Wednesday 14th of November 2018

firm like sheep boiled brains...

guru scummoo

Scott Morrison is ploughing on regardless — business as usual. There is no need to change direction. Rather the imperative is to go on pretty much with what we are doing, but more aggressively.

ALBERT EINSTEIN once said that insanity was repeating the same actions in the hope of producing a different result. But what would Einstein know? He never worked in marketing.

ScoMo ProMo knows the way to get the outcome you want can only be achieved through remorseless repetition, preferably by shouting the same thing more and more loudly. In the end, those who have not been persuaded will be battered into submission.

Well, that’s the theory. Unfortunately, it does not always work in practice — jobs and growth, the great company tax cuts strategy, had to be severely curtailed before the Coalition could defiantly call it a victory.

Our politicians generally justify their tergiversations in the name of the great economist, John Maynard Keynes, who once said:

”When the facts change I change my mind. What do you do sir?” 

But what would Keynes know? He never worked in marketing either.

Our dauntless Prime Minister understands that any concession to unwelcome facts would be a sign of weakness. So get used to another six months of slogans, non-sequiturs, internal contradictions and relentless negativity. That Morrison is confident is what the voters want. And even if they don’t, that’s what they’re going to get. In the instability and chaos Morrison so perceptively foresaw, there is really nothing else to offer.

The Libs and their mad right boosters justify this stance by declaring that, just as Malcolm Turnbull was never a real Liberal, Wentworth is not a real electorate. It may have voted their way for well over a century, but let’s face it, it is little more than a refuge for spoiled, rich do-gooders, latté sippers and bleeding hearts, who have never had to worry about anything important and can be left to indulge their fantasies of compassion — like not leaving incarcerated children to go mad and die.

 

Read more:

https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/mungo-maccall...

not a charitable scummo...

The federal government’s cuts to asylum seeker support payments has placed almost 80% of them at risk of homelessness and destitution, a report commissioned by the Refugee Council of Australia has shown.

It said the government’s decision – purported to move able people into employment – had instead shifted the cost of support to charities and state governments, the latter to the tune of $80m to $120m a year.

Last year the government announced an end to the Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) for asylum seekers on bridging visas, coming into effect in stages this year.

The payment is roughly equivalent to 89% of Newstart – about $35 a day – as well as access to trauma and torture counselling services and case management support.

The decision was trumpeted as moving asylum seekers who have the capacity to work off the support payments, but the asylum seekers chosen appeared arbitrary and included elderly and other people considered unable to work.

Asylum seeker support services and charities predicted there would be an increased burden on them to assist.

The report released on Thursday, surveyed 24 non-governmental organisations, charity groups and state and territory governments, representing nearly $39m in service value to asylum seekers, with a combined case load of 19,100 people.

Read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/nov/02/federal-governmen...

a not so quiet america...

amin

This work by the Egyptian Marxist, Samir Amin, was first published in 2006, but has been remarkably prescient in its evaluation of US strategic imperial policy before, and, a fortiori, after that date. Many, if not most, Americans and of course their Petainist vassals in Europe, have always been in denial about the imperial ambitions and practises of the US.

There are honourable exceptions – Pilger and Chomsky come immediately to mind – but on the whole the motives of US foreign policy have been regarded by the Atlanticist public as being conceived in good faith and benign in intent.

This America qua global good-guy was very well illustrated in the British writer Graham Greene’s novel The Quiet American. Set against the background of the first Indo-China war, the novel has also been made into two motion pictures, the most recent starring inter alia the British actor, Michael Caine.

The plot involves one of the central characters in the book, Alden Pyle, the ostensibly idealistic young American Aid Worker, who presents himself as a proto third-way reformist opposed to the excesses of French colonialism on the one hand, and Chinese Communism on the other. He is in fact nothing of the sort, and his ostensible humanistic motives are soon uncovered by the cynical, world-weary, British journalist, Thomas Fowler. Pyle had been working for the CIA all along. Those lavishly funded US CIA-front NGOs and colour revolutions perhaps serve to illustrate the timeless axiom of Biblical wisdom, namely, that there is nothing new under the sun.

Thus, Greene’s novel served as a microcosm of actually-existing US imperialism; a theory and practise which, until recently at least, dare not speak its name. In what we used to call, the third world, however, and increasingly in the developed world, the facts are plain to see except for all but the ideologically purblind. The US, particularly since the neo-conservative ascendancy, is a rampaging imperial juggernaut, with a blatant empire-building agenda. The US imperial project was from 1945 onwards partially held in check by social democratic obstacles in western Europe, the existence of the Soviet and East Asian Communist bloc and national anti-colonialist movements in the south.

This fact seems to have been missed by what I will call the symmetrical left, that is to say the notion that the world struggle is between two rival imperialisms, which I believe to be wrong in theory, and disastrous in practise. The road to neo-conservatism has often started with the theory of imperial equivalence between east and west. The contrary view is that the anti-colonial struggle would have been impossible without the presence of the Soviet Union whose existence kept in check the imperial ambitions of the US. But with the collapse of communism, the ongoing enervation and retreat of social democracy and the stalling of the anti-colonial struggle in the south, the rapacious beast of American imperialism has been let off the leash.

Moreover, the US has made it perfectly clear that it will not tolerate the reconstitution of any economic or military power capable of challenging its global domination; this was first made clear in the Wolfowitz doctrine in the nineteen nineties. A doctrine described at that time by US politician, Edward Kennedy as “a call for 21st century American imperialism that no other nation can or should accept.”

How times change! To this end the US has arrogated to itself the right to wage ‘preventive wars’ and ‘humanitarian’ interventions against those who may in sometime in the future threaten its global ambitions. The global system is still (just) unipolar but is becoming increasingly less so – this in spite of the frenzied and desperate efforts by the Americans to hang on to the status quo.

Suffice it to say that the project is assuredly not lacking in ambition. It aims at extending the ‘Monroe Doctrine’ to the whole planet; the establishment of a new type of US global suzerainty. This would be difficult for the US to accomplish alone – it therefore has to form alliances and spheres of influence with other (subaltern) partners in the developed world. Roughly speaking the geopolitical configuration for America’s global project is as follows.

The phase of the (present) global development of capitalism … is characterised by the emergence of a collective imperialism. The “triad” – that is, the US, plus its Canadian external province, Europe west of the Polish frontier and Japan, to which we should add Australia and New Zealand defines the area of this collective imperialism. It “manages” the economic dimension of capitalist globalization and the political military dimension through NATO, whose responsibilities have been redefined so that in effect it can substitute itself for the United Nations.” Amin, op.cit

This project required some adept intellectual dexterity as well as diplomatic balancing between the US and its junior partners – particularly within the EU, where conflict between European states and the US has always been a possibility. To this end the mobilization of various Euro-Quisling elites – particularly in the UK, Poland, and the ‘new’ Europe – was vital for America’s policy of divide and rule in this area. It was a policy of euro-widening designed to offset the initial euro-deepening of the EU.

Thus the ‘new Europe’ of former soviet satellites and ex republics were cultivated as political courtesans and literally fell over themselves to become the enthusiastic, pro-American, pro-neoliberal, NATO-centric, anti-Finlandization supporters of the US intervention against the staider and less reliable social-democratic structures and institutions of western Europe. It should be remembered that both France and Germany along with Russia refused to endorse the US ‘the coalition of the willing’ in the war against Iraq.

Thus, the globalization agenda (the economic prong in the US global offensive) has now become the received wisdom in the EU as a whole. As for the Euro it has become a satellite currency of the dollar, although it is in fact a stronger currency since it is based upon a euro economy which runs persistent trade surpluses.

With the political marginalisation of the Gaullist counter-weight in France carried out by Sarkozy and Hollande, the EU now meekly tags along in the wake of the US hegemon ensnared in an Atlanticist doctrine for which the raison d’etre – if there ever was one – definitively ended with the first cold war. And the world pays a heavy price for this. According to Amin:

The US economy lives as a parasite off its partners in the global system, with virtually no national savings of its own. The world produces while North America consumes … The fact is that the bulk of the American deficit (on Federal and Current Account) is covered by capital inputs from Europe and Japan, China and the South, rich oil-producing and comprador classes from all regions in the Third World – to which should be added the debt service levy that is imposed on nearly every country in the periphery of the global system. The American superpower depends from day to day on the flow of capital that sustains the parasitism of its economy and society.” Amin, op.cit.

It is not generally known that the US with its chronic federal and trade deficits is actually on the brink of technical bankruptcy, particularly when long term commitments on Medicaid, Medicare and social security payments are factored into the calculations.

According to research carried out by Professor Laurence Kotlikoff for the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, a leading constituent of the US Federal Reserve, Fed liabilities come to a staggering $70 trillion – this is roughly 5 times the size of the US GDP.[1]

Against this backdrop the foreign policy of the US becomes clear. Its purpose is loot pure and simple. The south must continue to be plundered for cheap inputs and raw materials and in order to do this comprador elites must be promoted who are friendly to US interests. Economic development of course cannot take place in this context as there will be an outflow of capital from south to North. Markets must be opened up to the rapacious incursions of US and other western capitals.

Possible rivals – Russia, China – must be regarded as long-term enemies and will be divided and marginalised or possibly in 1970s geopolitical jargon ‘Finlandised’. And uppity allies in Europe – like France, now neutered – have been brought to heel.

Of course, this has and will continue to be met with stiff resistance. Most of this has been spontaneous and centred around the crisis in the Middle East, Eurasia the South and East China seas and South West Asia, and the growing opposition to the reputedly Promethean gifts of globalisation and dollar hegemony.

Amin identifies 4 aspects of a political programme which would give organizational coherence to this opposition.

1) A campaign against all American ‘preventive’ wars and for the closure of all foreign US bases
2) A campaign of right to access to the land, which is of crucial importance to the world’s 3 billion peasants
3) A campaign for the regulation of industrial outsourcing, and
4) A cancellation of third world external debts.” Amin,Op.cit

One could of course add more to this – imposition capital controls, global minimum wage and labour standards, global harmonization of taxes … and so forth. This would only be a beginning however. Amin himself looks forward to the reconstitution of the UN as a forum where the third world and smaller countries could find voice legitimate voice, as opposed to the dominant institutions of the present – the IMF, WTO, IBRD (World Bank) and NATO which are frankly little more than instruments of US led collective imperialism.

So, the post-1945 world order led by the imperial US-NATO bloc seems to be reaching a denouement – a slow-motion fragmentation brought about by its own internal and external contradictions and more specifically by the policy of imperial over-reach, an historical leitmotif of empires in decline. A period of indeterminate length and increasing geopolitical turbulence has opened up whose eventual outcomes can only be guessed at.

La lotta continua.

 

Read more:

https://off-guardian.org/2018/11/04/the-quiet-imperialism/

 

 

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did scummo really say this?...

"I've had plenty of mates who have asked me if they can be my special envoy to sort the issue out with Pamela Anderson”

 

Would Jesus of Nazareth have said something like this — sending his plenty disciples to sort the issue of Julian Assange, who must be the devil, considering he let the truth about the US deceit be known to the rest of the world — by exposing their own secret documents?

No, it's Jesus Scummo of the Shire, drinking beer around the barbecue with his sausage mates, who is having a joke while plunging in his own swimming cesspool... while following orders from the Potomac sewers...

 

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Get a life, Scummo. Resign.