The Layman's Guide to Finding the Devil in the Strangest Places - Devil's Dictionary Part III

So as to prove that I am capable of finishing something which I have started ages ago, and which, for the nimble-minded among us, you might remember I have promised before and not delivered, herewith is the final installment of my abridged version of letters N-Z of 'The Devil's Dictionary'.

Might I just add that our own little devil, Tony Abbott, is likely wishing that he will be reborn as a political god next year. I wish him well. Even with all the help he could muster from a compliant and complicit media, he failed. Might I also just add, chanelling Ambrose Bierce, the man needs help.

Don't forget, some of the definitions I have no desire to add to, as they speak for themselves without any interference or addition from me.

NEPOTISM, n. Appointing your grandmother to office for the good of the party.

And who, as the 'bastard love-child of Bronwyn Bishop and John Howard', in an approximately similar way, has kept Granny Bishop safe and secure on the Shadow Front Bench of the Coalition and permanently pre-selected for her seat in federal parliament?

NOISE, n. A stench in the ear. Undomesticated music. The chief product and authenticating sign of civilisation.

Something that politicians can be bipartisan about? 'A stench in the ear'? :)

NOMINATE, v. To designate for the heaviest political assessment. To put forward a suitable person to incur the mudgobbling and deadcatting of the opposition.

Peter Slipper.

NOMINEE, n. A modest gentleman shrinking from the distinction of private life and diligently seeking the honourable obscurity of public office.

Peter Slipper?

NOTORIETY, n. The fame of one's competitor for public honours. The kind of renown most accessible and acceptable to mediocrity. A Jacob's Ladder leading to the vaudeville stage, with angels ascending and descending.

NOVEMBER, n. The eleventh twelfth of a weariness.

OATH, n. In law, a solemn appeal to the Deity, made binding upon the conscience by a penalty for perjury.

If Tony Abbott knew this when he made his 'Blood Oath' to repeal the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, will he be abashed before his deity if he fails to do so?

OBLIVION, n. The state or condition in which the wicked cease from struggling and the dreary are at rest. Fame's eternal dumping ground. Cold storage for high hopes. A place where ambitious authors meet their works without pride and their betters without envy. A dormitory without an alarm clock.

OBSESSED, pp. Vexed by an evil spirit, like the Gadarene swine and other critics. Obsession was once more common than it is now. Arasthus tells of a peasant who was occupied by a different devil for every day in the week, and on Sundays by two. They were frequently seen, always walking in his shadow, when he had one, but were finally driven away by the village notary, a holy man; but they took the peasant with them, for he vanished utterly. A devil thrown out of a woman by the Archbishop of Rheims ran through the trees, pursued by a hundred persons, until the open country was reached, where by a leap higher than a church spire he escaped into a bird. A chaplain in Cromwell's army exorcised a soldier's obsessing devil by throwing the soldier into the water, when the devil came to the surface. The soldier, unfortunately, did not.

I guess this is why Tony Abbott has a shadow at all. As he is truly obsessed. Otherwise, he would not, as he is a Hollow Man.

OBSTINATE, adj. Inaccessible to the truth as it is manifest in the splendour and stress of our advocacy. Almost every Question Time that has passed this parliamentary year has seen a display of mule-headed obstinacy and strident advocacy from Tony Abbott. And that, the more strenuous he was in his advocacy, the further away he was from the truth.

OCCIDENT, n. The part of the world lying west (or east) of the Orient. It is largely inhabited by Christians, a powerful sub-tribe of the Hypocrites, whose principal industries are murder and cheating, which they are pleased to call "war" and "commerce." These, also, are the principal industries of the Orient.

OLD, adj. In that stage of usefulness which is not inconsistent with general inefficiency, as an old man. Discredited by lapse of time and offensive to the popular taste, as an old book.

"Old books? The devil take them!" Goby said.

"Fresh every day must be my books and bread."

Nature herself approves the Goby rule

And gives us every moment a fresh fool.

—Harley Shum,

OLEAGINOUS, adj. Oily, smooth, sleek.

Disraeli once described the manner of Bishop Wilberforce as "unctuous, oleaginous, saponaceous." And the good prelate was ever afterward known as Soapy Sam. For every man there is something in the vocabulary that would stick to him like a second skin. His enemies have only to find it.

OMEN, n. A sign that something will happen if nothing happens.

The Canberra Press Gallery are very good at relaying, to a breathless public, what the political omens portend. They keep at it, I think, so that you don't remember that they have been wrong before. Often.

ONCE, adv. Enough.

Tony Abbott Censure Motions for 2012. Please!

OPPORTUNITY, n. A favourable occasion for grasping a disappointment.

Tony Abbott seizes every opportunity afforded him, it seems.

OPPOSE, v. To assist with obstructions and objections.

OPPOSITION, n. In politics the party that prevents the Government from running amuck by hamstringing it.

The King of Ghargaroo, who had been abroad to study the science of government, appointed one hundred of his fattest subjects as members of a parliament to make laws for the collection of revenue. Forty of these he named the Party of Opposition and had his Prime Minister carefully instruct them in their duty of opposing every royal measure. Nevertheless, the first one that was submitted passed unanimously. Greatly displeased, the King vetoed it, informing the Opposition that if they did that again they would pay for their obstinacy with their heads. The entire forty promptly disembowelled themselves.

"What shall we do now?" the King asked. "Liberal institutions cannot be maintained without a party of Opposition." 

"Splendour of the universe," replied the Prime Minister, "it is true these dogs of darkness have no longer their credentials, but all is not lost. Leave the matter to this worm of the dust."

 So the Minister had the bodies of his Majesty's Opposition embalmed and stuffed with straw, put back into the seats of power and nailed there. Forty votes were recorded against every bill and the nation prospered. But one day a bill imposing a tax on warts was defeated — the members of the Government party had not been nailed to their seats! This so enraged the King that the Prime Minister was put to death, the parliament was dissolved with a battery of artillery, and government of the people, by the people, for the people perished from Ghargaroo.

ORATORY, n. A conspiracy between speech and action to cheat the understanding. A tyranny tempered by stenography.

Which is why Tony Abbott is such a superior orator to the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.

OUTDO, v.t. To make an enemy.

Julia Gillard is Tony Abbott’s and Kevin Rudd's biggest enemy we keep getting told.

PAIN, n. An uncomfortable frame of mind that may have a physical basis in something that is being done to the body, or may be purely mental, caused by the good fortune of another.

I guess that means Tony Abbott was in a world of pain when he saw the last Newspoll results, even if he has been steadfastly acting as though they never happened.

PALMISTRY, n. The 947th method (according to Mimbleshaw's classification) of obtaining money by false pretences. It consists in "reading character" in the wrinkles made by closing the hand. The pretence is not altogether false; character can really be read very accurately in this way, for the wrinkles in every hand submitted plainly spell the word "dupe." The imposture consists in not reading it aloud.

There's nothing particularly political in this one except to say the word, 'Newspoll', again.

PANDEMONIUM, n. Literally, the Place of All the Demons. Most of them have escaped into politics and finance, and the place is now used as a lecture hall by the Audible Reformer. When disturbed by his voice the ancient echoes clamor appropriate responses most gratifying to his pride of distinction.

PANTHEISM, n. The doctrine that everything is God, in contradistinction to the doctrine that God is everything.

Or, Talk Turkey, should that be, 'Everything is Dog'?

PAST, n. That part of Eternity with some small fraction of which we have a slight and regrettable acquaintance. A moving line called the Present parts it from an imaginary period known as the Future. These two grand divisions of Eternity, of which the one is continually effacing the other, are entirely unlike. The one is dark with sorrow and disappointment, the other bright with prosperity and joy. The Past is the region of sobs, the Future is the realm of song. In the one crouches Memory, clad in sackcloth and ashes, mumbling penitential prayer; in the sunshine of the other Hope flies with a free wing, beckoning to temples of success and bowers of ease. Yet the Past is the Future of yesterday, the Future is the Past of to-morrow. They are one — the knowledge and the dream.

PATIENCE, n. A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.

PATRIOT, n. One to whom the interests of a part seem superior to those of the whole. The dupe of statesmen and the tool of conquerors.

The rise of the 'Patriot' in modern political nomenclature is entirely a construct of the Conservatives in every country.

PEACE, n. In international affairs, a period of cheating between two periods of fighting.

O, what's the loud uproar assailing

Mine ears without cease?

'Tis the voice of the hopeful, all-hailing

The horrors of peace.

Ah, Peace Universal; they woo it —

Would marry it, too.

If only they knew how to do it

'Twere easy to do.

I'll still keep a light burning in my soul for Peace, nevertheless.

PERORATION, n. The explosion of an oratorical rocket. It dazzles, but to an observer having the wrong kind of nose its most conspicuous peculiarity is the smell of the several kinds of powder used in preparing it.

And yes, it is said, some of us respond differently to Tony Abbott's perorations than others. Some of us can smell a rat.

PERSEVERANCE, n. A lowly virtue whereby mediocrity achieves an inglorious success.

PESSIMISM, n. A philosophy forced upon the convictions of the observer by the disheartening prevalence of the optimist with his scarecrow hope and his unsightly smile.

As do I feel whenever I see and hear the ever-optimistic Mr Abbott.

PHILISTINE, n. One whose mind is the creature of its environment, following the fashion in thought, feeling and sentiment. He is sometimes learned, frequently prosperous, commonly clean and always solemn.

The devout Christian, Tony Abbott, would recoil in horror at being called a Philistine, but a Philistine I think he is. And he keeps company with other similar creatures at News Ltd.

PILLORY, n. A mechanical device for inflicting personal distinction — prototype of the modern newspaper conducted by persons of austere virtues and blameless lives.

Birds of a feather, News Ltd and Tony Abbott, pillory together.

PITIFUL, adj. The state of an enemy or opponent after an imaginary encounter with oneself.

PLAGIARIZE, v. To take the thought or style of another writer whom one has never, never read.

PLATITUDE, n. The fundamental element and special glory of popular literature. A thought that snores in words that smoke. The wisdom of a million fools in the diction of a dullard. A fossil sentiment in artificial rock. A moral without the fable. All that is mortal of a departed truth. A demi-tasse of milk-and-mortality. The Pope's-nose of a featherless peacock. A jelly-fish withering on the shore of the sea of thought. The cackle surviving the egg. A desiccated epigram.

PLEBISCITE, n. A popular vote to ascertain the will of the sovereign.

Or, in Tony Abbott's case, 'A popular vote to ascertain the will of Tony Abbott'. Now, I wonder what has happened to it? I thought the people would continue revolting until they got one? Well, let me just say, a whole 112 people turned up to an Anti Carbon Tax Rally to revolt outside the ALP National Conference the other day.

PLEONASM, n. An army of words escorting a corporal of thought.

POLITENESS, n. The most acceptable hypocrisy.

POLITICS, n. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.

POLITICIAN, n. An eel in the fundamental mud upon which the superstructure of organised society is reared. When he wriggles he mistakes the agitation of his tail for the trembling of the edifice. As compared with the statesman, he suffers the disadvantage of being alive.

POSITIVISM, n. A philosophy that denies our knowledge of the Real and affirms our ignorance of the Apparent.

PRECEDENT, n. In Law, a previous decision, rule or practice which, in the absence of a definite statute, has whatever force and authority a Judge may choose to give it, thereby greatly simplifying his task of doing as he pleases. As there are precedents for everything, he has only to ignore those that make against his interest and accentuate those in the line of his desire. Invention of the precedent elevates the trial-at-law from the low estate of a fortuitous ordeal to the noble attitude of a dirigible arbitrament.

I include this for all who believe lawyers and judges who rely on Precedent, and note that it is an interminable web which, having been spun, is bedevilling America.

PREDICAMENT, n. The wage of consistency.

PREFERENCE, n. A sentiment, or frame of mind, induced by the erroneous belief that one thing is better than another.

An ancient philosopher, expounding his conviction that life is no better than death, was asked by a disciple why, then, he did not die. "Because," he replied, "death is no better than life."
 It is longer.

PREJUDICE, n. A vagrant opinion without visible means of support.

My favourite definition.

PRESENT, n. That part of eternity dividing the domain of disappointment from the realm of hope.

PRICE, n. Value, plus a reasonable sum for the wear and tear of conscience in demanding it.

PRISON, n. A place of punishments and rewards. The poet assures us that —

"Stone walls do not a prison make,"

but a combination of the stone wall, the political parasite and the moral instructor is no garden of sweets.

In my humble opinion Australia would become a virtual prison if the Coalition came to power again too soon, like before 2016.

PUSH, n. One of the two things mainly conducive to success, especially in politics. The other is Pull.

QUEEN, n. A woman by whom the realm is ruled when there is a king, and through whom it is ruled when there is not.

Which is why Australia cannot break her shackles and become a Republic. She rules with an iron will. Sigh.

QUILL, n. An implement of torture yielded by a goose and commonly wielded by an ass. This use of the quill is now obsolete, but its modern equivalent, the steel pen, is wielded by the same everlasting Presence.

I dedicate this one to all our erstwhile Australian journalists and editors. Which includes Tony Abbott, of course.

To be fair, it also includes me, at times.

QUIVER, n. A portable sheath in which the ancient statesman and the aboriginal lawyer carried their lighter arguments.

He extracted from his quiver,

Did the controversial Roman,

An argument well fitted

To the question as submitted,
Then addressed it to the liver,

 Of the unpersuaded foeman.

 —Oglum P. Boomp

I like to think that Julia Gillard's behaviour in Question Time equates to this scenario. It's just such a pity that not many people get to see the verbal jousting.

RADICALISM, n. The conservatism of to-morrow injected into the affairs of to-day.

RAILROAD, n. The chief of many mechanical devices enabling us to get away from where we are to where we are no better off. For this purpose the railroad is held in highest favour by the optimist, for it permits him to make the transit with great expedition.

I included this one for 2353.

RANK, n. Relative elevation in the scale of human worth.

He held at court a rank so high

That other noblemen asked why.

"Because," 'twas answered, "others lack

His skill to scratch the royal back."

—Aramis Jukes

There are still too many people of high rank in this world.

All I can hope for is that if this country is benighted with an Abbott government that he doesn't beknight himself if he decides to bring back Imperial Honours.

RAPACITY, n. Providence without industry. The thrift of power.

Seriously, this definition flashed before my eyes when watching the second last sitting day of the most recent parliamentary session, and Tony Abbott was in full rhetorical flight, bellowing repeatedly at the Prime Minister, “Take it! Take it!”. Honestly, I could not get the image of the man as a virtual verbal rapist out of my mind for days. Still can't. Maybe it'll fade. I hope so. It was truly terrifying to watch. Especially on 'White Ribbon Day'.

RASCAL, n. A fool considered under another aspect.

Tony Abbott is no fool, and he is not the harmless rascal he has people to make him out to be.

RASCALITY, n. Stupidity militant. The activity of a clouded intellect.

This, on the other hand, is Tony Abbott all over.

RATIONAL, adj. Devoid of all delusions save those of observation, experience and reflection.

I am glad our Prime Minister is entirely rational.

REALITY, n. The dream of a mad philosopher. That which would remain in the cupel if one should assay a phantom. The nucleus of a vacuum.

REALLY, adv. Apparently.

The certitudes of Tony Abbott fall into this category.

REASON, v.t. To weight probabilities in the scales of desire.

REASON, n. Propensitate of prejudice.

REASONABLE, adj. Accessible to the infection of our own opinions. Hospitable to persuasion, dissuasion and evasion.

REBEL, n. A proponent of a new misrule who has failed to establish it.

I find Tony Abbott's notion of 'Guided Democracy' a rebellious concept in the prospect.

RECOLLECT, v. To recall with additions something not previously known.

I believe that the media's recollection of Julia Gillard's 'Carbon Tax' 'promise' to fall into this category.

RECONSIDER, v. To seek a justification for a decision already made.

REFERENDUM, n. A law for submission of proposed legislation to a popular vote to learn the nonsensus of public opinion.

REFLECTION, n. An action of the mind whereby we obtain a clearer view of our relation to the things of yesterday and are able to avoid the perils that we shall not again encounter.

RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.

REPARTEE, n. Prudent insult in retort. Practised by gentlemen with a constitutional aversion to violence, but a strong disposition to offend.

REPRESENTATIVE, n. In national politics, a member of the Lower House in this world, and without discernible hope of promotion in the next.

REPUBLIC, n. A nation in which the thing governing and the thing governed being the same, there is only a permitted authority to enforce an optional obedience. In a republic, the foundation of public order is the ever lessening habit of submission inherited from ancestors who, being truly governed, submitted because they had to. There are as many kinds of republics as there are graduations between the despotism whence they came and the anarchy whither they lead.

Now I get it. Australians couldn't make up their minds about a Republic because they couldn't agree where on the above spectrum they wanted us to land.

RESPONSIBILITY, n. A detachable burden easily shifted to the shoulders of God, Fate, Fortune, Luck or one's neighbour. In the days of astrology it was customary to unload it upon a star.

I am reminded by this definition of what I consider Tony Abbott's motto to be: 'All Care and No Responsibility'.

REVERENCE, n. The spiritual attitude of a man to a god and a dog to a man.

ROSTRUM, n. In Latin, the beak of a bird or the prow of a ship. In America, a place from which a candidate for office energetically expounds the wisdom, virtue and power of the rabble.

Or, in Australia, the place where the candidate for Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition, stands outside Parliament House and preaches to 'The Convoy of No Consequence'.

RUMOR, n. A favorite weapon of the assassins of character.

Sharp, irresistible by mail or shield,

By guard unparried as by flight unstayed,

O serviceable Rumor, let me wield

Against my enemy no other blade.

His be the terror of a foe unseen,

His the inutile hand upon the hilt,

And mine the deadly tongue, long, slender, keen,

Hinting a rumor of some ancient guilt.

So shall I slay the wretch without a blow,

Spare me to celebrate his overthrow,

And nurse my valor for another foe.

 —Joel Buxter

The Murdoch media's most oft-used tool of destabilisation of the federal Labor government.

SATAN, n. One of the Creator's lamentable mistakes, repented in sackcloth and ashes. Being instated as an archangel, Satan made himself multifariously objectionable and was finally expelled from Heaven. Halfway in his descent he paused, bent his head in thought a moment and at last went back. "There is one favor that I should like to ask," said he.

"Name it."

"Man, I understand, is about to be created. He will need laws."

"What, wretch! you his appointed adversary, charged from the dawn of eternity with hatred of his soul — you ask for the right to make his laws?"

"Pardon; what I have to ask is that he be permitted to make them himself."

It was so ordered.

SAW, n. A trite popular saying, or proverb. (Figurative and colloquial.) So called because it makes its way into a wooden head. Following are examples of old saws fitted with new teeth.

A penny saved is a penny to squander.

A man is known by the company that he organizes.

A bad workman quarrels with the man who calls him that.

A bird in the hand is worth what it will bring.

Better late than before anybody has invited you.

Example is better than following it.

Half a loaf is better than a whole one if there is much else.

Think twice before you speak to a friend in need.

What is worth doing is worth the trouble of asking somebody to do it.

Least said is soonest disavowed.

He laughs best who laughs least.

Speak of the Devil and he will hear about it.

Of two evils choose to be the least.

Strike while your employer has a big contract.

Where there's a will there's a won't.

SCRIBBLER, n. A professional writer whose views are antagonistic to one's own.

The 4th Estate V The 5th Estate, and vice versa.

SELF-ESTEEM, n. An erroneous appraisement.

SELF-EVIDENT, adj. Evident to one's self and to nobody else.

SELFISH, adj. Devoid of consideration for the selfishness of others.

SLANG, n. The grunt of the human hog (Pignoramus intolerabilis) with an audible memory. The speech of one who utters with his tongue what he thinks with his ear, and feels the pride of a creator in accomplishing the feat of a parrot. A means (under Providence) of setting up as a wit without a capital of sense.

I will merely add that Alan Jones' nickname is 'The Parrot'.

SOPHISTRY, n. The controversial method of an opponent, distinguished from one's own by superior insincerity and fooling. This method is that of the later Sophists, a Grecian sect of philosophers who began by teaching wisdom, prudence, science, art and, in brief, whatever men ought to know, but lost themselves in a maze of quibbles and a fog of words.

His bad opponent's "facts" he sweeps away,

And drags his sophistry to light of day;

Then swears they're pushed to madness who resort

To falsehood of so desperate a sort.

Not so; like sods upon a dead man's breast,

He lies most lightly who the least is pressed.

—Polydore Smith

SUFFRAGE, n. Expression of opinion by means of a ballot. The right of suffrage (which is held to be both a privilege and a duty) means, as commonly interpreted, the right to vote for the man of another man's choice, and is highly prized.

SYCOPHANT, n. One who approaches Greatness on his belly so that he may not be commanded to turn and be kicked. He is sometimes an editor.

He is sometimes an editor in the Murdoch media empire.

TALK, v.t. To commit an indiscretion without temptation, from an impulse without purpose.

TRUCE, n. Friendship.

TRUTH, n. An ingenious compound of desirability and appearance. Discovery of truth is the sole purpose of philosophy, which is the most ancient occupation of the human mind and has a fair prospect of existing with increasing activity to the end of time.

TRUTHFUL, adj. Dumb and illiterate.

Which is why Tony Abbott wants to keep them that way and from getting an education.

ULTIMATUM, n. In diplomacy, a last demand before resorting to concessions.

VANITY, n. The tribute of a fool to the worth of the nearest ass.

They say that hens do cackle loudest when

There's nothing vital in the eggs they've laid;

And there are hens, professing to have made

A study of mankind, who say that men

Whose business 'tis to drive the tongue or pen

Make the most clamorous fanfaronade

O'er their most worthless work; and I'm afraid

They're not entirely different from the hen.

Lo! the drum-major in his coat of gold,

His blazing breeches and high-towering cap —

Imperiously pompous, grandly bold,

Grim, resolute, an awe-inspiring chap!

Who'd think this gorgeous creature's only virtue

Is that in battle he will never hurt you?

—Hannibal Hunsiker

The only thing I can think of when I read this is Tony Abbott in his variety of costumes.

VOTE, n. The instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.

WALL STREET, n. A symbol for sin for every devil to rebuke. That Wall Street is a den of thieves is a belief that serves every unsuccessful thief in place of a hope in Heaven.

Nothing much has changed in 100 years.

WAR, n. A by-product of the arts of peace. The most menacing political condition is a period of international amity. The student of history who has not been taught to expect the unexpected may justly boast himself inaccessible to the light. "In time of peace prepare for war" has a deeper meaning than is commonly discerned; it means, not merely that all things earthly have an end — that change is the one immutable and eternal law — but that the soil of peace is thickly sown with the seeds of war and singularly suited to their germination and growth. It was when Kubla Khan had decreed his "stately pleasure dome" — when, that is to say, there were peace and fat feasting in Xanadu — that he
heard from afar
Ancestral voices prophesying war.

One of the greatest of poets, Coleridge was one of the wisest of men, and it was not for nothing that he read us this parable. Let us have a little less of "hands across the sea," and a little more of that elemental distrust that is the security of nations. War loves to come like a thief in the night; professions of eternal amity provide the night.

WEAKNESSES, Certain primal powers of Tyrant Woman wherewith she holds dominion over the male of her species, binding him to the service of her will and paralyzing his rebellious energies.

Don't believe a word of it! (Says the self-interested stenographer of the lexicographer).

WHITE, adj. and, n. Black.

WITCH, n. (1) Any ugly and repulsive old woman, in a wicked league with the devil. (2) A beautiful and attractive young woman, in wickedness a league beyond the devil.

The Witch has become a popular theme in politics of late when it comes to negatively characterising female politicians, such as our own Prime Minister, and others. It amuses me, that as the Conservative female end of the political spectrum have adopted the tools of the plastic surgeon (they can't all be so uniformly youthful, good-looking and conforming to standardised norms of beauty, can they?), in order to appeal to the electorate on the 'political pole dancer' level, the negative characterisation of Progressive female politicians, who don't place as much store in good looks, as 'Witches', has come to the fore again and proceeded apace. It is also distastefully redolent of the Salem era of dealing with powerful women.

Which just goes to show that everything old is new again with Conservatives. As this interesting article explains well with respect to negative ad campaigns which are developed to be used against female political aspirants:

WOMAN, n. 

An animal usually living in the vicinity of Man, and having a rudimentary susceptibility to domestication. It is credited by many of the elder zoologists with a certain vestigial docility acquired in a former state of seclusion, but naturalists of the postsusananthony period, having no knowledge of the seclusion, deny the virtue and declare that such as creation's dawn beheld, it roareth now. The species is the most widely distributed of all beasts of prey, infesting all habitable parts of the globe, from Greenland's spicy mountains to India's moral strand. The popular name (wolfman) is incorrect, for the creature is of the cat kind. The woman is lithe and graceful in its movement, especially the American variety (felis pugnans), is omnivorous and can be taught not to talk.
 —Balthasar Pober

X in our alphabet being a needless letter has an added invincibility to the attacks of the spelling reformers, and like them, will doubtless last as long as the language. X is the sacred symbol of ten dollars, and in such words as Xmas, Xn, etc., stands for Christ, not, as is popular supposed, because it represents a cross, but because the corresponding letter in the Greek alphabet is the initial of his name — Xristos. If it represented a cross it would stand for St. Andrew, who "testified" upon one of that shape.

This is my Xmas inclusion.

YEAR, n. A period of three hundred and sixty-five disappointments.

YESTERDAY, n. The infancy of youth, the youth of manhood, the entire past of age.

ZANY, n. A popular character in old Italian plays, who imitated with ludicrous incompetence the buffone, or clown, and was therefore the ape of an ape; for the clown himself imitated the serious characters of the play. The zany was progenitor to the specialist in humor, as we to-day have the unhappiness to know him. In the zany we see an example of creation; in the humorist, of transmission. Another excellent specimen of the modern zany is the curate, who apes the rector, who apes the bishop, who apes the archbishop, who apes the devil.

You have to rewrite that last sentence when referring to our own local political scene to become:

'Another excellent specimen of the modern zany is the curate, who apes the rector, who apes the Bishop,J., who apes the Abbott,T., who apes the Archbishop Cardinal Pell, who apes the devil.'

ZEAL, n. A certain nervous disorder afflicting the young and inexperienced. A passion that goeth before a sprawl.

When Zeal sought Gratitude for his reward

He went away exclaiming: "O my Lord!"

"What do you want?" the Lord asked, bending down.

"An ointment for my cracked and bleeding crown."
—Jum Coople

And that's the bleedin' end of The Abridged Devil's Dictionary. Hope you enjoyed it.

Merry Xmas everyone!

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8/12/2011FS Thank you for another splendid contribution for us to read and re-read over the break. I share the enjoyment of your favourite definition: [i]PREJUDICE, n. A vagrant opinion without visible means of support.[/i] Another favourite of mine is ‘Sycophant’ and your comment: [i]SYCOPHANT, n. One who approaches Greatness on his belly so that he may not be commanded to turn and be kicked. He is sometimes an editor. He is sometimes an editor in the Murdoch media empire.[/i] In case you missed it on the previous post, this is my opportunity to thank you FS for your magnificent contributions all through 2011. You have been a wonderful colleague and partner in [i]TPS[/i]. Your writing is deeply appreciated by all who visit here. Your knowledge of politics and your political perspicacity is outstanding; it has given us insight after insight, and much to think and comment about. You have contributed over and again despite the busy life you lead. We value the effort you make week after week to feed us on [i]TPS[/i]. We hope you will be able to find time to continue your contributions during 2012. I’m sure others will wish to add to what I have written, and with me wish you and your family a Happy and Peaceful Christmas and New Year, and hope you have refreshing break ready for the tumult that will be federal politics in 2012. Thank you.

D Mick Weir

8/12/2011Hi Lyn, re iPad type device have a look at this link Aldi will have these on sale 17th Dec for $499 keep an eye on your letterbox for a flyer this weekend

Sir Ian Crisp

8/12/2011C is for Circus. The ALP circus has left town and we must rely on an aberactive technique to fully understand the bizarre happenings at the ALP National Conference. Those of us who are jossers can but look on in wonderment. With the goings-on at the conference it is not hard to understand why many of us have coulrophobia. The ALP circus opened with the bird of paradox channelling Mr Obama. Here’s what Mr Obama has been quoted as saying: [quote]Yes we can. It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation. Yes we can. It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail toward freedom through the darkest of nights. Yes we can. Etc. Etc. Etc.[/quote] The bird of paradox plagiarised Mr Obama’s speech and presented her truncated version. Here’s what the bird of paradox said: Delegates, Australia can do this. We can do this when we say yes. Yes to jobs, to growth, to fairness. Labor says yes to Australia's future. As well as some mindless pabulum here at TPS, avid TPS aficionados will recall the very unpleasant insidiousness of plagiarism which TPS had to deal with on a previous occasion. The worries of rising electricity bills; underfunded hospitals; an underfunded mental health system; and other issues facing Australians were pushed into the background as the ALP National Conference polarised the electorate and expended energy on whether Bruce and Troy could get married. Just why an issue impacting about 1% of our population should receive so much attention is baffling. The compromise on same-sex marriage demonstrates the parvanimity of the so-called progressive political party. According to AA groupthink is evil unless indulged in by the ALP The bird of paradox, dressed by Novelty Emporium, then tried to explain that we should sell yellow cake to India, a substance the Indians plan to use to generate electricity with greatly reduced nasty climate altering c....n. The Indians can do it but we can’t. I swear Hercule Poirot presided over the closing stages of the ALP circus. Monsieur Poirot usually assembles everyone in the study where he plans to expose the nastiness. Each person in the study is given a chance to lacerate someone else. So it was with the ALP circus. The rock star doesn’t like yellow cake or anyone who advocates its use. The Maltese Pigeon hates the stuff too and thinks the bird of paradox is trashing ALP ideals. Penny yearns to marry with the blessing of the bird of paradise. On and on it went. Kev07 was given the ‘ALP special’. He was told that there was no room in the ALP pantheon for him. The theme of “let’s get Kev” continued with the unbidden release of a sealed section (just like the Cleo magazine minus the titillation but more offensive) of a report prepared by ALP luminaries Carr, Faulkner, and Bracks. The report unloaded on K Rudd portraying him as lacking purpose and driven by spin with episodes of complacency. Doubts were raised about the Rudd government’s economic credentials. The sealed section also uncovered a special branch created by Rudd dedicated to generating press releases – 1900 or thereabouts. Some of those press releases found their way to TPS. Rudd’s reign was seen as rich on themes and announcements and talking up a narrative but lacking a follow-through. Rudd had many people fooled even Ad Astra who spoke glowingly about Rudd. The circus concluded with a move to force the ALP to adopt Sir Ian Crisp. Sir Ian rejected that idea saying he had no wish to join such a dysfunctional rabble.


8/12/2011Hi DM Weir How nice of you to remember me asking about an IPad. Aldi is good how they have these specials, thankyou for letting me know. They line up here at 8am in the morning at Aldi's. I don't go there but my husband does, and he loves the junk mail. What happened today though was I got a Kindle versions 3.2.1 , 3G + WFI. You see with me it was kindle verses Ipad because I really only wanted it to read, get my emails, and stay on TPS of course. The Kindle is fabulous, I adore it. Now I have to ask can anyone help me with getting and installing the apps. I need a browser, email client and contacts file, for fun a photo gallery. I have already downloaded one book Ken Follett,and a Peter Watt, my lovely, kissable, author from QLD a free sample of The Pacific. Congratulations to you DMW becoming a new Grandfather, I don't know what you will be called, but I tell you what when they say Grandma to me it brings tears to my eyes. I love it and when they call out Grandma, Grandma, there is nothing in the world so lovely. :):):):):):):):):):)

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8/12/2011Sir Ian Even as we approach the Festive Season where Goodwill is shared even among those who do not usually agree, your nastiness, sarcasm and personal insults continue – they seem to have no bounds. Please go away and have a Happy Christmas, refresh yourself, and if you deign to return in 2012, come back in a better frame of mind and with less nastiness and sarcasm in your words.


8/12/2011Thanks for the special mention FS. One of the highlights of my year was sitting in a train carriage between Montreal and Toronto doing around 120kph, sipping a reasonable coffee, reading TPS using the free wifi on the iPod and occasionally glancing out the window to see lovely scenery which wouldn't be apparent from the highway I would have been otherwise driving down. Railroads have their uses. Thanks also to AA for continuing to host this blog, the talented writers of posts including FS and AC and all the commentators - even including jj and SIC even though by the comment above this one SIC has yet to work out the difference between what went on and what the media "narrative" for the same event was. Sometimes you'd swear the media didn't even go! I'll be around for Christmas - taking the family to Canada doesn't do much for the bank balance - so I'll keep the Christmas wishes to sometime closer to the event.

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8/12/2011Hi Lyn I hope you enjoy your new tablet. Be warned though, it might prove to be addictive! I’ve been busy today preparing FS’s latest piece so haven’t had time to thoroughly look through your links and tweets. I’ll do so tomorrow and respond on this post. DMW Congratulations on your Grandfatherhood. You have much joy ahead of you.


8/12/2011Hi Feral Thankyou for your article and for working so hard on TPS. We have become attached to those scrawney legs in ugg boots. Your obvious loyality and caring for TPS is very much appreciated. Merry Christmas and a Happpy New Year to you and your 2 handsome boys. As Ad Astra said hope you have refreshing break ready for the tumult that will be federal politics in 2012. :):):):):):):):):):):):)


8/12/2011Hi Ad and Everybody More information for everyone:- [i]Bushfire Bill Posted Thursday, December 8, 2011 at 4:18 pm |[/i] Full rate cut from NAB. They are slowly coming into line – but will look to move outside RBA moves in future. Yes, but we’ve had 24 hours of “this timid government…” and “I just used to pick up the phone to the banks” and “Wayne Swan has lost the respect of…” etc. etc. Good for keeping the punters fearful. Next it’ll be “Rate cut too late to save Christmas”. [i]Interest rate rituals and Christmas pantomimes[/i], Bernard keane, Crikey There’s plenty of ritual in all this. Wayne Swan attacks the banks. The opposition attacks Swan, and suggests that somehow — without precisely saying what — that he should be doing more to force the banks to do the right thing. The proximity of Christmas means that, yet again, the media can invoke Scrooge. The Bankers’ Association runs the same lies about cost of borrowing. Yawn. Y7NewsYahoo!7 News ANZ and NAB are the only two of the big banks to pass on the recent interest rate cuts to customers. ThefinnigansTheFinnigans天地有道人无道 China is expected to grow at very healthy 8.9% in 2012 Vs 9.2% 2011 Vs 10.3% 2010 - your rice bowl is still intact - australianThe Australian CBA follows suit with full rate cut: THE Commonwealth Bank will cut its mortgage rates by 25 basis points, in li... Australian Exceptionalism benelthamBen Eltham Astounding post from @Pollytics: Australia is the wealthiest and fairest nation int the world. Yes, really! :):):):):)

D Mick Weir

8/12/2011Language Warning (for the link not my comment) Possum at his brilliant best cutting a swathe through the Poor Fellow My Country BS esposed by many. [b]Australian Exceptionalism[/b] Possum Comitatus @Crikey [i]“Australian Exceptionalism”…. let that phrase roll off your tongue. Now stop laughing for a moment if you can! There’s something about that phrase that just doesn’t sit right with us. We’re not only unaccustomed to thinking about ourselves that way, but for many it’s a concept that is one part distasteful to three parts utterly ridiculous – try mentioning it in polite company sometime. Bring a helmet.[/i]

Feral Skeleton

8/12/2011Hello everyone! Thank you for all your kind words. I don't really deserve them but I will treasure them just the same. :)

D Mick Weir

8/12/2011Hi Lyn I love my Kindle too - though I don't use it properly still. Good move. I am yet to be 'christened' with a title, early days yet but I am sure it will be appropriate. And thanks all for you kind wishes (even NK who confirmed my suspicions about officially being old - :) )

D Mick Weir

8/12/2011Aaaarghhh - Grandmum has found grey hairs on my head - aaaarghhhhh


8/12/2011FS, When you were just Hillbilly Skeleton, I said then you led the Sword's peleton, But with Labor in peril, You went the full Feral On message, with TPS to tell it on . . . Double the Fist FS. :) I haven't delved into the alphabetica yet. Is Bruce safe over Crispmess? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ DMW delighted for you and the parents of the Weir-Cub. [b]A-[i]WOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooo![/i][/b]


8/12/2011SIC Here is some help with your alphabet: A: airhead B: berk C: cockeyed D: dingbat E: empty headed F: featherhead G: gormless H: hat ......if it fits!!!!!!!


8/12/2011psyclaw, to add to your list: I - Ignorant J - Jealous K - Klueless (I know, I know but it fits) L - Loose with the truth M - Muddled N - Not rational and so on . . . DMW - Congrats Grandad - hopefully you get to spend lots of years instilling wisdom, understanding and spoiling the dear child rotten. My apologies for not saying so sooner. I will talk to myself severely :D

Feral Skeleton

8/12/2011Touche! psyclaw. :)


8/12/2011Totally off topic but brilliant. This started off as a school project by the Yupiq Eskimo in Alaska and they expected around 200 people to see it. It now had 1.1 million views. Enjoy


8/12/2011Psyclaw F: featherhead ? For [i]Limpy?![/i] [i]I think we can do better than that![/i] :) Besides you are giving bad name to feathers.

D Mick Weir

8/12/2011A for 'orses B for mutton . . . . . . . . . L for leather . . . . . . Z for breeze

Feral Skeleton

8/12/2011Sir Ian Crisp, 'pabulum', huh? Thank you for the compliment! pabulum: comestible: any substance that can be used as food. So, The Political Sword is substantial enough to be food for thought? I always thought so, but I'm pleased you think so now too. :) Merry Xmas, Sir Ian, and I hope you get some generosity of spirit as a present. Your life will be much more fulfilling in 2012 with it.

D Mick Weir

8/12/2011FS my previous oblique comment is for sic's benefit (I use that term 'benefit' loosely) sic being edumacated may be oh fay (hee hee) with such high brow alphabets

Feral Skeleton

8/12/2011Sir Ian Crisp, I think this was the word you were scratching around for in your haste to spew out your predictable invective: Pablum: A trademark used for a bland soft cereal for infants. pab·lum (p b l m). n. Trite, insipid, or simplistic writing, speech, or conceptualization: It's OK, nobody's perfect. :)

D Mick Weir

8/12/2011and for something completely different (and because I have a bit of a 'thing' about traffic) [i]… when I suggested last year that everyone having an iPhone with the TomTom app installed could solve traffic problems.[/i] Well not not me actually but Joshua Gans @CoreEcon have a read of [b]They told me I was crazy …[/b] Very interesting (to me at least)

Sir Ian Crisp

8/12/2011Thanks FS but let's go with door number 4: Noun pabulum (plural pabula or pabulums) 1. food or fodder, particularly that taken in by plants or animals. 2. material that feeds a fire. 3. (figuratively) food for thought. 4. bland intellectual fare; an undemanding diet of words


8/12/2011Revision for TT, concerning SIC Apologies to all avians, especially to all members of genus Meliagris. F: f'wit


8/12/2011Hi Ad and Everybody Here is some more intersting reading and links for you all Enjoy:- [i]Bushfire Bill Posted Thursday, December 8, 2011 at 3:25 pm | comment 3338[/i]That’s the problem with Labor governments. When you examine them carefully, in the light of history, they’re just a bunch of incompetent mugginses who couldn’t govern their way out of a wet paper bag. The GFC is another example. They really screwed us with that Stimulus rubbish. We should have done the hard yards and let a couple of hundred thousand lose their jobs. Good for morale, that. Now… Look at the debt! Look at Newspoll! Let’s face it, no wonder the Libs are Best To Manage The Economy and Best For National Security. They did the REAL hard yards, cat-calling in Parliament and trying to vote [i]Bushfire Bill Posted Thursday, December 8, 2011 at 3:38 pm , Comment Number 3342[/i] By his own admission all Joe, and anyone else who’s part of a “proper” government”, ever had to do was pick up the phone. Hey, it worked with Indonesia, right? (Well, it would’ve worked with Indonesia if Tony had been PM). And it definitely worked with Nauru. It should’ve worked with Joycey over at Qantas. Joe knew what Joycey was up to, all Parliament did, but he didn’t want to tell Julia because she’d just steal all his good ideas. No, I reckon Joe’s place is here, telling us we have the worst government in history, that the placed is effed good and proper, with the stupidest Prime Minister and the most devastated economy imaginable. Can’t have those consumers getting too excited about things and going back to the shops, now, can we [i]The Finnigans Posted Thursday, December 8, 2011 at 7:11 pm[/i] Here is a pictorial representation of your beautiful set of numbers Latest: This week trifecta: Interest cut to 4.25%, GDP grew 1% in the Sept2011 Quarter and Unemployment is at a healthy 5.3% SkyNewsAustSky News Australia CBA passes on full RBA rate cut mrtiedtMr Tiedt BlogPost: An Expensive Ambition. @barryofarrell needs cash. Where should he find it? #NSWPol #AusPol GrogsGamutGreg Jericho Excellent post by @JaneTribune on the Drum - "Double dipping on the carbon tax" croakeyblogMelissa Sweet Some VERY interesting reading: on the TGA, Ken Harvey, & pertinent questions for #publichealth advocates vexnewsvexnews I'm still a conservative, Peter Slipper tells constituents on Sunshine Coast #auspol lapuntadelfinDarryl Snow Love or hate @TurnbullMalcolm his commentary on the media here is just spot on . Make sure you watch KoenjiEikaiwaKen Coalition & Greens put Australia's security at risk by not allowing government to stop people smuggling deaths at sea


8/12/2011Hi Ad and Everybody The link to Malcolm Turnbull's speech above is recommended, where he addressed the Advanced Centre of Journalism in Melbourne on December 7. [i]The future of newspapers, the end of journalism, Malcolm Turnbull, The Drum[/i] The consequence of this decline in journalism is that too many important matters of public interest are either not covered at all or covered superficially. At the local level, there is less attention paid to local councils and even state parliaments. [b]Readers seeking a better understanding of how the carbon tax or the mining tax, for example, will operate will often struggle to find much assistance in the output of the gallery [/b]– with some very honourable exceptions - compared to the[b] millions of words written about Kevin Rudd vs Julia Gillard let alone Tony Abbott's budgie smugglers.[/b] The consequence of all of this has been that what we used to call the 24-hour news cycle has become instead an opinion cycle [b]the Packers, Murdochs and Fairfaxes have all used their papers and media to run political agendas and ultimately the calibre and balance of any newspaper [/b]is judged by its readers who have more interest in the journalism and the owner's commitment to that journalism, no matter how controversial, than to his or her political interests. :):):)


9/12/2011Well done Feral...and MERRY CHRISTMAS...have a great hols. You deserve a good break to help relax the mind so the wee grey cells can spark up bigtime again in the new year. Watch some Poirot & Marple. :) [quote]RAILROAD, n. The chief of many mechanical devices enabling us to get away from where we are to where we are no better off. For this purpose the railroad is held in highest favour by the optimist, for it permits him to make the transit with great expedition. [/quote] I luv railroads & long distance train journeys. Watchin' the various landscapes pass by...time seems to slow. Helps you to move outside of yerself...become THE OBSERVER. 2353, I would luv to do that rail trip between Montreal & Toronto. I have travelled it by bus. Alas, I remember little of it due to an affair of the heart...racin' to meet my Swiss girlfriend in 1982, only to find she was preparin' to be betrothed to another. C'est la vie. Interestingly Feral, I was just readin' an article usin' the word [i]railroad[/i]: [b]National Underground Railroad Freedom Center [/b] [quote]The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is a museum in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio based on the history of the Underground Railroad. The Center also pays tribute to all efforts to "abolish human enslavement and secure freedom for all people." Billed as part of a new group of "museums of conscience," along with the Museum of Tolerance, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the National Civil Rights Museum, the Center offers lessons on the struggle for freedom in the past, in the present, and for the future as it attempts to challenge visitors to contemplate the meaning of freedom in their own lives. [b]Its location recognizes the significant role of Cincinnati, where thousands of slaves escaped to freedom by crossing the Ohio River, in the history of the Underground Railroad.[/b] After ten years of planning and fundraising, the $110 million Freedom Center opened to the public on August 3, 2004; official opening ceremonies took place on August 23. The 158,000 square foot (15,000 m²) structure was designed by Boora Architects (design architect) of Portland, Oregon with Blackburn Architects (architect of record) of Indianapolis with three pavilions celebrating courage, cooperation and perseverance. The exterior features rough travertine stone from Tivoli, Italy on the east and west faces of the building, and copper panels on the north and south. According to one of its primary architects, the late Walter Blackburn, the building's "undulating quality" illustrates the fields and the river that escaping slaves crossed to reach freedom. First Lady Laura Bush, Oprah Winfrey, and Muhammad Ali attended the groundbreaking ceremony on June 17, 2002. The center's principal artifact is a 21 by 30 foot (6 by 9 m), two-story log slave pen built in 1830 that was used to house slaves being shipped to auction. The structure was moved from a farm in Mason County, Kentucky and now dominates the second-floor atrium where visitors encounter it again and again while traversing the other exhibits. It can also be seen through the Center's large windows from the downtown street outside.[/quote] Not what usually comes to mind when we think of the word [quote]railroad[/quote]. From the US version online of the Oxford dictionary: [b]verb 1 [with object] informal press (someone) into doing something by rushing or coercing them: she hesitated, unwilling to be railroaded into a decisioncause (a measure ) to be passed or approved quickly by applying pressure: the Bill had been railroaded through the Housesend (someone) to prison without a fair trial or by means of false evidence.[/b] As for the latter...I can think of a couple of Chinese & American instances of late. Railroaded into prison. How similar those countries can be at times...not surprising considering their superpower status & financial arrangements...and the weight of elite political power. Interestin' that many Chinese helped build America's early railway I've mentioned on a previous thread. N'


9/12/2011Morning All, Lyn I can't download Turdball atm but your note probably gives me the gen. Now, all he's got to do, is develop a spine, a political brain, the rudiments of a conscience, a pair of legs to walk away from opposition to the NBN, and a big finger for Abbortt, and then he could make a much less worse LOTO! He will not make it to PM ever imo but he does have a bare outside chance, unlike Toe-rag. At least Turdy doesn't [i]look[/i] like a yob.


9/12/2011Good Morning Talk Turkey Yes there is no need to read the whole of Turnbull's speech, the two para's I posted were carefully selected, for that reason. There are quite a bit of what he said that I don't agree with. The usual sniping at Julia and the media inquiry, as you would expect. I agree with you about all Turnbull has going for him is, he appears to be OK, [i]He will not make it to PM ever imo but he does have a bare outside chance, unlike Toe-rag. At least Turdy doesn't look like a yob. [/i] Cheers:):):):):):)


9/12/2011I've been keepin an eye out for [b]Rob Portman [/b]to enter the US Presidential a main candidate late in the game due to the clownish attitude of many so far & voter confusion...or as a VP candidate (tho, Michael Moore on CNN said recently that a conspiracy theory goin' around is that Wall St. has already chosen its man...Barack Obama - hope not, groan): [b]Gingrich surge unnerves some Republican lawmakers By LAURIE KELLMAN, Associated Press – 7 hours ago[/b] [quote]WASHINGTON (AP) — Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's stunning surge toward the top of the Republican presidential field has unnerved some Republicans in Congress who remember too well the tumult of nearly two decades ago. "I'd rather have steady," said Rep. Steve LaTourette of Ohio, who just this week made it known that he was backing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney instead of the resurgent Gingrich, the man who led the 1994 "revolution" in which LaTourette was first elected. Personally, LaTourette said, he has a "hangover" from the days of Gingrich's speakership, when "everything always seemed to be on fire." In interviews this week, more than a dozen Republican members of the House and Senate wouldn't say — when given repeated chances — that they are confident that Gingrich has the discipline and stamina to outlast Romney and, down the road, face President Barack Obama in a grueling general election. Gingrich has had trouble marshaling support from Congress' mass of political insiders. The 1994 "revolutionaries" who turned Democrats out of power for the first time in 40 years as well as more senior lawmakers waver on the question of whether Gingrich would be good for the GOP and the country given his rocky past. Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, who credited Gingrich with helping push through a transformative farm bill, is among those unsure whether Gingrich-as-nominee would be helpful. "It depends on what he does," said Roberts, who has not committed to a candidate for the party's nomination...[/quote] [quote][b]Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, who was a rookie House member when the GOP won Congress in 1994, said he sees Gingrich as a throwback to the old days of bipartisan lawmaking for which so many lawmakers and Americans say they yearn. Behind closed doors, Portman recalled, Gingrich is an apt negotiator. And he does focus, Portman said. "He does have a history of managing through a tough issue and coming up with a result," Portman, who intends to stay neutral in the nominating fight, said Wednesday. He was careful to mention that he thinks Romney would do just as well at governing.[/b][/quote] From Wikipedia: [quote]Hiatus (2007-2008)In 2007, Portman founded the Ohio's Future PAC, a political action committee dedicated to ensuring "that the critical policy issues important to Ohioans remain at the forefront of Ohio's political agenda." [b]Portman was quoted in an April 2008 Columbus Dispatch article as saying that the PAC is "obviously a way for me to stay active in the political and policy arena."[/b] In 2008, Portman was cited as a potential running mate for Republican presidential candidate John McCain. [b]New York Times columnist David Brooks called Portman "an Ohioan with the mind of a budget director and a mild temperament that is a credit to his Midwestern roots," with an "ideal" résumé.[/b] [b]U.S. Senate Elections[/b] On January 14, 2009, two days after Ohio Senator George Voinovich announced he would not seek re-election, Portman officially declared his candidacy for the open seat. Portman ran against Ohio Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher. According to National Review, by July 2010, Portman had a "9-to-1 cash advantage" over Fisher. [b]Portman won the election a margin of 57 to 39 percent, winning 82 of Ohio's 88 counties[/b][/quote] BTW, New York Times columnist David Brooks is an integral part part of the Political Wrap coverage on PBS Newshour...oft hosted by Jim Lehrer. [b]Shields and Brooks[/b] are a MUST watch for me...ya can see them on SBS HD...the show is PBS NewsHour...each Saturday arvo. I enjoy hearin' from both...regardless of their party affiliations/political biases. [quote]The program often wraps up with a reflective essay, but on Fridays it ends with a discussion between two regular columnists. Since 2004, the usual participants have been Mark Shields and David Brooks. Analysts who fill in when either Shields or Brooks is absent have included David Gergen, Thomas Oliphant, Rich Lowry, William Kristol, Ramesh Ponnuru, Ruth Marcus, and E. J. Dionne.[/quote] (wikipedia) N'


9/12/2011Lyn, thnx for the Turnbull link & quotes. I'm gonna consume them in the next hour or so. You are a real asset. This from Feral's post: [b]OBSTINATE, adj. Inaccessible to the truth as it is manifest in the splendour and stress of our advocacy. Almost every Question Time that has passed this parliamentary year has seen a display of mule-headed obstinacy and strident advocacy from Tony Abbott. And that, the more strenuous he was in his advocacy, the further away he was from the truth. [/b] Indeed. N'

Feral Skeleton

9/12/2011Nasking, Callista Gingrich is the power behind Newt's throne. She finagled her way into a job as a secretary in his office, caught his eye, didn't mind having an affair with him while his wife lay dying(I think that was Newt's 2nd wife who had terminal cancer), and then quickly sewed him up. After that she helped set up Newt Inc., and has propelled his comeback to politics. I think Newt would have been happy to stay at home and play with the grandkids, but Callista had a goal, and she's damn sure she's gonna give it everything she's got to achieve it. I just don't know why women like her don't just admit their ambition and run themselves, instead of playing the Conservative wifey role.


9/12/2011Good morning Nasking You are a constant delight yourself, and I love your appreciation of others efforts. Thankyou Nasking. Nasking, how sad finding your girlfriend getting ready to marry someone else. [i]I would luv to do that rail trip between Montreal & Toronto. I have travelled it by bus. Alas, I remember little of it due to an affair of the heart...racin' to meet my Swiss girlfriend in 1982, only to find she was preparin' to be betrothed to another[/i]. I have been to Perth on the Indian Pacific, which is a wonderful trip as well, 3 and a half days, beautiful scenery, wonderful lounge and dining car along with very comfortable berths. Cheers:):):):):):)


9/12/2011W/ all this EU stuff goin' on...who remembers technocrat [b]Jean Monnet[/b]? [quote]“We are not forming coalitions of states, we are uniting men” A Pragmatic Education Jean Monnet was born on 9 November 1888 in Cognac, France, into a family of cognac merchants. At the age of sixteen, after passing only the first pat of his university-entrance examinations, he abandoned his formal education and moved to London. There, he spent two years learning business and the primary language of commerce, English. In 1906, his father sent him abroad to work for the family business. Do not bring any books,” his father advised him. “No one can think for you. Look out the window, talk to people...” Subsequently, Monnet made many business trips worldwide, travelling to Scandinavia, Russia, Egypt, Canada, and the United States. “I am not an optimist; I am determined” In 1914, discharged from the military for health reasons, Jean Monnet sought to serve his country in other ways. In his mind, the only path that would lead to an Allied victory lay in the fusion of France and England’s war efforts. However, he observed that, in reality, the Allies were acting independently rather than collectively. He proposed a plan that would co-ordinate the Allies’ war resources; the French President of the Council agreed that it should be implemented. Due to his effectiveness during the war, Jean Monnet was named Secretary General of the League of Nations upon its creation in 1919, at the age of thirty-one, by Clémenceau and Balfour. He resigned from this position in 1923 in order to devote himself to managing the family business, which was experiencing some difficulty. As an international financier, he proved to be instrumental in the economic recovery of several Central and Eastem European nations, helping to stabilise the Polish Zloty in 1927 and the Romanian Leu in 1928. In 1929, his experience in international finance led him to found and co-manage the Bancamerica-Blair, a large U.S. bank in San Francisco. From 1934 to 1936, at the invitation of Chiang Kai-shek, Monnet lived in China, assisting with the reorganisation of their railway network. lnitially commissioned in 1938 by Edouard Daladier to negotiate an order for French military aircraft with the United States, Jean Monnet was sent to London in December 1939 by the French and British governments. There, he oversaw the collectivisation of the two countries’ production capacities. When the French were defeated in June 1940, Monnet’s influence inspired de Gaulle and Churchill to accept the plan for the total union of France and the United Kingdom — a fusion which was to enable the two countries to stand up to Nazism — whereas Pétain accepted the defeat of France and signed the armistice. [b]In August 1940, Jean Monnet was sent to the United States by the British government as a member of the British Supply Council, in order to negotiate the purchase of war supplies. Soon after his arrival in Washington, he became one of President Roosevelt’s most trusted advisers. He persuaded the President to launch a massive arms production programme to supply the Allies with military material. Indeed, America was to become the arsenal of democracies”; for months, Monnet worked unrelentingly toward this goal. In 1941, President Roosevelt, with Churchill’s agreement, launched the Victory Program, which represented the forceful entry of the United States into the war effort. According to the economist Keynes, this “shortened the war by one year.”[/b] [b]In 1943, Monnet became a member of the National Liberation Committee, the free French government in Algiers. On 5 August, he addressed the Committee: “There will be no peace in Europe if the States rebuild themselves on the basis of national sovereignty, with its implications of prestige politics and economic protection (...). The countries of Europe are not strong enough individually to be able to guarantee prosperity and social development for their peoples. The States of Europe must therefore form a federation or a European entity that would make them into a common economic unit.”[/b] [b]Following the Liberation, at the request of General de Gaulle, Jean Monnet designed and implemented the national modernisation and development plan that made it possible to revive the French economy.[/b] [b]“To create Europe is to create peace”[/b] In 1950, in the face of rising international tensions, Jean Monnet felt that the time had come to attempt an irreversible step toward uniting the European countries. In his house in Houjarray, he and his team conceived the idea of the European Community. On 9 May 1950, with the agreement of Chancellor Adenauer, Robert Schuman made a declaration in the name of the French government. Prepared by Jean Monnet, this declaration proposed placing all the Franco-German production of steel and coal under a common High Authority open to the other countries of Europe. “Through the consolidation of basic production and the institution of a new High Authority, whose decisions will bind France, Germany and the other countries that join, this proposal represents the first concrete step towards a European federation, imperative for the preservation of peace,” declared Robert Schuman. Soon the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands replied favourably. Thus the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was born, laying the foundation of the European Community. In 1952, Jean Monnet became the first President of the High Authority. [b]In 1955, in order to revive European construction following the failure of the European Defence Community (EDC), Jean Monnet founded the Action Committee for the United States of Europe. Bolstered by his tireless impetus, this committee, which joined political parties and European trade unions, became a driving force behind all initiatives in favour of the European Union, including the creation of the Common Market, the European Monetary System, the European Council, British membership in the Cormmunity, and election to the European Parliament by universal suffrage.[/b] [b]Until even his last days, Jean Monnet was firm in his conviction that the European nations had to unite in order to survive. “Continue, continue, there is no future for the people of Europe other than in union,” he repeated constantly. Throughout his life, he had one objective: “Make men work together show them that beyond their differences and geographical boundaries there lies a common interest.”[/b] Retired in his house at Houjarray, Jean Monnet devoted his final energies to writing his Mémoires, in which he recorded the lessons of his experience and his mode of action for generations to come. He died on 16 March 1979 at the age of ninety-one. His ashes are now in the Panthéon. [b]Jean Monnet liked to quote this saying from Dwight Morrow “There are two categories of men: those who want to be someone and those who want to do something.” It there was ever a man who could be placed in the second category without hesitation, Monnet is that man. In fact, he agreed wholeheartedly, adding, “There is Iess competition.”[/b] At the European Council in Luxembourg on 2 April 1976, the heads of State and government proclaimed Jean Monnet an “Honorary Citizen of Europe”. The Jean Monnet Association[/quote] Worth reading: [b]In defence of Europe's technocrats Outside Britain, experts have often played a positive role in politics. Is it time we stopped knocking the technocrats?[/b] Philip Oltermann, Wednesday 16 November 2011 [quote]Does that mean that technocracy is better than democracy? Of course not. But it might just be worth considering that a temporary technocrat rule may well be an acceptable – perhaps necessary – part of the democratic process at times of crisis. Would we prefer British healthcare to be run by technocrats (ie experts) rather than politicians and free-market ideologues? I think so. Would we be more confident in the judgment of British frontbenchers if most of them hadn't gone straight from university into politics? I think so. "Engineers" may never be completely apolitical, but they may be less political than those who went into politics to become politicians. What if technocrats are just politicians without much charisma or without expensive PR? "Mediocrity in politics is not to be despised," the German writer (and EU-sceptic) Hans Magnus Enzensberger once wrote. "Greatness is not needed." All this is not to say that all is well in the eurozone, not to deny that the EU is now nurturing an image problem on top of the financial woes, that Angela Merkel has done a woeful job at coming up with a credible plan for solving the crisis, and that Greece and Italy should call elections as soon as the sea is calmer. Most importantly, it is not to suggest that Britain shouldn't question the "more Europe" mantra. But it might just help to try and understand the way mainland Europe does politics differently before it rushes to offer advice.[/quote] N'


9/12/2011Hi Ad and Everybody Time for your daily dose of tweets, to enjoy:- [i]abcmarkscottMark Scott[/i] There have been some fast and loose facts about the performance of Australia Network. Here are the real numbers. AboutTheHouseAbout the House The latest issue of About the House mag is now online! check out stories on floods, FIFO, and indig languages. AboutTheHouseAbout the House If you want to order a free hard copy of About The House mag, email GrogsGamutGreg Jericho .@latingle "It’s not all gloom in Wayne’s world" TheKoukStephen Koukoulas Retweet: ANZ Retail Rates: from last evening. MrDenmoreMr Denmore The coming global shortage of equity investors - Buttonwood | The Economist ABCthedrumABC The Drum When is a journalist not a journalist? Apparently when it's an independent blogger, writes @stilgherrian ABCthedrumABC The Drum Polls, pollies and policies: Barrie Cassidy looks at the year that was #auspol HyperBrendanBrendan Brooks Shellharbour to develop a digital strategy as it prepares for NBN rollout - || Great work @DrDalim Conroy dismisses NBN anti-competitive report croakeyblogMelissa Sweet the industry of economics news reporting... And the wellbeing index #sdoh thepunchcomauThe Punch Hillary Clinton writes exclusively for The Punch today. Here: independentausIndependentAustralia Paul Syvret says ceding some of your sovereignty to an unelected foreigner is a risk. #AusPol #AusRepublic ZuveleLeschenZuvele Leschen Ballieu govt denies any media strategy, which suggests convergence of media & Ministers purely coincidental #springst :):):):):):):):):):)


9/12/2011 Sorry Everyone Tweet link broken above:- TheKoukStephen Koukoulas Retweet: ANZ Retail Rates: from last evening. :):):):):)


9/12/2011[quote]have been to Perth on the Indian Pacific, which is a wonderful trip as well, 3 and a half days, beautiful scenery, wonderful lounge and dining car along with very comfortable berths. [/quote] Lyn, sounds brill. Somethin' we must do. [quote]how sad finding your girlfriend getting ready to marry someone else. [/quote] Lily & I had a whirlwind relationship/romance...I met her as a waiter in the Pancake Manor durin' an 8 mth stay in Brighton/Hove...she was there to learn english... and after a 3 mth awesome relationship I returned to Canada to become a flight attendant w/ WardAir whilst she went home to Switzerland...I spent a great deal of money on long distance phone calls...Lily flew into Montreal promisin' that we would spend our life together...only for me to find out from a friend of hers that she had been forced by her mayor father to declare her love for her old boyfriend who was a football wasn't long before they were engaged... my heart was broken...Lily spent 8 weeks travellin' thru Canada & America...those weeks seemed like an eternity for me...torture...she then returned to me in Toronto, seemin' to have doubts about her Swiss life...then sadly we got a call her Mother had died...understandably she left for home ASAP... I eagerly followed her a couple of weeks later, havin' left the airline job & doin' odd jobs that left me w/ stuff all money...I was hopin' for the best - stoppin' in the UK to see my Gran first...took the ferry...then hitch-hiked thru France to Switzerland... only to be told I was not welcome by the authorities in her town...discovered Lily had gotten engaged a few days before...she came and gave me one last kiss at the train station...I felt like my life was at an end... and then began an adventure that led me to Germany, Austria, Greece (workin' in the orange fields for a few mths) and back to Austria where I met my first wife (on the rebound, good friends but a mistake to wed...after 7 years we divorced...she is now happily married here w/ triplets)...who convinced me in Vienna to return to Australia...where I was able to afford Uni... and durin' my divorce proceedings, a year after separation, I attended a degree graduation party and met my wonderful partner S' (21 years ago now)...and have been very happy ever since... and now know truly what love is. Not just passion, lust and that weird feelin' in the gut & bein' impetuous...but also commitment, empathy & survivin' rollercoaster experiences together...bein' able to discuss anything...bein' there for one another day in & day out...w/out smotherin'. And learnin' to listen. So even tho Lily broke my heart back then...she helped me start a journey that took me across Europe meetin' many wonderful people...ridin' trains, planes & odd automobiles...onwards to India...Australia...back to the UK...a return to OZ...and eventually meetin' the most amazin' person I've ever known. My friend of a lifetime. So thnx Lily. My once Swiss Miss. :) Ain't life somethin'? BTW, Imagine how many young refugees will eventually find their LOVE here in their new HOME...LOVE & STABILITY...perhaps for the first time in their lives. Furthermore...I'm not big on Scott Morrison. He's a real NEGABORE. He makes me yawn...and wanna see him disappear into a political black hole. :) N'

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9/12/2011Hi Lyn I’ve finally caught up with all your links and tweets. Most interesting reading! I wonder when the political tempo will subside. Malcolm Turnbull’s speech would have given the MSM no comfort, and Barrie Cassidy, both in his piece and on air, is quite condemnatory of the performance of the media. He mentioned on air that despite there being no evidence of a Rudd challenge, the News Limited tabloids ran the ‘story’ over and again. Truth to them is irrelevant – it’s the story that counts.


9/12/2011Nasking What a lovely story, thanks for sharing. Better than, what is one of those romance writters called. Danialle Steel, Mills & Boon, my daughter reads those. I can't stand fiction not in novels anyway. Bit of fiction mixed with fact is ok. Funny how life takes it's twists and turns, seems like things happen for a purpose. Talk Turkey's My Say said, we are all travellers in life. There is a book in all of us. Cheers:):):):):)


9/12/2011A public appeal Reading the B.B. comment 3338 cited by Lyn, I remembered there's supposed to be a photograph (I've never seen it) of Menzies getting off a plane or something on his return to Australia after being monstered by Nasser over Suez. I'm told there's a look of utter horror in his eyes. Does anyone know about this?


9/12/2011Hi Ad, Thankyou for your reply this beautiful morning. The tempo has subsided slightly this morning compared to yesterday. I have prepared some links for you, no need to go there. Mr Abbott has talked about same sex marriage this morning, link with an excerpt below. Michelle Grattan is still trying to annoy everybody. Peter Slipper explains how nasty Tony Abbott is to him, and then says Abbott is his friend, go figure. Jenny Macklin tells a very moving story about Poker Machine addiction. Chris Mitchell gets told off. Abbott doing Photo shoots and still interferring in the States. Phillip Coorey being Phillip, stirring the pot. Inventing headlines. Because speculation told him there is going to be a reshuffle of the Ministry before Christmas. They all make friends with speculation. [i]Hi Lyn I’ve finally caught up with all your links and tweets. Most interesting reading! I wonder when the political tempo will subside. [/i] I have posted the excerpts so you don't need to go there, the gist of the story here for you. [i]Imperfect Speaker's wish list, Sunshine Coast Daily[/i] The letter outlines how Mr Slipper felt jilted by the Coalition "Tony (Abbott) pledged support for my endorsement for the next election in either Fisher or Fairfax and I accepted his word. "It gradually became apparent however, to me, there remained no place for me in the Liberal National Party of Queensland. "I had the choice of being expelled or facing an early preselection I could not win, and thus I was effectively pushed or bullied out of the party He also wanted to secure funding for a viewing platform for Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve at Maleny, a F-111 for the Queensland Air Museum at Caloundra, the HMAS Tobruk for a second Coast dive wreck and CCTV cameras for Caloundra, Mooloolaba and Kawana. [i]Abbott to launch Tate for mayor bid, GoldCoast Com[/i] TOM Tate will run as a "quasi'' LNP candidate after Opposition Leader Tony Abbott confirmed he would launch the Gold Coast millionaire's mayoral campaign next weekend. The conservative Mr Tate said his friendship with Mr Abbott helped lure him north for the event. Despite running as an Independent, Mr Tate said he would support the conservative parties. Mr Abbott's support is the first indication Mr Tate will be endorsed by the LNP, which has remained silent about the election. Surfers Paradise councillor and LNP heavyweight Susie Douglas is also intending to run. [i]KoenjiEikaiwaKen, posted on Twitter[/i] Michelle Grattan what you write assumes either Kevin Rudd or Julia Gillard is insane as they'd lose So you are insane Can Kevin Rudd terrorise his way back into power? Is Scott Morrison “man enough” to get there, Vex News Michelle Grattan remarks cruelly but accurately this morning that the New Kevin could actually be worse than the Old Kevin (The Grattan assessment that Rudd is a “sensible alternative” is not shared by any significant player in the Labor caucus including those previously seen as backing him. He has few spruikers but most in the caucus know he’s a horror-story and know the favourable poll-numbers he enjoys would simply not hold) The PM’s been sensible and realistic about the Left for pretty much the entirety of her political career, so it seems unlikely she’ll back ill-considered factional power-grabs from them. [i]Simon_CullenSimon Cullen, posted on Twitter[/i] Gillard is at "daggers drawn" with Kevin Rudd, as speculation mounts about a cabinet reshuffle, writes @PhillipCoorey [b]SPECULATION is building [/b]inside Labor the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, will reshuffle her ministry before Christmas. Ms Gillard's office said yesterday there were ''no plans at this stage'' for any changes but [b]speculation surrounds [/b]an announcement next week before she goes on leave. Mr Rudd is seething at the leak and it has exacerbated tensions within the party. [b] Some Gillard supporters [/b]have suggested Mr Rudd be sent to the backbench in any reshuffle but others have said this would amount to an act of war and destroy the government. [i]KateEllisMPKate Ellis , posted on twitter[/i] Jenny Macklin's powerful @Mamamia piece on problem gambling / “There were endless lies about where I was”, Jenny Macklin I met Gabriela yesterday, when she spoke at a community forum about what she used to be – a woman addicted to gambling on poker machines. For four years, the pokies came before her family, her children and her career. She describes her addiction as a ‘love affair’ — endless lies, constant guilt, wanting to stop but not knowing how. “I would have done anything to stop, but when the beast talked to me I just wasn’t strong enough. I switched from Jekyll into Hyde and all I wanted was to feed the beast.” It started innocently enough – lunch with a few friends, a quick spin on the pokies afterwards. She had never played before and found it quite boring. A week later, after a fight with her boss, she slipped into her local and put a few dollars in. It took her away from her troubles and gave her some breathing space. A few days later, she went back again. Within a few weeks, she was there every day – sometimes up to five times a day – whenever she had money in her pocket and a spare minute. “While I was there my issues didn’t matter,” she says, “It was just me and the machine.” [i]australianThe Australian, Posted on Twitter[/i] Radio 2GB Chris Smith has been reprimanded by ACMA over his asylum seeker quiz - The Australian Communications and Media Authority found the licensee of 2GB (Macquarie Radio Network) breached the Commercial Radio Code of Practice and Guidelines 2010 requirement that material broadcast must not offend generally accepted standards of decency. The distasteful question aired during Smith’s quiz, “Smithy's Mystery”, in February asked how many people from the December Christmas Island asylum-seeker boat disaster were to be buried at Sydney funerals. [i]latikambourkeLatika Bourke, on Twitter posted 'Marriage is about the children that invariably come into the world... ' Tony Abbott on opposing gay marriage - Opposition leader’s comments on marriage[/i], We are talking about the family which more often than not is going to result from that and marriage is not just about the fulfilment of two people. Marriage is about the children that invariably come into the world and need to be looked after. That’s why we’ve always wanted to preserve and protect marriage and that’s why we should be very reluctant to change the basic way of approaching these things which has been imminent almost in the way of the world since we first know what our forebears were doing. So I think marriage is between a man and a woman. I don’t support changing the law to accommodate other forms of relationship under the rubric of marriage. When the Howard Government was confronted with a proposal from the ACT that gay marriage should be permitted we changed the Marriage Act with the support of the Labor Party to specify that marriage is between a man and a woman. I think that the overwhelming majority of the Liberal National party room would want marriage to stay between a man and a woman. I accept that we have a tradition in our party of allowing people to dissent from the party line if they feel strongly enough about it but I think that someone has to represent the traditional view and I am confident that it will be the Liberal and national parties which continue to represent the traditional view. 1petermartinPeter Martin Our own Martin Parkinson mentioned in The Economist: "Lessons of the 1930s: There could be trouble ahead" :):):):):):):):):):):):)


9/12/2011Well Nas, talking of trains on the last thread, this little Gravel has once again boarded The Political Sword. I also have done the train trip from Melbourne to Perth, return, with two young sons and mother. It was fantastic. Feral Skeleton I haven't read your work yet, as I wanted to say hello, I'm back. I have spent most of the morning between housework, catching up on all your comments from the last thread and this new one. Lyn Glad to hear that you are still going to have input on your break, please enjoy yourself and have plenty of rest ready for next year. Great news about the last newspoll and the interest rate cut, just in time as we will be signing the papers at the bank very soon. Now back to getting quotes from removalists, I think three lots of quotes will be enough to sort them out. I believe in planning early, want to have everything sorted before Christmas,have a relaxing week, then get packing properly for the move on the 1st February.


9/12/2011Hi pysclaw You mentioned yesterday, or the night before about the Whaling issue and the Sea Shepard, so maybe interested in this video. When you listen, you wil hear Kieran Gilbert, at the end saying, "is there any truth in the Speculation that Kevin Rudd is being Dumped" See I told you they think Speculation is a real person,and they have a gift that keeps giving, speculation reports to them everyday such a wonderful source of information. [b]No intervention in high seas whaling confrontation, says Burke [/b] Sky News chief political reporter Kieran Gilbert speaks with Environment Minister Tony Burke. He says a customs vessels won't be sent to monitor the confrontation between the Japanese whaling fleet and the Sea Shepherd, and has rejected claims that Chris Aultman's visa application was initially denied. :):):):):):):):)


9/12/2011Lyn, Based on the version number, you may have a browser in the Menu under "Experimental". I haven't looked into what apps are available. For photos, you could try this:

Feral Skeleton

9/12/2011Hi Gravel! Thank you for coming back to say hello to us at TPS. :) Hope it's not too hot while you are moving and removing.

Feral Skeleton

9/12/2011Here's cyenne40's latest blog post:

Feral Skeleton

9/12/2011I was out this morning at my youngest son's Year 10 Presentation Day. Now I'm going back out again till later this afternoon. Have fun while I'm gone. :)


9/12/2011Hi Gravel That is absolutely wonderful of you to take the time, in your bussy household to say hello. You sound very, very, happy. Yesterday I commented, as soon as the interest rates were passed on, that maybe it would be good for Gravel. I love doing my input Gravel, but miss "Today's Links". Not doing them though gives Ad Astra a break from posting on time everytime, everyday. Also leaves about 3 hours a day free for me.The biggest reason for "Today's Links" holiday is though, the bloggs all stop writing everything slows down, and no Parliament either. Sound judgement in three quotes. [i]packing properly for the move on the 1st February.[/i] You sound like me, I would never have packers, I'm too fussy, like everything in order and to know exactly where everything is. Best wishes to you and your family, we all hope everthing goes of smoothly for you. We have been missing you, you know. :):):):):):)

Feral Skeleton

9/12/2011This little video and story says it all about Same Sex marriage and the Rights of those in those relationships. It's all about the kids:


9/12/2011Hi Everybody [i]The graffiti reflects the level of anger [/i]. Cosima Mariner doesn't say how the graffiti reflects the level of anger , or who said it reflects about Mr Slipper's defection. I think it could be because Mr Slipper has given the Government another vote, and the graffiti is caused by ............ I better not say, but you guys will guess. Mr and Mrs Speculation have been reporting again. [i]Slipper comes under obscene attack: office defaced , SMH[/i] Peter Slipper's electorate office on the Sunshine Coast has been vandalised The insults "grub", "slimeball", "loser", "wanker" and "rsole" have been spraypainted on the glass windows of his Buddina electorate office. Devil horns have been drawn on pictures of the local member for Fisher. The graffiti reflects the level of anger felt on the Sunshine Coast about Mr Slipper's defection, which has given the Labor Party an extra vote in the House of Representatives. Sunshine Coast LNP branches are reporting a flood of membership applications since Mr Slipper defected from the Party last month. Former Howard Government Minister Mal Brough is widely expected to win pre-selection next year to be the new LNP candidate for Fisher Read more: Cheers:):):):):):):)


9/12/2011Hillbilly/Feral Skeleton Thanks for all of your hard work this year - not just with headline articles but in keeping the comments' section enlivened and interesting. I look forward to more of the same over the next twelve months.

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9/12/2011Hi Lyn You have made life easy for me and the others who visit here with your links and tweets and particularly your summaries. Thank you. I spent the morning cleaning up the property and have lots more to do over the end-of-year break. So you won’t see much of me over that time. I’ll just log on to see the links, tweets and summaries. You are right – Mr Speculation is out and about making all sorts of predictions that have no basis in fact, but that doesn’t matter – it’s the story that counts. And no matter how often they are wrong, they pass off their false predictions by expressing surprise that they came to nothing, which of course implies something sinister must be going on. They can generate intrigue out of nothing. Anyone one of us could make stories up like that and become leading journalists!


9/12/2011Hi Lyn Many thanks for the youtube link to Tony Burke on Sky. Let me once again join the chorus of praise for all the fine work you do. I feel so educated and always up to date in matters political because of the variety of links you serve up each day. By Dog Tony Burke is good. He's real stylish, talks sense, doesn't get rattled, doesn't take crap, and always smiles and appears as a warm person. The quality of the government front bench is so high. It sh*ts from a great height on the Shallow Ministers in Abbott's mob. Fair dinkum, if I was a Lieberal "faceless man" I'd go crazy .....I'd want to shaft Abbott because he is a liability, but who in the world would I replace him with, given that I'd have to get it right first time. The Colonition is always chanting "defict" ........ this is the precise word to describe their own front bench. I heard Abbott say that Wayne S had nothing to do with the banks' decisions ....... "it was people power". Now I've heard WS urging people to vote with their feet, several times a day since Tuesday arvo. And it has been Labor reducing the unscrupulous exit fees. Abbott has been silent about people changing banks and was oppositional to the removal of exit fees. What a hypocrite! What a waste of space!


9/12/2011[quote]Talk Turkey's My Say said, we are all travellers in life. [/quote] Indeed [b]Lyn[/b]. So many lives that need to be told. BTW, wonderful job of summarisin' the day in politics. I've been caught up w/ domestic duties so appreciate yer effort. Helped me to catch up. I watched Turnbull's speech...was impressive. He can be a wide thinkin', rounded, informative, thoughtful, non-partisan character...can be...I dig that Malcolm. Shame he's not an Independent. Still, I suspect that oneday he will be our PM...provided he perseveres...and is in it for the long run...I doubt Julia Gillard will lose the next election. I'll provide some feedback on the speech when I get some time...and my mind is less fatigued...I've taken a few notes. [b]Gravel[/b], great to see yer back onboard. :) Yer company makes the journey even more enjoyable. [b]Feral[/b], The role that Gingrich's present wife will play durin' the election should reveal a great deal about Newt's moral development...or lack of. My wife is home for the hols so I won't be able to stop in as often as I have of late...S' has quite a few stimulatin' plans for us. I wish you all a Merry Christmas...and a superb hols...thnx for toleratin' me this year...I've thoroughly enjoyed the experience...and look forward to an exciting 2012. Cheers, til later N'


9/12/2011Oh, meant to say: Feral, good stuff re: comment to Crikey you mentioned on previous thread. Those investment bankers need a good kick up the rear...if politicians in Chicago can serve time...they sure as heck can...they broke the global system. C'mon Obama & FBI!!! D Mick Weir, congrats on becomin' a grandpop. How exciting. You'll be playin' cricket, Scrabble & Leggo w/ them before ya know it. I intend to download Harry Manx if it's on Emusic. The Wikipedia description made his stuff sounded real tasty. Cheers N'


9/12/2011Lyn Thanks for that, you make me feel really good. :-) Nas I hope 'S doesn't make you work too hard. :-) I will hopefully be checking in most every day. I really appreciated all you input while I was away. I have caught up on all the relevant information that you have all left here. I am getting quite a few laughs from Mr Speculation, I'm sure he'll keep up all entertained until our Acerbic Conehead returns.

D Mick Weir

9/12/2011Nasking u can (pre) listen to quite a bit of Harry's stuff @ his site


9/12/2011Hi BSA Bob I had a quick search for you in regards to Menzie's photo. I am not sure what you mean. Found you this video perhaps it might give a clue which photo you mean. BSA Bob at 12:22 PM [i]Reading the B.B. comment 3338 cited by Lyn, I remembered there's supposed to be a photograph (I've never seen it) of Menzies getting off a plane or something on his return to Australia after being monstered by Nasser over Suez. I'm told there's a look of utter horror in his eyes. Does anyone know about this[/i]? NASSER SAYS NO (aka SUEZ - NASSER SAYS NO) video newsreel film Selected originals (offcuts, selected scenes, out-takes, rushes) for story "Nasser Says No (aka Suez - Nasser Says No)" 56/74. SV. Towards and pan up steps Mr Menzies arrives at Parliamentary building for discussions with Nasser. SV. Back view as he goes in building. SV. Towards and up steps, Abyssinian (Ethiopian) representative of the Five Pow… Cheers :):):):):):):):)


9/12/2011 Hi Jaeger Thankyou so much for your information. I haven't had a look yet but I most certainly will. I haven't looked under experimental so you gave me an excellent tip. Thanks for link too. Cheers :):):):):):):)


9/12/2011[quote]I hope 'S doesn't make you work too hard.[/quote] Gravel, she already has the whip out. It's licorice. :) [quote]u can (pre) listen to quite a bit of Harry's stuff @ his site[/quote] Cheers DM, I'll be sure to check it out these hols. N'


9/12/2011Yollollollolloll-hoo-[i]deeeee![/i] This one's just for you Nasking Just to take you back . . . Hope I don't get you in strife with Nasqueen!


9/12/2011Welcome back Gravel - hope the new place feels like a castle. Nas - you're tale involving the poor deluded soul that married someone else shows karma does happen. Without your temporary pain, you wouldn't have ended up in what seems to be a happy place for you. By the way - the whole family was blown away by how great Canada is. It's friendly, approachable, considerate, stunning, and Tim Hortons is to die for! Dunno if I could handle the winters however :D .It's a fantastic place and we will get back there . . . someday too far away.


9/12/2011Nas - something to make you proud you chose Australia.

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9/12/20112353 Thank you for that YouTube Clip. 'We are Australian', or as Julia would put, 'we are what we are'.

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9/12/2011Folks I'm calling it a day.


10/12/2011TT @7.53am, a perfect description of Trunchbull. I'm sick of all the bullshit about the Prince of Puffery who would be elected in a landslide if Liealot would just do the decent thing and slash his wrists. Have these loonies forgotten Malvolio's performance when he was LOTO? And how Swan, Rudd and Gillard wiped the floor with the bugger during the Grech Affair? The Trunchbull leopard has not changed its spots. He is still the same arrogant twat, lacking political judgement and nous and is intemperate, overbearing and arrogant [quote]Pablum: A trademark used for a bland soft cereal for infants. pab·lum (p b l m). n. Trite, insipid, or simplistic writing, speech, or conceptualization:[/quote] Perfect description of the Liars Party and cheerleaders, FS. As usual, a great post. Gravel, nice that moving is going smoothly and interest rates have dropped for you. DMW, congratulations on becoming a gran'pa. Hope there are many more grandies to come. Lyn, thanks for the links and tweets. Nas' thanks for keeping me up to date on o/s stuff. Ad astra, thanks for your thoughtful posts and encouraging comments. psyclaw, 2353, et al, I've really enjoyed all your comments. AC thanks for the laughs. I still chortle thinking about them. I can't wait for your first post for 2012. I will now launch into a fortnight of self-imposed idiotic stressful Christmas preparations. Every year I say I'm doing a KISS Christmas; every year I bite off more than I can chew, every year I curse myself for being an idiot. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and a happy, healthy new year.


10/12/2011Lyn at 6.27 Thanks for looking around for me, you must have a lot of stuff at your disposal. As for the Menzies photograph, I'm not sure what I mean either. A mate told me long ago about it, I don't know more than that. I'm a bit weary now so will look at what you found on the morrow. Thanks again.


10/12/2011Lyn again I had a go at what you sent me before beddy byes, it wouldn't download after several minutes. I'm on satellite here & often have trouble with complex stuff. I'll leave it to download for a while tomorrow & hopefully have more luck. Thanks again for your trouble.

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10/12/2011Folks I notice that self interest is overriding the good of the whole on two fronts this morning – the UK has placed its self interest ahead of finding a resolution to the European sovereign debt crisis, and in Durban, China, India and the US are refusing to entertain a legally binding agreement to reduce carbon emissions despite the known damage continuing emissions will do to the planet. Selfishness reigns supreme, as usual.


10/12/2011Jane, It is now our luxury to be able to play the game of Wedge 24/7. The MSM and the Coalons have been tryin ever since the election to wedge *J*U*L*I*A* and Kevin, the IndependAnts from Labor &/or e/o, all they've got is blunted wedges and bloodied noses. Har har. Now that Abbortt is on the ropes - which he really is btw, because he's run out of punch and puff, and there's only dreariness in the days ahead for him - our fun game is to tout other possible leaders [i]"Oh I might change my mind and vote Labor again/for the first time ever", [/i] like the noises Greens make about 'coming back to Labor', or Coalons saying they "used to vote Labor but . . .", BS, well we've turned the edges of their wedges, this year we take to them with sledges! (Pun, yep.) The game with the LOTO is akin to being the pitcher in Baseball, with a runner on first base, the runner is trying to steal to second, you watch him from the corner of your eye, (he knows that too), you deliberately let him get to a point of no return, but you have to pick it so he doesn't make it successfully - so like they can't stay on first with Abbortt, they [i]have[/i] to make it to second, but we don't build anyone up [i]too much[/i], we just say Ohhh well I [i]might[/i] vote for Turdball, (knowing that Turdy is beloved of some demographics and despised by others in his own party), but if and when he's installed as LOTO he mustn't have too much gloss that [i]we've[/i] put there, otherwise that would take on inertia of its own, like actually making it to second base, we don't want that. We want the Coalons in an agony of constant duality . . . Abbortt or Turdball? . . . Turdball or Who? . . . Who or Turdball or Who? and that's where the exquisite delight comes in . . . because [i]none [/i]of them is any bloody good. :) Abbortt's already wedged on SSM and NBN and Carbon Tax and his precious Boats are turning into Vikings comin' to get him. He's #*cked, he's failed failed failed and he's got nowhere to go. Turdy is loved/hated. Snotty Joe is there ot help create confusion, him a leader? Ha ha spare me. Robb Bassett? No wonder he's depressed, he looks in the mirror sometimes! Mesma wouldn't dare look in a mirror, she might cop a stare [i]heterodyne![/i] But she too could create some mayhem. Then there's Rhymeswith Hunt, oh yes and Morriscum, he's the one to work on now, he looks all right to the skindeeps but he is a featherweight*, but he can wedge and be wedged by Turdball. It's all a fun game, but we must do it in such a way as to have nobody pre-eminent, none that looks a match for *J*U*L*I*A* (and none is btw), just a sludge of no-hopers. *No offence to feathers, the reverse rather.


10/12/2011 Good Morning Ad Bushfire Bill's worthwhile opinion, for your enjoyment: [i]Bushfire Bill Posted Saturday, December 10, 2011 at 8:19 am | comment No 148 I don’t know why Lenore Taylor is so pissed off[/i]: But in a measure of how completely botched, corrupted and messed up the process to award the Australia Network has been, federal cabinet found itself backed into such a corner on Monday that it made a ''policy decision'' that the service should be a ''permanent feature'' of the ABC. The simple answer is that in this day and age you don’t give a Murdoch organization any more ownership or participation in pay TV operations or projects above what they already (unfortunately) hold, especially ones that involve representing national (and taxpayer-funded) faces to the world. She ends her article thus: The decision is now being justified on the basis that most countries see their overseas service as a natural fit with their public broadcaster, in Britain the job is done by the BBC and in Germany by Deutsche Welle. That argument may be right, but surely we need some explanation as to why this was not the assessment made by the government at the outset. Strip all those things away and this sorry saga just paints a picture of the way this government does business. And it's not a pretty one. The second simple answer is that Rudd made a stupid (or worse) mistake for which the government is now enduring short term pain from the likes of Taylor, in return for long-term gain of not having Rupert Bloody Murdoch within coo’ee of anything to do with government money, especially THIS government’s money. You think this saga is not a pretty one, Lenore? Try Sky News as the public face of Australia to the Asian continent. That’s ugly all the way down to the bone. You don’t compound one mistake by proceeding doggedly on with a second simply to avoid sprays by pipsqueaks like Lenore Taylor and Chris Mitchell. Pay the News bastards their compensation, then piss them off permanently. It took years of scandals, police corruption, egregious wrong doing, phone hacking, misery inflicted upon relatives of dead young girls, suicides, unfair dismissals, political chicanery, back room dirty deals, lies and malignant malfeasance for the British government to finally knock the B-Sky-B “arrangement” on the head and to do something relatively serious about News. Are we forever doomed to repeat the mistakes of history? Is this some kind of putrid Groundhog Day where we continually play Murdoch’s “Banner Game”, by his own rules? A game that says no matter how corrupt one part of their organization has been proved to be, governments must go through the whole process of proving it over and over again with the other banners that the organization puts up as fronts for its Chariman’s megalomania? Or should we just accept the incontrovertible truth that News has continually proved tiself to be not a fit and proper organization to run anything much at all – from football teams, to newspapers, to continent-spanning satellite TV operations – and be done with the Australia TV affair as bad mistake, a ridiculous idea from the get-go? I am very surprised that Lenore Taylor, a refugee from Murdoch’s fetid, decaying organization, would go into bat with such vehemence for her old boss and his disgusting cronies. :):):):):):):):):):)


10/12/2011Lyn, well said. Taylor is probably working on the theory that you don't burn your bridges - especially with a company that controls the majority of you field of expertise. Speaking of burning bridges, Mike Carlton burnt his a long time ago. Today's example proves the point ->


10/12/2011Hi Ad and Everybody Here is your Twitter conversation this morning along with links:- Enjoy kimworldwidekimworldwide Parliamentary Committee on Liberals- 'I have never seen a DOPIER dissenting report.' @abcnews #auspol Drag0nistaDrag0nista Never thought I'd see @laurieoakes quote the Simpsons RT @dailytelegraph A brilliant speech could save Gillard davidbewartdavidbewart hockey really is a tool Laurie Oakes TAWNBPMTAWNBPM "Despite Tony Abbott's action man stunts and soaring polls, all is not rosy with the Coalition writes Lenore... ThefinnigansTheFinnigans天地有道人无道 It's time the #MSMhacks do a proper analysis all is not rosy with the Coalition, writes Lenore Taylor. cyenne40Tom Cummings From yesterday: Clubs Australia's extraordinary attack on Tim Costello Their grubbiest act yet. #pokies arikringArik Ring #Australia ACT passes large #solar scheme @abcnews #FIT 1petermartinPeter Martin Eurozone debt: Who owes what to whom? (Interactive graphic) aziazoneLloyd Blakeley A gutful of all the bellyaching via @smh Mike Carlton bow_and_arrowLe Grace A year through the eyes of the Canberra gallery - The Drum Opinion via @abcthedrum #auspol Andrew Elder I had wanted to write about the policies that the government was putting in place but the senior correspondents told me nobody wants to read about policy. They said that real Australians want to read what we write: as many stories as possible about Christopher Pyne's wacky antics. Anyway, here's what I've been covering since last Christmas – as you can see, I've been busy! In January, there was flooding in Queensland and the government proposed a flood levy, which Mr Abbott opposed. In February, the Prime Minister cried too much, or not enough, for the drowned of Queensland. The Opposition Leader said "shit happens" In March, the home base of the country’s most formidable political machine was burnt to the ground and ordinary voters in NSW lined up to piss on the smouldering ashes. In April, one of those politicians who used to write books wrote one about how the media only ever wrote crappy stories about politicians In May, the Speaker tried to throw out a Liberal MP and the other Members voted against the Speaker to keep him In June, there was a lot of focus on carbon emissions. The biggest carbon emissions came from a mountain in Chile and grounded planes in Australia, In July, one of Britain's finest media organisations was accused of tapping phones to get stories. The fact that most of those ill-gotten stories were run in the Australian media tells you all yo In August, a court found that New Zealand apples can now be imported to Australia In September, with Sally Pearson winning a hurdles race and Samantha Stosur winning the US Open, I wrote a piece of hard-hitting high-value journalism asking why Julia Gillard couldn't wi In October, there was a lot of coverage of the Queen coming here. She did the same thing she always does: greeting flag-waving kids In November, well, the less said the better. The whole idea that everything the government does turns to custard doesn't work any more, and the opposition saying no, no In December I had to cover the Labor Party conference, where a small number of ageing delegates voted to gay-marry us to India. To save time we wrote the stories beforehand: This job is all about the big issues, and that's why I'm proud to call myself a Canberra Press Gallery journalist. How RuddTV came unstuck and why it's just as well Aunty kept the gig Richard Ackland , SMH To make our drab lives more interesting, various conspiracy theories took root. This was the foreign minister's plan to get the News Ltd media inside his tent, while the rest of the government was giving the Murdoch outfit a terrible time, and vice versa. Read more: abcsunshineABC Sunshine Coast More on MP Peter Slipper's office graffiti insults #auspol#SunshineCoast #Speaker Slipper hit with graffiti, Audio Overnight MP Peter Slipper's Nicklin Way office was attacked with graffiti including obscenities and drawings of the MP. Mr Slipper's staff declined to comment issuing a statement, which included the following from the MP: "I will not speculate on who committed the crime; I am focused on directing my energy toward improving things that matter on the Sunshine Coast and in Parliament." Coast FM's Bruce Atkinson went to Mr Slipper's Office and explains what he saw. A True Reflection? , A State of Mind Then there are those politicians who don't seem to realise that when you behave on twitter like you behave in private, people notice. And it matters. I give you @PeterPhelpsMLC. UPDATE: I've attempted to bring this blogpost to both Peter and his staff's attention, as well as Barry O'Farrell. If I receive any comment, I'll be sure to post it here. UPDATE 2: Jo Tovey just published this piece on SMH UPDATE 3: Barry O'Farrell just tweeted the following. It wasn't a response to me as such, but it is pretty clear what it is about. swearycatSweary Cat "@gordongraham: A brilliant speech could save Gillard writes Laurie Oakes" she's saving it for mid 2012. no point now. mansilloLuke Mansillo Political funding reform plans include third parties markjs1Mark Shove TurnbullMalcolm Excellent article from the Uni of Melbourne exposing #NBN fictions & myths: #auspol markjs1Mark Shove An excellent article on Abbott's obsession with 'political pragmatism over policy purity' GR8 read: #auspol #Abbottfail Maybeee2011Maybe #auspol RT: "@Thefinnigans: @PuffyTMD Puuuffyyyyy, what about this?" GrogsGamutGreg Jericho @Jess_Irvine: "Income enjoys growth spurt" (ping @MattCowgill) PollyticsPossum Comitatus Great article by @markatextor on the reality of data journalism (HT @Drag0nista ) MrDenorrisChris Morris "Asylum policy 'a bridge to Indonesia'" – Abbott Labor may as well have built a bridge between Australia and Indonesia given the number of pull factors it has created to attract asylum seekers, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says. The visas provided a pipeline to employment rights, permanent residency and citizenship, he said. "That is precisely what is attracting people," Mr Abbott told reporters in Sydney on Friday. "Handing out bridging visas, they might as well have a bridge between Indonesia and Australia." Mr Abbott said the government's policy was determined by the Australian Greens: "Let people come and put out the welcome mat to the people smugglers. That's the sorry state we have been reduced to." #auspol #ozcot NewsBotAUNewsBotAU #ausnews Who is Peter Slipper? Speaker or weirdo #heraldsun [i]abcsunshineABC Sunshine Coast[/i] More on MP Peter Slipper's office graffiti insults #auspol#SunshineCoast #Speaker Slipper hit with graffiti, Audio Overnight MP Peter Slipper's Nicklin Way office was attacked with graffiti including obscenities and drawings of the MP. Mr Slipper's staff declined to comment issuing a statement, which included the following from the MP:"I will not speculate on who committed the crime; I am focused on directing my energy toward improving things that matter on the Sunshine Coast and in Parliament." Coast FM's Bruce Atkinson went to Mr Slipper's Office and explains what he saw. [i]The Oz vs OPI, Media Watch[/i] So the Editor-in-Chief of our only national broadsheet thinks that the ABC should not be giving air time to the outgoing Director of the Office of Police Integrity, a former County Court judge, because he is "this rogue" and his organisation, in Mr Mitchell’s opinion, is "corrupt". Those whom Mr Mitchell disapproves of, it seems, don’t even have the right to express their views on the ABC. And lest you think that Chris Mitchell was speaking in anger, and soon thought the better of his outburst, his bizarre remarks were repeated twice in today’s Australian – in this story by Chip Le Grand, and in the Cut and Paste column. Chris, are you really sure you mean it? :):):):):):):):):)

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10/12/2011jane, TT Thank you for your salient comments about leadership of the Coalition. Why is the MSM so preoccupied with leadership in the Government when it’s the Coalition’s leadership that is not only now in doubt with Abbott’s decline, but the alternatives to Abbott are so problematic?

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10/12/2011Hi Lyn Thank you for the reference to BB’s acerbic analysis of Lenore Taylor’s piece in the [i]SMH[/i] about the award of the Australia Network to the ABC. I wonder what got Lenore so stirred up?


10/12/2011Ad astra said "Why is the MSM so preoccupied with leadership in the Government when it’s the Coalition’s leadership that is not only now in doubt with Abbott’s decline, but the alternatives to Abbott are so problematic?" It's cos all they got is fairy floss An' we got all the beef. :) They are bent on distracting people from their problems by saying [i]Oohhhhhh Looka Dar![/i] but meanwhile they are festering beautifully, Abbortt is gangrenous already and the other Coalonic body parts are suffering from toxaemia already, Rudd and Gillard is a quite beaut distraction from my pov because when the legs and bits start falling off Them, it's going to be, like, [i]*Surprise!*[/i] :)


10/12/2011 Hi Ad and Everybody That rotten to the core person called Speculation is still hanging around this morning, appearing at 10.10am on Sky News. They are guessing Bill Shorten, but quote Abbott saying then The Faceless Men will take over" Will she have [b]the guts [/b]to get rid of Kevin Rudd, by she Abbott meansJulia Gillard, just thought I would tell you in case you didn't already know. Nice way to talk for someone, who wants the highest office in the land, some Prime Minister. [i]Speculation surrounds a Labor reshuffle, Sky News, [/i]VIDEO Senior Ministers are refusing to give into speculation that Prime Minister Julia Gillard is poised to announce changes to her Cabinet. Some government sources have indicated the reshuffle will happen before Christmas, possibly as early as today or tomorrow. It is widely expected Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten will be a big winner if the Prime Minister does make changes. Tony Abbott says if Mr Shorten does get promoted to Cabinet, it will be a sign the 'faceless men' are in control of the Labor Party There is also further talk that Attorney General Robert McLelland and Minister Nick Sherry are considering their futures. [i]Shorten to step up the pace amid ministerial manoeuvres, Michelle Grattan, The Age[/i] [b]As speculation continued [/b]yesterday about a reshuffle before Christmas, the Prime Minister's office sought to hose it down. There were currently no plans for a reshuffle, Julia Gillard's spokeswoman said. Workplace Relations Minister Chris Evans. In the reshuffle [b]speculation Senator [/b]Evans has been coming under criticism for being too low key. Shorten said yesterday: ''I'm very happy doing what I'm doing. And I think there's just a lot of [b]speculation[/b] unnecessarily.'' Nick Sherry, also the subject of [b]speculation, [/b] Ms Gillard, who has been seen little in public this week, is meeting cabinet ministers individually to discuss this year and next [i]Shorten in PM's sight for cabinet shake-up , Phillip Coorey December 10, 2011 SMH[/i] BILL SHORTEN is firming as a favourite to move into federal cabinet and take over the Workplace Relations portfolio amid [b]speculation [/b]Julia Gillard will reshuffle her ministry next week. The ministers are divided over the wisdom of a reshuffle. [b]Some say [/b]the Prime Minister cannot afford to make enemies, with relations with Mr Rudd so volatile, while [b]others say [/b]she needs to freshen things up for 2012 and put her stamp on the party. Mr Shorten and the Treasurer, Wayne Swan, did nothing to dampen [b]speculation yesterday[/b], with both declining to give direct answers about a reshuffle. [i]Minister set to retire as Gillard contemplates cabinet reshuffle BY ROSS PEAKE POLITICAL EDITOR 10 Dec, 2011 01:00 AM[/i] Rumours have been circulating since last weekend's Labor Party national conference that the Prime Minister would take the opportunity to freshen up her team [b]Speculation has again resurfaced [/b]about Attorney-General Robert McClelland stepping aside. A spokesman said reports Mr McClelland was going to retire were incorrect Mr Abbott said Ms Gillard must sack Mr Rudd if she wanted to ''sort out her [b]dysfunctional Government''[/b]. ''Plainly the two of them can't exist in the same government,'' he said :):):):):):):):):)


10/12/2011Hi Ad and Everybody My email had been down since 4am yesterday, I see now why: TelstraTelstra Service update - We anticipate most online services inc. BigPond email will be live later today. We'll keep you updated here. Thanks abcnewsABC News Telstra is updating customers on the problem at its Twitter feed @Telstra TzarimasHelen Tzarimas RT@Telstra: The email outage is still ongoing (as advised at ) - we'll tweet as we receive news on restoration. Greg Breach: Telstra internal website made public: DETAILS of up to one million Telstra customers have possibly been ... ACCOUNT details of up to one million Telstra customers have possibly been breached after an internal website was made public. The website listed Telstra customers on bundle plans and included their names, plan types, contact they had had with Telstra customer service and in some instances their account passwords, the Herald Sun reported. It was found by a Telstra customer who had googled looking for a customer service phone number. Telstra removed the site after it was told about the breach today and also disabled its online billing, BigPond self care and the My Account functions on its website. We apologise to customers who may have been impacted by this issue. Telstra takes its customers privacy seriously. The site has been disabled and a full investigation is underway.” The telco also contacted the privacy commissioner to alert them to the breach and said it would contact affected customers within the next week. [i]BigPond services down due to privacy bungle[/i]ABC The BigPond website says customers may have trouble logging in or managing their accounts and accessing webmail. The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) says this comes after a major privacy bungle by Telstra. "We wanted to test it and we did and sure enough it was readily available - things like passwords, the details of problems having or wanting to change bundles," she said. "Basically any contact that you would have with the customer centre about your bundle was readily available for anyone to see." Ms Davidson says it is "almost unbelievable" that Telstra could let the bungle occur Bring on the NBN what do you say Mr Turnbull. :):):):)


10/12/2011Normank,Aa, This post brought to you by the letters N, B, and N By Robert Merkel on December 9, 2011

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10/12/2011Hi Lyn, FS, Nasking This morning I sent emails to you all, but as I’m having trouble with my email system at present, could you please check if they have arrived.


10/12/2011Hi Ad Here is Bushfire Bill with another informative article, very enjoyable:- [i]Bushfire Bill Posted Saturday, December 10, 2011 at 9:40 am, comment 187[/i] All in all, you and I and the rest are going to end up paying Sky a considerable amount of money for the costs of their tender effort. Worth every penny. Rudd screwed up big time by including them in his tenderers. The government has to cut its losses. There is no way known, after the recent revelations from the UK, that you could invite Sky to take over a national broadcasting role. The government would look like fools. The nation would look parochial. And the lessons of history would not have been learned. All that, and why would you give your enemy the keys to your armoury? Rudd got himself into a lot of problems trying to appear to be bi-partisan. His spruiking for Downer (God Save Cyprus!) and his appointment of Costello both had zero effect on their nastiness and antagonism to the government. Nelson wasn’t a nasty type to start with, so he’s kept quiet in return for a pleasant life. But two out of three is two too many. If Rudd is guilty of anything it’s his naiveity about the hatred his political enemies direct towards him. Chris Mitchell used to be a friend! Then he went and published a vicious story, a Kirribilli tattle-tale, about Rudd on the phone to George Bush. That should have given Rudd a clear signal that News thought – and thinks – he is a prize mug. No wonder the Caucus decided to get rid of him. The Party was probably worried that he’d make Howard Governor-General some day. I always had misgivings about Rudd, but I buried them with his success against Howard. There was something there, however, always in the back of my mind. Something along the lines of “a brilliant man with no political skills” – poor rhetoric, a poor manager of his own office, and a poor observer of changes in the political wind. On the last, the two examples I give are the Oceanic Viking schemozzle – he should have arrested those pirates the day they set foot on Xmas Island – and his failure to continue to prosthelytize the virtues of the CPRS. It was once – in a rare moment of bi-partisanship under Howard – ticked off at 80% approval, and after that disintegrated through lack of attention. It was a typical bureaucrat’s way of dealing with something: “80% tick… what can possibly go wrong?” Politics is tribal. You don’t buy off your enemies with glittering prizes. They take the money and favours and just come back nastier. Once you hate, you continue to hate. Cordiality should be confined to the modicum of decency that working relationships require… no more than that. Rudd thought he could charm Costello? Downer? Turnbull? Mitchell? Murdoch himself? They saw Rudd coming from a mile off. Now that he’s gone, and I’m over the shock, I’m really glad of it. One by one his crackpot policies and initiatives are being dismantled. Sure I supported him, because I had to. Even convinced myself that he was on the ball, but he wasn’t. There was a lot of unwarranted nastiness directed towards Rudd, but a lot of it he positively asked for. It was as if he was making things deliberately hard for himself so he could impress everyone with how cleverly he won through in the end. In short, Rudd had to go. The Australia TV mess is a mess of his making that, once again, Gillard has to clean up and take the opprobrium for. Taylor, a Murdoch refugee herself, must know how poisonous the atmosphere is a News. She’d know also why a Labor government could never seriously contemplate giving Murdoch the time of day, much less a powerful broadcasting podium. So in that way, no, she’s not directly barracking for Sky. She’d be mad if she was. To me, her article was, though, a fairly cheap shot at the government, a chance to prove her “balance” credentials. Her last paragraph was uncalled for: Strip all those things away and this sorry saga just paints a picture of the way this government does business. And it's not a pretty one. The way this government does business is to save the nation from the GFC, build the NBN, enhance health, tax carbon at last in an effective manner, develop policies through a proper Cabinet process (not the leader’s chronic flatulence of the brain), run a clean ship in general and do it all for the good of the nation. But like all relatively civilized operations there are still bodily functions to take care of, still the garbage to be put out and still slightly unsavoury things to be done to maintain the household. You don’t make babies by keeping your knickers on, and you get rid of waste by keeping them down and doing a poo, sometimes a smelly one. Every now and again a cockroach has to be swatted. You can catch a Huntsman and take him outside like a responsible lover of the environment, but a Funnel Web in the sink gets the death penalty. And we all pick our noses when we think no-one’s watching. One of the unpleasant things we do is sending soldiers – all volunteers – to die in Afghanistan. Another is to decide who wins and who loses when spending cuts are made. Another is to reverse a blatantly stupid decision to award a political enemy and known, malignant, rogue organization a prize broadcasting gig funded by taxpayers’ money. Taylor should have known this was just taking out the garbage, unpleasant and unsavoury but it had to be done. Asking rhetorical questions about “Why?” was thus just a cheap shot. Using this as an example of “how this government does business” was unfair and uncalled for, especially from a supposedly politically savvy operator like Taylor. Gillard does not work for Rudd. Rudd works for Gillard. She is not obliged to honour the last-minute supply orders he placed simply to embarrass her. If the supplier doesn’t do the right thing and decline to supply under these circumstances, then you cancel the order anyway and see what he does in retribution. Currying favour with Murdoch has never worked for Labor. This is Gillard’s recognition of that reality. A savvy journo type like Taylor should have known that, probably does know it, but in the atmosphere of exquisite court etiquette that “senior” journalists seem to use when dealing with each other, she failed to actually do her job and write about it. :):):):):):):):):):):):):)

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10/12/2011Hi Lyn Mr Speculation is certainly out and about today, again. Indeed Julia Gillard may well make some changes, but when Mr Speculation has the need to quote Tony Abbott saying that Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd “can’t exist in the same government”, you know he’s scraping the bottom of the barrel for factual evidence of the predicted changes. The fact that they have successfully co-existed in the same government for over a year seems not to have dented Abbott’s insistence – but, after all, what have facts got to do with it!

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10/12/2011Hi Lyn I posted my 1.35pm comment before I refreshed and saw your 12.50 pm comment that your email services is down. I wonder how widespread this is? I guess we will just have to be patient with Telstra once more!

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10/12/2011Folks There is a news item on ABC online that says Telstra is down due to a privacy bungle: This is the message: [i]Due to an earlier internal systems issue, some online services remain unavailable as a precaution. We appreciate your understanding and we anticipate them to be live later today. We will keep you updated here and on[/i]


10/12/2011 Hi Ad The problem is huge apparently. My emails will send ok, they end up in the sent folder. But nothing coming in since 4pm yesterday. [i]Telstra internal website made public, releasing account details of up to one million customers , Courier Mail, December 10, 2011 12:21PM [/i] Telstra removed the site after it was told about the breach today and also disabled its online billing, BigPond self care and the My Account functions on its website. BigPond remains down on Saturday morning, sparking a Twitter storm. "@Telstra I receive my bills via my bigpond email. Does this mean I don't have to pay the bill seeing as I can't get my emails?" tweeted one. Another said: "@Telstra I have been without email access since 6:30 PM yesterday Friday! Any chance it might work today? Really?" An annoncement on the Big Pond site states: "Due to an earlier internal systems issue, some online services remain unavailable as a precaution. We are working hard to make these services available as soon as possible. We appreciate your understanding and we will keep you updated here and on [i]BigPond services down due to privacy bungle, ABC Updated December 10, 2011 12:59:13[/i] The network's spokeswoman Elise Davidson says a Telstra database with up to 1 million customers' personal details was left open for anyone to view [i]Worry with personal details out there Adam Cooper[/i] Telstra customer Michelle Sanderson says she was shocked to have a stranger's bill sent to her, and is now concerned her personal details have been leaked on to the web. Ms Sanderson said she had received a bill belonging to a man who lived in a nearby suburb, and could access all his personal information. She planned to post his bill to him. "I can see his name, address and phone number, how much his bill is and how much his previous bill was, every phone call he's made for the last billing period and what sort of plan he's on - pretty much everything," she said. [b]here are some recent telstra tweets for you:-[/b] First one from Telstra: TelstraTelstra @masonpeterj Hey Peter, yes we are here, and working to get emails up and running again, after an internal error. Sorry for the delay -Lindy DokterWDokter Waldijk #BigPond services down due to #privacy bungle… Again I'm laughing at the telecom infrastructure in Oz. Useless! #Telstra :):):):):):)

Ad astra reply

10/12/2011Hi Lyn There's an email on its way to you - goodness knows when it will reach you. Nasking You may be having similar trouble receiving emails, but one is on its way to you too.


10/12/2011 Hi Ad and Everybody This is me, Huge storm coming. abcwidebayABC Wide Bay SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING extended to parts of Wide Bay and Burnett. Details: QPSmediaQPS Media Unit Severe Thunderstorm Warning current for SE Qld now (Lockyer Valley). Check for details. #bigwet Cheers:):):):)


10/12/2011I have to agree with Bushfire. Do we live in the only country on earth currently debating whether to give Murdoch more ownership & power? Probably. Rudd was a bit of an innocent in handing out jobs to coalition has beens. How could he have imagined, if this is the case, that Murdoch's lot could be won over? Self evident.


10/12/2011Hi Ad Thankyou for telling me about the email, I will watch out. Seems it will be a lot longer than expected. TelstraTelstra @laynnie hi Mary-Anne, really sorry for inconvenience. Emails should be up again later today, We can perhaps look at a credit then -Lindy :) Cheers :):):):):)


10/12/2011Re Lenore Taylor's out-of-character [i]billet sec[/i], am I misremembering, or [i]did[/i] the esteemed *Laura Tingle* not a few days ago say something a bit similar? I seem to remember it, to my dismay and horror, because unless I dreamed it, it was almost as churlish as LT's! Can someone remind me please? And if I'm [i]right[/i], [i]WTF GIVES?[/i] [i]Stepford wives? [/i] If I'm correct, that leaves at [i]ZER-0[/i] the committedly-Left journalists at the top level of their "profession" in the Wide Brown Land. [i]Should journos be committedly Left?[/i] Well there are plenty of committedly-[i]Right[/i] "journalists", and the reasoned arguments are ALWAYS on the Left, why should NO-ONE (or maybe LT alone if I'm imagining things) actually wear their Leftish loyalties on their sleeves? Please, if anybody has a memory of LT's secness a few days ago could you remind me please?


10/12/2011BSA Bob I really liked Kevin. But when he started handing out positions to the Liberals and hardly any to Labor I got a bit worried about him. I has coloured a lot of my thoughts about him since. I don't and won't buy all the bulldust that is written about him and the constant challenge stuff though. Oh dear, what do I do now? I was going to 'go back' to Telstra when we move, as they have the better bundle plan. Do these outages last long? I couldn't cope without the internet and the links I read from here and a couple of other blogs I keep my eye on. Lyn Your links are keeping me busy......have knocked off for the day now will catch up on some reading. :-) Talk Turkey I really enjoy the way you think. A few of the links I have read from Lyn seem to be saying that maybe the media are starting to look at the Nopposition. Wouldn't that be a great Christmas and New Year's present.


10/12/2011The sisterhood is still not amused! A steep mountain to climb. Anne Summers December 10, 2011 [i]Julia Gillard has scored significant political runs this year, but the public is still to warm to her or to forgive her. Julia Gillard had an anniversary this week. Last Wednesday marked 15 months since, after an excruciating 17 days of negotiations with cross bench MPs, she out-negotiated Tony Abbott and was able to form her minority government. As anniversaries go, it wasn't a biggie but one she is more likely to want to celebrate than December 24. That day marks 18 months since she reluctantly agreed to tap then prime minister Kevin Rudd on the shoulder and, in the words of a Labor lobbyist, "went from Girl Most Likely to Lady Macbeth in the space of an hour and a half".[/i] Read more:

Feral Skeleton

10/12/2011Ha! Ha! Ha! I'm laughing into my beer. :) Well, I would be if I had one. :D I gave up on Telstra years ago and began using a midcap ISP who gets their bandwith wholesale from Optus, who seem to have less 'issues' than Telstra, and then who retail it to me for a premium on top of Optus's service which allows us to access a Tech service which is staffed by Aussies. No Indian/Phillipines Call Centre.This means that whenever we have had a problem with our internet connection I have been able to sort it out neatly, even if it takes a couple of hours and repeat phone calls etc. And that is mainly due to problems at my end, not at theirs. Sure, you get realy, really upset if you ever do experience a problem, but that is rare.

Feral Skeleton

10/12/2011Greg Combet gets a mention in this summation of the Durban Climate Change talks:

Feral Skeleton

10/12/2011Talk Turkey, I meant to get back to you about Bruce. Sorry, but life is very hectic:) Anyway, the peripatetic Bruce has gone Walkabout! He no longer likea my Brush Turkey mound. :( All we have now is one immature female who hangs around hoping for a beau to turn up!


10/12/2011TT, To be a journalist committed to the left does not mean you have to support the Labor Party. This is why the position for the party is so dire, they are not consistently conservative so the right wing commentators do not treat the Labor Party faithful enough, and the party is not socialist enough to have the left wing commentators onside. I believe Lenore and Laura are both left leaning commentators who are usually much more sympathetic to Labor than the Liberal party, however with the Labor Party's stance on Asylum seekers amongst other issues it is no wonder they are not great supporters of the ALP. To be of the left no longer means to be a supporter of the ALP.


10/12/2011TT, Before you start claiming Abbott is in decline how about you have a look at the only marker of public approval...opinion polls. Last time i checked the latest poll (morgan) had the Coalition's position improving, and newspoll had the Coalition's lead at about 14 points on the primary vote and 8 points on two party preferred.


10/12/2011see jj nip hee hee TT :)


10/12/2011Hi Ad I have received your email and answered. The email problem was fixed about an hour ago. TelstraTelstra Service Update - Most online services including BigPond email & My Account are back online, load times may be a touch slower than usual. Telstra_newsTelstra_news A public announcement for all Telstra customers bengrubbBen Grubb Telstra is resetting 60,000 passwords due to privacy breach as a precaution… :):):):):):):)


10/12/2011Hi Ad and Everybody The Liberal's don't want any changes to the Political Donations disclosure threshold by hook or by crook:- Fight erupts over political donation crackdown, ABC The Coalition remains vehemently opposed and the Greens say the committee should have gone further and called for a cap on election spending The Federal Government has tried to reduce the amount of money which can be donated without disclosure from almost $12,000 to $1,000. One bill has been rejected and another has sat before the Senate without any action. Now the committee is urging the Government to try again. Chairman veteran Labor MP Daryl Melham says they have made a range of recommendations to make political donations more transparent. "If you want to influence politicians or if you want to participate in the political process and spend more than $1,000, then you should be prepared to be identified," Mr Melham said. "The $1,000 threshold is designed to penalise the non-Labor side of politics because once people make a donation to the non-Labor side of politics they receive intimidation, particularly from the unions, and very often from the Labor Party themself," Ms Bishop said. She says the Coalition will maintain its opposition to lowering the disclosure threshold and it used its dissenting report to make its own suggestions Mr Melham rubbished the Coalition's suggestion. "I've never seen a dopier dissenting report in all my time in Parliament. It doesn't stand scrutiny or withstand scrutiny," he said. Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters , Committee activities (inquiries and reports) Inquiry into the funding of political parties and election campaigns Federal donations reform report a missed opportunity "The Greens will continue our long-running campaign to ban corporate political donations, see the public funding of elections while allowing small donations from individuals and enhancing public disclosure. Recommendations of the Australian Greens in its dissenting report: * A ban on all donations from all entities other than individuals. * A cap on the amount of money that can be donated in a year from a single individual to a political party or candidates. * Caps on expenditure by political parties, candidates and third parties. * Adequate public funding for political parties, including both funding for election campaigning and for other administrative work of the party, with funding based on the percentage of the vote received by each party. * Continuous disclosure of all political donations above $1000, within two weeks of all donations being made. :):):):):):):):):)

Patricia WA

10/12/2011Casablanca, Re that anniversary for Prime Minister Gillard, you may recalled on that date, September 8th Possum Comitatus wrote about the Great Unhinging which he prophesied would then begin Interestingly on December 8th today we have another great commentary by Possum on Australian Exceptionalism in which he demonstrates, no prophesies this time, how Australia is faring in the world - quite [i]exceptionally[/i]! I was struck by his plea for a bit less of the unhinging. He has a heap of data there to show that Australians have cause to whinge. [b]Possum Comitatus - Oz Oracle[/b] As Possum Comitatus Fifteen months ago alerted us The Great Unhinging was begun. No surprises for anyone. We saw the embittered right With all their moneyed might And influence in the media Generating mass hysteria. The call for counter-revolution Against pricing of pollution Was one of many desperate means To discredit Labor, attack the Greens. Character assassinations, Civil unrest. demonstrations, Talk back radio jocks all jeering Egged on by Abbott’s sloganeering. Yet somehow common sense availed. Wise heads like Windsor have prevailed. The Greens and others on the the left Worked with Gillard, wise and deft. They saved the future of the nation; Yes, added to its reputation, With news thats quite sensational; Oz well-being is tops, exceptional. So, now let’s end the great uhhinging, Remind ourselves when we start our whingeing, To listen to our prophet Possum, To seize the day, enjoy Oz now she's in full blossom.

Patricia WA

10/12/2011Sorry - Australians have [b]NO[/b] cause to whinge!


10/12/2011TT Don't you know anything!Why is it so hard for you to ignore the polls? I know life as we know it would be better if Abbott was PM because the polls tells us, the media tell us the polls tell us and jj tells us! Forget old fashion things like sensible costed policy or nation building projects and forward thinking, that's old hat. What is needed (the polls tell us) is that "freak show" of an opposition with their magic pudding economics,and their 19th century vision for the future. Abbott is on the decline despite what the "polls" say and now that "slippery Pete" is in the "big chair" question time wont be the circus the opposition turned it into as they will be all tossed out! I must say I feel a bit sorry for jj reading these "Polls" day after day! So near yet so far!


10/12/2011Gravel said "Talk Turkey I really enjoy the way you think." Gravel I really enjoy the way [i]You [/i]think! :)


10/12/2011Talk Turkey and Gravel Gravel said "Talk Turkey I really enjoy the way you think." Gravel I really enjoy the way You think Talk Turkey and Gravel I really enjoy the way you both think Cheers :):):):):):)

Feral Skeleton

10/12/2011PatriciaWA, You have sent a copy of your Possum pome to the esteemed Possum Comitatus themselves, haven't you? :) (I said 'themselves' because I could have sworn Poss was a 'he', but then again, I may be wrong).

Feral Skeleton

10/12/2011I'm just pre-emptively and retrospectively writing this to let you know that if my comments don't seem up to their normal high standard ( ;) ), and thus, a bit wishy-washy, or worse, irrelevant, it's because I'm running low on perspicacity and chutzpah, and I haven't found a deli that sells them. :$ Phew! What a year! I mean, I feel drained absolutely, and I just write the odd blog post here and there, plus a heap o' 2c-worth comments. So, maybe that's what's wrong with the 2 LT ladies, they're over it and they were just taking out their generalised frustrations at the Gillard government in 1 of their last columns for the year. They may not want to say it openly, but there could be a sense of disappointment at the PM's Same Sex Marriage stance, her lacklustre speeches at the National Conference, the lack of progress at the Conference on party reform, or the enshrining of Offshore Processing in the ALP party platform. Or all of them, and so they decided to write a narky column. I think we all need a break. But not a severing from politics, because that would be worse. Then we'd all go into withdrawals, which is much worse! So, onwards to 'Holiday Mode'. :)


10/12/2011Hi Ad and Everybody Samatha Maiden plays News Ltd ring a ring a’ rosie, they all fall down. Mr Specualtion has been replaced by Mr Tipped as he tips five Ministers . [i]Promotion looms for Combet and Shorten , Samatha Maiden, SMH[/i] FUTURE leadership rivals Greg Combet and Bill Shorten will be promoted in a Cabinet reshuffle Prime Minister Julia Gillard is finalising over the weekend [b]Senior government sources [/b]have confirmed the reshuffle is now expected to be more significant than originally thought, prompting warnings that Ms Gillard should be careful that the changes don't simply reward those who plotted against her predecessor, Kevin Rudd. Five ministers - Attorney-General Robert McClelland, Health Minister Nicola Roxon, Workplace Relations Minister Chris Evans, Mr Combet and Schools Minister Peter Garrett, who flew into Canberra yesterday - [b]were tipped for possible moves[/b] [b]Ms Roxon is tipped [/b]to be moved to Attorney-General. The Sunday Herald Sun exclusively revealed in November that Ms Gillard was being urged to reshuffle Cabinet to shore up her leadership, with Mr Shorten set to be moved in. [b]Mr Shorten is tipped [/b]to take Workplace Relations from Senator Evans. [b]A wildcard option [/b]would be to put him into the Education portfolio Immigration Minister Chris Bowen also wants to switch but it is not clear that he will be moved. Mr Combet, the Climate Change Minister, [i]is expected [/i]to be rewarded with a more senior Cabinet role after negotiating the carbon tax. This would elevate Mr Combet over his Left faction colleague, the Industry Minister and Victorian senator Kim Carr, in seniority. Human Services Minister Tanya Plibersek and Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor were other potential candidates for elevation to Cabinet. Mr McClelland [b]is expected [/b]to quit. Superannuation Minister Nick Sherry [b]is believed [/b]to have told the PM he is ready to move. Ms Gillard declined to rule out changes, saying: "I have a good team." Anyone got any tips????? :):):):):):):):):):)


11/12/2011PatriciaWA Thank you for your reminder of the September 2010 article 'The Great Unhinging' by Possum and alerting us to his latest one, 'Australian Exceptionalism'. I have just re-read the earlier one and read the second one. His first one was spot on and his second one right on the money. I am delighted yet again by your poetry. You have distilled both of Possum's articles so rhythmically well. I agree with FS that you should send it to Possum. (psst.there are a couple of little typos to attend to first) I could not resist some quotable quotes from both articles by Possum. ‘The Independents will be targeted in a way they are probably not prepared for – they will be demeaned, ridiculed and treated with contempt, where their honourable characters will be distorted into debased caricatures.’ ‘It will not just be a campaign against the government, but one rolling, frenzied campaign after another, where each new contrived outrage will assume a greater level of mania than the last.’ ‘..the attraction of flicking the switch to rhetorical overdrive for effect, and righteous indignation to incite their masses, will simply be too great. No distortion will be too large, no lie too audacious, no accusation too brazen.’ ‘This term looks to be the most policy rich in a generation – the NBN, health reform, a tax summit, campaign funding reform, federal whistleblower protection, a Parliamentary Budget Office and a proper review of climate change policy to name but a few – yet while this incredible agenda with its long, far reaching consequences for the nation will be on the table, there will be one side of politics and one wing of the media doing its best to turn it all into a complete and utter circus.’ [b]Let the Great Unhinging begin.[/b] September 8, 2010 – 8:56 am, by Possum Comitatus ‘So this is our economic reality – we are the wealthiest nation in the world with 75.5% of our adult population making it into the global top 10%, our economy has grown faster than nearly all others (certainly faster than all other developed countries), our household income growth has been one of the fastest in the world (including our poor having income growth larger than everyone else’s rich!), we have the highest minimum wages in the world, the third lowest debt and the 6th lowest taxes in the OECD and are ranked 2nd on the United Nations Human Development Index.’ [b]Australian Exceptionalism. [/b] December 8, 2011 – 5:22 pm, by Possum Comitatus

Patricia WA

11/12/2011Casablanca - I can usually pick my typos etc. Can't see these - are they punctuation - I'm always having to toss up between a comma and a full stop. It's very late - I'd appreciate your telling me. I've hesitated about sending it to Possum because I thought the last line needed more oomph, so the delay gives me a chance to somehow give it a bit more gravitas. I'll sleep on it, maybe I'll see those typos in the morning - unless you've helped me out by then! Good night.

Patricia WA

11/12/2011So, now let’s end the great unhinging, Remind ourselves when we start whingeing, Our health and wealth are counted awesome According to the prophet Possum. OR With health and wealth now counted awesome, It's time to heed the prophet, Possum, To put away our woes and whingeing, Time to end the great unhinging.


11/12/2011Talk Turkey and Lyn I cracked up laughing, you two make a great comedy duo. :-) Patricia I liked your last ending, but hey that's just me. I have admired Possum for his astuteness. He, and many other bloggers including our very own Ad Astra, just put the MSM to shame. How high would Australia's wellbeing numbers be if that standard was the norm? Feral Skeleton You do sound tired. Sorry to hear about your affected tooth and hope that works out well for you. Maybe that has a lot to do with your lack of 'energy' re politics. I missed all the Conference and the bits I saw on the news, I thought Julia gave a good sensible speech from the little I heard. Ah well, as you were there I guess you have a better feeling for it. DMWeir Congratulations on becoming a grandfather. I'm sure you will enjoy every minute of it.