Sandpit

A new sandpit for long side discussions, idees fixes and so on. Unless directly responding to the OP, all discussions of nuclear power, MMT and conspiracy theories should be directed to sandpits (or, if none is open, message boards).

78 thoughts on “Sandpit

  1. The ALP re-opened the Nauru concentration camp in August 2012. Later, in 2013, they started sending children there for indefinite extra-judicial incarceration without legal recourse.

    After visiting the camp in November 2012 Amnesty described it as “a human rights catastrophe … a toxic mix of uncertainty, unlawful detention and inhumane conditions”.

    In its report from November 2014, the UN Committee Against Torture said that the detention of children on Nauru was at odds with the Convention Against Torture.

    The Senate has heard several allegations of child abuse in the concentration camp on Nauru – that is the camp opened by Labor and serial abuse of the children sent there by Labor.

  2. @Megan

    Luckily Amnesty does not rant and rave like the loonies.

    Amnesty does not slander, defame or misrepresent.

    Your fakery is astonishing. If you were really concerned about child abuse you would have described the churches as “child abuse factories”.

    Only one side of politics benefits from such propaganda against the CFMEU, the Greens and the ALP.

  3. It is an Australian pastime to beat up on public servants, but for senior public servants to claim that other bureaucrats just spontaneoously make up red tape out of thin air, make up reasons for inaction, that sounds quite fantastic. Does it seem likely that lots of bureaucrats are sitting around dreaming up new red tape—which cannot be justified by an act or regulations governing their department—and then using these reasons to not do stuff?

    In a big organisation I guess it’s possible there are a few cases of such behaviour; I just can’t see it as being a large scale phenomenon like that which Jane Halton seems to imply.

  4. @Megan

    The Global Greens is an international organisation whose members are national political parties. In Australia it has one member, the Australian Greens. In Canada it has one member, the Green Party of Canada.

    The International Democrat Union is an international organisation whose members are national political parties. In Australia it has one member, the Liberal Party. In Canada it has one member, the Conservative Party.

    The Liberal International is an international organisation whose members are national political parties. In Canada it has one member, the Liberal Party. It has no members in Australia.

    The Socialist International is an international organisation whose members are political parties. In the last few years several members dissatisfied with the organisation have participated in the activites of a new network called the Progressive Alliance. The Progressive Alliance does not yet have a formally declared membership list. Among the Socialist International members which have participated in activities of the Progressive Alliance have been the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP). Some of the participants in the Progressive Alliance have now ceased to be members of the Socialist International; some have downgrade from full membership to observer status; some are still full members but have reduced their level of activity and financial support. Both the ALP and the NDP have long been members of the Socialist International; the NDP still is, but the ALP ceased to be one in 2014, and there is now no member of the Socialist International in Australia.

    I’m not posting links to avoiding being sentenced to moderation, but all these organisations have websites, and information is also available elsewhere on the Web and in reference works on politics (choose the sources you trust).

  5. @Megan

    I would love to see a parliamentary vote on the issue brought on. Obviously it’s not within my power to make that happen. It’s not within your power either. It’s within the power of the government, and only the government, to make a parliamentary vote happen or to prevent it from happening, and if no parliamentary vote takes place the responsibility for its not taking place rests solely with the government.

  6. @Megan

    Nambour is located within the Federal electoral division of Fairfax. For the voters of Fairfax, at the last federal election, the effective alternative to voting for the LNP was not voting for the ALP but rather voting for Clive Palmer — and, in the event, just over half of those voting preferred that alternative to the LNP. It is not correct to say that the LNP and the ALP were the only two options for their vote.

  7. #55 – My original statement was along the lines that in Novia Scotia “the Liberals, Canada’s version of the ALP” have axed a climate change initiative. It seems you took issue with the idea that Canada’s Liberals were their version of our ALP. Discussion followed. You said “I have the evidence of the official opinion of the NDP and the ALP themselves that they are similarly positioned parties”. I’m not seeing that evidence in the information you just posted. And, in any case, I prefer Alfred’s perspective as a local.

    #56 – It is certainly not solely within the power of the government to make a parliamentary vote happen. Non-government members can, and do, make votes happen all the time, and I argue that if they are serious they should do exactly that. The vote might go against the proposition, but having the vote is the important thing. I suspect that’s why the Greens so often call for a division in the Senate when it is obvious that the ALP/LNP duopoly will defeat the vote – at least they have it on the official Hansard record.

    #57 – George Christensen is the member for Dawson which is up around Mackay/Ayr/Townsville. That electorate did, in fact, vote ALP in 2007 and they got James Bidgood. And they were so pleased with the ALP that they voted back the LNP in 2010 (Christensen), historically it’s LNP territory even though it is named after a s0cial1st. I would argue that it reinforces rather than diminishes my point about the duopoly. Similarly, in Fairfax – when offered an alternative to the duopoly – they voted against both duopoly parties.

  8. According to the latest Fairfax/Ipsos poll the unpopularity contest between the two duopoly parties is very close.

    By and large, the people are torn between which of the ALP or LNP they hate the most:

    On a two-party-preferred basis, support for the government remains…at 8 percentage points behind Labor on 46/54.

    …the government’s primary support has dipped to 38 per cent – just two points above Labor’s 36 per cent.

    So – despite the horror that the LNP government is – people are very reluctant to install an ALP government, and will only do so by default.

    And that’s the inspiring state of our political landscape.

    ALP tribalists may greet this news with glee, but human Australians despair at what this fascist duopoly is doing to our country.

  9. And today in the Senate the ALP/LNP duopoly will vote together to legalise the killing of refugees in our concentration camps (seriously, that is what can be done if this passes: Migration Amendment (Maintaining the Good Order of Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2015).

    “But – gays”, is not a valid reason to ignore this.

  10. It might be an interesting exercise to replace the words “migrant”, “migration”, “refugee” and “asylum seeker” with “gay”.

    Let’s see how the Title of the bill would read.

    “Gay Amendment (Maintaining the Good Order of Gay Detention Facilities) Bill 2015.”

    How would it read if we put the word “Black” in there?

    “Black Amendment (Maintaining the Good Order of Black Detention Facilities) Bill 2015.”

    How would it read if we put the word “Jewish” in there?

    “Jewish Amendment (Maintaining the Good Order of Jewish Detention Facilities) Bill 2015.”

    If it looks like fascism and quacks like fascism then it is fascism. Humans in an in-group seem to have a lot of trouble detecting fascism when it is directed against an out-group. The reasoning seems to be “The jackboot isn’t on my throat so it isn’t fascism.

  11. @Ikonoclast

    You have just added to the confusion.

    Let’s see how the Title of the bill would read.

    Fraudster Amendment (Maintaining the Good Order of Fraudster Detention Facilities) Bill 2015.

    Smuggler Amendment (Maintaining the Good Order of Smuggler Detention Facilities) Bill 2015.

    Pedophile Amendment (Maintaining the Good Order of Pedophile Detention Facilities) Bill 2015.

    Mafia Amendment (Maintaining the Good Order of Mafia Detention Facilities) Bill 2015.

    No one is proposing detaining gay’s unless they break the law.

    No one is proposing detaining Blacks unless they break the law.

    No one is proposing detaining Jews unless they break the law.

    Many States jail people who break laws. In the form of society we have this is occurs. Some even execute them. This is not the F word.

  12. @Ivor

    Do refugees and asylum seekers break the law just by being refugees and asylum seekers? I think the evidence from international law and international treaty and convention is that they do not. Thus your own claim and analogy breaks down. It is not wrong legally or morally to be a refugee so why criminalise and put these people in prison? Detention in a facility is imprisonment. No amount of playing with words and definitions can disguise this fact.

    Also, your nasty personal attacks on Megan are becoming very obnoxious. By all means argue facts and views but keep personal attacks out of it. Do you think your habit of personally attacking someone will incline decent, thoughtful people to agree with you? If you think this you are much mistaken.

  13. The proposed amendments will allow the use of lethal force:

    As former Victorian Supreme Court judge, Stephen Charles, told the Senate hearing, the provision ‘would inevitably encourage violence by guards against asylum seekers.’ Worse still, officers could use lethal force against a detainee, and as long as they act in ‘good faith,’ they would effectively be immune from civil or criminal liability. Indeed, even if proceedings were instituted, the burden of proof (‘to show the power was not exercised in good faith’) would be incredibly difficult to discharge, especially in circumstances where there were only two witnesses (the officer and the detainee) and the detainee had been fatally wounded.

  14. @Ikonoclast

    Everyone understands that refugees and asylum seekers do not break the law simply by being refugee and asylum seekers?

    When has this ever been in dispute? Where?

    I have never supported mandatory detention of refugees or asylum seekers.

    Megan is the most obnoxious person you can ever imagine:

    Typical Megan:

    “fascist clown outfit ultra-pro-Zionist proto-fascist, just turns my stomach nauseating N@z!s fascist fascist facists CIA stooges Fascists vile hate stooges fascist thuggish vile fascists fascist neo-liberal/fascist crypto-fascist, bully-boy fascist fascists zombie machine-gun deaths stooges doormats fascist torturing rape fascist Filthy scum racist/fascist luvvies heartless fascists corrupt fascist fascist “KKK for racial equality” Turds fascists cess-pit fascist Zombies stooge outfit inhumane fascists zombie fascist fools. Heinous pig fascist stooges puppets pests parasites crooks sellouts corrupt crooked Puppeteers stooges.

    So it is Megan who is the

    Filthy stooge, fascist, clown, zombie, pig, cess-pit aficionado.

    It only attacks itself. Best if we let it drown in its own vomit.

  15. @Ivor

    Get over it; build a bridge.

    If you are such a sensitive petal that you cannot tolerate the language that Megan chooses to use, and you want to be part of this dynamic system, then you possibly need to change yourself.

    There are many ways that we humans can respond in a socially acceptable and positive way to the things we don’t like, but are not actually a threat. You are way over-reacting and can you tell me why are your preferences and dislikes more important than mine?

  16. I’ve deleted this comment, which appears to be addressed to the wrong person. Ivor and Megan, please no further interaction between the two of you. That is, no comments from either of you about the other, and no responses from either of you to anything said by the other – JQ

  17. JQ,

    I have been deliberately self-restrained in the face of personally directed vitriol recently (I appreciate the comments that others have made against those attacks, but I have refrained from direct response).

    I note this isn’t the first time I have been sanctioned for the crime of being personally vilified, but I am more than happy to comply with the directive.

  18. Such deletion was completely inappropriate.

    The slander against the ALP, Greens and CFMEU emanating from this blog needs to be exposed and countered.

    The smoke over personal attacks is scurrilous. The individual is irrelevant – if anyone else conducted themselves the same for such a long time without challenge – they would get the same response from me.

    It all to do with civilised discussion – and if that is not required, then there is a hidden agenda somewhere.

  19. @Megan

    Yep you have avoided responding directly to Ivor – Mel – and imo the way this person targets you is indicative of a very real problematic personality problem.

    Ivor needs professional help; it would be unusual for there to be only one target for this display of facism and paranoia.

    He could actually be a very dangerous person if one was up close and personal with him. I wonder how many people he takes against in his real life and how many people he targets with this aggressive and very uncivilized response to things he doesn’t like.

  20. @Julie Thomas

    Unfortunately sensible people will know that those who spread defamation and uncivilised propaganda against the Greens, ALP and CFMEU are the real threats to all Australians.

    Only one side of politics benefits from the slander emanating from this blog.

    As for the rest – well you can vent as much as you like – this does not change the appalling behaviour we have seen by a few.

  21. @Ivor

    Can you provide an argument that shows that Megan’s words are threats to all Australians? otherwise you are just a personality disordered person who is a problem for all of us.

    How many sides are there in your version of politics? Have you not noticed that there are many sides represented here?

    And if this blog is so distressing for you why do you insist on being a victim and hanging around? Is it the case that you actually enjoy attacking a certain person and consider yourself qualified to force the blog participants to behave in the way you consider ‘civilized’.

    I see you use this word ‘civilized’ a lot but I have nfi what you mean; I think your obsession with Megan is clearly problematic and indicative of some personal response and is not in any way a reasoned response or civilized. Ivor you would be appalling; if I was inclined to be appalled.

    Answer the questions Ivor.

  22. @Julie Thomas

    Exactly:

    I see you use this word ‘civilized’ a lot but I have nfi what you mean;

    You obviously have no idea – don’t you.

    Unfortunately John Quiggin deleted precisely the post where this was explained to you.

    John Quiggin got confused about who it was directed.

    The deleted post was for you.

    Suffice it to say that my standards are such that:

    “fascist clown outfit ultra-pro-Zionist proto-fascist, just turns my stomach nauseating N@z!s fascist fascist facists CIA stooges Fascists vile hate stooges fascist thuggish vile fascists fascist neo-liberal/fascist crypto-fascist, bully-boy fascist fascists zombie machine-gun deaths stooges doormats fascist torturing rape fascist Filthy scum racist/fascist luvvies heartless fascists corrupt fascist fascist “KKK for racial equality” Turds fascists cess-pit fascist Zombies stooge outfit inhumane fascists zombie fascist fools. Heinous pig fascist stooges puppets pests parasites crooks sellouts corrupt crooked Puppeteers stooges.

    is not civilised – so I hope you now know what this means.

    Do you?

    I use the word civilised a lot – when will it sink in?

    Normal people will not slander the ALP, Greens and unions with such slander. These are the only entities we have for pursuing progressive outcomes in Australia.

    Only the other side benefits from this blog’s antics – and this threatens all decent Australians.

    You can forget about crying about personal attacks. Such conduct needs to be exposed from whoever spreads such stink. You are blowing smoke.

  23. @Megan

    1. The decision to affiliate to an international organisation whose members are political parties is an expression of the official opinion of the party affiliating that it is a similar kind of party to other parties also affiliated to that organisation.

    2. The government has the power to prevent a parliamentary vote on a proposal to change the law. Warren Entsch has just introduced a proposal to change the marriage law, an action which appears to be along the same general lines as what you were recommending. The government is not going to permit the proposal to come to a vote. Repeated insistence that there is some way it could be forced to a vote when the government refuses permission, without any explanation of how, is hollow.

    3. In 2007 the voters of Dawson had four alternatives to De-Anne Kelly (Nationals) and James Bidgood (ALP). They did not elect any of those four alternatives. In 2010 the voters of Dawson had three alternatives to George Christensen (LNP) and Mike Brunker (ALP). They did not elect any of those three alternatives. In 2013 the voters of Dawson had five alternatives to George Christensen (LNP) and Bronwyn Taha (ALP). They did not elect any of those alternatives.

    In 2013 five out of the 150 federal electoral divisions elected candidates who were alternatives to both the Coalition and the ALP. The other 145 did not, even though they (or at least most of them) did have alternative candidates to vote for. To say that voters will reject both the Coalition parties and the ALP whenever they are given alternatives is not correct; sometimes they do, but more often they don’t.

  24. Megan :
    And today in the Senate the ALP/LNP duopoly will vote together to legalise the killing of refugees in our concentration camps (seriously, that is what can be done if this passes: Migration Amendment (Maintaining the Good Order of Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2015).
    “But – gays”, is not a valid reason to ignore this.

    Nobody has suggested that it is, so your snide gibe reflects discredit on nobody but yourself.

  25. Ikonoclast wrote to EG in reply to a post on the Big Tobacco thread. (I reply after each paragraph except the first sentence.)

    “I agree on all of that.

    Debt finance is one important issue. I hope I can use this occasion to ask a question. Various schools of economics argue about money printing and macroeconomic stimulus (budget deficits) from various angles. It seems to me (in my naivety) that there are currently two important ways to create money. One is by government deficit financing (crudely “printing money”) and the other is by loan making. Stop me if any of my assumptions are wrong and/or answer my final questions if possible.”

    Reply:

    Yes, in each case ‘money’ is created by means of issuing financial securities.

    “Fiat money can be created by fiat (unfinanced deficits) and destroyed by fiat (unspent surpluses). Debt money is created by loans. While the debt money is balanced by the debt on the loan book, there is no net increase in assets in the economy. However, there is an increase in circulating money supply. Debt money is not extinguished until the loan is repaid. While the loan or part of it is outstanding the debt money circulates. In the economy is expanding and loans are increasing then loan making equals net money creation.”

    Reply:

    I don’t consider your paragraph meaningful. (The MMT story is not watertight.) If I were you I would forget about this one.

    “How does it make sense to have government budget austerity combined with rampant loan making in the finance sector? In a growing economy with a growing loan book, does this not equate to money printing which is simply done by the private sector? If one needs to control excess budget deficits does one not also need to properly control loan making by the private sector? Are our financial regulations and controls adequate in this arena?”

    Reply:

    The term ‘austerity’ is not helpful, IMO, because it is too much entangled with macroeconomic ideologies.

    To illustrate, to some people the term ‘austerity’ means no more than something to the effect of ‘we have to tighten our belts a bit’, which makes sense to me irrespective of the identity of the agent who makes such a statement. To others it means all government debt is bad and all economic problems will be solved if the government produces a surplus, which is nonsense in my mind. To the extent that you have the latter in mind, I agree it does not make sense to have ‘austerity’ and unconstrained private debt growth.

    After the May 2014 Federal budget in Australia, I read a lot of comments by readers of the smh. It struck me that the public in aggregate understands very well what is prudent government financial management. There was no objection to have a reduction of the government deficit as a policy goal. The rhetoric of there being a ‘crisis’ was rejected, as was the objective of ‘needing’ a surplus. Who is supposed to pay for the reduction of the deficit was at issue. There was strong objection to ‘austerity’ being applied to those who already live an austere life. This objection makes sense regarding the importance of the wealth distribution in theoretical models of economies where individuals’ preferences and resources (natural) are the only primitives (everything else can be changed).

    The chair of the Financial System Inquiry, David Murray, ex CEO of the CBA has reached the conclusion that disclosure is not enough to ensure stability (think of it as a system working more or less satisfactorily). This is important because during the preceding 20 years or so the Finance-Accounting people spread the belief that all that is required is ‘disclosure’. Disclosure does not achieve coordination of price expectations, including risk preferences. To get an insight into why, one could consult Roy Radner’s model of sequence economies with commodity and financial securities markets. (I’ve written about this many times in the past.)

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