Monster Mayhem

At one time, the plutocrat, Victor R Murdochstein, was very proud of the Monster he had created. Undoubtedly, It had served him well by opposing everything that would threaten his interests and moneymaking schemes.



But Victor has had an epiphany, or, the more cynical would say, realises his Monster has outlived Its usefulness and is now more a liability than an asset.

So, due to collusion between the Monster and many of Victor’s underlings he has decided to personally hunt down his malevolent Creation and eradicate It before Its nefarious practices pull down the very edifice of his long-established enterprise.

But, the Monster is not going to give in easily. It has a mind of Its own and is firmly galvanised in Its determination to carry on with Its wrecking career, in spite of Its disillusioned creator’s attempts to track It down and dismember It once and for all.

So, Victor’s odyssey to track down the Monster has now extended to the now-watery reaches of the Arctic Ocean, to the north of Canada and Alaska.

In that region, moreover, Captain Robert Walton has been plying his trade now for many years. He used to operate cargo ships on the Eastern Seaboard routes of North America until the radical changes in climate caused the ice to the north of the continent to melt. Today, even in wintertime, the now sub-tropical waters of the North-West Passage would make a tourist think they were dabbling their pinkies at the Copacabana.

So, Capt Walton now operates in the very lucrative NW Passage trade between St John’s, Newfoundland and Anchorage, Alaska. However, things have not been going so well up there lately. A spate of shipwrecking has been reported, which, due to climate change, cannot be explained by them hitting icebergs. Rumours abound about a marauding creature terrorising the region, some even saying it’s their aqueous equivalent of Bigfoot or the Abominable Snowman.

This particular evening, Capt Walton is on the bridge of his cargo ship, just as the Sun is setting. Further out on the horizon, however, he notices a jet ski moving away at great speed. “Hmmm...funny that”, he mutters to his First Mate, “Sailor” Seamus. “That person on the jet ski seems very peculiar...in fact, he is the most horrible-looking individual I have ever clapped eyes on”.

Anyway, Capt Walton retires below deck for some chow, but, he has no sooner tied his linen napkin around his neck, ready to tuck into a nice big T-bone steak, when he gets a message from Seamus that some of the crew have just found the wreckage of what looks like a luxury yacht and fished a near-dead survivor out of the water. The message also informs him that the survivor is a well-known celebrity, so he better come quick.

Walton rushes upstairs and views the unfortunate wretch lying on his front with a crew member trying to push the sea-water out of his congested lungs. After a few moments, the man stirs somewhat, so he is turned over and given mouth-to-mouth. Walton can now see his face, and immediately recognises him as Victor R Murdochstein, the famous plutocrat.

The Captain orders some of the crew to carry the near-to-death Victor to his cabin, where at least he will be more comfortable. They do so, and retire, leaving Walton and Seamus alone with the virtually lifeless Victor. After a short while in the relative comfort of the Captain’s quarters, Victor begins to stir and show some signs of life. However, he still looks more dead than alive.

Walton: Easy, there, Mr Murdochstein...just rest yourself and tell us what happened when you get a bit of your strength back...

Victor (coughing): But...but...but...I don’t think I’ve got long to go...I can see a light and it’s calling me towards it...

Walton: There, there, old chap...just take it easy...Maybe you could summon up enough strength to tell us something of your story...

[Victor then begins a strange confession that is so blood curdling, it would make the Ba Ba Blacksheep nursery rhyme sound like the director’s cut of Joe Hockey’s first budget as Treasurer.]

Victor (weakly): Yes...it was a long time ago...but I can remember the events of It’s creation like it was just yesterday...Before I created It, however, I had traversed the country-side searching for all the diabolical spare parts which I would require in It’s manufacture...First, I searched for a heart – I was looking for the blackest, most despicable cardiac organ I could find – to pump its evil blood around its disgusting mal-formed body...

[Whilst listening to the near-dead plutocrat’s recount of these strange events, Walton and Seamus have contrasting reactions to the old man’s fevered descriptions of the Monster’s genesis. For his part, Walton assumes that Murdochstein is delirious, having exhausted himself trying to stay afloat in the water.

Seamus, on the other hand, thinks there might be something to it all. After all, before running off to sea as a lad, he had been reared in a rural Irish setting, where tales of leprechauns and banshees were readily believed by the inhabitants of such a traditional society. And, to complement Seamus’ natural openness to things supernatural, he also has a typically disarming Irish sense of humour.]

Seamus: Well, speaking of disgusting hearts, Mr Murdochstein, our ship’s chef serves them up to us on a regular basis...He says they are fillet steaks, but we know he pilfers them from the offal cart at the Anchorage abattoir...heh...heh...

[Victor ignores Seamus’ flippancy and continues with his outrageous tale.]

Victor: So...I finally found the blackest heart imaginable, discarded in a wheelie-bin at the back of the tally-room in Bennelong in 2007...

Seamus: Yeah, now that you mention it, I remember the guy who owned that heart – the Beast of Bennelong they called him – I hope you got his eyebrows too – now they were scary!

[The dying plutocrat confirms that, indeed, he did acquire the eyebrows, and continues on with the mind-boggling story of the Daemon’s creation.]

Victor: And then I had to search for a brain for my Fiend...but, to be truthful, it wouldn’t have to be very big as It would never need to be very intelligent...So, I went along as an observer to the Nomination Contest for the Republican Party’s candidates for the next Presidential election and, whilst listening to a “speech” by a candidate from Wasilla, Alaska, and munching on a free packet of peanuts, I put one in my pocket, realising my search for a suitable brain was over.

To view the following YouTube clip, click the link below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zz4YHcqXNHI&feature=related

Seamus: I hope you got the glasses as well...hee...hee...

Victor: The next part of my Wretch’s anatomy I searched for was its backside...

Seamus: Ewww...that must have been a bit of a bummer...heh...heh...

Victor: Yes, I ended up having to travel to the morgue at Taronga Zoo for that one...The last remaining Black Bear in the whole world had been kept there for years and had finally passed away from old age...So I got the morgue people to chop up its carcass and give me the backside...

Seamus: So that’s how your Monster got its great big black hole, then! Wow!

Victor: I then started my search for legs for my Daemon...But, in the end, I had to be satisfied with only being able to find one...

Seamus: Oh, why was that?

Victor: Well, I paid an after-hours visit to the charnel-house at the Canberra WorkChoices Workhouse and came across the one-legged corpse of a Public Service inmate whose working conditions had been so bastardised, she died of malnutrition...

Seamus: Yuk! And what happened to her other leg?

Victor: Oh, she lost that to the Joe Hockey Public Service cuts, so my Monster has a prosthetic instead...

[Just then, due to his weakened state from being so long in the water, and from the exertions from telling his story, Victor coughs up more brine. But, in spite of looking like he is finally close to death’s door, he proceeds to unburden his conscience over his role in creating the Monster. He carries on with his outlandish tale.]

Victor: Next, I sought after a hard hind, so that my Creature would be able to withstand any attempts by rivals to stab him in the back...So, after a leadership spill, I rummaged through the bins at the rear of the Federal Liberal Party Headquarters and found the discarded carapace of a giant cockroach...

Seamus: Jeeze! If you got its eyes as well, your Monster sounds like its stark-staring mad...heh...heh...

[And on and on Victor went with his account of the creation of his Fiend. He related how the raked through the bins at the back of a barber’s shop and provided It with hair that was a combination of Donald Trump’s comb-over and Bronny’s bee-hive. And It was provided with the cancer-ridden lungs of the deceased Chairman of the SCAM (“Smoking Cures All Maladies”) Tobacco Co, who had, during the tenure of his office, contributed vast sums of money to the coffers of the Liberal Party.

Walton, however, is still sceptical and believes that Murdochstein, whilst close to death, is delirious and has imagined all this monster-creating claptrap.

Then, suddenly, Victor’s breathing starts to resemble a death rattle. Very quickly, his life expires and Walton pulls the sheet up over his face. He orders Seamus to go up to the communications room and inform the authorities of what has transpired. Meanwhile, Walton says a quiet prayer for the repose of the soul of the now-deceased plutocrat.

But, he is no sooner finished his spiritual supplication when the door to his cabin is thrust aggressively open. Walton, thinking it is Seamus returning, turns around to listen to his report. However, instead of seeing Seamus standing in the doorway, Walton witnesses an apparition of the most horrible, quasi-human form that could ever be imaged. He realises now that the Monster is real and has come here to kill the master that turned his back on It.]

Walton (stammering with fear): Yuh...yuh...you’re too late...there’s nothing more you can do to him...he’s already dead!

“It”: Yeah...shit happens...

[With this, the Monster turns on Its one heel and leaves. A few seconds later, looking out of one of his cabin’s portholes, Walton sees the Fiend jumping back on its ramshackle jet ski, which had been leaking fuel into the surrounding water. Then, with a tremendous burst of flame, the leaking fuel has somehow been set alight, engulfing the Monster and Its jet-ski in a conflagration which now resemble a funeral pyre.

Walton rushes up on deck but can do nothing for the Monster as the twisted frame of the jet ski and the charred corpse of the Creature are all that remain. Meanwhile, Seamus is nonchalantly leaning over the guardrail with what seems to be a smirk on his face.]

Seamus: Y’know something, Captain...as my old mammy ironically used to say, “you live by the fags, you die by the fags”...These cigarettes, therefore, are a killer...I’ll have to give them up one day...heh...heh...

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TalkTurkey

20/08/2011Thank you AC, You put me in mind of the Monster from the Black Lagoon . . . and Rocky Horror . . . and THEM! . . . and all that intellectual genre . . . :) . . . And proceeding from your own aweful movie to being in deadly earnest,( who can remember him eh, come on then? ;-), we are going to need more than a coup de grace with all our nice clean Swords put together to bring an end to the Hydra-zombie-vampire Thing that is firstly and predominantly Murdochstein's monster, but whose evil like the bite of Dracula takes root and flourishes everywhere he has brought under his influence - and that is [i]almost everywhere[/i]. Even the most rigorous journalists of The Age can become infected with it, well nearly all, (tips hat to Ms LT.) Murdoch has set up his empire to be undead for as long and as far as he can reach even from beyond his tomb, in Australia, in America and Europe, and Oh how clever was that to take to wife a Chinese who controls the Orientical tentacle! Swords, and sharpened stakes, flaming torches, silver bullets, garlands of garlic, it's going to take everything we can muster to turn the Beast to dust. And they all have to be [i]metaphorical[/i], for the alternative is [i]literal[/i], as in Oslo and the USA (multiple choice!), Benazir Bhutto or Salvador Allende, or Aung San Suu Kyi (sp?) for that matter. Well it can't happen here, of course . . . Just be very aware that this is not just about phone hacking, (as saying Sorry to Indigenes isn't just about the Stolen Generation, it's about stolen [i]everything[/i]): this is about [i]mass manipulation of political outcomes and world order by the cynical deliberate carefully-crafted assault on honest careful journalism by one power-mad madman.i] I think Murdoch is the most evil bastard this world has EVER seen. His game is promoting conflict and human suffering in megabites, as in Dracula, on a scale beyond Caesar or Napoleon or Hitler, because [i]this[/i] evil bastard really [i]does[/i] have a plan for a thousand-year Reich, - though he is instead bringing the world ever closer to the stinking sulphurous bottomless pit of oblivion and lifelessness, no empty metaphor I dread to say. He seeks to control the [i]minds[/i] of [i]everyone in the universe[/i], a real-life Sauron or Darth Vader. Imagine that! He really is like that, and he really is very bloody close to achieving it too! His death alone will not of itself bring about the annihilation of his Vempire. It will live on wherever there is gossip and innuendo and all other forms of skewed information masquerades in public media as truth, where events are spun as important or unimportant or truth or lie or existent or nonexistent at the whim of editors. Through Murdoch it has become as acclimatised to the world as calthrops and cane toads are to this country. [If you don't know Calthrops, the weed, take my word, you will learn to feel almost friendly to dear little old 3-Cornered Jacks after you have stepped on a Calthrops bare-footed.] Murdoch should be made to walk across broad acres of Calthrops (TT fantasizes . . . ) And then James heh heh . . . They're going to take some turning to dust though . . . So when your Vorpal Sword you take, Don't forget your sharpened stake!

Feral Skeleton

20/08/2011Good Morning guys, Here's the Australia-PNG Asylum Seeker Agreement: http://www.minister.immi.gov.au/media/media-releases/_pdf/20110819-aust-png-mou.pdf

Feral Skeleton

20/08/2011This is why the Coalition's attempts to convince Australians that they only need a maximum of 25mbps for their internet speed is a massive con by the Con-servatives: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/click_online/9566689.stm

jj

20/08/2011Ha ha, Manus Island agreement nothing more than an understanding between two countries that they will work to do something about reopening the detention centre... no dates, no costs etc etc. Anyway, how does opening PNG detention centre fit with all of you lefties argument that Naru is a bad solution because almost all of the refugees ended up in Australia anyway? Isnt the same thing going to happen here? But i suppose that is ok by you guys because it is a Labor initiative, and all Labor initiatives are sanctified by God. More allegations today that put Craig Thomson in even deeper water: "EMBATTLED Labor MP Craig Thomson's claim another union official repaid $15,000 in escort agency bills charged to the MP's credit card is in doubt amid assertions no such payment was made. A former senior Health Services Union official has told The Daily Telegraph the only person who paid back $15,000 to the union in recent years was former Victorian state secretary Jeff Jackson - and that had nothing to do with prostitutes. The revelation comes as a former Australian Taxation Office official predicted Mr Thomson would face an investigation into his finances. When questioned on radio earlier this month over the use of prostitute services on his union credit card, Mr Thomson said: "The union reached a settlement with another gentleman who paid back $15,000 in relation to the use of credit cards at an escort agency. "I don't know whether he forged my signature or who did," he told 2UE.The former senior union official said yesterday: "The only $15,000 I know about was $15,000 Jeff Jackson agreed to pay back ... over him authorising himself a wage increase." Mr Thomson issued a "no comment" yesterday when asked about the payment. Mr Jackson is understood to have settled with the union over wage increases which he allegedly issued himself without authorisation. He maintained the increases were legitimate but was said to have not wanted to fight the matter in court. Mr Jackson was also accused in 2009 of credit card payments to the agency but strenuously denied the allegations." Daily telegraph I can see however that none of you guys want to talk about it! I am sure that if this scandal was on the Coalitions side you would be crying foul every single day. It just shows how ridiculously one sided this blog is.

Gravel

20/08/2011Acerbic Conehead Another fantastic piece of satire (although too close to the truth), to go into the National Archives. Thank you.

D Mick Weir

20/08/2011Good Morning jj, how nice of you to pop in and claim a victory for common sense with your comment. You have obviously missed the robust debate that has been had here around the asylum seeker and supposedly illegal boat arrivals in which you did not offer an opinion. With regard to the allegations against Mr Thomson I don't find it a high order issue for discussion. I will make the observation that there are no current police inquiries into the alleged wrong doings of Mr Thomson and have to wonder why. If the allegations are as bad as some wish to paint them are the police being derelict in their duty in not investigating and proceeding toward charges. Another observation is that it just goes to show that the our elected representatives are are a reflection of our broader society in that we have alleged rorters and alleged shoplifters representing us. What a wonderful thing an elected democratic parliament is.

Feral Skeleton

20/08/2011Of course jj casually omitted any reference to 'Light Fingers' Fisher. Wouldn't do to taint the smear on Craig Thomson with a fact or two that reflects just as poorly on the Liberal Party, if not more so because said alleged offence occurred whilst said 'Light Fingers' Fisher was a member of the current parliament and it involves assault of a security officer just trying to do their job; or the fact that the Liberals are already laying the groundwork for her to plead a sleazy, Andrew Robb, Jeff Kennett-backed(hmm, both Liberals,what a surprise) case of 'Depression-induced' Shoplifting and Assault. Anyway, I would have thought that Mr Sock in his Jocks Abbott would have been more than ready to empathise with another highly-testosteroned male. Oh well, I always thought he was a limp sock.

2353

20/08/2011Breaking my policy of not answering trolls - don't you reckon if there was any new evidence of Craig Thompson committing an illegal act - the media would have the new evidence all over their front pages? From my quick examination this morning they don't. Don't you think that if Abbott's LNP parliamentarians were all as pure as the driven snow, they would be milking this for what it's worth? They're not. Remember "Utegate" - the definitive proof that Rudd misused is authority to gain favours for a mate who lent him a ute? While I don't know if this case has the same creditability, the opposition's rather lacklustre attack suggests there is either skeletons in their closet they don't want to expose to the publics scrutiny or there really is no news here except a case of a Union Official (with suspect "mates") who got taken down a peg a few years ago and doesn't know when to shut up. In any event JJ - let those without sin cast the first stone - something that clearly hasn't happened here.

Feral Skeleton

20/08/2011Might I also add that BSDs like jj(or should that be Little Teeny Weiners? ;-) ), and the rest of the Liberal & National Parties want to surf into power off the back of opprobrium towards the party they are in competition against, and without letting on to the electorate what their real agenda for the country is, and with a policy platform as insubstantial as a 3-legged chair made out of fairy floss, as opposed to winning an electoral contest on the merits. And they have figured out just the right way to brainwash the electorate into believing their BS too. I mean, really, their hypocrisy knows no bounds, being as they are the only political party in the federal parliament with an an MP up before the beak on actual criminal charges. But no, some hanky-panky spanky performed by someone, and we still do not know exactly who yet, in close proximity to Craig Thomson, maybe even Craig himself, though he does deny it, and, having met him I know that he is not so stupid as to keep denying it publically with all the consequences that that entails, is cause for more confected outrage from the Coalition and their camp followers like jj, than Alexander Downer decrying disbelievers in Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. As my old mum would say, 'The Coalition have a hide thicker than Jessie.'

D Mick Weir

20/08/2011FS are you being a tiny bit too harsh on poor jj? After all s/he takes her/his cues from such esteemed sources as the Tele and they may not have mentioned the other allegations. Far be it for me to critcise jj for being unable to think for her/himself as it would be a little bit of 'pot and kettle' if I did. :) I will cut jj a bit of slack if only for the (very) slight amount of entertainment s/he offers.

Feral Skeleton

20/08/2011Might I also note that LTW jj also appears to have read the first line only of the MOU between PNG and Australia wrt to Irregular Boat Arrivals Seeking Asylum. He appears, therefore, to have based his spewy spray upon his own foetid imaginings of the undertaking. He also appears to have missed this part of the MOU: [quote]'That any arrangements should seek to undermine the People Smuggling model and create disincentives for irregular travel, including through possible transfer and readmission arrangements, in appropriate circumstances.'[/quote] Which sort of suggests to me that these Asylum Seekers will also be subject to a transfer arrangement such as applies with Malaysia. So, they won't be coming to Australia, like they would with the Liberal Party's 'Pacific Solution' incorporating a holiday for a couple of years in Club Med Nauru. I could go on, but you can read the document for yourself. Basically, it suggests to me that PNG want to be a part of a Regional Solution incorporating an Assessment Centre and Transfer arrangements for 3rd country Asylum Seekers.

Feral Skeleton

20/08/2011DMW, The Daily Telegraph's attack on the Carbon Tax hasn't worked, so this must be Plan B. Pretty threadbare and hypocritical in the extreme when you take into account 'Light Fingers' in the Senate. Just like LTW jj's posts, though.

jj

20/08/2011FS, There is no regional solution so the only place these people can go in the end is Australia. And anyway, if Malaysia is such a fantastic solution than why would we be increasing our capacity even further? Doesnt it suggest to you that the Government doesnt hold much hope for the Malaysia deal. As for Thomson and Mary, If you want to understand why the Coalition is going slowly slowly with poor Craig than read Laurie Oakes's piece. Just because there has not been a police investigation yet does not mean that there wont be one very soon. You will see, there will be more that will come out in the next few weeks with regards to this matter, but the Coalition just wants to 'do the Labor Party slowly'. i mean if you were in their position wouldnt you want this scandal to inflict as much damage on you opponents as possible? As for Mary, I think you should read a little bit further into her personal explanation for the event and the commentary surrounding it before you start comparing her actions to those of Thomson. Fischer has been suffering from depression, as has been known by all of her parliamentary colleagues and journos- and she has owned up to what she did and apologized for her actions. On the other hand Thomson has stated that all of the evidence that implicates him is false, and by the looks of things, it seems as though he is lying. The two cases are very different, and i think you should tread a little more lightly around the Fischer case as there is an unfortunate explanation for her actions.

Michael

20/08/2011Bad Abbott for Saturday Whatever the wash-up is of the Craig Thomson imbroglio, isn't it typical of Tiny to try and make the Prime Minister the 'villain' here, with his "the PM must tell us what she knew when" approach? By using his smarmy tone, Pardoner-pastoral face and phrasing, Shouldabeen is virtually insinuating that the PM was a party to all the events being trotted out by the Fairfax Press as the history of Thomson's involvement. It's an old debating trick to try and paint a leader with the actions or statements of someone junior. Of course, when Matthias Corman or Cory Bernardi or Sophie Mirabella comes out with any old racist tosh, or unsubstantiated claims are hurled around in Senate committees by the likes of Chris Back, Tiny is not held to 'is this the party's policy?' confirmation of what he knew was to be said and when he knew it would be. In a case like the Thomson one he puts on the face they teach in Seminary 101, the concerned and considered appearance of pastoral care for a wandering soul, when it is a recorded statement of every day political intention by him to always put pragmatism first. Mind you, the fact that he seems to be, comparatively, tip-toeing around this whole story, suggests that there might be a skeleton or two rattling around in his Shadow Cabinet he doesn't want any gee-whiz boy reporters searching out. Or is it no more than that he doesn't want voters reminded too often about that $700,000 home mortgage of his? The one with the details he was a little slow in placing on the register of parliamentarians' financial interests? Tardier even than Craig Thomson entering information about the payment of his legal bills.

D Mick Weir

20/08/2011As I suspected jj is buying the depression defence for the poor put upon senator. Depression has become the 'ailment dejour'. Where once the bu@@ered back was an excuse now it is the bu@@ered brain. I guess there are many in the opposition who are still suffering from depression because they haven't been installed into their rightful place as the governing party. Sad that it appears that the electorate will endorse a bunch of manic depressives to lead the country to nowheresville.

D Mick Weir

20/08/2011Heard something on the radio the other day about a defence lawyer saying to a mgistrate saying to the magistrate that their client should be treated leniently because their client was suffering from depression. The magistrate said something like '... it is hardly surprising that your client is feeling depressed when they face a lengthy custodial sentence for their crimes ...' Is it surprising that the senator is suffering from depression when she faces career ending charges? On the other side being the humanitarians that they are in Her Majesties Loyal Opposition they will find it in their hearts to vote in favour of bostering the budget to improve mental health services in this country now that they realise that even true blue blooded liberals can suffer from depression.

Patricia WA

20/08/2011FS, a late catching up on my reading tells me you've been where I remember once having been so often. So much to do and so much done about which one suddenly has retrospective doubts because of the rush. As well there are other people to take care of. Then there's that addiction to caffeine and chocolate, often a lifeline when under pressure but then a killer when it somehow takes control and starts to pull one under! Amazing, isn't it? Not booze or heroin, but chocolate! Hang in there! Well, as everyone else at TPS has said, hang in here! We need you. One small reservation I have about your comment on the Mary Jo Fisher issue. In this case I don't love the offender but I do have some understanding of the crime, having come across shop-lifting in the past amongst affluent people. It really does seem to have some connection with depression rather than greed and criminality. She is such an unlovely creature too, it's hardly surprising there would be some repressed inner turmoil there. Mind you, so many of the women (and men!) in the Coalition are such unlovely people that it's surprising they aren't all suffering from clinical depression! What joyless lives they all lead! I think Greg Hunt can be seen to be diminishing by the day since he threw in his lot with Abbott and 'sceptics' of the Liberal Party. As if I needed it I was reminded just now by a link from Pip at Cafe Whispers of what a truly unpleasant human being Tony Abbott has always been known to be! This is the man who has been elected by the Opposition as its leader and whom they hope will be represent our country to the world!http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/07/17/1089694611874.html Suitability for high office? Surely a case can be made out to question Abbott's!

TalkTurkey

20/08/2011Patricia WA said "Amazing, isn't it? Not booze or heroin, but chocolate!" Well not really. Chocolate contains mind-altering substances called anandamides, so called because ananda means joy in (?)Hindi. Happy stuff. We mustn't call Chocolate a Drug though, as is likewise the case with Alcohol and Nicotine, (though they don't contain anandamides, their actions are different, and a lot nastier.) "See, they are all [i]legal[/i], they're not really [i]drugs[/i], they're, er, well, not like [i]illegal[/i] drugs are drugs, the difference, er, well, one's illegal and the others aren't for a start . . . " The chief anandamide of all, the one used for longest too, is found primarily in a substance that dare not speak its name here, not that I'd know its name anyway. It was the first substance known to contain anandamides, Chocky was found to contain similar but rather less active substances later. ;-) As far as I know, as far as is known, anandamides are essentially harmless. Some offer major benefits to mankind. So have a great weekend Swordsfolks, but if anybody offers you Drugs just say [b][i]NO NO NO NO NO![/i][/b] Don't listen to John lennon when he says http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBUFV2c_vcU

jj

20/08/2011D Mick Weir, I cannot believe what you have just written about depression! The attitude that you have just shown towards the condition is that of someone from the 1960s who would have people that are suffering from a serious illness such as this thrown into the looney bin with Billy Bibbit and Chief Bromden from One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest! What an absurd and disgusting comment to make. Obviously you have not had the unpleasant experience of seeing someone suffer from such an illness and the unexpected changes in behavior it has on such a person. I have seen someone with depression have total mental breakdowns at times, leading to them committing acts and saying things that they regret in the future! But no, their serious illness should be treated as nothing more than an excuse! How disgusting! Why do you think the Government has increased funding to mental health? What, are you saying that the government is wasting its money on people who are nothing more than excuse givers! The reason the commentariat and the politicians have been so quiet about Fischer is because they understand the troubles she has (which are of a serious nature) and respect that it should be left up to her and the police to deal with the consequences. Thomson is a totally different case, and deep down Dick, through those multi-layered Labor Party skins, that somehow keep your conscience from exploding from contradictions and hypocrisy, you know that! You are disgusting!

Jason

20/08/2011jj, I think you should just give up! Mary Jo is a "Barrister" by trade, and "should know better" and weather she had "Depression" or not is neither here nor there!She was Charged and she will front the courts. Mr Thomson on the other hand, whilst he may be stupid that as far as I know is not a crime! jj a defence lawyer you ain't!you opened your big mouth being the smart arse that you are, only to have it blow up in your face! jj I also note on wikipedia she was a Senior Adviser to Reith! Speaks for it's self really.

jj

20/08/2011Gee Jason, i wonder if it was a Labor senator that had depression and as a result committed a crime that is as a result of a mental break down whether your total disregard for all of the work that has been done on those with depression to show that it can have all sorts of behavioral effects that would usually be considered way out of the norm? I am sure it will, as that is how your sick and twisted minds work. I will give you a little legal explanation: for Mary to be found guilty there must be proof that she was of guilty mind (mens rea) at the time the criminal act was committed (actus reus). Now there are clear links, as i have mentioned, between un-treated depression and causes in radical changes in behavior. if this is the case, then she would have to be considered as not having been of 'guilty mind' at the time of the act and therefore there would be no conviction. It doesnt matter which side of politics she is on or who she worked for previously. Does she have a history of committing such acts? No. Is this sort of behavior out of the ordinary? Yes. The we should be supporting her and her condition rather than doing what you are doing which is really just gutter Labor stuff. No wonder your party has lost it with people like you as its supporters! And thank god none of you are judges: Judge Jason: and what political party do you support? Accused: the Liberal Party. Judge Jason: Guilty! Life sentence! You are pathetic.

Jason

20/08/2011jj, And thank god none of you are judges: Judge Jason: and what political party do you support? Accused: the Liberal Party. Judge Jason: Guilty! Life sentence! June 22, 2011 THE magistrate Brian Maloney has pleaded against his dismissal from judicial office, asking MPs in the NSW upper house to support him in a fight against the stigma of mental illness.http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/fight-mental-health-stigma-maloney-tells-mps-20110621-1gdjy.html Posted June 15, 2011 18:40:00 A Sydney magistrate has asked New South Wales MPs not to discriminate against her because of mental illness. Magistrate Jennifer Betts is only the second judge in the state's history to be invited to address the Upper House on a disciplinary matter.http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-06-15/magistrate-fights-for-job-after-behaviour-review/2759440

Patricia WA

20/08/2011DMW and Jason, sorry I missed your comments before going ahead with mine on depression. I'm not sure where the courts are on depression as a plea these days. Fisher, as I said, is such an unlovely creature I'd normally be delighted to have her tried and locked up for any crime! But I like to think we on the left err on the side of humanity when judging others. Maybe it's a weakness we have. Reminds me of some thoughts I had about the Coalition's surprising push for more funding for mental health during the election campaign last July <b> Beyond Blue</b> Perhaps it isn’t so surprising When Julia Gillard’s stocks are rising, That Abbott, whom we always thought was mad, In case election loss leaves him and others sad, Is doing everything he knows is possible To make sure there is a place in hospital For anyone and everyone who’s blue. Why them? Not those of any other hue? Of course not! They're the ones who'll need a bed. The cheerful ones will all be red. Wish I could be that light hearted about it all now. Surely they are all so crazy with rage and resentment about that loss one or more of them will crack soon. Perhaps Fisher is the first? Pity hers is a Senate seat and not one of their metropolitan marginals where the sight of a motorcade of mad pastoralists protesting about their live cattle exports and against the NBN could give Labor a lift. Any chance of that at all?

Ad astra reply

20/08/2011Patricia WA Thank you for your comments and your link to the [i]SMH[/i] article, which is highly relevant to the piece for next week that I have been working on this afternoon: [i]The worst Opposition Leader in Australian political history[/i]. Jason and DMW Thank you for taking the trouble to respond to jj. I admire your patience. Michael Tiny Abbott is a past master at laying off blame, especially to his enemies.

Feral Skeleton

20/08/2011jj, Purely hypothetically, but say Craig Thomson (in your wildest dreams),'comes clean' and admits that, yes, it was him that needed 'Stress Relief' from his Depression, courtesy of the ladies of the night. Would your boundless sympathy for anyone with Depression extend to Mr Thomson too?

Feral Skeleton

20/08/2011DMW, Working for Peter Reith would be enough to make anyone depressed. :D However, I'm sure that, once a suitable beak is found for her case, and he/she lets Mary Jo off with a stern talking to and a whipping with a suitably limp lettuce leaf, or Tony Abbott's limp sock, then, no doubt, Mary Jo will, as if touched by the Hand of God himself, be miraculously cured of her Depression. Whereupon, she will entertain us all with a jig, or an encore rendition of the Hokey Pokey.

Feral Skeleton

20/08/2011Look, jj, I understand, I shouldn't have been so harsh. If I had been given a name almost as bad as 'Gidget', I'd be depressed too. And, please excuse my overlooking of the fact that a Liberal with Depression is worth 100x anyone else afflicted with the malady, and deserving of such sympathy as to pardon them from any crime as a result.

Jason

20/08/2011Feral, I wonder if the next person, you know the type unemployed drug addicted etc, to face the same beak will be as fortunate? or could they get a stiffer sentence?

Patricia WA

20/08/2011Jason, you remind me of those other shop lifters in London recently! Looters, I'm sorry! None of them could have the excuse of depression, could they? Sheer criminality! One young woman got six months imprisonment, not for stealing, but for receiving a stolen pair of shorts! And Prime Minister, David Cameron, who used to run riot smashing up restaurants as young a toff undergraduate member of the Bullingdon Club, along with Boris Johnson, now Mayor of London, is totally unsympathetic. He's even encouraging local councils to evict the parents of kids caught up in the riots! British Justice?

jj

20/08/2011FS, No, sympathies would not go to Thomson, because he has tried to cover it up by lying. On the other hand, Mary Jo has a admitted to her mistakes.

D Mick Weir

20/08/2011[b]jj @ 4:27 PM[/b] [i]D Mick Weir ... You are disgusting![/i] [b]jj @ 5:26 PM[/b] [i]Gee Jason, ... ... You are pathetic.[/i] jj, now I am depressed, how is that I only rate as disgusting and Jason gets to be labeled pathetic. While I may completely resemble your assertion that I am disgusting I demand a reassessment from your most highly valued self so that you also find me pathetic otherwise you may cause me to suffer from an even more severe bout of depression and I may not be responsible for some of the things that I may type when I become more depressed by not achieving pathetic status from you, the most esteemed assessor of character. Please assess me as pathetic as, you oh esteemed one, assess Jason.

Jason

20/08/2011jj, The old "Drunks defence" is no longer a defence and rightly so! However if I was facing a charge that if convicted would cause me to be sacked I guess I would be depressed as well!

D Mick Weir

20/08/2011FS, you may have saved me. In my deeply depressed state a saw a light. You mentioned extra dark chilli chocolate. Salvation may be at hand I am off to the supermarket to procure several blocks to devour. It is fortunate that being Saturday night there are not too many buses running otherwise I could, in a moment of complete despair at having been slighted by jj, throw myself under one before I got to the chocolate.

Feral Skeleton

20/08/2011DMW, And if you nick the Chocolate, you're covered, as you have made a prior admission of your deep Depression. :D

Feral Skeleton

20/08/2011Ah, now I know what 'jj' stands for, 'judge and jury'. Now, jj, come in little spinner, you have proven the point I was trying to make with consumate ease. See, you're pre-judging Craig Thomson as guilty, and then passing sentence upon him. As in, you would not allow him to make a plea in mitigation of 'Depression' as you have pre-emptively decided he is guilty. However, in the case of 'Light Fingers' Fisher, you are putting the 'Depression' cart before the horse in mitigation of her innocence. That is, because you have decided that her Depression is worthy of your utmost sympathy before the facts of the case are laid out before the judge, therefore you are handing her a reprieve as a result. But, as I said, because you have decided before the facts of any case against Craig Thomson have even reached the Police for consideration, let alone the DPP, or a judge, that, even if he was depressed, because you are sure he is guilty, and all on the basis of reading a newspaper article in The Daily Telegraph of all rags, that therefore means he is unable to use the same defence in mitigation as 'Light Fingers' Fisher. Jeez I hope you're not studying Law at Uni up there in Armidale. Those Scales of Balance would go all one way, and the facts of the matter would never be allowed by you to get in the way of a good lynching.

Feral Skeleton

20/08/2011We all saw this, didn't we? http://darinsullivan.posterous.com/tony-abbotts-brain-scan-goes-public-tw-auspol

Feral Skeleton

20/08/2011Talk Turkey, I don't just eat Chocolate you know. I usually indulge in a line after a nutritious home-cooked meal. :)

Patricia WA

20/08/2011DMW, I knew it was more than politics we had in common! We are all chocoholics. You can recognise us. We don't buy just one bar, but several. We always need more on hand. And, of course, we can never accept a single piece of chocolate from a shared bar unless we know that somewhere nearby there is a whole bar waiting for us to consume alone.

D Mick Weir

20/08/2011In today's Canberra Times Crispin Hull finishes his article with this sentence: [i]In the present climate of an increasingly whingeing, selfish, consumer-oriented, narrow, frightened, non-empathetic Australia, such a prospect is remote.[/i] It is a sad and desparingly true summary of the situation this country is in. We are becoming more and more selfish and more inclined to whinge. Anyway Hull writes an informative piece on the constitutional difficulties around the Commonwealth making laws about marriage. [b]Same-sex marriage raises constitutional questions[/b] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/opinion/editorial/general/samesex-marriage-raises-constitutional-questions/2264870.aspx?storypage=0 I had little idea of the perils that face any federal government in this area.

D Mick Weir

20/08/2011Patricia WA [i]chocoholic[/i] Me? umm, well, err, I can go for several minutes not thinking about the delightful taste of a bit of Old Gold Jamaican.

Jason

20/08/2011Patricia WA, The trouble for me with this Mary Jo matter is! I would have found her story more believable if she had say taken a "leave of absence" while she tried to have her condition treated. It could be argued I suppose that if it was the "depression" that allegedly caused her to "shop lift and assault someone" was she in a fit state to do her job as a Senator? It raises many questions and I hope we get to see how she may have voted on say increasing funding to mental health, or to provide better mental health services to our "boat people" Or is it just an excuse of convenience?

Feral Skeleton

20/08/2011Jason, I'd say it's an excuse of 'Convenience Store'. ;-) Funny, also, that it's only the Conservatives that are allowed to suffer from 'Depression'? As far as I can see it, though, they have merely jumped on it like flys on a bit of meat left out in the sun. It's absolutely unquantifiable, one of the many Doctors in the Liberal Party can certify you as a sufferer, and, with a little treatment you can be back on deck again bigger, better and badder than before, with an added sympathy vote quotient to bandy about as a protective shield that you can wield to deflect the slings and arrows of valid criticism. QED.

Feral Skeleton

20/08/2011Might I also add that I remember the Conservatives weren't very bleedin' sympathetic when Senator Nick Sherry suffered a very public side effect of Depression. Put it about publically they did, though it was from behind hands and whispered in the background, that his attempt to take his life as a result of a particularly virulent attack from the combined forces of Howard Inc. was a sign of 'weakness'. Which is as I was trying to point out to Judge jj. It's always one law for them, and another for everyone else.

Feral Skeleton

20/08/2011DMW, You'll make me want to get out the Cadbury's Drinking Chocolate next! You know I'm sure that Catholicism would have had more adherants if Eve had been tempted by chocolate, as opposed to an apple. We all could have understood her predicament and consequent fall from grace better.

Jason

20/08/2011Feral, No doubt a current affair and Today Tonight will be eagerly waiting to give us all the juicy details, and the shock jocks will no doubt find some way to lay blame at the feet of the Prime Minister, and say it's another reason we should have another election.

Feral Skeleton

20/08/2011DMW, Thank you for the link to the Crispin Hull article. Heavy going for this time of night, and will pay a re-read, but one which gives food for thought as I grapple with this issue myself and attempt to define a way out of the quagmire that it represents in order to keep all sides happy. Ultimately, it should be for the High Court to interpret the contemporary context of the word marriage, as the article explains.

Feral Skeleton

20/08/2011Jason, This is the Full Court Press before the really big deal legislatiion comes into the Spring Session of Parliament. You know, the ones that Tony Abbott's backers don't want passed, like the Climate Change legislation, the MRRT, the Poker Machine changes. Maybe even, if Stephen Conroy grows a pair, some Media Ownership changes.

Feral Skeleton

20/08/2011AcerbicC., You'll like this one from Helishingly on Twitter: [quote]'Jeez I'm an idiot for suffering through the Howard years should have just driven a truck to Canberra.'[/quote]

Patricia WA

20/08/2011You're right, FS. But hasn't Nick Sherry gone well since then? Nothing weak about him and his contribution to public life. Just had a very sad re-visit to the tragedy of Greg Wilton. Re Media Ownership changes do you have the impression that the PM has an agenda in holding off on that? Not scared, but circumspect?

Jason

20/08/2011Who said the coalition can't get anything right? "Queensland's Liberal National Party (LNP) has expelled its candidate for the seat of Cairns, who has been accused of sending an email saying he hopes Prime Minister Julia Gillard "follows the history" of assassinated US president John F Kennedy http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-19/lnp-candidate-expelled-over-email/2847428

BSA Bob

21/08/2011F.S. at 9.48 There is indeed one law for the Liberals & one for everyone else, at least Tony Abbott thinks so & he must be right. In an article on page 2 of today's Oz (little more than a platform for his whinging) he informs us that Julia Gillard "can't run away from reporters..." As you said....

Feral Skeleton

21/08/2011PatriciaWA, Yes, I'd forgotten about Greg Wilton. A very sad incident, indeed, and truly reflective of what evil lurks at the heart of the Coalition. Labor may play some underhanded political games(as in, guess who is rumoured to be behind the leaking of certain material about Craig Thomson to the media? A clue: they have been turfed out of my seat but won't give up their attempts to remain politically powerful on the Central Coast), however, they do not have the actual blood on their hands that the Coalition does.

Feral Skeleton

21/08/2011BSABob, Only one more day until 'The Convoy of Clueless Wonders' hits Canberra! Of course, as with any good Sideshow, to be addressed by the Warm-up acts for the Clueless Wonder Class of 2011. Which would be Sophie Mirabella, Bronwyn Bishop(speaking of Liberals with the mental health issues of others on their hands), that little pipsqueak and Teacher's Pet, Wyatt Roy, and, of course, there's no show without punch drunk Barnaby Joyce. However, what would our very own Political Circus Oz be without it's Ringmaster? Ladeez and Gennellman! The Barking Mad as a cut snake with teeth, Tooonnnyyy Abbott!!!

Feral Skeleton

21/08/2011Jason, Fta: [quote]"It was an attempt to be humorous, nothing more. There was no malice whatsoever meant and the person involved wants to make it known that he intended no offence to the Prime Minister."[/quote] The gutless wonders of the LNP always say that when they get caught out, don't they? 'Oh, it was only an attempt at humour.' Which just proves their sick sense of what is humourous beyond a shadow of a doubt. Also it proves what gutless wonders most of them are that they don't even have the balls to admit they did it and said those things. But then, going by his picture, he does have the doughy face of a girly man, I s'pose.

Feral Skeleton

21/08/2011Anyone notice that when you actually present solid evidence to jj to refute his outlandish claims, quoted verbatim probably from either the Bolt, Akerman or Menzies House blog, that he goes all quiet, doesn't attempt a fact-based refutation, and sleazes back into the conversation some way down the track and only when he has dosed up on his next dose of Labor-villifying, fact-free bile?

jj

21/08/2011FS, You defense of Thomson really is ridiculous. There is no and never has been any mention from he or any of his colleagues that he may be suffering from a mental illness. By reading what has been published in the AFR, SMH and Daily Telegraph yesterday and today i believe Thomson has quite a strong case to answer for. I have not at any stage stated that he was guilty. But what i have said is that if he is found to have committed a crime, than it would be far more serious than Mary Jo because a) there is no sign of mental deficiency or breakdown; and b) he has lied continuously in the public arena in order to cover up what has occurred (with a sane mind). Now i am sure you would like it all just to blow away, but according to Graham Richardson today, there is plenty more still to come out... i would be very worried! How the hell can you get up me for being a narrow reader of current affairs anyway! Look at what you read from Lyn's daily links, just the same old pro Labor stuff, day in day out! I read the AFR, SMH, The Oz, The Drum, Crikey, The Tele and the New York Times. Pretty diverse compared to the crap you guys read.

Feral Skeleton

21/08/2011jj, Aaarrrggghhh!!! I never suggested he was suffering from a mental illness. However, what I did put to you was a hypothesis to test the validity of your argument wrt Mary Jo Fisher. That is, if the shoe were on the other foot and Craig Thomson suggested he was depressed when he committed such a crime as he may be charged with(which hasn't happened as yet, even after 18 months of the issue being extant), then, I asked, what would be your opinion then of using 'Depression' as a legal Defence?

Gravel

21/08/2011Happy Sunday morning everyone. I know no one will be interested, but I started my day by watching The Ghost of Canterville. What a great little move. Margaret O'Brien was only about 6 or 7 at the time, she was a wonderful child actor. Can anyone tell me did she move into adult acting?

Lyn

21/08/2011Good Morning Gravel And a happy Sunday morning to you too. What a lovely refreshing comment you have posted. I don't know about Margaret O'Brien but somebody else might know. Cheers:):):):):):)

Lyn

21/08/2011Hi Ad The Insiders was pretty ordinary, seems Abbott's Stunts are annoying the Media as you predicted. The Craig Thompson story is dominating all the writers in the MSM. [i]Abbott says sack Thomson from committee SMH[/i] "So I think this is a big issue and I think the short answer is no, he can't really remain chairman of that committee." http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/abbott-says-sack-thomson-from-committee-20110821-1j4dr.html [i]Libs hypocritical on Thomson: Emerson[/i]SBS "There has been no allegation of criminality of any sort against Craig Thomson," he told Sky News on Sunday. South Australian Liberal Senator Mary Jo Fisher is facing allegations she stole groceries from an Adelaide supermarket and assaulted a female security guard in a car park last December He said three coalition MPs were the subject of criminal investigations before the last election and all were exonerated but there were no calls for them to be sacked I do empathise with his wife who's seven months' pregnant with their second child." http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1580300/Libs-hypocritical-on-Thomson:-Emerson Cheers:):):):):):)

TalkTurkey

21/08/2011I protest the unfair punishment being meted out by Judge Justice in according blame in particular to DMW, FS, Jason and anyone else, when I TalkTurkey was the first and the worst of those to treat that poor dancing Senator Fisher so horribly, and I deserve the thrashing for it. For was it not I who callously poked fun at the poor lass, never pausing to consider for a moment how she would feel! Oh, I'm so mean! So to say sorry properly I'll re-post my horrible nasty pome about her so you can see just how awful I was to her! [u]The Mo-Jo Pokey![/u] I put the groceries in, I took the groceries out, I thought I’d had a win But a Guard came running out She wasn’t very jokey, nasty mean old sauerkraut, And she took those groceries out! O No! Don't throw me in the Chokey! O No! Don't throw me in the Chokey! O No! Don't throw me in the Chokey! Oh please let a poor girl out! So then I get hauled in, And then the truth comes out! I say I’ve lost my PIN And I cry and scream and shout They let me use the soakie But I run right out But the guard is a real good scout! I try to drive off in my Mokey! Guard grabs me, I take a pokey! Cops come, big and strong and blokey, And they pull the poor girl out! So then they take me in, I cry and scream and pout; I tell them I am brokey, And at last I’m bailed out, But it takes six months to charge me, As if there’s any doubt! (What the hell was [i]that[/i] all about?) O! No! My nose grows like Pinnochi - O! No! My nose grows like Pinocchi - O! No! My nose grows like Pinocchi - O! I must find a smart way out! I know, I’ll say that I’m depressive! Can my innocence be retrogressive? You can see my brain’s recessive! My brain's what it's all about! So sorry Mary-Jo! I know that next time I thieve $90+ worth of goods and then assault someone doing her job as Security Guard trying to bring me to book you'll be on my side too, because I'd be pretty depressed then too and I haven't got nearly as much to lose as you. I reckon Judge Justice will say: [i]"Senator Fisher, I have thought long and seriously about your unfortunate case, and have come to the conclusion that it would not be fair that you should be punished harshly, because you're white, and female, you're a Christian [I suppose? Dog, if not I truly apologise M-J! TT ;-)], you're not so very old, you are well-to-do and well-connected, you have a responsible well-paid job with excellent prospects, so it's not as though you really [i]needed[/i]the goods, . . . So I think the Court should be lenient this time . . ."[/i] Yeah well ain't that the truth? Ain't it ? Consider the reverse scenario: Black - male - oldish - unemployed - no fixed address, no money - [i]needing[/i] goods for his family . . . "The Judge says [i]'Budge Right into Jail!'[/i]" Think justice is impartial? Equality before the Law? Hunh. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If Craig Thomson is guilty of the worst possible scenarios as alleged/hinted at, well if he's wasted serious amounts of Union funds on high times with girlies I think that's pretty poor, I'd kick him where he got his motivation from if I could, letting the punishment fit the misdemeanour. But it is plain he's done nothing [i]criminal[/i] and all the huffing and puffing won't bring the House down. Damn the bloody eyes of any Labor parliamentarian bringing the Party into disrepute though. That's what I really feel badly about when it happens. Labor Members must be pristine, whiter than white in their private as well as their public lives, that comes with the territory, if you can't handle that light and heat on your life then be ordinary. Because the demands are extra-ordinary. Just remember that Craig Thomson though is not alleged to have done anything even in the slightest reprehensible since he's become an MHR. I sure have to don't think too highly of him but he's not going anywhere. Still it seems like Turkeys are one of the few species (sad but true!) in which the males don't repair to demimondaines, love that word, now and again (and [i]again[/i], and [i]again[/i] . . . :) ) Not Liberals of course though, well not the Christian ones anyway. No carpet burns for them, just worn-out knees. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dog Albitey I just half-watched Lopsiders. Sickening. I wonder what Ad astrafix will say? [i]He won't have liked it![/i] Have a Happy Sunday Swordsfolks. [Recaptcha a la carte menu: ragulee domingdo (ragulee has an acute accent on it, very fancy nosh for leftist guerrillas like Swordies!] [b][i]Venceremos![/i][/b] [i][b][u]D[/u] [u]Y[/u] [u]W[/u] [u]A[/u] [u]T[/u] [i]![/i] [/b][/i] ;-)

Jason

21/08/2011So Abbott want to put the band back together! Not content with taking us back to the policies of 2007 it seems we also need the "ministers" from that era. This can only suggest that the "current" crop of coalition rank and file members just don't measure up! http://www.smh.com.au/national/abbott-woos-former-lib-mps-20110820-1j3j4.html

Lyn

21/08/2011Hi Ad and Everybody This is a brilliant article not to be missed. I knew all along these rally people were out of the ordinary, their agenda is not the Carbon Tax. Start reading:- [i]teabagger-dundee-america-exports-libertarian-revolution-to-australia Ramon Glazov, The Exile[/i] The Australian ran a front-page story claiming these Teabaggers were just ordinary Australians, “an amalgam of butchers, bakers and candlestick makers who are mad as hell and not going to take it any more.”[b] Nowhere in the article does the word “libertarian” occur[/b]. Murdoch really expects us to believe the Convoy’s just a bunch of random people, united by a “burning conviction that politicians of all persuasions have lost touch” with their constituents’ “real-life needs.” This is one of the clearest illustrations of how Teabagger libertarians view the society around them – as something just itching to be overthrown with a coup, and replaced with a brutal authoritarian capitalism. It doesn’t matter if the government to be overthrown was democratically-elected: if it refuses to commit suicide through privatization, then it should be toppled. It’s doubtful Teabaggers even care about the carbon tax except as an excuse to destroy the government. As soon as Gillard scraps that, they’ll only find another reason. http://exiledonline.com/teabagger-dundee-america-exports-libertarian-revolution-to-australia/ Cheers :):):):):)

Patricia WA

21/08/2011Lyn! You don't know about Margaret O'Brien! You're obviously young! So not surprising, I guess. I do, Gravel! Why do I think [quote]Grapes of Wrath[/quote] when I think of her? And Edward G. Robinson? Neither of them appeared in that. Just checked. It was [quote]Our Vines Have Tender Grapes[/quote]a few years later and with a similar rural US setting, different state. I saw most of her movies as a child. She was about my own age. I particularly recall her as Beth in 'Little Women' which led me to read that novel and then others.

Patricia WA

21/08/2011Talk Turkey. You made me laugh, so you're forgiven! And I do so detest Mary Jo Fisher, but I do still feel that we can't use her case as [i]quid pro quo[/i] when talking about the Thompson credit card affair. If anything to do so weakens our case that this credit card thing is a beat up, because it suggests there is some element of criminality involved in whatever happened with that card while Thompson was overseas. FS seems to know more about it than we've learned from the media. Why is Richardson looked to so often for comment? And what happened to him anyway that has turned him off the ALP big time? AC - I keep trying to go back read your Monster Mayem saga for a second more leisurely laugh. I did so enjoy it first time, and then I got caught up with comments here. Murdoch's media monster is sadly so powerful and so entrenched that as Talk Turkey says [quote]His death alone will not of itself bring about the annihilation of his Vempire.[/quote]

Feral Skeleton

21/08/2011Yes,lyn, I just read that Ramon Glazov article too. Verrry interesting to know that the Organisers are a couple of animal welfare abusing Americans, the Mining Industry and Trucking magnates who are paying their employees to take part tomorrow. Tony Abbott better be very careful who he decides to throw his lot in with in the next couple of years. There are a lot of skeletons in some very dark closets that may come out into the open to scare people. And he will have been 4 square behind them and speaking in front of them. Let's just wait and see if any of the media dig behind the 'Apple Pie' facade of these cranks tomorrow, shall we?

Feral Skeleton

21/08/2011PatriciaWA, I just asked Craig a couple of years ago, when these allegations first surfaced, whether they might be true. He just said, "Don't believe everything you read in the papers." I do know there's a lot of internecine warfare in the HSU. Also, if the Police have had a look at it and said that there's nothing untoward wrt Craig, then I can only assume, they being impartial arbiters with no political axe to grind or benefit to gain, that that's that. Case closed.

Feral Skeleton

21/08/2011Graham Richardson as some sort of adjudicator of other people's guilt and innocence? Offset Alpine anyone? As my old mum used to say, "He's as crooked as a dog's hind leg."

Feral Skeleton

21/08/2011This 'Convoy of No Confidence' is getting smellier by the minute: [quote]Rentacrowd. In Saturday's Canberra Times a truck company owner who's sending all his 'spare' trucks.[/quote]

Jason

21/08/2011Feral, Speaking of small convoys! "THERE was meant to be a convoy of trucks and cars one kilometre long, but in the end Queensland just wasn't passionate enough to drive to Canberra. Beenleigh truckie Ken Wilkie, who led a humble convoy of a half-dozen out of Yatala early yesterday morning, said it was disappointing there was not more interest from south-east Queenslanders in driving to Canberra to deliver a vote of no-confidence petition and protest against the federal government. “I have to be honest here, I can't lie; I'm disappointed. I've only got about five or six behind me,” he said while on the road yesterday afternoon. “One guy drove with us for about 30 or 40 kilometres and then said 'bugger this, I'm going home' and he turned around and left." http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/protest-convoy-lacks-confidence-20110820-1j43k.html?from=smh_ft

Michael

21/08/2011I certainly hope Craig Thomson is clean in all this, because if this country ends up with a dickhead like Shouldabeen in the Lodge as a default consequence of a Labor member with an itch in his... well, member, the entire nation will be pitched so far 'down under' I can't see it surviving in the complex world nations everywhere are being hurled into right at the moment. Because if ever countries worldwide needed savvy and courageous leadership, it is now. And that ain't Tiny Abbott or his current cohort of also-rans and wannabes, let alone his plans to raid retirement homes (I mean, come on, Jackie Kelly as a stalwart sample of Coalition capability to govern?) It is not a time for trailing behind the nearest ostrich to find a soft patch of sand, which seems to be the sum motif of Coalition policies, it is a time to confront change and more darn change in the world as we know it. Confront it, meet it, adapt to it, and come out better for that series of responses. Not to deny it's even happening, as Tiny, Joe, Barnaby, and the rest of the glee boys and girls of rosy-tinted yesterday do.

Lyn

21/08/2011Hi Feral I am so pleased you read the Ramon Glazov article. Abbott sure wants to be careful if he is going to speak on this mob's behalf. What about the sleezy story of Susan Colvin pretending to be a disgruntled Labor voter and she is a Liberal campaigner,they don't care how low they go. [quote] read that Ramon Glazov article too. Verrry interesting to know that the Organisers are a couple of animal welfare abusing Americans[/quote], Jason has just posted some interesting stuff, thankyou Jason But look at this too, fancy some mob complaining about Penny Wong,and they are joining a Convoy. [i]Truck body shuns convoy, Canberra Times[/i] THE major organisation representing truckies across the nation has distanced itself from the Convoy of No Confidence protest to hit Canberra tomorrow. [b]The Australian Trucking Association's manager [/b]of communications and government relations, Bill McKinley, said the protest did not have the ATA's support because the aim of the protesters was constitutionally unsound. Mr McKinley said the confused nature of the protest - which included some protesters complaining about Penny Wong and her female partner having a baby - was also a reason why the ATA was not involved. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/truck-body-shuns-convoy/2265128.aspx Cheers :):):)

Feral Skeleton

21/08/2011Is this what Kerry Anne Walsh was intimating this morning on Insiders with her final observation/comment? [quote]ChrisOgilvieSnr Breaking: @TonyAbbott's national book(Battlelines) promotion tour, have been "matched" to his travel expenses claims! CALLS FOR RESIGNATION![/quote] It was on Twitter but I am, of course, unable to verify, though I do remember eyebrows being raised at the time.

Patricia WA

21/08/2011AC, yes, so true, and even funnier read again at leisure and in depth. And oh, wouldn't it be wonderful poetic justice if both Murdoch and his downunder monster were both to meet their ends as you've described. And that could be the end of both of them. Even here would be a good start for me. But sadly Murdoch had a formula for replicating his media monster throughout the world. Along with AA, yourself and others like TT I have long loathed the influence of Murdoch and his media empire and despaired of its ever being challenged. Maybe the stock market could kill it off for us? Meanwhile I'm sure Talk Turkey won't mind if I reproduce here both our thoughts on Murdoch's [i][b]vempire[/b][/i] (thanks TT!) on another of AA's posts about him. They seem so relevant here. [i]Bigger than Walmart, bigger than Myers, Friend of Bush’s, Howard’s, Bliar’s, He whom Zion most admires, He who pulls all global wires, He to whom all power aspires, He who bigger fish to fry has, He whom none has been as sly as, He whom none can fly as high as, What I can’t work out is why has God not lit his funeral pyres? Oh – Rupert’s bought God’s heavenly choirs![/i] That was Talk Turkey's response to mine when I imagined How News Ltd(might)Defend Its Proprietor [i]What’s this talk of media bias? We at News are honest, pious, We meet our readership’s desires. Yes, some are climate change deniers. That’s why Greenies, fans of Gaia’s, Sneer as if we were pariahs! Pacifists who promote ceasefires Say we collude with arms suppliers. We can always claim ‘ultra vires’ If a politician enquires Into why this or that transpires. Anyway they’re just leftie liars. We just report, as Rupert requires. ‘Cos we know he’s the man who hires Only journos whom he admires. We also know of those he fires On each new paper he acquires. Don’t hope for this to change when he expires. We will survive. Just look how well he ‘sires’ And know, this man we’ve helped build these empires Plans to be the first whom not even death retires.[/i] Is it possible that the phone hacking scandal could bring about his come-uppance. What about a stock market collapse on News Corp? How would that play out?

Gravel

21/08/2011Patricia Yes, Margaret O'Brien in Little Women, brought me to tears. As a matter of fact most of the films she was in as a child had me with a lump in my throat. I hadn't seen the Ghost movie before and she was excellent, no tear jerker, got a lot of laughs out of it. My question that Lyn couldn't help with, did she perform in movies as an adult? Michael No matter what happens with the Craig Thompson saga, unless he is charged with anything and convicted for a 12 month or more sentence, he will remain as a MP until the next election. Julia believes in his innocence until otherwise proved. It is such a great big beat up, probably to cover up one of their own actually being charged, and due to go to court very soon. Mind you the MSM has kept that all very very quiet haven't they. Oooh they don't have an agenda to bring Labor government down, oh my goodness no!

Feral Skeleton

21/08/2011Jason, They'll have to change the name to 'The Convoy of No Convoy' soon. :D

Feral Skeleton

21/08/2011Look, I love a Greens MP as much as the next person, however may I just say that the interview with Sarah Hanson-Young this morning on Insiders was just excruciating to watch as she tied herself in all manner of philosophical knots attempting to explain away The Greens Asylum Seeker policy being better than Labor's. Basically, she was unable to explain to Barrie Cassidy why it isn't a good objective to try and break the People Smugglers' network open, but instead to let it continue unabated depositing ever more boatloads of Asylum Seekers from a few particular ethnic groups on our shores, via the Asylum Seeker 'Indo to Christmas Island, You Pays Yer Money and Yer Takes Yer Chances', Boat journey. She wittered on about "the Little Children" (unaccompanied, age approximately 15-17), yet was unable to give a coherant answer to the proposition that, if it's so bad for 'teh Little Children', wouldn't you want to see their perilous boat journey ended with some sort of effective mechanism in place? To which question a reply was forthcoming which totally skipped over that propsition and went straight to an attempt to tug at people's heart strings about 'teh Little Children' who have made this perilous journey, escaping persecution'. Which persecution, I might add, sees them skip 2nd countries of refuge who are signed up to the Refugee Convention, and head for a 3rd country eventually, namely Australia. So, basically, I think the Greens are just about attacking Labor from the Left on this issue, convenient as most of Sen Hanson-Young's evasions were, and too similar-sounding in her condemnation of the ALP to the Liberal Party, except from the opposite tack, for it to be a coincidence. I was prepared to give Sen Hanson-Young the benefit of the doubt this morning on Insiders, hoping that a long-form interview might clearly elucidate The Green's spokesperson on Immigration's policy, which may serve to make me questiojn my own perspective. However, as I say, all I got was Junior High level debating tricks and obfuscation, full of pre-digested talking points that did little to answer some serious questions with serious, well-articulated and thought-out answers.

Feral Skeleton

21/08/2011lyn, Do you think(even though it's Sunday and you are supposed to be on RnR :) ), that you could track down the Julia Baird/Scott Morrison interview from Sunday Profile on ABC Radio National today? I hear it was a classic in evasion of the questions. :)

Lyn

21/08/2011Hi Feral I will have a little look see for you. But look at this , Abbott wants Craig Thompson sacked from the economics committee for spending union money, wow [i]How the taxpayer helped Tony Abbott flog Battlelines, Glenn Milne, ABC 28th July 2010[/i] The total for all Abbott's travel that coincided with promotional events for the book comes to $5,689.36. That's a sizeable chunk of Abbott's total air travel costs of $29,633.85 for the same period. Then of course there's the cost of the Commonwealth cars and drivers that he also billed to taxpayers on the days he was promoting Battlelines. That final tally: $962.60. All in all the taxpayer coughed up $6,651.96 in Battlelines-related travel http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/35544.html Cheers:):):):)

Lyn

21/08/2011Hi Feral Is this the right interview, you are looking for: Scott Morrison | Julia Baird Sunday Profile: http://www.abc.net.au/sundayprofile/stories/3298029.htm?site=gippsland

Feral Skeleton

21/08/2011Thank you, lyn, you're a sweetie. :) Interesting that Glenn Milne broke the Tony Abbott story, huh?

Feral Skeleton

21/08/2011Oh, sorry, that story was from back in the day when Glenn had rediscovered journalistic ethics. ;-)

Jason

21/08/2011Antony Green's blog today August 21, 2011 Calls for a Double Dissolution are Constitutionally Impossible The "Convoy of No Confidence" currently descending on Canberra continues to be reported as demanding a double dissolution. In response to these reports, let me repeat once again that it is constitutionally impossible for there to be a double dissolution. It is possible to demand the government call an early election for the House of Representatives, and the government can request an early House (but not Senate) election at any time. But it is constitutionally impossible for the Prime Minister to request a double dissolution and just as constitutionally impossible for the Governor General to issue the proclamation for a double dissolution and subsequent election. http://blogs.abc.net.au/antonygreen/2011/08/calls-for-a-double-dissolution-are-just-ridiculous.html#more

Ad astra reply

21/08/2011AC Thank you for your insights via this great piece of satire. Murdoch has indeed created a Monster that threatens his empire. The Monster has been unleashed in the UK and is still devouring its own. Like a slow motion train wreck, it is unfolding inexorably. The momentum generated so far will sustain the disaster for some time to come. Nobody knows when it will stop and the wreckage gauged. How much it will affect News Limited in this country, nobody can anticipate, but there must be much introspection going on among management and senior journalists. While the Monster has been devouring its own, others are looking on, wondering what might emerge when the dust settles and the flames die down. While many would like to see a dissolution of the Murdoch empire, my preference would be for a reversion of News Limited to reporting news – accurately, completely and without bias, and putting opinion on a back page where we can read it if we think it might be worthwhile, knowing that, after all, it is only someone’s opinion. Like TT, I cringed at the exposition of learned opinion on [i]Insiders[/i] today. Phil Coorey was, as usual, sensible. Niki Savva was, as expected, self-opinionated and full of venom towards Julia Gillard. Kerry-Anne Walsh was more balanced but still so sure of the correctness of her opinion. What beats me is how these journalists, mainly from the News Limited stable, can come along week after week to tell the Government what it’s doing poorly and what it should do and how. Wouldn’t it be a laugh if they swapped roles with the politicians for a while and tried to govern the country while being shot at continually by the politicians turned journalists. If we’re in a shambles now, image it then! Your ‘Exile online’ article Lyn was fascinating. ‘Teabaggers’ is a brilliant label for a combination of Tea Party adherents and carpetbaggers, a metaphor for opportunism and exploitation originally carried out by Republicans looting and plundering the defeated South after the Civil War. Their tactics are similar to that exhibited now by the far Right here in Oz. They are a group to be watched and feared if left to their own devices. I see Jason you have been following the Convoy of No Confidence. Who knows how many will turn up. Some seem to be falling by the wayside as the cost of driving large trucks countless miles climbs. I have asked myself how these truck owners, who see the carbon tax as such a threat to their presumably marginal businesses, can afford to drive them from far north WA to Canberra and back. My guess is that most trucks that get to Canberra will be from surrounding areas. And what do they think they are going to achieve – intimidate the PM or her Government, or the Greens and Independents supporting her, into a double dissolution election? What right do they believe they have as a group of truck operators to overturn an elected government? Is anarchy what they are after? As the Liberal Premiers found at COAG, they too will find that ‘the lady is not for turning’. Patricia WA Your pomes continue to delight – thank you. I’ve spent the last few days preparing [i]The worst Opposition Leader in Australian political history[/i] which I will post late this evening.

2353

21/08/2011In today's (Brisbane) Sunday Mail, Terry Sweetman wrote an article questioning why the media is letting politicians - in this case Abbott who he awards the "black belt in buffoonery" - get away with media stunts. I can't find it online. He actually asks why the media will "re-shoot" on request if Abbott fluffs his lines, why the media accepted without question the last minute change in the photo session at the butcher in Dickson, and why they are accepting their wages - and their bosses go along with the time-wasting. Gillard gets criticised for having a penchant for hard hats (copying Beattie & Bligh), Rudd for visiting the "dance club" in the USA - but the argues that as it was before he became PM it really doesn't matter and so on. While suggesting most earlier PMs didnt pay this particular game except for Hawke in the "excremental" sports coat when Australia II won the America's Cup and Holt who used to "man up around his bikini clad step-daughters, squeezed into his budgie smugglers and strutted around with his speargun". Maybe Abbott is copying Holt?

psyclaw

21/08/2011Hi AA I may be too late if you've finished your article, but 2 things jumped out at me on Insiders this morning: 1)Abbott urging JG to have integrity. 2)Lisa Wilkinson's clip where she aseked Abbott a few time s what he'd do if Mr Thompson was a liberal MP...."I can't answer that because I don't know all the details". He hasn't let that ever worry him before....there may be some liberal skeletons rattling around. On another matter, can I suggest that depression is really not an issue about which we should be tossing around too many opinions. It is after all a major cause of death, and it can jump out and grab anyone anytime. Sorry, I'll correct that...it doesn't usually jump out..... it very much sneaks up. Another problem with discussions about depression is that often what is actually being referred to is the normal, reactive melancholy that we all experience when we have some set back. Whilst we may use the word "depressed" in those circumstances, such is not depression. Depression (ie clinical depression) is essentially endogenous, (not exogenous ie it comes from within) and for this reason a person can be deeply depressed when to others, his/her actual life circumstances seem to be quite OK. That's why usually we're all so shocked when someone we know takes the final drastic step to escape depression. Jason Some of the fools are also calling on the GG to dump the government which is just as silly and impossible as the call for a DD. News Limited As I've stated here a number of times I am never guilty of paying hard earned $s for a News rag. But yeterday there was a free one at the hotel I had stayed in. The Telegraph has been happy to say that a handwriting expert said that Mr Thompson's licence signature and the signature at the bro-tel were identical. Yesterday it published both signatures. I'm no expert but there were clearly at least 4 differences between both signatures. This modus operandi (say anything....no-one will check it) is so prolific these days. Classic was Mr Monckton at the press club...... "I'm published in a peer reviewed journal Physics and Society, July 2008." At that website, the heading says "Articles Herein Have Not Been Peer Reviewed." And on top of Monkton's article itself comes the heading "This has not been peer reviewed".

Lyn

21/08/2011Hi Talk Turkey Your comment at 11.25 is magnificently fabulous thankyou so much. Love your song, brilliant words to the The Mo-Jo Pokey! original unique name. Here a some photo's of the trucks arriving in Canberra, one caption says [b]Tony Abbott is driving the lead truck. Not true surely.[/b] Click on each picture for larger viewing: Arrow right for the slide show: [i]TRUCK CONVOY ARRIVAL CANBERRA[/i] [b]Opposition leader Tony Abbott drives the lead truck as one of the Convoy's of No Confidence travels into Canberra, Sunday, Aug. 21, [/b]2011. Eleven convoys are due to arrive from all over Australia to take part in a mass protest of no confidence in the federal government. (AAP Image/Alan Porritt) NO ARCHIVING http://www.aapone.com.au/Search.aspx?search=TRUCK+CONVOY+ARRIVAL+CANBERRA%26(importdate>20110820) Cheers :):):)

Lyn

21/08/2011Hi Ad This is a tweet by Bob Baldwin, looks like it is true Abbott is in or driving the lead truck. I still can't believe this is possible: @bobbaldwinmpBob Baldwin MP Tony Abbott is in the lead truck heading into Canberra in the "Convoy of No Confidence" in the Gillard Government #Qt, #Convoy, 2 hours agovia TwitBird iPadFavoriteRetweetReply :):):):)

Acerbic Conehead 2

21/08/2011TT, Thanks for your kind words. Love your “Vempire” illustration and the revisit to your [i]MO-Jo Pokey[/i] song. Gravel, Great to hear from you again. I’m glad you enjoyed the story. I hope I didn’t mangle the Mary Shelley classic too much. PatriciaWA, I see you are a glutton for punishment by reading my story twice! Thanks for your encouraging words and for sharing with us your poems on depression and Murdoch. AA, It’s nice to see you also enjoyed the [i]Monster Mayhem[/i] story. I’m looking forward to reading your expose on “the worst Opposition Leader in Australian political history”. Incidentally, I hear jj is writing a rival article – he still isn’t sure though if it’s going to be about Kim Beazley or Simon Crean.

2353

21/08/2011Does Abbott have a truck licence or learners permit? If not the ACT Police should book him as he is committing an illegal act. Then going by he own "standards" as displayed by his recent comments on Craig Thompson - he should resign his seat. Does anyone reading this reside in the ACT and lodge the complaint?

Lyn

21/08/2011Hi 2353 I think somebody did complain, because ABC just reported Tony Abbott is in the lead truck but not driving. Abbott's been told: Cheers:):):):):)

Ad astra reply

21/08/20112353 Sooner or later the media will tire of Abbott and his stunts – they would have by now if News Limited had not been intent on regime change. psyclaw I think the points you make are covered in my piece in a generic way. Hi Lyn That Tiny is in the lead truck is no surprise – he’s an expert at stunts.

Jason

21/08/2011I just hope 12,000 public servants manage to get a few names tomorrow from the "convoy of no chromosomes" and misplace their files down at the tax office etc, just to remind them that they would be sacked under Abbott, and this is their way of protesting.

Lyn

21/08/2011Hi Ad Hum, um, a lot of stuff starting to appear about the Liberals, didn't someone say "be careful who throws the first stone" [i]February 07, 2011 12:00AM Federal Liberal MPs caught rorting $300,000 of printer toner [/i] Steve lewis , The Herald Sun Liberal figures claim they were told by party HQ to be ruthless ordering taxpayer-funded supplies ahead of the 2010 campaign Deputy Speaker Peter Slipper, who has been forced to repay nearly $20,000 in family travel perks and other entitlements, spent $19,280, while ex-Liberal Michael Johnson ordered $18,640 for his office - enough to fund a marginal seats campaign. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/federal-liberal-mps-caught-rorting-300000-of-printer-toner/story-e6frf7l6-1226001058288

Feral Skeleton

21/08/2011lyn, Those photos remind me of the Circus coming to town.

Jason

21/08/2011jj, THE Victorian Liberals paid at least $145,000 in legal fees to help senior government minister David Davis defend himself in a legal battle against the former state secretary of the Labor Party. Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/liberals-paid-mps-legal-bills-20110504-1e8eo.html#ixzz1VewM3DYz

2353

21/08/2011Just speaking to a person in Canberra. Local media there is reporting the area that was expecting up to 2000 vehicles to stay there overnight in the Convoy of No Idea has got under 200 vehicles. So if this is in theory a "popular movement for democracy" and the Australian population is around 22 million - there are around 200,000 dissatisfied with the current Government assuming the normal marketing approach of 1 person who voices their complaint is worth around a thousand who feel the same way but couldn't be bothered. The organisers have done really well. Apart from admitting to the Fairfax media that they haven't informed themselves of the rationale for the introduction of these "punitive measures" - they still have to convince around 21 and a half million people their cause has merit. Lyn - Michael Johnson didn't only blow the stationery budget - he was also running a private business from his electorate office from memory. The office is around 10km from here, so there was quite an to-do about it locally.

Ad astra reply

21/08/2011Folks I have posted [i]The worst Opposition Leader in Australian political history[/i] http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2011/08/21/The-worst-Opposition-Leader-in-Australian-political-history.aspx

Feral Skeleton

21/08/2011Interesting backgrounder to Bob Katter's merger with the Queensland Party: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NbEzAp1KXM

Lyn

21/08/2011Hi 2353 No offence meant to Tacker, Paddy and Trevor's little dog, but it's looking like the Liberal's are as crooked as a dog's hind leg. Lots more stuff will come out, you see next week, they started it. Cheers :):):):):):)

D Mick Weir

21/08/2011Hi Ad, from your comment @ 5:15 PM: [i]... putting opinion on a back page where we can read it if we think it might be worthwhile, knowing that, after all, it is only someone’s opinion.[/i] I am working with a dull and jaded memory tonight but not a depressed one as I just had a square of chocolate :) In the US opinion pieces were known as Op-Ed's as they appeared opposite the editorial page. I think there was some conjecture whether it was a shortening of 'opposite the editorial' or a conjunction of opinion/editorial. In the dead wood versions of most newspapers it was relatively easy to work out whether a piece was reporting or opinion from it's placement in the paper. Online is a different ball game where it is not always obvious that a piece is reporting or opinion. The ABC is not too bad at it in that The Drum is about opinion whereas the News pages are generally 'straight' reporting. Let's not debate tonight how good or bad the reporting is. Suffice to say some of it leaves a lot to be desired. When it comes the online sites of the newspapers it becomes less obvious with some. From wonky memory the online Canberra Times has always had a separate 'tab' for opinion pieces where we could find the wondorous thoughts and opinions of Waterford, Hull, Peake and many other fine writers. The Age/SMH/National Times seems to have improved a little. If you go to the articles through the National Times home page it clearly says at the top [b]Opinion - Analysis - Commentary[/b] and it seems that most if not all pieces now say 'Opinion' under the headline which is a change from not all that long ago. Maybe they heard our little whinge/tet-a-tet on that from a little while back :) I am not sure what happens when you go to the Fairfax opinion pieces through the Age and/or SMH sites but as they land on the National Times pages at least you are advised in fairly small type under the headline that is an opinion piece. As to other papers. I do not go to many of them very often, I usually only go to Murdoch papers sites when someone here offers a link and then I am 'forewarned' that it is a (usually crappy) opinion piece. You suggested that the opinion pieces should be sent to the back page. Well that could be a controversial move. Given some say that politics is reported as sport and more often than not the sports reporting is about the politics of sport maybe the reporting of politics should be sent to the sports pages and sports be put on the front page.

D Mick Weir

21/08/20112353, I can confirm the convoy seems be a bit of a wimper. Someone I spoke to a this evening told me he went to the Showgrounds/National Exhibition Centre mid afternoon and there was 'no-one there'. He was quite peeved as he is a supporterof the convoy.

Ad astra reply

21/08/2011D Mick Weir Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I don't care what page opinion is on so long as it is clearly an opinion page or an op/ed page. I just want to see reportage of facts separated from opinion. I don't mind even if an opinion is inserted into a factual account so long as it is clearly marked as such: 'In my opinion...' It is when they are inextricably mixed that confusion reigns. But of course Murdoch believes: 'opinion is news', so it's not surprising that opinion and facts are homogenised in News Limited papers.

D Mick Weir

21/08/2011psyclaw @ 6:00 PM If you are still reading here. [i]... can I suggest that depression is really not an issue about which we should be tossing around too many opinions. It is after all a major cause of death, ... Another problem with discussions about depression is that often what is actually being referred to is the normal, reactive melancholy that we all experience when we have some set back. Whilst we may use the word "depressed" in those circumstances, such is not depression.[/i] Good point and duly noted. I am guilty of being a bit flippant on the matter and will recall your words before I make further comment on the subject. Thanks for your wise counsel.

Feral Skeleton

22/08/2011The Joe and Tony Dog and Pony Show :) : http://images.smh.com.au/2011/07/14/2493234/Moir_15_7_11-600x400.jpg
What does two plus 1 equal?