Slavery in the 21st Century

This comes from the English Al Jezeera site. Pretty appalling to think that slavery still exists.

Exclusive Brethren get their daily bread

According to information obtained by a NSW Greens MP, John Kaye, Schools run by the secretive Exclusive Brethren religious sect receive more than $18 million a year in government funding, including $2 million from NSW taxpayers.

The figures obtained through freedom-of-information laws show that state governments injected $5.8 million into the schools managed by what the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has derided as an “extremist cult”.

Last year the NSW Government provided $2 million to the Meadowbank Education Trust School in Meadowbank, up from 842,317 in 2002-03. The school also received $5.1 million from the Commonwealth, which gave all Brethren schools a total of $12 million last year.

Dr Kaye said the growth in public funding for the Brethren schools could not be justified as long as they operated behind closed doors and refused the enrolment of children who were not sect members. “Neither state nor Commonwealth money should be used to subsidise the sect’s deeply divisive agenda of indoctrinating vulnerable children, he said

This raises a number of questions:

The exclusive brethren do not vote and reject mainstream society, therefore why are taxpayers subsidising their schools?

Who authorises the payments within government?  And why are the payments continuing if the PM Kevn Rudd is of the opinion that they are an “extremist cult?”

Where are the checks and balances?

Full story here:

The collapse of civilisation (part 1)

The NSW government is intending on contributing to the downfall of civilisation as we know it by providing funding to the Sydney Mardi Gras. Stories in the media today indicate that around $300,000 tax dollars would be made available.

Or it could be that the NSW Government realises that the Mardi Gras is not all evil, and actually is a positive event for Sydney. And I am pretty sure that the LGBTQ community pays taxes too.


(This post is the first in a long line of “the collapse of civilistation” threads)

Sub-prime and Japan

Following the problems with Lehmann Bros and the sub-prime lending market
in the USA uncertainty has now hit Japan.

In the last 7 days Origami Bank has folded, Sumo Bank has gone belly up,
and Bonsai Bank announced plans to cut some of its branches.

Yesterday, it was announced that Karaoke Bank is up for sale and will
likely go for a song, while today shares in Kamikasi Bank were suspended
after they nose-dived.

While Samurai Bank is soldiering on following sharp cutbacks, Ninja Bank is
reported to have taken a hit, but they remain in the black.

Furthermore, 500 staff at Karate Bank got the chop, and analysts report
that there is something fishy going on at Sushi Bank where it is feared
that staff may get a raw deal.

USA saved or depraved?

In news just to hand,  the Bill to bail out Wall Street has been passed through the US Senate -14 votes more than needed. One senator has asked for a roll call.

The question remains. Will this be sufficient to rescue the fledgling US economy and reinvigorate global markets?

Add to this, recent reports that Australian Banks may not pass on potential RBA rate cuts to customers.

Somewhat bizzarly, Wayne Swan has jumped to the defence of the banks. 

Will this save the USA?   What does it mean for global markets and our own Australian economy?

UPDATE: Apparantly the bill now needs to go through the House of Representatives where it faces an ‘uncertain future’.

Here’s the link,27753,24435199-462,00.html

Costello the Wise

In an opinion piece in the SMH this morning, Costello the Wise is sticking to his mantra that he was the genius who is solely responsible for Australia not being hit by the finanacial tsunami that is engulfing the world.

It is amusing when he says things like “Main Street USA missed out on the bonuses that were being paid when the party was in full swing”. Sorry to inform you Peter – but the same thing occured here in Australia.

When the big bonuses and profits were being syphoned off here in Australia, we had the former PM and Costello telling us that we have never had it so good. But that “goodness” never really made it down to “main street”. But how many on “main street” really benefitted from the party – the level of personal debt in Australia is now the largest it has ever been. We have had the party, and guess who is left with the hangovers and the debt. Yep – you and me.

And as usual, it is interesting to read his words carefully. He says that the Coalition government cleared all debt, but then in the next sentence he qualifies it to say that they “cleared all the debt in net terms”. And that to me, my friends, looks like his get-out-of-gaol card – meaning that there is debt, just that it is not out in the open!