Wednesday 20th of February 2019

Recent Comments

by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2019-02-13 06:10

"The decisive outcome for the philosophies of Antiquity was their capacity to produce a few wisemen; in the Middle Ages, to rationalize dogma; in the classical age, to found science; in modern times, it is their ability to justify massacres."

                   Michel Foucault


All throughout human "history", we have been robbing each other — intellectually and practically — by various means under various pretexes. Even during the Antiquity, wars and empire were the soup of the day, despite the "wisdom". 


"Capitalism robs the public commons and Communism robs the individuals. We are thieves."  

                  Mama Leonisky


It ain't going to end well, unless we stop the plunder.

by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2019-02-12 19:52

south america blues...


Read more:

by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2019-02-12 19:47


by CJ Hopkins


Maybe Donald Trump isn’t as stupid as I thought. I’d hate to have to admit that publicly, but it does kind of seem like he has put one over on the liberal corporate media this time. Scanning the recent Trump-related news, I couldn’t help but notice a significant decline in the number of references to Weimar, Germany, Adolf Hitler, and “the brink of fascism” that America has supposedly been teetering on since Hillary Clinton lost the election.

I googled around pretty well, I think, but I couldn’t find a single editorial warning that Trump is about to summarily cancel the US Constitution, dissolve Congress, and proclaim himself Führer. Nor did I see any mention of Auschwitz, or any other Nazi stuff … which is weird, considering that the Hitler hysteria has been a standard feature of the official narrative we’ve been subjected to for the last two years.

So how did Trump finally get the liberal corporate media to stop calling him a fascist? He did that by acting like a fascist (i.e., like a “normal” president). Which is to say he did the bidding of the deep state goons and corporate mandarins that manage the global capitalist empire … the smiley, happy, democracy-spreading, post-fascist version of fascism we live under.

I’m referring, of course, to Venezuela, which is one of a handful of uncooperative countries that are not playing ball with global capitalism and which haven’t been “regime changed” yet. Trump green-lit the attempted coup purportedly being staged by the Venezuelan “opposition,” but which is obviously a US operation, or, rather, a global capitalist operation. As soon as he did, the corporate media immediately suspended calling him a fascist, and comparing him to Adolf Hitler, and so on, and started spewing out blatant propaganda supporting his effort to overthrow the elected government of a sovereign country.

Overthrowing the governments of sovereign countries, destroying their economies, stealing their gold, and otherwise bringing them into the fold of the global capitalist “international community” is not exactly what most folks thought Trump meant by “Make America Great Again.” Many Americans have never been to Venezuela, or Syria, or anywhere else the global capitalist empire has been ruthlessly restructuring since shortly after the end of the Cold War. They have not been lying awake at night worrying about Venezuelan democracy, or Syrian democracy, or Ukrainian democracy.


Read more:



Read from top.

by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2019-02-12 19:40

President Trump’s approval rating has reached 52 percent, according to a new poll released Monday, his highest level since shortly after his inauguration in 2017.

The Rasmussen daily presidential tracking poll shows 47 percent of likely US voters disapprove of his job performance.

Trump’s approval rating was at 55 percent just days after he was sworn in as president on Jan. 20, 2017.

The president touted the results in a tweet that included an image of the Drudge Report’s web page headline: “Trump 52% approval jolts Washington. Best in years.”

His marks have been on the rise since his State of the Union address last Tuesday and in the wake of the 35-day partial government shutdown over border security and his demand for $5.7 billion in funding for a border wall.

The Rasmussen poll shows Trump’s approval rating was at 46 percent the day the government shut down on Dec. 22 and fell to 43 percent on Jan. 14.

The daily tracking results come from surveys involving 500 likely voters each day and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. It has a plus/minus 2.5 percentage-point margin of error in the 1,500 sample.



Read more:




Read from top.

by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2019-02-12 19:35

The majority of the crossbench and Labor joined forces in the House of Representatives to pass amendments to give doctors a greater say on refugee medical evacuations.

But Prime Minister Scott Morrison has so far refused to buckle to calls for an early election and insists the Coalition retains the ability to govern.

"Votes will come and they will go, they do not trouble me," he said.



Read more:



Read from top. Please see also:

by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2019-02-12 17:27

Borenstein questioned De Garis’s evidence, saying he was “loth to do this” before asking Bromberg whether he could cross-examine the witness.

“You have not been loth to do this,” De Garis replied, before he was asked to leave the courtroom briefly.

Borenstein said: “There is a real question about whether he’s trying to answer the questions truly and frankly … or hiding behind a mantra of not being able to recall.”

The push to cross-examine De Garis was opposed by the commission’s lawyer Frank Parry SC. Bromberg is yet to rule on this question.

De Garis has been granted a certificate that prevents the evidence he gives from being used against him in a future court hearing.


Read more:



Read from top.


by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2019-02-12 17:21

Clive Palmer knew he needed a licence to use US metal band Twisted Sister's hit We're Not Gonna Take It in political advertisements for his United Australia Party but "flagrantly" infringed copyright and increased the harm by "taunting" the band in public, according to court documents.

Universal Music, which acquired publishing rights to the song from Twisted Sister lead singer Dee Snider in 2015, filed copyright infringement proceedings against Mr Palmer in the Federal Court in Sydney on February 6 after a month-long stoush with the former member for Fairfax outside court....



Read more:




Read from top.

by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2019-02-12 12:38

A photo showing what US President Donald Trump would look like with no tan and without his famous hairdo was published on Twitter.

An edited photo of US President Donald Trump was posted on Twitter by user nicknamed Stone Cold. The picture shows POTUS' "natural" look, according to the user, without what was described as "transplanted" hair and a tan.

However, the White House insists that the tan is the president's natural skin tone.

READ MORE: Netizens Ecstatic as White House Says Trump Owes His Tan to 'Good Genes'

Commentators had differing opinions of the photo. One Twitter user noted that Donald Trump looked like 'Old Man Potter', the notorious big-money banker from the classic holiday movie It's A Wonderful Life.


Read more:


We did it before anyone else... Please.... Read from top.


See also: 

moons ago — a wonderful life...

by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2019-02-12 05:41


Capitalism in America: A History, Alan Greenspan and Adrian Wooldridge, Penguin Press, 496 pages

“I hear America singing…the United States is the greatest poem” — Walt Whitman

It’s not often that I read a book, mark it up on every page, and listen to the audio recordingto boot. Capitalism in America is a delightful romp through the 400-year economic life of America from agricultural giant to industrial juggernaut to information/technology revolutionary. Stories and statistics sparkle on every page.

But the book is more than a history. It is a policy guide to make sure capitalism in America flourishes like never before.


Even the tycoons of the Gilded Age, known as the “robber barons,” are largely applauded: “For the most part…these businesspeople were neither ‘robbers’ nor ‘barons.’” Vanderbilt, Carnegie, and Rockefeller didn’t inherit wealth, but came from humble circumstances. In their chapter “The Age of Giants,” the authors declare, “The titans prospered by exploiting economies of scale rather than by price gouging. They prospered by creating markets…with ever-cheaper products.”


What is forgotten in this analysis of the book by Alan greenspan — the fellow who sweet-talked presidents when the GFC was looming large  — by Mark Skousen (a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University, recently awarded the Triple Crown in Economics) is that WAR AND THE ENDLESS PLUNDER OF THE MIDDLE EAST (and other countries) plus the exclusivity of the DOLLAR (Annuit coeptis [meaning "favours our undertakings"] and Novus ordo seclorum [meaning "new order of the ages"]) through the (PRIVATE) Fed Bank, funded a lot of this "prosperity".

At this stage we cannot leave aside the then new sermons on the mount of consumerism: ADVERTISING — in which our Mr Gundlach was an expert at, including satirising his own trade.

by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2019-02-12 05:08


Telstra says fires and floods may silence its phone towers, BHP expects hurricanes will shut down its Pilbara iron ore exports, while shopping centre owners are preparing for heatwave blackouts and empty malls.

Coca-Cola Amatil is worried about running out of water in Australia.

Wesfarmers wonders if its Coles supermarkets will be able to stock imported fruit and vegetables, and where Bunnings will source timber.

Crown is flood-proofing its casinos.

The climate change future is laid-out in dozens of company reports calmly describing real-world scenarios of disease, destruction and scarce resources.

At a time of obfuscation and denial around the effects and causes of climate change - and when major international organisations such as the OECD are accusing the Australian Government of inaction - these reports tell another story.

The corporate disclosures are collected by the CDP - a UK not-for-profit that asks major companies to report on the risks and opportunities presented by climate change.

That's right: climate change opportunities. Australian companies are also hoping to make money from the increase in disease associated with rising temperatures, or simply the demand for roof space to lay out solar panels. More on that later.

Although the reports are publicly available, (if a participating company chooses their report to be), they have not made Australian media up to now.

Abandoned theme parks, fortified borders

Bloomberg story in January covered reports by American companies, and painted a future of abandoned heat-struck theme parks, of global pandemics and armed conflict causing a decline in tourism (a concern for credit card companies and foreign exchange revenue).

"The documents reveal how widely climate change is expected to cascade through the economy -- disrupting supply chains, disabling operations and driving away customers, but also offering new ways to make money," the report said.

More than 7,000 companies worldwide filed reports for 2018, including about 100 from Australia.

The future separately imagined by each of these Australian companies is similar to their US counterparts, and perhaps even more dire.

An HSBC report published last year found Australia was more vulnerable to climate change than the US, and predicted more people would die from the phenomenon in Australia than any other country in the developed world (relative to population).

Last month, the OECD (an economic organisation with 36 member countries, including Canada, the UK and the US) predicted Australia would not meet its 2030 emissions reductions targets if it stuck with its current energy and climate policies.

It found Australia was one of the few rich countries where greenhouse gas emissions (excluding land use change and forestry) have risen in the past decade.

A senior Liberal MP recently argued there is no need to tackle climate change because its impact had been grossly overblown. Last week, former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the Liberal party was "divided" on the issue of climate change.

The future according to Australian business

Most Australian companies that submitted publicly available reports identified "climate-related risks with the potential to have a substantial financial or strategic impact" on their business. 

They expected climate change to disrupt supply chains, cripple infrastructure, and generally threaten the way they currently make money.

Perhaps the scale of the catastrophe is best judged by the sober assessments of the banks and insurance companies.

Insurance Australia Group, QBE and NAB identify a "virtually certain" risk of "Increased severity of extreme weather events such as cyclones and floods."

QBE holds a quarterly "emerging risk" forum that considers something called "catastrophe modelling", and has partnered with a Silicon Valley start-up "to better predict and manage risks from weather and sea level rise, storm intensification and changing temperatures".


Increasing urbanisation, with the potential greater concentration of population in cities with increasing exposure to climate-related events, has been identified with the potential to have substantive financial or strategic impact on the business


National Australia Bank says it is "virtually certain" changes in weather patterns will cause loss of crops and livestock. "These climate impacts have the potential to cause significant financial loss and hardship for NAB customers," it says.

Dexus Property Group says insurers have upped the cost of insuring specific Far North Queensland properties 10-fold due to cyclone risk.

"The inherent financial impacts of tropical cyclones for 'high risk' properties climate-related events (wind and flood) via insurance deductibles is up to $100,000, against a typical insurance excess, which is $10,000 per event," it says.

Wesfarmers, which owns Coles, says natural disasters in Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia and China may affect supplies of fruit and vegetables to Australia.

"There is added financial implications if a competitor is able to source the product from an alternative location," it says. 

"For example, after a significant flood in Queensland in 2001, some reports showed fruit prices increasing by 20-30 per cent because of the limited supply. Analysts predict Queensland supplies 28 per cent of the country's fruit and vegetable market and natural disasters can increase wholesale prices (e.g. broccoli increased from $6/kg to $10/kg immediately after the Queensland floods)."

To secure supply, Coles has signed long-term agreements with suppliers "who can invest in climate change resilient infrastructure". This dangles the prospect of sandbagged farms in the developing world exporting scarce food to wealthier countries, while the poor go hungry due to crop failure.

Telstra is particularly concerned about the bushfire risk to over 10,000 phone towers - about half of its national network: "Telstra's portfolio has over 22,000 structures with roughly 50 per cent of those structures listed as having towers located in remote areas that may be vulnerable to fire."



Read more:




Read from top.


Please note that "climate change" is not what is affecting the planet at the moment but anthropogenic global warming. It will get worse.