De-Amalgamation Jubilation

Mothar MountainWith more than 80% of the Noosa community eligible to vote supporting de-amalgamation, a long shadow cast by the development and financial threats of forced amalgamation at the behest of the Bligh government five years ago has been dispersed. Once again, Noosa will be free to pursue its local, sustainable destiny in accordance with the locally developed strategic plan and UNESCO biosphere status, with precious green corridors and limitations on subdivision intact.

Anytime someone tries to tell you ‘you can’t stop progress’, tell them the Noosa story. You can’t stop progress that is truly progressive, protects environmental values, and has a whole, involved community behind it committed to living sustainably. The Noosa model works – our Noosa UNESCO designated biosphere offers a means and strategy to help humans even in the ‘developed’ neoliberal world to live in balance within their habitat, sustain ecodiversity, protecting waterways and forests forever. Our model should be replicated and implemented nationally.

As I’ve previously versified:

‘Privatising neoliberalism
seems to lack a solid vision,
hollow ‘perish or populate’
with rabbit warrens all over the state,
since when was overpopulation
any habitat’s salvation?’

After a near lifetime spent in lovely Noosa, once again I can feel proud and secure that hard-won community consensus achievements are viable and defendable. The surreptitious stroke of a pen by politicians beholden to filthy corporate interests who never pay sufficiently for the infrastructure needs and unsustainable population growth they create even as they slip backhanders to grease their exploitation, fails when communities fight to protect their values.

Now we can turn our efforts toward deseating the state LibNat government which despite permitting us a vote and action on de-amalgamation, is mooting horrific schemes like logging national parks and state forests and privatising anything that Bligh couldn’t in accordance with disgraced ex-treasurer Peter Costello’s dodgy recommendations. It should be remembered that Costello approved the sale of Australia’s gold reserves before the price went up, costing Australia $5b, in addition to his failed foreign currency exchange transactions – $2b – $5b – hardly a trustworthy record. These proposed LibNat privatisations, unlike Bligh’s, will be deferred till the next election to become a pivotal issue.

By then, an argument must be made to prove that public ownership is cheaper, more efficient and protects jobs for ordinary people AND can protect the environment, while profits for elite shareholders and bonuses for CEOs pursuant to privatisations gouge the public in perpetuity.

For a Global Parachute : Revising Marxian Economics

Professor Richard D. Wolff: This four part course provides a working foundation in the core concepts of Marxian economic theory – necessary and surplus labor, labor power, surplus value, exploitation, capital accumulation, distributions of the surplus, capitalist crises, and the differences between capitalist and other class structures. In addition, these core concepts will be systematically used to understand current social problems (including political and cultural as well as economic problems). The goal is to enable students to apply Marxian economics in their own efforts to analyze society and to strategize politically today.

Palestine / Israel Links

The ruined village Palestinians will never forget

For many Palestinians, Lifta is a symbol of the Nakba, literally the “catastrophe”, of 1948 in which 700,000 people were dispossessed. It embodies their longing for their land, and their bitterness at their continued refugee status. It is, wrote Palestinian author Ghada Karmi in a letter to the Los Angeles Times, “a physical memory of injustice and survival”.

Bob Geldof preaches about Africa to Israel, breaks the boycott and fails to recognise the plight of Palestinians courtesy of apartheid and occupation. Hypocrite.

Can’t handle the truth or anything close to the truth : Israeli Culture Minister storms out of film, calls it too pro-Palestinian
The Israeli police are ramping up arrests and attacks against Palestinian children.

Targeting of children is nothing new in West Bank villages like Nabi Saleh and Bil’in. This afternoon, Israeli police raided the house of 8 year-old Ali Siyam in the Occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.

Siyam’s arrest comes days after Israeli soldiers broke the arm of a 9-year-old Palestinian child in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. Soldiers, in violation of Israeli army rules of conduct, fired a tear gas canister directly at the child from a range of ten meters. Another 14 year old child was injured from a tear gas canister before the demonstration was over.

Israeli forces raid Information Center again, director Siyam summoned and detained
Netanyahu asked Canada PM to thwart G8 support for 1967 borders
British PM removes his name from list of Jewish National Fund patrons – time constraints?

In its last open letter to Cameron, sent two weeks ago, Stop the JNF characterized the JNF’s British Park in Israel as one that was planted “in order to cover over the remains of the Palestinian villages of Ajjur and Zakariyya, destroyed in 1948, and to prevent the original population and their descendants from returning.”

Palestine Solidarity Campaign director Sarah Colborne said in a statement that Cameron’s decision “reflects the fact that it is now impossible for any serious party leader to lend their public support to racism.” She added: “The Jewish National Fund plays a critical role in facilitating the continued dispossession and suffering of Palestinians.”

Palestinian state: Still gearing up for the UN in September
Nakba: Why did Israeli historians whitewash an artillery attack?
What Opening Rafah Means & Doesn’t Mean
Group of 12 Israeli settlers severely beat elderly Palestinian shepherd – any arrests? unlikely.
Free software campaigner Richard Stallman cancels Israel lectures due to Palestinian pressure
This was the week of Netanyahu’s speech before Congress; if, utterly unlikely as this may be, there is anyone in the world who failed to notice that he was lying, then Wednesday’s official ceremony unveiling the new settlement here in East Jerusalem should be enough to remove the veil.
Police use tasers against J’lem demonstrators : The activists accused police of using excessive violence and of allowing settlers to abuse them after they were detained.
Jewish Settlers Severely Beat Elderly Palestinian Shepherd in Nablus

Slavoj Zizek : Are We Living in the End Times?

Slavoj Zizek, expounds on apocalypse via capitalist degeneracy.

The downside about being declared the messiah is that they generally come to a sticky end

‘CIA response to Assange assassination FOI on

This is a final response to your 11 October FOI Act request for all copies of all records current or previous plans to assassinate Julian Assange. The CIA can neither confirm nor deny the existence or non-existence of records responsive to your request. The fact of the existence or non-existence of requested records is currently and properly classified and is protected from disclosure. Therefore your request is denied.’

Related Links

Good Manners in the Age of WikiLeaks

Palestine / Israel Links

Ask your government to speak up against Adnan’s expulsion from the only home he has and against the demolitions in Silwan.
Statement in Support of Targeted Activists : Al Shabaka
Hamas leader expects more aid convoys to come to Gaza
Guest Media Alert – Tilting Towards Israel – Journalist Jonathan Cook Reveals The Bias In ‘Balance’ On Israel-Palestine
PLO Report Documents Palestinian Deaths, Home Demolitions and Settlement Expansion in 2010
Shin Bet: Disclosing number of detainees who haven’t seen lawyer compromises security
Israeli forces raid Madaa during children’s classes, director Jawad Siyam arrested
Two Israeli airstrikes target Gaza
Gaza Youth : Don’t distort our speech!
Another activist arrested; intimidation of leftists on the rise
Leftists: Probe against us ‘McCarthyism’ : Yisrael Beiteinu’s motion to probe funding of left-wing rights groups expected to pass Wednesday.
WikiLeaks: Israel aimed to keep Gaza economy on brink of collapse
The Director of Silwan Community Center, Jawad Siyam, arrested

Wikileaks Links

Anonymous starts declaring war on countries
WikiLeaks’ Most Terrifying Revelation: Just How Much Our Government Lies to Us
Why Journalists Aren’t Standing Up for WikiLeaks
Blogging WikiLeaks News & Views, for Day 38

US memo: Iranian hard-liners blocked nuke deal
Clucky business: Wikileaks : Argentinian CG thanks KFC for addicting Chinese to chicken wings 09SHANGHAI170
Is Wikileaks more dangerous than the alternative?
Proof the Wikileaks University of Melbourne Post Office Box is operational

Other Links

How the Kremlin Harnesses the Internet
No Value in Any Influenza Vaccine: Cochrane Collaboration Study
Business: your handy guide to railing against the internet
44 Journalists Killed in 2010/Motive Confirmed

Life and Debt – the chains of globalisation and neoliberal imperialism

This film is a powerful exposes of the way vulnerable countries are ruthlessly farmed by empire and its mercantilist consorts, assisted by the World Bank and IMF, to the detriment of local people and environment.

Don’t just sit stunned after watching, get out there and challenge the corporations and countries who enslave people for venal gain. Spread the word, make this film viral!

An extraordinary complex peace

Kevin Rudd is optimistic of the survival of western hegemony for at least another 15 years, as it shifts to a balance of powers rather than US unilateralism. This is reflected already in the expansion of the G7 to the G20, to include representation from most blocs, with under-representation from Africa and South East Asian regions, and no representation from the small island nations of the South Pacific, who are seriously threatened by the by-products of economic activity.

From Paul Kelly:

The basis of Rudd’s stance is a rejection of American decline and faith in American renewal. “By any rational measurement, US global power will remain unchallenged for the first quarter of the current century and arguably for much of the second,” he says. Rudd argues that US leadership “must nonetheless be deployed in a policy environment that is more interconnected, complex and contested than at any time since 1945”.

The new era, he says, is “no longer hot war, no longer cold war”. It is, on the contrary, a period of “an extraordinary complex peace”.

Confident in his reading of Obama, Rudd says the US will not return to unilateralism (a historic trait recently exemplified by Bush) or seek the “wholesale redesign of the global order” (attempted unsuccessfully by Woodrow Wilson) but will adopt a pragmatism that seeks to “renew the existing institutions of global governance from within”. He sees this as Obama’s project.

Rudd interprets Obama’s America as “acting as the pivotal power within the system rather than simply railing at the system from without”. Moving to his central proposition, Rudd argues that the US cannot lead alone but must be supported by a “new driving centre of global politics and global economics”. He means the G20, a group of developed and developing nations far more representative than the major-power Group of Eight. “This I believe is the current direction of the Obama administration,” Rudd says.

Understand what Rudd is really saying. For all his praise of US power, the G20 begins to recognise the relative decline of the US and the West. It is about a sharing of power to create better global outcomes. The group comprises France, Germany, Britain and Italy along with the European Union; from South America it has Brazil and Argentina; the Asian members are Japan, China, India, Indonesia and South Korea; the rest are Australia, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey and the US. It testifies to the reality of a more multipolar world. While arguing that the US will stay No.1, Rudd believes power is shifting from the West to East Asia and other power centres.

This penetrates to the essence of his vision: the need to reform global institutions and arrangements. Rudd is a dedicated multilateralist in the Labor tradition of H.V. Evatt, Gough Whitlam and Gareth Evans. He says the system created at San Francisco and Bretton Woods at the end of World War II has been static while the globe has been transformed. It is no longer functioning or legitimate. He warns that the global financial architecture has reached a tipping point.