Freedom of the Press, Whistleblowers, Police Raids, National Security Laws & (in)-Human Rights

In early June 2019 the Australian Federal Police (AFP) armed with warrants, conducted searches on a journalists’ private residence and a media outlet, namely the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC). The so called ‘raids’ (or appointment, as was the case with the ABC), were in response to articles published, apparently containing ‘highly classified’ information that was illegally obtained, leaked or provided by whistleblowers.

The wider media’s reaction to the execution of these warrants was outrage and shock, with broad condemnation and claims that this was a direct threat to ‘Freedom of the Press’. In fact, some sections of the media have been quite agitated with claims of intrusive ‘police state’ powers, yet no one disputes that the police acted lawfully.

The media is claiming that they have been victimised by the Australian Federal Police and the Federal Government, adopting Amnesty International’s slogan for persecuted press – ‘Journalism is Not a Crime’. Nonetheless unauthorised publishing of leaked ‘highly classified information’ remains a crime irrespective of your occupation!

The press clearly believes that the laws preventing the media from publishing certain leaked classified information are unjust and therefore a threat to ‘Freedom of the Press’. Should the media’s rights or the unrestricted freedom to publish be above the ‘law of the land’?

The media argues that breaking the law is in the public’s interest i.e. that the unfettered ‘right to know’ is more important than potentially breaching national security safeguards.

The considered opinion appears to be that while Freedom of the Press is not ‘absolute’ it is a most basic tenet of our democracy. This viewpoint adds to the ambiguity but doesn’t change the fact that the legislation makes no provision for the press to be excluded from observing the law, no matter how righteous journalists may be.

It is clear that a nation’s security depends on its ability to keeps secrets. That is why it’s an imperative that bureaucrats and employees of various government funded agencies honour their employment contracts and uphold their oaths to keep highly sensitive and confidential material secure.

In addition, our allies must be confident that they can trust our alliances when sharing confidential top secret information, without the risk of exposing their assets. Australia’s success in protecting its citizens is dependent upon maintaining the confidence of these various international agencies, with whom we collaborate and exchange highly classified intelligence.

It is therefore understandable that any breaches of employee contracts, where it relates to leaking top secret material, should have harsh repercussions, with similar consequences for those who publish it.

It seems the media can be somewhat hypocritical with regard to contract breaches, particularly when they stand to benefit financially. Why is the press okay with bureaucrats breaching their employment contracts, but not okay when it comes to Israel Folau breaching his?

The media makes commercial decisions to publish leaked ‘highly classified’ material and justify their profitable actions based on the apparent ‘public’s interest’. This is deceptive behaviour because frequently it appears that journalists’ only expose the evidence of anonymous witnesses, to cause maximal embarrassment to the Government, without broader consideration to the potential highly damaging consequences of breaches to our national security?

There is a clear difference between the press seeking to embarrass the government and a whistleblower exposing the government’s illegal activity. The first may be a disconcerting ‘public interest’ story, however the latter is a clearer case of the ‘public’s right to know’; after all, the greatest hypocrisy and threat to our democracy is when the lawmakers seek to surreptitiously break their own laws.

Reporting illegal behaviour is an obligation for all citizens and is generally encouraged and rewarded in our society, except for some reason when it relates to reporting the illegal behaviour by our government and its agencies.

Why the distinction? What level of clandestine illegality and atrocities does our government commit, that are so repugnant and unjust that ‘national security laws’ are used to conceal the nation’s most obscene crimes?

Keep in mind: the national security laws were intended to protect our citizens, not hide dirty secrets, state criminality and the unlawful actions of the sovereign state.

Meanwhile if you expose state illegality the government will come after you with the zeal of the Chinese communist party and the vigour of Tiananmen Square’s state police, without transparency, judiciary protection, legal ‘due process’ and void of basic human rights. They will destroy you. Why?

Did we have a right to know about My Lai? Did we have a right to know about Abu Ghraib or that the Director of the NSA lied to Congress about the US spying on its own citizens? Did we have a right to know about the shameful illegal conduct of the Australian government, who’s atrocious covert fraudulent behaviour was exposed i.e. when they were caught spying on our closest neighbours and one of the world’s poorest countries, East Timor?

The purpose of Australia’s espionage against East Timor, was to acquire privileged and confidential information to unlawfully gain the upper hand in ‘treaty negotiations’ for the rich oil and gas fields in the Timor Gap. Australia’s objective was to have an unfair commercial advantage in the talks to exploit and deprive this small, poor country out of millions of dollars, by robbing them of their natural resources in the disputed area.

The whistleblowers exposing the above illegality face imprisonment. Why? They should be honoured for upholding the moral and ethical standards expected from our elected officials, who covertly cover up the crimes of their own governments.

If laws are not introduced to protect whistleblowers, then governments will continue to behave unlawfully, in fact, it will escalate if they know they can get away with it. Transparency is essential in any democracy and we shouldn’t have to demand it.

Perhaps the media should be slightly more ‘vocally outraged’ and reappraise or step-up their reporting on the immoral and cruel treatment of whistleblowers, such as Edward Snowden, Julian Assange or Witness K?

Certainly the Australian Government’s attitude towards Assange is akin to paralysis, compared to the resources being thrown at the imprisoned citizen Yang Hengjun, yet their circumstances are not that dissimilar.

Journalists need to give their ‘victimisation’ line a rest, as it is actually the whistleblowers in the firing line, as they stand alone without support and at risk of losing everything, including their freedom. (Unlike journalists who have the backing of powerful multi-media companies standing behind them).

Perhaps the press should take a rest from the continuous self-indulgent persecution complex, the excessive languishing and oppressive wallowing and start putting a little energy into lobbying for real change, legislation to protect whistleblowers, those who report and disclose the illegal behaviour of our politicians and the agencies they control.

4th September 2019

He who controls the media controls the minds of the public. Noam Chomsky

The Murray-Darling Basin – Extortion and Betrayal

Photo: Irrigated wheat in the Riverina 1976.

In Australia approximately 85% of the population live along the coast, so in a nation this large (7.7 million square kilometres), it’s not surprising that there exists a disconnect between people living in the cities and our cousins in the bush.

In the sparsely populated interior of Australia, it’s difficult for the concerns of minorities to be heard by those living in urban areas. It’s understandable that city people are mostly unaware of the crushing fight for survival going on in parts of the farming heartland of rural Australia. Of course city dwellers have an intensely keen interest in the probity and safety of their food supply, but beyond that, it seems most are more focused on the price of smashed avocado while pontificating about roasted coffee beans. That said urban dwellers perception of country people is probably just as ill-informed.

In the interior of south-eastern Australia, the fiasco and devastation threatening the livelihoods of farming communities relates to the Murray-Darling Basin. In the cities there is very little noise about this issue, with the general perception being that it’s about mismanagement of the environment, but few actually have an understanding of the real turmoil and complexities. I grew up in the Murray-Darling Basin in the 1950’s, 60’s & 70’s so I thought it timely to add a little clarity, based on the realities of my experience.

It is only 100 years since the first locks and weirs were built on the Murray River launching the Murray River Irrigation Plan, a scheme to have a dry river system deliver water to the arid inland that would ultimately create “one of the most productive food bowls and diverse agriculture regions in the country”. See (Dry Rivers, Wetlands, Environmental Water & Awesome Wells).

What subsequently followed in 1949 was an expansion plan to divert water from the Snowy River westward to provide additional irrigation water for both the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers, further supporting Australia’s irrigated agriculture industry. The Snowy River would be redirected beneath the Great Dividing Range with the plan to also include a Hydro-Electricity system to generate peak-load power for the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Victoria.

The Snowy Mountain Scheme was born, with construction completed in 1974 consisting of sixteen major dams, seven power stations (that today provides approx. 7% of Net Energy Metering), transmission lines, a pumping station and 225 kilometres of tunnels, aqueducts and pipelines feeding a large network of irrigation canals and channels. The scheme incorporated the 2,880 kilometre Mulwala Canal, (longer than the Murray and Darling Rivers) the largest irrigation  canal in the southern hemisphere which was completed in 1942 and supplies water to 700,000 hectares of agriculture land.

Also in 1949, construction commenced in far western New South Wales to dam the Menindee Lakes, a chain of shallow freshwater lakes on the Darling River. The irrigation storage scheme also supplied water to Broken Hill and was completed in 1968. Turning the arid inland plains into a productive, diversified food bowl by converting the dry river systems of the Lachlan, Murrumbidgee, Darling and Murray Rivers was an engineering feat, the benefits of which were self-evident; exports for a growing nation, while securing a stable domestic food supply in times of inevitable drought.

So what could go wrong with this sustainable irrigation system; sustainable because the ‘source and use’ of the resource was balanced and well managed, simply storing surplus water for use in the dry.

Well, incompetent bureaucrats and revenue starved state governments soon scuttled the sustainability of the system, when they over-reached and started issuing new and larger water rights to landowners located too far from the source, where 90% of the water was wasted in evaporation and seepage. The ‘use’ increased significantly while the ‘source’ stayed pretty much the same, and as a result the system became perpetually stressed, even during seasons of above average rainfall.

The government continued to knowingly sell ‘water rights’ for water that did not exist. To further bolster revenue, the government concocted a deceptive racket, charging farmers based on their water entitlement, rather than the water they actually used. The injustice is that farmers pay for water they never receive and in some years they pay full price for zero water. In any other industry this type of extortion would be the subject of a Royal Commission. I know I’m stating the obvious but an irrigation farming property cannot be commercially viable without irrigation water! It gets worse!

The system was established to provide sustainable water for primary production and the ecosystems and now the scheme was failing to deliver for the purposes for which it was established. In simple terms the governments increased the ‘use’ without increasing the ‘source’ which would require the building of additional water storage. But they failed to act. It has been approximately 45 years since a dam has been built, meanwhile the population has increased by 70%. So the government’s short sighted delinquent mendacious behaviour is the reason the system has failed.

As stated above, the Murray-Darling Basin scheme was designed to accommodate the needs of the irrigation agriculture industry as well as preserving the long-term sustainability of the rivers and lower lakes ecosystem. Successive governments have totally mismanaged the basin, to the point where there was insufficient water for neither the environment nor primary production. The stress was most obvious during the millennium drought.

With the advent of minority government in recent years, we witnessed the dysfunction of extreme politics, decimating rural community’s right across the basin. Instead of addressing years of mismanagement, governments simply stop supplying water to farmers and started flushing approximately 70% + of total fresh water volumes out to sea; water in the name of the environment. Meanwhile desalination plants in the cities are busy doing the opposite, countering this environmental policy by generating fresh water from the ocean and further contributing to our carbon emissions.

‘Environmental water’ has devastating consequences for the health of the waterways with prolonged ‘artificial flooding’ causing extreme environmental damage and stress to the ecosystem. The reckless mismanagement of the Murray Darling has accelerated river bank erosion and caused irreversible harm to the forests in the internationally significant Barmah National Park decimating native flora and fauna (see ‘The Choke‘)… not to mention the ecological disaster created when the Menindee Lakes were drained, contributing to the horrendous summer fish kills.

This extreme action has been devastating; transforming the once productive inland plains to what now resembles a desert, occupied by good people in a desperate situation courtesy of populist bipartisan politicians who consider these communities disposable.   

So now we have a situation where the water in the Murray Darling irrigation system is paid for by farmers facing bankruptcy, … so their water can be flushed out to sea … to preserve man-made freshwater wetlands … that were artificially created by damming a tidal salt water estuary … # . It sounds like madness but unfortunately it’s true!

If farmers are not receiving enough water to run a viable diversified farming operation, then they’ll surrender the interior to the desert and make the Murray-Darling Irrigation system redundant. That may be considered a good outcome for some, but what happens when food shortages are felt in the cities and suburban Australia? This is starting to happen now; Australia has been forced to import butter and now wheat from Canada because we cannot produce enough grain to meet domestic demand. The risks of food shortages are real!

# The waters of the Lachlan, Murrumbidgee and Darling rivers all flow into the Murray River which subsequently flows into the lower lakes in South Australia near the township of Tailem Bend. The lower lakes and wetlands were once a tidal saltwater estuary until about 80 years ago when they were dammed; creating a situation where the 500 square kilometres of the lower lakes are dependant on the declining and inconsistent freshwater flows from the Murray River.

Perhaps the lower lakes should be reopened to tidal flow rather than relying on freshwater to protect its ecosystem i.e. return the lower lakes back to their natural form the way it was prior to the 1940’s. That would negate the need to waste water in the name of the environment, our most precious resource and restore the Murray-Darling Basin back to a productive food bowl, as was always intended, provided water rights are issued on a sustainable basis and not controlled by a few big corporations.

Clearly it is not sustainable or equitable when a small number of large corporations, with deep pockets can control the bulk of the allocated water; a commodity that was once a shared resource for the benefit of all rural communities in the basin. Now the collective communities have been cut off and effectively starved of their livelihood, in order to protect the vested interests of a few, like the Sunraysia’s almond industry whose apparent immunity to water shortages is in part, the reason ‘the choke’ is drowning.

Ask how an Italian multinational; the world’s 4th largest confectionery conglomerate can acquire enough irrigation water from the Murrumbidgee River for a ‘demonstration farm‘ to cultivate 1 million hazelnut trees (in a climate unsuitable for hazelnuts), when for the second year in a row, most “irrigators will have little or no water to farm with this year”.

The governments reckless indifference has enabled its own agency to operate like pathological autocrats, as they administer the slow ‘economic eradication’ of vulnerable rural communities. These bureaucratic executives have commissioned ‘compromised academics’ to legitimise the policies of their political masters. They zealously enforce ‘morally corrupt’ rules based on dubious and conjectural (un)scientific research, while apathetically employing strong-arm, browbeating tactics, with a customary quantum of bureaucratic and political bastardry!

24 June 2019

“An incompetent person in a responsible position may cause huge damage. Such a person should act less and think more.” ― Eraldo Banovac

Australia’s Federal Budget – Fat Fairies sprinkle Magic and Bull Dust

Last week the Federal Treasurer handed down his Budget with an opening announcement that “for the first time in 12 years, our nation is again paying its own way”!

The Treasurer projected annual budget surpluses for the next four years totalling $45 billion with surpluses continuing to build “as we climb the mountain and reach our goal of eliminating commonwealth net debt by 2030 or sooner”. This is debt that the Treasurer would have us believe was inherited from the previous government. Not completely true but I won’t focus on the pejorative commentary.

Anyhow, net debt is the government’s gross debt less its financial assets; however, it is the gross debt that needs to be serviced with the annual interest cost for the national debt now a massive $18 billion. That’s approximately $50,000,000.00 a day! The reality is that the surplus projected for next year of $7.1 billion would be wiped out if interest rates increased by just 1%, that’s how sensitive and vulnerable the numbers are.

A little drilling down on ‘the numbers’ in relation to the nation’s gross debt is necessary to add clarity to the truth. The previous government was in office from 2007 to 2013 when the nation’s gross debt grew from $58 billion to $257 billion, an increase of $199 billion.

The current government has taken the nation’s gross debt to $692 billion, an increase of $435 billion.

How can our representatives overspend by $435 billion and then beat their chest about restoring the nation’s finances without increasing taxes? How is that responsible progressive disciplined management? If we can’t reduce expenditure to live within our means, then perhaps we should increase taxes (not reduce them), rather than continue to fund deficits with unconstrained borrowings, a debt of $692,000,000,000.00.

Higher growth has been underwritten and financed from excessive debt which means the record number of new jobs/lower unemployment and reduced welfare costs have been synthetically manufactured; funded by enormous amounts of money, borrowed at a frenetic rate that is straight out irresponsible! These apparent positive economic indicators are the result of artificial market intervention and not a consequence of a stronger economy. Thus, the Treasurer’s performance figures are skewed with massaged statistics that are not reliable or sustainable in the long-term.

It is unbelievable that populist politicians think that they have demonstrated budget discipline for a stronger Australian economy when the whole system has been pump-primed with cash to stimulate debt-funded growth. When it comes to the goal of eliminating debt I can only quote Kevin Costner in JFK the movie, “I find your story simply not believable”.

So this is how the federal government celebrates being “back on track”. It’s a race to the bottom as all political parties advocate delusional strategies i.e. that lower taxes will somehow balance the budget. Smoke and mirrors, magic and bull dust, it smells like the absence of ‘truth and honesty’ as all political parties promise the electorate more of what is already unaffordable. It’s becoming a case of who you mistrust the least!

One undeniable truth is that at some point, a future generation will need to significantly forfeit their standard of living to pay for the debts that funded our irresponsible and excessive lifestyle.

8 April 2019

When all else fails there’s always delusion. Conan O’Brien

IMF and You: Global Growth vs Environmental Sustainability

In January 2019 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued a warning that global expansion is weakening at a rate that is somewhat faster than expected and that the risk of a more significant downward correction is rising.

Why was it critical to issue this warning? Are the capitalist market economies that vulnerable and sensitive to the smallest variation in global growth, that the slightest downturn has economies teetering on the brink of a global recession?

To counter declining growth there are calls for additional quantitative easing, i.e. where central banks increase money supply to artificially stimulate growth in the economy. This strategy effectively brings forward future consumption, however it has limited effect over the longer term.

The difficulty for market analysts calling for monetary policy stimulus to reduce interest rates, is that global financial capital markets are tightening, creating conditions where borrowing costs will be higher irrespective of the actions of central banks.

These mounting headwinds – the risks of rate hikes and declining GDP – give rise to the inevitable lending constraints and loan serviceability pressures on those populous western capitalist governments who choose to slowly drown in debt rather than risk electoral defeat with responsible fiscal policies.

We cannot prolong the inevitable indefinitely. Markets will remind the electorate that there are limitations i.e. that your government can only kick the can down the road so far, as Debt to GDP ratios reach levels not seen since World War ll.

The capitalist economies are addicted to debt-funded growth – growth at any cost. They are consumer driven economies, where the expectations are for continual improvement in prosperity through higher wages, bigger homes, newer cars, more and better consumables. We want to continue to lift our standard of living and to get what we want by voting for those populist politicians who irresponsibly promise more, not what is sustainable.

Eventually it will be realised that you cannot continuously have higher wages while global growth is in decline and for those who haven’t noticed, while the planet’s stressed environmental health is rapidly deteriorating.

The capitalist global economies are effectively a pyramid system where the efficient market hypothesis and rational market theories are founded on the premise that global population continues to double every 30 years. However this is about to change for the consumerist, as clearly planet earth is approaching the limits of populous sustainability; the catalyst being when the world is inevitably forced to modify its carbon footprint and possibly face the consequences of a significant decline in global production.

It is this unsustainable global environmental health trend that should be concerning the IMF … and you.

What the capitalist didn’t envisage in the 19th century was that the planet would face such rapid population growth (370% in 117 years) and the negative consequences associated with the unpredicted challenges and ramifications of climate change: Arctic/Antarctic meltdown, excessive carbon emissions, landfill limitations, loss of recycling markets, deforestation, air pollution, water crisis, atmospheric build up, ocean dead zones, natural resources drain, soil degradation etc.

Global growth will progressively decline under the weight of a choking planet if you extrapolate the impact of the current global environmental health trends to their natural prognosis. The assumptions reasonably lead to a world population eventually facing the grim realities of intractable food inflation, a risk that will initially challenge the survival of the most vulnerable the world’s poorest countries.  

If we could simply start making decisions based on sustainability rather than expedience (economic, political or otherwise), we stand a chance of managing our decline in a controlled, humane and possibly bearable manner!

Meanwhile sharing a common desire to seek reasonable reward for our labour is antithetical to our aspirations for a healthy sustainable planet. The unresolved quandary of our inaction is the mutually exclusive cause and effect of climate change. Saying we are advocates for the planet is fashionable but ultimately we will be judged by our actions.

10 March 2019

“The time is past when humankind thought it could selfishly draw on exhaustible resources. We know now the world is not a commodity.” Francois Hollande.

13 Dead Indigenous Children – Washing Hands of Blame by Pointing the Finger

In February 2019 the Western Australian Coroner released her findings into the deaths of 13 Indigenous children in the Kimberley. The report concluded that 12 of the deaths were suicides, with some of the children as young as 10.

The Coroner blamed this Cluster of Kimberley child suicides on ‘tragic inter-generational trauma’. Meanwhile children are still dying, yet the wider reaction from the numerous ‘responsible entities’ was open defiance as they completely denied accountability. This is scandalous although it helps explain the atrocious historical track record of inaction. How is this acceptable?

We witnessed a number of contemptible interviews following the Coroner’s report; the responsible Ministers, Indigenous politicians, bureaucrats and Indigenous leaders representing the countless government-funded Agencies, Aboriginal Councils and Departments. Not one stated ‘what they should have done’, ‘what they will do’ or ‘what they can do to help’; rather they point the finger of blame elsewhere and accepted no responsibility for their inaction; detestable behaviour!

Don’t get me wrong they were empathetic, just not responsible, so what do these professional ‘desk riders’ do for their generous taxpayer-funded remuneration?

If Government funds over $30 billion a year to Indigenous Australia, shouldn’t the entities and agencies accepting the funding be responsive for the devastating outcomes we are witnessing in Indigenous communities.

Are we effectively condoning the ‘washing of bloody hands’ by accepting their denials of accountability?

If these taxpayer-funded institutions are not performing, why do they continue to be financed? If they are not capable of doing their jobs; the basics i.e. protect innocent children, then who can? The answer it seems is ‘no one’. Apparently not a single person and $30 billion could save these 13 vulnerable Indigenous children, those with the most desperate rudimentary needs for living!

I’m not sure if it’s a remote tribal problem, between those who control the money in the cities versus those with needs in isolated communities, but what is certain is that very little of the $30 billion a year is being spent where it is needed most, on the front line in Indigenous communities.

In fact, if you look at the conditions on the ground, it leaves you wondering where the money is being spent and whose pockets are being lined? We’ll never know while accounting firms are reluctant to reveal the truth in their audit reports, dare they be labelled racists and face being black banned by the lucrative ‘Indigenous industry’.

If the only reaction from the entities with the power and money to effect real change is to point the finger of blame elsewhere, then something significant needs to change (a complete overhaul) if we are to help Indigenous communities in desperate need.

The sad reality is that the message to the children of the Kimberley is the same, nothing has changed, nothing will change, you’re on your own, and help is not coming!

Meanwhile, after 11 years of the failed Closing the Gap strategy, we still think that continuing to throw more money at the problem will resolve the deeply ingrained duplicitous laundering of taxpayer money that never reaches the remote communities where it is intended and acutely needed.

This deceptive behaviour, in the hands of those who control funding is vaguely fraudulent, where mismanagement (at a minimum) deprives those in need of the intended benefits. Those in control of taxpayer monies are prospering at the expense of those in desperate need, innocent dead children; children whose final act at age 10 acknowledges their desperation, the realisation that they will never have hope for a meaningful future because the promised help and support is not coming.

It’s clear that Indigenous symbolism takes priority, e.g. mourning Invasion Day, the populous protest that is apparently more important than any issue that requires tangible action, like saving the lives of Indigenous children. Who mourns for these kids in the wider national community?

Culpability lies at the feet of all those who take the cash in the name of advocating for Indigenous Australians, those getting fat, by deliver nothing short of banal noise, insincere rhetoric and disastrous outcomes that contribute to the despair and deaths of the most vulnerable and innocent!

A complete re-examination of the immorality of our actions is required if we are to improve the basic Human Condition for Indigenous Australia, or at least those People in the wider Indigenous communities who don’t control or influence the allocation of funding.

Imagine the scandal if there were 13 child suicides in an Australian offshore detention centre, the atrocity would potentially bring down the Australian Federal Government, accompanied by a choir of global condemnation from all quarters. Every citizen would feel the national shame of such a horrendous scenario.

But when it actually happens in an Indigenous community in Australia, the silence is deafening. Why are humanitarians invisible on this, why are Indigenous activists so quiet, why is the wider community unsympathetically blind? There should be indignation and outrage, contrite, guilt, shame, pain, anger, sorrow…. but nothing ….not a drop of cold sympathy…. and you know why!

15 February 2019

U.S.A. Today

Sunday morning, slept in and didn’t dribble on my pillow, good start! Time for coffee and see what’s happening in the world.

Still half asleep, hit the radio, it’s politics and ‘midterm elections’ fanning the morning air. By the first bathroom break and coffee number two, midterm coverage had consumed about 95% of the waking time. Does the media not realise that the majority of people with the actual power to exercise their democratic right, don’t care. Only approx. 40% of eligible voters turnout for midterm elections. Time to change the channel!

Hello, good news, unemployment at its lowest level in 50 years. Surely, this must be fabulous news for all Americans, but somehow an opinionated detractor has managed to deflect the noise so it’s about discrimination and gender issues. Apparently we should be setting aspirational targets (100%) and not outcomes we could realistically achieve. Maybe these views reflect the difference between the academic theorists and the practical application applied by those who actually work. Time to change the channel!

A story about a warning from the U.N. Population Fund and the famine conditions in Yemen. They predict that some 2 million Yemeni mothers face starvation. Why the gender breakdown when the U.N. has already warned that 13 million Yemeni civilians face starvation in what it says could become “the worst famine in the world in 100 years”. Why sanitise the truth for your target audiences. Time to change the channel!

Here we go again, a story about the right to bear arms and the relevance of a Constitution that was drafted in 1787, back when the arms borne were muskets and not semi-automatic rifles. There is something like 12,000 firearm homicides in the U.S. each year and about 22,000 suicides. But today’s horrible news tops all that! The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency reports that ‘drug overdoses’ killed 72,000 Americans in 2017 and it wasn’t even a headline story. Time to change the channel!

A story about ‘Punishing Iran’ and how U.S. led sanctions are about stopping oil exports from Iran, the source of 80% of the country’s revenue. The story leaves me wondering who will benefit from the sanctions, given that neighbouring Saudi Arabia is the world’s number one oil exporter and the country with the largest oil reserves, the same country who denies murdering a U.S. citizen in their Embassy in Turkey. Will Iran resemble Yemen in a couple of years if this administration has its way? Time to change the channel again!

Now a legal story about whether Harvard admissions are unfairly discriminating against Asian Americans. The story states that Harvard is stereotyping Asian Americans accusing the institution of racial balancing, when it’s illegal to use quotas in college admissions. Meanwhile, the data shows that Asian Americans make up 22% of admitted students at Harvard compared to 6% of the U.S. population. I wondered how Native Americans feel about this apparent discrimination, the real ‘forgotten minority’ in higher education. Changing the channel!

Good Lord a story about how busy all our lives are now and what are we to do? Come on, seriously, compared to who? For a starter, google how to improve your time management’ skills.  Don’t sit around while you’re whinging, learn how to multitask and double your productivity by ‘whinging while you work’ to gain ‘favour’ with your colleagues. Maybe whinge instead of eating so much and improve the robustness of your energy levels and save the environment by displacing less bath water. Organise yourself better, do what you say you’re going to do and get off social media, yep social media! You’re not busy, just disorganised; get over yourself!

That’s it no more, too much bullshit for me, radio off and back to bed. Maybe I need to sign up to twitter or facebook so I can have a fanciful virtual life, one that is too busy and unfulfilling enough to complain about!

4 November 2018

“We cannot make good news out of bad practice” – Edward R. Murrow

The United Nations & Mad Cow Contagion

The United Nations (U.N.) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have delivered (independent?) research with alarming recommendations. Apparently objective academics sold their U.N. masters the outcome they wanted to hear. This is common practice where institutional executives pay academics to legitimise their policies, while constraining the ‘terms of reference’ to compromise the findings.

In summary, the research (reasonably) recommends the phasing out of coal by 2050 (assuming there is no potential scientific advancement in clean coal technology over the next 30 years). But the report vacillates from these sorts of credible recommendations to non compos mentis with crazy meat-eating climate change warnings and lunatic recommendations to move away from meat.

How can these bureaucratic diplomats and their academic lap-dog theorists be taken seriously…or are they just having a lend of us? Perhaps the eccentric intelligentsia are too isolated in Geneva and out of touch with the realities of the practical world? Why is the press not questioning the legitimacy of these claims and the basis on which they’re made, because the problem is coal, not cows!

This idiocy leads to a loss of institutional credibility and public confidence and as a result, the message gets diverted and the serious warnings about coal get lost in the noise. Meanwhile, the conversation continues about eliminating anything that farts.

It’s a bit hard to just blame the poor old cows after taking a closer look at the Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the statistical correlation between the big CO2 emitting countries and the number of coal power stations they have, not to mention the number of stations planned or under construction; plants with a working life well in excess of 40/50 years.

The top three countries making the largest contributions to world CO2 emissions are China 30%, USA 15% & India 7%. The top three countries by number of coal power stations are China 119, USA 20 & India 15.

It seems that the cows are the patsies, taking the rap for the countries like China who knowingly set misleading emission targets, in the full knowledge that they will never meet their future commitments, but apparently the U.N. doesn’t want to know about that!

What chance do minority groups have without representation when their existence is challenged by the might of the United Nations? Who will defend the genocidal motives of the U.N. against the innocent, those without a voice, the udderly defenceless, … our bovine brethren,…the humble cow?

With the global population doubling every 30 years, food inflation will be inevitable when climate change forces a decline in primary production. The U.N.’s outlook for 2050 will be grim enough without letting the ‘theorists’ have their way by banning meat. We could be looking at a world with food shortages and constant intermittent power interuptions (similar to that of the impoverished U.S. territory of Puerto Rico), living in a vegan world governed by oppressive anaemic autocrates.

In truth, history tells us what unseemly behaviour, cold & famished human beings inflict on one another when forced to survive. The music will stop, meanwhile these vandals at the U.N. are rewarded with a ‘job for life’ for attempting to stall the world economies…

At least cows know bullshit when they see it!

15 October 2018.

“Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.” – Robert A. Heinlein