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Information is a non-event under current Australian governments

http://www.oaic.gov.au/about-us/who-we-are/our-executive/australian-information-commissioner-professor-john-mcmillan-ao

This wonderful man and the organisation he heads are being wiped out by the Revolting Rabbit plague of mass destruction of everything that is good for democracy, openness and accountability. Whitlam would have wept – and probably did because he’d have known months ago what I only found out today. It was a big breakthrough when the Information commissioner position was created. And now it’s gone and any hope of transparency under this government with it – along with journo’s ability to reveal the truth and our ability as individuals to lead lives free of surveillance and secret shafting.

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Concerns of the day.. well some of them

Some of a mongrel’s musings:

Whitlam wonder ceased.  Very sad day for Australia      Re Whitlam to Labor website 211014

You were the most amazing original brave innovative creature Australia has ever produced. You did so much for us ornery Orstrilians – Medicare admin law Aboriginal rights women kids students workers people who were n’t white Trade Prax – sorry there’s MUCH more but I can’t recall it all.  Only that it was wonderful and hopefully set an example for some future fabulous beast to rise up and renew this eviscerated etiolated entity that this country has become.

To the ABC general comments  021014

For us the ABC is what makes Australia great – informative INCLUSIVE ENTERTAINING THOUGHT PROVoKING (whoops sorry about caps!) but still the ABC IS a CAPITAL corporation. Keeps us in touch with people around the world and our fellow creatures great and small and the natural environment and music and science and ideas ideas ideas!!  if only there was more we could do or say to prevent the horrible cuts and obliterate ‘orrible non-representative board members.

Re divestment of fossil fuel investments   to Professor Ian Youg of ANU  Dear Vice Chancellor Ian Young, You are very courageous (as Yes Monster used to say..) in doing this because undoubtedly the vengeful varmints (and gummints) who don’t support environmental responsibility will seek to undermine you (as it were). CGS is a big issue up here on mid North coast of NSW as is unemployment worsened by renewables going out of business – or being discouraged from starting up.

http://vcdesk.anu.edu.au/2014/10/13/time-to-move-to-a-post-carbon-world/

http://www.myfuturesuper.com.au/how_we_invest

– this fund doesn’t fund fossil fuel either    011014 to Myfuturesuper   sorry I am a nearly 72 yo fossil so don’t have any super or any prospects of such. However I’d still like to say:  Congrats on your stand about giving up fossil fuel in favour of renewables!  I am one  of a very small group of Greens in Myall Lakes electorate who are trying to put on a forum about renewables on 16 November 2014 at Forster from 2-4 pm.   MLC NSW John Kaye is scheduled to speak and we are looking for others who know/care about renewables and who might like to put their points of view.   Would any of your members like to join us – to speak or just to listen?!

Mongriella must keep on mongrelising!

I just re-realised that in order to make my mouthing accessible I should really try and keep this blog going cos then I can link it thro twtizo and facebag and lunkdout and also email if people don’t have those proclivities. Why does it matter that any of us say anything with the world going to hell in a Rabbithutch?? Only cos it makes us feel that we’ve at least tried to put other views out there – no matter how muffled. Can I work this blog?? hmmm that’s another issue…tbc

Australia Day – I’m not proud – sorry!

I feel sick at the thought of all the crap about mateship and fair go and other ridiculous bull being spread around in anticipation of this day..which should be AUSpiscious but provides me with no hope or consolation. There are many wonderful things and people in this country but we seem to be doing our best to destroy them.  Sorry to be a grumpy old vermin but here’s a few of the vomitous vilenesses we are allowing even if not condoning. 

Asylum seeker ‘policy’ – how can we be so cruel and heartless and outright stupid?  What are we doing – not only to the asylum-seekers but to the Australian personnel who have to carry out the evil orders?

Bullying and violence – Most media (and pollies) are so hypocritical.  Because (and it’s very sad and I feel very bad for the boys and their families) some young men are bashed when (to quote from 7.30 Report via Crikey) LEIGH SALES: … in the past 13 years, 90 people across Australia have died in these one-punch assaults. Last year in New South Wales alone, 32 women were killed in domestic violence situations, many involving alcohol. The Police media unit says police in New South Wales respond to about 370 domestic violence incidents a day. Given that random violence is so much less of a threat to people than domestic violence, why is the government’s priority not on domestic violence?”

And bullying – the Tele is on about it today (as media often is) in schools and young people.  How is anyone going to find a good role model when Mr Rabbit and his bullies behave so aggressively towards so many including Parliament/asylum seekers/people on the disability pension, where children and other victims of DV are further abused by Family Law and child protection systems?  Where workplace bullying is rife in public, private and community sector?

The environment – what environment?  Greg (aptly named) Hunt and other Ministers in NSW, Queensland etc are hellbent on destroying the Great Barrier Reef, the Tasmanian World Heritage forests, etc etc and allowing shooting and other detrimental activities in national parks.

Time for the Real Australians (who I imagine would be generous, kind, brave, creative, loving and…) to stand up!

Welfare must be reined in (Kevin Andrews says)

THE nation’s welfare system is “unsustainable” and large, urgent changes must be made to the disability pension and the general unemployment benefit, Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews has warned. A 10-year report by the Department of Human Services shows that more than five million Australians received an income support payment in June 2012 – more than one in five Australians – with Disability Support Pension recipients hitting 827,000, while 550,000 people were on Newstart Allowance. from The Australian front page 21/01/14

But he doesn’t mean the kind of welfare that pollies such as George Brandis and Alex Somlyay and all the rest from Mr Rabbit to the lowest weasel benefit from.  And all the super rich miners, developers and other scumbags.  No, Mr Andrews means all the people who have suffered injuries at work or in some other way become disabled.

Make them all go back to work.  How exactly?  At what?  When the situation is so dire even for workers without disabilities.

From Online Opinion – http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/

Lost jobs and lost workers – the debate we have to have                       Date: Friday, January 17, 2014                       Author: Henry Thornton

‘Growth in jobs worst for 20 years’ screams the front page of the Australian.  Good to see this important national newspaper has discovered the systematic loss of jobs, especially full-time jobs, and the largely ofsetting loss of workers.  It is only a sharply declining participation rate that is keeping the officially measured rate of unemployment to a modest 5.8 %.

As the graph below shows, the more realistic measure of unemployment by Roy Morgan Research shows unemployment is already at 11 % and climbing. Allowing for underemployment, the total of under- and un-employed is more than 22% of the workforce. Here is a good discussion of the facts, from the Macrobusiness site.

Roy Morgan today reported a substantial fall in business confidence….EXTRACT only

The Coalition is trying to address the source of people-smuggling

Wow! when I saw this sub heading (before I read the main headline Oz 16/01/14 ) Opaque policy gets results a sudden rush of fantasy let me think that maybe the Australian government had at last decided to try and get countries like Sri Lanka, Iran, Afghanistan, Myanmar etc to stop persecuting their own citizens so there would be no need for them to flee the torment.

But no!  it merely meant Australia drawing up its portcullis and deepening its moat so that  no matter what drove these poor suffering boat people to leave their homes and take the perilous journey would n’t worry us complacent crapwits.  Just don’t let them anywhere near us with our fatty degeneration of the conscience and free and fair go for ourselves only – “people like us” as little Johnny Horrid might (and probably did) say.

The day before the Oz had published a really sensible letter from Dr Andreas Chai:

A truly Liberal approach would prefer boat people

LET’S face it: There is competition among asylum-seekers and economic migrants around the world to enter developed countries that offer freedom from repression and economic prosperity.

We all accept that Australia, a nation historically built on immigration, has a moral obligation to accept refugees, like every other developed nation. The real question is therefore not “should we accept refugees”, but rather “which refugees should we accept?”

Here rational choice theory suggests a clear answer: those who try the hardest. As the influential American jurist and economist Richard Posner so eloquently argued, social welfare will be at its best when government policies simulate free-market outcomes and reward those who make the greatest effort.

Refugees arriving by boat clearly spend considerable financial resources and undertake great personal risks to arrive in Australia. In doing so, they are effectively beating the competition – other refugees who do not have the willingness or the means to undertake such journeys.

Such effort deserves to be recognised, just as our existing immigration policy for non-refugees prefers those who are entrepreneurial, healthy, skilled and/or wealthy.

Detaining boat people and forcing them to the “back of the queue” effectively punishes those who have tried the hardest to migrate to Australia. This punishment of individual effort contradicts the basic philosophy of Australian Liberalism, which recognises that it is the individual whose energies produce progress, and that all social benefits derive from his efforts.

A truly Liberal Abbott government would seek to increase social welfare by deregulating the market for international migration and supplying migration opportunities to those who make the greatest effort: boat people.

Dr Andreas Chai, Senior Lecturer in Economics, Griffith University

Health system is sick but governments are sicker!

Why are governments so hell bent on undermining the good socially responsible services we have/had? Is it because anyone on a pollie’s salary (except some people who still have some idea of real life) doesn’t have to worry about paying $6 to go to Emergency or $5 to see and GP or whatever other tortuous self-defeating measure they’re cooking up in Canberra?  Such fees will not only be pretty well impossible to pay for say, single parents on Newstart with even one kid, but the administration costs will make the whole thing uneconomic.

But then it doesn’t matter about the cost really – it’s just an ideology which says the only people who should get anything for nothing are the ones who least need it.