Saturday 25th of May 2019

awstralya ....

‘Puffed-up politicians on both sides of the House seek from new arrivals a pledge of citizenship that endorses "Australian values" at a time when our values are tangled in a global tumble-dryer. That a government should demand such endorsement is itself a violation of a core Australian value - the freedom to think what we please. To think, for example, that numerous values exemplified by our Prime Minister are crap. Like truth avoidance, flag fetishism, excessive secrecy, anti-intellectualism, witch-hunting the whistleblowers, appeasement of George Bush, boasting about this country's generosity, whitewashing black history, bribing Saddam Hussein to buy our wheat then bombing his people, toleration of US torture and its treatment of David Hicks, to name a few.

The stature of Australia has not only been diminished in the eyes of the world, but this country now faces a future laced with nasty shocks. By branding the intelligentsia as a loudmouth latte-slurping "elite", and turning a deaf ear to the findings of scientists, Howard finds himself surprised by the arrival of climate change. Despite over a decade of warnings, this country is woefully unprepared. Leaders of developing nations are becoming enraged by our indifference to the impact of emissions on their citizens. A statesman would recognise that the fate of the earth is a shared responsibility, but we have turned our backs on potential climate refugees from waterlogged Tuvalu. Isn't it about time John Howard was asked to sign a pledge of global citizenship?’

Poor, Poor Pitiful Oz

the view from the trough .....

new heights in double-speak …..

Sitting members of the federal parliament will now have $217,000 of taxpayers' money in an election year to spend on printing and postage mail-outs, leaflets, and every other type of personal or party propaganda.

"These measures will encourage greater public participation in our democracy, which will lead to a fairer, more competitive electoral system," said the Liberal spokesman when releasing details of amendments to the Federal Electoral Act. 

Dean Jaensch of Flinders University wrote of the amendments for his readers in the Adelaide Advertiser on August 30 ….

”To sum up the most blatant: 

·         candidates for the House of Representatives will now have to pay a deposit of $500 and for the Senate $1,000. This will make it harder for minor parties and independents to contest elections. This proposal met with Labour support – of course.

·         the raising of the level of undisclosed donations is now $10,000. This means that a political party will not have to disclose who gave how much to which party unless it goes over $10,000. Jaensch observes this amendment does nothing for transparency and financial influences on the political parties.

·         further, the amendments increase the level of tax-deductible gifts to parties and candidates from $100 to $1,500 per year. He asks: "Why should the taxpayer give to a person or business who has donated to a political party?" Charities are acceptable to most people - but political parties?

·         sitting members of the federal parliament will now have $217,000 of taxpayers' money in an election year to spend on printing and postage mail outs, leaflets, and every other type of personal or party propaganda. Peter Costello – good fellow that he is - defended the overall expenditure of $20 million.

Pity the poor taxpayer:

"But," writes Mr. Jaensch, "there's more."

For the first time, sitting members can now use taxpayers' money to print their how-to-vote cards and the millions of postal vote applications they send out at every election. "But surely these, especially the how-to-vote cards, are for the benefit of the party?" he asks.

Taxpayers, take careful note of such gall: you the hard working people in this land, not only do you have to bear the weight of the heaviest taxation in Australia's history, you will now be funding - over the three year cycle - nearly half a million dollars FOR EVERY MEMBER OF FEDERAL PARLIAMENT to assist him / her in holding on to his plum position for as long as he can, at your expense.

The answer to this outrage is to never vote for the sitting member.”