Saturday 30th of August 2014

Recent Comments

by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2014-08-30 14:31

 

I have heard of policies being abolished because they are failing, but it is a rare thing for a policy to be abolished because of its success. Unless, of course, those recommending its abolition don’t believe in the thing it is successfully doing.

The renewable energy target (RET) – according to its official website – is supposed to “reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in the electricity sector, encourage the additional generation of renewable energy through financial incentives, and ensure that at least 20% of Australia’s electricity supply will come from renewable sources by 2020.”

According to the Abbott government’s review of the target, it is a roaring success on every one of those measures.

If the RET continued in its current form it would reduce emissions by an additional 299m tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030 – the equivalent of taking around 100,000 cars off the road. So that’s a tick.

And it has encouraged $20bn worth of investment in renewable energy, with $15bn more in prospect if it continued as planned. Another tick.

It was intended to meet a target of 41,000 gigawatt hours of renewable power by 2020, but because electricity demand fell in a way that had not been anticipated, this was set to represent around 28% of the Australian market.

Originally the government said the review was needed because this overshoot meant the cost of power was rising.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/29/the-ret-may-be-a-success-but-thats-exactly-why-its-on-the-coalitions-hitlist

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This is why, Tony Abbott set up a "royal Commission" into the Home Insulation program, which for all accounts and compared to private enterprise — was a RESOUNDING SUCCESS.  Only the pissy MMMM would poopoo this program because they were told to by their master the neo-fascist capitalists (Australian CONservative who call themselves "liberals") that it was not working. It did work and provided employment and cash flow at the time when most other economies in the world were tanking. Many of which are still tanked.

This Home Insulation programme annoyed the crap out these neo-fascist because instead of the banks and the rich cashing in, everyone benefited from it... Our Turd-in-Chief hated that and as soon as he got into power (by default with a big push from the MMMM led by Uncle Rupe), he decided to "prove" that the programme was crap... He won't succeed, should the commissioner be fair and observant.

 

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The scheme’s purpose was to inject $2.8 billion into a vulnerable economy. This was achieved. Most of that quantum had been already disbursed or allocated to remediation when the program was terminated in February 2010. Virtually all of it ended up precisely where it was intended — in Australia’s steadily growing economy.

In lauding the effectiveness of the stimulus packages, economist Joseph Stiglitz noted, regarding waste:

‘Of course, we should strive to ensure that money is spent as productively as possible, but humans, and human institutions, are fallible, and there are costs to ensuring that money is well spent. To put it in economics jargon, efficiency requires equating the marginal cost associated with allocation (both in acquiring information about the relative benefits of different projects and in monitoring investments) with the marginal benefits. In a nutshell: it is wasteful to spend too much money preventing waste.’ [3]

The fourth quarter of 2008 had seen a sharp reversal in Australia as in the rest of the developed world, with negative GDP growth for the first time since 2000. Unemployment surged from 4.6% in December 2008 to 5.7% in March 2009.

It was absolutely critical that the looming recession be halted. As shown earlier, this was accomplished extraordinarily well via the HIP and, later, the school buildings scheme.

The NSW Coroner also noted that:

"The secondary objective was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by making Australian houses more energy-efficient." [31]

This, whilst not the main aim, was achieved as well, with minimal waste overall.

Read more: http://www.independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/hip-royal-commission-submission-part-6-what-inefficiency-and-waste,6833

 

 

by Gus Leonisky on Fri, 2014-08-29 18:39

 

 

The old joke is: why do monks wear robes?

because they can run faster with a lifted robe than if they'd been wearing trousers at their ankles, while chasing nuns who run away by lifting their habit...

But seriously, some people (here a certain Father Richard Umbers) write sacred crap to hide the crime of priests sexually molesting young people:


This is diplomatic sensitivity par excellence that must remain strictly secret. If a penitent thought that his conscience was subject to NSA monitoring, let alone that his confidences were able to be leaked by a "Father Julian Assange" or "Monsignor Edward Snowden," the sacrament would only be frequented by children and the lonely. This is why there is a basic agreement in the Catholic tradition that the priest must never speak of confessional sins, not even to the sinner himself, if he is no longer in confession. St. Thomas Aquinas even went so far as to say that if a priest were to divulge what is said in confession he would not only be committing sacrilege, he would also be lying since what is confessed to God cannot be said to be known by the priest as a man. As the prophet Isaiah foretold: "The entire vision will be to you like the words of a sealed book, which when they give it to the one who is literate, saying, 'Please read this', he will say, 'I cannot, for it is sealed'" (Isaiah 29:11).

don't read more: http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2014/08/27/4075554.htm

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"The question that cannot be answered"... yes, Dr Who chases the soul of the wicked but "silence will fall"...

The question remains that, when priests tell of their bad deed to other priests or a bishop under the umbrella of "confession", the confessor becomes a co-conspirator in the bad deed should it be a deed with strong ramification against the social order. I know there is a certain "religious caveat" placed on confession to prevent such association but nonetheless, in reality, morally, the bad deed also belongs to the confessor once he knows about it. The purpose of confession is to share the weight of transgression and be absolved from it, but the fact remains that the bad deed has been performed and hidden from public view... 

The one item which obviously is missing from the Ten Commandments is the eleventh : "thou shall not have sexual relations with small kids" — though this concept features somewhat as a sin, in the godly dedication of celibate priests.

The confessor, in knowledge of a priest who commits sexual crimes against children, has thus to carry a very heavy burden by the knowledge of such crimes — or has HE (no women allowed as priests in the Catholic church, possibly for this sexual reason) Alzheimer's?. 

No-one in their right mind would think that such crimes would not have an effect on young victims for the rest of their lives. Silence here is not golden, but a latent participation in the life-long victimisation of such people. 

Only the exposed truth can end the process of victimisation, with proper civil punishment, because let's face it, once "forgiven" by his peer, the offending priests will offend again and again. The role of saying nothing only becomes part of the reinforcement that such crimes are not punishable in this temporal world. Often, when the knowledge of such crime has a chance to emerge in the public arena, the offending priests are sent to work in other parishes, where they continue to offend.

One has to also look at the possibility that bishops and priests gathering the knowledge of priests performing sexual crimes against minors also acquire this knowledge outside confession. In this case, many churchmen have chosen to still hide behind religious gobbledygook secrecy. 

So, to what purpose are they doing so? One has to look at the dwindling numbers of personnel. There are less and less people committing themselves to become priests — except in poor countries where it's an alternative to poverty, as they collect cash from the poor who are "in search of salvation". Salvation and cash often go hand in hand.

In a modern society with such "apparent" loose morals and easy access to "debauchery" — by this I mean there is a visible culture of understanding our sexual nature in a freer and more knowledgeable context — it would be very hard for anyone to be ignorant of such exposure and not be stirred by it. Committing to celibacy in the Catholic Church would be quite tortuously torturing in such an environment. It can be assumed thus, that the commitment to god in the priesthood invites a certain proportion of crackpots, since the premise of religious beliefs in themselves are a bit crack-potty when faced with diligent or scientific scrutiny.

Unless I am mistaken, the risks of being found out, should one be bent, have increased as the "inspections" have been strenghtened by the "moral public", which expects better from the moral guardians.

In the far distant past, I would suggest that priests did the sex crimes (and more — including war), but got away with it because the social tenets were not as astute and not media-focused as they are these days — since the only media then was the words of the bible... 

In fact sexual misconduct by priests was quite "liberal" in such times...

Back in the Middle-Ages (before and after) one has to know that "... lusty priests seduce the women who confess to them; noblemen keep mistresses; monks and nuns engage in secret liaisons while peasant couples copulate behind the hedgerows" (http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/497)... See joke at top...

It is also known that some cardinals (bishops, etc) had "boys" for sex (as well as concubines) — the "boys" being well looked after. They often were groomed for becoming the next "high priests", keeping the fucking of boys tradition alive. Of course, the boys in those days had the inconvenient other choices of going on a battlefield with a great chance of being gloriously shot, maimed or killed... or stay poor and ignorant while toiling on a farm. Thus being sexually abused by the cardinal was like having a promotion.

The glittering life in the full-on pomposity of the church with gold chalices and embroided robes at the high echelons plus sex with boys, would have attracted more homosexuals or bisexuals to the priesthood... Heterosexuals would have joined the monks to have shenanigans with the nuns, as recorded in history...

One must know that in bourgeois/noble families of these times, some males were pre-designated to become priests, some were pre-designated to become lawyers, others were to follow on the family-privileged footsteps including climbing the ranks of the nobility... This was mostly designed for such families to control the workings of the nation, below the rank of king.

 Democracy has demolished all this — except, are people like Anthony Abbott trying hard to reset the ancient non-democratic values of kingdoms?... And are priests part of his grand plan? ... Though nowadays the moral imperative is to uphold the sin value of sexual crime... Thank you Julia.

Meanwhile, despite the secret of confession, in my humble opinions, offending priests and confessors should be kicked in the balls... That might make them come out of their hole. Compensation of course has to be paid to victims and offending priests have to go to prison. But the church seems to prefer to stay on the side of its priests, while hypocritically claiming to be on the side of victims... Bugger that !

So back to the beginning of the diatribe at top... The seal has to be broken without breaking it if one must... There are many ways to do this, including the odd anonymous letter and/or encouraging victims to go to the police. Unfortunately, all too often, it has been church business to give victims the "option" of going to the police or being well looked after... 


We know what this means... Pigs fly.

 

by Gus Leonisky on Fri, 2014-08-29 16:24

Lewis Review to propose a doubling of cuts to ABC

Friday, 29 August 2014



MEAA, the union and professional association for Australia’s journalists, is shocked by reports that the cuts proposed for the ABC’s budget may be more than double what was initially proposed.

MEAA has been advised by several trusted sources that the Lewis Review into ABC and SBS efficiency is on the verge of suggesting cuts of more than $100 million year on year, dramatically exceeding the cuts of $120 million over four years in the Federal Government’s budget.

MEAA has learned that the savings figure does not include the 1% reduction in the annual appropriation already announced in the Budget, nor the $88 million over four years the ABC will save following the axing of the Asia Pacific News Centre (APNC). This would take the total cut to more than $130 million in the next 12 months alone.

MEAA federal secretary Christopher Warren warned that the cuts, and the reduction in staff numbers, would cause irreversible damage to the national broadcaster. “The cuts the Lewis Review is set to propose would decimate the ABC. MEAA believes such severe cuts would have a direct impact on vital, unique services that only the ABC can provide. We would likely see a reduction in the number of foreign bureaus and a distinct drop in the ABC’s rural and regional footprint.

“Specialist journalists and programs would all be hit hard. Areas like state politics, courts, science, law, religion, investigative reporting, trade, defence and national security would all be under the scalpel,” Warren said.

This new revelation comes on the same day that some of the ABC’s most prominent on air and production staff signed an open letter to the ABC board, calling on it to “take decisive action in support of the ABC” and dispense with the secrecy that has been shrouding the conversation around cuts to the ABC.

The letter said: “We, the undersigned, express our grave concern at the ABC’s conduct through its secret consideration of a radical transformation of ABC operations in a pre-emptive response to government funding cuts. We take issue with the managing director’s vision that a future ABC will be structured and reshaped primarily on audience demographic objectives by reallocating resources. A plan constructed in secret and imposed as a fait accompli can only be destructive. ABC program makers are ready, willing and able to play a constructive role in shaping the ABC’s future.

Read more: http://www.alliance.org.au/lewis-review-to-propose-a-doubling-of-cuts-to-abc

 

See toon at top...

by Gus Leonisky on Fri, 2014-08-29 15:56

 

The fundraiser Prime Minister Tony Abbott attended that sparked a furore over his use of entitlements was held for cabinet mInister Kevin Andrews, Fairfax Media has learned. 

Mr Abbott skipped a traditional dinner with government senators to attend the fundraiser, held in Melbourne on Monday night. His trip became front page news when he admitted to his partyroom that he booked a visit to a cancer centre early the next morning, so the interstate trip could be justified under entitlements.

Mr Abbott stunned his colleagues with the comment because although it is a common for MPs to combine official and party duties on trips, it is rare for a politician to admit to the practice for the purposes of entitlements.  

Mr Andrews refused to comment when asked for details about Monday night's fundraiser including how much it raised.  One source said it was being noted that the Prime Minister was fundraising for a federal MP two years out from the next federal election and the Victorian state election less than one hundred days away. But Fairfax Media understands Mr Abbott held a similar fundraiser for the state campaign the week prior. 

Mr Abbott was quizzed about his priorities when he arrived an hour late to the regular meeting of Coalition MPs. Government senator Ian Macdonald publicly berated the leader saying the joint partyroom was the only time backbenchers had an opportunity to discuss issues with the executive. 

 

 

 

See toon at top...

by Gus Leonisky on Fri, 2014-08-29 14:39

It’s term three in Victorian primary schools and for the first time, 50 schools will not hold religious instruction classes.

Lara Wood is coordinating a parent-led campaign against religious instruction by Access Ministries, an organisation that provides Christian education in Victorian public schools.

‘At our last count 50 schools have chosen to cease the program due to lack of interest,’ she says. 'It’s very significant. We feel that our campaign has been very successful. We feel that we are making history here.'

In 2011, religious instructors were present in 70 per cent of public primary schools in Victoria. Today, they’re in less than half.

Scott Hedges, a father of two who is also part of the campaign, believes it’s only a matter of time before the classes are axed altogether.

His daughters, who went to a primary school in Melbourne, found the religion classes confusing.

‘I felt, very, like, pressurised by doing it because it’s like, forced, like they force you to believe this sort of stuff,’ says one.

George Aslanis, a former Access Ministries teacher, now believes the classes are inappropriate.

‘I didn’t see it different to a Sunday school encounter—similar sort of format, a bit of play, some songs some fun activity, some drawing in, some Q and A, and ultimately, where possible, just putting a seed there, just hoping that it would grow one day to mature into a fruit,’ he says.

However, under law, Access Ministries are not allowed to attempt to convert children. The group’s CEO, Dawn Penney, says evangelism is not the point of the classes.

‘No, we do not proselytise; it is not something we promote,’ she says. ‘It is clearly in our training that it is not the way that we wish Access Ministries to be seen in the school.’

Earlier this year the group was embroiled in a scandal when one of their instructors handed out copies of a booklet called The Biblezine

It preached against safe sex and said homosexuality was a sin. The Victorian Department of Education investigated, and concluded that the incident was in breach of policy.

Penney, however, denies there’s a problem.

‘I don’t think [there is a backlash] at all,’ she says

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/backgroundbriefing/2014-08-31/5699360

by Gus Leonisky on Fri, 2014-08-29 14:15

Several politicians, including social services minister Kevin Andrews and Victoria’s attorney general, Robert Clark, have pulled out of the controversial World Congress of Families conservative Christian conference less than one day before its scheduled start after dramas about where the event would be held. 

The event is scheduled to host a lineup including anti-euthanasia, anti-divorce and anti-gay rights speakers from around the world. Guardian Australia has learnt 350 people have registered to attend. Thousands of protesters are planning to march against the event on Saturday. So far, five venues have backed out of hosting the conference.

Andrews said he pulled out of delivering the opening address after hearing that the rightwing Christian group Catch the Fire would host it.

“Tolerance is a critical value in a western liberal democracy like Australia,” Andrews said in a statement to Guardian Australia.

“It was for this reason that I intended to address the World Congress of Families meeting in Melbourne tomorrow.

“The calls for me not to attend demonstrate the intolerance of the Greens and the left – instead of arguing their case in the public arena they seek to shut down debate.

“Equally, I cannot support intolerance from other quarters. As I have been informed today that the event is now to be hosted by Catch the Fire, I have decided not to attend.”

The founder of Catch the Fire, a controversial evangelical Christian group, is preacher Daniel Nalliah, known for his anti-Islamic and anti-abortion views. He once blamed the Black Saturday bushfires on Victoria’s abortion laws.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/29/kevin-andrews-pulls-out-of-world-congress-of-families-conference

by Gus Leonisky on Fri, 2014-08-29 10:33

In mathematics, one important notion is the "loading" of a factor in an equation. For example if a factor is 2 and the loading is 3, the equivalent is 6.

In information and fact checking, the loading is called CONTEXT. When the hypocritical fact-checker at the ABC, says that "Fact check: Labor blocking $5 billion of its own savings measures" and gives a tick to Cormann about saying so, he lightly dismisses the "loading" or the context:


"An Opposition spokesman told Fact Check Labor opposes the R&D tax incentive and higher education savings because they were "measures initiated by Labor in government to invest in the Plan for Australian Jobs package and the Gonski education reforms."

"On coming to Government the Coalition slashed funding from the Plan for Australian Jobs... They also broke their promise to honour Labor's Gonski education reforms. In doing so they removed the fundamental reason for the savings being made in R&D and higher education," the spokesman said.

The Opposition will not support changes to the tax cuts associated with the carbon tax because: "Labor budgeted to defer the tax cuts until 2018-19, not cut them permanently."

"The bill introduced by Joe Hockey that purports to be a Labor savings measure keeps the tax free threshold at $18,200 permanently," he said.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-28/labor-blocking-five-billion-of-own-savings-measures/5684750

This context is good enough for me to say that Cormann — and the ABC "fact checker" — is talking bullshit.


 

by Gus Leonisky on Fri, 2014-08-29 10:12

The fundraiser Prime Minister Tony Abbott attended that sparked a furore over his use of entitlements was held for cabinet mInister Kevin Andrews, Fairfax Media has learned. 

Mr Abbott skipped a traditional dinner with government senators to attend the fundraiser, held in Melbourne on Monday night. His trip became front page news when he admitted to his partyroom that he booked a visit to a cancer centre early the next morning, so the interstate trip could be justified under entitlements.

Mr Abbott stunned his colleagues with the comment because although it is a common for MPs to combine official and party duties on trips, it is rare for a politician to admit to the practice for the purposes of entitlements.  

Mr Andrews refused to comment when asked for details about Monday night's fundraiser including how much it raised.  One source said it was being noted that the Prime Minister was fundraising for a federal MP two years out from the next federal election and the Victorian state election less than one hundred days away. But Fairfax Media understands Mr Abbott held a similar fundraiser for the state campaign the week prior. 

Mr Abbott was quizzed about his priorities when he arrived an hour late to the regular meeting of Coalition MPs. Government senator Ian Macdonald publicly berated the leader saying the joint partyroom was the only time backbenchers had an opportunity to discuss issues with the executive. 

by Gus Leonisky on Fri, 2014-08-29 10:06

Recommendations on the future of the Renewable Energy Target from a controversial review panel with vested fossil fuel interests shouldn’t be taken seriously says the Climate Council.

“The biased review panel unsurprisingly recommends phasing out or abolishing the small and large scale targets which threaten the strangle hold of highly polluting coal and gas producers,” said Climate Councillor Tim Flannery.

 

“Well I can tell you who does like renewable energy - the 10% of Australians who generate their energy from their solar panels and the 21,000 people who have good Australian jobs in renewable energy. They will all be gravely disappointed by this flawed process.”

“For a panel led by someone that has a lack of understanding of the scientific basis of climate change the results are hardly surprising.”

“Clearly the process has been highly flawed. There was already an independent body tasked with reviewing the Renewable Energy Target, the Climate Change Authority. Unfortunately a Panel was convened with a number of people with a well-known history of working closely with the fossil fuel industry.”

“It is crucial that reviews like this are independent and at arms length from those with a vested interest. The public cannot have confidence in this process as vested interests are simply too close to it.”

The panel was led by self-described climate skeptic and former Director of Caltex Dick Warburton.

“The uncertainty in the energy market that has been brought on by this process is preventing investment in Australia’s energy future. It’s lamentable that over the last year or so most of the large scale investment in renewable energy has dried up,” said Prof Flannery.

The Renewable Energy Target is an enduring part of Australia’s energy policy surviving five election cycles. Renewable energy targets are used by 140 countries around the world to grow renewable energy.

“The Renewable Energy Target has helped enable over 1 million homes to put solar on their roofs, reducing their bills, employing Australians and helping the environment. It would be a great shame if it were wound back in any way,” said Prof Flannery.

read more : http://www.climatecouncil.org.au/biased-ret-review-panel-has-no-credibility-says-tim-flannery

by Gus Leonisky on Fri, 2014-08-29 09:20

Discussion of military action against the Islamic State (Isis) is veering close to the stupidly binary – where someone either agrees with every as-yet-unspecified thing the government wants to do, or is accused of being blind to the danger and the atrocities.

If there is one thing we should have learned from the last decade it is surely the folly of committing to military action without a clear understanding of the precise objectives of the involvement, what we want to achieve or how long we are prepared to stay.

There is a humanitarian crisis in northern Iraq, Isis is engaging in mass murder and US president Barack Obama has quite rightly described the aim of previous US air strikes as being to “prevent an act of genocide”. Most people would consider it a situation that warrants action by the US and its allies.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/28/debate-over-military-intervention-isis-iraq-too-simplistic