Simplicity – the opiate of the people

It was Karl Marx who said: "Religion is the opiate of the masses". An opiate relieves pain, numbs, and before it wears off, gives a sense that all is well with the world. But knowing that opiates are addictive, Marx went on to say: "The first requisite for the happiness of the people is the abolition of religion.” A state of numb unreality does not create happiness.

Napoleon Bonaparte saw religion differently. He said: “How can you have order in a state without religion? For, when one man is dying of hunger near another who is ill of surfeit, he cannot resign himself to this difference unless there is an authority which declares, ‘God wills it thus.’ Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet.” So is simplicity.

Bertrand Russell said: “There is something feeble and a little contemptible about a man who cannot face the perils of life without the help of comfortable myths. Almost inevitably some part of him is aware that they are myths and that he believes them only because they are comforting. But he dares not face this thought! Moreover, since he is aware, however dimly, that his opinions are not rational, he becomes furious when they are disputed.”

This piece argues that simplicity in political discourse has become an opiate of the people in the manner Russell suggests. Simple explanations to complex problems, ‘comfortable myths’ that cultivate false security, are now stock in trade for politicians, fostered by a lazy and compliant media and swallowed by a gullible electorate.

Life is complex. Complexity abounds in nature, human endeavour and in individual and collective interactions. We try to understand that complexity, to reduce it to bite-sized pieces that we can assimilate. Reductionism seeks to drill down to find ‘the simple answer’, the ‘magic bullet’ that will solve life’s complex problems. Much of medicine is reductionist, particularly in medical science and the narrow specialties, and has provided us with countless profound insights that have lead to startling discoveries, innovative approaches and new cures. But alone it is insufficient. Many problems are not ‘down there’, at a cellular, molecular or genetic level, but ‘out there’ in the totality of an individual’s existence, subject as it is to all the influences of home, family, environment, work, community and the political system.

Why then do politicians, particularly those in opposition, seek to reduce life’s complexities to simple catch phrases? Because it works! Why do Governments have such difficulty in explaining what needs to be done, what they have done, and what they plan to do? Because it involves complexity, and complex things take time and skill to explain.

Our society has evolved to a point where ten second clips are the norm, and insignificant actions and inconsequential events become the news of the day. In a fine article on 4 January by David Horton in The Drum Unleashed: Wanted: serious political reporting, which should be essential reading for political reporters, the concluding paragraph reflected the theme of his piece: “Have political reporters become merely stand-up comedians with humorous one-liners, or do they see themselves as serving the public interest? Are they going to keep on doing the equivalent of The Guardian celebrity profile with great weight placed on how the subject holds a wine glass or folds a napkin, or will they begin reporting seriously about the qualifications, experience, interests, political beliefs, aims of the people who govern us or wish to do so in future?”

It is not surprising that in this media milieu short, snappy yet plausible slogans that imply a simple fix have become the stock in trade of politicians. The federal Coalition has used this strategy brilliantly and to good effect; it almost won them the 2010 election. It will take you no effort to remember: ‘end the waste’, ‘repay the debt’, ‘stop new taxes’ and ‘stop the boats’. There was no need for Tony Abbott to explain these slogans or to validate them. Their purpose was not to inform or argue or even suggest an alternative path. The sole aim was to incite antagonism towards the Government, to give the impression of Government incompetence, and to subtly suggest that the Coalition had the answers and could readily solve difficult political problems – all the public needed to do was to elect them.

The recent Queensland floods gave Barnaby Joyce and Tony Abbott another heaven-sent opportunity to make similar political capital out of what was a tragedy for people, communities and the whole nation. It took no time for them to talk about Australia having ‘a dam phobia’, implying Labor governments ought to have built more, notwithstanding recent LNP opposition to dams that were being proposed. Virtually every expert commentator cautioned against a rush to build dams, but that was of no consequence to Abbott or Joyce. Their aim was to create yet another memorable three-word slogan – ‘Build More Dams’ was suggested as a possibility. Like all the other three-worders, it has a ring of plausibility, indeed to the unthinking and uninformed seems an obvious solution. Wait to see what three-worder emerges as Abbott institutes his Coalition committee to investigate the utility of dams in this country.

We can expect more of the same – pithy slogans about banking, tax review, the minerals tax, carbon mitigation, or anything else the Government suggests or proposes. Even the actions of the Government following the High Court granting access to the courts for asylum seekers who have been rejected and assigned for return to country, was countered by another simple Abbott statement – ‘it won’t stop the boats’. You see, the substantial complexities of the new arrangements to give legal rights to asylum seekers is reduced to the simplest counter argument – ‘it won’t stop the boats’. It is mind-numbing simplicity that makes no contribution to balanced discourse on this troublesome subject, but serves Abbott well – he knows that given the choice of trying to understand the complexities of the matter, or clutching a short superficially believable slogan, the majority of the electorate will likely choose the latter.

The repeated recourse to simplicity by the Coalition, while smart politically, is corrosive of balanced, well informed and sensible discussion of complex issues that cannot be reduced to three-word slogans or ten second TV grabs. Yet by and large the media lets the Coalition get away with it again and again, declines to challenge it, avoids asking awkward questions about it. Many believe this is because much of the media is lazy or unthinking, or in some cases unwilling to paint the Coalition in a bad light – that might be dangerous for those who work in the Murdoch media.

What about the converse – acknowledging the complexity of most political issues, yet making these complex problems, controversial proposals and complicated solutions easy to comprehend and remember? This is a dilemma for governments. Since the electorate has been conditioned to expect simple answers, how does any government in power, of whatever persuasion, get its messages across? How does it reduce inherent complexity to understandable lines?

The federal Labor Government has been spectacularly unsuccessful in getting its good-news messages heard and appreciated by the electorate. It successfully negotiated the GFC, avoided crippling unemployment by keeping people in work through its stimulus program, but received little credit. In fact the Opposition managed to turn its laudable efforts into a ‘debt and deficit’ story. It conducted a highly successful BER with over 97% satisfaction, but the Murdoch media managed to turn that into a ‘waste and mismanagement’ story. It carried out a HIP that was successful in insulating over a million roofs, but the Coalition and the media painted that an administrative disaster and linked it with four deaths, three of which are now the subject of court proceedings in which employers are charged with OH&S breaches. Every Labor success has been turned into disaster or mismanagement by an Opposition uninterested in finding the facts, and a media intent on belittling the Government and in some instances intent on bringing it down. There is no denial of administrative failures in some of these programs, but their extent is small compared with the hugely beneficial effects of them. Labor simply did not sell its success and was unable to counter the negativity of the Opposition and the media. That was its real failure.

It has often been contended here that Labor needs a much better media unit than it has, one that can reduce messages that are necessarily complex into understandable communication, bite-sized units that are assimilable, plausible and memorable. It ought not be impossible for experts in education and communication to fashion them. Yet we read that the Obama administration suffers the same impediment. It seems that the current short attention span of the electorate and it insistence on simple solutions to complex problems, on simplicity rather than complexity, is a root cause. It’s a serious problem that must be solved.

Simplicity is the opiate of the people. It numbs, it relieves the pain of thinking about difficult issues, of finding the facts and figures and coming to a reasoned conclusion. It gives the feeling that all is well with the world, that even the most complex problems can be readily solved by reducing them to simple propositions, captured in an easy-to-understand, easy-to-remember catch cry. Simplicity as a proxy for irreducible complexity is dishonest and dangerous. Yet it abounds and is ruthlessly used for political advantage, particularly by those in opposition. Is there any counter? Is change possible with the political media we have to put up with in this country?

On the other side of the coin there is a question for governments – can complexity be simply communicated?

What do you think?

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Catching up

4/03/2011Maybe this is the reason that PM Gillard thought it is wise to release the outline without detail in the carbon pricing proposals. We have allowed a climate to involve in this country, where many expect to be spoon fed and do not believe they have any responsibility to seek information for themselves. I question the ability of people to learn anything, if they take three word slogans as the main source of information. The result of the PM action appears to be a very confused public and has allowed the Opposition to darken the waters. It has been very difficult for the government to focus on the fact that they have introduced a framework that they believe best meets the needs of addressing climate change. The proposition in itself is not complicated. The proposition is that a fixed price on carbon for three to five years that is to evolve to a full market based charge on carbon. This is not much different from that what Labor proposed during the election campaign, in spite of what those in Opposition are attempting to convey. How much more difficult it would have been if the whole framework was released with details. I believe if the government follow this course of action, the Opposition, with the assistance of the MSM, on their present behaviour, would have derailed the proposal for good. The Opposition is not raising the possibility that climate change is not a fact. The Opposition is spending very little time on defending their own climate change propositions. The Opposition has spent it's time in alarming the public with made up costs to the community, without any facts to based their assertions. The Opposition are portraying the picture that there is no positives in the proposals. The Opposition main response is in personally attacking and slandering members of the government, without contributing anything to the debate. The government needs to continue in this manner, educate the public about the framework, and move on quickly to the details. The public debate for the good of the Nation needs to focus on what is being done, and changes made if necessary. It is up to the Opposition if they want to partake in the process or not. The stance they are taking now will lead no where.

TalkTurkey

4/03/2011Actually, Ad astra, ol' Karl said "Religion is the opium of the people". [OUT OUT FOUL MISQUOTE! to misquote a certain foul misquoter.] Wikipedia lets you off lightly though: it goes on to say that [the misquotation] 'is one of the most frequently paraphrased statements of Karl Marx. It was translated from the German original, "Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes" and is often referred to as "religion is the opiate of the masses."' But I'm not sure that in KM's day they knew about opiate derivatives of Madame Poppy, and there certainly weren't such masses! BTW I'm not at all belittling nor ignoring your post. (Damn, you get it right every time - Oh yeah, except when you spell DAM!) Oh maybe I'd have to quibble with your use of the term 'simplicity', a word too simply belovable to be besmirched with such as THEM, we're really talking about over-simplification and/or I suppose the philosophy of deliberately feeding the masses of Simpletonia with Soma, namely 'simplisticism; . . . if indeed there be any noun deriving from 'simplistic', well there is now anyway, I just used it. (Doncha just love English, make up a noun substantive anytime you need one, whoops! there's another real word!) But the thrust of what you're saying, dear O dear, Yep. So what's to be done? Hopefully in the course of this new thread Swordsfolk like Miglo will come out of the woodwork with something a lot more substantial than this of mine, but anyway you ain't got rid of me yet. But while we're on the trivial stuff I started with, you ever come across the horrible misquotation of Spike Milligan's epitaph? He chose to have written (but in GAELIC) on his tombstone, a six-word sentence,the words of which I KNOW he meant to mean to be transalted as the terminally hilarious "I TOLD YOU I WAS SICK" but which his very closest "friends" have publicly MIS-translated as the (truly) ominous "I TOLD YOU I WAS ILL" History will certainly correct their mistranslation, but probably won't quite Out the Damned Spot of it. But anyway RIP Spike. As funny and clever As any Clown ever.

jane

4/03/2011Excellent post Ad astra. I really don't know how the government can counter the three word slogan, because to do so requires an attention span longer than a toddler in the target audience, and a media not in thrall to Emperor Rupert and his minions. The other problem is that the opposition is never brought to book on exactly how their three word slogans would be implemented if they were to be elected. They have also not been subject to deep probing on any of their "policy initiatives" aka Abbott's brain farts. And obviously none of our so called journalists, with a few very rare exceptions, has bothered to do any research into government programs like BER, where the opposition has stated without foundation that waste has occurred let alone compare them with the wasteful and profligate excesses of the Howard government of whom most of the shadow ministry were members. Perhaps a walk down memory lane could be a useful counter. I'm terrified that this nihilistic opposition may be elected, because government by three word slogan is the very likely outcome, given their paucity of talent.

TalkTurkey

4/03/2011OOpppsss . . . Not "transalted" More like (NOT)"transaltered" And that damn' "peripatetic" got me AGAIN! Stupid Turkey. Just goes to show Skelly's on to me.

Ad astra reply

4/03/2011Folks Thank you for your comments to date.  They make interesting reading, and reflect the high calibre of those who blog here. As I'm on the road at present, I won't be able to respond thoughtfully until later today.

nasking

4/03/2011My apologies to contributors of The Political Sword...as one who generally detests cross-vlogging problems & airing of such...I discovered this morning that I have not only finding that ironically my comment posted at GutterTrash site met the following: [quote]Please Note: Your comment is awaiting moderation.[/quote] But on my own 'Final Post.' at Cafe Whispers I have been blocked from posting. I see no other avenue than to post the original comment I attempted to post at GT here: ---------------------------------- King Rat: “Is this an exerpt from a telephone call between Reb and a well known (now retired) blogger ?” Yet another example of the kind of abuse and accusations on this blog from various attention seeking contributors on an ongoing basis I have had to put up w/ for a good long time which forced me to make mention of such on Cafe Whispers recently. I shouldn’t have, I broke my own rules, considering I was hard on others who dueled across blogs (Mobius, you were indeed right to make mention of it & I appreciate you correcting an innaccurate statement made by reb that I was “taking over Cafe Whispers” when in fact Miglo had been absent due to work & travel commitments. Why Miglo did not correct this & other false accusations & misrepresentations is beyond my understanding, even tho he has tried to justify such to me… it’s part of the reason I decided to leave Cafe Whispers. I did not expect my efforts in defending him on numerous occasions on this blog to be reciprocated because I ignored his advice to avoid this blog altogether… but considering Miglo made the effort to come over, ignoring his own advice, I did expect more at that point…as did others…but rather than correcting said misinformation he decided to make the ‘off the cuff’ & glib comment “look what happens when I’m away” (add smile)…a comment that not only could be construed as egotistical & denigrating…but failed to recognise the efforts of those who put in many hours during his absence…and failed to give any specifics as to why I felt compelled to do so many posts during that time. Not the attitude one would expect from someone who purported to see you as a blog partner. However, as Miglo had been humiliated and had accusations thrown at him on this blog previously I was not surprised he took the approach he did…tho the initial comment left a great deal to be desired. The rest seemed to be about stroking his own ego re: his posts…fed into by the usual suspects attempting further “divide & conquer” tactics. Many of the disparaging comments made about me I have no problem w/ when I’m on this blog…but many have been made during periods of extended absence from this blog. Perhaps to attract my attention & bring me back as a commentor (crude tactics in the extreme)…perhaps to diminish my reputation in order draw readers & commentors from Cafe Whispers where I posted. Perhaps just an addiction by certain contributors for reasons best left to the imagination of readers. Maybe all of the above. Regardless, I believe the owner of this blog reb welcomes such behaviour by not appropriately moderating. Who in turn, posted an insulting & accussatory thread, including amateur psychological assessments of my character & motives, in order to not only justify his past actions I imagine and have yet another cathartic event at my expense…but also, it seems, to attract readers back to his blog – noting on a number of occasions prior to our last dispute that I have complimented him on aspects of his posting…but not his attitude nor some of his contributors at times. Anyone who doubts my views need only regard the conflict & outcomes of a similar debate that occurred on Blogocrats. And yet another harrassed blogger deciding to eventually depart from f/t blogging. I hope for the sake of Cafe Whispers that things do not disintegrate again…and posters on their do not find themselves under attack yet again by the goons of this blog owner if his commentors &/or post views/hits numbers go down. It would also benefit those contributors on GT who put in the rationally argued hard yards if ongoing feuds were to desist permanently. Frankly, I have no problem w/ one on one verbal duels whilst the individuals being confronted to are presently on that blog…I would be a hypocrite to say otherwise…but the persistant insulting comments that have been directed at me by contributors on this blog have gone on relentlessly even tho the same was not being done to them at the Cafe. I have noted a number the past few days…particularly by King Rat. I would recommend that both King Rat…& even Tom R….desist in stirring up trouble. KR is renowned for his manic, over-the-top & consistent abuse of others at times that goes on long after the initial thread conflict. Tom R., who I believe has contributed many a useful, insightful & well-researched comment has on the odd occasion felt the need to continue to stir up trouble when it has absolutely nothing to do w/ him. I’m not quite sure why. Tho Tom R, at one point I did become less tolerant of such…during a time I was attempting to create a bridge between GT & Cafe factions…and I recommended you see a therapist. This was uncalled for on my part and I aplogise. Hopefully you will see fit to do same to me considering how well we have worked together on occasion in the intereast of the public good. The same goes for TB, who has on GT in the past, made false accusations that I was the key individual who was feeding the trouble between CW & GT during the time Miglo put up his Ausblog…the facts are, many people contributed to that duel…stemming from a conflict on Blogocrats of which I took no part in due to taking a break from blogging…TB your comments…combined w/ your ongoing addiction to needling me (“just sayin’ : inferences…bein’ one example recently) were what partially led to my firm statements over at the Cafe… for the owner of this blog to define them as “bullying” is not only ironic based on his own approach to blogging…and lack of moderation…but fails to take into account the ongoing & serial deletarious comments & inferences TB has made towards me over the past year and longer (which can be confirmed by other contributors…tho I do not expect them to step up for various reasons…fear being one of them)…and no matter how many times I have attempted to patch things up there has been a pattern of behaviour displayed by TB he is unwilling to own up to. I leave it to him to do some self-searching now that I have officially retired from posting. I will apologise for the alcohol-related comment I made related to you TB…I expect tho going on your past responses this will be taken for granted. And Toiletboss, I was surprised you fed & took part in belittling my writing style on a number of occasions…a contributor who I respected & requested be invited to the Cafe…who basically took my efforts to promote your music by way of my music threads on GT…and us having some positive & meaningful chats about HBO shows, science fiction, certain bands & the state of conflict in our world…it saddened me when you joined in on the high school-like mean-spirited herd activities of some of the other characters on this blog…for no apparent reason. As for ToM & Tony & James (Sancty)…you get back as hard as you give…at least ToM has the decency to accept this. Some play victim off the back off their own “tricky dick” attitude…a game played by the likes of a number of shock jocks & tabloid journos. James, you are a highly intelligent character who puts yer case well on occasion…keep to the rational side and you will convince more readers of yer POV. Yes, we’ve all got “down & dirty” on GT…sometimes it was a great deal of fun playing the tabloid media & shock jocks at their own game. But it can get out of hand…and detract from the argument, case we’re making. Not to mention, have long-term deletarious effects. As someone who has not smoked dope for a good long time…and also struggled w/ tourettes, borderline personality (primarily due to abandonment issues as a lad & losing trust in authority figures due to observations of violence…occasionally being treated aggressively) and having dealt for most of my life w/ mental health problems in parts of my family…I found some comments made on here beyond the pale…stooping as low as one can get. Unfurtunately, the blog owner has fed or instigated a number of these comments. My responses at times have also been lacking in due compassion & appropriateness. I’m willing to admit to such. The tabloid media & shock jocks have set a bad precedent…not to mention, certain animated shows and so on. Across the blogosphere, media in general & political arena we see a devolving of attitudes…we see feigned outrage, fear-mongering, xenophobic & xenophobe-stirring comments/accusations, distortion of facts, personal insults one would expect from the worst high school bullies…the list goes on. I tried to stand up to the major shock jock & tabloid bullies & character assassins by occasionally emulating their style…whilst in turn explaining the tactics & characteristics. Many have done same across the blogosphere. I have regretted such for some time now. And no longer feel it is an appropriate avenue to take in order to try and empower people…and expose the tactics of both media & political agents. There have been successes…but in the long run I would prefer to make a rational case than emulate the likes of far too many in the Murdoch media (The recent BSKYb decision a sad one for the British…from a compliant Tory government), on radio and elsewhere. I do believe this comment feeds into the debate that has arisen from the topic above. And I felt that considering how much certain individuals on this blog, including the blog owner, have felt compelled to tarnish my reputation over time…which continued somewhat since the accusatory post “Nasking’s Way”…I should have an appropriate right of reply. Cheers --------------------- As a regular commentor at PS I hope you can understand why I had to resort to putting the comment here. My apologies again. But if one cannot reply to tarnishing of their reputation elsewhere, w/out resorting to legal avenues (which I deplore) then they must search for other avenues. I do believe the comment is partially relevent to a number of posts on here recently. N’

nasking

4/03/2011An excellent piece Ad Astra. [quote]It seems that the current short attention span of the electorate and it insistence on simple solutions to complex problems, on simplicity rather than complexity, is a root cause. It’s a serious problem that must be solved. [/quote] It's one reason the Coalition's leader John Howard called on young people to leave school after grade 10...to ensure few attended university where they might be empowered...learn to see beyond the reductionist media and politicians...examine in-depth his policies and the motives behind them. It's one of the reasons Rupert Murdoch's empire reaches into animation, Fox television...not just for profiteering reasons...but to ensure the "dumbing down" process continues at all age levels...and that children don't learn about alternative lifestyles that endanger Rupert & his corporate allies' accumulation of dollars, assets & their ambitions. You'll find many Fox Shows over the years, including The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Family Guy promote characteristics of Libertarianism...and oft treat animals as disposable and only useful for food & hunting...as benefits various companies and groups that are supported by or support the Murdoch empire...and conservative politics in general. Any criticism of Fox in the shows...or alternative views are usually inconsistent & or ridiculed at many a point. For instance, over the years Lisa Simpson has been portrayed generally as dull as dishwater...or occassionally compliant...compared to her brother & father. King of the Hill prides itself on promoting a cross between American conservative & libertarian values. This is not to say Murdoch interferes w/ scripts and such...but rather, it's about selecting programs to air on Fox channels. American Dad might take the piss out of everything & anything...but it also leaves children confused w/ the characters providing little consistent sets of principles & ethics to choose from as role models. We see the same occuring in sports...it's not surprising that the Murdoch empire has also ventured into this area by way of Fox Sports & the Melbourne Storm. It's a propaganda machine of the worst kind...that now is being given further opportunities to expand by a compliant Tory govt in the UK...the history of that needs public wide exposure in Australia. More youth into uni the better...more media & political studies in schools...we need active, empowered citizens...and visa holders. N'

Feral Skeleton

4/03/2011Nasking, You are always welcome to air your views at The Political Sword because you have always obeyed our one and only rule: be courteous even if you disagree. :)

Lyn

4/03/2011Hi Nasking I haven't read your comment above yet, but can assure you, I will, as soon as I get the kitchen cleaned up. Firstly, I want to tell you, how much we appreciate you, and your very worthy, well thoughtout, comments on "TPS". Nasking I can feel your hurt, I read last week on both the blogs you mentioned, the troublesome comments delivered and directed at you. Nasking, we enjoy your comments very much, I wanted to reply to your comments yesterday, but I had lots of blogs to read for "Today's Links". I have been getting up at 5am to start the collection, Mr Abbott makes me very busy, as he does to our other blog owners. I am so sorry Nasking, that those other people have upset you so much.

Lyn

4/03/2011Hi Ad Well another thousand thankyou's to you Ad Astra for your very enjoyable, welcome article, I enjoy your writing so much Ad, it is second to none on the Blogosphere. You see your high calibre is what exposes the high calibre of our dear readers. Your words Ad: [quote]Simplicity is the opiate of the people. It numbs, it relieves the pain of thinking about difficult issues, of finding the facts and figures and coming to a reasoned conclusion. [/quote] How right you are the MSM think everything is simple, they don't need to do anything other than write a column about what Tony Abbott said. Looks like now, everything is so simple the Murdoch press think "just call another election", the Government doesn't have a mandate, that's right, Tony Abbott said: Tim Dunlop's twit: timdunlop It is now clear that the Oz will publish virtually anything as long as it slags the govt. Raucous laughing only way out http://bit.ly/g0UuzU [i]Early election the only way out , Kenneth Wiltshire, The Australian[/i] IT is now clear that Australia is virtually ungovernable. The primary cause is the quagmire created by the election last year. There is no way out of this mess except an early national election to give one side or the other a clear majority and mandate, and restore sound governance and proper service delivery: the sooner the better for the wellbeing of the nation. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/early-election-the-only-way-out/story-e6frg6zo-1226015579768

nasking

4/03/2011Cheers Feral & Lyn. I'm far from perfect...in fact I've had my poor moments, like many, but I do feel that my efforts on GT & Cafe whispers deserved better...and at least a right of reply...particularly as certain comments on my Final Post on CW indicated that some people had not truly heard my side of this sad story...nor thru no fault of their own knew the details of some ongoing events. I have one contributor who confirms to me in emails I have been blocked...comments sent to spam...and that we were used to a degree on the blogs...and our concerns rarely dealt with. My wife has seen same for a good long time now & also aired such views. If I did not have yours & their support I think my distress would be more...I just hope that people can judge me on the entirety of my blog work...and recognise that I would not have put so many hours & effort in if it was about destroying blogs and the integrity of the blogosphere. I have made plenty of mistakes...but I try to be as honest as possible...in expressing my concerns...whether it be related to the mainstream media, politics or the blogosphere. Occasionally I will test views...or stand up to others who have bullied other contributors, in order to help raise the confidence of those being bullied. Probably I have got it wrong on occasion, as we all do...and I am not averse to apologising, unlike some. Occasionally my criticisms of someone who I feel has been disloyal can seem harsh. But I expect no less from others...provided all have a right to reply. But to brag about non-moderation...and then selectively bring it in to prevent "right of reply" after attempting to assassinate a fellow blogger's reputation i believe is the height of hypocrisy & demonstrates that individual is willing to use the bully pulpit when it suits their aims...but cowardly when it comes to right of reply. As I emailed a fellow contributor: I see the Murdoch empire, particularly 'The Australian'...and the odd private school principal...is trying to denigrate the MySchool website...and create confusion...distort info...whilst Garrett's reputation is being questioned by some of the usual suspects. I reckon Garrett is a brave individual trying to right wrongs. I tried to do the same...but unfortunately received little support, sometimes even tricky attacks on my own reputation, from certain bloggers whose integrity i am now beginning to question. It seems they are united in slapping me down & blocking me from airing my views. Both because their pride has been hit. And because someone else's view of their style of blogging & long-term exploitation of others does not fit well w/ their egos. After discovering I was blocked on two blogs...whilst on one blog contributors continued to make inferences and mock me...days after the Final Post...I have come to realise how sick this whole Blogocrats thing must've become. I'm not surprised one of the owners closed the original blog...and has now left the country. It's why I wany nothing to do w/ either blog anymore, CW or GT (tho right of reply & the ability to thnx contributors who have commented is essential on a thread I have posted)...even tho I do wish you & others on the Cafe well...and hope the Cafe does well in the future. I have come to realise now why our media & politics is so screwed up...why so much cliquiness and secretive attitudes...and alliances between competing interests. Whilst many other hard working, speak to truth individuals are gagged, marginalised and/or destroyed/thrown to the wayside...whilst their style, ideas and work is plagiarised, nicked, abused. Recent events have truly saddened me. I see little hope for this world if the likes of this attitude becomes dominant on the blogosphere...and the some bloggers can't admit to their faults...and recognise they've made a dreadful alliance against someone who worked damn hard w/ them to create a useful blog. I have now been accussed of lying and have caused all the latest trouble. It seems that some feel it appropriate to ignore the actions of those they villified so intensely previously. Very convenient. Anyway, I intend to take further action regarding this issue that I will keep out of the blogosphere...and I hope that any other bloggers who cross other bloggers learn something from this situation...that some you cross will use the "bully pulpit"...permitting their contributors to pile on...but some will stand up to them. Whatever it takes. Keep up the great work PS. You are a standout. N'

nasking

4/03/2011"IT is now clear that Australia is virtually ungovernable." Kenneth Wiltshire has picked up the 'Hyperbole & Exaggeration Virus' caught by so many of the Coalition & media infected by Tony Abbott. Seems to me the government is governing just fine. All of this hyperbole reminds me so much of the tabloid approach to news...whether it be The Sun in the UK trying to bring down Labour governments...or Fox News discussing the pro-union protestors in Wisconsin & Ohio. It's why I refer to Tony Abbott now as 'Mr. Negabore'... or Tabloid Tony. N'

Feral Skeleton

4/03/2011Nasking, The points you make about the blogosphere are sound, don't convince yourself otherwise. If you read my post to you on your last blog you would have realised that while we had a disagreement recently also, I thought we behaved like adults in discussing our differences of opinion, and at the end of the day we were still mates. Which is exactly the ethos that Ad Astra has encouraged here at The Political Sword, and why I am so happy to have landed here in the blogosphere after I got banned from Jack the Insiders blog. Simply put, Ad Astra is a sage voice of reason without any particular axe to grind against the contributors to this blog. More than once he has moderated issues between incendiary commenters who sought to flame this blog. He was just so rational as he calmly explained why he thought something was wrong that you could hardly disagree with him. No name calling, just succinctly put arguments for his point of view and his opinion as to why the other person was wrong to be saying the things that got others upset. No wonder he is beloved the world over. Then you read his blogs, such as today's contribution, wherein he doesn't try any gutter snark to make his point, just clear-eyed, dispassionate reasoning. Anyway, suffice to say that I, too have made my progress in online blogs through the guts of a beggar before I landed here, and although one may feel a certain connection to one particular blog or another in history, the salient fact I have come to realise is that life's too short to worry about bad blog experiences. In fact, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, if you've been burnt by a bad blog experience you can often rise afresh from it, elsewhere. I mean, there's a billion bleedin' blogs out there! No point getting hung up on one or two. However, what IS important is that if you have a message and the desire to let people have the benefit of your wisdom and insight(she says unselfconsciously,lol), then it behoves you to just find another soapbox to stand on to deliver it. Because the task that is in front of us as believers in a progressive social democracy philosophy is too important a cause to fight for against the regressive conservative oligarchs, to not have all possible shoulders to the wheel. Just think of that Kate Bush/Peter Gabriel song. I'm sure you know the one. :)

NormanK

4/03/2011Ad astra Thanks for that. The current government is trying to keep it simple on the carbon tax by not confusing the issue with discussion of hypotheticals until the committee can reach some sort of agreement and this is being criticised by some as a lack of detail or lack of leadership. I can't see any way for the government to advocate complex ideas in a simple way and unfortunately the opposition has a huge head-start when they don't actually have to spell out what they mean by their simplistic message. There is no way out of this dumbing down if one side of the debate simply keeps yelling 'No'. Once again it falls to our public commentators to fill this void and provide reasonable analysis and information when a topic is complex and vexatious. This is where we are being let down. Politicians don't actually have the public's ear beyond a sound-bite but academics and serious commentators could cut through the noise if they had the courage and were given the opportunity. There doesn't seem to be much of either at the moment. For example, to what television programme might we turn for serious discussion on this and any other topic at present? I can think of none and yet it is the predominant medium. Perhaps a humorous animated short would do the job. I wonder who will be the first to pick up this story, simplify it and claim it as justification for their argument? [b]Pupils' race hate on Facebook explodes at Hoxton Park High School[/b] [quote]A brawl that erupted between a student's relatives and police was the culmination of an R-rated slanging match on Facebook between "Leb" and "Aussie" students.[/quote] http://www.news.com.au/national/racism-boils-over-in-school-attacks/story-e6frfkvr-1226015710127?from=igoogle+gadget+compact+news_rss Will it be - see I told you these foreigners are incapable of integration and now they are influencing our children. Or will it be - see I told you there would be consequences if the shock-jocks and politicians kept hounding Muslim immigrants. No doubt the truth behind this incident is both more complex and more simple than either of these positions. Complex because it has been building for some time and involves quite a few people and simple because it probably started way back when over a game of sport or grades in school or a member of the opposite sex. Part of the problem is that the media and comments sections and blogs are forcing people to take sides (where the prevailing perception is that there are only two sides) which forces more and more people away from the middle ground. If they dig their heels in and decide to remain in the middle ground then in the interests of self-preservation (anything for a bit of peace and quiet) they refrain from entering into public discourse. What we are left with are three groups, two of them at polarised opposites shouting slogans and buzzwords at each other and a third, by far the largest group wondering what all of the hollering is about. The fact that I blame one of the polarised groups of being more responsible for this situation than the other probably says more about me than it does about the prevailing reality.

Feral Skeleton

4/03/2011It's not clear that 'Australia is virtually ungovernable' at all. Or if it is 'virtually ungovernable' it is because of the antics of the Tony Abbott-led Opposition and their facilitators and enablers in the media. Simple. As. That.

nasking

4/03/2011Cheers Feral, sage words indeed. And you've provided me w/ hope when I felt it was slipping from view. The one thing I've appreciated about this blog is the respect people show for one another...fostered as you say by the wise elder Ad astra. He is marvellous, as are his co-posters & contributors. That's why I always find time for this blog. Anyway, thankyou all for permitting me to say my piece. I have no more to say on the issue as I do not want to infect this great blog further w/ a conflict that had its roots years ago. You have my utmost appreciation, and I shall try to find time to comment on the beaut & well articulated topics you Feral/Hillbilly, Ad astra & others post here on a regular basis. Lyn, I can understand fully how busy you must be reading thru the blogosphere and providing links. And yes, can relate to Mr. Abbott keeping us all busy. :) Yer efforts are beyond brilliant & diligent. Keep up the great work. Yer making a difference. As is Feral & Ad astra & many contributors on this fine blog...and many on other blogs such as CW & GT. Regardless of those who might want to silence us. If Miglo were to shut the Cafe due to our disagreements I would be saddened further. It is a wonderful blog...and Miglo, Min, Shane, Ben, Kevin & other posters and the commentors have done fine work...beyond the call of duty sometimes. NO LONGER EYES WIDE SHUT Keep well all. Set the world on fire. And keep the bas*ards more than honest. :) Cheers N'

2353

4/03/2011I'm wondering if the Government's overall theme should also be reduced to three words "Abbott speaks crap". Then the "spokesperson of the day" goes on to explain in words of one syllable why in the particular case Abbott does in fact speak crap in the eyes of the Government. It would be instructive to see if the coverage changes after a while from the 3 second soundbite of each tribe saying the other tribe is useless to a coverage of a slightly longer and better detailed view of the policy - making the LNP explain it's policy to get any airtime (if they have a policy of course!)

BSA Bob

4/03/20112253 An excellent idea; might I suggest amending it to "Abbott talks crap."? It's in the same vein as "Abbott talks bulls...".

anon

4/03/2011Well Nasking has succesfully managed to shut down Cafe Whispers thanks to his threats against blog owner Miglo. He has also made threats against reb of gutter trash. There are two sides to every story and here at Political Sword, you so far, have only heard Nasking's view. He wasn't banned from two completely independent blogs (Cafe Whispers and GT) for nothing. Nasking, I hope you feel proud of yourself.

Feral Skeleton

4/03/20112353, You know, if the government decided to break complex issues down to 3 word slogans, all of a sudden the mediasphere would be filled with howls of condemnation about 'not enough detail'. :)

Ad astra reply

4/03/2011Catching up Having arrived after a long road trip, I can begin to answer some of the comments that have arrived. I think you are right. To avoid having to explain the complexity of the detailed carbon pricing mechanisms, Julia Gillard has chosen to present an outline, which is simple enough in itself, and elaborate on the detail over time. There is just one aspect that I wish she would emphasise more - the compensation that will be provided to households and small businesses to offset the increased costs that pricing carbon would occasion. Of course there is the dilemma - elaborate too much too early and be accused of confusing gobbledegook, or give the people time to assimilate the detail in bite-sized understandable chunks, and be accused of lack of detail initially. Either way the Opposition has ammunition. The media could help by explaining how the detail will unfold, but generally choose not to do so.

Ad astra reply

4/03/2011TT I won't quibble with you over the Karl Marx quotation - there seems to be many permutations and combinations - opiate versus opium; people versus masses. 'Opiate is a generic term for a class of drugs whereas 'opium', from which morphine is derived, is more specific. 'Opiate' seems more applicable here. Anyway, as Humpty Dumpty said: "When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less." The word 'simplicity' was meant to convey the property of being simple, not being simplistic. Seeking simplicity when the issue is complex is illusory. I see you won't let me forget the damn dam episode.

Ad astra reply

4/03/2011jane The prospect of an Abbott Government too fills me with terror. And our media does little to expose the hollowness of the Coalition's negative anti-Government campaigns about such programs as the BER and the HIP; in fact the media has been the principal perpetrator. That is a major part of the problem - an objective media would have scotched most of the negativity ages ago.

Ad astra reply

4/03/2011Nasking I was sad to read of the difficulties that have beset you and the treatment that has been meted out to you from fellow bloggers on other sites. Be assured that if you continue to comment here you will always be welcome, and will not be subject to abuse. Derogatory statements directed to the person are not permitted here. Do come again.

Ad astra reply

4/03/2011Hi Lyn Thank you for the Wiltshire reference. He is the J.D. Story professor of public administration at the University of Queensland business school and has an impressive CV. But he writes like a Liberal Party operative. Despite his qualifications I give little credence to his arguments, do not accept his view that the Greens are running the Government (which corresponds with the view of the Coalition), and find his words: 'pet projects', 'appalling record', 'waste and corruption', 'stultifying', 'process mania' and 'wreckage' all in reference to the Government, without a single pejorative reference to the Coalition, indicative of his political orientation and preferences, rendering him a biassed commentator, and his views therefore deeply suspect.

Feral Skeleton

4/03/2011You know what I find amazing? The fact that certain television stations have openly taken to barracking for one side in politics, and no one seems willing or able to do anything about it. I think someone called it 'the politics of snark', and that's all I'm hearing these days, manipulative snark from the Opposition and supportive snark from a facilitative media.

Ad astra reply

4/03/2011FS Thank you the kind and generous remarks you made about [i]TPS[/i] and me in your first paragraph. They gave me an enormous 'warm fuzzy'. As you indicate, one purpose of [i]TPS[/i] is to give expression to thoughtful comments, to allow individuals to speak their mind in the knowledge they will not be abused personally. With your help and that of those who comment here, we have largely achieved this. We have had no serious flame wars and we don't want them. I hope 'anon' will take note.

Feral Skeleton

4/03/2011NormanK, The government are also not being helped with their messaging by a media that won't transmit their messages for them. I wonder why they so studiously avoid it. As Grog said the other day, Julia Gillard finally found a way of explaining how a Price on Carbon, fixed and then flexible, would work in practice for the average punter in the shops, but did you hear it transmitted through any of the media outlets unless you were watching it in real time as she explained it in parliament? Not that I heard. Instead all we got from that day was Tony Abbott's latest baseless snark about an 'honesty transplant', or plaints about a 'baseless slur', which did, in fact, have more than an element of truth to it because, it may be dog whistling, but race baiting it is. No matter how much Scott Morrison and Tony Abbott deny it with a straight face, or a poorly-concealed smirk in the case of Scott Morrison. You opine about the need for some sort of 'humorous animated short'. Well, I agree. Oh for the days of Spitting Image. I'm sure the people who used to make that show in Keating & Hawkie's time aren't dead yet, or at least someone who could do something similar should be putting their hand up to take pot shots at the pollies on a regular basis, humorously, via the puppetry medium or suchlike. I mean, Christopher Pyne is tailor-made for the role of ventriloquist's dummy. :) Finally, the Hoxton Park episode. Well, a perceptive saying was told to me when I started a family. 'Your children are a mirror reflection of you'. Say no more.

Ad astra reply

4/03/2011NormanK As Labor seems less than impressive in explaining what it has done and what it plans to do, one would hope that academics and serious investigative reporters would fill the void by explaining the complexities of planned legislation to the electorate instead of just echoing Coalition rhetoric. Sadly this seldom occurs, and certainly rarely in the Murdoch media. Of course we know the latter's agenda is to destroy Labor, so what they do day after day ought not to be so much of a surprise, frustrating though it is. You reference to 'pupils race hate on Facebook…' shows what damage such un-curtailed activity can do

Ad astra reply

4/03/20112353 I do like 'Abbott speaks crap'. Perhaps it's time for Labor to broadcast that truth at every opportunity.

Ad astra reply

4/03/2011anon You are welcome to comment here, but we are not interested in flame wars.

nasking

4/03/2011Thankyou anon...and all those at Cafe Whispers who managed to put trhe knife in. When Miglo blocked me from the Cafe I sent him this email: "I've caused all the trouble eh? Yer emails from the past tell dfferent. How very convenient of you. I'm sure yer bosses will feel different. Stacey reckons I should go over yer head for blocking me from a site I helped create." He replied: "Are you threatening me?" My reply: "Read it as you like. Not physically no. So don't try to distort. You screw w/ my career...what do you expect? I will respond in like." His reply: I will only say this once. In my opinion you’ve caused all this latest trouble and I don’t like the lies you’re saying about me. It was also you who said in an email to me that you wanted nothing further to do with the Café. But no, you had to come back and try to put up a comment running me and a number of other people down. As I see it you’ve been nothing but a bully." ....the words continued until my last two posts: Michael, I see that as a total over-reaction & emotional blackmail. There is absolutely no reason to close Cafe Whispers. Why would you destroy something so valuable because of your pride? I did not say I don't believe you are unwell sometimes, I know you have Lupus & diabetes...what I said was I felt you used excuses sometimes to get out of posting & had no problem letting Min & I take the bulk of the work...regardless of how under the weather we were...sometimes. All YOUR work. How egotistical is that? You prove my case. Desists w/ the melodrama and think rationally. If you were to do so you'd see how insulting your behaviour towards me by way of GT has been when I was under attack (purely I reckon cause you preferred mate TB on the blog)...and fear of reb who had humiliated & lied about you previously...and had ToM hounding you. I stuck up for you on GT time & time again...and imagine if reb had put up a post about you going after Neil? Do you think I would've stoodby and let that happen to you after all the effort we'd put in together on CW? Never!!! Certainly i was a bit harsh a few times in emails...but I tell ya mate, there's alot of ways to hurt people...you just have another way...but seem oblivious to it. It's called putting yer own ego before loyalty...lookin' after yer own interests first. You don't need to be that way. Keep the blog open. Let me respond to the Final Post contributors. AND (after Migs said he felt destroyed I replied): Exactly how I felt all week...since the reb post...and not an ounce of concern from you. I'm sorry you feel so bad Migs. But eventually we all get over it. And move on. If only reb had...and TB...then we wouldn't be where we are today. Anyway, nothing is destroyed for you. You have a lovely wife, a home, an investment home, children, friends, a site on the blogs, a site on Facebook, an Ausblog site. You are well respected...even I respect much you've done and told you so previously. But yer recent actions and inactions saddened and pissed me off intensely. My mother even could not understand it after I told her about yer great time here & how we had created such a cool blog. She went thru the details and said "how could Miglo let you down so after all the support you gave him considering that reb did the same to him before and you defended Miglo?". I could only shake my head. The past week has been a nightmare for me...and w/out Stacey's support I don't know what would've happened. Anyway, I'm willing to move on now. I've said my piece, belatedly. When no others would for me. I have no interest in posting now...not at least for a good long time. I think however you should rethink you crash & burn feelings...and for the good of Min & other contributors keep open the Cafe. Cheers ---------------------------- Now I see that reb the rabble rouser is doing his darndest w/ others to denigrate me further. Others who I supported thru thick & thin...one who has been attacked over their mercilessly...it seems that once part of the Blogocracy team always part of it. I was always made to feel an outsider coming from RTS. Yes, the comment about Migs bosses was probably unfair at the moment...but it seemed to me that he had no concerns about my career...and was willing to steal every aspect of my Cafe efforts away from me. And accusations that Migs has been attacked on numerous occassions fails to take into account his & others roles behind the scenes in an ongoing blog wars. These people can feign innocence all they like. I have accumulated enuff emails & evidence to demonstrate that there are no innocents here...and it seems I am the only one who could be bothered admitting my mistakes and apologising. Per usual. I've had my fill of the blogs. The lies. The distortions. the behind the scenes set-ups, attacks, misunderstandings, exploitation & cliques. As far as I'm concerned people can attack me all they like...condemn me. I know where my heart is/was. I know the truth. Can own up to mistakes. Unlike so many others. My wife has watched this unfold and she also supports me...but tells me when I'm wrong. As did another main contributor who now seems to support reb's assessment having done a U-turn in the past couple of hours...sadly. No worries, I expected no less. Farewell Political Sword. You've been good to me & respected my efforts unlike so many elsewhere. I apologise from bringing this garbage to your door. Now I'm out of the way I'm sure the liars, the herd, and the unwilling to accept their complicity will get their way. Such is the way of life. To those who have backstabbed me at Cafe Whispers & GT after all my support & efforts I say: Look into yourselves...and explore the origins of yer bias. Cheers...the vegetarian, non-Murdoch's Blogocracy-rooted... N'

Ad astra reply

4/03/2011FS You comment on Australia becoming ungovernable. I agree, not for the reasons Wiltshire gave, but because of Abbott's obstructionism and negativity, the power of pressure groups, and a compliant media. In fact there was a piece on [i]TPS: Is Australia becoming ungovernable?[/i] on 27 November, accessible via the Archive on the top menu, that details reasons why this might be the case. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2010/11/27/Is-Australia-becoming-ungovernable.aspx

Ad astra reply

4/03/2011Nasking You say 'Farewell Political Sword'. If it has to be farewell Nasking, so be it, but you will be welcome back. I trust the bitterness that seems to be extant will subside, that all involved will avoid exacerbating the angst via flame wars. We all have a bigger battle to fight here. We need to gird our loins to confront the enemy, not friends.

nasking

4/03/2011Cheers Ad astra. You are a kind man. I've made mistakes and obviously made many enemies along the way. That's what you get for being different I guess. There's alot of bitterness out there...and sometimes I've let it control me too. I want to do better. I hope my posts and a few comments stand up to the test of time tho...and are appreciated beyond this silly blogs war. And no, regardless of accusations my correspondence w/ Miglo is not the same as the Grog vs Murdoch situation...and frankly I would question the motives of those who make such claims. How can private tit for tat that was emotional silliness be the same as a mainstream paper outing a blogger. Michael has chosen to out himself to play victim and feed the anger against me. Which is why I put up the emails. Not the first time I've been setup by this lot...w/ reb being a main instigator. Besides...some people have the comfort of a great deal of money from salaries to fall back onto...I have nothing. This new career meant everything to me after retiring ill from teaching. Gone in an instant...w/ many throwing mud & accusations my way. My many hours of volunteer work thrown back in my face. No hope left. I know the others I've spoken of also have contributed alot of good stuff too. It's a shame it's come to this. But I've been hounded long enuff. And I feel it will continue on this blog too if I don't leave permanently. It's a sacrifice I'm willing to make in order to preserve the peace on this great blog. So many thnx Aa. But it's time for me to move on. Keep up the great work tho. (BTW, when you have nowhere else yer allowed to post...regardless of all yer efforts...it leaves only this avenue...once again I apologise for disrupting yer wonderful thread). Peace out. Cheers N'

Ad astra reply

4/03/2011Nasking Your feelings are noted. Hope to see you back soon. Folks It's been a long day, so I'm packing it in for the night.

nasking

4/03/2011Lastly, this comment at GT from the man who helped stir all this up in the first place: TB Queensland permalink March 4, 2011 7:34 pm From Migs’, post! Migs: … today I received a threat that my blogging activities will be reported to my superiors, for matters I will not go into. I have taken this threat seriously. It’s the final straw … I hope you’ve reported this to the Federal Police, Migs, blackmail is a criminal offence … and I suspect a serious offence against a federal employee at any level … ----------------------------------------------------- That's the type of over-the-top stuff that's gone on for ages. TB was not happy w/ me ages ago...he was also having a conflict w/ another GT contributor...and decided he would send me an email stating he would go to the police for me giving away his address. I queried him on this. He pretended he had sent the email to the other person...but it was obvious to me that he wanted to put a scare into me for the activities of someone else. This is nasty stuff. I would like to know if blocking someone from their own material is also illegal? And BTW, Migs told me the blog cost him nothing. Furthermore, when Migs asked me to join him & Min to create a blog called Cafe Whispers he did the basic building of the site w/ our help re: suggestions, selecting the appropriate seasonal pics, Mobius adding Cafe Whispers by way of graphics to the Cafe picture...Bacchus other ideas. Ben & I did the first original posts. I did many many more. I added most of the blogroll (Lav Prod, Huff Post etc. I used to comment there regularly)... and then started linking to other sites I'd commented or posted on to let them know we existed...Migs does same now... and all three of us do the general maintenance work such as editing posts & link fixing & binning spam, approving comments etc. I started the idea of serving pretend coffeee & grog by way of on-line pics & YouTube which has been used well by Migs too...to give a sense of a Cafe at times. Migs usually does the Monday thread...I do every second Friday usually which I call Friday Siesta ("something or other" edition...depending on issue I come up w/)...and Migs does Friday on My Mind. Min contributes the odd post...Migs & I write most posts...w/ the addition of joni (who has left for Germany now), Ben & a few others. It's been a collective effort. Min, Migs & I corresponded thruout the day & night related to blog & such. Thought ya might like to know some of the history. So the BS can be sorted out from the facts. One comment in February & a skeletal blog that required filling by way of ideas does not make creating a blog by ONE person. N'

nasking

4/03/2011This from Miglo: [quote]It has been considered that a comment you made on Gutter Trash recently was a threat of physical violence against reb. [/quote] The comment he is referring to is "I'm looking forward to my trip to Tasmania". A hint on the morning of Wilkie's standing up to the bullies...for people to start discussing such. My wife & I had every intention of seeing Tasmania to escape the heat here. I'm rethinking that now. And just out of interest, before Miglo put up yet more accusations I wrote to reb after he said on his blog: "Well I just hope the furry cunt is satisfied." My response by email: You need to look into yerself...you purposely went out to damage me for yer own interests. I would luv to see someone put up a post on the negative comments & ridicule you've made of others. See how you like it. Frankly, I had no part in yer fight w/ j...but i can totally understand why some accused you of the things they have. You are not a nice man. Extremely revengeful...and you allow others to do yer dirty work, not unlike John Howard. I hope we meet oneday face to face. Then you can tell me how you really feel. Rather than gutlessly using yer bully pulpit. I'm not a violent man...I would just like you to look me in the eyes and let out yer vitriol. And be done w/ it. And then I can shake my head and walk away. I imagine you must feel very content w/ yerself right now. I've met a few like you before. Sad. Bitter. Envious. Twisted by hate. Look to the roots of yer problem. For the good of yerself & yer contributors. N' --------------------- And to those who reckon it was disgusting to take this commenting elsewhere...thnx also for the backstabbing after all the support...and just know I was blocked from responding at the Cafe earlier in the day...had no right of reply...and was left w/ this last avenue. I would remind anyone who feels the need to make further accusations about my mental state to go back & visit the earlier battles on Blogocrats & GT between certain individuals who have played a luv hate luv hate game for many a year. And reflect on who might have the emotional problems. Considering I have had to defend myself against numerous accusations & vitriol I reckon I have kept pretty calm & rational during this debate. Anyway, I'm off. To all a good night. May yer future blogging be peaceful and sane. And don't be sucked by con-artists into their ongoing duels. In the end friends will prove to be fairweather. Thanks PS. N'

macca

5/03/2011Given that we live in a society that promises 48mth interest free terms, among other things, is it any wonder that the three word slogan gains traction? Abbott does indeed talk crap. But it's crap tailored for the market he is trying to gain...and he is very good at it. I suggest the Govt. take a leaf out of his book but refine it. Make it a one word slogan.....TRUTH. One of the most powerful words in our, or any cultures language. Just tell the truth. eg; This is what needs to done. This is why we're doing it. These are the positives. These are the negatives. This is the deal we have had to do to get the legislation passed. Truth...always the truth. The truth has no need to be shouted. Just stated quietly, firmly and with conviction. Those who can hear will listen. The search for truth is in our human DNA. My belief, or, if you will, truth, is that the search for the truth of things is a genetic survival tool. That it has been bastardised by, in this context, rabid political discourse doesn't change that fact. Perhaps it enhances it? Julia Gillard is an extremely strong, capable woman. The reason neo-cons and their shills, the LNP, need her gone. But a strong, capable woman who speaks truth in all matters? They have no concept of that. The truth will bring them down. They have no understanding of honesty.

jane

5/03/20112353 @6.39pm, what a fantastic three word slogan. We should have tshirts printed with it. This could be a cottage industry. Ad astra @8.27pm, I agree completely. The MSM has to carry the bulk of the blame for its promotion of the lies and innuendo of the opposition. I realise I shouldn't think it, but it would do the world a great service if Emperor Rupert were to pop his clogs. Having said that, better the devil you know, I guess. macca, I hope you're right and the government carries the day. I still feel that once the cut off date passes for the Smuggles Set to force an election and possibly win government before the Senate changes composition, some semblance of sanity will return until the next election in 2013. However, what we are currently seeing is the Smuggles Set in full election mode, imo.

Feral Skeleton

5/03/2011macca, 'The truth will set us free'? Nice concept, but, as you say, with '48 month Interest Free' being known to be a con, and yet a sucker's born every minute who falls for it, it makes you wonder whether the truth is a concept that some will grasp the importance of, or others will care about. I mean, you just have to listen to the spin that goes round and round every day like a washing machine cleansing the latest scandal by a footy player of all meaning wrt his guilt, to know that we now live in the age where the message is the medium by which people get their thoughts given to them. As I said previously, I find it abhorrent that we now have a situation in the media where the message of one side of politics, in the main, is reinforced by the various outlets in the media that have decided to support them, rather than being questioned, as good journalists should do. When you question them about it they say, in good Murdochese, "Oh but we're not journalists, we're opinion givers, or entertainers", or some such sleazy cop-out. Anyway, they're more like cockroaches crawling over the fine cutlery, with the fine cutlery being the high standard journalists. But what can we do about them? I saw an Internet TV course advertised the other day. That is the best way I can see around them. The Work Around. Get ahead of the curve, because all TV will be Broadband Fibre to the Home eventually(which is why Murdoch is trying to buy the world's Cable networks up and why he hates the NBN), and, as Al Gore has realised, so lies the way of truth outing in the future. This is a Virtual War, and we have to fight it, or, therein lies The Road to Serfdom again. You can see it in America, where the baby-faced comfortable Middle Class killers and Union-busters in the Republican Party are giving it their best shot atm to atomise the collective power of the the little guy, because, as WorkChoices(Not) showed here, that's the only power that low-skilled, low-paid workers have, and once it's gone exploitation walks through the door. So,yes, Macca, the Truth is important, but in this Age of Truth Manipulation until it is unrecognisable, we are going to have to fight tooth and claw(sorry, PatriciaWA,but I do mean a virtual battle :) ), 'Every second, of every minute, of every hour, of every day, of every week, of every month, of every year', until we make sure that Tony Abbott is defeated at the next election, as he is in cahoots with Rupert Murdoch and his Virtual Empire, and we of the Truth Australia Guerilla Movement(TAGM), must win. For our kids sake. For our planet's sake. For Truth's sake.

Feral Skeleton

5/03/2011I knew it! 'They' have pulled on a fight. http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/call-for-a-peoples-revolution-20110304-1bi1v.html We have to return the favour. Everyone, it's time to gird your loins and pull on the battle vestments(virtual, PatriciaWA :) ). Get along to Get Up and sign up for their counter the Anti Carbon Price(it's not a Tax!) demonstrations. I haven't been out on the streets since the Iraq War demonstrations, but I'm heading back again. As I said up above, this is a battle we MUST win. Or, it's Tony Abbott and the most Conservative government in Australia's history for us, if we don't.

Lyn

5/03/2011 [b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Missing Link Friday - the trouble with talkback radio, Don Arthur, Club Troppo[/i] it’s an industry "that manages to enjoy the authority and influence of journalism without the stodgy constraints of fairness, http://clubtroppo.com.au/2011/03/04/missing-link-friday-the-trouble-with-talkback-radio/ [i]Memo to Ridout: big biz can look after themselves on carbon, Josh Dowse, Crikey[/i] confirmed that retail electricity will be 40% dearer in 2012-13, without a carbon price. http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/03/04/memo-to-ridout-big-biz-can-look-after-themselves-on-carbon/ [i]Journo shield law covers bloggers, independent media, Stilgherrian, Crikey[/i] also cover independent media and even bloggers and “citizen journalists”, thanks to minor but critical amendments http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/03/04/journo-shield-law-covers-bloggers-independent-media/ [i]Question time psychosis, Dave, Dave's Archives[/i] Each question from the Opposition is just a rhetorical salvo designed to damage the government's credibility. http://davec.org/2011/03/question-time-psychosis/ [i]Daily interruptions make Question Time a 'farce', Jeremy Thompson, ABC[/i] Mr Bandt said he was asking the Clerk of the House of Representatives for advice on how to ensure Question Time was maintained, http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/03/04/3155483.htm?section=justin [i]Whither policies, oh leaders?, Coffee with Ruby[/i] failed to negotiate support from the independents after the election, have now resorted to playground bully tactics. http://coffeewithruby.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/whither-policies-oh-leaders/ [i]Senator Mary Jo Fisher/ Automatons/ Hacks/ Time warps, Agitate[/i] Senator Mary Jo Fisher, a colourful addition to a dull Senate Chamber.. http://www.agitate.com.au/blog/ [i]A hokey political speech, with pelvic thrusts, Crikey most [/i]memorable political speeches we’ve seen in a while. And not memorable in a good way. http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/03/03/timewarp/ [i]Julia Gillard & the World's Pressure on Women, Homepage Daily[/i] picked to pieces by style magazines and fashion blogs commentating on a poor choice of suit,or a bad hair cut – something that men have had the good fortune of not having to endure http://www.homepagedaily.com/Pages/article11510-julia-gillard-the-worlds-pressure-on-women.aspx [i]On the Internet, pretending to be a dog doesn't help, John Quiggin[/i] The conceit of the site is that the material is posted, not by Henderson, but by his dog http://johnquiggin.com/ [i]keeping on trucking , Gary Sauer- Thompson, Public Opinion [/i]we can see that Gillard is adopting the right approach to reform. http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2011/03/keep-on-truckin.php#more [i]Overheated carbon price debate taxes Liberal ties, Andrew Probyn, Thewest[/i] Malcolm Turnbull had dinner with Rob Oakeshott this week. What with the poisonous relations between Tony Abbott, Mr Oakeshott and the other the key independent, http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/opinion/post/-/blog/andrewprobyn/post/168/comment/1/ [i]Taking stock on climate, Michael Jacobs, Inside Story[/i] long-term, complex, threatening – tends to induce either paralysing despair or wilful ignorance http://inside.org.au/taking-stock-on-climate/ [i]Climate clippings 18, Brian, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] These posts include a brief mention of a number of news items relating to climate change http://larvatusprodeo.net/2011/03/04/climate-clippings-18/#more-20573 [i]Julian Assange and the Jewish Conspiracy, Richard farmer, The Stump[/i] believe The Guardian is part of a Jewish conspiracy to damage both him and WikiLeaks. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/ [i]Murdoch’s empire gets bigger, Peterb1953, Peter's Notepad[/i]British government approved Murdoch’s BSkyB bid – he’s got so much dirt on them they are terrified of offending the emperor! http://peterb1953.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/murdochs-empire-gets-bigger/ [i]Why?......Gus, Your Democracy[/i] Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has persisted with his strategy to censure http://yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/11847 [i]Do our governments do what we want?, Admin, Independent Australia[/i] Or do they push ahead with policies that might be unpopular but achieve the job desired? http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/politics/do-our-governments-do-what-we-want/ NEWSPAPERS: [i]Wingnuts and looney tunes abound, Laurie Oakes, Herald Sun[/i] The Australian's media writer Mark Day calls "redneck radio" - need to take care that they do not egg the extremists on. So do Abbott and his senior colleagues http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/editorials/wingnuts-and-looney-tunes-abound/story-e6frfhqo-1226016151079 [i]Maybe we need an Abbott-proof fence , Mike Carlton, National Times[/i] The opposition, these days in a permanent lather of outrage, throws the levers to incandescent http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/maybe-we-need-an-abbottproof-fence-20110304-1bhr5.html

Feral Skeleton

5/03/2011lyn, Thank you for your lovely links. I do hope you allowed yourself a sleep-in this morning, it is the weekend you know. However, living up in Queensland does make it hard, being an hour behind the rest of us. Nevertheless, I don't want you wearing yourself out. We need you too much. :)

Mobius Ecko

5/03/2011[i]"anon You are welcome to comment here, but we are not interested in flame wars."[/i] Yet you are allowing nasking to flame unchallenged here and seemingly are taking his side in this without question whilst ignoring the other side of the story. I was not going to comment here on this and just allow nasking to rant and attack without challenge, but that almost dismissive comment by you to anon has swayed me to type. Please ad astra contact Migs and reb to get the other side of the ledger before taking nasking's version at face value here, that's all I'm asking you to do. Or you could take no sides and just shut down the flaming over this all together by removing nasking's attacks from here, much of which is personal anyway. Don't allow other blogs infighting because of poster conflicts spill into this great political commentary domain.

Ad astra reply

5/03/2011Mobius Ecko Some of the comments that Nasking made came after I retired for the night; I've seen them this morning. [i]TPS[/i] is not going to become a venue for internecine disputes that arise elsewhere. This site is for intelligent discourse. Flame wars can be carried on elsewhere. I am not interested in taking sides in this matter, about which I know very little and have no desire to know more. The flame war must stop. I want to read no more about it here from any of those involved. It is distracting us from the real business of this site. Please respect [i]TPS[/i] and me, and desist.

Lyn

5/03/2011Good Morning Hillbilly What would we do without you, your enthusiasm,inspiring, thoughtful comments, are a daily delight. Thankyou for caring, I admire your wonderful motivation, so much. I seems the blogosphere is growing at a rapid pace, as more and more blogs are appearing, especially like minded ones, supplying us with interesting points of view and opinions. Daylight saving will end soon then I can go back to normal times. You see TPS has become my hobby. and I guess it's now different to other passionate hobbies, Golf, Crafts, Line Dancing, etc. a lot of people here do water arobics everyday in the resort pool, my neighbors follow the rock and roll dancers all around Queensland, the other ones get in their huge mobile home, taking of for 6 months at time, over the road have been grey nomading for the last 12 months. They have a special parking area here for all the fancy large caravans. So you see, you and I have TPS with all our genuine, informative commenters and readers, hooray, hooray, and best of all we have Ad Astra to guide us, providing brilliant reading, along with wise thoughtful comments, everyday. Have a happy day Hillbilly.

Lyn

5/03/2011Hi Hillbilly Sorry, "W" got in my way, Now different, means No different. Cheers

Ad astra reply

5/03/2011FS Peter Hartcher's article is both informative and frightening where Cory Brenardi's intentions are spelt out. But as Hartcher points out, there will be opposition to Tea Party-like activities here. Which causes me to question the meaning of his sentence: [i]"The coalition's first act will be to organise counter-rallies to the "No carbon tax" protests. In the US, the Tea Party ran unopposed as it gathered force. The instant counter-movement here is a key difference."[/i] Is he talking of a 'coalition' of organizations such as 'GetUp' the ACF, and so on, or is he referring to the coalition in parliament? What ever he means, 'coalition' seems an inappropriate word to use.

Mobius Ecko

5/03/2011ad astra I am really sorry to press this and I can understand if you get upset at me over it, but does this mean you are going to remove nasking's flame posts here or are you going to allow them to stand?

Feral Skeleton

5/03/2011Ad Astra, Small 'c' coalition of activist groups from the Progressive Social Democratic side, not the big 'C' Coalition Conservatives. And, yes, an unfortunate confluence of terminology.

Feral Skeleton

5/03/2011Mobius Ecko, I think your point is moot. Nasking's words have been up for the best part of a day, and, as such, in the cached worled of the internet, they will now exist forever. Taking them down now will only serve to satisfy your delicate sensibilities which have been wounded in the outbreak of hostilities with Nas. Now, I, for one was severely discomfited by the fact that I got no reply to my post to Nas' 'Last Post'. I thought that was a bit rude. Thus I was glad to finally read something addressed to us here from him. So, what you say about what he wrote may or may not be true. How are we here to know? As Ad Astra said, it's your war, go fight it elsewhere. Not here.

Lyn

5/03/2011Hi Ad Look at this, honestly what is happening, I notice if you want to read anything on the blog, eg. about, or comments,they ask your details. Ad you said: [quote]Is he talking of a 'coalition' of organizations such as 'GetUp' the ACF, and so on, or is he referring to the coalition in parliament? What ever he means, 'coalition' seems an inappropriate word to use[/quote] This is what he means: [i]Get ready for a more strident and less civil political debate, Richard Farmer[/i] The Stump. This morning in [b]The Sydney Morning Herald Peter Hartcher [/b]has devoted his column to the efforts of South Australian Liberal Corey Bernardi to mobilise conservative Australians in the [b]style of the USA’s Tea Party movement[/b]. Senator Bernardi has promoted the [b]Conservative Action Network[/b], or CANdo, and that group has taken to [b]campaigning to make a reality of Liberal Leader Tony Abbott’s ”I think there will be a people’s revolt against this carbon tax[/b] http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/2011/03/05/get-ready-for-a-more-strident-and-less-civil-political-debate/ Cando: http://network.conservative.org.au/ I agree Ad Peter Hartcher's article, is both informative and frightening, so is Richard Farmer's information.

debbiep

5/03/2011~ Now, I, for one was severely discomfited by the fact that I got no reply to my post to Nas' 'Last Post'. I thought that was a bit rude. Thus I was glad to finally read something addressed to us here from him ~ [i]I'm quietly popping in here to squeak the same. I did not realise the underlying issues between others when I commented in nasking f/w post- but I agree with FS. [/i] Lyn _ thank goodness for your 'hobby' :)

Lyn

5/03/2011Hi Hillbilly I didn't receive a reply to my comment on Nasking's last post either, and I also thought it was very rude.

Mobius Ecko

5/03/2011More than fair enough FS, I was only attempting to address the imbalance of just one side a story being allowed to freely propagate here in several long comments but the other side was seemingly cut off. That was an unfair assessment by me. You are right though. Enough said on the matter from me here, this is too good a blog and too intelligent a debating forum to have it sullied by flame wars and personality conflicts.

Augustus

5/03/2011Good Morning Lyn, "campaigning to make a reality of Liberal Leader Tony Abbott’s ”I think there will be a people’s revolt against this carbon tax" it seems that way doesn't it, the people aren't revolting as predicted by Abbott, so he has to 'rent-a-crowd', desperation politics. So!, would it be safe to assume that Abbott's tactics just aren't cutting through and maybe people are just fed up with him on both sides of the fence.

Feral Skeleton

5/03/2011Mobius Ecko, So, it's on with the show then. :)

Feral Skeleton

5/03/2011lyn, As I said, the Conservatives are breeding a host of 'baby-faced killers' of Progressivism. I've just noticed how they choose the ones to front their movements, such as Mrs Palin in the US, plus plenty of the male spokesmodels for Conservatism, who are extremely photogenic. Such as our Senator Bernardi. They keep the ugly Australians and Americans in the backrooms. Or, behind a microphone. Still, one must fight fire with fire. And if it's handsomely disarming warriors for the cause that the public wants, then we'll have to produce them too.

Ad astra reply

5/03/2011FS Thank you for your sensible intervention in the Cafe Whispers dispute, which came along while I was showering and contemplating how to proceed. You are right, what has been written is now cached for posterity. To all folk at Cafe Whispers who comment here: The flame war on [i]TPS[/i] can be terminated right now given the goodwill of all concerned. So let's draw a line under this to-ing and fro-ing and get on with other matters. Can we all agree to that? Nasking has been a good friend of [i]TPS[/i] and on this post many of his comments have been on theme. Miglo too is a good friend, and often contributes, as do several others who frequent the Cafe Whispers site. It distresses us to see you in dispute. You are all welcome here, and we hope you will continue to contribute to the dialogue among commenters, free of disparaging personal comments . When we have the likes of Cory Bernardi seemingly trying to stir up a Tea Party-like movement here, can we afford the time and energy to war with each other? The enemy without is threatening - let's not create enemies within our own ranks that distract us from the main game.

Ad astra reply

5/03/2011Mobius Ecko I hope you find the above comment balanced, and a signal that this matter is concluded, at least on [i]TPS[/i]. You have been a commenter here for a long while. I hope you will continue to contribute to this blog. You will always be welcome.

Lyn

5/03/2011Good Morning to you Augustus, You may or may not have read this column linked below, I selected the excerpts so that if you don't want to go there via the link you don't need to. The column sounds worthwhile reading, then bingo, the summing up knocks you for a sixer: [i]No, the people aren’t revolting, Jack The Insider, The Australian[/i] but. In this debate, Tony Abbott certainly needs to ensure that his front benchers don’t reach too far into the hyperbole bag. but. For the record, in my own little corner of public opinion, I have encountered no great anger across the general community over Gillard’s announcement to set a price on carbon. but. There is fury certainly in some sectors but those sectors were never likely to offer Julia Gillard or her government any ringing endorsements. but. If this is a people’s rebellion, then we won’t need a lot of muscle manning the barricades. A couple of cub scouts should do it. But These will not be his last excursions into retail outlets. Shoppers take note, but. Tony Abbott is heading to a mall near you. His message is not one of the perils of a carbon price or scepticism about climate change. [i]The battle has a long way to go but the battlelines are drawn very much in Tony Abbott’s favour. [/i] No but's here. http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/jacktheinsider/index.php/theaustralian/comments/no_the_people_arent_revolting/P100/ Augustus, How's that, for the Hockey Pokey, turn yourself around. This version of Hockey Pockey dance is common as we know, in all of the MSM journalist's pieces, name me one, just one, that favours the Government, or is even just a little bit kind to the Government, without their but's at the end of every column.

Ad astra reply

5/03/2011Hi Lyn CANdo is a frightening prospect. For it, truth is irrelevant, as it is with the US Tea Party. So anything goes. They simply make up what suits them and that becomes their 'truth'. And some of them really believe that 'truth'! The organisers are likely more cynical - they know what they are saying is untrue, but say it because it works. Again thank you for your comprehensive links - you really are a gem; your links bring countless visitors to [i]TPS[/i].

Lyn

5/03/2011Hi Hillbilly Your words: [quote]Conservatives are breeding a host of 'baby-faced killers' of Progressivism. [/quote] They don't look baby faced to me, they look ugly and dangerous. Did you notice they let Scott Morrison out of the dungeon yesterday, so he could stir up another bit of bile over Christmas Island. [quote]extremely photogenic. Such as our Senator Bernardi[/quote] Hillbilly your glasses have reached their use by date, yuck to Bernardi.

Ad astra reply

5/03/2011macca I did like what you had to say, and your focus on TRUTH. Your suggested sequence for informing the public about Government initiatives is sensible and would likely be effective: [i]This is what needs to done. 
 This is why we're doing it. 
 These are the positives. 
These are the negatives. 
 This is the deal we have had to do to get the legislation passed.[/i] Thank you - I hope the Government publicity people take note.

Lyn

5/03/2011Hi Ad What a magnificent gentleman you are, not just that, but person, no wonder,"The Political Sword" is such an admired, excellent blog. I agree with you, I was very, very sad, to learn of the conflict. The commenters from Cafe Whispers have all been appreciated here, with their valuable opinions, also not to be forgotten their continued support to "The Political Sword' we say thankyou. Ad's loyal and genuine comment above: [quote]Nasking has been a good friend of TPS and on this post many of his comments have been on theme. Miglo too is a good friend, and often contributes, as do several others who frequent the Cafe Whispers site. It distresses us to see you in dispute[/quote].

macca

5/03/2011Hi Feral, I didn't say it was going to be easy! The MSM truth manipulators are a formidable, vicious, morally and ethically corrupt foe. They will be hard to beat. And beat them we must. My unshaken belief,though as bruised and battered as it sometimes becomes,is simplistic. Individuals will respond to truth. We are genetically pre-disposed to. While this is more of a spiritual belief I think the premise can hold up under scrutiny in the current and ongoing political debate. Individuals will respond to honesty. It may take longer. Truth will out. The current deceptions, spin and unrelenting, downright bastardry being played out by the rent seekers and their sycophants rolls along with no apparent opposition...and let's not be too sure about that. They have, once again, as always, not taken into account a truth. At its essence; a web of deciet is designed to entrap the weaver. And it will happen. There are too many good, intelligent people in this country for it not to. As for the internet I must admit I'm quite perplexed about why the Govt. doesn't use it more fully. FWIW, my suggestion: transfer Grog from whatever he is doing and let him develop a Govt. website. We all know that it would be interesting, fair and an intelligent read....sorry Grog, you probably need an idea like this as you would need a hole in the head.

D Mick Weir

5/03/2011Hi Ad, another thought provoking piece that 'nails it'. [i]... a question for governments – can complexity be simply communicated?[/i] I have always thought that one of the key characteristics of a successful politician is the ability to take a complex issue and distill it down to a simple explanation that 'me of the great unwashed' could understand. So it is not a question of [i]can complexity be simply communicated?[/i] but a requirement that it be simply communicated. The politically engaged will invest the time to gain some understanding of the complexities of an issue but for the majority of people there is no return on the investment of time it would take to understand. We may cry (forlornly) that the punters should be more engaged and propose that there be more effort taken to educate the masses about how government and politics works but I suspect it would be a waste of time and money. When looked at from the point of view of the 'ordinary' citizen there is not a compelling case to become more politically aware or astute. Most would likely believe that we elect politicians to do our thinking for us on the complex issues and come up with the solutions. Add in the fact that my individual vote on its' own will not affect the outcome of an election and that I only have to attend a polling booth once every three years or so, there doesn't seem to be much incentive to become more politically educated and/or aware. Another factor to add into the mix of this is that public opinion is often wrong when it comes to the benefits to the nation of a particular action or policy. One example is around immigration. Public opinion suggests that the majority are against having more immigrants entering our country yet an economic cost/benefit analysis would more than likely show that for every extra gainfully employed immigrant the country as a whole is better off. So this leaves me in a quandry. Are we better off, as individuals, or as a country, to just completly ignore politics and politicians for the three years between elections or is more to be gained by being actively involved and aware?

Augustus

5/03/2011Thanks for the column Lyn, I do on occasisions read JTI, although not recently, I guess reporting about Abbott whipping up a frenzy is more newsworthy than discussing the Governments plans and how their policies would benefit us or affect us, maybe most newspapers in Australia should carry a Caveat lector in their Masthead, 'Nil By Brain'

Feral Skeleton

5/03/2011Richard Carleton thinks that maybe we might need an Abbott-proof fence? http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/maybe-we-need-an-abbottproof-fence-20110304-1bhr5.html

D Mick Weir

5/03/2011I am not sure to make of this piece in the orstalian. [b]Ugly trolls set internet freedom in flames[/b] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/ugly-trolls-set-internet-freedom-in-flames/story-e6frg6zo-1226015791415 [i]'THE internet is emerging as one of the big heroes of the pro-democracy, anti-despot movement in the Middle East. ..... Yes, the ease and anonymity of online communications is permitting stunning new models of democratisation. But it's also propagating disturbing new forms of vitriol. .... The thing, the really disturbing thing, about online vitriol is that it has moved beyond social acceptability and become aspirational: people are engaging in trash-talk competitions to see who can inflict the most emotional damage.'[/i] I am not sure how I found it (an accidental click I think). I found it disturbingly interesting all the same.

nasking

5/03/2011"I didn't receive a reply to my comment on Nasking's last post either, and I also thought it was very rude." Lyn & Feral, I attempted to reply to your lovely & inspiring comments but was blocked. That was one of the major issues for me. I feel very depressed today and now understand what Kevin Rudd must've felt like. And the Tampa folk. Pack mentality. Mobius, I do not understand yer hate, calling me a "ranting nobody". How many times did I support you when you were attacked by reb's goons? I even respected you enuff to put up yer comments on one of my posts. I have been accussed on the Cafe of disgustingly taking this issue out of house/the blog...by people I've done nothing but support by way of compliments, changing their links when they were broken, offering coffee & drinks too...and when ill & busy w/ my family's Christmas I took the time to put up a Xmas music thread each year because as I'd tell my wife: "Some might be sad & lonely, they need it at this time of year". I do not understand what this debate has to do w/ most of them. But the hate I feel tells me something about how much those people actually cared about me. Thankyou Ad astra, Feral & Lyn for providing me w/ the opportunity to air my views on yer wonderful site. I will oneday return and comment on the topics. But at present I'm so confused...and wondering how all my efforts have been thrown in the mud and trodden on...whilst pretenders & haters are getting away w/ it once again. I wished this had never happened...but when ego, competitiveness, envy, xenophobia & bitterness comes before loyalty & sanity...it's often the outcome. I hope for the sake of this country that in the future people learn from my efforts...and this event...and my mistakes...and the good & mistakes from others...as one man wisely once said :"forgive them, for they know not what they do". I dearly hope that the hate that is directed towards Kevin Rudd...and the asylum seekers...diminishes...and Tony Abbott is replaced by a more rational & moderate leader. And shock jocks & tabloids become a thing of the past...as we learn to love again...trust...instead of fight & hate & fear-monger. And I hope that people look deeply into themselves and see that they don't have to be part of the pack. But can stand up & think for themselves...look beyond the traditional, biased & myopic-thinking walls. Look to a future that is much brighter. Not entrapped by glib one-liners, uninformative jargon, "ten second clips" of primary definers taken out of context and selectively sliced & diced to fulfil agendas that benefit the FEW over the MANY...do away w/ the celebrity & fear-mongering topic of the day, the facade of rampant capitalism, and the need to feel like one of the herd... whilst always remembering that as "freed" individuals there is nothing wrong w/ holding out a hand to those in need...and supporting a system that provides all people w/ affordable or free education, healthcare & childcare...and a social security safety net...so each individual has the opportunity to take part in the richness of life...fulfil their potential...w/out fear of falling into the black hole of despair & financial ruin. A world where other species are treated w/ due respect...acknowledging their right to evolve as we did...perhaps assisting in the "uplift" process...so oneday we truly will not be alone. And respecting "Gaia" for all she provides...and understanding fully the consequences of her bio-diversity and geological & climatic changes that make up the being that she is, as she attempts to evolve & thrive...the being that provides us w/ the special privilege of "existence". We need to treat her better. We can do better. N'

TalkTurkey

5/03/2011Ohhh Lyn You are SO-O-O-O Really Somethin'! Have you any idea how many hours you save Us/(make Us waste)?! And you are unfailingly welcoming to new and old and anytime bloggers. I personally relate to what you say about the 'hobby' aspect of blogging, and that's because I think it's the only best way I know to try to influence sociopolitical thinking of the world! Tiny influence sure, but mony a mickle mecks a muckle. In a just world an ethereal golden mist would settle around you as you beaver away in the grey pre-dawn, to light your researches and reward you for your work. In the meantime our ethereal thanks will have to do. Ad astra, you do, don't you, know that was the gentlest possible ribdig about that damn' dam . . ? . . If anyone ever made a comment back then (so that it became an 'episode') I never saw any, and I didn't make any at the time neither, just thought it funny ha-ha and PQ, both ways, anyway in the book the Dam Busters Paul Brickhill notes that at the official dinner attended by the king, recognising the 617 Squadron's sacrifice and success, the invitations were spelt Damn Busters so there you go. A royal precedent. Miglo, Nasking: Fellers I love your writings and good influences, afa I can see you are both goodwillians, not like deliberate agents provocateurs which is what trolls are, and I think I speak for many others when I ask you that while you are welcome by all means to keep your own best counsel wrt personal grievances elsewhere if you must, do keep writing good stuff here, don't stop now. I don't want to hear Satan in the form of the Murdochratic Rotten Right laughing with delight on lefty blogs, and that's what happens when comrades fall out. But TPS isn't the place to fight each other, but rather for forward thinking. (Says Turkey. HE can talk!) Gonna post this now, time and space and ammo enough for political comment later. BTW terms like ammo, war of words, big guns, battle of wits etc, all used as figures of speech, I don't think they're too aggro of themselves, they are part of the lingo anyway, they're only words after all, but the way that shock jocks use them to incite people is something else.

Feral Skeleton

5/03/2011Ad Astra, I have become a master referee between bickering boys. :)

Feral Skeleton

5/03/2011Sadly, I didn't find this blog until this morning, as a result of going to Club Troppo. However, if you are interested in a more academic discussion of the concept I wrote about in my last blog, which these people call, 'Bleeding Heart Libertarainism', have a read: http://bhl.typepad.com/bleeding-heart-libertaria/2011/03/bleeding-heart-libertarianism.html Lol, my ReCaptcha word is detente. :)

Miglo

5/03/2011To all the good people here at TPS who were hurt from not receiving a response from Nasking after their nice comments on his Last Post . . . The comments were posted on the 1st. Nasking was placed in moderation at the Café on the 4th. He had three days in which to post a reply. He chose not to. He told a Café member that he was putting up the post but probably wouldn't reply as he had other things to attend to. It was with much reluctance that I post this purely I don't want to show any disrespects to Ad astra and the wonderful visitors here, but after the attack I have received I felt it was necessary to put at least one of the lies straight. That's all I'm saying on the issue. In the meantime I'll continue to be a frequent visitor and contributor at TPS and all are welcome to visit the Café. In spite of what has happened over the last couple of days it should not be forgotten that we share a common goal and need to stand united.

Ad astra reply

5/03/2011TT Your [i]"but mony a mickle mecks a muckle"[/i] intrigued me so I Googled it and came up with this, in case anyone else is as mystified as I was: [i]'Many a mickle makes (or 'maks') a muckle' is a curious Scottish saying of antiquity, although it is also common in the North of England and not entirely unknown elsewhere. It is derived from 'A wheen o' mickles mak's a muckle', and means 'many of one thing make another, larger, thing'. A simple lesson, but one which needs restating; one must always look after the pennies. "What are 'mickles' and 'muckles'? Webster 1913 states that each word is essentially a variant of the other, both meaning 'amount'. Arguments arge as to whether 'mickle' is in this case a corruption of 'pickle' (a Scots word for 'little'), and as to whether 'mickle' was once inherently inferior to 'muckle' or merely a variant. Whatever the case, the proliferation of this proverb has ensured that 'muckle' is now widely regarded as being the superior of 'mickle', something which is likely to persist."[/i] everything2 http://everything2.com/title/Many+a+mickle+makes+a+muckle I can see how you used it in reference to Lyn's wonderful links. BTW, Royal Precedents are hard to ignore.

Lyn

5/03/2011Hi Ad Opps! not to be forgotton Sunday morning TV: Sunday morning TV - 6 March #auspol Your guide to this Sunday morning's political and business interviews Full program listing available at: http://sundaymorningtv.posterous.com/ 8.00am Ch10 - Meet the Press Paul Bongiorno is joined on the Panel by Jennifer Hewett of The Australian and Simon Benson of the Daily Telegraph. Together they interview Leader of the House and Infrastructure and Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, and from Washington, Democratic Congressional Adviser, Bruce Wolpe. 8:30am Sky News 601 - Australian Agenda On Sky News Australian Agenda this week, the Minister for Minister for Schools, Early Childhood and Youth, Peter Garrett is interviewed by Peter Van Onselen and panel The Australian's Paul Kelly and Justine Ferrari and News Ltd's Steve Lewis about carbon tax and the my schools website 2. Also, a look at the middle east with a live cross from Libya to The Australian's middle east correspondent John Lyons. 8:38am Ch7 - Weekend Sunrise - The Riley Diary Political editor Mark Riley takes a look at the past week in federal politics. 8:40am Ch9 - Today on Sunday - Laurie Oakes interview This week Laurie Oakes talks to Treasurer Wayne Swan. 9:00am ABC1 & on ABC News 24 - Insiders On Insiders this Sunday, Barrie Cassidy interviews the Shadow Finance Minister, Andrew Robb. On the panel, the Sydney Morning Herald’s Lenore Taylor, the Courier Mail’s Dennis Atkins and the Financial Review’s Brian Toohey. And Mike Bowers talks pictures with freelance cartoonist, Fiona Katauskas. 10:00am ABC1 & on ABC News 24 @ 5.30pm - Inside Business This week on Inside Business: An interview with Singapore Stock Exchange CEO, Magnus Bocker about his ambitions to merge with the ASX. They check out Australia’s declining rate of productivity, and have an in depth look at the wash-up of the reporting season. Also, a look at one part of the Auto component industry that’s going well, 4WD accessories. And the regular update of the latest news from the markets.

Ad astra reply

5/03/2011Nasking, Miglo, Mobius Ecko and other Cafe Whispers' visitors: This conversation seems hard to terminate. But let's call it quits NOW. I've had enough of this, as I suspect have most other visitors to [i]TPS[/i].

D Mick Weir

5/03/2011Nasking, Miglo and any others involved in the Cafe WOW (war of words) I offer my amateur counselling services. Recently I was involved in a discussion with our family pastor and his wife and these wise words were uttered: [i]... and offence is more often taken than given ...[/i] Using the twisted logic I am often noted for I have come to a view that: [b]When I take offence and it was not given then I must be guilty of stealing the offence that was not offered.[/b] So guys and gals involved in the Cafe WOW please sit back and reflect on that and consider your situation regarding the 'theft of offence'

nasking

5/03/2011"Nasking was placed in moderation at the Café on the 4th. He had three days in which to post a reply. He chose not to." It was called a grieving period Migs. If I had chosen not to then why would I have gone back? "He told a Café member that he was putting up the post but probably wouldn't reply as he had other things to attend to." That is an outright lie by Min. Someone who unfortunately has never had the courage to tell you how she really feels...who knows I spoke to truth, agreed w/ much I said...then did an abrupt U-turn. I have no regrets helping her complete her first post when no others would. Nor using her beaut comments on my posts...and actually listening to her ideas on topics...when others were ignoring her...too busy holidaying & finding excuses not to listen to her...or contribute. I have no regrets because she has so much to offer...provided she finds her real self. Frees herse;f from the bonds of serfdom to a man who purports to be her friend...but in fact uses her like a dishrag. Frees herself from the insane dance of the old Blogocrats that does nothing but suck the life out of the participants. I don't know what games are playing Migs...but you will not stop me from knowing the good in myself. I also intend to keep commenting here. Your comments today & others elsewhere have only served to make me stronger. My wife told me today she knows I'm a good & decent person. And none of your hate & lies should undermine my efforts to help change this world for the better. I do hope you really help the First People of this country Miglo...help them to realise they can be individuals too. Who don't have to be trapped in a political football game. They are not pawns to be shifted around & used to ease the guilt of others...to stroke their own egos...they are not just some abstract group who can be manipulated to fulfil the needs of those looking for congratulations & a pat on the back. The same goes for gay people...all individuals w/ different needs...not just one person speaks for them. I forgive you Miglo...and all the others. However, I'm not sure any of you have the capability of forgiving yerselves. Thnx for the ride...but I woke up to you. Look into yerselves. I have. I see the worst...I see the best. This Bear still lives. To do good. Talk Turkey, you'll hear no more on this issue from me. Keep up the good work. N'

Ad astra reply

5/03/2011Nasking As it did contain some explanatory material, and a comment was directed to another here at [i]TPS[/i], I have allowed your comment to stand, but is the last comment from you on the Cafe Whispers matter that I will accept. The same applies to the other combatants at Cafe Whispers. All of you please stick to the theme or some other political issue.

nasking

5/03/2011"What about the converse – acknowledging the complexity of most political issues, yet making these complex problems, controversial proposals and complicated solutions easy to comprehend and remember?" Ad astra, I think the benefit of having ABC24 now is the fact we can watch shows like 'Big Ideas' and listen to experienced & educated people who often not only have specialisation in areas, but also think wider, provide innovative ideas, critiques of issues & our political/social/economic/technological/environmental world...who do not reduce information & knowledge into convenient soundbytes. The more diverse our media the better. The internet has its problems...but it also provides us w/ an ocean, a universe of knowledge & skills at our finger tips...and if we learn how to learn...know how to search by way of key words...cross reference and such...skills taught in many schools & universities...then we can surf...and empower ourselves...and help to do the same for others. There is a bright future. Provided the wreckers and naysayers evolve or move aside...and hopefully grow themselves oneday. Cheers N'

2353

5/03/2011Nasking, Mobius and Minglo - take it somewhere else. For a start we're not interested and secondly you clowns have already stuffed one blog up completely by arguing - do you really want to repeat the experiment?

TalkTurkey

5/03/2011Ad astra, Me dear old Dad who was an English teacher, and whose dam (!) was an Australian-born McEachern ("McKekhrr'nn")but retaining a braw brogue, used to quote that "mony a mickle . . " maxim. But I do know where else you may find it used, somewhat contradictorily, in a pome I learnt in about First Year high school, it was called "The Wee Wee Man", and the lad who was asked to read it out caused great hilarity when he pronounced it "wee-wee man" instead of "wee, wee man". It's about a man all alone in Scotland when he comes across a tiny man, the smallest ever seen, in some of the many versions being only the size of a thumb, who for some unexplained reason (presumably to impress the man with his strength) picks up a mieckle or mickle OR MUCKLE stane (stone), in some versions six feet long, a huge stone, so big that "e'en had I been a Wallace wight I couldnae ha' lifted it to my knee" and throws it as far as the man can see. The weird bit is that sometimes it's mickle sometimes it's muckle, but in the pome it always means big. In the maxim mickle must mean little obviously. There's many versions on the Net. Here's one (but I'd remembered crystal-clear the line about the stane, that's because it's in verse.) The Wee Wee Man 38A.1 As I was walking all alone, Between a water and a wa, And there I spy’d a wee wee man, And he was the least that ere I saw. 38A.2 His legs were scarce a shathmont’s length, And thick and thimber was his thigh; Between his brows there was a span, And between his shoulders there was three. 38A.3 He took up a meikle stane, And he flang’t as far as I could see; Though I had been a Wallace wight, I couldna liften’t to my knee. 38A.4 ‘O wee wee man, but thou be strang! O tell me where thy dwelling be?’ ‘My dwelling’s down at yon bonny bower; O will you go with me and see?’ 38A.5 On we lap, and awa we rade, Till we came to yon bonny green; We lighted down for to bait our horse, And out there came a lady fine. 38A.6 Four and twenty at her back, And they were a’ clad out in green; Though the King of Scotland had been there, The warst o them might hae been his queen. 38A.7 On we lap, and awa we rade, Till we came to yon bonny ha, Whare the roof was o the beaten gould, And the floor was o the cristal a’. 38A.8 When we came to the stair-foot, Ladies were dancing, jimp and sma, But in the twinkling of an eye, My wee wee man was clean awa. Dog don't you just love the www, once I loved my Benham's book of Quotations but the Net's better again.

2353

5/03/2011P.S. Sorry AA - but the flame war imported from another blog was getting annoying. Please forgive. On topic - I do like the suggestion of the one word slogan "Truth" for the red tribe. The only problem is the current LNP goons would be looking through Gillard's Year 2 records looking for evidence of some childish misdemeanours to throw back at her. And in Recaptcha bingo I get the word "reason"! Life's funny sometimes.

nasking

5/03/2011"For a start we're not interested and secondly you clowns have already stuffed one blog" Firstly, I prefer not to be referred to as a clown. Considering I have never been rude to you 2353. Secondly, I had moved on if you'd bothered to read my last comment. I apologised for the disruption...no need to to attack people. I'm heading off for a few weeks, I need a break from this stuff. Big time. N'

Ad astra reply

5/03/2011Nasking If only the ABC did what it's charter led us to believe was is role - to inform, to explain - even the complex, to reason, to convince. It does this so well in matters scientific, but when it comes to politics, it does so indifferently. This is I believe is not through lack of intellect among the ABC's political commentators, but because of bias towards the Coalition and against the Government. This may be changing of late as the hollowness of the Coalition becomes more and more obvious.

Lyn

5/03/2011Hi Talk Turkey You are just delightfully special. That's all :):):):)

Ad astra reply

5/03/20112353 TRUTH is a good slogan for Labor. Tell the truth and demand it from the Opposition.

Lyn

5/03/2011Hi D Mick Weir I love what you said, I am going to use it on my kids: [quote]When I take offence and it was not given then I must be guilty of stealing the offence that was not offered[/quote]. Cheers Lyn

Ad astra reply

5/03/2011TT I can see you've picked up a lot from your dear old man, as I have. Your poem may be prescient - 'we we' Julia may yet hurl a huge stone, so big that "e'en had I been a Wallace wight I couldnae ha' lifted it to my knee" and throws it as far as the man can see." Watch out Tony!

nasking

5/03/2011"If only the ABC did what it's charter led us to believe was is role - to inform, to explain - even the complex, to reason, to convince." I agree Ad...but I do think we are seeing a few better shows than what we'd get on SKY & such. 'Big Ideas' as I mentioned before. Hopefully the government after June can put up some charter enforcement guidelines and make changes to media cross ownership & other laws in order to establish more diversity, balance & accountability in media. I wanted to reply so you didn't think me rude. I always try to reply. But must take a break. Thnks for yer blog Ad. Please everyone know that if I don't reply the next few days it's because I'm taking a break. Thnx. Mick, I will think thru yer words. I wish all well here. And Lyn keep those wonderful & informative links coming...and those great posts Feral...I will read them when I get a chance, even if I don't comment. Time for healing. N'

TalkTurkey

5/03/2011Swordsfolks, Since I've been blogging here, about 8 months I think, The Sword has withstood attacks by the Hordes of Spam, a Wedge of Trolls, and a brief Flame-Out hiccup. Whatever doesn't kill us makes us stronger. I rejoice. Salutations Ad astra, we ALL acknowledge that it is your good sense that keeps it together. And thanks to - is it 'Web Monkey'? - Our cybermechanic.

Acerbic Conehead

5/03/2011AA, the auditions took place this morning for the dancing segment of the 23 March Peoples Revolt Eisteddfod in Canberra. I don’t know about simplicity, but there seemed to be lots of simpletons around. Tony Abbott was the chief adjudicator and he roped in Col. Gaddafi, heavily camouflaged in his trademark cap and wrap-around sunnies, to help out. Tones: Right Gaddy...we better get this show on the road...there are lots of entries here, for us to judge the most suitable for the big gig on the 23rd... Gaddy: Yes, infidel, I agree...Now, let me see...the first tank off the rank is...Senator Mary Jo Fisher...her I like...maybe she will bring us some of your delicious fish and chips for lunch...hee...hee... [Mary Jo walks out onto the stage and starts to do a bit of an eclectic dance routine. It’s a mixture of the hokey cokey and the Time Warp. Gaddy’s displeasure, however, manifests itself fairly early in the piece] Gaddy: What is this crap??? The hokey cokey??? This looks more like the dopey cokey!!! Anyway, with a name like yours, you should be doing a reel...heh...heh...But seriously, there’s no way you are fit to dance on the stage at the Peoples Revolt Eisteddfod – piss off!!! [to emphasise his judgement, Gaddy picks up his AK47 and fires a volley into the air. Mary Jo yelps and scampers quickly off stage. Tones, however, is none-too-impressed with the unreasonably-high level of Gaddy’s adjudication standards. In fact, Tones had high hopes for Mary Jo and expected her to be a big hit with the punters on the 23rd] Tones: Maaaaaate!!! Aren’t you being a tad hard on the girl? And, if the truth be known, I think you are making Kyle Sandilands look as reasonable as that goody-two-shoes Marcia bloody Hines!!! Gaddy: Don’t upset yourself, infidel...there are plenty more dancers to judge – I’m sure today we will get a sufficient quota that can perform at the Peoples Revolt Eisteddfod...heh...heh... [so, in their turn, the hopeful entrants troop out onto the stage and do their thing. However, far from ameliorating his harsh judging style, Gaddy becomes even more extreme. For instance, when Rupert Murdoch does a phone-tap dance, Gaddy orders some MI5 goons in his entourage to frog-march him off the stage. Next, Phil Ruddock claims he is going to do a version of Zorba’s Dance but, inexplicably, continues to stand like a statue in the middle of the stage. “Zorba’s Dance”, shrieks Gaddy, “That looks more like a bloody Zombie’s Dance!” After Gaddy fires a few rounds at Phil’s feet, however, he actually did an excellent rendition of Zorba’s Dance, one that even the Chooky Boys would have been proud of. Next, Ban Morrison did a hula hula dance that he learned on Nauru but, Gaddy was so unimpressed, he chucked a torpedo at him, yelling, “Who’s got the leaky boat now you loser!” Then, Christopher Pyne pranced out onto the stage and started to do a series of pirouettes. The Poodle didn’t last long either, as a well-aimed hand-grenade from Gaddy quickly dispatched him to the sin-bin. The next hopeful was Bronny Bishop was did a dance of the seven veils, accompanied by some song by Johnny Diesel. However, a blast from Gaddy’s flame-thrower soon had her running from the stage disporting a well-singed beehive. Joe Hockey was next, but he did one Stomp too many and disappeared down through the hole he created in the stage. Barnaby Joyce, re-enacting his recent watery experience in the swollen creek, came on stage decked out in flippers, doing a snorkel samba. However, as soon as he saw Gaddy reaching for his spear-gun, he rapidly paddled to the safety of backstage. And taking of stages, by this particular stage, Tones was, literally, shell-shocked. He had been hoping that most of his main acts would have gotten through the auditions and would be ready to woo the punters on the big day out in Canberra. But, here was this absolute nut-case Gaddabout, rejecting all his top performers! However, his spirits were raised somewhat when Gaddy announced the next dancing hopeful as Malcolm Turnbull, who would be doing the bossa nova. “Heh...heh...” Tones sniggered to himself, “more like the bossa olda...hee...hee...” As Malcolm was doing his stuff, Tones grabbed Gaddy’s wrecking ball and swung it at Malcolm, hitting him amidships. As Malcolm was careering through the back wall of the theatre, he could hear Tones’ mocking jibe, “Who’s the Demolition Man now, sucker!” So, now that the auditions were coming to an end and knowing only the dregs was left, Tones was even more at his wit’s end. For example, Mark Latham came out on stage, doing his unique version of the conga-line-of-suckholes. However, he didn’t last long as Gaddy fired a bar of soap at his head, telling him to wash his potty mouth out. And, then, the last hopeful presented himself on stage. When he noticed it was Kevin Rudd, Tones gave out a groan that could be heard underneath a ton of concrete. Undeterred, Kev started to do his own idiosyncratic version of The Shake, with, instead of a pair of maracas, a sauce bottle in each hand, shaking them for all they were worth. Tones had never seen such a nerdy, toxically-boring exhibition in all his life and, turning to Gaddy, expected to see him get into his armour-plated ute, mount the stage and run Kev over. However, au contraire, Gaddy was shakin’ his boodie, as if Kev was the greatest dancer since sliced bread] Tones: But...but...but...you can’t declare this drop-kick the headline act at the Peoples Revolt Eisteddfod!! No-body will bloody turn up!! Gaddy: Why, that’s the whole point, you moron... Tones: But...but...but... I thought you were on our side...guided democracy and all that... [at this juncture, Gaddy removes “his” cap and wrap-around sunnies, revealing “his” true identity. Tones is dumbstruck by the realisation that he had been duped] Tones: Crap!!! It’s bloody Gillard!!! Jooles: Yeah, looks like you’ve been done like a dinner, mate...hee...hee...But, you’ve only got yourselves to blame – after all, haven’t you losers been saying all week I’m a dead ringer for Gaddafi?

Mobius Ecko

5/03/2011I need not point out how detached from this reality the OO is but this was posted at CW by Catching up and it gob smacked me. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/take-a-deep-breath-pm/story-e6frg71x-1226016125075 Just what Doctor Who universe do these clowns, in the Pennywise clown sense, belong to. Just about every short of parliament question time I saw showed Abbott being rattled and Gillard on game. You need no more proof than Abbott was mostly hidden away in the last week, a sure sign he's not up to it and the Party are keeping him under wraps lest he brain farts for the umpteenth time. I just wish there was a way of directly responding to the side swiping nonsensical bile the OO disgorges, but alas they take these detached from existent swipes in great numbers with no comeback from anyone.

TalkTurkey

5/03/2011Lyn I had to think, Why is she being so very particularly nice to me? - then I thought Oh yes, that ethereal golden mist . . . Fact is, happenings on the Sword today, your note not least, have made me quite, erm, well, nearly misty myself . . . So all yous Swordies that had me sussed as a girl were pretty near to the money anyway, only you Lyn sussed me for an albeit wussy male. Straight, mind, but pretty soft in the muddle. But the intended point of this writing is well made by the fact that I so pleased Lyn, and she me, by the nearly-too-simple medium of an appreciative comment. Lyn does it ALL THE TIME for EVERYONE! (except when she's posting Links.) She was one of the several Swordies, (not ALL girls btw), who immediately made me feel welcome and appreciated, and there's a lesson here. I don't remember getting a great deal of praise when I was a little kid, but the odd bit I do recall makes me proud and fuzzy to this day. But when I went to Teachers' College, our wise old Ad astra-esque Principal, by name Danny David - (succeeded btw by the marvellous twinkling-eyed Colin Thiele)- taught us that an ounce of praise was worth a ton of criticism, and I must say that has lived with me. Not that one can always do it, but even trying to find something worth praising helps to change one's focus. It's so easy to say something that makes people glow. And that's what I'm writing about today. I don't think we (the Public) have ever yet been really appreciative enough, in a sincere, personal, Good-On-Ya sort of way, of the service that decent politicians, and other ordinary heroes, do for us. Some people do write or phone their warm appreciation, but I would hazard a guess that brickbats outnumber bouquets by a factor of lots. I heard Julian Burnside QC in ?Big Ideas? the other night, maybe a fortnight ago, I couldn't find any transcript but he was BRILLIANT, so humane, so rational, so articulate and so savagely critical of the Howard government's record of lies and evildoing . . . he is my kind of hero. If anyone finds a record of Burnside's address please let me know. Chris Bowen, what a great little fighter he is proving to be, with unruffled poise going about a scary and thankless task as best he can, a beautiful best at that. Scary because of the hatred from the Rotten Right, but you can see he will never back down. A sincere bouquet from me Minister Bowen. Do not waver. There are many more like those two above. The IndependAnts, young Adam Bandt included, ALL deserve bouquets (maybe of Soursobs for the Mad Katter, but there are many worse by far than he in the Coalition imo). I don't believe that any of them will quail at death threats, or anyway if they do, they have the courage to defy the threateners. Maintaining the courage of their convictions against the very hatred of those who reckon them some kind of traitor is a much tougher ask, and that's why I so respect them. They are Good Men, all in their own ways having sacrificed a lot to follow their conscience. I salute them. When I was tiny kid, 3 or 4, the adults used to write letters on very thin paper, Air Mail paper it was called, and then they would go and send it, "by Air", they said. I had this sort of vague idea that they took it somewhere windy and threw it up into the air, and by some wonderful process it would reach its intended recipient. Today, I'm going to let these brief comments fly free too, and see if by any of the six degrees of separation any of those people come back to the Sword, by any connection. I'm not going to try to reach them directly, but any of Yous are welcome to forward my comments to them, and I'd be really chuffed if others among you were to write something really appreciative about other someones you reckon are doing bonzer jobs on behalf of the People. Venceremos!

Feral Skeleton

5/03/2011Well, if you want simple and effective messaging that the government can take to the bank and to the people, then they can do no better than this I think: http://www.watoday.com.au/environment/climate-change/bills-set-to-double-but-dont-blame-the-tax-20110304-1bhyl.html

Patricia WA

5/03/2011Agree with FS, Mick and 2353 and then Ad Astra's final ruling on the 'flame throwing' that's invaded this space. But let's be fair; looking back over the thread I can only see a one- sided war of words. And a very long winded self-justifying one at that, which surprised and disappointed me. The other two 'combatants' were hardly trying to argue or win points with their very few brief mild comments. Back to my 'debate' with FS - I take your point, FS, and I've probably enjoined battle plenty of times metaphorically speaking. I'll think it through and see if I can find a way to have a blood-free 'war of words' with no incitement to violence.

Ad astra reply

5/03/2011Folks Apologies for my slow responses this afternoon. I've been preparing a paper on ways of upgrading a medical website. AC Your imagination is so fertile. You had me fooled until the very last line. Nice work Mobius Ecko The anonymous piece in [i]The Oz[/i] is basically an anti-Green tirade. It can't stomach the reality that these awful Green people are having any influence on decision making in Canberra despite the fact that over ten percent of the people give them their primary vote. They would just ignore that ten percent - after all, they are only tree-hugging Greenies. It positions [i]The Oz[/i] as strongly anti-Green, and aligned with the Coalition's view that the Government is being run by the Greens.

Ad astra reply

5/03/2011TT You are so right - a little encouragement beats criticism hands down. That is one reason [i]TPS[/i] is successful. Visitors here encourage each other, respond to comments, and support those who might be subject to attack. Let's keep the encouragement going.

Ad astra reply

5/03/2011FS What a sensible article in [i]WA Today[/i]. Isn't it a relief to read something as balanced and fair?

Lyn

5/03/2011Hi Ad I don't know much about Peak Oil, I think it's boy's stuff, you would be able to tell me I know. But ,I am baffled as to why, not one Journalist or Interviewer has reminded Tony Abbott about Peak Oil. Isn't Oil running out, that is why petrol prices will increase. I remember some interviewer, asked Tony Abbott early last year and Mr Abbott thought he was talking the peak on a mountain. Last week, we saw Mr Abbott at a petrol station serving petrol, I thought they were all self serve anyway. So the purpose of the photo shoots were to promote petrol prices going up, because of Julia Gillard's price on Carbon. Remember Brendon Nelson running around the petrol stations in 2008, what was the cause then, I think it was some tax they were on about then. Do you think it is, a case of the Journalists not wanting to do any homework, along with perhaps, not wanting to show up Mr Abbott's ignorance. [i]Libya unrest drives oil higher , Business Day[/i] its highest since September 2008 on Friday, as fighting in Libya intensified and threatened the country's oil sector. http://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/libya-unrest-drives-oil-higher-20110305-1bihe.html

Acerbic Conehead

5/03/2011No worries, AA, its always a pleasure to post here. By the way, did you get my proposed thread on global warming?

Ad astra reply

5/03/2011Hi Lyn Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline. See Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_oil Most existing wells are said to be near or at peak oil. If that is so, it is all downhill thereafter. But of course other deposits of oil may be found. Don't expect Tony Abbott to understand it - remember he's not a 'tech head' by his own admission. Some journalists should know about it and expose Abbott's ignorance, but maybe that would not suit their purpose. AC Sorry, I missed your email. I've replied just now.

Ad astra reply

5/03/2011Folks It's time to retire to try to shake off the lurgy. Good night.

Feral Skeleton

5/03/2011AcerbicC., Chortle. :) My goodness, I don't know who's actually going to come out on top in the People's Revolt Eisteddford, when the judges, in our case, journalists, are not objective and unbiased.

Acerbic Conehead

5/03/2011HS, as usual, you are right on the money. It looks like its up to us in the social media to fight the good fight. Enjoy the rest of the weekend. AC.

D Mick Weir

5/03/2011Hi Lyn, thanks for your appreciative feedback/comment @ 3:41 PM. While I was out checking the traps this afternoon I pondered that and a few other comments made earlier and 'twisted some more'. I came to a 'delusion' that bias is a little bit like offence. Often it is percieved when it not actually there. I need to work on this a little, but I have a suspicion that I only see bias when what has been written or said doesn't agree with my worldview.

Lyn

6/03/2011 TODAY'S LINKS [i]Hitting them Where it Hurts, Mr denmore, The Failed Estate[/i]boycott their products in protest at their association with media outlets that do not exercise proper journalistic standards http://thefailedestate.blogspot.com/ [i]A HUGE wrap of recent developments in journalism that have a bearing upon public health, Melissa Sweet, Croakey[/i] The media landscape is evolving so rapidly, it’s almost impossible to keep up (my head hurts just from compiling all this…) http://blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/2011/03/04/a-huge-wrap-of-recent-developments-in-journalism-that-have-a-bearing-upon-public-health/ [i]Losing your money with Rupert - $US25 billion since he bought the Wall Street Journal, Richard farmer, The Stump[/i]There is no wonder that the News Limited papers are so quick to spot wasteful spending by governments. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/ [i]Two Issues With A Common Theme, Neil Cook, The Bannerman[/i]conservatives everywhere I say this. Whinge as much as you like, but nothing is going to change until 2013, false supposition, logically fallacious argument, stamping of feet or frothing from the mouth is going to effect the democracy you seem to despise so much http://www.waddayano.org/blog/2011/03/two_issues_with_a_common_theme.php#more [i]When political discourse goes bad an Australian MP 'dies' for almost two hours, Clarencegirl, North Coast Voices[/i] By 4pm Tony Windsor was being reported as stating that he is referring the matter to the Australian Federal Police. http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/2011/03/when-political-discourse-goes-bad.html [i]Paying homage , Gary-Sauer Thompson, Public Opinion[/i]. expect more attacks on the ABC, and ABC24 in particular. What does Murdoch want in Australia? If Telstra exits Foxtel, then that creates an opportunity for News Limited to increase its stake. http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2011/03/paying-homage.php#more [i]Changing Places, John Quiggin[/i] As long-term readers here will know, I argued for quite a few years that, of the possible ways of putting a price on carbon, an emissions trading scheme was preferable to a tax http://johnquiggin.com/index.php/archives/2011/03/05/changing-places/ [i]Henry's parting shot. Read it here, Peter Martin[/i] Today we find ourselves having avoided a recession that paralysed the rest of the developed world. http://www.petermartin.com.au/ [i] WILKIE OR WON’T HE? Nervous “Independent” MP plans to bump himself up to the Senate, Vex News[/i] as punishment for his parliamentary performance including supporting Labor to form a government and then http://www.vexnews.com/news/12536/wilkie-or-wont-he- [i]ON Alan Jones ( & other pathetic flat Eathers), The Beach Hou[/i]se uncritical thinkers will tune into talk-back radio; get exploited by churchmen; be misled by politicians; and, alas, vote. http://alankerlin.blogspot.com/2011/03/on-alan-jones-and-other-pathetic-flat.html

Mobius Ecko

6/03/2011Thanks for that WA Today article FS. What should be noted is the very last paragraph as it also leads into what it would mean to have a Coalition government in power.[quote]To put a tax into context, the steel industry is enduring a bigger financial hit from surging costs and the inflated Australian dollar. And the three big miners recently announced profits of between $5 billion and $14 billion.[/quote]So instead of rightly taxing the mining companies for ripping out non-renewable resources to obtain revenue as manufacturing declines because value adding is moved offshore, through a propaganda campaign aided and abetted by the opposition we are now getting a watered down ineffectual mineral resources tax. Even then Abbott has promised to repeal the MRT if he wins power more or less guaranteeing the mining companies huge windfalls on depleting resources where the great majority of the profits go overseas. All the while the tax take from manufacturing and value adding industries declines, and worse than that, this is where our "smart country" comes from as the manufacturing industries invest in and/or create technologies that often spin off, creating further income and jobs. Abbott's way leads to only one outcome, and it's not one that you would want to contemplate for any nation or people. By the time it gets that bad the mining industries will have moved on to rape another resource elsewhere and the Liberals will be blaming everyone and everything else but themselves.

reb of Hobart

6/03/2011I've noticed that even Laurie Oakes has written about the perilous state of Australian politics and the increasing prevalence of abusive language, threats and foolish rally calls for right wing nutjobs to overthrow the govt with slogans like a "people's revolt." It's worth a read... http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/editorials/wingnuts-and-looney-tunes-abound/story-e6frfhqo-1226016151079

debbiep

6/03/2011 ....[i]for Talk Turkey,re; Julian Burnside, it may be one of these repeated recently, fingerscrossed[/i]; Big Idea - 23 March 2008 - The 2008 Manning Clark Lecture: Julian Burnside QC Summary: It is a lecture that packs some punch. And this year is no different. The ninth Manning Clark lecturer is controversial barrister and human rights advocate Julian Burnside QC. His running battle with the previous government was played out in our http://www.abc.net.au/rn/bigideas/stories/2008/2193741.htm - 7k - [ html ] - 23 Mar 2008 Intelligence Squared Debate: Better More Cameras Than Crime - Big Idea - 22 July 2010 Summary: Some people argue that closed circuit cameras are a necessary and effective crime reduction tool. But are they actually as effective as people claim? Or do they infringe on our privacy with no real gain for society? http://www.abc.net.au/rn/bigideas/stories/2010/2961418.htm - 14k - [ html ] - 22 Jul 2010 Does Australia need a Bill of Rights? - Big Idea - 20 June 2010 Summary: The community consultation is over and the Government has had its say, but what does it all mean and where do we go from here? Has Australia dodged a bullet or dropped the ball? This forum was supported by the Law Foundation of South Australia http://www.abc.net.au/rn/bigideas/stories/2010/2930911.htm - 19k - [ html ] - 20 Jun 2010

Feral Skeleton

6/03/2011Mobius Ecko, Tony Abbott is one bleedin' irresponsible politician. It's not about policy it's about power with him. The power to impose his ultramontaine set of beliefs upon the rest of the nation. It's a very big 'Jump to the Right' with his political paradigm. As a peceptive commentator observed recently, the Conservative Libertarians, as opposed to the Social Democrat Libertarians, or 'Liberaltarians' as the blog I put up yesterday styled them, have a goal of disrupting and making dysfunctional the post-Depression/WW2 style of government based upon the New Deal ideals enunciated and enacted by Franklin D.Roosevelt and other Social Democratic governments, who enacted by law control over Industry, Industrial Relations, the Environment, Occupational Health and Safety, and introduced a Social Safety Net of Pensions, Superannuation, and Unemployment Benefits, Public Health and Public Education,Primary,Secondary & Tertiary. Those interested in simply an unfettered society where they are free to exploit resources and people for profit and pay as little tax as possible into the government coffers are using their ill-gotten gains to push their interests into government. I was just watching the repeat of Stateline NSW wherein it was exposed that one of the candidates for Barry O'Farrell's Liberal team, whilst styling himself as a 'good ol' boy', ex-Rugby League player, was in fact a stalking horse for the Clubs and Poker Machine Industry, having worked for them ever since his footy career had finished. Not only that but he would not commit on camera to stopping to push their interests once elected to parliament! It can't be more blatant than that. The Liberal Party rail against the pernicious influence of illegal drugs in our society, but they are complicit with the pushers of legal drugs, such as tobacco, alcohol and gambling. Not only that, they are happy to promise a Tax CONCESSION for them, if they are elected after March 26th in NSW. It stinks.

Feral Skeleton

6/03/2011debbiep, Wow! I was just having the same conversation about those cameras with my son yesterday. He waas saying, why do we need so many of them, do they really lead to less crime as is claimed? Aren't they an infringement of the privacy and human rights of the people just walking down the street not doing anything wrong? Which are valid points. And, in an earlier incarnation in my life I would have agreed with him 100%. However, what I did say, after agreeing with his basic premise, was that, should a crime occur, then they were valuable tools for the prosecution and the police force when they are trying to identify the perpetrators or put a message out to the public in order to catch criminals. I guess, as I get older and more vulnerable to personal attack, and also as my children get old enough to be going out at night without me in order to socilaise, then I see that the cry from the advocates for these things, 'If you're not doing anything wrong, you've got nothing to worry about', does gain some credence in my mind. On the other hand, and this is without a shadow of a doubt in my mind, if it was found that theywere being used for any more sinister reasons, then I would vociferously oppose them.

Feral Skeleton

6/03/2011reb of Hobart, You know Kamahl is one mighty big Liberal fanboi? Just sayin'.

Ad astra reply

6/03/2011Mobius Ecko The WA Today article was sound and balanced. Maybe the tide is turning towards rational debate of the carbon tax issue away from the disingenuous emotive rhetoric perpetrated by the Coalition and its media sycophants. Clearly some journalists are less corruptible than others. reb of Hobart What a great photo of Kamahl you have chosen for your Gravatar. Are you the 'reb' of [i]Gutter Trash[/i] fame, or another? The Oakes article reflects what as I detect as a gathering disquiet among journalists and others at the escalating and increasingly nasty and inflammatory anti-Gillard, anti-Government rhetoric that is polluting the media, generated primarily by none other than Tony Abbott, but seized with alacrity by the Cory Bernardi's, the Erica Abetz's, the Sophie Mirabella's of the Coalition, and amplified raucously by shock jocks like Alan Jones. Wise old heads like Oakes know that incitement to 'revolt', and likening our politicians to Middle Eastern dictators is dangerous for our democracy. I do not hear Malcolm Turnbull or even Joe Hockey using such revolutionary language. There must be some among the Coalition who are wondering if Abbott's grasp for power, which they applaud, has left the path of reasonable behaviour and gone down the destructive track of intentional incitement to revolt. If this continues we will all be the losers. We need more level headed commentary to pour cold water on the flames Abbott and his henchmen are fanning day after day. I noticed that on [i]Insiders[/i] today, the mood was sombre and thoughtful. There was no Andrew Bolt or Piers Akerman to throw fuel on the fire. No one applauded the Coalition's approach; all questioned its place in our political system. I believe that if only the fair and balanced were left to comment publicly through the various media, the angst would subside, but if the rabble rousers are left unfettered it will continue unabated. The media must take responsibility for this sate of affairs, but on past performance, most of it probably won't.

Feral Skeleton

6/03/2011It's sad to read this about Kevin Rudd: http://www.smh.com.au/national/beware-the-return-of-rudd-say-old-mates-20110305-1bipx.html Although as one commenter pointed out, buying houses in Caberra and the Sunshine Coast is hardly evidence of ambition. However the other stuff was more problematic.

Feral Skeleton

6/03/2011Who needs dirty Coal-fired Power Stations when you've got this? http://inhabitat.com/super-batteries-made-from-frozen-smoke-may-be-here-soon/ Anyway, even though they are not generators of electricity, they are still a pretty cool way to power our mobile phones and cars in the future. :) Basically my point is that we need to push through with our Carbon Pricing initiative because innovation is the key to saving the planet and maintaining a healthy economy into the future for Australia. I mean, what if the world turned off Coal for its energy supply once new forms of energy production were invented and refined? Where would the economy be then? We must innovate our way out of a dependance on the Resources industries before it's too late.

Michael

6/03/2011Did anyone else see Andrew Robb, Shadow Minister for Finance, and so, theoretically good with numbers, claim on Insiders this morning that "we've had cheap electricity for the past 150 years" in Australia? "We" being everyday, ordinary, tax-paying Australians, of course. Technically, he's not far wrong. A single light bulb was fired up electrically: "in 1863, the first electric light was put on public display in Australia. It was a single arc lamp, and was lit in the Observatory in Sydney to mark the marriage of Edward the Prince of Wales and Princess Alexandria" http://www.energex.com.au/switched_on/electric_energy/electric_history_australia.html But, the first time electric power was available for widespread domestic use was in the early 1900's. What's a decade or three to Mister Robb? Indeed, "technically not far wrong", but far enough to make it easy to understand how the Coalition's 11 billion dollar hole in last year's election policy costing audit came about. Or was he simply doing Coalition politics 2010/11-style like the rest of Abbott's front-bench: FALWTF? That's "Fast And Loose With The Facts" for all you fellow acronym lovers.

Feral Skeleton

6/03/2011Michael, Robb also redefined Shadow Cabinet solidarity today by saying that Malcolm Turnbull was able to hold divergent views on Climate Change policy to the stated Opposition policy and still retain his position on the Shadow Front Bench. Hmmm.

Lyn

6/03/2011Hi Reb of Hobart That is nice of you to comment on "The Political Sword" thankyou, also thankyou for taking time off from your own busy blog to visit here. Laurie Oakes sometimes seems fair, trouble is most of the time he uses but's, what I hate is, he will report how bad the Coalition and Mr Abbott have behaved, then put the Government, and Julia Gillard in the same basket. You see he ruins what starts out to be a fair column. Don't forget as well, how Coalition biased Laurie Oakes was when Kerry Packer was alive. Like your gravatar

Lyn

6/03/2011Hi Hillbilly Did you notice how nervous Andrew Robb appears, unsure of his answers, certainly unconvincing. I would like someone to dissect the interview. Mr Robb is very hesitant about his position on anything, also unsure of which direction he would like to take on any policy.

reb of Hobart

6/03/2011Hi Lyn and Ad Astra, And thanks for the nice welcome. Yes it's me from Gutter Trash.. I'm a regular reader here but don't often have the opportunity to comment. I do however enjoy he many insightful articles, commentators and of course Lyn's daily links! cheers reb

Graeme

6/03/2011Lyn, Feral. Had the grandkids visit this morning, so I wasn't able to give [i]Insiders[/i] my full attention, but unconvincing was the very word I was going to use to describe Robb, until Lyn beat me to it. It seemed to me that his heart just wasn't in it. His attempts to denigrate the government were insipid and he couldn't seem to muster the ferocity that Tony Abbott is demanding from the opposition. Perhaps he is tired of maintaining the rage, knowing full well that it is unlikely to bear fruit, or that it is simply going to bring increased scrutiny of his side of politics, because, however slowly, it does appear that some commentators are starting to question the opposition's alternative policies, and Robb knows better than most how bare that cupboard is.

Michael

6/03/2011Feral Skeleton and Lyn, hi. Andrew Robb singlehandedly changed Australia for the worse, when, ahead of the time allocated for his depression-related treatment and sabbatical from politics to conclude, he attended a Coalition party meeting and stabbed then leader Malcolm Turnbull in the back over the question of supporting the Labor Government's proposed ETS. This immediately resulted in the election of Abbott by the famous "one vote" that set off the dominoes falling to have Australia where it is today. Robb went against everything he had previously discussed and settled upon with Turnbull. He was a traitor not only to his leader, but to his own espoused position leading up to that meeting. One can only speculate whether or not he was on his medication that day. Certainly, ever since he has appeared hesitant, longwinded to the point of incoherence, and contradictory in his usually specious distinctions-drawing over Coalition policies and personalities. The entire exercise today of trying to define Coalition frontbench solidarity as something that embraces individual member's opinions, but that then essentially smothers them when delivering policy, made it clear that it's Abbott's way or the exit door. The 'broad church' has very narrowly laid-out pews. Which probably tells us something very disheartening about Malcolm Turnbull, and most certainly confirms something very clearly on view about Andrew Robb: his thought processes are tangled, his expression of those thoughts tangles them even further in utterance, and he is a man way out of his depth except in paddling through the shallow puddles of Abbott's pontifications. I just wish he'd had a more forceful doctor last year who'd kept him home that day.

Lyn

6/03/2011Hi Michael Well said,([quote]Andrew Robb singlehandedly changed Australia for the worse )[/quote] Thankyou Michael, excellent, I don't need a dissection anymore, you have done better. Cheers

Feral Skeleton

6/03/2011A very balanced article from Giles Parkinson at Climate Spectator wrt the Climate Change debate that we should be having but aren't because of the pernicious influence of the Shock Jocks: http://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/cheat-notes-shock-jocks

Lyn

6/03/2011Hi Graeme I may have said unconvincing first, you have certainly explained much better than I did. I really think Andrew Robb should retire, his health does not appear up to the requirements of bomb throwing, stomping, ferocious, speedo clad Abbott, with his bombastic race to the Lodge, it's unhinging for anyone. I feel sorry for Andrew really, but we all make our own choices in life, don't we.

Feral Skeleton

6/03/2011Michael, Hello! How are you going? :) I think your comments show you have a very wise head on your shoulders there and that you are not convinced by the Liberal Party line. I just saw it again on the 5PM Channel 10 News however, where they ignored the rambling nature of the Robb interview on Insiders today, ignored the inconsistent arguments he made about Malcolm Turnbull's position on Climate Change and what was the best way for government to tackle it, and instead exerpted the bitchy statement he made about the Labor Party's Primary Vote in the last Nielsen poll. Sheesh! Which, I might add was not the ALP Primary Vote that the most recent poll, Newspoll, recorded. So, basically, Channel 10 decided to be complicit in the spreading of a smear by Andrew Robb, as opposed to reporting the shakiness and shonkiness of his interview and his own side of politics, as well as the fact that on their own political show this morning, 'Meet the Press' with Paul Bongiorno, they had a very good interview with Anthony Albanese where the Coalition's antics in Question Time this week, plus the bullying of MPs like Tony Windsor by worked up followers of the Shock Jocks(who really should be called the Inciters these days, as they don't simply want to shock, they want to incite). Nope, the compilers of Channel 10's News went with Andrew Robb's baseless assertions that the government was a shambles, which they most certainly are not as they have a 72-0 legislation passed record since they started Minority government, and his feeble attempted bitch slap based upon an old ALP Primary Vote in one old Nielsen poll. Channel 10 calls that 'News'?

Feral Skeleton

6/03/2011Graeme, Some commentators may be questioning Abbott, but as lyn observed, they usually follow up the criticism of Abbott with some criticism for the government too, even though they simply don't deserve it as much. :(

Feral Skeleton

6/03/2011Here's a great quote from an interesting little article about Al Jazeera News and Hillary Clinton's opinion of it: [quote]"Cable news has become cable noise. It was intended to be an opportunity to inform people, and instead it has become an opportunity to inflame people."[/quote] http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gczZWPZpqavb_pUn8wOxh45n-DCQ?docId=09ec626f4bf547a0a0930de38fc40666

Feral Skeleton

6/03/2011News about the ALP's Media Convergance Review: http://www.encoremagazine.com.au/screen-australia-chair-to-head-convergence-review-committee-7115

Ad astra reply

6/03/2011Graeme, Michael. Lyn, FS Andrew Robb's interview this morning was poor. I never find him easy to understand as he seems always to get into such a convoluted line of reasoning that he looses me and I suspect most of his audience, He seems to find it difficult to speak in simple terms. Today though he was even more confusing and unable to make clear what he was trying to get across. Yet it was not a pressured interview. As the Coalition's face to the world today he looked out of touch and not up to the job. Yet he coveted the deputy leader's position so that he could wrench the Shadow Treasurer's role from Joe Hockey. In my view he would cause more confusion than Joe, and receive less acceptance by the public. Like Lyn, I can almost feel sorry for him, especially after his depressive illness, but as Michael points out, it was his abandonment of his previous position on climate change, and with that Malcolm Turnbull, that resulted in Abbott's one vote win, a decision that has turned politics here on its head, to the detriment of us all. When acting in his shadow position as finance spokesman, he has been unconvincing, and his attempt to explain the $11 billion black hole in the Coalition's budget, and the so-called 'audit' process to which it was supposed to have been subject, was pitiable and unconvincing. He might be better suited to a minor shadow position where he had little public exposure. Yet his ego pushes him to seek positions beyond his capability. It's a lamentable situation. It is his performance, and that of Joe Hockey, Julie Bishop, Christopher Pyne, Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton, as well as Tony Abbott himself, that is the real impediment to a Coalition Government. The people see that despite all the alleged deficiencies of Julia Gillard and her Government, what the Coalition has to offer is inferior in every regard.

Ad astra reply

6/03/2011FS Your link to Hillary Clinton's opinion of Al Jazeera News was interesting reading. I was taken by the comment of Frank Sesno, director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University who said: [i]"Cable news has become cable noise. It was intended to be an opportunity to inform people, and instead it has become an opportunity to inflame people." [/i] How true there, and here in shock jock land. BTW, I sent you an email earlier today.

Jason

6/03/2011FS, That's the point Robb and the libs don't get, the 72-0 on legislation! You might get away with the shambles line with Jones et al, but the fact is whilst minority government is harder so far Labor have had their program passed, and some of the "thinkers" in the libs have had a look at their calender and have realised that July is fast approaching and as they have no positive agenda to offer,they will become nothing but spectators whilst Abbott is at the helm! Robb's interview today lacked vision he could barely find an economist to back up their direct action plan, I assume they want to stop the mining tax, boats and other than that I can't think of anything else. I think once the NSW election is over Abbott and the Libs will have nowhere to hide and will have to start comming up with policy! because as Robb's face showed today come July if we don't change direction the in fighting will start!

Miglo

6/03/2011Ditto to what reb said at 3:56 pm.

TalkTurkey

6/03/2011debbiep Thank you kindly for that Julian Burnside QC link, and Yes, that's the address I meant. I had come across it without realising that it was the one in question, thinking the repeat I saw to have been a recent event. It is even more poignant now than then anyway. For anyone who hasn't heard it, let me recommend it. I think it is one of the best speeches I have ever heard. What a contrast to the Abbortts and Anal Joneses eh. ******************************************************** Just watching a swordfight to the death between Cdr Maynard RN and Blackbeard the Pirate. Blackbeard lost. Maynard got the beautiful feisty Ranga lass, and Captain Kidd's booty to boot. May our skills with The Sword on behalf of our beautiful feisty Ranga lass parallel Cdr Maynard's. ********************************************** Want to read about one of the most perplexing of all historical mysteries? - Just search "Oak Island Mystery" and read about 'the Money Pit', thought by some to be Pirate Captain Kidd's actual treasure repository. Me t'ink it 'mazing!

Lyn

6/03/2011 Hi Miglo Thankyou, for reading TPS, also for popping in from your busy blog to say Hi.

PatriciaWA

6/03/2011FS your comment at 01:51 PM re Kevin Rudd. I know it wasn't your opinion, but that article smacked to me of malice from the so-called one-time 'friend' of Rudd, whoever he may be, if indeed he exists, than of Rudd's renewed ambition. I don't think he has ever stopped being ambitious, and now he is ambitious beyond Australia, [i]a la[/i]Gareth Evans. His ego is such that to achieve again he had to bow out of Australian politics entirely or stay high profile in a preferred role, i.e. Foreign Minister. He's doing a good job there, has made statements supporting the government climate change policy and other issues. He's certainly not a dissenting voice as Malcolm Turnbull seems to be on the left, albeit [i]sotto voce[/i]. The PM seems quite willing to trust him and give him a free hand in an area in which he has known expertise and he's out there in the world with the movers and shakers, which should keep him happy. Undoubtedly he'd love to be in her shoes right now and with President Obama, but he knows the protocols and is sticking to them. The dig about the helping hand during the floods, with him pictured with someone's suitcase on his head was unbelievably petty. It was his electorate, for god's sake. I'd want to know who fed this information to the SMH before I accepted its reliability.

PatriciaWA

6/03/2011Sorry, Malcolm Turnbull, on the 'right'!!! Mind you I guess compared with Tony Abbott he is sort of leftish, kind of.......

Jason

6/03/2011FS,AA or Anyone, I ventured into the sewer today at the catch the fire ministries and found an article that for all of what it accuses others of doing I think it does exactly the same! Now the reason I bring it up is these are the same nutters that organised the email campaign last time that stopped the carbon tax and helped put Abbott in as leader. I also wonder although I have no evidence and is just a thought bubble, could these so called people of "god" be dog whistling during their Sunday sermon, for the followers to make calls such as the one Tony Windsor got? http://catchthefire.com.au/blog/

TalkTurkey

6/03/2011Ad astra If today's effort is you when you got the lurgy, I pity your intellectual opponents when you're firing on all 12! Amongst much else Aa said today was this: "Like Lyn, I can almost feel sorry for [Andrew Robb], especially after his depressive illness, but . . . It is his performance, and that of Joe Hockey, Julie Bishop, Christopher Pyne, Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton, as well as Tony Abbott himself, that is the real impediment to a Coalition Government." But Swordsfolks, I can’t help a certain sense of prescience (or is it hubris) at my rhyming wrap on TPS of that mob on 12/10/10, let me remind you: “There were Liberals like Joe Hockey, a fat and lazy blob, Who had fallen at the first jump when he’d tried, Malcolm Turnbull, once-and-wanna-be, and poor old Andrew Robb While Phony Tony Abbott ran and lied. There was an effete mincing poodle, known as Whining Chrissie Pyne, Creepy Kevin Andrews, washed-out Warren Entsch; Token female Julie Bishop, who thinks plagiarism fine; That about exhausts the Liberals’ front bench.” As for Morriscum, Bernasty and Puff Adder and their like, they hadn’t really come to my attention much back then, but I gotta say, they sure aren’t improving the mix. The Right will soon fragment. Abbortt will be blamed not just for electoral failure but for the schism. Marvellous ill-feeling will infect the whole Opposition. Can you imagine their panic and desperation as we get close to July? Chortle!

D Mick Weir

6/03/2011Jason I am worried for you (and me). I made the mistake of clicking on that link. Immediate decontamination was required. Take your point though that these people 'nutters' are organisers of some pretty suspect campaigns so must be on a 'watch list'.

Ad astra reply

6/03/2011jason The Catch the Fire Ministries piece by Kevin Andrews echoes the narrow bigotry that afflicts too many. Intolerance writ large will divide not unite. Yet they need no evidence for their beliefs, just unthinking adherence to what they are told. Even if their beliefs fly in the face of evidence, it matters not. This evening I watched the last episode of Richard Attenborough's First Life and his account of life from its early beginnings 450 million years ago supported by a mountain of fossil evidence, and wondered how anyone could still believe the earth began just 6000 years ago. Yet it is the likes of Catch the Fire Ministries that seem able to convince people of the implausibility of that. Such belief systems are impossible to counter with facts, figures and reason, because they are irrelevant to those whose belief is fixed by other forces. TT Thank you for your kind comment. The lurgy is resolving, but oh so slowly. It's hard to remember what it feels like to be normal. I enjoyed your rhyme, which may be prescient. I have a feeling that the tide against Abbott's destructive politics may be turning, and when it does his party may collapse like a pack of cards. No doubt his anger about being in Opposition and Julia Gillard thriving in Government will be exacerbated by her being in the US right now, and he being stuck back here struggling for attention. I'm off for the night now to see how Miss Marple got her diagnosis wrong.

Ad astra reply

6/03/2011Miglo You will always be welcome here.

D Mick Weir

6/03/2011At last we we have some 'reliable' costings for what the carbon tax will cost families. http://www.petermartin.com.au/2011/03/what-is-it-with-coalition-and-figures.html

D Mick Weir

6/03/2011Yesterday @ 12:41 PM I made a couple of bold assertions (most unlike this humble and reserved commenter). [i]'... from the point of view of the 'ordinary' citizen there is not a compelling case to become more politically aware or astute. ... public opinion is often wrong when it comes to the benefits to the nation of a particular action or policy.[/i] I was humbled (err pleased :)) to read these bits in a blog by Paul Krugman. [i]'The key point to understand is that while many voters say that they want lower spending, press the issue a bit further and it turns out that they only want to cut spending on other people. The only thing they clearly want to cut is foreign aid, which most Americans believe, [b]wrongly[/b], accounts for a large share of the federal budget. .... How can voters be so ill informed? In their defense, bear in mind that they have jobs, children to raise, parents to take care of. [b]They don’t have the time or the incentive to study the federal budget[/b], let alone state budgets (which are by and large incomprehensible). So they rely on what they hear from seemingly authoritative figures.'[/i] (My emphasis added) The post is about recent Republican proposals for spending cuts and, one could easily substitute Liberal and see something in common with what we have here. I loved this line and hope to see it used here: [i]'Republicans[/i] (Liberals?) [i]don’t have a mandate to cut spending; they have a mandate to repeal the laws of arithmetic.'[/i] The New York Times Opinion Pages - Eat the Future - PAUL KRUGMAN http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/14/opinion/14krugman.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=general Oh, and as a way of proving I am humble: [b]Krugman says it better than I could[/b] :)

D Mick Weir

6/03/2011Michael @ 2:02 PM thanks for shining a light on another set of ruubery figures from that paragon of virtue Mr Robb. The opposition seems to be quite comfortable with a bit of 'give or take' with the thier budget figures. However, beware, the reality is, we will [i][b]give[/b][/i] and they will [i][b]take[/b][/i].

Feral Skeleton

6/03/2011DMW, I keep tweeting Joe Hockey and Andrew Robb to let us know how they would make the taxpayers pay for their $30 Billion Direct Action Carbon Dioxide Abatement Plan. Cut programs or raise taxes? I still haven't had a reply yet. Maybe they're overcoming their antipathy towards one another to get together and work it out on the back of a napkin. :) Wow, that's a winner in ReCaptcha bingo:Abrogation. Reminds me of what the Coalition do all the time now, abrogate their responsibility to be grown ups.

D Mick Weir

6/03/2011FS ... [i]Cut programs or raise taxes?[/i] I think I will go with Krugman, they will have to [i]'repeal the laws of arithmetic.'[/i]

D Mick Weir

6/03/2011Hmm thinking it though a bit further with Cardinal Pell in your corner there there would be many laws that we thought were 'fact' that could/would be repealed!!!

Lyn

7/03/2011 [b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]They would say that, wouldn't they, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i] Alan Jones: her mere presence reduced him to his natural state of being a nasty, petty man, the sort not to be invited into one's home http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2011/03/they-would-say-that-wouldnt-they-voice.html [i]Anti-Greens ratf*ckers come out for Mardi Gras, The Conscience Vote[/i] This time, however , it looks like the minds behind this strategy badly misread ther target demographic. http://consciencevote.wordpress.com/2011/03/06/anti-green-ratfckers-come-out-for-mardi-gras/ [i]Sock Puppet Alert, John Quiggin[/i] the delusionist dominance of the right wing of politics and the media is such that many rank-and-file rightwingers accept delusionist views http://johnquiggin.com/index.php/archives/2011/03/06/sock-puppet-alert/#more-9568 [i]Murdoch mass media madness, Admin, Independent Australia[/i] Samanatha Maiden went overboard after finding out the cost of flowers at Government House, Yarralumla in the ACT have cost around $800 a week http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/politics/murdoch-mass-media-madness/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=murdoch-mass-media-madness [i]What is it with the Coalition & figures on Billboards. Peter martin[/i] Liberal's Debt truck:Gee, Labor's government debt was going to reach $315 billion: http://www.petermartin.com.au/ [i]Territories same sex marriage imbroglio about nothing, Kim, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] Coalition formed minority government, they too would have had to negotiate with Independents and The Greens. But, never mind the truth in Abbott land… http://larvatusprodeo.net/ [i]consumer empowerment?, Gary Sauer-Thompson, Public Opinion[/i]Bruce Guthrie's ongoing troubles with Telstra raise the question why bother with them http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2011/03/consumer-empowe.php#more [i]Looking back on a little alleged slander, defamation and libel, Clarencegirl, North Coast Voices[/i] With so much abuse being hurled both inside and outside Federal Parliament these day, I thought I would take http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/2011/03/looking-back-on-little-alleged-slander.html [i]Stuff and/or nonsense, William Bowe, The Poll Bludger[/i]Antony Green blogs on three developments in electoral and parliamentary reform. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/ [i]The Turnbull longshot that could stop the nasty rhetoric, Mark Kenny, The Punch.[/i] The personal vitriol directed at Ms Gillard is now extreme and she has responded in kind, accusing Tony Abbott of baiting on the race issue. http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/the-turnbull-longshot-that-couldstop-the-nasty-rhetoric/ [i]Turnbull embarks on Asian broadband tour, Renai LeMay, Delimiter[/i] Minister Malcolm Turnbull has embarked on an impromptu tour of broadband facilities and networks throughout the greater Asian region, http://delimiter.com.au/2011/03/06/turnbull-embarks-on-asian-broadband-tour/ [i]The Australian's "War on Reality" if Chris Mitchell doesn't believe it, it mustn't be real, Watching the Deniers[/i] Tim Lambert over at Deltoid has been monitoring The Australian’s “War on Science” for several years http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/ [i]Definition debate ramps up over climate, SBS[/i] "If it acts like a tax and it hits you like a tax, it is a tax," he told reporters at Little Manly http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1495462/Definition-debate-ramps-up-over-climate [i]GetUp! rally to support carbon Price, Understanding Climate Risk[/i] our movement comes together to present the positive, mainstream views that hard-line ‘shock jocks’ prefer to ignore. http://2risk.wordpress.com/2011/03/06/getup-rally-to-support-carbon-price/ [i]Cheap, Ultrafast Broadband? Hong Kong Has It, Randall Stross, New York Times[/i] Hong Kong Broadband Network introduced a new option for its fiber-to-the-home service: a speed of 1,000 megabits a second — known as a “gig” — for less than $26 a month. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/06/business/06digi.html?_r=2

2353

7/03/2011FS, There is a pattern here. I'm still waiting for Joyce to give me the links to the research that proves his assertions on his opposition to the Traveston Dam while being in favour of new dams. In my experience - don't hold you breath waiting for a reply.

Lyn

7/03/2011Good Morning Ad How proud we are and should be: Julia Gillard to address Congress in America, only the fourth Prime Minister to do so. I guess Mr Abbott is at the dressmakers having his superman outfit fitted. Ready for his jump of the Harbour Bridge. Well! we all know, he would have to do something spectacular, how dare Julia Gillard get any photo shoots. After all bike riding has become old news, being crowned ironman is nothing new, eating witchetty grubs and raw fish not headlines anymore, banana's and petrol are old hat, highway camera shots are too dangerous, picking up dead leaves in Manly is boring, the gay parade wouldn't allow him on their leading float, no question time, no censure motions, he can't stop the floods they dried up, the debt truck is obsolete the figures have changed lower, would you believe, he has worn out Alan Jones, there are no machine guns for him to fire. Cheers :):):):)

Lyn

7/03/2011Hi Ad What now, James Massola just told me: [quote]Tony Abbott has just arrived in Adelaide, where he will be based for the next 24 hours.[/quote] Yes they have no banana's No Harbour Bridge http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/capital-circle/rio-weighs-in-on-carbon-tax/story-fn59nqgy-1226016874679

Lyn

7/03/2011Hi Ad Oh dear! poor Mr Abbott: Now The Vine tells me, Julia Gillard is in Washington, and Tony is an insignificant speck : http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/03/07/3156540.htm [quote]Meanwhile, back in Australia, a now opponent-less Tony Abbott is probably in the process of fading to an insignificant speck as he mourns the temporary loss of somebody to yell at[/quote]. http://www.thevine.com.au/news/current-affairs/news-you-can-use-_-mardi-gras-takes-over-sydney20110307.aspx

D Mick Weir

7/03/2011Phillip Coorey has a piece in todays National Times that is a neat summary of some of the recent shenanigans of [b]'teh shock jocks'[/b] [b]Opinion leaders have no right to treat leaders with such rudeness[/b] http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/opinion-leaders-have-no-right-to-treat-leaders-with-such-rudeness-20110306-1bjca.html Among the comments: [i]'It seems to me that the Canberra press galley are so left that they never find fault with the Labor Party or their cohorts the Greens.'[/i] [b]Posted by:[/b] teddles38 | Sydney - March 07, 2011, 7:18AM As I have said before; [b]Bias, like beuaty, is in the eye of the beholder![/b]

Jason

7/03/2011DMW, I'll see your SMH article and raise you a Bolt! although I'm not sure how this post slipped past him! http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/windsor_will_speak_to_anyone_who_agrees_with_him/P40/ "This incident inspired Sydney Morning Herald journalist Phillip Coorey (see item below) to complain about the trashing of the credibility of politicians. If you had to be honest you would have to admit that the incidents that inspired Coorey were: a) you hanging up on Julie Bishop when she did not go along with the answers you were fitting he up with b) you hanging up on Rob Oakshott when you did not like his answers c) Gary Hardgrave hanging up on Bob Brown when he allegedly found himself losing the argument with him d) You headlining last Wednesdays show with: ‘’Tony Windsor’s attempt to play the victim to shut down a debate.” e) Neil Mitchell’s rudeness when he interviewed Julia Gillard, as opposed to Michelle Grattin who asked the same questions of Gillard, only in a more respectful way, and f) Jones’ rudeness to Gillard when he interviewed her. You might also note that Laurie Oakes picked on the bad behaviour of Jones in the same interview when he proved that Jones was the one lying about Julie allegedly lying about a carbon tax. He used Joe Hockey to establish that Gillard had indeed been telling the truth all the way through.... making 80% of your posts for the last two weeks or so on the carbon price issue, completely inaccurate. You don’t have to he honest though… readers can read fore themselves. Big Ted (Reply) Mon 07 Mar 11 (09:40am)

Lyn

7/03/2011Hi DM Weir [quote]Bias, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder![/quote] I like your quote on bias too, I will store that one in the back of my mind for future use. The Liberal Party and Supporters, all think the whole of the media favours Julia Gillard over Tony Abbott. The Liberal party write to the ABC, if they think Julia Gillard has been mentioned more times than Tony Abbott. In fact they have somebody employed to take count. 3 links to Liberal Blogs, don't hurt your eyes though: It is clear that the Insider panelists find it difficult to understand the issue at all. [b]They prefer simply to barrack for the ALP. [/b]http://andrewmcintyre.org/2011/03/05/carbon-tax-destined-to-be-truly-charred/ http://www.rightpulse.com/ http://catallaxyfiles.com/

Feral Skeleton

7/03/2011Jason, Ah, 'Big Ted', a refugee from Jack the Insider's blog. Nobly going where no sane man has gone before. :)

Lyn

7/03/2011Hi 2353 Barnaby has probably still got his finger stuck in the dam dam, Abbott and Barnaby were stopping the floods remember.

Lyn

7/03/2011Hi Ad Oh! no, now look what's happened, the face with ears is on my TV: FEDERAL Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's anti-carbon tax campaign arrives in Adelaide today and begins with a public forum at Plympton. http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/take-part-in-the-news-abbotts-adelaide-community-forum/story-e6frea83-1226016941909

Ad astra reply

7/03/2011Folks Thank you for your comments, and Lyn for your prolific links to all sorts of interesting articles. You are a super-sleuth in digging them out, and save us so much time. Jason, your link to Boltas site should be accompanied by a warning - [i]'Reading this may be dangerous for your health. Consume in small doses, and stop as soon as nausea overwhelms. Do not resume until your equanimity has returned.'[/i]

D Mick Weir

7/03/2011Jason @ 11:03 AM I consider myself well and truly upped by that link :) PS In Recaptcha Bingo I have EDUCATION

Ad astra reply

7/03/2011Folks I have just posted [i]Tony Abbott's Great Big New Tax[/i]. I hope you enjoy it. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com

D Mick Weir

7/03/2011Lyn @ 11:13 AM Umm I am not sure if thanks is the appropriate response for those links; but thanks anyway :) Ad @ 11:56 AM Love that warning. Dangerous for both mental and physical health I suggest.

Lyn

7/03/2011Hi DMick Weir I'm sorry, I hope you are not upset. Just heard Mark Riley's report on TV, he is in America, following Julia Gillard, he gave a brilliant report. Nothing so far on Mr Abbott's forum, except for ABC24 earlier. Cheers
How many oranges do I have if I have 3 oranges and take ONE away?