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Day to Day Politics: In amongst the bullshit some things are worth reading

Friday 22 June 2018

When I awoke Wednesday morning at 5.45 it was cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey. I did those things that nature demands of us, made a cup of lemon tea, and set about sharing my daily post on numerous Facebook pages.

That takes a good half hour and then I dip my fingers into the many news sites and other places of information I follow. With anticipation I plunge my aging fingers into the many sites that might inspire me to pick a subject that I think requires my thoughts or observations. By this time my choice of subject is well-advanced.

Before I know it it’s nearly 8am. Bugger it, it’s time to prepare my wife’s breakfast. Before I do I try to get into the inner sanctum of The AIMN. God this is annoying.

I was already logged in and it dropped out. When I try again it bans me for a day and I feel like a little boy who has been admonished by his teacher. “Bloody technology,” I think to myself knowing that I wont be able to post on Thursday. The same thing happened last Sunday.

I turn on the television to News 24 and I am greeted with the smiles of the usual presenters. Fruit salad with yogurt, another cup of tea and it’s all done. Come 9 I’m back in my study still deliberating my next article.

I go back and peruse all the things I bookmarked earlier and begin to read. Obviously I start with The AIMN, which I think could do with a change of name and a bit of a makeover. The old girl looks as though she hasn’t been to the hairdressers for a while.

(Well rinse the blood from my toga, I go back to The AIMN and I have been reinstated). Thats crazy.

1 A piece by Dr. Binoy Kampmark attracted my attention about the POTUS and international diplomacy.

“In short, the current US president likes the bruising, the bullying and the cajoling in the abstract name of US self-interest. Forget the distinctions and the similarities. There are no values in any shared sense. There is only his road.”

2 My next point of call is the Roy Morgan daily newsletter. It has a lead in piece in the Australian Financial Review.

“There is still dissent within the Federal Government regarding its proposed national energy guarantee. Some Coalition MPs oppose the government’s inclusion of a carbon emission reduction target of 26 per cent in the NEG. They include former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, but Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg has told a party room meeting that Abbott made a firm commitment at the Paris climate talks in 2015 to reduce Australia’s carbon emissions by 26-28 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030. Abbott alleges that he had been “misled by bureaucrats”.

What a perverted liar the man is.

3 My next stop is the Progressive Secular Humanist web site that leads with the headline:

“President Pence Would Be Worse Than President Trump”

As Trump’s troubles continue to grow, conservatives and liberals alike are wrestling with the very real possibility that Trump will be forced out of office due to scandal and/orincompetence, leaving a President Mike Pence in charge of the nation.”

I happen to agree with the headline and all it suggests. If you look into the Vice President’s past you will find a very deluded man.

4 Then I read an article by Dana Milbank in the Washing Post, which contends that Obama’s Presidency was before its time.

“Sometimes I wonder whether I was 10 or 20 years too early,” President Barack Obama said in the passage, first reported this last week by Peter Baker in the New York Times.

I hate to say it, but I think the former president was correct.

Ten or 20 years from now, America will be much closer to the majority-minority nation it is forecast to become in 2045. A racist backlash to a black president wouldn’t matter as much.

But what was naively proclaimed in 2008 as post-racial America was instead kindling for white insecurity, and Trump cunningly exploited and stoked racial grievance with his subtle and overt nods to white nationalism. He is now leading the backlash to the Obama years and is seeking to extend white dominion as long as possible, with attempts to stem immigration, to suppress minority voting and to deter minority census participation.

5 Then I go back to a piece by Terence Mills at The AIMN: Playing Politics with tax doesn’t help anybody!

“Why do you think that the coalition always couch their legislative program with wedges for Labor? Is it their way of having fun or can they just not resist the opportunity to play politics, even with something so fundamentally important as tax policy?”

6 Now I’m at the much-maligned ABC where Jane Norman has written an article about the growing influence of conservatives within the Liberal Party. I have no doubt that they will eventually take control and if they win the next election then Turnbull will have to turn conservative with them.

The Liberals’ conservative faction is growing — and so is its influence over the party”

7 Upon the death of Philip Roth, David Marr wrote a telling piece about the banning of his book Portnoy’s Complaint.

“How Portnoy’s Complaint made Australia a better place”

I remember the time well when Australia was such a prudish place. A time when the then minister for customs Don Chipp gave Australia a new rating for sensitive books and film. He went onto keep the bastards honest by forming the Australian Democrats. His brother was a little less famous for up ending my middle stump whilst playing cricket for Heidelberg.

8 My favourite author Tim Winton writes a telling piece for The Guardian about boys.

“About the boys: Tim Winton on how toxic masculinity is shackling men to misogyny”

“And the wonderful thing about getting older – something many women will understand – is that after a certain age you become invisible. And for me, after years of being much too visible for my own comfort, this late life waterborne obscurity is a gift.”

Some writers write stories, others like Winton seem to be able to craft sentence’s plucked from the experience of life itself.

9 I came by an essay in The Monthly by former Greens Senator Scott Ludlam and became totally taken with it.

How politics works in Australia, and how to fix it

“My own experiences over the decade from 2007 bore out this early intuition, and what I’m about to say may shock you. There are good people in there, on all sides of the chamber. Sometimes, the system works. Sometimes, you’ll find yourself in a committee room where the evidence tendered by passionate and experienced witnesses is being weighed up and solutions sought, and everyone has left their party affiliation at the door. You’ll sit in mild disbelief as amendments are proposed and accepted without a fight, and you’ll know by the end that your close-knit little team helped make the law kinder, or fairer, or smarter. When the system is working it barely makes the news, but you can hardly blame the press gallery for failing to report on those times when your elected representatives are behaving like adults”

10 And finally with my “Add to reading list” still filled to the brim this one from Politico by Kevin M Kruze is well worth a read.

“How corporate America invented Christian America”

“It was a watershed moment—the beginning of a movement that would advance over the 1940s and early 1950s a new blend of conservative religion, economics and politics that one observer aptly anointed “Christian libertarianism.” Fifield and like-minded ministers saw Christianity and capitalism as inextricably intertwined, and argued that spreading the gospel of one required spreading the gospel of the other. The two systems had been linked before, of course, but always in terms of their shared social characteristics. Fifield’s innovation was his insistence that Christianity and capitalism were political soul mates, first and foremost”

And to think that after 25 years of reading Biblical verse I always believed that Jesus was the world’s first socialist.

So, it is Wednesday, I’m ready to post my piece for publication Thursday but guess what happens. Yes, I’m locked out for another day. I try again early Thursday morning to no avail, and then at 11.30 I’m reinstated. Yippee he silently says to himself.

My thought for the day

“My reason cannot understand my heart but I know my conscience does.”

PS I still have about 75 Articles in my “to read” box but I will get around to it.



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  1. John Lord

    IMPORTANT. At the moment I cannot use the edit function If I could I would change this sentence

    Obviously I start with The AIMN, which I think could do with a change of name and a bit of a makeover. The old girl looks as though she hasn’t been to the hairdressers for a while.

    TO READ.

    Obviously I start with The AIMN, which I think could do with a change of name and a bit of a makeover to the graphics . The old girl looks as though she hasn’t been to the hairdressers for a while.

    As it reads it sounds like a slur to those who devote so much time and money to produce THE AIMN. I’m sure the effort put in, often under great stress, is greatly appreciated by the readers of the this blog. Any offence created by me was totally unintended and was but a personal view.

  2. Kaye Lee

    John, for some reason your comment was in the pending approval file. I just approved it. Ask Michael what’s going on. He fixed a problem for me some time ago when someone was trying to log on as me.

  3. Michael Taylor

    John, the reason you keep getting locked out is as per the email I sent you (from our security people) is that you keep putting in the wrong password.

  4. Carol Taylor

    John, Michael has told you time and time again that it’s you who are locking yourself out. I have sighted the emails from our security advising of this. Yet in spite of this and when Michael was only days out of hospital, you sent an accusatory message stating that it was he who was locking you out. I find it sad that you cannot let go of the fact that it is you yourself who makes the mistakes.

  5. Peter F

    The trouble with you John is that you are over the age of 15.

  6. johno

    Pence Abbott, almost peas in a pod.

  7. Carol Taylor

    John, there’s the saying about putting your money where your mouth is, and as Michael has already explained, for Canberra Web (who of course as you know hold the copyright on the design of this website) to do further work would cost in excess of $132.00 PER HOUR; so you’re looking at probably around $3,000.00. However, I’m sure that you know this already and so am a bit perplexed as to why you would choose to bring the issue up. We look forward to your cheque to pay for it being in Monday’s mail.

  8. Kaye Lee

    I remember when we discussed (and experimented with) changing the format before. For starters, as with any change, it created all sorts of formatting problems etc. And I must admit, I put in my two cents worth saying I like it the way it is. It’s easy to read – not as fussy/messy as some sites. But I am a dinosaur who often finds change uncomfortable.

    (I haven’t been to a hairdresser for over 25 years)

  9. Klaus Petrat


    the political world is on fire and AIM is immersed in self-righteousness.

    Amazing how the MSM is celebrating Turnbull’s great victory.

    I am flabbergasted.

  10. John lord

    Michael. I would have to be exceptionally dumb to have for years successfully used a password and then all of a sudden start typing another. Again I apologise for expressing an opinion. Anyway I suppose it’s all a little late now. Thanks.for everything. I like to think I too have made a contribution to THE AIMN.

  11. Michael Taylor

    Do tell, Klaus, how The AIMN is immersed in self-righteousness.

  12. Michael Taylor

    So I’m a liar now am I, John? You seem to forget that you admitted you had left your caps lock on (or numerical lock) and as such was putting in incorrect passwords.

  13. Melissa

    Do you guys need a donation drive? Melissa Admin Facebook page Scrutinsing Australian And World Events. I’m happy to organise this Carol.

  14. Carol Taylor

    Michael, I actually think that it’s me who John is calling a liar. John, Michael has been over this again and again with you spending more than enough time with you on the subject. You brought it up when you knew that Michael was facing serious heart surgery and you brought it up again when you knew that he’d only just left hospital. This is in spite of knowing and previously acknowledging that you were doing things such as leaving the caps lock on. But what I personally felt was completely unfair was how you wrote to Michael that it was HE who had locked you out. This is a lie and one that I resent seeing replicated on a post. As you are fully aware Michael even changed the security settings on one occasion, leaving the site at risk just to try to get you back in after you had locked yourself out. Yet you persist in the accusation that ‘someone’ is deliberately locking you out. We know definitely from our security and the emails we receive from them that it is you locking yourself out – it’s your ISP, it is your email address and it is your location.

  15. Kronomex

    John, I prefer green tea with jasmine. The monkey wants to know if you will post his balls back to him. I also agree that having religious nutter Pence as president is not a pleasant thought. I stopped using (being abused by?) by farcebook about seven years ago after it became more and more intrusive and just plain bloody annoying.

    On a side note: Nothing the Red Scream, ably assisted by her offsider Mr. Worm, does surprises me anymore. As long as they get what they want then they’ll just about bend over backwards to vote with the LNP.

    Oh goody, the smell of the morning fresh made Colombian blend coffee is wafting into my room…must dash.

  16. Ricardo29

    I am sad to see this internal discord, especially playing out in the public comments section. John, we think you have been a bit ambitious ( and occasionally repetitious) in trying to maintain a daily contribution, worthy though it frequently is. Might be time to sit back and smell the flowers occasionally. Although I am only a recent arrival to the AIMN site, I find it a valuable source of information and ideas, and colour. As a member of that troublesome cohort, old white straight pensioner male, blamed for so many of society’s ills ( rape misogyny war the economy ) I enjoy being the contrarian who doesn’t vote LNP, even though I constantly seem to be lumped into that category.

  17. Carol Taylor

    Richardo, you are more than welcome. This is speaking as one old white pensioner to another. ☺️

  18. Jagger

    Carol, Michael and John, settle down guys, how about we stick to informing interested people about the plight of our once great country. Petty squabbles among yourselves is not showing the way.

  19. helvityni

    Klaus Petrat, what effing victory….?

    I despair about Oz politics, I’m turning into sports fan after watching only two soccer games so far, I’m still only an apprentice, but I have to say I prefer Socceroos to Mal’s mob…whatever the MSM says…

  20. Carol Taylor

    Jagger, which is precisely why we don’t like people lying about us publicly. Michael has spent literally years of his life attempting to provide a counter to the propaganda machine known as the mainstream media. When anyone attempts to undermine this effort by bringing in petty centred on self issues, then these need to be corrected.

  21. Godwin

    There was and old man called John who couldn’t admit he’d gotten it wrong.

    Ricardo got it right. Smell a Rose, take a break, get a life. Technology confounds us all.

    Sometimes John has wisdom; though like all of us; sometimes we need to just Be Wisdom

    John got up early; maybe he should have stayed all day in bed to ease his troubled head.

    Though there will be no doubt Old John will be back for more.

  22. John Lord

    In my nearly 78 years I cannot recall ever being accused of calling another person with whom (excepting Abbott and others) I’m good friends with a liar. Carol and Michael Taylor are assuredly not.

  23. Josephus

    Can we please avoid personal gripes? This article has useful links, but spare us the personal miseries.
    So much to be sad or angry about – off shore detentions, the coal lobby, fracking, defunding of citizens’ advocacy groups, vicious attacks and ignorant rantings in the populist Press, cruelty towards food animals, killing native animals, credulous fanatics, corrupt pollies and banks, the flooding of Pacific islands, and so it continues.
    Thank you.

  24. Win jeavons

    Jesus may well have been the first socialist, but the first communists would date back to tribal days, when survival depended on sharing. If the next century is as bad as it could well become, thanks to climate destabilisation, we might have to learn this pattern again.

  25. Kaye Lee


    Engels suggested that monogamy led to capitalism. Back in early tribal days, everything was shared. And then, as people started to get possessions, like a great basket or tool or something to carry water in or a flint to start a fire, they wanted to keep it for their own family, to accumulate ‘wealth’ for their offspring. But the men wanted to know that the offspring was actually theirs so we progressed to monogamous nuclear families.

    Today we see well-off retirees screaming blue murder if it is suggested they could spend some of their capital in their retirement or pay tax on capital gains or excessive superannuation income. They feel entitled to money from the government, whether it be a pension they don’t need or a tax return for tax they didn’t pay, rather than spending some of their accumulated wealth after their working life is over. They want to leave it to the kids.

    Trying to wind back a tax concession from a rich person is pert near impossible. Which is why they should move very carefully when cutting taxes or increasing concessions for the wealthy. Once done, it is politically very difficult to undo it regardless of how good your argument is and regardless of any promise to grandfather changes so current investors are not disadvantaged and future investors can make other choices.

  26. jimhaz

    “There were 95,000 millionaires who migrated around the globe in 2017, according to New World Wealth, a South African market research group — and more moved to Australia than anywhere else.

    So it must be the clean air, great health care and safe society that’s bringing the wealthy Down Under, right?

    Well, perhaps.

    But New World Wealth says it’s also because we have no inheritance taxes”

    So they move here – but rest assured most of their dough is in tax havens.

    I’d love to own a big island to set it up as a tax haven – lol then without notice introduce transfer tax rates of 80+ percent

  27. RosemaryJ36

    In general I find the AIMN articles very stimulating and I often share them on Facebook and Twitter.
    I was sad to read so much interpersonal bickering in the comments above. As a 10 year old, (I am now 82) I was a regular swimmer (in the UK where serious swimming is in indoor pools) and an extension of my local swimming club ran an Olympics Training Scheme. The pool also had diving boards at the deep end and when I was swimming lengths, a diver landed on top of me with their momentum taking me to depths for which I was not prepared.
    I had an argument with the coach over whether or not the diver had intentionally aimed for me, as I was convinced was the case. I persisted with my claim till the coach banned me from attending training sessions until apologised to him.
    It took me some weeks to swallow my pride and overall I was the loser.
    So now, even if I think I have the right in a disagreement, I try to back off when it is evident that we cannot share the same interpretation of the situation.
    I have also learned that we can feel convinced we have performed a particular process correctly when in fact we have not!
    In more recent years I became a mediator!

  28. John Lord

    Appreciate your thoughts RosemaryJ36. Timely indeed.

  29. auntyuta

    Fruit salad with yogurt, this sounds like a healthy breakfast. Good on you, John, for being an early riser. I live in a suburb of Wollongong, and I too find the mornings awfully cold right now. I am approaching 84 and I am happy when the ‘graphics’ do not change too often. Somehow it is easier for me when things that are set up a certain way stay the same for as long as possible.
    I appreciate the ‘Australian Independent Media Network’. I reckon it is extremely beneficial that there is this kind of independent media network. It is very much needed for balance.
    Aunty Uta

  30. Peter F

    There is nothing more frustrating for me than a computer which does not do what I believe I have asked it to do. I have worked exclusively on computers roof the past 31 years, and occasionally I just have to stop and admit I have done something wrong, walk up the hill and admire the view from behind the house. In these times, I know that I may (and sometime do) say something I don’t really mean.

    On the other hand , when a friend is not well, we cannot understand what they are going through. Only when we are recovering ourselves do we sometimes realise how low we have been when we think we have been coping.

    I see good people under stress, and hope that you can all come through this without losing the good relationships built up over time.

    From my own selfish point of view, I say’ Keep up the good work, all of you. I rely on your contributions every day to help me through this mad times.

  31. Harry

    I am alarmed to see relationships being tested on this site which hosts such a variety of contributions which must take much time, energy, research and skill to write. Please all take some time to reflect on harsh words between you if you want this needed site to continue and flourish. I freely acknowledge that it must be stressful to write a number of articles a week. Less may be more?

    I do think the structure of the site could use some work. My son, who is an IT professional loves the content but is critical of the layout. Maybe some crowdfunding could be used to get the funds to improve it a bit ? A makeover, not a total reconstruction.

  32. Oscar

    Harry! I am alarmed that you are alarmed that human beings bicker and see things quite differently.The people who run this sight arn’t perfect and neither is John.And I bet your IT son is critical of this site.All these Tech wiz kids play oneupmanship and are stuffing up this world.They can’t help themselves as they keep changing things out of boredom or just because they can and they will be nowhere to be found when the damage is done.

  33. Kaye Lee

    We all get frustrated at times. No big deal.

    Let me tell you about my last few days with electricity companies.

    A man came in to work and offered us a better deal than we had which, admittedly, I hadn’t looked into for some time. We were getting a 22% discount. He offered a 27% discount and a lower off-peak rate so we switched over, home as well. So then my old company rang me and said we will give you a 28% discount. I said their off peak rate is cheaper, no thanks. So she said I will give you $50 off your next bill. I said make it a 30% discount and I will consider it. She did and then told me the prices are going down on July 1. I think I could have asked for more but I got sick of it and accepted the change back. They do all the changing.

    Moral of the story, if you haven’t spoken to your electricity provider lately, you can usually get a better deal with no lock-in. Ask for more than they offer.

    The frustrating thing is, if they can give that sort of discount then they are hugely overcharging and why didn’t they offer me a better deal BEFORE I left. Companies really should start rewarding loyalty rather than taking long-standing customers for suckers.

  34. Harry

    Oscar, I remain alarmed as people may bicker in private buts it’s not a good look when it is so open. I want this site (not sight) to continue to be an excellent counter to the dismal offering of much of the MSM.

    I also agree with my son that this site requires work to make it more usable, not some sort of change of wallpaper. Oh, and I was an IT professional but now retired.

  35. Rhonda

    I’m a bit concerned about a brewing opposition leadership barney. Would be so stoopid and incredibly harmful 🙁

  36. johno

    This site seems fine to me.

  37. MikeW

    Sheesh chill out folks. Let’s face it modern technology and us old folks don’t mix too well.
    Received a new mobile phone on Friday insert sim it said, nearly destroyed the phone trying to insert sim card, eventually got on line and found instructions on how to insert which weren’t in the instruction manual. When I got everything working I tried to download my email, got on line and changed my password to a simpler one, or so I thought, nope doesn’t work no emails. I have to phone up my isp to solve the problem, unfortunately last time I phoned up with a problem I ended up talking to someone in South Africa whom I understood about one word in six, cruelly I put my wife on the phone as I said she was more tech. savvy than me how the hell she understood this women in SA beggars belief, in fact she struggled as much as I had.
    Unfortunately my 11 year old granddaughter is overseas at the moment and unable to help me out, and my poor wife has the flu and is unable to talk. Looks like I have to solve this problem, wish me luck.

  38. Matters Not

    FFS don’t try and guild the lily. If people want change, then perhaps the onus is upon them to outline the change(s) they want. Write an article or two. Or maybe more. Choose between a list or an essay. Both are acceptable. Otherwise …

    Not an IT professional (almost a contradiction in terms), but have dealt with many such claimants over the years involving millions of dollars. A few things to note. They promise much more than they deliver. As for timelines, you can be sure they are guestimates at best. And they always err on the side of optimism. Further it’s always your fault because you didn’t exactly specify what you wanted.

    Stay well clear. Don’t try to fix what isn’t broken. Don’t touch the tar baby unless you have very deep pockets.

  39. paul walter

    Rhonda, the “leadership barney” really started at the Election Abbott won nearly half a dozen years ago when the parliamentary elite chained by the factional apparatus ignored the rank and file Albanese vote for the insipid Shorten.

    What is happening is that’s what ‘s left of real Labor, alarmed at continuing impotent policy and preselection encroachment by the right faction and thus dismayed at the dissipating likelihood of meaningful change in the future regardless of who wins the next election, is making its feelings known as to the con of the last half dozen years.

  40. paul walter

    And yet…

    It is a funny thing. Just watching a news report on Albo and Albo is niggling at Shorten for being too HARD on corporate tax cuts.

    Go figure.

  41. Mick Byron

    OMG, I tire of watching people get sucked in by MSM/LNP on Labor leadership
    One word by MSM to stir up trouble for Labor and some people go into meltdown.
    There is no ALP Leadership dramas and Bill will lead the Party into the next election and beyond.
    Please MSM {and some commenters} please go read the methodology of choosing a Labor Leader}
    The method of choosing a Labor Leader has been before National Conference and the % allocation on votes seems OK to me.
    Of course Caucus need to have greater imput that individual voters as they are at the coal face with the potential candidates and see them in action.
    I like Albo and have met him on several occasions and he seems a nice man. His elected colleagues see him behind closed doors, in action in Parliament etc so have a greater understanding of leadership qualities than individual members.
    I think it was telling the Caucus and even Albos own NSW Left faction voted for Shorten.
    Labor are smart enough to know that even if it were to consider changing Leaders {and they aren’t} now is not the time .
    The minute they would announce a petrerntial Leadership ballot and given the month for members to vote, Turnbull would, call an election and have a field day about “leaderless Labor” and the MSM would be all over it 24/7
    Shorten is Leader, get used to it

  42. Egalitarian

    Albo is a Sydney working class boy. The dollar is king in Sydney. And he is treated with great respect by the 2GB boys. It’s a cultural thing dressed up as aspirational – egalitarianism.

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