: 90.66%)
    ABC calculator currently showing: ALP: 2 LIB: 1, Lib Dem: 1, Hinch: 1. Result likely to stick

    South-Eastern Metropolitan (Recheck count: 73.38%)
    ABC calculator currently showing: ALP: 3, LIB: 1, Transport Matters: 1. Lib Dems may get up instead of transport matters.

    Southern Metropolitan (Recheck count: 64.48%)
    ABC calculator currently showing: ALP: 2, LIB: 2, Sustainable Australia: 1. Greens might get up at Sustainable Australia’s expense if they improve in later counting but unlikely

    Western Metropolitan (Recheck count: 60.95%)
    ABC calculator currently showing: ALP 3, LIB 1, Hinch: 1. Shooters may take the final seat from the Hinch candidate.

    Western Victoria (Recheck count: 91.30%)
    ABC calculator currently showing: ALP: 2, LIB 1, Hinch: 1, Animal Justice Party: 1. Result likely to stick.

  10. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. As I type this I have the beginning of the Brexit deal debate on. The way the debate is structured and managed by the Speaker is fascinating.

    Wow! The UK government has suffered an almost unprecedented shock loss in Parliament, being held in contempt for refusing to provide the full legal advice it received on the Brexit deal it negotiated with the European Union.
    The AFR explains how the Brexit deal endgame might unfold.
    This UK Guardian article headlines that Theresa May’s plan to leave the European Union is off to a disastrous start. How will it finish up?
    It’s all kicked off inside the NSW Liberal Party after the moderates got stiffed over the Kelly preselection.
    Jess Irvine puts falling home prices into perspective.
    Isabelle Lane writes that headlines about property prices falling “off a cliff” are alarming, but a closer look at the data shows that for the vast majority of home owners there’s no need to panic.
    And Matt Wade examines what effect falling house prices could have on the economy.
    Hopes that last weekend’s deal between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping would stabilise markets have been shattered. The Dow has plunged 3 per cent.
    “I’m a tariff man!”, says Trump.
    Simon Benson writes that Malcolm Turnbull has embarrassed the government over ­energy by urging Scott Morrison to strike a deal with Labor, infuriating his former supporters within the Liberal Party and causing ­another distraction.
    Phil Coorey writes that Morrison’s government and business are drifting even wider apart on energy policy.
    Paul Bongiorno says Morrison is being held to ransom by the same irreconcilable forces that destroyed the prime ministership of Malcolm Turnbull. He may have just saved face but maybe not the government he says.
    Labor and the Greens will attempt to prevent the Morrison government from underwriting new coal-fired power as the energy policy battle moves into its next phase.
    And Dennis Shanahan says that the more rogue Malcolm Turnbull becomes, the better Scott Morrison and his colleagues get at handling his attempts at sabotage.
    Nick Miller reports that Paris: Australia’s brand new World War I commemorative centre in northern France is threatening to become a $100 million white elephant, with visitor numbers far below those promised when the project was given the green light by the Abbott government.
    David Wroe explains how now police, spies will gain powers to access encrypted messages after a political deal was struck yesterday.
    David Crowe says that Malcolm Turnbull is not done in making trouble for Scott Morrison.
    And Michelle Grattan writes that Malcolm Turnbull and his NEG continue to haunt the government.
    Paul Kelly writes that Scott Morrison’s rule change challenges a media and political culture that breeds chaos.
    Now Husar’s talking about move to the cross bench.
    James Massola writes that Morrison has sought help from wiser heads on his Jerusalem embassy minefield.
    John Lord says that the Coalition’s contemptuous move to limit parliamentary sitting time to a handful of days prior to the April 2019 Budget must be looked upon as a decision made by a party that has lost control of its ability to contest the next election with any trust. He tells us The Coalition are the masters of scare.
    Tony Wright tells us why Malcolm Turnbull, talking head, is in such high demand.
    In an interesting move separate morning and afternoon schools could soon be trialled in NSW to reduce traffic peaks and address the enrolment boom.
    Don’t tell me the Italian government (of the day) is getting serious about the Mafia!
    Severe drought has smashed crop production in Australia’s eastern states, with retail experts warning consumers could soon pay higher prices for food and fashion as a result.
    It seems that Carl Williams was the first to suspect his lawyer was an informer. This is going to play out bigly.
    Meanwhile four retired Victorian police detectives want the ­Victoria Police royal commission to delve beyond Lawyer X’s activities.
    Labor is claiming a historic election victory in the once blue-ribbon Liberal seat of Hawthorn, sinking a star opposition MP’s hopes of leading his party from the ashes.
    Nicole Hasham tells us that the federal government faces a legal challenge after sanctioning a plan by Indian mining giant Adani to pump billions of litres of water from a river in drought-stricken central Queensland to feed an open-cut coal mine.
    The Australian Conservation Foundation has launched a federal court challenge to the environment minister Melissa Price’s decision not to apply the water trigger in assessing water infrastructure for Adani’s Carmichael coalmine.
    And Mungo MacCallum writes that the future is not on the side of Adani or the PM, as the groundswell of youth leading the charge against climate change clearly shows.
    Tony Wright looks at Morrison’s new rule regarding the tenure of PMs.
    Anna Patty reports that Woolworths wants state government permission to ask its staff to pack shelves on Christmas Day in NSW, sparking a row with the union representing retail, fast-food and warehouse workers.
    Andrew Wu praises the toughness of Usman Khawaja after the arrest of his brother.
    Here’s why he was arrested.
    It appears Trump’s countless scams are finally catching up to him according to this contribution in The Guardian.
    The scores of protesters who appeared before the courts on Tuesday showed why the French government was right to cave in.
    Labor has accused Stuart Robert of exploiting people mistreated by Australia’s banking sector, after revelations that he would discuss the government’s royal commission response at a party fundraiser.
    An independent report finds NAB’s systems were unable to prevent, detect or respond to employee misconduct on its foreign exchange desk.
    Richo writes that the use of children as weapons in disputes is a sad fact of life in the family law courts. Blokes seem to be the losers most of the time he says.
    A government program that forces parents to take their children to activities such as playgroup or swimming lessons to keep their parenting payments is to be examined by a Senate inquiry.
    SA Health has claimed builders of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital owe taxpayers almost half a billion dollars over faults and failings that include bad food and defective alarms in mental health wards.
    Australia is walking on eggshells in a misguided attempt to preserve cordial relations with Beijing. We need to call out security incursions says cyber expert Danielle Cave.
    Presiding over policies that actively harm women does not a feminist make, writes Lauren Bull.
    Eamon Waterford writes that regional fast rail makes sense for Sydney.
    Wendy Touhy piles in on the expulsion of Patricia Karvelas over her bare biceps.
    Nicholas Stuart opines that our new defence inventory already looks to be obsolete.
    Matt O’Brien exposes Trump’s values and thinking processes here.
    Men with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be admitted to the Catholic clergy, and it would be better for priests who are actively gay to leave, Pope Francis has said in a new book.
    And for “Arseholes of the Week” nomination we have . . .

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe and Morrison’s ghosts of the past. And who is that under the bed?

    Mark David gets it!

    Paul Zanetti depicts Turnbull as a political arsonist.

    Matt Golding on the new rules.

    Glen Le Lievre and a Liberal call to arms.

    David Pope and Morrison’s earworms.
    Jon Kudelka sums up Turnbull.
    More in here. Matt Golding is on fire!

  11. The best show in town

    Evening summary

    Here’s a summary of the most important events on a damaging day for the government:

    . Theresa May suffered damaging defeats in the Commons over her approach to Brexit. First, the government was found in contempt of Parliament, in a historic move, over the refusal to publish the full Brexit legal advice. Ministers said it would be produced tomorrow. Then the government lost a vote over an amendment that would give MPs the chance to vote on a Plan B if May’s Brexit deal is rejected.

    . The prime minister sought to defend her deal, saying the Brexit divisions have been “corrosive”. She cast the deal as one that meets the UK’s requirements, while compromising in some areas – and, perhaps more importantly, the only deal on offer.

    . The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said Labour would not back the deal, saying it provided no certainty. He said, more generally, that ministers should be ashamed of the state they have left the country in. And, turning to the deal itself, he said it was “not the deal the country was promised and parliament cannot and, I believe will not accept it”.


  12. They’re coming for Twitter Boy

    Here’s some more details from the Associated Press on the emoluments lawsuit accusing Trump of profiting off the presidency, brought by the attorneys general of the District of Columbia and Maryland.

    The flurry of subpoenas came a day after U.S. District Court Judge Peter J. Messitte approved a brisk schedule for discovery in the case alleging that foreign and domestic government spending at Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel amounts to gifts to the president in violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause.

    The subpoenas target more than 30 Trump-linked private entities and the federal agency that oversees the lease for Trump’s D.C. hotel. Subpoenas were also being sent to the Department of Defense, General Services Administration, Department of Commerce, Department of Agriculture and the IRS, all of which have spent taxpayer dollars at the hotel.

    The subpoenas focus on answering three questions: which foreign domestic governments are paying the Trump International Hotel in Washington, where that money is going and how Trump’s hotel is affecting the hospitality industry in the District of Columbia and Maryland.

    To help answer those questions, the subpoenas are asking for records of payments to Trump from state government and federal agencies that patronized the hotel. They’re also seeking information proving that hotel revenues are going to the president through his affiliated entities, including The Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust. Most of the records are being requested back to Jan. 1, 2015.


  13. If FauxMo thought the school students strike was over then he’s made a big mistake. It’s ongoing, with students arriving in Canberra this morning (some have travelled from as far away as Townsville) hoping to meet the PM.

    From Castlemaine to Canberra, students ‘demand’ climate talks with PM

    The PM’s office is refusing to even take phone calls from these students. The least the very arrogant FauxMo could do is give these kids a few minutes of his time. Is he scared of a small group of teenagers?

    This weekend there will be marches in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

  14. FauxMo is using Pentecostal doctrine to explain his government’s attempts to allow religious schools to discriminate against LGBTIQ staff and students.

    But what about those religious schools which teach that it is not OK to be gay? Scott Morrison tries for a different example:

    “Let me give you a less controversial example, OK? In some churches, according to some religious faiths, they believe in tithing. They actually believe that you would tithe a percentage of your incomes to support the church you go to. In other Christian churches, they don’t teach that.

    It should be OK to teach those sorts of things in your school if that’s the religious practice of your school and you shouldn’t be able… people might say, well, you know, you’re discriminating against people who don’t want to do that.

    No. I don’t think so.

    It’s a common religious teaching that can find its root in a religious text and it’s reasonable for it to be taught


    FauxMo’s church demands its members tithe. That’s why this example popped into his head. Is it OK for him to use examples from his own cult to justify nasty, discriminatory practices?

    Most church-based schools don’t discriminate and don’t want this legislation. It’s only the fundamentalist schools (like the one FauxMo has chosen for his daughters) that push for discrimination.

    Does FauxMo also want schools to teach other things that have their roots in a “religious text” like some of the loopier rules in Old Testament? Stuff like it’s OK to own slaves, to sell your daughters into slavery, to put to death anyone who dares work on the Sabbath? Will he want kids taught that they must not cut the hair around their temples or wear anything made of mixed threads? (Bye-bye short back and sides schoolboy haircuts and polycotton school uniforms?)

    This is the danger of making a rabid Pentecostal nutter our PM. He believes the lunacy his cult teaches, accepts it without question, and believes that everything written in the Bible is the literal truth.

    The Senate has voted in favour of a motion to delay debate on this bill until next year, so regardless of what stunt FauxMo may stage in the Reps today nothing is going to happen until then.

  15. Perhaps of interest to Gigilene. It has been quite a contrast between reporting in a number of UK papers and that from the New York Times. The NYT has emphasized that it is a grass roots movement and involves what they call “the other France” and have explained their genuine grievances. Several articles I’ve come across in UK papers try and paint the protesters as a bunch of racists,xenophobes,anarchists,vandals, well you know the usual slurs.

    These 5 Numbers Explain Why the French Are in the Streets

    ………….France’s richest 1 percent represent over 20 percent of the economy’s wealth. Yet the median monthly disposable income is about 1,700 euros, or $1,930, meaning that half of French workers are paid less than that.

    Many of the Yellow Vest demonstrators are protesting how difficult it is to pay rent, feed their families and simply scrape by as living costs — most notably fuel prices — keep rising while their household incomes barely budge.

    It wasn’t always this way.


    Someday the “gilet jaune,” the fluorescent yellow hazard vest that has become synonymous with the French outcry over fuel prices, growing income inequities and much more, will end up in a museum as one of the most effective protest garments in history…………It is easy to slip on over any outfit, and instantly transformative. It is widely understood as a distress signal.

    It is associated with industries of the working class, like construction.

    • KK
      There are mixed feelings about the riots. I follow it on fb where I have 160 French friends. I hear about the violence of the policemen, attacking even children, (there are videos). Most people are pacifists really. Of course there are those with personal grievances, or from the extreme sides of politics. It’s not looking good for Macron who is not popular at all. He is very much like this leader here. Just has a bit more class. It has now spread to Belgium. I think it’s a big worry. It does create an awful lot of inconveniences in the streets. I just don’t think Macron is the man to re-establish order. It might also get much more violent.

      A fun detail. I see doggies with their gilets jaunes and many yellow images. Very clever.

  16. Interesting thought that the only PM that is Australian was Mr Howard!
    First Australian Prime Ministerial Library opens

    So … what nationality did these PMs have then?
    John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library
    Alfred Deakin PML
    Bob Hawke PML
    And all the rest. But I suppose because they are not “public” PMLs they possibly cover themselves by stating this is the first “public” prime ministerial library?

    Even then, it is no more than a museum display tarted up in old Parliament House as far as I can tell – PMLs and their like around the world, are more about providing a “lasting legacy” so that there is a positive view left to history written by that person. The real legacy is in that 150m of shelf space at the University of New South Wales in Canberra, which will only really be accessed by historians, just like all the other PMLs in Australia and overseas.

    *quietly snorts* Only 150 metres? *harrumph!*

  17. I watched Bill Shorten’s presser, just then.

    The media in this country are absolute, biased scum.

    They kept on asking why Labor wasn’t supporting a conscience vote. Bill and Tanya explained again and again and they just kept on repeating the same questions in a most aggressive way, they talked over Shorten, tried to shout him down. Tanya wasn’t having a bar of their rudeness.

    A sudden division saved them from really, really losing their tempers.

    Watch for yourselves –

    • The video should be showing. It’s a Facebook video, but they always show here.

      There doesn’t seem to be any other version, only Sky News covered the whole presser.

    • Thank you, LeoneTwo. Changing browser cleared that up.

      I am getting quite frustrated on occasion with Firefox not wanting to display things – and that’s after I’ve turned off/unloaded ad- or privacy blockers. *grumps*

    • They are a credit to their media training
      I would have blown my top and asked if Andrew Probyn would like his gay nephew to be discriminated against in his fancy private school or said if you want government funding and tax free status obey the law

  18. Another thing I’ve noticed about this state election, turnout is surprisingly low, it might not even get above 90%. That would make it the lowest turnout since WW2.

    A little disappointing, but, that might be a consequence of the SSM “plebiscite” last year, getting people on the roll that don’t intend to vote otherwise. Well, hope they have excuses, because the fine for not voting is $81.

    • I noticed that low turnout too.

      Maybe conservative voters stayed away because they couldn’t be bothered voting for the losing side.

  19. Me too, maybe not angrier than i’ve ever been, but mightily pissed off with Labor supporting this nasty piece of government skullduggery. I expected it, Labor always supports the government’s “keeping Australians safe from terrorists” crap. Labor talks about ongoing review and possible future changes to this legislation, but they lie. Labor never tries to amend anything on “national security”.No matter how many amendments there are this is bad legislation and Labor should not be supporting it.

    I’m also pissed off by Labor’s support for Adani this afternoon.

    Richard Di Natale moved this urgency motion –

    President to announce receipt of a letter from Senator Di Natale advising that he proposes to move:

    That, in the opinion of the Senate, the following is a matter of urgency:

    “That stopping Adani’s Carmichael coal mine poses no sovereign risk to Australia, and we must show leadership to address the great challenge of climate change.”

    Perfectly sane, and for once I’m with the Greens. Labor senators spoke for more coal mining and for Adani, then voted with the government to defeat the motion 10/28. A lot of senators on both sides couldn’t even be bothered turning up for the vote.


  20. Morrison government exposed to a humiliating defeat in Parliament on final sitting day

    The Morrison government is exposed to a humiliating defeat in Parliament from a multi-party push to legislate faster medical treatment for refugees on Manus Island and Nauru, highlighting the Coalition’s vulnerability on the last sitting day for the year.

    Labor and the Greens have formed an alliance with key crossbench MPs to force an end-of-year clash on the issue after calls from the Australian Medical Association for urgent intervention to get children off Nauru


    Also on this topic –

    No-one is asking where everyone will be sent when their medical treatment is finished. The government will send them back to Nauru, or Manus, but no-one wants to talk about this.

  21. French protests spark media demands for Facebook censorship

    By Andre Damon
    5 December 2018

    Over the past three weeks, hundreds of thousands of people have participated in “yellow vest” demonstrations in France against social inequality and austerity, demanding the fall of the hated government of the banker-president Emanuel Macron.

    All over the world, the editorial pages of major newspapers have responded to the protests with hostility. As with every popular uprising, the elites and their hangers-on slander the outpouring of popular opposition as “riots,” “mob rule” and “disorder.”

    To this reactionary class snobbery has been added a new argument: that the internet, and in particular social media, should be shut down, censored or “regulated” to prevent working people from organizing protests against their social conditions.

    Of course, this argument predates the “yellow vest” protests. Beginning in the immediate aftermath of the 2016 US election, sections of the US media aligned with the Democratic Party, including the New York Times and the Washington Post, begun to demand that Google, Facebook and Twitter censor oppositional viewpoints in the name of fighting “fake news” and “Russian propaganda.”

    These efforts led the technology giants to implement a draconian regime of internet censorship, with Facebook deleting left-wing and anti-war pages and Google slashing traffic to oppositional sites.

    The measures demanded by the major newspapers, the Democrats and the intelligence agencies had nothing to do with stopping “fake” news or “foreign propaganda,” but were intended to silence mass opposition to capitalism. The real target of internet censorship is the billions of workers all over the world who use the internet to voice their grievances and to organize opposition.

    Up to this point, the arguments for censorship stopped short of direct demands that popular protests be silenced. But with the upsurge of popular opposition gripping France, the proponents of censorship have felt empowered to vent their spleen at what they believe to be the unwashed masses who dare to use Facebook to express their views.

    On December 3, Frederic Filloux, the former editor of Libération, one of the most popular newspapers in Paris, penned a screed on Medium denouncing Facebook for allowing demonstrators to express themselves.

    Facebook is “playing a critical role in one of the worst civil unrest ever seen in France,” Filloux wrote. France’s “inexpensive and reliable” cellular infrastructure has led to “countless selfies, videos, and live blogging, which fueled anger and fantasy.” He adds, “Facebook provided an incredibly efficient logistical support for hundreds of demonstrations large and small across the country.”


  22. The Kerch Bridge Incident Points to Wider Issues

    On 25 November this year, three vessels of the Ukrainian navy approached the Kerch Strait which separates Crimea from the Russian mainland. They came from the Black Sea side of the Strait, which leads in turn to the Sea of Azov.1

    There are two other recent historical examples that highlight the blatant western hypocrisy about Crimea’ s re-integration with the Russian Federation.

    In 1967 as a result of the Six Day War, Israel occupied the Syrian component of the Golan Heights. In 1981 the Israeli parliament passed an Act purporting to annex the Golan Heights to Israel’s territory.

    That was an annexation in the true sense of the word. It was utterly without legal justification. Israel has ignored repeated UN General Assembly resolutions for the Golan Heights to be returned to Syria.

    The point here is that Israel has not been subject to sanctions by the Western powers for its illegal conduct. Nor are there regular editorials in the western mainstream media denouncing Israel’s aggression and unlawful conduct.

    The second example relates to Kosovo. The Kosovo parliamentary assembly made a unilateral declaration of independence on 17 February 2008, determining to break away from Serbia. The International Court of Justice delivered an advisory opinion on 22 July 2010, which held, by a majority, that the declaration of independence did not violate general international law because international law contains “no prohibition on declarations of independence.”

    A minority of countries recognise Kosovo’s independence, including the United States and Australia, two of the foremost critics of Crimea’s referendum and its subsequent rejoining the Russian Federation. Unsurprisingly, they do not acknowledge the illogicality of their position.

    Kosovo has no seat in the United Nations. It is essentially a gangster state and a major conduit for Afghanistan heroin into the European market. It is also home to Camp Bondsteel, one of the United States’ largest military bases in Europe and so secretive that it is closed to inspectors from the Council of Europe.

    The contrast between the Western responses to Crimea where the overwhelming majority of its population exercised what the International Court of Justice said in the Kosovo context was their lawful right, and the course of events in Kosovo and the Golan Heights could not be greater.

    By indulging Poroshenko’s manipulative, undemocratic and Russophobic behaviour, the west not only demonstrates its hypocrisy, but it also ignores the lessons of history when self interest overcomes a law based and rational approach to international affairs.

    James O’Neill, an Australian-based Barrister at Law, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.


  23. “Pistachio Wars”: How the Resnicks’ Snack Food Fortune is Fueling the Assault on Iran

    A highly original documentary project reveals how a couple of Beverly Hills billionaires “are willing to risk war in Iran and the Middle East — all in order to boost and protect their lucrative pistachio business.”
    By Max Blumenthal

    Three years ago, journalist Yasha Levine and filmmaker Rowan Wernham first arrived at the vast pistachio plantation of Stewart and Lynda Resnick in California’s parched Central Valley. There, they saw firsthand how a billionaire power couple had successfully manipulated the state’s political system to privatize its water supply for their own financial benefit.

    Today, the Wonderful Company farm owned by the Resnicks soaks up more water than the entire city of Los Angeles. Their business was based on “a heist of epic proportions,” according to Levine, that “will put family farms out of business, and push life in the biggest river estuary on the west coast of America towards mass extinction.”

    The story eventually took Levine and Wernham far beyond the parched Central Valley, and into the heart of America’s Israel lobby. It turned out that the Resnicks had been pumping their money into some of the most militantly pro-Israel think tanks in Washington, including the American Jewish Committee and the Washington Institute on Near East Policy (WINEP). Both of these outfits have lobbied heavily for sanctions on Iran and against the Iran nuclear deal. One WINEP executive, Pat Clawson, has even called on the US to stage a false flag attack that could trigger a war with Iran.

    MB: How did the sanctions imposed on Iran by the Carter administration after the 1979 revolution affect America’s domestic pistachio market in general, and the Resnicks in particular?

    YL & RW: Without out a doubt, President Carter’s embargo on Iran was what gave birth to America’s pistachio business. Historically, pistachios imported from Iran had dominated global markets, including in the US. When America was suddenly cut off from Iran’s pistachio supply after Carter’s economic blockade in the wake of the Iranian hostage crisis, it left a giant hole in the market and created the need for an alternative source of pistachios. At the time, pistachio farming happened on a small scale in the United States — the bulk of it in California’s Central Valley. Sensing a perfect business opportunity, farmers in California stepped in to fill the void. At that time, Stewart Resnick had just gotten into agriculture. He was a shrewd businessman and he seized the moment.

    From then on, America’s pistachio industry grew at crazy pace, with domestic output more than doubling every 5 years. In 2008, forty years after the embargo, America finally surpassed Iran as the world’s dominant producer of pistachios. And the bulk of America’s pistachio trade is controlled by one firm: the Wonderful Company, owned by Beverly Hills billionaires Stewart and Lynda Resnick.

    Through clever and aggressive marketing, the Resnicks have singlehandedly driven a global pistachio boom, creating a demand for pistachios where it had not existed before.


  24. World Visions and other NGOs have been vehicles for the CIA for as many as 50 years:

    Pakistan’s aid group clampdown could hit 11 million people, diplomats say

    ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan’s expulsion of 18 international aid agencies will hurt 11 million aid recipients in a South Asian nation grappling with perilously low standards of education and healthcare, two Western diplomats said on Tuesday.

    Affected NGOs include World Vision, Pathfinder, Plan International, Trocaire and Saferworld. Another group, ActionAid, last week said it was closing offices and laying off staff after the government told it to halt operations and leave.

    U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the United States “regrets” Pakistan’s decision and noted that many of the 18 groups had worked in the country for years, employing thousands of Pakistanis and working to improve the lives of ordinary people.

    Pakistan’s interior ministry confirmed it had rejected appeals of 18 NGOs that had been allowed to continue operations while appeals were being reviewed. It declined to give further details.

    Aid groups and western diplomats blasted a lack of transparency in the process of expulsion and review of appeals.


  25. US, NATO Give Russia 60 Days to Comply With Nuclear Treaty

    Russia denies violating terms of 1987 INF treaty
    Jason Ditz Posted on December 4, 2018Categories NewsTags NATO, Pompeo, Russia

    After years of claiming Russia is violating the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Tuesday that the US is giving Russia 60 days to comply with the deal.

    The big obstacle to this is, despite the US making such allegations for several years, and getting NATO to endorse their narrative, Russia has denied ever violating the deal in the first place, and insists the missile in question, the 9m729, is not banned by the treaty.

    The question is based on the missile’s range, with INF banning everything from 500 km to 5,500 km. Russia has only tested the missile to about 400 km, and it is intended to replace a missile that itself was only 400 km. US officials, however, have speculated that the missile has a much longer range.

    This makes any deal unlikely, as Russia would not only have to admit the missile has a longer range than it was tested to actually have, but also agree to get rid of the system, which would severely limit their short-range capabilities until they are able to roll out something else that the US would accept.

    US officials have been keen to pull out of the INF for awhile anyhow, and this ultimatum is mostly meant to serve as a legal pretext to do so. The withdrawal would allow the US to deploy nuclear missiles into Europe.


  26. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    John Hewson really lets fly, saying the Liberal party is a “directionless, self-obsessed rabble” and that its brand is damaged goods.
    Adam Carey writes that former Victorian shadow attorney-general John Pesutto says time is running out for his federal colleagues to avoid the same election wipeout that cost the Coalition up to 12 seats last month, including his own.
    The AFR says that the Liberals have turned up the lunacy.
    In an op-ed in The Australian Jim Molan says that factions are poisoning the Liberals.
    Ben Packham says that Malcolm Turnbull’s closest confidant in parliament, Craig Laundy, has urged the former PM to stay out of the spotlight.
    David Crowe reports that the Morrison government is exposed to a humiliating defeat in Parliament from a multi-party push to legislate faster medical treatment for refugees on Manus Island and Nauru, highlighting the Coalition’s vulnerability on the last sitting day for the year.
    Michael Sainsbury revisits Donald Horne’s statement that “Australia is a lucky country run by second rate people who share its luck”.
    Stephen Bartholomeusz says that no one knows what Trump and Xi agreed over dinner and it’s causing chaos.
    Federal ministers would be subject to ASIO security vetting for the first time under a private members bill set to be introduced to parliament this week. South Australian Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick is seeking to overturn a decades-long convention in Australia that ministers, assistant ministers and parliamentary secretaries – unlike their staff and public servants – are exempt from security checks before accessing classified government material.
    Nick Miller writes that the UK could become trapped in an indefinite Brexit “stalemate” where it must obey Europe’s customs laws and regulations that it no longer has any control over, according to the government’s own legal advice that it has been forced to make public.
    And he tells us why the British Parliament snapped yesterday.
    According to Jennifer Hewett our weak GDP is another signal that the RBA is too optimistic. As, I suppose, are the current budget assumptions.
    Greg Jericho posits that Australia could be facing a lost decade in living standards.
    Fergus Hunter reports that Australian National University chancellor Gareth Evans has downplayed the threats to academic freedoms in Australia but suggested there were enough warning signs for institutions to take action and prevent their campuses being “infected” by problems seen in the United States.
    John Warhurst examines what results from the fact that membership of political parties has fallen dramatically which makes it relatively easy for a small branch in an electorate to be “taken over” by new members. He uses the Craig Kelly issue to make his point.
    David Crowe reckons a conscience vote is a smart way to end this impasse on religious schools and gay students.
    But Crowe and Koziol report that Morrison has infuriated some of his conservative colleagues by unveiling a new bill to protect gay students from discrimination in religious schools, triggering complaints he failed to consult the Coalition party room on the bill and his proposal to hold a conscience vote to decide the changes. And where In the hell is the Ruddock report?
    Paul Kelly says that it’s time for reality as Australia is facing a deep and complex problem: the deadlock over religious freedom. I think he just wants it to all go away.
    Katharine Murphy says it’s crash or crash through as Morrison politicises the religious discrimination debate.
    Michelle Grattan has her say on how a political impasse stopped legislation giving protection for LGBT students from passing this year.
    Dean of Education David Hastie writes that the ALP bill to strip the rights of religious institutions to discriminate against students and staff would reap massive social change. It should proceed with caution. He’s terrified of the secularists!
    In a move akin to what one could expect from certain parts of the US, government MPs have told Prime Minister Scott Morrison to change electoral laws and force Australians to produce identification before voting in federal elections.
    Joanne McCarthy writes that a charitable trust has warned of a “serious shortfall” in financial counselling services to child sexual abuse survivors accessing the National Redress Scheme after concerns about their vulnerability to “predation and debt recovery”.
    Alexandra Smith explains that a scandal that killed a leader clearly hasn’t damaged Labor. But that does not mean Daley is their saviour. It means people do not want to vote for the Coalition.
    John Silvester tries to work out what made lawyer informer 3838 tick.
    Ans now it is revealed that the woman at the centre of the Lawyer X scandal was involved in a sexual relationship with a former police officer, who was later on a steering committee that managed her role as Informer 3838.
    Michael Pascoe dives into the art of forecasting house pricing.
    Eryk Bagshaw looks at the significant drop in retail spending growth and what it means for the economy. He says that underlining the threat of a spending strike in the lead up to Christmas, the value of unsold goods sitting in retailer storerooms surged by $800 million over the quarter, the biggest such jump in three years.
    Business faces a testing Christmas trading period after softer consumer spending dragged down economic growth to its slowest quarterly pace in two years.
    On top of this John Collett reports that Australians loading up on credit cards this Christmas, assuming they can transfer the debt to a card with an interest-free period next year, are in for a shock. New rules from January 1 mean some people who apply for credit cards will be either refused or offered a lower credit limit. That includes those applying for a balance-transfer card with a zero-interest period.
    Uber Eats, Afterpay and Netflix accounts could hurt your home loan application.
    The new “one-stop shop” for financial complaints only began a month ago, but it has already been flooded with more than 6500 complaints. The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) opened on November 1 and has averaged 310 complaints per business day so far.
    Tony Featherstone addresses the question, ” When does working longer hours without pay cross a line?”
    One-third of fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) resource workers experience high levels of psychological distress compared to half that level for the general population, a new report has found.
    Malcolm Turnbull suggested it was possible Labor’s proposal to preserve the national energy guarantee, with a 45% emissions reduction target, would not drive up prices, in an early draft of his speech to an energy conference obtained by Guardian Australia.
    The verdict is in: renewables reduce energy prices (yes, even in South Australia).
    Australia’s carbon emissions will reach 37 billion tonnes in 2018, a record high.
    Microsoft may be planning to bow out of the battle of the internet browsers, with reports indicating the company is building a new application on the same foundation that powers Google Chrome.
    Dr Evan Jones gives a first-hand account of the Commonwealth Bank’s time under the microscope during the Banking Royal Commission.
    The $2.4 billion Royal Adelaide Hospital has the worst performing emergency department in Australia, a report shows – immediately followed by Modbury Hospital, Lyell McEwin Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre.
    Government condemnation of a massive protest by students over climate change has shown us where the real intelligence lies, writes John Passant.
    Stephen Koukoulas has revised his forecast for the RBA’s interest rates with it hitting 0.5% around the end of next year.
    Peter FitzSimons declares 2018 to have been a real stinker for men’s sport and that women’s sport has clearly advanced.
    The New Daily reports that veterans are disheartened by a Senate inquiry into anti-malarial drug trials they say have left them with debilitating symptoms for nearly 20 years.
    Who has Mueller charged in the Trump-Russia inquiry and who might be next?
    Elizabeth Knight says that new boss Francesco De Ferrari will be keeping a close eye on the royal commission findings as he works out AMP’s strategy.
    Nine Entertainment Co chief executive Hugh Marks is expected to further cut costs if he gains full control of Macquarie Media, after telling shareholders the media group had begun discussions with the radio network over a deal.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe on the “big stick”.

    Zanetti works for News Ltd doesn’t he?

    Look how Alan Moir has drawn O’Dwyer!

    David Pope on the new cyber security moves.
    Jon Kudelka is a bit concerned about the level of debate on the cyber security bill.
    More in here.

  27. “Dean of Education David Hastie writes that the ALP bill to strip the rights of religious institutions to discriminate against students and staff would reap massive social change. It should proceed with caution. He’s terrified of the secularists!”

    As Fairfax (or whatever they now are) admits, David Hastie is Dean of Education at Alphacrusis College.

    Sounds fine, doesn’t it. An eminent educator simply giving his opinion on the issue of the day, a bill to end discrimination against LGBTIQ students in our schools. Well, there’s more to this, much more, and unless you decide to do a quick search you’d never know.

    Alphacrusis College is run by Australian Christian Churches, formerly known as Assemblies of God. It’s a Pentecostal college.

    Here’s their own description of what they do –

    Established in 1948, Alphacrucis College (AC) is at the forefront of equipping leaders for careers of influence in theology, ministry, business, leadership, teaching, music, chaplaincy, community services and counselling.

    Since its inception as the national training college of the Australian Christian Churches in 1948, AC has had a rich history of ministry training, having taught and trained thousands of Christian leaders in Australia, New Zealand, and throughout the world. Now a multidisciplinary college, AC graduates are making an impact in businesses, classrooms and not-for-profit organisations.

    Our mission is to equip Christian leaders to change the world. Our vision is to be a global Christian university, transforming neighbourhoods and nations


    There’s more –
    “Alphacrucis College is the national training college of the Australian Christian Churches (ACC) and as such aligns itself with the Doctrinal Basis of the ACC.”

    Here’s that “doctrinal basis – it’s exactly the same link that you find on the website of FauxMo’s beloved Horizon Church, formerly known as Shirelive Property Ltd.

    So Fairfax is promoting the thoughts of a Pentecostal educator dolled up as “opinion” and what’s more that “opinion” is based on the same rubbish FauxMo wholeheartedly believes and is trying to sneak into government policy. The ACC doctrine preaches assorted lunacies like the Bible as the literal word of God, Creationism, tithing, and “divine” healing in the style of American televangelists. Most relevant right now is the belief in willful transgression, and that includes being anything but 100% heterosexual. ACC churches tell their follower it is not only sinful but an illness, caused by separation from God and curable with prayer and aversion therapy. This is why FauxMo is so keen to have a conscience vote on his amendments to Labor’s very simple legislation – he wants to impose the teachings of his church on all of us. It’s also why he was prattling on about religious texts yesterday, in answer to a question about the infamous passage in Leviticus that allegedly says homosexuality is a sin.

    Also very relevant, and the reason FauxMo is now delaying his decision on moving our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem is the ACC doctrine that says the return of Christ and the start of the “end days scenario involving Christ ruling in Jerusalem is imminent. FauxMo really, really wants that embassy moved ASAP, so Australia can be ready for events forecast two millennia ago by a stoned, drugged-out “prophet”.My guess is he will decide to establish a small consulate in Jerusalem to make sure there is an Australian presence there ready for Christ’s imminent return. This is one of the options being looked at by advisers trying to come up with a workable solution to the huge problem FauxMo created with his captain’s pick brainfart.

    The last paragraph of Hastie’s article is a threat – mess with the right of Christian schools to discriminate against LGBTIQ students and staff and the wrath of ACC followers and devout “Christians” will descend upon whatever political party (Labor, of course) tries it. ACC followers don’t vote Labor, and there certainly are not 4 million deeply concerned Christian voters who will vote against any party that dares defy FauxMo, so it’s no threat at all.

    Just as an extra – Hastie’s blurb says he has “previously taught across NSW urban and rural schools for 18 years”. Yes, he has, but all those schools were Christian, Presbyterian or Anglican schools. The one “rural” school is Taree Christian School. His bias shows in his past experience.

    • I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if David Hastie were Handy Andy’s bro, and the son of the ‘reverend’ Creationist Peter Hastie.

      I’ve done a little searching, but so far haven’t been able to confirm my suspicions. Does anyone here know anything more?

  28. The government is set to lose a vote in both houses today, and that has the possibility of bringing down the government.

    The government is desperate to stop this, and all they can do is fiddle with timing, so of course, that’s what they are doing.

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