Monday 26th of June 2017

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by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2017-06-26 17:23

The ABC is facing criticism over its decision to fly 26 members of the ABC board, senior executive and advisory council to Alice Springs for a community forum next week at a time when the broadcaster is cutting jobs and reining in budgets.

The managing director, Michelle Guthrie, and the ABC board members will fly business class, and some of the group will attend the live broadcast of Q&A in Alice Springs on Monday night to coincide with Naidoc week.

The secretary of the ABC section of the Community and Public Sector Union, Sinddy Ealy, said the trip was nothing more than a junket at a time when 200 ABC staffers were losing their jobs due to budget cuts.

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by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2017-06-26 16:43

... on a broader basis, the president has allowed his non-interventionist stance to be subverted by the Republican establishment. He has backed away from seeking an alliance with Russia. He has accepted continued deep American involvement in the Middle East. He has given the Pentagon more money, which, without military reform, just buys more expensive defeats. He has pursued strategically irrelevant quarrels with Iran and, dangerously, North Korea. This is not what “America First” looks like.

In the face of this disappointment, where are non-interventionist conservatives to find a voice? We can, of course, write articles for magazines, speak at conferences, and lament O tempora! O mores! [what times ! What behavior !] over sherry at the club. But a rule of life in Washington is that unless you are connected to political power, no one reads what you write or listens to what you say. You don’t count.

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Nothing new... The art of politics is to get elected by spruiking lies and tell new lies, often contrary to the original lies, to stay in power, while the smidgin of truth you ever said is turned into lies and Russian conspiracy by your opponents. This makes the target so broad and so hard that no darts can penetrate -- unless the target is so soft, the darts are never found again, as they go through without touching anything. 

by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2017-06-26 14:03


Former prime minister Tony Abbott has blasted senior cabinet minister Christopher Pyne for suggesting same-sex marriage could happen “sooner than everyone thinks”.

Mr Pyne was forced to deny the government had plans to dump the marriage plebiscite on Monday after leaked audio emerged of him rallying other Liberal moderates at a meeting on Friday night.

The defence industry minister also reportedly told the meeting that the party’s moderate faction was now dominant and that he had always backed Malcolm Turnbull for the leadership.

Mr Abbott, from the Liberals’ conservative ranks, accused Mr Pyne of disloyalty in a radio interview on Monday.

“If you are a member of the Cabinet, you have got to be loyal. Christopher Pyne was not just a member of my Cabinet, he was actually in the leadership team,” he told 2GB’s Ray Hadley.

“It’s important that you show loyalty. If he’s to be believed on Friday night, that loyalty was never there, which is incredibly disappointing.

“You’ve got to be fair dinkum with the Australian people and it looks like that’s not been true of Christopher.”

The former prime minister said dumping the plebiscite was not an option for the government.

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Both these lunatic pollies are not trustworthy... Abbott lies when he breathes and the only time Pyne breathes is when he lies or say something stupid...


by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2017-06-26 13:01

You might not be familiar with what Melbourne's Channel 31 puts to air  but you'd surely know its alumni.

Rove McManus, Corinne Grant and Waleed Aly all got their first TV breaks there.

For more than 20 years, community TV stations across Australia have been a proving ground for young talent, and a vital outlet for lo-fi local stories.

But on Friday this week, the Federal Government will cancel their broadcast licences and take the three remaining community TV stations  in Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne  off the air.

Like many media organisations, their future now lies entirely online.

It comes as the Government last week failed to pass its media reforms which had the potential to radically shake up media ownership rules.

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by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2017-06-26 12:54


As the parliament begins a long parliamentary recess until 8 August, the Greens party room will hold a special meeting to discuss the issue after the signed complaint to the National Council was returned to the party room to deal with as they saw fit.

Rhiannon faces a preselection battle within months to determine whether she will serve six more years as a NSW Greens senator.

“If she was an honourable MP, she would remove herself from Greens and allow a new Greens member to fill her space,” Brown said.

“It is up to the NSW Greens whether they re-endorse her, but in the last two elections thousands of people ceased to vote Greens. If she wins preselection, she is very likely to lose election.”


People in New South Wales stopped voting Green BECAUSE OF Di Natale....

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by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2017-06-26 12:00


A new report has valued the Great Barrier Reef at $56bn and warns of vast economic consequences for Australia unless more is done to protect it.

The Deloitte Access Economics report says the world heritage-listed reef underpins 64,000 direct and indirect jobs, and contributes $6.4bn to the national economy each year.

But without ramped-up protection efforts, it warns much of that could be at risk as the reef suffers from repeated mass coral bleaching events, poor water quality and climate change.

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and other places where the Great Barrier Reef is mentioned on this site... including:

modern pestilence and kicking the rightful owners in the nuts...



by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2017-06-26 11:11

Following CNN’s speedy retraction of a light-on-the-facts story claiming that an ally of US President Donald Trump had close financial ties to an investment fund managed by a state-run Russian bank, the network moved to tighten up its Russia coverage.

The executive editor of CNNMoney, Rich Barbieri, emailed a statement on Saturday issuing new publishing rules for CNN stories dealing with Russia, after retracting a Russia story one day before, according to The Hill.

According to Buzzfeed, which first reported on the CNN internal email, Barbieri stated that, "No one should publish any content involving Russia without coming to me and Jason [Farkas]."

"This applies to social, video, editorial, and MoneyStream. No exceptions," Barbieri's email added, cited by The Hill.

The new CNN policy is in response to a Friday retraction of a published story that purported to connect Anthony Scaramucci, a Trump ally, to a state-run Russian bank.

"On June 22, 2017, published a story connecting Anthony Scaramucci with investigations into the Russian Direct Investment Fund," the media company stated.

"That story did not meet CNN's editorial standards and has been retracted. Links to the story have been disabled. CNN apologizes to Mr. Scaramucci."

CNN's Russian scare story — one of what looks to be a continual stream of lightweight (and profitable) Kremlin fearmongering — inferred that the US Senate was investigating a $10 billion Russian investment fund (RDIF) with regard to Scaramucci, an executive committee member of Trump's transition team, cited by The Hill.

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by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2017-06-26 11:06

In the span of 72 hours, President Trump described the email hacking that roiled the 2016 campaign as a Democratic “hoax” and as clear aggression by Russia that his predecessor, President Barack Obama, failed to address.

Other times, Mr. Trump has said the hacking might have been done by China.

Or, as he claimed during the first general election debate, the hacking could have been the work of a lone wolf weighing 400 pounds, sitting on his bed at home.

Then there was the time Mr. Trump blamed “some guy in his home in New Jersey.”

Or, as Mr. Trump has also suggested, there might not even have been hacking at all…

On Saturday, Mr. Trump tried again to focus attention on Mr. Obama.

“Since the Obama Administration was told way before the 2016 Election that the Russians were meddling, why no action?” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter. “Focus on them, not T!”

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And unfortunately, T is correct. All his various "explanations" about the Russian interference in the US Presidential elections could still be valid. Hacking or not, from China, Russia or New Jersey, it DID NOT influence the result of the elections. So Trump is making a joke of the whole things and his Republican mates should not try to "understand" the "depth of the hacking" which is a distraction designed to stop Trump's (who knows?) agenda of resuming "normal" relations with Russia. Russia did not interfere with the US elections. FULL STOP... 

by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2017-06-26 10:51

“The Democratic establishment has vortexed the party’s narrative energy into hysteria about Russia,”he wrote, calling the rhetoric a “political dead end.”

“Despite vast resources, enormous incentives and a year of investigation, Democratic senators who have seen the classified intelligence at the CIA such as Senator Feinstein (as recently as March) are forced to admit that there is no evidence of collusion,” he wrote.

The WikiLeaks founder went on to address other issues he believes are leading to the party’s demise, including the collapse of the Democratic vote over the past eight years, which he says has occurred at all levels – city, state, congressional, and presidential.

“This short-term tactic has led to the inevitable strategic catastrophe of the white and male super majorities responding by seeing themselves as an unserviced political identity group,” he wrote, noting that Trump received the votes of 63 percent of white men and 53 percent of white women.

Assange also listed the many shortcomings of the Trump administration, including “broken promises, inequality, economy, healthcare, militarization,” saying the Democrat party can’t really address those issues, either, because“all its energy and it is entangled with many of the same groups behind Trump’s policies.”

The 45-year-old went on to say that the Democratic party has integrated itself with the “security sector and media barons,” which leads to the perception that Democrats “act on behalf of an entrenched power elite.”

“The Democratic base should move to start a new party since the party elite shows no signs that they will give up power,” he wrote.

Assange tweeted the six points from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has been holed up for the past five years.

Although Sweden dropped an investigation into Assange’s sexual assault allegations last month, he has remained in the embassy to avoid being extradited to the United States. WikiLeaks published 391,832 classified documents relating to the war in Iraq in 2010, the biggest leak of its kind in military history.

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by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2017-06-26 07:26

How would Western media have responded if it was reported that it was 'highly likely’ that US air strikes had killed the head of ISIS?  We’d have been told, of course, how it proved that the US was the ’greatest nation on earth.' 

We'd also be reminded how grateful we should be that America - aka ‘The World’s Policeman’ - always went after - and got - ‘the bad guys.'

Then there would be those ‘We Came, We Saw, He Died'-style comments from leading US politicians. Donald Trump would be boasting about the killing for the rest of his life.

al-Baghdadi vs. Osama bin Laden - spot the difference

But Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of ISIS, was reportedly killed by Russian airstrikes, not US ones, so there hasn’t been much fuss made. In fact, many leading pundits and commentators didn’t even bother to tweet the news.

It’s revealing to compare the low-key coverage of the al-Baghadi story to the great fanfare which greeted the news that Osama bin Laden had reportedly been killed by US Navy SEALs in Pakistan in 2011. Then, large crowds - waving the stars-and-stripes - gathered in Times Square and other US cities to celebrate. Former President George W. Bush hailed a "momentous achievement." NATO Secretary Rasmussen lauded a "significant success." The media was equally euphoric. 'Got Him! Vengeance at last - US nails the bastard,' was the splash on the New York Post. ‘Justice has been done - US Forces kill Bin Laden,’ announced the Washington Post. ‘Rot in Hell’! Osama bin Laden killed in secret attack by US forces,’ exclaimed the Toronto Sun.

The headlines surrounding the killing of the head of ISIS, by contrast, have been rather more muted - and skeptical. ‘Russia claims to have killed ISIS leader,’ says Newsweek. ‘Little proof to back Russian claims they killed al-Baghdadi in air-strike,’ declared the Toronto Sun. ‘White House casts doubt on Russia’s claims it killed ISIS leader,’ reported Politico in an article that - surprise, surprise - made it straight to al-Baghdadi’s Wikipedia page.

Although it's true that we still don’t have physical evidence that the ISIS head honcho was killed in a Russian airstrike, it's worth pointing out that we never actually saw physical evidence of Osama bin Laden’s death either.

But it was the US government which claimed to have killed him, so skepticism did not feature in the newspaper headlines. In fact, any doubting of the official narrative in 2011 would have seen you dismissed as a crazy conspiracy theorist. If Uncle Sam says something is true, well, we are all expected to believe it. It’s all very different though if someone else claims to have killed the ‘bad guy’- particularly if the country in question is an ‘Official Enemy‘. Russia killing the head of ISIS doesn't fit the State Department-friendly narrative. So let’s either rubbish it or ignore it.

No need to hurry Theresa - we’re on your side!

Just imagine… if Labour had been the largest party in the House of Commons following the UK election on 8th June, but was nine seats short of a majority. And that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had then spent over two weeks trying to do a deal with the Irish Republican party Sinn Fein - who traditionally don’t take their seats in Westminster - to enable him to form a government. We can be sure that the pressure from the Establishment on Corbyn to step aside and let Tory leader Theresa May try and form a government would have been unrelenting. Elite pundits would be on TV 24/7 telling us that Corbyn attempts to form ‘a coalition of chaos’ was endangering our democracy.

But it’s Theresa May who has spent over two weeks desperately trying to get an agreement with a Northern Irish political party (the DUP), and there’s been no great pressure on her to ‘get a move on.’ It’s more a case of ’Take your time Theresa, whenever you’re ready.’  The Establishment is not always this indulgent of Prime Ministers trying to hang on to power following a loss of seats in a General Election. When Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown lost his majority in the 2010 general election he was told in no uncertain terms that he had to step down with immediate effect ‘for the good of the country.'

"In the space of five tumultuous days, Britain has gone from democracy as we know it to the brink of dictatorship,"declared an editorial in the Sun newspaper as the ‘squatter’ Gordon Brown hung on. Other commentators accused Brown of trying to carry out a ‘coup’.

While it’s true that Brown polled a significantly lower share of the vote to May (29 percent to 42.3 percent) they were both Prime Ministers who lost their majority, but who still, post-election, had the possibility of staying on if they were able to pull off deals with other parties. But their treatment was very different. As Corbyn’s would have been - and indeed will be - if he finds himself in the same position as May next time.

'Target states bring terrorism upon themselves'

Just imagine... if there had been deadly ISIS attacks on Capitol Hill and the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, killing 13, and the Iranian President had issued a statement in response that declared, "we underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote... "

Elite newspapers would, I’m sure, be full of 'outraged' opeds saying that the comments showed the 'moral depravity of the Iranian regime.' Yet President Trump published those comments following ISIS attacks on the Tehran parliament and the tomb of Ayatollah Khomeini and no one in the mainstream seemed particularly outraged - not even professional Trump-bashers.

What made his comments even more shocking is that Iran has been fighting ISIS terrorism in Syria. But of course we can’t really big that up, can we, as it goes against the neocon narrative of Iran being "the world’s number one sponsor of terrorism."

‘Target states’ like Iran can never be the innocent, undeserving victims of terrorist attacks, even when they clearly are. It’s also worth remembering that when the US was hit by the 9/11 attacks in 2001, the Iranian leadership strongly condemned the act of terrorism and candlelight vigils for the victims were held throughout the country. There was no talk of the US falling victim to an 'evil' which they had 'promoted.’ 

US shooting down YOUR planes inside YOUR own country is self-defense!

Just imagine… if the Syrian government and its allies had spent the past six years funding, backing and training anti-government radical Islamist 'rebels' in the US. Then the Syrian Air Force had started bombing the US and unilaterally declared its own 'De-Confliction Zones’ on American territory to protect its ‘assets’ on the ground. After this, a US fighter jet that was attacking what the US government called 'terrorists' in Texas was shot down by the Syrian forces. Would the action be called 'self-defense'?

 And if the US- and its allies- then said they would treat Syrian jets bombing the US as potential targets- would they be cast as the aggressors? I think not. But if we reverse the two countries around this is exactly what the US has been doing in Syria. They’re illegally bombing a sovereign state-but then say they’re acting in ’self-defense’ when that country’s military takes action  over its own territory.  The imperial arrogance is off the scale, but we’re meant not to notice.

Don’t mention who’s arming the war! (if the ‘good guys’ are responsible) 

Just imagine… if ‘the world’s worst cholera outbreak’ had broken out in a country which a close Russian ally had been bombing back to the Stone Age for over two years? And that the close Russian ally had been armed, trained and given logistical support by Russia. Don’t you think the Kremlin involvement would have been mentioned in this report here?

But Yemen has, since 2015, been under assault from a Saudi-led coalition, which has been been given every kind of assistance by the UK and US.

And because ‘we’ in the west are always ‘the good guys’ our responsibility for the human catastrophe in Yemen can’t be mentioned, in the same way as the UK/US role in transforming Libya into a terrorist-ridden failed state is also taboo. 

Strange silence of the anti-censorship brigade

Just imagine… if Russia, or Iran, gave the tiny country of Qatar a 10-day ultimatum to agree to 13 demands, which included taking the international broadcaster Al Jazeera off air and Qatar changing its foreign policy. That’s after Russia or Iran had imposed and got others to agree to a diplomatic and trading embargo on Qatar.

We can be sure that this obnoxious, bullying behavior would have made headlines around the world, and led to widespread condemnation as well as calls for military action against Moscow or Tehran.

But it's that very close Western ally Saudi Arabia giving the ultimatum to Qatar, so there's silence. Let's keep shtum about the ’threats to media freedom,’ and carry on tweeting our attacks on RT, shall we? 

Follow Neil Clark on Twitter @NeilClark66

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