7 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. I’ve convinced myself that our triumvirate of Market-Media-Politics is a broken system. My definition of ‘broken’ (with which some of you may disagree) is that, rather than rule “of the people, by the people, for the people”, our current system can result in no other outcome than that which is advantageous to the profit margins of one or several powerful market or media companies.

    I want you to convince me that I’m wrong.

    I challenge you to nominate a person – real or fictitious, living or dead – and imagine that person assuming the Prime Ministership of this country within the system that currently exists. Can you explain to me how your imaginary Prime Minister would lead, inspire, unify and achieve positive, progressive outcomes for the entire population?

  2. It seems that there are no “logistical” problems with sending a sh*tload of military gear and personnel over to the Middle East to bomb the cr*p out of a bunch of hooligans, but there aresuch logistical problems that we can’t bring home any Australian aid workers who contract Ebola, we can’t risk sending them over to Africa to help out.

    WTF??? I mean, seriously: Australia has facilities for dealing with Ebola cases. If a few of our Australian specialists and aid workers contracted Ebola, we could handle the necessary quarantining of them while they are being treated. Sure, we couldn’t handle a huge number, but several is not such a great burden as to prevent us from sending people over, is it?

  3. @Donald Oats

    I am not defending the Australian government. The problem is that we don’t have a fully equipped aircraft with on an-board isolation unit for such evacutions. IIRC the media said there is just one such aircraft in the world and it belongs to the USA.

    So, we would have to order one or more, have them fitted out and delivered. That might take some time. The cost would per aircraft likely be less than the cost of one jet fighter so if we cut our jet fighter orders by say 2 we could afford two or more such aircraft.

    Yes, it’s funny how the coffers are always empty for positive social and humanitarian measures but the same coffers are always over-flowing when it comes to war budgets.

  4. I see the PUP managed, on their second attempt, to get a Senate Inquiry into Queensland! Only back as far as the election of Newman, unfortunately.

    Jolly good idea.

    Abetz tried to amend it to go back to Bligh – also a good idea, and it was backed by PUP and the Greens – but the ALP squashed that.

    Still, it should be a very interesting inquiry – there will be public hearings all over Queensland so make sure you get heard if you have anything to say.

  5. @nonshedders

    If I’m allowed to choose a fictitious character, am I allowed to choose one with superpowers? because in that case I’ll nominate David ‘the Envoy’ Harstein.

  6. On the topic of the Ebola crisis, I am astonished that West Africa has not been quarantined from other continents. Quarantining West Africa from other African countries is not possible due to porous land borders.

    However, the world community has two key responsibilities in this regard. The first is to provide more assistance to fight the ebola crisis in West Africa itself. The second responsibility is to prevent ebola spreading to other continents. To this end, the fact that flights are still leaving Liberia and other West African countries and heading to Europe and North America (to name two continents) is nothing short of astonishing.

    Texas now has an ebola case and a number of other people have been potentially exposed in Texas though no new infections are confirmed to date. The (now) patient flew the first leg of his journey from Monrovia to Brussels on Brussels Airlines NV. He then flew from Brussels to Washington, D.C.’s Dulles International Airport on United Flight 951 on Sept. 20, then on to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on Flight 822. Medical authorities consider that he was not at the infectious stage on these flights. (How certain is this assessment? Quite certain I suspect but not 100% certain.)

    Why does the world now have no quarantine procedures for such events? There is no prevention of travel from an infected country to an infection free country, nor are there any precautionary quarantining procedures in countries receiving such arrivals. This shows extraordinary laxity and a misordering of priorities. It seems that the business model of capitalism is that people must always be free to fly and airlines always free to carry regardless of even serious epidemic risk. The needs of money making are trumping all other concerns. I guess it’s another example of a situation where a salutary disaster is going to be necessary to teach people the need for caution in advance and informed prudence.

  7. On Four Corners in a few minutes time: Privacy Lost

    Monday 6th October 2014

    When a contractor from America’s National Security Agency (NSA) downloaded tens of thousands of top-secret documents from a highly secure Government network, it led to the largest leak of classified information in history – and sparked a fierce debate over privacy, technology and democracy in the post-9/11 world.

    In leaking the files, Edward Snowden had not only exposed classified information, he also exposed how the US Government had co-opted major tech companies to help it spy on millions of people in the United States and around the world – including Australians.

    That surveillance did not simply mean detailing the source and destination of communication, but the communications themselves.

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