The Political Sword and TPS Extra at a Glance

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Are algorithms ruling your world?
Ad astra, The Political Sword, 20 August 2017

A year or two ago, how many would have known what the word algorithm meant? Now it is a word in common use. It crops up whenever automation or artificial intelligence is mentioned. The term ‘automation’ once conjured up images of robots doing manual tasks; now it encompasses intellectual or cognitive tasks being undertaken automatically. We are told that already the majority of financial transactions are carried out not with pencil and paper and calculators, but via algorithms. More…

Dutton for PM – no thanks
2353NM, The Political Sword, 12 August 2017

If the conservative ideologues get their way, Peter Dutton could be Prime Minister within a few months. If Dutton became Prime Minister, he would be the eighth person to be Prime Minister with double letters in his last name. For the record, if you get asked the question at a trivia night, the others are (in order) Cook, Scullin, Fadden, Rudd, Gillard, Abbott and Turnbull. The history of the last four is well known and in all cases their terms as Prime Minister are remembered more for the politics of gaining or losing power, associated with poor opinion polls, party infighting and a general sense of unease within the community. So; were the first three any better? Apparently not. More…

Inequality amblyopia
Ad astra, The Political Sword, 6 August 2017

Inequality amblyopia is a condition affecting some conservatives, who simply cannot see inequality when looking directly at it. The facts and figures that convince objective observers that there is increasing inequality in our nation, are simply not visible to them. More…

Dog whistling in the park
2353NM, The Political Sword, 30 July 2017

It could be said that Senator Pauline Hanson and the other One Nation senators have ridden the coat tails of racism and bigotry to reach the lofty heights of the Red Chamber on Capital Hill in Canberra. Hanson will tell you that she sincerely holds those views and while it demonstrates her ignorance of how discrimination adversely affects the society we all live in, she and her fellow One Nation members are entitled to their opinion. More…

Is Donald Trump mad?
Ad astra, The Political Sword, 23 July 2017

No, I don’t mean ‘hopping mad’. We know that he is hopping mad with the media and its ‘fake news’, with CNN particularly, and with some of its commentators whom he has chosen to label as intellectually deficient, and unpleasant to the eyes (bleeding from a face lift!).

We know he is hopping mad about the criticism he attracts…. More…

More power to you
2353NM, The Political Sword, 15 July 2017

Rather than writing another article this week about the great Abbott versus Turnbull war on ideology, causing your and my excitement level to maybe rise sharply and rate as ‘slightly interested’, let’s look at some positive events that are occurring right here in Australia. Even if you have been living under a rock for the past ten years, you have probably heard of Tesla. Elon Musk is the co-founder, CEO and Product Architect of the company which produces electric vehicles, solar roofs and battery products, and while he might not be the perfect human being, according to his Wikipedia entry his $15.2 Billion wealth started with a $2,000 seed fund from his father. More…

Look out for dinosaurs
2353NM, The Political Sword, 9 July 2017

Creationists will tell you that life on earth began around 6000 years ago when the good (Christian) lord decided to make a world over 6 days – because on the 7th, he rested. Other faiths and cultures also have mythical stories of how the earth was created; which probably suit the fundamentalists in most religious or cultural groupings. Evolution is a far more common belief. There are museums full of evidence of the process of evolution, how small simple structures became large complex structures, demonstrating the ebb and flow of different life forms at different periods of the earth’s history. Creationists have a leg each side of an interesting barbed-wire fence – having a literal belief in a religious text because they can’t cope with the uncertainty of the alternative but sufficient trust that they will be able to pay off their house from future earnings. More…

Climate wars all over again
Ad astra, TPS Extra, 2 July 2017

Only a naive optimist could believe the contemporary rhetoric that the Finkel Report might bring the climate wars of the last decade to an end. As long as Tony Abbott lurks in the wings there will be war over climate. His whole persona is warlike, his political book is even titled Battlelines. A pugilist since student days, he has carried unremitting combativeness into his political life, and will do so until he leaves. More…

The Coalition needs an Abbott-proof fence
Ad astra, The Political Sword, 29 June 2017

If you were to ask Malcolm Turnbull to tell you honestly what was his most demanding and persistent political problem, Tony Abbott would most likely be his answer.
More…



She said what!
2353NM, The Political Sword, 25 June 2017

Senator Hanson recently implied that children on the autistic spectrum should be shunted off to ‘special schools’. However Hanson wants to spin it, she said: “These kids have a right to an education, by all means, but, if there are a number of them, these children should go into a special classroom and be looked after and given that special attention. Most of the time the teacher spends so much time on them they forget about the child who is straining at the bit and wants to go ahead in leaps and bounds in their education. That child is held back by those others, because the teachers spend time with them.” More…

Respect the culture
2353NM, The Political Sword, 17 June 2017

Representatives of our First Peoples recently gathered at Uluru to discuss potential methods for recognition within the Australian Constitution. The final document is really worth a read, as it is an aspirational document that should be a roadmap for the future of all Australians. Sean Kelly from The Monthly recently wrote an article where a number of different ‘elders’ of society commented on how the Uluru Statement from the Heart was conceived and will affect our entire society going forward. Certainly there was politics involved in the process and seven delegates did walk out of the process, but in reality that was to be expected. More…

Trump becomes irrelevant
Ad astra, The Political Sword, 11 June 2017

We saw it coming, even before his election as President of the United States of America. Few gave this man any credence as he campaigned against Republican after Republican for the GOP nomination. His ideas lacked substance, his policies were threadbare, even nihilistic, and his persona unbefitting such high office. He was bereft of the attributes necessary to become the world’s most powerful person. Not many gave him chance; even the pollsters wrote him off. More…

All you need is love
2353NM, The Political Sword, 3 June 2017

The Beatles released ‘All you need is love’, written by John Lennon and Paul McCarthy, 50 years ago this month during the first global satellite television broadcast, Our world. June 1967 was the summer of love where it is claimed that up to 100,000 people congregated in the Haight-Ashbury neighbourhood in the city of San Franscisco. The two events are related as far as The Beatles by that stage were a studio only band and seeking alternative lifestyles. More…