The globally renowned journalist was writing about the circumstances in his homeland, and in other Arab states. But he could have been writing about much of the world, where freedom of expression, and the democratic promises that extend from it, are under murderous assault. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calculates that 57 journalists who were employed by media outlets (including six in the United States) have been killed so far this year, along with 10 citizen journalists and four media assistants. At the same time, 167 journalists, 150 citizen journalists, and 19 media assistants are imprisoned—including 28 Saudi Arabians.
ON TUESDAY, Donald Trump made a bold declaration, declaring victory. Only two days later, that lie was proven deadly wrong.
That’s what US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday.
But fast forward to today and we hear reports that far from being defeated, Islamic State has this week captured 700 hostages and says it will kill 10 of them a day unless the group’s demands are met.
It’s understood that members of IS attacked a refugee camp last week, leading to the hostages being taken. Among them are Europeans and US citizens.
That a free press underpins British democracy is an enduring myth that has been allowed to go unchallenged, up there with unicorns and the Loch Ness Monster.
Because if a clutch of right-wing reactionary billionaires owning the bulk of a nation’s major newspaper titles and media constitutes a free press, the word ‘free’ has been stripped and shorn of all meaning.
Yet, while the aforementioned – let’s be kind here – ‘anomaly’ has long been understood by anyone of adult years with the ability to put their underpants on the right way round in the morning, the extent to which the British establishment press and media has been penetrated by intelligence services and acts as a conduit for their agenda is less well known.
Take Con Coughlin, for example, Defence Editor at The Daily Telegraph (more colloquially and accurately known as The Daily Torygraph). Coughlin is a product of a private school production line that has unleashed more knaves on the world than spittle on a dentist’s chair. While his outing as an MI6 asset may have been a long time coming, now that it has, it marks yet another nail in the coffin of a media class whose relationship to truth and objectivity belongs in the box marked non-existent.
Population Minister Alan Tudge has suggested that Melbourne and Sydney are experiencing significant pressure from excessive population growth. He’s probably got a point, but his ‘solution’ — forcing immigrants to live in areas with less population pressure for at least five years after permanent residency is granted — demonstrates Tudge’s complete lack of knowledge of the subject matter he is responsible for implementing on behalf of the Australian Government.
The Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison government has a long history of dog whistling to turn opinions against those who don’t look like them (generally middle-aged to elderly white men). First we had ‘stop the boats’, then the ‘gangs of African youths terrorising Melbourne’ and now the same people are being blamed for failures of politicians over the past 40 years to argue the case for additional capacity when expensive infrastructure is built. Because in the long term it’s cheaper to build it once with some growing room — just like the 2-year old’s new t-shirt.
It’s time to call Tudge’s thought bubble out for what it is — racism.
What do you think?
Last week Peter Costello accused Malcolm Turnbull of failing to develop an economic narrative to unite the Coalition. Turnbull promised this when he challenged Tony Abbott for the leadership of the Liberal Party, but, said Costello, it never came, and the result is a government struggling to manage deep differences over social issues. There was “jobs and growth”, but this is really just a goal without much of a story about how to get there, except for the company tax cuts.
The big question, though, is why the government does not have a coherent economic narrative.
One possible answer is that it has been too preoccupied with social issues such as religious freedom and before that, same-sex marriage, to give the economy sufficient attention. There is something in that.
The stakes could not be higher ahead of the Wentworth byelection on Saturday, yet Liberals and Nationals are falling over themselves to display their chaos to voters. They do this even though they know they could lose a seat that should be unassailable.
It is all going terribly well. The government fumbles a One Nation motion that it is OK to be white, starts a dispute with the bush over a farm worker visa, tells Pacific Island leaders they are no more than beggars and infuriates Indonesia with a sudden shift on Israel.
Yemen is a country of some 29 million persons, but over a third of them are at risk of starvation if Saudi and UAE bombing campaigns continue. Lise Grand, the United Nations coordinator for Yemen, has warned that the world has only 3 months to halt the slide toward catastrophe.
She seems to think that an immediate armistice must be called in the war to avoid this dire outcome. The Trump administration provides logistical and other help to the Saudi and UAE belligerents, and so the United States is embroiled in any human rights disaster there.
The Zaydi Shiite Houthi militia took control of the most populous parts of Yemen in 2014. Although the Zaydis are closer to Sunnism than other Shiites (such as the Twelvers of Iraq and Iran), the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia hate them with a passion and have been trying for three decades to convert them to Wahhabism with their oil wealth. The Houthi revivalist movement arose in part as a reaction against that Wahhabi missionary drive and search for Saudi hegemony in Yemen.
The Saudis accuse the Houthis of being puppets of Iran, but that is a vast exaggeration. They are a largely indigenous movement.
Trump had aligned US foreign policy with Saudi Arabia’s vision of the Middle East. This has unleashed a dangerous recklessness from the Gulf state
Someone didn’t like the vision of Black elderly voters dancing with joy in anticipation of boarding a bus to vote in Louisville, Georgia. Someone didn’t think Black people who had suffered through segregation and Jim Crow in the Deep South should publicly declare their votes mattered. Someone decided to try to scare some senior citizens in their nineties (NINETIES) from daring to be free and open in their equality as voters.
As criticism mounted over the country’s alleged role in the disappearance and possible death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Trump administration reportedly urged the leaders of Saudi Arabia Friday to stick to killing random Yemeni civilians. “The potential murder of a high-profile journalist critical of their regime raises grave concerns for us, and we appeal to the leaders of Saudi Arabia to restrict their extrajudicial murders to Yemeni people who don’t have any public platform,” said President Trump, adding that the White House would not sit idly by as the Saudis caused the deaths of innocent people unless they were Yemeni children in a school bus or a group of Yemeni people attending a wedding.
Will ScumMo guarantee a minimum wage for every unemployed person forced to go and pick fruit? I doubt it, as the LNP currently allow people on internships to be paid far less than the minimum wage; and those forced into ‘work-for-the-dole’ programs, to not be paid at all for their work! The current stories from people on working visas and working-holiday visas to Australia tell a story of chronic underpayment, abuse, substandard accommodation, substandard food, and constant intimidation and threats. Here are just a couple of the many recent stories regarding the abuse of fruit-pickers and seasonal workers in Australia:
One-third of backpackers paid half the legal minimum wage, study finds
Aussies are being ripped off more than ever before, study shows
ScumMo, only 2 days ago you were spruiking you wanted to help people on social security. ScumMo, you and your criminal LNP cronies really are some bizarre form of bipolar, schizophrenic, evil, DUMB, psychopathic numpties.
Trump did nothing about Russian, Israeli assassinations si why worry about the Saudis? Rendition and torture have been common American practices so why the Media moral outrage?
But Trump said he was reluctant to cancel a $110 billion arms deal with the Saudis, even if Riyadh is found responsible.
“I don’t want to hurt jobs. I don’t want to lose an order like that. And you know what, there are other ways of punishing – to use a word that’s a pretty harsh word – but it’s true.”
But the mantra of ‘getting kids to school’ is a familiar one from Abbott. His government spent $80 million on the Remote School Attendance Strategy (RSAS), which produced no improvement: in fact, attendance slightly declined over the time the RSAS was in place. Regardless, there is little evidence that simply boosting attendance improves educational outcomes. Abbott might crave ‘structure, discipline, repetition’ for Aboriginal students, as he told 2GB, but that seems to reflect a zeal for behaviourist punishment more than any evidence in educational research (because, quite simply, attending school is not the same as getting an education).
In the context of the NT Intervention, school attendance was linked with new policing of Aboriginal lives in remote communities. The School Enrolment and Attendance Through Welfare Reform (SEAM) trial, rolled out in twelve predominantly Aboriginal communities in the NT and Queensland between 2009 and 2017, threatened parents’ welfare payments if their children had ‘unauthorised absences’. As the government’s review notes, ‘no statistically significant effect from the SEAM trial was detected on reducing students’ average rate of unauthorised absences throughout the trial.’ Yet 161 parents in the NT, and 180 parents in Queensland, were cut off their payments – and presumably, their ability to pay for essentials like housing and rent – at some point during the trail.
Andrew Bolt insists sons are like their fathers and all this is Malcolm’s doing. He an assimilationist heaven help if any of the Bolt’s aren’t mirror images of their father (ODT)
Mr Morrison said Alex Turnbull was “his own person”, but that his father Malcolm Turnbull was heavily supporting the Liberal candidate Dave Sharma.
“At the Wentworth by-election, I have a simple message, if you want a continuation of the certainty for our economy and of economic management, voting for anyone other than Dave Sharma puts all of that at risk,” Mr Morrison said.
“If an independent is elected at the Wentworth by-election, that will throw us into a hung parliament and a lot of uncertainty at a time when the country doesn’t need it.”
“I disagree with Alex. His father disagrees with him too.”
So, there we have it, the UN the IPCC and the scientists who have prepared 6,000 research papers, on the subject, are urging action on climate change. We have been told that we need to remove extreme right-wing governments to be replaced by more progressive thinking governments prepared to take up the challenge.
The solution then for this new government and, mechanism to gain across the board public support, would be a positive response. This aims at atmospheric Co2 management including, in particular, carbon capture at point of emission, removing Co2 from the atmosphere, reforestation, incentive-based emission reduction guidelines, electricity storage and support for alternative energy.
This has been promised by the Labor if they win the next election. Both government and big business need to take affirmative action on behalf of each and every one of us. If the fossil fuel industry wishes to survive they need to participate and work towards reducing or eliminating their carbon footprint.
But the invention of offshore finance by bankers in London and Switzerland in the 1950s changed that, he says.
“You didn’t need to put money in a hole in the ground any more, you could steal it, stash it, and then miraculously they liberated it, they set it free — and then you could spend it,” Bullough says.
Now, the super-rich grow nest eggs and siphon funds into offshore tax havens, and corruption inflicts damage on political and democratic institutions across the world.
The IPCC issued its bleakest report yet this week, saying that without drastic changes, the world doesn’t have a hope of avoiding uncontrollable climate change.
Unless emissions are halved within 12 years and virtually eliminated by 2050, temperature increases will likely exceed 2 degrees Celsius.
Beyond 2 degrees, scientists predict temperature increases may spiral as the climate breaches a series of unique tipping points, such as the melting of the permafrost.
The top culprit is fossil fuels, and the instructions to Australia and the rest of the world are clear: Quit coal by 2050.
In the U.S. election, Republican Donald Trump took lying to an unprecedented level. Obamacare, the Mexican wall, the war on coal, the environment and many more. And he’s still doing it at an alarming rate.
The same fascination for untruth by conservatives in America has been exported to Australia.
Think about this.
Do you shape the truth for the sake of good impression? On the other hand, do you tell the truth even if it may tear down the view people may have of you? Alternatively, do you simply use the contrivance of omission and create another lie?
I can only conclude that there might often be pain in truth, but there is no harm in it.
So, I have no hesitation, when identifying political liars, of placing the Prime Minister with other serial liars such as Greg Hunt, who continuously lied by omission when Environment Minister. Peter Dutton, who has recently mislead parliament and has lied about conditions on Nauru and Manus. Josh Frydenberg when Energy Minister and Malcolm Turnbull with reference to the South Australian blackouts.
And, of course, the greatest liar to have ever walked the sacred halls of Government House, Tony Abbott.
The ABC has uncovered a covert plot by Australia’s alt-right movement to join major political parties and influence their policy agendas from within.
Return of “we” over the neoliberal “me” is what the LNP fear most.
A White House spokesperson this week promised to “look into” a Fox News decision to cease broadcasting of Trump campaign rallies in full.
According to The Daily Beast, the White House is concerned about losing a key platform just before the midterms. Instead of airing the rallies in their entirety, the network has taken to showing abbreviated clips of the events.
Rallies in recent days have drawn significantly lower ratings, Politico reported. In some cases, Trump rallies have fewer viewers than regular Fox News programming.
A senior White House official reportedly said that White House Communication Director Bill Shine, a former Fox News executive, was expected to be in talks with the network about the decision to nix live Trump rallies.
The officials said that Shine would “look into that.”
News Corp Australia follows are we now no longer going to shirtfront Putin?(ODT)
On Sept. 26, 2018, President Donald Trump made an extraordinary accusation against China during his remarks to the United Nations Security Council, saying, “Regrettably, we found that China has been attempting to interfere in our upcoming 2018 election coming up in November against my administration.” He made the claim without offering any evidence, but he did speculate about China’s motivation: “They do not want me, or us, to win because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade.”
As Georgia’s Democratic candidate for governor, Stacey Abrams, called for voters in her state to fight Republican efforts at voter suppression by showing up at polls in large numbers in next month’s election, a national grassroots group reported Secretary of State Brian Kemp—also the GOP’s gubernatorial candidate—to the Justice Department late Wednesday night for blatantly violating the Voting Rights Act in order to swing the upcoming election in his own favor.
A judge who jailed protesters for up to 16 months for disrupting access to a fracking site by climbing on lorries has been exposed for having family links to oil and gas companies.
The Mirror exclusively reported Judge Robert Altham’s links to the energy industry. The trio, known as the ‘Fracking Three,’ were jailed for causing a public nuisance over their demonstration at a Cuadrilla site in Lancashire.
READ MORE: Can US shale stop a global oil supply crisis?
They are thought to be the first environmental protesters sentenced to jail for public nuisance since 1932.
Simon Blevins, 26, and Richard Roberts, 36, got 16 months each while Richard Loizou, 31, was sentenced to 15 months by Altham.
Fairfax Media’s talented team of artists, illustrators and cartoonists give us their humorous version of the news of the day.
In order to give some substance to his claim that the Coalition are for lower taxes, Scott Morrison has chosen to bring forward by five years tax cuts already legislated for small and medium businesses. To use his oft-repeated phrase, these are nothing new, they are ‘existing’ legislation, just fast-tracked for an election sweetener as Coalition governments always do.
According to ProMo, this will allow tradies and hairdressers and family businesses to hire more people and give wage rises to their staff and invest more in their businesses.
Sounds good…until you actually examine the real implications of this announcement and which businesses it will affect.
What Jones means is, he is not sorry for having berated a woman in power on air, he is only sorry about the impact it had on some people. He admits he was tough regarding the NSW Racing’s apparent right to advertise on the Sydney Opera House because it was important to him. But why is this issue so inflammatory? Advertising gambling of all things on the Opera House is surely not as important as other issues like human rights. So the reason why Jones felt so strongly about it doesn’t add up. Or at least the level of outrage expressed by him surely doesn’t match the issue at hand.
When Julia Gillard’s father died, he suggested that he had “died of shame” and then later apologised (like he did with Herron). Jones will keep bullying and harassing women in power because there is no consequence to his behaviour. Jones keeps his job.
Don Burke kept his job. Kyle Sandilands kept his job after asking Erin Molan (Footy Show presenter) whether she had breast surgery and suggested that no one is listening to her segment. Australia tolerates misogyny as long as these men are still in jobs. It is embedded in our culture. The second cultural cringe is our appetite for gambling, especially in NSW.
Mensa Master Price doesn’t need to study or peer review any reports by the world’s foremost science experts on the matter. She’s a Liberal MP (ODT)
Federal Environment Minister Melissa Price has argued some of the world’s leading climate scientists are “drawing a long bow” in calling for an end to coal power in a bid to limit global warming.
As of September 1, The Washington Post’s fact-checkers had identified 5,001 untruths over the 601 days of his presidency — an average of 8.3 a day, with the trend accelerating. When Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale watches Trump’s rally speeches, he chronicles the lies in real time on Twitter. The president’s former personal lawyer reportedly wouldn’t allow Trump to testify in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe because he knows Trump is “a fucking liar” who could not help but perjure himself.
Our study analysed 1,366 media articles, examining the sentiment towards minority communities in them. We found that over a third of hard news stories contained negative sentiments towards minority communities, while more than half of the editorials and commentary pieces portrayed minority communities in a negative light.
There also needs to be a concerted effort to change the makeup of Australia’s newsrooms so that the leadership and journalists reflect the cultural diversity in Australia.
The sample included about 80% news stories, 4% features and 16% editorials and commentaries on selected events and issues during a six-month period.
Return to the standard cry that insists fairness doesn’t work (ODT)
Donald Trump put his name to an opinion article in USA Today published on Wednesday, in a rallying cry to voters ahead of the midterm elections and warning that a big Democratic win would bring America closer to socialism and “suffering, misery and decay”.
The president opened with a warning to senior citizens and all Americans of the dangers of a so-called universal healthcare system with guaranteed government health insurance for all.
The reinstatement of the Colonial Spirit. What if an Immigrant manages to escape to the City? Will be labelled a Papillion and the full force of the ABF come after him or her? How about admitting government policy encouraged temporary entry while using infrastructure as a political football against the states holding them to nothing.(ODT)
The Federal Government has unveiled a plan that will settle certain classes of new migrants [to be known as drones] in regional areas for up to five years after their arrival in Australia. These will be required to work as indentured labour and will not be able to leave their servitude until the five-year term of indenture has been served to the satisfaction of their masters.
Minister for Population and Cities, Alan Tudge laid out the plan to bust congestion in Australia’s biggest cities – Melbourne and Sydney – in a speech in Melbourne on Tuesday.
why the people who run the world think everyone is else is also avaricious, just like themselves.
THE JUSTIFICATION FOR GREED
The people who run the world mostly call themselves conservatives, but are really radicals of the most rapacious kind. They have built up a vast armoury of dogma to justify their sociopathic level of greed.
As economist John Kenneth Galbraith wrote:
‘The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.’
Neoclassical economics and its ideological offshoot, neoliberalism, provide the bedrock of this dogma.
It provides, indeed, one of the fundamental assumptions of modern economics: “rational self-interest”, or “market theory”. It is the theory that everyone always works to maximise their self-interest — to do otherwise would be “irrational”.
An intelligence service given free rein to commit ‘serious crimes’ in its own country is an intelligence service that is the enemy of its people.
The quite astounding revelation that Britain’s domestic intelligence service, MI5, has enjoyed this very freedom for decades has only just been made public at a special tribunal in London, set up to investigate the country’s intelligence services at the behest of a coalition of human rights groups, alleging a pattern of illegality up to and including collusion in murder.
You can be imprisoned if you disagree with the Israeli State and Australian (ODT)
Alqasem is a graduate of the University of Florida and a US citizen whose grandparents are Palestinian She tried to enter Israel to study on a Master’s degree programme at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, having been granted a student visa by the Israeli Consulate General in Miami.
Upon her arrival at the airport, Israeli officials denied the student entry. Her “crime”, according to the Strategic Affairs Ministry, is that while studying for her bachelor’s degree in Florida, she was president of an organisation that supported the BDS campaign against Israel.
The wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went on trial Sunday for allegedly using state funds to fraudulently pay for hundreds of meals, part of a list of legal troubles facing the family.
The start of Sara Netanyahu’s trial was the latest chapter in a saga intensely scrutinised in Israel but dismissed by the Netanyahus as another “absurd” attempt to discredit them.
Israel is implementing collective punishment against the family of a Palestinian suspected of opening fire in a settlement industrial plant on Sunday, killing two Israelis and seriously injuring a third.
Endorsements of Democrats blasted by Republicans, white supremacists and Trump, who now likes her music ‘25% less’
These online people didn’t get my meaning, clearly. I wanted to be elsewhere because in a place like Berlin I am not an Aboriginal person living under the unique circumstance of Australian racism. I state I’m Aboriginal overseas and people don’t tend to erase my history, they don’t deny my humanity and they don’t criminalise me. They tend to be interested and respectful. I’m not on the back foot, continually having to prove that racism exists, that Indigenous people experience the brunt of it via being the displaced traditional owners and that our lives matter.
it is probable that the current dramas wouldn’t have occurred if the recommendations were followed last time by Communications Minister Fifield.
It was interesting to watch the change in focus over the week when Guthrie and Milne walked the plank. On Monday, Guthrie was claimed to be someone who was completely out of touch with the demands of the job, by Thursday the narrative had changed to Milne apparently instructing Guthrie to sack journalists who were ‘critical’ of the government, an instruction Guthrie refused, demonstrating how ‘in touch’ she was!
It really doesn’t matter who said or didn’t say what to whom. Milne and Guthrie are victims of a process of the current government to eliminate criticism of their actions.
As the owners of the ABC, we need to remind all politicians that media independence is our expectation and criticism comes with the turf.
US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is resigning “to take a little time off”, according to President Donald Trump.
What Murdoch’s Media denies (ODT)
Renewables boom boosts Port Augusta
Thirteen renewable energy projects are underway or under consideration — from wind farms and pumped hydro-electric power to solar with storage that can shift electricity made when the sun’s shining to meet peak demand in the evening.
“The one great resource we have here in Port Augusta and the upper Spencer Gulf is this wonderful natural resource called the sun,” Mr Johnson said.
“It’s no different to having a massive uranium deposit, a massive gold deposit, a massive copper deposit.”
In a country drenched in sun, this natural resource is particularly abundant in the arid landscape around Port Augusta, and there are also plenty of flat expanses on which to build the facilities needed to exploit it.
Framed by the Flinders Ranges, stage one of the Bungala solar farm stretches over 300 hectares of land owned by the Bungala Aboriginal Corporation about 10 kilometres north-east of town.
Bungala uses a solar photovoltaic technology, with panels mounted on a tilting axis that can follow the sun’s path from east to west, maximising output and efficiency.