Focus on political ideology: Ross Gittins

This is the first of a series that will be posted periodically over the end-of-year break on The Political Sword. It is designed to give you an opportunity to comment on the important ideological and philosophical issues that influence contemporary politics.

The centerpiece of this first post is a lucidly written and challenging opinion piece by Ross Gittins, the Sydney Morning Herald's Economics Editor, which appeared in the National Times on 5 December 2012. It is titled: A warning as market pipes tune in America.

His piece is prefaced by a video where he reviews a book: The Price of Civilisation. He begins: “Libertarianism is the notion that the only ethical value that matters is liberty, but one of America’s leading economists, Professor Jeffrey Sachs, isn’t having a bar of it in his latest book, The Price of Civilisation.

You will get the gist of Gittins’ article if you first view the video. Click this link and play the video.

The entire article, as it appears in the National Times, is in italics below:

"Just as it's taking the world a lot longer to recover from the global financial crisis than we initially expected, so it's taking a lot longer than we might have expected for voters and their governments to learn the lessons and make the changes needed to ensure such devastation doesn't recur. But the penny has dropped for some.

Jeffrey Sachs, of Columbia University, is one of the biggest-name economists in the world. Yet in his book, The Price of Civilisation: Economics and Ethics after the Fall, he admits America's greatest problem is moral, not economic. Actually, he says that at the root of America's economic crisis lies a moral crisis. He puts into words thoughts most of us have hardly dared to think.

Sachs says America's weaknesses are warning signs for the rest of the world. ''The society that led the world in financial liberalisation, round-the-clock media saturation, television-based election campaigns and mass consumerism is now revealing the downside of a society that has let market institutions run wild over politics and public values,'' he says.

His book ''tracks the many ills that now weigh on the American psyche and the American financial system: an economy of hype, debt and waste that has achieved economic growth and high incomes at the cost of extreme income inequality, declining trust among members of the society and the public's devastating loss of confidence in the national government as an instrument of public well-being''.

Even if the American economy is on the skids, he says, the hyper-commercialism invented in America is on the international rise. So, too, are the attendant ills: inequality, corruption, corporate power, environmental threats and psychological destabilisation.

''A society of markets, laws and elections is not enough if the rich and powerful fail to behave with respect, honesty and compassion toward the rest of society and towards the world. America has developed the world's most competitive market society but has squandered its civic virtue along the way.

''Without restoring an ethos of social responsibility, there can be no meaningful and sustained economic recovery.''

America's crisis developed gradually over several decades, he argues. It's the culmination of an era - the baby-boomer era - rather than of particular policies or presidents. It is a bipartisan affair: both Democrats and Republicans have played their part.

''On many days it seems that the only difference between the Republicans and Democrats is that Big Oil owns the Republicans while Wall Street owns the Democrats.''

Too many of America's elites - the super rich, the chief executives and many academics - have abandoned a commitment to social responsibility. They chase wealth and power, the rest of society be damned, he says.

We need to reconceive the idea of a good society. ''Most important, we need to be ready to pay the price of civilisation through multiple acts of good citizenship: bearing our fair share of taxes, educating ourselves deeply about society's needs, acting as vigilant stewards for future generations and remembering that compassion is the glue that holds society together.''

The American people are generally broadminded, moderate and generous, he says. But these are not the images of Americans we see on television or the adjectives that come to mind when we think of America's rich and powerful elite.

America's political institutions have broken down, so that the broad public no longer holds these elites to account. And the breakdown of politics also implicates the public. ''American society is too deeply distracted by our media-drenched consumerism to maintain habits of effective citizenship.''

Sachs says a healthy economy is a mixed economy, in which government and the marketplace play their roles. Yet the federal government has neglected its role for three decades, turning the levers of power over to the corporate lobbies.

The resulting ''corporatocracy'' involves a feedback loop. ''Corporate wealth translates into political power through campaign financing, corporate lobbying and the revolving door of jobs between government and industry; and political power translates into further wealth through tax cuts, deregulation and sweetheart contracts between government and industry. Wealth begets power, and power begets wealth.''

How have American voters allowed their democracy to be hijacked? ''Most voters are poorly informed and many are easily swayed by the intense corporate propaganda thrown their way in the few months leading to the elections.

''We have therefore been stuck in a low-level political trap: cynicism breeds public disengagement from politics; the public disengagement from politics opens the floodgates of corporate abuse; and corporate abuse deepens the cynicism.''

Sachs says globalisation and the rise of Asia risks the depletion of vital commodities such as fresh water and fossil fuels, and long-term damage to the earth's ecosystems.

''For a long time, economists ignored the problems of finite natural resources and fragile ecosystems,'' he writes. ''This is no longer possible. The world economy is pressing hard against various environmental limits, and there is still much more economic growth - and therefore environmental destruction and depletion - in the development pipeline.''

Two main obstacles to getting the global economy on an ecologically sustainable trajectory exist, he says. The first is that our ability to deploy more sustainable technologies, such as solar power, needs large-scale research and development.

The second is the need to overcome the power of corporate lobbies in opposing regulations and incentives that will steer markets towards sustainable solutions. ''So far, the corporate lobbies of the polluting industries have blocked such measures.''

In Australia, of course, the public interest has so far triumphed over corporate resistance. But the survival of both the carbon tax and the mining tax remains under threat."


We acknowledge our indebtedness for this piece to Ross Gittins, one of the finest writers in the mainstream media.  You might find the comments that follow his article informative.  They reveal starkly the variety of attitudes, and the wide variation in philosophy of his readers.

If you found Gittins’ article interesting you may also enjoy reading the rather dire account of the economy in the US: Debtpocalypse, Austerity and the Hollowing Out of America - Modern US history and the archeology of decline by Steve Fraser published in Common Dreams – Building Progressive Community.

It is now over to you, the users of The Political Sword, to express your views.

What do you think?


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Ad astra reply

5/12/2012Folks Let me begin with some observations about the ideological values that are exposed by Gittins’ article. Across the democratic world, there are sharp divisions between those who occupy what is usually referred to as the ‘Left’, often called ‘progressives’, and those of the ‘Right’, the ‘conservatives’. While both sides recognize the need for a strong economy built on enterprise and competitiveness, other values separate the two. As Gittins points out, in America where free markets and light regulation have prevailed, the downside of that society is that it [i]“has let market institutions run wild over politics and public values.”[/i] We saw this during the GFC when Lehmann Bros collapsed, and other financial institutions that had built their wealth on shonky financial instruments, so-called collateralized debt obligations born out of the proliferation of subprime mortgages, had to be rescued out of the public purse because they were too big to fail. Irresponsible financial transactions ran riot, although the perpetrators knew they were shonky and very risky, and when they failed, the people paid. And soon after the bailout, the executives responsible for this calamity were again pocketing large bonuses although they had lost billions of other people’s money. These are the same people who now oppose higher taxes on the very wealthy, who want to cut social expenditure by reducing welfare to the needy, and who resist cutting defence expenditure, which would make inroads into the powerful military-industrial complex, the danger of which was highlighted long ago by Dwight Eisenhower in his farewell address. It is now bigger than ever. Gittins points to the American financial system as [i]“…an economy of hype, debt and waste that has achieved economic growth and high incomes at the cost of extreme income inequality”[/i]. A telling paragraph reads: [i]''Corporate wealth translates into political power through campaign financing, corporate lobbying and the revolving door of jobs between government and industry; and political power translates into further wealth through tax cuts, deregulation and sweetheart contracts between government and industry. Wealth begets power, and power begets wealth''[/i], a phenomenon he labels: “corporatocracy''. For any who think this is peculiar to America, just look at the different attitudes and values between Coalition and Labor ideologies. We see Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey, and indeed Coalition State governments, embracing free markets with light regulation, surplus budgets and debt repayment, but at the expensive of health, education and social welfare for the poor and disadvantaged, and today we heard Joe Hockey say, despite Abbott insisting he was ‘Dr Yes’ to the NDIS, that he would fund it only if the budget was well into surplus. Every day we see Campbell Newman making cuts that savage health, education and social services. It is disingenuous for columnists to assert that there is really no difference between the two sides of politics. There is a world of difference – not as much as in America, but what is happening there ought to be a stark warning for us. Although Gittins makes a reasonable case, the first comment I read began: [i]“Typical Gittins article, exemplifying the intellectual dishonesty, or at best confusion in ‘progressive’ thought”[/i], a typical ‘shoot the messenger’ comment from someone who clearly dislikes Gittins’ message. It exemplifies the stark division between the conservatives and the progressives, the right and the left, which bedevils our politics, and will more radically do so if we allow ourselves to be drawn down the American path, one that the likes of Tea Party admirer Cory Bernardi would have us travel. Ross Gittins has done us a service; the book to which he refers: [i]The Price of Civilisation[/i], should be a good read.

2353

5/12/2012I may be sounding considerably older than my years here - but it wasn't like this in the "good old days". My theory is that the introduction of marketing to politics in the 70's (and the ALP It's time campaign is an example of this) along with the rise of "greed is good" and "what's in it for me" in the 80's put paid to the potential of political parties to work together for the benefit of society. I feel the world is slowly coming back to value society and the increasingly polarised political system will eventually result in the same situation as the V8 Supercars. In reality the cars are pretty similar under the bodies but there are mad keen Holden supporters, mad keen Ford supporters who wouldn't be seen dead supporting the other side. The whole thing has become so irrelevant to the original purpose of racing cars (reliability testing for the showroom) that the majority of the population really couldn't give a rats who won. The governing body is now fighting for relevance again by introducing a new set of rules that will allow things without Holden or Ford badges on the track. In society there is a greater interest in "back to basics" so I believe political parties will eventually get the idea that society expects them to work together for the benefit of the Country. Obama's re-election, the current reporting on the US financial issues reporting that the Republicans are trying it on but will have to give up a lot more than Obama will have to do, the media enquiry in the UK and the popularity rating of the LOTO here are all pointers to a better society. Those who want a better world have to keep on agitating on sites such as this to get real and lasting change.

TalkTurkey

5/12/2012Marcellus Wallace‏@bdrinkwater Reposted from Twitter @BowlerBarrister Try as they might, this "dirty little secret" now has a pulse of it's own. Check it @liberalaus :-) http://australiansforhonestpolitics.wordpress.com/ Dog Albitey I want Abbortt brought to book. But I want him there for now. A filthy stinking piece of baggage to which his side of politics is handcuffed. Bringing them down day by day. He will never recover. Dead Meat Come December remember. http://t.co/Tw3oGsJU

KHTAGH

5/12/2012AD Astra It all comes down to the US ethos of "Greed is good" damn the result or long term environmental, social, costs. With an attitude of "as long as I have more that the next guy". Unfortunately we are stepping in the footsteps of the US if we go down the Lieberal path. Especially with the Mad Monk at the wheel. God help us all. Just listened to more hockey nommic's on ABC just now, "can't tell you anything until 10 days before the next election", that will soon were thin over the next 10 months, what a dope he is. Or he thinks we are the dopes, well there are at least 1 or 2 here aren't there when all said & done. LITERARY uplugh captcha prophetic

TalkTurkey

5/12/2012And this is fun via Geoff Pearson‏@GCobber99 Tony Abbott shows - once again - that he can't be trusted to follow his own advice http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aD0FOrkML6s&feature=youtu.be …

KHTAGH

5/12/2012TT I also agree [i]But I want him there for now. [/i] although I detest this prick of a person, he is our best asset. Slow toasting for the next 3-4 months maybe over AFHP, should be well done by then.

TalkTurkey

5/12/2012And well worth reliving! Geoff Pearson‏@GCobber99 Video Tony Abbott didnt want the public to see Deside for your self this is the party claiming they will fix economy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgjGWYZSVUA …

TalkTurkey

5/12/2012KHTAGH Not toasting. Gangrene and Putrefaction. Infecting all around him. But what's AFHP anyway?

Tom of Melbourne

5/12/2012I’ll post this here too, because Nasking & I go back about 6 years, and I think I owe him a reply… [i]”Come on ToM reveal thyself. Show us the REAL YOU. The class act beneath the UNIONS SUCK bravado. 

 WHO ARE YOU...WHO WHO...WHO WHO? 

 

 Just joshin' 

ToM yer fine just the way you are. 

 Another negabore incognito...afraid of the light.”[/i] I think I’ll choose to take that in good spirit Nasking. I (obviously) think blogging should be done with a fair amount of vigour, it is an activity for testing of points of view. If it’s not for this, what possible purpose does it serve, other than social networking? Why would anyone wish to publish their opinions and political orientation in the public domain, unless they wish to have it examined? But I suspect if anyone really wanted to waste their time trying to find out my name, they wouldn’t find it a huge challenge. I’ve posted an email address and exchange emails with a couple of people on the blogs. I’ve posted plenty of personal details and I think google would be of assistance. But really, what’s the point? We’re only exchanging opinions, and we’re not pretending to change the views of anyone.

LadyInRed

5/12/2012The meaning of greed in Hindi: [i]a mans greed for money leads him to do anything.[/i] I visited an old slate mine in Snowdonia in Wales. Some stats: the average age of a slate miner was 27. They sent you down the mines as young as 6 years old. You had to buy (yes buy) your own candles to take with you so you could see to extract the slate for the wealthy so and so that owned the mine. If you were the person who did the dynamiting you were more than likely deaf. You worked 6 days a week, you had choir practice 2 nights a week, and on Sundays you had to go to church twice. They sung like angles. Compassion, the mine owners - they had none. The only way we have made a difference is through engagement with the political process of government, demanding better conditions (trade unions, suffragettes) and the use of our right to vote, that we have become cynical disturbs me. TAbbott uses this synicism to his advantage, thank goodness for the 5th estate.

Woodypear

6/12/2012Holdens/fords, collingwood/essendon, Liberal/Labor - there will always be those who will support blindly one or the other. These people can't see the virtues of the others' argument/point of view. In each of these situations fortunately, there is an overriding concern - car racing, football and democracy. Each of these situations has a governing body set up to maintain the punter's interest. The two sporting situations and the political one each get interference by outsiders who will try to benefit from them, regardless of the effect on the supporters. Only when the organisations have strong governing bodies, that put the interest of the punters first, will that activity prosper. Unfortunately, with politics, the outsiders are becoming too powerful and are calling the shots. We need to stand up and be counted.

KHTAGH

6/12/2012TT Australians For Honest Politics= his slush fund.

Crowey

6/12/2012The heavy rigid semi trailer Abbott is suppose to be driving from Qld to NSW wouldn't be over loaded by any chance.

Jason

6/12/2012Ad, Mark Latham is a day late for the previous thread! The joke that’s journalism It just won’t go away. The misrepresentations, the lack of research skills, the inability to understand basic facts and report them in a logical and coherent way. If the Slater & Gordon affair proves anything, it does not concern the professional standing of Australia’s Prime Minister. It highlights, instead, the professional incompetence of its media. Over the years, I have grown accustomed to the error-prone nature of modern journalism. In one’s daily media consumption it is not difficult to find a series of stuff-ups. But even I have been shocked by the shambolic reporting of the so-called slush fund controversy, especially over the past fortnight, as more news outlets have rushed to judgment about a complex, detailed matter two decades ago. Some of this comes from political bias. The prolific Herald-Sun columnist Andrew Bolt, for instance, has made scores of mistakes because he is intellectually incapable of treating Julia Gillard fairly. This is also true of Australia’s Lunar Right radio stations, where the broadcasters have just one rule: you can say whatever you like, as long as it’s anti-Gillard. In its fanaticism about the Prime Minister, Australian conservatism has lost touch with real world notions of fact-based thinking and analysis. Even in upmarket publications like The Australian  and Fairfax’s newspapers, errors abound – so many in fact I have decided to write a book about media incompetence, using Slater & Gordon as a representative case study. For now, let me give you one of my favourite examples. On August 30, I wrote of how West Australian public servants had told me it was possible to register an incorporated association which undertook “fund-raising for trade union elections”. Four days later, The Australian’s legal affairs editor, Chris Merritt, wrote of how “Latham quoted his unnamed official as saying there would not be a prohibition on registering a union”. I had done no such thing, and nor had the WA officials. I subsequently rang Merritt to explain his error but he would not listen. He persisted in his mistaken belief that a fund-raising body like the AWU Workplace Reform Association might, in fact, be a trade union. Under West Australian law in 1992 (when Gillard gave free legal advice for the creation of the AWU WRA), it was not possible for unions to be registered as incorporated associations. Last Thursday, Tony Abbott, relying on another report, this time by Mark Baker in the Fairfax press, made a similar mistake to Merritt. A lengthy parliamentary debate followed in which Gillard confirmed the obvious: the AWU WRA was not a trade union. So what did Merritt write on Friday? He attacked Gillard by raising the nonsensical question of whether, for the purpose of its registration, the AWU WRA “was a union association or not?” Even with the passage of three months and extensive parliamentary discussion the previous day, Merritt showed how the power of learning is beyond him. Like a dullard bashing his head against a wall, he insisted in making the same elementary mistake. A decade or so ago, I recall Alan Ramsey telling me journalism was a dying profession. I thought he was exaggerating, but the great man was right. Journalism as we know it is dying, choking on its own incompetence. It is going the way of every commercial organisation which takes its customers for granted, offering low-grade services. For the sake of our democracy, this cannot happen fast enough. One of the reasons the Australian people are so disengaged from politics is their deep-seated distrust of journalism. The public has seen too many errors and too many smear campaigns masquerading as “investigative reporting” to take the media seriously. Unable to get reliable, independent information about politics, they see little point in following the public debate. Hopefully, a decade from now, newspapers and TV news bulletins will no longer exist, having gone the way of record players and typewriters. The best outcome would be for consumers to demand and receive individually-customised online services, delivering straight factual items plus material from columnists to whom they have chosen to subscribe. In this fashion, the internet can kill off the intermediary role of newspaper editors, TV producers and muddle-headed commentators like Merritt. Mark Latham is a former Labor leader http://www.afr.com/p/opinion/the_joke_that_journalism_oZw1G6JALonTpZbXFOZ2nJ

pappinbarra foxette

6/12/2012Nothing is new - Gulliver could see the preposterous lunacy of big endians and little endians in one of his many travels. My old mum used to say if bullshit was thripence a pound Bob Menzies would be a millionaire- LOTO Abbott's truck must be worth a pretty penny- cartoonish I suspect like the other Lotto truck in the ads.

pappinbarra foxette

6/12/2012Nothing is new - Gulliver could see the preposterous lunacy of big endians and little endians in one of his many travels. My old mum used to say if bullshit was thripence a pound Bob Menzies would be a millionaire- LOTO Abbott's truck must be worth a pretty penny- cartoonish I suspect like the other Lotto truck in the ads.

lawriejay

6/12/2012There's a lot to be said for Tony Abbott driving a truck from Brisbane to Sydney and we can rely on the MSM to keep us fully informed?? Priority focus??

Woodypear

6/12/2012But Mark, Julia Gillard still has a lot of questions to answer - what was the temperature that day; what was she wearing; did she actually eat lunch or skip it, to mention a few. What a lovely line - "still has questions to answer". As a journalist you can set up any smear campaign with that line.

Ad astra reply

6/12/2012Woodypear Welcome to [i]The Political Sword[/i] family. Do come again. Lawriejay I’m pretty sure you have been here before, so welcome back to [i]The Political Sword[/i]. Jason Thank you for the Mark Latham piece; it is in line with the last piece on [i]TPS[/i]. His proposed book should be worth reading. He writes well. I enjoyed reading his last book [i]The Latham Diaries[/i].

Ad astra reply

6/12/2012janice Thank you for your comment on the last thread. Let’s see how the experiment goes: how much it keeps the site ticking over, how much interest it generates, and how much time it takes me. I hope that some more articles crop up that lend themselves to an ideological discussion. I feel that it is too easy to get bogged down in discussion of contemporary political issues that obscure the fundamental ideological differences between the political parties: Labor, Liberal, Nationals and Greens, differences which profoundly influence their behaviour and their approach to issues of policy. Journalists, and some of the public, like to say: ‘Political parties all the same”, or that ‘Politicians are all the same”, which even the most superficial assessment shows is incorrect. I believe strongly that it is easier for us to understand why parties and individual politicians do what they do if we are aware of the underpinning ideology of the parties and individual politicians. This is why I though a series that addresses political ideology might be useful over the break when there will be fewer policy issues in the public arena.

jaycee

6/12/2012I see Dame Elizabeth Murdoch and Dave Brubeck both passed away today....Both have to be considered artists...One produced magnificent music..the other reproduced a human tragedy!

pappinbarra fox

6/12/2012LOTO Abbott still has "questions to answer" about how he obtained a truck driver's licence,was there any bribe offered or accepted, who funded the truck, who will he employ and how will that person be paid, to walk in front of the truck swinging a red lantern? If the truck is filled with Hope where are Faith and Charity? Is the taxpyer being slugged for this venture? You get the idea.

DMW

6/12/2012To add another perspective to the Gittins article Ad has posted it would pay to listen to Wednesdays Religion and Ethics Report on Radio National and the discussion Mr Gittins had with Andrew West. [b]Ross Gittins on Ethical Economics[/b] [i]A spokesman for the Australian retail industry urged consumers recently to “start early and go hard”, declaring Christmas had arrived. But this consumption culture has one of Australia’s top economic commentators worried that we’re spending ourselves not just into record debt but misery as well. Ross Gittins believes this ethos of prioritising economic growth and flexible work practices threatens family life and relationships. He writes about it in his new book, Gittins’ Gospel (2012) and in a recent Sydney Morning Herald column, where he warned corporations have hijacked American democracy. Interestingly, in NSW, unions and churches recently fought off an attempt to introduce trading on Boxing Day.[/i] http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/religionandethicsreport/ross-gittins-on-ethical-economics/4410092 It is also worth listening to the next story from that programme [b]The legacy of John Nevile and the philosophy of Adam Smith[/b] http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/religionandethicsreport/the-legacy-of-john-nevile-and-the-philosophy-of-adam-smith/4410178

TalkTurkey

6/12/2012 Where would we be, what would we do, Tell me Tony, if we didn't have you! Truly, he has kept us interested. Disgusted yes, all that, but we dare not just turn our backs and let an Abborttian Government happen. So he has kept our adrenalin pumping . . . Imagine he'd been a pussy like Downer. Stupid MSM still pandering to his stunts I'm told though I haven't seen any TV footage of him and his Truck myself. I think they might feel a tad ridiculous now, and they are starting timidly to nibble at him in doorstops. His flesh is rotting, they like that, Dog albitey they're gutless though. I want to see some Piranhas with the courage of their convictions. (Yeah what convictions?) Anyway a couple of feel-good songs about Truckers, and looka what People are saying about Truckin' Tony. [i]Six Days On The Road[/i] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHbGhEfnh2E http://storify.com/BowlerBarrister/tony-abbott-truck-driving-stunt?utm_content=storify-pingback&utm_source=t.co&utm_campaign=&awesm=sfy.co_jCHc&utm_medium=sfy.co-twitter [i]CONVOY![/i] http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=AU&hl=en-GB&v=HWO_AIh8drk

Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

6/12/2012 Morning all: some pieces we may not yet have seen, plus some additional Twitter feeds with links. [b]The PM Versus The Premier[/b]s Ben Eltham We’ve covered the AWU non-scandal here at New Matilda rather reluctantly; I firmly believe that the available evidence on the public record essentially vindicates the Prime Minister. With parliamentarians returning to their electorates, December is therefore a month in which we might have hoped that attention would turn to issues of policy and substance. For her part, Julia Gillard is getting on with the business of running the country. There’s a meeting of the Council of Australian Governments coming up this Friday, for instance, which gives her the perfect opportunity to resume combat with the natural enemies of all prime ministers, conservative or Labor: state premiers. http://newmatilda.com/2012/12/04/pm-versus-premiers [b]A million new jobs ain't what it used to be[/b] Greg Jericho He analyses Tony Abbott's pledge to create a million jobs in five years - although to be completely accurate, in the forward of Abbott's new book, he wrote "Within five years, I am confident that our economy can create at least one million new jobs." So the economy's responsible, not him! To put this in perspective, 1.002 million jobs were created between March 2007 and March 2012 - a period in which the Rudd/Gillard government was mainly in office, and the minor matter of a GFC. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4407638.html [b]Hockey on four-point plans and a falling economy[/b] Bernard Keane “The Reserve Bank is trying to catch a falling Australian economy. The government is making it worse by going on a big taxing, big spending program.” That, from yesterday, could be the single dumbest thing Joe Hockey has said this year. The shadow treasurer is at his best when he’s least partisan. No other major party politician has dared put their name to the sort of comments Hockey made about entitlements. Speaking to international media and observing the rule that you don’t bag Australia to foreigners, he looks a measured, mature Treasurer-in-waiting. When he’s trying to score political points in an economy that for so long has resolutely failed to produce any bad news, the result, like yesterday’s quote, is painful. http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/12/05/hockey-on-four-point-plans-and-a-falling-economy/ [b]Verdict: Trial by media[/b] Barry Tucker The News Ltd owned Melbourne Herald responded with a virtual trial by media coverage of Mr Thomson’s speech. A front page photograph was embellished to give Mr Thomson a large Pinocchio-style nose. The overall tone of the articles presented Mr Thomson as a liar. The two polls of Herald Sun readers that accompanied the articles largely reinforced the impression. During his speech Mr Thomson questioned the possible involvement and motives of the Liberal Party in the affair — allegations that have not been examined by the mainstream media (MSM). http://truthinmediaresourcecentre.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/verdict-trial-by-media/ Bernard Keane ‏ Mark Latham rips modern journalism a new one, yo. And in passing humiliates The Oz's Chris Merritt http://is.gd/xgZDh1 Malcolm Fraser 'Political promise' to return budget to surplus 'very dangerous' Hostage to fortune, politics over good policy.http://www.theage.com.au/business/-2avmd.html … Bernard Keane Max Walsh warns Julia Gillard about self-funded retirees, yo. Er, I don't think any of them bastards vote Labor, Max http://is.gd/rZDgYp Stephen Koukoulas Retweet: The 2013 and 1993 unloseable elections compared:http://www.melbournereview.com.au/commentary/article/the-2013-election-is-looming … @MelbReview Popi Solar users force Newman Government backdown |http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/solar-users-force-newman-government-backdown/story-e6freoof-1226530797671?sv=7be2fcef56aef7baaec8fc74b4c1cd3f#.UMCy8c___mM.twitter Popi Public service job cuts, mining slowdown as Queensland economy goes in to reverse http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/public-service-job-cuts-mining-slowdown-start-to-bite-as-queensland-economy-goes-in-to-reverse/story-e6freoof-1226530816026?sv=593f5a40d624ba71b3a5e34a2c101dd2#.UMCyfH6EY1o Possum Comitatus In a development that won't surpise anyone, The Fin and The Australian strangely omit reporting that productivity is the highest in 10 years Destroy the Context Newman can escape the 'leader killing season'http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/newman-can-escape-the-leader-killing-season-20121205-2auqw.html …

jaycee

6/12/2012I see many tributes coming in on some sites for Dame Elizabeth Murdoch....Sure, fair enough, she contributed her share to charitable and artistic endeaveours...But I recall an encounter with a middle-aged Greek Lady who was the canteen cleaner and more at one place I worked.. She had a large family and held down two jobs a day..we were having lunch at one of the long tables there and the factory cat was on the table amusing us when Elena (the cleaner!)gave it a swoosh with the tea-towel that seemed to be forever draped over her shoulder. "Hey!..be nice!" one chap mocked, to which she replied without missing a step.. "I am only "nice" on payday and Sunday...in between I am too tired and too poor." To some, it is much easier to be "nice".

LadyInRed

6/12/2012That's all he's got? Driving a truck stunt? If this is supposed to endear him to female voters he can forget it. This just reinforces and highlights his macho "look at me" (not my policies), "the PM is a woman and I am a man", image. Its right up there with Bishop and Pyne telling us about his spending his saturday fire fighting, and that ridiculous footage of him pulling a hose. His constant door stops with the fluro vest. Its more of him trying to dumb down the debate.

TalkTurkey

6/12/2012Pappinbarra Fox, Who funded the Truck? Who funded the Truck? A trucker I wonder? Or just a truck-funder, A ****sucker not worth a buck?

DMW

6/12/2012Just a thought on [i]... still has questions to answer[/i] You claim to be a journalist ask the freakin' questions you freakin' dimwit.

TalkTurkey

6/12/2012Ad astra Stop worrying about TPS! We're all addicts now, happy ones, no-one writes threads like yours but we all have an interest in keeping this site rocking. Jaycee I have thought likewise about Dame Murdoch, I thought your little story well put! That said, back to the centre: better for her to have been a bit philanthropic than not at all (a la Rindlard) . . . Still it is hard to forgive her for spawning Rupert. She died of shame because of his lies of course, but she took a bloody long time to do it. I'm assured that he is impatient to join her.

Tom of Melbourne

6/12/2012[i]” I feel that it is too easy to get bogged down in discussion of contemporary political issues that obscure the fundamental ideological differences between the political parties: Labor, Liberal, Nationals and Greens, differences which profoundly influence their behaviour and their approach to issues of policy.[/i] The major issue isn’t the ideological differences between the parties; it is the dishonesty and corruption within the political parties – their structures and processes – note John Faulkner. This malaise is the cause of disengagement from politics by youth, it is the reason that people are cynical about politicians (and their behaviour and motivations), and it helps explain why young idealists no longer seek a political career. While current examples of questionable behaviour might bother ALP supporters, such examination is important to start to clean up political behaviour. Workchoices proved that political parties that are too ideologically driven will be short lived. It is unlikely that any major party will press ahead with ideologically driven policies that are incapable of being embraced by the electorate. Ideologically, the ALP would prefer to provide unions with a stronger leg up, but the orientation of the electorate won’t support this. The political orientation of the electorate stymies implementation of extreme political philosophy. You should be arguing for more transparency and integrity in political parties, rather than defaulting to blaming the press.

pappinbarra fox

6/12/2012Tok Turkie I am not the truck funder I am the truck funder's son I only fund trucks when the truck funder's gone ... Yeeehaaa, LadyinRed - we all know that all truckies look the same but some are actually smart, cannot say that about the stunt truck drivers (yeah that is you LOTO.

TalkTurkey

6/12/2012Janet You really getting into Linking now! What a Good Thing! Lyn's influence blossoming eh! LiR As a result of his Truck stunt, I wonder how many undecideds have come Abbortt's way, and how many have finally had enough of him to desert him for good? I would say, about none to quite a few, what think you? Not just women thinking him posing a [i]macho[/i], but a lot of men thinking of him [i]posing[/i] as macho. Nice distinction. He's gutless. Sleeping in luxury motel, posing as tough trucker. Good Morning to all Comrades of the Sword.

pappinbarra fox

6/12/2012DMW What yo sayin'm girlie and who is yo directin' that at, at 9.50 am?

MWS

6/12/2012Loved this letter in the SMH today: [quote]Joe Hockey's explanation that rates are so low because of bad economic management by the government would appear to now explain why interest would always be lower under the Coalition; obviously they are better at mismanaging the economy. Mark Pearce Richmond[/quote] http://www.smh.com.au/national/letters/give-antibank-bluster-a-rest-and-act-instead-20121205-2avny.html

Ad astra reply

6/12/2012Janet, DMW My last word for the day as I attend to [i]TPS Mail[/i]. Thank you for the interesting links, several of which I have bookmarked. TT I'm taking your advice!

TalkTurkey

6/12/2012*J*U*L*I*A* confirming predictions of the Mayan Calendar! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebtj3gDaE64&feature=youtu.be

bob macalba

6/12/2012Janet, thankyou some good reading, that love story by Gerard Paynter was a bit sickly though,it made my skin crawl Talk Turkey, -naughty but funny, luv yer humour, cheers

TalkTurkey

6/12/2012The more I read of Mark Latham the more I like him! http://afr.com/p/opinion/brucer_gate_fabrication_wwPlSkmIzWTmZcpiSlYE7J

bob macalba

6/12/2012TT man i forgot all about the world ending on the 21st, and heres me booked in for a colonoscopy on the 19th

TalkTurkey

6/12/2012bob said [i]Talk Turkey, -naughty but funny, luv yer humour, cheers[/i] Not as funny as our peripatetic fox I think!

Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

6/12/2012 TT, Ad, and bob macalba and others. Glad you like the bit of help with links. I really enjoy doing it and getting all your links too, all of which I then tweet on during the day on Twitter. Will be vagabonding a bit in next few days so might not be doing much - but lots of you are so generously unstoppable, no shortage of reading, which is marvellous :-). TT: a secret: a certain wee feathered bright-yellow resting tweetie has been doing some lovely and very close mentoring! :-)

42 long

6/12/2012I commented weeks ago to watch Latham. Very valuable contributions coming from him. One ( with a confronting style with punch and guts, against many. He's up to it. The reality of the MSM and Abbott is feeble and minimal. "He who pays the piper calls the tune" is with them. They are deservedly going extinct.

Gravel

6/12/2012Bob Cancel it till the 22nd, and you may not have to go through the indignity. :-). Seriously good luck. LadyInRed I think I'm now following you on twitter, from a tweet from out holidaying Tweety Bird. Janet Thanks for the Links, I'll get to them soon. Talk Turkey That is a brilliant video of our Julia, she has a great sense of humour. Ad Astra What a great idea to do this, and to give yourself a lot of time off (hopefully). Please enjoy the break, we will need you next year. :-) Oh and a belated welcome from me to all the newcomers recently. Because everyone has a different way of looking at events, and express things differently it is great to have even more voices added to this blog. Oh and by the way it doesn't take long to work out the genuine from the pathetic. Personal gravatar's are great to help scroll the odd troll.

bob macalba

6/12/2012Talk Turkey agree p.fox also in the groove. [peripatetic]-had to look the word up,

nasking

6/12/2012 [b]I am happy with whatever you come up with that gives you a well-earned rest over the Xmas break. Having said that, I think this 'experiment' of yours is a good one and should keep us all happy.[/b] What Janice said. :D N'

nasking

6/12/2012 [b]Sachs says America's weaknesses are warning signs for the rest of the world. ''The society that led the world in financial liberalisation, round-the-clock media saturation, television-based election campaigns and mass consumerism is now revealing the downside of a society that has let market institutions run wild over politics and public values,''[/b] What Sachs says. N'

DMW

6/12/2012pappinbarra fox @ 10:25 AM, it is random thought directed at any person who claims to be a journalist and/or pretends to be one.

bob macalba

6/12/2012Ad more on climate change and how slack media arehttp://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-12-06/green-how-can-anything-rival-the-threat-of-climate-change/4410172

TalkTurkey

6/12/2012Woodypear, What you say is fine, but let there be no attempt to portray as equivalent the propensity for sleaze, nor the relative abilities, of the Government vis-a-vis the Opposition. Labor is to LNP as Platinum is to poop. Crowey I'm a Crowie and we give the odd bit of meat to a couple of Crows who visit in downtown Glenelg. They are shy and sus of humans, but how shiny! Not quite as shiny as male Satin Bower-Birds but that's not fair because NOTHING is shinier than them. The Political Sword is feeling very well indeed don't you think.

DMW

6/12/2012ToM @ 10:12 AM, mmmm, some interesting thoughts. Unfortunately other lives have called (very loudly) so I have to go. I will ponder as I wend my way around the traps. A quick random thought: [i]You should be arguing ...[/i], 'should' should be 'could'. Rewind, 'should' could be 'could' and maybe it would encourage a different response :)

LadyInRed

6/12/2012pappinbarra fox and TT I can imagine that many men find his over the top macho image ridiculous. He and Kevin have an awful lot in common, media whores the both of them. Here I am cutting a fish, here I am hammering a nail in, here I am packing cookies, here I am fighting fires, here I am driving trucks, here I am in my budgies smugglers isn't my tackle impressive.......oh please put it away! He can never be 'one of us', and surley we don't expect him to be? So this constant trying to present himself as what?......a person of substance? a person who undestands the problems of truckers by being one for a day.....this is not done via stunts. Empathy is not learned by using the tools that others use in their daily life, like a knife or a hammer or a truck. I hope I make sense. Empathy is something you feel and when you have it, it comes out in all that you do, and in the case of the potential next PM that would be policies, and not treating us like an audience of fools.

LadyInRed

6/12/2012Janet yes I am on twitter.....but I am just a small bird with new wings, learning to flap. Thanks for noticing.

nasking

6/12/2012 [b]Too many of America's elites - the super rich, the chief executives and many academics - have abandoned a commitment to social responsibility. They chase wealth and power, the rest of society be damned, he says. We need to reconceive the idea of a good society. ''Most important, we need to be ready to pay the price of civilisation through multiple acts of good citizenship: bearing our fair share of taxes, educating ourselves deeply about society's needs, acting as vigilant stewards for future generations and remembering that compassion is the glue that holds society together.''[/b] This can be said of the super rich across the planet. How refreshing to see that Rupert Murdoch's mum was a genuinely kind and good citizen. Elisabeth Murdoch might've found herself in a privileged position...but she did not use it to spread darkness and fear and sexual titillation in order to gain more influence...rather, she appreciated the possibilities of creating a better world for all...respecting the vibrancy of nature...and the artists who captured it...the potential of children...and their struggles...and how to lift them from pain to another plain...she obviously got that spreading the tiniest bit of goodwill by treating others as equals with respect and compassion could send waves of positivism...lightening the burdens of a complex life. She is indeed a loss for this essentially good country...and the world as a whole...as good people are. Sad times for her family and friends...but at least have those inspiring memories...and the warmth that she bestowed on them. N'

TalkTurkey

6/12/2012Janet said [i]TT: a secret: a certain wee feathered bright-yellow resting tweetie has been doing some lovely and very close mentoring! [/i] I thought I heard the flutter of tiny wings around those Links! And Yes we can all help hold the fort, feels good. Bob: BUM! And I just bought a big tin of Nescafe . . .

MWS

6/12/2012From Bernard Keane (and thanks to Janet for the link): [quote]Hockey also notes that consumer and business confidence has been damaged by the government. To which one might point out that it wasn't Wayne Swan out there repeatedly claiming that the carbon price would send a “wrecking ball through the economy”. It wasn’t Labor warning of $100 legs of lamb as a result. It wasn't Julia Gillard claiming Australia was a poorer place to invest than Tanzania or Zambia. It wasn't Labor that called for a “people’s revolt” against the carbon price, that claimed the government was illegitimate, that called the Prime Minister a “crook”.[/quote] http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/12/05/hockey-on-four-point-plans-and-a-falling-economy/

pappinbarra fox

6/12/2012LiR Sense you make. Well said indeed. DMW Oh,now I see and yes I agree. TT I love to go a rambling along a mountain track To ors - keep up the linking thingy - I'd do it but I don't know how - they didn't have these computer thingies in my day More power to luddites - except for bloggers who cast sorely needed light on the immovable MSM.

pappinbarra fox

6/12/2012LiR Although I have never seen Kevvie in budgie smugglers - from some accounts (his own I suspect) he'd need wedgie* smugglers. * wedge tailed eagle

MWS

6/12/2012Cartoon from First Dog on the Moon, regarding Barnaby Joyce's brain fart last Monday: http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/12/05/look-at-the-time-its-first-dog-angry-rant-oclock/

jane

6/12/2012Another great article, Ad astra. I've been lurking for the past few weeks, on account of that great curse of the working (wo)man-work. I thoroughly enjoyed Gittins piece and found myself nodding and agreeing aloud with him. There is a disconnect with a lot of the values that we used to espouse. Once, people who had "made it" would have been horrified to be the recipients of welfare. Their attitude was one of pride in having been successful enough to provide for themselves and their families not to have to dip into the public purse-their hard work had paid off. Now, thanks to the Howard government bribes, people on very generous incomes think they're more entitled to a helping hand than the poor and disadvantaged because they've worked hard. The implication being that people on low incomes don't work hard or are bludgers. They refuse to acknowledge that welfare is a safety net for the poor, the unemployed, disabled and disadvantaged. It is not, nor should it ever be, cash from the government to prop up a lifestyle of expensive choices beyond their means. If you can't afford the latest BMW, the most expensive private school, a huge mortgage for a house in an exclusive suburb, a holiday home at an expensive resort town and frequent high cost holidays, lower your sights. The rest of us aren't obliged to pick up the bill for your lifestyle choices. I hope this government continues to chip away at this attitude, until people on $100,000+/annum stop thinking of themselves as the needy and realise how fortunate they are. jaycee's cleaning lady Elena @9.39am, said it all much more succinctly, imo. ToM @10.12am, while I agree with a lot of what you say, I think the young are mostly uninterested in politics. I say this in the light of what my children and their friends, who are all in their twenties, have to say. Politics is very low on their list of interests, atm. TT, I think Liealot's slush fund should be re-badged Australians for [b]Dishonest[/b] Politics. According to my 49%, the colonoscopy isn't too bad; it's the fasting and purging that sucks. Hope all goes well. MWS @10.33am, do you think Sloppy realised he had defined stupidity, not to mention irony? Nah! All too hard for poor old Sloppy.

nasking

6/12/2012 [b]I think I’ll choose to take that in good spirit Nasking. [/b] It has been more than a few exhausting years ToM hasn't it?...I'm surprised we're still at it. :D Must be something that drives us...that goes beyond money, the search for fame, the need to accumulate friends...a career... because we've pissed off enuff people in our time with our views we've got stuff-all of the above to show for it. :D I think we both want change... we just have different ideas on how to get there...and perhaps some different objectives. Anyway, as they did during The Great (ironic eh?) War - hopefully not a reflection of our ideological battles - let's put down our weapons soon and have a toast...wishing US a "bloody Merry Christmas!!!" Not long now. Sometimes I feel the exhaustion deep in my bones...and a strange sadness...that it's taken this long...and perhaps without the influence and stubbornness and greed and mistakes of some, we might not have had so much conflict...rather, found more time to agree...and not been wounded...wounded so many...lost sooo many...along the way. In the midst of this most strange of ideological wars. AHHH..it seems I'm getting soft with age...as I reminisce...reflect... C'est la vite. Life in the cyber-trenches. N'

LadyInRed

6/12/2012MWS Thank you so much for laugh I got from your last post re: Barnaby's brain fart. First dog on the moon rocks! I think Barnaby meant......Everyone knows I am the fool, so I can say anything I like. What was my brief today? oh yeah find a way to mention carbon tax. Tone's will be proud of me and I will get a star against my name on the staff fridge.

nasking

6/12/2012 [b]I thought he was exaggerating, but the great man was right. Journalism as we know it is dying, choking on its own incompetence. It is going the way of every commercial organisation which takes its customers for granted, offering low-grade services. For the sake of our democracy, this cannot happen fast enough. One of the reasons the Australian people are so disengaged from politics is their deep-seated distrust of journalism.[/b] Jason, it's a sad state of affairs...but like all destructive and archaic industries we eventually learn to move on...dependency recedes... it's the end of an era... the new world calls for new definers...the contributions of THE ALL. N'

nasking

6/12/2012 [b]The heavy rigid semi trailer Abbott is suppose to be driving from Qld to NSW wouldn't be over loaded by any chance.[/b] Crowey, we know one thing for certain...the cab is overloaded with bullshit. N'

LadyInRed

6/12/2012MWS Good article from Keane, thanks. He's not wrong about the Nats. I am looking at the fearful leader of the Nationals latest propaganda aptly named "Warren Truss Reports". He has surveyed our area of Wide Bay (what that means is people who could be bothered sent back his 44 questions that concern), very statistically significant....not. He seems to not know that when you ask for peoples opinions you generally get people of extreme views responding. You also tend to get people whose view match your own.....but I digress. Anyway of greatest concern to this region is "the level of foreign ownership of Australian land" AND "foreign ownership of Australian companies" AND "prevention of foreign takeovers". We should reduce foreign aid. Stop being humanitarian and government should provide more assistance to business and industry to support local jobs but not car makers.....oh not those people they don't deserve government help, because we don't make cars up here, we make trains and Newman is making sure we make less of those. Oh and get tuff on crime. And the carbon tax - don't let me get started on the carbon tax. So there yah go Wide Bay according to Truss.

LadyInRed

6/12/2012oh and don't tell Tony but apprently 87% think more frieght should be sent by rail. So maybe Tone's can learn to drive a train over Christmas?

Miglo

6/12/2012Merry Christmas to you too, Nas. We've survived another year.

Crowey

6/12/2012The heavy rigid semi trailer Abbott is suppose to be driving from Qld to NSW wouldn't be over loaded by any chance. nasking, I thought Hockey was in the back of the trailer.

Casablanca

6/12/2012 [b]Her Roy Hill Highness[/b] A gold Koala stamp for the person who coined the title for our favourite billionaire-ess. I think that we all should adopt it. Don't holiday overseas, Rinehart recommends. http://www.smh.com.au/business/dont-holiday-overseas-rinehart-recommends-20121206-2ax16.html

Casablanca

6/12/2012Stubborn unemployment refuses to rocket. Michael Pascoe December 6, 2012 - 12:39PM [i]This must be frustrating the bears as much as flat housing investment frustrates the bulls – unemployment keeps refusing to skyrocket the way the doomsday brigade, tabloid headlines and the federal opposition promise.[/i] Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/stubborn-unemployment-refuses-to-rocket-20121206-2ax4f.html#ixzz2EEtJIfEN

TalkTurkey

6/12/2012Jane said [i]TT, I think Liealot's slush fund should be re-badged Australians for Dishonest Politics.[/i] You gotta remember: Redheads are Blue. Tubby people are Slim. Lying Rodent Howard was Honest John. Australians for Honest Politics is aptly named!

LadyInRed

6/12/2012Her Roy Hill Highness needs to start to take some advice rather than give it. And here is some really good advice from me. Start modelling yourself on the late Elisabeth Murdoch, then maybe, just maybe, people will begin to listen to what you have to say, until then I suggest you shut up.

2353

6/12/2012The truck Abbott's in belongs to Nolan's who are based in Gatton and carry a lot of fruit and veges between the Lockyer Valley and produce markets. Just a few links to keep the flow going . . . [b]Newman blames Palmer for LNP defectors[/b] http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/palmer-is-backing-ex-lnp-mps-newman-20121206-2awuq.html [b]Qld Governor asked to rule on Newman's anti Katter Party legislation[/b] http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/governor-asked-to-rule-on-kap-dispute-20121206-2axir.html [b]New Zealand less politically corrupt than Australia[/b] http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/business/kiwis-keep-corruption-at-bay-20121206-2ax20.html And they have had minority Governments for years - says something, doesn't it!

MWS

6/12/2012Andrew Elder's latest offering: [quote]It is a dreadful slander on our democratic traditions and on the very real needs of our social institutions today to say that the confected outrage of media campaigns is the same as, or a substitute for, policy debate in this country. MSM journos report on what they wanna report on and anyone who doesn't like it can just just suck it up. Because those who provide us with information are focused away from debates of substance and import, any contribution to those debates is dismissed by Dyrenfurth, Farr and others as "ill informed", and thus the poverty of public debates through the mainstream media is reinforced. If politics is your sport, an arena where you can just cheer and boo like an ape, the complexities of debate are only going to get in your way. But when you're just hungry for stink, admit it: that's the way you like it.[/quote] http://andrewelder.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/full-of-sound-and-fury.html

MWS

6/12/2012David Donovan from independentaustralia.net has written to the AEC regarding the dropping of an investigation into Australians for Honest Politics and Tony Abbott. [quote]I think we deserve to know what has gone on in this affair. Has Abbott, a then Minister of the Crown, used his influence to circumvent – or rather, short-circuit – a potentially devastating investigation by the AEC? If so, this is more than a question of character — this is corruption.[/quote] http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/tony-abbott-the-aec-and-the-scent-of-corruption/

bilko

6/12/2012AA Another thought provided blog. I have saved most of Ross's pieces in his maned folder with many other journos. Jane your comments re the ultra rich and the rest always reminds me of the Line "Live simple so others might simple live". I do not know who created it but it will remain with me for ever.

Wake Up

6/12/2012MWS With reference to the Independent Australia article on Abbott and the AEC, it is worth noting that there is a template included for use by anyone who wishes to email the AEC regarding this travesty.

BSA Bob

6/12/2012I wonder if, with his latest stunt, the Pacific Highway may become one of Abbott's "signature policies" with him finding the money to spend on it whilst cutting back expenditure in other places & finding ways to take money off people to raise revenue. Then again, everything's aspirational these days innit? It's been said here & elsewhere that rail doesn't seem to come out of this very well. In the media I've watched here in S.A. there's been no mention of Tony's trip. Perhaps his minders judged there's no votes in it for him here over that? That people may decide that a dollar spent in coastal N.S.W. is a dollar not spent here? Speculation that's probably a bit over the top, but I wouldn't be surprised at that sort of thing nowadays. There are, of course, Questions For Abbott To Answer over this, such as who's paying for what, is he dossing down in the cab overnight? If not why not? If not, who's paying for his accommodation & how much? But from what I've gleaned it's not going down all that well anyway.

DMW

6/12/2012Hey guys & gals a picky and pedantic poimt [i]The heavy rigid semi trailer Abbott is driving from Qld to NSW ...[/i] or sinilar wording. A 'heavy rigid semi trailer' is an impossibility. Think about it. A semi trailer is an articulated vehicle, as in it 'bends' at one, two and in rare cases three points along its' length. A rigid vehicle cannot 'bend' during normal operation otherwise it wouldn't be rigid. Was it an ignorant journo that started the 'heavy rigid semi trailer' thing or the super intelligent mans' man LoTO that came up with that?

Trevor

6/12/2012The "blow out" in cost of the Gorgon project over here has created the headlines and commentary from the usual galahs. Demands that we must consider more flexible (read low cost imported) labour arrangements are trumpeted, without these we will all be ruined as companies such as Chevron may elect not to exploit our resources. Of course these demands are reported without question by the dimwits in the MSM. I have some knowledge and experience with contracting construction of LNG projects and I have yet to see an escalation clause that permits variations for wage increase or even CPI adjustments. The whole point to the extended and complex way the companies conduct the bidding process for these large contracts is to shift the risk on to the contractor. I can imagine there has been increases because of changes to scope of contracts and variations lodged due to a number of other reasons. Chevron are never going to fess up however that the blow out is because they did define the scope well enough or their contractors have found holes to push through variations. So why after contracts have been executed and work almost 50 percent complete are they now blaming high wages? Well you can be sure none in the media will ask. Far easier to reprint the company press release and diatribe from the right wing commentators. It would be the same as if, after signing a lump sum contract to build a house the builder said he would have to increase the price by 30 percent because his subbies were having to pay higher wages. That does not fly when there is a an agreed price. Contracting is after all, primarily, risk management. We all know the cost of projects usually go up but the most common cause is changes to scope and specifications. Of course Chevron, Woodside, Shell, ConocoPhillips et al would prefer to have floating LNG plants because without the gas coming on shore royalties are reduced significantly. They can be built in Korea at slave labour rates and driven here. I wait for our fearless press to question the motives of these companies and perhaps challenge what the real reasons for the cost increases are.

jane

7/12/2012TT @2.38pm, your logic is impeccable. I stand corrected, although I've never been called blue despite being a bloodnut.

TalkTurkey

7/12/2012 Check out who sent this tweet! Our Prime Minister is an international STAR! Mark Scott‏@abcmarkscott From the Daily Mail to The Voice of Russia, the world appreciates the PM's #endoftheworld advice. http://bit.ly/121DDdz @triplej The End of the World as we know it Audio http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=AU&hl=en-GB&v=_eyFiClAzq8 Lyrics (???!!)http://www.absolutelyrics.com/lyrics/view/r.e.m./it's_the_end_of_the_world_as_we_know_it_(and_i_feel_fine) As someone said yesterday, it'd be funnier still if the world as we knew it was not really coming to an end. With heavy heart.

Alcyone

7/12/2012Thank you, Ad Astra. I really enjoyed this post. Social institutions remind me of animal instincts – designed to save the trouble of thinking through the design and the pros and cons of an action each and every time it’s called for. Humans in general seek pleasure or profit in the company of others, so the notion of institutional devices to seamlessly standardise and integrate our lives has appeal. It offers obvious strengths and benefits, not least less thinking. However, as lemmings fail to realise, when the environmental context of an animal instinct changes, it can become something of a liability. In the same way, the broad range of what we call “social institutions”, which can include things so intimate as childhood, marriage and parenthood or so meta-personal as media, democracy and the economy, only properly obtain when the bed-rock of beliefs, ideals and values on which they were founded has purchase in society. In our society, bed-rock beliefs, ideals and values reflect our value for the rights and responsibilities of the individual as a moral agent. This is why institutions, when they work as they are meant to, actually affirm the security, stability and happiness of both institution and individual. But in a changed social environment, in which those beliefs, ideals and values are increasingly misrepresented, denied or abused (after all, they do rather obstruct a new-world-order construal of corporation as consumer and individual as consumed), three important aspects of individual autonomy are debilitated, not affirmed. These are self-awareness, self-determination, and self-respect. Given the brave new world Mr Sachs describes, maybe the remedy to apply on hearing an institutional siren-song is: “Don’t be a lemming. Find your Self and think with it”. Thank you Ad, and all contributors to TPS, for the comfort and pleasure of your company through the year. A glad Christmas and bright New Year to TPS and all who sail in her. Alcyone

TalkTurkey

7/12/2012This blog is a minefield of information. DMW Yes I wondered what was meant by 'heavy rigid semi trailer', it is a contradiction, if it's a semi-trailer it's articulated, in which case it ain't rigid eh. Was that strange descriptor an attempt to cover Abbortt's arse do you think? Like, he's not entitled to drive an articulated vehicle maybe? I don't even know if he drove thebloody truck on the road at all! Anybody see such footage please? BSA Bob It's strange, I never saw Abbortt in his Truck neither, I had the feeling too that the Media felt this was ridiculous and embarrassing, a stunt too far. That is a welcome relief. "We'll have to think of a stunt to .. . Oh no that won't work neither. Well what about a stunt to . . . Oh no Dam we'll have to think of . . . erm .. . " Because they have [i]no policy[/i]. He's in a bind once our insatiable journalists start using his stunts as an opportunity to nibble him - and one day soon someone will take a real bite out of him. They have to, their attempts at feeding off *J*U*L*I*A* have come to absolutely nought, which in their case is a big negative, they have invested a ridiculous amount of time trying to bring her down and they are confounded. They have to blame someone, we've seen how much they are prepared to blame themselves! And Dear Leader of the Opposition is the obvious culprit! Jane I don't think girls get nicknames all that much. I got Blue hundreds of times as a kid. Carrot Top is stupid, carrot tops are green but then Blue is perverse too. Wake Up and MWS I'm keeping an eye on David Donovan's work too, he is a great warrior I'm glad to have on our side. Trevor Thank you for some thought-provoking points in your post re Gorgon et al. It's exactly what one doesn't see in the MSM. You actually know what you're talking about! Bilko, 2353, LiR, Casablanca, I know I'll have missed some, so many people bringing original povs here, The Sword is singing. But my eyes are watering pretty bad too, Lyn says I gotta get BION Eyedrops and I will.

Ad astra reply

7/12/2012Folks As you can see, I took Talk Turkey’s advice yesterday morning and stayed away from commenting on [i]TPS[/i] all day. This gave me time to work on writing Frequently Asked Questions for the upcoming [i]TPS Mail[/i] system. I’ve enjoyed reading your complimentary, thoughtful and humorous comments this morning. A big thank you to you all for keeping the site humming along. I see our PM has become an international star again with her dire predictions about the end of the world. TT’s Google search uncovered worldwide coverage. She ought to be careful though as Tony Abbott has the Copyright on end-of-world predictions. And Copyright is Copyright. Moreover, Joe Hockey has the Copyright on end-of-the-economy predictions. After the recent reduction of the cash rate, he declared that this was the RBA’s attempt to catch a falling economy. Julia had better not trespass on his territory. He is currently working on his explanation of how ‘interest rates will always be lower under a Coalition government’, which equals GOOD, but when they are lower under a Labor government, that equals BAD. I have some technical work to do today on [i]TPS[/i], so I won’t be around much.

pappinbarra fox

7/12/2012Ross Gittins makes good sense - we used to call it writing with common sense but we see so little of it nowadays that I had almost forgotten that the MSM still could produce such articles. Common sense writing does not use hyperbowl or grandiose adjectives in what purports to be a factual report. This leads to vacuous verbage (as my english teacher once wrote on a splendid piece by my good self)- which is the reason that very few want to actually pay for the paper. I'd like to see some stats on the uptake of the paywall system on the web too. Cheers

pappinbarra fox

7/12/2012[quote]A semi trailer is an articulated vehicle, as in it 'bends' at one, two and in rare cases three points along its' length. A rigid vehicle cannot 'bend' during normal operation otherwise it wouldn't be rigid. [/quote] Perhaps LOTO will bend it (not like Beckham)as he's coming down the mountain.

bob macalba

7/12/2012morning all This is what happens when those with the born to rule mentality are actually allowed to rule, TORY BASTARDS http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/06/bold-labour-osborne-skivers-strivers

bob macalba

7/12/2012More on how TORY BASTARDS work, dont let them in power here they are just evil people http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/06/autumn-statement-bleakest-years-editorial

TalkTurkey

7/12/2012Prank: Radio persons ring Preggo Kate's hospital pretending to be Queenie. Delighted headlines around the world. Skit: Prime Minister *J*U*L*I*A* regretfully announces End of the World. Delighted headlines around the world. Stunt: LOTO wearing fluro jacket drives "heavy rigid semi-trailer" . Not, er, quite so much, heh heh.

Tom of Melbourne

7/12/2012So during the next couple of weeks we’ll see the government walk away from its promised surplus. They are no doubt hoping that we’ll have forgotten about their promise over Christmas. Its drive for surplus was always politically motivated – • It makes no economic difference whether there is a very small surplus of a very small deficit. Swan’s drive was just pap to put out another press release. • The Reserve Bank is implementing expansionary monetary policy, while Swan is setting contractionary fiscal policy. This is inefficient economic policy. • Swan has a history of implementing political economic policy and has previous continued his “stimulus”, while the Reserve bank was increasing interest rates to take the heat out of the economy. Swan’s promise to deliver a surplus was politically motivated, and now he should wear the political flack for breaking the commitment.

TalkTurkey

7/12/2012Ad, & WM, I guess you're busy with little sticky bits of Web Mr WebMonkey but just to let you know that many of the gravatars have not come up (just in the last 10 minutes). It feels like losing my teddy. :,(

TalkTurkey

7/12/2012Ad astra said I see our PM has become an international star again with her dire predictions about the end of the world. TT’s Google search uncovered worldwide coverage. Only thing, it wasn't my search, did you see it came from MARK SCOTT, he's a cunning bastard, he tweets innocuous bullshit himself ~ and quite often ~ but his presenters are almost all right-wing group-thinkers. All the pretty gravatars is come back. How beautiful is a Pappinbarra Fox eh! Pity I'm sworn enemy of foxes, only because they are feral and destructive of wildlife, they are brilliant animals just the same. I knew a tame fox once, Minna was her name, she answered to it, she had lost one leg but she could race rings around the little terrier that was her mate. She was so quick, so aware! That's why foxes are so terrible in Australia. But cats are worse. But just so there's no confusion, pf I think you have a [i]lovely[/i] gravatar!

pappinbarra fox

7/12/2012Tnx TT, I agree that european imports of all sorts have done zip for our environment, indeed have caused havoc in some instances, starting from white people on... But foxes do help to keep the rabbit population down. My fox monica is one bestowed on me as a 12 year old and its kinda stuck, I think because I was considered sharp with a retort rather than I had red flowing manes (whcih I did). You know the saying cunning like a fox, that was sorta me. Dart in have my say and retire to watch the mayhem from the sidelines. The classic import causing destruction is of course the cane toad. I was living in Darwin when they marched into town. An entmologist at Sydney museum wrote to the Qld gov in 1934 urging them not to release the toad. They actually held off for a few months but eventually ignored his advice and released them. His name was Bill Froggitt.

Jason

7/12/2012ToM, Do you care to share a link?

Ad astra reply

7/12/2012TT The Gravatars are coming up on my computer. I see that pappinbarra fox has a great new Gravatar. I'll be out until late afternoon.

bilko

7/12/2012bob macalba IMHO Tony Blair would still be UK PM if he had not hitched himself to GWB's bandwagon he had everyhing going for him. When I spoke to one of my brothers-in-law who is into local politics back there he was unable to shed any light on it, sad really as TB, WGB & GWH became the 21st century axis of evil. Most of the rellies back there are of pensionable age now and living comfortable but now they worry about their granchildren's futures.

nasking

7/12/2012 [b]Merry Christmas to you too, Nas.[/b] And you Migs. Hopefully Santa won't forget yer FruChocs...for what is a duck without his goodies? Myself...I hope Santa brings me hot sauces and funky, groovy music. Spice life up on the hols...something the entire country could use...more hot spices and funky, groovy, jazz fused music... Groovy moves and wear...tearing a hole in the fabric of PREDICTABLY BORING TOWN AND SPACE [b]We've survived another year.[/b] Indeed Migs. Another year on the roller-coaster. :D Tonite I shall have a Bloody Mary or two...followed by some French and then Latino red. Toast all of us...for no matter our differences...we have in common the fearless expression of views...seeking and creating spaces of diverse opinion...sometimes far from MSM nebula... Duck on!!! N'

nasking

7/12/2012 ONE NATION UNDER A GROOVE http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5Us79N2yc64 N'

nasking

7/12/2012 I remember living in Thatcher's UK...listening to this: Boogie wonderland - Earth Wind and Fire http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=related&v=_jLGa4X5H2c White stiff-faced boring suits on the TV...pontificating...sound muted...listening to this. Was good for a chuckle or twelve. N'

nasking

7/12/2012 [b]I thought Hockey was in the back of the trailer.[/b] Crowey, filling it with gas...preparing to flick the Bic. :D N'

LadyInRed

7/12/2012From Kate Ellis MP: This morning Premier Campbell Newman and the Queensland LNP Government voted against national action to remove barriers to new child care centres opening up, and to create more child care places for families on waiting lists. Sign our petition and join me in telling Campbell Newman that this isn’t good enough – Queensland deserves more child care places. https://australianlabor.wufoo.eu/forms/queenslanders-want-more-child-care-places/

2353

7/12/2012For a bit of light relief on a Friday arvo - this link is worth a look. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/flegg-suing-former-media-adviser-20121207-2azdg.html Yes, Bruce Flegg, the ex-LNP Minister that got the LNP Treasurer to "assess" sections of his Department, the ex-LNP Minster that resigned his Ministry over a number of scandals and the ex- Liberal Leader that some say caused the then Coalition to lose an election because he couldn't say who whould be Premier if the Libs won more seats than the Nats is suing his PR Advisor for a cool $1million or so because he went back to the backbench. If it wasn't so funny it would beggar belief.

nasking

7/12/2012 [b]This morning Premier Campbell Newman and the Queensland LNP Government voted against national action to remove barriers to new child care centres opening up, and to create more child care places for families on waiting lists. [/b] Not cool Newman...not cool. N'

Miglo

7/12/2012Sure has been a roller coaster year, Nas, but nothing like we can expect next year, being an election year. The media, the Libs and the right-wingers will be on the attack like never before as Julia starts to fight back. And we'll be there to take 'em on.

bob macalba

7/12/2012bilko I agree they were the 'axis of evil' but the puppet master pulling all their strings was the most evil of evil Rupert Murdoch, who himself being influenced by those who profit from war and the fear that comes with it, a curse on all of them

nasking

7/12/2012 [b]but nothing like we can expect next year, being an election year. The media, the Libs and the right-wingers will be on the attack like never before as Julia starts to fight back. [/b] Not sure why they'd bother...this govt being so RIGHT. War in Afghanistan...treatin' asylum seekers like shit...pushing coal and gas whilst pretendin' to do otherwise...anti-gay marriage PM...backroom talks and deals with big business...no media inquiry worth it's weight in integrity...feeding money to free-to-air channels and car industry...continuing live exports...keeping the Lord's Prayer in parliament...the INTERVENTION goes on and on...useless mining tax...low carbon price...free trade agreements... they're RIGHT-WING LABOR...verging on LIBERAL [b]And we'll be there to take 'em on.[/b] Just gonna do my thing man...just gonna do my thing. N'

nasking

7/12/2012 Add...doin' sweet fck all about the money going to toff private schools. And goin' nutty over a COSTELLO-LIKE SURPLUS. Obsession...right-wing style. N'

Miglo

7/12/2012Nas, yer sound tired. Rest easy over the break.

nasking

7/12/2012 Migs. More AWAKE than ever. :D I think it's the rest of Australia in SLEEP-MODE N'

bob macalba

7/12/2012nasking for the sleepy heads, http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=AU&hl=en-GB&v=q7iXcKKpdx0

nasking

7/12/2012 Men in suits Define the times All lined up Sincere in their shareholding gear Baking hot Sweat-soaked lot Tanned to the man Speak like spam With models hand in hand Lachlan, James, sports scam man Defining presenters in 20s time Look at me look at me Baby's grown up to build fortress free Free of effort, free of tax, free...of integrity Men in suits Slick is creed Greed is cool All smiles and sympathy Country early to bed...early to rise Working beyond 9-5 Keeping it serious Keeping restrained Millions like a virtual chain gang ...rarely seein' the fruits Unlike...men in suits. N'

nasking

7/12/2012 Bob, two thumbs up N'

TalkTurkey

7/12/2012Miglo, Nasking, I think you're both right. Nas you do sound, if not jaded, well browned off then, and I don't blame you really neither. I agree with all your gripes really. And don't forget my #1 concern, survival of Gaia Herself, the greatest of all priorities coming a Last by a furlong in world concerns. What to do? Well what more can we do but to try to hold the line. However much ground we have lost, the Labor Party IS The Line. It really isn't a difficult moral problem for me. It is not just the lesser of two evils. There is great nobility and good to be found in our Party. It is not the cynical bully-ridden self-interested cabal the MSM like to focus on. I don't intend to try to prove that, I have been a Member of the ALP for many years and take my word, Labor people are great. And when people blame the Labor Party for corruptoion or ineptitude, who are they blaming? Anyone can be an ALP Member for a tiny sum, maybe do a little more good than simply blaming from the safety of the bleachers. And they'd be a little less to blame than the blamers. So anyway, I'll have no hesitation in talking up our good points, while never evading the truth of the way I feel about Zionism, or the PM's initial statements about Julian Assange, or Cannabis laws*, even where I find myself in a minority of one sometimes . . . You would know that I am critical of Labor on a number of fronts, but I praise them (i.e.Us) on many more. What good will be done for ordinary People in Australia will not be done by the Coalition. It will not be done by the Greens nor the Catholic Church nor Happy clappers Jews Moslems Buddhists or Football, though sure, individuals may help. The Labor Party alone has the clout and the inclination and the policies to create ongoing change for the better - Gonsky and the NDIS and the NBN are testimony to that. So Nasking, look, you can talk down the Party, but I think you're a better trouper than that, that's why Miglo reckons you sound tired, maybe a tiredness deeper than just a few days' rest, it's called world-weariness and I'm sorry but we all feel it, well the only thing that seems to work is cameraderie, and determination to do what can be done, the most important thing being to help each other stay positive. *I see We have had a huge and astonishing long-overdue win in New York where at last recreational use of Cannabis is now legal!

nasking

7/12/2012 [b]And don't forget my #1 concern, survival of Gaia Herself, the greatest of all priorities coming a Last by a furlong in world concerns.[/b] Indeed TT...indeed. Not jaded TT...nor world weary...more OPTIMISTIC than ever. :D In part of myself. The exponentially evolving by the second part. I SEE...universe...in all of its complexity... WE ALL DO HOPE the other part WAKES too. :D Sure to...sure to ............ ................. ................... ....................... ............................ ..............................? N'

nasking

7/12/2012 http://www.facebook.com/nick.king.1232760?ref=tn_tnmn N'

Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

8/12/2012 Just a g'day peeps and some reading that might interest. (And how close Monbiot's thinking is to Ad's and others here.) [b]Wanted: a new politics to save Planet Earth[/b] George Monbiot In other words, the struggle against climate change - and all the crises that now beset both human beings and the natural world - cannot be won without a wider political fight: a democratic mobilisation against plutocracy. This should start with an effort to reform election campaign finance - the means by which corporations and the very rich buy policies and politicians. But this is scarcely a beginning. We must start to articulate a new politics, one that sees intervention as legitimate, that contains a higher purpose than corporate emancipation disguised as market freedom, that puts the survival of people and the living world above the survival of a few favoured industries. In other words, a politics that belongs to us, not just the super-rich. http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/wanted-a-new-politics-to-save-planet-earth-20121207-2b17l.html [b]Labour has room to move before poll[/b] Laura Tingle The point is the budget policy story that Labor takes into 2013 is completely in its remit to shape. Equally, the extent to which its prospects are tainted and damaged by the story oozing out of the ICAC is also within the Prime Minister’s capacity to control. Not everyone agrees with all the elements of party reform Faulkner proposed this week as a response to a culture in NSW, which has finally emerged blinking and scowling into the daylight. But most agree Gillard has little choice but to do something to cauterise its damage to federal Labor’s already limited prospects of re-election. Party reform has been too hard to do for so long. But like any businesses facing tough times, the black prospects confronting Labor should force it to act. http://afr.com/p/opinion/labour_has_room_to_move_before_poll_Z2MjmKUvKpl68RvrvBzAWJ [b]Labor prepares to ditch the budget surplus[/b] Laura Tingle The Australian Business Economists forecasting panel said the growth forecasts on which the budget rested “are seen to be optimistic”. “The impact of missing the surplus by the promised deadline is considered to be a political downside rather than an economic downside, provided the miss is not so significant that it shakes the medium-term strategy,” they said. The economists predicted a slowdown in economic growth in 2013, and forecast median gross domestic product growth would fall to 2.8 per cent in 2013. There have been signs that the government is softening its commitment to a budget surplus since the mid-year budget review in November. http://afr.com/p/national/labor_prepares_to_ditch_the_budget_0faluRAHRJcGf375qLtrYL [b]The PM’s electricity plan: it’s a Band-Aid not a cure[/b] Lyn Chester A few days ago, the Prime Minister Julia Gillard foreshadowed a “plan to make sure that families pay $250 less per year for electricity” to be discussed at this Friday’s meeting of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). It is not surprising that this “plan” draws from the conclusions and recommendations of four recent government reports – the Productivity Commission’s Electricity Network Regulatory Frameworks,the Australian Energy Market Commission’s (AEMC) report, Power of Choice, the report of the Senate Select Committee on Electricity Prices, and the 2012 Energy White Paper. https://theconversation.edu.au/the-pms-electricity-plan-its-a-band-aid-not-a-cure-11182 [b]A high-cost, low-productivity nation?[/b] Matt Cowgill The recent pick-up in productivity growth might well have nothing at all to do with the Fair Work Act, one way or the other – but, again, the Australian and the AFR were eager to point the finger at the Act when the figures were moving in the opposite direction. Both newspapers employ a number of smart, diligent journalists for whom I have great respect. Nevertheless, it appears as if news about the Australian economy will only be prominently featured (or even noted at all) in the papers’ pages if it suits the campaign being waged by the editors. We are all the poorer for it. http://mattcowgill.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/high-cost-low-productivity-nation/ [b]Unemployment Rate in November falls to 5.2%[/b] Grogs Gamut (Greg Jericho) Well that was unexpected! Today the ABS released the Labour Force data which showed that in seasonally adjusted terms the unemployment rate fell from 5.4% to 5.2%. The fall is quoted as being a 0.1 percentage point fall, due to rounding. The October figure was 5.3636679% and the November one is 5.2312088% so the fall was 0.1324591 percentage points. (but ignore all that – at that level of decimal points the confidence levels gets pretty poor – which is why the ABS rounds to only 1 decimal point.[Has Greg’s usual terrific data] http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/unemployment-rate-in-november-falls-to.html [b]Bushfire Bill[/b] The last bastions of self-indulgence in the media are the political commentators. They see their house wrecked about them, empty chairs, vacant desks, tumbling circulation and newspaper shares literally not worth a stamp. Yet they keep on doing what they have always done: alienating half their readership by dismissing their legitimate political preferences, looking for glimmers of gloom in otherwise sunny skies, neglecting to outline a policy before condemning it (usually within 24 hours of its announcement) and in general behaving like spoilt brats at a post-apocalyptic wrap party. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2012/12/03/11957/?comment_page=72/#comment-1495005 [b]Minority Government stands the test of time[/b] John Warhurst Gillard herself has survived since the last election on 21 August 2010 despite constant pressure from her predecessor Kevin Rudd, one unsuccessful challenge and regular speculation about his intentions. Her minority government has survived against the odds. There have been no by-elections to change the parliamentary numbers, and no one has deserted the Labor Government on the floor of the House to facilitate a change of government. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=34414 [b]Don’t think of a Tony Abbott[/b] (Gordon’sThoughts blog) The reason he has been able to get away with this one dimensional tactic however is not because he is some sort of political genius (he’s merely a puppet for someone like Mark Textor), it’s because the ALP are trying to make Tony Abbott the issue! The “hard heads” in the ALP see polling and listen to focus groups that make it clear he is one of the most unpopular opposition leaders in Australian political history and in an attempt to exploit these facts they rationally conclude they can win back support and frame him as out of touch with “Middle Australia.” The problem is this thinking plays right into Abbott’s hands and he knows it. This is why Abbott deliberately goes out of his way to emotionally bait the ALP on areas where he is inconsistent. http://gordonsthoughts.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/dont-think-of-a-tony-abbott/

TalkTurkey

8/12/2012Destroy The Joint‏@JointDestroyer Time for change to Aussie radio shock jock culture - tragic end to #RoyalPrank call http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/12/07/tragedy-as-receptionist-who-connected-kate-middleton-prank-callers-commits-suicide.html?source=socialflow&account=thedailybeast&medium=twitter … It's not the Australian radio hosts, they just pulled off an intrinsically innocuous prank better than they could believe. It wasn't the nurse's fault, she would have been awed to think she was talking to Queenie, wouldn't have dared question her. It was probably partly to do with the hospital management giving her a hard time, but the real blame lies with the Windsors perpetuating the myth of divinity, [i]and[/i] the lickspittle Media making an Everest from a pimple. My sympathy for the family of the nurse, and, would you believe, for the radio pranksters. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Janet you are a gem. I happen to know that a certain little yellow bird is delighted with your input which is growing exponentially day by day. Thank you on behalf of us all.

nasking

8/12/2012 [b]It is not just the lesser of two evils. There is great nobility and good to be found in our Party. It is not the cynical bully-ridden self-interested cabal the MSM like to focus on. I don't intend to try to prove that, I have been a Member of the ALP for many years and take my word, Labor people are great. [/b] TT, I don't doubt it. You make a number of good points in your comment. As you know, I'm a Green Laborite...who has liberal views (not to be confused with the Liberal party here that is in fact generally conservative...verging on right-wing extremism). So, the present govt suits me much more than that bunch of Tory oddballs and Luddites on the other side. However, the Green liberal in me sees the ALP moving further and further away from me...this claim that Liberals (LOL) and some in the MSM make that the ALP is being controlled by The Greens is sheer nonsense. If that was the case we'd have less govt funding of well-off private schools... We'd have an entirely different asylum seeker policy. There would be federally approved gay marriage. A ban on live exports. A higher carbon price...and mining tax. And the coal and gas industries would be under much more pressure...as solar and wind projects and other innovative energy practices and sources were prioritised. We'd have in place DentiCare...and not worry the next few years about a budget surplus. Sure, that might stuff interest rates...and be verrry expensive...and obviously coal workers would be pissed like they were in the UK back in the 80s... and private school parents/guardians would rebel... in turn, cattle and sheep stations would go bankrupt... and a million refugees would race towards Australia...searching for Green sanctuary... But...it sure would be nice to see our PM get gutsy when it comes to gay marriage... tho, I guess it's happening in the states... I guess we can't have everything we want all at once. If only. I guess the public have to hear and read diverse views...and make up their minds on what they support... and change will come INCREMENTALLY. Hmmm...perhaps my interpretations of Greens' policies have been too reductionist. What I do know... I don't like NEGABORE ABBOTT...he's too angry...too much ranting...and he wears religion on his sleeve way too much for me...I wanna live in a secular country...not one dominated by right-wing Catholics. And frankly, I reckon Abbott doesn't deal with his opponents well...particularly women in power who put up roadblocks...or show him up for the conniving nudge nudge wink wink misogynist and xenophobe and bully boy Christian crusader and moralising missionary he is. I reckon he will compromise little with certain groups...and negotiate in a bullish and/or desperate manner...picking on unions and those working in public services in order to show what a "tough guy" he is...and kowtowing to businesses who will expect the cake...and to eat it too. Abbott will surely open his mouth when it comes to foreign relations and time and time again make the Aussie public feel like hiding out of shame...and embarrassment...he's too cocky by half... and speaking of cocky...you can imagine what he'd be like if he wins power...like a child suddenly becoming King...with servants...and few to resist his loopy ideas...the Coalition states lining up with this 'bully child'... egomaniac UNLEASHED. Don't believe me? Imagine a leader...you might be able to identify some in history...who is a schemer...and I mean scheming non-stop like Abbott...mind working overtime on how to destroy his opponents and take the seat of power. a conservative, yet somewhat unpredictable, opportunistic leader with a chip on his shoulder...and deep resentment and fanaticism brewing beneath the surface...sometimes bubbling to the surface...and the oddest of ways... who feels he isn't respected, adored enuff. Pushy, arrogant, cocky, false bravado...with underlying depression and mania problems. Peddling...peddling...peddling...as an act of catharsis. And to prove he's a 'man's man'...a man of incredible stamina...a man on a mission.... Ya gotta admit...it's a time bomb waiting to happen. Abbott will EXPLODE all over this country. So yes... I guess the best option for me is to vote ALP...even tho it goes against my Green instincts... best to support the party of incremental change who are helping to provide interest rate cuts by their fiscal tightening...and balanced approach to mining... rather than voting for a time bomb. Besides...I like the NBN and disability-related scheme. And I detest American Republican views on Industrial relations...as in work 24-7 for sweet fck all and be happy you have cheap fast food and toxic goods...know your place...yer a serf...working for the WEALTH CREATORS...feel privileged. And don't talk to unions or we'll slam you...yer DISPOSABLE. Just thinking out loud. N'

nasking

8/12/2012 Janet...yer fantastic! N'

jaycee

8/12/2012Have to back-up Bushfire Bill on his opinion of the Hartcher critique of Tony Abbott. To me it was "beige..all the way down" if there was "hard criticism" at all, it was of the Bertie Wooster kind..;"Oh..I say!"..Sure, Stephen Fry would gasp at the temerity of outrage ever so cleverly hidden in the language, but to Mr.& Ms. Reader, all one can see is ; "tut tut..tut tut!..you naughty boy!". I mean..let's be serious..We have in the opposition front bench; a) A leader who has accused the Prime Minister of our nation of criminal activities..b)several members of that same front bench stepping up to the despatch box and calling on the PM. to fess-up and resign her position and in effect resign the entire govt'...c) we saw that fat dirt-file that was continually thumbed by Julie Bishop seeking the "smoking-gun" A4 hidden somewhere amongst the bottomless swamp of papyrus accusations when all there was in reality were the limp accusations of an "out-of-towner" brothel-boyo and something equivalent to the knowledge of that midget-gangster in the Bugs Bunny show (forget his name...Oh yeah ; "Rocky")who stabs his gun at Sylvyster all trussed-up with the incriminating saw in his paws and screams; "I don't knows hows yers done it but I knows yers done it!" Now..if a serious journalist cannot get a front-page hit from those and the further Abbott-slush-fund antics of the opposition but has to run a softly-softly-sorting-Tony piece...then for F's sake give the game away and take to selling bottled water at those city-to-bay marathon thingies! But as far as criticism of the LOTO goes it was pure Bertie Wooster again..:"...rather impossible to please don't you know, But she does look wonderful in profile!"

ken

8/12/2012Sorry for late comments on your original post. There are so many things to be said, I hardly know where to start. The first point, as others have pointed out, is that America is different. Historically it has always had a much stronger Protestant/individual ethic, a greater tradition of philanthropy and less Government involvement in social safety nets. So I am not convinced that this is a new phenomenon but perhaps more an evolutionary product of those historical factors. There has, however, been an increasing emphasis on individual rights, including here in Oz. I recall, I think it was Mr Justice Kirby, who said the greatest danger we face to our individual freedoms is our increasing demand for individual freedom: the argument was along the lines that the more individual freedom we demand, the more government will be forced to step in to set the limits of those freedoms in the interest of the society as a whole. Some years ago, China used to respond to criticism of its human rights record by saying that at least its people had the "freedom" of safe streets to walk on at night, unlike some US cities. And I was always struck by interviews with Chinese citizens who spoke about their social responsibilities. Some may argue that they were "brain-washed" by the system but I would argue no more than we are. We are each a product of the society/culture in which we live. When I was studying social anthrpology (late '60s early '70s) one of our favourite theoretical discussions was whether there is any such thing as an individual: to be a genuine individual in our society, one may need to speak Swahili, wear leaves and live in a cave. We are a product of our education/socialisation. I had many discussions with my step-daughter who would arrive home from school with her head filled with more and more about her rights but nothing about her social responsibilities. Obviously, such approaches in our education/socialisation add to the increasing tendency away from acceptance of social responsibilities. I also recall an article I read when at university (but can no longer recall the author's name) that suggested that our Western-capitalist-democratic system operates with an incomplete socialisation process, beause this allows "questioning". By way of contrast and explanation, Australian Aboriginal society operated a complete socialisation: when a person went through "the law" they learned everything there was to know and understood their place in the cosmos. Such societies change very slowly. With an incomplete socialisation, people are able to question, raise new questions, and change can be rapid, which is essential for our economic system (new means of production, new products, etc). What I found interesting at the time (when I was participating in anti-Vietnam war demonstrations)was that this incomplete socialisation process means that some will not use their "questioning" to improve the economy but to question the very social fabric - this is recognised and measures built into the system to cope. So even my participation in demonstrations was a product of the system - somewhat disheartening to my radical views at the time! Ken

nasking

8/12/2012 Wonderful interview with Gail Mabo on ABC 24. N'

jaycee

8/12/2012Ken..A very astute and knowledgable piece..Yes, I remember a certain right-wing lecturer in the Howard years didactically challenging the students in a tutorial to admit..: "...businessmen do not really gather and ask ; How can we screw-over the workers..do they?"...of course the youthful students had to admit it DID sound fanciful..But I was a mature-Age student from the working class..I interjected and said."That's the wrong question...In reality all they would have to ask is ; 'Where can I get cheap labour?' " Divide and rule through social individualism...the one is easier to crush than the union.

Ken

8/12/2012thanks jaycee I also come from a working class background - grew up around Parramatta and Auburn in western Sydney. When I was at uni, I was part of only a small group of working class lads at Sydney Uni. I note that even recent figures show that the working class is still under-represented in higher education.

42 long

8/12/2012The free market will take care of everything if we just let it. The main function of a businees entity is to make profit for the share holders. This is the simplistic mantra we are supposed to "just" accept. I suggest we all become highwaymen. Small capital outlay good cashflow. Opportunities for growth. No over regulation etc. Unlimited free market will lead to a monopoly without regulation. (Rules become necessary and an oversight structure has to exist) Monopoly is not a free market, which needs competition. Corruption is a part of all systems and has to be controlled/limited in any system for it to function. The value judgements of anyones skills tends to only relate to earning capacity. IF you are rich by definition you are successfull. I doubt this should always be EXCLUSIVELY so. Where damage to others and the environment are not in the equation you don't have anything like the complete picture. GOD want's YOU to be RICH.!! Isn't THAT the final corruption of a concept?' In a world where there is so much uneven opportunity and widespread poverty. any thinking excessively rich person should feel some unease. I would be very uncomfortable in that situation. There has to be a higher aim than just accumulating wealth. It becomes a disease of the mind. An end in itself.

TalkTurkey

8/12/2012I tweeted Tweety this morning on Twitter: @lynlinking Hi Lyn, our Gypsy gal Janet doing great works on http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2012/12/05/Focus-on-political-ideology-Ross-Gittins.aspx#comment … All welcome to contribute or just lurk. U taught us Lyn. and Lyn got back to me: LynLinking‏@lynlinking @TalkyTurkey Good Morning TT thankyou 7 yes our cute little gypsy is doing a magic job full of fighting spirit, enthusiasm @j4gypsy :):) We on TPS are so lucky!

Ad astra reply

8/12/2012Janet Thank you for the links, all interesting reading. What George Monbiot had to say is relevant to this piece and also to the next one that I will post near the middle of next week. It is the second in the end-of-year series on political ideology, this one being a review of Joseph E Stiglitz’ book, [i]The Price of Inequality[/i]. 42 long, I’m sure you will enjoy the next piece. Bushfire Bill’s description of the Hartcher article as ‘beige’ is apt. I read it looking for a killer line, but it fizzled out in a recital of facts and figures followed by a limp conclusion: [i]”… both parties are busy promising spending they cannot afford. Honk if you believe!”[/i] Really Peter, you ought to be able to better than that. Jaycee puts it well. Hartcher is not about to address the serious ‘questions Abbott still has to answer’. Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/abbotts-whiteline-fever-20121207-2b11i.html#ixzz2EPcI7yRD Ken Thank you for your thoughtful contribution to our discussion on political ideology. You raise interesting points. [i]”We are a product of our education/socialisation”[/i] is a notion that Joseph Stiglitz embraces in his book: [i]The Price of Inequality[/i]. I think you will enjoy the next piece in the series on political ideology.

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8/12/2012Folks I’ll be busy all day, and this afternoon will travel to Melbourne for a week where I have some technical work to do on my modem and further work on [i]TPS Mail[/i] with Web Monkey.

bob macalba

8/12/2012Janet, thankyou for your links, cheers nasking, jaycee , maintain the rage were listening, Talk Turkey as the late Peter Tosh would sing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABc8ciT5QLs

bob macalba

8/12/2012TT forgot this http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-12-07/washington-state-legalises-marijuana-use/4414132

Tom of Melbourne

8/12/2012The fundamental responsibility of any leader is to generate the commitment that stakeholders have in the institution they preside over. Without this, the leader is presiding over institutional malaise. Building stakeholder confidence and commitment the element that sustains long term sustainability of the institution. Public confidence in politicians and parliament is at a low ebb, the Prime Minister specifically is mistrusted. Organisationally the ALP is riddled with self serving power brokers and union hacks (at best) or is poisoned with corruption. Both institutions Gillard presides over have declining levels of public confidence. On any reasonable measure therefore, Gillard has failed her fundamental leadership responsibility.

Jason

8/12/2012ToM, As much as you hate the unions and the ALP, why is it the party that you're a paid up member of has not ONE elected official anywhere in this country? Fix the democrats first before you bother me about the ALP!

Russell in Glendale

8/12/2012Saw this link today for a free internet film released by Bill Clinton and narrated by Morgan Freeman http://www.breakingthetaboo.info/view_documentary.htm It seems that many of our military adventures whilst complex have an element of prohibition about them.

bob macalba

8/12/2012TT, nasking, TS, and any others, lots of info here, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/03/drugs-pleasure-reduce-harm

nasking

8/12/2012 ToM, that sounded like something put together by a Liberal think tank. Really dry and mechanical sounding...as tho delivered by an android. I larfed. :D ------- Bob, good one. N'

Ad astra reply

8/12/2012Folks We will soon be getting on the road to Melbourne. I'll be back tomorrow.

nasking

8/12/2012 Ad, have a safe and enjoyable trip. N'

nasking

8/12/2012 Bob, I stick to grog...but I do feel that plenty of adults are being treated like children because of their 'pleasure drug' of choice. And, medical use can be valuable...as well as the taxes. Certainly drink can be more socially acceptable because when you have a drink you are not sharing it with others who do not desire it...as would happen with dope smoke in crowded areas (think tobacco smoke in bars, restaurants...and how this led to bans and special areas for indulging)... and, it is easier I imagine to test drivers for drink than dope...and for drivers to know how much grog they can generally have...harder to gauge for smokers I imagine going by the variety and strengths of weed around... but dealing with such issues in a rational and adult way is essential...let's face it, there are plenty of marijuana smokers around...and they need to be represented by government better...not just put in the WACKY BOX...and jails...or fined... conveniently forgotten and too oft persecuted by governments and police who should know better. There are plenty of responsible, moderate users...who go about their lives as decent active citizens. Why should they be living lives of fear and anxiety...and have the label of POTENTIAL CRIMINAL hanging over them because they prefer to gain pleasure from a plant that has been used for centuries? It's time governments pulled their heads out of the sand...and treated a significant part of their population with dignity. It seems completely unjust to me that an off-duty policeman and a politician can go to a big deal horse race...gamble...drink...raise their glasses and bottles to the cameras...and wish people good will...brag about their wins etc completely shit-faced... and yet a person having a quiet smoke with some mates, eating a pizza, watching a few flicks...can find themselves being crashed in on...made to feel like crims...forced to go the courts...humiliated...possibly lose their job...and some family support...and be fined...perhaps jailed. Ridiculous. And total waste of police resources, the courts...and unnecessary stomping on that individual's rights...and possibly causing trauma...and undermining of career...home security and so on. This from The Guardian article Bob linked to: [quote]David Nutt guardian.co.uk, Monday 3 December 2012 'The fact that there are so many users of illicit drugs means that the pleasures must often be seen to outweigh the pain, just as they do for alcohol and tobacco.' Photograph: Scott Houston/Sygma The mainstream penalty-driven approach to drugs control is both morally and intellectually flawed. Morally, it ignores the use and, in some cases, promotion of drugs such as alcohol and tobacco that are much more harmful than most "illicit" drugs. Intellectually, it ignores the reasons people choose to take drugs, and why they value them. One of the most important motivations for taking drugs, which cannot easily be acknowledged by the authorities, is personal pleasure... The fact that there are so many users of "illicit" drugs such as cannabis, MDMA and ketamine means that the pleasures must often be seen to outweigh the pain, just as they do for alcohol and tobacco. Until we properly understand the personal value of all drugs (including alcohol and tobacco), harm- and use-reduction policies are bound to fail. In some countries even admitting that there might be a value in drug use is effectively barred from public discourse. In order to start an honest dialogue with people who use drugs we need to balance the focus on drugs-related harms by exploring pleasure, which is what motivates most people who use drugs, including alcohol. The new web-based Net Pleasure Index, part of the 2013 Global Drug Survey is an attempt to gather this information for a wide range of drugs. It is aimed at the recreational rather than addicted user of alcohol and other drugs (tobacco users rarely admit to any pleasure, as they are mostly dependent). Along with questions on drug policy and prescription drug use, the data it generates will help decision-making by government and individual users about the relative likelihood of new "legal highs" becoming a problem and help us better understand what motivates the use of different drugs. It will also guide advice on websites such as the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (ISCD) and aid harm-sation educational approaches such as the Global Drug Survey drugs meter. If you are one the 90% of the UK population who use some sort of drug then please take the time to join the 13,000 people who have already taken part in this year's Global Drug Survey and give us your insights. [/quote] ----- What I despise is seeing hypocritical politicians, magistrates, police etc abuse good citizens...using sledgehammers in order to appeal to conservatives and moralising religious types...who oft we find take their pleasures in the most hidden...but disgusting of pursuits. Treat people like adults...they might surprise you. N'

Russell in Glendale

8/12/2012I found some further information on the film link I posted earlier. It came from Politico with an announcement from Bill Clinton. Breaking the Taboo was directed by Cosmo Feilding Mellen and Fernando Grostein Andrade, and is Narrated by Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman Featuring interviews with current and former presidents from around the world, such as Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, the film follows The Global Commission on Drug Policy on a mission to break the political taboo over the United States led War on Drugs and expose what it calls the biggest failure of global policy in the last 40 years. A Sundog Pictures and Spray Filmes production It seems the side effects of the war on drugs is far worse than the initial declarations. This has special resonance for Australia as one of major policital issues is 'boat people' from Afganistan.

TalkTurkey

8/12/2012May I thank those who have expressed a non-judgmental attitude to cannabis. It is a matter of importance to me, if not to the many who don't actually know its therapeutic use as yet, in the treatment of such common major health problems as glaucoma, Alzheimers, epilepsy, chronic intractable pain and mental problems. (Heaven forfend it should also be enjoyable, enlightening and essentially harmless!) But I have not been used to being listened to about it. I appreciate that anyone is prepared to treat the issue seriously anything but trivial. I can assure you that for many thousands of Australians, and millions around the world upon whom the American-enforced ban on Cannabis has impinged, it is anything but. So Thanks Comrades Russell, Bob, Nasking and I know I've missed one or two. The taboo still has people frightened to speak out even on this relatively anonymous medium. Australians will charge the trenches, be awarded VCs and take on the waves of Waikiki, there is nothing that daunts Aussies! Oh except tell the simple truth about the world's most useful plant, Cannabis!

LadyInRed

8/12/2012Re Hartchers article: He should have written "You paid a high price for your stupidity". I didn't see Abbott's truck stunt as him trying to move into a positive agenda. But then I rarely see him as having a positive thought and I do believe the article got that bit right. I just saw it his truck stunt as an attempt to steel the limelight from COAG and anything that might show the PM as holding the office of PM with self confidence, assurance and poise. His stunt didn't work thanks goodness, I don't think it got the mileage he wanted. He can't stand it when he drops out of the media and will do anything to keep himself there, not unlike a certain ex PM. TAbbott reminds me of gorilla, charging beating his chest and screeching 'look at me'. I had lunch with a whole load of women today and they all said YUK to TAbbott.

LadyInRed

8/12/2012ToM I rarely respond to you but I am with Nasking but that post at 12:44pm ......still larfing out loud.....ooops nearly fell off my chair. Get real.

nasking

8/12/2012 Well said Talk Turkey, for far too long MANY people have lived on their knees rather than speaking up against the DISCRIMINATION exercised by authorities against those who find pleasure and/or get benefit from the use of cannabis. It's time to end this discriminatory PROHIBITION...and get REAL on this issue. As someone who rarely uses it due to asthma, allergies and problems with seretonin levels related to Tourettes...but has met many moderate, responsible users in my travels...I find it outrageous that these many good and productive citizens should be made to feel like criminals of the worst order...and are traumatised and humiliated by a political, judicial and media system of elites who should be far more enlightened and tolerant and observant of adult rights than they too oft are. From my observations, this has much to do with their education...oft in private religious institutions...and fear of constituency backlash...usually driven by an opportunistic mainstream media who seem to benefit from conflict and fear-mongering and character assassination...and a security apparatus alongside certain judicial characters who benefit from persecuting individuals. Not to mention correctional centres that are transforming into cash cows for THE FEW... and various other self-interested characters who gain from scare-mongering. Frankly this PROHIBITION is grotesque...and has ruined too many lives...created too many dangerous suppliers. Legalise, regulate, tax...fund research. N'

nasking

8/12/2012 Russell, thnx for the link to the doco [b]Breaking the Taboo[/b] Hopefully I will find time to watch it over the next couple of days. N'

nasking

8/12/2012 [b]I just saw it his truck stunt as an attempt to steel the limelight from COAG[/b] LadyInRed, I agree wholeheartedly. Abbott is an irresponsible leader...like a spoilt child he must always be the centre of attention. It is his job to express alternative views, shine a light on govt action, policy he believes is problematic or could use refining and so on... but there are times that the opposition leader needs to demonstrate respect for the system of governance...to ensure it works smoothly and effectively for the people. His attempt to disrupt COAG comes across as negative and an unnecessary distraction. Furthermore, if the state of the Pacific Highway is of such concern to him...then why did he not make this a big issue during his time as an influential minister in the Howard govt? He seems to have no trouble getting the attention of a sycophantic media these days. I suspect this concern also has to do with an attempt by the Coalition to oust certain characters who have assisted this government in its survival...and provided opportunities to pass important legislation that does not suit the Coalition and its donors and supporters interests. I find Abbott's tactics to be brutish...and badly-timed. And demonstrate the opportunistic, scheming and desperate nature of the man. Possibly useful focus transformed into political dung...considered another stinker by many of the public. Yet another stumble by an increasingly ineffective leader on a downward spiral. N'

Tom of Melbourne

8/12/2012I don’t think so Nasking. But if the principal responsibility of a leader isn’t sustaining confidence in the organisation they lead, what would you say is the principal responsibility? -------------- One of the interesting characteristics of many contributors on this site is their inclination to attack the person rather than attack the issue. Lady in Red is the example to day. Perhaps try reading a little more than blogs.

nasking

8/12/2012 It's just a VAST RIGHT-WING CONSPIRACY. N'

Jason

9/12/2012ToM, It's not that I wish to attack you! However you should put the disclaimer that you're a paid up member of "The Australian Democrats" After all it's you that bangs on about "other peoples honesty" Try it yourself for once!

jaycee

9/12/2012With this latest stunt going awry in London, could this spell the end of "Bogan Broadcasting"?

jaycee

9/12/2012You are symptomatic of the times ToM..you are of the great dumbed-down..; no matter how many times you are told, instructed, educated, encouraged and dumped-on, you come back for repeats as if and indeed HAVE learnt nothing and never will learn anything....symptomatic of the generic right-winger...: will trade their morality, their ethics, their children and their mother for personal gain...will sell-out their political party, their union, their class and their nation for vindictive comfort while not even knowing why they feel offended because their depth of intellectual debate is one of dumbed-down repetitive instruction...have you noticed we have now come the full circle, ToM?....this is your life! Do you really think we want such a thing in ours?

Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

9/12/2012 Morning peeps. TT, Ad, Nasking, Bob M and anyone have missed: thank you again for the thanks and glad some readings are hitting the spot. Any thanks for wandering vagabonds can only be in part, though. Luscious Lyn the feathery little bird is, amidst her restful gardening and other daily pleasures, still putting up links on twitter, some of which, in our trainer wheels, are picked up by us (royal plural) and rolled along in fuller form to you! :-) [b]States, PM take first steps to disability scheme: experts respond[/b] Sunanda Creagh The COAG agreement is a tremendous starting point for addressing the well-documented unmet need of people with disability. The first stage will be critical in developing the detail to be able to implement the full scheme. Disability is not a simple construct. There is an inherent complexity to understanding people across mobility, vision, hearing and cognitive disabilities and their respective support needs for social participation. The NDIS, for the first time, provides an Australia-wide approach to understanding an individual’s needs, providing them with the resources to have these needs met in an independent, dignified and equitable manner — no matter whether they are born with a disability or traumatically acquire their disability over their lifetime. http://theconversation.edu.au/states-pm-take-first-steps-to-disability-scheme-experts-respond-11229 [b]Cutting ‘green tape’ won’t make a more prosperous Australia[/b] David Ritter The Commonwealth Government seemed to have accepted the case for handing off powers to the states. However, the planned changes collapsed when it emerged that even under the BCA’s own logic, what was proposed did not make sense. As reported in the SMH, talks between the Commonwealth and the states on the proposals “were reaching wildly varying conclusions from state to state – potentially leaving businesses with a more confusing set of environmental laws than they have now”. In addition, an alliance of major NGOs had made it clear that the inevitable decline in environmental regulation from these changes would unavoidably lead to an increase in litigation. http://theconversation.edu.au/cutting-green-tape-wont-make-a-more-prosperous-australia-11112 [b]How can anything rival the threat of climate change?[/b] Jonathan Green How can anything rival climate for significance? The problem is of course one of both the scale of the threat and its contemporary invisibility. We are talking about a trend, a prospect, a probability. One that is boggling. Barely conceivable. That both admits idiotic and ideologically motivated "doubt" (see A Bolt above) and subtly invalidates the issue in the eyes of a news media that favours the instantaneous, graphic and loud. If the consequences predicted for 2100 were happening now, well ... Then we'd have a story. It could be that the discussion of climate change and the pursuit of its solutions will be one of the first and most significant beneficiaries from the reframing of public debate in a world suddenly connected and thus freed from the constraints placed by rigidly hierarchical and corporatised media. The possibilities demonstrated by the likes of the Arab Spring go beyond using Facebook to draw like-minded crowds to a tear-gassing. The next step will be the global short-circuiting of information flow: instantaneous connections that can pass information unfiltered without categorisations and obstructions, without the external discipline of a news judgment that suits a particular platform or outlet over the needs of both audience and issue. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-12-06/green-how-can-anything-rival-the-threat-of-climate-change/4410172 [b]A principal of pride[/b] Stephen Crittenden In 2005, Sarra founded the Stronger Smarter Institute at Queensland University of Technology, and he has just published a memoir, Good Morning, Mr Sarra(University of Queensland Press), which he says he wrote in the hope of inspiring young Indigenous Australians to aim for success. He is not interested in victimhood, and victimhood doesn’t come into his own life story. Part of what makes Sarra’s story so appealing is that it resonates beyond his Aboriginality. In a very contemporary way, he wants to celebrate what he describes as a “layered identity”. http://www.theglobalmail.org/feature/a-principal-of-pride/511/ [b]The 'daily' tablet newspaper to stop: Murdoch pulls plug[/b] Maza In a year that can not be called a winner for the Murdoch brand (don't mention the phone tapping) the Murdoch empire has announced that it will shut down its purpose built tablet app "the Daily". The reason being given is a lack of readers. ABC reports that "Murdoch's news Corporation has announced it will cease publication of its ipad app, the Daily, from December 15, due to a lack of readers." - the virtual newspaper was launched in February 2011… indeed it would seem to any observer that Murdoch has tried to meet the shifting tastes for news provided by the ability to obtain it from many sources with an old world model based on the print newspaper enhanced by technology and flashing lights. To this observer it seems little wonder that the Daily has failed. http://mazmatters.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/the-tablet-newspaper-to-stop-murdoch.html [b]The limits of no[/b] Tim Dunlop Norm Ornstein of the (right-of-centre) American Enterprise Institute and Thomas Mann of the (centre-left) Brookings Institution are two of the most respected political analysts in the United States. They have a hard-won reputation as honest brokers in the highly partisan world of US politics, a reputation forty years in the making. It is unlikely that they would lightly risk that reputation, so you have to think that their hearts were in their mouths as they sent the final draft of their latest book to their publishers. That book, it’s even worse than it looks: how the American constitutional system collided with the new politics of extremism, spent weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and caused a stir inside and outside the beltway. http://www.kingstribune.com/index.php/current-issue/item/1658-the-limits-of-no [b]Visiting the heart of the nation, or at least the local fish-market ...[/b] Loon pond In the old days, the Australian used to fancy itself as the heart or perhaps the pulse of the nation, but that notion seems to have been abandoned in the current bland banner. Perhaps because in a flash, a snap of awareness, the rag realised that now it is the heart and pulse of crusading right wing hysteria, usually of a tabloid kind. The tabloidism in the digital format has led to a desperate plethora, a plague, a cockroach army of bright red "exclusives". http://loonpond.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/above-as-it-once-was-proudly-heart-of.html [b]Review our double sided coin of unaccountable politics[/b] Cairns News We take a look at alternative government under the Australian political system maintained by dedicated party faithful refusing to consider facts that a sound and accountable governance does not exist in Australia. Since 1998 Tony Abbott denied any knowledge of a slush fund to sink Pauline Hanson.- Reporter, ‘Four Corners’, 1998: So there was never any question of any party funds or other funds from any other source?- Tony Abbott, Federal Liberal MP: Absolutely not. http://cairnsnews.wordpress.com/2012/12/08/review-our-double-sided-coin-of-unaccountable-politics/

2353

9/12/2012Jaycee @ 8.35 - I hope you are right. 2Day FM also employs Sanderlands, while they may have got management and legal opinion that the stunt was ok, obviously none of them have the morals and ethics to understand that a woman is in hospital with a serious condition (and concerned about the health and viability of their child) - surely some repect for people's privacity is warranted. I hope ACMA throws the book at them (or the UK Police).

jaycee

9/12/2012There is a thread of conversation going on over at PB. on the whys and whyfors of Aboriginal Population growth and the lack of it pre-settlement. One thing constantly overlooked in such debates, is in the age of empires and conquests, there was a need for the fully equipted standing army..in all other continents, there was the need to build and protect enclosures against wild, killer animals..the other thing grossly omitted in the debate of population growth in the "sophisticated societies" was the accompanying rise with population growth of erotica and sensual desire and demand. All these things : Standing armies, dangerous packs of carnivore animals, socially approved erotica, did not arise in Australian indigenous society, hence the natural growth to suit the needs of population rather than the social expectation for large families. For instance, try if you can to imagine growing up in a society with no manufactured erotic stimulus?

jaycee

9/12/2012Jonathan Green's article on climate chang on The Drum demonstrated the incapacity of the Drum Moderators to distinguish between conversation posts and complete stupidity of the deniers. The comments section very quickly descended into a cess-pit of blind ignorance and utter, utter stupidity! This is the moderators' version of "balanced commentry" : To have denier imbecility measured against sensible climate debate....??? Sack the incompetant Scott, for god's sake and ours...just sack him!!

Tom of Melbourne

9/12/2012Today’s winner of attack the person, rather than attack the issue… is jaycee. Congratultations! Perhaps refer to cognitive dissonance http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance

DMW

9/12/2012Sunday bloody Sunday, Morning all, seems the social media has got all flustered as the Libs have been banned from using Twitter. Gees, what next banned from Facebook and blogs? While I have at moments contemplated a ban on Lib type commenters from blogs and Twitter etc. I reckon the Libs have taken a backward step if they choose not to use modern communication tools. Maybe it is a hankering for the [i]good ol' times [/i] when smoke signals and Morse code were all the rage. That's all from me the traps are calling so it is back on the road.

jaycee

9/12/2012On my xmas shopping list was a book for my son..he liked biographies, so I thought... there on the shelf near Kipling, in the vicinity of Stendhal and Stein(Gertrude)was a biography of Kyle Sandilands. I leave you to imagine the amount of curious looks I received from the other shoppers with the groaning epithet of disgust and disbelief I let out! Yes, friends, yes.....it HAS come to this!

jaycee

9/12/20122353..ACMA "throwing the book" at someone would be like being "bitch-slapped" with a flannel-promo-pamphlet for thermal underwear!

Ad astra

9/12/2012Janet and Folks Thank you Janet for another fine set of links. The Jonathan Green article is sensible and sound; his quotes of the deniers are alarming. I agree with jaycee's comment. I will read the rest of the links when I can. We are about to go up country with the family for a couple of days, so you won’t hear much from me until Tuesday. But I will be discussing [i]TPS Mail[/i] with Web Monkey while we’re away. Mid week, I’ll post the next piece in the end-of-year series: [i]Focus on political ideology: Joseph E Stiglitz[/i].

2353

9/12/2012Jaycee - again you're right. However as in the case of Airservices Australia (where Australian registered planes nearly lost the right to enter US airspace due to claims by the US regulators of deficiencies in practice by Airservices), the UK Police may be able to "influence" the deliberations of ACMA to ensure that an appropriate penalty be applied to the announces, management and lawyers that deemed the "harmless prank" suitable for airtime. DMW - really a ban on the use of Twitter by the LNP is not that unexpected. There are two issues here - the first being the LNP Machine can't control the tweets of individuals (and don't forget the LNP in Queensland anyway has a history of expelling LNP members - not necessarily just current pollies - that speak out; and 2nd the LNP Machine probably don't understand the potential to influence that Twitter has - if used properly. It's an interesting policy when large and small corporations are beating each other over their heads to have a better presence on social media such as Twitter and Facebook.

jaycee

9/12/2012Again..ToM seeks instruction...from WIKEPEDIA no less!..I rest my case.

Tom of Melbourne

9/12/2012You might as well rest your case, because you clearly rest your mind.

Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

9/12/2012 DMW at December 9. 2012 10:08 AM and 2352 at December 9. 2012 10:27 AM You might be interested to know that the ALP just zapped this up on Twitter: [quote]Australian Labor ‏@AustralianLabor For the record, we encourage our MPs & candidates to be active on social media. We think it's important to engage with the community online.[/quote] Good bit of strategy. I agree with you DMW, but more emphatically - LNP are cutting own throats on trying for this much control freakdom. We're seeing it with the management of the T'Abbott public persona of course. It has to be Credlin and husband trying to staunch spontaneous combustion - they can't and won't succeed :-) Apparently the edict, if actually out from LNP headquarters, allows/encourages use of Facebook. Well, as Nasking and other Facebook users will know, you can get into just as much trouble in a throwaway 'Wall' comment as in a 'tweet'. Never mind 'doorstops'! Social media is going to play an even bigger part in 2013 than in the 2007 election. Jonathon Green's article (linked above) explores so intelligently (I agree Ad) the potential power of social media to managing change on the most cosmic scale occurring to human-kind. If anything loses the election for an Abbott team in 2013 it will be first and foremost the utter inadequacy of intelligent thought in the 'campaign' team. All power to the absent brain cells.

bob macalba

9/12/2012not again, where have we seen this before? http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/08/syria-william-hague-chemical-weapons

nasking

9/12/2012 Just wanted to say this will be my FINAL POSTING on The Political Sword apart from any necessary replies. Thnx to Ad for tolerating my quirkiness and sometimes rapid posting of comments. I've enjoyed myself and appreciate the opportunity provided. Unfortunately, due to a number of circumstances I no longer feel the urge to continue. One reason being the ongoing problems with my eyes... the other being a connection that some have on this blog that leads to continual gossiping and bad mouthing on circumstances they know stuff all about...nor, as FAIR-WEATHER FRIENDS did they ever bother to have the decency to ask for my side of the story...regardless of how consistently well I had treated them. Which tells me a great deal about modern feminism...unfortunately. Considering I have worked hard to promote women's issues. Not only have I been hurt deeply by some...but even a stranger who I accidentally passed on their post and apologised to went about abusing me using foul language...and calling me FAT and other such things. Ironic that feminists would automaticlly back such an individual even tho their behaviour is exactly what they are trying to change in some men. But this does not surprise me...for there has been a KEY GOSSIPER peddling negativity and lies about a number of people for yonks...someone willing to destroy others it appears in order to continue to dominate...and not admit to their past sordid behaviour that saw them backstab those they referred to as FRIEND rather than own up to their scheming and lies. From here-on-in I will keep to Facebook...and use it primarily to promote causes and small business...and nature... as for the political side of things...I have fought long and hard to assist both the ALP and The Greens... but have begun to question whether I have the passion to do so anymore...particularly as the people who have hurt me the most are from that side of politics. It's a sad thing when you put your heart into something...never receive a thankyou...not one...then the people you thought were your friends turn on you like a wolf pack...no questions asked. I am not always the most consistently kind person on the block...I make mistakes...and sometimes I call people out if I think them full of it. But I do believe I have worked my butt to try and change things for the better. And yet...in the blogosphere...I have never felt more alone. And it irks me that obsessive liars, gossips and character assassins are getting away with it...again...again...again. And are seen as "sweet". But that tells you a lot about why so many passionate people eventually move on to other things...putting politics in the draw rarely to be opened. Anyway, sorry to be such a sad sack. I really did have a good time here...most of the time. And the eye problems are indeed another good reason to stop. I just wish it had ended on a happier note. But unfortunately once a virus takes off...too many catch it. And don't question how it has changed them. They just hang with the infected...and reinforce the illness. All the best TPS. N'

Michael

9/12/2012No surprise at all in the Liberals canning Twitter use by their MPs. There's a Stalinist mindset to the Abbott-Credlin-Loughnane axis that runs the 'leader' of the Opposition's office. Right up to show trials and staged political dramas.

42 long

9/12/2012Nasking,, I have an old saying that has saved me getting too despondent about people who probably don't read carefully considered contributions fully anyhow. "You can ONLY be insulted by people who YOU RESPECT". We don't all have to sing the same tune. It would be adull world if we were so insecure we needed that. Some times I wonder if there is a "dont read" function on this site ( Ad As lets me know now and again that it is not the case.) It's surprising what IS picked up from the whole warp and weft of a site. We all have different styles, and some of the wordsmiths here are very good.

jaycee

9/12/2012Michael..I don't think the Libs' CAN use social media that good!..While Labor does have a tendancy to "over-talk" some issues, the Libs' have a tendancy to talk down to their constituents or dictate policy via three-word slogans. Then perhaps their followers are syllabic challenged!

Ad astra reply

9/12/2012Nasking I'm sorry that you are leaving us, and that your eyes are troubling you. I'm sorry too that you have felt hurt by comments that have been made; I couldn't work out whether they were made on other sites, or here. I hope they were not made here. We ought to be able to argue political points without becoming personal. I hope that you can take a break over the Festive Season, and come back fresh next year. We have enjoyed having you as a valued member of the TPS family, and as a regular contributor on both local and overseas politics. We will miss your presence. Have a relaxing Christmas with your family and please consider coming back next year.

nasking

9/12/2012 [b]We all have different styles, and some of the wordsmiths here are very good.[/b] 42 long, agree. "[b]You can ONLY be insulted by people who YOU RESPECT"[/b]. Unfortunately, I did respect these people. After many years of blogging it was nice to find some people to respect and trust. But some will put their hidden lives before everything and everyone else...and then BURN anyone who does not suit their agenda. Unfortunately, even the BURNT are more infected than they realise...and begin repeating the same kind of gossip-style. It has much to do with the constant emails and sometimes mocking adolescent style comments that go on in social media...and behind the scenes. People acting like vicious packs. They don't give a damn about who they hurt. When it comes to a few of the political and corporate and media hate-mongers...I have little pity for them...if you deal it out you have to expect some will resist and give it back. But when so called friends stab you in the back without ever asking your perspective on important events...it makes you distrust the Human race...especially when it happens time and time again. And you begin to realise why some people become BASTARDS...because BASTARDS seem to get more RESPECT from those who live on their knees...and those who are hypocritical...and those who would prefer to run with the herd than truly think for themselves...and question the CULT...the HERD. If I were a politician I reckon I'd be an Independent. And whilst I'm at it... I'm not happy about the ALP taking away the Dependent Spouse Rebate...there are many who do not want to be shoved into a LABELLED 'disability' criteria...who use such tax back to assist charities and small businesses of their choice. I had a family member ring the other day who had been seriously ill since the 80s...and they were told that their chronic dental scheme had been ended...and before they could get important things done this year but were unable to get out of the house due to their husband's illness...and their own lung problems. I was lucky enuff to wind up my visits related to this scheme...and I am most appreciative...but that family member was irate because they could not understand what would fill the gap for the next year or so...saying "chronic illness doesn't just disappear because a government wants to cut spending". Anyway...the govt has done a lot of good things...has a lot of useful schemes going ahead... but when I heard this morning that the govt copped out and gave the pharmacies opportunities to keep billions related to generic drugs...and then thought about them ending the Dependent Spouse Rebate for many...and the Chronic Dental Health Scheme...it got me bloody annoyed. We put up with increases in electricity costs...because we hope it will lead to change... we put up with no tax cuts...and no healthcare card...because we want money to be used to help the disadvantaged... but I really wonder what is going on when people in our area of Logan and elsewhere are left in poverty because they can't find work (many don't realise they are ill...perhaps in denial)...and consequently we see kids losing it...joining gangs...when things were starting to improve...and the bloody media just pump it up...make things worse. Why make people suffer so much. And take away all of people's opportunity to choose how they spend...and who they give to? And why make life harder for one group of people with dental problems...to help another...when you could do both...if you didn't keep compromising with those who already have enuff...like top toff schools...and pharmacists...and big American military corporations? Frankly, I'm fed up to the teeth with it. As are many others. And as for The Coalition...they're no better...and caused a lot of problems. And Abbott is about as inspiring as a boil on Berlusconi's corrupt career. I like Julia Gillard...but I really wonder sometimes if the ALP is blind and deaf when it comes to its supporters. And if some of its supporters aren't doing more damage than help Truth hurts...but sometimes it needs to be told. Before walls are hit. N'

nasking

9/12/2012 Ad, thanks for your kind words. You have always been a kind, supportive and consistent individual when it comes to me. Unlike some on here. Unfortunately, a comment made today made me realise that back door gossiping has indeed gone on between even some on this blog...related to issues from elsewhere. It's sad. And has caused me a great deal of pain of late. But on this blog...I have generally been treated well...and have high praise for it. I just think that continuing would lead to more and more gossip...and lies...some I realise just do not want me around. And the longer I stay obviously the more this crap will go on. But I certainly think it worthwhile for others to join in here...it it a stimulating blog. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Years Ad...and yer family. Thanks for the great opportunity. :D You are a wise and superb poster. Cheers N'

Sir Ian Crisp

9/12/2012I see that undergraduate left-wing humour (alleged) has cost the life of an innocent lady in England and brought great shame to Australia. How low can the left-wing stoop?

Sir Ian Crisp

9/12/2012[quote][i] [...] We ought to be able to argue political points without becoming personal. Ad astra reply [/i][/quote] Have you been asleep for the last 3 years? Go and read the bile from Hillbilly Skeleton and others which will underscore the fact that you haven't been doing your job.

nasking

9/12/2012 [b]Have you been asleep for the last 3 years? Go and read the bile from Hillbilly Skeleton and others which will underscore the fact that you haven't been doing your job.[/b] Sir Ian, do not use this moment of pain for me to dump on a good lady. Hillbilly cares deeply about making life better for the disadvantaged...unfortunately, she was unable to continue here. As for bile...best you look in the mirror. BTW, Ad does a top job. Not an easy one either. Juggling so many complex personalities. Anyway, I've had my say. BTW, Jason can alert me if there are any posts put up to read. And great links and comments. Just know many of you that you have my respect...lots of great heartfelt contributions. If only politicians sometimes listened to them more. N'

Jason

9/12/2012Sir Ian, I see you get all hairy chested about what Ad Astra doesn't do!Lets face it you're nothing but a coward yourself!

Sir Ian Crisp

9/12/2012Jason, you don't know what you're talking about as usual. Nasking, I disagree.

uriah

9/12/2012Dont go Nasking I enjoy reading your stuff too much.The large contribution you give to TPS is shared and appreciated by thousands of people who visit this site.Plus we have an election in 2013 WE NEED YOU.Lets have some fun!!! Just a small aside-Barry OAFarrell when interviewed on radio on friday about the PMs proposal for smart meters etc to decrease power bills by $250 pa said words to the affect that the PM should scrap the carbon tax and any green schemes in place to effect lower power bills(this is the interesting bit)in this term or the next one!! He then qualified this by saying-if she is reelected.The so called experts said PM Gillard would be gone by Xmas 2010,now senior Libs are talking Labor victory in 2013.

Jason

9/12/2012Sir Ian, I do! you're gutless, gave you my name and address to take me on at anytime legal or otherwise you do what? If you can't put up shut up!

Truth Seeker

9/12/2012Nas, I am saddened that you have had a difficult time with a few, but be assured that there are many here that appreciate your input and will miss you I hope as Ad says you can have a good break and maybe come back next year. Thanks for all your support, and I wish you well with your eyes. I hope you and yours have a great Christmas and safe and happy new year mate and I still hope to catch you around the traps. Cheers

nasking

9/12/2012 Uriah...Truth Seeker, thank you both for yer kind and supportive words. They help to lift my depression a bit. As did my regular afternoon time in the garden. Unfortunately, by the time we reach 2013 I doubt I will be able to read much...let alone write and be able to ensure I'm not making mistakes. The headaches are getting worse...and I find it hard to get around inside sometimes after such close reading. Bumping in to things etc. It's like a thick fog. And watching the TV has become a real chore...as only one eye now has any clarity whatsoever...sometimes. Thank goodness for my Kindle. But I urge you both to keep up the good fight...and be fearless. And Truth Seeker...keep those beaut poems coming. Soon Stace will have to read them to me...but I will enjoy nevertheless. She is a wonderful lady...a friend thru thick and thin. I love her dearly. Cheers N'

nasking

9/12/2012 Truth Seeker, HAVE A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS TOO...AND THE BEST OF NEW YEARS. N'

jaycee

9/12/2012So I thought to myself..; Who is this "Hillbilly Skeleton" chap..or she? and when I google, there he/she is carving pieces off Sir Ian Crisp's hide like it was a christmas turkey..oh well, leave off the christmas bit!..oooo!, she did have a cutting tounge, did she not sir-cur?..I bet you tingled over that while running around in your 'jarmies, eh?....a little something to tuck down the front there..eh?

Jason

9/12/2012jaycee, Hillbilly skeleton is also known on blogs such as Poll Bludger as C@tmomma!

Sir Ian Crisp

9/12/2012[quote][i]Sir Ian, I do! you're gutless, gave you my name and address to take me on at anytime legal or otherwise you do what? If you can't put up shut up! Jason [/i][/quote] Jason, what do I want your name and address for? Wasn't it you that was going to hand over my email to the police? You and your big mouth. I'm still waiting.

TalkTurkey

9/12/2012Nasking, Sorry to read of your unhappinesses, but I do know you have a lot of friends here, and I don't see anyone on this site that has said demeaning stuff about you . . . Perhaps I have missed some nuances but it seems to me that we are a respectful lot really, with a couple of exceptions of whom there is no need to take any notice anyway and who go out of their way to earn our contempt. If those who have given you grief are on other sites, well there is no reason to quit this one! - Not that I presume to try to make you change your mind, that is up to you of corse. A few days ago, I said to you that we all feel world-weary some of the time - also opining that whatever one's frustrations with the Australian Labor Party has much good about it - and you wrote a very full reply, for which I thank you, and you seemed to have come to a resolution that after all Labor was worthy of your support, whatever your reservations. It was a perfect manifesto of the facts of political preference, you get a choice and you make your own on the basis of the whole lot of what each offers. No-one is ever completely happy, but you can't have everything. Anyway I thought it was some of the best writing I have seen from you, albeit it was circular in that it came back to Square One, i.e., Labor was the only logical choice in the present climate. I don't think anyone could have argued with what you said, and I think no-one did. Your eyes are of course a concern - as are Lyn's, and my own water a lot too (I wear bifocals and I think they're hard on one's eyes) but if you're going to post anywhere at all I still think this is the best company to be found in the political blogosphere anywhere. And so does Lyn, and Lyn ought to know, her daily hunts take her everywhere. So if you want to go and never come back, well that's up to you, but I think you're leaving the best bunch of the lot. Know that you are always welcome back.

Miglo

9/12/2012Sir Ian, Hillbilly Skeleton is a fine lady. She is a pillar in the community. She deserves no ridicule from the likes of you.

Sir Ian Crisp

9/12/2012[quote][i]Sir Ian, Hillbilly Skeleton is a fine lady. She is a pillar in the community. She deserves no ridicule from the likes of you. Miglo [/i][/quote] Miglo, I disagree.

Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

9/12/2012 Nasking: [b]And Abbott is about as inspiring as a boil on Berlusconi's corrupt career.[/b] Nas, have only known your words for such a wee time, but such a joy you have been to me. What a divine statement about Abbort! Hope you, your eyes, and your heart and soul feel mended in a wee while. Take such good care. From your newbie on the TPS block

Jason

9/12/2012Sir Ian, If I were the site administrator I would've handed your email over to the police! However as you know I'm not you have nothing to fear. So you can throw all the cheap barbs you like, fact is you're still spineless.

jaycee

9/12/2012When I read pieces by cynical types like Sir and T and how they are so angry and vicious like an Ashby fellow..I wonder on their childish dissapointments in the political world, like as if it was all going to go as they wanted! I mean, only a complete child would believe in the infallibility of political policy. Yet here we have two grown adults all spitting and foaming and demanding THEY get some answers and will no doubt plunge a pin in a TPS lookalike doll if they don't get their way! Well, Sir and T all I can say is ;"You're stiff aren't you!"

Tom of Melbourne

9/12/2012That’s disappointing Nasking. For those newer to blogging, Nasking and I have exchanged views fon a few blogs for about 6 years. On rare occasions we have even agreed. These days I think we have both decided that we’ve probably covered every possible exchange, so we now don’t have as many rigorous debates. I think Nasking is decent and committed, and is no sniper. There are some mean spirited, bitter gossips around the blogs, but I think that with Nasking what you see in blog commentary is exactly the same as occurs in email exchanges. Not everyone can say that.

Sir Ian Crisp

9/12/2012[quote][i]Sir Ian, If I were the site administrator I would've handed your email over to the police! However as you know I'm not you have nothing to fear. So you can throw all the cheap barbs you like, fact is you're still spineless. Jason [/i][/quote] Jason, you started this stupidity but you can't handle it when I retaliate. Get this through your skull: If you want to sling mud be prepared to be caked in mud. I ain't no Christian so I don't turn the other cheek. If you want to get in the gutter leave room for me because I'll slop as much rubbish on you as you slop on me. Don't misunderstand me.

Jason

9/12/2012Sir Ian, pfft!

Libbyx33

9/12/2012Hey Swordsters, If anyone wants to see how well & truly morally bankrupt this evil LNP Government here in Qld is, just click on the link below. "A Queensland mother is suing the Child Safety Department for failing to reveal the sexual history of a foster child, 15, who allegedly raped her eight-year-old son. But in a move that could leave the family financially ruined, the State Government is taking action against the mother, alleging she is partly responsible for the alleged rape because she should have been supervising the children and protecting her son." http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/family-failed-by-a-flawed-system-but-department-blames-mum-for-sons-rape-trauma/story-e6freoof-1226522372694 Just gob-smakingly horrifying :-(

2353

9/12/2012Nas - have a break and please come back in 2013. 42long's words above have a great deal of merit. For I suspect the first time ever I actually agree with Troll from Melbourne [quote]I think Nasking is decent and committed, and is no sniper.[/quote] However your health and mental well being must come first. Please look after yourself and take care. Sick Ian Crisp is now turning on the the (wo)man because he can't win an argument. He never did put up those questions he wanted the PM to answer did he . . .

Ad astra reply

9/12/2012Nasking I hope you are comforted by the supportive comments that have been made by family members over the last few hours. I still can't fathom what has gone on in the background, and can't understand why Hillbilly Skeleton has been brought into the equation. She has not commented here for a while now. She made a big contribution to TPS, discontinued posting here for the most legitimate reasons, and would be welcome back. I'm not seeking an explanation Nasking for what has transpired, as that would only prolong the pain of the matter for you, and I don't want that. I hope something can be done to improve your eyesight. I hope you and Stacey can get away from blogging for a while and enjoy the Festive Season. Folks I ask the rest of the TPS family to let this matter rest. It is disappointing to return from a pleasant meal with the family to read the scrapping that has been going on, precipitated by comments from just a few who get their pleasure from writing taunts. Can we now go to bed and start afresh tomorrow.

2353

9/12/2012Oh and by the way Sick Ian - the rest of us were discussing the "prank" phone call from 2Day FM this morning. How about you actually read the blog before commenting - clown.

Libbyx33

9/12/2012And further to the disgusting pile of poo we now have "leading" QLD: "THREE sisters who were repeatedly sexually abused by a foster child have been told by the Child Safety Department they share the blame for failing to lock their bedroom doors. The sisters are suing Child Safety for putting them at risk of the sexual offender, who two years earlier was convicted of raping a three-year-old girl." http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/child-safety-department-tells-three-sisters-they-shared-blame-for-sexual-assault-by-foster-child/story-e6freoof-1226527760277 This is just crazy, yes? GOB-SMACKINGLY tragic. Qld, what on earth have you done to deserve this?

Miglo

10/12/2012Nas, rest well and come back bigger and stronger in 2013, health permitting. You're going to be important to the Fifth Estate in an election year. Spend some time with your lovely wife Stacey and enjoy the moments. We'll be here when you get back. Cheers, old bear.

TalkTurkey

10/12/2012Australian Labor‏@AustralianLabor Today is 20 years since Labor PM Paul Keating gave his landmark Redfern speech on Indigenous reconciliation: http://bit.ly/VIHbBI

jaycee

10/12/2012As a newie here on TPS. I can detect a degree of "background disturbance" between the older posters here. I raised the issue of "Hillbilly Skeleton" because Sir-u-cur mentioned her and I became curious as to who or what they were. Personally, AA. I think the culprits in this quarrelling are the couple of "kilkenny cats"..; "Sir-u-cur and ToM" who in their dissatisfied-w-life state have taken to the role of agent provocateur and are trying to create dissent amongst the crew. Just delete the sob's. they do not contribute to debate, just arguement. They haven't had a new idea since Howard was voted out of his "Jayson-Recliner"!

jaycee

10/12/2012Oh!. buggerbuggerbugger!..Had a whole post written out ready and accidently bumped the Esc. button and lost it all!..buggerbuggerbugger! Say, perhaps one of you bright boyos here can help.I am getting as little peed off with google...is there another good, and i mean : GOOD search engine I can replace it with? As for the bad attitude currently going around, AA. I always ask myself that old Cicero quest'...:"Qui bono?".."For whose good?"....then delete those two "Kilkenny cats" that are nothing but trouble!

jaycee

10/12/2012Good to see "poetic justice" come to bite Max Moore-Wilton (head of Austereo) on the ar*e after the dirty tricks he pulled in the public service as JWHoward's hit man!

Sir Ian Crisp

10/12/2012[quote][i]Oh and by the way Sick Ian - the rest of us were discussing the "prank" phone call from 2Day FM this morning. How about you actually read the blog before commenting - clown. 2353 [/i][/quote] Numbers, just what would I discover if I read the comments...something new perhaps? Let me guess; MSM= bad, Abbott= bad...it's a recurring theme here at TPS. Ad Astra showed me the way when he installed the crap meter. I now don't read the drivel from some posters because they deal in CRAP. Wake up you professional idiot.

Jason

10/12/2012Yet more lunacy from the right wing nut jobs! If it were a crime they'd be doing life! New electoral laws that automatically enrol up to 1.5 million voters are another example of federal Labor "rorting the roll", Liberal frontbencher Christopher Pyne says. http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/labor-rorting-the-electoral-roll-pyne-20121210-2b4ea.html

Ad astra reply

10/12/2012Folks I'll be out and about most of the day. May we have a day when we are nice to each other.

42 long

10/12/2012Pyne whinging. As said, in a system of compulsory voting, ( the origins of which were to make it difficult for some employers making it hard to vote) it would be anti logic to not close a loophole of avoidance. The extreme right resist the use of logic . They use opportunism and distortion instead. While compulsory voting might look weird it is generally the envy of the rest of the world. It is delinberately made difficult in some parts of the USA.. THAT is corruption! Enroling people who are eligible is hardly a hanging offence. I don't get some of this talk. People all around the world are clamoring for the right to vote fairly. We don't seem to appreciate it sometimes.Objecting to eligible people being enrolled is pure BS.

DMW

10/12/2012jaycee for an alternative to google try dogpile. some say it is brilliant http://www.dogpile.com/info.dogpl/search/home

MWS

10/12/2012Victoria Rollinson, in Independent Australia [quote]This heartbreaking situation is a perfect example of a company, and our society, relying on the market to make their ethical decisions for them and measuring all consequences in dollar terms. What happened to the moral obligation to care enough just to do the right thing? Not because it’s profitable, but because it’s just the right thing to do. The problem is, in my experience, it is very rare for anyone to care about moral obligations and the consequences of anything unless the result has some monetary benefit or disadvantage to the individual.[/quote] http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/business/media-2/tragic-market-failure/

MWS

10/12/2012Peter Wicks' latest, Jacksonville 33: [quote]If mainstream media wants to know why it is losing the trust of the public and why newspaper sales are plummeting, they can weep bitter tears and point to the internet ― or they can look to the all too familiar behaviour above for clues.[/quote] http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/jacksonville-33-inspecting-lewis/

2353

10/12/2012Here's an interesting take on why Obama shouldn't increase the taxes of billionaires in the US. http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2012/12/billionaires-warn-higher-taxes-could-prevent-them-from-buying-politicians.html Why do I suspect a similar rationale could be developed in Australia?

MWS

10/12/2012Graham Readfearn on what a 4 C temperature increase means for Australia: [quote]"Roughly speaking, you can also translate each degree of temperature rise with about 150 kilometres shift from south to north. So 4°C for Sydney is like having the climate which is currently 500 kilometres up the coast, or even further." Professor Jean Palutikof, director of the government-funded National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, believes an Australia 4°C warmer than today will be a very different place. "It would just be too unpleasant to be out of doors," she says. "People would be living far more enclosed lives. It would be a heavily energy-dependent existence as you have to cool all of those spaces that you put people into. "You would have to be running your air-conditioners as a matter of course. The huge challenge would be to lay our hands on the energy we would need to maintain our comfort levels."[/quote] http://www.abc.net.au/environment/articles/2012/12/10/3650095.htm

Patriciawa

10/12/2012MWS - I take your point about the catastophic impact of climate change, particularly on our economies. At a personal level we will all have to adjust, but I think humans have done that in the heat in different parts of the world. Being a Pom by birth I would prefer to live in the northern hemisphere. But I am living here in WA at about 10 degrees above my comfort level through the summer months. I found my decade in Sydney, for all the occasional heat wave plus humidity very bearable in comparison. But loved ones are here and it is to Fremantle I have retired, where we do get sea breezes! So my big west facing front verandah gets used in the evenings a lot this time of year. I live in an old brick and tile house built when people didn't have air conditioning but understood the importance of high ceilings and built in fans. Even so it could be very hot here after my leafy back yard in my little old house back in Wollstonecraft, so I've added a few extra features since I came back to WA. 1. I immediately put in a range of native trees to join my one lonely olive tree out front - typical Italian Freo! After five years I already have a very shady big front yard, which together with the street verge peppermints the council happily came along and planted at my request, protect me from about six hours of rising sun until noon. 2. I've been lucky enough to have taken advantage of the subsidised roof insulation offer and just made the deadline for full subsidy. I think there is a less generous offer out there now, but even without a subsidy I would recommend it as a really effective way of lowering room temperatures with no added power costs. 3. I've a small back yard with a couple of established decididuous trees but I've added to fuller shade by building a covered in patio taking up a good third of its area. So apart from an hour or so of overhead filtered sunshine I can sit comfortably outside most of the day. 4. It's true that overhead fans don't actually lower temperatures but they do move the air around and we can really freshen up the house by opening doors and windows up to early morning cooler and fresher air. Sometimes even late at night we get a drop in temperature to enjoy. Problem with air conditioning I think is that nowadays people keep doors and windows closed all the time. So I haven't installed it - yet but with solar power credits building up it's always a possibility if I become less mobile. 5. I'm blessed in that being old and retired I need only go out for my walks early in the morning and at dusk in really hot weather, and even so I make a real effort in summer time to walk on the shady side of the street! And if in full sun I wear a hat! 6. I'm open to further suggestions for dealing with our very unpleasantly hot summers!

nasking

10/12/2012 Talk Turkey, Janet, 2353, ToM, Ad, thnx muchly for yer kind and supportive words. I'm not always in a good place right now...up and down, up and down...tho Stacey and I had a pleasant weekend...putting the Christmas tree up with Xmas music from all over the world can be very uplifting. But each time I return to the blogosphere I am reminded of the deterioration of my eyesight...and other issues...things that unfortunately go way back and bring me only misery. That must mean I'm more fatigued and world-weary than I realised...and seeing so many animals and children abused around the world doesn't help...the CAUSES I put up on Facebook come with stories that bring tears to my eyes...and for the life of me I cannot understand why some people feel determined to be so cruel??? So I will take yer advice and take some time off...and vision permitting return in the New Year...or maybe just pre-Christmas to join in on some music and poetry. Talk Turkey, I'm sorry to hear that you and Lyn are also having eye problems. You do so well considering. I am presently listening to a sci-fi series by Canadian Robert J. Sawyer....having just finished the first book in the WWW Trilogy, WAKE... the main character is a blind teenage girl who is given the ability to see thanks to the efforts of a Japanese scientist and his team...and in the process of her eyesight being restored this young lady connects with artificial intelligence in the World Wide Web (WWW) and helps it to become SELF-AWARE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wake_(Robert_J._Sawyer_novel) The book refers to Helen Keller on occasion and her amazing journey: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Keller Life does indeed have its special moments. And people. Who put discovery, curiousity, education, reason, imagination, compassion, progress and tolerance ahead of selfish monetary, sexual, competitive, anger and envy-driven pursuits. I wish you all a wonderful holiday period...keep safe...relax...enjoy...provide light...over darkness. And thankyou for helping me to see a way out of my darkness. Later. Cheers N'

Jason

10/12/2012From Mark Latham in todays Crikey (pay walled) Latham: Obama Birthers take over The Australian The Australian’s campaign against Julia Gillard, kicked along by its legal correspondent Chris Merritt, has descended into ancient history and smear. Former Labor leader Mark Latham investigates. As a case study in the flawed reporting of The Australian on the union slush fund matter, it is hard to beat the work of Chris Merritt, the paper’s legal affairs editor. Merritt specialises in arguing the same point (that the Australian Workers Union Workplace Reform Association might have been a trade union) without ever proving his point. This is typical of the media politics of smear, dealing in speculation and misrepresentation, rather than hard facts. My interest in Merritt’s work originated from one of fellow Australian reporter Hedley Thomas’ allegations against Julia Gillard, concerning her legal advice in 1992 for the establishment of the AWU-WRA. In August, Thomas wrote that if the Western Australian government had known the AWU-WRA was designed “to help in the election of union officials, it would not have been registered”. “It would not have been eligible,” he argued, “under the legislation that governed such associations.” Strangely, for a so-called investigative journalist, Thomas provided no corroborating material for this assertion. No legal opinion. No extracts from the WA legislation. No departmental advice. I thought his claim looked suspect, especially given the AWU-WRA had been successfully registered for a range of workplace functions, and the Western Australian Associations Incorporation Act 1987 allows associations to be created for “political purposes”. So I made further inquiries. When I asked the Associations and Charities Branch of the WA Department of Commerce about the registration of associations engaged in fundraising for union elections, I was told “there should not be a prohibition on that”. I also asked if this was a valid opinion going back to 1992, thereby allowing for subsequent legislative amendments. The officials answered “yes”. Not for the first or last time, Thomas was wrong in his claim against Gillard. Merritt has now written three defences of Thomas’ position (on September 3, November 30 and December 7), adopting a curious style of reasoning. He has not sought to address directly the question of the registration of associations engaged in fundraising for union elections. Rather, he has argued a different point: that if the AWU-WRA was, in fact, a trade union, it could not have been registered under the WA laws as they stood in 1992. How is this little exercise going? In his “Prejudice” column in The Australian last Friday, Merritt wrote of the AWU-WRA as follows: “So was it a union? Gillard says she wrote to the WA Corporate Affairs Commission arguing that it was not a union. And if the normal dictionary definition is applied, it clearly was not.” No joy there for the prosecution. So Merritt delved back into the definition of a union applying in the WA Trade Unions Act 1902. This is where The Oz’s pursuit of the Prime Minister now rests: that as a privately-employed lawyer 20 years ago, Gillard gave inaccurate advice to a WA authority concerning the definition of a trade union outlined in state law 110 years ago. This is no different to the Obama Birthers in the US: the making of loopy allegations on matters of ancient history, which no normal person in the community would regard as credible. The purpose of the Trade Unions Act was to provide for the registration and regulation of unions. As the AWU-WRA was not so registered, one could argue, by definition, it was not a trade union. Nonetheless, let’s entertain Merritt’s thesis and examine the full definitional clause in the 1902 legislation: “Trade union shall mean any combination, whether temporary or permanent, for regulating the relations between workmen and employers, or between workmen or workmen, or employers and employers, or for imposing restrictive conditions on the conduct of any trade or business, whether such combination would or would not, if this Act had not been passed, have been deemed to have been an unlawful combination by reason of some one or more of its purposes being in restraint of trade.” Merritt is perhaps the only person in the country who thinks this arcane language causes a problem for Gillard. It may not have tripped up Edmund Barton, Chris Watson or Alfred Deakin but 110 years later, according to Merritt, it has the current PM on the run. There is no end to Merritt’s sophistry, arguing on Friday that as the AWU-WRA was committed to “a more equitable distribution of wealth” it might be regarded, according to the 1902 statute, as a trade union. By this logic, the Australian Tax Office and Centrelink, with their role in the redistribution of income in Australia’s tax-transfer system, are actually trade unions. Not surprisingly, the relevant WA authorities in 1992 had no interest in such nonsense and registered the AWU-WRA as an incorporated association. It was not a trade union. Surely now The Australian will end this train-wreck of a campaign. No wrong-doing has been proven against Gillard, not 20 years ago, not at any time since. The only wrongness on display has been the mistake-ridden reporting of Hedley Thomas and Chris Merritt. http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/12/10/latham-obama-birthers-take-over-the-australian/

Michael

10/12/2012Mark Latham left out a third Australian (the newspaper) Stooge. Ean Higgins, who caused various substances to hit the fan at Murdochinania when he rechristened an off the cuff reference, 'slush fund', into a legal entity "trust fund".

MWS

10/12/2012Thanks for your advice, Patricawa. I am also a West Aussie, and my house was built 11 years ago using passive solar principles. It also has PV panels, because good solar access to the roof was also part of the design. However, my medical condition has deteriorated to the point where I am contemplating air conditioning, although it's not easy to retrofit it into my house (and the minor matter of me being ideologically opposed to using fossil fuel power). I am a keen gardener, so I don't live near the coast, and it takes a while for the sea breezes to reach me. I am also out very early in the morning to walk the dogs - often before 6 AM. My smallest dog has heart failure, so it's the only time he can exercise without becoming distressed. Fortunately the early morning is when I, too, am feeling my best. Unfortunately the dogs like early morning walks in winter as well.

2353

10/12/2012Latham seems to write well - maybe he has time to think about what he's doing. It seems that the LNP in Australia believes the way to economic prosperity is to cut expenditure - look at Newman, O'Farrell and Hockey as examples. Here's a argument why it has never worked http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2012/12/austerity-economics-doesnt-work.html.

nasking

10/12/2012 Thnx Migs. Have a good Christmas duck. :D N'

Gravel

10/12/2012Nasking Sorry to hear about your eyesight. I do hope there is something that can be done. I wonder if a text to speech program could help you? Don't know anything about them myself but they were all the rage a while back in computer talk world. Have a great Christmas and New year and hope you are able to have some input next year as I am another one here who values your views.

Gravel

10/12/2012Oh dear What has happened to my Gravatar??? I had to put my name and email address in and now it's gone, I haven't had to put my name and email in before.......very confused.

Patriciawa

10/12/2012Yes, Gravel, that didn't look at all like you! Nasking, I've only been flying in and out recently so only today has it really sunk in how your health is really troubling for you. As Migs says rest up old bear and come back bigger and stonger! Listen to Stacey too!

TalkTurkey

10/12/2012With Cannane on the Drum ATM are THREE Rightwing shills. Tim Wilson IPA (AGAIN!!!!) Cassandra Thingo from The Australian (she's horrible) and Joe Hildebrand durrrhhh what!

TalkTurkey

10/12/2012Tacker! Tacker! Here Boy! Tacker where are you? Tacker! Tacker! PHWEEEET! TACKER COME HOME!

TalkTurkey

10/12/2012Hildebrand claiming and insisting that *J*U*L*I*A* is a climate change sceptic. He deserves flogging.

Bacchus

10/12/2012Check the email address you've typed in Gravel - just one incorrect character will 'lose' your gravatar...

Bacchus

10/12/2012Look after your self Nas - TPS is strong, but it's stronger with your input. Take it easy (on facebook too) and enjoy the holiday season break with S... Gravel - I 'accidentally' left out one character from my email address on this post ;-)

TalkTurkey

10/12/2012Let's see if I can't make some sense of this royal nurse death thing. Because there's been a heap of nonsense so far, and there are some points of logic that ought to be pointed up. They apply to jurispriudence and to commonsense. And they are anchored in Fact, in Truth and in Logic. My position: (Not mine alone): [i]The prank was essentially pretty innocuous.[/i] [i]The tragic outcome was unforeseeable.[/i] If the moronic adoration of the Windsors were not involved, with the concomiticant focus of the moronic MSM, such a thing would never happen. If you're going to be "Royal" imo you ought at least to be able to take a joke with a stiff upper lip. Well, indeed, HRH Philip Prince of Wales thought so, enough to quip to a journo's question about that Princess What's'ername - (I can't remember it and don't want to!)- "How do you know I'm not a radio station?" said he with a twisty sort of inquisatorial nearly-grin. It was a quirky thing to say, but it was not sour nor vengeful. 'Course that was [i]before[/i] the Nurse's death. Now that was very sad. But it does not change the essentially trivial nature of the intent of the 2 DJs involved. There turned out to be some very wild cards in the episode, and everything went to hell. First joker in the deck was that the DJs got through the fastidious security which usually surrounds the Windsors' privacy. That did make it breathtaking, and hilarious to those like me who regard royalty and its sycophants with disgust and disbelief. It may be that it was illegal. If so it is at the very pale end of culpability, Some people say that it [i]was[/i] foreseeable. How silly. And worse, how untrue. When I first heard of the stunt the Nurse hadn't died. Dif I think "this could end in tragedy"? No of course not, and I suggest nobody else did neither. Okay by drawing a long bow one might have thought ahead to the possibility of unforeseen consequences . . . but then . . . so might crossing the road . . . and that is not a trite point, it is a universal truth. Any action may have unforeseen consequences, so what then, stay in bed? The prank was not done with malice aforethought. It was a harmless undergraduate stunt that went horribly wrong. For once I'm in agreement with Abbortt on that. Last joker to book-end the main plot was of course the Nurse's death. But seriously - who'd a thunk it? Really? But there were some other funny cards that impinge. 2DAY FM happens to be the same radio station as that Sandilands, one of Nature's trueborn scum like Anal Jones. I would myself throw rotten eggs at him if he were ever in the stocks. I have to dislike a man a lot to say that. (Even if I wouldn't actually do it.) But I think the undoubted contemptible nature of Sandiland's horrid stunt with the 14-y-o girl has come home to roost not on him but on the two DJs. If it had come from a little-known regional radio station, the blame would not be so savage now. Sure the station's culture is despicable but this is not at the nasty end - it is weak, rather smelly undergraduate rather. The radio station sought and failed to receive Windsorial blessing for broadcasting the segment. (It seems that is required by law.) They went ahead anyway, dear oh dear. Well imo such a law needs challenging anyway, otherwise no Chaser Boys and their ilk. But there is a clear distinction between the DJs' behaviour here on the one hand, and on the other, the filming of Craig Thomson's wife in the bathroom by media vultures outside the window, or any of many invasions done in the name of that evil bastard Murdoch. This was a prank, in essence, pure and simple. So what about the blame? Tha radio station bears a lot, for its horrid culture far more than for its decision to publish and be damned. Yeah OK the DJs bear some but they meant it to be funny, and it got out of hand when the call went through unexpectedly. They are contrite and it is tragic for them too. The Hospital Staff from the Top to the Nurses are seriously blameworthy, but don't forget it was all before the nurse's death - it was all trivial up till then. But obviously the Nurses were made to feel terrible about what was essentially a trivial invasion - it wasn't even as though Princess WHN was seriously ill, not like life-threatening anyway. So who made it such a heinous crime that one awed and credulous lass passed on to another a prank call? The British Media bear a great proportion of the blame. And just how it would be possible to be more hypocritical than that choice mob is hard to imagine. And now they are pretending that they are noble, so much more British and decent than the colonial crap writers we have out here. Well they're half right there anyway. The Murdoch disease is everywhere. In one of his tirades against the legal and priestly class amongst the Jews, Jesus said wtte "Scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites! Who strain at a gnat, yet swallow a camel!" But the real blame lies with the Monarchy itself, and the sycophancy it encourages and nurtures. You can't even touch Queenie's back in a protective way without it is an international incident. It is the greatest farce on Earth this idolatry of the world's most privileged family. The propensity of many people to apportion blame on the basis of outcomes, not of intent, is wrong in logic, and in law. That is the big point out of all of this. Let us keep things in perspective. And let us not drive the DJs to desperate measures themselves.

Patriciawa

10/12/2012TT, Tacker is here but it is very hot! So he and Sheba are lying stretched out in the shade and waiting for the sun to go down. Nothing Federal turning me on at the moment. I have been writing a bit TT, but it is very local, WA stuff. But since you ask.........or did you? [b]Sleeping With The Enemy Does Not Pay![/b] We learn from breaking news in WA Sleeping with the enemy does not pay. Since two ill famed lovers’ recent parting One of them still is badly smarting. That’s clear as we hear the details from Adele Of yet more drunken folly by Troy Buswell. She seems not driven by this man’s rejection So much as treachery in our state election. Remember how this Green MP went to bed, Not with an honest Labor party red, But with a Liberal of repute so ‘blue’ At first no one believed the story true? Then she confessed to her [i]affaire[/i] With Perth’s chair sniffer Of course, the man was by his Party retained; Without him government could not be gained. Her team? They would have expelled the woman, Carles. There was lots of anger, commentary and snarls. But she turned Independent, ran for cover, And supported the party of her lover, In an open agreement guaranteeing supply, Allegedly with a secret clause whereby For thus giving them now the upper hand In future against her the Liberals would not stand. That all happened in two thousand and ten, There have been many developments since then. ALP’s McGurk looks to win Fremantle Now the Libs are running too and have dismantled That much earlier commitment to Adele. Unsurprisingly she’s willing now to tell About the drunken escapades of her ex Which reveal such odd proclivities in sex. Barnett brushes aside as Labor’s ploy This gossip around his ‘larrikin’ Treasurer Troy. But tales have emerged about the ‘naughty boy’ So often that this time they really could destroy All hopes for his government’s re-election. Will this cause politicians some reflection, Have them approach with more circumspection With whom they sleep, confide in and trade affection? If all the goss around this political scandal here in WA hasn't reached you over there I've posted some background notes with this pome which I finished in the early hours this morning. http://polliepomes.wordpress.com/2012/12/09/sleeping-with-the-enemy-does-not-pay/ Haven't bothered to read up today's developments yet. One really good thing about living here is the long day and late night hours of creative writing time!

TalkTurkey

10/12/2012Oh Patricia I mixed up Tacker with Gravel's gravatar, sorry both, I'm sure yours will come back Gravel, I said a couple of days ago, it's like losing your Teddy.

Patriciawa

10/12/2012Perth's chair sniffer [b][i]extraordinaire[/i]!!!!!![/b] How could that have happened? Can it be corrected, AA?

2353

10/12/2012TT - while I see your point regarding the Windsor family etc, at the end of the day two radio announcers thought it would be funny to broadcast the medical condition of a woman who could easily lose a baby at an early stage of pregnancy. Their management and legal representatives also couldn't see a problem with the plan. Where is the consideration of others and common decency here towards other members of society? My wife and I went through a number of similar scenarios at early stages of pregnancy - and its something I wouldn't wish on anyone. While radio announcers weren't ringing to find out how my wife was (luckily we have no public profile), it wasn't a news story as the appropriate website was publishing the information if they cared to look. It wasn't funny, it wasn't necessary, it wasn't needed, it was purely bad taste.

Jason

10/12/2012TT, You're wrong! The phone call should never have been put to air because it was pre recorded and people had time to think about it, and if anyone thinks this type of joke should be tolerated is mad! Prince William does a lot from what I see from afar to please the "media" so they do give him and his bride a fair bit of "privacy" so we don't see the same circus his mother put up with. The Royal's or the general public have a right to go to hospital safe in the knowledge that the "staff" aren't going to divulge their personal information to anyone! And for the radio station to claim they "acted" within the law while technically right is wrong, on so many levels. The sooner this station has it's licence revoked the better as far as I'm concerned, "Journalist" as far as I know are exempt from certain things under the law in order to do "their job", but these two DJ's along with some shock jocks are classed as "entertianers" so they can get around the rules their "Journo" bretheren can't.

Tom of Melbourne

10/12/2012Blame the media for a suicide. Blame Chaser. Now that’s just stupid. Best to blame the UK class system, where people are pressed to acquiesce to the royal family and privilege.

2353

10/12/2012Jason - agree completely. There is no difference between this and Alan Jones recent behaviour that was rightly decried on this and other blog sites. In both cases someone with a wide audience belittled other people primarily for the shock value. 2Day's management are equally complicit - they authorised the pre-recorded lame attempt at humour prior to it going to air.

nasking

10/12/2012 [b]Look after your self Nas - TPS is strong, but it's stronger with your input. Take it easy (on facebook too) and enjoy the holiday season break with S...[/b] Cheers Bacchus...you look after yerself too...you've been posting along time...and always informative. I realised a few minutes ago that continuing on Facebook would also cause me stress and not allow me to relax...it's been part of the problem...even tho it provides great opportunities. I realise I'm in a confused and fragile mental state right now due to various things...exhaustion one...Stace's op, the American election, the attacks on Gillard...the eyesight prob...family probs...losing a few friends...fair-weather friends...all taken its toll. So I've deactivated my Facebook page. I really need to de-stress. And get some sleep. My dump Tourette's mind just won't shut down Anyway...thnx everyone for yer lovely support. I know I make dopey mistakes sometimes...but I really do try to do the right thing. It's just been sooo long. And I can't wait for the ALP to win the next election. Get it over with. If I have to hear one more EXCRUCIATINGLY BORING NEGATIVE SPEECH FROM TONY ABBOTT I'll turn the TV off permanently. How does a country get lumbered with such a scheming negative opposition leader? Really makes me wonder about the sanity of the Coalition team. If anyone else responds...and I don't...just know I'm not being rude...I just really have to STOP. Before my head explodes. Cheers N'

Libbyx33

10/12/2012Nas, This one's for you my friend... In the QWEEKEND MAGAZINE that was in the Courier Mail dated December 8-9, which I can't find a link to anywhere, I came across this article titled [b]Star Performers - 2012 selection of 50 bright sparks.[/b] You may be able to get a back copy from your newsagent, or I could post it to you or drop it around as I'm only about 15 mins away from you. Also, please note I haven't investigated this further - maybe Stace could help you with that if your eyes are shot. "13- JAMIE TEH, 28, & MICHAEL CURRAN, 29, SOFTWARE DESIGNERS FOR THE BLIND A friendship forged in primary school at a music camp for the blind is the power behind software that enables the visually impaired to access internet sites free of charge. Jamie Teh's and Michael Curran's NonVisual Desktop Access software hes been downloaded 71,000 times and translated into more than 40 languages. The program gives audio to whatever words the cursor touches, allowing blind people to hear what other internet users see. LS (Meaning author Leisa Scott)" Dunno if that will help mate, but worth a look-see yes? Hope your health improves, and know how much you are appreciated here at TPS.

nasking

10/12/2012 Sorry...Gravel and Patricia...many thnx...I meant to add you to that last comment. Doh! Keep well and have a lovely Christmas. N'

nasking

10/12/2012 Libby, just read yer comment. So kind of you. I will be able to find it. Such a lovely offer on your part tho. Feel free to pop by anytime. My email is nasking@optusnet.com.au. Cheers N'

Tom of Melbourne

10/12/2012What’s the difference between this prank and Chaser making false representations to various levels of security during APEC a few years ago? Are we intending to close Chaser?

2353

10/12/2012Some one want to point out to the clown above the difference between demonstrating the stupidity of "enhanced" security levels versus the belittling of people in a fragile mental state for shock or entertainment value. Not that Troll from Melbourne would understand the difference. I wonder if he has worked out the difference between an assertion and a question yet!

Jason

10/12/20122353, You summed it up well when you said "Where is the consideration of others and common decency here towards other members of society?" 2day FM were so proud of their efforts that they have pretty much air brushed from history what they done. No amount of weasel words from the "DJ's" or management can hide the fact they were prepared to do what ever it takes for commercial gain and ratings to be the number one station and the world wide recognition that would have flowed on from this.

Jason

10/12/2012ToM, As much as the thought repulses me that you have children how would you feel if a radio station picked your wife out of the crowd and tried the same thing? Even you and yours ToM should be allowed to go about your medical needs without the Political sword or anyone else for that matter knowing all the details.

Tom of Melbourne

10/12/2012Fine Jason. I’m on board as long as - • The same rules apply to the police and security guards that Chaser embarrassed, and everyone else that they poke fun at in the future. • We all agree that Borat wasn’t funny because of the way Sasha Barron Cohen misrepresented himself to unassuming, innocent people. Perhaps we can lobby to get all that lot banned too.

DMW

10/12/2012A totally wayward thought ... ... and it may get me into strife, ... AGAIN. We have heard and read a fair bit a over the last while about bullying, misogynist behaviour, talking down to and belittling people and other 'anti-social' behaviour. Many have tut-tutted, written and spoken words to the effect of [i]it is not on[/i]. Can't say I disagree and I look back on some of my past lives and think [i]hmmm, I have been guilty of some of those offending behaviours[/i] Then I read through some of the comments here and particularly those toward some of the less than welcome 'guests' and note that they have a remarkable similarity to bullying behaviour, to a 'them and us' attitude, to an offensive 'tone' that often creates strife. I have been guilty of writing comments that have been offensive even possibly 'bullying' which is possibly why they stand out to me. So the question is Swordsters [i]When we 'have fun with trolls' as one contributor puts it, [b]are we being bullies and exhibiting anti-social behaviour[/b][/i] Too damn right we are.

Jason

10/12/2012ToM, WHAT? You on drugs or something? "I’m on board as long as - • The same rules apply to the police and security guards that Chaser embarrassed" I guess I'm lucky Howard was PM at the time or you would be doing one of your dummy spits about Labor not being able to provide security for world leaders.

Libbyx33

10/12/2012Nas, D'OH! I just re-read the post I left for you & am truly grateful you took it in the manner it was intended. I had my head in my hands in embarassment, especially when I saw the bit I wrote - [i]Dunno if that will help mate, but worth a [b]look-see[/b] yes?[/i] It was an unintentional & unfortunate thing to say & I'm sorry if you (or other swordsters) took my lack of tact the wrong way. What I meant to say was that OF COURSE it would be wonderful if your eyes could be healed (don't know much about eyes, tho, except it must suck if they don't work properly!) but that there may be other avenues to follow in the meantime. I just don't do subtle, lol, and that gets me in trouble alot, even when I mean no malice. Thanks for the email addy - I'll gladly visit one day, so I'll get in touch with you that way. Phew - crises avoided! :-)

TalkTurkey

11/12/2012DMW said [i]So the question is Swordsters When we 'have fun with trolls' as one contributor puts it, are we being bullies and exhibiting anti-social behaviour [?][/i] And answers himself [i]Too damn right we are.[/i] Well DMW you speak for yourself. But what you say feels like bullying me to me. Don't try to tell me it doesn't, because it does.

DMW

11/12/2012TT, thanks for your feedback. That you feel 'bullied' by my words is most unfortunate. It is a viscous cycle where often the bullied become the bullies I can only hope that I have not been a catalyst to you possibly becoming a bully.

TalkTurkey

11/12/2012Let me reitierate my attitudes to those I have come to call Trolls. There are only a few Trolls but people get very exercised about them, more so than they are worth. Trolls are not people who are subject to reason, they are deliberately vexatious and mischievous, and for the most part disingenuous about the stands they purport to take. There is no point in attempting discourse with them. My M.O. wrt to them, as I have repeatedly stated, is initially to reply just once to each one who crops up, letting them know that I see them plainly for what they are, and after that, either to ignore them completely, or to write about them in the 3rd person, but never to them directly, in terms ridiculing them - "Fun with Trolls" as I have called it. I have repeatedly and vociferously encouraged others to do likewise, not to engage in direct responses to them, but only [i]about[/i] them if at all. How other posters behave is up to them. But it would be over a year since I have attempted any direct rebuttals of any of them with the exception of one fairly recent female who abused us all, our host in particular, in her very first post: I told her immediately that I would not respond directly to her again, and have not done so. My attitude is rather like the stump-jump plough's attitude to stumps, not to let our discourse founder on the basis of such minor impediments but to skip over them, give them no credence, and they soon lose heart. When I say Fun with Trolls I mean just that, light dismissive oblique comments if at all, never direct to them, and never giving them the satisfaction of taking them seriously. There are some who can't help engaging the enemy, that is their own choice. Their jibes are never pro-active in inciting the Trolls, but always in response to prior taunts from them. That cannot be classed as bullying, but rather as retribution. I would prefer that our defensive warriors paid them much less heed, along the lines I have just reiterated, (and I'm sure that it would do no harm to the tone of this site), but as for moi, when I say Fun, I mean just that.

DoodlePoodle

11/12/2012For my two bobs worth - the personal comments bullying or however you want to phrase it adds no value to this site. In fact there are times when if anyone, who may well be a real asset to TPS, clicked into the site for the first time could be turned away by this sort of behaviour. We need lots of likeminded people joining together for the battle ahead in 2013. I agree with TT just let the trolls be. Remember there is only one thing worse than being talked about and that's not being talked about. Jason I see you as a valuable member here but I believe most of us could do without all of the banter with ToM. AA enjoy your break we all appreciate your efforts. Best Wishes for the Festive Season to all who post here.

2353

11/12/2012DMW - short answer is yes, we are guilty of bullying as well. At times it must drive AA crazy. Jason - thanks for the compliment. While the Security planners and workers were no doubt embarrassed by the Chasers stunt, to my knowledge none of those affected by the system being ridiculed were ever named, no personal details were revealed and it certainly wasn't linked to someone taking their own life. The Chaser and 2Day events are similar in the same way as Chery and Rolls Royce both produce cars. I said somewhere else that I can't understand how in the light of the Alan Jones "ashamed" comments and the management of 2Day FM already having to defend the actions of Kyle Sandilands the same management didn't stop for a second and reflect on the morals and ethics demonstrated by that putting the pre-recorded phone call to air. Is 2GB a Southern Cross Media station as well? While ACMA putting "education sanctions" on the radio station (in a similar way to 2GB) is the likely outcome - in reality it's like using a slap from a wet lettuce leaf to change the culture of "anything goes until we get caught by social media".

jaycee

11/12/2012I'm starting to believe it may be too late now to do anything about the MSM. totally falling behind the Lib's before the next election. With the complete failure of the opp' to substansiate charges alleged against the PM. they still come out on top because of the complete failure of the MSM. to bring the opp'. to account and indeed became almost an apologist FOR them!...some even had a vested interest in it! I reiterate my long-standing complaint against Rudd that he didn't clean out the national broadcaster when he first gained office...Conroy failing to take seriously the bias against the sitting govt' will leave their rear open to assult..and we know what the LOTO said he would do to win office!...and you can bet he will follow through with that threat! I am contemplating the possibility of a rise of fascist sympathy within the ranks of the opp' coming to the next election. If one was to stand the shadow front bench side by side to the ministers of the Third Reich you could see the similarity in both stature, personality and intent!...and if it walks like a duck...?

Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

11/12/2012 Morning peeps. Some reading you might like to follow up (with apologies if you’ve found it already), starting with a delightful bit of satire that deserves a much wider audience. And the strong piece from Café Whispers’ Miglo focuses on some of the longer-term consequences of any shift back to hard right Govt in 2013. (Some additional Twitter quicklinks also, below the excerpts.) [b]Tony Abbott: The Possibilities Behind the Illusion![/b] Ian Harris [the Blowfly] But it is possible that in another universe there is a Tony Abbott and he has chosen another pathway or response to the hung parliament. The other Tony Abbott decided that the hung parliament was an opportunity to govern from Opposition. He was extremely creative and was able to garner the support of the Independents to push through a range of legislation that he believed were crucial for his government after the next election in 2013 where he was elected without much difficulty. In the parallel universe the other Tony Abbott found he could be quite civil to the Prime Minister and had no need to be offensive towards her at all. Now if this scenario is plausible many of you will want to be in that parallel universe. But before you get too excited please be aware that in that parallel universe there will be no Julia Gillard-misogyny speech because Tony Abbott was behaving as a gentleman should behave and he and the PM were still flirting a little as they used to in the old days. http://www.theblowfly.com.au/2012/12/tony-abbott-possibilities-behind.html [b]Beyond 2013[/b] Miglo [Café Whispers] The 2013 election looms as one of the most important ever. It is not simply Labor versus Liberal, the working class versus the upper class or the progressives versus the conservatives. It is an election to determine whether Australia keeps up with the pace in the global village or cuts itself adrift to float aimlessly in the global seas. I see this as the most important election because the world now moves at a pace never before seen. Social and economic changes can take us by storm overnight, whereas in our lazy past we could have a nap in the hammock and still wake up in an unchanged world. We also face the uncertainty that climate change can bring, the predictions of which are horrific. Labor wants to keep up with, or at the best drive these changes to take us into the future. The Opposition is quite happy to keep resting blissfully in the hammock. http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2012/12/10/beyond-2013/ [b]Abbott's Politburo Propaganda[/b] Ian McAuley On Thursday last week the document "Coalition Speaker’s Notes" (sic) fell off the back of a truck into Crikey’s hands. http://media.crikey.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/0628x77-Coalition-Speakers-Notes-1-July-2012.pdf In its use of selective and fudged statistics its style is reminiscent of the propaganda pamphlets of the Communist governments from the 1960s. It is peppered with emotive and unsubstantiated statements about "Labor’s economic mismanagement" and the "massive government debt" Labor has bequeathed to young Australians, and like those old pamphlets, it is written for the most gullible. http://newmatilda.com/2012/07/09/abbott-politburo-propaganda [b]Taking on Peter Reith and Eric Abetz Pty Ltd[/b] [Godfrey’s Blog of Claims] It looks like the IR nut-jobs in the Coalition are refining their political strategy to keep working people down. Peter Reith has called for a broad-based inquiry into union behaviour and governance. The IR nut-jobs have clearly learned from the WorkChoices but it was clearly not the message that a majority of Australians were attempting to teach (you know the one about taking rights at work seriously). Instead, the idea is to use an inquiry of some description such as a Royal Commission to fundamentally weaken the independent organising capacity of the union movement. All with the added sweetener of ensuring complete corporate dominance of the hundreds of billions of dollars of workers’ capital in industry superannuation funds. http://tradeunion.wordpress.com/2012/12/09/taking-on-peter-reith-and-eric-abetz-pty-ltd/ [b]Is the Coalition vulnerable to interest rates?[/b] George [Poliquent] At every federal election in the recent past, interest rates and the effect on voters servicing a residential mortgage has been a key issue. This is no surprise, for those servicing a mortgage the movement of the RBA cash rate which in turn affects home loan interest rates has a big effect on a borrower’s cost of living. With the RBA cash rate at historically low figures this issue should be running in favour of the incumbent Labor Government. Is the Coalition vulnerable to a Labor campaign on interest rates? http://poliquant.com/is-the-coalition-vulnerable-to-interest-rates/ [b]The revolution will be mobile[/b] Joshua Peck Digital organising is changing domestic politics in America and countries around the world. Similar to MoveOn.org in the US, organisations like GetUp in Australia and 38 Degrees in the United Kingdom have played key roles in shifting domestic debates and influencing electoral outcomes. We're even seeing a shift in global politics. Avaaz.org, a global advocacy organisation, is introducing global narratives and opportunities for collective action across borders. With over 15 million members, Avaaz is a living manifestation of the concept of global citizenship. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4413562.html [b]Human rights movement needs better and bolder leaders[/b] Phil Lynch So what can we learn from these human rights victories and failures? First, human rights reform is slow, incremental and opportunistic. We may have history on our side, but progress in the achievement of human rights is never inevitable and the prevention of regress requires, to borrow Thomas Jefferson's words, our eternal vigilance. Second, advances in human rights often require the disruption of existing hierarchies and power structures. It is apt to recall that the Murdoch press and the Catholic Church (each now mired in their own ethical controversies) were the most vociferous opponents of a national Human Rights Act. The current campaign to modernise and strengthen anti-discrimination laws must be alive and responsive to these oppositional forces. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4416618.html [i]Le Grace[/i] I give as good as I get: Gillard http://www.theage.com.au/national/i-give-as-good-as-i-get-gillard-20121210-2b5zk.html … via @theage [i]IndependentAustralia[/i] ‏ Think again. 'Who killed Jacintha Saldanha?', by Tess Lawrence. http://fb.me/20S7J4aLt [i]david ewart[/i] http://www.sbs.com.au/news/video/2314187967/Gillard-acknowledges-power-of-Redfern-speech … [i]Katharine Murphy[/i] “@bairdjulia: Could GOP tribe of "arrogant, uptight, entitled, retrogressive white guys" become extinct? Maureen Dowd http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/09/opinion/sunday/dowd-a-lost-civilization.html?src=me&ref=general&_r=0 …” [i]Mr Denmore[/i] Think Austereo is contrite? The trick is to entertain the stupid without angering the powerful. See The Failed Estate http://tiny.cc/zzi3ow [i]Godwin AEC-Gate Geek[/i] PM hosts about 25 female bloggers at Kirribilli House. Their sites reach about 2.5 million people. http://tinyurl.com/a4g67pp [i]David Bradbury MP[/i] Good article from @katiewalshAFR on ideas of some members of the panel on multinational tax that I announced today http://ow.ly/1Q7qtp [i]LynLinking[/i] Abbott’s Antics, And Allsorts: @otiose94 out-manoeuvered by the masterful Negotiator, Julia Gillard..... excerpt http://otiose94.wordpress.com/2012/12/09/abbotts-antics-and-allsorts/ … [i]LynLinking[/i] The tragedy of Ashby and Slipper: Act Three Is it blind ambition greed for money power sex or just stupidity? . excerpt http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/the-tragedy-of-ashby-and-slipper-act-three/ … [i]LynLinking[/i] Abbott hasn’t stopped lying since he lost the 2010 election and has been gazumped on every one of them expt by @MigloCW http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2012/12/09/tell-me-lies-2/ … [i]LynLinking[/i] Abbott used the procedural Matters of Public Importance session to slander the government. Abbott had the gall. Excerpt http://ajbensted.wordpress.com/2012/12/08/roll-up-roll-up-australian-politics-on-show/?blogsub=confirming#subscribe-blog … [i]Lenore Taylor[/i] Pyne caught red-handed with the airbrush http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/pyne-caught-redhanded-with-the-airbrush-20121210-2b4rq.html … via @smh [i]Crikey[/i] Trial by media? Trial by Google is the real threat to privacy, Lord Justice Brian Leveson told a Sydney audience today http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/12/07/trial-by-google-the-new-threat-to-privacy-leveson-warns/

2353

11/12/2012Thanks Janet - some wonderful links there. A tweety bird has taught/is teaching you well :D

jaycee

11/12/20122353...Yes, I do believe AA. is sometimes "driven to the brink" by our antics against the trolls here...but it is somwhat his own fault!...you see, AA. is TOO much the gentleman with the "Kensington Cats" trollers that scratch and yowl here. They know this and take full advantage of his democratic principles to "purge their belly-full"...me, I' a damn sight more bolshie..I'd delete them as soon as they showed their "ugly face". Why?..I know I sometimes sound downright rude and cruel, but they exhibit every sign of the "Judas Principle" in that they, if given sympathy and capacity will betray you. AA. has the Hippocratic oath sewn into his garments...The only oath I'd give to them is the same that I am sure Joe Stalin used for such traitors...(*******)..and he was too soft!

Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

11/12/2012 To 2353 @ December 11. 2012 09:39 AM Thank u 2353. Loving learning from that light feathery touch :-) Miss her here tho :-(

TalkTurkey

11/12/2012Jan You are being amazing. Tweety just won't stay home will she! DMW It is possible I misread your meaning, and that you were referring to others rather than myself, whose responses are rather more acrimonious than my own tend to be. I am not about to criticise anybody for doing so, the Trolls really ask for it, but I distance myself from the hard-ball game. I am the contributor though who speaks of Fun With Trolls, by which I mean only ridicule, for the discomfiture of the Trolls and the amusement of the Comrades. I openly encourage ridicule. The Right really doesn't seem to understand humour much, whereas the Left revels in it, it is one of our great and most enjoyable strengths.

MWS

11/12/2012I enjoyed this letter in The Age: [quote]I HAVE been having a few strange health issues lately so I visited a doctor to see if there was anything I should do. He warned me that although things weren't too bad right now, unless I altered my lifestyle, improved my diet and gave up smoking I may be headed for significant trouble in the future. I wasn't convinced so I got a second opinion. He told me the same thing but I was still unclear so I got a third opinion. Finally, after I had seen 98 doctors who all told me the same thing I found someone who told me what I wanted to hear. He said it was all hocus pocus, the doctors didn't know what they were talking about and that I should just continue the way I am. Sure, he is not a qualified doctor but he seems to know something about it. Plus, people seem interested in what he has to say and he sounded convincing. I checked his advice against a cartoon in a respected Saturday newspaper and they seem to agree so I think I will follow their advice. Can't believe all those doctors got it wrong. Simon Mcinnes, Boolarra[/quote] http://www.theage.com.au/national/letters/jeff-has-gone-beyond-a-joke-20121210-2b66s.html

MWS

11/12/2012I see a few "Lynlinking" tweets in Janet's links this morning. Is Lyn on a busman's holiday? Or does she take a while to get into "holiday mode"? Unfortunately I'm not on Twitter, or I would ask the question directly.

Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

11/12/2012 MWS December 11. 2012 10:59 AM Hi MWS, Wouldn't ordinarily answer for Lyn, except I think she won't be popping back into TPS til Feb. Twitter is different from blogs like this one in that the followers you pick up are only kept following by the amount of interactivity you undertake. Lyn has built up some 2500 followers who follow her for links and her sweet and wise comments after tweeting these. If she stopped interacting completely for two months she would lose a valuable audience. Twitter can be quick and fickle, and those carefully nurtured followers are invaluable potential ALP supporters/voters. If you then think that each of those 2500 have followers of their own who also see Lyn's links [i]and[/i] may retweet them, the influence of one person's work can extend extraordinarily. She has said it is less work for her to play on Twitter than to cover both Twitter, and reproduce reading for TPS. She has said she is resting, too :-)

TalkTurkey

11/12/2012Bob Ellis Writes again! Geoff Pearson‏@GCobber99 The coming Coalition Newspoll miracle http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/the-coming-coalition-newspoll-miracle/ …

Ad astra

11/12/2012Janet Thank you for another set of informative links. I see our Tweety Bird in the background. It’s hard after an intense year to walk away immediately and completely, so Lyn is gradually easing herself away from the very concentrated effort she has put in all year. Hi Lyn, we love your devotion.

Ad astra

11/12/2012Folks Regarding the folk who blog here seemingly to irritate and taunt, whom you label ‘trolls’, I urge you to make a New Year resolution, namely to ignore comments that upset, irritate or anger you when you perceive that they have been posted for that purpose. Those who post such comments generally do so to taunt and evoke a response, just as some children deliberately irritate their parents in order to attract attention. I believe that the most effective way to neutralize such irritating people is to ignore them when they irritate. So can we resolve to ignore comments that seem deliberately designed to irritate and upset, yet respond to those that are reasonable. Rather that labeling people as ‘trolls’, let's focus on the comment rather than the person, and ignore the unacceptable comment, rather than habitually ignoring the person, the so-called ‘troll’, even when he or she posts something reasonable.

Sir Ian Crisp

11/12/2012[quote][i]Folks Regarding the folk who blog here seemingly to irritate and taunt... Ad astra [/i][/quote] I've jotted that down in my little black book and will heed your wonderful advice. Thank you Ad Astra.

bob macalba

11/12/2012Janet thankyou, excellent links, its so much easier to maintain the rage when pointed in the right direction, cheers nasking, i too am going to miss your comments, I really dig your passion man,and its quite contagious , but ultimately your health and eyesight must take priority, rest up warrior next year should be a doozy and i suspect warrior wordsmiths like yourself will well be needed to combat the negative mendacious crap that is sure to be piled out by the tories [cant call them liberals] and their pet media, and to you and yours nasking 'LANG MAY YER LUMS REEK' ps no need to reply, its all good, cheers

MWS

11/12/2012Thanks for the reply Janet - it all makes sense now! I hope Lyn is enjoying her break between tweets.

MWS

11/12/2012Peter Wicks on the extremists in the LNP: [quote]It is not just Tony Abbott’s misogyny the public have to fear, nor his inability to stick to one version of the “gospel truth”, we have to worry about the mates that he brings with him and the influence they will wield on the parliament.[/quote] http://wixxyleaks.com/2012/12/11/bullets-bombs-and-bigotry

42 long

11/12/2012Corey Bernardi has the top senate spot in SA!!. Doesn't that tell you everything about Abbott's direction and the sort of people he responds too. Thinking Liberals(where are you?) must be tearing their hair out. I resume of the last AGM of the LNP and the policies adopted there should maximise everyone's concerns. This is the loopiest bunch of nutters and nasties I have ever seen in politics. merde throwing muckrakers. The thing is that their slates are not so clean. There has always been more Right wing members forced to resign their portfolio's than labor because of misconduct etc. Why is that? Perhaps the greed/power element. It certainly looks at power at any price even at the expense of respect for parliamentary process. They present as pretty poor role models.

MWS

11/12/2012Stephan Lewendowsky's review of Michael Mann's latest book [i]The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines[/i]: http://www.amazon.com/review/RUHGA6NAS33AM/

jane

11/12/2012Nas' it was very sad to read about your health problems and particularly your deteriorating eyesight. I think you're doing exactly the right thing in taking a rest for your health's sake. You work so hard keeping us informed about things happening in the US and elsewhere, it's obviously taking its toll. So rest up for the silly season and come back reinvigorated for the looming battle against the forces of evil. Blimey! Very melodramatic, but I'm sure you know what I mean. Anyway my friend, enjoy the break with S and have a lovely relaxing Xmas and new year. Ad astra, from his latest comment, it appears SIC will no longer infest this site. How sad. [quote]Thinking Liberals.....[/quote] Do such creatures exist, 42 long? With the silly season almost upon us, I'd like to wish everyone a very happy Xmas and an extremely healthy and happy 2013 when we vanquish Liealot and the Liars Party utterly. In the spirit of the season I will even cough up a modicum of goodwill for the trolls-may they use the lumps of coal in their Xmas stockings wisely and may the scales fall from their eyes. I fear that neither wish will be granted.

Tom of Melbourne

11/12/2012Whenever the word “troll” is tossed around, it comprehensively demonstrates that there is nothing left - no logic, no rationale. It is a retreat to name calling, an admission of defeat in any debate. It is hilarious to observe otherwise sensible people resort to the sandpit style behaviour.

Ken

11/12/2012As I'm new to this, I find it a bit hard to keep up to date with all the comments but have just a few points to make regarding a few posts made on 9 December. "42 long" referred to "God wants you to be rich" being a corruption but it is not quite as simple as that. There was a religious group, descended from the Calvinists as I recall, who believed that those who would be admitted to Heaven was predetermined and that success in life (including the accumulation of wealth) was a sign that God had chosen that individual. That approach was very influential in early America and continues, in one way or another, to the present day. "jaycee" also posted on 9 December about the Aborginal population and mentioned the lack of erotica. That is not quite true. I have personally visited a number of Aborginal art sites where there are clearly erotic representations. One of the main population controls used by traditional Aboriginal society was the custom of marrying young girls to old men - nature took its course in such circumstances and reduced the number of children. There are many other reasons which I won't go into now. I thought an interesting post was by "Libby x33" regading the Qld mother was was considered partly responsible for the rape of her son on the basis that she had failed to provide adequate protection and supervision. This has been a bug-bear of mine for years. There have been many occasions when governments have talked about making parents bear legal responsibility for the vandalism and "crimes" of their children. But short of keeping one's children prisoners, this is next to impossible. In traditional societies, yes, parents and other adults (uncles, aunts, etc) had much more direct control over children but in our society they are subject to values and teachings from "strangers" in the education system, from the media, including more recently social media, and from their peers. Parents no longer have the degree of control they once had and if governments ever want to make parents responsible for their children's misbehaviour, they would need to increase the legal rights of parents to enforce their standards and values. The other issue that I will save until AA posts the next part of the summer ideology posts, concerns the break-down of "informal" sanctions and increasing legislation to fill that gap. That break-down of informal sanctions also affects the role of parents.

nasking

11/12/2012 Just read this and thought I best put Libby at ease: [b]It was an unintentional & unfortunate thing to say & I'm sorry if you (or other swordsters) took my lack of tact the wrong way. [/b] Do not worry Libby...I did not take it that way at all. In fact, I have had my mind elsewhere...focused this morning on a Poirot film...followed by some research into this tragic death of this nurse in the UK. And what I would be asking if I were a police investigator is: WHO BENEFITS THE MOST FROM THE DEATH OF THIS MOST UNFORTUNATE LADY? It is of course, the media... as it distracts from UK problems for some of them...and ensures they get more attention and subsequently sales and ad money...as tabloid fever hits the public once again. It also leads some to believe this is yet another Royal Family-related incident/murder...one in a supposed line of them...including Lady Di. The easiest of conspiracies to fall into...and plenty will. I tested my theory this morning...and yes...one of Stacey's family is already thinking this way. But I believe the possible perpetrators knew the public curiousity dominoes would automatically fall there. You must ask yerself? Who has been hounding the Royals in order to keep tabloid fever going for yonks?...and would know that the public would once again focus on that side of things. The Royals are convenient scapegoats...like the poor Jews...when empires rule the roost. Furthermore, would it not suit a media corporation that invests more in papers, payTV and online news and opinion to see the ferocity of focus move to radio? As it also applauded...and fed...the wave of anger against the BBC of late. Another well-timed distraction...considering they must have sat on the peda stuff for...how long? Yet did not pursue it with ferocity til now. Just as the piss weak Leveson judgements pretty well let them off the hook...interesting...considering this was PM Cameron's inquiry...looking at media characters he and his -now exonerated it seems - ministers were inappropriately in contact with, according to some observers. Some say a WHITEWASH from a man looking for a top judicial job...who comes to Australia and happens to focus on blogs and social media. Curious. The other competition for a certain media corporation. Perhaps tho, he was just doing his job...as the elite have always done...we have come to expect no less. Returning to the death of this unfortunate nurse, it coincidently (if you believe in coincidence) once again shines a focus on the relationship between Indians...and yes, Australians. Just as the healing had worked...and relations improved. And who would love to see them deteriorate...under this govt? Think trade relations etc. Which media organisation under huge pressure here and in the UK would LUV to see this govt fall?...put its CHOSEN man in place? Interesting NEWSPOLL today. But where is the evidence it is on the money? No election to prove it right. Can we trust these corporate polls during these non-election periods? Could they be used as an attempt to alter public perception of a govt? Frankly, this is mere speculation...for the media would never attempt to CREATE THE NEWS for its own advantage. It is just another conspiracy theory. But one in a world of media corruption, bullying, criminal behaviour, anything goes strategies...DESPERATION TO SURVIVE. And police corruption...complicity... Sadly, I expect little but cover-up...and a less than thorough job when it comes to this tragic incident. Particularly when I reflect on the actions of some in the police force...both present...and past: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Yates_(police_officer) [b]In May 2012, a report into phone hacking by a House of Commons select committee found that Yates, along with director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer, was culpable for failing to properly investigate evidence when hacking was first brought to his attention in 2006-07. The report concluded: "The police at that time had no interest or willingness to uncover the full extent of the phone-hacking which had taken place." Since Yates' resignation and the reopening of police investigations in 2011, 90 people have been arrested and 16 have been formally charged with crimes. [/b] ------ bob macalba, cheers...I wish you and yers the best during this festive season. Stay ever-curious...and passionate. I shall return to my distractions...far more...relaxing. :D N'

nasking

11/12/2012 Jane, cheers have a great hols. It is unlikely I'll be back. But the likes of yer good self...and the many determined, articulate folk on here give me hope that the supporters of darkness will be given one helluva a fight. The story must continue. Know my thoughts and words are with you. N'

Gravel

11/12/2012baccus I have changed my email address but I'm putting my old one in now and hope it works. Thanks for your help.

Gravel

11/12/2012Yes, it worked, thanks everyone, now as TT said, I've found my lost teddy. :-) Janet Thanks for all your great links, and it's good to know that Lyn is having a rest. I keep trying to wean myself off the net but it doesn't work, have to check in every couple of days at least.

jaycee

11/12/2012just quickly, Ken...Yes, I am aware of those "erotic" rock-art by the indigenous peoples, but two things...a) considering the state of "undress" of the indigenous peoples of those hot climes, are you not presuming too much from what may just be a recording in art of the bleedin' obvious ..b) While the ancients of Rome, Greece, Minoa, Persia etc..had depictions that could be transported and places dedicated to the performance of erotica, rock-art in several parts of the country are not the same as portable pottery and such! Do you know of any corrobories that are dedicated to aboriginal erotic dancing? (not to be confused w/fertility rites!).

Ken

11/12/2012jaycee They are genuine erotic sites but perhaps, I will concede, more like erotic cartoons. Most, but not all, of the ones I have visited were actually to do with secret men's business and the elders allowed me to see them. Some of the representations are in no way realistic and even the Aborginal men I was with saw many of them in a humorous light - including exaggerated examples of "whistle dick". The idea of not being able to transport the images also goes to the heart of Aboriginal land rights. One analogy I used in the past was that it was no coincidence that the great age of European exploration and colonisation followed the invention of printing. Europeans could take their Bible with them and it provided the underpinning of the values of their native society as they moved around the globe. Aboriginals couldn't do that - the "bible" (the law) that underpinned their society was "written" in the land. So the concept that such things can be transported is another whole discussion about the nature of societies. No, I don't know of any erotic coroborees but there are many reasons for that, including, as I said, the custom of arranged marriages to older men. Being a male, I wasn't allowed into the women's business, but I am aware of very open sexual discussion among Aboriginal women and wouldn't rule out the concept of erotica (even if it was only oral - and, after all, it was predominantly an oral culture).

jaycee

11/12/2012That's very interesting, Ken...I am a student of Roman history so cannot speak in any qualified way about indigenous peoples. However, I do recall reading of research that paralleled the rise of erotica with the rise of cultivated empires.As to what came first; chicken or egg..?.. But what IS different between indigenous cultures (of most[?]places) and sophisticated civilisations is the psychology of erotica...: erotica being a construct playing on "delay or denial of sensual pleasure", implying that there existed a "hunger" for sexual fulfillment!..was such lacking in those empires? Was there such a psychological construct in the indigenous cultures? In ancient Egypt we read of such delights..and Persia..and China..The evidence "on the ground" in Australia is the fact that there never was the population explosion that there was in the other continents. I find it difficult to imagine growing up in a place where there was no erotic display whatever....can anyone?

Sir Ian Crisp

11/12/2012Can it get any worse? Over on another site the bird of paradox is being called Prime Minister Rosa Luxemburg.

MWS

11/12/2012Antony Green on the changes to the electoral roll: [quote]By far the worst aspect of the debate on direct enrolment has been attempts to justify or denigrate it based on how people enrolled by the system might vote. Franchise should be judged by qualification, not by intended vote. Who people are going to vote for shouldn’t be used as a measure of whether rort is taking place. If an attempt to change the current enrolment system is to be labelled a rort, then why shouldn’t attempts to maintain the status quo, and its steady decline in youth enrolment, also not be seen as a rort?[/quote] http://blogs.abc.net.au/antonygreen/2012/12/more-on-direct-enrolment-and-update.html

Ken

11/12/2012jaycee just a brief comment because I basically accept what you are saying. The key thing seems to be the change from an oral tradition to one that becomes more visual (including the need to read). Erotica as we know it seems linked to that change to a visual medium.

Wake Up

11/12/2012The best fun you can have with miserable little trolls is to see who is the best at ignoring them. So here is the game: First one to break loses !!! Starting now.

2353

11/12/2012Wake Up @ 10.24. Cool. I'm in the game.

pj

11/12/2012Dear folks, could i be so cheeky to pick your fine minds, a new facebook page is being set up, would you have any suggestions for it, along the line of positive achievements, eg Team Labor connect vote labor 2013? any suggestions?

TalkTurkey

11/12/2012Comrades This stuff about Trolls is interesting because it has to do with communication, with conflict resolution, and the awful truth that [i]there are those who are simply malicious[/i]. This last is the class of people who vandalise, who spoil wantonly, who set fires, who spread wicked lies, who foment illwill. It is vital to our cause that we recognise the fact that there are many of them, and that they will not change. They are bent out of shape permanently. It is no use whatsoever to talk reasonably to them, and indeed the best thing is to send them to Coventry. But as for calling them Trolls, Ad, well I think it is a [i]fine[/i] word to describe Trolls, for several overlapping reasons: it is a verb, to troll is to drag a fishing line with a lure behind a boat to catch voracious fish like Snook, and by extension to try mischievously to draw facts or reactions from people by provocative suggestions or leading questions; and Trolls in Scandinavian legend are rather unpleasant ogre-like beings, living in dark damp places, in caves and under bridges, and feeding off unwary wayfarers who come their way. So Trolls are always fishing for responses, anyone who replies is a catch they can feed off. And in the case of these Internet Trolls, they can do it without ever coming out of the dark. It really is very simple: Don't Feed the Trolls. Or at worst, as I've said many times before: Have FUN with Trolls! Don't address them directly. Talk about them but not to them. Until and unless they are respectful of this Hub of the Fighting 5th Estate.

TalkTurkey

12/12/2012Leunig outs himself as a non-anti-Semite. I'm with him. [i]Over the years it has been implied that I am "a second degree anti-Semite", "a new-world anti-Semite" and a "latent anti-Semite" as well as a simple old-fashioned common or garden anti-Semite. I now learn to my amazement that to make comparisons between Israeli policy and any Nazi behaviour is in itself an anti-Semitic act. [/i] Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/just-a-cartoonist-with-a-moral-duty-to-speak-20121210-2b5hi.html#ixzz2EmE6O4fsIt is http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/just-a-cartoonist-with-a-moral-duty-to-speak-20121210-2b5hi.html#ixzz2Em6JIeAn

jaycee

12/12/2012Ken..Yes..I can see that an oral-descriptive storytelling could suffice for the transmission of erotica, after all, we would do the same as young men down at the pub in the "old days".

jaycee

12/12/2012Actually, I kind of like that : "Bird of Paradox"..perhaps "wrappped in a riddle" title given to the PM. It sort of elevates her above the dross of the opposition...yes..thank you troll! Of course, with JWH we had the "Man of Stool".

pappinbarra fox

12/12/2012[quote]It is unlikely I'll be back. But the likes of yer good self...and the many determined, articulate folk on here give me hope that the supporters of darkness will be given one helluva a fight. [/quote] Just Nasking - this sounds ominous - are you retirign or dying? I hope the former for your input will be sorely missed if the latter. Regards and do not go gently into the night.

jaycee

12/12/2012On the other hand, with the LOTO, can words describe a stench?.....Actually, just looked up the word; "stench" in the thesaurus...I stopped at twenty one, but there are dozens..all quite adequate!

jaycee

12/12/2012Am keen to hear the Slipper judicial finding this morning. Could be a game changer if it goes his way...The repercussions would spread far and wide...expect a couple of "notable" journalists to quickly accept positions overseas!

TalkTurkey

12/12/2012Bob Carr with Sabra Lane about Israeli settlements. http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2012/s3652030.htm

TalkTurkey

12/12/2012pj could you please explain a bit more what you are after? Glad to help if we can . . .

Ad astra

12/12/2012Folks Ashby's case against Peter Slipper has been 'thrown out' by the court hearing Ashby's claim.

Tom of Melbourne

12/12/2012Proof abounds. When people have given up all hope of scoring debating points, they retrea