Archive | April, 2014

Blundering Toward Mass Psychopathy

30 Apr

We are on the edge of a precipice and Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey are claiming Labor has pushed us over when, in fact, it is they are in the process of catapulting us over at the greatest rate of knots they can muster.

The Australian Independent Media Network

Image courtesy of fightback.org.nz Image courtesy of fightback.org.nz

As a society we prey upon the weak and the vulnerable, writes Michael Topic. How has it come to this?

I don’t like authoritarians. I think they’re unwell. I also think that the outcomes, for most people, of a predominantly authoritarian society are extremely poor. So, it was with despair and alarm that I read the analysis contained in this article; ‘Neoliberalism’s War on Democracy‘.

The article, which I believe is, in fact, the introduction abstracted from a whole book on the matter, makes its points with such accuracy, lucidity, truth and honesty, that I found it excessively difficult to read on.

The article’s thesis is that we are being deluged by lawmakers and corporations that are leading us toward an undemocratic, authoritarian life. We increasingly, as a society, prey upon the weak and the vulnerable. We blame the victims. We consign whole…

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Contemptuous dismissal

30 Apr

This ‘careful, methodical’ method of not fronting the public or answering questions, will come to bite harder than if he came clean. As LOTO, Abbott repeatedly claimed the prime minister (Julia Gillard) has questions to answer. However, she repeatedly, almost daily, did just that, answered questions. Abbott ran then, he runs now. Not only does he have questions to answer, decisions to explain, cases to be proven; the media has the responsibility to ask the questions, the need to be tenacious, to pursue, to insist, to demand on our behalf, to expose on our behalf, to not let Abbott or anyone in the government to run or to set the agenda, the responsibility to make the government accountable. ‘
It is not something I intend holding my breath waiting for. However, I believe slivers leading to cracks leading to barrier collapse is happening, all too slowly, all to uncertainly, but the bile will erupt, both from the media and from the backbench.
Could be wishful thinking, though.

The Australian Independent Media Network

the lucky country

Terry2

April 28, 2014 • 6:36 am

“I got to wondering why Andrew Neil’s (Spectator Australia) interview with Joe Hockey was a ‘break through’ moment. After all, he didn’t ask any particularly probing questions and he certainly didn’t get any revealing answers – the example given by Joe on the question about ‘entitlement’ was the school kids bonus.

What was unusual was that Hockey got placed in a forum where he was actually asked questions and was expected to answer, which obviously stunned him. I couldn’t think of a comparable situation involving Abbott or his Ministers where they actually have been grilled or even made themselves available to account for their leaks and spin.

The coalition strategy seems to be to leak and work in closely with News Corp, avoid interviews beyond those with friendly outlets where quite obviously the questions are scripted and whatever happens don’t appear on the…

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Link

The Danger of the Monster Myth: Tom Meagher on men’s violence against women

18 Apr

The Danger of the Monster Myth: Tom Meagher on men’s violence against women

Following the rape and murder of his wife, Jill, Tom Meagher expected the man, the criminal, who perpetrated the rape and murder, to fit the image of a monster. It is the collective image: the rapist might be a man, but that’s irrelevant to the fact that he’s a monster and that’s why he rapes. During the court trial, Meagher expected ‘the monster’ to be incoherent and to fit his image of what he believed to be ‘the monster.’ Instead, he was confronted by a man who could articulate and appeared just like ‘a man.’

In this moving essay, Tom Meagher examines his and men’s beliefs on who and ‘what’ commits such violence against women, and how we as a society, especially men of society, don’t confront the real issue of the monster being just a man and that violence against women is ‘men’s violence against women.’ His examination of the framing of the issue and the necessary reframing required is both intelligent, well reasoned and carries a gravitas born of his own experience and grief.

Let’s all examine our attitudes, society’s attitudes, men’s attitudes and not only reframe the issue in order to both assist the victims, but to find ways out of an ongoing and, currently, escalating problem.

The Catholic Connection

14 Apr

There is much to review and ponder in this article, but there is little, sadly, to surprise those who have been following this brutally oppositional and shocking saga of paedophile priests, the Catholic church and child abuse. There are myriads of link ups between people in powerful positions, public and non-public, and the ‘old boy’ network. I don’t believe in hell, but when it comes to child sex abusers, and those who do not promote their exposure and punishment but, instead, stand in the way of it, I wish there was one.

Frances Jones

You might need take a little while to concentrate to understand the Catholic connections I’m about to try to explain.

I will start from when I first saw the connections.

Barrister Anthony Tudehope was David Rofe QC’s junior in the Federal Court in June when they were counsel for both Vice President of Fair Work Australia The Hon. Michael J. Lawler and his partner Kathy Jackson.

Anthony Tudehope has a brother, Damien Tudehope.

NSW Attorney-General The Hon. Greg Smith’s Chief-of-staff Damien Tudehope @DTudehope blocked the release of government documents relating to alleged paedophile priest Father Finian Egan.

Damien Tudehope was Father Egan’s solicitor. Father Egan was arrested in May and charged with multiple sex offences. He appeared in court on 23 May 2012 and was released on bail until later in 2012.

“Mr Tudehope’s brother Anthony Tudehope, a barrister, attended the police station with the Catholic priest when he was…

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El Niño could raise meteorological hell this year

12 Apr

Be informed. Take action. Lobby governments.

Grist

It’s more likely than not that El Niño will rise from the Pacific Ocean this year — and some scientists are warning that it could grow into a bona fide monster.

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center put out a bulletin Thursday saying there’s a greater than 50 percent chance that El Niño will develop later this year. Australian government meteorologists are even more confident — they said earlier this week that there’s a greater than 70 percent chance that El Niño will develop this summer.

Not totally clear on what this El Niño thing even is? Andrew Freedman explains at Mashable:

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To be rich is indeed glorious…

11 Apr

Democratic governments have an obligation to the entire breadth of society, to those who voted for them, and to those who did not vote for them, to maintain the social contract, the underpinning of a civil society, and if they favour any group over another, it must be those who are least able, for a variety of reasons, to maintain and or improve their own lives. The ultra-conservative government currently holding power in Australia, is failing to live up to the social contract which put them in power in the first place. It is highly likely that the harm they are doing by ignoring, dismantling and belittling that social contract will inflict hard to unravel even permanent harm. These are dark days indeed.

The Australian Independent Media Network

tony-abbott-and-xi-jiinping And there we have it – a snapshot of our Prime Minister from his own lips.

“TONY Abbott has described his visit to China as the most important ever undertaken by an Australian leader and has congratulated the Communist country for its pursuit of wealth.”

As Abbott echoed Deng Xiaoping’s advice that “to get rich is glorious”, 700 Australian businessmen are about to sit down with their Chinese counterparts to determine just how glorious they can be. They won’t be discussing climate change or pollution. They won’t be discussing human rights abuses or health. And they most definitely will not be discussing those inglorious poor.

Pope Francis may have a different idea of glory. He recently warned that the existing financial system that fuels the unequal distribution of wealth and violence must be changed, and he begged the Lord to “grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the…

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Abbott’s tyrannical silencing of 1,892,100 possibly critical political opinions

8 Apr

Abbott silences whoever on whatever. Now he demands public servants dob in a mate who criticises the government on any issue on social media, even in a private capacity. He’s trying for tyranny, but obviously he is afraid of us. Remember this: Abbott is a Harper light, the Tea Party light, and a bully light. His aim is to stave off any public knowledge of his methods, failures and intentions in order to remain unscrutinised for the next election. It is not something Australians will tolerate long. It is time he stopped campaigning for 2016 and tells us how he is governing in 2014. #onetermtony

No Place For Sheep

GovernmentThe recent directive from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet on the lack of freedom of speech public servants have as private citizens, includes the expectation that government employees will dob in colleagues they believe are criticising the government.

This report in the Guardian, linked above, begins with a declaration by Tony Abbott before he became PM:

There is no case, none, to limit debate about the performance of national leaders. The more powerful people are, the more important the presumption must be that less powerful people should be able to say exactly what they think of them.

I’m baffled as to why this noble sentiment isn’t applied to public servants. Engaging anonymously on social media is no protection for them, as is evidenced by the sacking of Immigration Department employee Michaela Banerji who tweeted critically of the department using a pseudonym, and lost her job.

In subsequent action…

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