Ol’ King Coal isn’t a merry ol’ soul

The Coalition corner-shop hasn’t been travelling too well over the last number of years.

In fact, it has been on a downhill slide since Grandpa Johnnie got evicted and the lease was briefly taken over by Cousin Brendan.

Brendan’s proprietorship, however, didn’t last that long before his adolescent cousin, “Granville” Turnbull, took over, only for him in turn to be ousted by his Uncle Tony “Arkwright” Abbott. Arkwright, however, wants to keep WorkChoices alive and well, so he keeps Granville on as a very badly-paid and over-worked errand-boy.

So, to stay in business, the Coalition corner-shop has to stay “Open All Hours”.



Also, the rivalry between “Arkwright” Abbott’s corner-shop and the one managed by Julia “Grocer” Gillard, is as fierce as ever. Both, however, in their attempts at market penetration, have adopted different strategies.

For her part, Julia and her staff have invested in acquiring lots of inexpensive, environmentally-friendly stock, supplemented with making available to customers plenty of pre-loved, recycled items, many of which are sold below cost. Furthermore, to cover the losses incurred on these goods, Julia has imposed a surcharge on other items, that is those which are produced from materials that are not as conducive to the health of the environment.

Arkwright’s shop, however, is a different kettle if fish. In fact, his stock is mainly comprised of coal. As well as being a great believer in the stuff, he got a load off the back of a lorry and is keen to make some money on it, to help pay off his enormous mortgage.

So, the number of customers making their way to Arkwright’s door has dwindled to a rusted-on trickle. To drum up support, however, Arkwright has held a few press conferences but even they were a bit of a fizzer, as the journalists walked out, due to their impatience with him taking too long to get his answers out.

Then, one day in particular, Arkwright and Granville are trying to kill time in the shop. The brief highlight of Arkwright’s day is soon to be quickly over, however, as he ogles Bronny “Nurse Gladys Emmanuel” Bishop getting into her little car. Meanwhile, Granville is trying to negotiate around the many bags of coal cluttering up the floor he is trying to sweep.

Granville: Jeeze, Uncle...what’s the story with all these bags of coal? Bloody Newcastle, like Whyalla, must be a ghost-town at the rate you’re taking it off them...

Arkwright: Wuh-well, Greh-Granville...its my c-civic duty to promote the cuh-cause of cuh-coal...If Gih-Gillard gih-gets her wuh-way, we’ll all be sha-shafted like t-that bruh-brush you hah-have in your huh-hands...

[Suddenly, the door opens and a customer enters the shop. Granville and Arkwright are so shocked to hear the bell ring, they stand there transfixed. The customer is none other than Lord Monckton, who is coughing and spluttering with the dreaded lurgy. However, just as Arkwright is beginning to bow and scrape to his high n’ mightiness, in such an obsequious fashion that would make Basil Fawlty’s fawning look like Ned Kelly delivering his Jerilderie Address, Lord Monckton holds court.]

Monkey: I say there, old chaps...is there anyone home or are you two blighters going to stand there all day with your mouths open like two damn stunned mullets...And, by the way, there’s a dreadful smell in here...

Granville: Oh, and talking of stunned mullets, that’s just the smell of the rotten fish we can’t sell...Ever since Uncle Arkwright got the local rag to take a picture of him kissing them, nobody wants to buy them...hee...hee...

Arkwright: Oh, very droh-droll, Grah-Granville...Buh-but he who lah-laughs last lah-laughs best, cos I’ve suh-sold them to Duh-David Buh-Bushby for his t-t-tea and he’s cuh-coming in later to cuh-collect them...heh...heh...

Monkey: Well, be that as it may, my man, I’m suffering from a dreadful cold, so do you have any lemsips?

[Arkwright, having just failed miserably at getting Granville to go out to the back yard and plant his broom so that it will capture some carbon coal-dust, direct-action-style, reaches round to grab a packet of the aforesaid medication off the shelf. However, the bolshie Granville pipes up.]

Granville: Hey, wait a minute...I thought you had it on your CV that you had discovered the cure for the common cold! So why are you in here buying lemsips?

Monkey: Oh, that’s the common cold I discovered the cure for, my boy...aristocrats like moi suffer from a far better breed of germ...

[Granville and Arkwright look at each other, mutually wondering which planet this one comes from. However, never one to miss a sale, Arkwright tells Lord Monckton the packet of lemsips will cost him five quid.]

Monkey: Oh, and I think I’ll have a bag of coal as well, old boy...we have to fight the good fight against those Greenie renewables-mongers, now don’t we...heh...heh...

[So, Lord Monckton places a five-pound note on the counter, puts the lemsips in his pocket, grabs a bag of coal, and turns to exit the shop. Arkwright, for his part, is totally exasperated.]

Arkwright: Buh-buh-but...wha-what ah-ah-about peh-peh-paying for the cuh-cuh-coal as well...

[Unfortunately for Arkwright, however, and due to his stammer, Lord Monckton hasn’t time to listen any further and leaves the shop, with the unpaid-for bag of coal under his arm. Meanwhile, Granville is cracking up at his uncle’s predicament.

Then, almost immediately, the door opens again and in walks Declan Stephenson, who looks like he means business. Decko strides angrily up to Arkwright, who is still standing, open-mouthed, behind the counter.]

Decko: Right, you...I’m in a hurry here...I’ve got a bit stalking and intimidating to do...so I want three trays of your stalest rock-cakes...

Granville: Erm...what exactly do you want so many stale rock-cakes for, Decko?

Decko: Why, I want to stone that witch, Gillard...it’s about time she got her comeuppance...

Granville (patronisingly): Erm...Decko...we learned in History the other day that witches were actually burned, not stoned...

[At such a slight on his intellectual capacities, Decko grabs Granville by the front of his pullover, bringing his petrified face right up to his own.]

Decko (very menacingly): Look, sunny Jim...why don’t you just go back to your homework and, by the way, just skip the science part – it’s all a load of bollocks anyway...haw...haw...

[By this stage, Arkwright, at the prospect of selling his three-week-old trays of rock-cakes, and encouraged by Decko’s affirmation of the worthlessness of scientific endeavours, perks up and informs Decko that he can have the cakes for five quid.]

Decko: Righto...and I’ll have a packet of TAMs as well, Arkwright...

[Arkwright reaches round and grabs a packet of Tim Tams off the shelf and places them on the counter, stammering that it will be ten quid in total.]

Decko (peeved): No, not Tim Tams, you idiot! I asked for a packet of TAMs!

[Arkwright hasn’t got a clue what Decko is on about, and merely stares back blankly, nodding his head like he does when Mark Riley comes in to buy some chook manure. Eventually, Granville breaks the ice.]

Granville (sheepishly): Erm...Uncle...I think Decko wants a packet of macadamias...Y’see, ever since you went for a mid-winter dip in Port Phillip Bay, I’ve been telling the customers that they’re called TAMs – Tiny Arkwright Macadamias...hee..hee...

[Granville and Decko have a great laugh at Arkwright’s expense, but the latter takes it all in his stride, as he is only too glad to make another couple of sales. However, he gets his own back on Decko by charging him five quid for the mangy packet of nuts. Decko places ten quid, five for the nuts and five for the rock cakes, on the counter. But, just like before with Lord Monckton, Decko grabs a bag of coal as well, and exits the shop.]

Arkwright: Buh-buh-but...wha-what ah-ah-about peh-peh-paying for the cuh-cuh-coal as well...

[Granville is wetting himself at Arkwright’s discomfiture. Then, the door opens and in walks Alan Jones.]

Jonesie: Right, Arkwright...those chaff bags you sold me yesterday are too small – have you got any bigger ones?

Granville: Erm...what did you want the chaff bags for anyway, Jonesie?

Jonesie: Why, to put Gillard in, of course...But, the ones Arkwright here sold me are, as I said, too small...I know her honk’s big, but these teensie-weensie ones wouldn’t even start to suffice as a nose-bag for her...heh...heh...

[Arkwright, with his broad background in People Skills, sees immediately an opportunity to use some psychology on Jonesie, and make a sale.]

Arkwright: Wuh-wuh-why, J-Jonesie...wuh-wuh-why don’t you juh-juh-just puh-puh-purchase a b-b-bag of cuh-cuh-coal? Yu-yu-you can do suh-suh-something about gluh-global cooling, and, at the seh-same time, ple-ple-plonk Gih-Gih-Gillard in the eh-eh-empty che-che-chaff bag when you’re duh-duh-done!

[Jonesie looks at Arkwright, then at the bags of coal and, immediately, stuffs one under each arm and walks out, just like the others, without paying.]

Arkwright: Buh-buh-but...wha-what a-a-about peh-peh-paying for the cuh-cuh-coal...

[Anyway, all day this goes on. Each rusted-on customer who walks in, leaves with a bag or two of coal. And no-body attempts to pass on any of the folding stuff to Arkwright in recompense. He is totally distraught and facing the prospect of not being able to meet the next payment on his onerous mortgage. For his part, Granville is sick to the back teeth of Arkwright’s endless whinging. So, he steps outside for some respite. However, whilst outside on the pavement, sucking in the smog caused by the plethora of coal-fires burning in the grates of the terraced houses in the surrounding mean streets, he spots one of his Uncle’s denialist propaganda posters blu-tacked to the shop window.]

Poster: “Kill Gillard’s Tax! Burn lots of coal! After all, carbon is weightless! Come inside and buy some for ten quid a kilo!

[Granville can hardly believe his eyes. How could his Uncle have been so stupid? He rushes inside, eager to poke fun at Arkwright’s own-goal.]

Granville: Heh...heh...I see now why the punters grabbed the bags of coal without paying! You told them carbon was weightless, and, by their reckoning, something that is weightless – and at ten quid a kilo – should cost them zilch...Nice one, Uncle...ho...ho...

Arkwright (resignedly): Yeh-yeh-yes...Gre-Gre-Granville...I guess this sh-sh-shows I’m not really cu-cu-cut out for this sh-sh-shop-keeping lark...This cuh-chu-coal beh-beh-business has been a peh-peh-package of eh-eh-economic peh-peh-pain for no en-en-environmental geh-geh-gain, I’m af-af-afraid...

Granville: Yeah, Uncle...I think it’s about time you retired and handed the business back to me...

Arkwright: Nuh-nuh-not so fast, yuh-yuh-young fella...If I re-re-retire, I’ll be huh-huh-handing it over to Nuh-Nuh-Nurse Gladys Eh-Eh-Emmanuel...

Granville (to himself): Crap! Well, I suppose it could be worse...at least she’ll get rid of all this bloody coal...but, on the down side, I know what she’ll bath me in every Saturday night...sheesh...

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Current rating: 0.8 / 5 | Rated 6 times

Feral Skeleton

5/08/2011Brilliant! AcerbicC., and with the stammering portrayed just right. And I'd much prefer to listen to that all day than Abbott's annoying clicking of his tongue and those "Ahs" that sound like a Crow who's gone without a drink for a week.

Catching up

5/08/2011Thanks, for the comedy or is it satire. Sums up things better than rational debate. With all the gloom the shopkeepers are spreading, we need some light relief.

Gravel

6/08/2011Acerbic Conehead What a wonderful way to end the last week. Haven't things been amazingly calm without a certain person in the country, even given the stock markets ructions. I hope no TPSworders have had their super harmed. NormanK I have found all your contributions enlightening and informative. A short break from politics can be a good thing, but don't you ever feel you have nothing to contribute. Things will happen that will fire you up, like it has for Feral Skeleton. Debbie has said it for all of us.

jj

6/08/2011Another load of the same rubbish AC! Stick another feather down your throat and i am sure you will spew out some more garbage in a few weeks. Gillard had better hope that this correction does not turn into another global downturn! Because if it does her Carbon Tax proposal is dead in the water. Hope you all have a fun weekend... dont stress yourselves too much about the diabolical position the Party you all support is in, even when Abbott is away: - Hospitals a done deal, but not the deal promised - Fast train or no fast train... have to wait for another report - call for industrial relations policy re-look... Gillard's policy work once again found wanting - Gillard and Bowen to send children to Malaysia under a deal not supported by the UNHCR, with a country that is not a signatory to the refugee convention. What utter hypocrisy! - Gillard attends a meeting of News Limited heads, and then attends a book launch that claims News Limited was out to destroy the author - Gillard has another mediocre interview on Lateline Yep Swordians, it was a great week for Gillard!?

Jason

6/08/2011AC, You know you've hit a nerve when a coalition "fluffer" has to call your stuff rubbish!

Lyn

6/08/2011Good Morning Acerbic Conehead Congratulations on another fabulous article by you. Umm! so Arkwright's lip goes numb, now that explains the nodding head, he is trying to shake his lip. No wonder Arkwright couldn't sell his dead fish with all that stale saliva all over them. Wonder when the Iron Man is coming back, no-one is caring, no-one is asking, Twitter people think the TV is better viewing without him, kissing dead fish, or eating witchetty grubs live. ten quid a kilo!, how much a ton was it $23.00, weightless kilo and weightless ton. Cheers :):):):)

TalkTurkey

6/08/2011Dear oh dear I lost another post last night, this time due to a new glitch im my supposedly cleaned computer . . . and I can never write what I wrote before nearly so well. But I started with Lyn wrote "Health policy, Asylum Seekers with kids on board, Malcolm Turnbull press Club, Boofhead (joe) interview, Minchins article, High Speed Rail, Aged Care. Funny there is dead silence in the media about Mr Abbott's whereabouts, no-one is asking when he is coming back into the arena, no-one saw him at the airport, unless he hired a private jet to ?????. No-one says how long is his holiday, bit sus to me." And I said YEAHHHHH! Where the hell is he? This is like a week-long head-nodding catatonic session! I can't remember all I said. I haven't time now anyway, just I'll say What a lot of good writing there is here on this Sword! I really have trouble keeping up. I think Ronnie Barker was one of the funniest cleverest Tv characters ever. But the funniest thing about Open All Hours was that it [i]wasn't[/i] open all hours, it always ended with him closing for the night! . . . Guess what was the funniest thing about The Lone Ranger ? . . ? Have a good weekend Folks.

Ad astra reply

6/08/2011Jason Do you get the impression that jj hopes for a global downturn just to put a spoke in Julia Gillard’s wheel? Can you understand why such an eventuality would render the carbon tax proposal ‘dead in the water’? The carbon tax is to reduce pollution by the big polluters. Why would a global downturn render that less necessary? The pollution might be less during a downturn – it was last time – but that would mean less tax paid by the polluters to reach pollution targets and less cost to pass onto consumers. I don’t figure the logic of his position and I suspect neither does he. Of course he delights, if I may borrow his word, in ‘spewing’ the negatives he is systematically collecting about Gillard policies. It’s a pity ‘The Collectors’ is going off the air – he could have presented the panel with his impressive collection. I wonder did he see Joe Hockey on [i]Lateline[/i] and hear him on ABC radio, see Malcolm Turnbull at the NPS, witness Julie Bishop collecting signatures against the carbon tax and scaring the elderly about the dire effects of electricity prices on their nursing home, read Nick Minchin’s letter to the press castigating Turnbull, and I wonder did he, like us, relish Tony Abbott’s absence from the political scene here? It must have been quite a week for him.

NormanK

6/08/2011Acerbic Conehead, Thanks for another welcome laugh. I love it when someone else's imagination takes me places I would not normally think to go. I am not in the least surprised that Arkwright is having trouble getting a decent price for his version of the NBN (Nomologically Buoyant Nosebag). He just doesn't understand his market. Jonesy wants the bags to sink not float off to Tasmania. Theoretical question - is wet coal dust heavier than dry coal dust? debbiep, Patricia WA, Gravel & (especially) Feral Skeleton, Thanks for your gee-up. :D I'm sure somebody will do or say something stupid enough that I won't be able to resist having a go at them. In the meantime I will look forward to Ad astra's next piece which promises to stir up a few opinions.

Lyn

6/08/2011 Hi Ad A worthwhile read in the Canberra Times: A[i] growing problem flies under the radar, Crispin Hull,Cnberra Times[/i] we will need more skilled migrants because we have high immigration. We must have more migrants because we have so many migrants Usually the Murdoch press and the shock jocks will seize upon any opportunity to [b]beat up on the Gillard Government[/b]. The slightest thing that goes wrong or the slightest failure to live up to a pre-election announcement and [b]they pounce like a cat upon a mouse.[/b] And then, [b]just like the cat, they will keep playing with the half-dead mouse, dragging it out on page one [/b]and most other pages or airing it to whingeing listeners day after day – showing off by letting it go and catching it again, never putting it out of its misery. The half-dead mouse can be some blips in the insulation or the schools program or it can be some [b]shonky economics analysis based on foolish premises to condemn the national broadband network or the carbon or mining tax.[/b] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/opinion/editorial/general/a-growing-problem-flies-under-the-radar/2250240.aspx?storypage=2 Cheers :):):):):)

jj

6/08/2011AA, Yes i did see all of the events on the coalition side (not that i count Joe Hockey as having done anything at all that caused a stir), i dont see anything wrong with any of the handling of them. I think what Minchin did was stupid, but hey, he is no longer a member of the parliamentary party and all of Turnbull's colleagues supported him... no troubles there. No, with Tony Abbott away we have had to listen to even more of Gillard's rubbish (lateline was just her usual, repeat, repeat, repeat... Australians are dumb). How you cant see a correlation between global downturn and a loss of appetite for tax is quite amazing. This tax is going to be an impost on our economy. If there is a down turn then businesses and the rest of Australia will say, "hang on a minute, instead of harming our economy more why dont we just delay or dump the thing". The GFC had the same affect on delaying Rudd's CPRS. It must be rocket science for you.

Jason

6/08/2011jj, Yet again you come here armed with nothing but excuses,jj there are times in the life of a Government where you just have to get on and do things, Forget the bleatings of vested interest groups and the nay sayers such as you. jj read this slowly the carbon tax as of the first of July 2012 will be a reality the NBN is a reality the health reforms a reality the mining tax will be a reality.Maybe you should go and spruik your nonsense at Menzis house or some other forum! But please don't come here piss on our leg and tell us it's raining.

NormanK

6/08/2011A bit of reading that is pleasing to the eye. Yes, they are cherry-picked. [b]Tax said to boost, not kill, steel city[/b] by Peter Ker [quote]THE tax that Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said would turn Whyalla into a ''ghost town'' will improve profits at the steel-making town's major employer, according to new analysis of the Gillard government's carbon tax package. Claims by corporate research firm MSCI that Australia's two biggest steel makers will be better off under the carbon plan comes as OneSteel completes a $65 million upgrade of its Whyalla blast furnace to extend its working life ''beyond 2020''.[/quote] http://www.coastaltimes.com.au/news/national/national/general/tax-said-to-boost-not-kill-steel-city/2245007.aspx [b]Latest disputes mark a return to war as usual[/b] by Clancy Yeates, Adele Ferguson [quote]Relations between big business and Canberra appear to be at an all-time low, but is hostility between the two behemoths more common than claimed, asks Clancy Yeates. ********************************************** BlueScope Steel's about-face on the carbon tax illustrates how business leaders can change their tune when things do go their way. Before details were announced, BlueScope's chief executive, Paul O'Malley, attacked the carbon plan as ''economic vandalism'', expressing particular concern about the role of the Greens. But after the government promised a $300 million support package for the steel industry, O'Malley softened, saying the policy was a ''pragmatic solution to a complex problem''. ********************************************** Business frustration with Canberra is not just confined to the Labor government, however. It also extends to the opposition, media reporting and the very make-up of Parliament.[/quote] http://www.smh.com.au/business/latest-disputes-mark-a-return-to-war-as-usual-20110805-1ifa1.html I am surprised by the author of this piece, the masthead it is under and the accompanying flattering photograph. [b]Julia Gillard seeks workplace shift[/b] by Mathew Franklin [quote]Julia Gillard has flagged the need for a fundamental rethink on the nature of the workplace as she moves to steer the emphasis of her 13-month old administration towards mainstream economic reform. Freed from months of negotiations with the Greens over the carbon tax, the Prime Minister has told The Weekend Australian voters should expect to see her doing more to modernise the economy in coming months.[/quote] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/julia-gillard-seeks-workplace-shift/story-fn59niix-1226109408186 [b]The right gets it very wrong[/b] by Richard Denniss [quote]The concepts of economic rationalism and market liberalism seem to have been abandoned by the Liberals, Richard Denniss writes. Whatever happened to the term economic rationalist? It wasn't that long ago that the favourite insult hurled by the left was the badge of honour worn by the right. The arguments were hilarious. "You're nothing but a self-serving economic rationalist," sneered your average lefty. "I most certainly am," your average right-winger would retort. It was one of the few things the left and right could agree on. Not any more. The political right in Australia has not just abandoned economic rationalism; it is on the verge of abandoning economics in its entirety. When challenged to find a single economist who endorsed his direct action climate change plan, Tony Abbott retorted that maybe Australian economists needed to lift their game.[/quote] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/opinion/editorial/general/the-right-gets-it-very-wrong/2249557.aspx?storypage=0 An interesting perspective on what promises to be one of the big topics over coming months - especially if Abbott decides to play silly buggars over it. [b]Political cowardice makes all of us pay[/b] by Adele Horin [quote]Previous attempts to get the elderly to unlock the wealth in the family home to help pay for aged care have ended in spectacular failure - thanks partly to fear campaigns stoked by federal Labor in opposition. Now Julia Gillard faces the same political dilemma that spooked John Howard - a study, this time from the Productivity Commission, reaches the same conclusion as a mountain of others: people should contribute more to the costs of their own aged care, whether in nursing homes or in the community.[/quote] http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/political-cowardice-makes-all-of-us-pay-20110805-1if91.html

Gravel

6/08/2011NOrmanK Ah, has the little pep talk from the TPSers worked. Thank you for those links. :-) I am pleased that 'our' Lyn has the weekends off, but I do miss her links.....it is the best time for me to catch up. Glad I learned how to book mark them to save them for my quiet times.

Michael

6/08/2011Great Abbott this week. He's overseas, and... How much cleaner a place Australia seems, for all the sophomoronic efforts of Bishop Junior, Joe "I Can Add UP... (it's down that throws me, I know we're cutting here and here, and that means less, and that means... Hey, can I just add UP, please?)" Hockeee, Eric Abetz (I know better than anyone Left of me), Warren "I ain't wearing one" Truss, Barnaby bumblebubbling over in the corner, when Shouldabeen is not being seen at all in this country?

NormanK

6/08/2011Hi Gravel Hopefully I'm back in harness, thank you. A bit of self-indulgence linking to good news stories under the guise of filling in for Lyn on the weekends. I figure all of my reading should serve some purpose. :)

TalkTurkey

6/08/2011Every second of Every minute of Every hour of Every day of Every week of Every month of The next 3 years! Lick your wounds in whatever burrow you're skulking in Tony. You're going to come back to an Australia subtly but markedly different from the one you left behing when you broke that promise above. Oh and Jason please cease and desist from bagging dear jj who has awarded me a Labor Spin Award Class 1 and a Medale d'Honneur d'Hyposcrisme, wow.

Lyn

6/08/2011Hi Norman K I did read your comment on the other thread and I did mean to talk to you, but you better believe, I do get very busy, some days they will not stop article after article being produced.. Remember what you said to me, when I thought I had reached my use by date. Your were there to offer your support Norman K, which I appreciated very much. Now I see from your quality information and high quality comment above, you have recovered. Hooray from all of us. I have always enjoyed your comments, so well thought out, measured, calm, and informative. You are an excellent writer you know. You did remind me about my new computer and I promised I would tell you, today being fairly quiet I will tell you now. I have ended up with (after lots of deliberation as you will imagine) Toshiba all in one, television as well Touch screen, on screen keyboard. rating 5.5 ram 6gb 1 terabyte hard drive 21.5 screen Windows 7 Wireless cordless keyboad wireless cordless mouse The computer is a brilliant white, white mouse, and white shiny keyboard. Took me awhile to set up, mail box hard to get used too. The keys on the keyboard are all flat and even, none raised up at all, flat all flat. My nails slip a lot on the shiny surface. I can open four web pages at once which is excellent. The speed is just wonderful. The only part I can't work out at the moment is how to minimize my new email. I can minimize to the task bar and can minimize the web pages smaller and to the task bar. I need to have a web page open, as well as my new email so I can read and type at the same time. I am thinking that has to do with Windows 7 Live Mail instead of outlook express. Maybe you could tell me Mr Tech Head and Mr Quality control, those 2 titles are meant in sincerity and as a compliment. Now that I have got your attention Norman K, you will have noticed my lines are still breaking up on me. When I post my links I have them all in order, then the comment box breaks them up, so then I have to go along each line and back space up, to their line, taking care not to click on the cursor. After they are pasted into the comments box it is necessary for me to bracket the topic and make it italic. I long ago learnt, not to put any text near those brackets as then the lines jump up. But I have tried so hard with the excerpt lines, creeping up not letting my cursor near them, in fact sometimes not breathing, with perspiration on my brow. I hope I have explained properly. You see NormanK I and TPS cannot do without you, that can never happen. Cheers :):):):):):)

2353

6/08/2011So far today I have seen various News and Fairfax media articles about the potential for GFC2. The worst comment I have read is that Doug McTaggart (the CEO of the Queensland Investment Corporation - and the investor of the funds for the State's fully funded Public Service Superannuation scheme) can't tell a decent joke. The rest of them suggested that * Australia doesn't have a debt crisis * The RBA has considerable room to move if it feels a threat * The worst thing we can do is talk ourselves into a recession. Apparently the reason is that Hawke couldn't deliver the "no child will live in poverty" and Howard couldn't deliver "a more relaxed and comfortable Australia", their respective Treasurers did leave a financial system that is sufficiently regulated to ensure they are able to pay their debts (unlike others). Now all we need are Treasurers that can add up and Prime Ministers that don't act like the Energiser Bunny and actually govern the country - as Gillard might be starting to do.

Ad astra reply

6/08/2011Hi AC How refreshing it is to come to the weekend after all the political shouting and tumult has died down to read your satire. It seems only jj doesn’t appreciate it. He can’t even see anything wrong with how Joe Hockey handled his [i]Lateline[/i] interview! We live on a different planet from jj. So please ignore his regular bagging of your pieces. They are great. I have your next one, which I’ll read soon.

Jason

6/08/2011jj, From over at Poll Bludger! The Finnigans Posted Saturday, August 6, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Permalink BK, he he he, never got sick of posting this: Let me remind everyone of the beautiful set of numbers: 1. Unemployment 4.9% 2. Inflation 3.6% 3. Public Net Debts 7% GDP 4. RBA Interest rate 4.75% 5. Growth rate 3.3% 6. AUD Vs USD 1.0403 7. Trade Surplus – $2B jun 2011- Australia’s $2 billion-plus trade surplus for June brought the tally for the last financial year to $22.4 billion – easily the biggest surplus in raw terms for the past 40 years of records compiled by the ABS 8. “ALP best manager of money, history shows” – Mega 9. Australian families depending on one breadwinner pay among the lowest amounts of tax in the world and have become better off under the Gillard Government – Natsem 10. Investment in the next year in mining and related infra-structure projects $140B 11. Labor’s Tax take 21.75% of GDP Vs 25% under Liberals 12. No interest rise for the 10th consecutive month Vs 10 consecutive rises under Howard/Costello. It is now expected no rises in the future with a prospect of interest rate cuts. 13. The number of people filling for bankruptcy in Australia has fallen by 16%. 14. Australia safe from debt crisis: OECD – http://afr.com/p/national/economy/australia_safe_from_debt_crisis_rgznLP6HTyYo7nGragUwyI #auspol 15. Credit Rating AAA 16. We are in Asia – 17. business investment spending is expected to grow by 15 per cent this year and another 15 per cent next year. – Ross Gittin

Lyn

6/08/2011Hi Ad, That was the longest Comments have been down since 6.30pm. You probably know, but thought I would mention just in cas, it's my computer, I have been messing in the system for awhile. There are lots of tools in there I didn't know about. Cheers :):):)

NormanK

6/08/2011Hi Lyn I'm not sure what it is that you are doing that is upsetting your layout. It's almost certainly to do with the 'Return' button. If you are composing in something like [i]Notepad[/i] or your e-mail page, the temptation will be to try to make your work look pretty. Don't. Just let the application put in line spacings wherever it wants to because the width of the page you are using in that application is sure to be different from the width of [i]TPS[/i]'s comments section. Only use Return to start a new paragraph. Remember that the 'Comments Box' where you compose your comment is narrower than the comments section of [i]TPS[/i]. You're right about the fact that all of the square brackets make a difference to the layout in the Comments Box. [b]Ignore the Comments Box layout[/b]. Don't try to make it look pretty in there. Practice using the 'Preview' button - maybe when you've got some time go back to the end of the previous thread where it won't matter if you post a bit of rubbish and have an experiment. 'Preview' will show your post exactly as it is going to appear when you put it up - complete with Gravatar, bold, quotes etc. You can return to your text to edit it by clicking on the 'Comment' button. When I am putting together a complicated post (like the newspaper links above) I might go backwards and forwards between 'Preview' and 'Comment' half a dozen times. Remember, until you fill ReCaptcha and click 'Save Comment' you won't be posting your experiments. The hardest thing is to trust that the changes that you feel you need to make after using Preview can sometimes look silly in the Comments Box. [b]Ignore the layout in the Comments Box if it looks ugly.[/b] Play around with Preview and stay away from your Return button except when you want to make a blank line between paragraphs. Give it a whirl and get back to me - I'm sure readers won't mind us sorting this out.

Lyn

6/08/2011Hi Norman K No sure what you mean by "Return Button" I have put these three together with italics and all, no presentation in the comments box except the italics. Here Goes: [i]Exposing The Rightwing PR Machine: Is CNBC’s Rick Santelli Sucking Koch?, Mark Ames[/i] the Koch family, the multibilllionaire owners of the largest private corporation in America, and funders of scores of rightwing thinktanks and advocacy groups, from the Cato Institute and Reason Magazine to FreedomWorks. The scion of the Koch family, Fred Koch, was a co-founder of the notorious extremist-rightwing John Birch Society. http://exiledonline.com/exposing-the-familiar-rightwing-pr-machine-is-cnbcs-rick-santelli-sucking-koch/ [i]The Blood on Murdoch's Hands, David Swanson, Counter Punch[/i] Bribery is dirty stuff. So is sneaking a peak at the private messages of murder victims. But there's something even dirtier: murder, murder on the largest scale, murder coldly calculated and played out from behind a desk, in other words: war. http://www.counterpunch.org/swanson07152011.html [i]Media Watch[/i] And now to a topic that shouldn't be the cause of partisan political argument, but unfortunately is: this was a front-page article in The Australian the Friday before last: http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s3282940.htm Cheers:):):)

Lyn

6/08/2011Hi Norman K It worked. Thankyou NormanK. You have saved my life. You are fantastic, I have been trying to fix those lines for 1 year,no years and years and years. So doesn't matter, if the lines are broken up in the box the system corrects after I press save, is that right? When this new blog engine was installed by Ad, I remember saying, I don't have to fix the lines anymore. Then for some reaon the lines were breaking up more, now I see because of me. So by the return button, is that the back space key? because I use the back space a lot if I need to change anything. What do I do instead of back spacing, just highlight and cut do you think. Actually I probally won't need to backspace now, as you said don't make any corrections after preview. Cheers :):):):):)

Ad astra reply

6/08/2011NormanK Thanks for the interesting links. They are good reading. For Matthew Franklin, the piece about Julia Gillard was surprisingly benign. Jason Thanks for posting the PB comment of The Finnegans. jj will enjoy it. TT Did TA write that promise down? If not, it’s not a promise at all. Hi Lyn Interesting links; the Mark Ames conclusion is sinister:[i]”…the corporate war is on, and this is how they’ll fight it: hiding behind “objective” journalists and “grassroots” new media movements. Because in these times, if you want to push for policies that help the super-wealthy, you better do everything you can to make it seem like it’s “the people” who are “spontaneously” fighting your fight.”[/i] That’s Tea Party Astroturf strategy. I hope you will soon be able to sort out your computer issues. Good night.

NormanK

6/08/2011Hi Lyn The Return button is what you would have known as 'carriage return' on a typewriter - it causes the text to start on a new line. It is different from your backspace button which you can keep using. The problem now is that all of the applications on computers have a different default setting for page width. Your mail page might allow 12 words per line, the Comments Box might only allow 8 words and the Comments section might enable around 9 words per line. I feel like I'm digging a hole here so the simple advice is - don't deliberately make new lines except to create new paragraphs or to put a blank line between paragraphs. I'm afraid you misunderstood about Preview - you can and should edit after previewing if you don't like the finished product. We'll continue the lesson if you find you are having problems again. Anyway, your new computer sounds very exciting. Thank-you for your kind words earlier. Have a lovely Sunday, Lyn. :)

Feral Skeleton

6/08/2011I think it might be instructive to read 'Brave New World' by Aldous Huxley again. Everyone constantly refers to '1984' by George Orwell, or 'Animal Farm', however, I think that our new global synthetic world has more in common with the former, as opposed to the latter. Anyhoo, I have been reading all the commentary today about the war between the Mercantilist Oligarchs and the Proletariat, and I thought I might add a couple of links which you may be interested in. I would especially like to contribute Andrew Sullivan's descriptor from this piece in 'The Daily Beast' to describe the Conservative-owned media. He calls it, 'The Conservative-media-industrial-complex'. Very apt, I think. He also thinks President Obama is doing OK: http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/08/who-is-washingtons-most-effective-politician.html?om_rid=NsjkFB&om_mid=_BOPEqVB8coOvfo I especially like his 'Glass Half Full' interpretation of 'effective', to mean the politician who is making a positive difference, as opposed to one who is the most effectively destructive, like Mitch McConnell in the US, or Tony Abbott in Australia.

Feral Skeleton

7/08/2011Here's a very informative little interview about Murdoch between Nick Davies of The Guardian and Media Matters for America( The Hun gets a special mention): http://www.alternet.org/story/151915/behind_the_scenes_with_the_reporter_who_took_down_murdoch?akid=7367.172728.woSSy6&rd=1&t=18

Lyn

7/08/2011Good Morning Ad I thought you and all our readers might like to know, the Internet is 20years old: [i]20 years ago today, the World Wide Web opened to the public[/i] On 6 August 1991, the World Wide Web went live to the world. There was no fanfare in the global press. In fact, most people around the world didn’t even know what the Internet was. Even if they did, the revolution the Web ushered in was still but a twinkle in Tim Berners-Lee’s eye. Instead, the launch was marked by way of a short post from Berners-Lee on the alt.hypertext newsgroup, which is archived to this day on Google Groups. http://thenextweb.com/insider/2011/08/06/20-years-ago-today-the-world-wide-web-opened-to-the-public/ Cheers :):):)

Feral Skeleton

7/08/2011This article by Bruce E.Levine details forensically what we are up against in our fight against the Kleptocrats, Oligarchs and the Corporatocracy of the new Mercantilists(just substitute yuong Australians for young Americans): http://www.alternet.org/vision/151850/8_reasons_young_americans_don%27t_fight_back%3A_how_the_us_crushed_youth_resistance/ This phrase says it all basically about why Tony Abbott is an unabashed liar: [quote]when a society gives legitimacy to lies and manipulativeness, it destroys the capacity of people to trust one another and form democratic movements.[/quote]

TalkTurkey

7/08/2011[i]A, you take a ton, a, er, [b][i]tonne[/i][/b] , ha-ha, of, a, [b]Coal[/b], and you, a, use it in a power-station, to, a, make electricity for Australian families, and a, what do you have at the end of it?, Nothing! So you've actually, a, [[b]i]destroyed[/i][/b] the carbon, carbon doxide is weightless and invisible, you've actually helped to [b]solve[/b] the carbon problem! And, a, brown coal is the, a, worst, so the power stations that, a, can destroy that bad brown coal should be, a, encouraged, they are turning it into weightless invisible carbon doxide and by the way, what the scientists don't, a, tell you is that, a, carbon doxide is good for growing plants, [/i] and so on. Abbortt will return to a flurry of QUESTIONS! What will these questions be? Ask some now on The Political Sword, ask the best most probing questions TODAY because he'll probably have stopped nodding in his funkhole in Inner Abbottovia somewhere northeast of somewhere else, he'll reappear and the media will be all over him for days, and the questions need not to to be about how his holiday went, they should be about hard stuff. Ask them here on the Sword so the journos can't say nobody thought of any good questions. Come on Swordies, time for some wicked [i]thrusts![/i] :) OOOOOHHHH I can't wait till the next sitting of Parliament.

TalkTurkey

7/08/2011Question for Abbortt on his return: "Scott Morrison said on Lopsiders today told Barrie Cassidy that 'Labour productivity is half what it was a few years ago.' Can you tell us the actual time at which productivity was double what it is now? If the statement is a wicked untruth, what action will you take against Mr Morrison?"

Feral Skeleton

7/08/2011Talk Turkey, Amazing,isn't it, how spokesmouthpieces for the Conservative-media-business-industrial-complex, like Scott Morrison, can make these sweeping statements, such as you have outlined above about productivity, and journalists like Barrie Cassidy, who seem ever-preoccupied with the next question to ask, always let it slip through to the keeper without retort? It reminds me of the way the Coalition and Howard especially, used to always chant the mantra that "Real Wages have increased under Workchoices", always failing to mention that they made sure they took into account the salaries/wages of the top 1% of 'employees' who did very well, thank you very much, out of individual contracts. Which makes me want to remind one and all that the evil contained in the world of individual contracts is that you, as employee, are forever shackled to your employee with those contract handcuffs, and he/she can hire you under a contract and they can fire you under a contract. Now, my question for Tony Abbott is the one that Scott Morrison kept ducking and weaving his way away from, and answered with 'Carbon Tax' every time, and that is, "Mr Abbott, leading as you do a party that prides itself on it's Economic Ratiionalism foundatioins, what is your position with respect to the wealthiest Australians contributing to the costs of their Aged Care accomodation? :)

Ad astra reply

7/08/2011Hi Lyn Thank you for your reminder that the public Internet is just 20 years old. Just imagine how ridiculous the idea of the Internet as we know it would have sounded before that! This is how fast technology moves. Yet we have unimaginative Coalition members questioning the need for super fast broadband via the NBN on the grounds that as today’s speeds are OK for email and downloading movies, most people won’t want or need it. It’s like saying years ago that since dial up was OK for telephony, why would we need mobiles? Applications that are not even dreamed of will eventuate with NBN speeds that people will embrace and soon find impossible to live without, just as the younger folk would never again want to live without their mobiles. [i]Insiders[/i] was so much better this morning with a reasonably balanced panel undistracted by images of Tony Abbott riding horses Marlboro-style, cozying up to hard-hatted workers, selling bananas and kissing fish. We had some really solid policy discussion, which is what I thought the program was about. I hope Barrie Cassidy noticed what a difference a panel makes. I’m off to Melbourne soon for a meeting and will be out of action until this evening. I have a busy week ahead with maintenance to do on [i]TPS[/i], upgrading my iMac to OS X Lion via Web Monkey’s fast broadband, and synchronizing all the Apple devices. So you wont see a lot of me, but tomorrow afternoon I’ll post [i]Does the media reflect public opinion, or create it?[/i]. Have a relaxing Sunday.

Feral Skeleton

7/08/2011And so much for Scott Morrison and the Coalition's 'superior' deal wrt boat arriving Asylum Seekers, wherein, as he said, "They know that when they get to Australia they will be sent to Nauru." (or wtte). THAT"S exactly the problem with it. The Asylum Seekers who arrive by boat will know that they just have to make it over the water to Australia's Migration Zone, whereupon they will be transhipped for a bit of a period of Asylum Seeker Detention, akin to School Detention, for being naughty Asylum Seekers arriving by boat, and then, at the end of their Nauru Detention period, it's onward ho to Australia. That's not 'Stopping the Boats', that's just putting the boats and the Asylum Seekers, 'Out of Sight & Out of Mind'. No solution, just a sop to the electorate. Which is what the Coalition are experts at. Buying off the electorate's quiescance. Not solving problems.

Lyn

7/08/2011Hi Talk Turkey Ask Abbott about the weight of CO2 Ask about the new health Policy Ask about elections won from the centre , by Malcolm Turnbull Why was he critical ofJulia Gillard for taking Monday off, then he goes on Holiday to unknown, for unknown length of time. Last week on the Insiders Barrie Cassidy said there were occasions when the press didn't turn up for Abbott's photo shoots. Mark Kenny said this morning, when Abbott returns there will not be the same media pattern by Abbott. Ummm interesting. Comment on Twitter by Malcolm Farr: farrm51Malcolm Farr by mumbletwits Chaos while TAbbott on hols. THREE shadow ministers on Sunday TV i'views when strict rule is ONE only. Morrison was supposed to be it. 20 minutes agoFavoriteRetweetReply Didn't know this rule, must be only known to the Press Gallery. Cheers :):):):)

Gravel

7/08/2011Lyn and NormanK I love your 'dirty' talk about what to do on the computer. I understood about half of it so I must be learning things here. Thank you both. Ad Astra you just had to top all this computer stuff with what your doing for the next few days, my mind just went into a spin. I read the article about the www. being 20 years old. I can remember when I bought a 'Speak and Spell' for my sons in 1982-3, my grandmother freaked out when the thing spoke the words and told the boys whether they were correct or not. I wonder what she would think today with everything computerised. Nah, we don't need broadband, the old string and cans will do us Aussie, won't it Malcom and Abbott.

NormanK

7/08/2011Dispassionate. A word I've been looking for without even knowing that I was looking. Dispassionate. That is what I would like our media to predominantly be. Am I projecting or is this a dispassionate editorial from [i]The Australian[/i] which signifies a toning down of the rhetoric from this mob? [b]Julia gets message from centre[/b] [quote]Perhaps for the first time since she deposed Kevin Rudd last year, the Prime Minister looked the part. We are not talking about her wardrobe, although Ms Gillard, like Paul Keating and John Howard before her, is learning that appearance does matter with voters. No, this week, it was Ms Gillard's focus on policy, instead of conducting a virtual election campaign, as she presided over her government that made her look more prime ministerial than in the past.[/quote] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/julia-gets-message-from-centre/story-e6frg71x-1226109372229

Feral Skeleton

7/08/2011NormanK, I think 'schizophrenic' is the word you were looking for. It has been noticed around the traps that lately the Austrollian has been writing a sympathetic Editorial about Julia Gillard's government, only to keep going on the rabidly anti-Gillard government track on the Front Page. It has been speculated that this is the red meat they throw to their demographic in order to keep them loyal. Also because it is known that most people who still buy papers only read the first 2 or 3 pages, with the Editorial running a distant lastish. I think Recaptcha has it about right, and succinctly so: ConThe Case :)

Acerbic Conehead 2

7/08/2011FS, Thanks, and that image of Tones as “a crow who’s gone without a drink for a week”, is hilarious. Also, muchos gracias for your links, they are very interesting. BTW, how are the feet holding up? Catching up, Thanks for writing in. It’s my pleasure to provide some light relief. Hope to hear from you again. Gravel, Yes, there’s a different vibe when [i]Old Macadamia Nuts[/i] isn’t around, isn’t there. Though when Ban Morrison piped up this morning, it was like his doppelganger. Jason, Great idea to post Finn’s “Beautiful Set of Numbers” from [i]Poll Bludger[/i]. Shills like jj have no answer to facts. And I love it when he/she chides me for writing more “rubbish”. Mission accomplished, I reckon. Lyn, Yes, between kissing dead fish and banging on about weightless CO2, I wonder does Tones ever think before pulling yet another one of his ridiculous stunts. But, then again, he has been able to do and say lots of stupid things, as he could rely on a sycophantic media up to now. BTW, I hope you are enjoying the later risings these last couple of weekends. TT, Sorry to hear you lost a post due to a glitch in your computer. And yes, I don’t recall many people asking when you-know-who is coming back. I’d say a lot of people are keeping their fingers crossed he does about a hundred laps of the foothills of the European Alps on his bike, and then rinses and repeats. Oh, and that’s an interesting observation, by the way, about Arkwright’s shop being “Open all Hours”, when the show always ends with him closing up. Maybe the reality of “open all hours” applies to Granville, in that even when the shop is closed, he still has to clean up, stock shelves, etc. A parable on [i]WorkChoices[/i], perhaps? NormanK, Again, it’s my pleasure to provide a laugh. And it’s good that you are continuing to join me in composing alternative suggestions to the words that are normally associated with the NBN initials. And as for your question on the relative weights of dry vis a vis wet coaldust, I reckon it would fit in well with TT’s suggestion that we provide journalists with questions to fire at Tones when he returns. I reckon that particular one of yours would instigate at least another Riley moment, or, at best, a brain explosion of volcanic proportions on live TV. AA, Thanks for your ongoing support and willingness to host my “rubbish”, as jj calls it, on [i]The Political Sword[/i]. As Jason said, if jj is annoyed, it’s definitely a good sign, lol.

John

7/08/2011AC Wonderful work. Climate Change deniers, such as Nick Minchin, often quote the low levels of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. They forget to mention that many systems in the earth are sensitive to small changes, including: oceanic absorption, sensitivity of living things to CO2 poisoning and rate of heat radiation at night (glasshouse effect, where the frequency of Infra Red - heat - radiated from the earth is different from the frequency of Infra Red absorbed, rather like what happens in a car on a hot day). It's the old addage: lies, damned lies & statistics: Nick Minchin, Viscount Monkton et al. cherrypick data to suit their predetermined position. :)

Feral Skeleton

7/08/2011AcerbicC., I think I'll take a generous helping of that tea and sympathy now. I've just looked at the Weather Forecast for my neck of the woods next week, when I am due to pick up the Census forms, and it's got rainy icons from here to as far as the forecast extends. :( Now I know why I didn't wash my car while it was sunny this past week. ;-)

jj

7/08/2011AA and Lyn, "Thank you for your reminder that the public Internet is just 20 years old. Just imagine how ridiculous the idea of the Internet as we know it would have sounded before that! This is how fast technology moves. Yet we have unimaginative Coalition members questioning the need for super fast broadband via the NBN on the grounds that as today’s speeds are OK for email and downloading movies, most people won’t want or need it." In response, Who is it that constructed the internet infrastructure over the past 20 years? Was it all done by the Government? No it was done by a corporate body Telstra, as well as Optus and many many other telecommunications companies. We are now moving into a phase where the Government determines what technologies are going to be of most use and of superior quality, rather than the markets, which is essentially the public. Sure, regional Australia has missed out, and so where there is a market failure the Government can work in conjunction with the telecommunications providers to deliver service of the same levels to those offered in our Nations cities. Things have happened so quickly in terms of the internet over the past twenty years, because private companies have been able to make profits out of building capacity and speeds when their clientele demands it. It is basic economics folks, but i know you seem to struggle with it. Other things, I though Insiders was just as good as last week and the week before that. Scott Morrison was good at showing the absolute hypocrisy of the Government on the issue of Asylum seekers and pointing out the flailing nature of our productivity growth... attributable to the Fair Work Act. Hopefully the markets stop stressing both here and overseas on Monday, especially after the U.S had its credit rating down graded. Have a good week.

John

7/08/2011jj Being just '21' in my head, I can remembner when a modem speed of 14.4 kbps was soooooooo fast. AND, I have seen an acoustic coupler, which predates modems, and used to fit over the mouthpiece & earpiece of a 'traditional', rotary-dial phone! Problems with the Internet infrastructure built by corporations over the last 20 years, include: anti-competitive practices, locked hardware (like mobile phones), slow responses to customer change requests, mostly by Telstra; a dog's breakfast of network infrastructure, concentration in metro areas at the expense of regional areas which are not so profitable because they don't have the population density,unwillingness to lay new copper for at least the last 5 years (get a wireless router, they say, which is affected by too many users, and weather.) Bring on the NBN! Lyn - new PC sounds good. Touch screens can be cleaned with a damp cloth, &/or microfibre cloth. I like to have proper keys on my keyboard. New Post: http://truepolitik.blogspot.com/2011/08/niles-unchristian-attack-on-ethics.html Another very busy week coming up. Oh - and Donate Blood if you can. I passed 100 donations this year.Ph: 131495 or www.donateblood.com.au :)

Ad astra

7/08/2011Folks Thank you for your interesting comments. I agree NormanK the editorial was kinder to Julia, but I don’t expect [i]The Oz[/i] to ease up much on its condemnation of her; otherwise it would lose face. Like FS, I’m sceptical about the motives of News Limited executives. jj As I recall it, Telstra was Government owned until privatized by the Howard Government. So a Government-owned entity had a big hand in making the Internet functional. It isn’t only private enterprise that can do such things. If it were the answer, why hasn’t it taken the initiative for developing the NBN? Why was it left to Government to make the running? Was it because it is such a large infrastructure development that private enterprise was unable or unwilling to put up the risk capital? Competition is good and has reduced prices, but, as you concede yourself, it’s only if competitors can turn a profit that they will be bothered, and that leaves some out, such a regional folk. That too is basic economics. Private enterprise has had plenty of time and opportunity to take on the NBN, but it hasn’t and if it did it would cherry pick the profitable bits. That’s why, in the interests of equity, the Government has stepped in. The intent of Government is to hand over the NBN to private enterprise when it is established. That sounds sensible. I though you might applaud that. BTW there is no need to throw in your pejorative comments about our knowledge of economics, which you hint is inferior to your own. Don’t be too sure of yourself. Some here are well versed in economics and it application. I’m see that you enjoyed Scott Morrison and saw no hypocrisy in his position. That is just what was to be expected.

Feral Skeleton

7/08/2011jj, Just answer a few simple questions. Do you agree that the Coalition's Asylum Seeker policy means that every Asylum Seeker who is deemed to be a genuine refugee eventually ends up in Australia after a period of incarceration on Nauru? Also, how is that in any way a deterrant to more boats coming? Or, in more simplistic terms, how will that 'Stop the Boats'?

Lyn

7/08/2011Hi John Thanks for calling in, also thanks for the tip for cleaning the touch screen. I don't use the on screen keyboard, the touch screen seems only useful so far, for pulling down the pages, also increasing my print. Like you I like the normal keyboard, this one is taking a bit of getting used to, as the keys are all flat and very shiny. Yes I agree with you bring on the NBN, if the Government only achieves the NBN, they have achieved far more than the Liberal Government did for their 11 years. Cheers:):):)

BSA Bob

7/08/2011"Compassion"'s the chosen method of attack at the moment over the asylum seekers. Sounds a nice enough word, pity it'll be out the window replaced with swipes about the Government being "unable to stop the flow of illegal arrivals" the instant that suits instead. The "unaccompanied minors" were presumably accompanied to the vessel before the start of the voyage by adults, maybe even Mum & Dad, & their presence here is obviously designed to bluff the Government into making exceptions for them with the rest of the family not far behind. This has of course been pointed out by others. I find it interesting that whereas once we were all meant to get hot under the collar about imagined exploitation of kids on the high seas with Children Overboard we're now supposed to ignore this very real exploitation by a later group of parents. Perhaps the kids could be brought to Australia on the rationale of protecting them from parental neglect? It'd be funny to watch the criticism that'd emanate then. There are no easy answers to any of this, we probably live in the only country that pretends (to itself) that there are.

Feral Skeleton

7/08/2011The new found faux concern by the television networks for the Asylum Seekers who are going back to Malaysia is appalling when you consider that just 6 months ago they couldn't have been more derogatory towards them.

BSA Bob

7/08/2011F.S. at 8.36 Perhaps I'm hair trigger paranoid (don't think so) but I detect an indignant tone- "these people aren't at all happy at having to leave Christmas Island, you know" from the ABC. There's absolutely nothing happening here that won't happen if, God help us, P.M. Abbott decrees Nauru's the go instead. Will we get the same relentless searching for negative angles from the media then? We didn't last time.

Tom of Melbourne

7/08/2011…and aren’t the various iterations of ALP policy on asylum seekers a huge success!! The humanitarians that support the party must be so proud.

BSA Bob

7/08/2011ToM at 9.41 No easy answers, I said that. Previous administrations have pretended there were, success being defined as having the bastards anywhere on earth but here, or at least the appearance of that. Malaysia would do.

D Mick Weir

8/08/2011FS, In case you missed it this article is for you (and in other census collectors who are lurking in the background) [b]The con-census is that we need more silliness[/b] Richard Castles @ National Times http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/contributors/the-concensus-is-that-we-need-more-silliness-20110806-1igm0.html [i]Let's liven up Tuesday night with some of the really important questions. ... If there's one thing, however, that I'd like to change about the census, it would be to zhoosh it up a bit. Make it a bit more fun, census-ational! This is the age of information, the internet and social media, after all. Far from being concerned about privacy and confidentiality, when you look at what people are already willing to disclose about themselves on Facebook, Twitter and national television these days, just imagine what fascinating and reliable data could be gathered with the assurance of privacy and confidentiality - not to mention legal enforcement - guaranteed under the Census and Statistics Act of 1905.[/i] Read on for a giggle or three ... oh, and let us all know if anyone gives you the answers to the questions Richard poses :P

D Mick Weir

8/08/2011Many have asked [i]... and why doesn't 'the meeja' put the alternative government under any scrutiny?[/i] Guess there could be at least, say, 73 different possible answers to that question. Guess also when and if someone in [i]'the meeja'[/i] does a bit of scrutiny it is never [i]hard enough[/i] etc. Another problem seems to be, when someone in [i]'the meeja'[/i] does soe scrutiny, we often miss it. [b]Misha Schubert[/b] @ The National times has a bit of a go at putting Jovial Joe under the magnifying glass [b]The axeman cometh[/b] http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/contributors/the-axeman-cometh-20110806-1iglx.html [i]IN A single word on Wednesday, Joe Hockey telegraphed the depth of his resolve to make searing cuts to government spending - and get square with anyone who counters the Coalition's momentum. ... The pressure on Hockey and the size of the task confronting him is daunting. In the coming months, he has to craft a fiscal plan that could take his side of politics into government, with the biggest of constraints: a leader with an eye on the politics, not the budget bottom line.[/i]

Lyn

8/08/2011 [b]TODAY’S LINKS[/b] [i]WHERE ARE WE AT, Catching Up, Café Whispers[/i] One of the first issues that need to be addressed is how the media works in this country. There needs to be deep interrogation into all media, including the ABC. http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2011/08/07/4411/#comment-32123 [i]Studies have Shown, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i] Tony Abbott contradicts himself on a regular basis, saying whatever he thinks needs to be said in order that he becomes our Prime Minister: I'd say that's dishonest. Abbott rides his bike or kisses fish instead of developing real policies http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2011/08/studies-have-shown.html [i]Nile’s Unchristian Attack on Ethics, John, True Politik[/i] As a Catholic, I'm offended by Fred Nile's stance on Ethics, by his attempt to impose a theocratic rules on secular, public education, and by his unchristian treatment of the people of NSW. http://truepolitik.blogspot.com/ [i]Abbott reads from Mao’s little green book of nonsense, Richard Denniss, The Punch[/i] This plan raises a few questions, to say the least, but Tony Abbott has moved his press conferences from factory to factory fast enough to avoid answering any of them.The first question is ‘how many public servants will Tony Abbott need to administer his grants- for-polluters scheme?’ http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/Abbott-reads-from-Maos-little-green-book-of-nonsense/ [i]Comin’ and Bowen, Friday Mash[/i] ‘It’s an emergency’ said Bronnie at Abbattapad HQ as she scanned through the latest batch of Abbattemails. /‘Chris Bowen is still planning to send 500 plus asylum seekers to Malaysia. These people have been cruelly misled http://www.fridaymash.com/us/weekly-mash/comin%E2%80%99-and-bowen [i]The rise of think tanks in Australian politics,Narelle Miragliotta, The Conversation[/i] The mass membership was the key mechanism by which parties connected with the citizenry. However, ABS data shows that only 1% of the Australian population reported active participation in a political party in 2007 compared to 4% of the population in the 1960s. http://theconversation.edu.au/the-rise-of-think-tanks-in-australian-politics-2534 [i]You gotta know when to poll’em, William Bowe, The Poll Bludger[/i] Fairfax economics writer Peter Martin reviews the literature on that hottest of topics, the impact of media partisanship on voting behaviour. His broad conclusion is that while newspapers have very little impact, “television and radio are different”. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/ [i]Why, Dave Gaukroger, Pure Poison[/i] Why do they believe that our government wants to ruin our economy? Why should we trust them to base their work on unprintable secrets, told to them by unnamed people in the corridors of power? http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/08/05/why/ [i]High-speed rail: pulling a very fast one on capital, Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i] the cost is way more than advertised in the media. The costing of $61 billion to $108 billion — that reflects confidence intervals from 90% chance the costs would blow out to 10% — has several major omissions. First “client planning and procurement management costs” http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/08/05/high-speed-rail-pulling-a-very-fast-one-on-capital/ [i]Drip-Along & Daffy, Neil Cook, The Bannerman[/i] Joe Hockey shooting from the hip, yet again.Thing is, every time he does this, he whips off his pants as well as his six-shooter remains stuck in its holster, a-la-Daffy Duck. Poor Joe, it’s becoming harder & harder for him to http://www.waddayano.org/blog/2011/08/dripalong_daffy.php#more [i]What to do about the ratings agencies, John Quiggin[/i] Lots of governments have AAA-rated debt and lots more would like their debt regarded the same way, even if (or especially if) they are not pursuing particularly prudent fiscal policies. http://johnquiggin.com/2011/08/07/what-to-do-about-the-ratings-agencies [i]Hartcher announces the death of Capitalism (but not intentionally,Godfrey's Blog of Claims[/i] His concluding advice, quite frankly scares me, “[t]he Gillard government needs to press ahead with a serious reform agenda and look to new ways of consolidating the federal budget. And the Abbott opposition needs to stop scaring the pants off the public.” http://tradeunion.wordpress.com/2011/08/07/hartcher-announces-the-death-of-capitalism-but-not-intentionally/ [i]Peak oil point falls flat, John Quiggin[/i] The Oil Peak that actually mattered was the peak in consumption per person, which took place back in 1980 at 5.3 barrels per person per year. Since then, consumption per person has dropped to 4.4 barrels per person per year. http://johnquiggin.com/2011/08/05/peak-oil-point-falls-flat/ [i]What to do about the rating agencies, John Quiggin, Crooked Timber[/i] it’s also pretty obvious (and even more so after the Repubs successful use of the debt ceiling to force Obama to abandon any call for tax increases along with the cuts they both wanted) that the US has some fairly intractable problems in dealing with its (technically quite manageable, .http://crookedtimber.org/2011/08/07/what-to-do-about-the-ratings-agencies/#more-21175 [i]A Measure of someone’s ignorance, Joshua Gans, Core Economics[/i] I actually have little problem with Williamson’s attempt to critique Zombie Economics. What I have a problem with is belittling its author in this derogatory matter. If Williamson’s critique was really substantive he wouldn’t have to stoop to this. http://economics.com.au/?p=7870&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=a-measure-of-someones-ignorance [i]Kiama and the NBN , David Havyatt, Anything Goes[/i] Perhaps it is the fact that they both went on to be participants in the school debating team - a skill where you learn to argue any proposition convincingly, no matter how much you disbelieve what you are saying. http://davidhavyatt.blogspot.com/2011/08/kiama-and-nbn.html [i]letter from Oslo, Jeff Sparrow[/i] an email from Mike Seltzer in Oslo in response to a piece about the massacre there. I’m republishing it here (with permission, and in a slightly edited version) because of the fascinating perspective it provides: http://jeffsparrow.net/letter-from-oslo/ [i]Fear and the Perception of the Diving Economy, Steve Szetey Fezzant Creek Rambler[/i], Annabel Crabb, from the ABC, does have a point when she identifies how our federal political landscape is helping to feed this level of fear that we have in Confidently Going Where No Confidence Has Gone Before. In particular, about Tony Abbott http://fezzantcreakrambler.blogspot.com/2011/08/fear-and-perception-of-diving-economy.html [i]Surprise – Surprise – US Politicians have Caused Another Financial Crises, Peter, Aussie views News[/i] Right now I would announce that the US intends to remove tax breaks in a way that takes money from the richer section and not at all from those below whatever arbitrary income level seems useful. http://www.aussieviewsnews.com/ [i] US capitalism, Take the money and run, or, This sucker could go down, Mark2, Liz Beths, Left Flank[/i] In a crisis individual capitalists will protect their own wealth even when that means risking the collapse of the system as a whole: Après moi le déluge! (“After me, the flood!”) Now, undoubtedly http://left-flank.blogspot.com/2011/08/us-capitalism-take-money-run-or-this.html [i]The deadly sins of the Tea Party, APP.Com[/i] An absolute refusal to comprise, to even consider raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans, even if it meant the first default in American history, was not the profile in patriotism some have come to believe that it is. No one has ever accused the Tea Party’s members of sloth (except perhaps of the intellectual kind http://www.app.com/article/20110807/NJOPINION01/308070021/The-deadly-sins-of-the-Tea-Party [i]Bye-Partisan?, The Show Goes On[/i] if I were an American right now, I would be embarrassed at how my politicians were behaving. Granted, as an Australian, I’m embarrassed by Tony Abbott every other day, but his stupidity is not my focus. America, the self-proclaimed ‘greatest nation on Earth’ (see my earlier post), is dragging itself down. http://eldeshacer.wordpress.com/2011/08/06/bye-partisan/ [i] Austerity Is Bad for Business, Oz Conspiracy House[/i] Ironically, that’s about equal to the spending increase from Obama’s 2009 initial stimulus package. In other words, we are about to extract from the economy – now showing multiple signs of weakening badly – the original spending stimulus of 2009! http://www.ozconspiracyhousebad-for-business/ [b]Newspapers[/b] [i]Broadband a balancing act , Tim Barlass, SMH[/i] Her doctor is now able to monitor her performance in real time to detect risks in balance, co-ordination and reaction times. The connection will also allow her to consult with her physical therapist via video conferencing without leaving her home. http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/broadband-a-balancing-act-20110806-1igfh.html#utm [i]Call for a People's Revolution , Peter Hartcher, SMH[/i] Liberals will win government only if they appeal to their right base and to the centre. They already own the right vote. Over-reaching could alienate the moderate centre and cost them support.American analogies only go so http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/call-for-a-peoples-revolution-20110304-1bi1v.html#ixzz1UKT6324i

Feral Skeleton

8/08/2011BSA Bob, So today we learn that every one of the so-called 'Unaccompanied Minors' on the first Asylum Seeker boat to test the federal government's new resolve to put a stop to the People Smuggling Industry, which is looking more like the Cruise Ship Industry every day except for the nature of the vessels being employed for the journey, unsafe as opposed to safe ones for a real Cruise, so, all of the 'Unaccompanied Minors' are strapping young men in their teens and just below the mandatory legal definitional age for 'Minor', that is, 18 years old. So all the huffing and puffing by David Manne, the Greens and the ever-cynically opportunistic Opposition, is over agroup of Young Men, who are probably more able to look after themselves than many of the women and children who came with them on the boat. As I have said on numerous occasions, I am all for a healthy Refugee placement system in Australia, and anyone who read about one of the Burmese families who have been chosen to come to Australia in the exchange for the cynical exploiters of our compassion who arrive by boat, will now have been able to see what I have been banging on about now for months. That is, I am all for taking refugees, and especially those who cannot afford to pay People Smugglers or who are not part of the conveyor belt that appears to have been set up by various ethnic groups already in this country to funnel money back to Indonesia in order to get more of their number here via the boat journey from that country. I do not want to see Australia's kindness and generosity towards refugees exploited in this way any more. Especially as I hear today that the so-called 'Unaccompanied Minors' from one particular religious group are exploiting the generosity of spirit of another religious group to go into bat for them. And no, I am not Islamophobic, but I just find it passing strange that these Islamic Asylum Seekers are turning, not to the support organisations of their own faith for succour but to the representatives of the Christian faith in this country to go in to bat for them. I want us to extend the hand of help to those refugees who cannot afford to game the system. Not keep getting cynically exploited by those who can. That's all. Is that too much to ask?

Feral Skeleton

8/08/2011Great point by Joshua Gans in his piece about the criticism of John Quiggin, that is, it is a measure of the paper thin nature and the quality of someone's criticism of others that they have to stoop so low as to criticise the person themselves, as opposed to critiquing their work only. jj take note. Belittling the author of a comment in a derogatory manner is a sign of YOUR ignoarance, not theirs.

2353

8/08/2011FS, Entirely agree - criticism of the person rather than the point is playing the wo/man, not the ball (and the furst refuge of those that really have noting valid to say).

Ad astra

8/08/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

TalkTurkey

8/08/2011Lyn said "Mark Kenny said this morning, when Abbott returns there will not be the same media pattern by Abbott. Ummm interesting." Lyn I said in that damn post I lost due to computer cussedness that Abbortt would return to a political landscape subtly but definitely changed, one in which the political journalists being weathervanes themselves will respond to the boredom of endless stunts from Abbortt, endless gaffes from Sloppy Joe, endless irritation from Turdball, endless incompetence from Robb and Mesma, endless cavilling by such as Morriscum, endless lies from the lot of them, and when they start to fall apart there will come a moment when their duplicity and deceit and hollowness become the story of the season, and they will not look so flash at all come next Melbourne Cup. Just a few months away. And [i]Our Ranga Lass[/i] must be snuffing the battle with delight! [i]Questions with Notice ! Are there any more Questions? [/i] I really think it would help our cause to put some questions on this our Notice Board immediately, before Abbortt gets back. (Does anybody actually know where he is/ has been over the last week?)

Gravel

8/08/2011Feral Skeleton I did not hear that the 'unaccompanied' minors are almost 18, although I suspected as much. The use of 'children' allows everyone think they are 9-10-11 etc., years old. It is disgraceful. Can the government send these 'unaccompanied' minors back to their parents? That is an avenue I would be looking at. They are the ones providing the money to the people smugglers. Now to everyone here, a bit of a techie question. How do you all keep up with the latest post one here. I write down the name, date and time so I can be assured not to miss anyone's wise words. Is there an easier way? Oh and I use Firefox.

Feral Skeleton

8/08/2011Gravel, In answwer to your techie question first. There's a link to 'Recent Comments' down the top left hand side of each post. You just have to click on them to read them. Also, what I do is keep TPS open in my tab bar and just refresh when I come back to my computer to catch up on the latest comments. If you leave the side scroll tab at the level of the last comment it automatically comes back to that point when you refresh, and then you just read on from there. I don't know, however, if we have an RSS facility for this blog. Our bigger tach heads, lyn, AA and NormanK, would know more about that. If we do then additional comments can be sent to your e-mail Inbox,though I tend not to use RSS because my Inbox ends up stuffed to the gunnels! Also, I can verify the veracity of the 'Unaccompanied Minors' being all strapping Young Men, as my boys aged 16 and 17 are, because the representative of the Church who wants to provide Housing for them(to which I say, what about the Homeless we already have in Australia, where's your care and concern for them?) said so when interviewed on NewsRadio this morning. Now, if that's not cynical exploitation of the new situation laid out by the government wrt Asylum Seekers, by the People Smugglers in Indonesia, the Greens, Robert Manne and his opportunistic legal injunction, and, of course, the Opposition, whose opinion about Asylum Seekers appears to blow in the wind and have more positions than the Kama Sutra, then I don't know what is.

Ad astra

8/08/2011Folks I'll be away for a few hours.

nasking

8/08/2011Well done Conehead! An apt satirical piece. The "weightless" ending is a nice touch. I'm actually reading The Australian...shock, horror. [quote]When it comes to gas, the US multinational Chevron has tried to convince Australians of the benefits of developing our petroleum resources with full-page newspaper and magazine advertisements. A close look at the data, however, indicates that it might not be in Australia's interest to take advice from energy multinationals, for we are developing these resources at an unsustainable rate. The federal government's 2010 Australian Energy Resource Assessment says existing reserves of conventional gas have a life expectancy of 63 years, while the estimate for unconventional gas, meaning coal-seam gas or shale gas, is 100 years. The report admits that these estimates are based on current production levels. That is, they don't take into account the export contracts signed in recent years for the Gorgon and Pluto projects on the North-West Shelf and for Queensland's new coal-seam gas exports, or rising domestic demand, which together will more than triple total gas production and quadruple LNG exports over the next decade. So those estimates of 63 and 100 years should be divided by three or four. Under existing sales contracts, gas reserves could be exhausted by the time that girl born in 2011 turns 21.[/quote] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/riding-our-resources-dumb-luck-to-ruin/story-fn59niix-1226108572586 Saw the writer of this piece, Paul Cleary, on ABC 24 this morn...seems fairly sensible. Will have to pick up his book Too Much Luck. I imagine Gina Rinehart, Clive Palmer & Twiggy Forrest will be thrilled w/ it. [quote]Our filthy rich miners — and the new $10b Aussie by James Thomson @ Crikey.[/quote] http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/05/23/our-filthy-rich-miners-and-the-new-10b-aussie/ Up the super profits mining tax...slightly lower the carbon price I reckon. N'

NormanK

8/08/2011Gravel Feral Skeleton has got it right about keeping on track with recent comments. Just leave your browser open on the [i]TPS[/i] page and when you want to check for new comments click on 'refresh' (reload current page) which should be a button denoted by an almost closed circle with an arrowhead on one end, located at the top left of the [i]Firefox[/i] toolbar. If you leave your side scroll button down at the 'Add comment' section of the [i]TPS[/i] page, new posts will magically appear before your eyes when you refresh. I think you'll find that this is the way that most people do it.

nasking

8/08/2011I can't decide on whether Texan Rick Perry's Presidential launch by way of an evangelical prayer rally was as dumb as GW Bush's MISSION ACCOMPLISHED episode... or as ridiculous and useless as Peter Costello's address to the Hillsong audience. Either way, Perry woulda done a great job of ringing the alarm bells in many an Independent & Moderate Democrats, not to mention the odd Moderate Republican heads who still have a bad aftertaste related to the last Texan governor who became president by catering to evangelicals, some of whom his admin used in the Green Zone to help create the debacle that was the Iraq War invasion & stumble plan. I can imagine the glee of America's al Qaeda, Iranian and other opponents too... knowing how effectively they had suckered the last evangelical derriere sucking Texan into entering the black hole known as Afghanistan... helping to virtually bankrupt America...the debt-related & death count consequences of which we see maginified LARGE today. [quote]Rick Perry's call to prayer draws crowd of 30,000 Secular America watches nervously as the Christian evangelical Texas governor moves closer to presidential bid[/quote] Ewen MacAskill in Houston guardian.co.uk, Sunday 7 August 2011 http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/07/rick-perrys-call-to-prayer "Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...," N'

Lyn

8/08/2011Hi our lovely little Gravel Norman K and Feral have given you some excellent instructions. But I need to tell you what I do, and I hope that Norman K will correct me if I need to know an easier way or better way: Open The Political Sword Go to file on the top left corner of your page Click then on the drop down menu click "send to desktop" The Political Sword will stay on your desktop until you delete it. Click on TPS on your desktop Scroll down to comments Click on comments "RIGHT Click" on arrow down at the right hand SIDE bottom OF THE screen (not page screen arrow down) On the menu click SCROLL HERE. If you want you can send The Political Sword to your task bar by clicking on the minus at the top right hand corner of your page. If you keep the Political Sword on your task bar Just click F5. key on top line of your keyboard that is a refresh key. Cheers :):):):):)

nasking

8/08/2011I haven't larfed so much in years...Feral, and others who follow American politics will enjoy this: Bill Maher Suggests A Liberal Tea Party: The Donner Party http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/07/bill-maher-liberal-tea-party_n_920268.html N'

BSA Bob

8/08/2011F.S. et al I didn't know the "unaccompanied minors" were that old. Makes sense, of course but I agree the tendency is to think of kids running about with teddy bears. The real cynics of this world will always beat amateurs like me. Is there any opinion about what this means re Nauru? It shouldn't be too hard to come up with claims of potential persecution in Nauru,or Lichtenstein, Atlantis, anywhere in fact.

Gravel

8/08/2011Feral Skeleton, Normank and Lyn Thanks for your techie help. I will try them and see what happens. Feral Skeleton Thanks for the confirmation about the 'unaccompanied minors'. Unfortunately, like BSA Bob, I and most Australia's will make the assumption of small kids and not look any further. :-( What hope has Australia got with media and opposition like this? It is all very disheartening. Anyhow, you people here keep me gee'd up and we can all but wait and see. I'll keep an eye on your twitter Feral, to see what the High Court decides this afternoon.

Gravel

8/08/2011Nas I clicked on your Bill Maher link but the video won't play. What do I do now?

Feral Skeleton

8/08/2011BSA Bob, I have even seen vision of the fine,strapping young men, er, 'Unaccompanied Minors', from the first boat load to test the new Asylum Seeker system. And, quite frankly, David Manne should find it a personal embarassment to be crying crocodile tears over these guys and taking the fedreral government to court over such a bunch of opportunistic chancers. It's as plain as the nose on my face that the People Smugglers in Indonesia are running a business here.

NormanK

8/08/2011BSA Bob As I understand it the situation in Nauru is altogether different. The facility is paid for and run (in part) by Australian staff who can keep an eye on individuals; there is nowhere for these 'minors' to disappear to and with such a small population on Nauru if anyone were to attempt to exploit them they would be found out pretty quickly. That's it though for anything that might recommend Nauru as a destination. It no longer has a deterrent effect since about half of those sent there ended up in Australia anyway, some were sent home and the rest went to our neighbours. Like it or not, it is still a fast track to resettlement. The downsides are enormous though. No NGOs to provide services. No industry where refugees can earn a living while they wait. Hugely expensive transport costs because it is in the middle of nowhere. Money being poured into the Nauruan health and education systems to accommodate the influx. Money poured into infrastructure like power generation because it is on the verge of collapse. Water is becoming a problem. Unstable political situation where corruption is the order of the day. In many ways it would be an ideal place for a Processing Centre that dealt with more than our irregular arrivals but have a look at it on a map. How does someone fleeing persecution in the Middle East get out to such a fly-speck? What are their sea-rescue capabilities? The only thing in its favour is that asylum seekers are denied access to our courts for prolonged appeals against their evaluation. The same can be said of Malaysia which makes the government look bad if that is part of their intention. Curiously, I haven't seen anyone point out that if all of the passengers on these SIEVs were genuine refugees we wouldn't have anything like the problems we have now. The detention centres are clogged up with those appealing their evaluations (as is their lawful right) - a process that can take months and persons awaiting extradition back to their homeland. As a result we have what looks like unconscionably long waiting times for resolution. And of course we have those who have failed in their bid threatening self-harm, carrying out self-harm and rioting and burning things down. It doesn't sit all that well with me but if this current policy stops an accident such as happened last December from occurring again then to my mind it will have been worth it.

Feral Skeleton

8/08/2011Sigh: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/07/opinion/sunday/what-happened-to-obamas-passion.html?pagewanted=all&src=ISMR_AP_LO_MST_FB

nasking

8/08/2011Gravel, Yes, the Huff Post vid seems to be frozen. You can also watch the vid here: Bill Maher Suggests A Liberal Tea Party- The Donner Party http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lJXlaoAc4U Cheers N'

Michael

8/08/2011In the absence of Shouldabeen, Bad Barnaby steps up. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/commentary/to-those-who-called-me-fool-whos-laughing-now/story-e6frgd0x-1226110443720 Not happy with talking down the local economy, now you're gleeful at the US one looking shaky, Barnaby. You seriously see yourself as a potential member of a government responding with anything but "nyah nyah nee nyah nyah, told ya", when things get rough? Which seems to be Coalition policy across the board.

Gravel

8/08/2011Nas Thanks heaps, that link worked really well. I did get a great laugh.

nasking

8/08/2011Nice one Feral. Useful reminder. I meant to read that NY Times piece but my computer restarted whilst I was away & I forgot about it. Also thought this useful from SMH: [quote]Agency rating downgrade is little more than a political PR stunt[/quote] http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/agency-rating-downgrade-is-little-more-than-a-political-pr-stunt-20110807-1ihgk.html [quote]During the weekend, S&P has announced it will downgrade the US government debt (Treasury bonds) below AAA, arguing that it was dissatisfied that the President and Congress had agreed to cut only $US2 trillion ($A1.9 trillion) out of US government programs such as pensions and Medicaid, and not the $US4 trillion ''that S&P (and the Tea Party ''patriots'') had been demanding. One good may emerge from this piece of nonsense. It might just, finally, blow the whistle on the methodologies and political nature of the actions of these ratings agencies: in much the same way as Rupert Murdoch's News of the World scandal is likely to lift the veil on the methodologies that have led to Murdoch's overweening influence in politics around the world.[/quote] Too many American people...and many in the world markets are easily duped. Many don't recognise economic sabotage when it's staring them in the face. Remember this?: [quote]Not long ago, Kansas would have responded to the current situation by making the bastards pay. This would have been a political certainty, as predictable as what happens when you touch a match to a puddle of gasoline. When business screwed the farmers and the workers - when it implemented monopoly strategies invasive beyond the Populists' furthest imaginings -- when it ripped off shareholders and casually tossed thousands out of work -- you could be damned sure about what would follow. Not these days. Out here the gravity of discontent pulls in only one direction: to the right, to the right, further to the right. Strip today's Kansans of their job security, and they head out to become registered Republicans. Push them off their land, and next thing you know they're protesting in front of abortion clinics. Squander their life savings on manicures for the CEO, and there's a good chance they'll join the John Birch Society. But ask them about the remedies their ancestors proposed (unions, antitrust, public ownership), and you might as well be referring to the days when knighthood was in flower. (Frank, T. 2004 "What's the Matter with Kansas?", pp. 67-68)[/quote] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What's_the_Matter_with_Kansas%3F ------------------- The Republicans/Tea Party & their corporate/mega-rich backers are willing to treat their voters' jobs, homes, medicare & 401k/social security as COLLATEROL DAMAGE in order to get the Presidency back. And keep THEIR RICH, rich...and influential. I'd say they aren't patriots...but TRAITORS. Follow the money. Aussies could learn heaps from this massive con, economic sabotage, rich man's war on the poor & middle class...act 2 in the grotesque play 'Disaster Capitalism'...civil war...in the USA. N'

nasking

8/08/2011Gravel, glad ya enjoyed it. Remember this?: The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disaster_capitalism Hands up if ya think the "Debt ceiling debate" was a man-made crisis...used to push free market reforms and destroy a President? The Tea Party founders on CNN said they wanted "entitlement cuts"...and more free market reforms. As in, screw the needy poor...stuff medicare...get rid of the education department...forget government built & funded infrastructure... they, the poor people, can work for pennies or be put in jail to help the rich get richer... they, all the people, can go private healthcare and if they go bankrupt at least the rich get richer... their kids can pay for education and be brainwashed by our religious corp, the supporters of CONCORP...whilst the rich get richer off their studying backs... hopefully many will not do uni and compete w/ us but rather be herded into the army to fight for us patriots so the rich get richer... and we can put in tollways and fly big carbon polluting planes and add more and more security at airports so the rich get richer... who needs fast trains...unless we own them. And they go to Las Vegas. And Disneyland. Bring down the debt. IT's A CRISIS. N'

nasking

8/08/2011Working for the man: [quote]The Victorian Government has asked the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to investigate a campaign targeting businesses with links to Israel. The pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) group has staged several protests calling for a boycott of businesses that do business with Israel. The international group has targeted branches of chocolate shop Max Brenner in Melbourne and Sydney and plans similar campaigns in other capital cities. BDS describes itself as a "wide coalition of the largest Palestinian organisations, trade unions, networks and NGOs." It accuses Israel of being an "apartheid state" and targets businesses and non-government agencies that have links to Israel. The Victorian Government believes the actions constitute a "secondary boycott" and are in breach of Commonwealth Laws.[/quote] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-08/consumer-watchdog-asked-to-investigate-israel-boycott/2829272 I must have the donors on side...I MUST I MUST I MUST. I must protect the corporations...I MUST I MUST I MUST. I'm an obvious Premier...I AM I AM I AM. N'

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8/08/2011Folks I have just posted [i]Does the media reflect public opinion, or create it?[/i] http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2011/08/08/Does-the-media-reflect-public-opinion-or-create-it.aspx

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8/08/2011Folks First some technical matters. Thank you NormanK, FS and Lyn for your technical comments. Regarding an RSS facility, [i]TPS[/i] does have one. To activate it, click the symbol at the right end of the black menu bar just under the top graphic. Under ‘Actions’ in the right panel, you can elect to have the RSS feed sent to your mail address or listed under ‘RSS’ in your mail program page. Regarding the ‘Notify me when new comments are added’ option under the “Comments’ box, ticking it will result in an email being sent to your Inbox each time a comment is made, which as FS points out will clog your Inbox. One commenter said he was getting four copies of each new comment, which is something I will check with Web Monkey. I don’t use it. Instead, I refresh the [i]TPS[/i] page regularly.

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8/08/2011Folks I’m struggling to catch up with today’s comments. I’ve just finished reading your links Lyn – what a great collection of interesting reading. Are you sure you are taking off weekends, or do you get up very early on Monday mornings? TT Isn’t it a relief not having to view Tony Abbott cycling, swimming, riding, shovelling concrete, drilling holes, brandishing bananas and kissing fish, or walking away from pressers when the going gets tough? FS Like you I’m becoming increasingly annoyed at attempts the people smugglers, the boat people who seem to have plenty of ready cash to pay the people smugglers and mobile phones to contact lawyers, asylum seekers who quickly embark on manipulative ‘hunger strikes’, the refugee lawyers such as David Manne who seem determined to frustrate the Government’s attempts to stop the people smugglers’ trade but never suggest an alternative, and the opportunistic statements of Scott Morrison who seeks to turn any aspect of this difficult situation into a negative for the Government. I find it offensive how those seeking refuge feel they can come here and make demands, appeal to our courts and generally thumb their noses at our Government and our laws. From being sympathetic to those seeking asylum, I find myself increasingly exasperated at the way they come here and attempt to flout the decisions of our lawfully elected Government. I feel that while some will applaud what David Manne and Sarah Hanson-Young are attempting, I think that public opinion will harden against asylum seekers, which is a pity. Many are very deserving but their claims will receive less sympathetic treatment from a public that resents being bullied by those seeking our beneficence. I wonder too, if the High Court decides in favour of Manne and his clients the asylum seekers, what becomes on any offshore processing, including that on Nauru. Would it stop all offshore processing and force this country to process all asylum seekers here? What would that do to the people smuggling trade? Would we have an armada arriving and overwhelming our processing capacity?
How many oranges do I have if I have 3 oranges and take ONE away?