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Syria Update: Turkish Ground Operations

SYRIA UPDATE: Yesterday, Turkey began ground operations into Syria. Their goal is to take two predominantly Arab cities, Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn, that are controlled by the Kurdish-aligned Syrian Democratic Forces. Taking those two cities will cut the main highway connection between the main Kurdish population centers in Kobane canton (to the west) and Cizire canton (to the east).

Tariffs can be good, but Trump's are idiotic

I'm opposed to tariffs in general and Trump's tariffs are particularly bad because they have no real goal, but tariffs aren't necessarily bad in themselves. Tariffs could be used for good. China has effectively been imposing tariffs on other countries by way of a VAT which they exempt domestic producers from paying, which is a violation of the spirit of the current trade agreement. So, China technically launched the first attack in the trade war.

The Breakdown of Non-Partisan Discussion

If you want some really different "opinions", there's the closed Facebook group under the name "Australian Politcal Debate". Today one of the moderators (they're all right-wingers) suspended me from posting because - and get this - they couldn't handle having two people engaging them in a discussion on the same thread. This is a group which openly welcomes Nazis and other associated racists, various shades of climate-change deniers, anti-vaxxers, and even a literal Biblical flat-earther.

John Sidoti, Land Tax, and Corruption

The NSW Sports Minister John Sidoti has stood down whilst the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) investigates him for land purchases and planned developments near planned new train stations and accepting donations from the very property developer that he has a 10% investment in. Through a family trust of course.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-17/john-sidoti-steps-down-pending-ic...

YangGang Inspired Project Ideas

I’ve been thinking that the power of this whole YangGang spirit ought to be harnessed for good. Regardless of whether Andrew Yang wins or not, this campaign needs to be perpetual. We must continually fight for the cause of Humanity First and the Freedom Dividend, regardless of who wins the next election. This isn’t about Andrew Yang and the presidential election — this is about the philosophy and policies that Yang is promoting.

Updated rankings for the 2020 Democratic candidates

Updated rankings for the 2020 Democratic candidates. The third debate was something of a nothingburger with no major gaffes committed by the big names but also no real breakout moments from the lesser lights, and with very few highlights overall. Joe Biden came out far more aggressively and despite a couple of his usual Joe-isms put in a strong performance. Elizabeth Warren was more muted and still is wishy washy on her health care proposal that will involve middle class tax rises but she can’t seem to admit this, however she managed to mostly float above the fray.

Bushfires and Climate Change

For a few weeks, as bushfires raged in NSW and Qld, a debate broke out here on whether climate change was contributing factor.

In the main part, the answer to the question fell across partisan lines with people from the Labor/Greens/Left saying that it was and those from the LNP/ON/Right saying it was not.

Something I have observed over the years however is that the LNP is very split on the question of climate change. About half seem to accept the mainstream scientific opinion, and about half don't.

Pearl Continental Karachi Seeking Negotiations

For 18 years, workers at the Pearl Continental Karachi (Pakistan) have fought with unflagging determination for their collective rights and for recognition of their union.

That's an extraordinary thing -- for 18 years, denied their rights, those workers continue their struggle.

Indonesia: solidarity brings reduced sentence for union leader

The trial of Reni Desmiria (http://www.iuf.org/w/?q=node/6944) , secretary of the SPBMI union of workers at seafood processor Bumi Menara Internusa (BMI) in Lampung, Indonesia, has concluded with her conviction and a reduced sentence. The notoriously corrupt legal system declared her guilty as expected, but faced with campaigns at local, national and international level was forced to reduce the sentence to 4 months with time served.

Elizabeth Warren's Climate Policy

Elizabeth Warren has been releasing a trickle of climate change policy for what feels like 40 or 50 years now, on such hot issues as fossil fuel leasing on public lands and how much greenhouse gases our military bases emit. As much as I like Warren, I've found her approach to climate policy to be extremely irritating.

Now, at long last, she's finally released the meat and potatoes of her plan. Let's take a look at what she has to say.

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