Is Scott Walker Secretly Tony Abbott?

Abbott-Walker Mutant

Scott Abbott, or perhaps it’s Tony Walker…

From a comment on a Dispatches From the Culture Wars post titled Scott Walker Proves His Foreign Policy Chops by raven (raven wrote the following comment, not the blog post):

Walker certainly didn’t do much for Wisconsin. His track record on the economy and budgets is simply terrible.

In terms of recovery from the Bush Great Recession, they rank low, 35. Wisconsin is running a $280 million deficit this year and projected $1 billion for each of the next two years.

Meanwhile the adjacent state, Minnesota has a Democrat governor who raised taxes. They are rated 5th in recovery and running a $1 billion budget surplus.

Walker must have to keep talking about union busting because he’s only done three things, cut state services, trashed the state’s budget and economy, and demolished a few unions.

Hmmm, so not only is Scott Walker’s foreign policy woeful (saying that Reagan busting up the 1981 strike of air traffic controllers was the most significant American foreign policy decision in his lifetime…) but his conservative policies (cutting state services, “incidentally” increasing debt in the service of the rich and attacking workers rights) have sent Wisconsin down the drain, directly next to a state run by a democrat, with liberal (not our liberal…God I hate how they’ve corrupted that word) policies that is in excellent health.

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The One Percent

I recently watched a documentary on youtube called The One Percent, which was made by Jamie Johnson (great grand-son of one of the co-founders of Johnson & Johnson and thus inheritor of mega-wealth) about the extreme wealth inequality that exists in America (and can be applied to almost all countries with Australia definitely being included).

It’s an incredibly interesting perspective on wealth inequality, with Jamie being able to set up interviews with people that probably otherwise wouldn’t talk on camera (his family connections allowed him to talk to some pretty interesting characters, such as Milton Friedman (considered one of the founders of trickle down economics and one of the spearheads of the ‘free market’) and Warren Buffett’s grand-daughter Nicole Buffett who interestingly enough doesn’t have a wikipedia page and was also literally disowned because of her participation in this documentary).

I was surprised at how willing the interviewees where to espouse what I think are their actual real beliefs to someone who they would consider an ‘insider’, though there was definitely a lot of hostility shown to Jamie during the filming. I think that the mega-wealthy understand that the majority of people disagree with their viewpoint, but they simultaneously feel that it’s in humanities (and very much, oh so incidentally, in their) interests that everyone lives according to their worldview because obviously only those who have proved themselves through vast financial gain have the brilliance of mind to understand how to regulate the social system effectively.

But seriously, watch the doco. Watch it! It’s very good and I don’t think you’ll hear the same perspective from many other sources.

On my way out, just as a tiny note of apology, my blogging died for the last few weeks. I’ve been studying wildly for a week of practical cell biology I have to do in Melbourne next week, so my will to blog withered on the vine. I dunno if I’ll be able to squeeze out a post or two during the practicals or not, so maybe I’ll manage a post in a week and a half or something. Anyway, watch the documentary(!):

Murdoch, Faux News and Wild Propaganda

This is a frustrating, terrifying and insightful look into the propaganda machine that has been built by Rupert Murdoch. The hundreds of news channels, cable channels, papers and magazines that Murdoch owns (and fills with his personal right-wing anti-fact agenda) reaches a STAGGERING 4.7 billion people. Holy. Fucking. Shit. Power corrupts, ultimate power corrupts ultimately and being able to force your biased viewpoints down the throats of more than half of the worlds population is pretty fucking similar to what I would call ultimate power.

As David Brock, the President/CEO of Media Matters for America, says about Murdoch/Faux News:

He doesn't believe in objectivity, he has contempt for journalism I think. They wanted all news to be a matter of opinion because opinion can't be proven false. And I think that's very dangerous because if people don't have a set of facts they can agree on, I think it's difficult to reach a consensus on what's correct public policy.

Cops Killing Black People

In all honesty, I can’t hold my rage in anymore. Police are not a body unto themselves. They are civil servants. That literally means they work for the people. The people don’t work for the police. The people don’t have to submit to the authorities in every potential situation and there’s no situation where police should escalate the violence.

There is a ridiculous amount of unarmed deaths that occur in police custody or apprehension in America (here’s some stats). The Australian system is less examined, which means the data is less useful, but there are a number of suspicious indigenous deaths that have occurred in police custody, including Eddy Murray, Cameron Doomadgee, Ian Ward, John Peter Pat and Thomas Hickey. There’s also been a number of severe violations of bodily integrity since Tony Abbott took control of the country. Continue reading