Of Grassroots and AstroTurf

Professor Skeleton, here. Today I'd like to explain to you the concepts behind the practice of AstroTurfing.

You'll find, if you just look hard enough around you these days, in the political and public sphere, that an awful lot of AstroTurf is springing up about the place.

What is this 'AstroTurf' of which I speak, I hear you ask? Well, if you check out this link you will get a better idea than any number of words I can spout out at you.

After perusing the information you may mistakenly conclude that AstroTurfing only refers to US groups that are fronts for shadowy corporate interests, but it is my belief that we are seeing/have seen, similar groupings in Australia.

I specifically remember Frank Lowy's Westfield company being caught out a few years ago funding so-called 'Residents Action Groups' who were supposedly opposed to a DFO outlet being built in their neighbourhood, when in fact it was really Mr Lowy, who objected to the competition to his own Shopping Centre in the area, but who had had no legal basis upon which to mount a challenge to it and who was found out to be the funder behind the RAG.

He was found out to be clandestinely fomenting the opposition due to some first class investigative journalism, and the action fizzled. The RAG dried up and blew away. But he almost got away with it, as politicians, who ultimately make the decisions about issues such as this, generally run away from a fight with a vocal local group, as they are also their constituents and they don't want to lose their votes. This is especially so in countries where voting is not compulsory and you have to motivate people to like you enough to get up out of their lounge chairs to go to the polling booth and put a tick beside your name, as in America.

Thus, it's been obvious to corporate types for a long while now how they can successfully affect outcomes, govern by proxy from the shadows, manipulate and influence the political debate by using this very methodology.

This Guardian article outlines how the American Tea Party 'Movement' is just such an outfit at its core.  In this article you will notice the name of a crusading young Australian, Taki Oldham, who was recently presented with an RMIT Business Arts Foundation Fellowship. Here he is. This courageous young man has taken his Fellowship money and talent and taken off from our shores and gone to the US and produced a film about the evil designs of the billionaires behind the American Tea Parties and their AstroTurfing pursuits. You can read about it and see trailers for the movie in the this Huffington Post article. The video is about the political subterfuge that is AstroTurfing.

Why is it important to read about the American Tea Party and their AstroTurfing pursuits?

Because what comes about in American Conservative politics eventually finds its way to the Australian Conservative political movement, now being led by Tony Abbott.

Not only that, but I have also noticed that recently a new political ginger group called 'CANdo', with its links to Tony Abbott's protege, Senator Cory Bernardi, has been formed.  Ostensibly, it has been formed to counter 'Get Up' from a conservative perspective and run campaigns promoting their causes and ideology.

Actually, it would be a good idea to keep an eye on the campaigns they run and whether it inspires the sort of vocal grassroots uprising that has characterised the Tea Party movement in the US.

To the extent that it would not surprise me to find a shadowy conservative group of backers behind the raucous protests which we are now seeing in the Murray-Darling Basin Plan 'Consultation' meetings. The reactions of the people there are eerily reminiscent of those that we saw in the US recently over the changes to their Health Care provisions, which made their system more equitable and affordable, but less profitable for the Health Management Organisations (who had lots of profit money to fund the dissent).

Also, I read recently that the Victorian Farmers Federation is planning on more formal organised protests to the MDB Draft Plan, in order to try to influence the outcomes.  They have declared, 'War!', and whilst they are not your normal sinister multinational concern, they do represent vested interests, and they too have realised that organised grassroots action, performed aggressively, is a sure-fire way of getting results for your cause.

Finally, I have decided to save the worst till last.

Yes, Australia has its very own version of AstroTurf Inc., otherwise known as The Australian Tea Party'.  (Please note the little purple box on the right hand side of the website: 'Tea Party Training - Develop your organising skills'). That is, a prime motivation is organised disruption.

And a very nasty bunch of avid conservatives, Libertarians, in the worst possible sense, and 'Free Market' (as in, free to keep as much of their own money as they can con the rest of us into allowing them to, plus ultimately accreting enough power unto themselves to tell the rest of us to go jump, when to jump, and how high), goons they are.

They have their nifty little slogan: 'Taxed Enough Already', which simplistically appeals to the Greed-head in all hard-working types that don't have the time, or the inclination, to think about what the corollary of drastically-reduced government revenues is. They aim to angrily agitate their way to some other rather nasty goals too. Such that I heard Tony Abbott advocating for the repeal of John Howard's Gun Control Laws the other day. Which is of a piece with the American Tea Party's aim of a fully armed citizenry. This again ties them to the Australian Tea Party, who also advocate relaxation of gun laws, and who seem to have as one of their major movers and shakers a zealous individual called Dean Bertram, who has a PhD from Sydney University in American Cultural History (and you don't need to be Einstein to guess which side of the political divide in America he supports), who wrote his thesis on American UFO Cults(!), and who started the Australian Horror Film Festival.

He epitomises the nastier aspects of this Laissez Faire Libertarian, Dog Eat Dog mindset, where, as in the Horror Movies he reveres, it is the guy with the Chain Saw, or the Mediaeval Instruments of Torture, who wins at the end of the day.

His mindset espouses 'No Room at the Inn' for the weak, the poor and the downtrodden, merely a survival and prospering of the meanest and nastiest.

Also, in a further worrying development, I have noticed a resurgence of the 'One Nation' ethos and mentality in South Australia around the issue of the housing of harmless Asylum Seeker families in an abandoned Defence Forces Housing Estate in Inverbrachie.

A vocal mob of over 500 turned up to a Town Hall meeting with the Immigration Department to 'voice their concerns' about the move.

As has become noticeable since the Tea Party movement started in the US, decorum went out the door to be replaced by jeering, overblown negative rhetoric and an overt intolerance of change and preference for the status quo, which looked very white and very conservative to my eyes.

Also, I'll just make the side point that these are the exact same subset of people who loudly proclaim their patriotism at every turn and support for 'our boys' in the Armed Forces fighting the wars that lead to the displaced people who come to our shores as migrants and refugees and who need to be settled here away from the conflict causing their flight.

However, rationalism and intellectual consistency have never been the strong suits of community knee-jerk responses and agitators like Pauline Hanson and her 'One Nation' political party, or the Tea Party.

Opportunism by the shadowy forces behind the scenes of these movements, who stoke fear and resentment, is the motivating factor. Because if you can foster a sense of naked self-interest in the population as a general raison d'être, then you can use it as a Trojan Horse to advance your own agenda, and you will have cultivated willing foot soldiers angry enough to mount the battlements subsequently, on your behalf.

Which is what it's all about at the end of the day really, this AstroTurfing business. With the emphasis on 'Business'.

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George Pike

25/10/2010Sorry to go straight off message HS but I couldn't sit back and let this one go through to the keeper! Scary stuff the coalition hitting the lead in the polls! Is this country going completely insane or what? Two critical points are missing from the article below...The first is the fact that the Liberals would have folded years ago if they had not formed a coalition with the Nationals, the second is how come so much attention is being paid to a Neilsen poll that suddenly shows the coalition ahead, when just two or three weeks ago the same poll had Labor at 55% and Libs at 45%, yet they were totally ignored. If the poll is true, which I doubt, the most likely cause for the shift from Labor to the Greens would be Julia Gillard's childish and silly statement (honesty is NOT always the best policy) about Australia being stuck in Afghanistan for another decade and the amatuerish way in which the government went about releasing the MDBA and refugee settlement plans. The simple fact is that they looked cowardly for letting public servants deliver those messages on their pat malones...definitely NOT the Labor way to do things I would have thought..and the Opposition and media had a field day with them. http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/labor-fails-to-stop-slide-to-greens-20101024-16z9e.html?autostart=1 See More

Sir Ian Crisp

25/10/2010Good morning Professor Skelton. After reading your latest piece I look with suspicion at everyone I know who drinks tea. “Is he or she a member of the Tea Party?” I ask myself. I am bemused by your warnings about the Tea Party. I thought struggles, demonstrations, street marches, and storming the barricades were all stock-in-trade for ‘moving forward’ types. Are you denying the right of an aggrieved group to exercise the very democratic right to protest? How odd coming from a person who demonstrated against the Vietnam war. When the Victorian Farmers’ Federation gets around to tossing balloons filled with urine at police you might have grounds to vent your spleen. The same right to protest is available to the people of Sth Australia who aren’t happy with their new neighbours. It is their democratic right to protest. That concept seems to be misunderstood by you. You’re latest piece even showed you to be racist. “...overt intolerance of change and preference for the status quo, which looked very white and very conservative to my eyes.” Are you saying ‘white people’ aren’t allowed to protest. What ever happened to the Leftist mantras of ‘diversity is our strength’ and ‘tolerance defines us as a nation”? Those fatuous mantras might be extended to diversity of opinion and tolerance of those who are intolerant. HS, have you stumbled upon some ‘special’ mushrooms growing in the Central Coast bushland?

George Pike

25/10/2010wonder where you were when the hansonites were doing exactly the same thing when little johnny rotten was president crispy duck..their inalienable rights were different from those of the adelaide hills are they? hypocrite..

Bring Back Maxine

25/10/2010A disturbing article HS. Thank you for alerting us to this trend developing here. It reminds me of John Singleton's "Workers Party" in the 1975 election. Stirring up the politically naive & politically low intelligent with bogan slogans is disturbing because once emotion takes over reason it is difficult to counter. This is amplified once sections of the media echo/lead the hysteria. IMO, this is occurring now with the alliance between News Ltd & Abbott's hard right conservatives.

lyn

25/10/2010Good Morning Professor Skeleton, Thankyou very much for your wonderful, informative, piece on "Astro Turfing", Professor Skeleton your work is very much appreciated. I always get so excited when a new column goes up on "The Political Sword," and Hillbilly, for you to take the time out of your busy daily schedule to entertain us is just fantastic. I have been horrified about the Tea Party Movement in Australia, now this, active in Australia, wonder what the country is going to be like in 20 years. Astro Turfing is scary and makes for heavy reading, I am not sure I will bother myself worrying too much, think I will just concentrate on my little territory, that is our Government of the moment. I collected this link, from your link, information on one of our Australian Blogs, Trevor Cook, whom I do post in Daily Links from time to time: [i]Astroturfing in Australia[/i] [b] Trevor Cook, bluntly states that "Astroturfing is evil. Astroturfing is always unethical and usually illegal. It corrodes democracy which relies on transparency."[/b]http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Astroturfing_in_Australia

Sir Ian Crisp

25/10/2010Well Georgie Dyke, if you don't know where I was when the redhead and her followers were active you can hardly label me a hypocrite. Perhaps you have been consuming those special mushrooms as well.

D Mick Weir

25/10/2010Thank You Professor Skeleton, a lively debate will no doubt ensue. Sir Ian, you are illustrating a firm grasp on the use of the Straw Man principles in you attempt to knock down the argument. Where exactly in this piece did HS write that these people have no right to a point of view or to protest?

HS

25/10/2010Sir Ian Crisp, If the cause is just, then the modality of public dissent is a proper one. However, if the Trojan Horse is used, then it is not. Simple.

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25/10/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS, updated with the links posted on the previous piece this morning. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

HS

25/10/2010lyn, Thank you for the extra link. We just can't ignore the Astro Turf and hope it will go away because the irrational nature of it will be obvious to anyone who takes a close look at it. It is a movement built upon irrational and emotive foundations, which the time-poor and unsophisticated, or the malevolent, willingly cleave to their breasts for their own ends. And that's really the whole point of difference between Progressives and Conservatives these days, and the movements which help to sustain them; Progressives always consider the Common Weal, and how policies will affect everyone in society, tailoring policies which may be detrimental to some sections of that society, such as applying Means Testing to the wealthiest, whereas Conservatives craft policy around a 'What's in it for me and my family?" ethos, leaving the weakest members of society to be supported by charities and religions, who become more entrenched due to being able to access tax deductions for their charitable works or pay no tax at all if they are a religious organisation taking the place of providing welfare that the State used to provide. Not that they don't do a good job. I just don't believe they should replace the secular State completely in this role, as Conservative Christian Theocrats do.

HS

25/10/2010BBM, 'Bogan Slogans', I love it! Yes, it disturbs me immensely too. Today I heard Abbott's latest cavalier statement that the Coalition should be prepared to take government at a weeks notice. Obviously that means that by hook, or by crook, he will be straining every sinew to illegitimately snatch it away. Astroturfing and Grassroots uprisings is but one tool he can use to foment destabilisation of the government.

lyn

25/10/2010Hi Ad Big, Congratulations Ad, on your achievement in eliminating the spam, clap, clap, hooray. Looks like so far, the new engine is working, by the success last night. Thankyou for doing all that work for our comfort Ad.

HS

25/10/2010A-mazing. Sounds eerily familiar to the attack lines of the Coalition against putting a price on Carbon: Koch-Funded "Americans for Prosperity" Astroturfs Regional Greenhouse Gas Program The Koch Industries-funded astroturf group Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is attacking a regional greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program organized by the ten northeastern and mid-Atlantic states. Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont are all participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the first mandatory, market-based effort in the U.S. to reduce climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions. The states organized RGGI as a reaction to the U.S. Senate's inability to pass a climate bill. RGGI sets an energy-sector carbon cap for participating states, and then auctions off the rights to product emissions. AFP will protest at the first event where the program will auction off allowable emissions, and is claiming the auctions are "secretive," which is untrue; information about them is posted to a public web site, and there is even an RSS feed to get information about them. AFP is also calling the program a "stealth energy tax" and claims that the program will lead to drastically higher energy bills.'

Patricia WA

25/10/2010Thanks for this, HS, I found the recent meeting against the Northam disturbing in its raucous but very organised protest very disturbing. It seemed so focussed and I suspected the sort of activity you identify here as 'astro-turfing' but it seems it's not as simple as that. The Labor leader here, Eric Ripper, has come out supporting the protest and complaining that WA has a disproportionate number of detainees. Liberal Premier Colin Barnett is scornful of his statement particularly when "Labor members of parliament in Western Australia seem to have a lot of sympathy for asylum seekers." It seems that Barnett himself had suggested the Northam camp to the Federal Government, but for family groups and children, not for 1500 single men who he thinks would pose security issues. Still, it doesn't look as if he will be pandering to that protest group at all. He says his WA state government will work cooperatively with the federal government to ensure the centre is safe for Northam, which should benefit from many new jobs. The local Mayor and business groups there also seem to be prepared to accept it. One hopes the ugliness shown by TV footage on the ABC news will bring out more reasonable commentary from those people. Sandgropers may tend to be conservative, but rednecks of the kind organising that meeting with T shirts, slogans and petitions ready to go they generally are not. .

Jason

25/10/2010Sir Ian Crisp, I agree with you, the clowns in Woodside here in Adelaide do have the right to protest. But if one of the gripes they seem to have is "how will this affect property prices" it just goes to show that whilst they are "welcome" they're just not welcome here, and the good people of Mayo Downers old seat would like them to go to working class suburbs. Mushrooms you ask! put away the snuff box.

HS

25/10/2010PatriciaWA, Thank you for the local perspective on the Northam protest. It's a bit rich of the protestors to complain about the Detention Centre for Single Men when they have the Acacia Mens Prison just outside of town! Anyway, as I understand it, these people will only be there for 4 months, not permanently, while their claims are assessed. Also you'd think that the Coalition and the communities would be all for it due to the filip it will give local small businesses! At least Colin Barnett is for the idea in principle. Eric Ripper is behaving like a dill. I never liked him when I lived in WA myself. The ALP would have been better off with Alannah MacTiernan as their leader. In fact, the ALP in WA would be better off with Alannah anywhere in politics in WA! You know what I would like to see? The Church groups who are supposedly behind this push into mainland accomodation and care for Asylum Seekers organising their owm community get-togethers to contrast with those being organised by the rednecks, so as to give the media an idea of the strength of the counter local commitment.

HS

25/10/2010Jason, The line about 'Property prices' just exemplifies what is at the core of the complaints of the noisy protesters...Money! Funny to see some Italian Australians in the Woodside audience, happy to turn their backs on people in a similar situation to the one they would have been in after the War. I can still remember them being called 'Wogs' and 'Dagoes' when I was a little girl. It didn't take long for them to turn into hypocrites.

Dong

25/10/2010While we all have rights to protest that is different to rent a riot. I am very concerned when loudest voice gets the policy. Also those protesting have often been fed lies and disinformation to whip them up. They are not protesting over reality but strawmen put up by selfish interests.

D Mick Weir

25/10/2010There is a long history in this country of organisations that support 'one side of politics or the other'. Whether they have been used to channel funds, promote certain causes, be policy wonks or think tanks, all sides have found ways to garner support from seemingly independent organisations. I have (vague) recollection of a small group of people that included a state Labor MP and a federal Liberal MHR who, in the late 70’s, had long discussions around setting up a ‘charitable trust’ to promote political discourse and fund up and coming politicians. Interesting only in that it was people on both sides working together to promote politics. Laws around election funding and political funding have caused changes in the ways that organisations operate but there are still ways and means of ‘channelling’ special interest groups to further one’s own cause. There is a grey area here when trying to determine whether an organisation is grassroots or otherwise. Funding disclosures may help a bit but, as always, where there is a will to hide a way will be found. Recent comments and attacks by Senator Abetz attempting to discredit GetUp are interesting and point toward more action in this area: http://abetz.com.au/news/getup-a-left-wing-front-just-admit-it (Some of you may wish to wear protective eyewear if you follow this link). Glen Milne wrote [i] Based on GetUp!’s performance during the election, Abetz has now written to the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) asking that the organisation be declared “an associated entity”.[/i] http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/40088.html Are we in a new phase of the ‘turf wars’? or is it same old, same old?

Jason

25/10/2010HS, It's a joke, if the government put 400 soldiers at Woodside there would be no gnashing of teeth, or the rubbish you see on TV. The arguments that are used are dodgy at best but it just goes to show the only legacy that .... Howard left us with. We are all the poorer as a country thanks to him,the right in this country are quite happy to go and bomb a country back to the stone age, but should any of its citizens want a better life don't come here. As an aside this time last week our leaders were all basking in the Mary Mackillop light telling all how she was an inspiration fought for the needy etc, and a day later we go back to business as usual.

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25/10/2010Folks Thank you all for your rapid response to HS's piece, 20 so far. It shows how important the subject is. I'll be on the road for the next few hours. I'll keep an eye out for spam on the way with the iPad. Will be back at my computer late afternoon.

George Pike

25/10/2010Spot on Jason..hit several nails right on the head there. Strange how neo-fascists like crispy dick have to resort to underhanded accusations to try and win an argument hey..worthless curs they are..

D Mick Weir

25/10/2010Off Topic Warning!!! Folks, while doing a bit of further investigating into a certain Tasmanian Senator and his antics around making sure the light shines brightly on waste: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/10/20/3042922.htm I found a site that I hadn't seen before. [b]My Politician - [i]keeping track of your politician for you[/b][/i] http://www.mypolitician.com.au/ [i]My Politician enables you to search the profiles of all the federal Australian politicians, ... This site is designed to provide alternate methods to rate politicians than more traditional methods.[/i] I have only just started dipping in but so far, so good.

Jason

25/10/2010George and HS, This is Bill leaks take on the good people of the Adelaide Hills http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/cartoons

HS

25/10/2010Jason, BLeak lives down the hill from my place! Sometimes I agree with his cartoons, sometimes I don't. Which is how it should be I guess. Today's was a cracker though. :)

Gravel

25/10/2010Professor Skeleton, your article has made the last two articles into a trilogy. They all seamlessly meld together. In fact, it has led me to a thought, maybe the "AstroTurfers" started when they lambasted the excellent Home Installation Scheme, moved onto the Building the Education Revolution, trying to bomb the Health Reforms, and now working feverishly on the National Broadband Network, with the added bonus of using the emotional arguments on the Murray Darling Basin Guide and the Asylum Seekers issues. Is it just me or have to brought all those disparate things together, and now the pattern has been set, this is what will continue to happen? Again the Media in all its forms are the center, which can allow or deny all the above being misrepresented. At the moment the media are letting the deceit and lies through to the keeper.

HS

25/10/2010DMick Weir, I wonder if someone will write to the AEC to have 'CANdo declared an 'Associated Entity'? They are even more closely associated to the Liberal Party than Get Up are to the ALP.

HS

25/10/2010Dong, Thank you for your perceptive comment! I think that's what the Right Wing in political terms realised, that it's easier to associate yourself with the little guy if you want your agenda advanced. Especially when the Big End of Town has such a tarnished reputation.

George Pike

25/10/2010Some good posts here... http://stopmurdoch.blogspot.com/

HS

25/10/2010Gravel, What you have to do is look behind the little guys in the community town hall meetings to see who is really going to benefit from the sort of change that the little guys are loudly advocating. With the MDB it's the Agribusiness sector, Rice and Cotton especially. They are using our MDB water cheaply to produce their cash crops(I don't mind the food producers doing it so much), and they squeal like stuck pigs when their cosy positions are threatened. As for the Asylum Seekers, well, wasn't the Howard Government and their fellow travellers profiting handsomely from the Migration rackets set up around the back door entry of Uni students from wealthy Asian families coming here to study and gain citizenship? Also employers were making handsome profits from the 457 Visa workers who were brought here to work on the cheap under WorkChoices. Attacking the Home Insulation Scheme conveniently covered for an equity measure that only a Labor government would consider doing. In the Conservatives world you pay for everything, and if you don't have the money you are condemned to a 2nd Class existence, for the spurious crime of being a 'bludger', or whatever they call welfare recipients etc. without independant means. Same with the BER. It was an article of faith (heh, heh), that the Howard government favoured Private, Faith-based Education and starved the Public Schools of funds and infrastructure spending, in order to create a social divide between the 'Haves' and 'Have Nots', and the sense of envy from one side of the other, such that great swathes of the populace abandoned the Public School system in order to keep up with the Jones. Now you get a similar set of appeals to similar sentiments as the motivating forces behind a lot of the grassroots uprisings. If only people realised how they were being psychologically manipulated in those ways.

2353

25/10/2010Hi y'all, Astroturfing at it's basic level seems to prove the adage that no one ever went broke underestimating the lowest common denominator. I've also seen someone who was in a fundamentalist group with religious and political tendencies question the group and get dropped like a stone - very quickly. It was actually quite sad to watch. In the end (although it seems to take too long at times) it seems that so much effort is taken to manage the expected behaviours of group members, there is little or no ability to coerce outsiders. Once again publicity of the groups, their real funding source and methods of operation are required and for this, thank you Professor.

NormanK

25/10/2010Hillbilly Skeleton Thanks for your article. The future ramifications of this type of interference is very scary indeed. Misinformation lies at the heart of this though and one would hope that if people were given access to good verifiable facts on a regular basis through a popular medium, they would not succumb to this blatant manipulation. It's a pipe dream, I know but how does one go on each day if all faith in the basic goodness of humankind lapses? My faith in people waivers when I see how easily we can be led down the path of xenophobia, selfishness and bigotry. There are times when it seems to me that this ultra-conservatism is basic to our nature since we fall into step so readily when the right music is played. I include myself in this because it would be arrogant to believe I am above it and have never been herded into adopting a position. I know you are writing about the bigger picture but the problem is exemplified by the response to the MDBP Guide and asylum seeker centres and the like. Without an audience to consume their rhetoric, these movements would waste away. Sadly they do gain traction because a significant percentage of us can't see beyond our own backyards and so we jealously guard what we think others are trying to steal, be they foreigners, government or the bloke upstream. It wasn't written with this in mind but the song "What About Me?" could be the anthem of Western society in the late Twentieth and early Twenty-first centuries and is the sentiment into which these neo-con groups tap on a regular basis. Not "what about my neighbour?" or "what about the less fortunate than myself, wherever they may be?" There seems to be a prevailing lack of empathy for others and as I have suggested elsewhere, I think it stems from not knowing what hard-times really feel like. It doesn't help that even I fall into the trap of believing that 400 individuals in Woodside represent the views of the majority of that community (which quite probably is not the case) just because that's what I've been shown on TV. There is a basic flaw in our education and social systems when significant numbers of our population fail to recognise that : "There but for the grace of god go I". If this comment appears a bit cryptic, I apologise. Selfishness lies at the heart of our problems and astro-turfers know quite well how to exploit this shortcoming. As you say : [quote]..... if you can foster a sense of naked self-interest in the population as a general raison d'être, then you can use it as a Trojan Horse to advance your own agenda .....[/quote] Would this help do you think? [b]The Mary Mackillop Refuge for Displaced Persons - Inverbrackie Branch The Woodside Chamber of Commerce Benevolent Home for Children & Their Carers The Northam Respite Centre for the Children of Saint Mary of the Cross The Scherger Intermediate Skills Training Facility for Young Men[/b] Soon to be released - [b]The Murray Darling Basin Expansion Plan[/b] The new plan will see no cutbacks to allocations of water from the river system but will rely on re-allocation of water to boost the economy of the entire basin. With this in mind, we recommend the following : 1000 Gigalitres per year allocated to the tourism industry 1000 Gigalitres per year allocated to scientific research with world-wide commercial applications 2000 Gigalitres per year allocated to the South Australian fishing industry Any subsequent benefits these allocations may have for the health of the system will be viewed as incidental since this Plan centres on economic expansion and has no brief to address environmental issues.

adelaidegirl

25/10/2010The good news is, last Saturday's "The Advertiser" (hard copy edition) in Adelaide had a two page spread about the Inverbrackie detention plans. I didn't read the article (I so rarely read articles in such papers) but it featured the photos and comments of 5 locals, all favourable to the asylum seeker families arrival.

D Mick Weir

25/10/2010Hi NormanK, as usual your comments add another dimension to the debate, thank you. I want to pick up on [i]'Misinformation lies at the heart of this ... '[/i] Sir Ian tried it on earlier by implying something not actually written. It is a common tactic to turn someones words against them by giving those words unintended meanings. A basic 'fact' in political sales could be summed up thus: [b]Facts do not win. Emotions DO.[/b] No amount of facts about airline safety can change the mind of someone who has a fear of flying! The more I examine the process the clearer it becomes to me that manipulation of peoples emotions is at the core of this. Take any slightly emotional issue and there will be someone in there whipping up a frenzy. The MO is: Find the Fear, Feed the Uncertainty, Sell the Doubt. Do we need to be worried about this? I'm not sure so for the moment I think I will just take the advice of that wise old man of Australian politics who said [b]'Be Alert, Not Alarmed'[/b] and so I will take a Bex and go for a lie down.

Jason

25/10/2010NormanK, I don't think your comment is wrong or bigoted, I think it's a reflection of the nation that Howard left! as you say the song "what about me" is very apt. I wonder though if WA were to have that referendum to succeed from the commonwealth as they always want to, what then with "boat people"? I often hear the term "Que jumpers" tossed about as though it's wrong, but then thought hands up those with private health insurance is that not "Que jumping"? we as a people do it every day,but fail to see our own hypocrisy that we accuse others of.

Patricia WA

25/10/2010[quote]Message from Oz to Boat People[/quote] You’re welcome in Australia, Land of the young and free, We offer hands of friendship Unless you come by sea. We know your stories one and all. Widow, orphan, soldier amputee, However did you get this far Beyond the Arafura Sea? New Zealand’s not so far away They’d listen to your plea If you can travel that bit more And cross the Tasman Sea. Why try to get here anyway? You’ll just become a detainee. Why not stay in Lombok where You won’t feel all at sea. This is a harsh and arid place Our borders lack security You wouldn’t feel at home at all Entirely girt by sea. Shun the people smugglers Who ask a hefty fee, Cos Aussie ships may tow you back Across the Timor Sea. In our cities it’s impossible To rent or buy a property. This wide brown land is clearly full. Why can’t you bludgers see?

George Pike

25/10/2010An omen from America... http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/24/opinion/24dowd.html?_r=1

jj

25/10/2010To compare those farmers protesting about the proposed plan to take up to 40% of the basins water entitlements is in no way similar (and should never be compared to) the tea party movement against health care reform. Almost all Australians see the great benefits of having medicare and government help in the health care sector. America is a very different country to Australia, and you should not start drawing comparisons between those farmers protesting against a plan which they believe will directly effect them and their communities livelyhoods, with those in America protesting against something they barely understand (the tea party movement labels the health reforms socialist and so activists jump). Of course you never mentioned any such 'astro turfing' on the left side of politics, hell the Labor party is controlled by the union movement! Why is it ok for the left side of politics to have their fringe extremities (socialists alliance, communist party etc) but not the right side of politics? Most Australians look at the Tea Party movement in America and are frightened; they look at Sarah Palin and they are frightened. The conservative side of politics here in Australia is in no way as extreme as that in America; Abbott is no Palin; and for you to try and suggest that the coalition is or will ever tolerate such garbage than you are dead wrong. As for the issue in South Australia and Western Australia, sure there were some in the audience who were anti asylum seekers, and so what if there were (there were probably some there who believe we shouldnt have any boarder protection what so ever, and they have a right to be there as well). But the main reason for them being there was to protest about the total lack of consultation from this government that obviously has quite a problem in listening to the community, or at least asking for their opinion before they act. You should not brand the whole group as racists just because there were a few that were opposed to illegal immigrants from residing in the community. Like AA, why are you not able to add just a little bit of balance in your pieces, you could have talked about getup and the recent election campaign where the unions donated bucket loads of money to do an anti Abbott ad. Try and think outside of the box.

Jason

25/10/2010jj I've told you in the past that the Labor party is the political wing of the union movement but not all unions are with the ALP, so why wouldn't they donate money?,as for getup you need not worry you have a site http://www.cando.org.au/ no doubt we'll get a fair and balanced view from you! jj if you haven't seen that the religious right have taken over the Libs as they have done in the US your either blind or ignorant, but more importantly read a few more of the comments that are posted! as for more balanced pieces I'm sure most of us on here would feel right at home with Bolt or Akerman maybe you should look them up!

George Pike

25/10/2010Sink your teeth into this one people..just shows what a pack of hypocrites the Libs really are. Wonder why Hockey wasn't calling for action against the banks back then hey! http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2007/s2083583.htm

BH

25/10/2010Thanks for that HS - now I know what astroturfing is I can be more aware. The frightening thing to me is the Corey Bernardi, Abbott backed, conservative 'getup'. Bernardi is so proud of his email campaign which resulted in thousands of emails being sent and received from climate sceptics. He credits himself with being the person who brought down the ETS bill. Hence my concerns about his CANDO group. I am even prepared to check it from time to time for misrepresentations.

HS

25/10/2010jj, As far as I know the Union movement is up front and open about its ties to the ALP and do not fund any clandestine groups that seem like associations composed of outraged community members venting about a particular issue. Thus, in the strictly definitional sense of the word 'AstroTurf', you couldn't say that they were doing it. Their campaigns are clearly flagged as being about the Union movement, by the Union movement. As has been pointed out by others, the Union movement don't hesitate for a moment to withdraw their support from the ALP if they don't like what they are doing and direct it elsewhere. Dare I say that if the Liberal Party put out a policy that they approved of they would have the support of the more socially conservative Unions. Btw, I'm glad that you have faith that Tony Abbott is no zealous religious ideologue, I don't.

lyn

25/10/2010JJ JJ you said:- [quote]But the main reason for them being there was to protest about the total [u]lack of consultation [/u]from this government that obviously has quite a problem in listening to the community, or at least [u]asking for their opinion before they act[/u]. [/quote] Well JJ, I say to you The Government is the meant to Govern, there us no rule saying, the Government must ask permission for everything they do, that's just stupid. [b][quote]The government is under no obligation to ask people if they want a detention centre within easy driving distance. In fact, the government doesn’t have to ask to do a lot of things – build offices, grant land for prisons, or acquire people’s homes for infrastructure projects. You may not agree with it, but it’s how the country is set up.[/b] So, no, the government was never required to go cap in hand to people within 100km of Northam and ask if it was okay with them to have a detention centre an hour’s drive away. They weren’t even required to announce it.[/quote] [i]Myth-busting: New Detention Centre, The Conscience Vote[/i] The government is under no obligation to ask people if they want a detention centre within easy driving distance. In fact, the government doesn’t have to ask to do a lot of things – http://consciencevote.wordpress.com/

Ad astra reply

25/10/2010Folks Back home again. Thank you all for your very interesting comments. It's too late for me to comment tonight. I'll be back tomorrow.

D Mick Weir

25/10/2010jj, I am really glad you take time to comment here. You highlight so well the lack of understanding of Australias' political heritage. It is a sad reflection on our country that so many people have no understanding of our history in politics. You also show so well how difficult it is to have a discussion around an issue without it becoming left vs right, Labor vs Liberal etc. Thank you for being who and what you are as you constantly remind me of the need to keep the discussion simple, clear and, for want of a better description plain black and white. Please jj, so that I can understand better, can you please explain how you drew the conclusion that the astro turfing as described by Hillbilly Skeleton relates to unions, the socialist alliance or the communist party? While you are answering that can you also tell me why I should not believe that, in effect, the various Farmers Federations are not unions by another name and front organisations for the National Party. Are not the the various employer organisations really just 'employers unions' and fronts for the Liberal Party? Am I a complete buffoon for seeing it that way? Oh and while you are at it jj could you also explain how the MDB plan is not being consulted upon. Please correct my misunderstanding as I thought the authority had released a guide to the draft and was then proceeding through a round of community consulting meetings. I have I missed something? Has the final plan been released? Please jj, help me!

HS

25/10/2010lyn, jj's sanctimonious hypocrisy re the siting of the mainland detention centres is breathtaking, isn't it? From a supporter of a party who never 'consulted with the community' about taking the country to War(we are only just now having the debate via our elected representatives); who never 'consulted the community' by telling the electorate before an election, about 'WorkChoices'; who said there would 'never ever' be a GST, then introduced one; who dumped the Christmas Island Detention Centre on the residents of Christmas Is., without a bye or leave; and who were about to dump a Nuclear Waste Dump on the Northern Territory against strong Community opposition; and jj says that the ALP don't do Community Consultation. Pot meet kettle.

NormanK

25/10/2010AA Stating the obvious perhaps but since the site went down late this afternoon we seem to have lost HTML attributes. Patricia WA Thank you very much. D Mick Weir My admiration grows. Fair minded AND clever. Where will it all end?

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25/10/2010NormanK I have no idea why the site started giving error messages late today. It seems to be functioning normally now. What do you mean by 'lost HTML attributes'?

lyn

25/10/2010Hi Ad The error message this afternoon was very well mannered, it said sorry and then said it was your fault, and it was going to give you 10 lashes. True that's what it said, but it's just an ordinary automated message, I thought it was funny. The comments box went down for a fair while, and would not accept comments, then when it did the comment would not display, and now the bioquote facility has gone. Everthing else seems fine, Norman K will probably have more information for you. Cheers

NormanK

25/10/2010Hi Ad I hope it's not just my computer because I'll be embarrassed but if you look for example at my longer post @ 2.50 there should be bold and quotes and so on. Lyn's post @ 6.38 was the first time I saw it - links in the comments section are gone also. Is it just me?

lyn

25/10/2010Hi Hillbilly Yes the hypocrisy is amazing. What I find disturbing is, if this a general point of view over a wide area, then we do really and truly do have to worry seriously about AstroTurf'and the Australian Tea Party. Actually Rabbit and Palin are similar in their approach, attitude, and presentation.

lyn

25/10/2010Hi Ad The comments box just threw away with my last 2 comments.

Miglo

25/10/2010Jason, that cartoon was quite appropriate. The Adelaide Hills (my old stomping ground) are rich in the cultures brought to our country over a century ago. The Hills are quite famous for their European heritage. The most famous town of all, Handorf, was once called Germantown, the name of which was changed during the war. My own family migrated to the Hills from the Middle East after WW1 and have been part of the Hills community up until this day. It wasn't until the late 1990s that one's own heritage had to be hushed - all of a sudden you were tarnished for being of Middle Eastern descent. Up until then nobody cared.

D Mick Weir

25/10/2010thanks NormanK ~:-)

Ad astra reply

25/10/2010NormanK, Lyn I can see what you mean re the absence of 'biuquote' but let's see if the tags work: [i]italics[/i], [b]bold[/b].

Ad astra reply

25/10/2010NormanK, Lyn I see the tags are not working. I'll check in the morning what's gone wrong. I'll leave comments open overnight and hope we don't get too much spam. Goodnight.

lyn

25/10/2010Hi Ad There is a discrepancy in the comments figure, in the archives it says 56 and on the topic page it says 60. Just a thought, but wondering if the spam filter is taking the dear readers comments by mistake.. 3 missing comments have come back. Can't try the tags for you, the facility has disappeared. I am an hour behind you, but buzzing off now, cheers

TalkTurkey

26/10/2010Ooops! Just accidentally LOST my post. This has happened before. I don't know what I touch but Fwttt! Like the all-important document that Winston Smith knew proved the Party to be liars (as I remember) when it was whisked away into the vast fires below, into which such things were whisked, it's GONE! Oh well. [There's a hilarious account in Joseph Furphy's epoch-defining book Such Is Life where he's describing how the Penguin, having selected and caught whatever fish has taken his epicurean fancy for breakfast, is back on his ice floe, and just about to swallow the fish, when Fwttt! the piratical Man o' War Hawk scorches down and whisks the fish away. The Penguin is left thinking, "??? But I thought . . !? . . " It feels like that.] I had just first congratulated Prof. Skeleton on her very sober expose of Astroturfing, a highly graphic term indeed for what is a terrible development in western democracies. (It started in my experience with Holy Jo Bjelke-Petersen, who beyond all exponents before or since honed the philosophy of Ignorance is Strength to a fine art.) jj and the Woodside Warriors are the god-children of his dragon seed (yeah god-children, as I said the other day you want to find really evil people, go to the Evil Experts, religiomanes.) And look at their battalions, the Holy Rollers of all descriptions, with Ignorance and Credulity and Hypocrisy their impervious shield against Reason . . . Their heroes, Flint and Fielding and Plimer . . . They are very frightening, they threaten Life on Earth. Then a man threw shoes at the simian little puffadder on Q&A . . . And now "The polls have Labor looking green around the gills" oh ha ha what a cute line ABC. David Hicks, who was also on Q&A, is living proof of the seriousness of these matters. The Tea Party in the Home of the Brave is Hansonism on steroids. The thing I like about TPS is that Yous (and Grog etc etc) seem to be the only class of people who really seem like me to see Politics as marginally more important than cricket. Today's comments from so many are so erudite, so weighty, so grave indeed, it makes me wonder what we should do about THEM . . . THEY have always accused US of summoning rent-a-crowds to protests, it's always been laughable lies, but then, None So Blind again. But Astroturfing is exactly that . . . How do we fight deliberate baldfaced hypocrisy? We CAN'T descend to fighting that sort of fire with more of our own . . . and it's not going to help just bitching about it. So we must have a strategy in place, with this medium and our articulation as the sole weapon at our disposal. It is only enough if we use it with nous and resolve, countering vociferously and immediately the worse excesses of the Rotten Right in all its forms, and to an ever-wider readership. And such sites as this need to be delicious as well as nutritious, and the best fun for Us kind of people is when we can poke it up the nose of Them kind. It's not always easy on the grounds that it would be funny if it weren't so serious . . . But that is our challenge. [I just saw Julian Assange walk out of an interview. US Defense (sic!) Department, you wanna see true grit? Little brave soft-spoken Julian, who has made the criminals within your ranks his deadly enemies, now HE is the Real Stuff.] Anyway in honor of the Simian PuffAdder's triumphal return to stardom on Q&A, and in the interest of bringing the level of conversation down appropriately, I've included a little bit of verse which I hope will never have another opportunity to be relevant. Careful of that last fortuitous rhyme . . ! . . Johnnie Meets the Queen John Howard climbs up on a chair, and kisses Queen Liz’s cheek: “Your Royal Highness” Johnnie says, “there’s a favour that I seek:- There’s no-one dotes on Royalty as much as Aussies do – I want my land Australia to be a Kingdom too!” The Queen says, “What a nice idea – but there’s just one tiny thing – For your land to be a Kingdom, John, you’d have to be a King!” John Howard climbs down from his chair, he grovels on his knees, Kisses Liz’s hand, and wheedles, “D’ohhh, Your Highness, please? If we can’t be a Kingdom, please, oh please, Your Majesty, Please, please decree Australia a Principality!” The Queen’s expression shows that he is getting on her Quince: “John, for a Principality, you’d have to be a Prince!” Her answer is quite clearly a down-turned Royal Thumb, But Johnnie scuttle up, and kisses Liz’s Royal Bum! He begs her, “Let me make a Kingdom on Australian soil – Swipe me with thy Magic Sword, Marm, make me something Royal!” Liz draws from wells of wisdom – (for Liz is Wisdom’s fount) – (Her speech is sweet as Jesus doing Sermon On The Mount):- “John, Blessed Be We Royalty – but – sorry to be blunt! – Australia’s just a Country, John, so you are just a Count!” BTW Lyn & AA, thanks for your hints on Gravatar emplacement, but I wrestled with it for hours earlier, couldn’t get in so will have to make do with Badmouth for now. Will try again soon.

TalkTurkey

26/10/2010 Ooops! Just accidentally LOST my post. This has happened before. I don't know what I touch but Fwttt! Like the all-important document that Winston Smith knew proved the Party to be liars (as I remember) when it was whisked away into the vast fires below, into which such things were whisked, it's GONE! Oh well. [There's a hilarious account in Joseph Furphy's epoch-defining book Such Is Life where he's describing how the Penguin, having selected and caught whatever fish has taken his epicurean fancy for breakfast, is back on his ice floe, and just about to swallow the fish, when Fwttt! the piratical Man o' War Hawk scorches down and whisks the fish away. The Penguin is left thinking, "??? But I thought . . !? . . " It feels like that.] I had just first congratulated Prof. Skeleton on her very sober expose of Astroturfing, a highly graphic term indeed for what is a terrible development in western democracies. (It started in my experience with Holy Jo Bjelke-Petersen, who beyond all exponents before or since honed the philosophy of Ignorance is Strength to a fine art.) jj and the Woodside Warriors are the god-children of his dragon seed (yeah god-children, as I said the other day you want to find really evil people, go to the Evil Experts, religiomanes.) And look at their battalions, the Holy Rollers of all descriptions, with Ignorance and Credulity and Hypocrisy their impervious shield against Reason . . . Their heroes, Flint and Fielding and Plimer . . . They are very frightening, they threaten Life on Earth. Then a man threw shoes at the simian little puffadder on Q&A . . . And now "The polls have Labor looking green around the gills" oh ha ha what a cute line ABC. David Hicks, who was also on Q&A, is living proof of the seriousness of these matters. The Tea Party in the Home of the Brave is Hansonism on steroids. The thing I like about TPS is that Yous (and Grog etc etc) seem to be the only class of people who really seem like me to see Politics as marginally more important than cricket. Today's comments from so many are so erudite, so weighty, so grave indeed, it makes me wonder what we should do about THEM . . . THEY have always accused US of summoning rent-a-crowds to protests, it's always been laughable lies, but then, None So Blind again. But Astroturfing is exactly that . . . How do we fight deliberate baldfaced hypocrisy? We CAN'T descend to fighting that sort of fire with more of our own . . . and it's not going to help just bitching about it. So we must have a strategy in place, with this medium and our articulation as the sole weapon at our disposal. It is only enough if we use it with nous and resolve, countering vociferously and immediately the worse excesses of the Rotten Right in all its forms, and to an ever-wider readership. And such sites as this need to be delicious as well as nutritious, and the best fun for Us kind of people is when we can poke it up the nose of Them kind. It's not always easy on the grounds that it would be funny if it weren't so serious . . . But that is our challenge. [I just saw Julian Assange walk out of an interview. US Defense (sic!) Department, you wanna see true grit? Little brave soft-spoken Julian, who has made the criminals within your ranks his deadly enemies, now HE is the Real Stuff.] Anyway in honor of the Simian PuffAdder's triumphal return to stardom on Q&A, and in the interest of bringing the level of conversation down appropriately, I've included a little bit of verse which I hope will never have another opportunity to be relevant. Careful of that last fortuitous rhyme . . ! . . Johnnie Meets the Queen John Howard climbs up on a chair, and kisses Queen Liz’s cheek: “Your Royal Highness” Johnnie says, “there’s a favour that I seek:- There’s no-one dotes on Royalty as much as Aussies do – I want my land Australia to be a Kingdom too!” The Queen says, “What a nice idea – but there’s just one tiny thing – For your land to be a Kingdom, John, you’d have to be a King!” John Howard climbs down from his chair, he grovels on his knees, Kisses Liz’s hand, and wheedles, “D’ohhh, Your Highness, please? If we can’t be a Kingdom, please, oh please, Your Majesty, Please, please decree Australia a Principality!” The Queen’s expression shows that he is getting on her Quince: “John, for a Principality, you’d have to be a Prince!” Her answer is quitew clearly a down-turned Royal Thumb, But Johnnie scuttle up, and kisses Liz’s Royal Bum! He begs her, “Let me make a Kingdom on Australian soil – Swipe me with thy Magic Sword, Marm, make me something Royal!” Liz draws from wells of wisdom – (for Liz is Wisdom’s fount) – (Her speech is sweet as Jesus doing Sermon On The Mount):- “John, Blessed Be We Royalty – but – sorry to be blunt! – Australia’s just a Country, John, so you are just a Count!” BTW Lyn & AA, thanks for your hints on Gravatar emplacement, but I wrestled with it for hours earlier, couldn’t get in so will have to make do with Badmouth for now. Will try again soon.

Ad astra reply

26/10/2010Lyn, Talk Turkey We are obviously having problems with the site since we upgraded to 1.6.1. Some legitimate comments are being wrongly categorised as spam and I have had to 'restore' them, some comments appear to have gone missing, I see your comment late last night TT is duplicated, and the tags for italics and bold are no longer available, or functional if typed in. The overnight spam was relatively modest and has been deleted. I'll work with my son-in-law today to try to correct the anomalies. In the meantime, so long as the site continues to function even in a less-than-perfect way, let's press on.

TalkTurkey

26/10/2010AA Testing . . . testing . . . Sorry for the dual posting last night Thank you. Anyway it's there now, X2, thank you. Hope you can sort the problem, anyway we all know that this stuff happens. Spam filters often seem worse than spam spam spam spam and spam.

lyn

26/10/2010TODAY'S LINKS On The QT: The Region is Exhausted, Greg Jericho, grog's Gamut Abbott wanted Temporary Protection Visas brought back (of course he does). That they didn’t work and only served to encourage more families to come by boats never seem to concern Abbott or any of the Liberals. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ Essential: still locked up, and no joy for Labor on kids in detention, Bernard Keane, The Stump with Labor and the Coalition on 50:50 on a 2PP basis. We’re now into a third month of deadlock in the levels of support for the major parties. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/2010/10/25/essential-still-locked-up-and-no-joy-for-labor-on-kids-in-detention/ Howard’s hubris, Crikey when it comes to selfishness and the disregard of the interests of his own party, Howard has no equal in Australian politics. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/10/25/crikey-says-howards-hubris/ SHOES THROWN AT HOWARD, Big Pond. News Video two shoes hurled at him by an Iraq war protester during an appearance on the ABC's QA. http://bigpondnews.com/articles/TopStories/2010/10/25/Shoes_thrown_at_Howard_530668.html When did John Howard become boring? Piping Shrike Labor is left with not very much at all and now has to sit and watch its primary vote slowly melt away. http://www.pipingshrike.com/2010/10/when-did-john-howard-become-boring.html It’s the great Howard-Costello book tour, Charles Richardson, Crikey The nice house and office and car, the service of a loyal staff, the adulation of cheering crowds and foreign dignitaries, even just the escape from suburban domesticity. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/10/25/its-the-great-howard-costello-book-tour/ What I want from the “New Paradigm”, Super Opinion, The Notion Factory The goal of democracy is to let the people decide who shall govern them http://notionfactory.net/2010/10/25/what-i-want-from-the-%e2%80%9cnew-paradigm%e2%80%9d/ Can Turnbull afford to back Hockey?, Rob Burgess, Business Spectator in particular they're concerned about the spread, the margin between the bank's borrowing cost and the price at which they're lending the money." He knows that's not true. javascript:_em.setCkHl(1); _em.setCkVt('a4c090ac8b2bb782f4f05a7b4bbe4cbc28fa5d8251-751414594cc4d741'); _em.setCkV('d4be1c9649e57529c5f4020a61484cc4d741447c62-541689294cc4d741'); _em.hlCallback(2); The Bullet we Dodged - Just, Robert Merkel, Larvatus Prodeo “this reckless spending has got to stop” and the plans for a mini-budget had the Coalition won. the excuse of curbing Labor’s “reckless spending” to hack into all manner http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/10/25/the-bullet-we-dodged-just/#more-17563 Courtesy is a two-way street, Cosmicjester, Groupthink So no members of Woodside, you don’t get to complain about a lack of courtesy by the government for not consulting when you have shown a complete lack of courtesy on your part. http://www.groupthink.com.au/2010/10/25/courtesy-is-a-two-way-street/ Left or Right, it’s all Shite., Reb, Gutter Trash deliberately destructive and vindictive reporting perpetuated by News Limited, an acquiescent media of so called “journalists” who now simply replicate press releases verbatim and an apathetic public http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/10/25/left-or-right-its-all-shite/ Cost-benefit analysis: Samuel versus Treasury, Peter martin we don't agree with that assumption and therefore that makes that cost benefit analysis worthless." http://www.petermartin.com.au/ Turnbull's NBN transparency bill hits Parliament, Delimiter The bill — dubbed the National Broadband Network Financial Transparency Bill (2010) — is a mere eight pages long and can be downloaded online (PDF). http://delimiter.com.au/category/1news/

lyn

26/10/2010TODAY'S LINKS TODAY'S LINKS On The QT: The Region is Exhausted, Greg Jericho, grog's Gamut Abbott wanted Temporary Protection Visas brought back (of course he does). That they didn’t work and only served to encourage more families to come by boats never seem to concern Abbott or any of the Liberals. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ Essential: still locked up, and no joy for Labor on kids in detention, Bernard Keane, The Stump with Labor and the Coalition on 50:50 on a 2PP basis. We’re now into a third month of deadlock in the levels of support for the major parties. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/2010/10/25/essential-still-locked-up-and-no-joy-for-labor-on-kids-in-detention/ Howard’s hubris, Crikey when it comes to selfishness and the disregard of the interests of his own party, Howard has no equal in Australian politics. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/10/25/crikey-says-howards-hubris/ SHOES THROWN AT HOWARD, Big Pond. News Video two shoes hurled at him by an Iraq war protester during an appearance on the ABC's QA. http://bigpondnews.com/articles/TopStories/2010/10/25/Shoes_thrown_at_Howard_530668.html When did John Howard become boring? Piping Shrike Labor is left with not very much at all and now has to sit and watch its primary vote slowly melt away. http://www.pipingshrike.com/2010/10/when-did-john-howard-become-boring.html It’s the great Howard-Costello book tour, Charles Richardson, Crikey The nice house and office and car, the service of a loyal staff, the adulation of cheering crowds and foreign dignitaries, even just the escape from suburban domesticity. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/10/25/its-the-great-howard-costello-book-tour/ What I want from the “New Paradigm”, Super Opinion, The Notion Factory The goal of democracy is to let the people decide who shall govern them http://notionfactory.net/2010/10/25/what-i-want-from-the-%e2%80%9cnew-paradigm%e2%80%9d/ The Bullet we Dodged - Just, Robert Merkel, Larvatus Prodeo “this reckless spending has got to stop” and the plans for a mini-budget had the Coalition won. the excuse of curbing Labor’s “reckless spending” to hack into all manner http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/10/25/the-bullet-we-dodged-just/#more-17563 Courtesy is a two-way street, Cosmicjester, Groupthink So no members of Woodside, you don’t get to complain about a lack of courtesy by the government for not consulting when you have shown a complete lack of courtesy on your part. http://www.groupthink.com.au/2010/10/25/courtesy-is-a-two-way-street/ Left or Right, it’s all Shite., Reb, Gutter Trash deliberately destructive and vindictive reporting perpetuated by News Limited, an acquiescent media of so called “journalists” who now simply replicate press releases verbatim and an apathetic public http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/10/25/left-or-right-its-all-shite/ Cost-benefit analysis: Samuel versus Treasury, Peter martin we don't agree with that assumption and therefore that makes that cost benefit analysis worthless." http://www.petermartin.com.au/ Turnbull's NBN transparency bill hits Parliament, Delimiter The bill — dubbed the National Broadband Network Financial Transparency Bill (2010) — is a mere eight pages long and can be downloaded online (PDF). http://delimiter.com.au/category/1news/

George Pike

26/10/2010Hi All....and sundry! I braved the cringe factor and actually kept the telly on the ABC at 9:30 last night. It went exactly as I expected...and the re-running of the cherry picked deceitful messages that flowed through to LLine and on into ABC radio this morning was just pure journalistic bastardry that is par for the course, considering the political alignment of those running the ABC today. Q&A proved yet again what a farce it really is by giving John Howard a free reign to run his fraudulent spiel ad nauseum last night. The “live audience” were yet again carefully vetted to ensure no really nasty questions popped up...like NOTHING about Workchoices what so ever. The questions were all pre-ordained…so Howard knew exactly what was coming and prepared his answers to suit…and having a VERY friendly host made the farce complete. Then this morning we have the ABC radio puppets re-running that spiel over and over again...carefully snipping out the embarrassing bits and making it look he was just a nice jolly old chap who didn’t commit war crimes, or try to split the nation over refugees, or try and destroy workers equity at all. We also had Chris Richardson getting a free ride gratis of the ABC radio commentators and news editors this morning. The grubby little pseudo economist reckons Australia is about to have another mining boom! WOW! How clever is this guy! There would only be about 22 million Australians and 100 million odd foreigners who would have known that hey! Then he went on to say that both sides of government are endangering Australia’s future economic prosperity by taking on populist policies. Well, I can see how the Opposition's suggestion to have the government interfere with interest rates and peg the dollar could well be dangerous populism, but just what have the government done that’s in anyway populist? Announcing the MDBA Plan maybe? Expanding Australia’s refugee centres perhaps? Maybe it was just the “ten more years in Afghanistan” that would appeal to the masses?? Richardson is a complete and utter fraud. He’s never been right in his life, yet the ABC run his garbage every chance they get. It makes you sick watching them pander to the conservative elites so willingly and wantonly in order to satisfy their own personal political imperatives.

lyn

26/10/2010Hi Ad The links are not being accepted,they are going up and disappearing, also not doing links. Sorry you are having this problem Ad, hope there is not too much time & trouble for you to fix.

Ad astra reply

26/10/2010Lyn I'll try to get the links from the email that always accompanies your post, and use them to update your special page. I hope we can fix the site later. Although your links are not working on the site, if the URL is copied into the address box they will.

HS

26/10/2010Here's a fantastic cartoon wrt Hockey's 'Gravitas' comments this morning on AM: http://yfrog.com/mvutmlj

HS

26/10/2010Talk Turkey, Ah, yes, that Australianism, which I had forgotten, the 'Rent A Crowd'. It seems to me that in answer to your general question about what we can do to counter these 'Rent A Crowds', the answer boils down to enthusiasm. They live on a diet of being gee'd up every day by the Motormouths on the radio, such as Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt/Steve price, and then they go on to read their papers on the train, The Daily Telegraph/Herald Sun/Courier Mail/Adelaide Advertiser/Australian/West Australian, then they go to work on their building sites and listen to Ray Hadley. It's just constant reinforcement which keeps 'the mob' perpetually fizzy. What have the Progressives got? A desire for Peace, Love and Understanding. And not many mainstream outlets for their point of view. We are not perpetually disgruntled. Well, not enough to get up and populate draughty halls on a weeknight to yell encouragement for a government we think is doing the right thing by the country. Happy are we to let the government get on with job and govern, instead of bellyaching at every twist and turn in the road for some reason. I guess, how can you complain when you agree? Also the Abbott Opposition aren't ever going to stop trying to create controversy, or naysaying for every imagined reason under the sun that their fertile minds can come up with. So, you know, what do you do?

D Mick Weir

26/10/2010Cool Ad [b]I likes yer style[/b] and for forgetful types like [u]me[/u] the [i]new buttons for italics etc.[/i] ~:-)

nasking

26/10/2010"Because what comes about in American Conservative politics eventually finds its way to the Australian Conservative political movement, now being led by Tony Abbott." Spot on Hillbilly. I've expected this since the first victory of the Tea Party and mentioned such. I reckon Julia Gillard is quite right to talk about "economic Hansonism"...I think she knows what's comin'...the Tea Party antics are suspiciously similar to the One Nation claptrap. It doesn't surprise me that Australian right-winger, faux Libertarian, Rupert Murdoch's Fox News were one of the first media to promote the US Tea Party. Thnx for all the useful info. I have a new post: A shoe here, an egg there…but why the cavalry? http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/a-shoe-here-an-egg-there-but-why-the-cavalry/ [quote]Apart from the flying shoe incident, what stood out for me was Howard’s need to pump up Tony Abbott at the expense of other Liberals. I’ve always felt that Abbott was the natural heir to Howard’s throne…as mentioned previously, Abbott & Howard have so much in common:[/quote] Ya might find a couple of comments in the thread that link to Robert Merkel at Lavartus Prodeo & Paul Krugman at NY Times interestin' too. BTW, enjoyed that music vid ya put up on a thread recently. :) Keep up the good fight. Cheers N'

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26/10/2010Folks My son-in-law has got [i]TPS[/i] working again, but because he needed to reboot the site to a more rudimentary stage in the upgrade process to BlogEngine.NET 1.6.1, it looks quite different from its usual appearance. He will let it run in this form for a day or two so as to diagnose the problems. The usual appearance will be restored later. You can still make comments as usual. Note too that the [i]b i u quote[/i] options are back. I look forward to you continuing the dialogue about HS's [i]Of Grassroots and Astroturf[/i].

Patricia WA

26/10/2010Talk Turkey loved your poem but was was really hoping you'd somehow fit in a Royal Flush as the appropriate way to dispose of the little t-rd. Ad Astra I wonder if you had ever thought of numbering comments here? I find that a very helpful feature at Larvatus Prodeo, more useful than the times, for responding to particular comments. Is it something that could be considered while other upgrades are planned for the site?

nasking

26/10/2010I might add, I said to my wife last week that I was worried Labor were allowin' the Murray-Darling Basin reform to be overtaken by protest movements...the rural area would be a great feedin' area for the likes of an Australian Tea Party style movement. Labor cannot afford to provide them w/ that opportunity. I think Greg Hunt & Malcolm Turnbull & other moderate Liberals might want to think seriously about the consequences if a One Nation/Tea Party style movement was nurtured by the Coalition...in the USA the Moderates in the Republican Party are bein' attacked & sometimes swept aside by this movement. It could have bad consequences for business too, in these uncertain times...imagine the Protectionists that will spring up. Bob Katter world gone mad. N'

nasking

26/10/2010State Tea-Party Groups Splinter as Vote Nears http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303467004575574342682042712.html N'

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26/10/2010Patricia WA This blog engine does not support numbering. I wish it did, but I have to accept what this free off-the-shelf blog engine offers.

nasking

26/10/2010Interestin': [quote]Polls show that, in addition to being predominantly white and Republican, tea-partiers are wealthier and better-educated than the typical American. The proletariat they are not. Andrew Gelman's terrific book "Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State," documents the stark partisan division within the American upper class, which I think helps us understand what's really going on. Very roughly, churchgoing non-coastal rich people are Republicans, while the more secular coastal rich are Democrats. What we are now seeing is not a showdown between the vast non-ideological middle-class and some rising Acai-swilling, assortatively-mating bobo aristocracy, but a standoff between rival elites. The tea party is a movement of relatively well-to-do, relatively religious citizens aroused by the conservative identity politics of a handful of elite right-wing opinion-makers who seek to unseat their liberal counterparts. It is a neat trick. Conservative elites pretend to be part of a marginalised cultural force while at the same time orchestrating an electoral bloodbath led by America's least marginalised people. The fact that this is working so well tells us a lot about who the elites really are and where the power really lies.[/quote] More here: A war of elites http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2010/10/tea_partys_suspect_populism So in fact, the dispossessed, disadvantaged, and downright poor in some areas are bein' fooled into votin' against their own interests again. By the elite...pretendin' not to be elite. Like the Murdoch empire. And once they have enuff power the Republicans will dump the pesky Tea Party types...unless they do exactly as they want...just like the evangelicals that came before them. But in the meantime Republican Moderates bite the dust? Kinda dangerous ain't it? For a country that has a habit of invadin' others as it surfs the xenophobic, ugly crowd wave. [quote]Rob Reiner Compares Tea Party To Hitler On Bill Maher's Real Time [/quote] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXEb0ANoKbw Can a work depressed America control its worse tendencies...if Moderates are thrown to the wind? N'

Patricia WA

26/10/2010Well AA while we're on the subject I would imagine that more than one of us would be happy to contribute something to costs if we had some idea of a target amount needed to give you more peace of mind, less daily hassle for you personally in warding off spam and more control over format etc. I love the informality of the blog and sense of family and friendship it engenders, but I also really respect the content and calibre of your contributors as well as the wonderful service provided by LYN's LINKS. Wouldn't this current interruption to your normal format and service be an opportunity for you to look to friends for a contribution?

HS

26/10/2010I am just contributing this as a bit of fun wrt the blog travails AA has had recently: http://mashable.com/2010/09/04/404-error-pages/

HS

26/10/2010Nasking, And don't you think that fomenting unrest, a la the Tea Party would just be right up Tony Abbott's alley? Speaking of Pauline Hanson, he was the one who organised the resistence to her, leading to the Court case in Queensland that ended up sending her to jail. He's a very devious, and a very persuasive man. Dangerous in other words. Wrt the Tea Party in the US, have you noticed the wheels starting to come off in recent days? Yesterday in Kentucky a consigliore of Rand Paul stomped on the head of a MoveOn.org protestor after he pulled her down onto the footpath. In Alaska, the 'Security Detail' for Tea Party Senate hopeful, Joe Miller, handcuffed a reporter who just wanted to ask him questions about his ethics violations as a former Alaskan Magistrate. I don't want to invoke Godwin's Law, but... Not to mention the new Palinesque tactic these Tea Party candidates have of avoiding scrutiny by not allowing themselves to be interviewed by any journalists other than those on Fox News and their affiliates. Talk about hoping to surf into office on a wave of unaccountability. Which has its parallels here as well, with Tony Abbott avoiding the scrutiny of hard interviews on the ABC with the likes of Kerry O'Brien and Tony Jones. But he'll go on the Alan Jones show at the drop of a hat. Actually, that's the only spine that has been shown recently by a journo on the ABC when Tracy Hutchinson, who has started doing Breakfast on News Radio, referred to Alan Jones after his scandalous Brig Lyn McDade interview with Tony Abbott, as "Noted Liberal Backer Alan Jones". I wish more ABC journos had that much courage to tell the truth about the Liberals closet barrackers in the media.

lyn

26/10/2010Hi Patricia WA You are such a sweet nice, person, and I adore your work, I have been out today so a bit behind the news. I also thought I would ask Ad, if he would accept a donation towards a new engine. After all the "The Political Sword " is my number 1 hobby, it's invaluable to me, my husband loves me on here , because it keeps me occupied, he says it's good brain exercise. You are right when you say "The Political Sword" has a sense of family and friendship, there is a warm feeling on TPS, a feeling of being wanted I call it, haven't we got, just the best people to talk too. We will see what Ad says. Cheers

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26/10/2010Patricia WA Thank you for your kind suggestion about contributing to the cost of running [i]TPS[/i]. I haven't really thought of that as [i]TPS[/i] is a hobby pursuit of mine, although quite demanding of time. I'll think about it over the Christmas break. HS What a novel collection of 404 error messages. I liked particularly 3, 15 and 16. I wish the problem we're facing was as simple as a 404 error.

jj

26/10/2010To all, Like all other Q&A's it was an easy run for the panelist...but with the questions asked Howard did a pretty good job. He got through more questions than any other pm or opposition leader before him, and directly answered every question asked. Lyn, just like every other week the audience was not hand picked. The Farmers federation, employers organisations etc are of course unions made up of people with common goals and ideals, however unlike the Labor Party the Coalition is not totally dependent on these organisations for their funds. Without the union movement the Labor party would not be able to fund a by-election let alone a general election. For those that say the Coalition has been taken over by the religious right, could you please point to one policy that coalition members have opposed on religious grounds, or even on the grounds of their conservative nature? There should be a good debate on Insight tonight between Conroy and Morgan. Today the Business Council of Australia came out and stated that they believed with such a huge amount of taxpayers money at stake a proper cost-benefit-analysis should be done. Roger Corbett (RBA board member) also came out to day asking for the government to hand the policy over to the productivity commission to have a look at (plus all of the alternatives that should have been looked at before committing to the NBN). The Greens have also come out today and said that they may support the private members bill, as long as the terms of reference are sorted out between the coalition and the greens taking into account social benefits such as aboriginal health. If there is nothing to hide, and the government is sure that their way is the most efficient and cost-effective way of delivering the service they promise than what has Conroy got to worry about? I have already said before that i do not support the Tea Party movement nor much of what they say. I believe in a taxation system that delivers social and economic benefits to not only those worse off but the whole community. I believe in state schools (i went to state schools for my whole school life). I believe in a public health insurer. I believe in social and cultural tolerance. I really have nothing in common with the movement, and neither does the Coalition. Instead of just bagging out the extreme right all the time for their stupidity, how about you provide some balance and tell me whether you support much that the extreme has to say. if you do, so what! You have a right to; so how does it make those on the opposite side of the spectrum wrong? Good newspoll today. Labor is slowly slipping away. The red team is slowly fading into a brown colour; wonder how long it will be before they become fluorescent green?

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26/10/2010Patricia WA, Lyn You both put your finger on what attracts some of our regulars – the sense of family, friendship and togetherness. Those who visit here enjoy conversing with each other as much as addressing the theme of the piece. A spirit of kinship has developed that extends to those who disagree with most who blog here and who disagree with them. It is this spirit that makes worthwhile the effort of keeping [i]TPS[/i] going and enduring the technical tribulations of running a blog-site. And of course we hope that our offerings in some small way influence political thinking and the outcome of political discourse. Most who contribute here feel passionately about the way the nation is being governed and wish to contribute in between the only times we can exercise any power over our politicians – at the ballot box at election time. Thank you both for your suggestions about donations; I’ll assess the situation over the Christmas break. I hope we can continue with increased vigour in 2011.

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26/10/2010jj John Howard illustrated how robust his self-confidence is still. Even time seems to have raised no doubts in his mind about his actions during his time as PM, even in the face of condemnation from some in the Q&A audience. He brushed away any contradiction to his position on a raft of issues. It must be comforting to be so sure of oneself. His performance also illustrated how much less circumspect one can be when not in power. He said whatever he pleased without fear of repercussion, unlike serving politicians who feel they must watch every word lest a false statement brings them undone. You make some assertions that need challenge. Please give us the evidence that [i]” Without the union movement the Labor party would not be able to fund a by-election let alone a general election.”[/i] I think you know that is not so. You say some believe that the Coalition has been taken over by the Christian Right – where have you seen that asserted? It is more likely that the Coalition sees an ally in the Christian Right and fosters goodwill with it, as for example did Peter Costello with the Hillsong group. Finally, why are you so delighted that Newspoll shows falling support for Labor. Do you regard their efforts so poorly that you want them out? Do you feel their contribution to saving this country from the ravages of the GFC, their contribution to school infrastructure, even to insulating roofs was so awful as to be wholeheartedly condemned? Do you feel their efforts at tax reform, water reform, asylum seeker reform are so retrograde that Labor should be ignominiously thrown out of office? Will it be ever possible for you to give credit when it is due, instead of steadfast condemnation?

Patricia WA

26/10/2010Agreed, lyn, along with Cafe Whispers and Grog's Gamut I find plenty of mental stimulation here as well as wit and friendliness. I'm also a great fan of Larvatus Prodeo which got me going with satire some months ago, but I find I can't keep interrupting their train of thought with funnies so finding your mixture of right (left?) thinking and informality has been wonderful. Did this for Miglo's post at Cafe Whispers about John Howard dumping on everyone. John Howard’s much heralded re-arrival On the national scene with memories archival Must give cause for more than one old rival To curse the 'dessicated coconut’s' survival. One can imagine how that last election night Must have brought joy and so much untold delight To pollies on the left, and many on the right. Little Johnny, undone, defeated! What a lovely sight! Now here he is, in his memoir, “Lazarus Rising,“ His usual self-promotion while old rivals patronising. So self-satisfied and smug, it’s said he’s been devising With publicists a plan to achieve his own canonizing! Already he smiles as if in that so blissful state And seeks from Cardinal Pell through Abbot, his special mate, To ask the Pope, without conversion or undue wait, To confer the title of “St. John of Oz, the Great!” Meanwhile old acquaintances look on in fascination. Former foes now see a way through past frustration. They say Howard’s sainthood would serve the nation. Forget past enmities. They’ll achieve his canonization - Through martyrdom and Australia’s first political assassination.

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26/10/2010Folks I would value your opinion about the reply configuration that is being used while we are sorting out the problem with [i]TPS[/i]. Note that this enables a reply to be made in juxtaposition to an individual comment rather that simply adding the reply comment at the end. See the two replies I have made in the last hour, identified by a feint arrow at the top left of the reply, and a slightly indent. Replies to a such as reply can also be made. Although this would enable a specific reply to be made to an individual comment and to some extent overcome the problem of no numbering of comments, it does place the comment out of time sequence. Some find this confusing while others like it. Please let me know what you feel.

nasking

26/10/2010"And don't you think that fomenting unrest, a la the Tea Party would just be right up Tony Abbott's alley?" Indeed Hillbilly. And Alan Jones. I don't think there's any coincidence that Howard has shown up just as the "ugly Australians" are buildin'up over Murray-Darlin' Basin Plan & refugees...and to push Abbott over the top of any growin' competition. I don't know how Turnbull, Hunt, Hockey & others - include some of the newbies - can live amongst some of these extremists in the Coalition. And yes, I've noticed the Tea Party types in the USA usin' media avoidance tactics...includin' Sharron Angle: [quote]Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle used a decoy to dodge members of the press at an event on Monday, a reporter on the scene tells the Huffington Post. The Tea Party-backed pol, who has avoided public appearances since offering racially insensitive remarks to a group of Hispanic students, left reporters waiting at an event at a Microsoft Licensing office for nearly two hours (between the time she showed up late until they realized that she had actually left). Getting out of the building without being noticed, however, was tricky. According to Mackenzie Warren, a morning reporter for Reno's NBC-affiliate, KRNV, a staffer for Angle's campaign suckered the press by making it appear that she would be leaving the front entrance (the one she initially entered) while she was, instead, exiting through a side door.[/quote] more here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/25/angle-campaign-used-decoy_n_773716.html Angle is willin' to villify ethnic groups & scare-monger in order to gain power...regardless of who is damaged by her approach. She's morally bankrupt. Typical right-wing politics the past few decades...but it just gets loopier. N'

NormanK

26/10/2010Hi Ad First cab off the rank. Juxtaposition of replies is nice in itself but once a thread becomes fairly long it will become necessary to scroll the whole page to see if anything new has been posted. With the free-ranging way that Swordians interact with each other, I would find perpetual scrolling a bit boring. Far easier to do a quick refresh and check the bottom of comments for new additions. I'm glad the gremlins have not won the fight to date. I too would be in favour of subscribing to a new engine or overarching application if it would make your life easier.

TalkTurkey

26/10/2010Gee I get nearly go into spasm when TPS gets twitchy! Poor you Aa and son-in-law, we feel for you, trying to kill the spam while keeping the blog alive . . . It's like trying to use chemo on invasive cancers. I will gladly join others in contributing to TPS costs when you work out how we might do that. Promise. I feel all same longa Lyn. Some of the posts eg Open Letters to Gillard and Abbott seem to have gone missing . . . I hope not . . . Can you reassure us Aa? BTW Patricia WA the word you were looking for isn't t-rd, it's TURD, T-U-R-D, got that? TURD ! So if one were to want to say something really nice about Howard, one might say, e.g., HOWARD IS A TURD! But turd is a very honourable word, too good for the Right Honorable (!!!!!) Howard actually, it is first recorded in the oldest known play in the English language, I think it pre-dates Chaucer, it's called Gammer (grandma) Girton's Needle . . . The old girl's nearly blind, she drops her needle, she's feeling around on the floor for it, her hand falls on something, she says, "What's this? . . . Poo, it stinks, it is a cat's turd . . ." (That's all G G's N I know.) So I wouldn't want to impugn turds' good character by comparison to Howard, Turds' Union Retributive Damages Society (T.U.R.D.S) might prosecute me for libel. Nevertheless: My Rudeness Challenge Entry #5 When John Howard's interred - as he'll be - ( He can't Lazarise indefinitely! ) - One sentence alone Should be carved on his stone: Here's Howard, in T - U - R - D ! One day soon we must get stuck into forcing the pace on our will-be Republic. This next time we will win. And the issue will be a winner for the government if they have any nous at all.

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26/10/2010NormanK Thanks for your comments and support. I note your preference. I hope we can sort out the gremlins, and thereby improve the site.

Jason

26/10/2010AA, I'll put my hand in my pocket as well!, and as jj tells us she is a small business owner jj could even be a sponsor , not only would help jj at tax time but also to promote free speach. jj now is the time to put up or whinge from the side lines!

D Mick Weir

26/10/2010Ad, being often stuck in a time warp I have a preference for sequential comments it suits 'our' style better methinks. Numbering would be easier but we can always reference by "re Ads comment @ 27/10/2010 03:15:13 - hmm I'm sure you will work out the little time bug as well. Interesting I have contradicted myself by comment here instead of below. Oh well who ever claimed to be consistent was probably being inconsistent!!!

lyn

26/10/2010Hi Talk Turkey Don't worry about your Gravatar, I like him after all, actually I can see a smile on his face, and his eyes are twinkling , I knew it was your comment before I realised where the name is placed on the new setup. Did you hear Howard on Q & A last night say that no-one can control interest rates, he had a straight face on you know, all I could think of was "Who do you trust to keep interest rates low" over and over again, remember, Howard was the only one that could control interest rates, so he tried to make everyone believe. [quote]Here's Howard, in T - U - R - D ! [/quote] Honorable (!!!!!) Right yer, right. Cheers

lyn

26/10/2010Hi Ad I think the new comment boxes are excellent, love the neat line line around, nice text, I really, really like the setup, it looks fantastic Ad. Don't think I would use the reply, agree with Norman K. You are doing well Ad, by the time you have finished you will be an accredited Tech Head. Talk Turkey , NormanK and Patricia WA could write the accreditation certificate up for your portfolio.

D Mick Weir

26/10/2010Hi jj, a well rounded and interesting comment today, thanks. I didn't catch Q&A (except for the news coverage of the shoe toss) so I can make no informed comment however commentary suggests that JWH hasn't yet understood his part in the downfall of his government. I will let others be the judge of that. Just as the Labor Party relies heavily on union money the Liberal Party relies heavily on money from donations in many forms. Malcolm Turnbull when treasurer of the party was very adept at extracting large amounts from the 'top end of town'. He probably still is and all power to him. It is a vital part of the current system. It is a debate for another time but I could be easily persuaded toward more public funding a greater transperancy of 'private' donations. I can't recall names at this minute but there has certainly been much worry, much of it from within the Liberal Party, certain peoples influence and views which are very much of the 'religious right' persuasion. I think there was some finger pointing about faction (in)fighting causing delays to preselections in some NSW seats. Some have commented that the factionalism in the NSW Liberals is more vindictive that anything Labor has done. As to policies I would realy need to investigate however certainly Abbott when health minister let his beliefs get in the road of good policy in some instances as was well reported at the time. As an after thought this is one of the problems with lables such as right/left, progressive/conservative they aren't really helpful in defining who we are and what we believe. While I suspect you jj, lean to the right I don't believe for for a moment you are are a 'rabid extreme right wing nut' my preferred 'lable' for you is simply jj. The whole thing around a cost benefit analysis getting quite silly in my mind. If the Productivity Commission does get to do a 'study' it will notbe a 'cost benefit analysis' per se. It would, hopefully, take into account 'social benefits' (and costs?) and other esoteric items and probably end looking more like the the implementation study than a 'standard' cost benefit analysis. We will wait and see which way the cookie crumbles. I will leave further comment for the moment as 'other duties' call.

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26/10/2010Folks You really are a great group of people. Thank you for all your support and advice. I note your comments Lyn about replies. I’ve just finished looking at the NBN debate on [i]Insight[/i]. Malcolm didn’t come out looking so good. Tony Windsor is so pro-NBN that he’s unlikely to support the Productivity Commission study, which in any case would be so riddled with assumptions that it would be challengeable by anyone opposed to the NBN. The quicker we get on with it and let people have the benefits, the better. Was there such a fuss over building the Snowy Mountains scheme? If anything’s gone missing, TT, I’ll look for it but won’t guarantee I’ll find it. I’m packing it in for the night. By the way, we are not deleting spam at present as we feel that might be part of the problem. Let’s hope tomorrow brings better outcomes. Until then, goodnight.

Jason

26/10/2010HS, Off topic but I thought you might be interested [http://www.rightsonsite.org.au/] Tuesday 26th October, 2010 Countdown to the verdict – Ark Tribe Dear Supporter, For two and a half years, Ark Tribe and his family have struggled under the threat of imprisonment. Ark is facing six months in jail, charged with not attending an interview with the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC). On Wednesday 3 November 2010 at 9:30 am, the magistrate will deliver his verdict at Adelaide Magistrates Court. Nearly 20,000 people like you have been following his case as it has unfolded by joining rallies of support, emailing politicians and signing petitions. In this final week, you can send a message of support to Ark as he prepares to receive the verdict - Send your message here. [http://www.rightsonsite.org.au/subscribe/index.php?customlist=arkmessage] We'll post your message of support on the website, and announce the verdict on Twitter and via email next week. Thanks for your support, Dave Noonan, CFMEU C&G Division National Secretary [http://www.rightsonsite.org.au]

jimbo

26/10/2010I heartily agree with you JJ There is no way the lieberals would put up with such tea party garbage because they are too busy making it all up and giving it to you and crisp to spread over the blogoshere like the good little lieberal stooges you are

HS

26/10/2010The spam has found you again!

Bilko

27/10/2010AA the TPS goes from strength to strength and you really do need to number the comments as I have suggested in the past. I was hoping you new system much improved by the way would have helped. Do you feel the Spam attacks are a deliberate attempt to shut you down a subtle attempt similar to the unsubtle attempt to shut Grog up? The NBN insight debate showed MT to be a Dill and the support for the project is overwhelming. In my last Govn job we had 2m/b links between states to push video conf etc along, it still had its limitations so roll on the NBN the nation needs it. And finally the other half is doing fine a little walker is all she needs and grab rails to be installed at the steps outside scheduled soon.

HS

27/10/2010Well, it looks as though the Irrigators have adopted the motto 'Never Surrender!' (even whenyour concerns have been taken into consideration), and when the MDB Commission meets today in Mildura for another 'Consultation' meeting they will still be coming along to create as much mayhem as possible, even though the government has altered the remit of the MDB Commission to take into account the economic and social effects of changing Water Allocations. Which basically equates to a victory for the Irrigators based upon what they were bellyaching about last week in other meetings. That is, to have their interests considered as well as the environment's and the health of the river system. The spokesman who was interviewed on ABC Breakfast has now shifted the goalposts and said that " the Irrigators will not allow the MDB Commission to take one drop more from them for the river". What arrogant, uncompromising, antediluvian creeps. It just makes you wonder who is in their ear telling them to keep pushing the envelope and to not let the Gillard government have any sort of victory over this issue at all. Yes, it sounds like a conspiracy theory, however, all bar one federal seat is held by a Coalition MP, and some of the dirtiest players, like Alby Shultz and Sharman Stone, Just sayin'.

George Pike

27/10/2010Now isn't this just a riot! US helped Bin Ladin form Al Queda to get Russia out of Afghanistan...now they're begging them to come back...you just have to scratch your head in disbelief at the incredible idiocy of world governance. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/oct/26/nato-afghanistan-russia-military

HS

27/10/2010Jason, Thank you for the link. Sorry I haven't replied to your e-mail but I deleted the info from AA one night when I was clearing out my Inbox! Could you please send it to him again? Thank you. Wrt the ABCC, I note baby steps away from the entirely union punitive nature of the outfit has been taken by the Gillard government. The appointment of a new head and his statement that he will be going in just as hard against employer intimidation of workers as union rep intimidation of employers. I don't know, considering you have to satisfy the general populace that unions aren't becoming intimidatory units again, I guess that's as far as the government can go under the circumstances. However, when there is a legitimate case of union reps going in hard justifiably against shonky bosses, then I am all for them being allowed by law to do so. In all employment areas. Thus I do think it wrong that the Building area has been singled out for differential treatment. Good Luck to Ark Tribe.

D Mick Weir

27/10/2010morning HS, which seat is the 'only' seat in MDB held by Labor? whichever it is add Fraser & Canberra in ACT and Eden-Monaro. All these have tributaries to Murrumbidgee River. Ok, not much (if any) irrigation in ACT parts of EM may have some but even so these areas are affected through storage dams etc.

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27/10/2010HS We decided not to delete the spam overnight as we try to work out how this new version of BlogEngine.NET manages spam. There is a facility to automatically delete items that have previously been deleted as spam, but we have not yet been able to activate it. Bilko If the spam attack represents a deliberate attempt to damage [i]TPS[/i] and perhaps force it to shut down, I suppose we should regard that as a compliment. But I doubt if it would be considered powerful enough by those who disagree with our sentiments to take such action. We are but one player on a very large field of political blog sites. Regarding numbering of posts, this version of our blog engine does not support numbering, but does support replies to individual posts placed in juxtaposition to the post, a mechanism that clusters responses to an individual post in one place rather than adding them at the end. I have used this a couple of times on this piece – you will see these replies slightly indented with a feint arrow at the top left of the reply. Some like this facility; others don’t. What do you think of it?

HS

27/10/2010Bilko, Good to hear about the good lady wife! Boy am I glad I didn't break both legs at the ankle. Anyway, keep up with the Physio, as much as it may hurt her, in the long run it is for the good because it will leave her with less long-term after effects. I had really bad ligament damage and whilst my leg bones repaired OK the ligaments took forever to get right, and it was only due to lots of walking in the bush near my place that they stretched enough to allow a 'normal' feeling to return. I caught a bit of the Insight NBN debate too, plus 'The Virtual Revolution' show which came after it. It's amazing, isn't it, how much of a technological troglodyte Malcolm Turnbull was keen to be seen as. I have heard that he is working on his own alternative Broadband Plan which he will present to Parliament when it is ready. He appears to be placing most of his eggs in the Satellite/Wireless/HFC basket. However what he never explains is how Private enterprise ISPs, like Telstra, have already engaged in anti-competitive behaviour with Optus over HFC. Which is what private companies always do, try and cut the grass of their competitors. Whereas a public utility, like the wholesale provider that the NBN will be, is even-handed. THAT'S the major point of difference between what Turnbull wants and the government system in my eyes. It will be equitable for regional, rural or city user. Also, he never explains how congestion on the Wireless network, if it is expanded, will slow it down. So it might have a potential maximum speed, it will, more often than not, not perform at that speed. Not to mention the need for more Relay Towers which will need to be dotted about the landscape, increasing the visual pollution in manifold ways. Fibre is underground and out of site. Finally, Malcolm Turnbull said he would be advocating in his bill an upgrade of the Copper network to increase Broadband speeds. However Copper is the 20th century system. Fibre is 21st century and can go to speeds so much greater than Copper ever will be able to. In other words, the Coalition's policy makes no sense.

Patricia WA

27/10/2010Hi AA - re the numbering versus spot replies - I would prefer the numbering. Failing that I prefer nothing to change and to simply follow comment chronologically. Much easier to catch recent comment as Norman K says. The specific or spot replies confines discussion to that point whereas I prefer the more discursive approach and to watch for development of a discussion as the day goes on. What did people think about Doug Cameron? Coming from him I thought his let a hundred flowers bloom a bit rich.

lyn

27/10/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]On the QT: Speculation, Gravitas and the Honest Truth, Greg Jericho, Grog's Gamut[/i] It only took seven years and a John Howard autobiography for “the honest truth” to come out. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ [i]Run over by a solid mandala, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i] despise Nick Minchin. The only thing that will cure that is a kind of pitiful humanity for a man whose grin reminded me of the metal fittings on a coffin. http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2010/10/run-over-by-solid-mandala-im-not-even.html [i]The Play's the Thing, Mr Denmore, The Failed Estate[/i] Howard, like all successful politicians, was a myth-maker, a story-teller, a creature that could construct a feasible disguise to mask the grubby business of grabbing, exercising and maintaining political power. http://thefailedestate.blogspot.com/ [i]Poll-Watch: do they mean anything when no one is paying attention?, Kim, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] Yesterday, Tigtog discussed polls which showed that there had been little movement since the election. http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/10/26/poll-watch-do-they-mean-anything-when-no-one-is-paying-attention/ [i]Polling at the moment, Possum Comitatus, Pollytics, Pollytics[/i] Not necesarrily wrong mind you, but just odd. We’re seeing Satisfaction/Approval ratings and Better/Preferred PM changes not being particularly consistent http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/10/26/polling-at-the-moment/ [i]Shoes and flippant insults, where serious questions were available, Jeremy Sear, An Onymous Lefty[/i] there was never any realistic prospect of him answering a question directly and honestly, or admitting fault, or expressing regret http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/ [i]Shoe are you? Who shoe? Shoe who? ashghebranious, Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] shoe throwing. We are Australians. Bloody Australians for god’s sake! Sure we have points of differences (just ask Andrew Robb and Joe Hockey), http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com:80/2010/10/26/shoe-are-you-who-shoe-shoe-who/ [i]Hockey explains himself on banks, Peter Martin[/i] Once regarded as the party of business, the Liberal Party yesterday took its biggest step towards redefining itself http://www.petermartin.com.au/ [i]Julia Gillard Unhinged, Reb, Gutter Trash[/i] there is a minor revolt in left-wing Labor ranks over contentious issues like gay marriage, with some Labor MPs feeling like they can’t speak out at all. http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/10/26/julia-gillard-unhinged/ [i]Howard and Costello, David Havyatt, Anything Goes[/i] Howard's actions have been described as hubris and arrogance as he first in trying to pressure him to quit http://davidhavyatt.blogspot.com/ [i]The Malfunctioning Echo Chamber, Matthew Hatton, The Notion Factory[/i] filled with party stooges from all sides (Liberal, Labor, Green and all flavours in between) spewing meaningless party drivel and , http://notionfactory.net:80/2010/10/27/the-malfunctioning-echo-chamber/ [i]Howard on Q&A — 1, Neil, Neil's second Decade[/i] When is a deal not a deal? It was all just a distraction from what I belatedly realised: John Howard was never going to stand aside for anyone. He never had and he never would. http://neil2decade.wordpress.com:80/2010/10/27/howard-on-qa-1/

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27/10/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx Lyn I'm relieved to see all your links are working this morning.

janice

27/10/2010Good morning all. For awhile I thought I was in the wrong place and then began to blame my computer. I wish you good luck sorting out the problems Ad astra. I'm with the others who are willing to donate to The Political Sword cause.

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27/10/2010Bilko This is how a reply to an individual post works. So far most who have commented seem not to favour this facility. It good to see that your wife is recovering steadily. It's a long process but the progress you describe is encouraging.

lyn

27/10/2010Hi Bilko So good to hear Mrs Bilko is improving so well, poor little thing she has had her share of pain hasn't she, tell her we wish her all the best. I agree with you Malcolm Turnbull looked utterly defeated in the end, did you hear Paul Budde bowl Turnbull out, and the Coalition over never attending any information conferences. Also I was thrilled to bits to see Tony Windsor so familiar with Paul Budde. [i]Australian NBN vs New Zealand UFB, Paul Budde, BuddeBlog[/i]. Until very recently the Liberal Opposition in Australia wanted the kill the NBN at all costs. its previous uncompromising stand, it has largely been absent from the NBN discussion over the last three years. http://www.buddeblog.com.au/ Cheers

Jason

27/10/2010Coalition just lost another substantive vote on the floor of the House – 71-68 this time it was an attempt to refer the SA Invebrackie detention centre proposal to a committee!

lyn

27/10/2010Hi Jason Thankyou so much for telling us that snippet of good news, actually I seem to remember ridicule from the Coalition about the Government having Committee's, white papers, green papers, review's, now that's all they want.

lyn

27/10/2010Hi Ad Yes it's wonderful, the comments boxed in look really good, the links look a lot neater as well. Cheers

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27/10/2010Patricia WA Thank you for your feedback on replies. Several others feel similarly to you. janice Thank you for your supportive comments. Over the end-of-year break I’ll think about how to sustain [i]TPS[/i] in 2011. Folks I’ll be away from my computer for a couple of hours attending to an ill relative. Back about lunchtime.

D Mick Weir

27/10/2010Hi HS, re yours @ 27/10/2010 17:18:06 [i].... all bar one federal seat is held by a Coalition MP, ...[/i] Which seat do you have as the 'only' Labor held seat? Add to that these: Canberra & Fraser in the ACT and Eden-Monaro. The Murrumbidgee River (or its' tributaries) flow through these electorates. (I posted similar earlier but it seems to have disappeared into the ether)

HS

27/10/2010Jason, Good to hear about the lost vote on the floor of the House. I don't seem to remember the Coalition, when in government, asking for a community's permission to site the Baxter or Woomera Detention Centres. And they were so much worse than the Inverbrachie model. The Coalition are going to get a black eye on the floor over Turnbull's proposal for a Productivity Commission Inquiry into the Business case for the NBN. As has been mentioned by Sen. Conroy, how could the Productivity Commission quantify, in dollars and cents terms, the unknown potentials of the NBN into the future. What about Smart Phones, he said? No one could have imagined what we could do with them today, even 10 years ago.

nasking

27/10/2010Julia Gillard Unhinged, Reb, Gutter Trash Lyn, I dig ya heaps as ya know, but why link to a headline that is so grotesque? That particular poster should know better. BTW, joni at the Cafe has written a post: Minchin on Iraq http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/minchin-on-iraq/ Appreciate yer efforts re: the other links. N'

D Mick Weir

27/10/2010HS I always consel caution around governments and predictions in science and technology. It is one of the reasons I am still sceptical around some of the claims for the NBN even though I am more in favour than against it. This little excerpt from Professor Steve Keen may be of interest: [quote]If Albert Einstein had applied for an Australian research grant, he may never have developed his theory of relativity. Those supporting the old style of physics would have stopped him obtaining funding, says an associate professor in economics and finance at the University of Western Sydney, Steve Keen. ”If Einstein needed time or money to build his theory, he’d never have got them under the Australian Research Council,” he says.[/quote] http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/2010/10/26/australian-research-funding/ The whole post is a great read

HS

27/10/2010Here's a compare and contrast of the Coalition's new Broadband policy up against the government's (from Peter Martin's blog): http://www.petermartin.com.au/2010/10/broadband-vs-broadband-coalitions-new.html

lyn

27/10/2010Hi Nasking Yer, Nasking, I know , I was of two minds about that particular link, but you know what, if we are not entitled to anything, we get to keep our own opinion. Thankyou for your nice compliment Nasking. Thankyou for linking Joni's Column, over at your lovely "Cafe Whispers ", I have been extra busy this morning, my husband keeps talking to me, or calling out. Joni will probably enjoy Andrew Elder's piece this morning, Andrew doesn't like the Minchin Grin, [quote]whose grin reminded me of the metal fittings on a coffin. [/quote] in Today's links, Politically Homeless. [i]Minchin on Iraq, Joni, Cafe Whispers[/i] You cannot just say now that you were “seriously disturbed”. This does not clear your conscience. http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/minchin-on-iraq/

lyn

27/10/2010Hi Ad Woops, the spam filter has grabbed my comment to Nasking.

D Mick Weir

27/10/2010Mr Denmores' article 'The Play's the thing' that Lyn linked above is spot on. Read it and weep. Mr Denmore lays beautifully the decline in Aus politics and the reporting on it. The Theatre of the Absurd that it all has become. My dilema here is that [i]'If I am not part of the solution, I must be part of the problem[/i] What can I do to help change this? (tears hair out) He links to another 'must read' article [i]Falling down the miners' shaft - Laura Tingle[/i] http://www.walkleys.com/features/788/

D Mick Weir

27/10/2010Hi Ad, I am wondering if I have been sent to the 'naughty corner' as a couple of my comments have just disappeared. Teething problems no doubt! Don't worry I don't really feel rejected just silly cos I forgot to keep a back up copy of comments just in case!!!!

nasking

27/10/2010No problemo Lyn. I can be an opiniated so & so sometimes. It's just that I get so annoyed by the ongoin' cynicism of some bloggers/media types...and it gets me fired up when good ladies like Julia Gillard who are out there puttin' their all in to make our country fairer...are then defined in an insultin' manner, somethin' you'd expect from the likes of certain Murdoch types...or Abbott...whilst Howard, the creepy war-monger for political gain is out there braggin' & spruikin' his book of lies & justification. It really irks me. Anyway...you and the PS crowd are doin' a wonderful job as always. I've found this thread & the links very useful. Keep up the great work. N'

lyn

27/10/2010Hi Ad John Howard on the National Press club just now, in 15 minutes, he has said the words: "The Book" at least 6 times, that I have heard so far. It must be all about "The Book" do you think.

HS

27/10/2010Oops! Someone dug up these comments by Rupert Murdoch from 2006 about Broadband: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/murdoch-slams-slow-broadband/story-e6frg996-1111112529377

D Mick Weir

27/10/2010Hi Ad, I am wondering if I have been sent to the 'naughty corner' as a couple of my comments have just disappeared. Teething problems no doubt! Don't worry I don't really feel rejected just silly cos I forgot to keep a back up copy of comments just in case!!!!

nasking

27/10/2010Hillbilly, useful link: [quote]He said the Government and Telstra should be spending "$10 billion or $12 billion on it to reach every town in Australia; they do it in Japan, they do it in South Korea, we should be able to do it here. We are being left behind and we will pay for it."[/quote] Murdoch said he believed in global warmin' too. Was pushin' clean energy at the workplace. Sigh. N'

NormanK

27/10/2010I've been over to Peter Martin's blog and left a comment in the hope that he might explain why it is that the NBN's prospects of paying for itself is never mentioned in these debates. I keep returning to this point because it is a fundamental difference between the NBN and any alternative put up so far. If I took out a loan, built a garden shed, recouped all of my outlays and still owned the shed, would I not be a happy gardener? We'll have to wait for the details of the Coalition's plan but the differences still remain : The NBN pays for itself and requires no further government input for at least fifty years. And WE own an asset worth tens of billions of dollars.* The NBN requires a much more significant outlay and will take much longer to implement. The Coalition plan costs much less and could be rolled out sooner and quicker. The Coalition plan subsidises telcos to the tune of billions of dollars for an inferior outcome which will be in constant need of upgrades and serious maintenance. This is dead money - never to be seen again. Not to mention it will be as ugly as sin. The detail will hopefully reveal the duration of government subsidies to encourage telcos to service remote and regional areas or the legislation which will prevent telcos from passing on to customers any further upgrade and maintenance costs which will "miraculously" manifest themselves once the subsidies dry up. It's cynical I know but I can't help but see these subsidies as being money poured straight into the profit bucket of these already very successful corporations. What next? We subsidise banks to open more branches and provide us with better service? *This may be pedantic but all of this talk of tens of billions of taxpayers dollars being invested in the NBN is not quite accurate. Imagine our tax dollars are covered with dye and we could track their passage through the system. The coloured taxpayer dollars being directly put into the scheme amount to 2 to 3 billion dollars over the forward estimates, to pay the interest on loans. Okay we are underwriting the loans but it is untainted money which is funding the scheme - it is borrowed money off the main budget books. Meanwhile our dyed dollars are still flowing to the departments to which they have always gone. HS Re Rupert's remarks, you must have missed an exchange between Jason and the ever-doubtable jj on this subject on a previous thread.

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27/10/2010Folks Back again. I'll check what has happened to the disappearing comments after lunch. I think the clock that records the time of posting is working again. We'll gradually get it right.

Patricia WA

27/10/2010Hi Jason. Yes, I think we have a stable government for all its differences and shades of opinion and the seemingly small majority on some divisions. But majority it is on things that matter. I sense a basic common sense there as well as a common appreciation of where Abbot and Co. are coming from in their 'opposing everything' strategy. PS the "Captcha" test below is barely legible to me.

2353

27/10/2010I couldn't even get a comment to accept before (Wouldn't callback according to Firefox). While I'm here AA, I'd be happy to chip in if necessary; reply boxes really aren't my thing as the whole thread needs to be reviewed and post numbers or not really isn't a biggie from where I'm sitting. However can the date format be changed to the civilised world's rather than the USA version?

lyn

27/10/2010Hi Ad Here is a point of view from a "Loyal" Liberal: Hockey Must Get The Stick Menzies House Editor and Co-Founder Tim Andrews pronounces critical judgment on Joe Hockey's recent comments: As Finance Minister he was more than a joke- he was a debacle. I remember well his disgrace in promoting the GST, and why he had to be demoted. As Tourism Minister, he was no better – really, we can find no way around the [b]simple fact that he was an utter failure. [/b] I truly love the Party, and all the opportunities it has given me. And it is for the sake of the Party that I say these words. http://www.menzieshouse.com.au/

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27/10/2010Lyn What an interesting link that is to the Menzies House blog site. Even dyed-in-the-wool Liberals realize Joe Hockey's limitations. It is rather amusing to see other Liberal parliamentarians attempting to cover for Joe's outlandish statements. Even today Tony Abbott was doing that after first criticising something Joe had said. The Abbott/Hockey/Robb finance team has very few runs on the board yet the polls suggest about half the people would vote Coalition, and thereby put them in charge of our trillion dollar economy. It's frightening.

TalkTurkey

27/10/2010To the tune of Ivan Skavinsky Skavar (q.v.) Australia’s Prime Ministers earn tributes diverse, From bouquets to brickbats and phlegm, But of those most accursed, the one who was worst Was John Winston Howard PM And when you’re the PM, most of all people, them To watch out for’s your own deputy, And Howard’s pet hate was his own running mate, Hon. Peter Costello MP Once Howard told Peter, Sweet Peter my boy, One day I’ll let you follow me - But that day never came, and now John lays the blame On Peter Costello, MP. But Peter says John is a lying old fart (And the Liberals have plenty of them) But the smelliest fold fart, as we knew from the start, Was John Winston Howard PM. So Howard has suffered the mother of falls, And he 's R-sold from Kirribilli, But whom destiny calls and he don't got the balls, That's Peter Costello MP!

nasking

27/10/2010You'll get a kick outa this: Which section? http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/which-section/ joni moved Howard's book at the book shop. :) N'

Mick of Kambah

27/10/2010Firstly, I must add my name to the list of readers who would be prepared to pay something towards your operating costs, it is a very good blog you run here and Lyns links are worth her weight in gold. I noticed the Menzies House blog denigrating Joe Hockey. I too think he is too much of an intellectual lightweight to be in charge of the Nations finances, but I wonder at the sudden appearance of the conservative tut-tutting at Joe and his recent stupidities. Conservatives have shown a fair degree of tolerance for the many acts of stupidity from Abbott and his henchmen in recent months, most notably his incompetent negotiations with the independents over support in the House. I wonder if the rumoured number counting within the Liberals has progressed to the point where possible leadership contenders from the less conservative wing of the party need to be neutered by the Abbottistas.

HS

27/10/2010Hi guys! Here's another conservative voice against Joe's thinking out aloud about managing the banks: http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/40462.html When the IPA turns against you publicly, the writing's on the wall. Anyway, I would have thought that the Liberal Party would have been for the lucky shareholders of the banks, who would be raking it in atm, if today's profit figures for the NAB are any guide. I mean, the shareholders of Telstra were so important to them back in the day. I can still hear the words ringing in my memory, "Mum and Dad shareholders" :)

HS

27/10/2010D Mick Weir, I'd assume that the federal seat Labor holds wrt the MDB would be one in South Australia, close to Adelaide. I could be wrong, of course, but I remember someone saying recently that the Coalition holds 7/8 seats in the MDB. Actually, now that I think about it, Tony Windsor up in Armadale is the 8th. Cue embarassing face. :)

lyn

27/10/2010Hi Mick of Kambah Thankyou for such a nice nice compliment, also thankyou for your comment at "The Policitcal Sword". A big welcome to you, I am so pleased you like "The Political Sword" now your one of us. There does seem to be some rumblings going on in the Liberal Party, didn't Robb dispute rumours yesterday about Hockey. There is not much more praise that Howard could have heaped on Abbott, not sure though if Howard's praise is a good thing or not, maybe the others will get jealous. Cheers

HS

27/10/2010Nas, Heh heh.

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27/10/2010Mick of Kambah First, welcome to the [i]TPS[/i] family. Do come back. Next, thank you for your kind remarks about [i]TPS[/i] and your offer of support. There does seem to be something going on in Liberal ranks at present that points to unrest among the troops. In my view Joe Hockey does not have the knowledge of economics and the skills to fill the job he coverts – Treasurer of Australia, and Tony Abbott, who did so well with his aggressive approach to politics to get within a hair’s breadth of winning the election, is showing that his pugilistic approach post-election is inappropriate. He is not gaining in the approval stakes and continues to trail Julia Gillard badly in the preferred PM stakes. He is continuing to disappoint the Country Independents, whom he needs to have onside if his intention to overthrow the Gillard Government is to ever be accomplished. I predict that unless he adopts a more positive approach he will slip backwards. When he is seen as a liability by his colleagues, particularly the small ‘l’ Liberals, he will be at risk of replacement, although the field looks so thin at present that finding a replacement would not be easy.

Jason

27/10/2010Where has jj gone? A bit of infighting in the Liberal ranks and she can't even be bothered to defend it! Yet last week she was quoting like mad from Barry Cassidy's book.

HS

27/10/2010This lady is an inspiration: http://www.smh.com.au/world/tea-party-challenged--by-the-coffee-party-20101027-173iz.html I almost feel like starting a Coffee Party in Australia(but I'm pretty busy atm). :)

TalkTurkey

27/10/2010Did anyone notice, day before yesterday, ABC broadcast of Question Time in the Reps showed names of Members and I think their electorates, but not their parties? I think that yesterday the parties were included again. Don't know about today, wasn't watching.

Mick of Kambah

27/10/2010Eden Monaro, Canberra and Fraser are all ALP held federal electorates within the MD Basin. The Murrumbidgee river runs through all three.

lyn

27/10/2010Hi Nasking Nasking I don't think you are opiniated so and so sometimes, at all. We have been friends for a long time now, I understand exactly what mean. [quote]the creepy war-monger for political gain is out there braggin' & spruikin' his book of lies & justification. It really irks me. [/quote] Irks me too Nasking, something cruel. Hires "The National Press Club" to promote book sales, like he would need the money, poor thing, the Journalists adored the theatre. cheers

jimbo

27/10/2010HS The link to murdochs broadband is what i was talking about when i was saying Miglo is trying to find a way of getting things like this out onto facebook,twitter and myspace to name a few.If we can find stories about policies from the MSM then find that a few years earlier they were arguing the opposite and we can get these on the sites mentioned then we are getting our stories out to a wider audience as there are over a dozen of these sites you can share with.

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27/10/2010Folks You will have observed that the site now looks like it did before, but the version is upgraded to 1.6.1. The spam problem is still under review. We will leave the site open overnight to see what comes in. I’ll be back in the morning.

HS

27/10/2010Jimbo, Mig's onto it and I think it will be sooner rather than later that it is up and running. I detect some serious censorship going on at the News Corp blogs, so it's time for us to marshall our forces against it. Even Jack the Insider is starting to follow the News Corp line, writing blogs attempting to do down the Greens, knocking back comments from people that aren't obsequious enough to the 'party line'( the Murdoch Party, that is), and allowing comments from people who villify the PM and make sexist, misogynistic remarks about her, and comments about how they want her blood spilt! Then, when someone like me goes there to defend her and the ALP from the crap that is said, I cop a mouthful of abuse from him, plus unsavoury abuse from other contributors, and then I get banned because, in answer to a slur about Julia Gillard's affair with Craig Emerson, I brought up John Howard's affair with his secretary. Talk about double standards, and a level of nastiness that just wasn't there in the beginning. Anyway, I'm over it. I've had it with defending the ALP on that blog, it never gets you anywhere and all you get for your trouble is abuse.

D Mick Weir

27/10/2010Hs, good link about the Coffee Party I think we should form [b]The Great Aussie Beer Party[/b] and we could call our annual conference [b]The GAB Fest[/b] Disclosure: I am a bit of a Marxist when it comes to joining. To misquote [i]I would be very wary of joining any party that would accept me as a member[/i] [b]Groucho Marx[/b]

D Mick Weir

27/10/2010Hi Mick of Kambah, welcome, great name you have and I am told by people from that part of the world Kambah is a great place. Got any inside info on your local member? The tidbits I have heard suggest she will be a force to be reckoned with.

Jason

27/10/2010D Mick Weir, The GAB Fest I'll drink to that! where do I sign up?

Mick of Kambah

27/10/2010D Mick Weir. Yes Kambah is a very nice area, surrounded on three sides by mountains (or at least, big hills), and with the Murrumbidgee flowing just to the west. The suburb is the biggest in Canberra, really three suburbs and has a greater range of housing types than most suburbs from the govt housing estates down alongside the parklands/playgrounds running through the centre to much more upmarket early "McMansions" next to the golf club and around the perimiter hills. I don't know much of our new member Gail Brodtmann except what is generally known. I have not met her, although I did see her and say hello when she was handing out election material at one of the Canberra Raiders games. People who know her have high hopes for her. I hope they are right.

TalkTurkey

28/10/2010Not EXACTLY on topic . . . but topical . . . Besides we could do with a little seafood change of diet . . . Don’t hate me . . . Paul the Psychic Octopus (Tune: Puff the Magic Dragon) Paul the Psychic Octopus lived in a jar, He would have liked a life at sea, but he couldn’t get that far; He tried to join a football team, but they wouldn’t let him play: They said he had too many legs, and made him go away. He would have loved a little Octopussy friend, you bet, Or a dog shark or a catfish – but he had no pet to pet. He dreamed he’d do Le Tour de France, and lead the peloton, But he didn’t have octobike, nor an endoskeleton. So Paul was left belonely, he had nothing much to do: He beat the best computer chess, got bored with soduku; With no navel there to contemplate, he sucked his sucker-toes: With eight legs each with twenty-nine, he had a lot of those. Now Humans have two arms, ten fingers, two legs and ten toes, So we’re digital and base-ten-based, as everybody knows; But there was Paul left all alone – alone, to meditate 29 toes on 8 legs, (so, 29 X 8.) Like Stephen Hawking in his chair, so Paul was in his jar: A Mollusc like a garden snail, but cleverer by far; Like many a brilliant genius with time to think to thank, Paul had lots of thinking time to think in his think tank. Folk called Paul’s arm-legs ten-tacles, though Paul had only 8: To digitals and decimals poor Paul could not relate; He had to rethink Mathematics, that alone he knew, With 8 times 29 as base, comes to two-thirty-two. His ink filled many pages, he was thinking all the time, It took him simply ages, cost him blood and sweat and slime; He solved Octocalculus and Octorelativity, But failed to find his Holy Grail, infallibility! His sucker-toes grew flaccid; his slime in gollops oozed; He looked like calamari, ’cos he’d turned to dope and booze: But things just went from bad to worse, his eyes grew dry and dull; He looked around his universe, and saw that it was null. They thought poor Paul was finished: that he’d never find his Grail; It seemed a sorry ending to a sad and lonely tale - But! – A lab technician rinsed her [electric item]* in his jar! - 240 volts! A few quick jolts! - Paul squirted out, AHHH-HAAAAA! 240 volts was perfect! (See, Eight plus Two-Thirty-Two!) It booted up his circuitry, and suddenly he KNEW! He shrieked aloud, Eureka! (but in Octopussanese), Displaying symbols on his skin, which glowed like L.E.D’s! In seconds he solved mysteries of space and life and time, Of gravity and energy, wrote poetry and rhyme; He had no need of keyboards, he made printouts with his toes, Remember, he had two hundred and thirty-two of those! Paul yearned to save the Earth, and end the miseries of Man; Working for all he was worth to plan the perfect plan; As Guest Speaker at the UN, he had only just begun To tell them how to do it all when - it all came undone! - The humans who controlled him made him turn his mighty brain To forecast soccer, like who’d win ’tween Netherlands and Spain: For Paul was omniprescient, his estimates exact, So any team he picked would the team those *’s backed! Of course he never failed them, ’cos he was always right, And no-one thought at all of Paul the Octopus’s plight: Like making Einstein do your tax, or Phar Lap pull a cart, Making Paul predict the soccer broke his octoheart. Now Paul has gone forever – He could have saved the world! They’re tanning him like leather, eight ten-tacles cutely curled; But next time you have calamari, just remember, Friend, Paul the Psychic Octopus will get you in the end! *Now you’ll think I’m awful . . .

TalkTurkey

28/10/2010Ad I don't think anything's gone missing after all. I was a bit blind. I speak for all of us, I think, (even jj I would think and hope!) in feeling for you on account of the angst that the difficulties must be causing you, but you must know we also appreciate your efforts. A lot. The format seems not to matter too much, it is evolving OK. The captcha words can be pretty obscure though as Lyn or someone said. I wonder if I'll get this one right, it;s the weirdest so far. Here goes -

joe2

28/10/2010I downloaded and watched the Taki Oldham "Turf Wars" doco that HillbillySkeleton mentions above, a while back, and reckon it is brilliant. I hope he does some Australia specific work as well because this stuff is definitely taking off here and you can be guaranteed our lousy press will do nothing to expose it. Check out the doco if you haven't already. It only costs a couple of bucks via paypal and goes for a most interesting/disturbing one and a half hours. So if your internet speed is Liberal lite start downloading and have a couple of cups of coffee- not tea- while you are waiting. Cheers http://astroturfwars.org/watch-the-film/

Ad astra reply

28/10/2010Talk Turkey You are brilliant. While I was sleeping you were on your computer early this morning composing your delightful verse about Paul the Octopus. What a group of poets we’re gathering on [i]TPS[/i]; what enjoyment you give us. Thank you. Thank you too for your kind comments. My son-in-law is steadily sorting out the glitches that arose when we upgraded to version 1.6.1 of our blog engine. I note this morning that so far no spam has got through overnight on this post. How this is so I will discover later this morning. joe2 Thank you for the link to the Taki Oldham documentary. It sound like a film that will leave chills down our spine.

HS

28/10/2010Talk Turkey, It's getting murky in Paul the Octopus land: http://www.smh.com.au/world/filmmaker-smells-something-fishy-about-octopuss-death-20101027-173yj.html?autostart=1

HS

28/10/2010As an addendum to my original topic, I'd just like to comment on yesterday's 'Protest' about the MDB Plan in Mildura. It appears that they have taken another leaf (Tea leaf?), out of the Tea Partier's book and organised some people to dress up in various costumes, to have a vehicle with slogans painted all over it(another favoured Tea Party stunt, except they have buses going all over America emblazoned with their slogans and visual metaphors), and a stunt that they invited the Press to witness, which was able to make it onto the 6PM News last night. Combined with the aggressive approach exemplified in the interview I heard with the head of the Irrigation Council in Mildura yesterday, where he was in no mood for compromise or consultation, I can see this morphing into a similar anti-government movement. Especially as Barnaby Joyce was prominent by his presence yesterday, even though Parliament was in session. He's got to be in the mix of the rabble rousing. Which he has a right to do, of course. However, the point I wish to make is that, like in America, these Consultation meetings are being abused by the opponents of the government. The agitators behind the discontent being expressed are not interested in using the forums for constructive purposes, but destructive ones.

lyn

28/10/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Trust Never Sleeps, Mr Denmore, The Failed Estate[/i] sorry, I don't think Laurie Oakes getting leaked the budget a day ahead of release is particularly noteworthy in public interest terms, much as it excites journos) http://thefailedestate.blogspot.com/ [i]Why Turnbull’s yes we CANco is actually no you CAN’Tco, Ashgebranious, Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] in the safari club in a large easy chair sucking on a pipe and talking to his friends about how it is so hard to find good help these days. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com:80/2010/10/28/why-turnbulls-yes-we-canco-is-actually-no-you-cantco/ [i]Selective Hearing, Ashghebranious, Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] The Australian is today reporting that Opposition treasury spokesman Mr Hockey was strongly criticised by his colleagues after he suggested the Government could use “levers” to keep the big banks in line on interest rates. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com:80/2010/10/27/selective-hearing/ [i]Hockey Alone on Economics, John, True Politik[/i] Tony Abbott, was stunned into silence this morning when asked if he supported Hockey's 9-point plan to control the banks. http://truepolitik.blogspot.com/2010/10/hockey-alone-on-economics.html [i]Dedication to non-stories, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i] have a look at today's papers and spot the non-stories on politics. http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2010/10/dedication-to-non-stories-next-time-you.html [i]Murdoch slams slow Broadband, The Australian (2006), Tim Dunlop, BSides[/i] Something tells me Stephen Conroy will be quoting this article very soon... http://tjd.posterous.com/ [i]Turnbull’s amendments hit furious Conroy, Renai LeMay, Delimeter[/i] “It appears the Opposition is changing its position on broadband despite Tony Abbott claiming just weeks ago that changing their policy is not a trap he’ll fall into. http://delimiter.com.au/2010/10/27/turnbulls-amendments-hit-furious-conroy/ [i]An NBN war in multiple, enjoyable parts, Renai LeMay, Delimeter[/i] we recommend you check out this extensive transcript — or hey, even watch the whole thing online through this “Internet” doohicky, when they put it up — of SBS’s Insight program last night. http://delimiter.com.au/2010/10/27/an-nbn-war-in-multiple-enjoyable-parts/ [i]Dear Libs: let the NBN fall on its own, David Braue, ZDNet[/i] The Australian's temper tantrum has simply discredited the paper by revealing its obvious anti-Labor bias, throwing more dirt on its coffin with each determinedly anti-NBN story — http://www.zdnet.com.au/dear-libs-let-the-nbn-fall-on-its-own-339306877.htm [i]The New Narrative (TM) - NBN bad, Massivespray, Spray of the Day[/i] they print the first negative shit that springs to their fevered little brains regardless or the facts or reality, they have now gone boots and all into the NBN. http://sprayoftheday.wordpress.com/ J[i]enkins OKs Turnbull’s iPad, but mobile photos out of the question, James Hutchinson, Computerworld[/i] The issue stems to a photograph taken of Federal Liberal MP, Peter Slipper, sleeping during a speech http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/365851/jenkins_oks_turnbull_ipad_mobile_photos_question/ [i]Let's see. The Lowest underlying inflation in five years. Swan's chirpy, Peter Martin[/i] if they thought the economy looked good during the election they should see it now. http://www.petermartin.com.au/ [i]A special interest in regional media, Dave Gaukroger, Pure Poison[/i] Andrew Bolt, displayed how seriously he takes regional media today when he relayed Peter Costello’s column damning John Howard to his readers. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2010/10/27/a-special-interest-in-regional-media/

lyn

28/10/2010Hi Ad This is Ash's link again to Selective Hearing: http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/selective-hearing/

lyn

28/10/2010Hi Talk Turkey Thankyou heaps for such a delightful piece. I agree with Ad Astra, what a delightful group of poets we have.

Patricia WA

28/10/2010Not awful, Talk Turkey. Awesome! Thank you. Great start to my day.

HS

28/10/2010joe2, Thank you so much for taking the time to download Taki's brilliant documentary. Australia should be proud of such conscientious young people prepared to speak truth to power. I'm certainly going to be following his career closely from now on. In fact, it might even be worthwhile for Film Australia giving him a grant of money to do something in Australia, as you suggest.

Ad astra reply

28/10/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

George Pike

28/10/2010This is a hard one! How do you justify giving a teacher on $70,000+ per year (if their partners are also teachers make that $140,000+ p.a.) a perfectly good home for $81 per week..when the kids they are teaching are more than likely living in shacks that their parents are paying $200+ per week to rent? Is it REALLY so hard to find people to enter professions such as teaching for reasons other than financial reward? http://www.theadvocate.com.au/news/local/news/general/hundreds-of-teachers-may-lose-rental-deal/1981278.

TalkTurkey

28/10/2010 Gee thanks Ad! Lyn! HS! Patricia WA! I really didn't know how you'd all feel about a bit of slightly risque trivial doggerel, I'm glad you do like it. If it weren't for you HS I'd never have come across your lovely rhyme with peloton, which you see I've recycled from that little verse the other day. Of course there is a political dimension to the story: brilliant talent being cynically exploited by greedy profiteers: they used to bribe poor Paul with ONE oyster per game, when BILLIONS rode on his predictions . . . It's the same the whole world over . . . Bet he'd've wished he could watch Aussie Rules instead . . . Wonder what he would've predicted in Grand Final Mark 1 this year? And more importantly the election? The Crocodile got that right though, I don't even know its name.

NormanK

28/10/2010TalkTurkey Superb! Just superb. So many good rhymes and multiple layers of sub-text that I think I'll be re-reading this more than a few times today. Thank-you. By the way, if you wished I could put together a simple tutorial for Gravatar acquisition pointing out the traps I fell into when I first tried it.

Sir Ian Crisp

28/10/2010Maybe if Albert Einstein dressed his work up as ‘art’ he would have qualified for a grant: #Meanwhile, 2005 saw the “blue trees” controversy, in which Konstantin Dimopoulos received a $96,000 Arts Victoria grant for Sacred Grove, but was prevented from ‘installing’ the work by the City of Melbourne, which owns the Yarra Park and St Kilda Road precincts whose tree-trunks Dimopoulos had planned to coat in water-soluble blue paint.# Isn’t it hilarious to see the moaning about the Bird of Paradox on the receiving end of unpleasantries. Ever since the redhead from Queensland appeared on the scene personal attacks are considered de rigueur. Some people have glass jaws. C’mon HS, don’t try and subdue that old atavistic trait of yours. Don’t be ashamed of being a racist. Tell us; what colour were the protestors who gathered to protest about the MDB? I hope they weren’t whi...whi...whi...white (I said it). Surely a ‘forward moving’ government like the ALP should rush legislation into the parliament to make sure that ‘whites’ are disenfranchised.

Ad astra reply

28/10/2010Folks I’ve just talked with my son-in-law about the site. He found that with the inbuilt spam filters the process of deleting spam caused conniptions that created havoc on the site. So he turned off the filters and installed reCaptcha, which you now see at the foot of each page below the comments box. I did not see it, as it does not appear when the site administrator is logged in. Since he did that, no spam has arrived on this post. Although it is an added step in posting a comment, if it eliminates or greatly reduces spam, it will be worthwhile. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that it will. As none of you has commented about the appearance of reCaptcha, we presume that it is not causing you much angst. Since deleting any spam seems to cause problems, for the time being we have decided to leave any spam that does arrive undeleted. We trust you will tolerate a small quantity; if it becomes excessive we will have to think again. Your comments about reCaptcha would be welcome.

TalkTurkey

28/10/2010NormanK Ohhh Cobber I'm so very glad YOU like it . . . I got off on the wrong foot with you, I am sorry about that, on the slimmest of evidence I really thought you were a bigot of the nastiest J B-P kind; I did offer a half-apology as you know, (but I wondered about your reply!), anyway I now know your contributions to be terrific and which side of the barricades you'll be. Comrade! M'mmmmm . . . I was pretty fired up (AM pretty fired up) about the Rotten Right, I went off a bit half-cocked, glad we got that straight now. Yes GRAVATARS! [I hate mine Lyn but it's OK for the nonce, writing is what this is about. and at least I can recognize it in a string.] But I have a nice design I'd like to put up NK, if you can help I'd be very pleased. I really truly am a dunce in matters IT, and anyway the gravatarry thing wouldn't let me in at all the other day. Username/password/url I'm never sure whether A is also B or C or not at all . . . So I kept getting locked out. Fallen at the first hurdle, like Sloppy Joe. So Yes, please go on . . . Ad I got me toes crossed that you have emerged victorious in the Battle of Spam . . .

adelaidegirl

28/10/2010Wonderful tribute, Talk Turkey - just love it. A base-60 system originated with the ancient Sumerians in the 3rd millenium BCE. It's called "sexagesimal". I just love that word. Love your work too, Patricia WA. In fact I love this whole blog and get sucked in to hours of reading and linking and reading. I'm with many other users - chronological responses please.

TalkTurkey

28/10/2010Ad The reCaptcha thing seems OK . . . I've got it right each time so far except once when it simply gave me a new pair of words, so that was good. Some of the letters are a bit questionable, but they mostly seem to be what you think they probably are . . . if that's not too obscure . . . You and the son-in-law are doin' good.

NormanK

28/10/2010TalkTurkey No sweat. Bear with me if I state the obvious but we'll try to do this in one hit. Sounds like you already have an image in mind but if not do something like a Google Image search and pick one out. Copy and store this image somewhere that you feel you can navigate to later e.g My Documents. Click on "Gravatar" beside Comments box. Click on "Sign Up" at the top of the page. The new page will ask for your e-mail address. Fill in your address and click "Signup". Wait for an e-mail from Gravatar. This is their way of confirming that you actually exist at this e-mail address. As part of this e-mail there will be a link which begins with "http://en.gravatar.com/accounts/activate/" and more. Click on this link and it should take you to a registration page at Gravatar.com. I can't replicate this next step because an account already exists for my e-mail address but from memory this is where you need to create a Username and a Password. Here is the most likely hurdle. Because Gravatar is world-wide, there is a high likelihood that someone else has already used "TalkTurkey" as a Username. You need to devise a different one e.g. "2alk2urkey" and see if the system will accept it. If you get a message along the lines of "username already in use" you will need to fiddle some more with your username e.g. "2alk2urkey2". (Now is a good time to point out that the only time you will need this username is at the Gravatar site. Once your image has been accepted and attached to your e-mail address it will follow [b]your e-mail address[/b] wherever you go.) Keep trying until you get a name which is acceptable to the system. WRITE THIS DOWN. My suggestion would be to rename your proposed image so that the two things are visually connected for possible later use. You will need to create a Password. Do so and WRITE IT DOWN. Click Register or Next or whatever the button is to go forward. You will be invited to attach an image to your e-mail address. Click "My computer's hard-drive". A new page should appear. Click "Choose File". A new window will drop down. Navigate to where your image is stored and click on it. Click "Choose". Drop down window will disappear. Click "Next". This will upload your image to the Gravatar database and your browser should refresh with your image centre-screen. You can crop your image by moving the dotted lines individually or from a corner. Gravatar images are square so if your original is rectangular you will need to crop it. Making the dotted "crop box" smaller zooms in on the image so play with it until you are happy with the Preview. Click "Crop and Finish!". Select a rating for your image - hopefully not "X". This will upload your edited image to the database. Note : your original image in My Documents is not altered by this process. You should see a blue box with your cropped image beside your e-mail address. Below this will be : "Select image (below) to use for the selected email (above)" Click on your image. This last step is probably not necessary but do it anyway. A confirm message comes up. Click "Confirm". You will return to Manage Gravatars page. This is the end of the process. Because you are a good cyber-citizen, click on My Account and Log Out so that you are not taking up server space. [b]Wait 10 minutes.[/b] Return to TPS, refresh and look at one of your previous posts to see if you have been successful. If not at first wait another ten minutes and refresh. It's important to know that you can continue to use TalkTurkey as your name here because your Gravatar follows your e-mail address not any username. The Gravatar is applied retrospectively so that all of your previous posts here (and on other Gravatar-enabled sites) will be accompanied by this image. This is good and bad. Your [i]nom de plume[/i] here gives you a certain degree of anonymity but your Gravatar makes you recognisable to an extent. If you use another e-mail address your image will not appear. I hope this helps. If you fail the first time, try again but take note of the steps you have taken and where outcomes differ from those above and in this way we can find the shortcoming in my tutorial or the error in your application. Good luck.

lyn

28/10/2010Hi Ad I think the reCaptcha is working very well, not much trouble to fill in, and is certainly doing away with the dreadful spam. You have done wonderful job, thankyou very much, I told you you are going to be a high tech head by the time you have finished.

lyn

28/10/2010Hi Norman K Wow! what an excellent explicit tutorial you have typed up for Talk Turkey. Norman K make sure you copy & file your tutorial, because many people over the past year have asked for instructions and there is bound to be many more in the future. Cheers

Patricia WA

28/10/2010Adelaide Girl, I'm sure that Talk Turkey will agree with me that it's always nice to hear from readers, so thank you. Writing decades ago the next best thing to a letter of acceptance was the rare joy of a pencilled note of appreciation on a printed rejection slip! The wonderful thing about writing today, apart from being immersed in the doing of it, is the immediacy of publication. That's where blog masters are so vital. Where would we be without Ad Astra of the Political Sword, Miglo at Cafe Whispers and others like them who set up and work on their sites as a labor of love. How did we ever manage to vent our spleen on politicians in the past except by the occasional letter acccepted by the Editor and printed days after the event. Which reminds me I wrote this a couple of days ago when Ad Astra was having problems with the site, so I thought it had missed its topicality here. But Howard is still grinning away and giving self aggrandising interviews out there, still topical. Is there any way of shutting him up? John Howard's much heralded re-arrival On the national scene with memories archival Must give cause for more than one old rival To curse the dessicated coconut’s survival. One can imagine how that last election night Must have brought joy and so much untold delight To pollies on the left, and many on the right, To see him down, undone, defeated in that final fight. Now here he is, with memoir, “Lazarus Rising,“ His usual self-promotion and old foes patronizing, Complacent and so smug. It’s even said he’s been devising With publicists a plan to achieve his own canonizing! He smirks and smiles as if already in that blissful state And seeks from Cardinal Pell through Abbot, a mutual mate, To ask the Pope, without conversion or undue wait, To confer the title of “St. John of Oz, the Great!” Meanwhile old acquaintances look on in fascination. Former foes now see a way through past frustration. All agree! Howard’s sainthood would serve the nation! Forget past enmities! They’ll achieve his canonization - Through martyrdom and Australia’s first political assassination!

Ad astra reply

28/10/2010Talk Turkey, Lyn I’m glad the reCaptcha process has not caused you too much angst. If it does actually stop the spam it will be worth the trouble. Patricia WA You really are a stylist poet. What a delectable piece about our Honest Johnny – St. John of Oz – the Great! Thank you. NormanK You must have been a teacher. What an erudite yet clear explanation of how to get a new Gravatar image. We’re all looking forward TT to see what your come up with. Folks I’m working on my next piece, which examines why we blog here on [i]TPS[/i] and how we might do it better. I hope it will be ready tomorrow, but with the problems with the site, and five acres of two-foot high grass to mow after being away almost five weeks, there’s plenty of other things to keep us occupied.

jj

28/10/2010HS, can i ask you, do you rely on a river to make a living?

jj

28/10/2010Dont ever compare those hard working farmers of the MD basin of being just like Tea Party supporters, you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. I suppose when you hear the name irrigator your first thoughts would be along the lines of, redneck, environmental vandal, ultra conservative; seeing as you probably know no one that lives and works in the region i suppose you cant be challenged in your prejudices. But it is really quite a shame, that you label people you have no idea about something for which has absolutely no relevance to a crazy party in the US,(and if you bother to ever talk to anyone along the MD about the Tea Party, i am sure their views would be pretty similar to yours)

jj

28/10/2010Good to see fairness looks like it is going to be restored to the Youth Allowance laws.

Patricia WA

28/10/2010jj - I'm not going to accuse the protesting irrigators of anything, but one can't help but be puzzled by those most likely to be affected by the destruction of the MDB being most vociferous in resisting the plan to save it.

bilgedigger

28/10/2010HillbillySkeleton Please don't give up on continuing your watch of the subjects contained in your excellent post. This is a vitally important topic at this point in Australia. I have been looking at this for some time and from memory have posted on this site some time ago the links that exist between Murdoch, the Koch Brothers and others and The Tea Party in America and it's start up in Australia. I agree that there are links through all the protest movements called up by the Opposition in Australia. You would be interested to read a piece in today's Age newspaper in Victoria that there is talk about calling together a large number of disparate groups who have opposed various measures in Victoria to rally on the steps of Parliament House (I think on November 13). You have noted the use of Tea Party symbols at the various rallies here. The more concerning use of posters have been connected with the use of the language of violence. The poster which was pushed by the National Rifle Association in the U.S. "Trigger the Vote" has some resemblance to the poster used in the MDB protest of "Kill the Plan". The burning of the Plan here in Australia was a replication of a similar Tea Party meeting recently in the U.S. The Tea Party (U.S) has leant heavily on the work and philosophy of Ayn Rand (loved by the Right) and distributes freely the book written by her in 1957 "Atlas Shrugged" setting which is now a hot topic in many places. There is a pattern of plots and events contained in the book which appears to be an underlying theme of present actions. The ABC First Tuesday Bookclub (on ABC1 next Tuesday 2 Nov at 10.00p.m.) will be discussing the book. When selecting the book for review the host of the show, Jennifer Byrne, spoke of "links with The Tea Party AND current events in Australia". Hopefully there will be some airing of these issues to a wider audience. I'm trying to get as many people I know to watch (hopefully they will discuss it in depth and not just take a populist approach).

Yachtcharter Griechenland

28/10/2010Great work dude, u gave nice post to us. Thanks for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic.

TalkTurkey

28/10/2010NormanK thank you not only on my own behalf, but all who want to gravatate in future. Your writing is so clear, I do hope it might do the trick. Why aren't the paths better defined by the pathmakers, me no know but your tute looks like setting the bar. Every pathetic lost wannabe-gravatated person who writes in as I did is going to be inundated with saved postings of your tutorial from everyone now. I will try it within a day or so but I want to be in company with my (presently absent) cleverer friend before I get into trouble with it and despise myself all over again. In the meantime it feels like TPS has shed a spam skin, it's all looking good Ad, it's clear of spam completely au moment. This feels empowering. The spam is like graffiti on decent murals, though not quite, each individual post is clean but the site itself is sullied and less pleasurable to be trawl etc. with crap all through it. The Captcha thing is fine with me if it keeps that stuff out. I am intrigued by the thought that there must be "3-dimensional" ways of cross referencing posts by writer, subject, date, string, other nuanced relationships, look I have not the slightest idea of what I'm talking about here, but imagine the difference between Scrabble and Upwords, or dictionaries and thesauruses, know what I mean? Some of the posts are so good, it's a shame to see them or their previous generating articles fade away into obscurity, or never being able to join the dots. Anyway I'm sure this tute of NK's will be kept close at hand. But Ad, the way things are is really pretty good, it works. Plainly it suits Adelaide Girl, whom I hail as a fellow Crowie. Thanks AG too. 60 is a really magical number with so many factors, and Carbon 60 (C60)is the best Bucky Ball of all. Bucky Balls are beaut. If no savvy what I'm on about the www will sort you out. Great isn't it. The Internet is such a power for good, such a power for the Power of Knowledge, but the trouble is we have to spend so much good energy fighting stupid puffed-up prigs like Poodle-Do Pyne (Did you-all see that little * today? His excuses for wimping out of the vote on his own motion? The absolute waste of parliamentary time he caused by calling a stupid division? I wonder what HE sees when he sees himself on TV?) If THEY weren't so awful we could get on with positives and do something about the Planet. Hockey is copping a lot of stick (har har, cheap unoriginal shot, who cares, he don't deserve very elegant original metaphors anyhow) - I can't think the Coalition can stay up much longer. Abbott is uh er ah ughing himself into unpopularity, his creepy gang Joyce included are looking so ANGRY and POOR - REDFACED Pyne and Joyce, deeply depressed Robb (I don't like him but I do feel just a little empathy with him - Not much, it's THEM that make people me included depressed! Sweaty and truculent, Joe. Hard as nails both Bishop women. Brandis, shudder. They're ALL horrid! How could they put a proper gummint together? What's wrong with Aussies' perceptions, yes, "Why IS a good Government down in the polls?" [Previous subject] "WE MUST WORK HARDER!"- Boxer,the mighty draught horse in George Orwell's Animal Farm. Thanks again NormanK. I'll try again when I see my friend. Holy Cow! This time the first ReCaptcha word is ABSOLUTELY ILLEGIBLE - All of it is a smoky squiggle! Not even one letter readable - What now?

TalkTurkey

28/10/2010H'mmm. I only typed the one word and it worked! Have faith!

TalkTurkey

28/10/2010H'mmm. I only typed the one word and it worked! Have faith! This time I sent the above message, it went AND it stayed! Weird!

TalkTurkey

28/10/2010H'mmm. I only typed the one word and it worked! Have faith! This time I sent the above message, it went AND it stayed! Weird! Did it again!

TalkTurkey

28/10/2010H'mmm. I only typed the one word and it worked! Have faith! This time I sent the above message, it went AND it stayed! Weird! Did it again! So now I have 4 lines, I could delete them if I tried but it's just a bit strange, before when I sent stuff it WENT and was Gone from the text box. Oh well, no harm I guess.

HS

28/10/2010jj, Ah, the assumptions that the Right like to make in order to justify their prejudices relating to anyone who doesn't support their point of view. Actually, just last night I received an invitation to go down and visit my frien and his family who live in Albury-Wodonga, and Howlong on the Murray River. I can't wait! :) As for ascribing base motivations to a cohort of the Irrigator fraternity, well, anywhere that Barnaby Joyce turns up immediately develops a whiff of opportunism. Secondly, the links between the Irrigation communities, large Cotton and Rice Agribusinesses, and the National Party, are well documented. The Conservative political parties in Australia are all members of 'The International Democratic Union', the umbrella body that is the home of every Conservative political party and Conservative government in the world. Past President is one, John Winston Howard. You might have heard of him? The Republican Party in the US is also affiliated. The Tea Party is hand-in-glove with the Republican Partry. They are all in each other's pockets. They all strategise with each other. That's what the IDU is for. Join the dots. You may say the links aren't there. They are. They just don't want the punters to see it out in the open. Not all the irrigators are harmless little, salt of the earth farmers you know. Some very hard-nosed businessmen wear R.M.Williams boots or gumboots. Another thing you may not have known before you made your casual dismissal of my country credentials, I used to spend Christmas, when I was growing up, with my parents and their friends in Deniliquin and Sale and Orbost, on the property of the Mayor of Orbost. I could go on.

Ad astra reply

28/10/2010Folks Thank you for your feedback about reCaptcha. So far only one bit of spam has got through today. I'll leave comments open to see what arrives overnight. We seem to be getting on top of it even if not eliminating it completely. I'm packing it in for the night. I've finished [i]Why are we here on The Political Sword?[/i], which I'll post tomorrow. I'll be back tomorrow.

HS

28/10/2010biledigger, You are a mine of information! Thank you. :) Did you see my last post? I included a picture of Ms Ayn Rand. Also next Tuesday(Wednesday our time) are the US Congressional elections. It will be interesting to see just how much political traction the acolytes of Ms Rand have actually got. I heard an interview that Craig McMurtrie did with some unemployed people in Pennsylvania this morning, some on the verge of losing all their worldy possessions and their homes(as is the way already in Ayn Randland when you simply lose your job), and even considering all of that they still said they were going to vote for President Obama. Bless them. They were smart enough to realise that it wasn't his policies that started the dominoes falling in the economy that led to their losing everything. I mean these people had had educations, so I guess they weren't like the typically lobotomised types who spend their time watching Fox 'News'. We'll just have to wait and see though just how great an effect Murdoch and his minions have had.

Graeme

28/10/2010jj, I wouldn't normally respond to your comments, but I will, due to frusration, make an exception. I have been around long enough to get to know a wide cross section of people who use the Murray-Darling system for irrigation, for recreation, for relaxation, and for transportation. The one thing that they all agree on is that the water from the MDB is a finite resource,to be allocated in such a way that ALL users can benefit. The term 'water right' or 'entitlement' is , in my opinion, a misnomer. Irrigators pay, and in some cases have not paid, to be allowed to extract extra water from the system. This does not equate to a 'right ' to the water. If the appropriate authority deems it necessary to acquire the allocation from irrigators, for the benefit of all users, then so be it. My understanding is that these acquisitions will be voluntary, not compulsory. Self interest cannot be allowed to override the, and I hate this term, the greater good.

Jason

28/10/2010jj, As much as it pains me I thought you were better than that, but I will stoop to your level FUCK YOU!

D Mick Weir

28/10/2010Hi Jason I think I understand your frustration, however, having got that off your chest now is the time to rise back up to the 'higher plane' where you belong. Perhaps this might work in moments like those just imagine for a moment you are Gough and you will possibly come up with something like: [i]The commenter known as jj has obviously had thier head up thier fundamental orifice as every time the mouth opens excreta pours forth[/i]

HS

28/10/2010Bingo! (From Crikey, sorry to reprint the whole thing but you need a subscription to see it via a link): 'MDB stakeholders call for RSPT-style campaign against government by Bernard Keane The government faces the prospect of an RSPT-style campaign against it over the Murray-Darling Basin Plan after a meeting of key stakeholders on Monday agreed to establish a group to force alterations. The summit, convened by the NSW Irrigators’ Council, attracted more than 100 representatives of a wide range of groups: irrigators, banks, supermarkets, local government, business groups, and the Australian Workers Union. The hard Right environmental astroturf group, the Australian Environment Foundation, also attended, urging the meeting to dispute the science behind the MDBA’s guide. There were calls from smaller players for the establishment of a group of water scientists, hydrologists and economists to support the views of irrigators against groups such as the Wentworth Group and mainstream economists. Andrew Gregson, CEO of the NSW Irrigators’ Council, told Crikey that the meeting, which the Council had been proposing since May, essentially considered four issues. “First, do we have a problem? Yes, we do. Second, should we take a collective approach? Yes we should. Third, how do we develop that approach? We established a steering committee. Fourth, we agreed on what instructions to give the steering committee.” Gregson said one of the reasons so many groups had been asked to participate was that, compared to other groups in regional communities, irrigators were one of the groups likely to be least harmed by a reduction in water allocation — “irrigators will be paid for our water. But the local Bunnings might have to close down.” A number of attendees called for a campaign like the Minerals Council’s campaign against the mining tax, which led Labor to abandon its RSPT and helped remove Kevin Rudd from the prime ministership. Unlike the MCA campaign, however, the anti-MDBA campaign would reflect a wider variety of stakeholders, if ultimately approved. The steering committee, said to be composed of the National Irrigators’ Council, the NFF, representatives from the big banks, local government and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (but not the NSWIC) was charged with developing a strategy and resourcing model for consideration by the summit in several weeks’ time, with the idea of a professional campaign being developed with external expertise. The campaign, however, would not seek to contest the science behind the Plan but seek to “reframe” the debate and, partly, address the poor image of irrigators in urban communities. One source said the highly-regarded Liberal-connected pollster Toby Ralph had made a presentation to the summit suggesting a campaign based around higher food prices, the impact on families, using individual case studies and the overall economic impact (attempts to contact Ralph’s firm Agitating were unsuccessful). The meeting is said to have also discussed the possibility of changes to the Water Act. Gregson told Crikey “[Water Minister Tony] Burke has said ‘do you really want to re-open the Act’ and our answer was ‘yes’ given how concerned we are about the MDBA.” Another source at the meeting, however, suggested demands for amendments to the Act might be useful for extracting non-legislative concessions from the Government. While the MCA campaign set a new standard for politically-effective campaigns to overturn government policy, even a smaller campaign by such a diverse group of stakeholders is likely to terrify a government that panicked at the first sight of anger in Coalition-held regional seats over the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and which has been back-peddling ever since.'

HS

28/10/2010How does spam get through reCaptcha? A poorly paid Russian alcoholic doing the word input for Vodka money?

HS

28/10/2010Jason, A tip. Just think that 'jj' stands for 'j'ust a 'j'erk, and your anger should dissipate quickly. :)

nasking

29/10/2010"We have been friends for a long time now, I understand exactly what you mean." Gracias Lyn. Much appreciated. Yer very sweet. As I've said at the Cafe, I reckon there's some real Machiavellian stuff goin' on from Howard & Abbott. Hockey was badly supported on the bank reform proposals...Howard then made a statement that he knew could be construed as negative in regards to Hockey. In the Murdoch papers a story, apparently false or distorted, attempts to embarrass Hockey related to a cabinet meetin'. Now a major bank CEO (ANZ) adds to the fire. Then Pyne’s member’s bill goes astray. And Howard ensured that Pyne was somewhat admonished in public durin' questionin' related to the book referrin' to Pyne's past phonecall queryin' Howard on the leadership. And Turnbull, Bishop & Robb have been mentioned by various media pundits as leakers. We know Howard desperately wants Abbott to stay in the leadership. I noticed Howard mentions "Tony's a people person". Used to be Hockey that was pushed by the Libs as the down-to-earth people person. Suddenly Abbott's the all-rounder who seems to have taken on the characteristics & attitudes of others who competed for the leadership. The "chosen one". Natural heir to King John's throne. I have a mate in Sydney who is friends w/ an extremely influential character in the court system who told him a few years back that Abbott was bein' "groomed" for the leadership & PM. It didn't surprise me. Was expectin' Turnbull to get knifed...and interestin' the buildup (Gretch Affair) had a Howard connection...and Abbott skulkin' about in the hallway waitin' to hear how damaged Turnball was. I reckon that P. Hanson situation has alot more behind it too. Think of who went after One Nation...and who opportunistically surfed that "ugly Australian" crowd to an election win later. And whose office a founding member worked in once. Still, you probably know more about it than me. Worth thinkin’ about. Howard & Abbott & Downer were a sneaky trio back in them old days. Add Reith in earlier days. People knew their place...or were out. Costello used like a puppet sometimes...and mentally manipulated by this lot...and their allies...includin' media. Not surprisin' the old bore Howard lasted the entire period...wily character. I wonder if Hockey is too multicultural for this purist lot? His usefulness expired...now a nuisance, possible challenge to Abbott. Best to dispose of him. Noticed Alan Jones & Fred Niles turned up to the book launch. And also Pyne has been put in his place, wind knocked out...was gettin' too big for his boots. Howard has a long memory. Pyne and Costello's relationship too close for Howard's comfort...as Abbott's leadership struggles might as well clamp down on any possible challengers. There's always Alex Hawke & others comin' on. Hillbilly, interestin' info above: International Democrat Union http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Democrat_Union#cite_note-1 and: http://www.idu.org/officers.aspx Nice company they keep. "Atlas Shrugged" eh?...read it as a teenager. I used to read alot of literature that had laissez-faire economic & libertarian values and underpinnings. Particularly American sci-fi. N'

Sir Ian Crisp

29/10/2010I always thought Jason wore a blue singlet. Now, I have no doubt. Nice one Jason.

HS

29/10/2010Sir Ian Crisp, A resident of Victoria, huh? Old Melbourne Establishment. 'Trak' or Kew? I have famiily by marriage there myself. As a knight of the realm I don't imagine you'd inhabit any of the more gauche areas of the Nouveau Riche. Um, you appear to have overlooked who was at the helm of the Australia Council, handing out the grants, for most of the period of the Howard government, and especially in 2005, if that's what you're referring to with your 'Blue Trees' jibe. Yup, it was Nicky Downer, wife of you know who. So your point was again? The inappropriate granting of monies?

Sir Ian Crisp

29/10/2010Off the mark HS but a closet racist like you never fails to shock. I notice that another rally took place at the Opera House yesterday by carers and those in their care as well as supporters. I wonder what colour they were. I hope they weren't white.

HS

29/10/2010Nas, My late husband read every SF book that was worth reading. :) His all-time favourite author was Phillip K.Dick. He also had a lot of time for William Gibson(he's got a new one out), Ben Bova, Cordwainer Smith, C.J.Cherryh, and lots of others I can't remember. He had no time for Isaac Asimov(over-rated), Robert Heinlein(whom I loved), L.Ron Hubbard, and all those authors these days who churn out doorstoppers with multiple volumes. He also had a soft spot for Mervyn Peake and Thomas Pynchon. I remember him saying Ayn Rand was for pretentious wallys who thought they were 'ard. :) Which is true, isn't it. It takes a lot more effort to be a kind and considerate person than it does to be a hard ass.

HS

29/10/2010Sir Ian Crisp, What a long bow you draw. Me, a 'closet (anti-White) rascist'? Some of my best friends are White. :) And brown, and olive-skinned and asiatic-skinned, and even Red Heads with freckles! I really must send you a photo of me with my 'I'm Colour Blind' t-shirt on. It has a nice decal of every coulour of person under the rainbow on it. :) Honestly, how you could infer 'rascism' from my observation of the homogenous nature of the audience at the Woodside Town Hall meeting is beyond credulity. You're veering into 'jj' territory, SIC. As for the Carers Morning Tea, sadly I was unable to attend as I was caring for my sick child. However, I did notice that the lovely Carers there were every colour of the glorious human rainbow.

TalkTurkey

29/10/2010. . . and now there's a buzz of excitement in the crowd . . . we are all craning our necks to see who's coming down the red carpet . . . Oh it's Sir Ian Crisp! resplendent in his top hat and tails . . . Immaculate gold lame cravat, set off by the pristine white camellia on his lapel . . . His signature spats gleaming in the limelight . . . Stylishly twirling his platinum-topped cane, waving now to the cheering crowd of peasants . . . Oh and now as he comes close we can see his family crest embroidered on his Cambridge Blue blazer pocket, a Maggot rampant on a dead sheep's * . . .

HS

29/10/2010Talk Turkey, You should do Stand-Up Comedy, you really should. :)

Sir Ian Crisp

29/10/2010#...jeering, overblown negative rhetoric and an overt intolerance of change and preference for the status quo, which looked very white and very conservative to my eyes. However, rationalism and intellectual consistency have never been the strong suits of community knee-jerk responses and agitators like Pauline Hanson and her 'One Nation' political party, or the Tea Party.# From the pen of HS. What on earth makes me think you're a closet racist. I wonder what. You and the redhead have a lot in common.

TalkTurkey

29/10/2010Liththen Here "Thir" Ian Crithp Jathon's a VOITH - You're a LITHP. Go on you (p.participle)(fundamental orifice). Write something clever. Or funny. Or worthy of the wonderful complexity of the grey matter you undeservedly inherited from your "noble" forebears. Despite your evident propensity to imagine yourself grand, you have so far in my experience only distinguished yourself by your snide cynical irrational uncomprehending jeering sprays. You have never contributed anything but hatefulness to this blog. jj seems like a sad case of an undereducated and underloved someone whom we would like to cuddle until s/he feels a lot better, maybe there is a heart there - (maybe there is one in Pauline Hanson!) - but you "Sir" seem to be really rancid. And rancidity, well . . . I might be sorry for you because inside you must hate yourself too, I know that gives oneself a terrible hard time, but you have your face turned from friendship eh. You are the real McCoy Howard sycophant eh, seventy times seven forgivenesses by decent socialists and you will still be venomous. I notice you never even say anything to support anything jj says. You don't even like your "friends", and they don't like you. NOBODY likes you. Sad. So go on, write something clever, funny, insightful or otherwise worthy of a human brain. Something that will make TPSers at least have however grudgingly to acknowledge that there's something other than poisonous excrement where that grey matter ought to be. Betcha can't. Oh and Redheads . . ? . . Burn your eyes you bigot . . . You should be so lucky.

Jason

29/10/2010Sir Ian Crisp, Quite happy to wear a blue singlet,If you are having trouble understanding what I said I'll say it again only this time s l o w l y!

lyn

29/10/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]On the Qt: Hockey: More PJK than Hugo Chavez, Greg Jericho, Grog's Gamut[/i] It was defeated (the Libs need to work out that the independents will not be voting with them on frivolous motions) http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ 1[i],2,3, … what are we fighting for?, Mungo Macallum, The Echo[/i] Originally the idea was to wipe out Al Qaeda and capture or kill Osama bin Laden – or so we were told http://www.echo.net.au/opinion-piece/123-%E2%80%A6-what-are-we-fighting [i]Over it: a response to Annabel Crabb, Tim Dunlop, ABC[/i] the whole Grog’s fiasco The self-described most important newspaper in the country owned by the biggest media organisation in the world decided to have a go at some guy with a blog. http://www.abc.net.au:80/unleashed/40552.html?WT.mc_id=newsmail [i]Joe Hockey and the Banks, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i]. I wish more TV outlets had showed Abbott opening and closing his mouth like a landed fish in response to media questions http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2010/10/joe-hockey-and-banks-joe-hockey-was.html [i]Bank declares war on Polition. Real Wise, Peter Martin[/i] saying he has "hijacked" the Liberal Party's economic credentials and comparing him to the communist president of Venezuela. http://www.petermartin.com.au/ [i]Hockey proves it doesn’t pay to take policy risks, Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i] Some of the 18 were about what was going through Tony Abbott’s mind. Given Abbott himself appears not to know what’s going on in his own head http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/10/28/hockey-proves-it-doesnt-pay-to-take-policy-risks/ [i]How Coalition broadband plan stacks up, Stilgherrian, Crikey[/i] to voters without a personal vision of what the world might look like a decade hence, 12Mbps sounds fine. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/10/28/turnbull-v-conroy-how-coalition-broadband-plan-stacks-up/ [i]Who Cares, Gary Sauer-Thompson at , Public Opinion[/i] Changing leaders at the last minute wasn't going to turn things round. Peter Costello could not have saved the Coalition government http://www.sauer-thompson.com/ [i]Kids out of detention by Marian Dalton, The Notion Factory[/i] Would it really have damaged the government to show that it had been in discussion with the Greens – indeed, with anyone? http://notionfactory.net/ [i]John, Labor did more than vote for conservative policies: they enacted them in Government, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison[/i] Another John Howard whinge this week: we received no support at all from the Labor party http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/ [i]How the 2007 election doubled the Greens vote everywhere., Possum Comitatus, Pollytics[/i] How did the election of a federal Labor government cause a boost in the support levels of the Greens at the state and federal levels http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/10/28/how-the-2007-election-doubled-the-greens-vote-everywhere/

Ad astra reply

29/10/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

HS

29/10/2010Jason, Maybe that's a compliment from SIC, 'Blue Singlet wearer'? I mean Howard courted them avidly during his Prime Ministership. Remember the CFMEU loggers in Tasmania in 2004?

Jason

29/10/2010HS, Insult more like, SIC still longs for the days when we had dogs on the waterfront scabs in the form of farmers and Howard saying union busting is good for the country. http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/howard-still-in-denial-over-wharf-shame-20101028-175mw.html?autostart=1

George Pike

29/10/2010Get them cattle and sheep up into the top paddock people..she's gonna be a deluge from Darwin to Hobart and everywhere in between by the looks. Time to start building solar panel covered water storages to control evaporation AND produce power maybe? http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/charts/4day_col.shtml

Ad astra reply

29/10/2010Folks It is pleasing that in the last twenty-four hours only one piece of spam has arrived. How did that get through? Was is a manually placed piece, as HS suggested, by “A poorly paid Russian alcoholic doing the word input for Vodka money.”? I’m not prepared to delete that bit of spam as deleting spam seems to upset the site’s apple cart. We’re not counting our chickens yet, as there are still some bugs that need attention, but it’s encouraging so far. My son-in-law tells me a more sophisticated version of our blog engine is being developed that has exciting features. We hope that will not be too long coming.

Ad astra reply

29/10/2010HS I was concerned to read what you had to say about Jack the Insider’s blog. His is usually one of the most balanced and reasonable in the MSM. The question is whether the editor or the proprietor has been exercising influence over the blog. If that is so, it would be disappointing as Jack always seemed to be an independent thinker. I have finished my next piece and will post it later today to provide something to comment on over the weekend. After the difficulty we have had this week upgrading to the latest version of our blog engine and the supportive comments that followed, rather than addressing a political topic, by asking [i]Why are we here on The Political Sword?[/i] the piece delves into why we blog on [i]TPS[/i], how we do it, and what influence we hope we might exert. The piece includes some wisdom derived from Edward de Bono’s book [i]A beautiful mind[/i]. He gives sound advice about how, even in the face of acerbic disagreement, it is usually possible to find some areas of agreement and thereby improve the conversation. Most who comment on [i]TPS[/i] seem to understand this, which contributes to it being such a congenial site. [i]TPS[/i] has its own characteristics that attract visitors and to some extent govern the substance and the style of the comments. The piece invites comment on how the site should evolve. The feedback that results will guide us into 2011.

lyn

29/10/2010Hi Ad I agree with Hillbilly [quote]“A poorly paid Russian alcoholic doing the word input for Vodka money.”? [/quote], did you notice that particular spam was different to what we have seen before. You are doing well Ad, we are very proud of you.

TalkTurkey

29/10/2010Jason What would be an insult from anyone else would be a compliment from SIC. And vice versa. I don't see nothin clever comin from him yet, whaddya reckon the chances? Huh.

HS

29/10/2010Jason, It's hard to indicate one's tongue is in one's cheek. :)

TalkTurkey

29/10/2010Yup, Ad, You & the Lad Got the Spam's number! We're all glad.

lyn

29/10/2010Hi Talk Turkey That's a lovely little rhyme, you have written for Ad. Clever Turkey

D Mick Weir

29/10/2010Hi TT a word to the wise: Thanksgiving is just around the corner Beware of knighted folk adorned in glittering cloak he may hide a knife used to end a gobblers life Well not really but I had to attempt a bit of doggerel meself

lyn

29/10/2010Hi D Mick Weir That's a lovely little rhyme you have written, how come you guys are so clever, no, not all guys we have Pretty Patricia.

Ad astra reply

29/10/2010Thank you TT for your ditty, and Lyn for your encouragement. So far so good in stemming the spam! We’re off to attend to a sick relative. When I get back I’ll post [i]Why are we here on The Political Sword?[/i].

2353

29/10/2010It seems that to comment on this blog Rhymes you have to flog My verse is usually fit for a bog But peer group pressure has forced this to be log(ged) Can I go back to text now please - with suitable admiration to those that can create a verse from nothing and make it appropriate?

TalkTurkey

29/10/2010D Mick Weir, Thanks for the warning, but, If I really were a Turkey My fate might well be sealed, But my sense of humour’s quirky, And now it can be revealed: Sir Ian will never nobble me, The nasty sneering turd: For all my gobble gobble, see, I’m a downright Liar Bird! I can sound like la Stupenda Or all croaky when I sing, Or like Hendrix on a Fender ’Cos I’m Karaoke King! So DMW, Don’t you worry, he can go to Hell: He can't catch me as I scurry, oh and I can FLY as well. And his glittering cloak is just a joke, a tawdry abject Fail, All the splendour of ol' Solomon got NOTHING on my tail!

TalkTurkey

29/10/2010Lyn, What made you think I was a bloke?

nasking

29/10/2010[quote]My late husband read every SF book that was worth reading.[/quote] Hillbilly, obviously a man w/ good taste in genres. :) Sorry to hear of yer loss. Our house book shelves & boxes are overflowin' w/ sci-fi & old horror novels. [quote]His all-time favourite author was Phillip K.Dick.[/quote] I have alot of time for him too. Synchronicity & strugglin', dystopic societies make for interestin' readin'. As someone who dabbled in a bit of mind experimentation as a youngun & read as a young man the Politics of Ecstasy by Timothy Leary and got into various Beat poets I really dug Dick's delvin' into strange & taboo worlds, perspectives. I enjoyed Philip José Farmer too. [quote]He also had a lot of time for William Gibson([/quote] Have a few of those, yes luv cyber & steampunk...Neuromancer, Mona Lisa Overdrive (knew a fella at uni in a band w/ that name who went on to Died Pretty), Count Zero...and Difference Engine w/ Bruce Sterling. It's been awhilse since I've read any of his tho. [quote]Ben Bova, Cordwainer Smith, C.J.Cherryh, and lots of others I can't remember.[/quote] Luv 'em. Particularly read alot of Bova...and more than a few Cherryh. Rollickin' Chanur adventures, Alliance-Union universe. [quote]He had no time for Isaac Asimov(over-rated), [/quote] He had his moments. Luved the robot stuff. Yet to finish the Foundation series. :) I preferred Clarke's Rama series. And stuff from David Brin (Uplift universe), Gregory Benford (Galactic Center Saga) & Greg Bear (Eon etc...aka The Way series... & The Forge of God)...and Dan Simmons (Hyperion Cantos)...Orson Scott Card (Ender Series). [quote]Robert Heinlein(whom I loved), [/quote] He, he...Stranger in a Strange Land & Time Enough for Love were two of my faves as a teen. Lazarus Long...not to be confused w/ borin' mummified Lazarus rising. :) [quote]L.Ron Hubbard, and all those authors these days who churn out doorstoppers with multiple volumes.[/quote] I have to admit to buyin' a few. :) [quote]He also had a soft spot for Mervyn Peake and Thomas Pynchon.[/quote] I read Gravity's Rainbow at school...had some pretty cool teachers. Kurt Vonnegut was another fave then. [quote]I remember him saying Ayn Rand was for pretentious wallys who thought they were 'ard. Which is true, isn't it. It takes a lot more effort to be a kind and considerate person than it does to be a hard ass.[/quote] True indeed Hillbilly...yer hubby sounds like a good man. It's been a couple of years now since I read a sci-fi...too busy on the blogs researchin, readin' comments...but I do read the mag Cosmos to keep up w/ some science...and watch plenty of sci-fi series. You've got my addiction to sci-fi novels sparked again. :) N'

lyn

29/10/2010 Hi Talk Turkey You have given away a lot of clues, you wouldn't even know about.

D Mick Weir

29/10/2010[b]Comment Warning:[/b] The following comment contains things about economics and economists. It is a topsy –turvy world and making sense of it is never easy. Economists often make it harder to understand, though, some do have a way of explaining the concepts so that even I can grasp some of it. Even so, I find it hard to disagree with the old saw [i]Ask five economists for an opinion and you will get at least six answers[/i] Tad Tietze over at the Drum in his post [b]Dissecting economic mythologies[/b] reviews John Quiggin's [i]Zombie Economics: How Dead Ideas Still Walk Among Us[/i] ( http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/40558.html ) Tad has written an informative piece that may interest some as he casts his eye over the last forty or so years of economic upheaval and Quiggins’ take on it all. The reason I mention Tads’ post is that there some thoughts and comments that tie in with [b]Joe Hockey[/b] and his recent foray into banking enquiries and such like. There have been a few articles about where Joe is at and I admit I am tending toward the view put by [b]Grog[/b] in his post last night: [i] The ALP should be owning this issue. The sooner they steal the lead on this and leave Hockey out to dry the better. Because if they don’t, very quickly they’re going to find that others have woken up to the fact that Hockey is talking sense, and they’re looking like being on the side of the 4.2 billion dollar man.[/i] My message to Wayne and Julia is [b]Ignore Joe on this at your peril[/b]

D Mick Weir

29/10/2010[b]TT,[/b] Great reply [i]chuckles and nods head[/i] [b]2353[/b] I think like you I will stick to straight text. In this field I don't even get anywhere near amateur let alone a gifted one!

D Mick Weir

29/10/2010And now it seems they are coming out the woodwork from everywhere backing Sloppy Joe [b]Hockey has good idea, no-one takes notice[/b] By ABC's Jonathan Green ( http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/10/29/3051761.htm?site=thedrum ) Wonder how it will take for his leader to back him? Or is Tony will knife him? Is that the sound of numbers crunching I hear coming from the house in the hill?

adelaidegirl

29/10/2010Thanks for the Bucky Balls (buckminsterfullerenes - another great word, but when will I be able to work it into casual conversation?) I'm especially interested in this potential application: Chemical sponges Medical researchers believe that fullerenes could be put to work as tiny chemical sponges, mopping up dangerous chemicals from injured brain tissue. Excess production of free radicals (eg, peroxide) in the brain following a head injury or a stroke destroys nerve cells. Buckyballs, made soluble in water, appear able to ‘swallow’ and hold free radicals, thereby reducing the damage to tissue. (From http://www.science.org.au/nova/024/024print.htm) I work with people with brain injury and see the devestating effects this has on people, families, communities so I hope this comes to fruition one day. I'm very interested in quantum physics and mechanics but fear I don't have the smarts to wrap my nog around it! One difficult aspect of brain injury is rigid or concrete thinking. This also seems to be a feature of conservative thinking. I wonder if Bucky Balls can help some of our illustrious pollies?

D Mick Weir

29/10/2010oops Wonder how [i]long[/i] it will take for his leader to back him?

D Mick Weir

29/10/2010Hi adelaidegirl, [i]... can help some of our illustrious pollies?[/i] There are some that are totally beyond help as we well know. I daren't start a list as it could get quite long!!!!

lyn

29/10/2010Hi Ad Abbott to compete in NSW ironman Opposition Leader Tony Abbott will stretch his legs after two weeks of sitting in parliament, competing in a [b]half-ironman event [/b]on Sunday The Liberal leader told Star FM radio he was "tapering down", but would not be donning the budgie smugglers for the event, which includes a 1.9km swim, 90km cycle and 21km run http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/8115123/abbott-to-compete-in-nsw-ironman

HS

29/10/2010Can someone in Sydney take their boat out on Sunday and throw their bilgewater over Tony Abbott as he passes by? :) Honestly, next thing you know 'Bear' Abbott will be lining up his own Reality Show.

Bilko

29/10/2010HS & Nasking I was brought up on Dr Who and anything the public Library had on the shelves,Dan Dare and the Mekon from the old Eagle comic in the Uk. My dad did not cancel the Eagle until years after I left to join the RAF. The 3 Quatermass series still bring shivers and as a result I do not like Cactus. Blakes 7 enjoyable on to Kirk and Spock over to Babylon 5 a classic series IMHO then Stargate. My book shelves now house TV series and all of the above my grandkids have followed in my footsteps and my son has bought me all the New Dr Who's over the last 5 yrs. So I am a bit of a Scfi buff. now I will try this new captcha system fingers crossed.

HS

29/10/2010adelaidegirl, You have my total respect. Your job puts you up there with the angels. :) I'm going to show that article to my son when he comes home from school today. He's a Quantum Physics geek. Tho I imagine that the reply I will get will be, "I already know about that" said with appropriate level of disdain in voice. ;)

christian louboutin shoes

29/10/2010ddddddddd

nasking

29/10/2010"The 3 Quatermass series still bring shivers" Top stuff Bilko. And movie Five Million Years to Earth. Shiver. :) N'

nasking

29/10/2010[quote]Abbott to compete in NSW ironman [/quote] Lyn, obviously the angst is buildin' up again in Abbott...he needs another self-flagellation period. Lead balloon of politics is gonna whip his body hard in this ironman contest. Try to get his frustrations out. Oneday, I reckon he'll turn up to parliament lookin' like one layer of skin on a skeleton...and will sit there starin' into space, droolin'...confused as the body keeps eatin' it's own flesh. :) N'

adelaidegirl

29/10/2010Thanks HS. Disability is a political hot potato too, although not very "sexy" to the community or the media. Having a (state) minister who is an abject liar doesn't help either. Can I say that?

HS

29/10/2010Jason, I don't know if you read Crikey, so, if you haven't then maybe you'd be interested in this: The magical productivity of the construction industry by Bernard Keane Some rituals from the Howard era die hard. One of them is the enthusiastic work undertaken by the economic modelling firm Econtech — or KPMG Econtech as they’ve been since 2008 — purporting to show that much of Australia’s recent economic growth has been because of the Australian Building and Construction Commission. This week, they produced another report on construction industry productivity, which received generous coverage from The Australian. Econtech has form in this regard. It was Econtech that produced the notorious report in 2007 modelling the reversal of all IR reforms since 1993, which was used by the Howard government to argue that Labor’s plan to remove WorkChoices would inflict massive economic damage. Incidentally that, too, was trumpeted by The Australian. Later in 2007, the ABCC, keen to demonstrate that its Stasi-like powers were justified, commissioned Econtech to establish just what a boon its vendetta against the CFMEU had been for the Australian economy. Econtech used several techniques to accomplish that task: they compared the difference between housing and non-housing construction costs from Rawlinson’s Australian Construction Handbook to see if the higher cost of the more unionised non-housing construction sector was shrinking in comparison with housing costs; they compared actual building industry productivity to what they projected building industry productivity would have been based on the rest of the economy, and they used some case studies. The resulting report claimed that building industry productivity had surged by 9.4% (and keep that figure in mind) and delivered a $15 billion injection into the economy. Most of the media — and by no means just News Ltd — dutifully recycled the claims without testing them. The problem was, Econtech had stuffed up. Badly. A number of academics questioned the methodology and maths of Econtech, none more so than serial critic of the Howard government’s IR laws, Professor David Peetz of Griffith University. Peetz, in a devastating critique, showed that Econtech had got its sums wrong. Rather than a 9.4% reduction in the gap between housing and non-housing construction costs, the reduction had been 1.3%. Peetz also pointed out problems with Econtech’s effort to compare actual productivity in the sector with projected productivity based on the rest of the economy, including how, in spite of the absence of the ABCC and royal commissions, construction industry productivity had surged far above predicted levels in the late 1990s. Peetz, by the way, had been the subject of particularly grubby smears by Eric Abetz, Phil Barresi and Joe Hockey between 2005 and 2007 in relation to his annoying tendency to point out how the Howard government’s claims about WorkChoices didn’t stack up. A year later, in August 2008, the ABCC released an updated report by Econtech. That report quietly fixed the howling error made the previous year, but kept the claims about massive economic benefits. In 2009, when former Federal Court judge Murray Wilcox was commissioned by the Rudd government to consider the future of the ABCC, he looked at Econtech’s work and asked Econtech to respond to Peetz’s critique. As Wilcox noted in his final report, Econtech didn’t even attempt to rebut Peetz’s analysis or defend its 2007 report. “The 2007 Econtech report is deeply flawed,” Wilcox concluded. “It ought to be totally disregarded … the 2008 Econtech report indicated a much less dramatic narrowing of the difference between commercial and residential building costs.” In 2009, the ABCC did not ask Econtech to update its report. Instead, the Master Builders Association did. And they asked them again in July this year, leading to the report released this week. Econtech is sticking to its methodology, regardless of flaws, but there’s still no evidence of the dramatic productivity increases claimed. The gap between housing and non-housing construction costs has, according to Econtech, reduced by 4.8% since 2004 nationally. Peetz pointed out to Crikey that Econtech had carefully selected 2004 as the starting point for its comparison on construction costs (claiming it was because of a break in the data for one set of costs). “It is all about choosing a start date to suit your argument — 2004 was the year when, according to the Rawlinson’s data, the gap between commercial and residential construction costs reached its maximum, a very convenient year to use as a base period, especially when the base period that you originally used (the 1994-2003 average) makes it apparent the building industry reforms have had no impact on productivity.” Econtech’s figures for recent years also raise some interesting questions. The gap in costs in Queensland is now wider than it was in 2005. The gap in Victoria has widened slightly since 2007. In fact, the gap nationwide is only slightly smaller than it was in 2007, because it widened significantly in 2008 and 2009 before reducing this year. If the ABCC is driving productivity improvements in the construction sector, it’s been doing a pretty lousy job recently. And while Econtech eagerly declares “actual construction industry productivity was 7.7% higher than predictions based on its relative historical performance”, it fails to point out what is obvious from its own graph, that construction industry productivity fell significantly last year. But most bizarrely of all, Econtech inexplicably continues to use, as the basis for its modelling of the economy-wide benefits of the ABCC-driven surge in construction sector productivity, that same 9.4% figure that it erred in arriving at in 2007, the figure that was demolished by Peetz and which Wilcox said should be disregarded. “Consistent with the earlier reports, this report bases its modelling of economy-wide impacts on an outperformance in construction industry labour productivity of 9.4%,” this year’s report says, copying the approach of previous reports. The Australian quoted the 9.4% figure as well, with its article referring to “a new analysis [that] shows the body has added 9.4% to labour productivity in the construction industry” (it’s not like the journalist concerned wasn’t aware of criticisms of Econtech, given he reported them in 2008). “This is money for jam for Econtech,” says Peetz. “Given that productivity numbers change from one year to the next, you would think that the bottom line claimed productivity gain of 9.4% would change from one year to the next. Instead, it must be the stablest number in contemporary economic statistics, stubbornly resisting even the slightest variation, despite massive changes in the economy around it over four years. The remarkable stability in this statistic means that it is not really much work for Econtech to produce this report.” Crikey contacted Econtech for comment but no response had been received by deadline. The Master Builders’ Association went further than Econtech and employed the old trick of multiplying the purported gains to GDP claimed in the report across a long period. “The community’s welfare gain is $59 billion over ten years,” said the CEO of the MBA, a claim recycled verbatim in media coverage. Or $590 billion over 100 years, for that matter. But let’s give the final word to the body that started it all, the ABCC. Last week, Senator Doug Cameron quizzed the new ABCC head, Leigh Johns, about its use of Econtech reports. Given the criticisms of the reports, Cameron asked, why did the ABCC still have them on its website? The Econtech reports are no longer on the ABCC website, Johns told Cameron. “They were conducted in 2007. It is now 2010. We have moved on.” Clearly some others haven’t.

TalkTurkey

29/10/2010Bilko ACTIVATE THE MEKAX! HS - on AdelaideGirl's celestial connections - YEP YEP YEP YEP YEP - Nurses and carers are NUMBER 1 human beings in my book. AdelaideGirl, Glad you found the Bucky Balls so fascinating. (There's also nanotubes, cylindrical where BB's are spheroidal.) Next time you are talking to a Swiss watchmaker, as one does, you might sound knowledgeable about C60 being the best lubricant known. (The little things RRRRROLLLLL so well.) But where it comes to concrete thinking as in Abbott, I think a wrecking ball would be appropriate. With regard to Mincing Poodle Pyne though, ANY balls at all would surely help. Oh how I love insulting that little * ! What are the Liberals to do with him? He's too much of an embarrassment ever to become Deputy, (who'd have him) and he'll never become Leader either, he has to remain a stinky piece of poo hanging on the embarrassed hangdog Liberals' bum. BTW AG I had no idea of the genuine potential for the therapeutic use of BB's. I shall do a bit of reading about that now, ta. Ad there is one weird bit of spam . . . . ddddd ? Not a problem, I hope Ivan got a tot for it.

HS

29/10/2010adelaidegirl, You are among friends, so sure you can say that. :) Actually, I'm not averse to putting the boot into the ALP when they deserve it, and boy do the NSW ALP deserve it! I've heard that anyone with a lick of sense in the SA ALP wants Jay Wetherall to take over and for Mike Rann to move on ASAP. Yet I also hear that the SA ALP don't get that and so are trying to orchestrate for one of the Rann consigliores to take over after him, like Kevin Foley, heaven forbid. I hope not.

adelaidegirl

29/10/2010I don't know, HS. Jay was our minister before the fork-tongued Jennifer and he came across as a bit of a limp d**k, to be honest. Maybe I just don't like him because disability services underwent the most despicable "reform" under his watch. In cahoots with the ex-Centrelink "kick a welfare recipient" reformist, Sue Vardon, they completely ruined disability services and then slunk off with their tails between their legs. At least he wasn't a liar, I suppose.

Jason

29/10/2010HS, Jay is in the left and while senator Don Farrell former head of the shoppies union still runs SA, Jay and those of us from the left don't have the numbers to do anything.

Ad astra reply

29/10/2010Folks Since I left at 1.40 pm, 23 new posts have come in, excluding the senseless spam, which comes from a source we’ve seen here before. It might have been posted manually. You all seem to be on such a roll that I am disinclined to disturb the conversation with a new post now. So I’ll leave it until tomorrow. Lyn I’ll wait until you have posted your links on this piece in the morning before putting up the new one.

HS

29/10/2010AA, Yup, we're just shootin' the breeze because it's Friday, I think.:) Anyway, tonight's a big night for politics in general on TV. Capital Cirlcle is about to start on ABC24; The Drum is on at 6pm; then the ultimate in politics watching for the week...President Obama is on the Jon Stewart Show on ABC@ at 7.15pm, to be followed by the anti-climax that will be Friday Lateline and its World Wrestling Federation Cage Match facsimile, refereed by Leigh Sales. :) If anything worth commenting on happens I'll be sure to be back to put in my 2c worth.

HS

29/10/2010This is just so funny: http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/40586.html Also, I wish I could write this well.

lyn

29/10/2010Hi Nasking [quote]Abbott to compete in NSW ironman Lyn, obviously the angst is buildin' up again in Abbott...he needs another self-flagellation period. Lead balloon of politics is gonna whip his body hard in this ironman contest. Try to get his frustrations out[/quote] Nasking notice how nine reports, Abbott needs to stretch is legs after 2 weeks in Parliament, very funny ha, ha, he needs more camera shots more like it. Anyway Mungo MacCullum's piece wasn't very complimentary towards Abbott's swaggering, gait walk, and bowed legs, very enjoyable piece. More like Abbott can't have Julie getting any headlines on her overseas trip without him being in the papers somehow, anyhow, or somewhere, doing something, anything he can dream up. Cheers

NormanK

29/10/2010Hillbilly I don't know if it stems from a difference between Queensland and NSW but Obama was on Jon Stewart last night on ABC2. He was relaxed and funny as well as getting his points across about softly softly catchee monkey when it comes to major reforms and turning the economy around. For the last six months, much of the political content of the Daily Show could so easily have been about Australian politics. Democrats : "Why are you having so much trouble getting your good news stories across to the public?" Republicans : "How does filibustering advance the national interest?" Fox News : WTF? Thanks for posting the full Crikey article last night.

Ad astra reply

29/10/2010Folks Thank you all for your comments and D Mick Weir and HS for the links you provided to most informative articles about economics. I think Grog is right – Labor should seize the initiative and institute a review of banking practices in Australia. adelaidegirl Your experience in caring for brain-injured folk is a welcome addition to the expertise that is accumulating steadily on [i]TPS[/i] Lyn, nasking I’m sure Tones will get lots of publicity from his iron man efforts that no doubt will distract the media from what really counts – how poorly he understands economics and the management of a trillion dollar economy.

HS

29/10/2010lyn, Of course you are right about toned Tony wanting to distract attention away from, shall we say, the 'gravitas' of Julia Gillard's performance on the world stage this weekend in Vietnam with the leaders of America, China, India, Indonesia, and others. However, we'll have the unedifying site, like Groundhog Day all over again, of Tony running, jumping, standing still, in fact anything but being seen to be commenting on the meeting overseas, which is what I thought should be the job of an Opposition Leader with 'gravitas'.

jj

29/10/2010A good newspoll out today for the NSW Labor government. Second lowest poll in the history of newspoll for any government...only 140 or so days to go until we boot them out.

lyn

29/10/2010JJ Don't get too much hubris, pride comes before a fall. Remember how many years they have been trying to boot them out, is it 16 years or 20. Barry O'Farell leaves a lot to be desired, maybe the Greens will surprise you: [quote]The Greens, whose Newspoll primary vote rose four points to 17 per cent, declared themselves the only barrier to coalition control of both houses of parliament. In a very tight race for control of the upper house, Greens numbers could be all that stops a "rubber stamp parliament for the coalition",[/quote] Election winnable despite poll: Keneally SMH Mr O'Farrell said [b]the coalition wasn't taking a win next March for granted and, in reference to the hung federal parliament, urged people not to risk their votes on independents or Greens.[/b]http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/election-winnable-despite-poll-keneally-20101029-175ze.html

D Mick Weir

29/10/2010Hey jj, guess what? I didn't see that poll, and, well I really could not give a fig about 'yet another opinion poll'. To be trite 'The only poll that counts will be in 140 days or so'. It is interesting that those that criticise 'focus group politics' are often the first to celebrate the slightest swing in the opinion polls toward thier team. It is definitely time for all of us to cast aside the picking over of the entails of dead chickens that opinion polling and commentary thereupon creates. While I will I agree it is more than likely that the current NSW government will lose office, I don't really need another opinion poll to tell me that! I am in a bit of a fatherly mode tonight so I will offer some advice and kitchen table wisdom. [i][b]'Be careful what you wish for. It may just come to be'.[/i][/b] The election of a Liberal/National coalition government in NSW could be the best thing that could happen for a Federal Labor Government. Depending on which way the the pendulum swings there could be some very 'right wing' Liberal Members elected and, once they start crowing a lot of people around the country could just think to themselves [i]'Begosh and begorah these people are on Mr Abbots' side and well if he is even a bit like them there is no way I can vote for him'[/i] And because I can't help myself I will pass on another piece of kitchen table wisdom from my dear old dad: [b]'It doesn't matter a fig who you vote for, you will end up electing a [i]bleedin' politician',[/i][/b]

Ad astra reply

29/10/2010Folks I'm calling it a day. Back in the morning.

D Mick Weir

29/10/2010g'nite Ad thanks for all your great work. Sweet Dreams.

Gravel

29/10/2010Wow, I go away for a couple of days and come back to 253 comments, you gals and guys have been busy. I was great reading all you comments, looking forward to Ad's new topic so I'll say no more here. Ad Astra, count me in if you decide to go the pay route, you could just name the price, I'll pay lots rather than not have access to this wonderful blog of yours with all the great participants. HS You deserve a great huge pat on the back for last as long as you did on JTI's blog, I used to hate the way they treated you, and it was one reason for not participating and backing you up. Until The Political Sword came along I had never participated. TalkTurky You sure have a great sense of humor, I needed a laugh and your funny posts did that. Thanks.

jimbo

29/10/2010Hi all Was watching telly earlier tonight when an ad came on for 7pm show saying that the wingnutt was going to be talking about a flat tax and how this would affect the hip pocket.Now if what i saw is correct then it shows what a cowardly,gutless,lying snake that he is.Wont go on the 7-30 report because hes scared of Kerry but will go on 7pm where the so called interviewers would be lucky to know what time of day it was.Speaking of scared of Kerry the wingnutt yesterday was winging moaning and crying to mama about how Julia was so hard on him and the lieberals during the question time,oh what an unmitigated,lying little sook he is.Now hes off to try and show how manly he is bydoing another triathlon event.Hope he doesnt stub a toe and start bawling about it.Julias fault no doubt.This wimp wingnutt is a complete waste of space.

D Mick Weir

29/10/2010Folks, because it's Friday night, jj has caused me to think about opinion polling and I am in that sort of 'wise old man' mood I will relate a little story (that will take a few lines!!!!) In a past life I worked in Market Research (I am not an expert or statistician I was in a more admin/managerial role) and we had 'a situation' that caused me to really wonder about the validity of market research. I have changed the actual details of the question to illustrate the story but I think you will get the gist of it. You may have noticed that on some suburban streets the street lights are only on one side of the street and our client had been upgrading and putting lights on the other side of some streets. We were asked to get residents response about this. The numbers came in and they didn't look at all good in fact the response was 'street lighting is very poor'. The client was 'very cranky' accusing us of being incompetent and sabotaging them. Trying to diffuse the situation I piped up that maybe we had, despite everything, got the 'wrong side of the street'. It didn't satisfy the client but the 'geeks' went to work and did some 'reverse engineering' and we found that sure enough we had gotten a very substantial number of residences on the side of the side of the street without lights. There were other factors which showed that a reasonable number of respondents had 'gamed' the system in hope that their street would get higher priority for the upgrades. Those who know much more than me can talk about statistical variations and margins of error but sometimes even with the best will in the world pure dumb (bad) luck can work against you. There is more to the story but it is best forgotten but, for me, it was a lesson in being wary of relying totally on ‘opinions’ and market research.

NormanK

29/10/2010D Mick Weir You might not have seen this - my take on the relevance of polls. It's a bit dated now and it's cheeky of me to call it to your attention but we are at the end of a thread on a Friday night after all. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2010/06/07/Whoe28099s-winning-the-RSPT-debate.aspx#comment June 8. 2010 02:41 PM It looks as though the BlogEngine has messed with the archives a bit but if you look for date & time you should find it. Cheers

D Mick Weir

29/10/2010cheers NormanK classic :-)

HS

29/10/2010Just saw 'The Sphere of Influence' on lateline. Like a true veteran journalist, Leigh Sales got nothing out of Laurie that I haven't heard him utter here and there about the place over the years. What I found amazing though was the dystopian vision of Abbott claiming the 'economic high ground again'(jeez MSM journalists are fatuous to swallow that bait from the Coalition, hook, line and sinker), after just having spent the day spruiking his latest thought bubble of a Flat Tax. Making Middle Income Earners pay more tax, while he trousers $4000/year more is hardly what I would call a proposal that cedes him 'the economic high ground'. It is unfair and discriminatory. Typical Conservative ethos: Take from the Poor, and give to the Rich.

Sir Ian Crisp

30/10/2010Wow HS, you sound as discommoded as Sharan Burrow. Tell me you're not as ugly as she is.

HS

30/10/2010Sir Ian Crisp, Got the long bow out again this morning I see. No, nowhere near as ugly as Sophie Mirabella, dear. Ask AA if you don't believe me. :) I see you're happy with the overarching Conservative consensus to hollow out the Middle Class, a la the American Republican Party. You certainly haven't quibbled about Tone's latest grasping of a Henry thought bubble, which would see $4000/year more in his pocket and $500/year less in the Middle Class pockets of the Average Joe. Oh well, I guess he has a new $700000 2nd Mortgage to pay.

Sir Ian Crisp

30/10/2010What about those earning less than $25 grand? Please update us. I thought the 'middle class' in their McMansions, gleefully banking their middle class welfare and sending Maddison and Jackson off to a private school, upset you. Now you have empathy with the 'middle class'. Please make up your mind: are they evil or good?

Ad astra reply

30/10/2010Sir Ian Why are you concerned about physical appearance? I wonder how you judge what you like to call ‘ugliness’. Is it not more generous to acknowledge the beauty that graces good people? I have met HS, you haven’t; if you had, you would not write as you do. Perhaps you would care to substitute a photo of yourself for your Gravatar so that we can acknowledge your beauty.

Sir Ian Crisp

30/10/2010Sorry AA but I've spent plenty of time inside the hallowed halls of TPS. Would you like me to go fishing and drag up the various descriptions of MPs offered by some of your contributors or do you trust me enough when I say I've seen some puerile tosh tossed about here at TPS? By the way, how come you mention physical appearance today but haven't seen concerned about it on previous days?

HS

30/10/2010Sir Ian Crisp, I have always said if the Middle Class parents want to pay over the odds for Private Health Insurance and private Education for their kids, that's their choice, and good luck to them. What I have always objected to is the State paying them subsidies from out of the taxpayers' purse to do so. That's inequitable. Ergo, I also object strenuously to them having to pay more tax to subsidise the lifestyle, and poor budgetary practices, of high income earners such as Tony Abbott. If you has actually been paying attention to what I have written over time, SIC, you would have read that I am all for the entrepeneurial, nay 'Eureka' spirit, to be manifest in our society, and fair play to those who do well as a result. What I also believe, in tandem with that ethos, is that everyone in our society gets a 'Fair Go', whether they are individual success stories, or not. I believe that all boats should rise equally in safe harbour, in our society. Also, that a spirit of philanthropic care for the less able in our society should inspire those that are more able to be successful, because Australia was established with a spirit of egaliatarianism that should never be extinguished.

George Pike

30/10/2010If anyone wants to know why the Japanese IT guy is siding up Rupert Murdoch out of the blue..take a squizz at this little revelation! What shonky dodgy pack of despotic thugs we have running the global media and communications sectors right now! http://www.businessweek.com/1996/33/b34881.htm

lyn

30/10/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Welcome to Missing Link Friday , Don Arthur, Club Troppo[/i] At Grog’s Gamut, Greg suggests that Hockey’s comments are more Paul Keating than Hugo Chavez, and http://clubtroppo.com.au/2010/10/29/missing-link-friday-29-october-2010/ [b]The Political Sword is linked on this site [/b] Australian Politics TV Australian Politics TV where you get to see Australia’s [b]single largest collection of political videos in one place[/b] – and join the debate about the videos and their content! http://australianpoliticstv.org/ [i]Last and Curious, Mr Denmore, The Failed Estate[/i] this is what is happening to the ABC in Australia, the one organisation we should be able to count on for public interest journalism http://thefailedestate.blogspot.com/ [i]The Opposition's new Broadband Plans, Paul Budde, BuddeBlog[/i] Unfortunately, after the election the Coalition – now in Opposition – turned its back on what is now known as the NBN and refused to be involved in the industry discussions that were taking place. [b]I joined in with other industry groups in repeatedly asking the Opposition to participate in constructive discussions [/b]http://www.buddeblog.com.au/frompaulsdesk/the-oppositions-new-broadband-plans/ [b]Tim Dunlop's piece has extremely interesting information for everybody: [/b] [i]The New Parliament, Tim Dunlop, BSides[/i] Some stuff you might've missed if you relied on the media for all your information: BILLS PASSED HOUSE, SENATE AND BOTH HOUSES (as at 28 October 2010) Passed the house (29 bills): http://tjd.posterous.com/australian-labor-news-lets-move-australia-for [i]Hockey welcomes Greens support, Trading Room[/i], When asked if this was one of the worst weeks he has had in politics, Mr Hockey laughed and said no."I've had worse, believe me," he said. http://www.tradingroom.com.au/apps/view_breaking_news_article.ac?page=/data/news_research/published/2010/10/302/catf_101029_145200_1149.html [i]Number of Asylum boat people equal to Howard government at it's peak., Stephen Read, Stroke of Luck[/i] The highest number of arrivals under the Howard government was 5516 potential refugees in one year. The Labour government is short by 197 refugees. http://www.goodluckstroke.com/2010/10/asylum-seeker-numbers-same-under.html [i]Why the Liberals should preference the Greens, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i]The future of the left in Australia belongs to both Greens and Labor, and it is a pragmatic recognition of this for the Liberals to preference the Greens http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/ [i]Australia Revisits Carbon Tax, Kevin Rennie, Red Bluff[/i] legislation and was dumped by a Liberal Party backlash by sceptics, deniers and opportunists. His replacement as Opposition leader, Tony Abbott, has famously called climate change science “absolute crap”. http://redbluffr.blogspot.com/2010/10/australia-revisits-carbon-tax.html [i]Oderint dum metuant, Neil Cook, The Bannerman[/i] When we see James Massola blogging and Greg Jericho crafting his special brand of op-ed in The Oz, then we’ll know the barriers are beginning to dissolve. http://www.waddayano.org/blog/2010/10/oderint_dum_metuant.php#more [i]Making Labor the issue ( after Howard), 1Petermcc's Blog[/i] who lost, public support, then Party support followed by Losing Government and the final humiliation losing his own seat http://1petermcc.wordpress.com/ [i]More Than a Miracle, Leon Delaney[/i] But wait a minute. Don’t count your chickens before the eggs are cracked. The same Newspoll which shows Labor to be in so much difficulty also shows that support for the Greens continues to grow and is now at 17%. http://leondelaney.blogspot.com/ [i]How Kevin Rudd's grip on leadership unravelled,Laurie Oakes, Herald Sun[/i] Rudd became angry and bitter at those he believed had pushed him - against his better judgment - into a fatal miscalculation. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/how-kevin-rudds-grip-on-leadership-unravelled/story-e6frfhqf-1225945358500 [b]Our friends at the "Cafe Whispers[/b]" having interesting conversation: [i]Fight! Fight! Fight! nothing to see at Limited News, Joni, Cafe Whispers[/i] Can you imagine the hyperbole that Limited News would publish if it was in-fighting in the ALP? http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/fight-fight-fight-nothing-to-see-at-limited-news/

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30/10/2010Sir Ian I would have thought the answer to your question is obvious – you raised the issue of ugliness. Are you suggesting that it’s OK for you to make comments about the imagined physical appearance of those who contribute here because similar comments have been made by them about politicians - the very same comments that abound in the media and the cartoons that embellish it? What I’m suggesting is that we refrain from making such comments about each other. If you consider that offence has been committed in the past on [i]TPS[/i], let’s wipe the slate clean and start again.

George Pike

30/10/2010...and here's another one...must be getting very close to time to bring back the guillotine methinks. Especially when you think how much wealth these parasites are amassing when up to 20 million Pakistanis are facing starvation through lack of aid.. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,985980,00.html

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30/10/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Sir Ian Crisp

30/10/2010AA, you have been charged with and found guilty of lack of consistency before. As for ugliness, the reference was more about Sharan Burrow than HS. My reference to HS and Ms Burrow was the fact she had to offer the ACTU's critique of Mr Um-Err-Ahh's child care policy as being too generous when the same policy was part of the ACTU's policies and principles. There was HS, feeling empathy with the middle class when that same group has been portrayed by the ALP as being driven by greed and shallowness and having the temerity to vote for another party or person. How quaint.

HS

30/10/2010Sir Ian Crisp, You said.'Tell me you're not as ugly as she is'., referring to Sharran Burrow. That sounds pretty personalised to me. Now you're trying to squirm out of, er 'clarify', your remarks. Gutless and slimy, like the party you revere.

D Mick Weir

30/10/2010Hi Lyn your newsreader must get a bit hot some days with all the stuff that comes in. Once again thanks for your work it is great. Another one you may find interesting is [b]Left Flank[/b] - http://left-flank.blogspot.com/ [i]Left Flank is a political and cultural blog, whose name is also a nod to the love of all things AFL.[/i] Recent Posts include: [i]NSW Labor — Degeneration versus resilience Last drinks for the NSW Labor Party? NSW government takes rights of mentally ill patients backwards Science cannot save us: The politics of climate action[/i] A lot of NSW stuff but good reading all the same

Patricia WA

30/10/2010On the subject of physical ugliness perhaps we could make Sir Ian happy by a last passing reference on this thread to the physical charms of our Opposition leader who this weekend is competing for a Half Iron Man title. No doubt he'll get lots of headlines to compete with Julia Gillard, now overseas, being very much a whole Prime Minister. Liberal ladies have expressed regret That the chances now are zero An opportunity they’ll get To view in full their hero, They love to watch their Manly man Compete on Sydney’s beaches But this time there’s a cover-up plan For waist to ankle breeches, Still no doubt they’ll like it When Tony appears on tele Still looking bronzed and very fit. With his flat and rippling belly. Because here’s a race that he might win In fact, he very likely can. Yeah, Tony ought to romp it in. After all, it’s for only half a man. And that other race he might've won? Today he would be elsewhere - maybe Amidst world leaders up in Vietnam, Upstaging Gillard, Australia's Iron Lady.

lyn

30/10/2010Hi Mick Weir Thankyou so much for you lovely compliment, yes my email box gets overloaded constantly, in fact all day everyday. I get really excited and pleased with a new link in my files, thankyou, very much appreciated. [i]When the's no more room in hell, dead Labor will walk the earth, Dr Tad, Left Flank[/i] Me on the ABC's The Drum Unleashed, reviewing John Quiggin's latest book, Zombie Economics: http://left-flank.blogspot.com/

TalkTurkey

30/10/2010SIC Poor you. We're all against you aren't we. Ohhhh. Nezzer mine. We are really all just jealous of your dazzling wit and profound insightfulness, as well of course as your elevated status. Scratch a socialist you're sure to find a would-be aristocrat. Ever since that commie bastard Gough done away with royal honours we have been devastated with envy, lucky you, seems you got a special dispensation, quite right too, you're so extremely special. You might regale us with a riveting account of how you came to be recognized ... Please . . ? . . I've done Rudeness Challenge Entry #5 in your honour, Your Honour. It's only a limerick Sir, but in recognition of your title, Sir, I've given it a title, Sir, so your adoring fans can find you on the Web real easy, forever Sir! It's called simply, SIR IAN CRISP! Our TPS will-o'-the-wisp Has been knighted : he's now SIR Ian Crisp! So unique is his flatus, The Queen raised his status! He farts with an upper-class lisp! Come on now you say something clever. Huh. As if.

acne

30/10/2010I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

D Mick Weir

30/10/2010Leonore Taylors' piece in Todays Age/SMH/National Times [b]Gillard and Abbott star acts in Slogan's Heroes[/b] http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/gillard-and-abbott-star-acts-in-slogans-heroes-20101029-177gr.html waffles around the last week of the [i]Our side are the real reformers[/i] game the government and opposition are playing. Her closing par: [i]'There is little evidence either side has yet figured out that the fight to be real reformers has to be fought with real policies that are capable of being implemented … not election-year slogans.'[/i] does strike a chord. As this year draws to a close we can only hope that the new year will bring some reality back into 'the game'. What are the chances that the guvmnt will [i]stiffen the backbone and step forward onto the front foot[/i]* and do some positive work on water, carbon, finance reform and a host of other vital issues. What chance the 'guvmnt in waiting' will actually develop and propose some real polices instead of telling us what they won't do. There are little glimmers such as Tones foray into raising the tax threshold but still the overiding message is still coming in slogans. * Oh how I love the sound of amixed metaphor in the morning!

HS

30/10/2010Just back from the Video Shop, and I spy that we are almost up to triple 100s for the first time! Whacko! Hmmm, I think to myself, conspiratorially, should I reply to everyone's latest missives seperately, and get up the runs on the board with a few quick singles? Or, should I just make an omnibus comment? I know what I'll do...

D Mick Weir

30/10/2010Hey HS I will be a co-conspirator Earlier in the week I tried to ask do you or anyone know why Bernard Keane say [i]'The hard Right environmental astroturf group, the Australian Environment Foundation, ...'[/i]? There must some basis for it but I am interested in the astroturf part of it. Any clues?

Jason

30/10/2010HS, I see the catholic church have nothing better to do in Victoria! http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/10/30/3052692.htm?section=justin

lyn

30/10/2010Hi Ad Some humour for Saturday Afternoon: [b]Canberra Report by Dick Head, Friday Mash[/b] Tony Abbott:- Despite his success so far there are still many in the Liberal Party who would like to see him get on his bike permanently. 1. elective surgery should be limited to patients suffering from politics http://www.fridaymash.com/election-sanity-top-stories/pale-shadows [b]Memoirs of a Parliamentary tea Lady, Friday Mash[/b] Sorry Gertie’ he said ‘Tell you what. You and I should launch the Australian Branch of the Tea Party together’ http://www.fridaymash.com/tag/julia-gillard-humour

HS

30/10/2010I'll meet myself half way! I'll answer everyone here on a 2nd comment. :) PatriciaWA, I had a great big smile on my face when I read your latest pome. It's too true. I mean, who wants to see Tony Abbott gallivanting around in the almost alltogether, yet again? Honestly, I'd have more respect for the man if he just did it quietly for his own health benefits, rahter than believing, in his needy and hungry for publicity way, that he can only do it if half of the country watches him desport himself for the cameras. I bet if I turn on the TV, ABC24 will have updates throughout the afternoon. Groan. D Mick Weir, I agree with you wholeheartedly. If I were the ALP I'd be making sure that I had some metaphorical fireworks ready to be lit soon when it came to new initiatives wrt the economy. Even though the Coalition's ideas are cockamamie, when you drill down into them sobrely, they are still grabbing all the headlines and looking like they have got their Thinking Caps on. For mine, Wayne Swan is too mild-mannered and lacks initiative. Talk Turkey, Keep that up and Sir Ian Crisp will question your superficial beauty. :) George Pike, The thing that interests me is that people keep talking about Japan's long-term deflation as if it is a negative, yet on the other hand you read about certain Japanese companies and individuals doing really well, such as the guy you highlighted. So, I keep thinking to myself, "Is nationwide Deflation a good or a bad thing? One thing that is incontravertible, of course, is that Rupert Murdoch is a cancer on any country's democracy.

NormanK

30/10/2010C'mon TT, your new Gravatar could be post 300 or 301. My contribution - padded up for a leg-bye.

jj

30/10/2010Who cares about the ACTU chiefs looks, all i know is that they play ugly, low rank politics most of the time. I think that the Coalition proposing economic reform is good. Havent you all been whinging that the Coalition are all negative and dont have any policies of their own? If you had have read the policy proposal, Abbott's income is well about the point at which the flat rate cuts off, so he will not be benefiting at all. I dont have a problem with the government offering every child the same base level support for their education whether private or public. Private students schools get subsidised at the same price per child as public schools (actually a little less), and then the parents at the private schools have to chip in extra for the extra services. if you dont want to send you child to a private school you dont have to, i dont, but that doesn't mean i dont support all children getting the same base level of education. Have a read of Antony Green's blog, he predicts that Labor will be in opposition for at least 8 years, and that there is a possibility that the left side of politics will be split in a way which may mean that Labor will only ever get back into government in coalition. Its good to hear the Coalition getting support for their bank reform ideas from both the left and right of the political spectrum, both in the media and in the parliament (the Greens, Nats, Financial review, Jonathan Green etc). it is interesting though that we now have a situation where the Labor party is siding with the banks. Craig Emerson came out almost instantaneously and declared that Joe Hockey's ideas were absurd. Well somehow Craig, i dont think Wayne's threats have done much to scare the banks into fairness, so why not jump on board and actually make some concrete changes?

HS

30/10/2010Jason, The Catholic Church have seen that even a worldwide plague of peadophilia having been exposed for everyone to see has not been enough to do them down, so they're feeling their oats again. Especially so as the Catholic Church has promoted so many reactionary Conservatives as Bishops in each State and they have decided to become more activist, as that is their nature.

HS

30/10/2010jj, 'Ugly, low rank politics' played by the Unions, huh? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/29/voter-intimidation-mcdonalds-republican_n_776187.html I guess you support bringing back WorkChoices too, huh? Wherein all these practices would be on the Australian political table again. And I say again because there was documented evidence of the same practice occurring in Australia when it looked like Howard was going to be defeated and WorkChoices along with him.

D Mick Weir

30/10/2010jj, did you read the Weekend AFR? Have a read of the Chanticleer column [b]Get the politics out of the bank debate[/b] Unless I was wearing the wrong pair of glasses I am sure Chanticleer gave the thumbs up to only one of Joes' 9 points. [quote]His fifth policy suggestion is his best and fits in with the opinion of this column to kick-start the residential and mortage-backed securities market. He makes sense .....[/quote] Maybe because I live in different parts to you I get a diffeent version of the paper!!!!

D Mick Weir

30/10/2010[i]Have a read of Antony Green's blog, he predicts that Labor will be in opposition for at least 8 years, and that there is a possibility that the left side of politics will be split in a way which may mean that Labor will only ever get back into government in coalition.[/i] While I respect Antony Green and his 'tealeaf' reading abilities, it is still in the end a guess. A pretty educated guess I would agree. It is quite possible that at the state level around the country that Labor will need to form alliances with other parties to gain government I am not so sure at the Federal level. There are still many months for the current govt to run and more inclined to view that the next federal govt. will be formed by either of Labor or the Liberal National Party. As the facts change I will probably chang my mind but as it is most likely that the next federal election is the best part of three years away I will wait before making any pronouncements.

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30/10/2010Patricia WA I wish I had your gift for putting so cleverly into verse what would sound much less impressive in regular language. I suspect that Tony’s Iron Man efforts will get as much attention, perhaps even gravitas, from the media than Julia’s meetings in Vietnam. Sadly that is the juvenile mindset of most of the media. I must say I do prefer your 'cuddly dog in the roses' Gravatar.

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30/10/2010D Mick Weir Dr_Tad is Tad Tietze, a public hospital psychiatrist who works in Sydney. His appraisal of John Quiggin’s [i]Zombie Economics: How Dead Ideas Still Walk Among Us[/i] was thorough and informative, such that I’m inclined to buy the book. His website, [i]Left Flank[/i], is a worthwhile blog site.

Jason

30/10/2010HS, What do you do now that the 300 has come up? retire hurt?

D Mick Weir

30/10/2010Hi Ad, when I next get to the book shop I will be having a good look over a coffee. I supect I will buy it. What leads me to buy is if the author has a 'good stoty-telling' style. One of the reasons I have taken to TPS is the way you tell a story and involve the reader :-)

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30/10/2010jj Before you get too excited, I recall similar predictions about Labor being in power for a decade federally after the Rudd Government was elected. Look at the situation now. If in NSW Labor is reduced to the ‘rump’ that is predicted, it will be difficult to make up the lost ground quickly. But because politics in this country is becoming increasingly volatile, things may change rapidly, especially if Barry O’Farrell and his Coalition doesn’t make a better fist of governing than Kristina Keneally and Labor.

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30/10/2010D Mick Weir Thank you for your kind comments. When you have browsed John Quiggin’s [i]Zombie Economics: How Dead Ideas Still Walk Among Us[/i], please let us know what you think and whether it is a good buy.

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30/10/2010Jason We’re now up to 306 comments, which allowing for the three bits of spam, is a site record – we have never got to 300 before as far as I can recall. Congratulations HS, and all who responded to your excellent piece. I’ll now post [i]Why are we here on The Political Sword?[/i], but, as the spam has died down, I’ll leave this piece open for more comments.

Jason

30/10/2010jj, Imagine if the brains trust in the opposition had have put out their banking reform ideas during the election campaign? rather than three word slogans and excuses, you might have won!

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30/10/2010Folks I have just posted [i]Why are we here on The Political Sword[/i] http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2010/10/30/Why-are-we-here-on-The-Political-Sword.aspx I look forward to your comment and feedback.

lyn

30/10/2010Hi Ad and D Mick Weir In case you haven't already been to John Quiggin's blogg: The text and the book, John Quiggin But now I finally have my hands on a physical copy of the book, and it’s surprising what a difference the real object makes. http://johnquiggin.com/index.php/archives/2010/09/25/the-text-and-the-book/ Zombie Economics: How Dead Ideas Still Walk Among Us, John Quiggin Zombie Economics takes the reader through the origins, consequences, and implosion of a system of ideas whose time has come and gone. These beliefs--that deregulation had conquered the financial cycle, that markets were always the best judge of value, that policies designed to benefit the rich made everyone better off--brought us to the brink of disaster once before, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Zombie-Economics-by-John-Quiggin/123348251033799?ref=ts

lyn

30/10/2010Hi Ad 308 comments wow! congratulations Ad, Hillbilly, and congratulations to all our dear readers, what an enjoyable time we have all had.

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30/10/2010Hi Lyn Thanks for the links to John Quiggin’s book [i]Zombie Economics: How Dead Ideas Still Walk Among Us[/i] which make very interesting reading. The introduction to his book is enticing. I have a book voucher I might use to buy this one.

Australian Politics TV

31/10/2010Thanks for linking to our website - we really appreciate it. We definitely hope we can provide something worthwhile. There'll be a lot of content uploaded during the Victorian election campaign, on top of the usual stuff uploaded by different NGO's and federal politicians & parties. Love what you're doing here too.

tucker albin

25/11/2015I am not sure if I understand your point here :( Can you explain further
What does two plus 1 equal?