Your Say: the 1967 Referendum

From Gary Pead It should be remembered in Referendum Week ​that in 1967…

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Your Say: the 1967 Referendum

From Gary Pead

It should be remembered in Referendum Week ​that in 1967 Territorians (ie, citizens of the Northern Territory, the Australian Capital Territory and Jervis Bay) ​along with Aboriginal people were also not full citizens. Only after the 1967 Referendum were they also accorded the ​full right of a citizen​ to vote in referendums.

The Canberra constitutional ​elected ​representative for the people of Canberra was my father Jim Pead MBE​ (late Gold Coast resident of Broadbeach).

It is embarrassing to those of us who care that that full citizenship recognition for white Australians was fixed so quickly ​in 1967​and yet the non-inclusive constitutional recognition of First Australians remains un-fixed​.

​​Particularly galling is the almost complete ignorance of Indigenous​ Gold Coast stories which should be the told as an integral part of the developed tourism package. What a pity such inclusive vision is blocked by a high-rise building or a cruise ship.

“Baa, baa, black sheep …”

By freef’all852

(Warning: This article contains words and language that may offend the LNP and the “genteel class” who claim the right to rule over us all).

This simple nursery rhyme portrays so succinctly the relationship between the expectations of the ruling orders and the serf, the presumed rights and satisfaction of the needs of the Liege Lord and the slave. They are still there now, in this day and age, here in Australia … but now they call themselves “politicians” and they mostly live in the ivory towers of the LNP.

But it is their treatment of anyone taking refuge from war-torn places that most marks out their tyranny, their bastardry. They have claimed a presumed “ownership” of this nation which their profiteering pirate ancestors stole at gun-point from the Indigenous peoples and now they claim ownership and call this part of the Earth: “Their Nation”.

Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes, sir, yes, sir,
Three bags full;
One for the master,
And one for the dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.

Yes, one for “The Master” and one for “The Dame”.

Allow me to tell you a little known piece of information from back in the 2nd world war about those internees held in camps along the Murray River in locations like Loveday in South Australia. Many internees were used to cut mallee wood and burn charcoal in camps scattered around places like Blanchetown on the river. If any of you have been to “Brookfield Conservation Park” up near Blanchetown, you may have seen the signs directing you to the charcoal pits there. Those pits there were part of a large contingent of Italian men and some of their families held there as “enemy aliens”.

I know of these things because my father was one of them, as were a couple more of my relatives. Once the war in the Pacific really kicked off, there was a shortage of men to cut wood and burn the charcoal so Italians were transported there and worked in several camps in the Mallee.

My mother met my father near there when she worked at Portee Station on the Murray River as a servant girl. He came to the river to get water for the camp. My mother’s parents who were Cornish/Irish and her younger siblings were also at another “charcoal” camp where my grandfather worked the machinery. My grandmother looked after and taught by correspondence her children. She was a well-educated Irish woman who came to Australia in 1922 from the end of the Irish civil war in Bandon County – the “most murderous place in the British Isles” at that time in history – when the Irish rebellion was in full swing. She worked in Bandon City as a legal clerk for her father’s office, and her script writing – until the end of her life in her eighties – was the most beautiful flowing writing you’d ever want to see.

It was this skill and her legal expertise that came into good use out there in the Mallee, when an Italian internee, brought down from the Northern Territory, came seeking help from her to write a “legal letter” in his favour.

Before the war broke out he owned and worked a farm at Katherine with his Aboriginal wife. He had an Australian foreman and a couple of workers also. When he was interned as an “enemy alien” and transported to Loveday camp, his foreman in collusion with a local govt’ administrator sought to get control of his farm on the pusillanimous grounds of he; the Italian, being an enemy alien was not permitted to own land and his wife – being Aboriginal –  also was not permitted to own property and so they sought to have the ownership of the farm forfeited to them.

Evidently, my grandmother summoned all her jargon of “legalese”, constructed a “legal argument” for the distraught Italian and succeeded in scaring off the culprits. Which brings me to the point of this little missive …

Let us ask: Just who were the real working people who built this nation? Who in reality were the producers and strugglers who physically built this country … this country we hear the likes of Mr Abbott, or Mr Turnbull or Mr Dutton et al wax so lyrical about in protective terms like it was their own personal fiefdom or that of their social class or ethnic demographic?

Let us in all fairness analyse just who were the real Australians who made this nation what it is today. Because, you see, what was neglected in that little yarn about the Italian farmer and his Indigenous wife was how could it come to be that an Australian man and his partner in crime could presume to claim what was not theirs? How could they presume to drive through a process to deny a fellow human being and his wife their dignity and their rights? I’ll tell you how they could and it also shows how Minister Dutton can presume on the dignity of the refugees in this time to do the same:

BECAUSE TO THEIR EYES, THAT FARMER WAS NOTHING BUT A “FUCKING DAGO”!

AND BECAUSE TO THEIR EYES, THE WIFE WAS NOTHING BUT A “FUCKING BOONG”!

AND THIS is how it still stands with the Anglo fascists of the LNP to this day!

THIS is their claim of legitimacy!

THIS is their perceived presumption!

THIS is their perceived right of ownership of the land, the country and the people of the nation!

Well, SCREW YOU, Mr Dutton! And YOU, Mr. Turnbull and ALL YOU Anglo/ethnic fascists! You are not worth the piss of their bladders or the shit of their bowels … you are rubbish!

It was the immigrants and working class who built this nation. The more “privileged” and upper middle-classes moved straight into “administration” (shorthand for “command and control”) and pretty useless at that! No, it was the Irish, the Germans, the Greeks, the Italians, the Indigenous peoples, the Baltic and Balkan nationals … and not just a few Asian peoples who migrated here seeking a safe and better life that “built” this nation … from the ground up, with their skilled trades small business and hard work. THIS is the base truth of the story of Australia. The story of the migrants and refugees who poured their blood, sweat and tears into the earth of Australia, to be mixed with the sorrows of the Indigenous peoples who built this nation to what it is today.

And then we hear bastards like Dutton pour his vile shit from his vile shitty mouth these vile shitty policies of an effing vile putrescent LNP. It is enough to want to make one reach for a horsewhip.

Henry Lawson wrote:

“They lie those men who tell us for reasons of their own,
That want is here a stranger, that misery’s unknown …”

The first line of his “Faces in the Street” was changed by George Robertson, owner and publisher of The Bulletin … for reasons of his own to:

“They lie those men who tell us in a loud decisive tone …”

It was changed because it “reflected upon the authority of the day” (or words to that effect). Well the “authority of the day” has not changed its spots … it seems to be still offended by its own guilty treatment of those fellow humans.

I know of the treatment my Italian relatives received from the “administrators”. I know of the treatment many ethnic groups received from the “authorities”. I know, YOU know WE ALL know and we know also who interests those “authorities“ represented … THEN and NOW.

So let us stop talking falsely and take a calming look at what must be done to rid us of these lying filth that presume to govern for the “good” of the nation. In an age gone by, a different sort of revolution would have sufficed – as we saw in the aforementioned Irish Rebellion – but such is very destructive to both blood and infrastructure. No, it is the ballot box for these times, but it is by a vote most decisive and most damning that will remove this vile pestilence from the governance in our lives. And we must make social media the means to promote the truth and expose the lies of the LNP. Let our anger overflow from the blog sites into the ballot boxes that decide our political future.

The Murdoch press is the main propagator of the attacks and vilification of all parties and individuals in opposition to the LNP. We cannot touch Rupert Murdoch, for he lives in another country, a foreign national of another country. But his creatures, through which he propagates his foul mind and policy are amongst us like a festering wound whose scab is continually knocked off, they live and breathe the foul air of the Murdoch lie. These woeful scabs are the ones who most prosper from betraying our land, our nation. Let THEM feel the wrath of our anger. Let them be cast out of our company. Let THEM be PROSCRIBED from the security and comforts provided by us very citizens they continue to abuse and demean.

LET THE REVOLUTION BEGIN NOW! And not end till we are rid of this vile pestilence of a government!

This article was originally published on freefall852.wordpress.com.

 

No, the banks aren’t really scared

By Ross Hamilton

A lot of Australians are fed up with the big banks. While constantly trying to convince us via television ads how lovely they really are, they are busy ripping billions in profits away from us via fees. That is in addition to many millions in government handouts and protections in the last decade alone. This latest Budget has attempted to get hold of some of those excessive profits for the national good – not by something like an excessive profits tax, but by instituting a new special levy. But will it mean anything in the long run? Nope.

The attitude of Malcolm Turnbull towards the banks as a politician have been quite distinctive. As Leader of the Opposition, when the banks bowed to public pressure and passed on more of an interest rate cut than they had been doing of late, Turnbull declared this was because the banks feared his Opposition. They had ‘drawn a line in the sand,’ he declared, that the banks were too afraid to cross. I was driving on a freeway when that gem appeared on the radio in 2008 and I had to pull over into the emergency lane as I simply could not believe what I was hearing.

Malcolm Turnbull then became PM but the refrain continued. He had the measure of the big banks. And his solution to public concerns was to declare that the banks now had to attend an annual hearing before a Senate Committee to explain themselves. And the banks were apparently terrified of it. Their CEOs were hiding under their desks, piddling their pants. Take for example an appearance by the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank. In the wake of some scandals, the CBA had commissioned an external review of their systems and practices to see what was wrong.

So, asked the Senate Committee, “What did that review find was wrong?

Wrong? Oh it didn’t find anything wrong? No, no, no…all is just fine and dandy.

What? What did your clients have to say to the review? flustered the SC.

Clients? What clients?

You know, all those unhappy people who were making complaints.

Oh them. The review didn’t talk to any of them. Why bother? Everything was shown to be just fine so they didn’t need to talk to anyone.

You cads! shrieked the SC. You scoundrels! You rotters!

Yeah, whatever, replied Mr CBA CEO. Talk to the hand, dudes and dudettes.”

Now we can all relax. Everything is now just going to be just fine. A new levy is to be imposed on the Big Four, expected to raise $6.2 billion over the next four years. All that money is going to pour into the public coffers and is to be used for all manner of wonderful things.

Hooray. That is the big banks all pulled into line by the 2017 Budget. All is now wonderful in the world!

Sorry – time for a reality check.

What happens when a business incurs an additional cost of conducting business? Does it meekly absorb that cost and reduce its profitability or does it pass that cost onto the consumer? No questions about that one folks, it all goes to Column B. And the banks shall not be any different. Over the next four years, everyone who is a client of one of the big four or even dares to use one of their services such as an ATM, can confidently expect to be forking out more fees to cover that levy. And businesses shall pass on their share of those bank fees on to their clients. And so on.

Or am I being too pessimistic? Treasurer Scott Morrison has, after all, had some stern words for the banks. Not in Parliament where it might have meant something, but in a post-Budget speech at the National Press Club, Morrison told the banks he would be disappointed if they did pass on that cost to their customers.

Well then, that should take care of that. Don’t forget – the banks are all scared of Malcolm Turnbull and his government. Petrified. At least that is what he would have us believe, despite evidence to the contrary.

Of course, the big banks are going to recover every single damned cent of that new levy. Not in any single item that could be easily highlighted in their financial statements and subjected to more Senate scolding, but in free increases here, there and everywhere. And that will flow on from their business clients to everyone else.

Guess what, people, that levy on the banks is going to end up being one thing and one thing only – we have all been indirectly hit with a new tax which is going to cost us $6.2 billion over the next four years. All for the sake of some populist poll points.

This article was originally published on Ross’s Rant.

 

Refugee advocate slams Dutton’s deadline

Note: “Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has given 7,500 asylum seekers living in Australia until October to lodge an application for protection, or face deportation, declaring the “game is up” for “fake refugees”.

Media Release

Dutton’s Deadline for Asylum Seekers Cruel: Rintoul

Refugee Action Coalition Sydney Coordinator Ian Rintoul today said of Dutton’s asylum seeker processing deadline:

“It is a completely arbitrary deadline and a cruel hoax on people who the Government has left in limbo for years.

“These people have been denied legal help by this government, said Mr Rintoul. They have systemically denied them the possibility of making an application.

“To suggest that they are unreasonably consuming taxpayers dollars is simply vicious.

“The government could save billions in taxpayers dollars by closing offshore detention.”

Mr Rintoul was visiting Canberra to attend the ARAN 2017 conference.

 

Falling through the cracks

In amongst the budget, responses and ‘expert analysis’, you might have missed the news that so called conservative ‘warrior’ and MP for the seat of Dawson in Central Queensland, George Christensen, recently became a medical tourist to Asia. Christensen, who before the operation weighed in at 176 kilograms, went to Malaysia for an operation to remove 85% of his stomach.

While it is fair to suggest that this website hasn’t been overly friendly to Christensen in the past, he deserves due recognition for attempting to redress a health problem that he claims was due to the politician’s lifestyle of constantly being on the road and rarely eating at home. Like a lot of overweight people Christensen said he had tried “every diet under the sun”. Christensen apparently wants to outlive his grandmother who died at 96; and good luck to him with this ambition. According to the article quoted above, former politician Clive Palmer has also recently lost almost 60kgs in the last eight months.

Regardless of the reason for Christensen’s former weight, the lack of weight loss success with less invasive measures such as diet and exercise suggests there are some elements of an addictive personality resident in the head of George Christensen. He also apparently has the necessary finance available to fund not only ‘every diet under the sun’ but the costs of travelling to Malaysia and undergoing the operation.

It’s lucky in some ways that Christensen isn’t a job seeker and his particular addiction of choice was not to an illicit drug. Turnbull and Morrison’s second budget introduced the concept of drug testing Newstart and Youth Allowance recipients before they are able to receive benefits. Turnbull’s response to Buzzfeed’s question regarding the medical or scientific evidence that demonstrates this scheme would work was interesting

“Well, I think it’s pretty obvious that welfare money should not be used to buy drugs, and if you love somebody who is addicted to drugs, if you love somebody whose life is being destroyed by drugs, don’t you want to get them off drugs?”

On the face of it, Turnbull has a point. Generally, those who have family members would move heaven and earth to arrange for the affected loved one to come out of the end of a de-tox program as clean. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Christensen is the perfect demonstration that he knows he has a problem, has tried ‘every diet under the sun’ (presumably failed) and ended up taking an irreversible surgical option. In a similar way, taking money off those using illicit drugs will have a probable outcome of increasing petty theft and house breaking rates due to those who can’t pass a drug test ‘falling through the cracks’ by choosing to leave the welfare system. If he really wants to ‘share the love’, Turnbull should be funding de-tox centres and programs to ensure that those with an addictive personality who find themselves using illicit drugs (instead of food, alcohol or tobacco) can be taken through to fix the root cause of the problem – not the claimed anti-social effects of the problem.

The problem is that Turnbull isn’t funding appropriate treatment centres. According to The Greens, fewer than half those who need it, are able to access drug and alcohol treatment. Regardless of your view of The Greens as a political party, their leader Richard De Natalie is a General Practitioner who specialised in drug and alcohol abuse, so he probably has a better idea than you or I how well this country looks after those who ingest illicit drugs.

“It’s time to recognise this is a health problem not a law and order one. We have to have an open, honest conversation about this and stop pretending we’re winning this war – we’re losing and losing fast.”

In fact, Turnbull’s new policy is a demonstrated failure. A number of conservative states in the USA have been running drug testing programs for welfare recipients over a number of years. Most of them have been shut down by the Courts as unconstitutional. Time Magazine reported on drug testing welfare recipients in August 2014 quoting examples such as Florida, which tested welfare recipients for four months in 2011 (before it was struck down in court as being unconstitutional) and found that 2.6% of the recipients tested positive to the welfare based drug testing regimen.

As an estimated 8% of the population of Florida were using illicit drugs in that period of time, either the welfare recipients were good at hiding their health issue, they couldn’t afford illicit drugs or generally drug taking behaviour is significantly under-represented in the population of welfare recipients. Regardless, the evidence from the period Florida drug tested welfare recipients clearly demonstrates that conservative legislators aren’t letting the facts interrupt a good ‘druggies on welfare’ story.

There is an alternative to the draconian law and order solution to the ‘drug’ problem. Portugal decriminalised personal possession of drugs in 2001. Those found with drugs are offered support to enter and complete a treatment program.

ABC’s Health Report explained the concept in 2009

Ten years ago Portugal had one of the worst drug problems in Europe. Heroin use was out of control and the rate of HIV infections in drug users became a humanitarian crisis. So what did Portugal do? They decriminalised all personal drug use in that country, crack, heroin, LSD, you name it. Drugs are still illegal, but it’s no longer a crime to use them. Instead of jail, users and addicts are offered treatment and education.

Also in 2009, Time magazine reported on the results.

in the five years after personal possession was decriminalized, illegal drug use among teens in Portugal declined and rates of new HIV infections caused by sharing of dirty needles dropped, while the number of people seeking treatment for drug addiction more than doubled.

“Judging by every metric, decriminalization in Portugal has been a resounding success,” says Glenn Greenwald, an attorney, author and fluent Portuguese speaker, who conducted the research. “It has enabled the Portuguese government to manage and control the drug problem far better than virtually every other Western country does.”

Compared to the European Union and the U.S., Portugal’s drug use numbers are impressive. Following decriminalization, Portugal had the lowest rate of lifetime marijuana use in people over 15 in the E.U.: 10%. The most comparable figure in America is in people over 12: 39.8%. Proportionally, more Americans have used cocaine than Portuguese have used marijuana.

The German media organisation Der Spiegel reported on the ‘Portugal experiment’ in 2013 (during the time of concern over the Portuguese economy) and concluded

“We haven’t found some miracle cure,” Goulão says. Still, taking stock after nearly 12 years, his conclusion is, “Decriminalization hasn’t made the problem worse.”

At the moment, Goulão’s greatest concern is the Portuguese government’s austerity policies in the wake of the euro crisis. Decriminalization is pointless, he says, without being accompanied by prevention programs, drug clinics and social work conducted directly on the streets. Before the euro crisis, Portugal spent €75 million ($98 million) annually on its anti-drug programs. So far, Goulão has only seen a couple million cut from his programs, but if the crisis in the country grows worse, at some point there may no longer be enough money.

Greens leader Richard De Natalie has a personal interest in drug reform and has visited Portugal to assess the effectiveness of the program.

Despite evidence to the contrary, Turnbull and Morrison chose to take the path where behaviour outside what they consider to be acceptable norms is punished severely, rather than assisting the victims to recover from an illness. When you think of it, Turnbull and Morrison’s policy of drug testing welfare recipients is not a new concept. Regardless of the reality, suggesting those on Newstart or Youth Allowance are ‘dole bludgers’ or ‘druggies’ will assist a conservative government to reduce assistance to this disadvantaged group of people in our society without a lot of their core constituency protesting that unemployed or underemployed are getting a raw deal.

It’s a similar concept to the 2014 budget attempt by Hockey to make those under 30 wait six months before they would receive unemployment benefits. There are also parallels to the ‘Basics Card’ (when some people’s welfare benefits are ‘income managed’ and paid directly to a EFTPOS card that cannot be used to obtain cash or purchase a host of items including alcohol, tobacco and gambling products) or labelling refugees as boat people, illegal immigrants, queue jumpers and so on as a justification for the horrific treatment (consisting of detention centres in foreign countries, legal fictions in regards to the Australian border and the actions of the black shirted militaristic ‘Border Force’).

Certainly, Turnbull’s response to the question, ‘why test welfare recipients for drug use?’ was more nuanced than the quote reprinted here – but there is clearly a better way than driving people who are abusing substances underground. It’s telling that George Christensen – presumably a victim of an addiction to a legal substance himself – has called for drug testing for welfare recipients (and politicians) over a number of years.

Perhaps it would be more appropriate for Christensen (who seems to have an addiction to food) and other similarly minded conservatives who have a ‘interesting relationship’ with alcohol to be musing on the axiom there but for the grace of God go I.

This article by 2353NM was originally published on The Political Sword.

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“Now this Telstra plan’s a little bewdy, folks”

By freef’all852

“Now this Telstra plan’s a little bewdy, folks … only one owner; a little old lady who only used it on Sundays” … no doubt to slander Turnbull!

I don’t think I am breaking new ground to you all by saying that my telco; the “Big T” is doing some very, very strange things to my communication connections bill these last few months … from exactly December 2016, to be precise, when our usage account suddenly almost doubled and our monthly bill soars to $5oo+ and hasn’t gone down.

Our usage habits haven’t changed from before that time; we still have days when we are not even home to use the internet, and this past month my own computer was away being repaired and so I was off-line at my desk for over a week. But no difference to the bill and I am the most prolific user of the internet in our house.

Now here’s where the “strange things” come into play …

I will start at the beginning of our internet woes. Go back a couple of years, and we were on the wireless network, our modem then was one of those big “Gateway” things with the three aerials on the back and it served us well for quite a while. Then one day it suddenly stopped working … the weather was hot and we concluded (with a Telstra tech’s agreement) that it was cactus … broken.

“That’s alright” the Philippine’s call centre person assured, “we will send you a new up-dated device that will improve your reception.” I presumed it was going to be another wireless modem and I must add I was given no advice it would be otherwise. And so we received in the mail a new “Advance 4G” (mobile broadband) modem.

I still thought we were on wireless when we used that advanced 4G. Why would I think otherwise? I’m no tech-head … I had no information it was otherwise from Telstra. There was nothing on the box says otherwise, and if there was some writing somewhere then it must be so small print, which my old eyes would have mistaken it for a smudge of dirt!

And it wasn’t until the reception got so much worse, us being in a mobile black-spot, I started to go to forums like “Whirlpool” and others to find out about the problem. It was on one of these forums that I read that the Advance 4G was so correctly described as no more than “a shit mobile phone with a shittier screen!” … and some went on further to describe how they got better reception hooking their Samsung smartphone up to their laptop as a modem instead and using the Advance 4G sim-card – until Telstra found out and threatened to block the service.

You see, out here in the regions – in the country – mobile reception is shocking/terrible/hopeless and up till now the only option has been Telstra.

Anyway, one day at a local govt’ meeting where two young “blades”, one from the NBN and the other from Telstra who spoke at a “information and update” meeting where I learned that the wireless network had been withdrawn from the more outlying regions (ours!) to be concentrated into the larger regional towns with a NBN fixed wireless tower to service the town. Sooo … THAT explained the broken Gateway modem and the Telstra offer of the Advanced 4G mobile broadband … a more unstable device I have yet to use.

The upshot was that we here in the more sparsely populated areas were unceremoniously dumped off the wireless network in a plan conjured up between the Turnbull government and Telstra to throw us upon the mercy of Telstra’s mobile broadband network. The shit had just begun!

Back then we had a plan of 4gigs data – strangely that now was never enough – so we were moved up to a 8gig plan and it was not long after that when the “extra data usage” started to go through the roof! And from December last year it almost doubled … and so did our bills to a point where it is now make or break time on what we can do.

I have made innumerable calls to Telstra over this extra data usage because I just cannot work out where it is going to. Is it being “piggy-backed” from our WiFi? Is it a data mistake at Telstra? Is there a continual upgrade of Windows 10 going on? All these were looked into, without the least help from Telstra except to give a little moral support and to suggest new plans. Well we tried those. Plan after plan to culminate in a new mobile modem; the best thing since sliced bread that can deliver up to 5G broadband: the Netgear “Nighthawk 5G modem” … except it did not work out here in a black-spot area.

We (Telstra tech dept) tried everything but to no avail. It was just a useless bit of high-class tech shit … it might just as well been a turd … it was useless, so we arranged to send it back, along with the new plan (and I will spare your patience the complexities of THAT fiasco!) and now we are STILL waiting to receive yet another new plan with a new sim-card for the old Advance 4G along with a postage return bag so we can return the “Nighthawk 5G” modem.

(I’ll tell you one strange thing I have “discovered”: my partner’s iPhone and a Samsung tablet “gifted” to us by Telstra before last Christmas as a “token of our appreciation of your loyalty” – which as an aside we are now being charged a plan, for which both devices have one plan each – YET, I can see that one of them, perhaps both, regardless of their own data allowance, appear to be “piggy-backing off the WiFi hotspot” (yes, I am learning the jargon) created by the Advance 4G home mobile broadband modem. Perhaps because of the mobile phone reception being so bad here).

We have been waiting for about three weeks and we have now got this month’s bill – again over $500 – with 13gigs of “extra data” usage. I rang Telstra … I was given a little moral support and was told the person there on the end of the line “would speak to my supervisor. ” And THAT is where it sits.

NB: I did go to forums again just now to find out about this extra data usage stuff – and I see there is a legion of customers – even on Telstra’s own “crowd support forum” that are having the same problem: extra data usage gone somewhere but God knows where! I don’t. Those other customers don’t. Even Telstra doesn’t seem to know. And I believe the Telstra management think it’s all our fault!

So hands up all you other bloggers out there who are having similar problems with this fantastic example of privatisation in action?

That useless Turnbull/ LNP … they betrayed us all.

(I can’t even get on the internet as I am writing this!)

This article was originally published on freefall852.wordpress.com.

 

Why Western civilization is doomed

By Christian Marx

Humanity is an incredibly craven and self interested species. We pollute the atmosphere, go to endless wars for other men`s resources. Rape, murder, bomb children for the banker`s profits. We worship false idols, from celebrity pretenders with no substance to war criminals with the blood of millions on their hands. We celebrate the cult of greed and many snicker at the misfortune of the poor and the disenfranchised when reading the daily cesspool of manufactured news and propaganda.

Is there hope for humanity? Extremely doubtful. When a large percentage are happy for the universal health system in the United Kingdom to crumble, because vested corporate interests told them lies, hope is thin on the ground.

When minorities are demonized with sick hatred in a blanket of 24 hour propaganda in order to shift the problems of capitalism onto those who have no control or power to fight back, we as a nation have hit rock bottom.

When a man who has vested financial interests in the destruction of Middle Eastern governments for his oil and gas company, is permitted to spew his lies and hate and NOBODY on either side of government will stand up to him, we as a nation are terminal.

How did it get to this? Perhaps it is in man’s nature to destroy himself. This author believes this to be so. Have a look around you. Everywhere there is hatred and chaos. It all stems from the system of greed we call capitalism.

* Why do wars start? Answer: Another nation seeks to rape the resources and steal the wealth of another country.

* Why do social safety nets collapse? Answer: Big business refuse to pay tax and continue to bribe governments to destroy their own social services.

* Why does racism and bigotry flourish? Answer: Vested corporate interests constantly divide society over racial, religious and cultural schisms.

* How is it possible for many to willingly believe glaring lies? Answer: Many don`t care anymore, so long as the lies fit their own narrative.

* What is the driving force behind most of the dysfunction in society? Answer: Corporate greed.

What can we do about it? Sadly it is largely far too late to do anything. The majority continue to sleep in front of reality television, designed to rot their brain. Critical thinking is a thing of the past and hatred of those less fortunate has been indoctrinated into the collective psyche of hundreds of millions throughout the world. (Particularly in Australia, North America and the United Kingdom).

The constant myth peddled is that “we can no longer afford healthcare” or “our deficit is out of control” bullshit. The government creates all the money via its ownership of manufacturing the currency. In Australia at least the Federal Reserve is government owned. We cannot run out of money!

The biggest waste is the huge taxpayer funded subsidies for leaners such as Gina Rhinehart. Over 1 BILLION of government subsidies per year are paid to this monster. Imagine what the government could do with that sort of money to fix our health system, tackle our chronic unemployment problem, or alleviate the housing crisis.

But no, let’s foist the doctrine of Neoliberal economics onto the nation. A proven failure of a system, causing untold suffering across the world. Neoliberalism strips public assets and sells them for peanuts onto corrupt businesses, who then suck massive subsidies from the tax payer. They then run dysfunctional services and claim subsidies from the government. This IS criminal.

But lo and behold, the average citizen with a shoe sized IQ cares not! He has his Foxtel and has not yet succumbed to the rapid erosion of the job market. As soon as he does he will squeal like a stuck pig … but right now he is more interested in hating on Muslims, the unemployed, the homeless. Why? Because a spider named Murdoch tells him what to think and he feels comforted by the fact that there are others being kicked in the head. It makes him or her feel superior.

We are not doomed because our system is collapsing. In a world with critical thinking and some modicum of empathy and intelligence, this could be arrested and fixed. No, we are doomed because a large minority of people just don`t give a stuff.

 

All cheers for the new globalization?

By Denis Bright

As the Trump Administration looks inwardly to rehabilitate its domestic economy, China’s President Xi is sprinting ahead with a New Globalization Initiative: The One Belt One Road Project.

The recent Belt and Road Summit in Beijing on 13-14 May 2017 attracted representatives from 130 countries including 30 heads of state from all sides of the political divide (Reuters Coverage 15 May 2017).

This Summit was one event where representatives from the U.S., Britain and Australia could mingle with their equivalents from North Korea (DPRK), Turkey, Russia and Iran.

Australia was represented by Trade Minister Steve Ciobo. The U.S. sent Matt Pottinger, National Security Council Senior Director for Asia.

An unequivocal endorsement of the One Belt One Road Summit came from Christine Lagarde as Director of the IMF (IMF Online 14 May 2017).

The investment of an annual $US1.5 trillion in transport infrastructure networks to link both East and West has added benefits for North-South trade and investment involving Australia, New Zealand and the wider South West Pacific Region.

Australia and New Zealand are strategically located on the supply lines to countries like Pakistan, Iran and Bangladesh. All will be connected to China by new land and sea freight links.

Higher living standards in a more diversified Chinese economy are also a magic wand for our export sectors particularly in the growing service sectors.

The growth and diversification of China also accelerates private capital investment flows throughout the entire Euro-Pacific Region. This is an unprecedented and positive global agenda.

Overlooking cautions from President Obama, Australia demonstrated its trust in China’s new globalization agendas by joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in early 2015.

Australia now has one of the highest non-Chinese financial subscriptions to the AIIB. Our financial commitment is exceeded by both India and Russia. At $US3.691 billion however, Australia’s contribution is quite close to subscriptions from South Korea. This exceeds significant financial subscriptions from both Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

Such financial initiatives invite cautions from advocates of military first strategies which are keenly taken up by media outlets as the communication of fear is always a marketable product (Second Line of Defense Online 2017). Such mass anxiety makes leaders on both sides of politics more dependent on predictable advice from military intelligence services to prepare for worse case strategic scenarios.

The tensions between more open diplomacy and military intelligence can be expected to re-emerge to talk down the One Belt One Road initiatives.

The policy game is not a new one.

The old tensions between Labor’s progressive and conservative wings re-emerged in 1984-85 over U.S. plans to test the accuracy of MX missiles fired from California to the Tasman Sea.

Australia came close to following the pacifist sentiments of New Zealand’s Prime Minister David Lange until the Reagan Administration made changes to the testing protocols to avoid a showdown in the federal Labor Caucus over this issue.

Despite a barrage of eyewitness news coverage, political blind-spots continue in reporting of new developments in perceived friendly countries. The acquisition of nuclear weapons and submarine launched missiles by Israel and India has a low news value for mainstream media networks.

Just in March 2017, India successfully fired its own supersonic interceptor missile. The impact of this test for relations with nuclear armed Pakistan was significant (Hindustantimes 1 March 2017).

Media pre-occupation with events in North Korea was so pervasive that the failed test of an Indian Agni-II nuclear capable medium-range missile was largely unreported (The Diplomat 5 May 2017).

There was indeed no rush by President Trump to install THAAD anti-missile systems in the rival nuclear state of Pakistan.

The Israeli origin of this Indian defence technology should also have been of great concern. Both Israel and India are non-signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Agreement (The Diplomat 11 April 2017).

In stark contrast, China’s One Belt One Road initiative received immediate criticism even before the recent summit commenced in Beijing:

“But a lot of questions still surround the centerpiece of Xi’s push to strengthen China’s influence beyond its borders — the One Belt, One Road initiative.

Launched nearly four years ago, the plan aims to pump hundreds of billions of dollars into railways, roads, ports and other projects across Asia, Africa and Europe. However, some critics say it’s a murky program that could end up being a massive waste of resources”.

Legitimate internal debate should proceed on the depth of financial interactions between China and Australia.

The stakes are too high to allow potential solutions to underdevelopment to be scuttled by hearsay interpretations.

Having Trade Minister Steve Ciabo at the Beijing summit is a very positive sign. Offering bipartisan support for such progressive initiatives from both sides of politics is essential to protect our national interests against the return of gunboat diplomacy from the far-off days of James Monroe as US Secretary of State and later as President.

Denis Bright is a registered teacher and a member of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA). Denis has recent postgraduate qualifications in journalism, public policy and international relations. He is interested in promoting discussion to evaluate pragmatic public policies that are compatible with contemporary globalization.  Denis will be travelling from 20 May in Italy, France and later in Northern Australia.

Murdoch Media “Proscribed”

By freef’all852

To “proscribe” a thing or person is to forbid, blacklist, deny to, and/or disallow actions or substances to be given or taken by persons or person for their use or benefit.

So here we are suggesting a methodology to “proscribe” those Murdoch media personalities, backers and supporters who continue to promote hate and to attack the citizen body and individuals and selected vulnerable parties and ethnic groups as victims to persecute and abuse and vilify for reasons beneficial to their employer and the vested interests of themselves and their political supporters.

How can this be done?

First, I suggest we gather under a title worthy of instigating such a judgement on those criminal minds continually slinging abuse at those we hold respect for and look to as leadership ideals.

I will suggest as a starter; “The Citizens Judgement Tribunal” … where we can seek from the citizen body through social media a majority decision through “a volume of voices” that arise spontaneously over social media after another of the many and predictable outrages and pogroms instigated by the Murdoch media against any worthy citizen or ethnic group or demographic.

Using the “Citizens Tribunal” we can then suggest and “only suggest” through social media that those commentators or journalists so vocal in misleading information or abuse be denied services and assistance by all service industry trades and people when those Murdoch media folk call for help or assistance … in effect, they are “Proscribed” from affiliation and comforts with the citizen body of Australia.

Of course, one cannot deny vital health and/or essential health support services from these criothans, keeping in mind that even a rabid mongrel dog is worthy of some humane consideration and I don’t think it would be venturing too far into the realm of overt generosity to include those Murdoch creatures in such company.

However, if we go back over some history, and that “history” is very recent, we can read of those Murdoch people’s treatment of even an innocent question asked on a Q&A audience (indeed, it could be you or me asking the question) where he was hunted down like some cursed animal by those Murdoch dogs and vermin and even his family fortunes (and that again, could be you or me) and relationships were put on garish front page display by a totally unforgiving mob of the Murdoch press. And recall most recently, the relentless abuse of the Muslim ABC presenter and now a respected woman past Prime Minister. The list is growing.

So, OK … we will not deny the Murdoch media in Australia the right to take payment from a foreign national for their delivery of his agenda … from his media platform … to propagate his political allegiance to the LNP to destroy our infrastructure to favour his media sales … that is their choice. What we do protest to is their vilifying and bigoted abuse and racism toward the Indigenous, the refugees and other ethnic peoples who are either born here, who seek shelter here, who work here at all hours on all days in all weathers to simply get by and raise their families. What we are protesting against is their continual ignorance and stupidity and betrayal of the Australian people!

So I am suggesting we Proscribe the Murdoch Media and deny them the connections and services that give them comfort and security in their lives that enables them to betray those very citizens who make their lives “hassle free” so they can choose to hassle and hate us all.

And for them to learn that one vital lesson instilled in all races in all countries, in all domestic situations in all times …

STOP SHITTING ON YOUR OWN DOORSTEP!

Now, let us list those who we should start proscribing. I will kick it off with the ‘A’s:

Albretchsen

Ackerman …

This article was originally published on freefall852.wordpress.com.

 

Theresa May’s mandate for a revived British global outreach

By Denis Bright

Contrary to popular wisdom, Britain’s significance to Australia has probably increased since the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump in 2016.

Soon adrift from a future formal membership of the European Union, a Conservative Britain is free to interact with Europe on its own terms.

Britain’s global outreach is also reinforced by financial and security ties with the US and the vast network of British Commonwealth countries on all continents in the old Cold War traditions (The Guardian Online 23 March 2017).

To this Anglo-world, there are new pragmatic links with merging regional powers such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the Gulf States, Turkey and Israel in terms of both investment and security ties.

As Election Day approaches, opinion polls show that Labour has a popular vote that is now firming towards the level attained at the 2015 general election.

This level of polling is not good for Labour. The Conservatives have recaptured most of the votes temporarily lost to the UK Independence Party (UKIP).The Conservative vote is now 7-10 per cent higher than in 2015.

Labour seems to have lost its heartland Scottish constituencies to the SNP. There is even some revival in the Scottish Conservative vote outside the major lowland urban areas.

In a House of Commons of 650 members, Labour will congratulate itself on containing its losses to 50-60 seats. Conservatives numbers should be at least 380.

Events such as last weekend’s cyber-attacks on ageing National Health computer systems might add to the volatility of current polling in either direction. Britain is heading back to towards the traditional two-party voting divide outside Scotland and Northern Ireland.

A strong Conservative mandate for Theresa May offers welcome support for Donald Trump’s international ambitions for unilateral military responses by the US and through NATO networks.

Beyond the formal members there is a new network of seven regional partners across the Middle East and North Africa which have strong security accords with NATO Members. Overtures have also been made to Malta, Cyprus and the Gulf States.

NATO mentoring programmes exist with political leaders from the Ukraine, Georgia, other South Caucasus countries and Central Asian nations as far as Mongolia. Russia competes with NATO countries for strategic influence in Kyrgyzstan.

Since 2001 US and NATO troops are stationed at air-bases in Manas (Kyrgyzstan) and at Karchi-Khanabad (Uzbekistan) maintain military supply lines to Afghanistan. (NATO Defense College Foundation Online 2016).

After Brexit, a Conservative Britain can also continue to play a strategically more active role in the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. This is a non-elected forum para-military forum with a secretariat in Brussels and an emphasis on gaining more political support for global counter-terrorism operations from Africa to Central Asia.

Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn’s offers alternative consensus-building responses to such challenges.

Despite his appeals, pre-election polling still shows a sea of Conservative blue across England.

Labour is offering clear centre-left alternatives.

Labour’s Alternative Approach to International Security

Speaking at Chatham House on 12 May 2017, Jeremy Corbyn offered some relief from continued participation in these international intrigues (The Telegraph Online, 13 May 2017):

“A Labour Government will want a strong and friendly relationship with the United States. But we will not be afraid to speak our mind.

The US is the strongest military power on the planet by a very long way. It has a special responsibility to use its power with care and to support international efforts to resolve conflicts collectively and peacefully.

Waiting to see which way the wind blows in Washington isn’t strong leadership. And pandering to an erratic Trump administration will not deliver stability”.

But the ace-card in the Conservative campaign is always the old assumption that the Conservatives are better financial managers.

Lack-luster Conservative Economic Performance after Brexit

The emphasis by Theresa May’s Conservatives on strategic security provides a useful diversion away from closer examination of these financial issues and the economic consequences of Brexit on private capital flows.

Despite negative news coverage of economic performance in France, OECD growth projections for Britain in 2017-18 are only a notch higher.

OECD Projections for Real GDP Growth 2017-18 (%)

The loss of capital inflows from Continental Europe after Brexit is  likely to be off-set by new financial ties with Wall Street and the expanding network of new NATO associates in developing countries.

As with the Australia-US Alliance, NATO has broadened from a purely strategic alliance to a strong political and economic accord. This is taken more seriously by British conservatives than their continental counter-parts who are less forthcoming with military expenditure to support their strategic rhetoric.

British arms sales to Middle East trouble spots make a significant contribution to the export sector. State of the art military sales to Saudi Arabia are so lucrative for Britain that they almost pay for the costs of oil imports (The Guardian Online 17 February 2017).

Jeremy Corbyn offers the logical alternative of more sustainable investment at home and an emphasis on negotiations in international relations.

Such concerns are of little consequence for Conservative MP Mark Menzies in the safe Lancashire constituency of Fylde:

The defence industry is of huge importance to the local economy in my constituency. BAE Systems employs approximately 5,500 workers at its Warton Aerodrome site in Fylde, while a further 4,500 people are employed less than 15 miles away, at Samlesbury. It is crucial that these high-skilled manufacturing jobs continue to be supported, driving and sustaining a buoyant economy in this part of North West England.

Any form of ban on defence exports would also have a considerable impact upon the UK’s own military capabilities. Arms licenses provide valuable income, a proportion of which is spent on research and development work into new technology, ensuring that our military remains among the world’s best. In an uncertain era this is more critical than ever.

If the vote on 8 June 2017 follows current polling trends expect a belligerent Conservative Britain to reactivate its strategic and intelligence ties with the Old Commonwealth and the global military support-base of the expanding Trump Empire. The option of online donations to British Labour should always be considered.

Denis Bright is a registered teacher and a member of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA). Denis has recent postgraduate qualifications in journalism, public policy and international relations. He is interested in promoting discussion to evaluate pragmatic public policies that are compatible with contemporary globalization.  Denis will be travelling in Italy and France later this month.

 

“… and the loyal shut their eyes …”

By freef’all852

Every mature adult, at some point in their relationships, reaches a moment where certain discrepancies arise in either a financial or emotional connection where a discovery of dishonesty or deceit demands an explanation from one or other of the partnership. This can be achieved either under a calm agreeable and informative meeting where a simple explanation clears the air, or it can be obfuscated with more and egregious deceit that only delays the inevitable final separation.

WE, the people of Australia have reached this moment. There is grave doubt about the financial arrangements of the LNP Govt’ toward their traditional backers and multi-national corporations that needs some explanation. There is also a need for the LNP to explain the strange relationship between their ministers and the policing arrangements of the nation. There appears to be some direct influence to place the population directly and completely under the microscope and inevitably under investigation of the various policing agents of the state … now seeming acting on the politicising of surveillance of the entire citizen body by those policing agents. This is an act more in keeping with a third-world dictatorship or is it an intention toward a dictatorship in Australia?

Now we have to ask the question of those members of the LNP who hold to be loyal to the people and the state of Australia … :

ARE you loyal to the people and the state, or ARE you loyal to the multi-national business model?

This is not an impertinent question. It needs to be answered, as the direction and intention of the LNP is apparently solidly in the corner of foreign capital and foreign favour. Where even the leader of the LNP holds a vast sum of his private wealth and who knows how much else in an overseas tax haven. How can one declare for the financial security of the nation whilst shifting his own capital and that of his family to the shelter of an overseas tax haven? How can a political party call for vast amounts of capital to be showered upon huge, profitable corporations in the manner of tax easements when those same corporations lack intention to pay their fair share of tax in the first place?

The nation is at a crossroads. We are a so-called “first-world” wealthy nation with an enviable inheritance of natural resources and natural wonders. Yet our collective earnings from the sale of those resources be-lie the scant funding of social needs. Our natural wonders are being ransacked for profit by multi-national corporations  We look to the front bench of this LNP govt and we see members who, by any estimation of adult appraisal, lack a depth of political insight, led by a man with what must be one of the worst senses of political judgement seen since Alexander Downer and his “things that batter” moment.

These criothans of politics coming up against (too savvy) international corporations whose ledgers show “bottom-line” numbers greater than the GDP of most of the “legitimate” states in the world … against media moguls whose reach is greater than ANY legitimate state in the world and can influence or corrupt (they choose the methodology) elections on three continents, against corporate executives who have the ear and purse of many leaders of powerful nations who can start or stop wars on a whim that can make or break the lives of a billion innocent people.

And then to “defend us” we have the front-bench of the LNP who believes that if they give such like a boost of around $65 billion, they will be grateful and throw Oz a few projects and a few dozen jobs off their buffet-table of delight.

As an analogy, we citizens are like the trusting parent or guardian who goes guarantor with their home for a risky investment which fails and we find ourselves out on the street, our home sold from under us and our personal possessions in the hands of the banks bailiff … and then worse; we are arrested outside our own ex-home by the police for loitering and/or vagrancy..

And we hear that with that intention of providing those corporations with the taxation incentive to “create more jobs” … yet in a climate of huge growth in large company profits and record low wages, we have yet to witness any of these “job creation” projects … and we now hear of the govt’ having to step in to finance and project manage a new airport for Sydney.

Where the “Agile innovation” from this marvellous “free-enterprise” sector?

In truth, the entire “free enterprise” conglomerate is nothing but an auxiliary arm of state funded development…either through research grants or requirement studies of needed public infrastructure like road/rail transport or communications or defence acquirement funding etc. Then in some cases, particularly the utilities or through outsourcing govt depts, the “private sector”, through the “mate” network, will later, down the road after all the “hard yards” of development and structure is in place, picks up a nice little “package” of highly profitable EX-govvy infrastructure for a song. So then under the “guidance” of LNP / IPA policy of economic rationalism the circle is complete. So we come back to the Question that needs to be answered by those LNP members who declare themselves loyal to the people and the state … :

ARE YOU LOYAL to the people and the state?

Or are you just a part of that traitorous crowd being too cowered or too deep in the corrupt money cycle of investment/speculation rife in the LNP to want or demand the party change its policy direction..NOT necessarily to a decidedly Left-Wing perspective, but at least to one that reflects more honestly the needs of the people and the state?

For the title of this piece is taken from “The Histories” by Tacitus when he describes the treason of Otho against his Emperor … :

“So, as the disloyal were ready for treason and the loyal shut their eyes …”

Now, you LNP ministers and backbenchers, which ones are you?

Are YOU ready for treason, or will you continue to shut your eyes?

This article was originally published on freefall852.wordpress.com.

 

Moorebank Intermodal withholds notification of threatened plant discoveries

Media release from RAID Moorebank Vice President, Jennifer French

Did a Federal Government Business Enterprise knowingly withhold information from State Government Agencies?

As Chris Corrigan’s Qube Logistics continues to promote the much hyped Moorebank Intermodal Container Terminal, there is growing concern that the Leaseholder [GBE] Moorebank Intermodal Company Limited may have intervened to limit and or suppress information that may have contradicted a previous consent and or impacted on determinations being conducted by the NSW Planning and Assessment Commission.

The attached documents indicate that a number of threatened species and the now critically endangered Hibbertia Fumana were discovered in October / November of 2016. The Planning and Assessment Commission made its determination in early December without access to this information. A representative of PAC advised that; the first it had heard of the discovery of the presumed extinct flower, was when the story originally broke in the press – SMH.

The rediscovered critically endangered species exists in an eco system of other threatened species and vegetations communites. This land is on the northern tip of Holsworthy Military Reserve, which according to an Environment Officer for the Department of Defence; is considered to be “in the top 5, in the state for species diversity”.

It is this land that will traversed by the proposed heavy rail spur line. The plants and ecosystem cannot be moved; there can be no legitimately buy biodiversity credits to offset losing a critically endangered species; without the rail spur, there is no intermodal.

One might consider such circumstances to be of great relevance to the Planning & Assessment Commission and its deliberations.

 

A taxing time at Hillsong

By Tracie Aylmer

When one thinks about Hillsong, one usually thinks of mega churches along the lines of those in America: bright lights and a few celebrities dancing and singing along to rock star bands that get the hymn groove on.

I guess it’s all about the buzz, with the added bonus of being ‘included’ in something. It’s the way all churches have existed in the past, only without the rock sound.

What one doesn’t notice – particularly at first – is that Hillsong is claimed to be nothing but a cult that strips funding away from each individual without giving much of anything in return. It also has tax exempt status, and uses politics to reach its own end.

One woman, Tanya Levin, wrote a book about her experiences with Hillsong. While I haven’t as yet read it, her experiences after the book was published made me more interested in trying to get my hands on it. She was arrested for being in a public place. She received a move on notice, for which she complied with, and then shortly after was asked by a police officer to walk to him, for which she was arrested for unknowingly walking to an area that was part of the move on notice. Hillsong had then decided to pursue her case for two solid years, with her only recently being found innocent of the charges.

A number of politicians have attended the ‘church’. Among those has been Peter Dutton. Scott Morrison used to be a member, although now it appears he attends another ‘show-biz’ type ‘church’. Both have a very distasteful philosophy when it comes to refugees, perhaps bonding over a superiority complex.

I have attended one of these rock style type churches; more than 10 years ago on the Gold Coast. I remember it not doing much for me. I never saw the point in meshing rock and roll to church. It had very little substance.

Although some aspects of Hillsong such as finances are kept under the radar, one thing is now very well known – money is now God. These mega churches rely on making sure that people are bled dry. To be rich and successful means, to them, that one will see the kingdom of heaven. To be poor means that the person is unclean, and will go to hell. There are no greys in this black and white world.

Even the community service work is about how to increase membership. I have heard stories from a number of different sources where, if Hillsong entities help a person through any kind of dilemma, there is an expectation of giving back. A former business partner’s wife had claimed that blood wasn’t enough. Hillsong exacts literally everything.

There’s even talk of tithing from people’s income. Tithing has been around for centuries, although a successful church that passes the plate around on a Sunday shouldn’t be expecting to also receive 10% of the person’s income. Is this exactly what Hillsong expects from people? This is what ensures their expansion. Considering how much is made, the community service work (along with demands from volunteers) appears to be very little. Hillsong, in my opinion, are receiving much more than they are giving back.

From a former Pastor, the atmosphere is meant to be created in a certain manner to ‘please others’ instead of bringing spirituality to the masses. It has a component of mind control in it, which is meant to bring more and more people into the fold, and not let them leave quite as easily. It’s meant to show only the positives of happy happy joy joy, without the complexities of everyday life. It’s meant to ‘uplift’ with no other feelings or emotions. It’s as plastic as the chairs people sit in.

Leaving the church ensures isolation and ridicule. Tanya Levin has shown exactly how isolating it can get. Others have had similar stories where they were left in the dark by members. Friendships are cut automatically. The ex-member has to start their life all over again, but without the supports they used to be comfortable with. This can leave the ex-member with confusion.

None of their methods show real life or real spirituality. It appears to be all about the money. Anything less than the money is shown the door. It’s a cult. It’s a business. It seems to prey on the disadvantaged like a sponge soaks up water.

It must be taxed.

 

NRL and clubs have dropped the ball for the last time says Drug-Safe expert.

Media release from Drug-Safe Communities

An inability to effectively reduce drug use in rugby league could see sponsorships, sponsors, club supporters and players walk away from the code, warns the Founder and Managing Director of Drug-Safe Communities, Michael White.

“Over the past few days we’ve witnessed once again drug use in the NRL dominating the headlines. A pathetic and pallid lack of action by the NRL and the clubs could trigger a devastating reaction to their financial and supporter base from which they will struggle to recover.”

“Parents want their children to play in a drug-safe sporting environment. The last thing they want to see is their sons and daughters exposed to illicit drugs and ending up on the front page of the news. If the NRL and clubs are not seen to be proactive about this scourge and build role models we can all be proud to follow, there is a good chance parents will look for other sports which are using a  drug-safe program and life choice”, added Mr White.

“At the same time, sponsors cannot afford to have their reputations damaged by being associated with athletes and clubs connected to drug use. There are plenty of alternative ways to invest a marketing budget that projects a positive and healthy lifestyle and it doesn’t need to be sport, it won’t take much for them to walk.”

Reputation is everything in business, particularly in today’s environment but this seems to elude the management within the NRL and their clubs. However, it hasn’t been ignored by their sponsorship. The sponsors understand how important a reputation is, and to have it trashed by fools will not be tolerated at either management or board level.”

Drug-Safe Communities is the pioneer of work place testing of alcohol and other drugs in Australia, and over the past 16 years it has delivered services which have reduced drug use across a variety of industries.

“We contacted the NRL and offered to share our expertise with them but no-one has responded.”

“Rugby league is at a crossroads. The administration can bury their heads in the sand and hope that drug use will go away, or they can introduce the methods we use in the business world and consistently reduce and manage drug use till it’s no longer an issue.”

Mr White said the time is right for sponsors to speak up and force positive change in the sport and in the community.

“I’m calling on sponsors to approach their clubs and demand that they become more pro-active about reducing drug use. The clubs’ current deterrents aren’t working. I’ve spent 16 years developing unique drug-safe services and helping large companies and organisations become drug-safe. There’s no reason why a football club cannot become a member of their drug-safe community and lead by example before they really have a crisis.”

 

Rebuff to Donald Trump in the South Korean election result

By Denis Bright

The historic victory of President Moon Jae-in challenges the hegemony of saber-rattling as the conventional solution to over 60 years of tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Despite public utterances in support of President Trump’s hardline on North Korea by the Federal LNP in Australia, a return to the Sunshine Policy as favoured by incoming President Moon is actually Australia’s preferred position.

It is also supported by key regional player powers China and Russia and probably privately by Prime Minister Abe’s government in Japan.

Too much is at stake on the Korean Peninsula to risk another war in defence of an unsatisfactory status-quo from the armistice of 1953.

The might of North Korea’s conventional forces so close to Seoul in South Korea carries the possibility that provoking Kim Jong-un might end in disaster.

Hopefully mainstream leaders on all sides of Australian politics will send a coded signal to President Trump by welcoming the election of President Moon. Whitlamesque responses from Bill Shorten and Senator Penny Wong would be highly appropriate while President Moon’s victory is still a highly topical discussion point.

50 Million People in South Korea do not need to be pawns in a horrible geopolitical game because the economic and military options for their future as favoured by the United States are appalling.

Like Singapore and the Philippines, South Korea is intrinsically a peaceful developmental state which gains no real benefits from its links to the key global military industrial complex.

The conventional wisdom that globalization requires all the social stabilizers to be destroyed to facilitate more favourable private global capital flows makes a mockery of democratic processes. The latest OECD data on the size of private net capital flows shows the ongoing difficulties faced by middle-ranking economies like South Korea and Australia.

Net Private Capital Flows ($US Billions)

The election of President Moon shows that slow recoveries from both the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997 and the wider Global Financial Crisis (GFC) have not snuffed out the politics of change and commitment to peaceful reunification of Korea on terms negotiated between Koreans on both sides of the DMZ along the 38th Parallel.

Denis Bright (pictured) is a registered teacher and a member of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA). Denis has recent postgraduate qualifications in journalism, public policy and international relations. He is interested in promoting discussion to evaluate pragmatic public policies that are compatible with contemporary globalization. Denis will be travelling in Italy and France later this month.

 

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