Thursday 30th of March 2017

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by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2017-03-30 14:56


The 1950s is a decade known for conformity and rebellion among the youth population.  For example, children of all ages were expected to be well behaved, always be polite and be nicely dressed.  Adults were quite strict and set in their own ways with definite views regarding the young.  When they were told to do so something, it was done in a timely manner without question to their elders.  On the other hand, as the decade wore on, young people started to voice their own opinions.  Following rules, wearing certain clothing styles and listening to different types of music seemed rebellious to the older generations.  The introduction of rock and roll music led the way for this “rebelliousness” that energized the youth of this decade.

Before World War II, youth was unheard of. The youth pre-war and during the war helped out the nation by attaining jobs to bring money to their mother while their father was in combat. Higher education was only for a few privileged kids. As you can imagine, teens were constricted to a small amount of freedom, little to no economic power, and practically had zero influence in decisions that were made by anyone older than them. Things started to change and the changes were beneficial for the youth.

Along with the war ending and the baby boomers, the roles of the teenagers changed. Teenagers were now staying in school and having more than one part-time job. Many teens influenced one another from being in school together instead of just working in a factory or the field and learning from their parents.This allowed teens to spend their own money on things they wanted which included entertainment such as music. They attended school dances where they learned new moves and listen to new music. Teens were more prone and encouraged to go attend a higher education and have a successful career in something they love to do. This resulted in more socialization of the youth and earning spending money. Every other generation of youth prior to 1950s generation were more serious and had less fun. Teenagers were expected to work in the factories and or fields getting paid minimum wage because their father was in combat.

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by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2017-03-30 12:18

Rob Stobbe, the head of SA Power Networks, which operates the local network in South Australia, says rooftop solar has already fallen to around 5c/kWh for households and businesses.

The cost of battery storage, he says, will fall to within 10c/kWh of usable power within the next 5-10 years, meaning a total of 15c/kWh for solar and storage – less than half the cost of grid power in South Australia (35c/kWh).

“Why wouldn’t that new technology come on board,” he said, in a panel session at the presentation of the AEMO final report on last year’s “system black” in South Australia.

The dramatic forecasts by one of the country’s key network owners highlights just how fast, and how extensive, the national grid’s shift from centralised to distributed energy will be.

And it has huge implications, not just for the way the network businesses are run, but also for the generators and retailers – often the same company – that operate most of the centralised generators and bill the customers.

Stobbe says that in South Australia, he expects at least 70 per cent of all its 850,000 customers to have rooftop solar, and 50 per cent of its customers to have battery storage by 2035.

In a grid that has a peak load of just over 3,000MW, and average load of around 1,500MW, rooftop solar will have combined capacity of some 2,000MW, with another 2,000MW of battery storage on top of that.

Then, he says, there will another 2,000MW or so of vehicle battery storage – with 30 per cent of customers taking up EVs – both drawing down from the grid at certain times, but also able to provide much of that capacity at others.

“Solar from the roof itself will have a big impact. No doubt within 5-10 years, those prices will come down significantly.

As the cost of electricity storage goes down, electricity providers hate this, because of the price differential...

by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2017-03-30 11:47

The Federal Government has announced a mandatory code of conduct for the sugar industry in a bid to resolve a long-running dispute affecting canegrowers in North Queensland.

Queensland sugar mill Wilmar and sugar marketer QSL have been locked in a bitter payment dispute for years.

LNP MP George Christensen and One Nation have put pressure on the Government to step in and help resolve the issue, with One Nation senators earlier this week threatening to abstain from voting.

The Treasurer Scott Morrison said the code of conduct, which covers all sugar growers nationally, was expected to come into place by regulation next week.

"I wouldn't call it an expansive code," Mr Morrison said.

"It's not controlling prices, it's not re-regulating the industry or anything like that."

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by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2017-03-29 08:56

Police are investigating how faeces ended up in the cans, which arrive at the plant without tops on. The cans are filled with the beverage on site before being sealed and sold across Northern Ireland.

Coca-Cola confirmed there was an incident involving empty cans at the plant, but said it was an “isolated incident” and did not affect products on sale.

READ MORE: French Coca-Cola workers discover $56mn worth of cocaine in shipment 

“Coca-Cola takes the safety and quality of our products extremely seriously...We are treating this matter extremely seriously and are conducting a thorough investigation in co-operation with the PSNI (Northern Ireland police),” it said in a statement to The Journal.

The Food Standard Agency said it was aware of the contamination but noted that there was no evidence to suggest the product had reached the market.

The local environmental health unit is also investigating the matter.

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by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2017-03-29 08:49


A fictional, blue-skinned animated character in the children's cartoon ‘The Smurfs’ has been censored from film posters in Bnei Brak, an ultra Jewish Orthodox city in Israel because she resembles a woman.

Adventure animation ‘Smurfs: The Lost Village’ is due to hit the cinema screens on April 7, with promotional material already launched in cities around the world.

However, the Belgian comic’s female character Smurfette has been dropped from posters in Bnei Brak, Israel, over fears her gender may offend residents in the city, report Haaretz.

The city, located east of Tel Aviv, is noted for being extremely religious and does not allow the depiction of women on advertizing billboards, according to local reports.

Smurfette, who sports long blonde locks, a dress and high heels, was originally the only female character in an almost 100-strong cast of miniature blue forest dwellers. She features alongside male smurfs Hefty, Brainy and Clumsy in most promotional images but not in Bnei Brak.

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by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2017-03-29 08:23

During the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, a common theme among the candidates was that the U.S. needed to scale back efforts to combat climate change because one country can’t go it alone. The candidates’ thoughts were that other countries were still polluting, so why should the U.S. “destroy our economy” to address climate change?

The only problem with this talking point is that it simply isn’t true. In fact, thanks to President Donald Trump’s decision to scale back some of the most aggressive climate protections enacted by former President Obama, the U.S. is now the country appearing to take a lackadaisical approach toward climate change.

On Tuesday, March 28, Donald Trump unveiled an executive order that will initiate a “review” of the Clean Power Plan. The order will also force the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review all environmental regulations and safety standards to determine which ones are the most detrimental to U.S. jobs. According to the administration, the desire to scale back environmental protections, and part of the reasoning behind the proposed 31 percent cut in EPA funding, is to help bring back American jobs that were allegedly destroyed by these environmental safeguards (again, another talking point that has been thoroughly debunked.)

The irony with Trump’s dismantling of EPA programs and protections is that the United States is now guilty of what Republicans have been accusing other countries of doing, which is letting polluters call the shots with no regard for the environment. And just like Republicans were angry when they believed the U.S. was acting on climate while no one else was, leaders around the globe are furious about the Trump administration’s decisions to scale back environmental protections that undermine international climate agreements.

Scientists and elected officials in Europe were quick to speak out about the Trump administration’s plans to cut U.S.climate protections, saying that the United States, once a leader on these issues, is now moving backwards at a time when everyone else is making forward progress.

Thomas Stocker, a former co-chair of the United Nations scientific panel on climate change, said that Trump’s actions show that the United States has abdicated its position as a global leader on the issue of climate change and environmental protection. Stocker said that other countries will now have to step in and serve as a leader on this issue.

Germany's environment minister, Barbara Hendricks, echoed Stocker’s claims by saying that any country that begins moving backwards rather than forward is going to be working against its own self interests. Hendricks also pointed out that the renewable energy sector across the globe has been adding jobs at an astonishing rate, a trend that the United States may now miss out on thanks to the actions of President Trump.

Other countries are already showing far more leadership than the United States. For example, China announced plansearlier this year to replace a fleet of nearly 70,000 fossil-fueled taxis in Beijing with an all-electric fleet in the near future. India has set a goal of achieving 60 percent renewable energy by the year 2027, which would lead to a dramatic reduction in carbon emissions.

So while other countries are stepping up to address the global climate challenge, the United States is now on course to reverse years of moderate progress toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions and related air pollution tied to burning fossil fuels. 

“This president wants to return to the days of toxic dumping free-for-alls, black spewing smokestacks, and increasing rates of asthma for children in the most vulnerable neighborhoods across the country — all for the sake of corporate profits for his friends,” Lindsey Allen, executive director of the Rainforest Action Network, said in a statement.

With President Trump's shift to supporting fossil fuels and away from renewable energy, environmental groups also warned of how that would impact the economy.

In a message sent to supporters, the Climate Reality Project president and CEO Ken Berlin said, “While there is no doubt these executive actions will be challenged in court, it’s clear the administration is doing everything in its power to weaken efforts to fight the climate crisis … Unfortunately, the administration continues to fail to recognize that when clean energy loses, the American economy loses.”

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by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2017-03-29 07:03

As Turnbull continues to flog his company tax cut dead horse, should he just take Trump's example and move on? Mungo MacCallum reports.

MALCOLM TURNBULL should follow the sensible example of Donald Trump.

No, this is not the message from Cory BernardiGeorge Christensen and Pauline Hanson, nor the lunar right of Fox News and the Murdoch Press. It is the sober assessment of pragmatists who are finally ready to move on from the 2014 Budget and the more recent futile policies which have never and will never pass a stubborn Senate.

Last week The Donald – the consummate deal maker – quickly and decisively cut his losses. For most of the last year, he had been committed to the destruction of Barack Obama’s public health scheme — Obamacare, as it became known. This would be his first act in office; the obnoxious, unaffordable socialist menace would be replaced by something else — Trumpcare, perhaps.

It all sounded so simple and straightforward. But alas, Congress – the parliament – intervened; not all his fellow Republicans were convinced and the numbers were not there. So instead of endlessly procrastinating, keeping the bill on the back burner in the hope that something might eventually turn out, Trump dumped the zombie measure and moved on.

Okay, it may have been one of the few rational things Trump has done since moving into the White House, but it was considerably more decisive than the endless procrastination of our own leader, who seems determined to hang on to the great National Economic Plan of 2016 — the plan for massive across-the-board cuts to company tax.

There was a moment last week when both Turnbull and his beleaguered Treasurer, Scott Morrison, appeared to acknowledge reality: that the Senate would not cop it and it would be smarter to pass the cuts for small businesses and confine the rest to the limbo from which they have never really emerged. And there was some encouragement when a massive rejig of the child care reforms – which had been stuck in the system for more than two years – suddenly saw the government ready to compromise to the extent that Turnbull was ready and willing to proclaim a rare victory. Suddenly all the stonewalling about the need for huge cuts to family welfare to pay for the child care melted away.


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by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2017-03-28 20:16


by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2017-03-28 13:28


Great Barrier grief missing from The Australian

The Australian offers scant coverage about the latest bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef.

But now to the Great Barrier Reef and an important story that some in the media have ignored.

As viewers of Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes discovered last night in a powerful and moving report, the reef is being hit by a dramatic new wave of coral bleaching:

TOM STEINFORT: Charlie has brought me here to Pixie Reef, an ironic name for a place that’s in such a sorry state. All around us is bleached and dying coral, right in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef

— Channel Nine, 60 Minutes, 26 March, 2017

This latest dire threat to the reef has been widely reported in the media since February, when a rash of headlines echoed a grim official warning from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority:

Great Barrier Reef authority warns of widespread bleaching again this year

—, 24 February, 2017

Two weeks later, the threat level was raised further, after official surveys revealed much greater damage than feared. 

And once again came a flurry of headlines.

With the British tabloids, 

American broadsheets, 

And Canadian TV now getting in on the act, along with many others. 

Then, just days ago the respected science magazine Nature ran the story on its cover.

Publishing the results of a worldwide study led by scientists from Queensland’s James Cook University, which warned that damage to the Barrier Reef caused by climate change could be fatal.

And for the third time in a month, the media swung into action: 

KATE LEONARD-JONES: Our national wonder in peril. This sobering view confirming what scientists feared, hundreds of square kilometres of coral dead or dying. 

DAVID WACHENFELD: For the second consecutive year we have mass coral bleaching event. 

KATE LEONARD-JONES: An event previously unheard of until 20 years ago.

— Channel Seven News Brisbane, 10 March, 2017

And once again it made waves around the world, 

In the New York Times,

The Chicago Tribune, 

The BBC,

And more, with the message that the reef could only be saved if climate change is halted.

But one place you couldn’t read any of this was
The Australian newspaper, which has had no mention at all in its print edition.

And how amazing is that?

Here is arguably the most important environmental story in Australia and a tourism asset that’s worth billions of dollars a year. 

Yet the Oz does not consider it worth reporting, except in a couple of clips online. 

Even more remarkable,
The Australian’s environment editor, Graham Lloyd, who describes himself as: 

… a fearless reporter on all sides of the environment debate.

— The Australian

has also had absolutely nothing to say.

Extraordinary isn’t it?

In fact, Lloyd’s been silent on coral bleaching since mid-last year when he reported that scientists had exaggerated the problem. 

That it wasn’t too bad.

And that the scientific world was divided. 

Media Watch ripped into that article at the time because Lloyd relied heavily to make his case on a bird migration specialist from California called Jim Steele.

Who was not an expert on coral reefs,

Or on oceans,

Or on global warming, 

Lloyd hit back in The Australian accusing us of Bleaching the Facts and:

… scientific bullying to squash discussion of genuine concerns about the Great Barrier Reef.

The Australian, 25 July, 2016

He also said he was not ignoring coral bleaching but that he preferred to rely on:

… the more sober analysis of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority …

— The Australian, 25 July, 2016

Which of course is the authority behind all this year’s warnings. So now Graham Lloyd is ignoring them too. 

As well as an army of experts like Professor Charlie Veron the so-called godfather of coral now sounding the alarm: 

PROF CHARLIE VERON: A lot of people say oh it’s just a normal, natural thing. There’s nothing normal and natural about this. 20 years ago this would have been a fabulous place, it was a fabulous place. It was just teeming with life and now its teeming with death 

— Channel Nine, 60 Minutes, 26 March, 2017

So why are Graham Lloyd and
The Australian so busy looking the other way on such a tragic and important story? 

The Australian declined to explain. But our guess is it just doesn’t fit their narrative


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Read from top... The biggest newspaper in Queensland is owned by the same person who owns The Australian: Uncle Rupe...


by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2017-03-28 05:50

The attack on the British Parliament is a terrible tragedy and a hideous crime.

On March 23, Daesh terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the deadly Westminster attack in the British capital.

This fact should underscore a bitter truth that Western political establishments persist in resisting.  This is that it is impossible to fight terrorism effectively in Europe if it is supported — however discretely — in the Middle East.

The origins of today’s Jihadist movement go back to the 1980s when Western governments, including the British government, actively supported the Jihadist war against the Soviet backed in Afghanistan.  This war radicalised a whole generation of young Muslims in Europe and the Middle East, with the active support of Western governments.  I well remember the articles and documentaries supporting the Jihadist struggle in Afghanistan which proliferated in the Western media at this time, which included turning a blind eye to Jihadi atrocities in Afghanistan and to the role Jihadi groups were playing in heroin trafficking, which caused an explosion in heroin addiction in the West (especially in Britain) at that time.

More pertinently, this support for the Jihadi movement in Afghanistan led to the British authorities turning a blind eye to the establishment of a Jihadist network in mosques and community centres across Britain.  There were rumours at the time — never fully confirmed or denied — that an implicit agreement had been reached between the British authorities and Jihadi leaders that the British authorities would tolerate their activities in Britain provided they undertook no violent action on British soil.


To add to the toxic brew, it was also roughly at this time that a wave of funding from the Gulf region transformed the teaching of Islam in British mosques and Muslim community centres, changing Wahhabist/Salafi doctrines from a marginal influence within Britain Islam increasingly into its mainstream.

The British authorities have struggled to get on top of these Wahhabist/Salafist Jihadist networks that were established in Britain in the 1980s ever since.

In recent years the British authorities have made their problems worse by embracing the Jihadist struggle against President Assad’s government in Syria.  Instead of recognising President Assad and his government for what they are — a bulwark against the spread of Jihadi terrorism in the Middle East and elsewhere — the British authorities have been relentless in demanding President Assad’s overthrow, so that just as in the 1980s they supported the Jihadist struggle against the government of Afghanistan, so today they have been de facto supporting the Jihadist struggle against the Syrian government.


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