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The Truth – Where Did It Go?

Do you consider yourself a truthful person? I do. Over the last decade I have come to wonder if truth is something from a bygone era. In business and in our personal lives, truth is something society either glosses over or flat out ignores.

A business example to start with. At a project review meeting an item (a functional requirement of a system) was flagged by the Programme Manager as “Needs Improvement”. It didn’t need improvement, a state which implies some work has been done, hours spent already – and hours equates to investment dollars.The item in question had not been started, it did not exist. No hours, no dollars invested. Zip,

Imagine for a moment you are a senior executive scanning the project status report. You see all items have been started, therefore understand from the report that the project is on time, on budget, in scope. However, if you scanned a report with items flagged as “not commenced”, it is reasonable to think your understanding of the status of the project might be rather different.

The picture painted by the language is a lie. The truth is at best glossed over, at worst ignored. If widespread within an organisation, such practices can have catastrophic affects. A family member recently described a situation where middle management were “fudging figures”: based on those reported figures a decision was made to cut the staff of a particular department. After the resultant loss of customers and the flow-on from those losses, the organisation is now trying to repair the damage. In the meant time it has lost customers that likely won’t return, suffered a hit to the bottom line, lost staff who likely will not return, therefore face recruitment and training costs to restaff appropriately. Costly exercise.

There is a web site I’ve always found rather amusing, MBA Jargon Watch. Australians used to joke about how Americans took 25 words to say something we Aussies would say in ten (or less). MBA Jargon Watch always reassured me we had escaped such obfuscation in our straight-to-the-point world.

One of my favourites:

best of breed (n. and adj.)
The finest specimen or example to be found in a particular industry or market. Like Papillons preening for the judges, companies position themselves as best-of-breed. In truth, however, few ever make it through the qualifiers.

Yet it seems we have indeed adopted the convoluted way of ensuring we don’t say anything directly. Sometimes I read business reports and have to read some parts of it two or three times before I come to the conclusion absolutely nothing is being said at all, let alone anything remotely truthful.

Many years ago a friend expressed the concern to me that “the truth is brutal”. Yes, I agree, it most certainly can be. Telling someone a loved one has been killed in a car accident or telling a spouse the marriage is over: both of these truths are indeed unpleasant and harsh to the recipient. They are also unavoidable truths.

In the worlds of politics and business the unavoidable is often avoided until the very last minute when it is often too late. In business, depending on how senior the perpetrator is, he or she may be pushed out quietly encouraged to leave and later pop up in another senior position somewhere else, ready to repeat the crime.

In politics it seems to be open slather, as the Trump campaign has so clearly shown us. There are a multitude of reputable articles providing evidence of his blatant lies throughout the campaign. Here’s one from The Washington Post. Not only has he lied, voters believe him.

Closer to home, we have politicians refusing to be truthful. To quote John Lord

”In the concoction, the recipe that is called leadership there are many ingredients. None more important than integrity, positiveness and the ability to trust and delegate. But it is truth that glues it altogether to create character.”

Yes, truth. That seemingly elusive, indefinable mode of communication that requires nothing more than, well, a little integrity. Politicians cherry pick facts to sell a policy, often ignoring brutal other aspects of the situation. Manus Island and Nauru spring to mind. Oh such a wonderful solution, we’ve stopped the boats. We also are inflicting incredible torture on the people we have incarcerated. That little fact is conveniently ignored.

I was always a tough mother. I refused to write “the dog ate his homework/the computer crashed/Daddy had a flat tyre” notes (unless any of those events actually happened) to excuse incomplete homework. Why? Two reasons: first, I wanted my children to learn to take responsibility for their actions and secondly, I didn’t want them learning to lie. Oh, yes, I took flak for that: “All the other mothers do it for their kids!” Not this mother, sorry. Kids start lying to avoid punishment. We need to reward truth. At home and in the workplace.

What has happened to the truth? Are adults actually too afraid of “getting into trouble”? They’d rather see other people get into trouble by losing jobs as a result of their “misdemeanor” adjusting of management reports? Do politicians think that lying for no other reason that to garner votes, then subsequently back peddle is OK? Rhetorical question alert there, obviously.

This isn’t the whole story. It isn’t just about telling the truth, but also about accepting the truth. I read an interesting article which I found quite concerning. The dark rigidity of fundamentalist rural America: a view from the inside. It is a long article, but well worth the time.

Gays being allowed to marry are a threat. Blacks protesting the killing of their unarmed friends and family are a threat. Hispanics doing the cheap labor on their farms are somehow viewed a threat. The black president is a threat. Two billion Muslims are a threat. The Chinese are a threat. Women wanting to be autonomous are a threat. The college educated are a threat. Godless scientists are a threat. Everyone who isn’t just like them has been sold to them as a threat and they’ve bought it hook, line, and grifting sinker. Since there are no self-regulating mechanisms in their belief systems, these threats only grow over time. Since facts and reality don’t matter, nothing you say to them will alter their beliefs. “President Obama was born in Kenya, is a secret member of the Muslim Brotherhood who hates white Americans and is going to take away their guns.” I feel ridiculous even writing this, it is so absurd, but it is gospel across large swaths of rural America. Are rural, Christian, white Americans scared? You’re damn right they are. Are their fears rational and justified? Hell no. The problem isn’t understanding their fears. The problem is how to assuage fears based on lies in closed-off fundamentalist belief systems that don’t have the necessary tools for properly evaluating the fears.

A column in the New York Times also caught my eye. You can’t always back peddle out of stuff you said, I’m afraid, even if you are the President-elect.

No, Mr. Trump, we will not all just get along. For as long as a threat to the state is the head of state, all citizens of good faith and national fidelity — and certainly this columnist — have an absolute obligation to meet you and your agenda with resistance at every turn.

The world would be a better place if we were all truthful. The figures aren’t good this month, we didn’t reach the project milestone, I didn’t do my homework because I spent too much time playing video games, I’m only standing for President to make a lot of money, I think Dutton‘s a cretin (well, OK, maybe that last is a stretch, but at least demote the man). I will say this about Pauling Hanson – at least we know where she stands, even if we don’t like it.

Without the truth we all live in a fantasy land. That fantasy land is getting crazier by the day.

 

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  1. Miriam English

    One of my favorite quotes is something fundamentalist preacher and Intelligent Design advocate said:
    “We’ve been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture.”

    Hehehehe it still makes me laugh.

  2. Miriam English

    I don’t know how we turn around this problem of lack of truth in politics and the media. I’d like to see a law like the Canadian truth in media law, and real teeth given to the rule against misleading parliament.

  3. Michael Taylor

    My favourite comes from a US politician in the 1950s: “If you done stop telling lies about me, I’ll have to start telling the truth about you”. Or something similar.

    One day I’ll Google who said it.

  4. Miriam English

    Found at:
    http://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/if_you_dont_stop_lying_about_me_ill_start_telling_the_truth_about_you

    “If you don’t stop lying about me, I’ll start telling the truth about you” is used often in politics, usually credited to Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965) from a 1952 presidential stump speech. The line dates back to at least October 1888 and the presidential campaign between Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison: “The Republicans at once accepted the proposition, and the Democrats agreed to stop lying about Harrison if the Republicans agreed to stop telling the truth about Cleveland.”

    “If our enemies will stop lying about us we will stop telling the truth about them” was cited in print in October 1892, credited to a “gifted Kentuckian.” James John Hagerman (1838-1909) is also said to have used the phrase in the early 1890s.

    Newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951) used the saying in his unsuccessful run for governor against Charles Evans Hughes in 1906. Chauncey Depew (1834-1928), who was New York’s U.S. senator from 1899-1911, is said to have used the saying, but it’s not certain when he used it.

  5. Kyran

    “You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.”
    “You’re not to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.”
    “If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.”
    Malcolm X.
    How far we have come and, yet, how little we have traveled, or learned.
    “Without the truth we all live in a fantasy land. That fantasy land is getting crazier by the day.”
    Thank you Ms Dunphy. Take care

  6. Kaye Lee

    I always said to my kids we can deal with anything if you tell me the truth – lie to me and I can’t help you.

  7. Michael Taylor

    Thanks Miriam. You found it despite my typo.

  8. Matters Not

    Just watched PHON on the ABC (minus 25% – Cullerton was otherwise engaged) do a few duck dives on the (southern end) of the Barrier Reef and declare that coral bleaching was nothing to worry about. Indeed, it’s all part of a natural cycle. Roberts, in particular, provided the ‘scientific’ explanation. On the ABC, this whole episode proceeded as though it was a road show and they as ‘groupies’ were simply along for the ride. Entertainment, writ large apparently.

    A couple of points.

    In fairness, Roberts probably spoke what he believes to be the ‘truth’. (Yes I know it’s a stretch). That the tourist operators in the background nodded in furious agreement suggested that the Roberts’ ‘truth’ was widely shared, at least in the footage I saw. So, given this particular example, how do we determine ‘truth’ more broadly? Is it to be determined by an individual with good or right belief(s) or intention(s)? Or should it be determined by some type of democratic consensus? You know, because most people believe it, then it must be true. Perhaps, science has a role to play? But maybe not, given scientists always shy away from ‘truth’ and are prone to citing ‘back doors’ such as ‘margins of error’ or ‘degrees of confidence’ and the like. Truth is the concept of ‘truth’ is difficult to define in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions. Perhaps not the be all and end all.

    The second point concerns the role of the media. And in particular the role of the ABC. As Keating argued today:

    The ABC news covered too many tragic reports of no broader consequence, and the 7.30 current affairs program broadcast “too many hard-luck stories”, he said.

    In the case of the 7.30 Report it is a news magazine, instead of a hard news-breaking operation.”

    The 7/30 Report I watched tonight was exactly as Keating described. It was just publicity for PHON. Not one ‘tough’ question. Just a road show. A complete waste of money, resources and my time. But Hanson would be pleased – it’s now her ABC.

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/the-abc-is-letting-australia-down-paul-keating-slams-the-national-broadcaster-20161125-gsxmqv.html

  9. Kaye Lee

    “That the tourist operators in the background nodded in furious agreement suggested that the Roberts’ ‘truth’ was widely shared,”

    You don’t think the tourist operator may have been more motivated by the decline in business than the science? Or the free publicity for his business? Show me the empirical evidence!!! (shuts eyes tightly, fingers in ears)

  10. Michael Taylor

    MN, very entertaining comment, good sir. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

  11. Matters Not

    don’t think the tourist operator may have been more motivated by the decline in business than the science

    You entertain the notion of mala fides? That the tourist operators weren’t concerned about the ‘science’? Is that why the reference was all about the drop in tourist numbers? Very cynical. Or didn’t you listen to the ABC reporter make those points?

    If the ABC was a serious organisation, that ‘fluff’ should’ve been immediate followed by an interview with a real scientist (perhaps from James Cook Uni) and footage which would have ridiculed Roberts.

    But it didn’t happen did it? Yes I know, resources are limited.

  12. Miriam English

    “That the tourist operators in the background nodded in furious agreement suggested that the Roberts’ ‘truth’ was widely shared,”

    It may have been just editing. I haven’t seen the piece in question, but having worked in film I know it is common to splice in footage of people reacting to break up a piece. The nodding could have been pulled from anything, for instance a question of whether they were worried about coral bleaching.

  13. Kaye Lee

    In this case Miiriam, the guy just doesn’t want tourists being told the bad news. It’s bad for business. In fact the head nodding was just about the drop in numbers coming on his boat – not really about the science. That Malcolm Roberts is scary – he has the certitude of a fanatic.

  14. Matters Not

    Miriam, the footage in question was not spliced. Sure it was a ‘set up’, but the ‘tourist’ operator and ‘assistants’ knew what their role was.

    Sure they are suffering financially. After all who wants to dive on a bleached reef – and to be fair, their section of the reef is relatively unaffected – but the more significant point re bleaching of the reef, particularly in the northern warmer regions, simply wasn’t made.

    We must demand better from media organisations, particularly publically funded ones. They are not there to gloss over the bigger picture. Not that it matters. Who watches the ABC any more?

  15. Kaye Lee

    Malcolm Roberts claims there is no empirical evidence for coral bleaching.

    Empirical evidence, also known as sense experience, is the knowledge or source of knowledge acquired by means of the senses, particularly by observation

    Look over here Malcolm

    https://allyouneedisbiology.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/coral-bleaching.jpg?w=1038&h=576&crop=1

  16. Matters Not

    KL, Roberts argues that any bleaching is but temporary. Recovery will be tomorrow. Or, if not tomorrow (which never comes re free beer across Australia), then the day after that. Believe!

    Coral bleaching is exactly the same as global warming – a UN plot or a Chinese conspiracy (not trying to underplay the role of the ever scheming Jews) but we all know that if in doubt – it’s all Labor’s fault.

    BTW, it’s a nice photo – for a fake. After all, real coral has a multitude of colours. LOL.

    We live in a post truth, post science. post rational, post logical world. BTY what 2 plus 2?

  17. Kaye Lee

    2+2 would usually equal four but if necessary we can make it equal 11 if we change to base 3, ask for Don Burke’s approval and publish it on Breitbart to show others how they have been lied to all these years .

  18. Matters Not

    Yes KL, ‘truth’, and the meaning we give to same, is always a problem.

    Now I must away. As both a Sunni and Shia Muslim, bound by Sharia law, as well as being a practising Christian and an ethnic Jew to boot, and not forgetting the obligatory harem(s) who cry out for … whatever

    And that’s the modern day ‘truth’. I should admit I’m a PHON supporter as well. Pauline like Malcolm is ‘nice’.

    Shakes head.

  19. corvus boreus

    Kaye Lee,
    The majority of that heat-related bleaching is happening up in the tropical mid-northern reefs.
    The mid-southern areas (the bits where most of the expanded channel dredging is proposed) are mainly bouncing back a bit from some severe setbacks (storm damage and subsequent silt/sludge inundation) occurring a few years back.

  20. Kaye Lee

    On the same day as One Nation senators inspected the reef, a progress report to prevent it being listed by the UN as “in danger” was signed off by the Queensland and Federal Government in Sydney.

  21. Matters Not

    a progress report to prevent it being listed by the UN as “in danger” was signed off by the Queensland and Federal Government in Sydney.

    PHON will argue that it is another waste of money to satisfy the ‘socialist’ UN with their Chinese and Jewish backers.

    Amazingly, these days we give equal time to Professors of Dentistry and Malcolm who removes teeth with a piece of string and a door. It’s called ‘balance’ on the ABC.

  22. guest

    Chris Kenny is discussing the matter of truth/post-truth in “Post-truth was out there, but the electorate ignored it” in the WE Australian. It is an interesting and depressing exposition.

    In usual fashion he attacks Katherine Murphy for discounting the ” ‘post-truth partisan hackery of Fox News’ because she says it is isn’t journalism.” Kenny seems to think that, because Fox got it right about Trump, therefore it is journalism..

    Interestingly Kenny himself says that he opposed Trump. What does that say about him? He claims that “No political group is blameless but the progressive media doesn’t care to examine its own deceptions”, which is a wonderful bit of irony he himself should examine more closely. He continues in this vein by writing of “most political coverage” skewing news and opinions. They too often get caught up in “self-referential circles.” Wonderful! The Murdoch press is obsessed with itself.

    So he gets onto the Dutton talk about Lebanese people. He says that Dutton lauded Lebanese who had done the right thing and they should not be defined by those who had done the wrong thing. But Kenny does not say what conclusions Dutton derived from the figures he gave. Dutton was making assertions about the connection between Muslims and Lebanese people. Certainly readers of The Australian followed up on Dutton’s assertions on the letters page to vilify Islam in general as a militant religion.

    This is very interesting indeed. We do not need to go back as far as the Crusades to mention militant Christianity. In more recent times the three leaders of the Coalition of the Willing are Christians who were involved in the attacks in Iraq planned well before 9/11 by Bush.

    As well, if we are going to count ethnic groups and their crime rates, we might well look at, say, the Irish in Oz history and the reasons why. And we might remind Kenny that when it comes to facts, it is important how we talk about them, just as Nick McKim said.

    This is shown when Kenny raises the matter of climate change. He tells us that the “complexity comes in whether actual events match the models, whether remedial action is worthwhile”. And the fact he produces to support this bit of fudge? Does it [the political/media class] think the public is not aware we we contribute only 1.3% of global emissions?”

    See how he tries to disrupt the argument with a single number. Ask him: Does that 1.3% include Oz’s coal exports burnt overseas?

    And he tells us that China and India “continue to massively increase global emissions”. Again, does that include Oz exports? And at the same time he omits to mention that both countries have made decisions to reduce coal consumption considerably – and soon. Which is one reason why the Adani coal mine seems such a ridiculous idea leading to redundant resources.

    And of course we have Roberts and Hanson trying to tell us the Great Barrier reef is doing fine. They should take Kenny’s advice: “The media/political class can easily convince itself of its ‘truthiness’ version of reality, and it can have it reinforced constantly by ‘independent’ and social media, but it can’t fool the public”.

    Again, Kenny should look more closely at what he writes. He is one of the more jaundiced of Murdoch writers. What a tangled web he weaves!.

  23. mark delmege

    You could gift wrap in triplicate with gold lettering and with extended references the ‘truth’ and some still wouldn’t believe you cos it doesn’t fit their self (or group) defined labels of goodies and baddies. They see no nuance or depth. Its just you are with us or against us. Group think is the killer.
    I think Kenny is right (if that is an accurate quote) “No political group is blameless but the progressive media doesn’t care to examine its own deceptions” I’m not sure who he sees as ‘progressive media’ …maybe places like this one.

  24. Robyn Dunphy

    Interesting discussion contributions by all!

    Group think IS the killer. In my humble view that predisposition comes from faulty education systems. We don’t teach students to REALLY think any more. Yes, I’m generalising. Part of the problem is the speed and 24/7 nature of the “news” cycle. While not as bad here, yet, In America the repetition for hours on end is almost brainwashing. Get told something often enough and the human mind starts to absorb it as truth.

    The lack of truth is endemic.

    I had forgotten that quote, ““If you don’t stop lying about me, I’ll start telling the truth about you” – but I like it.

  25. mark delmege

    Matters Not – In the little I heard of the Keating discussion he went on to praise SBS. Sadly SBS is now a lie machine. They, like the ABC, continually reference the (fake) White Helmets in their coverage of the dirty war against Syria as they all did (maybe still do) that UK propaganda outfit otherwise known as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights . Little things like the truth do matter but sadly Keating has problems too sorting the wheat from the chaff. ABC National for all their good programs are no better either. So much of their work is to mock or diss other countries as if to make us feel superior. I think some of this is deliberate propaganda and some just cultural ignorance and cultural ignorance runs deep.

  26. Kaye Lee

    mark, what makes you so certain that your view of Assad as a poor maligned man of the people is correct?

    From MSF…

    “A humanitarian tragedy is unfolding while the world watches and does nothing. Months of siege and the indiscriminate bombing by the Syrian government and its allies have left the population of eastern Aleppo in desperate straits and its health system in tatters.

    There is no way out for the 250,000 people there. Meanwhile, food and medical supplies cannot get in. MSF has been providing medical supplies, drugs, and lifesaving surgical kits to eight hospitals in eastern Aleppo since 2014, sending in trucks every three months. Our teams last succeeded in getting some items through in August, during a brief period when the siege was broken by the opposition.

    In the meantime, all eight hospitals have been bombed, one up to six times. Altogether they have been hit 27 times, forcing all work to halt on occasion. Staff are doing all they can to keep going.”

  27. mark delmege

    did I say that?

  28. Kaye Lee

    No you didn’t say those words but you have many times expressed your support for his regime….or am I mistaken?

  29. mark delmege

    I oppose the dirty war on Syria and as I have pointed out many times here White Helmets are a fake outfit and Hillary and Obama and the others are up to their necks in the mass murder of the Syrian People through the arming of terrorist gangs.

  30. Kaye Lee

    Do you think the Syrian government is also hurting their own people?

    I thought the white helmets were a volunteer group, nothing to do with government?

  31. mark delmege

    why would you think that?

  32. Kaye Lee

    “Syria Civil Defense also known as the White Helmets, is a volunteer civil defense non-governmental organization… the bulk of their activity in Syria consists of urban search and rescue in response to bombing, medical evacuation, evacuation of civilians from danger areas, and essential service delivery.”

    or did you mean why do I think the government is hurting its own people?

  33. mark delmege

    no its not, it is a western funded propaganda outfit

  34. Kaye Lee

    As of October 2016, the SCD has rescued over 60,000 people since 2014. They were nominated for the Nobel Peace prize this year. There are over 2,850 volunteers operating from 114 local civil defense centers across 8 provincial directorates.

    “A brigade of 2,900 volunteers — former teachers, tailors, builders, blacksmiths — they risk their lives daily to rescue the wounded and salvage the dead “

  35. mark delmege

    references?

  36. Michael Taylor

    “Hillary and Obama and the others are up to their necks in the mass murder of the Syrian People through the arming of terrorist gangs.”

    References? (From reputable sources).

  37. mark delmege

    lets do one thing at a time Michael. lets clarify the White Helmets first then we can move on.

  38. Kaye Lee

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_Civil_Defense

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/08/syria-white-helmets-nominated-nobel-peace-prize-160817161037355.html

    http://www.nytimes.com/news/un-general-assembly/2014/09/23/while-syrian-volunteers-seek-support-crisis-worsens-at-home/?_r=0

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/05/the-guardian-view-on-the-nobel-peace-prize-give-it-to-syrias-white-helmets

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2016/10/06/dear-nobel-committee-the-white-helmets-are-syria-heroes/dyZLCJh2OHGqc4bEKDrzOJ/story.html

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/06/the-nobel-peace-prize-must-go-to-the-white-helmets–or-else-endo/

  39. Kaye Lee

    Also known as Syria Civil Defence, the group of rescue volunteers have risked their lives to help thousands of people caught up in the devastation and destruction of the civil war.

    They have organised themselves to provide frontline rescue services in rebel-held areas of Syria. Their work has saved tens of thousands of lives, but more than 100 of their own volunteers have been killed.

    The group says it receives funding from foreign governments and individual donors, listing the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Japan among governments to have given money. That has prompted accusations the group is a tool of Western nations, but the White Helmets have insisted they are independent.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-07/nobel-peace-prize:-who-could-win/7907502

  40. Kaye Lee

    aljazeera?

  41. Kaye Lee

    Syria Civil Defence receives funding (through Mayday Rescue and Chemonics) from the governments of the UK, Holland, Denmark, Germany, Japan, and the USA. This funding goes towards the training, equipment and support we need to achieve our mission. Our donors are partners in our efforts to build Syria Civil Defence into the most effective life-saving organisation we can be, and do not control the mission of the organisation, our advocacy messages or our internal leadership structure.

    We have also been lucky to be funded by thousands of individuals around the world that have donated to buy equipment or to support our ‘Hero Fund’ — a fund that is used to take care of our injured volunteers and the families of the martyrs. This Hero Fund is headed by Abdulmalek, a Syria Civil Defence volunteer and former firefighter who lost his leg in an attack.

    http://syriacivildefense.org/our-partners

  42. Kaye Lee

    PROTECT, RECOVER AND MAINTAIN

    How does the Syria Civil Defence work?

    We work in accordance with International Humanitarian Law. As defined in Protocol I (Article 61) of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, we pledge to provide the services listed at paragraph 5 for the following purposes:

    a) To protect the civilian population against the dangers arising from hostilities or other disasters
    b) To speed recovery from the immediate effects of such events
    c) To provide the conditions necessary for survival of the civilian population.

    To the best extent possible, we seek to provide the following services to the people of Syria:

    1. Warning the civilian population of attacks and dangers
    2. Urban Search and Rescue
    3. Evacuation of the civilian population from areas into which fighting is encroaching
    4. The provision of medical services – including first aid – at the point of injury
    5. Fire-fighting
    6. Management of emergency shelters
    7. Detection and marking of danger areas (such as areas with unexploded ordnance)
    8. Provision of emergency accommodation and supplies
    9. Emergency repair of indispensable public utilities
    10. Decontamination and similar protective measures
    11. Assistance in the preservation of objects essential for survival
    12. Emergency assistance in the restoration and maintenance of order in distressed areas
    13. Emergency disposal of the dead
    14. Management of blackout measures
    15. Complementary activities needed to carry out any of the tasks mentioned above.

    Where does the Syria Civil Defence work?

    Currently, Syria Civil Defence works in opposition areas, as we are not allowed to work in regime controlled areas–in fact, the regime actively tries to kills us whenever it can, simply because the hope we bring to civilian communities helps them resist the regime’s attempts to break their will through bombing. In some instances we have heard civilians from regime controlled areas call for us, but if we tried to help, regime soldiers would have shot us. If we were allowed we would like to work across Syria to serve all the people.

    http://syriacivildefense.org/protect-recover-and-maintain

  43. Kaye Lee

    I read your article mark. It is a very long way from convincing.

    “The appeals by “White Helmets” are done by fabricating or drastically exaggerating news on ‘war atrocities’. Hence, the suggestion of demolishing ‘air raids’ directed at civilian populations is a favourite number, for instance, in videos uploaded in YouTube. In the videos I have seen, however, such attacks never appear; what we see instead, solely, are rooms filled with smoke, dust, etc., where the same “patients” move constantly in the scene with or without anti-dust protection masks.”

    SRSLY? He thinks the devastation is faked?

  44. mark delmege

    No the devastation is real. Syria has been inundated with thousands of jihadists who have been actively supported by the west and the gulf monarchies amongst others. Digging them out and expelling them is no easy task. It seems to me you have lost your moral compass. It seems to me your allegiance to Obama and Clinton has blinded you to what they have done. It seems to me you think there is a difference between a Democrat President and a Republican President overseas when history shows they are both capable and culpable to mass murder, coups and invasions. What does truth matter when opinion overrides all?

    When you have been closely following these sorts of issues for 35 odd years you begin to understand how things work – the nature the reasons the excuses the repeating patterns of behaviour of the players and the media. I was onto Libya and Syria the White Helmets even a Trump victory before it was popular – because I see the signs and all of the above. You can fool most of the people most of the time and since Goebbels propaganda has been refined. When the media acts in unison with empire its often a lie. When the crowd heads in one direction look to the other if you want to understand what is happening.

    I’ll post a truly fake White Helmets video that even you will understand if you want.

  45. mark delmege

    makeup standby ready action roll

  46. Kaye Lee

    In a statement to the BBC, the White Helmets, which was awarded the 2016 Right Livelihood Award for its humanitarian service through the Syrian civil war, explained why it chose to take part in the Mannequin Challenge.

    “The video and the related posts were recorded by RFS media with Syria Civil Defence (White Helmets) volunteers, who hoped to create a connection between the horror of Syria and the outside world, using the viral Mannequin Challenge,” the statement read.

    However it said that it recognised such decision was “an error of judgment”.

    “We apologise on behalf of the volunteers involved.

    “The video was not shared on our official channels, and we took immediate action to discipline those involved and prevent incidents such as this from happening again.

    “Our volunteers are committed to saving lives by responding to, and reporting, war crimes in Syria.

    “This leaves us open to attacks, not just from the bombs but from those who seek to silence us for telling the truth.”

    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/11/25/error-judgment-white-helmets-apologise-doing-viral-mannequin-challenge

    It seems to me they are not trying to hide anything at all mark. And you really must stop accusing me of being an apologist for Clinton and Trump. You are wrong and it is getting aggravating. I look for truth.

  47. mark delmege

    you give me pro war compliant sources (BBC al Jazeera etc) to back your pro war stance. No you don’t look for truth – you look for reinforcement. But hey thats just my opinion.

  48. Kaye Lee

    my pro-war stance? Please explain.

    I am not looking for reinforcement for anything at all. I was looking into the work done by the White Helmets which, from everything I can find from a multitude of sources from several different countries, they are doing heroic work.

  49. mark delmege

    i think i am done here.You dont seem to appreciate the role of media manipulation paid for by the same people running covert ops or their cosy relationship to quisling media publishers. I can’t help you.

  50. Kaye Lee

    mark, I would very much like you to read this article which explains that the White Helmets have been deliberately targeted for a disinformation campaign circulated by the Syrian and Russian governments .

    “They are all a very diverse and disparate group of individuals, all of whom made individual choices … They all had the choice whether or not they want to pick up gun, to become a refugee – but they’ve all made a choice to instead pick up a stretcher..

    Even if they are unarmed, the volunteers are a threat to the Assad regime. Damascus’s strategy – now shared by Russia – is not to just to fight rebels on the battlefield, but also to destroy any semblance of organised services and infrastructure in opposition-controlled areas. If water, electricity, schools, and markets can be blown up and cut off, then civilians can be forced to surrender, or at least reduced to powerless, besieged bystanders.

    The joint Russian-Assad regime campaign against the the White Helmets is not just fought with bombs and missiles. Russian and Syrian state outlets are circulating “information” meant to tarnish the volunteers as allies of terrorism, dedicated only to the assistance of jihadists.

    The theme has been eagerly taken up by those who view the Syrian conflict as a conspiracy of American “imperialism”.”

    https://theconversation.com/who-are-syrias-white-helmets-and-why-are-they-so-controversial-66580

  51. Matters Not

    KL re:

    they are doing heroic work

    Not from my ‘research’ – although I agree that’s the image they present and want accepted – but I see it differently.. First to admit, I have no expertise in the area, but I tend to see the White Helmets as ‘fake’. (Viewed lots of videos and read any number of discussions.)

  52. Harquebus

    I also have read articles on the staged media opportunities of the white helmets. At this stage I think that there probably is some truth in it but, that does not mean that their activities are entirely for propaganda purposes and nor that search and rescue is not their main purpose.
    I’ll keep an open mind on this one. Any information coming out of Syria, in my opinion, has to be taken with a large dose of skepticism.
    Cheers.

  53. Kaye Lee

    This article is interesting

    “At least 141 White Helmets have been killed during rescue missions and three of the organization’s four centers in Aleppo were bombed last week.

    Established in 2013, the group’s charter is simple: to carry out search-and-rescue operations to save the maximum number of lives.

    Inspired by a Quranic verse that says “to save a life is to save all of humanity,” the group has rescued more than 60,000 people

    These guys all made this decision to not flee Syria, to not pick up a gun, and instead to every day risk their lives to save others.”

    http://www.theatlantic.com/news/archive/2016/09/syria-white-helmets/502073/

  54. Matters Not

    Certainly difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff, but this doesn’t look too good.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2016/11/24/middleeast/mannequin-challenge-white-helmets-syria/

    And the White Helmets are always so well dressed – crisp uniforms and the like. Almost like the ‘Westerns’ I grew up with. The ‘goodies’ always wore white while the baddies wore black. Give what ever meaning you like to that ‘fact’.

  55. Matters Not

    FFS, my comment is again in moderation. As was an earlier comment that never reappeared.

  56. Kaye Lee

    MN,

    I already replied about that video. See comment at 10:19pm

    mark must be ruing asking me for sources but I would recommend the Conversation article – it links to all its sources.

  57. Matters Not

    KL, late to this discussion and I haven’t read all the links, As for the ‘apology’ re their error of judgement – perhaps just good media management – or at least an attempt at same? Perhaps I am jaundiced but I do recall I was nearly sent to Vietnam re the Gulf of Tonkin incident. For me, the US has ‘form’. As has the MSM. As does the Russian media. As does …

    Difficult to know who is doing the manipulation. Probably a safe bet to work on the assumption that ‘truth is the first casualty of war’. And that applies to all sides.

    On water matters and all that.

  58. Kaye Lee

    I agree the US has form – Shah Pahlavi and Ho Chi Minh always come to mind – but in this instance, from what I can judge sitting in my home on the Central Coast, the White Helmets are doing good work because somebody has to and it is their country. No doubt they are appreciating the financial aid but it is miniscule in comparison to the devastation they are facing.

    I am fully aware of the media massaging/messaging that goes on here and in the States (and pretty much everywhere) but I am also aware of the deliberate misinformation campaigns that are becoming an increasingly used tool used to cast doubt and this one has Russia and Syria all over it.

  59. mark

    If porn is anything to go by,the russians make great porn mostly,the americans, almost total rubbish.Don’t ask me to explain,as I’m going back to homeporno.tv.mark

  60. mark delmege

    You want to believe that the US assault on Syria is justified and that the Russians are the enemy. This sounds like the warped mentality of an American to me. Are you American KL? When you discover that the White Helmets are a western funded disinformation outfit you will be faced with Cognitive Dissonance.
    I mentioned elsewhere it is very hard to move from critical to opposition. I will name two women who managed to confront that problem. Sibel Edmonds and Former US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski both worked in highly sensitive government posts prior to 9/11 both knew the official line was false and both have since become public figures opposing government secrecy and lies. Another – and out of respect for him I wont give his real name but he now runs The Saker. He worked for an alphabet agency during the Balkan wars and he came to know the official story to be untrue too. All three understand the meaning of truth and have chosen different ways of sharing that.

  61. Kaye Lee

    No I’m not American mark but my girlfriend’s son lives there and I crossed the border to have lunch in Vermont when I was staying in Canada so it is obvious that I am a propagandist for the corrupt Imperialist West and far too naive to understand that anyone they fund must immediately be considered an enemy of the people.

    What I will say is that I think the military complex has far too much say and the intelligence services do not have enough oversight. Who polices the police? But I do not accept that Putin and Assad are honourable men or that all aid agencies and humanitarian groups are propagandists.

  62. Matters Not

    KL, as I said I’ve watched a number of videos on this ‘topic’. The first one below may or may not be ‘authentic’. The second one is convincing to me.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8_cPE30z-I

    Can it really be argued that these journos are just being used?

  63. Miriam English

    Good grief, mark delmege, your comments have crossed over the fringe of lunacy to accuse Kaye that way.

    She is very strongly anti-war, pro-truth, regularly criticises dirty efforts by USA, yet has the good sense to recognise when they do good things too.

    Any group is not just a bunch of clones. There are quite likely bad people in the White Helmets, but they are also very probably as judged by most observers: ordinary people trying to do good. The people in the Assad regime are in all likelihood similar.

    I have to say I have both respect and disgust for Assad himself. He managed to bind together the people of many diverse religions into a tolerant, modern state where factions that warred bloodily elsewhere, instead got along well. At the same time he seems to have little regard for the lives and freedoms of those he would see as his enemies, torturing and bombing civilians seems to be okay for him.

    I’m sure there are plenty of lies and distortions on both sides, but the Russians do seem to have a particular knack for conducting propaganda wars.

    My own view is that the whole Syrian calamity is a sad confluence of climate change wrecking farms causing mass migrations into the cities, and corrupt Western financial and strategic interests using that to attempt to destabilise the country so that they might seize its resources (mostly gas, I think) and further destabilise the whole region. Assad, being a short-sighted dictator, probably relatively benevolent up til then decided to overreact and go the whole nasty on dissenters, perhaps thinking tolerance and use of standard law would be seen as weakness. At the same time many groups in the West generally, and in USA in particular, have been horrified by what is going on in Syria and have been doing what they can to stop the hostilities. Some, like that idiot Trump, want to do the same stupid shit Assad has been doing. Others have been trying to get money and supplies to civilians caught up in the conflict. And of course there are the shady interests always out to subvert both sides for their own purposes.

    I’m sure there are parts I misunderstand and many parts I have not even heard about, but one thing I can be absolutely certain of is that your simplistic, black-and-white view, Mark Delmege is definitely wrong. Things are never that simple, that cut-and-dried.

  64. Michael Taylor

    MN, could you email me please?

  65. Miriam English

    Here is something gratifying, even as it happens against a rather terrifying backdrop:
    http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/11/25/1603978/-Fake-news-network-tried-to-write-fake-news-for-liberals-but-they-just-never-take-the-bait

    The guy who runs a network of fake news sites says it’s easy to dupe right-wing nuts because they’ll just simply believe crazy shit that aligns with their screwy prejudices, but he’s tried to write fake news for progressives and it just doesn’t work because people fact-check and shut down the conversation after the first couple of comments. So there you have it. This is in large part why this whole right-wing craziness is spinning so badly out of control.

    We can shut down the fake news sites by using adblockers and script blockers in our web browsers. That means a lot of sites, like AIMN and others, will cop a drop in revenue, but could kill off the fake news sites if enough people do it. But the fake news sites are simply exploiting a pre-existing illness. There is a whole swathe of the population who only believe what they want to believe. The actual reality out there has nothing to do with it. That is scary.

    Someone, above, mentioned that teaching kids to think is the solution, instead of schooling them to recite data. I’m inclined to agree. Unfortunately we are running very short on time, with multiple catastrophes unfolding simultaneously (Harquebus will tell you of them).

  66. Kaye Lee

    MN,

    I started watching the second video and the journalist tells a flat out lie in her first breath. She claims to be an investigative journalist who has uncovered the secret government funding that goes to the White Helmets. If she googled the White Helmets web page she wouldn’t have needed to travel to Syria as they freely disclose their funding. It makes me very dubious about wasting half an hour watching the rest. As for the White Helmets slick videos, a PR firm donated their services to produce them. That could be regarded with suspicion or it could be taken as a gesture by a group who want to help.

    RT is a Russian state-run 24/7 English-language news channel that launched in December 2005. The network aims to present the world with a Russian point of view and “become Russia’s version of the BBC.”

    The channel comes off like a state-sponsored Fox News, prone to coverage slanted against “the West” in general and the U.S. in particular and indulging in conspiracy theories and other fringe beliefs. The European Parliament has termed it “[an instrument of] international soft power[wp]” and “Russia’s main international media weapon”.

    Putin’s merger with RT was the best investment he ever made. They do have some good stories but they are very selective in the view they present and tend towards conspiracies always the fault of the West.

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/RT

  67. Jack Straw

    Matters Not thanks for Video links re White Helmuts very disturbing.

  68. Matters Not

    KL, a couple of points.

    If she googled the White Helmets web page she wouldn’t have needed to travel to Syria as they freely disclose their funding.

    Now they do, but the ‘when’ then becomes important. When the journo made the claim (I don’t have dates and times) could it be the case, that such an admission was not then part of the public record? (I think I saw a video where financial assistance by the US was admitted under questioning.) And therefore she wasn’t lying at all? In fact her revelation may have prompted the public disclosure? I stress I have no timelines re disclosure, but in this discussion they seem crucial.

    Perhaps we are all a little quick to jump to conclusions?

    From what I saw the journos weren’t reading from a script. That it comes from RT is problematic but as Rationalwiki points out not all their stories are just conspiracy theories and they ‘do have some good stories’. This one just may fit into the ‘good story’ category.

    As for:

    The channel comes off like a state-sponsored Fox News

    That’s not the meaning I gave to this ‘clip’ and other stories. Any comparison with Fox is … . But each to ..

  69. mark delmege

    Matters, I hadn’t seen either of those videos before. Both were pretty solid in my view. I’ve argued with Vanessa on-line but not about this and Eva is top shelf and so is Vanessa.
    We need more people like this not less. State sponsored terrorism is a crime in anyones book and when state sponsored media outlets like al Jazeera the BBC and ABC bullshit – as they have about pretty much everything to do with this war – to us we should run campaigns against them and march in the street outside their offices.
    I’m not sure what Miriam thinks is simplistic one sided about anything I have written on this page. I’ve stated my belief that the White Helmets is a western paid-for propaganda production unit. The proof has been provided gift wrapped in triplicate.
    Western (US led) efforts at regime change are as criminal in Syria as they are elsewhere.

  70. Harquebus

    Miriam English
    “Unfortunately we are running very short on time, with multiple catastrophes unfolding simultaneously (Harquebus will tell you of them).”

    Count on it.

    Here’s a newbie unfolding as we speak.
    “this will go down in the history books as one of the most naïve, least thought through policy decisions ever, a massive man-made disaster.”

    Gold Price Skyrockets in India after Currency Ban – Part III

    Cheers.

  71. mark delmege

    Trump got in because of the failure of the neoliberal ideology – the failed elitist global narrative and the expropriation of wealth from the many by the few, policies implemented and supported by both sides of mainstream politics. Thats why Brexit happened. Wars in places like Syria and Libya are backed by the same people. If you want to show solidarity for the people damaged by these policies you first you have to understand what has happened and whats happening. Uncover the lies and support people who are doing so and develop policies that put people first. Policies that put people before the interests of the global elite. I’m really not a supporter of Trump – I’ve used a four letter word starting with C to say what I think about him – and I’ve used the same for Obama and Hillary. But I dont think he is a racist or homophobe despite what the snowflakes say. I fully expect the elite to push back at every effort he makes to change lanes and he will have a tough time making headway but on some issues he just might deliver on economic and foreign changes that make the world a saner place. He didn’t try to sell hope he sold change. Hope didn’t work. TPP and TTIP are dead – thats a good start.

  72. Matters Not

    belief that the White Helmets is a western paid-for propaganda production unit

    That’s my tentative conclusion as well. Vanessa impressed me also. I checked out her credentials – blogs, articles and the like – and I still find her ‘claims’ credible. Indeed, ‘reinforced’ by my reading. But there are competing claims as well. Because I’m not directly effected (but my thinking is affected) I have the luxury, and perhaps arrogance, of an open mind. I just don’t know.

    There’s ‘descriptions’ and then there’s ‘explanations’ – causes and the like. Descriptions are always the relatively easy part – but not so in all cases. Putting it another way, ‘descriptions’ (which tend to rely on specific facts) are always much easier than ‘explanations’ which because of their very nature are more ‘speculative’. (Yes of course ‘explanations’ cite facts but they do so from a much broader palette and therefore paint many different pictures.)

    Shit, this ‘knowing’ bit is far from easy. But surely there’s any number out there who have all the answers and are willing to share? Please

  73. nurses1968

    Syrian White Helmets apologize for staged war zone #MannequinChallenge video
    tim anderson @timand2037

    Fake ‘victim’ pops up for a selfie with the #WhiteHelmets rescue’ crew and their ‘media activist’.
    1:34 AM – 23 Nov 2016

    Marwa Osman @Osman_Marwa1

    #WhiteHelmets BS propaganda and y’all keep buying their fake videos.At least be aware they’re funded by ur $ & £ tax
    5:57 PM – 24 Nov 2016

    Syrian White Helmets apologize for staged war zone #MannequinChallenge video

    Edit,
    sorry didn’t realise this was posted

  74. Kaye Lee

    As the White Helmets only operate in opposition held territory, it is probably understandable that they are against the Assad regime who are the ones bombing them and putting them under siege. It is also understandable that they may have connections with rebel groups as, once again, they operate in rebel held territory. There are a lot of Syrians not on Assad’s side – that doesn’t make them wrong.

    From what I can see, much of the criticism of the White Helmets is for their support of a no-fly zone. Now I have heard others argue that that would be a recipe for disaster, leading to confrontations. But the people on the ground may just want the bombs to stop? Just because Hilary wanted a no-fly zone doesn’t make it a bad thing does it?

    I find it rather disingenuous to rail about “state sponsored media outlets like al Jazeera the BBC and ABC bullshit ” whilst believing that the Russian government owned RT is a completely credible independent site.

    And if you are appalled by “the failed elitist global narrative and the expropriation of wealth from the many by the few”, why the hell would you vote for one of the greatest users of that very system? He has even refused to do as other presidents have done and place his business interests in trust during his term. Donald Trump smash the capitalist business model? I don’t think so!

  75. nurses1968

    Fact-sheet on the White Helmets
    via Simon Wood from the “Retract the Award Given to NATO’s White Helmets” petition at Change.org

    Fact-sheet on the White Helmets

  76. Kaye Lee

    That the White Helmets receive assistance from the US government’s Agency for International Development – something they have not denied – apparently means they’re American puppets, even though they draw a range of support from around the world. The fundraising support they get from a PR firm somehow proof that they are the vanguard of a proxy war fought by a US military-industrial complex.

    Blogger Vanessa Beeley has switched her focus from Israel and Gaza to wage a vitriolic campaign against the White Helmets as “first responders for the US and NATO al-Nusra/al-Qaeda forces”. Never mind that the White Helmets explicitly stand against violence and extremism; ignore the absurdity of the idea that the US – which is bombing the jihadists of Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria, and which has been in a misconceived “War on Terror” against al-Qaeda for a decade and a half – is suddenly allied with those groups. The sight of volunteers celebrating with rebels in the city of Idlib is apparently evidence that the White Helmets are “al-Qaeda”.

    Max Blumenthal, another writer who has challenged Israeli policies in Palestine, frames the White Helmets as “driven by a pro-interventionist agenda conceived by the Western governments and public relations groups that back them”. Never mind that the White Helmets’ “crime” is to call for zones protecting civilians; ignore their firm declaration that they don’t affiliate with any government or NGO. To Blumenthal, they are a Trojan horse for “70,000 American servicemen” to invade Syria.

    Having started the cycle of disinformation, Russian state outlets can complete it by citing “investigative journalists” such as Beeley and Blumenthal to deride the White Helmets as a “controversial quasi-humanitarian organisation” and – invoking the magnate George Soros as conspiracy master – a “Soros-sponsored” operation “cooking up lies”.

    These claims are the product of disinformation and spurious inference – but all this politics and propaganda, however menacing, is irrelevant to the people on the ground, whose focus is on the next mission.

    As one volunteer summarised it: “We have to have faith that this country is our country. We shouldn’t leave it. If I don’t stand by my country and by my people and those who are oppressed, who will? If I leave and we all leave, there will be no one left.”

    Or as British MP Jo Cox wrote when she nominated the White Helmets for a Nobel Peace Prize, shortly before she was killed by an attacker in June 2016:

    “When the bombs rain down, the Syrian Civil Defense rush in. In the most dangerous place on earth these unarmed volunteers risk their lives to help anyone in need regardless of religion or politics.”

  77. randalstella

    Nurses1968
    How is it a fact-sheet?
    Because they call it a fact-sheet?
    Haven’t you been around politics long enough to know better?

  78. Miriam English

    Sounds like a cheap, B-grade pulp novel of the 1950s — Nazis take over USA from inside the government. Trump has surrounded himself with racists. The white supremacists give Heil Trump! salutes. Trumps similarities to Hitler are pretty striking (“Make America/Germany great again”, rabble-rousing, condoning violence, racist speeches). I even read one interview with Trump where he said he keeps Hitler’s Mein Kampf by his bedside for reading!

    You’ve probably seen this video of white supremacists doing the Heil Trump salute at a groan-worthy meeting:

    The speech by 21 year old Nazi Richard Spencer is downright chilling.

    Things are bad when the one great hope for the voice of reason is for crazy poor-people-hating, Mormon billionaire, Mitt Romney to be appointed Secretary of State.

  79. Kaye Lee

    I have great regard for Medicins sans Frontieres. They have helped train the White Helmets in triage.

    http://www.msf.org/en/article/syrias-%E2%80%9Cwhite-helmets%E2%80%9D-volunteers-who-provide-first-aid-wounded

    I would highly recommend reading this interview with the President of Doctors Without Borders in France, Mego Terzian, about the obstructionist (and worse) role played by the Syrian government.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/10/msf-attacks-aid-groups-part-syrian-regime-plan-161010062509695.html

  80. Harquebus

    Miriam English
    All sides contribute to producing fake news. We went to war in Iraq because of faked CIA stories leaked to the media which, politicians quickly jumped on.

    Search criteria: operation mockingbird

    “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.” — William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

  81. Kaye Lee

    Speaking of where did the truth go….this from the Belgian bullshit artist….

    Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has told Sky News the Government will go no lower than 19 per cent.

    “We are already pursuing a 13.5 per cent tax cut. Labor wants us to go for a 22.5 per cent tax cut. Nineteen per cent is what we’re putting on the table. If Labor doesn’t support that in the parliament next week, it will be 32.5 per cent, the (former Labor Treasurer) Wayne Swan tax rate which has been in place since 2012-2013.”

    This is Cormann conning at it’s worst. Backpackers were entitled to the tax free threshold of $18,200 introduced by Swan. They only paid 32.5% on income over $37,000

    Then Barnaby Joyce tweeted:

    Barnaby Joyce
    (@Barnaby_Joyce)
    Backpacker tax would never be 32%. We fought to take it to 19%. We said it would be resolved by Christmas. Welcome 15% break-through.

    As they said on the Guardian…

    “This statement is very confusing, given the government announced a backpacker tax rate of 32.5% in the 2015 budget.

    Does Barnaby mean that the preferred government tax rate of 32.5 was never going to succeed?

    Or does he mean that in his head, it was not 32.5%, even though it was 32.5% in the budget documents?

    I am very confused.”

  82. nurses1968

    randalstella
    “How is it a fact-sheet?”
    It was posted as a factsheet because that was what the author of the article called it

    Fact-sheet on the White Helmets


    I didn’t name it and I accept there are massive lies and over ups on both sides.
    If it’s wrong I’ll accept that if proven,
    I’m not like some here who have to be right ALL of the time and have never made mistakes
    Is the “factsheet” wrong and on what authority randalstella?

  83. randalstella

    nurses – or is that jubilation t, cornpone?
    No. You called it a fact sheet. It’s right there in black and white.
    Don’t give me your twisted Labor-branch rhetoric – there are ample links above against the allegations. Pay attention.
    It is not my duty to correct your mischief. It is your duty.

  84. Kaye Lee

    I assume that now-to-be-expected barb was aimed at me. Of course I make mistakes. Having a discussion and sharing information and points of view is what it is all about nurses. I want to learn, not dictate.

    As for the fact sheet, they begin by saying ” The group is not Syrian”. That is false for starters. I can find no evidence of them having “stolen the name” other than a flurry of sites that reposted that same allegation (like it matters) in September this year just before the election

    They say “The White Helmets claim to be “neutral, impartial and humanitarian” and to “serve all the people of Syria” is untrue. In reality, they only work in areas controlled by the violent opposition, primarily terrorists associated with Nusra/AlQaeda (recently renamed Jabhat Fath al Sham).”

    That is because the government will not allow them to operate in government held areas.

    They say “the zones controlled by terrorists in Syria have few civilians remaining”

    As we have seen on the news for ourselves, there are hundreds of thousands of people trapped in Aleppo alone.

    This is a factually incorrect propaganda piece which uses perjorative language whose only truth is about the funding which is not a secret.

  85. randalstella

    Seeing that I am here for a moment:
    If some benefit can come from the obscene crackpot Trump-boosting, Putin-loving idlers who visit this site:
    can other people please consider supporting Medicins sans Frontieres?
    They do indispensable work, often at great peril.
    If you can afford it, a regular donation can be automated. Any donation is a help.

  86. Miriam English

    Harquebus, I don’t disagree. I was merely pointing out the disinformation campaign coming from the Russians. It relates to how some seem so eager to accept what the Russians say.

    For the disinformers in Russia, USA, and our own country, there is a fable I learned when I was very little. It is about a boy who falsely cried “Wolf!” a few times. Later, when there was a real wolf threatening him, nobody believed him.

    People who spread disinformation might think they are winning, but in the long-term all they are doing is pissing in the same well that they have to drink from too.

    The LNP and other politicians who lie their silly heads off for short-term gain are shooting themselves in the foot. Who is going to believe them later? It’s why almost nobody believes what Abbott says anymore. It’s why almost nobody believes what Trump says anymore. It’s why almost nobody believes what the CIA says anymore. It’s why almost nobody believes what the NSA says anymore. It’s why almost nobody believes what Putin says anymore.

  87. Harquebus

    Miriam English
    Yep.

    “claims of a new, shadowy organization that smears dozens of U.S. news sites that are critical of U.S. foreign policy as being “routine peddlers of Russian propaganda.””
    “Yet the article is rife with obviously reckless and unproven allegations, and fundamentally shaped by shoddy, slothful journalistic tactics.”
    “Tens of thousands of people, perhaps hundreds of thousands or even millions, consumed it, believing that it was true because of how many journalists and experts told them it was.”
    https://theintercept.com/2016/11/26/washington-post-disgracefully-promotes-a-mccarthyite-blacklist-from-a-new-hidden-and-very-shady-group/

    “It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.” — Mark Twain

  88. nurses1968

    nurses – or is that jubilation t, cornpone?
    You aren’t Jetpax in disguise are you?
    Cornie is in Canberra and this tired little dig is boring,
    Why on earth would he need an alias as he seems to speak his mind on most issues and I hardly think he is likely to hide behind skirts.I think thus has all been sorted out with AIMN management anyow.
    Responding to women trouble you does it randalstella?
    I wish I could say it in simpler terms that even you might digest, I called it a factsheet because the site publishing it called it a factsheet and the author on that site called it a factsheet.I don’t rename articles
    This article is titled “The Truth – Where Did It Go? ”
    should I rename that because truth seems in question in most posts.
    Maybe some time reading and a little less thoughts on conspiracy may help.
    Maybe Maybe Not

  89. nurses1968

    “I assume that now-to-be-expected barb was aimed at me.”
    No not everything has to be about you

  90. randalstella

    But you ‘argue’ just like him.
    And peddle the same stuff.

    But he does have an alias.

    What a contribution to discussion of mass murder in Syria.

  91. randalstella

    It’s going to be lost among other ‘contributions’:
    People, please support Medicins sans Frontieres

  92. Terry2

    Xenophon was demanding a scheme to safeguard sub-contractors payments in the event of principal default, in exchange for his ABCC support ; very worhty cause.

    But, I heard on the news a few moments ago that the Xenophon compromise is that government contracts will not be awarded to contractors with a poor track record on paying sub-contrators ; that’s a very different thing.

    We shall see !

  93. Kaye Lee

    I agree randalstella. They do amazing work in the most difficult circumstances at great risk and regardless of politics.

    Doctors Without Borders (MSF), is one of several humanitarian aid NGOs whose hospitals and medical personnel have repeatedly been attacked in Syria. The organisation operates a support programme to approximately 70 healthcare facilities run by Syrian doctors, where it provides medical supplies, salaries, advice among other services.

    A recent MSF report showed that in 2015, 23 health staff in MSF-supported clinics were killed, and 58 others wounded. In the same year, at least 60 MSF-supported hospitals and clinics were hit on 94 separate occasions in aerial attacks or shelling.

    (“No not everything has to be about you” – I look forward to you making comments that don’t have the compulsory dig whether it be at me or someone else. The aggression is unnecessary)

  94. Kaye Lee

    “If you have signed [enterprise bargaining agreements] with the unions from April 2014 that clash with the code, then you will not get government contracts.”

    Hinch does not like the retrospective nature of that code

  95. mark delmege

    I guess we have proved that truth doesn’t matter. It more about prejudices world views and what we know about history or rather what we think we know. And we came to see how some people just make stuff up because they either thought something was written but wasn’t or they just don’t know how to argue. I found the whole thing quite revealing really.
    As the original article came with a Trump photo and a reference here and there and a general perception in the community that Trump is a racist and antigay and anti civil liberties type maybe this video might surprise some – it did surprise me.
    For the record I consider myself a socialist of sorts even though I am a small businessman. On many issues I will disagree with people like Trump because I wont like his market driven solutions – just as I didn’t like Obama. That said they both have aspects about which I like. Obama has at least never had the whiff of corruption around him or his family. But from my perspective he was just another globalist and war monger who identified in policy with the worst aspects of Wall Street and big business.
    There will be much I won’t like about the Trump regime and some things I will like – some listed above.
    If we are going to debate him and his regime we need to do so intelligently and move beyond the myth making and talking points of defeated candidates.

  96. nurses1968

    randalstella
    The one that got off the subject was you in regards to the word “factsheet.”
    I argue a bit more strongly as I’m prepared to call a f*ckwit whrn I see one

  97. randalstella

    Nurses,
    Behave yourself.
    You don’t actually argue at all.
    Have you followed up the links and info provided by Kaye Lee?

  98. nurses1968

    randalstella
    Have you even bothered a glance at the links of Matters Not,mark delmege?
    “Behave yourself.” head,-arse- you know the rest

  99. Kaye Lee

    We can’t debate Trump’s regime yet because it hasn’t started. All we can do is look at his behaviour to date. Words mean nothing until they become actions.

    His past does not fill me with hope. I am doubtful of his intellectual ability and his tweets show a reactionary temper. His advisers are a scary bunch.

    “You know, it really doesn’t matter what the media write as long as you’ve got a young, and beautiful, piece of ass.”

    “I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”

    “I think the only difference between me and the other candidates is that I’m more honest and my women are more beautiful.”

    “My IQ is one of the highest — and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure; it’s not your fault.”

  100. Michael Taylor

    “I’m prepared to call a f*ckwit when I see one”.

    “Head – arse – you know the rest”.

    nurses1968, I don’t think you do your arguments any good by producing nothing but barbs.

  101. nurses1968

    did you bother to read the preceding comments

  102. randalstella

    nurses,
    I have very little time.
    I looked at your link. That’s why I responded.
    The subject was its credibility. Its credibility is negligible. It is not a fact-sheet.
    It was a mild version of the usual tendentious crap: allegation-heavy, substantiation-free. The work of idlers living off massacre – in contrast to those trying to save and rescue people. I therefore find the conjectured-riddled allegations odious. As you should, as a nurse.

    See Kaye Lee’s response above about White Helmets. They are not allowed into Government controlled areas; just as MsF are banned – adding incalculable suffering to the carnage.

  103. mark delmege

    Well thanks KL for the opportunity and that the discussion has enlighten a few readers about Syria. You are welcome to the last word. But in the end it doesn’t really matter what we think The Syrian People will decide their future hopefully sooner rather than later – not us. (Fake News Story… Whoops, Unfortunately It’s Actually Real!
    I’ve reposted this ender from me at the above – it seems to crossed over somehow)

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