Episode 204 – Secularism, Coal Mines and Death by Capitalism
Secularism, Coal Mines and Death by Capitalism.
2:45 Three Cheers for the NSL
Jane Caro, who was part of the delegation to meet with the ABC MD, said discussions were “extremely productive” and highly relevant, following the federal election on 18th May.
She said that for too long “the religious viewpoint on social issues – like abortion, gay marriage and assisted dying – had been paramount,” and the more popular non-religious view had been silenced.
“The media has not fully recognised the public majority are secular – with 78% support for the separation of Church and State. Yet the loudest media voice comes from religious leaders and lobbyists.”
NSL has quoted numerous examples of religious imbalance – the most obvious being a Q&A TV program on the “Separation of Church and State” where all six panellists were Christian. Not one speaker was secular!
Meeting with David Anderson, the NSL delegation delivered a proposal to help balance the ABC’s stable of nine religious and spiritual programs, suggesting that just one should focus on the popular “secular viewpoint.”
Ms Caro said, “we understand that religious programming is a part of the ABC’s charter – and naturally, religious people want their programs – but there is an equal need for the majority secular perspective.”
By “secular”, she explained, the focus is not simply on “the separation of Church and State”, but also having “Freedom FROM Religion” – to publicly question the influence of religion on a raft of issues in politics, education, health and the law.
“The topics are endless. Religions either push to repeal laws like abortion and same-sex marriage; or they lobby for more exemptions to discriminate against others, or to increase privileges, grants, and tax breaks.”
Jane Caro said that NSL’s proposal for a “30-minute monthly program on Radio National” was rejected, but Mr Anderson asked for a list of “secular commentators” who could be called on for any ABC program.
“NSL has forwarded to the Managing Director an extensive list of highly credentialed people, all with media experience, and with specific areas of secular expertise to balance the dominant religious position.”
“We trust the ABC will circulate this NSL list to program managers and producers, to provide them with the details of qualified people who are able to speak for Australia’s secular majority.”
10:06 Labor urged to include people of faith
Lyle Shelton got 12 Votes
How did we compare in 2016?
|C Ticket Votes||Secular Party of Australia||3135||207||26||153||334||3855|
|BELL, Trevor||Secular Party of Australia||526||45||12||26||54||663|
|CLARK, Scott||Secular Party of Australia||87||8||1||3||6||105|
Scott is 8.75 times more popular than Lyle Shelton.
15:45 Pray for rain
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack discussing the Nationals policy to pray for rain.
18:45 A Question from Anne
Hi Iron Fist, Velvet Glove & Team,
I was quite taken back to walk into the NAB bank in West End this afternoon to be confronted with a large poster of an obviously Muslim woman, then when I looked around the bank she was everywhere (photos attached) … no other poster people representing any other demographic.
Is it just overplay of identity politics on NABs part or is this ”secularly” wrong? I’m conflicted as it feels wrong but I’m not sure what my argument is. They’re obviously not going to run follow up ads with a crucifix wearing equivalent.
Interested to hear your thoughts.
20:42 Paul Monk has a theory
Here’s the underlying question: Are we, as a society, actually better off with a universal franchise than with one restructured by criteria of competence, with a view to ensuring the election of better representatives and the making of better public policy? That’s right: a restricted franchise — restricted not by class, gender or ethnicity but by competence.
The Fist – the problem is the candidates.
29:56 Dating app for private school graduates comes to Sydney
Toffee, which launched in Britain last year, bills itself as the “world’s first dating app for people who were privately educated”.
Toffee founder and English private school alumnus Lydia Davis said the app has a list of schools and users can add theirs if it’s not on the list.
“We’ll then double check the school, making sure it is independent/private,” she told the Herald.
Wrong name. Not Toffee but Tossers!
32:19 A good man is hard to find, and increasingly becoming even more scarce
Where are all the good, marriageable men? This is a question so ubiquitous to my female peers and me that to justify it seems almost trite. Yet I was asked to do just that after publishing a piece in The Catholic Weekly this month stating a widely held but seldom-heard view of the lack of desirable, moral men in this country, especially in the church.
I can talk to any young woman in my social circle and they will all say the same thing: there just aren’t any men.
What we mean by this is there is a frightening scarcity of men aged 25 to 35 who are churchgoing, single and worldly wise. Most men I meet have two out of three of these qualities, with the last often lacking. If they’re single churchgoers, they’re often in want of basic social awareness (a big turn-off for most women); if they’re more socially adjusted, they’re generally not single or not religious. Even if they’re not religious, most young Australian men hold views and values that are utterly opposed to our own. As a Christian, trying to find a normal Aussie bloke who is willing to enter a chaste relationship can feel like looking for gold dust.
35:18 I Told you Jordan Peterson is Nuts
Jordan “Patriarchy” Peterson, the smart person for dumb people, gives his alt-right fanboys permission to dream of “enforced monogamy.”
Peterson, the great white savior, explains how patriarchy and “enforced monogamy” just might be the solution to the incel problem. Commenting on the incel violence in Toronto, Peterson explains:
Violent attacks are what happens when men do not have partners, Mr. Peterson says, and society needs to work to make sure those men are married.
“He was angry at God because women were rejecting him,” Mr. Peterson says of the Toronto killer. “The cure for that is enforced monogamy. That’s actually why monogamy emerges.”
Mr. Peterson does not pause when he says this. Enforced monogamy is, to him, simply a rational solution. Otherwise women will all only go for the most high-status men, he explains, and that couldn’t make either gender happy in the end.
36:50 Adani and Employment
Will the Adani Carmichael mine be a windfall or not?
2008 – Palmer gets in first and others follow.
2010 – Adani announces Carmichael
- Adani: Carmichael project.
- GVK Hancock Coal: Alpha, Kevin’s Corner and Alpha West projects.
- Waratah Coal: China First and Alpha North projects.
- AMCI and Bandanna Energy: South Galilee project.
- Macmines Austasia: China Stone project.
- Guildford Coal: Hughenden, Clyde Park, Pentland projects.
- Aurizon Holdings: Central Queensland Integrated Rail Project.
But it was not until 2012 that the full scale of what was taking shape in the Galilee became clear. As a Greenpeace report released that year showed, a total of nine mines had already been proposed by various companies, five of which would be among the biggest in the world. Collectively these mines would produce up to 330 million tonnes of coal a year, more than doubling the amount of coal Australia exported.
Although GVK Hancock’s Alpha mine was the first to be approved, it was Adani’s Carmichael mine that pushed ahead the fastest. Incorporating six open-cut pits and five underground mines, Carmichael would not just be bigger than any other mine in Australia, it would be bigger than almost any mine in the world. With its pits and mines spread over a site almost 50 kilometres long and 10 kilometres wide, Carmichael would eventually disturb almost 280 square kilometres. Even the smallest of the six pits was to be 6 kilometres long and 1.7 kilometres wide; the largest would be 8.5 kilometres long and 3.5 kilometres wide.
Development on this scale was justified by the potential wealth buried beneath the ground. Adani estimated that the four major seams it intended to mine contained 8.3 billion tonnes of coal, so much that even at an annual output of 60 million tonnes it would take 150 years to exhaust the mine. Along with the mine itself Adani proposed constructing an airfield capable of transporting workers in and out and a rail line connecting the mine to the Abbot Point coal terminal, just north of Bowen.
In November 2014 Newman announced the state government would help fund the proposed rail link to Abbot Point as part of a larger deal designed to secure the project a $1 billion loan from the government-owned State Bank of India.
In May 2014 the Queensland government approved the project, subject to the approval of the Commonwealth, which Environment Minister Greg Hunt duly provided a few weeks later.
One could have been forgiven for thinking the project was now unstoppable.
When former Reserve Bank economist and Adani consultant Jerome Fahrer was pressed on the question of jobs, he admitted the figure of 10,000 was “extreme and unrealistic”. Instead, Fahrer argued that, at the peak of construction, the project would employ approximately 2400 people, but because many of these jobs would come at the expense of those elsewhere, the number of jobs actually created would be considerably lower. Instead, Fahrer said that over the life of the project an average of 1464 full-time equivalent direct and indirect jobs would be created.
The Australia Institute suggests development in the Galilee would lead to significant job losses at existing coalmines elsewhere in Australia, potentially eliminating up to 9000 jobs in the Hunter Valley, 2000 in the Bowen Basin and 1400 in the Surat Basin.
Although coal accounts for almost 15 per cent of Australia’s total exports, coalmining makes a surprisingly small contribution to government revenue: even with coal prices at historically high levels, in 2017–18 coal royalties only accounted for around 6.4 per cent of Queensland government revenue, a figure that is projected to fall to 4.6 per cent by 2021–22 as coal prices decline. To put that in context, in 2017–18 income from motor vehicle registrations accounted for 3 per cent of government revenue.
In November 2018 the industry employed slightly fewer than 50,000 people. This is less than 0.4 per cent of Australia’s total workforce and a fraction of that employed in industries such as construction, tourism and education. Meanwhile, the coal industry continues to receive high levels of public assistance: between 2008 and 2013 in Queensland alone, the government outlaid more than $8 billion on projects to benefit the coal industry.
In late 2017 Adani announced it would now proceed on a much smaller scale, producing a mere 25 million tonnes of coal instead of the 60 million originally envisaged. Although the expansion of Abbot Point and rail link remained part of this new, slimmed-down version of the project, in August last year Adani then quietly shelved the plan to expand Abbot Point, and in September announced that the rail link would also be replaced with a much shorter line that took advantage of existing infrastructure owned by Aurizon. Finally, in November last year, Adani announced it would finance the project with its own money.
The World’s Most Controversial Coal Mine Doesn’t Add Up
From Bloomberg it won’t be profitable
It would cost about $88 to produce a ton of coal that would sell for $66 on the open market.
And, it will probably generate only 100 jobs
Adani comes up with different jobs figures depending on who it is talking to.
· Adani promised politicians 10,000 jobs
· Adani told investors the whole project would be automated from mine to port (meaning robot driven trucks to reduce on labour costs i.e. jobs)
· In court Adani was forced to admit it would create just 1,464 new jobs — direct and indirect jobs — for the mine and railway because it would negatively impact other industries.
54:12 The Myth is that Our Defence Strategy Should Rely on the USA, not those Evil Chinese Who Want To Invade Us
We better watch out. We cannot trust those evil aggressive Chinese who will try to invade us. Better stick with the good guys. The good ole US of A.
Except Trump is investigating us, over Alexander Downer’s conduct over Russian rumours and …
But who is more likely to invade us?
How many countries has the USA invaded?
Morocco, Algeria, Tunis, Libya (First Barbary War)
Canada (War of 1812)
Algeria (Second Barbary War)
Spain (Acquisition of Florida)
Cherokees (Indian Removal Act)
Ivory Coast (Expedition)
Cherokees (Trail of Tears)
Mexico (Annexation of Texas)
Mexico (Seizing of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, some of Colorado, New Mexico, and the Texan border with the Rio Grande)
Sioux (Forced settlement and massacre)
Spain (Annexation of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines)
Philippines (Reneges on promise of Philippine independence in exchange for Filipino support during the Spanish-American War)
China (Second Opium War)
China (Looting China in response to the Boxer Rebellion as part of the Eight-Nation Alliance)
Taiwan (Expedition into Taiwan)
Korea (Korean Expedition in response to “insults”)
Panama, Nicaragua, Cuba, Haiti, Dominica Republic, Honduras, Mexico (US shenanigans with their military)
Germany (World War 1)
Russia (Russian Civil War – Formation of Soviet Union)
Germany, Japan, Italy, Romania, Bulgaria (WW2)
Korea (Korean War)
Vietnam (Vietnam War)
Guatemala (CIA overthrows of their government and funds dictator’s armies)
Iran (CIA overthrows elected Prime Minister)
Cuba (Bay of Pigs)
Brazil (CIA helps overthrow the government and funds opposition groups)
Chile (CIA funds opposition then overthrows the government)
Grenada (Overthrow their government)
Nicaragua (Helps install a military junta)
Panama (Attempt to capture Gen. Manuel Noriega)
Honduras (Helps install a military junta)
Colombia (Funds and trains death squads)
Iraq (Desert Storm)
Iraq (Retaliation for alleged assassination plot)
Sudan, Afghanistan (Retaliation for terrorist attacks in embassies)
Serbia (Kosovo War)
Afghanistan (Response to 9/11)
Iraq (Bush’s policy of war against WMD-developing states)
Iran (Stuxxnet – Cyber Warfare)
Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq (Drone Attacks)
Libya, Syria (No-fly zone and drone attacks)
Overthrowing other people’s governments: The Master List
By William Blum
Instances of the United States overthrowing, or attempting to overthrow, a foreign government since the Second World War. (* indicates successful ouster of a government)
China 1949 to early 1960s
East Germany 1950s
Iran 1953 *
Guatemala 1954 *
Costa Rica mid-1950s
British Guiana 1953-64 *
Iraq 1963 *
North Vietnam 1945-73
Cambodia 1955-70 *
Laos 1958 *, 1959 *, 1960 *
Ecuador 1960-63 *
Congo 1960 *
Brazil 1962-64 *
Dominican Republic 1963 *
Cuba 1959 to present
Bolivia 1964 *
Indonesia 1965 *
Ghana 1966 *
Chile 1964-73 *
Greece 1967 *
Costa Rica 1970-71
Bolivia 1971 *
Australia 1973-75 *
Angola 1975, 1980s
Portugal 1974-76 *
Jamaica 1976-80 *
Chad 1981-82 *
Grenada 1983 *
South Yemen 1982-84
Fiji 1987 *
Nicaragua 1981-90 *
Panama 1989 *
Bulgaria 1990 *
Albania 1991 *
Afghanistan 1980s *
Yugoslavia 1999-2000 *
Ecuador 2000 *
Afghanistan 2001 *
Venezuela 2002 *
Iraq 2003 *
Haiti 2004 *
Somalia 2007 to present
Honduras 2009 *
Libya 2011 *
Ukraine 2014 *
Q: Why will there never be a coup d’état in Washington?
A: Because there’s no American embassy there.
How many has China invaded?
Incidentally, England has a few invasions under its belt.
1:12:22 How many people has Capitalism killed?
From The Guardian: Don’t get me wrong: regimes that took the name “communist” – from Stalin’s to Pol Pot’s – committed unspeakable, monstrous crimes. But for the right, a revival of interest in Marx’s pre-Stalinist vision of communism is the most striking and chilling example of its own collapsing ideological supremacy: “communism” is synonymous with tens of millions of deaths and nothing else. Capitalism, by contrast, is presented as a largely bloodless, blameless engine of human prosperity.
The story of capitalism is more complicated than that. If you want to read effusive praise of capitalism, you’ll find it in Marx and Engels’ Communist Manifesto: the revolutionary dynamism of the capitalists, they wrote, had created “wonders far surpassing Egyptian pyramids, Roman aqueducts, and Gothic cathedrals”. But capitalism is an economic system drenched in the blood of countless millions.
According to The Black Book of Communism, a disreputable key reference point for the right, almost a hundred million humans perished at the hands of self-described “communist” regimes, mostly victims of Mao Zedong’s regime in China. The Nobel prize-winning economist Amartya Sen notes that between 23 and 30 million people did indeed die as a consequence of Mao’s catastrophic Great Leap Forward policies in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
But he also noted in a 2006 paper that in the middle of the 20th century, China and India had the same life expectancy – around 40 years. After the Chinese revolution, a massive divergence took place. By 1979, Maoist China had a life expectancy of 68 years, more than 14 years longer than that of capitalist India.
The excess in mortality of capitalist India over communist China was estimated to be a horrifying 4 million human lives a year. So why isn’t India held up as a case study for the murderousness of capitalism?
Even when the international slave trade began to crumble, the blood money of colonialism enriched western capitalism. India was long ruled by Britain, the world’s pre-eminent capitalist power: as Mike Davis’s Late Victorian Holocausts explores, up to 35 million Indians perished in needless famines as millions of tonnes of wheat was exported to Britain in times of starvation. Here was a cash cow for British capitalism, becoming the country’s main source of revenue by the end of the 19th century. The west is built on wealth stolen from the subjugated, at an immense human cost.
The Divide by Jason Hickel
The Great Dispossession
In order for capitalism to work it needs workers. Through the middle ages, the vast majority of people in Europe (at least outside the city-states) lived as peasants and were quite happy doing so. Peasants may not have been rich but they enjoyed the basic rights of habitation. It was unthinkable that anyone should not have secure access to the basic resources they needed for survival. But this traditional system came under attack in the 15th century in a process started in England when wealthy Nobles eager to profit from the wool trade began a campaign to turn their land into sheep pasture and to do this they abolished the right of habitation that had protected peasants for so many centuries. The enclosure movement as it came to be known saw the privatisation of millions of acres over the course of two or three centuries. This was a violent dispossession and required a considerable degree of force. Also, landlords began to realise they could get more value from peasants if they were forced to increase their agricultural output so they transformed peasants secure tenure rights into a market for leases and only gave leases to those able to produce the most. Those who were less productive would be kicked off the land and left with no way to survive.
This put peasants under tremendous pressure. If they wanted to survive they had to devise ways of extracting ever more yield from their land, far beyond what they needed to live on. This led to a dramatic increase in agricultural output but the only real improvement was to the landlords’ profits. The final episode in the destruction of the English peasant system exactly coincided with the industrial revolution. By the middle of the 19th century it was complete. There was almost no common land left and millions of people had been forcibly displaced. Huge portions of England’s population had nowhere to go and for the first time in history a significant proportion of the population had no access to any form of livelihood for survival. The displaced peasants had no way to feed themselves save for one last option namely to sell their labour for wages. The impoverished refugees provided the cheap labour necessary to fuel the industrial revolution. They often worked for 16 hours a day which was much more than peasants would have spent working on their farms before enclosure. The emergence of the landless working class added a final piece to the great transformation of England’s economy. They became the worlds first mass consumer population for they depended on the markets for even the most basic goods necessary for survival. It was these three forces enclosure, mass displacement and the creation of a consumer market that provided the internal conditions for the industrial revolution.
In 1585 in Ireland, English colonisers reproduced the system of enclosure and forcibly expropriated the land of Irish peasants. Many were left with no hope of survival and migrated to England and Scotland to work as wage labourers. Over 2 to 3 centuries Irish peasants had so little land for their own use that they were planting only potatoes, the one crop that would yield sufficient calories for them to survive on very small plots.
This dependency on potatoes proved deadly when the potato blight hit in 1845. Over the next seven years 1 million people died. That was 10% of the Irish population. What made this so appalling was that it was completely avoidable. It would never have happened if peasants had retained full rights to their ancestral land where they would’ve had plenty of space to produce a diversity of crops. Even with the new system Ireland was producing enough food except it was exporting 30 to 50 shiploads of food to England and Scotland each day during the famine while the local population starved to death.
The colonisation of India began in the early 1600s as a corporate affair led by the East India company. Unlike in America in most cases the British didn’t resettle all the land themselves but rather forced the Indians to adopt a new agricultural system. Indian farmers were made to cultivate crops for the export market – opium, indigo, cotton, wheat and rice – instead of for subsistence. For many people making this shift was the only way to survive as it was necessary simply in order to pay the crushing taxes and debts that the British had imposed. Prior to 1870 India’s forests had been communally managed. Farmers used them to acquire firewood for cooking and heating and for fodder to feed the cattle they used for ploughing and fertiliser. By the end of the decade, the forest had become almost completely enclosed to be used by the British for building ships and railways. Common water rights were also privatised and auctioned off and rendered as a market commodity for the first time. In 1876 when EL Nino visited the region with a crushing three year drought the peasants were left without any security systems such as grain reserves and the commons. The consequences were disastrous. 10 million Indians died of starvation. 20 years later between 1896 and 1902 EL Nino struck again and this time 20 million Indians died of starvation. Even during the height of the drought the country had a net surplus of food which was enough to feed the entire population but the grain was shipped to Europe. The Indian famines of the late 19th century were not a natural disaster that but were caused by India’s incorporation into the emerging capitalist world system.
Before the British arrived India commanded 27% of the world economy. By the time they left, India share had shrunk to just 3%.
In China, Britain wanted extensive trade and was hungry for tea, porcelain and silk but the Chinese would only accept payment in silver and were not interested in other British products. Britain started selling opium and when the Chinese authorities clamped down, the British retaliated with a military invasion and thus began the opium wars between 1839 and 1842 and by an Anglo-French alliance from 1856 to 1860. China, unprepared for naval combat was brutally defeated. The treaties that followed granted sweeping trade privileges and the consequences were devastating. China’s share of the world economy dwindled from 35% before the opium wars to an all-time low of just 7%. China’s loss of control over its grain markets lead in part to the famines that China suffered during the same drought that hit India and as in India, 30 million people in China perished needlessly of starvation during the late 19 century.
In Africa, Belgium controlled the Congo which was an area 80 times larger than Belgium itself. King Leopold enslaved much of the native population and forced them to collect rubber. Leopold also assumed total control over the Congolese economy decreeing that Africans could only sell their products to the state while the state in turn controlled all prices and incomes. 10 million Congolese perished under King Leopold’s regime which was roughly half the countries population.
The Slave Trade
By the end of the slave trade in 1853, somewhere between 12 million and 15 million Africans had been shipped across the Atlantic. Between 1.2 million and 2.4 million died en route.
Sukarno was left wing so the CIA backed General Suharto in a coup. In 1965 with the aid of US weapons and intelligence the Suharto regime killed between 500,000 and 1 million Sukarno supporters.
It appeared in the late 1980’s and by the late 1990’s some countries like Swaziland had a 25% infection rate. During the crisis, Indian firms could produce generic medicine for as low as $350 per year (as opposed to the going rate of $15,000) but the WTO pressured by pharmaceutical companies prevented them from doing so. South Africa disobeyed and the USA threatened them but the USA itself breached the patent system because of an anthrax scare and so “public emergency” became an acceptable excuse and the Aids vaccine was then mass produced. About 10 million Africans died from Aids and most of them could have been avoided.