Trump and Morrison have Dinner Together

Trump and Morrison have Dinner Together, by Simon Benson.

Trump was there to talk. Contrary to what critics say about him, he is deeply inquisitive.

Drinking only Diet Coke, he spent much of the 75-minute meeting asking questions of Morrison. He wanted to know his thoughts on China. He continued his obsession with Australia’s ­border protection policies. They even spoke of aviation and what’s happening at Boeing.

Another observer remarked that at a time when every other country is in Trump’s firing line, in one way or another, this was an ­extraordinary meeting. Of the 19 other world leaders Trump could have had dinner with on the eve of the G20 summit, the US President had chosen to have it with Morrison. Why? …

Morrison was said to be relaxed and confident and to have spoken with authority. The discussion was broad, according to US sources. And the message out of the White House was that the meeting went extremely well.

Word is that the two have struck up a genuine rapport.

Morrison’s stewardship of ­Operation Sovereign Borders was a source of fascination for Trump at the dinner.

When it came to the US-China trade deadlock Trump had a ­sympathetic ear but made it clear that the US was not for turning.

The dinner went 15 minutes over time. At one level it demonstrated how highly Trump values personal relationships. The value of “face time” can’t be underestimated. …

And a good relationship with Trump can be worth several hundred million dollars in avoided trade tariffs, as Australia has demonstrated.

Trump isn’t interested in nostalgic partnerships. He prefers transactional relationships.

In Australia’s case he has made an exception and has embraced both.

Election Fraud and the Australian Election Commission

Election Fraud and the Australian Election Commission, by Geoffrey Luck.

After the 2016 federal election, 18,343 people were asked to explain why their names had been crossed off more than once. Some 7,743 allegations of voter fraud were referred to the Australian Federal Police, only 65 were investigated, and none was prosecuted.

Things haven’t changed much. In 2007, 20,633 letters were sent to apparent multiple voters; 18,037 or 87% responded; 1167 admitted to multiple voting of whom 955 or 82% were excused due to confusion, poor comprehension or age; 10 were referred to the AFP and absolutely zero were prosecuted.

Australia’s much-vaunted democracy, based on compulsory enrolment and compulsory voting, is entirely dependent on the honesty of individual declarations. At enrollment, and on voting. In fact the system is wide open to deceit at almost every level. And especially in tight elections in marginal electorates, there is every incentive for unscrupulous operatives – or even pranksters – to rort the system. (In one South Australian election a family voted 159 times as a joke). …

There is really nothing to stop a person enrolling with a fake name at a real address, a fake name at a fake address, under-age or as a non-citizen, with the real name of a voter now dead, or in an eligible real name deliberately at the wrong address (e.g. another electorate). …

Clearly the AEC has no idea how accurate the roll is. Yet it continues to dismiss concerns of fraud as a “straw man”.

An honour system that would quickly bankrupt most businesses now extends to the polling. A person entitled to vote may vote several times under his or her name at different polling places, under the name of another person, or under fictional names. By presenting at a different division, a voter may be given an absentee vote, without a check on whether he or she has already voted in the correct division. All these practices are illegal, but prosecution is virtually impossible because no identification is required, and therefore the identity of the offender can not be proven.

The AEC remains complacent, and no real enquiries are made, especially to clean the roll before the election. If any instances of deliberate deception should be later detected , it will be too late to undo the damage in a close contest which may have been decided by a handful of votes. …

Vote Australia Inc has published a 10-point plan to overcome Australia’s voting deficiencies. They range from demands for valid identification for enrolment and voting, to restoration of the Habitation Reviews that were stopped in 1995, to a master electronic roll replacing paper rolls, to ink pens instead of pencils in voting booths. Its boldest call is for the abolition of the Australian Electoral Commission and a return to the Ministerial responsibility in place from 1901 to 1984.

Hmmm, elections are run by the bureaucracy, and standards are relaxed and not enforced. Who does the bureaucracy favor politically? And which side has less respect for rules and is more likely to cheat, justified by “higher” justice?

Surveillance Scores Affect Prices You Pay Online

Surveillance Scores Affect Prices You Pay Online, by Harper Neidig.

Consumer advocates are pushing regulators to investigate what they paint as a shadowy online practice where retailers use consumer information collected by data brokers to decide how much to charge individual customers or the quality of service they’ll offer. …


The filing points to a 2014 Northeastern University study exploring the ways that companies like Home Depot and Walmart use consumer data to customize prices for different customers. Rosenfield and Antonini replicated the study using an online tool that compares prices that they’re charged on their own computers with their own data profiles versus the prices charged to a user browsing sites through an anonymized computer server with no data history.

What they found was that Walmart and Home Depot were offering lower prices on a number of products to the anonymous computer. In the search results for “white paint” on Home Depot’s website, Rosenfield and Antonini were seeing higher prices for six of the first 24 items that popped up.

In one example, a five-gallon tub of Glidden premium exterior paint would have cost them $119 compared with $101 for the anonymous computer.

A similar pattern emerged on Walmart’s website. The two lawyers found the site was charging them more on a variety of items compared with the anonymous web tool, including paper towels, highlighters, pens and paint.

One paper towel holder cost $10 less for the blank web user. …

It’s secret:

But unlike credit scores, there’s no transparency for consumers, and Rosenfield and Antonini argue that companies are using them to engage in illegal discrimination while users have little recourse to correct false information about them or challenge their ratings.

On Orbitz, Mac Users Steered to Pricier Hotels, by Dana Mattioli.

Orbitz Worldwide Inc. has found that people who use Apple Inc.’s Mac computers spend as much as 30% more a night on hotels, so the online travel agency is starting to show them different, and sometimes costlier, travel options than Windows visitors see.

No forgiveness for Folau’s sins against the PC church

No forgiveness for Folau’s sins against the PC church, by Brendan O’Neill.

The take-home message of the Israel Folau scandal is as clear as it is terrifying: Christians are no longer welcome in public life.

If you adhere to core Christian beliefs about sin, hell and damnation, you will be purged from polite society. …

Folau’s crime, his sin against political correctness, is to believe that people who have gay sex are destined for hell. …

PC has gone too far, much too far:

Yet I find the persecution of Folau repulsive and an alarming sign of the times.

It demonstrates how far PC intolerance has gone and how thoroughly anyone who doesn’t slavishly subscribe to contemporary orthodoxy can expect to be punished. …

It doesn’t matter if you are a Christian or an atheist, straight or gay, uptight about sex or a cheerleader for sexual debauchery — you should still be deeply concerned that a man can be persecuted simply for what he believes, for the convictions that reside in his head and his heart. …

It is testament to the blinkered arrogance of political correctness, and of those who do its bidding, that these people could not see the profound moral contradiction at the heart of their chilling statement. In the name of preventing “vilification based on race, gender, religion or sexuality”, they vilified Folau on the basis of his religion. In the name of creating a safe environment where everyone can feel “welcome”, they made it clear that Folau — because of his religion — is not welcome.

This Orwellian statement translates as follows: “We will not tolerate vilification on the basis of religion — unless your religion is traditional Christianity, in which case we will vilify you. And we are welcoming of everyone — except people who believe the words of the Bible, whom we will sack and shame.”

This repugnant statement summed up what is the first and last commandment of the ideology of political correctness: “We love and accept everyone. Except anyone we disagree with. We hate those people and we will destroy them.

Authoritarianism dressed up as acceptance. Intolerance under the guise of tolerance. This is the Newspeak of the PC era, and it is horrifying.

Even worse, Folau’s opponents then sought to make it more difficult for him to defend himself. The sports world effectively made him a moral reprobate; then the capitalist class decided he should not be allowed to raise money for his own defence in his case of unlawful termination against Rugby Australia. …

It confirms that PC is the new religion. Political correctness now does what pointy-hatted priests used to do: seeks out thought criminals and moral transgressors and punishes them for their wicked beliefs. …

The third thing confirmed by this dispiriting affair is that Christianity is one religion it is acceptable to mock and persecute these days.

If you were to criticise Islam, you would be branded an “Islamophobe”. You would be accused of stirring up racist sentiment. You would be denounced and harassed and censured.

On China: We Won’t Be Fooled Again

On China: We Won’t Be Fooled Again. By Andrea Limbago.

Earlier in June, Huawei Chairman Liang Hua offered to sign a “no-spy” agreement with the United States, similar to proposals made to the United Kingdom and Germany. Ignoring for the moment the unusual nature of a corporate entity making a “no-spying” commitment, we must confront the fact that Chinese telecommunications companies and the closely intertwined Chinese Communist Party (CCP) seem to have had trouble keeping their word. …

The reality of Chinese law is that even if Chinese companies wish to act in good faith, they are compelled to cooperate with the military and intelligence services. …

Stephen Green:

The long-held hope was that Western wealth and technology in Chinese people’s hands would eventually force Beijing to liberalize along something more like the Western model.

Instead, Beijing is using Silicon Valley’s tools to create history’s most efficient police state.

It’s time to decouple.

2nd Dem Debate: All in Favor of Free Healthcare For Illegal Immigrants

2nd Dem Debate: All in Favor of Free Healthcare For Illegal Immigrants.

Insane but cunning. Talk about nudge politics: give away free stuff, and watch them come! And vote left!


Australia 2019: Is it ok for your employer to sack you because they don’t like the political opinion you expressed in public?

Australia 2019: Is it ok for your employer to sack you because they don’t like the political opinion you expressed in public? By Deborah Cornwall.

The Folau saga has unleashed “the mother of all culture wars”, triggering a fightback against big business and its increasing push to control how workers behave in their private lives, a leading employ­ment lawyer has warned.

Josh Bornstein, who heads Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, the largest employment law firm in the country, says corporations have become so obsessed with their own “brand management” they were demanding impossibly high “levels of impeccable behaviour … that even Jesus Christ would struggle to comply with”. …

He said “broad and vague” codes of conduct and contractual obligations were being imposed on employ­ees to make them abide by company policies and values. But they also extended to employees’ behaviour outside the workplace. That meant workers could be sacked or disciplined for anything from swearing to posting on social media, simply because it was at odds with corporations’ public “brand”.

This is a landmark test case, and it looks like its going to court. Folau is such a cleanskin, an admirable character with a great wife and few apparent complications. At stake is how much the PC control freaks can boss us around. If we lose this case, look forward to a lot more hectoring and control from the PC mob about what you are allowed to say and think.

Welcome to the Virtue Olympics, where Israel Folau is the target

Welcome to the Virtue Olympics, where Israel Folau is the target, by The Mocker.

Former Wallabies player Israel Folau may be a pariah at the major sporting arenas, but his name will forever be associated with one the greatest contests of the millennium, and that is the Virtue Olympics.

The defining event is the wokeathon, a superhuman event where athletes are tested in various disciplines, including self-righteousness, contrived anger, condescension, and ham acting. And what a stupendous performance it was from this week’s winner, former Australian netball captain Liz Ellis.

“This is the segment that I just want to sigh,” said the Sports Sunday host last weekend as she exhaled theatrically for the camera. …

“I’m the same as you,” said her co-panellist and Sydney Morning Herald columnist Peter FitzSimons. “I’m just exhausted by the whole thing.”

“Over it”, Ellis replied tersely, thus making it clear to the audience this distasteful subject was beneath her. She received a near perfect score from the wokeathon judges. A more worthy recipient of the gold medal I cannot think of offhand, although in hindsight she could have earned even higher points had she literally held her nose to symbolise Folau’s moral repugnance. …

Calls to fire Maria Folau too are definitely a step too far:

Ellis tweeted … “As much as I love watching @MariaFolau play netball I do not want my sport endorsing the views of her husband.’’

This is the level which we have descended to — we now target the spouses of those who have committed so-called hate speech by demanding vicarious dismissal. What else, Liz Ellis — should we forcibly shave Maria’s head and make her do the Walk of Atonement a la Game of Thrones? What better way to establish our tolerance credentials than hurling insults and filth at her. …

Peter Fitzsimmons:

“We the people (there he goes again) need to harness our rage at #Folau and do something useful with it,” he said. Harnessing “our” rage? Congratulations, Fitz, you have officially become the Margo Kingston of sports journalists. …

Bullies and control freaks:

Perhaps like the entire community looks to a sports show host for bigotry-awareness training. “Let’s not shy away from it,” wrote Ellis in her defensive apologia this week. “This whole thing is about homophobia.” Actually, let’s not shy away from the fact that those in the school of social justice jurisprudence frequently resort to aggression, bullying, and ostracising to further their cause.

The public’s fury at being told what to do and think has exploded with the Folau fiasco

The public’s fury at being told what to do and think has exploded with the Folau fiasco, by Gideon Rozner.

Maybe Rugby Australia did have the right to sack Folau as a matter of contract law (or maybe not, but that’s for the courts to decide). The likes of Qantas and ANZ can direct sponsorship money wherever they like, and they wouldn’t be the first big corporates to engage in such asinine virtue-signalling. GoFundMe is a private platform, and may very well have been within its rights under its own terms of service to boot out Folau’s fundraising appeal, hypocritical and selective as that may have been.

But just because those organisations could have done what they did doesn’t mean that they should have. As a matter of public policy, the Folau affair is a dead end, but as a cultural issue, it is troubling. It’s another front in what the left derisively write off as the ‘culture wars’, in a world in which what can and can’t be said (by force of law or otherwise) is becoming increasingly limited. …

The media feeding frenzy created by the Folau case is not a ‘rally point’ seized upon by the right. If the left are frustrated by the amount of attention Folau is getting — and no doubt they probably are — then they only have themselves to blame. …

The reason that the Israel Folau case resonates is that it is so depressingly familiar. It’s a reflection of the fact that for all the talk about ‘inclusiveness’ and ‘tolerance’ and ‘diversity’, picking on Christians is still okay, even fashionable. …

Regardless of its content, Israel Folau’s Instagram post has morphed into an act of civil disobedience at a time in which a tiny elite is dictating the boundaries of acceptable opinion. It has tapped into the frustration of we all feel when yet another advertiser is browbeaten into pulling advertising money from Sky News while we’re all forced to fund the ABC. The grating repetitiveness of climate debates in which anyone who goes against the zeitgeist is a ‘denier’ and that anyone concerned about the costs of addressing it – as Shorten so infamously said – is ‘stupid’. The irritation we all feel when our bank or airline or supermarket gushes about every fashionable cause under the sun at the same time as they’re apparently indifferent to customer service.

Dalai Lama warns that the whole of Europe could become ‘Muslim or African’ if migrants are not returned to their home countries

Dalai Lama warns that the whole of Europe could become ‘Muslim or African’ if migrants are not returned to their home countries, by Chris Dyer.

The Dalai Lama has warned that Europe could become ‘Muslim or African’ if refugees who have been taken in are not then sent back to their home countries.

The Buddhist spiritual leader, who has been living as a refugee in India since fleeing Tibet in 1959, said only a ‘limited number’ of migrants should be allowed to remain.

During an interview with the BBC, the Dalai Lama added that refugees who have fled to Europe should be given skills before being returned.

He said Europe was under an obligation to take in those who needed help, but ultimately they should be returned to their homelands.

The 83-year-old said: ‘European countries should take these refugees and give them education and training, and the aim is — return to their own land with certain skills.’

Google Rep Issues Heartfelt Apology For Anti-Conservative Bias While Wearing ‘Kill All Republicans’ T-Shirt

Google Rep Issues Heartfelt Apology For Anti-Conservative Bias While Wearing ‘Kill All Republicans’ T-Shirt, by the Babylon Bee.

“We are so sorry that you fascist, conservative ingrates had to see that,” he said. “We want Google to be completely free from bias, even against Republicans who need to die violent deaths for disagreeing with us. That’s what inclusivity is all about.”

“It’s our mission that everyone be included, even hopelessly backward conservative people that we’d like to exterminate from the planet,” he added, before confirming that the company is in fact close to a breakthrough on technology to do just that.

Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency Betrays the Company’s True Ambitions

Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency Betrays the Company’s True Ambitions, by Francois Mori.

Libra is meant to become the in-house currency for Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp’s combined 2.7 billion users. …

So let’s imagine that Libra does get off the ground. What’s its biggest competition? Hint: it’s not Bitcoin. Let’s start with the dollar — arguably the most powerful currency in the world. About 350 million people use the dollar around the world. That’s a little under 13 percent of Facebook’s claimed 2.7 billion users (across all three platforms), so even accounting for duplicates, fake accounts, and rounding errors, Libra could be used by more people — if not actual amount spent — than the dollar, and without a whole lot of sweat from Facebook.

Not buying it? Here’s an example of anemic adoption on Facebook. The company introduced Stories on Facebook in January 2017, and the feature was derided as a direct Snapchat ripoff that was so poorly implemented and confusing as to be laughable. By fall of 2018, over 300 million people were using Stories. Boom. Dollar.

The likelihood of Libra’s adoption is even higher because the company’s fastest growth is international, and Libra is likely to be the most useful in countries where the local currency is hyperinflated or banking is unreliable. Think of the 170 million Facebook users in Africa, many of whom already bank and transact on mobile phones. It’s an easy sell.

And if Libra starts big, the network effects of the Facebook platform will ensure that it just keeps getting bigger.

Then what? …

Over time, it’ll end up being easier to pay for things with Libra than with any other method. It might become trivially easy to exchange Libra for other currencies, if people even need to. It’ll remove barriers to sending remittances to other countries or international payments of almost any type.

Facebook will profit handsomely, of course, as will its big corporate partner-investors, like Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Spotify, and Uber. They’ll end up in the unexpected position of being corporate central bankers, of a sort. And most significantly, the bulk of Libra users will be in what is essentially a closed network under the complete control of one CEO-slash-“emperor for life.”

At that point, there’s every possibility that Google or Amazon or even Apple will decide they need competing currencies for their private ecosystems (all three have rolled out some kind of payment options, if not their own fiat currencies, and there’s been speculation for at least a year that Amazon could launch a cryptocurrency). …

You can see why bankers and government officials have the big-time jitters. These are government-level ambitions, by any measure. …

So let’s recap: Facebook has a massive stateless citizenry; a small, hand-picked ruling body; rapidly expanding infrastructure; and now, adoption willing, a unified currency. …

This guy is still right on plan for global domination.