Government reshuffle

BBC: Australia announces major reshuffle.

So, the minister who has berated the courts for the past three years for not allowing the government to do what it wants is now in charge. And the hard-headed industrial relations minister now in health at a time when the government is trying to kill Medicare and attacking the PBS. Not a pleasant change unfortunately…

France won’t veto

BBC: Rivals edge towards Iraq deal.

“In an interview with the New York Times, Mr Chirac said France would abstain in a vote on the draft resolution if it failed to include a firm deadline and timetable for a transfer of sovereignty to Iraqis. “

But he won’t veto it if the timeline isn’t there. Hmmm….

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MS Virus posing as update

In the hope that at least one person I know will be wiser to it, there is a new email-borne virus that pretends to be a Microsoft security patch.

More info here.

Just a reminder — if you are not expecting an attachment, even from someone you know, DON’T OPEN IT. It’s the best security measure that you can take to avoid getting infected.

And to all of those who think it’s cool to send jokes as attachments, DON’T DO IT, because then when you get hit by a virus (as you probably will given you are opening attachments) and it gets sent to your friends, they’ll think it’s ok to open the attachment.

If you can afford it, get anti-virus software, just don’t install the McAfee Internet Security package – it kills computers and is worse than the viruses it claims to protect you from.

Disconnect

<rant>

Reading the articles mentioned in the last two posts has really pissed me off. And reading them I think of the current free-trade agreements being negotiated with the US and China by the Australian Government (and other governments around the world), and I know that in a few months time we are also going to get screwed, just not to the same degree.

I am in the process (along with some colleagues) of building a fair trade business in the garment/clothing industry, and I feel that it is going to be completely meaningless if the governments of the richer nations keep screwing over those with lesser economic clout or political stability. We have gone down this path to it’s natural extreme.

Terrorists aren’t the only fundamentalists that are wreaking havoc across the globe. Market fundamentalists are doing greater long term damage to societies, to people, and to the environment than any terrorist group could hope to achieve. And this does kill people, in Congo, in Africa, in poor and developing countries the world over. The list is too long. And even rich nations are not immune – Australian farmers are also screwed over by US and EU tarrifs and subsidies.

If this is reported in the daily news, it will be a short-lived spotlight. Then we’ll move on to the next so-called pressing issue (like how Elle got back in shape). The disconnect between public perception of these events and the issues of terrorism, poverty and the refugee crisis (and by crisis I don’t mean the trickle that the Australian government has wrongfully imprisoned in island hell-holes – but the massive floods of refugees numbering in the millions elsewhere in the world) is staggering. If these other issues are to be remedied at all, a radical shift in government, and by extension their corporate sponsors, policy has to take place in rich nations across the world. It will only get worse from here.

</rant>

China currency

BBC News: China defends currency policy.

“China has come under increasing pressure to adjust the value of the yuan, with many countries arguing that the currency is undervalued – thus giving Chinese exporters an advantage on the world market.

On Saturday, finance minister from the wealthy Group of Seven (G7) nations urged exchange rates to reflect economic strength, although they did not mention China by name.”

Did he mention that the G7 were willing to make concessions by dropping tarrif barriers and subsidies to their agricultural exports? I didn’t think so…

Double standards indeed. Making Trade Fair requires both sides of the fence to uphold fair trade rules. And it requires appropriate concessions be made to developing nations so that they can overcome years of disparity and the fierce competition in global markets that would destroy infant industries in such countries.