#Grangegate: O’Farrell Falls on His Corkscrew

O'Farrell Premier Wine
Courtesy Leon Gettler

In Vino Veritas Haiku

Barry can’t explain
how water can turn to wine
too much Grange last night?

A premier year
Was Grange 1959
ahhh, lost memories

“A bottle of Grange
is pretty special”, bleats Tones,
“no doubt about that!”

Jinjirrie, April 2014

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Related Links

“I can’t explain what happened to that bottle of wine”, says ‘massive memory fail’ O’Farrell.

https://www.twitter.com/Kate_McClymont/status/456227605616676864

So what did, if anything, did Grabbit and Mr Nick Di Girolamo drink together and when?

https://twitter.com/TonyAbbottMHR/status/456344274309619712/photo/1

Indonesia’s Occupation of Terror in West Papua

Papuan activist claim illegal detention in PNG

A West Papuan activist in Australia claims his father and three other men have been illegally detained on trumped up charges in Papua New Guinea.

Ronny Kareni, who fled with his family from West Papua in 1984, says his father and the three men returned to the Indonesian territory to attend West Papuan independence celebrations in October.

Mr Kareni says they were initially detained by the Indonesian military before they fled back to PNG where they were targetted by corrupt police and customs officers.

It’s sheer bloody murder, right on our doorstep – The genocidal settler colonialism of Indonesia in West Papua – fostered and abetted by Australia and the US in service of mercantilism.

In December, pro-independence groups in West Papua claimed 17 people were killed in a couple of days as “Indonesian military forces used mining company helicopters to attack villages in the Indonesian-occupied region.

In actions against TPN, 20,000 people in the Paniai area of West Papua have been left homeless after the army attacks.

They believe an Indonesian counter-terrorism unit Detachment 88 is involved in ongoing military operations in Paniai.

Quoting human rights defender Ferry Marisan, Media Alert says 30 people have died in the latest round of violence, including 17 this week.

”Only 10 of these victims were members of the TPN, according to Marisan.”

Children aged between two and four were among the dead.

The latest conflict area is in the area of the Derewo River Gold, a joint venture between an Indonesian company and Australian investors, Paniai Gold, a fully owned subsidiary of Melbourne based gold mining company West Wits Mining.

Related Links

Vote Freeport Worst Company

West Papua Report January 2012

Indonesian security forces, including the U.S. and Australian supported Detachment 88, conducted “sweeping operations” in the Paniai area of West Papua that destroyed churches, homes and public buildings, and forced hundreds of civilians from their homes. The Indonesia’s National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) urged the Police Commander to remove forces from the region, echoing civil society leaders in Paniai. Jakarta’s failure to provided basic health services to Papuans has led to a high rate of death among mothers at child birth according to a recent report. An unconfirmed report claims that President Yudhoyono has committed to withdraw non-organic troops from West Papua and to suspend the operations of a special unit proposed to address fundamental Jakarta-Papua problems. The cost in human life for Papuans of Jakarta’s decades of neglect of the Papuan population is well documented. Amnesty International met with a senior official in Jakarta to press for release of political prisoners, particularly in West Papua and Maluku. The three-month old strike by workers at the Freeport McMoRan mines appears to be headed toward resolution.

Inadequate Health Care Responsible for High Rate of Death of Mothers at Child Birth

The Jakarta Post reports that maternal deaths in West Papua remain high. Victor Nugraha, an official with the Papuan Health Agency, speaking to media in Manokwari, said that the rate of deaths in 2011 would be at least as high as in 2010. Real figures, he added, were difficult to ascertain because many cases of death during child birth are not recorded due to the shortage of medical personnel to maintain records.

According to the official the main causes of maternal death were hemorrhage, post-pregnancy infections, and hypertension. Anemia due to iron deficiency can lead to hemorrhaging. Beside low iron levels due to poor nutrition, anemia can also be caused by malaria, which is common in West Papua. The official also explained that late pregnancy checks and poor surgery facilities for caesarean sections in clinics also contribute to maternal deaths.

This report echoes a far more detailed study conducted in the Kebar Valley of West Papua in 2008 (see Health care in the Bird’s Head Peninsula. Its conclusions are stark:

Out of 708 pregnancies 4.7% led to miscarriage and 1.4% of the children were born dead.
Out of 665 child births, where the baby was born alive, 213 baby’s and children eventually died. This is an infant mortality rate of 32.0%. This means that almost 1 out of 3 children dies before its fifth birthday.
57.3% of the died children (213) were younger than 1 year old. 27.7% is between the age of 1 to 5 when it dies.
Most baby’s and toddlers (32.9%) died of fever or malaria. Fever in combination with coughing (probably pneumonia) causes a mortality rate of 13.9%.
Diarrhea, icterus, prematures and pulmonary affections like tuberculosis, pneumonia and bronchitis also occur, but in smaller numbers.
In 12.7% of the dead infants the cause of death was unknown, according to the mother.
94.4% of the pregnant women give birth at home, whether or not with the presence of a traditional midwife .
14 children were born twins; 3 are still alive.

3 Papuan prisoners in need of medical treatment for stroke
Papuan Political Prisoners Released in FakFak

Palestine/Israel Links

Israeli military commends itself for saving, not taking, lives
Settler leader says Israeli democracy must be dismantled and in its place a halakhic state, based on Jewish law
Twitter reveals JNF’s approach toward Palestinian Bedouin

South Africa Links

South Africa’s ANC celebrates 100 years
Free Nelson Mandela

Who Really Owns the World

Toxic Corporate Pollen
The organisation of global capital (Image: PLoS One)
Next time someone blithers antisemitic, wild accusations about Jews running the world, here’s an article to which you can refer them.

‘The idea that a few bankers control a large chunk of the global economy might not seem like news to New York’s Occupy Wall Street movement and protesters elsewhere (see photo). But the study, by a trio of complex systems theorists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, is the first to go beyond ideology to empirically identify such a network of power. It combines the mathematics long used to model natural systems with comprehensive corporate data to map ownership among the world’s transnational corporations (TNCs).

From Orbis 2007, a database listing 37 million companies and investors worldwide, they pulled out all 43,060 TNCs and the share ownerships linking them. Then they constructed a model of which companies controlled others through shareholding networks, coupled with each company’s operating revenues, to map the structure of economic power.

The work, to be published in PloS One, revealed a core of 1318 companies with interlocking ownerships (see image). Each of the 1318 had ties to two or more other companies, and on average they were connected to 20. What’s more, although they represented 20 per cent of global operating revenues, the 1318 appeared to collectively own through their shares the majority of the world’s large blue chip and manufacturing firms – the “real” economy – representing a further 60 per cent of global revenues.

When the team further untangled the web of ownership, it found much of it tracked back to a “super-entity” of 147 even more tightly knit companies – all of their ownership was held by other members of the super-entity – that controlled 40 per cent of the total wealth in the network. “In effect, less than 1 per cent of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire network,” says Glattfelder. Most were financial institutions. The top 20 included Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and The Goldman Sachs Group.’

It’s the banks and associated money launderers who do own the lion’s share of the world’s wealth, and these are owned by their shareholders, who are largely other banks and money launderers, an interconnectivity which has serious implications for global economic stability. Still,

One thing won’t chime with some of the protesters’ claims: the super-entity is unlikely to be the intentional result of a conspiracy to rule the world. “Such structures are common in nature,” says Sugihara.

Newcomers to any network connect preferentially to highly connected members. TNCs buy shares in each other for business reasons, not for world domination. If connectedness clusters, so does wealth, says Dan Braha of NECSI: in similar models, money flows towards the most highly connected members. The Zurich study, says Sugihara, “is strong evidence that simple rules governing TNCs give rise spontaneously to highly connected groups”. Or as Braha puts it: “The Occupy Wall Street claim that 1 per cent of people have most of the wealth reflects a logical phase of the self-organising economy.”

So, the super-entity may not result from conspiracy. The real question, says the Zurich team, is whether it can exert concerted political power. Driffill feels 147 is too many to sustain collusion. Braha suspects they will compete in the market but act together on common interests. Resisting changes to the network structure may be one such common interest.

Occupying Hastings Street
Occupying Hastings Street - sun, surf and sand as you occupy
#OccupyHastingsStreet notes that Noosa is so dense with rich people that it is known as the Monaco of Australia thus making it an ideal, strategic target for the Occupy movement.

Western hegemony relies on exploitation and oppression of indigenous people – time to challenge capitalism, end colonialism and dismantle the new feudalism. The colonisation of Australia is ongoing – before migaloos arrived there was no need to #OccupyHastingsStreet – time for a treaty and compensation to Australian Aboriginals. Give it back!

Related Links

The New Feudalists – the top 1% – take 23.5% of US income
“Real” value: Comments on the “labor theory of value” and the wealth of capitalist society

The social relationship constituted by value is only complete, its domination over labor is only really free, if the power of property is no longer a requirement fulfilled by previous accumulation, but a function of its future expansion. This reversal is the great motor of growth and the source of capitalism’s legendary dynamism.

Palestine / Israel Links

Please Don’t Play at the Apartheid Oud Festival in Israel
How Israel attempts to obliterate Palestinian history and distort reality – education as zioprop.
You say you want a constitution…

This is also what has happened with Israel’s own Basic Laws. The people with clout, who were represented in the Knesset by ostensibly independent research institutes, lobbyists and Knesset members on their behalf, are the ones who dictated the sanctification of property rights and the exclusion of welfare rights. It is not by chance that the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Freedom was passed in the middle of the night by a minority of Knesset members and without public debate, even for the sake of appearances. A constitution of this sort is one of the main means for the preservation of control by the elite groups.

Brainwashing and prisoner deals – Israeli hegemony reveals its nature when it demonises

Australia

Today, the wealthiest 20% of Australians own 61% of the nation’s wealth; the poorest 20% own just 1%. Although the income disparities are less marked, they too have been growing. While we are collectively wealthier than we have ever been, that wealth is spread less evenly than in the ’60s and ’70s and we are now a good deal less equal than countries such as Japan, Sweden and Norway. We are one of the most unequal developed countries, keeping company with the US and Britain.

Max Brenner, a Legend of Contemporary “Journalism”

Foreign Correspondent at Max Brenner NewtownOn the 20th September, Australian ABC TV’s Foreign Correspondent broadcast a programme titled “Follow the Money”, mainly focussing on the impact of BDS on Daniel Birnbaum, the Israeli US immigrant business owner of Soda Stream, an Israeli factory illegally located in one of the neoliberal industrial zones in the Occupied West Bank. The show offered a token ‘balance’ with a Palestinian US immigrant family who supported boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israeli apartheid and occupation. The mother, Cairo Arafat, emphasised her support for two states, whilst her daughter Semma, was less enthusiastic, opining that “Two states will not work. Two states would just be a phase into Palestine being wiped off the map, into creating a one state that is an Israeli state”. The programme lacked considerable depth and sensitivity on the BDS issue within Palestine and Israel, and made some glaring factual errors – such as failing to note that Israel’s occupation of the West Bank is illegal under international law, that instead of “Thirteen per cent of it [the apartheid wall] … being constructed inside the West Bank”, the apartheid barrier is built mainly in the West Bank and only partly along the 1949 Armistice line, or “Green Line” between Israel and Palestinian West Bank, with 12% of the entire West Bank area illegally annexed across into the Israel side of the barrier. Further, despite the new anti-boycott law passed by Israel’s far right extremist Knesset, which has been condemned by Amnesty International as “an attack on freedom of expression”, there are a growing number of Israelis who are in solidarity with the call of Palestinian people for BDS.

Foreign Correspondent programmes are re-broadcast regularly “by more than 20 international networks, including CNN International, Al Jazeera, NHK Japan and TV NZ”. Al Jazeera English re-broadcasted “Follow the Money” retitled as “About a boycott” on its “People & Power” show on October 6, 2011. So who inserted the ubiquitous fake Max Brenner this time – for this is not the first occasion that Max Brenner has been anthropomorphised.

Al Jazeera English Max Brenner Shop OwnerThe “Max Brenner Shop Owner” title pops up in the screenshot opposite at about 10.07 minutes into Al Jazeera English’s slightly truncated re-broadcast version. This individual is named in the Foreign Correspondent transcript as “GRAHAM WEINBERG (IN CROWD)”. Now we know which balding lookalike Max Brenner is this month. The Max Brenner site states “ALL AUSTRALIAN MAX BRENNER CHOCOLATE BARS ARE COMPANY OWNED & WE DO NOT CURRENTLY FRANCHISE”.

Foreign Correspondent Eric Campbell captures some correct information from a protester at a recent rally against the Israeli occupation-supporting Max Brenner business in Newtown.

CAMPBELL: “And what’s Max Brenner doing?”

PROTESTOR: “Max Brenner is financially and morally supporting the Israeli defence forces, particularly two brigades – the Golani and the Givati”.

Like Max Brenner, Sodastream is bound to the illegal, brutal Israeli military occupation, and is a legitimate boycott target.

Al Jazeera made an appearance in some recently released WikiLeaks cables.

“Al Jazeera is a vital component to the USG’s strategy in communicating with the Arab world.” — Joseph E. LeBaron, U.S. Ambassador to Qatar, November 6, 2008

“Al Jazeera Board Chairman Hamed bin Thamer Al Thani has proven open to creative uses of Al Jazeera’s airwaves by the USG beyond straightforward interviews.” — Joseph E. LeBaron, U.S. Ambassador to Qatar, February 10, 2009

Might the omnipresent bald man be such an example of ‘creative uses’ of Al Jazeera’s airwaves by the US or was the inserted caption a plausibly deniable slipup?

Related Links

Double Protests! Occupy Melbourne and BDS Action Against Apartheid Israel!
Protest against Max Brenner: Say no to Israeli Apartheid
Kate Ausburn: Conversations with BDS counter-protesters in Newtown
Conversations with BDS counter-protesters in Newtown
Accusations of anti-Semitism rife as the Australian Senate debates BDS
Max Brenner and Australia’s fascists
Just who are those blindly backing Israel and hating BDS in Australia?
“Letter from a Birmingham Jail [King, Jr.]”

You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “tension.” I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. The purpose of our direct action program is to create a situation so crisis packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation.

Palestine / Israel Links

The hand of a thief: Taking a page from Nixon (“If the president does it, that means it’s not illegal!”) Netanyahu instructed Justice Minister Ya’acov Ne’eman, a religious ultra-nationalist, to come up with a legal way for Israel to keep even the radical hilltop settlement outposts built on land that Israel itself recognizes as being owned by Palestinians.

Other Links

Next come the micro-drones to zap anyone with soma who says nasty things about neoziocons. Government Aims to Build a ‘Data Eye in the Sky’
Here Comes FIATtackWatch: Ben “Big Brother” Bernanke Goes Watergate, Prepares To Eavesdrop On Everything Mentioning The Fed