Thursday, April 28, 2016
Feel the ecstasy below as Canada prepares to emulate Chairman MAO. And they even refer to the policy set as a "Leap". Yet another demonstration that the Left don't remotely understand economics. That the policies described would be very impoverishing is not considered. It's just dreams, divorced from reality. But the policies concerned would be very disruptive and Leftists like that. It is probably the real reason behind the "Leap". Mao's version was certainly very disruptive. The consolation is that, if implemented, the associated disasters will get Pretty Boy thrown out on his ear at the next Federal election
In early 2015, 60 representatives from Canada’s Indigenous rights, environmental, social and food justice, labour and faith-based movements met to draft a progressive vision for Canada’s future. The idea came from a belief that “now is the moment for a transformative agenda to come from outside electoral politics, to build a wave of popular support that will put real pressure on the Federal Liberal government.”
The result is the Leap Manifesto.
The manifesto, described as “a call for a Canada based on caring for the Earth and one another”, makes 15 demands. It starts with respect for “the inherent rights and title of the original caretakers of this land” and full implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It urges the shift to 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2030, a 100 per cent clean economy by 2050, and commits to no new long-term fossil fuel extraction projects.
Other demands include community control of clean energy systems, investment in public infrastructure, high speed rail and affordable public transport, resources for workers in carbon-intensive jobs, and a localised ecological agriculture system.
It also advocates an end to damaging free trade deals, welcoming refugees and migrants, expanding low-carbon professions like caregiving, teaching, social work, the arts and public interest media, a universal basic income and removing corporate money from political campaigns.
These proposals would be fully funded by an end to fossil fuel subsidies, financial transaction taxes, increased resource royalties, increased corporate and high income taxes, a progressive carbon tax and cuts to military spending.
To me, this sounds like a common sense list of good public policy. It would rein in the cowboy extractivism of fossil fuel companies, end the toxic relationship between polluters and politicians, offer masses of good clean energy jobs, deliver justice to the most vulnerable parts of our population and secure a sustainable future for human beings on a liveable planet.
To the establishment complex of banks, government, industry, think tanks and the corporate media, a common sense plan to avoid climate catastrophe is actually an INSANE RADICAL MARXIST AGENDA TO RUIN THE ECONOMY.
The Leap Manifesto has made quite a splash since its release during the Canadian federal election campaign in September 2015, pretty much dividing opinion along these lines.
Thus far 200 organisations, 40,000 Canadians and numerous celebrities (celebrities!!!) have backed the manifesto while the media has hysterically dismissed the document as “economic madness”, a “prescription for economic ruin” and my personal favourite, “another step towards re-enacting the Bolshevik revolution”.
The great strength of the manifesto is its grassroots origins and political independence.
As a “People’s Platform”, it’s not limited by the constant compromises of electoral politics but can still make waves in Parliament. The Green Party of Canada have highlighted similarities between their own platform and the Leap Manifesto. The National Democratic Party (NDP), who were the favourites for the 2015 election until they were outflanked by Justin Trudeau’s disgusting handsomeness, passed a resolution at their convention earlier this month to support the Leap Manifesto and debate its principles at the grassroots level over the next two years. They lost their leader, Tom Mulcair, partly due to his unconvincing and shifting positions on key aspects of the manifesto.
A majority of voters from the Greens, NDP and governing Liberal Party support the Leap.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
On ANZAC Day Dissent And Political Correctness
Michael Brull is a far-Leftist Australian Jew. So he hates Israel and Australia in roughly equal measures. But he is always good for a laugh. His talent for missing the point is unfailing. As with many Leftist articles, his article below is very long-winded. I have however reproduced it all so that people can see that he just doesn't get it.
Yet his basic point can be expressed quite simply. He says that Leftist criticism of the ANZAC commemorations is somehow disallowed or suppressed. But he quite spoils his own argument by listing towards the beginning of his article all the Leftists who HAVE criticised it, some of them quite prominent.
And if such criticisms have been suppressed, how is it that way back in the benighted early '60s my junior High School curriculum included a study of what is probably the most anti-ANZAC story ever written -- Seymour's "One day of the year". And that was during the Prime Ministership of Sir Robert Menzies, an archetypal conservative. Brull is talking through his anus.
He seems to have realized that his article lacked point and was wandering all around the place like Brown's cows so he concluded it by saying: "We are entitled to different values, and we are entitled to say so". It's a conclusion that is quite detached from the rest of his article. If he had shown that someone has denied him those entitlements, it might have made sense -- but he did not. All he shows is that conservatives sometimes criticize criticisms from Leftists. Is it not allowed to criticize Leftist criticisms? Is it only Leftists who are allowed to criticize? He seems to think so: Typical Leftist bigotry.
The big thing that is totally missing from his article is any awareness that ANZAC day is a day on which we remember the premature deaths of our relatives. I had relatives who died in both world wars. I never knew them. I was too young at the time. But I know the families and know they must have been people like me who felt like me and I know how grievous their deaths were at the time. An uncle Freddie of mine in particular was much loved and I regret that I never got the chance to know him.
And most people who attend ANZAC day ceremonies are like that. Their degree of closeness to the dead will vary but they will all be mourning relatives. And the ex-servicemen who march will be remembering close friends who were lost.
And enlisting in the armed forces is an heroic act. We walk into great danger. We offer to put our lives on line to defend our families from an enemy. And on ANZAC day we honour that heroism
And, Yes. I myself did voluntarily enlist and serve in the Australian army in the Vietnam era. I never got to Vietnam but I did apply to go
Go beyond the tedium of mainstream Anzac Day coverage and you’ll see the meaning ascribed to the Day, and the way the history around it is constructed, remain hotly contested. In a fundamentally political disagreement, shutting sceptics out should be seen as an act of political correctness, writes Michael Brull.
Once again, Anzac Day has sneaked up on me. For those of us who are unpatriotic, it is easy to feel like we’re a negligible minority. It is easy to think that your feelings of ambivalence, indifference, or even hostility to Anzac Day are totally marginal and isolated. It is just you and a few of your friends, while the rest of the nation patriotically gets up early and cries on cue at the heroism of our diggers. Yet the truth is that there is plenty of dissent about Anzac. The only reason you don’t hear about it so often is that it’s usually shut out of the mainstream media.
Right-wingers are perfectly aware of this. Since 2009, right-wing historian Mervyn Bendle has been complaining about academics trashing the Anzac legend, in a series of long and tedious essays for Quadrant. The “intelligentsia and the Left”, he complains, offer a perfunctory nod to the bravery of the Australian soldiers in World War One, only to follow by emphasising what they think really matters: an approach which is “always critical, debunking and even denunciatory of the legend, applying a form of methodological nihilism to allege that at the core of the Anzac legend there is nothing—only meaninglessness, futility, error, ‘a nightmare happening in a void’ as George Orwell remarked of Great War literature. Alternatively, if there is something at the core of the legend, it is shown by the revisionist to be unworthy, wicked and iniquitous—militarism, imperialism, colonialism, racism, sexism, masculinism—and therefore can and must be condemned and ridiculed.”
One summary of a collection of academic writings by Adrian Howe, an Associate Professor at RMIT University, identifies the Anzac legend as “a masculinist and British imperialist military tradition”; a “nationalistic, militaristic tradition [that is]class-based, race-based, ethnocentric and male-centred”; while Anzac Day is “a day celebrating Anglo-Australian manhood, militarism and a bloody defeat in an imperialist war [and]should be abolished”.
The list of offending scholars is long. They include Anthony Burke, Mark McKenna, Henry Reynolds, Marilyn Lake, James Brown, and David Horner. Military historians come in for a particular scolding, including Joan Beaumont, Brown and Horner again, Peter Stanley, and two books edited by Craig Stockings. Former Prime Minister Paul Keating is also counted among the unpatriotic. Bendle grumbles that in a speech, Keating “largely regurgitated the nihilist view that the conflict was pointless and futile, which has long been the default ideological position of the Left.” Alas, Keating dismissed “the war as the lamentable product of European tribalism, ethnic atavism, nationalism and racism in which Australia had no stake”.
Bendle assures readers in the tiny, largely unread magazine of the aggressive, purportedly highbrow intellectual right that Keating’s “facile, unhistorical ramblings” are wrong: “the Anzacs who sacrificed their lives or their health in battle did so for a great cause. To pretend otherwise is to betray their memory.” Thus, to doubt the cause of World War One, 100 years later is to betray the soldiers. It turns out that to be properly patriotic, we must not just mourn the dead. We must also celebrate the reasons they were sent to die.
In a sense, Anzac Day isn’t just about remembering suffering of soldiers. The sanctification of their memory is done with a political intent, with particular political aims.
The parallels to today are not hard to find. Many people thought it was really terrific how there were such widespread demonstrations around the world before the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Even if they didn’t stop the war, at least they showed anti-war sentiment. Was there any precedent for such anti-imperialism?
Yes, there was. Adam Hochschild reminds us of the large anti-war demonstrations across Europe before World War One. As Austria declared war on Serbia, 100,000 protesters converged at the heart of Berlin against war. The French Socialist leader Jean Jaurès stood with his arm around Hugo Haase, co-chair of the German Social Democrats, before an audience of Belgian workers. In Britain, Keir Hardie spoke to an enormous crowd at Trafalgar Square, “the largest demonstration there in years”. To wild cheers, according to Hochschild, he urged a general strike in the event of war.
As is known, these protests more or less ended as the war started. As in 2003, the media decided to “support our soldiers”. Like Bendle, this support for the soldiers in practical terms meant stifling any doubts or criticisms about the cause for which they were sent. Though the interests of soldiers and the politicians who command them are not necessarily the same, they are conflated by leading political figures. The loyal scribes of these politicians assure the public that to doubt the politicians is to doubt the soldiers, and how dare anyone cast aspersions on those risking their lives to keep us safe and defend our freedom? How dare anyone belittle the sacrifice of the soldiers, by questioning the values and wisdom of the politicians who send them into harm’s way?
Last year, Scott McIntyre was fired from the SBS for his blasphemies about Anzac Day, at the behest of Malcolm Turnbull, then, judging by Turnbull’s own words, the Minister for Right-Wing Communications. Though McIntyre’s tweets were condensed due to the nature of the medium, his supposedly inflammatory comments were duly analysed by academic specialists on the Anzacs. Professor Phillip Dwyer, Director of the Centre for the History of Violence at University of Newcastle, agreed that the Anzacs were “no angels”, whose members included those who behaved in “overtly racist manner”, and also rapes and summary executions. Geoff Lemon observed that it was hard to argue that Gallipoli was “an imperialist invasion of a foreign nation that Australia had no quarrel with”.
Recording historical facts about wrongdoing by Anzacs makes it harder to valorise the soldiers. They shift from becoming our heroic diggers, to human beings, many of whom acted in the flawed ways armies often act in conflict zones. Yet historians have not just challenged the factual basis for hero-ising the soldiers. They are also resolutely sceptical about the value of worshipping the Anzacs. Frank Bongiorno commented that “Anzac’s inclusiveness has been achieved at the price of a dangerous chauvinism that increasingly equates national history with military history, and national belonging with a willingness to accept the Anzac legend as Australian patriotism’s very essence.”
Academics are not infallible. Academic specialists can be wrong, just as academic specialties can function to mostly serve power. Anyone who has too much reverence for academic specialists should revisit the performance of all the economists who failed to predict the 2008 crash. They may know more than the rest of us about what happened during the war, but that doesn’t mean that they are necessarily more right about the reverence with which the Anzacs should be treated.
My point in reviewing their Anzac scepticism is not to suggest that academics verify or vindicate such suspicion. It is to suggest that jingoism tries to pretend a moral or political disagreement is somehow inherently illegitimate. There are many different ways to approach history. Trying to sanctify one approach to one aspect, and acting horrified at those who dissent from this particular approach is a political act.
As noted by Jumbunna researcher Paddy Gibson, in response to Aboriginal protests of Invasion Day, Prime Minister Bob Hawke started to push Anzac Day as an alternative to Australia Day as a way to cement Australian nationalism. This support for Anzac Day since the late 1980s has revived and reshaped Anzac Day, as the government has sought to push Anzac Day, and the particular values of its modern incarnation, on the general public. This culminated in the extravaganza of last year, when the government spent over $300 million on Anzac commemorations. Yet there were signs this had limited effects. Australians didn’t tune in to the World War One documentaries. Attempts to flog Anzac merchandise were increasingly seen as tacky. Everyone tried to cash in. Woolworths and Target put the Anzacs in their marketing. Now folded soft-porn mag Zoo featured a woman in a bikini with a poppy to mark the special day.
This kind of marketing was seen by some as exploitative. But using Anzac Day as a way to promote the virtue of World War One while hiding behind the political sanctity of Australian soldiers who died seems comparably cynical.
If we’re going to remember the past, and celebrate parts of it, why single out Australian soldiers? Why not celebrate Aboriginal warriors, who died resisting the invasion of their land and the decimation of their peoples and cultures? Why not celebrate trade unionists, who secured some of the best working conditions and entitlements across the world, and kept Australia one of the more egalitarian Western countries until the 1980s? Why not celebrate the suffragettes, who earned white women the vote in Australia before most of the rest of the world? Why not celebrate the activists for Aboriginal rights, who fought for land rights, treaty and sovereignty? Or those who won Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples the vote, and dismantled most elements of formal racial discrimination in Australia? Why not remember and celebrate the Australians who fought against World War One? Or those who successfully campaigned against conscription in Australia during World War One, or those who successfully ended Australian involvement in the war on Vietnam?
We can imagine a conservative response to these suggestions. Ah, but you see, these are political choices. Celebrating feminists, anti-imperialists, Aboriginal resistance and trade unionists doesn’t reflect the entire political spectrum. We couldn’t base nationalism on the political values of a segment of the population. It would leave out the rest of us.
Perhaps that’s fair enough. But what about those who feel left out by Anzac Day? Honouring those who fought in a war, while refusing to permit reflections on whether the war was unjust or not, is political. And so are nationalism and patriotism.
Some people may be proud Australians, who think ours is the greatest country on earth, with a largely, if not entirely unblemished history. Those who disagree are not committing a crime, they are simply engaged in a political disagreement. Australians who are horrified at Anzac sceptics are simply trying to enforce their political correctness on the rest of us. We are entitled to different values, and we are entitled to say so.
Saturday, April 16, 2016
What we put on our plates has a much greater effect on the emissions driving climate change than most people are aware of.
"The unsung contributor to climate change is the meat industry, which adds as much CO2 as the entire transport industry combined," said Pershin.
Total emissions from the livestock industry account for half of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, and a third worldwide once land-clearing is factored in.
If worldwide meat consumption continues to increase at current rates, we can expect a 76 per cent increase in agricultural emissions by 2050. This would neutralise the positive impacts of any other mitigation strategies, if and when they’re actually implemented.
Reducing per capita meat consumption by 25 per cent could, on the other hand, result in a 51 per cent decline in agricultural emissions over the same period. Such reductions in meat consumption are well within recommended nutritional guidelines.
By far the biggest footprint comes from beef and lamb, thanks largely to the land-clearing required for pasture. Reducing red meat consumption would result in savings not only for our overall carbon budget, but also the budget required to tackle climate change.
"If the average daily consumption of meat were to be reduced by 22 per cent, the cost of staying within the worldwide target of two degrees warming could be halved," said Pershin.
Saving emissions-intensive red meat for special occasions is one action that can keep us within our carbon budget without sacrificing the things we love.
The Climatarian Challenge
The Climatarian Challenge is a month-long challenge that begins with an allocation of points representing the individual’s ‘carbon budget’ – referred to as the ‘carbon foodprint.’
The app allows users to input the portion size and type for any meat included in a meal, and deducts points from the budget accordingly.
The higher the carbon footprint of a food item, the more points are deducted. Eating beef and lamb will quickly deplete a user’s budget while chicken is a relatively low-budget option. Meat-free meals keep the budget afloat the longest.
To survive the Climatarian Challenge, the user must reach the end of the month with at least a few points remaining in their carbon budget.
Thursday, April 7, 2016
Liz Conor's blindness
Greenie Liz Conor is a very angry lady. She absolutely pours out vituperation at Westerm society generally and her fellow Australians in particular. And she uses a lot of unusual words, in an apparent attempt to sound learned and profound. Race and racism is her shtick and like all Leftists she has a genius for telling only half the story about that.
She even seems to think it a credit to herself that she is married to a Ceylonese burgher. But although the burghers tend to be brownish, they have a lot of European descent and have largely European characteristics. A burgher lady I knew at one stage was pretty assertive too. They even speak English, mostly. So she hasn't really put her money where her mouth is.
I knew two blonde anti-racist women who did: Barbara M. and Christine A. Both married Aboriginal men and just accepted the limitations that imposed on them -- including syphilis in the case of Christine.
Under the heading "A Little Brown-Eyed Babe Washed Ashore", she is very good at blaming the death of Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi on the wrong people. She completely ignores that fact that he was already dead before he arrived in Europe. But if he was dead before he arrived in Europe how are "we" to blame? Liz seems to think "we" are. She even takes it personally. When she saw a picture of the boy, she found herself "erupting in shame and anger". The fact of the matter is of course that he was one of many victims of Muslim fanaticism. He and his family were driven from their homeland by the incredibly barbarous ISIS.
And Liz OF COURSE does not mention that his family already had refuge in Turkey when they set out. They could have stayed in Turkey in peace if they had wanted to. Their journey was a journey in search of money. They hoped to exploit Western kindness to get a better standard of living. The very risky journey was motivated by greed, nothing else. The father even put the safety of his children at risk to get more money. The death of the boy was a horror but the Western world had nothing to do with it. "We" are not to blame.
The person I grieve most for is the mother. She showed such loving care for her little boy, only to have it all thrown away by a scum father.
I could go on to fill out other incidents that Liz misrepresents but I think you get her typically Leftist strategy of mentioning only those bits that help to fuel her hatred for the rest of us.
But I want to address another one of her articles in the far-Left "New Matilda". She is even critical of the Australian Left's favourite Muslim: Waleed Aly. Aly had an article in "The Australian" that described Australians as "weird" because we are generally unbothered by the fact that there were Aborigines in the country when white men first arrived. The fact that we make extensive welfare provision for them cuts no ice, of course.
I have already pointed out at length that Aly's article is just an extended exercise in fantasy so does Liz think similarly? No. She sees his fantasies as fact. So how has he raised her ire? He did something that is a great unforgivable sin to Leftists, including American Leftists: He praised America! How heinous can you get? The bounder! The cad!
So Liz coped with that by accusing Aly of having ignored the raw deal that American Indians got from white settlers. And there is no doubt that there were real atrocities and betrayals during white settlement of America. But that is all of the past. The past is a different country. The only thing we have any control over is the present. And in the present there is extensive welfare provision and concessions that benefit the American Indians of today.
Like Australian Aborigines, they have big problems with alcohol but to deny them alcohol would be "paternalist" and "authoritarian", would it not?
So Liz is deliberately blind to most of the things she writes about. I guess she hopes that she can deceive a few naive people into sharing her hatreds. She completed her doctorate in Australian cultural history at La Trobe University so she cannot masquerade as simply ill-informed.