Why are we here on The Political Sword?

What are we hoping to achieve by contributing here? Are we having any impact? Does our dialogue make any difference?

As a group of political bloggers we feel we have something to say about the state of politics in this nation. The Political Sword, which has n o allegiance to any party or political movement, provides the opportunity for its visitors to draw attention to what the Fourth Estate is saying, point us to what others in the Fifth Estate are saying, thanks largely to Lyn’s Daily Links, inform us about what the politicians are thinking and doing, express views, and enter into discussion with others who contribute here, even if they have a different viewpoint or a different take on political events or personalities.

Recent difficulty with the site during the upgrade to the most recent version of the blog engine we use has brought forth expressions of support from regulars and offers of financial support. Over the end-of-year break we will assess the future of TPS and what support it might need.

The last few days have shown something more – a sense of camaraderie among contributors, who value each other’s opinions, who enjoy the company the site provides, and who gain satisfaction from sharing their views with like-minded souls and at times with those who are of a different mindset. The feeling of family that has been fostered by visitors has become amazingly strong. It adds significantly to the enjoyment of blogging here. New visitors are welcomed when they offer a comment, often by several regulars. We are a big family. Although over a hundred make comments here, some almost every day, our site statistics show that there are many more who visit regularly but choose not to leave a comment. The number of visitors is increasing.

As we come towards the end of another year, and look to what 2011 holds, it behooves us to review what we want from TPS, how we might contribute to the discourse, how we ought to conduct our discussions, and what we might hope to achieve.

Starting with the latter, for my part I hope we can influence the thinking of those who visit here, some of whom are referred from other sites. Cross-linking in the Fifth Estate is prevalent. Lyn gives us a great set of links every morning to a variety of sites. Her research saves the countless hours it would take to look individually for these links. They enables us to read what others think and say, enrich our understanding of the contemporary issues, garner facts hitherto unknown to us, and modify or reinforce our opinions accordingly. Users of the blogosphere are thereby among the best informed politically, and are well placed to give balanced and informed opinions.

So what might we contribute? Already Bushfire Bill and HillbillySkeleton have joined me in writing for TPS (BB is having a rest just now), and any others of you who feel you have something to say in the way of an original piece can send it to me by email for assessment.

We have also attracted satirists and poets. First Acerbic Conehead, then Patricia WA, NormanK, Talk Turkey and more recently D Mick Weir and 2353 have had a go. Not only are your poems witty, they add greatly to our enjoyment of the site.

The contributions of visitors through comments are already exceptional. Few sites attract such detailed and informative comments and such a rich variety of links. Moreover, the courtesy with which you make them gives TPS an ambience of thoughtfulness and fairness. Of course sometimes your responses express frustration, even annoyance at the substance and style of some who comment here, especially when they make assertions that are not backed up by verifiable facts and well-reasoned argument to which we feel we are entitled. Yet even when you are in fierce disagreement courtesy usually prevails.

As we have been on the road a lot, we listen to talking-books. Currently it is the talking-book version of Edward de Bono’s A beautiful mind. It has some sound advice for those who enter into discourse with others, which apply particularly to those of us who blog.

His first piece of advice is to avoid agreeing with everything another is saying as that can soon take on an aura of obsequiousness, even insincerity. On the other hand, always being in disagreement is even more obnoxious. Both approaches lead to either useless or unpleasant dialogue. It’s the old story of the bell-shaped curve – those who operate around the middle are the ones who provide the most balanced dialogue – those who operate at the extreme tail-ends, the extremists – are the ones who stifle discussion, anger or bore others, and advance thinking very little. At times we have experienced this on TPS, but the facilitatory approach taken in response by many bloggers here has tempered somewhat the extreme statements.

De Bono insists that finding points of agreement can make an otherwise dissonant conversation pleasant. He describes disagreement as often a battle of competing egos as each strives always to be ‘right’. He describes disagreeing with everything as ‘silly’, something our politicians need to learn. He also eschews labels such as ‘stupid’ or ‘hopeless’, when disagreement arises. He suggests that where agreement seems impossible, we might like to explore whether under special circumstances, or within the opponent’s value system or prior experience agreement might be possible. Making an effort to see where the other person is coming from can change perceptions and turn an argument into a useful learning exercise. Dialogue is facilitated when some points of agreement can be found and acknowledged. We see this on TPS, and find it does make for better dialogue.

He points out how sweeping generalizations are difficult to agree with, and make conversation difficult or impossible. ‘Labor cannot manage money’, or ‘Labor always runs up debt’ are two such generalizations that are manifestly untrue, yet are trotted out mindlessly by Labor’s opponents. Likewise, to say ‘the Coalition always opposes’, is not the case, even although it often looks that way. ‘No politician can be trusted’ is equally untrue. Dogmatism, rigidity, prejudice and bigotry represent box-like thinking, with people or ideas being positioned either in the box or outside it – with nothing in between. He describes the classic errors that bedevil discourse: errors of logic, misinterpretation of data and selective perception. He emphasizes the importance of politeness even when disagreeing, instead of using rudeness, aggressiveness and bullying to get one’s way. I thought as I listened how germane his advice was to bloggers.

To return to the beginning, why do we blog here on TPS? There are many reasons: advancing our political knowledge and understanding, getting in touch with emerging trends – HillbillySkeleton’s last piece is a classic example – communicating with others of similar interest, expressing our views about policies, parties and politicians, pointing to those with which we agree or disagree, plying our knowledge and reason to political issues, advocating or opposing causes with passion and conviction, and not least enjoyment, entertainment, conversation with our blogger friends, lapping up their satire or poetry, enjoying their camaraderie, and feeling part of an extended family, all laudable.

But do we make a difference? Do we influence thinking? How much weight do we carry?

There seems little doubt that we inform each other and influence thinking among our visitors, sometime positively, and at time perhaps negatively. But how far does our influence extend beyond TPS? Many who blog here also blog on both Fourth Estate and Fifth Estate sites, and thereby carry facts, views and opinions from here to elsewhere. Some who have their own blogs, such as Grog, Nasking and Miglo, blog here and cross-pollinate. Occasionally another blog will pick up something on TPS. There was an example of this the other day when North Coast Voices picked up on something written about Tony Abbott on TPS in Does Labor fight too ‘clean’? that linked to that piece on TPS. The extent to which those in the Fourth Estate read blogs at all and this one in particular, is unknown. From feedback, we know some do, but how much is a mystery. The fact that Grog’s celebrated piece about the poor standard of reporting by the MSM of the election campaign was picked up by Mark Scott of the ABC, promulgated at a public conference, and taken up by journalists at The Australian, leading to James Massola’s ‘outing’ of Greg, was compelling evidence that some blogs do catch the eye of those outside the Fifth Estate.

We shall probably never know how far what we contribute here travels, how much influence it has, and how much it changes others’ opinions. But the feeling that it may, and probably does, keeps us going as we fight for what we believe is fair and just and in the nation’s interest. It seems well worthwhile to me. What about you?

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Patricia WA

30/10/2010Well, AA, you've said it all for us, haven't you? Well done. My particular reason for coming here is for [quote]a sense of camaraderie among contributors, who value each other’s opinions, who enjoy the company the site provides, and who gain satisfaction from sharing their views with like-minded souls and at times with those who are of a different mindset.......[/quote]

Patricia WA

30/10/2010Hey, what happened to my gravatar? Has someone pinched it? I bet it's that Talk Turkey! He's heard AA and lyn say how they much they liked my little Tacker in amongst the roses. It would be just like him - he is one of the few here who lack gravatars.

Ad astra reply

30/10/2010Patricia WA I wish I knew what has happened to your Gravatar. The only suggestion I can make is that you click on the red linked word ‘Gravatar’ next to your email address above the ‘comments box’ and follow the prompts. Your ‘little Tacker in amongst the roses’ should still be there for you to re-select.

jj

30/10/2010You offer an outpost of hope for the old lefties out there, and good on you for doing it. HS, No i do not support WorkChoices, but nor do i support union control over the workplace, nor as we have here in NSW an odd case where in work safety issues we have a reverse onus of proof (which the unions have forced Kristina to keep). I believe in most instances disputes should be had between the employee and the employer, and if that does not resolve things, than sure unions should be able to be asked to be involved. Do you agree with the sorts of reforms to the financial sector, Hockey and the coalition are proposing? As for the NSW Labor saga, can you tell me AA whether after 16 years of bungles, mismanagement and waste, whether you intend on supporting the NSW Labor party at the election? Are you one of the 23% (and declining) that do? Or will you consider the Greens as your next best option...or go forbid, the Liberal party!

George Pike

30/10/2010I think TPS is an extremely beneficial source of information to all those people who partake in the conversations that ensue from the thoughtful and informative postings of the main contributors. Even the negative agressors find it rewarding enough to return over and over again. I certainly find Lyn's links, and all the other contributions from others, extremely valuable in making informed assumptions regarding the workings of the elite mass media and the political issues of the day in particular. Any links that I transfer onto Facebook are always treated with warm enthusiasm from the many friends and others who contribute to those pages. I know it is hard to find agreement across political spectrums, particularly when one side seems intent on running opposition for oppositions sake and not for any good reason relating to governance. I guess what we must remember is that despite the glaring differences in political ideologies, humans have to live together and it is in everyone's interest to ensure that we progress as one and do not tie ourselves down with pure ideologically based assumptions and prerogatives. A good example of an area where ideologies are relegated to irrelevance is in the arts. The members of an orchestra, and those artists who create the music which they play, are from ALL walks of life, all political persuasions, all ages, all areas of the social milieu, yet they create beautiful harmony together for the benefit of all mankind. If only all members of society could interweave their creative genius' and make society better for all and sundry so it also runs like a perfectly balanced symphony. Eventually, human intelligence will deliver that ultimate social hiatus. It is the operation of instruments such as this discussion post that will enable creative enduring beneficial use of human intelligence to become far more widespread and effective than ever before...

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30/10/2010jj I live in Victoria so I don’t have the dilemma of deciding who to vote for in NSW. I suspect that some Labor supporters will still vote Labor even although this Labor government has done poorly, in order to ‘save some of the furniture’ and thereby make a comeback just a little easier and just a little sooner. And of course some Labor parliamentarians will be worthy of voting support because they have served their electorates well.

NormanK

30/10/2010Patricia WA My first thought is that you are at a different e-mail address - your Gravatar follows your e-mail not your name so if you are on someone else's computer the BlogEngine will have generated a random Gravatar for you.

Jason

30/10/2010jj, A bad labor government is still better than any coalition government! If I remember correctly the NSW labor party were meant to have been thrown out at the last election, and yet the coalition couldn't even manage that! but now they're ready to run the state go figure.

Acerbic Conehead

30/10/2010AA, that’s enough of this holiday lark – I’m ready to get back to work! And greetings to you, HB, Lyn and the rest of the crew – keep up the great service you are providing. And, moreover, I’d like to send this message of encouragement to Harry Jenkins, the Speaker of the House of Reps. In dealing with the antics of The Poodle, he needs all the support we can give him. Sing along with Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy and friends. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOXYWEB7LgA&feature=fvw :- ( In the Parliament in Canberra, stalks a loathsome Pyne He’s so low, never too slow, to slag and bag in Question Time :- ( His aim is Jooles, he thinks he’s cool, as he hones his sales pitch On his feet, like a dog in heat, calling her a back alley bitch :- ( But in the Lower House Parliament of Canberra, on the trail of the loathsome Pyne Is his intrepid foe, called Harry-o Who knows how to stop his yappy whine Oh Jenks, for his misbehaviour, Do us all a favour and forthwith, Deliver a whammer with your trusty hammer To the nuts of the loathsome Pyne

Acerbic Conehead

30/10/2010Oh, and AA, its great to see young Bono doing well for himself. I knew there was no future for him in that pop singing lark.

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30/10/2010George Thank you for your thoughtful words and kind comments. There is profound wisdom in what you say. Your analogy of a symphony orchestra is apt. If only we on [i]TPS[/i] could create a symphony of political harmony. Adversarial positions seem wasteful – collaboration could achieve so much more.

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30/10/2010AC Thank you for more apt verse - always good to read. I’ve always been a fan of de Bono, that is the Edward variety.

NormanK

30/10/2010Ad astra The primary attraction of TPS is the incredible lucidity of your writing and the above article is no exception. This is no small thing. If you are undertaking a review of the site, I believe the main thrust of your enquiry should be what do [u]you[/u] want from The Political Sword and is it delivering these things to your satisfaction. It would then be up to us to follow or not. Having said that, of course there's more feedback to give you. In terms of why bother with a blog? No-one knows everything. Everyone knows something. TPS provides an opportunity to share what little knowledge I have of the world with others of a like mind and to gather knowledge from those with a different perspective. Links are such a huge part of a good blog because they allow me to follow-up the source of someone else's comments and exponentially expand my own research strands into ever more foreign fields. Having twenty pairs of eyes scanning for interesting articles is so much better than one pair. When one of those pairs of eyes belong to Lyn, we are truly blessed with a constant supply of reading material, diverse in content and reliable in quality. Why The Political Sword? Because the conversations here are intelligent and congenial without being sycophantic. You are responsible for the tone here and are to be commended for it. I've seen it argued elsewhere that adversarial debate refines one's opinion but I prefer the gentler approach you have adopted where information is made available and it is up to the reader to interpret it. In terms of influence, if I cause three people outside of TPS to question the veracity of the content of the MSM then I am content. If each of us is achieving this same goal then TPS is serving a worthwhile purpose. I'm sure its influence extends much further than that but as you say, this is difficult to quantify. The sense of family engendered here stems from mutual respect and the polite way in which we interact. I treasure that and it is well worth fostering and protecting. As to the future, the current format of TPS seems to sit well with most regular visitors. Semi-formal by having distinct headline pieces which keep us focussed but with enough leeway to allow digression as the topics of the day dictate. Thank you Ad for providing this site.

Sir Ian Crisp

30/10/2010How should TPS evolve and what should be its general aim for 2011? Why not let TPS be guided by Mark Bahnisch from Larvatus Prodeo. Mr Bahnisch wrote the bible on good online journalism. He codified the rules and they are: Be honest and exhibit integrity Address issues of importance, and avoid the trivial Use an original approach rather than the stereotypical Be willing to tackle complex issues, acknowledge the complexity, and avoid simplistic solutions Be prepared to challenge ‘sacred cows’ Be prepared to confront and disassemble dishonest, disingenuous, biased speech or writing Be accurate and rich with verifiable facts Include all the relevant facts, not a biased selection Include accessible references to support facts and assertions Be rich with hyperlinks – one of the advantages of online journalism Clearly separate opinion from facts Clearly denote quotations, acknowledge and reference sources Structure the piece understandably – consider the classical introduction, body and conclusions Use logical, well reasoned arguments Be intellectually honest Use fluent, clear, simple prose Go easy on the adjectives Avoid verbosity – embrace brevity Avoid exaggerated language, clichés and mantras Be modest in making assertions – avoid arrogance Be respectful of persons, even those with whom one disagrees Be fair – be careful about impugning the motives of others Use first and last names of persons when first mentioned, then last names Avoid heavy sarcasm and personal jibes Be unafraid though to call it the way it seems to be Be unintimidated by power, position or influential people Use a catchy title, one that reflects the substance of the piece Use a little flair and style, be unique where possible Use metaphors and idioms freely Use humour where appropriate Draw readers in and hold them to the end Begin and finish with a flourish Ensure the conclusions match the presented facts and the arguments Use visuals, still and movie, where they add to clarity Be as objective as possible, acknowledge any subjectivity Acknowledge biases and conflicts of interest Include background information on the writer Encourage comments Moderate comments to exclude personal abuse or stereotypical mantras Respond quickly to comments that warrant a response Respond reasonably, use sound logic, avoid defensiveness and invective Be enjoyable for the writer and intellectually rewarding Be enjoyable, informative, challenging, provocative and intellectually stimulating for readers. Sadly, AA has at one time or other offended every law that Mr Bahnisch has set done. Let’s aim higher in 2011.

jimbo

30/10/2010AA Maybe a future posting you might consider doing now that you are back from your holiday could be what you found regarding broadband speeds and broadband availability in the areas you travelled through as a comparison to the NBN when it is rolled out Australia wide.

jimbo

30/10/2010SIC (AA has offended every law set down.)AS you have SIC and before you cast stones at other people check your own backyard is clean else wise you are just shi--ng in your own nest you moronic jumped up little goody two shoes,get a life.

lyn

30/10/2010Hi Ad Thankyou for another just brilliant piece Ad, you just delight us every time, all the time. You said [quote]It seems well worthwhile to me. What about you[/quote] Well "The Political Sword" and all the dear readers and commenters on here have become part of my life, a routine I cannot survive without, my favorite hobby, so many friends all in one place it's overwhelming: top quality comments, brilliant conversations, talented writers, poets, song writers, satirists, humourists, bloggists, listeners, we have them all. The best place to be on the internet is "The Political Sword", thankyou a thousand times Ad, for "The Political Sword".

Jason

30/10/2010Sir Ian Crisp, Your not Christopher Pyne are you? Although it wouldn't suprise!

lyn

30/10/2010Hi Everybody Sunday Political TV time again: Sunday morning TV 31 Oct - a guide to Sunday morning's political and business interviews Full program listing available at: http://sundaymorningtv.posterous.com/ 8:00am Ch10 Meet the Press Paul Bongiorno is joined on the Panel by .... awaiting confirmation of program lineup .... 8:30am Sky News 601 Australian Agenda This week on Sunday Agenda, Shadow Environment Minister Greg Hunt is interviewed by Peter Van Onselen and a panel of journalists headed by the Australian newspaper’s Editor at Large Paul Kelly. 8:35am Ch7 Weekend Sunrise - The Riley Diary Political editor Mark Riley looks at the week that was in Federal politics. 8:38am Ch9 Today on Sunday - Laurie Oakes interview Laurie Oakes talks to Shadow Treasurer, Joe Hockey. 9:00am ABC1 Insiders On Insiders this week Barrie Cassidy interviews the Greens Leader, Bob Brown. On the panel: the Sydney Morning Herald’s Lenore Taylor, the Australian’s George Megalogenis and the Herald Sun’s Andrew Bolt. And Mike Bowers talks pictures with Ginger Meggs cartoonist, Jason Chatfield. 10:00am ABC1 Inside Business & on ABC News 24 @ 5.30pm This week on Inside Business. a feature interview with ANZ CEO, Mike Smith. Also Ramsay Health Care CEO, Chris Rex. The feature story looks at the debate over increased regulation and political intervention in banking. As well, the regular wrap up of the latest news from the markets and Alan Kohler’s incisive commentary.

CALLIGULA

30/10/2010Wow, Jimbo, That certainly took care of Sir Ian. And all because bahnish can’t keep to his doctrine either. Y’know. Last night I went into overdrive and wrote something into Mr. Bartlett in reply to one of his correspondents. Got quite waspish and said lots of things about this and that then zapped it off. No foul language – just a bit forthright. But there I was placarded yet again as ‘under moderation’. Decided to review what I’d said and what I’d reacted to then immediately sent an apology for my previous. It was not that I’d regretted what I’d said but that rather at about the fourth reading I still couldn’t satisfactorily parse that glib one liner that had me fired up in the first place. I believe e-mail is a very flawed medium for delivering emotion or exact meaning. It is also immensely more tiring to read than paper script. I’ll finish this by asking you all to take a look here – http://faultline.org/index.php/site/item/incendiary/P0/

CALLIGULA

30/10/2010Oh, Forgot to mention this - http://calligulashorse.blogspot.com/ Amazing, isn’t it. A bloke just gets started getting comfortable to writing to these blog things and along comes this turnout to steal my thunder. Shouldn’t be allowed. Next thing he’ll be up there on his soapbox demanding we set up a bloody democracy in this country. What I’d like to know is who is that Arthur he keeps mentioning. Doesn’t look like a tea boy to me!

CALLIGULA

30/10/2010And if we DID follow Bahnisch's advice it would come out as something like - Maaaaaama! There, I've broken me own rule about glib one-liners. Mea culpa -

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30/10/2010NormanK Thank you for your generous comments and your vote of confidence. The way you describe [i]TPS[/i] is the way I had hoped it would turn out. Lyn’s links have added so much to the site; we are all grateful. From what you say, continuing the format into 2011 would be appropriate. Thank you for your thoughtful contributions.

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30/10/2010Sir Ian On 27 February 2009 I wrote an article in response to Mark Bahnisch of Larvatus Prodeo who said he "...would be interested in what LP folks think makes an excellent piece of online writing in journalistic form...a set of criteria distinctive to feature writing or reportage produced specifically for the online medium rather than print.” It was titled: What makes good online journalism? http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2009/02/27/What-makes-good-online-journalism.aspx The list you like to quote back at me is one I wrote, so I have no escape. It is for others to judge how well or poorly that I and other contributors have adhered to this set of principles. I know you give me a poor mark. Not everyone else does. Perhaps in 2011 you can elevate [i]TPS[/i] to a higher level by adhering yourself to these lofty principles.

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30/10/2010Lyn What would we do without you – always encouraging, always enthusiastic, always contributing in your own unique way. Thank you for your generous comments. [i]TPS[/i] will continue in 2011 with your help and the contributions of all who blog here. Thank you for the Sunday line up. We can’t seem to shake off Andrew Bolt from [i]Insiders[/i]; at least he’ll be diluted by Lenore and George.

Sir Ian Crisp

30/10/2010CALLIGUA, I'll have little trouble sleeping tonight. AA, I am indeed a strange person am I not. When people prod me I strike back. How hard is that to understand.

jimbo

30/10/2010Lynn Posted a comment on that Tim Dunlop site you linked to about bills that had been passed through parliament and also shared it with facebook including my comment so this kind of thing can be done so that we can get our information out there as well all we need is provision to share with other sites maybe Tim Dunlop knows how to get those provisions because he has a share to facebook and 2 others i think

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30/10/2010jimbo To my surprise I found that Next G wireless was available, and although not too strong in places, was usable almost everywhere we travelled, even in remote locations. Next G will be needed in the future for mobile applications, so the more universal and powerful it gets the better. We know though that despite its current capability, it cannot deliver the high speed downloads and particularly uploads need for specialty applications such as are needed in medicine, education and business. Moreover, as the load on it increases it will become slower and slower and at times inoperable. That is why FTTP NBN is a necessity despite what Malcolm Turnbull says, and even though Tony Abbott has instructed him to ‘demolish’ it as ‘a white elephant’ and a ‘massive waste of taxpayer money’. We must save up these quotes to use when the NBN is a reality, a brilliant success, and performing way beyond expectations. Sir Ian expects high standards; we shall look to him to elevate them on [i]TPS[/i] in 2011.

CALLIGULA

30/10/2010Okay. What was I saying about misinterpretation of text? Sir Ian sez – “CALLIGUA, I'll have little trouble sleeping tonight. AA, I am indeed a strange person am I not. When people prod me I strike back. How hard is that to understand.” Which can be interpreted many ways. Of course he has no trouble sleeping. But why? Here goes some doctor’s advice followed either by stunning silence or no response at all. Too much booze – old age – oxygen narcosis - bad circulation - or a bad substance habit? A hot toddy will always help but consider keeping a good strong paper bag beside the bed in order to manage panic attacks. Its not about not caring – rather not knowing – nor being, f’r crying out loud, able ever to interpret glib one-liners. But the amusing thing Sir Ian was that I was attempting to tell whatizname – Jimbo – up above for loosening you up so much. So, as they used to say in the olden days – Like Grumpy, instead of poor Snow White me – I’d humbly like to know why didn’t you get up that Jimbo?

Ad astra reply

30/10/2010CALLIGULA Very interesting links. I did not know you have your own blog site: ‘Calligula’s Horse’, which I found fascinating to read. What an extraordinary set of contributors we have here at [i]TPS[/i]. Others may care to take a look at: http://calligulashorse.blogspot.com/

Acerbic Conehead

30/10/2010Hi again, AA. I was reading somewhere that the Prime Minister is in Vietnam, and it reminded me of the clever “missing POW’s” propaganda campaign the Americans waged there for a long time after the official hostilities ended. Well, Tony Laurel and Joe Hardy have got a similar idea and have headed off to Chile to rescue who they are referring to as “the miners that everyone else forgot about”. The intrepid duo has landed at Santiago Airport and are walking past the exit of the VIP Lounge. And, you’ll never believe it, but out walks Hugo Chavez himself, obviously on a state visit to Chile from Venezuela. HC: Well, well, well...if it isn’t the famous Laurel and Hardy...You know, I owe a lot to you two gringos...The IMF reckons that, compared to you two, I look like Milton Friedman...So, they have offered me the position as their next Head Honcho...So, thank you, compadres...heh...heh... Tony Laurel (sycophantically): That’s great, Chavers...erm...any chances of a posie for me...you see, things aren’t going too well at the moment... HC: No, no, no, gringo...I don’t think so...You must be suffering from a muchos dose of jet-lag...You see, with your flat-tax idea, you would only frighten the masses – they would think I am bringing in a GST on their tortillas...ho...ho... [a couple of HC’s goons push Laurel and Hardy out of the way and he and his entourage moves on. Tony and Joe trudge disconsolately through the concourse and come upon the retail section. Joe’s eyes light up at the sight of a Jesters Pies outlet] Tony Laurel: Hang on a minute, Joe...we can’t go in yet – we need to get some money changed first... [Laurel and Hardy notice a branch of the ANZ Bank further on. Joe points accusingly at the sign over the front of the shop] Joe Hardy: “Welcome to the ANZ – thanks to you, we earn A Nother Zillion!” Huh...bloody capitalists...wait til the Greens and us take you blokes on...you’ll see...grrrrrr... [Laurel and Hardy join the queue at the foreign currency exchange desk. However, as they get closer, they realise the teller is none other than Mike Smith himself, and there is a WANTED poster of them right above his window. When it’s their turn to get served, they pull the rims of their bowlers right down over their eyes, praying to god he doesn’t recognise them. Luckily for them, however, Smiffy doesn’t cop on, and they thankfully rush out and into Jesters to buy their pies. They leave the shop, having purchased six, each covered in their favourite beeswax pastry] Tony Laurel: Yeeesss, beeswax pastry – yummy! When we’ve eaten them, Joe, don’t forget to gather up the crumbs – we can stuff them in our ears back in Question Time when that old Siren, Gillard, is droning on...hee...hee... [Joe is about to tuck in when he is severely chastised by Tones] Tony Laurel: No, Joe! Not now! When we rescue the miners, we pretend to give the pies to them...it’ll look good for the cameras when we’re seen handing out fair dinkum Aussie pies to the dago losers...So, in the meantime, just bung them in your back pockets for safe-keeping... [Laurel and Hardy make their way to the mine-site but it is totally deserted] Joe Hardy: This is stupid, Tones...the miners have obviously all been rescued – can I have my pies now? Tony Laurel: No way, jose! There’s bound to be a few fossickers down one of these holes...So, when we find a few, I’ll get on the mobile to the TV companies, we’ll entice them up to the surface with the pies and, hey presto, we’ll look a million dollars on the 7:30 Report...hee...hee... Joe Hardy: Huh...sounds like that’s the only way Red Kez will get you on his dopey show, Tones...haw...haw... [suddenly, Joe disappears from sight. Having investigated the source of his plaintive cries, Tones realises Joe has fallen down one of the many mine shafts. Fortunately, or otherwise, Joe didn’t drop right down to the mine floor, but is lodged half-way down. Tones springs to the rescue by jumping fearlessly into the hole, using Joe’s scone as a trampoline, forcing him gradually down towards the bottom. Eventually, Joe pops out and lands, with an almighty thud, on his bum on the mine floor, with Tones following closely behind] Tony Laurel: Whew! That was close...I thought we were goners there... Joe Hardy (ranting): Huh...WE mightn’t be goners, but my lovely beeswax-covered pies certainly are...When I landed on my butt they got totally squished – they’re inedible – and to make matters worse, there aren’t any miners down here...and it’s pitch dark...and we’ve no matches...THIS IS ANOTHER FINE BLACK HOLE MESS YOU HAVE GOTTEN ME INTO, TONES... Tony Laurel: Hey, hang on a minute, mate – it’s you who’s the expert round here at the great big black holes... Joe Hardy: Well, if I’m the expert, mate, you’ll just have to sit there and listen to me repeatedly reciting my 9-point plan until we’re rescued... Tony Laurel: No worries, Joe...just hand me over some of those beeswax-pastry crumbs...I’m sure your plan will sound a lot better when my ear-holes are bunged up...In this particular case, I’ll certainly be a lot happier having a lot on my mind...

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30/10/2010AC Clever Tones and Joe satire. Black holes seem to be their stock in trade, but the MSM will paint them as high energy innovations that will suck us all in.

lyn

30/10/2010Hi Calligulla I didn't know you have a blog site either, I have filed your blog link, to be checked each morning. I am thoroughly enjoying your comments, love your antidote, for SIC (Cops) to counteract evil. Ground Zero , Calligula's Horse Some years ago the owner of an Australian defence research and development business sent what is called a ‘ministerial’ along to the, then, Australian defence minister, Peter Reith - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Reith http://calligulashorse.blogspot.com/

Ad astra reply

30/10/2010Folks I’m calling it a day. I’ll be back in the morning after my Sunday TV political fix.

CALLIGULA

30/10/2010AA –Calligula here. The first and original like Smith’s Crisps. That other Calligula is a bit of a showoff. Uses big words And look at the stuff he puts on his pages. No pikkies stolen off the net for him. I checked. I reckon that’s original artwork there. Bloody toff. Bet he’s got a team of full time computer experts doing that while he slurps mint juleps. I wouldn’t be surprised if he tries to pass off a Norman Lindsay as the office girl next. Probably be an original of his granny or someone. That Arthur looks like a bit of a lurker. Least he’s not puffing away on a smoke. But I know what he’s up to that Calligula. Bet you he’s a liberal. He’ll start out with all this socialist stuff & con everyone along. Once they are all smiling and agreeing he’ll say yar-boo-sux – fooled you. You watch. PS - the only good thing he said is about those glib one liners. Can’t stand them myself. PPS – if he says he’s serious why is he making jokes about his workers? How can he afford all those airplanes?

CALLIGULA

30/10/2010Thanks Lyn -

Macca

30/10/2010I like TPS because the debates are well argued, lucid and, combined with Lyns links, give much food for thought. The postings by AA, HS, BB and others seem more a poor mans Geoffrey Robertson Hypothetical than the average blogsite. The added bonus is the quality of the writing,of both posts and comments, demand a considered response. A quiet mulling over of the issues. Something that is all too rare in these times of 24hr news cycles and insipid journalism. I think that sites like TPS are vastly underestimated in their reach. While, as yet, this reach cannot be quantified it doesn't necessarily negate their influence. The msm are beginning to understand this. Hence the Grog episode. If blogsites like TPS, Grogs Gamut et al are not having an influence;...why would the worlds most powerful media conglomerate try to shut them down or put them on the payroll?

TalkTurkey

31/10/2010Patricia WA How can you say such a thing? Me steal your little Tacker? NO NO NO NO NO! I suggest you look under SIC's cloak! NormanK I'm going to try to put my gravatar up manana. I'm looking forward to the attempt because your clear and comprehensive instructions give me some confidence that I might actually succeed. But PatWA It won't have no dog hairs on it though except maybe my friend's little dog Muffin's - and she's all black. Ad - Those who have already commented have said quite enough quite well enough to answer your question. Do not stress, you've done enough of that ridding the site of spam, and writing your splendid contributions. Macca, AC, Lyn, HS, Jason, PatWA, NormanK, all the others who pour their thoughts sincerely into this blog, they are why we are here Comrade, we're here because we're here because we're here because we're here, and long may this continue. We're here because we want to spread decency. Because we want to be informed ourselves (thanks especially Lyn.) Because the rotten Right is so rotten, and the Media so sycophantic and incestuous and pusillanimous and mischievous. I could go on, but we REALLY value this site. Crisp - You must be pretty limp on reading that the Larvatus Prodeo list you ascribed to Mark Barnisch turns out to have come from none other than Ad Astra's own fair and fertile mind. How very funny! I thought as I began to read it, gee, this sounds too good for SIC to be writing, then I realised you were only quoting it, (so you still haven't produced anything but ordure),and of course the Devil has no compunction in quoting scripture for his own . . . but then it turns out that you are mistakenly quoting Ad's own work! Har Har, you really are as stupid as you are odious. As for you, Ad,: "The list you like to quote back at me is one I wrote, so I have no escape." Your list is honourable, thoughtful, comprehensive, worth more than all SIC will ever produce in what must be a profoundly horrible life, and apart from 2 obvious contributors I doubt whether there is anyone else who does not think that you above all have set the bar at a level to which we would all aspire but which few of us will match. In the words of our Dear Departed FNQ Fuehrer: "Don't You Worry About That!" BTW Ad I rather enjoy doing the ReCaptcha cha! SIC "When people prod me I strike back." No you don't you lying rat. I have poked and needled you, you haven't ever come up with anything clever enough to come back with, you are an empty but foul nightsoil vessel, and you can't think of anything clever or worthwhile to say. You don't strike back, you're too psweak. "How hard is that to understand."? Might be hard for you. In the interests of having another go at you, and confident that it crystallizes you very well, and so that you can't claim not to have noticed it, I'm republishing the limerick I dedicated to you yesterday SIR IAN CRISP ! Our TPS will-o'-the-wisp Has been knighted! He's now SIR Ian Crisp! So unique is his flatus, The Queen raised his status! He farts with an upper-class lisp! Pretty good limerick huh? Shows that you're good for something after all. As the butt, or should I say the * of a really fine insulting limerick to which I BET you can't think of a worthy comeback. Are you going to make good on your claim to "strike back"? I'm scared.

janice

31/10/2010NormanK hit the nail on the head when he said :[quote]No-one knows everything. Everyone knows something. [/quote] We all form opinions of one sort or another yet often we lack a lot of information which may change the way we are thinking on that particular issue. The Political Sword, Grog's Gamut, Cafe Whispers together with other blogs and opinion piece writers who use logical analysis in writing their pieces, supply missing information which enables readers/participants to acquire the understanding needed in order to come to an informed opinion. Slogans and soundbites are the tools of deceivers preying on lazy minds. If the visitors who come to read The Political Sword articles and take the time to read Lyn's Links and the comments left by 'the family' here, leave the site with food for thought then I think The Political Sword is doing a fantastic job providing material to inform and thereby aiding the reader to come to an informed opinion. That is where the influence lies. SIC You are a serial complainer. Instead of attacking Ad astra, how about having a go at writing something informative in your posts that could add to the discussion that goes on here? Surely it must have dawned on you by now that if you don't have anything to say other than nitpicks it is better to shut up and avoid being a pain in the bum.

HS

31/10/2010Well, as you know, I'm from the Progressive side of politics. So my blogging tends to cleave to this line. I like to see the problems that confront us in our society in particular, and in the world in general, and look for creative and thoughtful ways to solve them. This necessarily involves, at my core, looking for a solution that will 'do no harm'. That means, a solution that will not particularly disadvantage any one group in our society in particular. Thus, I need to find it within myself to also criticise those who come to the blog with a conservative mindset, wherein they seek to find their solutions in turning the clock back to eras where I would have thought we had fought our battles and come to a conclusion that was generally agreed upon, and moved on. Like Unionism, and fair Wages and Conditions, for example. Also, the overriding social issues of the day, or 'The Culture Wars', as the Conservatives like to style it. So you'll always get an argument out of me whilever these subjects are broached in what I consider to be a retrograde way on this blog. Which is actually what I see as the defining point of difference between those of us who style ourselves as left of the electoral Bell Curve, as opposed to those on the Right. I believe that our overarching ethos is tosit down together, metaphorically, on this blog, and nut out solutions together. We might have our points of difference, but we generally agree that we should not try the case by going back over old ground to the way things were, as we have generally agreed that the way things were, in many instances, was wrong and we need to lean forward into the prevailing winds and move ahead. So we back and forth, and generally come to some sort of consensus by the end of each blog. Which is how it should be between sane and rational adults. However, this does not seem, to my eyes, to be the mode de emploi of people from the Right of Centre of the political Bell Curve. They come to barrack for their side, and to deride our side as if we don't have a clue and are sad, misguided ninnies. Or worse, duplicitous and traitorous citizens, compared to their solid patriotism, as we are cast as wishing to, heaven forbid, drag the country towards our errant concept of Utopian Socialism, or Fascism, or Communism, or whatever emotive slur they can sling our way and hope it sticks. Staright out of the Conservative playbook in the home of rampant plutocracy/and hoped for Conservative Christian Theocracy, America. As if Religion and Capitalism have all the answers, when over the last 5 years we have seen both fail miserably in global terms. Nevertheless, because I believe in Free Speech in our ever-fragile democracy, I will always defend the right of those sort of people to come here and argue their case. What I don't appreciate, is when they come here and try and lay on the smear with a trowel, in an effort to character assassinate and demean, as has been starting to creep into the blog of late from various obviously Conservative side of politics commentators. I mean, if you can't win an argument with my side of politics based upon a rational argument, why must you resort to humiliation and debasement to score points? Which, as Ad Astra has stated above, is the last thing he wants to see on HIS blog. Which I fundamentally agree with. That is, if you want to come to his blog, don't leave your manners at the door. Fine if you want to argue the conservative political view, just don't 'slag and bag' those of us who disagree with you. Argue your case sobrely and from the principled point of view which you think you espouse, for the valid reasons you think you have. Then we can all get along better. Which is all AA wants, really. Not the urge to dominate and demolish that the Tony Abbotts of this world live for. That's not this blog's style. As Ad Astra has repeatedly stated. And, if that scenario upsets you, and you only really want to destroy us 'Lefties' for fun and profit for your side of the political spectrum, well, you know where the blog door is. As, I think I can safely say, that's not what AA wants on his blog.

Sir Ian Crisp

31/10/2010CALLIIGULA, last night after watching ‘Shooter’ I soon enough found myself in the arms of Morpheus. Why am I telling you this? Apparently, I should have been troubled by the lashing I got at the hands of jimbo. Jimbo is a lightweight. Janice, the reason I don’t write a piece for TPS is that I don’t think I could cobble together enough ALP press releases without vomiting. Is that your version of democracy: telling people to shut up.

HS

31/10/2010jimbo, You bring up a good point, and it's one which I agree with, if it's at all possible for AA to accomodate it on the blog. That is, we must explore ways of sharing our thoughts around as far and wide as possible, and thus it would be good if the blog had 'Share' widgets incorporated into it so that we could link to Facebook and Twitter. Also, I don't know how much Cloud Computing can be used, probably not a lot. And I must say I find the Cluster Map on Cafe Whispers a cute little addition to their blog. :) Ad, are we able to embed You Tube' clips on the blog, as a lot of historical political footage has been placed there now and it would be nice to incorporate it into our discussions if possible. I know you can't do it on Grog's site, only he can when he puts his blog together.

HS

31/10/2010Sir Ian Crisp, There you go with your derogatory verbiage again. I think what would make us all here fall off our chairs in amazement is if you actually put together a blog from your conservative political perspective and posted it for us all to comment on and argue the toss over. I won't hold my breath though. Far easier for your type to 'slag and bag' us.

HS

31/10/2010janice, Sir Ian Crisp is very thin-skinned, isn't he? He can't seem to take what he dishes up to us repeatedly. I am constantly amazed at his sine qua non that anything the ALP does is wrong. How short-sighted and narrow-minded.

Sir Ian Crisp

31/10/2010#What I don't appreciate, is when they come here and try and lay on the smear with a trowel, in an effort to character assassinate and demean, as has been starting to creep into the blog of late from various obviously Conservative side of politics commentators. I mean, if you can't win an argument with my side of politics based upon a rational argument, why must you resort to humiliation and debasement to score points? Which, as Ad Astra has stated above, is the last thing he wants to see on HIS blog. Which I fundamentally agree with. That is, if you want to come to his blog, don't leave your manners at the door. Fine if you want to argue the conservative political view, just don't 'slag and bag' those of us who disagree with you. Argue your case sobrely and from the principled point of view which you think you espouse, for the valid reasons you think you have. Then we can all get along better. Which is all AA wants, really. Not the urge to dominate and demolish that the Tony Abbotts of this world live for. That's not this blog's style. As Ad Astra has repeatedly stated. And, if that scenario upsets you, and you only really want to destroy us 'Lefties' for fun and profit for your side of the political spectrum, well, you know where the blog door is. As, I think I can safely say, that's not what AA wants on his blog.# From the pen of HS. # As much as it pains me I thought you were better than that, but I will stoop to your level FUCK YOU!# From the non-slagging pen of Jason. HS, I have picked up AA many times for consistency and now you join in on the caper. Please tell me how Jason’s effort elevates the debate? The master trainer has been known to use blinkers. Why do you use blinkers? And just who installed you as the doorperson? HS, don't make the mistake of thinking I'm a xtian. I don't turn the other cheek. Insults and shallow ivory towerism will be requited in no short measure.

lyn

31/10/2010Hi Hillbilly Uhmm, I still wonder is JJ is Sir Ian Crisp, or is Sir Ian Crisp JJ.

lyn

31/10/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Turning off the Noise, Mr Denmore, The Failed Estate[/i] Video Sometimes you just have to turn it all off http://thefailedestate.blogspot.com/ [i]Murdoch holds meeting with Gillard,Cyril Washbrook, Spy Report[/i] The following day, Mr Murdoch met with Opposition Leader Tony Abbott at Sydney's News Limited headquarters. http://www.mediaspy.org/report/2010/10/30/murdoch-holds-meeting-with-gillard/ [i]labor signs away its left , The Piping Shrike[/i] Something unusual is happening. Labor is not getting the boost that usually comes to parties after being endorsed in an election. http://www.pipingshrike.com/2010/10/labor-signs-away-its-left.html [i]Mine,Mine,Mine, & the Liars,Ashghebranious,Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] The Coalition has one thing on their mine. I mean mind. And it slice of that yellow cake market. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2010/10/30/mine-mine-mine-and-the-liar/ [i]Return of the Hallucinating Goldfish: Help!,Stilgherrian [/i]was also reminded that political journalism fails to cover the vast majority of what happens in Parliament and government.As Tim Dunlop put it, here’s “some stuff you might’ve missed if you relied on the media for all your information.” [b]Like the House passing 29 bills,[/b]http://stilgherrian.com/hallucinating-goldfish/return-of-the-hallucinating-goldfish-help/ [i]The Malfunctioning Echo Chamber. Matthew Hatton,The Rant-O-Matic[/i] There are growing numbers of people that seem to think every connectivity platform is the greatest thing since sliced bread and that anyone who doesn’t use them is slow, http://matthewhatton.id.au/?p=674 [i]Hockey does himself bodily harm , Stephen Read, Stroke of Luck[/i] Joe has a great smile, however I'm told even people going to the Electric chair have smiled. http://www.goodluckstroke.com/ [i]Only my mob may govern me, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison[/i] those daring to vote for the Greens should be punished by having the diabolical Greens policies implemented within those electorates: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2010/10/30/only-my-mob-may-govern-me/#more-7743 [i]The new Question Time paradigm - not so new, The Hind Site Blog[/i] Perhaps though this is an innovation aimed almost solely at Kevin Rudd, and lengthy answers may not have been a problem in this Parliament anyway. http://hindsiteblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-question-time-paradigm-not-so-new.html [i]MDB Guide: how not to handle public policy, Paul Barratt, Australian Observer[/i] the failure of Murray Darling Basin reform will take its place alongside the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, the Mineral Resource Super Profits Tax and the Home Insulation Program as a case study in how not to do public policy. http://aussieobserver.blogspot.com/2010/10/mdb-guide-how-not-to-handle-public.html [i]Neuromancing the stone: Ludlam’s OzLog war, Renai LeMay, Delimiter[/i] ‘OzLog’, which could eventually see internet service providers required to store a wealth of information pertaining to every telephone call placed and every email sent in Australia. http://delimiter.com.au/2010/10/29/neuromancing-the-stone-ludlams-ozlog-war/#more-9444 [i]10 Things I Hate About John Howard justaskmaya , Maya's blog[/i] http://justaskmaya.wordpress.com/2010/10/30/10-things-i-hate-about-john-howard/ [i]An Exercise in Serious Futility, Calligula's Horse[/i] government agencies and by private actors how activities of those entities have become commingled toward misinformation, omission, censorship. and ultimately suppression of dissent and truth. http://calligulashorse.blogspot.com/ [b]Recommended Reading[/b]: [i]Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea' by Barbara Demick Excellent video[/i]The footage above is the North Korea that the North Korean Government want you to see. [b]But Barbara Demick's book, Nothing to Envy, which won this year's BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-fiction, is filled with all the stuff they don't want you to know about[/b]. http://kimbofo.typepad.com/readingmatters/rating_5star/index.html

lyn

31/10/2010Hi Ad The re Captcha has done something to me, it won't remove the comment out of the box, so asks for you to type the words again. Look what happened, I did what I was told 8 times, well at least I'm obedient. Sorry Ad, can you delete 7 lots of Today's Links for me please. Cheers

George Pike

31/10/2010Watching Bolt try and defend abbott's flat tax policy was like watching Hockey defend his adoption of the Greens party policy against the banks. Hypocrisy and deceit just oozes from these guys. Labor can play this one right out to the next election and bury the Liberals with it for sure. 80% of taxpayers will be worse off under the scheme...and it helps the wealthiest sector the most. Combine that with the $75K maternity leave payment for the wealthy elites and you have the groundwork laid out ready for a return to the real class wars of yesteryear.

Bilko

31/10/2010Why are we here a good question, As I have been saving this blogs talking points amongst others, over the last few years I reread some of the early TPS today and I know that here one gets sensible two way communication, a lot of factual information and the opportunity to share the fears and hopes of a diverse group of people growing in number as time passes. Yes we have had our frustrations over the Labor government during this time but compared with the previous mob these are minor glitches. We even have a few nut jobs joining but their points are soon swamped with facts wasted in some cases. Yes labor needs to manage the media better and just maybe the Murdoch mob have stepped over the line with even more rubbish today, without a scrap of fact to back up the TELE front page. I hope Julia gave it to the old hypocrite Murdoch right between the eyes. A revision of foreign media ownership would be a good start and cleaning up the ABC. SBS ran a program called virtual revolution after last weeks Insight which incidentally was on the NBN, interesting program there are 350 million Chinese on the web and events in IRAN unfolded to the world via twitter and Utube etc, the media needs to lift its game or it will soon be bypassed. The new Flat screen TV I am contemplating buying will have Utube download capability another nail in the printed media coffin. No wonder Lachlan Murdoch wants in to James Packers TV investment but at least he has not renounced his OZ background yet. Like Possum before the 2007 election the TPS with Grog back is another candle showing us a way through the dark labyrinth that is the world at present. Keep on burning not just for us but for all the people out there and lets keep the candles increasing in number.

Ad astra reply

31/10/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx Lyn, I can't explain what happened with reCaptcha this morning. Sorry it caused you trouble. I've deleted the surplus posts.

lyn

31/10/2010Good Morning Ad Oh! good their gone. Thankyou Ad for deleting those enteries for me.

Ad astra reply

31/10/2010Good morning Lyn Apologies for the delay in deleting the surplus posts. I was watching the Alan Kohler interview of Mike Smith, ANZ CEO on [i]Inside Business[/i]. It was most interesting in view of Joe Hockey's recent statements about the banks and his nine-point plan. The Hockey foray into banking has been compared with Labor's foray into a mining tax - the reaction from the big boys is similar.

HS

31/10/2010Sir Ian Crisp, I agree with you, Jason's contribution did not elevate the debate here, and, as such I disagree with the sentiments he expressed, albeit flowing from an overwhelming sense of frustration at the attack sustained upon him simply because he is a staunch supporter of the Union movement. Nevertheless, you must also agree that I am correct in what I wrote, particularly what you exerpted. Now, if you wish to dismiss the substance of my comments based upon the singular example that you quoted, then that's your business. However, as I also said, I believe that it just exemplifies your narrow-mindedness and short-sightedness and unwillingness to engage us here in a debate based upon more substantial points than that trivial example that you quoted.

Jason

31/10/2010Sir Ian Crisp, I was wrong with what I wrote and shouldn't have written it! simple as that I said sorry to AA who asked me if I wanted it removed I said no! I feel in awe being in the presence of someone that is faultless please forgive me!

HS

31/10/2010Sir Ian Crisp, Also, I am no self-appointed 'doorperson'. That is a straw man argument to disguise the fact that I was justifiably defending someone here on this blog from an unwarranted attack, though not the substance of his intemperate reply to that attack. I will continue to do so for so long as I see fit and I am not called to account for stepping over the mark by the site administrator, Ad Astra.

HS

31/10/2010George Pike, What about the factlet let loose into the ether today that Joe Hockey didn't take his '9 Point Plan' to the Shadow caucus for approval? Also that Tony Abbott couldn't run a piss up in a brewery, metaphorically-speaking, when it comes to cohesive policy formulation by the Opposition. Too busy trying to look like Triathlon Tony. Just quietly, I've heard that Julie Bishop is a manic exercise addict as well.

lyn

31/10/2010Hi Ad I think Hockey is just trying to make a noise, in order to achieve some sort of notability within the Liberal Party. Lenore did point out this come lately, nine point plan is not Liberal Party Policy anyway. I think there is a big possibility the whole episode will blow up in Hockey's face, he has proved to be policy accident prone. You watch after the imminent blow up, they, the Liberal Party will just change it all around and we will hear, "I didn't say what I said" For those who missed the Laurie Oakes interview with Joe Hockey, more to the point for those who are interested: Laurie Oakes Joe Hockey interview Today on Sunday , Australia.to NEWS Oh, Laurie, I'd rather not disclose private conversations. My view is I think it is important that when you're standing up for others be they be the consumers, the users of the banks. http://australia.to/2010/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4774:laurie-oakes-joe-hockey-interview-today-on-sunday&catid=134:news-wire&Itemid=247

lyn

31/10/2010Hi Jason Don't be sad, we know you were very upset, everybody gets cranky sometimes, you make an interesting compelling argument against SIC, for that matter all your comments are interesting. I enjoy your points of view every day, and your contribution to TPS. In other words Jason, you belong to us, I am supporting you.

Ad astra reply

31/10/2010CALLIGULA After reading your entertaining comment about Calligula’s Horse, I’m left wondering whether it is your blog site or that of the ‘toff’ you describe. You don’t come across as a toff. You have me intrigued. Macca Thank you for your encouraging comments. I’m sure both BB and HS will feel as pleased as I do with your comparison of contributions here with Geoffrey Robertson’s Hypotheticals. It is not just the original pieces that might make it so; it is the well-argued responses that follow. I hope you are right that the influence of such blog sites is larger than we might imagine. All we have is site stats, which are somewhat like circulation figures – they tell us how many visit and read, but can’t assess how much influence we exert. Anyway, the reaction to Grog suggests that blogs do sting the MSM somewhat, such that pressing on seems justifiable. Talk Turkey Your third paragraph says it all. Thank you for such encouragement. Re Sir Ian, I think we need to ease up on him. I know he enjoys a scrap, but we might achieve more with a more charitable approach. He has been a regular here and keeps coming back. I sense he is capable of making a strong contribution if the reciprocal needling was replaced by reciprocal acceptance. janice You sum up the position so well in your first paragraph. Thank you for your kind words in the second. I too would appreciate a positive contribution from Sir Ian, who is well informed, literate and experienced. I hope the request to him below will evoke an affirmative response. HS Thank you for your comprehensive response so full of the wisdom for which you have a reputation on this site. Your last three paragraphs bear repeating; [i]”What I don't appreciate, is when they come here and try and lay on the smear with a trowel, in an effort to character assassinate and demean, as has been starting to creep into the blog of late from various obviously Conservative side of politics commentators. I mean, if you can't win an argument with my side of politics based upon a rational argument, why must you resort to humiliation and debasement to score points? Which, as Ad Astra has stated above, is the last thing he wants to see on HIS blog. “Which I fundamentally agree with. That is, if you want to come to his blog, don't leave your manners at the door. Fine if you want to argue the conservative political view, just don't 'slag and bag' those of us who disagree with you. Argue your case sobrely and from the principled point of view which you think you espouse, for the valid reasons you think you have. 
 “Then we can all get along better. Which is all AA wants, really. Not the urge to dominate and demolish that the Tony Abbott’s of this world live for. That's not this blog's style. As Ad Astra has repeatedly stated. And, if that scenario upsets you, and you only really want to destroy us 'Lefties' for fun and profit for your side of the political spectrum, well, you know where the blog door is. As, I think I can safely say, that's not what AA wants on his blog.”[/i] I hope you can go along with my response to Sir Ian below: Sir Ian We’re coming to the season of goodwill, and a recess from blogging. Might it not be a good time to draw a line under the past, and start a new era of partnership to make [i]TPS[/i] a better site? Despite the brickbats hurled your way, and hurled back with relish, we ‘have become accustomed to your face’ and would be sorry to see you abandon us. We applaud rational argument even if it refutes our cherished position, so we’re not asking you to become more agreeable or less argumentative, only that your contribution is well reasoned, supported by the facts, and not accompanied by personal jibes. For our part we would reciprocate such an approach. Have we a deal?

Jason

31/10/2010Lyn, Thanks for that! SIC is right It added nothing to the debate, and no argument there, what I wont cop are his double standards he once said "if you cant handle the heat get out of the kitchen" we are all over 21 aren't we" or this other gem "I call it as I see it"now he's squealing like a stuck pig because of what I said to jj, its funny how he wasn't as outraged when saying the above to you Lyn in one of his usual pompus rants.

Ad astra reply

31/10/2010Bilko What an encouraging commentary you write. Thank you. It is gratifying that you re-read earlier posts. Occasionally I do too, and find it a fascinating exercise. You mention YouTube on your flat TV screen. That sounds interesting. Although our kids have, we haven’t got a flat screen as all the TVs we have refuse to wear out, but soon I’ll have to go that way. HS You ask if I’m able to embed YouTube clips on the blog. All I know is that several who blog here have included a URL for a YouTube clip; for example AC has done so with his verses, and they work. Whether there is some other technical facility that can be added to [i]TPS[/i] to enable YouTube is something I will investigate over the end-of-year break, along with Twitter capability, both of which remain somewhat of a mystery to me.

Ad astra reply

31/10/2010Jason Thank you for your explanatory remarks about your reaction to being exasperated by some of the derogatory comments posted here by a few visitors. We understand. I hope Sir Ian will react favourably to my overture above so that we can start again on a more friendly note, which will make [i]TPS[/i] a more congenial and productive place, or should I use the new in-word: ‘space’.

jj

31/10/2010Jason, Your continual put-downs and various other dismissive comments are really just immature and silly. We listen to what you have to say, we argue about the substance, and then you respond with your various remarks about right wingers and trolls etc. Give it a break. It seems to me that the journalists of Canberra are starting to look at the substance of what the Coalition has to say on banking, and are liking it. Sure the banks are going to kick and scream...hey they want their rule over our finance to continue for ever, but as we all know from our own experiences and those of parents past, "banks are bastards." Watched Kristina this morning (cringing for quite a lot of it) somehow trying to spin a 23% primary vote poll into somehow being something that should be celebrated by her party. The fact that she not once attacked the greens during her interview, shows just how desperate her government is to 'make safe the furniture!' For Jason, i cant quite get your logic that voting for a crumbling, disconnected, corrupt and thoughtless party would be better than voting for an alternative. At what point do you say that, hey these guys are really starting to stink...we need a change!? I know i wasnt totally opposed to the Coalition losing office as i thought that their time was up; but their government hadn't totally mishandled and wrecked our economic and social prosperity; they were just tired. Another theme that has popped up throughout the journos is this issue of Gillard's lack of authority over policy. The void seems to be being filled with private members bills and not too many government pieces of legislation. What is Gillard's economic agenda? What is her big social agenda? She needs to let us know, otherwise the other members of parliament are just going to fill the void.

Gravel

31/10/2010Hi Honey's, I'm home. Ad Astra, this is why I keep coming back to your blog. It is like a family, albeit a family that has a tiff or two, but will defend each other to the death if a stranger tries to pick a fight with any of us. We all have our own views of how things play out, and it is great to share them with other, especially the great lot of people on this blog. Respect is the feeling I get from all (well almost all) the contributors here. I like the free ranging format, the stimulating topics and the inclusion if you are a new blogger. I have followed your writing since you were added to a side box in another blog, isn't it awful I forget which blog. Lyn, A special mention to you. Your links are invaluable, especially if I have been away, it allows me to catch up on what is happening in the political sphere. I am pleased it is your hobby and that you love doing it. HS I liked your phrase "ever frail democracy". That struck a cord, especially in light of the oppositions behavior and attitude. My fear of them getting into power, and what they will do to our precious democracy, knows no bounds. Hopefully we will have these three years to achieve something and people will see what a reasonably good government we have. I watched Insiders and was stunned to hear George Meglogenous (sp) say that this is the worst government ever. Hey, Labor got us through a global financial crisis, and somehow this makes it the worst government ever?????? Another reason I like this blog is it keeps me sane as many of you see the same aberrations in the media that I do and to read other people expressing my thoughts, and even clarifying them tells me I am not alone and imagining things.

HS

31/10/2010Ad, Thank you for your reply. Just a clarification about a couple of things. Firstly, by 'Embedding' of You Tube clips, I was referring to the added facility that enables the clip itself, and not just a link to it, to be included on the site. If you go to Ash's or Grog's blog you will see what I mean. Secondly, I was specifically referring to the Facebook, Twitter Share widget that blogs can have attached to them in order for visitors to spread the link to the blog quickly and easily. Finally, I also had a fantastic, old CRT TV that refused to die. In the end we were compelled to change to a Digital Monitor because some of our favourite shows were being cut off on either side of the picture and captions were being similarly 'trimmed'. It was so frustrating that it actually caused us to get rid of our 'old faithful' NEC TV. :)

Jason

31/10/2010JJ, I am a rusted on labor wouldn't even think of changing my vote,but the labor party isn't the once great supporter of the "working man" either but it does it a bit better than the coalition. jj I was there on April 7 1998 whilst working at Swanston Dock in Melbourne when a man with a dog escorted me from my place of employment! the coalition the farmers with their cries about the MDB plan get nothing from me they tried to break us but couldn't "MUA here to stay" yet the only job loss the unions wanted was Howards and we got it.

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31/10/2010Gravel Thank you for your supportive comments. You go back a long way – the blog site to which you refer was called [i]Possum Box[/i] run by Possum. That was back in June 2008. janice too was one the early ones – in fact she commented on the very first blog I posted. It is heartening that there are such loyal followers of [i]TPS[/i]. Hs I note your comments, which I will discuss with my son-in-law to see what can be done to enhance [i]TPS[/i].

Ad astra reply

31/10/2010Folks I'll be away for a couple of hours visiting a sick relative.

lyn

31/10/2010Hi Ad and everybody This is really good news for "The Politica Sword: Missing Link DAILY, Ken Parish, Club Troppo Also note Don Arthur’s more extensive (and entertaining) weekly blog roundup, the first of which is here, as well as ‘Lyn’s Daily Links‘ at Political Sword and Christine Wallace’s Breakfast Politics (although it’s almost entirely MSM links). I wonder if we could find a workable way of implementing some sort of cross-posting or consolidation protocol? http://clubtroppo.com.au/

lyn

31/10/2010Hi Ad Some more reading for you on John Quiggin's Zombie Economics: Dissecting economic mythologies, Tad Tietze, Unleashed [b]John Quiggin's Zombie Economics[/b]: How Dead Ideas Still Walk Among Us is the most important Australian book yet released about the global crisis. In it he points to the fact that marketisation (sic), financialisation (sic) and upward redistribution of wealth have produced more rather than fewer crisis tendencies in capitalism http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/40558.html

2353

31/10/2010So why do I come here (apparently with increasing regularity)? * The blog posts are well thought out, interesting and timely. * The discussion by most after the posts is normally well intentioned, well thought out and contribute to the debate. * Lyn's links are invaluable (and again I - I am in awe at the quality and quantity). * The site has an aura of gentleness and kindness unusual to political type blog sites. * While no one knows everything, the bits of information that people do contribute (from all sides of the political divide) do help to present a more "rounded" picture than the collected media of Australia A couple of small suggestions. * JJ and SIC need to add to the discussion and challenge us to change our views rather than operating in political point scoring mode. Neither the red or blue tribes of politics has all the answers. For example "Bird of Paradox" really doesn't add anything except demonstrating the contempt of the writer to the position of Prime Minister in a similar way to using the term "John Coward" used to do. * While it may not be possible, the ability to edit comments would be nice (for those "d'oh" moments when their is a major error in the interface between the brain and keyboard). It's easy to do typos with two kids playing noisily in the same room :). * Some form of "Open Thread" (say weekly) over the silly season would be appreciated however I realise the imposition that places on AA and Lyn. * If TPS gets too popular, can I suggest the moderating and artical creation duties be spread further? Hope this helps.

HS

31/10/2010jj, To answer the points you raise(which has nothing to do with the blog topic, as per usual, and everything to do with Gillard Government bashing), the first thing I would like to say is that you should have both eyes open when you observe politics, not just the Right one. Firstly, as for the 'substance' of what the Coalition has had to say about banking, obviously you didn't see 'Insiders' this morning where Economics journalists, Lenore Taylor and George Megalogenis, calmly and lucidly picked apart Joe's '9 Point Plan' and displayed it for the economically-shallow, populist flim flam it is. Sure, amid the economic fairy floss are some ideas with merit. Some that the opportunistic little economic Cuckoo has come in to land on and claim as territory which were already being discussed by the Treasurer with the various bodies that are concerned. Like the ACCC's call for 'Price Signalling'bank control powers, which the Treasurer said this week has already long since been flagged by Graham Samuel with him, and which the government is working through to put into effect. They just hadn't made a song and dance about it, is the only difference between the Coalition and the government on this matter. I, personally don't know about the worth of a 'Wallis' type inquiry into the Financial system, in the wake of the GFC, especially considering we will be having the wide-ranging Tax Summit next year, which will take up a lot of the time and effort of the various government departments which would be associated with both enterprises. On the other hand, I, too am frustrated that more controls over Executive Pay and Margin Call Lending and the like haven't been instituted since the GFC. However, as we didn't have a problem with 'Sub Prime'/Low Doc' Lending, I don't think there needs to be more Regulations put in place to control our Banks and other Financial Institutions. As for Joe's call to increase RMBS Lending, well Lenore Taylor knocked that one into a cocked hat and explained how it would actually add to bank customers' fees and charges in the long run, which is what Joe was supposed to be against, wasn't he? The journos also dismantled Toned Tony's call for a Flat Tax. Pointing out that 80% of taxpayers would be worse off as a result, and even if they did bring it in all manner of other government transfer payments would have to be increased to compensate. So, you know, what's the point in the end? Save for a feelgood exercise that looks like you've got a Tax policy, and also a blind to allow more money to go to the economic elites in the country. Along with Tony's overly-generous Paid Parental Leave payments which give more money to babies of the wealthy, and their wealthy mothers(because their mortgages are bigger, poor things), than the poor. As was also pointed out, this 'Banks are bastards' line was never once trotted out during 12 years of Howard government reign. Funny that. Finally, you wish to point to Julia Gillard's 'lack of authority over policy'. I guess that's why she had 40 pieces of legislation ready to go on the first day of parliament after the election., and why she is still working away on substantive pieces of legislation and policy, such as a Price on Carbon, the MRRT, and a Regional Solution for the processing of Asylum Seekers, which should put an end, once and for all, to Irregular, NOT 'Illegal', Boat arrivals to Australia, and which will stop it being a political football useful for appealing to bigots and xenophobes, when in the hands of the Coalition. By the way, I notice the miscreants in the Coalition are still referring to the 'Waste and Mismanagement' of the BER and HIP, when the actuality is that no scheme is perfectly implemented by anyone, Private concern or Public or Government. Funny how the complaints appeared to have dried up though, huh? I also notice that the Oppsotion also tried, and failed, this week to have the Orgill Committee to the BER wound up so no one would be around to disprove their wild exaggerations. Which is typical of the Abbott Opposition, 'Smoke and Mirrors' men and women, with just as much substance.

lyn

31/10/2010Hi Gravel It's good to see you back safe and sound. I am pleased the links help you catch up, sometimes it's enough to just read the excerpts on today's links. Yes Gravel the TPS is like a family, and it's got a "I'm safe here feeling" hasn't it.

HS

31/10/2010Wow! lyn, you're famous! :) Now, would a RSS facility satisfy Club Troppo and anyone else who was interested in your tasty daily feed of bloginverse links?

HS

31/10/20102353, Thank you for your suggestions. I'll just say that, 1) Bushfire Bill's return is imminent to TPS. If you like Grog, you'll love BB. Other than that, as AA always says, if you feel so inclined, if anyone feels so inclined, they are always welcome to submit a post to him, in order to broaden our well of writers that we draw from. 2) Over the 'Silly Season' I have offered to keep the Billy on the boil should AA wish to take a break, probably with a weekly blog, which may or may not be an Open Thread. As we all know, Rust Never Sleeps, and neither does Tony Abbott it seems. Also Sky and ABC24 will have to have some content with which to fill up their spaces, so I'm sure there will be something to jawbone about. I'm just a lowly Carer, so I've only got a short trip to Howlong on the Murray River planned for the Xmas hols, and thus I'll be around for most of them, when I'm not working on my Melanoma down at the beach. :)

jj

31/10/2010HS, I have no idea what Insiders it was that you were watching today, but i tell you that Lenore and George did not pick apart all nine proposals Joe has put forward, i think there was just one that Lenore had a problem with. Who says that Lenore are 'the' economic journalists of Australia. If George had his way we wouldn't be farming anything along the MD ( on Insiders the other week he was saying that from an economists perspective the cost-benefit of farming along the MD displays that we shouldn't do it). As for Gillard's RPC in East Timor, there is and will never be any such thing...just have a read of this (and Greg Sheridan is no right wing journo) http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/refugee-centre-too-far-from-reality/story-e6frg6zo-1225942447529 Swan has done nothing whilst he has been treasurer to alter the behavior of the banks in any measurable way. He just, '...whinges and complains from the sidelines, without putting up any positive plans of his own...' to borrow Julia for a second. As for this blog, i am with Mr Ian Crisp. AA, give fair treatment to all, and how about you try and tell the truth, rather than repeat Labor Party spin.

NormanK

31/10/2010jj Someone at TPS (apologies to the poster) on an earlier thread thought that perhaps you were two different people writing under one pen-name. They could be forgiven for that since you do show signs of Multiple Personality Disorder. Within a single post you are capable of outright abuse for the wrongness of our thinking and then attempt to instigate a polite conversation. What a reasonable post you've given us today, castigating Jason for his intemperate outburst which was of course unwarranted in response to you clear unbiased and factual remarks. Permit me a small Sir Ian Crispian indulgence. This is the very first thing you wrote on your very first post here. [quote]"Hi, my name's jj and I live in regional NSW and I think some of the opinions expressed here are a little off the mark."[/quote] Oops, wrong tape. [quote]"Wow this is the most extreme, dumb, idiotic blog i have ever seen."[/quote] Since then you've given us "cut the crap" on quite a few occasions, accused us of being blind and ill-informed, posed a million questions and yet never answered one put to you. On the previous thread you gave us classic Second Semester "Trolling 101" in a remark to Hillbilly Skeleton : [quote]"I suppose when you hear the name irrigator your first thoughts would be along the lines of, redneck, environmental vandal, ultra conservative; seeing as you probably know no one that lives and works in the region i suppose you cant be challenged in your prejudices. But it is really quite a shame, that you label people you have no idea about ..."[/quote] Put words in her mouth and then condemn her for them. How to win friends and influence people. One could be forgiven for thinking that perhaps this was what Jason was responding to. Have you actually read any of the comments on this thread? Show a little respect, treat us as though we possess a modicum of intelligence and perhaps we will return the favour. I see HS has provided you with a detailed response. Are you likely to continue the conversation? Or as in times past, will you abandon ship when the weather gets a bit rough?

D Mick Weir

31/10/2010Where would I be without TPS and why do I read and comment? Well most, if not all, has been said by commenters earlier so no need to repeat. But how apposite that I should get here this afternoon and read jj @ October 31. 2010 03:59 PM Dear jj, re [i]AA, give fair treatment to all, and how about you try and tell the truth, rather than repeat Labor Party spin.[/i] There seems to be a large element of the pot calling the kettle black in your comment. I, and others, have chided you when you regurgitate the Liberal Party topic of the day. Even so I have had occaison to compliment you when you make comments that seem to have come from your own thinking even when I don't agree with them. I challenge you to list AA's 'lies'. I suspect the problem is not that they are lies but truthjs you would rather not hear or read. I guess we can all get a bit that way sometimes and hold onto to misbeliefs. With experience in life we [i]' ... know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em'[/i]

D Mick Weir

31/10/2010Weird my last reCAPTCHA words were 'prosper jules'

CALLIGULA

31/10/2010Dear AA and HS, I have a serious theory about weblog comment. Then an admission further down. Theory goes this way. The computer screen is very tiring to the eyes and some monitor’s emissions can cause certain fluctuations to normal brain rhythms of even perfectly healthy individuals. No – I’m not calling everyone epileptics at all, repeat, not at all. I’m talking about conclusions of studies that have been conducted to determine health, response, fatigue and the like ever since people first began staring into cathode ray tubes. Then there is the fact that most are alone or at least comparatively isolated when at a workstation commenting. Then it is (these blogs) about communicating with others cold – without all those visual, aural, olfactory cues, clues and gestures that evolution provided us to survive meeting others of our species, face to face. Therefore, it is absolutely no wonder that people sometimes spit the dummy. In fact it is a miracle that the whole show and every other is not utter mayhem. Here is a classic example of what happens – http://larvatusprodeo.net/2008/09/06/nats-wiped-out-in-lyne-big-swing-against-libs-in-mayo/ Please have a read. It’s a classic. Here is this Reinhardt bloke and his old pal Knoppke simply wanting to have their say and not knowing the first thing about blog etiquette. They soon gain an inkling that they’re being accused of ‘sockpuppetry’ but it is made reasonably clear that the regular gang have assumed both Reinhardt and Knoppke to be someone temporarily ‘on the out’ from their set. Then, if sockpuppetry was an issue why did all the allegedly noble ones go into a tailspin of what they claimed to abhor? Indeed, isn’t this what’s happened to poor Sir Ian? I do appreciate the time and effort you have put into defusing the situation and trust that will be rewarded. But there is this thing called the ‘Dunning Kruger Effect’ which I’m beginning to think of as the ‘Dunning Kruger Constant’. The pair postulated some years ago that, in a nutshell, some individuals would always arrive at bad decisions because they weren’t bright, therefore, experienced enough to arrive at the good. Shakespeare suggested something the same about Horatio, but expressed it better. In any case, I’m leaning toward accepting it as a constant since I’m beginning to realize that it applies to just about the entire human race (present company, that means you reader, excepted). In case anyone is wondering I’m afraid I did try to have a bit of a lend of AA up above. Lyn may have spotted the swiftie. So ‘Calligula’s Horse’ is my blog – or more to the point, our blog. Like any other work of literature I have not crammed all the characters on to page one though you’ll see a pikkie or two and hear about Django (that’s Mr. Reinhardt) and Arthur. The ‘Maiden Speech’ says some more about us. I’d like to believe that we can maintain a certain sense of humour while addressing some very serious topics (There is a new one there about internet monitoring and security that Conroy should read) As hinted above some more pikkies of the staff shall appear soon and the young lady in the office has been pestering me mercilessly. Two problems with that: she is as pretty as a picture and since we don’t have air conditioning she tends to shed items of clothing all day. Arthur doesn’t mind but it is plain awkward fitting in a photosession early enough to maintain decorum. Anyway that’s my piece for today.

D Mick Weir

31/10/2010Who says economists don't have a sense of humour (or for that matter economic journalists. Nip over to Peter Martins' blog and enjoy the YouTube clip http://www.petermartin.com.au/2010/10/as-reserve-bank-prepares-for-its.html

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31/10/20102353 Thank you for you’re your thoughtful comments and appreciation of [i]TPS[/i]. Your suggestions about how jj and SIC might interact with us here are sound. I hope they agree. It may be possible with the new version of BlogEngine.NET for a moderator to edit comments, but I would be inclined to do so only if requested or if the words were offensive. I note your idea of an open thread, provided some assistance with moderating is possible. I’m looking forward to the end-of-year break to tidy up the site, which may have to go offline for a while. The installation of the upgrade has created some aberrations that need fixing, and some parts, such as Sword Watch need updating. A new look in 2011 may also be desirable. Lyn I’m waiting on a URL to Club Troppo’s permanent Missing Link Daily segment. What’s there does not look like a permanent fixture unless it’s going to be left at the top of the page. Thank you for the additional information about John Quiggin’s book.

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31/10/2010D Mick Weir Thank you for your comments. I too am mystified about what jj’s comment [i]"AA, give fair treatment to all, and how about you try and tell the truth, rather than repeat Labor Party spin.”[/i] really means. What is ‘the truth’? What is ‘Labor Party spin’? jj must know that ‘truth’, especially in the field of politics, is rarely absolute. So much depends on one’s viewpoint, perspective, past experience, allegiances, knowledge and sources and reliability of information. It seems as if expressing an opinion that favors Labor rather than the Coalition is interpreted as being untruthful or promulgating Labor spin. I for one have no access to Labor spin, which makes perpetrating it problematic. We really do have to progress beyond this sort of thinking or we will be forever scrapping over inconsequential issues, indulging in the ‘he said – she said’ charade and not advancing our thinking and understanding. Can I make a plea that we abandon this unproductive discourse and stick to verifiable facts and sound reasoning to make our points, and leave the slogans and barbs that kids enjoy so much for the schoolyard, where they belong.

D Mick Weir

31/10/2010Hi Ad, as is par for the course thoughtful and interesting. I agree with most of waht you have written. I will however, get 'picky' over one bit: [quote]... keeps us going as we [b]fight[/b] for what we believe is fair and just and in the nation’s interest.[/quote] - my emphasis. In the words of a banner circa early 70's during Vietnam War Protests: [i][b]'Fighting for peace is like bonking for virginity'[/i][/b] One of the challenges we have is that politics is often nothing but a war of words and those fighting for thier beliefs fail to understand one simple thing, [i]'In war there are no winners'[/i] By all means robust debate, defend our principles and beliefs (but always take time to question them). I am not sure if I am coward or pacifist but I have a tendency to run and hide when war breaks out. So please, rather than fight for your beliefs, stand and be counted which you do quite admirably good sir.

jj

31/10/2010NormanK, And haven't you enjoyed every one of my posts...lol From now on i will try and be more civil in my criticism of some of the views posted on this blog; that of course would hopefully entail the same respect from fellow Swordians being shown to those that hold a different view from the rest. I have been called a troll, a right winger, a Liberal mouth piece, among many other labels for which i do not at all believe were/are either true nor necessary. it is due to this that i decided to take a more hostile approach to those such as Jason, HS, and Lyn. But as i have said above i will endeavor to turn over a new leaf, with constructive criticism being used instead of name calling. As for what i said to HS about water and irrigators, i apologise, and direct those comments towards Jason, in light of his comments on the issue of unionism and the rightful action of the Howard government in improving the efficiency and workplace safety of our ports around Australia.

bilgedigger

31/10/2010I value this site for Ad Astra's wisdom and sense of ethics, and the contributions from many who add comments. I'm not commenting much nowadays but at least try to read what I can and when I think I have something worthwhile to say. I value people like Lyn for her continued valuable and painstaking work and her loyalty of spirit. I value the additional postings by HillbillySkeleton and Bushfire Bill (I'm happy to see he may return soon). I turn away from too much negativity and the kind of carping which results from individuals not having sufficient insight into themselves and their motivations to be able to contribute creatively and honestly and argue for their right to hold the point of view they do. As an aside, I'd query HillbillySkeleton for her comment at 03:37 p.m. that "I'm just a lowly Carer". I don't like to see anybody put themselves down, let alone someone who makes such a valuable contribution to this site. Also I agree with a comment above that the reCAPTCHA words are hard to decipher. Bilgedigger

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31/10/2010CALLIGULA You must have a very good filing system to be able to find that piece from so far back. It’s a revealing expose of poor blog etiquette. I hope we can avoid that here.

D Mick Weir

31/10/2010jj @ October 31. 2010 05:29 PM Welcome and I will reciprocate and make my beat endeavours to [i]'Play the ball, not the man (player)'[/i] This could get very interesting, I can't wait.

CALLIGULA

31/10/2010Hello Jason, Hear what you say, especially – “I was there on April 7 1998 whilst working at Swanston Dock in Melbourne when a man with a dog escorted me from my place of employment!” I recall Reith had something to do with that. A fair deal of other mischief too. I wrote a piece the other day about some of that other mischief and am awaiting some comment. Please have a read of – “Ground Zero” at - http://calligulashorse.blogspot.com/ One thing I don’t like hearing from any of the elect is that move forward – don’t look back stuff. There definitely are scores to settle. If they are not settled amicably they fester. If they fester bad things happen. And if legitimate grievances are not addressed at all then governance has collapsed. I’m trying to find the words without sounding extreme. Okay. If Reith and his pals were, say - policemen in Mexico now – or closer to home, then newly appointed fishing inspectors up here in Q, in the late sixties – they’d just disappear. All of which is more than a bit crook but what is it about politicians of all persuasions that they pretend unable to see that the past does govern the present and the future – cause and effect.

D Mick Weir

31/10/2010I have been busy shuffling paper for most of the day and it was good to catch up with Lyns Links :-) After reading Paul Barrets' piece [b]MDB Guide: how not to handle public policy[/b] I am shaking my head. Paul has put into easy to understand words what a lot of people have been saying about the communications problems of the government. Pauls' statement [i]On a matter of such complexity and importance one might expect the responsible Minister, ... to take a leading role in managing the politics of the issue.[/i] is a bullseye. Politicians should be handling the politics! Will anyone with influence read and digest Pauls' comments? For those that pray please add something about it to your utterances. For those that don't pray spread the word.

Patricia WA

31/10/20102353 - that particular number intrigues me - why am I drawn to it? Always enjoy your comments and agree with today's re jj and Sir Ian, but I sometimes think some of us are bit too scathing. I agree with AA and think we need to ease up on Sir Ian in particular. He may enjoy a scrap but I'm surprised sometimes to see him back. Where would Talk Turkey be without him as a foil? By the way TT I couldn't imagine Sir Ian kidnapping Tacker. True, like you he is among those who lack gravatars. However his general style is such he doesn't fully meet the profile I have in mind, whereas you do - very much so. I am trusting anyway that he will be returned without ransom. Now is the test.

Jason

31/10/2010jj, this is one of three http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/wharfies-back-to-work-after-latest-death/story-e6frf7kx-1225892311648 that's happend this year and you go on about 4 deaths in a roof due to the pink batts? turning over a new leaf indeed

lyn

31/10/2010Hi Hillbilly Wow! I went out for an hour and our blog members have just delighted me with so many comments to read. Hillbilly isn't that wonderful, delectable, delighful news about Ken Parish at Club Troppo referencing "The Political Sword". It is not me that is going to get famous it is Ad, You as our writer The Political Sword, and all our valuable readers, commenters, poets, when this avalanch of reader traffic arrives here, it will be your work Ad's work, they will read and soon Bushfire Bill's return, oh! dear it's Excitement plus for all of us.

Patriciawa

31/10/2010Oh dear! What is happening? Tacker is with me at Cafe Whispers, but not here. I did try to follow you instructions AA but it didn't seem to work.

HS

31/10/2010jj, 'And Greg Sheridan is no Right Wing journo'? Tony Abbott's best friend from Uni and major journalistic enabler of Howard's push to go to War in Iraq? Also Foreign Policy commentator for 'The Australian', not a Right Wing journo? jj, pull the other one, it plays 'Jingle Bells'.

lyn

31/10/2010Hi Calligula [quote]Lyn may have spotted the swiftie. [/quote] Yep I read you, Calligula, I thought you were talking about yourself in the third person, immensly enjoyable, was my interpretation Thankyou for your fantastic comment today, I like Arthur's amiability, but you said, Arthur’s a bit of a vindictive bloke, I still like him. CALLIGULA'S HORSE Calligula's Maiden Speech Permit me to share it with you - http://faultline.org/index.php/site/item/incendiary/P0/ The document is about incendiary comments and includes about a dozen pages of carpet chewing brilliance. [b]If your ears don’t start burning half-way through page 1 – then you’ve never commented on a blog.[/b]http://calligulashorse.blogspot.com/2010/10/calligulas-maiden-speech.html

NormanK

31/10/2010jj Can't ask for more than that but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Now I'm in the naughty corner. You've all probably seen this but I have to acknowledge something when I end up wishing I'd written it myself. A banner from The Rally for Sanity : [b] Every time Sarah Palin tweets, God kills a kitten.[/b]

Jason

31/10/2010jj, there was no need to take a hostile approach against some of us or any of us, fact is your lazy!you have no idea on the subject matter sometimes or some of the comments! and even when you ask how could I still vote for Labor I give you an honest answer and you say " and direct those comments towards Jason, in light of his comments on the issue of unionism and the rightful action of the Howard government in improving the efficiency and workplace safety of our ports around Australia. I must say that working on the dock in the seat of New England I think we still hold a record in that port for container movements per hour?

lyn

31/10/2010Hi Patricia Well! if Tacker goes to the Cafe and not here, it sounds like Talk Turkey is going to have to be under arrest and questioned again, the quandary part is how come Talk Turkey only likes roses, he hasn't gone of with anyone else's Gravatar, so maybe he loves Tackers face, that's it.

Ad astra reply

31/10/2010bilgedigger Thank you for your kind comments. You are right about Lyn’s daily contribution – she add enormously to the value of [i]TPS[/i].

jj

31/10/2010HS, Last time i checked Greg was also a big supporter as Kevin Rudd and many of his foreign policies. Anyway, did you read the piece?

jj

31/10/2010Jason, I think that if you have a look at the efficiency levels of Australia's ports before the Waterfront dispute, and then after it had been resolved you may find that efficiency levels increased dramatically. As for the recent deaths, yes they are tragic, but i am sure that if you trawl throughout he history books you will find far more deaths per year then than what we see today. And anyway, unions still have a major role in most Labor intensive industries around Australia, as they should, so i dont see why things ought to change dramatically to the old days of union bullying and poor output levels from Australian industry. I am actually not sure how the article you posted actually has any link to the Howard Reith crack down? No your right, the Peel river doesnt see much container ship traffic, but believe it or not we have a library, TV, the internet (at 50MB/sec), and brains (we can actually look back in history). I dont think you participated in the Iraq war, Afghan war, private education system, private health system, agricultural sector, but that does not exclude you for stating your opinions on the issues; and neither should it.

Ad astra reply

31/10/2010Folks A comment on this morning’s [i]Insiders[/i]. We might as well go to another election right away as Andrew Bolt has declared Labor ‘dead in the water’. Why they keep bringing on such a one-sided observer of politics defies explanation. Lenore and George are capable of balanced comment; Bolt is not. From the analysis this morning of Joe Hockey’s foray in matters banking, it seems that: - Some of his nine-point plan is worthy of consideration, which seems likely by the new Senate committee. - It seems as if the Coalition party room was not, or was inadequately informed. - Tony Abbott seemed unwilling initially to endorse Joe’s plan, but later said he did. - Julie Bishop says the Coalition is leading the economic reform agenda. - Ian MacFarlane apparently is at loggerheads with Joe, whom he apparently sees as self-indulgent. - No matter how good his ideas, he has stirred up the bank chiefs, and degraded the Coalition’s economic credentials in their eyes. - Less than adequate process has bedeviled the anti-bank push. - Labor sees Joe’s push as populist. - Wayne Swan needs to be careful not to miss the boat of banking reform. - John Howard does not rate highly Joe’s credentials in matters economic. What’s behind it? How will it turn out? Like all things politic it is complicated. Anyone who pontificates is likely to be wrong, at least in part. We will have to wait and see.

lyn

31/10/2010Hi Ad Thankyou for that informative little analytical summary of "The Insiders" this morning. I couldn't watch much of the show, because Andrew Bolt insists on upsetting my nervous system.

Ad astra reply

31/10/2010Hi Lyn Bolt upsets me too. I'm off to watch TV now. Back tomorrow.

2353

31/10/2010HS - [quote]...working on my Melanoma...[/quote]- Brilliant. [i]...only a carer...[/i]apart from 'carer' being one of the most noble (and underpaid financially) things you can do: don't put yourself down. Patricia WA - [quote]2353 - that particular number intrigues me - why am I drawn to it? Always enjoy your comments and agree with today's re jj and Sir Ian, but I sometimes think some of us are bit too scathing.[/quote] 2353 is the number of one of the units in a particular class of now demised QR diesel loco that impressed me. I first used it on a railway forum (where loco numbers as user names are common) and to keep it simple for my poor little brain have used it since across a number of internet sites. I suspect most scathing comments are due to increasing levels of frustration where slogans and "playing the person" are substituted for debate. I certainly have been guilty here and elsewhere. At times it seems that people can't see the wood for the trees - sometimes it's a better form of influencing opinion is to explain your own point of view rationally and without emotion, allowing the reader to make the leap of logic necessary to change their own viewpoint. In the long term it has a much greater effect than "playing the wo/man".

HS

31/10/2010For a government that is 'dead in the water'(just Bolt's wishful thinking, and maybe said because he knew the Big Boss Man was in town), the PM looked more assured than ever in Vietnam and to be a fast learner when it comes to Foreign Policy, a subject she stated, honestly, was not her forte. Whilst Tony Abbott was, yet again, up in Port Macquarie trying to win the seat back from Rob Oakeshott, er, competing in another Half Marathon, looking banal.

HS

31/10/2010What I find most interesting is that it is obvious to Blind Freddy that it is the Coalition that is at 6s and 7s at the moment, what with Ian MacFarlane undermining Joe Hockey and leaking against him, and Tony Abbott not being able to hold his ship together, nor get a cohesive approach to policy formulation for himself, or in concert with others in the Coalition; yet it is the Labor Party that is being portrayed as being 'Dead in the water', or not having any runs on the board and unable to kick any policy goals.

HS

31/10/2010And there I was thinking it was your postcode, 2353. How prosaic and boring of me. :)

Jason

31/10/2010Not wishful thinking HS, by comrade bolt, but when your on a radio station with an average of 5000 listeners and falling he's now grateful for The ABC just to get his warped message across.

CALLIGULA

31/10/2010Norman Calligula here - You said - "Every time Sarah Palin tweets, God kills a kitten." Wrong. Not while Arthur is awake. Ask Lyn

Macca

31/10/2010Suffering from occasional self inflicted bouts of masochism, I too watched a little of the Insiders this morning. To see Andrew Bolt defend, spin the mess Joe Hockey has got himself into was quite something to behold. This from a man who would have pilloried the Prime Minister, the Treasurer with the vicious, vindictive diatribe that is his stock in trade, had they said the same things as Hockey. It was the perfect example of how ethically and morally bankrupt the msm has become. This is why blogsites such as TPS will in time, prevail. Although I wasn't there at the time, I reckon the Grand Canyon would have started off as a creek. The blogosphere is no different. The quantum leap is coming.

Patriciawa

31/10/2010Well, neither Hockey nor Tony looked good on the 7.30 news this evening. It'll be interesting to see how commentary runs tomorrow morning with right minded Fran.

Acerbic Conehead

1/11/2010AA, it’s funny you should mention the books of Edward de Bono, cos he does a great line in hats also. In fact, he was opening up his new hat shop at Port Macquarie today when in walked Tony Abbott. A big wave had hit Tones earlier and he lost his surf-cap, so, on his way home, he decided to pop into de Bono’s shop to see if he could buy a replacement. It was a hot day and Tones has changed into his budgie smugglers. de Bono: Ah...Mr Abbott...it is a pleasure to meet you...how can I be of assistance on this fine day? Tones: Yeah, mutual, mate...Errr...can I call you Ted – y’see, Playschool is my favourite program...Are you Big Ted or Little Ted...or is that a personal question...haw...haw... [de Bono is taken aback by such unaccustomed effrontery, but nevertheless maintains a calm outer pose] de Bono: Why...Ted will be just fine, Mr Abbott... Tones: Right, Ted...I need a new surf-cap...how much am I up for? [Ted knows he will have to disappoint Tones with the news that they don’t “do” surf-caps, but the inbred salesperson’s instinct not to miss a possible sale is still very strong] Ted: Erm...I’m afraid we don’t have any surf-caps, Mr Abbott, but I have a great range of alternative headwear, which I am sure will be of equal interest to you... [Tones isn’t half listening, as, dressed only in his budgie smugglers, and with the store’s air-conditioning turned right up, he is starting to feel a tad cool] Tones: Bloody global warming! Sheesh! [Ted is totally flummoxed by this totally unsolicited and somewhat unusual remark] Ted: I beg your pardon, Mr Abbott, but what was that you said? Tones: Bloody global warming, mate...it’s crap!!! It’s bloody freezing in here!!! If the Earth’s heating up, then I’m a monkey’s uncle... [upon hearing this, a couple of teenage girls, who had been transfixed by the sight of Tones’ hairy chest, burst out into paroxysms of laughter and flee the store. Ted, on the other hand, as the consummate salesperson maintains his decorum, seeing an opportunity for a sales-pitch] Ted: Aha...Mr Abbott...I totally agree with you that the issue of global warming is exercising the minds of supporters and opponents alike...So, as it happens, we have a range of hats specifically tailored for those with an interest in the area... [Ted snaps his fingers and a minion quickly brings along a set of six hat-boxes, each of which is a different colour. Tones is just about to tell Ted to bugger off, as he came in for a surf-cap, but, upon further consideration, he concludes he might wear one into Question Time, thereby upstaging Gillard, who doesn’t even have a hand-bag, for god’s sake!] Tones: Righto, mate...what’s the first one like – the White one? [Ted places the White hat on Tones’ scone] Ted: Ahhh...the White one, Mr Abbott...it will help you accumulate some facts about the matter in hand... Tones: Hey...this sounds like Worzel Gummidge’s Clever Head...hee...hee... [Ted hasn’t a clue what Tones is on about, so lets that one through to the keeper] Tones: Nah...nothing coming through, mate...my mind just keeps telling me that it was warmer in Jesus’ day and the only people to listen to for facts on this global warming crap are Lord Monckton and Andrew Bolt... [undeterred, Ted pulls out the hat from the blue box, telling Tones it might help him organise himself a bit better to address the issue of global warming. Ted places it on Tones’ head] Tones: Nah, mate...the only thing I can think about organising is my next triathlon...Maybe Jooles will agree to pair up with me and come along also – her ranga head would make a good life-buoy...hee...hee... [Ted is starting to feel a tad disappointed that, so far, Tones is disinterested in his hats. He pulls out the Yellow one, telling Tones it will help him look at the issue of global warming in a more positive light] Tones: Wow, mate...this one’s definitely got potential...If there’s any truth in this global warming crap, then the sea-levels are going to rise and the reffos will have further to travel...Maybe we’ll STOP THE BOATS after all...heh...heh... [Tones leaves the Yellow hat aside, as he is still unconvinced of its true usefulness. Meanwhile, Ted brings out the Black hat, which, he claims, will help Tones reflect on the pitfalls of not addressing the issue of global warming] Tones: Actually mate, this one’s got potential as well – if I keep ignoring the issue my results in Newspoll will head southwards... [Ted’s hopes of a sale are raised by this remark of Tones, but, just as quickly, are dashed by his follow-up] Tones: But, but, but...it’s not a problem after all – Shanners will always be there to spin the results in my direction anyway...hee...hee... [even a you-beaut salesperson such as Ted is by now feeling this is going nowhere. However, he perseveres, and pulls out the Red hat, which, according to Ted, encourages the wearer to tap into their emotional intelligence as a way of facing the issue. But, as soon as Tones dons the Red hat, Ted witnesses a scene that, in his long years in the business, he has never come across. Tones starts jumping up and down on the spot, spitting the dummy big time] Tones: Bwaaaaaaaaaaaa...I HATE ALL THOSE COMMO GREENIE HIPPIE BASTARDS...THERE’LL BE NO KINDER, GENTLER POLITY FOR THEM, I TELL YOU...WHEN I GET MY HANDS ON THEM, THEY’LL THINK MACHIAVELLI WAS A ZEN BUDDIST MONK ON HIS HOLIDAYS IN ITALY... [Tones has really lost it, and the security guards are ready to Tazer him, when Ted quickly pulls the red hat off his head. As if he has just transmogrified from Mr Hyde to Dr Jeckle, Tones adopts an almost-serene persona] Tones: Jeeze...mate...don’t know what came over me there...That Red hat is one hell of a mother...I reckon Pyney wears an invisible one during Question Time...hee...hee... [Ted now plays his last card, and pulls out the Green hat which, he says, will help Tones approach the issue creatively and laterally] Tones: Oh, mate! This one’s definitely got potential! Already, I’ve thought of a cunning plan to shaft those lefties in the Traffic Light Coalition...When their rag-tag combo falls apart next week and I’m in power, I’ll build a nuclear power plant and waste dump in each of their safe seats...haw...haw... Ted: Erm...Mr Abbott...I know I’m not au fait with the intricacies of your political system, but even I know that your Senate after next year won’t have a bar of any such suggestion... TonesL: Shit! You’re right mate...I was pre-occupied with planning my next triathlon...Well, anyway, I’d better be off then...Oh, and before I go, I hear you also do a line in books...You wouldn’t have a copy of the Henry Report on you by any chance? I hear it poured shit on my flat-tax idea, so I better start reading it and work out Thought Bubble B... Ted: Yeah, no worries...here’s a copy – you can read it at your leisure – it sounds like there’s not much on your mind anyway...

Patriciawa

1/11/2010Last try to recover my gravatar.

Patriciawa

1/11/2010Cross fingers

lyn

1/11/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Quietly comes Monday, Miglo, Cafe Whispers[/i] Has he prepared his speeches; the one where he condemns the Government for the rise; the one where he condemns the Government if there is no rise http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/10/31/quietly-comes-monday/ [i]Opposition backs away from flat tax rate, ABC[/i] Mr Hockey has told Channel Nine Mr Abbott was not aware of the documents when he gave the speech."When Tony was talking about a fairer simpler tax regime,particularly when it comes to personal income tax [b]we weren't aware of the detail[/b], http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/10/31/3053100.htm?section=justin [i]the state of journalism:Crabb's reflections,Gary Sauer Thompson,Public Opinion[/i]eg., The Australian's reportage on the national broadband network --that this kind of partisan opinion does not warrant me paying money to read it. http://www.sauer-thompson.com/ [i]An Easy, but misleading, smear, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison[/i] and what it further reveals about a news organisation that cares more about attacking its perceived enemies than informing its customers. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/ [i]Gillard intent to continue Labors rule from the right, Highlights, Solidarity. Net. [/i]Tony Abbott’s promise of a “kinder, gentler” politics disappeared as quickly as his chances of becoming PM. http://www.solidarity.net.au/28/gillard-intent-to-continue-labor%e2%80%99s-rule-from-the-right/ [i]Australian Senator says MP'S have been Lobotomized, SW Read, Stroke of Luck[/i] even when people agree with a particular policy they are not allowed to comment if it is brought up by the opposing side http://www.goodluckstroke.com/2010/10/australian-senator-says-mps-have-been.html [i]The Sunday Sandwich (that's a Wrap) , Aussie Pollies and Their Paradigms[/i] The week started with the Liberal and National Party Coalition seemingly on the back-foot and some alleged infighting over Joe Hockey’s plans to take on the banks over interest rates and fees and charges. http://newparadigmpollies.blogspot.com/2010/10/sunday-sandwich-thats-wrap_31.html [i]A Political Draft, Bill, Billablog[/i] It is heartening to know there are still some in the Liberal party who think that, at least under some circumstances, the role of government is to govern. http://the-billablog.blogspot.com/2010/10/political-draft.html [i]Government 2.0 as cultural Labor and Participatory Nicholas Gruen, Club Troppo[/i] Government 2.0 as cultural labour and participatory government Previously on this blog I’ve outlined a couple of themes of mine about Government 2.0. In a comment on a draft APS Social Manifesto I elaborated on both things and so I thought I’d reproduce them here http://clubtroppo.com.au/2010/10/31/government-2-0-as-cultural-labour-and-participatory-government/ [i]Charles Murray: Champion of elitism, enemy of the Elites, Don Arthur, Club Troppo[/i] a handful of elite right-wing opinion-makers who seek to unseat their liberal counterparts. http://clubtroppo.com.au/2010/10/31/charles-murray-champion-of-elitism-enemy-of-the-elites/ [i]Home schooling .Gary Sauer-Thompson , Public Opinion[/i]. Christopher Pearson in his Great education available outside the mainstream in The Australian advocates homeschooling. It is part of the broad criticism of public education from the right http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2010/10/home-schooling.php#more [i]Telling whites what they want to hear, Chris Graham on the trouble with Noel Pearson, Overland[/i] For a student of history, Noel Pearson seems to devote an awful lot of time to forgetting the past. http://web.overland.org.au/previous-issues/issue-200/feature-chris-graham/ Nice way to talk for someone aspiring to lead the Country:- [i]Get a life, Abbott tells critics, Port Macquarie News[/i] I wish the crowd’s response is reflected in the latest Newspoll,” Mr Abbott said after yesterday’s 113km event. http://www.portnews.com.au/news/local/news/general/get-a-life-abbott-tells-critics/1983949.aspx

Ad astra reply

1/11/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx Folks I'm away for a couple of hours attending a sick relative.

Patriciawa

1/11/2010Thanks for the leads, lyn. I loved Abbot's comment in the Port Macquarie News about people criticising his sporting activities. [quote]]“If I wasn’t doing my job properly, fair enough. “But there is not the slightest shred of evidence this is the case.” [/quote] Oh, really? Perhaps those opinion polls he wishes reflected the enthusiastic response he got from his Port Macquarie fans could tell him something. I think Joe and a few others in the Coalition wish he'd spent a bit more time on the detail of the flat tax rate impact instead of on his bike. Being a fitness fanatic is pretty time consuming and wouldn't leave a lot of room for reading. Or even for listening to other people who do make time for reading and research

HS

1/11/2010PatriciaWA, When your head's underwater you can't hear the criticism. :)

HS

1/11/2010Seems like Toned Tony's 'Fairer, simpler Tax regime' has gone the way of his 'Kinder, gentler polity', and just as quickly. He's good with the slogans, but woeful with the policy practice.

HS

1/11/2010Hello! Back again. :) I've just had a great idea. I was wondering if we might be able to eventually incorporate Webcam blogs on the site? As in, I write my blog, and then I read it to camera via my webcam(which I haven't bought yet but I will be soon). I'm just thinking here about how we in the 5th Estate can take the game up to the big boys who seek to dominate the media in this country. I have memories of a little old lady somewhere else in Australia who decided to set up a home studio in her garage and start a conversation with the world. Eventually she became known through You Tube and Channel 31, and away she went! Now her show aimed at the oldies is one of the most popular on the Internet. I'm not talking about anything as expansive as that, but you never know where the wind in your sails may take you. :)

TalkTurkey

1/11/2010Swordsfolk, I haven't much time au present, not even time to trawl the TPS site properly (and NormanK I wasn't able yesterday to get my gravatar up, will try again again again when I can.) I will survive. Jason don't you fret my deario, you got passion and a sense of righteous outrage, no wonder with things like Limpy Crisp. And what sort of a knight won't answer the challenge of a commoner like me? He can have first choice of verbal sword, but he ain't game. Gotta go Dears.

lyn

1/11/2010Hi Hillbilly Glad you came back again, bonus, with a fantastic brain storm. I think I know what you mean, I would be beside myself to hear Ad, you, Bushfire Bill, Norman K, Talk Turkey, George Pike, Patricia, Conehead, Calligulla, Janice, all our wonderful writers reading. So would that mean, Ad would need to put up a special page on the home page, so then readers would click there to look & listen. Cheers Can you find a video clip of the little old lady talking on her webcam, for demonstation purposes, or maybe there is a demo video on Youtube of something similar you could find.

NormanK

1/11/2010Giving some thought to Tony Abbott's behaviour in recent days, he seems a bit distracted. I haven't been convinced by conspiracy theories with regard to Abbott's reluctance to endorse Joe Hockey's nine-point plan. A better explanation for me would be that Abbott hasn't been doing his homework and opted for obfuscation during a press conference rather than risk a follow-up question about the detail or implications of one or more of the points in the plan. Abbott may have read and endorsed the plan but probably had not applied himself to understanding the detail. It is much safer for him to make a statement on a tame radio station or two where he will get a free ride. As we've seen with "jet-lag", Abbott seems reluctant to leave himself in a position where he has to admit to not having an answer to a question. He prevaricates, makes stuff up or more reliably bags the government with one of his many slogans. Or walks away. The flat tax idea was poorly thought-through and would have benefited from another week's research but to a lazy mind it must have had great appeal - came from the Henry Review, was apparently ignored by the government and gave the appearance of being equitable. There is a lot in Abbott's body language to suggest that he is bored with this part of the electoral cycle and yearns for something a bit more exciting and less academic. Acerbic Conehead Your imagination astonishes me. Tony, Joe, Chavez and the Chilean miners - four subjects picked out of a hat and adroitly conflated. And now de Bono, Tony and the Cup. Brilliant.

Ad astra

1/11/2010Patricia WA So glad Tacker is back.

HS

1/11/2010NormanK, This might help answer your question about the Abbott Flat Tax thought bubble: http://www.smh.com.au/business/making-hockey-and-banks-look-good-20101101-1796h.html#poll

Jason

1/11/2010Normank, Perhaps Glen Milne in the Drum today has an answer to what you have noticed with Tony Abbott http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/40610.html

Ad astra

1/11/2010AC Your creativity continues to amaze us. Thank you for delighting us over and again. Tony should remember: If the cap fits, wear it.

Ad astra

1/11/2010HS I will need the end-of-year break to consider your interesting suggestion. As Lyn suggests, it would be helpful if you could point us to a site where there is a video of an article.

Miglo

1/11/2010<blockquote>We shall probably never know how far what we contribute here travels, how much influence it has, and how much it changes others’ opinions.</blockquote> Hi Aa, my own research (from books) tells me that of every one person who posts a comment, there will be seven who don't. This is encouraging as it indicates that the blog is spread further and wider than the number of comments will suggest. Often I too wonder if all this blogging is worth it, but then the same answer hits me: YES.

lyn

1/11/2010Hi Norman K Abbott, Robb, and Hockey, didn't trust Treasury to do their costings so paid (Tax Payers Money? we don't know) to have their own shonky setup, treasury finds a massive black hole. Joy Hockey produces a bank investigation plan, then changes it to a nine point plan, Abbott is asked about the plan, he gets "Struck Dumb" three times. Abbott does a pathetic presentation of a flat tax plan, (televised). Ken Henry presents evidence, low income earners would be worse off. Joe Hockey tells Laurie Oakes Oh! that's ok, we hadn't seen the detail. Then they go running around like chooks with their heads off, trying to reclaim their so called "economic credentials" that they awarded to themselves in the first place anyway. Abbott tells any critics, of his intensive exercise regime, to "get a life", like meaning I've got a life, you have not. When Labor was in Opposition if they had of behaved in the same way, they would have been dead, buried, and cremated. Abbott is not a happy chappie, you not only can tell by his body language, as you say Norman K, but watch his face and eyes, bored senseless, all he can think about and see, is another 3 years in opposition, he is eating his heart out.

Ad astra

1/11/2010NormanK I think you are right. Tones does seem somewhat distracted. Did you notice that on Insiders the talk was about an election in three years, and Tones is also talking this way. It is as if the Coalition and the commentariat have become reconciled to that. Maybe that is why he seems distracted - three years is a long while for him to keep up the aggression, even for someone as fond of combat as he is. Maybe he is just tired and needs a break. Let's see how he is in 2011.

HS

1/11/2010AA, lyn, This is what I'm talking about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Young_Turks_%28talk_show%29

lyn

1/11/2010Hi Ad This channel nine video clip is really, really, really stupid: Video [b]Never too busy... ......to rubbish Tony Abbott, Steve, Opinion Dominion[/b] Tony Abbott: Cat got your tongue Last week, we had this excruciating display of [b]self inflicted gormlessness[/b]: http://opiniondominion.blogspot.com/2010/11/never-to-busy.html

HS

1/11/2010lyn, I'd love to link to the little old lady superstar, however I just remember seeing a story about her on the MSM, maybe on Sunday Today, or ACA, I just don't remember. All I remember is hearing how she just started by setting up a 'studio' in her garage with curtains and chairs and a table with flowers on it, then bought a broadcast camera and away she went and started putting out her shows on the Internet, where they became very popular, and now I think she gets piped into Retirement Villages, etc. So I just thought that if she could do it, and 'The Young Turks' could do it, then so could we. If only the media wasn't being sewn up by the usual suspects in this country we might have a hope of finding a philanthropic media backer to help us, however, if this little old lady can do it, so can we. I'm just trying to think of ways we can broaden our base and prevent our messages from being crowded out by the self-interested media players in this country. However, as I'm also acutely aware, my own personal thought bubble today might just go down like a lead balloon eventually. Sigh.

NormanK

1/11/2010Hillbilly Surely you are not suggesting that the Coalition would attempt to manipulate the media. How unethical. I assume it is this segment of the article that you were pointing me towards : [quote]On that front, Tony Abbott has proven true to his word about getting behind his shadow treasurer, making Joe Hockey look more credible by setting up the opportunity for Joe yesterday to shoot down his silly flat tax balloon.[/quote] Source : HS's link above. If this type of approach continues (e.g. "jetlag" comment takes the heat out of defining "audit" and soldier defending takes the heat out of "jetlag" comment) surely to goodness the snake will eventually swallow its own tail. Jason I have to confess that I could not make a connection with the Milne article except perhaps to say that Abbott is distracted by events which may be the beginning of an unravelling of the Federal Coalition. The LNP in Queensland is a strange and potentially cancerous entity. On any given day I expect to see a headline declaring that they have imploded because they seem to be seeking personal power within their own Party rather than formulating policy to offer as an alternative State government. Back on topic, Annabelle Crabb's speech//essay and Tim Dunlop's response to it have a lot of good points in them which are relevant to us here at TPS. Also the blogs which have responded to both articles. What I haven't seen mentioned (and it goes to the heart of why blog? and why TPS?) is the fact that these days we, the consumer of news, can go directly to the source of much of this news. In days of old if I wanted to research the NBN for example, I would have had to write away to the relevant body//bodies (assuming I could find who they were) and request a copy of relevant reports and studies. I would probably have had to cough up a couple of dollars and wait several weeks for it to arrive in the mail. I could do my homework and then, at best, knock off a couple of Letters to the Editor and hope that they got published. A lot of work for small personal reward beyond feeling better informed. Today, I can research from the relative comfort of my office chair (could do with a new one) and pull facts from disparate sources, combine them into a post and be assured of a small but interested audience who might then go on to inform another small but interested audience or use my links to form their own opinion. Probably even more important is the fact that I can read a mainstream article and then follow it up by going to the source whether it be a public statement, a debate in parliament or a recently published report. If I was curious to test AA's evaluation of yesterday's Insiders, I can read a transcript or watch the entire programme and make my own mind up about what was said. This then helps me to form a long-term opinion of Ad astra's work and its reliability. Along the same lines, what hasn't been acknowledged is that we can watch the full interview of a politician and then wait and see what bits and pieces our professional masters in the Fourth Estate decide are worthy of being passed on to the public. Never was this more apparent than during the last election campaign where I watched every press conference by both of the leaders, in full and live. Commentators immediately following the press conference would then proceed to tell us what the politician actually meant but seemed to give no credit to the fact that we too had watched the press conference and know what was actually said. I don't completely denigrate this analysis since it should in theory provide background and insight into, for example, the policy announced that day. This is where Grog's hammer squarely hit the nail. A preponderance of personality evaluation, horse race calling and obsession with the journalists by other journalists was glaringly obvious. If the MSM feel that they are under scrutiny and being found wanting it is mainly because they no longer have a monopoly on the sources of much of their news and by comparing the original with the published version of events we, the consumer, are beginning to see to be a good deal more cynical about their primary motivations and often-times blatant bias.

jimbo

1/11/2010Hello HS Have just been over at Gutter Trash and it is obvious that Reb over there has been able to get share sites,he has about nine different ones.Do you have a lot to do with Reb?If so would you be able to find out how he has achieved this as it would be a great help to us on TPS and Miglo at Cafe Whispers and along with your idea i was reading about today should give extra saturation to the areas we are trying to get to.

Patriciawa

1/11/2010Thanks, AA, for welcoming Tacker back. I should explain his absence. It could help people like TT to whom apologies are due for my paranoid suspicions. I was scared I might be joining him and a few others here 'lacking gravatars!' As is usually the case, the blame for this particular pup straying was his owner's carelessness. When your site was refurbished the other day I was asked for Name and Email again, which hitherto had been appearing automatically with my 'Tacker' gravatar. Then it repeated my newly typed in details thereafter and automatically threw up a new 'default' gravatar with the wink and rude sticking out tongue. Over those few days I sought advice all over and followed the Gravatar site directions painstakingly without luck. Then last night I saw what I had done - I'd inserted a superfluous 'a' into my freshly entered email address, which had gone on replicating itself plus offending image! The wonders of technology! Always right. The error was human - my own!

adelaidegirl

1/11/2010Thanks for the faultline.org link, Calligula. At first I thought it was Andrew Bolt's blog but then I got the joke :) Hilarious!

Ad astra

1/11/2010Miglo Thank you for your encouraging comment. It is reassuring that many more read than leave a comment. So we just keep on hoping the MSM keep an eye on us as they did on Grog, and that we do have some influence.

HS

1/11/2010NormanK, Doing all that desk-legwork sure does take a slice out of one's day, just to stay across all that we are interested in!

Gravel

1/11/2010Ad Astra Thank you for refreshing my memory of Possum Box, I still read Possum's blog, and that seems such a long time ago, so much has happened since then. I was too scared at the time to comment.....and as you know I have taken my time to get the courage to comment here. That in itself is a compliment to this blog and the prevailing attitude here. Lyn Well done on getting a link on Club Troppo, it is in my bookmark, and I occasionally have a read when time permits. HS As a carer myself, I understood you 'lowly carer' comment and where it was coming from. I was also pleased a few people chided you for it, in a very nice way.

Jason

1/11/2010Normank, On the question on "why blog" I remember hearing Tony Wright on 891 Adelaide he has a regular spot each day at 0950!, but one thing he said during the election campaign was he felt lucky that he only had to file one story each day, and some of the other journos had to do eight! This is where I think they have gone wrong!Why not write one story with all the facts of that policy? even ask at the presser questions to do with what is being announced forget the tensions that may or may not be there do your job? This is where I think Grog and others got it right, people want information, most of what was served up in our papers at the last election if they put up behind a pay wall who would pay? Maybe forget this "multi skilling" of the press maybe we need to return to the dedicated reporter that understood all things defence etc, But I think unless the media accept the fact that the bloggers are going to start taking more and more of their "traditional" ground, they had better start asking and giving the public what it wants, and use the full meaning of the fox news slogan "WE REPORT YOU DECIDE"

NormanK

1/11/2010HS There are days when it is very rewarding though, I'm sure you would agree. Today has not been one so far. Perhaps you or others could help. I'm trying to get a handle on the justification for a regional processing centre. International sources not party political. Any ideas? Also, having just done it, a tip for those having trouble with difficult ReCaptcha words. Either : refresh your TPS page until you get one that you can read and then draft your comment OR having written your comment, select all and copy and then go fishing for a set of words that you can read and paste your comment in. I've got good eyes and still some of them are illegible.

Jason

1/11/2010Sorry Off Topic, adelaidegirl in answer to one of your questions last week about Jay Weatherill, this from William Bowe at poll bludger For what Crikey’s Tips and Rumours section is worth: A Melbourne Cup-like field has emerged for the leadership and deputy leadership of the South Australian ALP. Premier-in-waiting (or So He Thinks) is education minister and poster boy for the Left in SA, Jay Weatherill. The problem is, the dominant Senator Don Farrell-led Right faction of the party has handicapped Weatherill at top weight, i.e. they won’t have him. When Premier Mike Rann steps away in 12-18 months’ time, as most pundits are predicting, Labor hard-heads are hoping some form of ‘dream ticket’ will emerge, with Kevin Foley as premier and speedy Tom Koutsantonis (both from the Right) as his deputy. However, in the eyes of voters that would be akin to digging up Phar Lap and running him in the 2010 Melbourne Cup. More palatable to punters would be a Left-Right ticket. Could it be promising mare Grace Portolesi from the Left and that serviceable colt John Rau? Who knows? One thing is certain, this won’t be the race that stops the nation.

Patriciawa

1/11/2010NormanK, I'm giving the ALP the benefit of the doubt on this. Their resistance to the worst features of Howard's policies and Abbot's 'Stop the Boats!' sloganeering confirms for me that they are basically more humane in attitude, if still appearing somewhat incoherent in policy. What they are trying to achieve with a regional processing centre may not yet be clear and will only emerge as consultations progress. We do need a regional agreement on basic procedures dealing with refugees and discouraging people smuggling of those who become impatient or need re-direction to a safe haven. Those procedures and assigned points of process must abide by accepted UN principles and protocols. We may well see Gillard's so far locally applied, but acknowledged, negotiation skills come very effectively into play beyond Oz and into the region. I imagine, hopefully, her reluctance to big-note herself for any agreements out of consultations so far is part of her usual discretion in dealing with various parties on difficult issues.

NormanK

1/11/2010Jason I'm posting a lot today and I hadn't intended to - oh well. Two points to follow on from your remarks. Much is made of the tools which can give journalists instant access to desk-bound editors and journos back at the office but they aren't being put to best use. Each Media House could have a resident expert, as you say, on a given policy area and they could monitor a press conference. By the time the politician has finished their prepared speech and answered a few questions about whether they are wearing new boots or their calf muscle is giving them grief, the expert can have texted a couple of relevant policy questions through to the journo on the ground for them to ask. Or is team-work out of the question in the age of the by-line? This would take some of the pressure off the journo who is on the bus and trying to meet half a dozen different deadlines across three or four different formats. Equally, where does it say that a journo can only ask questions on today's policy announcement? On Thursday they could ask well-informed researched questions on Wednesday's announcement. I don't think the media know just how many of their current problems are of their own making when they try to blame consumers for this drift to instant reporting. Using poor old Grog as an example once again, I'm quite sure that if he could have seen that he might only have to wait a few hours or at most a day to have his questions answered on the detail on disabled policy, he would have been prepared to wait. The media could have their cake and eat it by filing a "this is what happened" story today and a "this is what it means for you" story a day later. I don't believe the public are demanding instant news beyond catastrophes and genuine breaking news events. I know I would be quite prepared to wait a day for a news story which actually contained substance.

Jason

1/11/2010Normank, I take your point on "where does it say that a journo can only ask questions on today's policy announcement?" I should have made it clear I was refering to the last election pressers with Gillard where the questions were on Rudd,Latham and anything else especially in the first two weeks,you would've been forgiven thinking it was some policy announcement as it was secondary.

adelaidegirl

1/11/2010Why TPS? I stumbled across this wonderful blog during a period of great despair. Was the Labor Government really as bad as the MSM were saying? Was I behind the (Twitter, Facebook, instant gratification) times in feeling that the level of invective directed at PM Rudd was a little over the top? I admit, I was disappointed in the lack of Whitlamesque speed-of-change, the lack of Keatingesque vision. But were we really all doomed? Was Australia rooned? At TPS I found calm, reasoned articles that spoke to me as a social democrat lefty. I found articulate, intelligent comments. I found fascinating and informative links. I found a home where I felt I belonged, even if I didn't particpate by commenting. I found hope. I had a masochistic look at Bolt's blog the other day, the one where PM Gillard was accused of playing politics over Abbot's jetlag gaffe. The level of unpleasant, disrespectful, downright disgusting commentary there made the hairs on the back of my neck tingle with terror. jj and Sir Ian, you have nothing on these horrible, horrible people! And now Jack the Insider appears to have lost his way, one of those buzzers the Simpsons used to shock each other repeatedly, imbedded in his brain, sending a most unpleasant shock into his cortex should he stray too far from the Oz line. "What have you done with the real Jack?" So back to TPS I come for its decency and its camararderie. That's why. I'm already feeling a bit anxious about the Christmas break ;)

NormanK

1/11/2010Hi Lyn, Somehow I missed your comment earlier. You're right that Labor, if in opposition, were to behave in this manner there would be all hell to pay. A lot more would be made of the white-anting and lack of endorsement by a leader of his/her Shadow Treasurer's plan. I hope Abbott is eating his heart out and slipping into a funk, maybe the government can get in a few good months of governing while he rues his missed chance. Patricia WA Broadly speaking I am in agreement with all that you've said. What I am looking for is something by an independent body which espouses the merits of a regional processing centre as a means of solving the regions' problems. Preferably something which predates Julia Gillard's announcement and could be seen as a source for her faith in the idea. Unfortunately I have no answer to the accusation that such a centre will act as a magnet for displaced persons from all over the region and soon be over-run with applicants. This is something else I'd like to be reassured about by an independent source. Jason No misunderstanding. We're on the same page. adelaidegirl You should give yourself a Gravatar. No sad faces here.

Ad astra reply

1/11/2010adelaidegirl Thank you for you kind and generous remarks about [i]TPS[/i]. It is gratifying that you feel at home here. We are a big family, which for the most part gets along well. I hope you will continue to enjoy your visits here and keep on to contributing. It is ages since I have bothered with Bolt’s blog. The vitriol and hatred that spews out there is too distressing to read. I ask how anyone could harbor such loathing and be prepared to put it in writing. Does it make them feel better? Or does it just foster more detestation? I can’t believe that it is therapeutic.

Ad astra reply

1/11/2010Sir Ian I haven’t seen your response to my overture to you posted a couple of days ago. In case you missed it because it was embedded with several other comments, I’m repeating it here: [i]We’re coming to the season of goodwill, and a recess from blogging. Might it not be a good time to draw a line under the past, and start a new era of partnership to make [i]TPS[/i] a better site? Despite the brickbats hurled your way, and hurled back with relish, we ‘have become accustomed to your face’ and would be sorry to see you abandon us. We applaud rational argument even if it refutes our cherished position, so we’re not asking you to become more agreeable or less argumentative, only that your contribution is well reasoned, supported by the facts, and not accompanied by personal jibes. For our part we would reciprocate such an approach. Have we a deal?[/i]

adelaidegirl

1/11/2010Thanks for the reminder Norman, your Gravatar tips were a great help too!

adelaidegirl

1/11/2010No need to thank, it ain't nothin' but the truth. You're right about Bolt's blog but I'm fascinated with what people have to say and I think it's important to remember that these people are out there with their narrow-minded, bigoted, plain-old-rude and bordering-on-psychotic mindsets. They're in my office, down at the shops, sipping cardonnay on the next bar stool. It pays to be alert and alarmed!

lyn

1/11/2010Hi Ad Here is our friend Calligulla's, piece for everyone to enjoy: [i]The Reckoning - Reinhardt, Knoppke, et al want a fair explanation, Calligula's Horse[/i] While researching this series I have encountered what I personally consider to be the 'gold standard' of blog commentary. Permit me to share it with you - http://faultline.org/index.php/site/item/incendiary/P0/ http://calligulashorse.blogspot.com/

HS

1/11/2010adelaidegirl, You've nailed your colours to the TPS mast, so, as NormanK said, it's time for your Gravatar! Might I suggest a photo of Don Dunstan in his prime in that nice Safari Short suit he used to desport himself about the place in? :)

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1/11/2010Folks Today we moved an ill relative from the local hospital where he had received excellent care, into a nearby nursing home for respite care for a couple of weeks. After all the brickbats propelled at our health care system, I thought a ‘good-news story’ was worth repeating. The facility, which has several levels of care from independent living units to a higher care area, is community managed and staffed in part with volunteers. The reception we got was friendly, helpful and facilitatory. The necessary forms completed, we were invited to have lunch with our relative in the dining room, a light and spacious area with a pleasant outlook. Although not MasterChef standard, the food was nourishing, well prepared and more than adequate, complete with Granny’s pudding, custard and cream. His single room was warm, light, relaxing, and complete with en suite, plasma TV and a comfortable electrically-operated lounge chair. All this was at a very reasonable price; it is not a high-cost facility for the elite. Most importantly the staff were universally pleasant and helpful. I thought to myself, why do we hear mostly ‘bad-news stories’ about how our health care system is broken, in disarray, even in chaos, depending how aggressive the journalist wants to be? Now we do know that there is plenty of room for improvement. We need more doctors and nurses to overcome the shortage that has resulted from the curtailment of training that took place over the last decade, something that will take years to correct. We know waiting lists for elective surgery are too long and that some die while on the waiting list, mostly from unrelated illnesses or because they are too ill for surgery rather than dying for lack of surgery, as reporters like to imply. We know that we need more healthcare personnel in regional and remote areas, and better communications facilities, such as the NBN, to enable better care in those areas. We know too that medical errors are too frequent and that around ten percent of people in hospital are there because of the ill effects of their medications, something that could be reduced significantly by an efficient e-health system that made available any patient’s record immediately at the point of care, something already under way. We know that waiting times in emergency departments are too long, that many who present there should be seen in community settings. The GP Super Clinics being developed are a part answer to this problem. Yes we know these problems exist, many as a result of past neglect, but that should not stop us from acknowledging the quality of what we have got. Even while he was in an independent living unit, numerous carers looked after his need for groceries, medications, cleaning and emergency support. He has his own dedicated case manager. One could scarcely wish for more attention and care. So for a change let’s be grateful that we enjoy one of the very best health care systems in the world, even the poorest among us. It is so easy to whinge and for reporters to write ghastly stories about health care, but seldom are the best aspects of health care extolled. Of course we must do better – but at least let’s acknowledge what we’ve got and be grateful.

Monica

1/11/2010Ad, have not posted for a very long time, but wanted to say I much appreciate TPS, and visit frequently to read. Good work from all the main contributors.

lyn

1/11/2010Hi Ad Thankyou for sharing your pleasant little story with us. So heartening to hear something nice about our countries health care,you are right, we never hear of the good, from the news, it's always extreme cases and probably half of the story. Your relatives are blessed to have you as their Doctor at their beck and call. Home GP visits in Hervey Bay are unavailable, extinct for years.

lyn

1/11/2010Hi Monica It really is so exciting to see you this afternoon, I hope you are keeping well. Thankyou for your very much appreciated comment, Ad will be very pleased to see you, when he comes along.

Ad astra reply

1/11/2010Monica Welcome back and thank you for your kind remarks. Lyn One of the sad deficiencies of contemporary community-based practice is the atrophy of home visits. Yet they are a rich source of information for family doctors about how people live and how many prescribed medications are still in their medicine cabinets, often an astonishing revelation. Their relative cost-ineffectiveness seems to be the reason for the fall off in home visits, but that attitude ignores how much a family doctor can learn from them.

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1/11/2010Folks It's a good night on ABC TV - I'm off to watch it.

Sir Ian Crisp

1/11/2010AA, I did see your most generous offer but you still can’t grasp what it is I’ve been saying to you about consistency or the lack thereof. Take a look at the post put up by 2353 @ 3:19pm on Oct 31. #* JJ and SIC need to add to the discussion and challenge us to change our views rather than operating in political point scoring mode. Neither the red or blue tribes of politics has all the answers. For example "Bird of Paradox" really doesn't add anything except demonstrating the contempt of the writer to the position of Prime Minister in a similar way to using the term "John Coward" used to do. # 2353 has BOTH eyes open not just one eye. AA, my wardrobe is well stocked with a couple of suits, casual gear, shoes, coats, jackets et al. Of the T-shirts I own none is emblazoned with the words “Tell me because I care”. I enjoy the cut and thrust of the TPS. I do not want or need any special consideration. When one of the TPS gang calls me shallow, idiotic or dumb it matters little because they are expressing a view not a fact. I DON’T CARE. I dish out invective hard and fast as well. What irritates me is the lack of consistency. I’m sure you still can’t grasp what it is I’m saying so I’ll hang the ‘Gone Fishing’ sign on my door and when I reel in a few ‘underweight’ (lightweight) and ‘under size’ (juvenile) fish I will return.

Sir Ian Crisp

1/11/2010AA, pay particular attention to what 2353 said about the Bird of Paradox and John Coward.

HS

1/11/2010Sir Ian Crisp, May I just ask you a simple question? Do you ever intend to contribhute anything other than acerbic criticism of others, to this blog?

Acerbic Conehead

1/11/2010NormanK and AA, thank you for your kind words, and for the wonderful contributions you and lots of others make to The Political Sword. Have a great evening, AC.

Patriciawa

1/11/2010Just had a frustrating time with long phone calls from some group claiming to be Customer Care agents for Windows with news that my Firewall guaruntee had expired and that my comput/internet connection was in danger of destruction by virus contamination. They were very convincing, painstaking and 'did not want payment until service was complete' i.e. removal of said viruses. Then in order to maintain my security and to give on-going service I was asked for payment of $248.00 for two years warranty. I became suspicious at this point when I explained I had no credit card nor Paypal facility and would prefer to mail them a bank cheque if they gave me a mailing address. No mailing address, but bank draft transfer was their preferred last option. They had a Sydney phone number, but no Australian address that I could ascertain. This really concerned me. When I checked with my local IT supplier they explained that Windows supplies permanent Firewall and on-line service. And surprise, surprise mine was the third query about this very thing today! It seems our area has been targeted via the phone directory. Apparently this group operates internationally and has made millions with on line cash transfer. I did all the usual checks when I got first got this call and their responses were so convincing, which together with my elderly brain led me by the nose to almost sending them money. I so often delete unsolicited mail that I was inclined to believe the suggestion, when I asked why they hadn't contacted me earlier by email, that I had somehow ignored their warnings about impending disaster once my Firewall warranty expired. Thinking back over their distressingly long and 'careful' phone interview process taking me through endless files on my computer I suspect that I did in fact 'voluntarily' de-activate my Firewall to permit various things to happen. I now have programs installed which may or may not be effective, but which I am assured I do not need. Not having yet paid for them is no comfort to me. I feel invaded. I also feel rather foolish. If it helps anyone else out there these people identify themselves as "Live Help for PCs" and install a program called 'Avasti' as firewall. What else can I do to salvage some use and pride from this experience?

lyn

1/11/2010Hi Patricia Don't feel foolish, you would be one of thousands, me included that have fallen for these traps in the past. Never take any notice of them, they don't know if you computer is infected, with spys or virus's it's all a big con. There is that much stuff out there that claim to fix your registry, fix everything to do with trojans, spys, etc. etc, then you have to pay again in 12 months, their robbers. I use a free program called spybot, I don't use windows firewall, so don't have a firewall at all, I refuse to use Bigpond security, it's not necessary, it causes all kinds of problems. If your computer is under performing the best thing to do is, restore to an earlier date, that you know your performance was ok, this way you will do away with any spys and virus's that have caused your computer to go slow. The restore feature is found by going to: My Computer, click on Control panel, click on maintenance., click on restore, follow instructions. The best spy program I use is called Spybot, it is free and performs exceptionally well. Here is the link to Spybot download and install, every month just run the program: http://www.safer-networking.org/en/spybotsd/index.html

Sir Ian Crisp

2/11/2010HS, you have of course asked that same question of others? See what I mean about the lack of consistency? You've got it as well.

HS

2/11/2010Sir Ian Crisp, To address the blind spot in your comprehension relating to what I questioned you about yesterday. Let me be clear. I was wanting to get you to answer a question relating to your contributions in order to encourage you to do more than criticise those with whom you disagree philosophically. Maybe by writing a blog yourself expounding your own political philosophy so that we may debate it with you? Or, possibly fleshing out some of your replies with a clearer indication of your beliefs? That's all I ask. I can't see any contradiction there with what we get from others here. Also they throw barbs occasionally, as do you. But that's all you do, other than quote Mark Bahnisch and Ad Astra back at him when you think you have ensnared him in hypocrisy. I thought you were better than that.

HS

2/11/2010Hi lyn, I also use Ad Aware Free and AVG to help root out nasties in my computer. Just thought I'd add that in order to help PatriciaWA. :)

zamczysko

2/11/2010It is quite a helpful point! Actually wanna show gratitude for that information you have shared. Just keep on creating this kind of content. I most certainly will be your following subscriber. Thanks once again.

lyn

2/11/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Time to give "gravitas" a hand movement, Greg Jericho, Grog's Gamut[/i] we had Peter Brent telling us that: Several observers have commented that after four months Julia Gillard is not yet looking prime ministerial. She lacks that hard-to-define ‘something’: gravitas; authority. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2010/11/time-to-give-gravitas-hand-movement.html [i]Death by cushions: The Spanish Inquisition Oz style, Ashghebranious, Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] The Australian has been trying to bring down the government since Adam was a child it seems. And they are at it again turning up the cushion torture on the BER rort that doesn’t actually seem to be a rort. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com:80/2010/11/01/death-by-cushions-the-spanish-inquisition-oz-style/ [i]I agree with Coonan – mostly, Joni, Cafe Whispers[/i] why did you not do it when you were in power for those 11 years? Why did the government that you were part of squander the opportunity to build high-speed trains? http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/i-agree-with-coonan-mostly/ [i]You think 12Mpbs is Enough….. A Look back at the last 10 years., Wolf Cocklin, The Notion factory.[/i] There is no technology on the horizon that is going to be able to compete with Fibre to the Home for speed. This is a rare chance for Australia http://notionfactory.net:80/2010/11/02/you-think-12mpbs-is-enough…-a-look-back-at-the-last-10-years/ [i]Against the flat tax, We are all Dead[/i] You won’t catch Stutchbury or Abbott directly arguing for the massive handouts to high income earners that would result from implementing the Henry recommendation. http://mattcowgill.wordpress.com:80/2010/11/01/against-the-flat-tax/ [i]Federal Politicians Work Too Hard, John, True Politik[/i] (Liberal) Opposition Leader tony Abbott refused this practice as a routine matter, and has only decided on a "case-by-case basis". http://truepolitik.blogspot.com/2010/11/federal-politicians-work-too-hard.html [i]What is Mark Scott thinking? Dave Gaukroger, Pure Poison[/i] ABC News 24 is competing directly against Sky News Australia, which News Corp also owns a stake in via BSkyB. Will News Ltd encourage Foxtel to pay the ABC, http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/ [i]Calligulla's Horse[/i] A NON FARMER has been a bit irate lately because the sugar price has come good and all his FARMER pals are all out motorcycling and water skiing. http://calligulashorse.blogspot.com/ [i]Bob Katter - Murray Darling Basin, Agitate[/i] it is the least the Coalition can do given that they (in particular Malcolm Turnbull) were actually responsible for the Water Act and many of its obvious flaws. http://www.agitate.com.au/blog/ [i]Essential Research: 50-50, William Bowe, The Poll Bludger[/i] The latest weekly Essential Research survey has the two parties locked together on 50-50 for the third week running. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/ [i]The GFC zombies that walk among us, John Quiggin, Crikey[/i] A massive financial crisis developed under the eyes of the economics profession, and yet most failed to see anything wrong. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/11/01/halloween-horror-story-the-gfc-zombies-that-walk-among-us/ [i]The Rate rise form guide, Peter Martin[/i] The Reserve Bank has adjusted interest rates on each of the past four Melbourne Cup days, http://www.petermartin.com.au/ [i]Rage versus facts:Peter Hartcher in today’s SMH, Neil,Neil's second decade[/i] The future? American political anger is not going to go away, even if the economy improves. Because it works. http://neil2decade.wordpress.com:80/2010/11/02/rage-versus-facts-peter-hartcher-in-todays-smh/ [i]Words used only by journalists, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i]http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2010/11/words-used-only-by-journalists.html [i]Australian Blog Sites Site still under construction[/i][b] This web site has been developed because of an overdue need for bloggers to share a sense of unity.[/b]http://australianblogsites.com/ Left vs Right . A poster use arrow right at bottome of your page. http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/leftvright_world.html

lyn

2/11/2010Hi Hillbilly Your a champion, thankyou, I forgot about AVG, an excellent, efficient program as well. It annoys me when those robbers out there are trying to hoodwink the public into paying, when there is so much free software available, what is more upsetting is when someone buys a program at the shop, in good honest faith, then in 12 months time the program costs nearly the same amount of money to renew your registration.

Sir Ian Crisp

2/11/2010HS, don't put me on a pedestal. My politics puts me in the pragmatist camp. If it works keep it; if it ain't working look for something that does. Don't get upset when I play the man and not the ball because the level of juvenile tosh at TPS (not all of it mind you) makes it hard to do otherwise. I am merely holding a mirror up to those who deserve it. Have a look at the exchange between George Dyke and myself.

HS

2/11/2010There, there, Sir Ian, 'George Dyke' is a bit juvenile, don't you think?

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2/11/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

NormanK

2/11/2010Patricia WA You have dodged a bullet. I imagine that you know by now that they were criminals offering an imaginary fix for an imaginary problem. Don't feel foolish because these guys have had lots of practice and are very good at what they do. If you have installed any applications under their instruction, follow Lyn's advice and restore your computer to a previous state. This might necessitate performing a software update from Microsoft afterwards. If you are not confident of your own skills, get your IT provider to do it for you. It is very important that you do this if you have installed anything new from these crims. If you have not installed any new applications you should be pretty right but your IT people will be the best source for advice. Beware the power of suggestion over the next couple of days. Every time your computer blinks you're going to think "Oh my God, it's ....." whereas in fact it may just be normal behaviour which you haven't noticed before. If you have genuine concerns about aberrant behaviour, write your observations down because they may be of use to your technicians. For everyone else out there, no bank or software provider will EVER contact you by phone to fix or update or reconfirm your details or whatever other language they may choose to use. Hang up on them. E-mail is almost as unreliable. Do not respond to an e-mail even if you think it might be genuine. Go to the purported source via some other means (phone, face to face, independent e-mail address) to seek confirmation. Clicking on a link or a return e-mail in a dodgy message is your worst enemy. This type of crime is becoming more prevalent and more sophisticated, we must all remain alert.

George Pike

2/11/2010Shame to see the gutless fraud crispy dick still spinning out his irrelevant tripe as usual. Don't you just hate these mongrel dogs who snipe from the bushes but never ever have the courage to come out into the open..gutless worthless yellow cowardly dogs..

lyn

2/11/2010Hi Everybody I have nominated "The Political Sword" for the Wonkley Award. Wonkley Award Nominations Open, The Conscience Vote, So go, nominate your favourite political journalist, blogger, TV show, news coverage – there’s a whole slew of categories to choose from – tell the world! http://consciencevote.wordpress.com:80/2010/11/02/wonkley-award-nominations-open/ If somebody else wants to nominate please visit The Notion Factory. The Wonkley Awards Place to nominate who you like at The Notion Factory http://notionfactory.net/2010/11/01/the-wonkley-awards/

Patriciawa

2/11/2010Thanks lyn for understanding my bruised ego. Thanks too, NormanK, you've confirmed my instinct to pay that nice guy up the road, who's always willing to offer free advice, to come and clean this thing up for me. He had installed AVG Free for me initially. So that money can now go to someone worthwhile who has at times talked me out of buying stuff! If there's any over it can be donated elsewhere. Watching 4 Corners last night put my little crisis into perspective for me. I think that's the other thing about my own con artists which has really dismayed me - their ease with the banking arrangements, VISA, Paypal, bank transfers etc. The very institutions we rely on for trustworthy transfer of funds are used, abused rather, to further their criminal activities. Mind you, when I was in Sydney I always thought those Macquarie people were too smart and slick for anyone's good. Too much money spent on front of house and image. I'm so glad I moved my Super Funds away from them years back. I did go into my bank yesterday to check if I should change my account number since the scammers had asked for the last four digits of what is a 12 digit number in order, they said, to generate the invoice with all their transfer details. My own bank (across the counter teller) assured me that without the full number, pin and password I was safe. I think I'll phone Customer Care to confirm that. Is there any authority to which their banking details can usefully be forwarded? They are using a Commonwealth Bank account in Sydney.

NormanK

2/11/2010Patriciawa This would be a good starting point : http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/693900 It's run by the ACCC and contains some good reading as well as reporting facilities.

Jason

2/11/2010AA, Another article in the Australian about the NBN http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/broadband-network-offers-test-of-imagination/comments-e6frg6zo-1225946342354 A positive one!

2353

2/11/2010PatriciaWA, I feel for your sense of loss and can only suggest one thing in addition to the helpful suggestions above. [i][u][b]Make a report to the Police.[/b][/u][/i] You certainly cannot find out the details of the owner of a CBA Account, but the Police can. They also have powers to investigate any other accounts at any bank operated by the same "legal entity". While one persons report may not be treated with urgency, you're report will be computer matched to determine trends etc. SIC [quote]2353 has BOTH eyes open not just one eye. [/quote] I didn't know if I should be flattered - then I read the next comment . . . [quote]AA, pay particular attention to what 2353 said about the Bird of Paradox and John Coward.[/quote] . . . and realised that you really don't "get" the difference between providing evidence to enable us to change our opinion and "playing the person". You're 2nd post is "playing the person". There is no evidence provided to suggest that AA has ever used the terms referenced, he posts his opinion (that we are fortunate to be allowed to share) and allows us to comment. If you feel AA or anyone else follows the "wrong" political tribe, demonstrate why - which you haven't done in any post that I've seen on this site. If you feel I haven't seen a post that gives evidence and fact to support a view - please provide a link.

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2/11/2010Sir Ian I was pleased to see that you had responded to my overture. The one thing that you are consistent about is accusing me of ‘inconsistency’. By that I presume you mean that while I permit the application of pejorative terms to Coalition parliamentarians, I do not approve of the same when applied to Labor politicians; for example I have chided you for using the ‘Bird of Paradox’ appellation for Julia Gillard, a tag for which I have never been able to determine the rationale. It is your view that I am inconsistent, not mine. To resolve this, can we all agree that the application of descriptive, even derogatory terms to politicians similar to those that are regularly applied to them in the media and in cartoons is acceptable so long as they are not vulgar and unbecoming for a respectable blog site. I do not wish to get into censorship; instead we can all exercise commonsense and decency. What I do object to is the use of derogatory terms AGAINST EACH OTHER. Other websites may revel in this, but I don’t want it here. I own and operate this website, so I get to call the shots. I know you can and probably will argue that you retaliate only when you are, to use your word, ‘prodded’. That may be so, but I am not prepared to spend the time necessary to see if that has been the case; too see, as kids in a schoolyard would, ‘who started it’. What I proposed in my original overture to you was that we draw a line under the past and adopt a new approach, to which you seemed to respond positively, only to reassert that I can’t ‘grasp’ what it is you’ve been saying to me ‘about consistency or the lack thereof’, a put-down that gives my intellect little credit. You throw such slights with abandon. SO THIS MESSAGE IS TO YOU AND ALL WHO BLOG HERE: Let’s treat each other with respect, even if we cannot respect each other’s opinion. Let’s argue as vigorously as we wish, and if we feel inclined, refute one another’s opinions with sound reasoning based on verifiable facts. Let’s assume that we are all seeking the ‘truth’, all hoping to improve the political dialogue, all wishing to see a higher standard of political behaviour in all our politicians, all intent on exposing media inaccuracy, distortions, malevolence and unfair behaviour. The purpose of the blog is NOT to denigrate each other, either by the use of derogatory words, such as ‘juvenile tosh’, or pejorative names, such as ‘George Dyke’, as you did today, which evoked an understandable reaction from George Pike. We are all grown-ups – let’s act that way. Enjoy your fishing trip, and when you return, please use your undoubted erudition to favour us with compelling argument to support your viewpoint or refute that of others, [i]sans[/i] personal insults of any kind. If you can do that, we can reciprocate.

HS

2/11/2010On a lighter note... Woo hoo! I picked the winner of the Melbourne Cup! I had $2 each way on Americain! I think I'll come out ahead by about $50, or thereabouts. Whacko! :)

lyn

2/11/2010Hi Ad What a brilliant letter to Sir Ian. So genuine, honest, nice to read your thoughts Ad, you have a brilliant way of putting words together, in such a way that they mean so much.

lyn

2/11/2010Hi Hillbilly Congratulations! couldn't have happened to a nicer person. Good on You, off you go and buy a lotto ticket.

Patriciawa

2/11/2010Thanks, Sir Ian, the police seem anxious to send consumer and on-line fraud to the State Government sites. NormanK I have alerted both WA and NSW Scamwatch. I must say I was a bit overwhelmed at the variety and volume of scams being perpetrated on the community. What a lot of dishonest people there are out there, and unhappy ones too I imagine if they get conned. I think I've been very fortunate in my life so far. Mind you I've always been resistant to having people waste my time on the phone. I have some favorite charities - Wheelchair Sports and the RSCA where I'm really glad to be friendly and buy raffle tickets, Christmas cards, tea towels etc. as well as donate, but I immediately ask anyone else for an on-line contact. Bona fide ones provide them, of course, and others hang up.

George Pike

2/11/2010Sorry ad..I wasn't just upset at "crispy but soggy's" retorts against myself, but for the derogatory debasement of women who have same sex preferences. That really gets my back up big time. I simply cannot stand cowards who degrade defenceless people in any way shape or form...and I'm glad you gave him a piece of your mind too. Good on you HS, I kept my money in my pocket luckily enough. Feel a bit sorry for poor old Bart though. He doesn't look a well man..a win might have cheered him up a bit. Can't believe the bank put rates up...and the CBA overshot that immediately. I think the strategy may be to make it plain to the public that the mining boom is public enemy number one and that the mining tax is the only way to slow the boom down and lower pressure on interest rates into the bargain. We are not going to have any other export industries in the country if they don't act soon. The farmers and tourist operatos are crying tears of blood down here in Tasmania. Got a shock yesterday arvo..three young girls knocked on my door and said a man was scaring them..driving past and leering at them and stopping in front of them or something. I walked them back up the hill to where their parents were staying. Bright girls taking action like that..I didn't think there would be problems like here in this lovely little town..so there you go..keep the kids well informed hey.

lyn

2/11/2010Hillbilly What ever has happened, you have blacked out, poor little Skeleton.

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2/11/2010HS Well done on the Melbourne Cup. Lyn, George Thank you for your comments. I understand how you feel George. Let’s hope Sir Ian takes seriously the invitation to take a new tack. It would be a nice way to start 2011. It’s a good night on TV, especially SBS where Jennie Brockie is discussing attitudes to Islam at 7.30, then at 8.30 there's a programme about the Internet, and later there is the Book Club on ABC1. So I’m packing it in now. Back in the morning.

HS

2/11/2010Well whaddya know? My Gravatar has fallen into a Black Hole! I've been having trouble with Gravatar recently(I've been trying to change it, just because I found so many nice new ones on PhotoBucket), yet I haven't been able to so far. Maybe it's got something to do with that. I don't know! That would be great, wouldn't it, no Gravatar ever again!

lyn

2/11/2010Hi Hillbilly Did you see my comment above, 6.20pm that's when the poor little skeleton went black.

NormanK

2/11/2010Hillbilly Skeleton Get your Gravatar to have a look around while it's there. Joe and Andrew dropped about $10.5 billion out of their knapsack recently and surely there are not that many Black Holes in Australia. It'd make fifty bucks on the Cup seem a bit tame, wouldn't it?

HS

3/11/2010This is just me doing a Test Run to see whether Halloween swallowed my Skeleton forever. :) I can't even get a default avatar. Probably because theire's a gremlin somewhere between Gravatar and my computer internet connection. I just don't know. NormanK, I think that 10.5 Billion can be found along with the remnants of Joe Hockey's credibility on economic matters.. You know what I find starnge is that no one in the media has connected the dots between Joe's incredibly fortunate timing on the banks and the fact that the Coalition probably have more than one Gretch up their sleeves to use when it suits them, for as far as I can remember there were rumblings about Wayne Swan working on some of the measures about increased bank competition, etc., well before Joe came out with his 9 Point Plan, thus if he had a mole in Treasury, Finance or the ACCC, they would probably have given him the drop. Thus he could come out with his plan that looks an awful lot like what Wayne Swan will release in the next few weeks. Then it looks like the government followed his lead, when instead they have been working on the plan long before he opened his mouth. That's politics I guess.

HS

3/11/2010Nope, still got my Blackface on. :(

HS

3/11/2010You know what the funniest thing is? The best way to reign in the Reserve Bank, and hence the other big banks from increasing Interest Rates, is to agree to have a Mining Tax, the MRRT, in order to temper the 2 speed economy. But guess who won't agree to pass the legislation?

lyn

3/11/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]If the stimulus worked, why did Americain win the Cup?, Greg Jericho, Grog's Gamut[/i]mining companies who earlier in the year were saying the arse was out of their pants and they were this close to ringing meals on wheels? Well you can stop praying to Mary McKillop, http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2010/11/if-stimulus-worked-why-did-americain.html [i]Political opposition need not be nasty, John Warhurst, Eureka Street[/i This bad side of Tony Abbott reinforces negative images of Parliament. Ultimately it will probably hurt not only his own standing but public respect for all parliamentarians. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=23893 [i]Postneoliberalism: Return of the Living Dead?, Dr Tad, Left Flank[/i]http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/40558.html I started to develop a theme about the nature of neoliberalism that goes beyond his focus on a set of flawed economic ideas and their application: http://left-flank.blogspot.com/2010/11/postneoliberalism-return-of-living-dead.html#more [i]I Believe In Open Discussion, Neil, The Bannermann[/i] inhabited primarily by aggressive reiterant right-wing froot-loops whose only perceptible purpose on the medium is to curse & abuse anyone who happens to disagree http://www.waddayano.org/ [i]Dead horse being flogged mercilessly, Massivespray, Spray of the Day[/i] where is Tony while his front bench meat puppets are opening their mouths and expelling gases…probably off on his bike or swimming a few laps in preparation for his next triathlon. All this policy stuff just bores him, but he still wants to be Prime Minister…funny huh? http://sprayoftheday.wordpress.com/ [i]The Smart one writes, Opinion Dominion[/i]http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2010/s3055429.htmwas at the Melbourne Cup forgetting the name of the race favourite:. http://opiniondominion.blogspot.com/2010/11/smart-one-writes.html [i]Schools Building Program Value for Money, Kevin Rennie, Labor View from Bayside[/i]sad to see Christopher Pyne getting upset. It's a big advance on his bullying but fictional rhetoric about the Federal government's Schools Building Program: http://laborview.blogspot.com/ [i]The resource curse: A view from 1730, Matt Cowgill, We are all Dead[/i] watching Q and A, but I gather last night’s episode featured a bit of discussion of the mining boom and its effect on the WA and national economies. http://mattcowgill.wordpress.com:80/2010/11/02/the-resource-curse-a-view-from-1730/ [i]Dump your copper network, says Japan IT mogul—the story you weren’t told, Bernard Keane, Crikey.[/i] [b]The Australian has been caught out misrepresenting [/b]the views of the richest man in Japan, Korean-Japanese IT billionaire Masayoshi Son, as part of its campaign against the National Broadband Network http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/11/02/dump-your-copper-network-says-japan-it-mogul-the-story-you-werent-told/ [i]RBA shocks with 0.25% rate rise, Patrick Stafford, Crikey[/i] shocked the market by raising official interest rates by 0.25% to 4.75% this afternoon, citing a looming risk of rising inflation. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/11/02/rba-shocks-with-0-25-rate-rise/ [i]Reserve Bank ups cash rate 4.5 to 4.75 % This is not a drill, Peter Martin[/i] The global economy grew faster than trend over the year to mid 2010 http://www.petermartin.com.au/ [i]Bolt Daily Double, Dave Gaukroger, Pure Poison[/i] Bolt abuses a straightforward and rather obvious piece of news reporting for some Muslim and refugee bashing, neatly rolled into one.Stay classy Andrew, you arsehat!http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/ [i]Tasmania flags telco contract overhaul, Renai LeMay, Delimiter[/i] The Tasmanian State Government has lifted the lid on a major overhaul of the way it buys voice and mobile telecommunications services, in an initiative which could see other providers take more of the telco spending . http://delimiter.com.au/2010/11/02/tasmania-flags-telco-contract-overhaul/ [i]Pssst! Did you hear the news? Petering Time, North Coast Voices[/i] to what can only be called phantom actions) represents instability within the Gillard Government and his newspaper’s rendition of the gossip is in the public interest http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/2010/11/pssst-did-you-hear-news.html [i]A Crikey Plug, David Havyatt, Anything Goes[/i] Bernard Keane today has used discussion of "food security" to outline the basic process of creating an effective narrative; http://davidhavyatt.blogspot.com/2010/11/crikey-plug.html [i]Audio Quiggin on Zombie Economics Russ Roberts and John Quiggin[/i] Much of the conversation focuses on the role of government in the financial sector and how that might be improved going forward. http://www.econtalk.org:80/archives/2010/11/quiggin_on_zomb.html [i]Zombies on Econtalk, John Quiggin[/i] I’ve done a podcast discussion with Russ Roberts for EconTalk I also got a review from Arnold Kling on the same site, which began “I agree with some of it, which might be considered a rave review.” http://johnquiggin.com/ [i]Information Commissioner’s toe in the Government 2.0 waters, Stilgherrian, Crikey[/i] also the Government 2.0 agenda — including following up the Declaration of Open Government, which, as Crikey reported, was posted by Lindsay Tanner http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/11/02/information-commissioner%e2%80%99s-toe-in-the-government-2-0-waters/ [i]Australian Politics TV[/i] elections, commercials, TV, media, polls, YouTube, Victoria, announcement, information, political parties, Victoria Votes 2010 http://australianpoliticstv.org/2010/11/01/victoria-votes-2010/#more-614

HS

3/11/2010You've heard of the Black Knight. Well, now we have 'The Black Skeleton'. :) Damned if I can do anything about the Black Box I have been enveloped by.

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3/11/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

HS

3/11/2010Can anyone tell me how to 'clear my cache', as Gravatar is saying I have to do that before my changes can take effect?

Patriciawa

3/11/2010So who is this mysterious and unusual pollie who insists on being a normal human being, the un-named Labor Cabinet minister in our 'fragile' government who has erred and been behaving inappropriately? Julia Gillard should take a leaf out of Colin Barnett's book and forgive him, even if like Troy Buswell his offence was not only to 'behave inappropriately' (and with a Greens MP at that!) but to do so on the public purse. Yesterday our Premier was lauding the recently disgraced Buswell as a fine MP and signalling his likely return to a very senior position in state government. The Buswell/Carles scandal reminds me of the sorrow this kind of political sideshow causes to the innocents, their children, whose lives are so sadly affected by it all. Whatever the impact politically we should spare a thought for the families of these high profile public figures whose private lives i.e. 'affaires' are exposed in the media simply by the opportunism of one party or another. [quote]Sometimes Publication Should be Damned! [/quote] They choose high office in the public gaze While meeting elsewhere hid from curious eyes. We delight in watching in our various ways When whisperers reveal their secret lives. On television screens or printed page The daily bulletins on their 'affaires' Amuse at times or rouse confected rage As personal lives are exposed to prurient stares. Do they, or we, give pause to think of those With whom they each and separately live, Understand that families feel these blows, Hard to forget, and harder still forgive? Who is guilty, players or audience, Of these unfair assaults on innocence?

TalkTurkey

3/11/2010SKELETON! SKELETON! WHERE BE GONE TO? The Hallowe'en Gremlins bin tookim for dem own?! Ad . . . All this bein' nice to SIC and Them . . . No pejoratives, um, er, what about like calling Reith a creep? I see pejorative comes from pejorare, to make matters worse, h'mmm, how to make the pustulous matter that is Reith any worse, that would be a trick. I do not forget antihumanitarian crimes, nor forgive it short of admission and apology. I don't see this ever coming from the Rotten Right; I do not forgive Pyne for wasting the People's time in parliament and for the sorts of behaviours he chooses to employ. I don't forgive Abbott and all his yahoo hordes for their uncaring obstructionism, and their preparedness to divide the People in their mad lust for power, in whose use they would all-too-plainly be utterly untrustworthy. Am I sorry to have called Crisp Limpy? To depict his august family crest as a maggot rampant in a picturesque spot? Well no. He chose to knighthood himself, that lays down and begs riposte. He still hasn't come up with anything clever btw. That, more than a lot of what he does say, is really contemptible imo. Pejoratives . . . Gillard refers to Pyne as Mincing Poodle, hilarious, so Pyne calls her what, a back-alley bitch or thereabouts, d-uhhh, he just don't get the difference between wit and nastiness, and after that, there's no choice, nastiness reigns. I call him Mincing Poodle-Do. (But you know me, nasty myself.) The thing is to RIDICULE the enemy, we're not allowed to slander, good thing too, but the most powerful tool at our disposal is ridicule. Did yous know that Napoleon would probly have beaten the Poms at Trafalgar if he'd followed his head and commissioned a fleet of the new maritime marvel of steamships but the idea was ridiculed out of him . . . The Liberals have used ridicule to destroy much of the credit due to the Rudd/Gillard Labor Governments (they have the yellow media on their side, and their sole focus is on destructiveness)and I see it as very important to up the ante on the cleverness of our insults. But there you go, there's nothing clever at all in SIC's Dyke jibe, just pure venom and no merriment. So that's when the spittin starts. Poor Poodle-Do can't think of anything clever so he's just insulting, SIC likewise, see if SIC would come back with such we could have a nice time getting some mutual respect with clever broadsides back and forth but when he's just an * what can one do? All round though I would far rather that cordiality was what held sway in the WBL, but that is just not possible, the Rotten Right is too horrid.

TalkTurkey

3/11/2010Lyn, I know it's been said before, but you really do lead our peloton . . . We zoom around your links and in the process catch up with optic fibre info and MP gossip and insightful points of view from clever people like Grog's Gamut and it's like passing through the countryside on a bike with you showing the way. Most people never do send posts, someone said that here recently, but yeah, a lot of people are in this tour you lead. May your plumage be ever more glossy. I think I messed a mitaphor.

NormanK

3/11/2010HS You may have already found these but just in case : Clearing cache on Firefox http://pcsupport.about.com/od/maintenance/ht/clearcacheff.htm From the Gravatar site http://en.gravatar.com/site/faq/#answer-1-5 Clearing your cache is a good idea once a week anyway just to remove all of the "backed-up" information which allows to you to reload a previously visited page more quickly. No risk of harm. The next time you visit a page it is re-entered into the cache anyway but you may lose a couple of seconds of your life waiting for it to load. You don't need to do a new post to check if your Gravatar has been enabled - all of your black posts will convert to the new image. Or revert to the old Boney One we know and love.

HS

3/11/2010NormanK, You're bloomin' marvellous! :) I shall get onto it ASAP(which=after I have read Crikey).

lyn

3/11/2010Hi Talk Turkey What is a nice comment and compliment you posted this morning thankyou very much. There was a more than usual variety this morning, and yes sometimes it is breathtaking, sort of puffed out,riding from subject to subject. But seriously aren't the bloggers just magic, the information they are providing is astronomical. As you said like a scenic tour around the countryside. Amazing Newspapers eh! don't worry about facts,write anything: No Author, no Names Whispering may derail Labor Daily Telegraph http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/whispering-may-derail-labor/story-e6frezz0-1225945558628 {[quote]to what can only be called phantom actions) represents instability within the Gillard Government and his newspaper’s rendition of the gossip is in the public interest. [/quote]

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3/11/2010Talk Turkey What I suggested to Sir Ian was that while it is acceptable to use in [i]TPS[/i] blogs the pejorative descriptors of politicians that are used in the popular press, as that is common parlance, it is not acceptable to use derogatory labels for other bloggers here. If we all observe this etiquette and courtesy towards each other we will avoid the to and fro slanging that has characterised some of the exchanges between Sir Ian and jj on the one hand, and other bloggers on the other. It ought to be possible to counter another's argument with facts and logic; recourse to slang is usually a sign of defeat.

George Pike

3/11/2010Hard to believe how utterly evil tony abbott really is..he is over in Adelaide stirring up hatred for anyone and anything that isn't of white european extraction. One thoughtful soul who's been emboldened by the xenophobic language from abbott even reckoned that the refugees could soon be strapping bombs to kids and sending them off to school. I wonder what the Australian servicemen and women who died fighting fascism would think of the behaviour of the Liberals and their media mates?

jj

3/11/2010Julia Gillard should come home already! In Vietnam she never brought up the issue of human rights abuses (something which you think that a woman from the left would take great issue of). Then when she brought up the whole Asia pacific, or is it South East Asian, or is it just the regional processing center (she cant tell us what the region is yet), the only responses were, at the next meeting; maybe when you actually give us something concrete to look at; and, well we are not totally opposed to the idea (according to Gillard that was a big tick from SBY). Come home Julia, you have done enough already!

Jason

3/11/2010jj, "In Vietnam she never brought up the issue of human rights abuses (something which you think that a woman from the left would take great issue of)." Really? either you were there or you could provide a link or some other evidence to back up such claims? then you say "when you actually give us something concrete to look at; and, well we are not totally opposed to the idea (according to Gillard that was a big tick from SBY)." take note of that last sentence give us something concrete to look at when you do I will!

CALLIGULA

3/11/2010Mr George Pike, Well said – “Can't believe the bank put rates up...and the CBA overshot that immediately. I think the strategy may be to make it plain to the public that the mining boom is public enemy number one and that the mining tax is the only way to slow the boom down and lower pressure on interest rates into the bargain. We are not going to have any other export industries in the country if they don't act soon. The farmers and tourist operatos are crying tears of blood down here in Tasmania.” But isn’t that what Kev tried to tell them before both teams destroyed his perfectly workable majority? Surely it is time a new way of looking at the machinations in politics is adopted? While on that subject who exactly is running the Propaganda Ministerium these days? I don’t know what its like for all you fellows where you are located but any commercial radio I can pick up is utterly crass and the ABC endlessly repeats suicide, illness, depression, illegal immigrants, uncontrollable violence, global warming, rising sea levels, Mr. Abbott, and global warming again. I don’t know, but I read a fair deal about propaganda techniques – repetition, key words, subliminals and the like. Stap me if that ain’t what we’re all copping. Once in a blue moon someone like Harry Evans or Tony Fitzgerald have their few seconds but never in a format where their wisdom can be expanded or translated into action. BTW – HS – Try some flouro hobby paint. (Toyworld’ll have some) You can be a ‘glow in the dark skeleton’. Yep. I reckon Halloween has hit. Trick or treat? Sometimes those kids can be sneaky.

nasking

3/11/2010Hi all, been down w/ a back injury...but managed to write a post on the US election: US Election…slightly saner than it could’ve been…but November 3, 2010 by nasking http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/11/03/us-election-slightly-saner-than-it-couldve-been-but/ [quote]Predictably, independents began to desert the Democrats from the moment Wall Street was bailed out and those golden parachutes started opening…whilst smaller banks suffered, loans dried up, small businesses struggled…and home foreclosures started to look like a pox on the landscape. Generally, it was about “Jobs, bailouts, foreclosures, illegal immigration, low youth & high elderly turnout and media propaganda stupid!”[/quote] Keep up the great work. N'

lyn

3/11/2010Hi Nasking Thankyou for coming over to see us and thankyou for welcome comment. Sorry to hear you have a bad back, back pain feels like your whole body doesn't it, and is so depressing. We have all been a bit quiet today, probably resting, it really has been a hectic year, with frantic political happenings,and an incredibly long election. I see Abbott is trying to make a "Great Big Noice" over the Asylum Seekers again, still. Visiting Woodside calling a meeting to stir up trouble. The Melbourne Cup attendance didn't get him enough TV footage. Joe Hockey is cranky, ( now that's different), because the Government is lying through it's teeth he said, and Wayne Swan has been warned 32 times, imagine 32 times. Joe still hasn't got a hanky. Cheers

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3/11/2010Folks In the morning there will be another thoughtful piece by HillbillySkeleton: [i]The politics of simplistic populism[/i], which I will post after Lyn has posted her links.

D Mick Weir

3/11/2010Hi Ad, crawled out from under 9 miles of paperwork to spend last couple of days on the road. Only fifteen minutes to spare raced into bookshop and Zombies not in stock yet so bought Andrew Leighs Disconnected instead. Hope to find time to read it over next few days but .......... [i]Grrr ..... paperwork[/i]

HS

3/11/2010Well, well, well. I've just been over to Grog's blog and guess what? That angry mob at Tony Abbott's Woodside meeting today were BUSSED IN! Is there no low that that man will not stoop to? The person that made that information available also said that the national media did not report the many people in Woodside putting up purple ribbons of welcome for the refugees. Tony Abbott seems to have no second thoughts about encouraging the worst in the Australian character. He is the one who should be despised, not the refugees.

HS

3/11/2010Well, well, well. I've just been over to Grog's blog and guess what? That angry mob at Tony Abbott's Woodside meeting today were BUSSED IN! Is there no low that that man will not stoop to? The person that made that information available also said that the national media did not report the many people in Woodside putting up purple ribbons of welcome for the refugees. Tony Abbott seems to have no second thoughts about encouraging the worst in the Australian character. He is the one who should be despised, not the refugees.

HS

3/11/2010Testing. Testing. 1,2,3. Cleared cache. Not too hopeful but let's see what happens...

HS

3/11/2010Nope, that didn't work. Wonder if I should do a System Restore, even if nothing else is wrong with 'puter? I have one last idea. Gravatar say you can use a new e-mail address. Thus, if I have to(that is, if no one comes up with any other bright ideas), then I will go to all the trouble of opening up another gmail account and try to upload a Gravatar that way. Sigh.

NormanK

3/11/2010Hs We are at the end of a thread so talk to me. What have you tried?

lyn

3/11/2010Hi Hillbilly If you do System restore, it should work for you, and it only takes a few minutes, none of your programs or files are lost during the restore process, just restore back 3 days. cheers

Sir Ian Crisp

4/11/2010AA, I don't mind the invective hurled my way because I dish it out. What I have objected to was your selective chiding. I have been asking you to say a lot or say nothing rather than be selective in what you say. Your contribution at 3:34pm seems to indicate that you are no longer timid. Well done. It is refreshing to see you finally understand what it was I was complaining about. Having said all that please don't stifle the 'debate' by using a handbrake. As I said, I enjoy the cut and thrust here at TPS. Let me repeat it once more; I don't care what others may say about me but if I return serve I don't expect you to chide me and ignore the others. If I can be called a 'sad little man' (or something like that) by one of your posters without drawing any warning from you about such a term I don't expect you to carry on like you did over my use of the word 'vaginaocracy'.

George Pike

4/11/2010Here's the ugly racist side of abbott in its full glory. The worst of it has been edited out to make him and the racist element within the Woodside residents look half human. One resident actually said that the refugees kids would have bombs strapped them and sent off to school...abbott said "we don't want people to see these lovely leafy suburbs, it would give them totally the wrong idea"...can you believe people with blatantly fascist views like that can exist in this day and age.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amrwpBfPtlE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lNM2MJ3ows The full report was on Ch7 news last night..if anyone can find it, it is well worth watching. The ABC have totally ignored it since that Midday Report yesterday..they are too busy concentrating on pushing andrew robbs worthless spiel linking the interest rate rises to government spending, despite the fact that every economist in the world says it has zero to do with it and it is in fact the mining boom driving those increases. Also great to see the US stockmarket virtually unmoved after the great republican victory..didn't cheer the business community one iota..what does THAT tell you then!

HS

4/11/2010Sir Ian Crisp, 'Vaginaocracy' is a sexually-explicit term. 'Sad little man' is not. You are therefore, in my opinion trying to create the impression of equivalency in perjorative terms, where there is none. Or, if we take your opinion to heart, do you therefore agree that we are able to refer to your comments as those of a 'd***head'?

TalkTurkey

4/11/2010George Pike I was saying to my cher ami only an hour ago, if my Dad (teacher, and bomber navigator in WWII) had seen Abbott fomenting discontent in Woodside, he would have been utterly dismayed. And those faces of hate were BUSSED IN?! What is this country come to? See Oakes yesterday saying, well really Swan was the one who was trying first to do something about bank greed, but that the important thing was who was perceived to be the mover and shaker, namely Sloppy Joe. Ad, that is why TPS.

HS

4/11/2010lyn, I'll be trying that System Restore later today. However I think that this problem goes back further than 3 days, more like 30 days. I wonder about the stability of my computer in being able to handle going back that far. Do you have any idea about that conundrum I face?

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4/11/2010Sir Ian While you may enjoy the cut and thrust of personal invective being hurled between those who comment here, I don’t and I want it to stop. That will not ‘stifle’ the debate, as you suggest. Surely it is possible for bloggers to press their arguments without making unpleasant personal comments about others who blog here. You must have a great store of insults exchanged here to quote back at me. The examples you quote suggest that all insults are equal. From where I sit ‘sad little man’ is hardly in the same league as ‘vaginocracy’. But irrespective of the calibre of the insults, we can stop all this time-wasting to-ing and fro-ing by just treating each other with common-or-garden respect. It’s not that difficult. Can we just leave it at that and get on with sensible, logical commentary about the issues. I’m not prepared to waste any more of my time arguing the toss with you on your favourite theme – inconsistency.

lyn

4/11/2010Hi Hillbilly The System restore facility has the capacity to store up to 3 months, naturally I don't know your settings, but you would have a back date, of [b]at least 60 days.[/b] When you go to restore it will tell you the capacity. System restore is fully reversable and you can try any amount of available dates you like, until you are satified with your performance.

HS

4/11/2010Talk Turkey, I agree with your sentiments about Tony Abbott. He's a very nasty piece of work, isn't he? For a so-called Catholic Christian man he behaves in a very uncharitable way towards the downtrodden.

lyn

4/11/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Australian Blog Sites Australian Blog Sites will capture and promote this new spirit[/i]. Please visit the blog sites listed below and share the unity. Café Whispers The Political Sword http://australianblogsites.com:80/ [i]Place without a Postcard, Greg Jericho, Grog's Gamut[/i]. So today Tony Abbott went to the Adelaide Hills to fan the flames of hate meet with community groups and talk about detention centres. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2010/11/place-without-postcard.html [i]Someone else's problem, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i] Lenore Taylor reckons that regulating the financial system is someone else's problem, bless her http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2010/11/someone-elses-problem-lenore-taylor.html [i]Interest rates 5-0, Ashghebranious, Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] You see you mentioned levers a couple of weeks ago and then you took it back and then you came out with your nine point plan and pointed out you didn’t mean to call them levers so much as reforms and there you are talking levers again. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com:80/2010/11/03/interest-rates-5-0/ [i]New paradigm produces good results, Mungo MacCallum ,Echo[/i] Tony Abbott finishing the Port Macquarie half ironman race three hours behind the winner, while Julia Gillard was in Vietnam http://www.echo.net.au/opinion-piece/new-paradigm-produces-good-results [i]Tony Abbott:" Asylum Seekers getting Luxury Red Carpet Treatment, Reb, Gutter Trash“[/i] You do not send idyllic picture postcards from Australia to the people smugglers and their customers.” http://guttertrash.wordpress.com/ [i]Next time your'r thinking John Howard was the Meanness of Spirit King.. think again ,Kerryn Goldsworthy, Still Life With Cat[/i]Abbott is having a field day doing his best to broaden and darken the mean streak in human nature, and http://stilllifewithcat.blogspot.com/2010/11/next-time-youre-thinking-john-howard.html [i]REFUGEE ADVOCATES CONDEMN ABBOTT STOKING RACIST FIRES IN THE COMMUNITY[/i] The Refugee Action Coalition today condemned Tony Abbott’s visit to Inverbrackie for stirring anti-refugee and racist sentiments in the community. http://refugeeactioncoalitionsydney.wordpress.com/2010/11/03/refugee-advocates-condemn-abbott-stoking-racist-fires-in-the-community/ [i]The Good Old Political Game of One Upmanship and Other Issues , Aussie Polies and their Paradigms[/i] The Government has beaten Joe Hockey to the punch on reform of the banking sector today even though Joe Hockey had outlined proposals first. It http://newparadigmpollies.blogspot.com/2010/11/good-old-political-game-of-one.html [i]Victoria: Labor squeezed? ,Gary Sauer-Thompson , Public Opinion[/i] The real interest is how many inner city seats in Melbourne will the ALP lose to the Greens? http://www.sauer-thompson.com/

HS

4/11/2010lyn, Thank you. :) I'll give it a go later, after I come back from the shopping.

HS

4/11/2010George Pike, In the second clip that you included it was telling to listen to one of the men speaking to Tony Abbott say, "They've ruined my town(i.e. the refugees presumably), what are they going to do to Woodside?". Which suggests, as I said, that a lot of those people at that meeting came from elsewhere in SA. Also, the other man taped by Ch10 made plain the fact that he had voted Liberal all his life, except for the time he voted for Pauline Hanson!!! These are the sort of animal spirits that Tony Abbott is encouraging. Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

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4/11/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

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4/11/2010Folks I have just posted HillbillySkeleton's latest piece: [i]The politics of simplistic populism[/i]. Enjoy. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2010/11/04/The-politics-of-simplistic-populism.aspx
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