richard.obrien's blog

Torture of Asylum Seekers

Upon arrival at Christmas Is asylum seekers, usually still covered in shit, piss and vomit after their time at sea, are lined up and all prosthetic limbs, hearing aids and glasses are confiscated and destroyed. They are not replaced. Women in detention are denied sanitary products.

Ostracised billionaires

Nothing breaks my heart more than hearing a billionaire say they feel ostracised from society.

With little more to live on than a billion dollar fortune, unfettered access to the best food, medicine and services available on the planet, a political party devoted to cutting his taxes and reducing his employees' wages and a global media empire committed to defending his interests and preserving his privileged status Ken Langone has now had to endure the indignity of listening to Pope Francis talk about the plight of poor people.

BREAKING NEWS: Bishop Delivers Broadside to Mining Industry

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has described conditions in mining camps as being worse than those at the Nauru immigration detention centre.

Ms Bishop's comments follow a damning UNHCR report last month, which called on the Australian Government to stop sending asylum-seeker children to the detention centres, singling out the Nauru centre in particular, saying it is rat-infested, cramped and very hot.

This followed an Amnesty International report which described conditions in the detention centres as "cruel, inhuman, degrading and violating prohibitions against torture."

Conditions on Manus Island and Nauru

Asylum seekers detained on Manus Island experience temperatures around 35 degrees and extreme humidity. Water is rationed to 500 ml per person per day. Amnesty International has described this treatment as tantamount to torture.

Comfortably adequate

"Comfortably adequate"
- Warren Truss, Acting Prime Minister Dec 9 - Dec 11, 2013.

The Who the Fuck is Warren Truss foundation is proud to have witnessed history in the making. Just 2 days ago the kid from Kingaroy rose from complete obscurity to the lofty office of acting prime minister.

With the safe return of Tony Abbott to our shores (Scott Morrison permitting), Warren has now returned to complete obscurity but he leaves behind a legacy few other acting prime ministers could, or would, hope to achieve.

Oxygen Thieves

Federal Environment minister Greg Hunt today approved 3 million cubic metres of dredging and dumping in the Great Barrier Reef. This follows yesterday's decision by the Abbott government to increase the quota for old growth logging by 35% (against the recommendations of scientists who advised a 10% reduction).

Eureka Day

"By and by there was a result, and I think it may be called the finest thing in Australasian history. It was a revolution, small in size, but great politically. It was a strike for liberty, a struggle for principle, a stand against injustice and oppression."
- Mark Twain

Today is the 159th anniversary of the Eureka Rebellion, an event which directly led to the introduction of universal male suffrage in Victoria, kick-starting the growth of democracy in the Australian colonies and later the Australian Federation.

Remember, remember

I posted this last year but as the point of Remembrance Day is not only about remembering the sacrifices made but also the reason such wars should never be repeated, I thought it was worth a rerun:

At 11am on Remembrance Day many of us paused for a minute to remember those whose lives were lost in war. While I consider this a noble and worthy gesture I think it important that we also remember the reasons these people died, especially when many of those deaths were unnecessary and avoidable.

Letter of apology to the Australian Prime Minister, the Hon. Tony Abbott.

Dear Prime Minister,

I am writing to apologise for recent comments I have made in relation to you and our newly elected government. I have in the past referred to you and your party as lazy, dishonest, arrogant, negative, opportunist, cynical, manipulative, divisive, mean-spirited, ignorant, boorish, compassionless, mysogynistic, homophobic, short sighted, reffo-bashing, borderline psychotic, anti-worker, Murdoch kowtowing, God bothering, climate change denying, socially regressive, economically illiterate, policy light weights.

Meet Chris Ellison

Meet Chris Ellison. He's the latest billionaire mining magnate out of WA to start whinging to the media about how much he has to pay his employees.

According to Ellison, who is 88th on the BRW rich list, workers have had it too good in Australia for too long and have developed a sense of entitlement due to union regulations and first world wages.

Ellison claims his employees are working at 55% of capacity despite the fact that his company, Mineral Resources, increased in value last year by 15%.


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