Thecuriousmail’s Weblog

Democratic governments are now NOT so democratic.

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on April 23, 2017

gold dollar.jpgThe increasing inequality in democratic developed countries can only have a certain number of explanations:

Either, 1) that there is no problem that warrants action, and even if only 1 person owns 99.9% of the wealth, this is an acceptable situation.

The best way to “spread the wealth around is to leave it in the hands of the wealthy.” says John Tamny,  a senior fellow in economics at Reason Foundation, the political economy editor at Forbes, a senior economic advisor to Toreador Research & Trading, and editor of RealClearMarkets.com.

Carol Roth,  an American radio host, television personality, author and investor, says: “I take issue with the entire inequality discussion, as opportunity and prosperity are important objectives, but equality is not only a pipe dream, it isn’t desirable.”

Or, that there is a problem with wealth inequality, but

  1.  we’re at “X” level, which is ok, but when we reach “Y” level, then action will be taken, or
  2.  governments are taking no real action, but say they are (collusion, corruption), or
  3.  governments are taking real action, but it has no effect (ineffectual).

What does your government say??

So, is Tamny, Roth and the like, correct?

Or these people:

During the Age of Reason, Francis Bacon wrote “Above all things good policy is to be used so that the treasures and monies in a state be not gathered into a few hands… Money is like fertilizer, not good except it be spread.”

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”  Franklin D Roosevelt.

“It was possible, no doubt, to imagine a society in which wealth, in the sense of personal possessions and luxuries, should be evenly distributed, while power remained in the hands of a small privileged caste. But in practice such a society could not long remain stable. For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realise that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance.”  George Orwell.
“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and cause me to tremble for safety of my country; corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in High Places will follow, and the Money Power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the People, until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic destroyed.” Abraham Lincoln.

And in Australia:

The tax cuts announced by Treasurer Scott Morrison flow overwhelmingly to high-income earners, with 70% of taxpayers gaining nothing.

All the benefits go to people in the top 30 per cent of income earners.

“Scott Morrison and Mathias Cormann might not be smoking cigars tonight like Joe Hockey did so ill-advisedly after his budget, but the top 1 per cent will be,” said Richard Dennis, chief economist at the Australia Institute.

Mr Morrison defended the tax changes against allegations they lacked fairness and equity because the benefits were skewed to those on higher incomes.

So, is wealth inequality increasing or decreasing? Every study I have seen, from numerous unrelated sources, says that it is, a resounding yes that wealth inequality is increasing, and an equally definite affirmation that the government is doing nothing to reverse the situation. In fact, governments appear to be not just enabling the inequality thru tax concessions and the absence of legislative action, but to also be actively attacking poorer Australians thru reductions in wages and conditions.

The question then is, have the so-called democratic governments now become the enemy??

“Concentration of wealth yields concentration of political power. And concentration of political power gives rise to legislation that increases and accelerates the cycle.” Noam Chomsky.

E.T., please stay!

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on April 22, 2017

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E.T.,                        please don’t go!

 

I live in a world of leaders and lies, of authority, control, and  an obedience enforced but never justified , a world of a vicious anti-reason that demands ignorance, prejudice,  and compliance, a world of violence and war, where what we do to each other will always haunt our existence, and victory a careless remembrance of brutal folly passed.

We are the worst of children who never grew up, who will never grow up.

E.T.,                               please, stay.

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Australian democracy is broken

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on April 17, 2017

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Nearly 60% of Australians are unhappy with the way Australian democracy works (and trending upward).

Only 15% of Australians believe politicians are honest (and trending downward).

The richest 10% of Australians own more than 50% of the total wealth, and the bottom 40%, just 3% of the total wealth (and wealth inequality is trending upward).

80 per cent of the wealthiest people in Australia have amassed their wealth via political connections rather than via innovative businesses. They made their fortunes in property, mining, banking, superannuation and finance generally – all heavily regulated industries in which fortunes can be made by getting favourable property rezonings, planning law exemptions, mining concessions, labour law exemptions, money creation powers and mandated markets of many stripes. Additionally, government legislation is specifically favouring the rich, eg negative gearing, superannuation, taxation.

Successive governments have gutted public housing stocks (waiting lists are now more than 15 years), and Legal Aid budgets have been continually reduced.

1 in 200 Australians are homeless (and trending upward).

14 in 100 Australians live below the poverty line (and trending upward).

Statistics for Indigenous Australians are so much worse as to be almost unbelievable.

Our political leaders are supposed to be the best among us. They’re supposed to be the ones with the highest levels of ethics and integrity, the least selfish and the most intelligent. But in many cases, the inverse has become true, and a self-reinforcing loop of dishonest rhetoric stands to make it much, much worse.”

What we have in Australia is compromised politicians with hidden agendas making flawed laws, actioned by a secretive and unaccountable bureaucracy, and with an amoral judicial system complicitly enforcing compliance.

There needs to be a new kind of democracy in Australia, with, I suspect,  no place for political parties or politicians.

Australian Terrorist Attack

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on April 16, 2017

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A terrorist attack at Australia’s Parliament House today was foiled by quick thinking politicians who ran away.

The terrorist, killed when his bouquet of gladiolus prematurely exploded, has been identified as Sir Les Patterson, a disgruntled former Commonwealth employee who objected to the fluoridation of water. Inquiries are continuing into Mr Patterson’s Islamic affiliations.

Photo of suspect from security camerassir les.jpg

In a breach of parliamentary security protocols, it is believed that Patterson was waved thru several security checks by brandishing his Melbourne Club membership badge. “Well he looked like he belonged here”, lamented one security guard.

Prime Minister Turnbull has ordered an investigation into the incident,  and applauded  “the Members of Parliament who demonstrated great courage thru a tactical retreat. It could have been a lot worse but for their decisive action,” said Mr Turnbull.

In the chaos after the explosion, it was reported to the Prime Minister that cheering could be heard from the Aboriginal Tent embassy, on the lawns of Parliament House. Mr Turnbull said it was a criminal offense to offer any kind of support to a terrorist, and “that if the claim is substantiated, people will face the full force of the law”.

However, Prime Minster Turnbull was quick to affirm that flashing your lights to a terrorist, to indicate a police speed camera ahead, “would not be considered offering support to terrorism. At least in the short-term”.

The so-called War On Terror is not fought in my name

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on April 16, 2017

 

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What is terrorism?

the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims

What is lawful?

To say an act is “lawful” implies that it is authorized, sanctioned, or at any rate not forbidden, by law. The term lawful more clearly suggests an ethical content than does the word legal.

In 2016 Australian law was changed so that members of the Australian Defence Forces could NOT be charged with “causing the death of a person not causing hostilities”, i.e., civilians. And this despite Australia’s existing international obligations, e.g. The Law of Armed Conflict, The Geneva Convention and Human Rights Convention, and the fact that domestic criminal laws provide a range of penalties for the killing of an innocent person.

In just one year, 2016, in just 1 country, Syria, more civilians, men, women and children, were killed than in all the Western countries by terrorism, since 2000, combined. When you add Iraq and Afghanistan to the numbers from Syria, by the hand of Western forces there is an unconscionable pile of civilian corpses.

Numerous surveys have shown that the majority of Australians do not want Australian involvement in an armed conflict in the Middle East. Yet governments of different political persuasions persist,

I suggest a new definition of terrorism: the use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.

And that includes states and governments. “Lawful” as a justification for the killing of civilians is a semantic absurdity.

In every interview I’ve seen with radicalized individuals they have mentioned as a main or important reason for their position, the aggression against or oppression of other Muslins.

So the West indiscriminately kills Muslin civilians. If I were a Muslin, I would remember this.

STOP KILLING CIVILIANS

GILLARD INVITES INDIA TO A URANIUM CAKE BRUNCH

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on November 17, 2011

So Prime Minister Gillard has announced that Australia will begin to sell uranium to India, even though India

refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Taken from the official Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website, today:

http://www.dfat.gov.au/security/npt.html

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is the centrepiece of the nuclear non-proliferation regime. The NPT entered into force in 1970, and Australia ratified the treaty in 1973. The Treaty and the nuclear non-proliferation safeguards system provided through the IAEA make a crucial contribution to regional and international peace and security. The Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office (ASNO) acts as Australia’s national safeguards authority responsible for the performance of Australia’s safeguards and non-proliferation obligations and for facilitating IAEA safeguards activities in Australia.

The NPT and the safeguards system has been successful overall in limiting the spread of nuclear weapons. The only states not to have joined the NPT are India, Israel and Pakistan. Successive Australian Governments have taken the view that the Treaty is vital to international stability and security, both globally and in our region.

Article VIII of the NPT provides that the Treaty be reviewed at five-yearly intervals. The primary objectives of Review Conferences are to assess developments since the previous conference, to address current challenges, and to identify areas for further progress. Australia has been an active and constructive participant in all NPT Review Conferences. The last Review Conference was held in New York in May 2010.

On 24 September 2009 the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) passed Resolution 1887. The resolution underlines that the NPT is the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation regime, calls on all member states to comply fully with their obligations under the treaty, urges non-members to accede to the treaty and reinforces the right to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

So we concur, ratify, become legally obligated . . . then ignore??? Is all politics just a matter of convenience??

If Australian politics were a person they would be treated for schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, or some such thing,

This is the open pit at the abandoned Mary Kathleen uranium mine (this way since 1983)-

So the mining company (Rio Tinto) payed pitiful royalties to government (an incompetent government

that squandered even that).

The profits from the mining operation went overseas.

And the local residents, and Queenslanders and Australians,  have been left with this abandoned open pit.

Hmmmmmmmm, sound fair???

Not good enough.

QUEEN MARY FALLS

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on November 17, 2011

I’ve spent the last few nights at Queen Mary Falls. I’m so jealous of the people who live and work in areas like that.

It was a very relaxing break: picturesque scenery, abundant wildlife, a quiet and calming environment, with

 friendly people who obviously reject the stifling neon glitter of places like the Gold Coast.

I rode down thru Boonah, and took the back way up to Queen Mary Falls. When I left I rode down to Killarney

(a lovely little town), then out to Warwick, and  along the Cunningham Highway, over the Great Dividing Range

 towards Brisbane. On my way back I stopped to visit the graves of my brother and sister.

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WELCOME TO AUSTRALIA NOAM CHOMSKY

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on November 2, 2011

Noam Chomsky is in Australia at the moment to receive the 2011

Sydney Peace Prize.

If I had a ‘bucket list’, an entry would be to share a nice meal , a bottle

of red wine, and conversation with him.

The world has been a better place with him in it, and I am certain that the

future will vindicate him (but, now, we don’t listen, we don’t seem to be

able to think, so unfortunately, not before it gets much worse).

His persistence, in the face of the ignorance of the general population

and attacks by vested interests, is uplifting.

Thank you for trying Mr Chomsky, your ideas and endeavours are

appreciated, and  welcome to Australia.

GREAT TWITTER MOMENTS OF 2011

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on October 29, 2011

    The Pope on Twitter, 16/3/11:

 Ciao my children. This morning, after a hearty and fibre-rich breakfast, I began my ablutions with

defecation that astonished me!  I am certain, and it is confirmed by the Monsignor,

that one of my turds had on it the face of our Saviour! Glory be!

 I felt blessed, and truly God is everywhere children.

It was a joyous start to the day, and I only very reluctantly flushed. Go in Christ children.

BRITISH ROYAL SUCCESSION LAWS CHANGED

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on October 29, 2011

In a landmark decision, the British parliament has changed the Royal Succession Act to enable the first-born,

human or corgi, to ascend to the throne.

For the past 1000 years, only a human heir could ascend to the British throne.

Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard,  said the changes appeared to be straightforward. “But just because

they seem  straightforward to our modern minds doesn’t mean that we should underestimate  their

historical significance, changing as they will for all time the way in  which the monarchy works and changing

its history.”

But the decision was not entirely without proletarian criticism.

The campaign group Republic – which wants an elected head of state in  Britain – said “nothing of substance”

had been changed. “The monarchy discriminates against every man, woman and child who isn’t born into

the Windsor family. To suggest that this has anything to do with equality  is utterly absurd,”

spokesman Graham Smith said.

Tsk tsk, the ungrateful commoner!

The next Queen of Great Britain??