Posts categorised ‘News and Politics’

Just read this article, proposing the closed Holden factory in Adelaide be repurposed to build electric vehicles, locally. It sounds very doable. Clearly electric vehicles still don’t scale in densifying cities, where the discouragement of driving and rapid expansion of public transport are the only path leading away from traffic jam hell, but where private motor vehicles are needed and used they should certainly be electric. It’d be great if Australia could stop dragging its feet on this and do something even minimally forward-thinking for a change.

Bookmarked “Myanmar's spring revolution”

Original post found at: https://redflag.org.au/article/myanmars-spring-revolution

On 22 February, more than one million people joined the call for a general strike and marched in the largest nationwide mobilisation since resistance to the coup began. In Yangon, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators descended upon Sule Pagoda Road, Hledan Junction and Myaynigone, reclaiming these gathering points after they had been barricaded with barbed wire and filled with riot police the preceding weekend. In Mandalay, tens of thousands of demonstrators shut down the central business district, making it impossible for the police and armed forces to carry out repression.

The creation of strike committees provides an alternative source of power to the Tatmadaw through which the movement can coordinate itself on a national scale. But to truly challenge the Tatmadaw’s economic and political power, the strike committees will need to become rooted in workplaces under the leadership of striking workers. In the coming days and weeks, the ability of Myanmar’s powerful working class to impose its will on the situation—through more strikes that paralyse the economy—will be crucial.

Bookmarked “Denmark’s “Zero Asylum” Plan Means Psychological Torture for Refugees”

Original post found at: https://jacobinmag.com/2021/02/denmark-zero-asylum-immigration-refugees/

A sobering read about the hardline anti-refugee policies maintained by Denmark’s “social democratic” government. There are a lot of parallels to the awful situation in Australia too, where our Labor Party has adopted similarly cruel refugee policies in response to One Nation’s rise in certain marginal seats 🙄

On Teacher Workloads

Just read this article on teacher workloads, and I had some things to say about it. While it’s painfully accurate on how current workloads are so crushing, its proposed solution is far too minor. According to the Victorian study it mentions, teachers work an average of 53 hours a week and graduate teachers an average of 60 hours – this is not remediable with a modest pay rise.

Instead, this …

Read more…

Liked “How Korea Became a Forgotten War”

Original post found at: https://jacobinmag.com/2021/02/korea-forgotten-war-owen-miller-north-south/

During the Korean War, the United States inflicted unimaginable horrors on the Korean people. Yet today Americans know almost nothing about their government's role in war crimes and atrocities.

An interesting interview about how the Korean War has been largely forgotten in the West, despite being intensely destructive and never fully resolved.

Liked “The trouble with boys: what lies behind the flood of teenage sexual assault stories?”

Original post found at: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/feb/27/the-trouble-with-boys-what-lies-behind-the-flood-of-teenage-sexual-assault-stories

For Michael Salter, professor in criminology at the University of New South Wales and expert in masculinity, there is a crucial phase in adolescent development as gender identities start to form and there are vital questions to ask about boys’ transition from primary school to high school, and the sorts of peer structures that get established.

“At this age they become very gender segregated, and become militant around gender norms, in many cases boys are actively discouraged from seeing their female school friends as human beings – it’s a total failure of empathy, a failure to see a girl as human.

“Codes of behaviour are very strict during that period of time. Boys are subject to physical violence from other boys, can be seen in some way as weak or overly sympathetic if they are interested in platonic relationships which then become actively sexualised by young boys. That’s not necessarily true with girls.”

Timely for this article to come out now, after the movie I saw last night. There’s really so much of it I could have quoted; it’s an incredibly insightful piece about how that “gender segregated” old-timey kind of Western culture fosters misogynistic disrespect, and then ultimately sexual violence.

Bookmarked “Sky News Australia is tapping into the global conspiracy set – and it’s paying off”

Original post found at: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/feb/24/sky-news-australia-is-tapping-into-the-global-conspiracy-set-and-its-paying-off

For those who don’t know, Sky News Australia has long been an extremely marginal cable news channel in a country with low pay TV penetration. But, owned by Rupert Murdoch as it is, in recent years it’s assembled quite a crew of right-wing ne’er-do-wells to fill its “Sky After Dark” programming, and many clips from that are getting huge circulation on sites like YouTube. (And I mean, I never watch news on YouTube and the site is constantly trying to force Sky News garbage into my recommendations, so clearly YouTube/Google is pretty complicit in this.) Just another example of how pandering to right-wing nuts is a highly profitable endeavour in this hellish economic system…

Bookmarked “‘Destruction by a thousand cuts’: the relentless threat mining poses to the Pilbara cultural landscape”

Original post found at: https://theconversation.com/destruction-by-a-thousand-cuts-the-relentless-threat-mining-poses-to-the-pilbara-cultural-landscape-155941

Just as the parliamentary inquiry into Rio Tinto’s destruction of the Juukan Gorge rock shelters was reconvening in Canberra, another culturally significant site was damaged at one of BHP’s iron ore mines in the Pilbara. […]

The destruction of one ancient and sacred rock shelter is, of course, devastating. But there’s a greater and as yet unrecognised loss to cultural heritage that is occurring from the “cumulative impacts” of mining activities in the Pilbara. It’s destruction by a thousand cuts.

Liked “Economics professor Ross Garnaut says Australia voluntarily keeps hundreds of thousands unemployed”

Original post found at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-25/ross-garnaut-economists-unemployment-rba-government-critique/13186724

[Garnaut] says [the federal government and Reserve Bank's] decision to 'allow' hundreds of thousands of Australians to languish in unemployment in recent years, to suppress wages and inflation, as part of the country's broader economic policy settings, has immiserated people and cost the economy hundreds of billions dollars in lost economic activity.

In his new book, Reset: Restoring Australia after the pandemic recession, Professor Garnaut says our policymakers should drop that policy and return Australia to having genuine full employment.

I like the part at the end where he supports a universal basic income, too. If the target rate is this “NAIRU”, and the NAIRU is higher than zero, all these people who are unemployed solely to prop up capitalism need to live in dignity.

Liked “Ask a policy expert: why is it so hard to get on the disability support pension?”

Original post found at: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/may/07/ask-a-policy-expert-why-is-it-so-hard-to-get-on-the-disability-support-pension

While successive Labor and Liberal-National governments have significantly reduced the number of people receiving the payment, this has not translated into increased employment and economic security for people with disability.

The significant fall in people receiving the DSP since the “structural shift” has been accompanied by a corresponding dramatic increase in the number of people with disabilities and medical illnesses receiving the significantly lower Newstart, as Nijole does. Essentially, people with disability have been moved from the higher-paying DSP to the lower-paying Newstart – the outcome from changes to DSP requirements has been to push people already in poverty further into poverty.

photo of Jessica Smith is a left-wing feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also very interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.