Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Amusing:  The Green/Left is trying to put money into the hands of bloated capitalists

They don't think they are doing that but that just shows how stupid they are.  It is a chronic mental disease for the Left not to think things through and the nonsense below is is a prime example of it.

Let's say that they do get some people to "divest" from shares that Greenies have demonized.  What will that do to the company concerned?  Nothing.  It is generally a matter of indifference to a public company who holds its shares.

And what do the Greens think happens to the shares?  They get bought by someone else, by some bloated capitalist in all likelihood.  But if the Greenies have a stunning success with their campaign and a big lot of the shares concerned come onto the market, what will happen? The price will fall:  Good ol' supply and demand.  So the bloated capitalist who buys the shares will get them cheap. He will acquire a desirable asset at a bargain price.  Will he thank the Greenies for that?  He should but he is more likely to snigger at what dummies they are

And note also below the ethical desert that is the Green/Left.  They are condemning the accused before a trial -- a fundamental breach of natural justice.  Let me put it so plainly that even a Greenie might understand: "Under investigation" does not mean "guilty"

A leading environmental group has called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to ditch his investments in ExxonMobil, a company that's under investigation by the New York Attorney General for allegedly covering up the truth about climate change for decades.

On Friday it emerged that Exxon had received a subpoena requesting documents relating to internal studies from the late 1970s on, which allegedly revealed the extent of the damage done to Earth's atmosphere by products like those the oil giant peddles.

Climate advocacy group 350.org was the first to realise Turnbull is a beneficiary of the alleged cover-up, which internationally renowned environmentalist Bill McKibbon has branded an "unparalleled evil".

The Prime Minister's pecuniary interests register reveals that Turnbull invests in the SPDR S&P 500 fund which, in turn, lists ExxonMobil as its second largest holding.

Exxon's annual report for 2014 claims the company has paid out $128 billion to shareholders over the past five years, but it's not clear how much of that money has made it into Malcolm Turnbull's pocket.

On Friday the Australian Campaigns Director at 350.org, Charlie Wood, called on Turnbull to put his money where his mouth is ahead of key United Nations negotiations to be held in December.

"In a few weeks, world leaders will meet in Paris to come up with a plan to tackle the devastating climate impacts that Exxon has fuelled," Wood said. "Australia won't be taken seriously in Paris if our Prime Minister turns up with investments in a company that has worked for decades to make meetings like Paris fail."

The Prime Minister's office has not responded to requests for comment from Friday morning, but given his outspoken stance over a number of years on the need for climate action and "the importance of [accurate]science," the multi-millionaire is likely to face questions from other quarters too.


Note:  I use the Leftist term "bloated capitalist" above just as mockery of the Left

Nugan Hand bank mystery: Michael Hand found living in the United States

This was a big news item in 1980 but the idea that he had to have CIA help to vanish is very speculative.  The way Whitey Bulger and others have vanished for years shows that Americans can manage it all by themselves.  If there was some official reluctance to move in the matter, it could just as well have been due to his great distinction as a war hero

One of Australia's most wanted fugitives, Michael Hand, the co-founder of the Sydney-based international merchant bank Nugan Hand, has been found alive and well and living in small-town America.

He vanished in 1980 amid rumours of CIA and organised crime involvement in the bank as the United States attempted to back anti-communist governments and anti-communist insurgents at the height of the Cold War.

Sydney author Peter Butt found Hand. In his new book, Merchants of Menace, Butt reveals that Hand, 73, is living under the name Michael Jon Fuller and resides in the small town of Idaho Falls.

Hand manufactures tactical weapons [knives] for US Special Forces, special operations groups and hunters.

Hand disappeared in June 1980 after his partner, Griffith-born lawyer Frank Nugan, then 37, was found dead beside a .30-calibre rifle in his Mercedes-Benz outside Lithgow and as corporate and police investigators, ASIO and the FBI started investigating the Nugan Hand bank. A coroner founded Nugan had killed himself.

The bank collapsed with debts in excess of $50 million and a subsequent royal commission found evidence of money-laundering, illegal tax avoidance schemes and widespread violations of banking laws.

Over the years, the two words Nugan Hand became shorthand for drug-dealing, gun-running, organised crime and clandestine intelligence activities.

But nobody has been convicted. Governments, security and espionage agencies ran dead or appeared to look the other way.  Many men associated with the bank's affairs in Australia, the US and Asia have died early or in mysterious circumstances.

The most problematic death was William Colby's. Director of the CIA between 1972 and 1976 as the US wound down its involvement in Vietnam, Colby became a legal adviser to the Nugan Hand bank. He was found face-down in the water after leaving his Maryland home on a solo canoe trip in 1996.

Butt thought Hand had been protected since fleeing Australia in June 1980.  "It turns out that the FBI could have dealt with Michael Hand long ago. A simple background check reveals Fuller's social security number is identical to the one allocated to Michael Hand in New York in 1960," he said.

"The fact that Hand has been allowed to live the free life in the United States suggests that he belongs to a protected species, most likely of the intelligence kind. Indeed, an intelligence document I found places Michael Hand back working for the CIA in Central America 18 months after his disappearance."

Butt's previous "big reveal" was in 2006 when his well-watched and Logie award-winning ABC documentary, Who Killed Dr Bogle and Mrs Chandler?, claimed their unsolved deaths on New Year's Day 1963 may have been caused by accidental hydrogen sulphide poisoning from industrial waste that had concentrated in the bottom mud of the Lane Cove River. [Rubbish!  H2S stinks.  People would have run away from it.  The most likely cause of the deaths was complications from using LSD]

While Australian and American authorities failed to find Hand after he disappeared in 1980, Butt hit upon the idea of using the former US Green Beret's most formative experience to track him down.

In 1965, Hand was in a small contingent of Special Forces troops dispatched to Dong Xoai on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. In June, Hand's outpost came under fierce Viet Cong attack. This was free-fire warfare without constraint. Only six of the 19 Americans survived. Hand saved four of them. He was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross, America's second-highest bravery award. His chutzpah brought him to the attention of the CIA - out of bullets, Hand ended up in a hand-to-hand combat, during which he killed a killed a number of attackers with a Ka-Bar combat knife.

"Hand now manufactures tactical weapons for US Special Forces, special operations groups and hunters. Many of his weapons are designed to work in the unforgiving conditions of combat and hark back to that Technicolor Kodak moment in the battle of Doing Xoai when Hand used his Ka-Bar knife to rip through the sternum of a Viet Cong attacker before removing the man's head from his body with his bare hands," he said.

"It appears that Hand has spent the last 17 years alchemising that critical, existential moment in his life when a blade honed and sharpened to a micrometre represented the line between life and eternity.

"He now produces tens of thousands of such weapons a year, many of which he exports to countries around the world, including Australia."

On Sunday night, the Nine Network program 60 Minutes, using information provided by Butt, filmed Hand emerging from a pharmacy in his local shopping mall.

Shocked and befuddled, Hand said nothing but drove home and locked himself behind closed doors refusing a request for an interview.

Butt said he would inform the Australian Federal Police and the NSW Police of Hand's new identity and whereabouts.

He said he would also provide authorities with details unearthed during years of research about Hand's criminal deeds, including money-laundering for drug traffickers, tax evasion schemes, gun-running, foreign exchange fraud, false evidence to a royal commission, fabrication of a false passport and false declarations to customs.

"Australians who lost their life savings in the Nugan Hand debacle may wish to see Hand face his day in court, but it would be naive to believe this would come to pass," he said.

"Extradition from the US would require a serious measure of political will. It would also demand answers of our American friends as to why Hand, who had become an Australian citizen, was allowed to settle back into the United States when the Australian police and Interpol were desperately trying to track him down."


Former Labor MP Craig Thomson unable to pay civil fines, Federal Court hears

The real scandal here is that his investigation and trial was derlayed for as long as the Gillard government was in office.  They needed his vote in divisions.  Had he been prosecuted and convicted promptly, the ALP government would have been out of office a couple of years earlier. They therefore made sure that the matter was dragged out for as long as was needed

Disgraced Labor MP and former union leader Craig Thomson has no money and cannot pay any fine that might be imposed in a civil case, the Federal Court in Melbourne has heard.

In September, the court upheld a case brought by the Fair Work Commission against Thomson finding that he spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in Health Services Union (HSU) funds without its permission.

Justice Christopher Jessup is hearing submissions on what penalty should be imposed.

Some of the money was used on prostitutes, while further funds were spent on staff, sports sponsorship and charitable donations in the lead up to election campaign for the NSW seat of Dobell in 2007.

Thomson was acquitted of the majority of criminal charges on appeal last December.

Despite the acquittals, the Fair Work Commission reiterated last week it was determined to pursue its case.

"I believe it is in the public interest for Mr Thomson to be held to account for his alleged conduct," the commission's general manager Bernadette O'Neill said earlier this year.

"Therefore it is appropriate that I seek to re-enliven these matters and to pursue these alleged contraventions as part of the Federal Court proceedings."

Thomson was the HSU's national secretary from 2002 to 2007.

The court has previously heard Mr Thomson could not afford a lawyer to represent him in the civil trial.


Bill Shorten: `Cleared' not same as ethically right

Judith Sloan

The purpose of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption was not to "get" Bill Shorten.

In fact, when the royal commission got under way, no one even predicted that the Opposition Leader, a former state and national secretary of the Australian Workers Union, would be called to give evidence. The AWU was named as one of the handful of unions to be investigated. But given that the AWU claims to be one of the biggest unions in the country, its inclusion was hardly surprising.

The fact Shorten has now been cleared of any criminal or unlawful behaviour - given the current suite of laws - does not mean that what he did was ethically right.

Nor does it mean that other AWU officials are off the hook.

There is also a possibility that the AWU has violated the Registered Organisations Act by inflating the number of members - think jockeys and net-ballers - something that occurred on Shorten's watch. (More members mean more votes at Labor Party conferences and greater influence in parliamentary preselections.)

One of the extraordinary things is that so many of these former union officials don't think they did anything wrong. Cesar Melhem, who took over from Shorten at the AWU and is now a Labor member of the upper house in Victoria, argued on the weekend that a secret side-payment to the union was fine because it was really members' money.

Unfortunately, that doesn't -explain the secret bit or the need for bogus invoices: training and research that were never -undertaken, advertising space that was never used, ball tickets for balls that were never attended.

We should also expect action to be taken against the company -executives who knowingly participated in this fraudulent activity.

Of course, the real business model of the AWU is that it is not as bad as the CFMEU. The trouble with this pitch, however, is that the AWU has been only too happy to sell its members down the river to bolster the union's fin-ancial and political power. And employers have been complicit in this arrangement.

What the preliminary reports of the royal commission are indicating is that there is a pressing need to change the law.

There is an almost complete lack of accountability when it comes to union officials using members' dues. To the extent that misuse becomes evident, there are few sanctions save in the most egregious cases.

Witness just last week, when we learned that the NSW secretary of the National Union of Workers, among others, had engaged in an extraordinary spending spree on all manner of personal goods and services paid for by his union. And prior to leaving the union, he insisted the union provide him with a deed of indemnity to escape the consequences of the union making any claims on him. This is surely breathtaking stuff.

There is a need for broader law reform, including consideration of introducing US-style anti--racketeering laws. It should be an offence for a business to provide secret payments to unions; it should be an offence for a business to pay the union dues of workers.

It should also be an offence for a union official to prevent a business from securing work when that business does not agree to the union's demands. This behaviour, of course, is aided by compliant businesses - mainly the head contractors in the building industry. They also need to be brought to heel under the law.

It's clear that the industrial -relations club is corrupt to its core on both the union and employer sides. The government should not miss the opportunity to clean up the mess - for the benefit of union members and the public, more generally.


Vic.: "Alternative" school in meltdown

ABOUT a third of students will leave a Reservoir primary school that teaches transcendental meditation amid a host of complaints.

Maharishi School principal Frances Clarke confirmed a third of the school's 97 students would not return in 2016 "for various reasons, not just because they have concerns about the school".

Ms Clarke said the school had hired an education consultant to review all aspects of the school.

The private school, founded in 1996 before moving to Reservoir in 2002, offers daily meditation, small class sizes, no religious affiliation and consciousness-based education.

The student exodus comes as parents voice concerns with a lack of student assessment, poor record keeping and gender-segregated classes.

The Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) - the authority responsible for ensuring education meets quality standards - last week confirmed it had received four complaints about the school.

Parent Lefa Singleton Norton said the school's "deeply unhappy parent body" was concerned with a lack of policies and procedures at the school, and a decision to separate some classes by sex.

"Our biggest problem was the gender-segregation stuff, that's kind of where this all started for us, and then it wasn't until trying to deal with those problems that it became apparent just how lax the school was with regards to policies and procedures," Ms Singleton Norton said.

The school recently axed single-sex classes following parent complaints.

One parent, who asked not to be named, said she would not re-enrol her two children after discovering the school had kept little-to-no test or assessment records.

"On the 19th of October I sent the board a formal request saying, `OK, the school claims they've done these tests, the school claims to have a detailed file on my student, I want it by tomorrow'," the parent said. "What I got was just a ramshackle collection of some literacy assessments and no maths assessments.

"Her (maths) workbook was almost entirely unmarked for the first two semesters of the year."

The principal, Ms Clarke, said she was "disappointed" the student in question's workbook had not been marked for "about four months".

She said the school had held a public meeting, reinstated the Parents and Friends Association, and was working through the constitution and taking on board what parents' concerns are.


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