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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

News bytes

- The NSW Supreme Court has heard that the Howard government's terrorism laws "would close off courts 'as tight as a drum' and co-opt judges into a regime of 'extreme secrecy'."

- While the Howard government tries to entice business to donate even more funds to its coffers - the Liberal Party pamphlet sent to 1000 directors tells them that it will 'work directly with our business leaders to maintain an active dialogue that keeps the well being of Australia and its citizens in clear view' - the Australian Electoral Commission has released the list of donors to political parties for 2004-05. Discover who truly controls the state of contemporary Australia.

- A new poll taken in Iraq offers some sobering results, not least the support for attacks on US troops, desire for US withdrawal, suspicion of US intentions and disgust at US reconstruction efforts.

- Adelaide-based white supremacists are looking for "open warfare."

- Former chief of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), retired Admiral Chris Barrie, says that Australia's military relationship with the US will soon be in dire trouble and a majority of the Australian population will end up resenting it. Furthermore, he supports a return of conscription as a way to solve the ADF's recruitment issues.

- Exxon Mobil is embarrassed about huge profits.


Blogger smiths said...

a very funny video, state of the union address

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 4:04:00 pm  
Blogger Stev said...

Classic. Nice one smiths. I remember they did a similar thing with one of the SOTU addresses in Bush's first term. Nice to see some things never change!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 4:42:00 pm  
Blogger Glenn Condell said...

Chris Barrie sees the writing on the wall and has the balls to express it. The political class and their media corgis are either unaware or too scared to mention that we are being cornholed in every agreement we have with the US and that some of us are a bit upset (or 'sore' perhaps) about it. Not to mention our craven role in the Iraq disaster.

Barrie has retired so feels he can now open his gob and say what he thinks; good on him. Not so sure about the draft idea; though I do see the point I'm not at all keen.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 6:13:00 pm  
Blogger boredinHK said...

From the ABC site :General Barrie,
"He says that in 50 years time Australia will have become an insignificant country in the Asia-Pacific region"

become ?

I think that Australia has been blessed with mineral riches.Apart from that we aren't significant at all but like the Saudis we need to trade on our resources , selling them to the highest bidder. It isn't a pretty spectacle but it works.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 8:12:00 pm  
Blogger James Waterton said...

Re Exxon Mobil - I don't think they're embarrassed. I think they're trying to avoid a backlash from the soft thinking types who object to profit and profitable firms.

I'm sure Exxon are actually extremely happy with their financial results. They deserve them; Exxon's the best managed company in the business. Hell, if I was a long term shareholder, I'd be over the moon.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 8:55:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Re Exxon Mobil: I suspect it has as much to do with the fact that the same guys lied in from of the Senate Panel last time they appeared.

I also suspect there is resentment a the fact they got a 4 billion tax break befor eKatrina and other tax beaks after it.

Managi your company is always handy when you are getting these gifts fro mteh government, while still trying to weasel their way out of paying for the Exxon Valdez distaster.

Who sayds Bush doesn't agree with welfare...coporate welfare that is.

Thursday, February 02, 2006 12:35:00 am  
Blogger smiths said...

i just marvel james at your capacity to defend these organisations,

exxon deserves their profits?

if running a company well means bribery, murder, price fixing and the destruction of the earths life support system then hey, three cheers for exxon, fucking whoopee

you, james, are a longterm shareholder in the environment, and your shares are being shit on, so wake up

and for a change, respond to the content of my post, not the style

Thursday, February 02, 2006 6:20:00 pm  
Blogger James Waterton said...

I knew someone would bang on about the Exxon Valdez disaster. Hasn't Exxon spent more than 2 billion dollars on this already? Did you know that the cleanup actually caused more environmental harm than the oil spill?

I strongly recommend you read the book linked here. That's the Bjorn Lomborg publication, not Earth in the Balance! It demolishes the green case against ExxonMobil.

No idea what you're talking at regarding these guys who lied somewhere. I'm not sure what you're trying to imply here; it's not very clear at all.

Anyway, I suggest you take a deeper look at the oil industry in the US - you will discover that ExxonMobil is in fact exceptionally well managed and also particularly strong regarding acquisitions - it is, unlike most of its competitors, conservative (not snapping up everything in sight like ChevronTexaco) and when it makes a play it doesn't overpay. Re tax breaks, I imagine all the American oil companies are recipients of tax concessions in an enormous number of ways - hell, I'll bet most private citizens are. I don't agree with this method of taxation; personally I'd rather have one flat tax rate and scrap all deductions, but who listens to me.

Thursday, February 02, 2006 10:30:00 pm  
Blogger James Waterton said...

Get your hand off it, smiths. Where have I responded only to "the style" of your post, and not the content? I smell a strawman....

Please substantiate the accusations you've levelled in your post above, that'd be great. Thanks very much!

Thursday, February 02, 2006 10:32:00 pm  
Blogger James Waterton said...

Oh, and smiths - you're being duped by the environmental industry. Wake up. You should read the same book I recommended to Addamo.

Thursday, February 02, 2006 10:37:00 pm  
Blogger Mannie said...

"you will discover that ExxonMobil is in fact exceptionally well managed"
Maybe I am missing something but wasn't it the Exxon Valdeez that spilt the oil with fantastic environmental damage?

Friday, February 03, 2006 12:49:00 am  
Blogger James Waterton said...

Wow, mannie, you've got me with that obscure and little-known event that happened almost twenty years ago.

Oh, what a coincidence - someone else mentioned it in the thread. Do try to keep up, mannie.

Read the book I mentioned whilst you're at it to find out another angle to the Exxon Valdez accident... as could be expected when the green movement gets involved, the whole thing was blown enormously out of perspective and billions were wasted. Oh, and the cleanup demanded turned out to be more damaging than the spill itself.

Oh well, valuable political points were scored, and you can't let that kind of opportunity pass you by!

Friday, February 03, 2006 11:30:00 pm  

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