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The Very Stupid and the Very Powerful

Today the good Walt Dardyman reminded me of a quote:

"The very stupid and the very powerful have something in common; they don't alter their opinions to fit the facts, they try to alter the facts to fit their opinions." - The Doctor, Face of Evil, 1977

This is what a real conspiracy looks like; the suppression and alteration of scientific research to suit economic interests and imposed by political authorities. Their attempt to "manage perceptions" and public opinion does not change reality.

Dying for their Economy

I was going to write a long post about how the Chamber of Commerce, the Australian Hotels Association, and the State and Federal LNP would prefer that you, your parents, and your grandparents, were infected so their pockets are lined for their non-essential profits.

However, Daniel Andrews has just explained it without even having to mention how these carping muppets don't know the first thing about epidemiology.

But I will. And I'll also mention who does know. The AMA:

Last Mile Travel

There's been some confusion about the term "last mile travel" and what it means. Mass transit transports large numbers of people at once -- that's why we call it "mass" transit. Those people don't all live in the same place, and they're not all going to the same place. Mass transit, by its very nature, relies on transportation hubs like bus stops and train stations. The "last mile" is the portion of a trip between the starting or ending point and the transit hub. It's the portion of the trip that mass transit, by its definition, cannot cater to.

Cambodian Unionist Jailed

The Cambodian government is clamping down on freedom of association and expression in order to silence trade unionists, as workers resist the economic downturn and repression.

Global unions need our support to free Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions (CCU), and Sor Saknika, president of the Cambodian Informal Labourers' Association (CILA).

Rong Chhun was arrested on 31 July for incitement to commit felony for comments he made. He recently led pickets in garment factory closures and urged the government to make human rights improvements.

Indonesia: Proposal to Lower Wages, Weaken Conditions

Around the world, some governments and companies are taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to attack working people and their unions.

In Indonesia, the government has introduced an "Omnibus Bill on Job Creation" which, according to the unions, will reduce wages, remove entitlements and erode workers' rights in the country.

The government of President Joko Widodo is arguing that this bill rewrites 79 existing laws in order to allow greater foreign direct investment, support economic growth and create job opportunities for Indonesians.

Jordan's Teachers Arrested over Coronavirus Criticism

In Jordan, the teachers' union had concerns about the way the government was handling the coronavirus crisis.

The government's response was to arrest leading members of the union, raid the union offices and shut the union down for the next two years.

Riot police were then deployed to break up peaceful demonstrations by teachers denouncing the crackdown on trade union rights.

An AU-EU Society?

Australia has various bilateral associations that promote friendship, cooperation, and understanding between the people of one country and another. Obvious to all, these represent a sort of soft-power strategic orientation as well as a source for business contacts, along with the more benign elements of cultural, scientific, and familial associations. A very notable example is the American Australian Association which is affiliated with its complement, the American Australian Association, and likewise the Australia-Britain Society and its complement, the Britain-Australia Society.

COVID-19 will increase inequality

Around 50% of Australia’s workforce (appx. 6 million people) are currently without full-time employment. When changes to Jobkeeper and Jobseeker are adjusted in September, around 40% of Australians will find themselves in exceptionally difficult economic and personal circumstances. We are currently in what could be described as a COVID holiday, due to government economic supports. Once this ends, the situation will deteriorate. How is the state going to manage this?

ALP (Victorian branch) Submission to Administrators

In 1998 I co-authored a paper, "ALP Reform Discussion Paper 1988: ALP Branches a Structural and Systematic Review" with then Party-organiser Peter Mitchell. This paper was written at a time when there were a number of public reports about branch-stacking within the Victorian branch of the Australian Labor Party. The Discussion Paper sought to provide solutions to these problems.

Release the CDC Data to the Public!

It is not unusual for authoritarian and totalitarian regimes to engage in mass secrecy, especially when their public policy results in embarrassing figures.

But the United States has at least pretended that it believes in the free communication of scientific data.

Until now.

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