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Monday Message Board

October 27th, 2014

It’s time for another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

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  1. Ikonoclast
    October 27th, 2014 at 09:28 | #1

    Has the world’s response to Ebola shown that we are unprepared to deal with the emerging challenge of zoonotic disease? Zoonotic diseases are those that can be transmitted from animals to people or, more specifically, a disease that normally exists in animals but that can infect humans. The expansion of human habitat and the destruction and absorption of wild habitat has accelerated the process of such diseases jumping from wild (and domestic) animal populations to humans.

    “Some examples include: anthrax, ascariasis, brucellosis, plague, echinococcosis, Lassa fever, listeriosis, Lyme disease, monkeypox, psittacosis, rabies, salmonellosis, trichinosis, toxoplasmosis, typhus and West Nile fever.

    “Zoonoses may appear suddenly and be relatively virulent, as illustrated by HIV which ignited the AIDS epidemic and the coronavirus responsible for the outbreak of SARS.” – Medicine Net.

    Ebola is another example of zoonotic disease as are Australia’s own Lyssa virus and Hendra Virus. Rodents and bats are the worst source of zoonotic diseases.

    But back to the question. Has the world’s response to Ebola shown that we are unprepared to deal with the emerging challenge of zoonotic diseases? I would argue the answer is yes. Our response on at least two fronts has been woefully inadequate. Firstly, inadequate help has been given to the West African countries experiencing the outbreak. Second, inadequate steps have been taken to implement quarantine to limit the spread of the disease to new countries. Even Western medical systems have been shown up as having questionable ability to contain this disease in practice due to inadequate training, inadequate equipment and inadequate facilities. I actually blame managerialism to an extent. The managerialists (now in control of our medical systems and quarantine systems) have no idea how to manage anything. Hence, the shambles we have seen so far.

    “Ebola crisis: Quarantined US nurse criticises ‘frenzy of disorganisation'” – ABC News.

  2. jungney
    October 27th, 2014 at 11:42 | #2

    It wasn’t so long ago that a local at the Shearer’s Armpit used the term ‘natural cull’ in relation to humans. I was taken aback at the idea that you could legitimately do nothing to alleviate the conditions of living for large swathes of humanity on the grounds, of course, of ethnic otherness, but as well on the grounds of generally reducing planetary human population levels.

    Abbott’s proximity to far right christian parliamentary members plus his own may make them all the bearers of ‘natural cull theory’. Abbott’s abstention from medical aid for Ebola, located as it is, would be reading the runes more than analysis. However, if there is fire where there is fire where there is smoke, then the truth will start to appear sooner or later.

    I’ve long held that current bipartisan immigrant policy is a mere rehearsal for letting tens and tens of thousands die when ecological forces make their homelands uninhabitable.

    It is my view that the global political situation (the capture of government everywhere in the interests of oligarchs) and the ever looming ecological crisis have created the legitimate conditions in which citizens begin to arm themselves against the state, wherever they live, in the name of self defence. The nature of the self defense is both local and global; the state of global ecology is the business of the world’s people; the state of society and democracy are also the legitimate business of the people.

    The oligarchs intend to rule as pharaohs once did, as if they don’t already own enough. Free trade agreements, media monopolies putting out little more than brainwashing propaganda, the militarizing of police forces globally including here, the interconnections between corporations, the military complex and the omnipotent corporations, and all of them intermeshed with the surveillance state, all spell serious trouble ahead.

    So, it appears to me that the ground is open for someone to declare that, in the name of self defence, people are entitled to organize and prepare for potentially very repressive times.

    Not that I’m advocating violence of any sort, not even against property and where no one is hurt. I’ve been a committed NVDA practitioner for a long time and intend to keep it that way.

    However, it appears to me that all of the conditions of ever increasing war will someday soon break the national boundary. We are now acclimatised to war as the general condition in numerous parts of the world. Internal dissent will simply bring the usual war within the nation as any dissent against global corporatist-fascism.

    When does self defence, especially on grounds of preventing global ecological collapse, become legitimate?

  3. Charlene MacDonald
    October 27th, 2014 at 14:56 | #3

    Jungney, the concept of “natural cull” is philosophically closer to the Greens than to the LNP. If it could be said the LNP has a hivemind on this, it would in fact be more likely to be the opposite.

  4. David Allen
    October 27th, 2014 at 15:36 | #4

    Charlene MacDonald :
    Jungney, the concept of “natural cull” is philosophically closer to the Greens than to the LNP. If it could be said the LNP has a hivemind on this, it would in fact be more likely to be the opposite.

    Oh you’re a charmer. Aren’t there some poor unfortunates somewhere you could be yelling at?

  5. jungney
    October 27th, 2014 at 15:54 | #5

    @Charlene MacDonald
    Charlene, there is an eco-right but they’re not the Greens unless you’ve seen material I haven’t. I live in he bush and the sort of people who have expressed support for the attitude are all Nationals voters or Liberal voters.

    The eco-right in Australia tends to be aligned with population containment, say Mark O’Connor who wrote “this tired brown land”. But an eco-right will find fertile ground in Australia had any one the wit to form it. Fortunately most Australian rightists have are still in the delirium of denialism and cannot now turn about face to embrace climate science and ecology with any plausibility. Depopulation would be the polite term for death by neglect and disease in a crisis. There are nascent eco-rightists amongst the “eff-off we’re full mob” but they are mostly attached to fixing their 4wd’s, camping and fishing.

    I suppose if the shotters and Fishers Party started to spout defence of mother earth against corporations along with anti-immigrant rhetoric it might be on but they’re too busy killing non-human nature to bother.

  6. October 28th, 2014 at 01:28 | #6

    @Charlene MacDonald
    My earnest hope, if not expectation, is that all the main political parties, the most important institutions of the political system, with their ideally actively participating, empowered, citizen members, are democratic. The demise of the Country Party is perhaps an untold but important story. My memory is of farmers sitting on the back of trucks at sunset on the WA wheat belt complaining about the wharfies. If you can make the argument that the Greens are fascist, do so. I do not prima facie observe the defining characteristics you implicitly allege, rather the contrary.

  7. rog
    October 28th, 2014 at 06:35 | #7

    Power without Glory.

    The Victorian govt has sold its sovereignty to a casino, in this case Crown Casino.

    http://www.theage.com.au/comment/political-gamble-victorian-government-power-sold-to-crown-casino-20141027-11c0tl.html

  8. Salient Green
    October 28th, 2014 at 07:30 | #8

    @Charlene MacDonald
    In 2012 the world’s 100 richest people gained around $240 billion dollars which is enough to end extreme poverty worldwide 4 times over.
    Extreme poverty leads to overpopulation which inevitably leads to natural culls – has done and will increasingly do so.
    The LNP are the party of the wealthy elite which are not only failing to end extreme poverty when it is within their power to do so, but actually contribute to it through exploitation of third world resources and environmental destruction.

  9. Donald Oats
    October 28th, 2014 at 09:27 | #9

    In keeping with the theme, today the national rag has a front page story on Rupert Murdoch’s musings over the accumulation of wealth at the top end (the 1%) and the growing disparity between them and the poorest citizens in the Western countries. The punchline is that Rupert effectively blames too much government, insisting that government should get out of the way of the economic processes.

    This is very much in keeping with observations on this blog, about the reality dysfunction in the way the neocons process the facts in front of them. They see there is a problem, but then conclude that they must do more of the same to solve the problem. What will it take to rock their worldview?

  10. Julie Thomas
    October 28th, 2014 at 12:01 | #10

    Jeez that reality dysfunction produces some awesome examples of how irrational and ignorant intelligent people can be when they reason within the parameters of their own cognitive limitations.

    Here is Kay Hymowitz – some right wing conservative woman with nfi talking to Michael Duffy – the well-known Libertarian thinker who presented this nonsense and so many other foolishnesses – on Counterpoint back in 2006.

    “Our educated women and women with some money are all getting married before they have their children. They’re raising their children within marriage and their divorce rate is fairly low.

    “On the other hand, our low income women and women with less education, are not having children within wedlock, they are not getting married before they have their kids, and the problem with this is that it is self-perpetuating.

    “It means that the poor are more likely to stay poor, because from what we know now after decades of this marriage experimentation, the children who grow up in single parent homes don’t do as well on a wide variety of measures, including academic and including income.

    “So that’s our concern.

    “Now the hope, as I mentioned before, among some conservatives at any rate, was that by cutting welfare payments and by pushing people into work, that women would be more likely to want to marry before they had children.

    “The logic went a little bit like this, that they would get more control over their lives and begin to seek more in a future tense, and begin to approach their family formation in a much more careful and cautious way. ”

    They “hoped” and the “logic went a bit like this” and they still seem to believe that all it takes is to “push people into work”.

    Where are they hiding this “work” that will apparently fix all the social problems that welfare apparently causes?

  11. Donald Oats
    October 28th, 2014 at 20:26 | #11

    And in today’s news on the continuing success of the stopping the boats policy, young refugees report beatings on Nauru. Walking along, they are asked by a group of men to say who they are, and when they acknowledge who they are, they are beaten, bashed, and told

    …all mother-f**ker refugees, we will kill you, this is our country and no one can protect you, not even Save the Children or immigration.

    If this happened, then surely the fact that they have been threatened with death and actually bashed for belonging to a particular group, i.e. asylum seekers on Nauru, they have grounds for seeking asylum in Australia now. And, since Nauru is the place of civil strife that they are trying to flee, they are legitimate refugees.

    [Okay, it’s a long bow to draw, but…]

  12. Megan
    October 28th, 2014 at 23:27 | #12

    @Donald Oats

    Good point. Not a long bow at all.

    But I’d keep quiet about it, because if the ALP cotton on they’ll join up with the LNP – again – and do that anti-refugee bi-partisan slam through legislation act they do so often to ensure Nauru is excised from the known universe for the purposes of Australian law.

    Long shot prediction: The ALP just lost the next federal election because, as well as so many other areas, they have decided to be the LNP on refugee hating.

  13. Troy Prideaux
    October 29th, 2014 at 07:37 | #13

    rog :
    Power without Glory.
    The Victorian govt has sold its sovereignty to a casino, in this case Crown Casino.

    Disgraceful!

  14. rog
    October 29th, 2014 at 15:10 | #14

    In a speech today Julie Bishop said of Julia Gillard

    And, sadly, I think, for the position of Prime Minister, she then turned herself into a victim and portrayed herself as a victim.

    “That was her choice but as far as I’m concerned, she was being judged on her competence, her honesty, her performance as Prime Minister.”

    Anne Summers addressed the campaign against Julia Gillard here (R-rated), for Julie Bishop to say that a woman chooses to be a victim is a typical denialist reaction to an observable fact.

  15. ZM
    October 29th, 2014 at 15:56 | #15

    On refugees:

    If anyone has spare time today and tomorrow — tomorrow is the last day to make a submission to the Senate Inquiry on Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014.

    Details on how to make a submission are here : http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/OnlineSubmission

    According to the Refugee Advocacy Network (RAN) , by Monday 27/10 only 12 submissions had been made.

    From the RAN’s submission:

    “If the proposed changes are adopted, including the removal of references to the Refugee Convention in the Migration Act, Australia would essentially abandon commitments to the definitions and obligations described in the Refugee Convention.”

    “The proposed amendments would give the Government extraordinary powers at sea and remove the possibility of legal action in Australian courts. ”

    “The proposed changes would allow the government to tow boats carrying people seeking asylum anywhere beyond Australian territories, including the open sea, or and leaving them there without regard for the safety of their passengers. ”

    “People could be returned to their country of origin – or other countries without regard for their safety – the safeguards outlined in the Refugee Convention to prevent returning people to danger would no longer be observed. ”

    “Fast track assessment process with no access to the Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT) and very limited review processes. ”

    “Children born to asylum seekers who arrived by boat will not be eligible for any visa, but would be classified as “transitory persons”, creating a new group of stateless persons. ”

    “The so-called ‘Safe Haven’ Enterprise Visas (temporary visas for 3 to 5 years) would be introduced. These visas which would not provide permanent protection visas even for those people assessed to be refugees. “

  16. Megan
    October 30th, 2014 at 11:31 | #16

    Despite our establishment media/politicians doing their utmost to provoke bigotry, at street level in the real world (at least in this Canadian video and a similar real-life incident in Newcastle recently) we don’t accept it.

    “Social experiment in wake of Ottawa attack proves Canadians have no tolerance for racism ”

    Most uplifting thing I’ve seen all week (although I don’t condone violence – even against bigots).

  17. Julie Thomas
    October 30th, 2014 at 12:51 | #17

    Julie Bishop is the victim of her own cowardly acceptance of the patriarchy. Has anyone seen the look on her face when being ‘side-hugged’ by Tony Abbott. Has this woman no dignity or self-respect?

    Get over it, she says she’s not a victim. But it looks like victimhood to me as she sucks it up – the sexism the patronising – and cops it sweet every time one of those stupid little boy men uses her abilities and banks on her loyalty to the Team to to advance themselves.

    But Julie is a real woman who understands men and their needs, and more importantly she knows that the only way for a woman to get ahead in a patriarchy is to support the current alpha male and that way get the most for your self over other women.

    That is the way conservative women get ahead; they are always willing to take it lying down whenever the patriarchy needs “it”.

    Julia Gillard was not like that.

  18. ZM
    October 31st, 2014 at 18:04 | #18

    People might be interested in this article on degrowth, relating to the Better Growth, Better Climate report (from the Leipzig degrowth conference)

    Samuel Alexander who we are familiar with from the recent OP is featured in the article, as well as other researchers. André Reichel, from the International University Karlsruhe, Germany, says that looking at the global economy growth has stalled in many important economies to under the necessary 3% (I think 3% is considered necessary because it cancels out unemployment that might otherwise be caused by growth in technological efficiencies and growth in human populations – is this about right?):

    ”Postgrowth today manifests itself as crisis, unemployment and civil unrest. The policies within ‘Better Growth, Better Climate’ do not change anything about that. What is needed desperately is a ‘Plan P’: growth ‘agnostic’ policies for a postgrowth environment.”

    http://leipzig.degrowth.org/en/2014/10/degrowth-movement-refuted-by-climate-report-no-not-at-all/

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