Episode 224 – Korea, Extinction Rebellion and Surveys
In this episode of the podcast, we delve into the Korean War and then discuss Extinction Rebellion, the Morrison theocracy, opinion surveys and corporate ethics.
Currently producing 5 weekly podcasts:
- The BS Filter,
- The Cold War,
- The Renaissance Times,
- The Life of the Caesars, and
- Think Like a Millionaire
Author of a new book, The Psychopath Epidemic.
Producer of a new documentary, Marketing the Messiah.
When I said I might phone a friend to discuss Korea and challenge the idea that America was justified in entering the Korean War, I was of course thinking of Cameron Reilly.
Was it a civil war? Was America justified? Did the North start it? Do the present differences in the two Koreas justify the intervention? Did America save South Korea from a brutal dictatorship?
38:14 Extinction Rebellion
Extinction Rebellion (abbreviated as XR) is an environmental pressure group with the stated aim of using civil disobedience to compel government action on climate breakdown, biodiversity loss, and the risk of social and ecological collapse
Extinction Rebellion was established in the United Kingdom in May 2018 with about one hundred academics signing a call to action in support in October 2018, and launched at the end of October by Roger Hallam and Gail Bradbrook, and other activists from the campaign group Rising Up! In November 2018, five bridges across the River Thames in London were blockaded. In April 2019, Extinction Rebellion occupied five prominent sites in central London: Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Circus, Marble Arch, Waterloo Bridge, and the area around Parliament Square.
Extinction Rebellion uses arrest as a tactic to try to achieve its goals. Co-founder Roger Hallam has said “letters, emailing, marches don’t work. You need about 400 people to go to prison. About two to three thousand people to be arrested.
47:52 Is Labor suffering depression
From Katharine Murphy
Part of the reason Labor feels off balance at the moment, both internally and externally, is because these people have spent the last two parliamentary terms prioritising discipline over everything else.
In order to atone for throwing away government during the Rudd/Gillard period, Labor as a collective has held its tongue for six years. Right now, what we are watching is a group of people learning how to argue productively with each other again, when argument, either constructive or destructive, has been considered the cardinal sin.
52:59 Margaret Thatcher’s greatest achievement
When Margaret Thatcher was asked what she regarded as her greatest achievement, she is said to have replied: “New Labour”.
Morrison could say “Anthony Albanese”
Or, maybe it is a case of Stockholm syndrome.
What is Stockholm Syndrome?
54:00 Reliable Power
In California around 2.5 million people will be without electricity, according to one estimate. The power company described Wednesday’s cuts as a precaution, hoping to prevent its electrical equipment and power lines from sparking blazes in dangerous conditions.
56:25 Morrison recommends more prayer
Prime Minister Scott Morrison promoted the power of prayer in a further demonstration he is perhaps the most religiously motivated prime minister of the modern era.
At a prayer breakfast in Parliament House this morning, organised by the Parliamentary Christian Fellowship, Mr Morrison reflected on how he had met his wife Jenny at a small church camp in NSW and then decades later they were being given a top-level ceremonial welcome at the White House.
“We were very young … and we were there, and as we were heading into the South Lawn of the White House, I turned to Jenny and said, ‘We’re a long way from the Central Coast now, darling.’”
Mr Morrison said prayer could bring about nonpartisan unity by reminding MPs of their vulnerability and humanity.
And he quoted an American preacher he met in Washington as saying “the only prayers that you can be assured are never answered, are the ones that are never prayed”.
“I think that’s true and it’s a reminder of the importance of prayer,” the Prime Minister said.
Mr Morrison said prayer could aid political unity.
“What I like about prayer and what is so important about us coming together in our Parliament and praying, is prayer gives us a reminder of our humility and our vulnerability, and that forms a unity,” he said.
“Because there’s certainly one thing we all have in common, whether we sit in the green or red chairs in this place, or anywhere else, and that is our human frailty. It is our human vulnerability.
“It is one of the great misconceptions, I think, of religion that there’s something about piety. It is the complete reverse. The complete reverse.
“Faith, religion is actually first and foremost an expression of our human frailty and vulnerability and an understanding that there are things far bigger than each of us.
58:53 More Christian branch stacking of the Liberal Party
This time it’s the Catholics.
Students at a private Sydney Catholic college are being used to stack Liberal Party branches in a plan to oust Federal MP Alex Hawke, with claims some are being offered parliamentary jobs in exchange for recruitment efforts.
The latest move to stack Liberal branches in Sydney’s hills region – this time with Campion College students – has angered politicians in Canberra and NSW, with one senior MP calling for an investigation and for those responsible to be ousted from the party.
One first-year student said the recruitment drive started shortly after they arrived at the college, when about 20 students were taken to what they thought were social drinks at a pub in Castle Hill, but turned out to be what they described as a Young Liberal event.
“The meeting was very short lived … two main people were saying ‘we need membership, you really need to join because we need to stack the party and roll Alex Hawke [federal member for Mitchell]’,” one student told the Herald.
1:00:47 RI in Qld
From the QPSSS Facebook page
Here’s a collation of some of the most significant results from our professionally conducted survey of 1007 Queenslanders. PLEASE SHARE FAR AND WIDE
For the uninitiated, and our visitors who are pro-RI, in the world of social research a sample of 1000+ respondents is considered statistically valid even if taken from across the entire country, let alone a single state, if sex, age, location, etc., are properly distributed and accounted for, which is why we had this survey professionally conducted by a company that is registered with the Australian Market and Social Research Society (AMSRS).
You can ask RI providers to confirm this, because they cite surveys conducted on a similar number of respondents from across *Australia* (not Queenslanders) to support their own claims about what *Australians* do and don’t think, even though their surveys are conducted by a company that is NOT registered, and CAN NOT be registered, with the AMSRS, they’ve never revealed any of the questions they asked, and we don’t know what ‘school’, ‘religion’ and ‘values’ refers to in the way they’ve used those terms. .
Importantly, we wanted to distinguish our survey from the ones that the RI providers cite by making it as unambiguous as possible. To this end we made sure we:
STIPULATED the survey was about religion in QUEENSLAND STATE SCHOOLS.
DEFINED Religious Education as an academic approach to learning about different religions and beliefs using a Department of Education approved curriculum delivered by qualified teachers.
DEFINED religious instruction as instruction in the doctrines and beliefs of one religion delivered by religious volunteers during class time.
Furthermore, wherever either of these terms came up in questions, it was possible for respondents to hover over the term and bring up a text box with the relevant definition to be sure about what was being referred to.
Obviously, we could not predict what results our survey would reveal and even prepared ourselves for the possibility that we could get results that *didn’t* support our efforts to have RI removed from state schools.
BUT! As you see, the majority of Queenslanders have a problem with divisive doctrinal faith lessons in public schools.
Here are the actual questions that we asked which relate to the results shown in this graphic.
* Did you know the content of religious instruction lessons is not approved or endorsed by the Department of Education?
* Do you think religious volunteers should have access to students in state schools during school hours to give Religious Instruction?
* Do you think children who do not participate in Religious Instruction should continue with regular classwork as is the case with optional instrumental music?
* Do you think multiculturalism is best served by? (This question allowed multiple answers: choose just RE, just RI, both RE and RI, or ‘Neither’)
* What is your religion?
Open ended question for specific answer to be provided, or a ‘No religion’ box to tick underneath
Results for the final question were collated using the same categories as the Australian Bureau of Statistics uses for this question in the national census.
1:02:01 Surveys – The framing of questions is important
Waz thought the climate change question was binary.
Our story last week about how much people would pay for climate change?
From David: I noticed a bit of derision amongst all three of you regarding the poll on climate that was discussed. Particularly to the comparison of the number of people who were worried about the climate, to the amount of money they were prepared to spend to fix it. I put forward the notion that “how much” was the wrong question. The question might have been “would you be prepared to pay more for goods and services if it was guaranteed to fix the problem of climate degradation?” The response would have been completely different and the collective ‘smirks’ within the ‘Fist’ studio would have been non-existent.
Love your podcast BTW.
Is religion important to you and other questions?
1:11:19 Economic Complexity
Those countries that show the fastest declines in the complexity rankings in the past decade have become increasingly dependent on commodities or were affected by political instability or civil war, namely Madagascar (ECI: 119th), Zimbabwe (106th), Australia (93rd), Cuba (109th) and Zambia (116th)
According to Hausmann, “A stylized fact of the world today is that poor countries produce few things that everyone knows how to produce, while rich countries produce many things including some things few countries know how to produce. Growth is being driven by a process of diversification to enter more, and increasingly more complex, production.”
The true value of the measure, however, is in its accuracy in predicting future growth, which it has been shown to do better than any other single measure in predicting growth. The Economic Complexity Index was found to predict growth with five times greater accuracy than the Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum. As Cheston notes, “What unites Uganda, Egypt, China, Vietnam, and Tanzania as the fastest-growing countries in the projection is not that they uniformly share the same education level, geographic region, religion, or any measure of institutional quality. Rather, each country has a more sophisticated range of specialized knowhow than expected for its income that will drive diversification and growth.”
1:14:53 Nothing in this world is certain except death, taxes, and America betraying the Kurds.
They have done it 8 times
Scott Morrison’s idea of action
“We are also very concerned about what this could mean for the potential resurgence of Daesh [Islamic State] and we will be working through all diplomatic channels, working with our colleagues, whether in Europe or the United States or elsewhere, where we have been in partnership in the Middle East for some time, to closely monitor these developments,” he said.
ie we will do nothing
Morrison’s view on Trump abandoning the Kurds:
“As is the nature of alliances and friendships, you work through these issues together and you understand them together and you speak frankly to one another and you do that in the spirit of that relationship.”
“The President made it very clear that his natural instinct actually is restraint – this is his natural disposition, and it’s something that I think is a bit misunderstood,” Mr Morrison said.
1:16:47 Indigenous Leaders aren’t helping
From The Australian
The father of Aboriginal reconciliation, Pat Dodson, fears that legalised euthanasia will create a barrier to indigenous people getting medical care, deepening the health crisis in remote communities.
Writing in The Weekend Australian, Senator Dodson says legislation passed in the lower house of the West Australian parliament lacks indigenous input and could backfire if enacted.
“Fears and suspicions of ‘whitefella’ medicine will only increase, and the capacity to ascertain informed consent will be difficult,” Senator Dodson writes.
Asked how a VAD law in his home state of Western Australia would compromise indigenous medical services, Senator Dodson said: “People are very suspicious of the whole (health) system generally. If they find it is associated with potentially the capacity to end your life, as much as to save it, I am fearful people will then, despite their need, start to move away.”
Senator Dodson said his thinking on euthanasia bridged his life experience as a one-time Catholic priest, his spirituality as a Yawuru man and the founding role he played in the reconciliation movement. He agreed it was at odds with progressive sentiment in the ALP.
Asked what was wrong with a doctor broaching assisted dying with a terminally ill patient, he said: “This is a fine line where the reservoir of knowledge is deemed to be in the professional, when in fact this is about someone else’s life. This is about an individual having to weigh up and consider whether this is an option they really want to take.
“Now, to instigate that discussion … requires a broader context for First Nations people. They are not just nuclear families … most of us have extended families and not everyone in those relationships see eye to eye. It’s about reaching consensus on the way forward that enables communities to stay together, rather than ones that simply decide they are going to allow individuals to make decisions for everyone else.
1:19:31 Corporations promise to be nice
This month, the Business Roundtable, a group comprising the CEO’s of America’s largest and most powerful corporations, formally abandoned the view that maximizing shareholder value should be a company’s primary objective. The implication is that shareholders will no longer always take precedence over other stakeholders such as customers, employees, suppliers, and the communities in which firms operate. In its statement justifying the move, the organization cites the need to pay fair wages, provide more benefits, and invest in training to help employees navigate a rapidly changing economy.
Corporate governance has been moving in this direction for some time, owing to a growing awareness that private-sector engagement will be necessary to address society’s most difficult challenges. Customers, employees, and investors have reinforced this trend by increasingly voicing their concerns about social issues. This emerging consensus is crucial for reconciling the multi-stakeholder model with corporate investors’ longer-term financial interests.
At first glance, the joint letter released by 181 bosses of America’s biggest companies sounds rather appealing. Led by JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon, who chairs the Business Roundtable, the letter redefines the purpose of the company as follows: “While each of our individual companies serves its own corporate purpose, we share a fundamental commitment to all of our stakeholders … We commit to deliver value to all of them, for the future success of our companies, our communities and our country.
These self-appointed corporate moralisers have grown bored with a corporate structure that, for hundreds of years, has unleashed unthinkable innovation and creativity, opening borders, employing and moving millions of people, providing infrastructure, essential goods and services to mass populations across the globe, not to mention the grand luxuries that we want.
Chief executives at the Business Roundtable should also know better than trying to socialise profits and privatise losses. Why would people invest in a company, let alone risky ventures, unless their interests take priority over a nebulous category of other “stakeholders”? After all, when a company goes bust, shareholders, not stakeholders, blow their dough.
The Fist: Without regulation, unselfish companies will be crushed.
Bill Gates seems to be on board
1:22:55 “Fight For Freedom. Stand With Hong Kong”.
If you want to be a political spokesperson then find another job. He put the sponsors in a terrible position. Or find a team that doesn’t rely on Chinese sponsors.
The post has since been removed and team owner Tilman Fertitta went on Twitter to distance the team from the statement.
“Daryl Morey does not speak for the Houston Rockets,” he said on Saturday. “Our presence in Tokyo is all about the promotion of the NBA internationally and we are not a political organisation.”
The Rockets are widely followed in China, partly because they drafted the Chinese basketball player Yao Ming in 2002, who became a star for them and helped build the NBA’s following there.
Sportswear brand Li-Ning and sponsor Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Credit Card Center said on Monday they were suspending cooperation with the NBA side.
The NBA released a statement on Monday, via Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass:
“We recognize that the views expressed by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey have deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable,” the statement read.
“While Daryl has made it clear that his tweet does not represent the Rockets or the NBA, the values of the league support individuals’ educating themselves and sharing their views on matters important to them. We have great respect for the history and culture of China and hope that sports and the NBA can be used as a unifying force to bridge cultural divides and bring people together.”
1:27:40 Apple Pulls Taiwanese Flag Emoji From iPhones in Hong Kong
Apple removed the Taiwanese flag emoji from some iPhones, underscoring the difficult balance the company must strike in supporting free speech while appeasing China.
The change was implemented via software on iPhones sold in Hong Kong and Macau. After Apple released new versions of its iOS 13 operating system in recent days, users in those cities noticed that the Taiwanese flag option was no longer available on the emoji keyboard.