Where to from here for The Political Sword?

There are pivotal points in the lives of all of us, no less in the life of a political blog. The Political Sword has reached such a pivotal point.

Last Friday The Political Sword had its fifth birthday. The previous Saturday, Labor lost government. Among many who blog here, that was a great disappointment. The long road back to government for Labor lies ahead. They were pivotal points.

Moreover, key players in the life of this blog seek to take a different direction. Last week, Lyn, whose links have attracted thousands of regular visitors every day, decided to take a break. She has now decided to retire permanently from this very time-consuming and onerous task. For my part, I wish also to take a permanent break.

The Political Sword has been sustained over the years by the loyalty and contributions of a growing number of commenters, now over four hundred, and the visits of thousands of ‘lurkers’ who never comment but who visit regularly, thereby keeping the traffic through the site running at a consistently high level. They come to read Lyn’s Daily Links, the weekly pieces I write, the occasional guest authors’ offerings, and the many, many well-informed comments that run into the hundreds for every piece.

The constancy of the contribution of daily links, and of writing weekly pieces that often run to three thousand words with numerous references and links, has taken its toll on Lyn and me. We have spouses and families, and many other things we would like to do. Our commitment to The Political Sword has made other commitments and other pursuits almost impossible. We have done our bit to promote and support the values that progressives hold, but it’s time for a change. More of that later.

Some background may be of interest to those of you who have not been with us from the beginning.

During the final six years of my medical career I was editor of an Internet site that provided medical information to a worldwide audience of family doctors. That experience gave me insight into how such sites work, and the elements of HTML programming. In the year I retired from that, Kevin Rudd became Opposition Leader and the hope of Labor replacing the Howard Government became a reality. Being a Labor supporter, this excited my interest, and heightened my desire to write on matters political.

Even as far back as 2007 it was so obvious that journalists in the Fourth Estate were afflicted by groupthink, that this was the subject of my first blog piece: Is the media in Australia suffering from groupthink?. Having nowhere to publish it, I sent it to Possum Comitatus seeking advice as to how I might have it published. He kindly offered to post it as the first piece on his blogsite Possum Box, which he did on 14 June 2008. I will always be grateful to Possum for giving me a start in the Fifth Estate.

I was encouraged when the piece attracted over thirty comments, one of which was from janice, whom you all know is still a regular contributor to TPS. Subsequently, Possum published another three of my pieces, on Kevin Rudd and the media, on an emissions trading scheme, and on adversarial politics.

By then I was thinking that it would be appealing to have my own blogsite. My son-in-law, Web Monkey, set me up with this off-the-shelf freebie, BlogEngine.NET, which has served us very well since it began on 13 September 2008. He has maintained it ever since, updated it as each version arrived, transferred it to ‘the cloud’ (in Singapore), and developed TPS M@IL, a program that allows users to email politicians and disseminate pieces to selected parliamentarians. His contribution has been magnificent, for which I am deeply grateful.

The first post was an introduction to The Political Sword, and on the next day, 14 September, I posted In search of the political Holy Grail – the Rudd Government narrative, something that is still a mystery to many Fourth Estate journalists.

Since that modest beginning, which attracted just three comments (one was from janice) and almost no traffic, it has expanded to a busy site where each piece attracts from two to six hundred comments, and high ratings. Our stats show us that there are hundreds of regular commenters, and thousands of visitors who choose not to comment. The cumulative total of original pieces is 469, close to a million words; there have been over 61,000 comments; and over 2,000 raters.

In 2009 along came Lyn, at first commenting, then adding some links to her comments, then posting more and more links and posting them more often, until they morphed into her regular ‘Today’s Links’, archived regularly in Lyn’s Daily Links, and then, as they expanded, into Lyn’s Daily Links Archive, which dates back to early February 2011. It now contains many thousands of links of great historic interest. One look through the Archive demonstrates Lyn’s extraordinary and brilliant contribution to The Political Sword over the years, a contribution acknowledged over and again by those who comment here.

Lyn’s Daly Links Archive is invaluable. It will remain as a permanent monument to Lyn.

There have been other contributors of pieces on The Political Sword. Bushfire Bill, Hillbilly (Feral) Skeleton and Acerbic Conehead, who together contributed hundreds of pieces, John L, then, more recently, Victoria Rollison, Kaye Rollison, Marian Dalton and Jan Mahyuddin @j4gypsy. There have been poets too who have added verse to enrich the site with colour and movement: Talk Turkey, Patriciawa and Truth Seeker. They have all added immensely to the quality, reach and appeal of The Political Sword, for which I am hugely grateful, as are all the visitors here.

So here we are: Lyn has retired, and will concentrate on her family, her crafts and her hobbies; and I wish to give attention to family matters, complete the writing of my life story, do some more motoring across our vast land, which we enjoy, and taking some shipboard tours. To do this we both must take a new direction.

What then becomes of The Political Sword? It has become the home for many kindred souls, mainly Labor advocates, who enjoy the links, the pieces that are posted, and the discourse here among the participants. It has indeed become The Political Sword family. I have welcomed each new commenter, and have sought to respond to the comments as often as I was able. Insightful comments deserve a response, although responding is time-consuming and at times a demanding process.

It would be a great pity for The Political Sword to simply close down. Already some have expressed the hope that it will continue the fight for Labor values, oppose contrary values the new Government may seek to impose, and work towards the restoration of a Labor Government whose purpose is to ensure fairness and equity across the nation, to ensure prosperity for all, and to ensure infrastructure and services are in place to serve our economy, to serve our ageing population, and to care for all those in need of help.

The Political Sword needs to find a new home, where it will be fostered, supported, and expanded by a devoted and dedicated blog manager and enthusiastic writers, where it can promulgate its values and remain a resonant voice in the Fifth Estate, in which it has established a solid reputation and has garnered the respect of other sites, who include it on their blogrolls.

It has been suggested that others may wish to contribute pieces, which would certainly take the load from my shoulders. Anyone willing to do so would be welcome. My preference though is that someone, perhaps who has experience in managing a political blogsite, take over management of The Political Sword, write for it, and act as an editor of pieces submitted by others. It has a guaranteed audience, and an intelligent, well informed and articulate following, who habitually comment on the theme of each new piece, but who also pick up on what is happening in the political world and offer links to a wide variety of sources.

For some time now Janet has provided additional links and Twitterverse, and now Casablanca has taken up where Lyn left off to provide comprehensive collections of links. If they were willing to continue in this vein, the superb and unique link facility that Lyn established would continue to bring countless thousands to The Political Sword for information and succour.

Folks, this is an opportunity for you to offer your suggestions about how The Political Sword might continue, and indeed go from strength to strength. With the Coalition Government in place and already showing stark signs of its intent to tear down much of what Labor has built, signs that it will institute its own brand of neoliberal politics where trickle down economics are the norm, where the strong prevail and the weak falter and are left behind, the need for The Political Sword, and sites like it, is even more urgent.

Please post your suggestions and comments here, and if you wish to contact me directly with proposals or ideas, use the ‘Contact’ item on the top menu.

I will not respond immediately to posted comments, as I would prefer to see them in aggregate before doing so, but of course I will respond promptly to email messages.

Finally, on your behalf, I want to extend to you Lyn, our dear Lyn, the heartfelt thanks of all of us for your many years of dedicated and devoted work to The Political Sword in bringing us the world of political comment day after day, summarized to make it easy for us to assimilate, linked and referenced brilliantly. May your retirement a very happy one, and all you wish it to be.


To all who visit here, what do you think?

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Russell in Glendale

15/09/2013The political Sword has been a beacon in the murky soup that calls its self the mainstream media in this nation. As a progressive I have often felt relief by reading this blog that I am not alone in thinking that an economy is like a fire. It is a wonderful servant able to provide so many benefits to so many. But as a master it can be ruthless and unfair. Of particular note is the parts of our lives that are not priced within the economy by this the biggest failure of all, the environment. The Political sword has provided a voice of reason to the Murdoch crazies whilst offering quality discourse and debate of ideas. I wish you Ad astra and Lyn the very best wishes in your future endeavours going forward.

Catching up

15/09/2013I wish to thank you all for allowing this site to exist. I do hope a way can be found, to allow it to continue.

Frank

15/09/2013Your commentary was one of the few things that sustained me during one of the nastiest periods in our political history, where mediocrities preached with scant regard for the truth and thereby won over many of the uninformed who voted for them. There is no website that I preferred when it came to reasoned political debate.

Bilko

15/09/2013Ad Astra One by one the lights grow dim, over the last few years, yours has been one of the brightest and I for one will miss you, your posts and all our fellow Swordsters.It has truly been a family site Possum gave us hope when the rodent and his mob were in power. This site continued in that vein being the beacon when Possum could not maintain his momento. Now I am being asked to vote for one of the two people who helped remove Julia and the cause of my pain is still sitting in the back of the room and may even now get a shadow portfolio. Where is the justice when one needs it

Catching up

15/09/2013Bilko, we can hope for another to nominate, but I suspect that is only wishful thinking. Would rather see Albanese in the role he has been carrying out. Not that keen on Shorten. Not too sure why. There are better options, but I can see why they are not willing to put their hand up yet. Rudd must know it is time to go. Or at least, say he will retire at the next election. Felt the same way, when Gillard took the poison chalice. At the time. I wished she had waited. Even so, history will write her up well. I think she manage to achieve what she set out to do.

Janet (j4gypsy)

15/09/2013Ad: tears. Thank you for such a lovely history of your and Lyn’s contribution to the political life and political history of Australia – because that’s what it has been. (Thank you, too, for the mentions.) Not surprisingly I have been wondering for a while ‘where to from here?’ I agree with you that the more suggestions that are posted now the better. This is mine: and it may seem pretty left-field. But here goes . As you and some others will be aware, I really only found TPS about 18 months ago, and BECAUSE of wanting to support Julia Gillard. I said then, and repeat, yours was the first set of critiques I had read that had anything positive to say about the Gillard Government. Revelation! Over time and mainly through Lyn’s links I came to find many other blogs of the fifth estate, but I returned consistently to two of those additional ones that had been set up prior to the election, and because of it: [i]The Australian Independent Media Network[/i] at http://theaimn.com/ set up by Michael Taylor (so well-known on TPS, and fondly, as Migs) and pulling in quite a few of the writers who also contributed to TPS, and [i]The Pub[/i] at http://pbxmastragics.com/, set up by @Hillybilly Skeleton, @BushfireBill, and Fiona, amongst others, pulling in some who may have contributed starter discussion posts to TPS, but who have certainly commented over the years and still pop in and out (hullo Fiona :-)). Ad, it is a huge task to do as you and Lyn have done: almost single-handedly write a discussion-starter blog post a week for 48 weeks of a year as well as, for Lyn, single-handedly providing numerous leads to reading in the fifth, and sometimes fourth estates. It is a huge task to run the site (in spite of the lucky support of a Web Monkey). It is a huge task to be the responder consistently to the comments of others. Only the mutual passions of you and Lyn and your commitment have kept this happening along with, I would suspect Ad, not only your work as an editor of that international medical site, but also all your work as an academic, a teacher. As Lyn’s sweetness as a human being shone, so shone your endless patience, and your ceaseless propensity to praise and agree first, and then gently lead to a bit more understanding, a bit more reading, always extending each individual’s critical-thinking reach, always working to the humanity in your readers and commentaters. I look at this and think about the “crossover” between [i]TPS[/i], [i]AIM[/i] and [i]The Pub[/i], and I wonder. My first thought is that given the crossover extent, do we have a way forward that might be a collaborative blog site, out of three? My next thought, then, is about what the “culture”, and the “brand”, of the three blogs seems to offer. And how they might inter-relate. [b]TPS[/b] TPS has had the most amazing consistency in offering blog posts and links, and has run the longest of the three blogs. It has an extraordinarily wide readership (not that I know quite how wide). It has been supported and promulgated by the @Lynlinking Twitter account. Since Lyn also posted on Twitter the links posted on [i]TPS[/i], daily, she has now close to 4000 followers, who also retweet her links. Lyn has built up an extraordinary network of contacts with fifth estate bloggers. (Take a moment and look at her “Lists” on Twitter, if you have an account. These alone are a monumental resource to future work of the “linking” kind.) [i]TPS[/i] brings in no less than 150 comments per week (in a quiet week) and up to 500 in a very busy week when a starter blog post has really hit a reader nerve. No other fifth estate political blog I read has that level of comment response (except perhaps [i]The Pub[/i], at its busiest.) It welcomes each ”newbie” person commenting as a member of “the family”, providing a virtual space for belonging, friendship, and the making of community identity. Posts from commentators often have a quite lengthy, discursive, analytical momentum (this seems to satisfy an ‘intellectual’ bent in lots of contributors; a hunger for seriousness, even). This in turn goes with the poetry, music videos, the links to the desperately-needed “silly”. [i]TPS[/i] has ensured a starter-discussion blog post has a fairly accurate standard of writing/presentation through its “editorial” professionalism (umm, we know because we have been ‘edited’ by Ad – a pleasurable experience :-)). Web Monkey’s talents have allowed, too, the still possibly under-utilised and under-explored aspect of the ‘email your pollie’ facility. Above all, [i]TPS[/i] seems now to have very wide “brand recognition”. [b]AIM[/b] This site uses WordPress. Its structure allows a number of discussion-starter bloggers to post directly onto the site, although Michael Taylor might be the ultimate “blog master”. This can lead to a number of new "articles” being posted quickly across a week, so that the sense of “media” rather than “blog” is quite strong. Fewer readers comment on each individual post than at e.g. [i]TPS[/i] or [i]The Pub[/i], although it varies, as each individual starter-blogger responds re their article posted. Individual bloggers on AIM, e.g. Victoria Rollison, Barry Tucker, maintain, and certainly promulgate via Twitter, their own individual blog sites. It is not known whether individual discussion-starters bloggers go through any kind of “editorial” process, ‘tho one suspects not. A huge advantage of this site is that a series of regular bloggers sustain the site. How wide is its brand recognition? [b]The Pub[/b] This blog was a late starter before the 2013 election by a bunch of bods who seem to be drop-outs from Crikey’s Poll Bludger? As with [b]AIM[/b], discussion-starter pieces have been offered by a number of individuals willing to proffer a kick-starter post. The site is therefore managed by more than one “blogmaster”. Individual bloggers still have separate individual blog sites for shorter, or not, pieces and commentary. It has one contributor in particular, DK, who has provided daily links to reading on matters political (in the manner of the very famous Lyn :-)). It has, like [i]TPS[/i], a lovely way of welcoming new readers into the fold. (‘Tho here, drinks are proffered, resplendent with pix!) It emphasises relaxing in [i]The Pub[/i] on a Friday night, and yacking about anything pretty much other than politics. (Quite a brilliant strategy.) This gives it a distinct sense of fun, along with its seriousness. It has very quickly built quite a wide following. It uses WordPress, and allows commentaters to add graphics we can see, and video, we can also see, not just by following a link. but on the web-page itself. Again, how wide is its brand recognition? [b]The left-field suggestion[/b] I wonder, Ad, if it is time to find a way of negotiating the three political blogs, that have users, readers, commentators crossing away between the three, into one “new” political blog site [The “New Media Political Sword at The Pub” site :-)] ? Very few people will have the time to do as you and Lyn have done. I’m afraid I’m one :-(. Is there strength in this time of political renewal in a coming together, a possibility of merging the culture of family and seriousness of [i]TPS[/i] with the culture of letting hair down in a Friday at [i]The Pub[/i], with a vision of … less … blog by one but “new media” by many at [i]AIM[/i]: and finally, with the need not to ask any one human being, an Ad, a Lyn, to do what any number of us can try, and learn to do as a group, and in collaboration? Change is a difficult thing. Change management, even more difficult. What was, is not. And we will miss it so. But what could be, just may be very exciting indeed -- in its difference, and its promise. Leaving these first thoughts with you, with much affection,and gratefulness for what you have given so many. Jan, Janet, j4gypsy

Truth Seeker

15/09/2013Ad, Firstly I want to thank you for TPS, Not just a blog, but an online family with you as blog master extraordinaire, posting insightful and thought provoking articles that always promoted interesting discussions. Ably supported by the amazing, gorgeous tweety Lyn, whose links were always a great source of information and reference for those of us who hungered for the truth behind the spin and lies. TPS was the second blog that I found, the first being IA, and from TPS I found Café Whispers and Miglo. It was your warm welcome and encouragement that started me posting my poems, and from those early days (of my commenting) I found the confidence to start posting some of my poems at CW. I eventually had a couple of pieces posted by Migs, who encouraged me to start my own blog, at the end of last year, and on the last day of 2012, I started "Truthseekersmusings", which was only intended as an archive for my poems and other bits and pieces. After 9 months, and almost 50,000 hits, I am starting to understand the commitment that you and Lyn have made for the benefit of your readers. You have been my inspiration in running my blog, and like you, I always try to welcome new commenters, even if they are known to be less that ideal commenters. Your support has meant a great deal to me, and I am truly flattered when you recommend one of my articles or poems, as I see you as the standard by which others should be judged. Lyns links have also been instrumental in bringing visitors to my site, and she is truly a treasure. As I said, I do understand the commitment that you have both made, and I fully understand your need to take some time now for yourselves. I don't really have any great solution for the future of TPS, but I am sure that whatever happens, your legacy will remain. I sincerely wish you and Lyn, and your respective families the very best, and will be forever grateful for your inspiration, encouragement and support. I am also greatly honoured to get a mention in this particular article, and to be included in the TPS family. I check TPS every day, and many times a day usually, and I will continue to do so, although it will not be the same without the legendary Ad Astra or Lyn. Cheers :( :(

Fiona

15/09/2013Ad Astra and Lyn, You are forever in the firmament of illustrious contributors to the contest of ideas. My best wishes to you both for rest, recreation, and renewal. And, Ad Astra, can't wait to read that autobiography! Russell, There are other sites - perhaps not with the wisdom and passion of TPS - but doing their best! Fed Up, I wept that night back in 2010, because - once again - the cowards were sending a woman to take the flak. She taught them a lesson, however, in her handling of every grenade tossed her way. Bilko, As I just wrote to Fed Up. Jan, We will converse anon. Take care, everyone. We are indeed living in interesting times. Let's ensure we make them even more interesting for the incoming government.

Woodypear

15/09/2013Thank you for the education.

Patriciawa

16/09/2013Dear Lyn and Ad Astra - thank you again for the support and stimulation you've provided us all. The time, care and attention you've given to developing this wonderful resource for like minded people has been much appreciated. As you say, like all things even TPS must end, but your contribution to the Labor cause will not be forgotten.

Casablanca

16/09/2013[u]CASABLANCA'S CACHE:[/u] Monday, 16 September, 2013 [u]FIFTH ESTATE[/u] 1. ‘Cheap at twice the price’. The Prime Minister and Big Pharma [i]by: [/i] Bob Gosford [i] Is it appropriate – or ethical – for the Prime Minister and Pollie Pedal to continue their association with AMGEN? [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://blogs.crikey.com.au/northern/2013/09/13/cheap-at-twice-the-price-the-prime-minister-and-big-pharma/ *** 2. #OneTermTony – back to basics [i]by: [/i] Victoria Rollison [i]Abbott is going to have to sell his new policies and Labor policy rollbacks to small independent parties who owe him nothing. He’s promised not to negotiate with independents and minor parties to win power. But what point is there being in power if he can’t get anything done? He’s promised every angry bogan in Australia that he’s going to ‘axe the Carbon Tax’, and presumably they expect him to now axe the Emissions Trading Scheme. He’s promised every angry bogan and Gina Rinehart that he will axe the Mining Tax, but will he be able to do this without a majority in the Senate? So I hope Abbott’s feeling pretty impotent right now. And worried. Come the next election, not even hot daughters and a Murdoch media campaign can hide the fact that the angry bogans haven’t been given what they’ve been promised. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://theaimn.com/2013/09/08/onetermtony-back-to-basics/ *** 3. An Australian Senate [i]by: [/i] izacgross [i]The Australian Senate is designed to represent the interests of the states, balancing the House of Representatives, by splitting power equally between the larger states and the smaller ones. However, after witnessing an unprecedented number of accidental Senators in the recent election the issue of senate reform has been resurrected to try and inject a little more democracy into the ‘unrepresentative swill’. One interesting question that has been raised is what the Senate would look like if all 40 senators were elected from Australia as a whole, rather than from the individual states and territories? This new approach to electing the Senate would in many ways be a lot fairer. Voters from each state would be treated equally, instead of giving each state the same number of senators regardless of population size. In addition, citizens from the ACT and the NT would be fully enfranchised, as opposed to the current system which limits them to being represented by two senators each (the states have 12 each). [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://ausopinion.com/2013/09/15/an-australian-senate/ *** 4. What is a mandate? [i]by: [/i] Steve Irons [i] If you are going to argue you have a mandate, you have to have fulfilled certain requirements: 1. You have to have stated clearly the policy and detailed the impact of the policy, prior to the election. New governments who attempt to introduce a policy that they did not make public during the election campaign are said to not have a mandate to implement that policy. 2. You need to have been open and transparent about the costs and the benefits of the policy. New governments who hide the costs and or the benefits of that policy from the public are said to not have a mandate to implement that policy. Does Abbott have a mandate?[/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.bloggerme.com.au/what-mandate *** 5. Everyone has their mandate [i]by: [/i] billablog [i] Let’s be honest and admit that any discussion of mandates, either by a government or an opposition, is always going to be an argument of convenience. John Howard, as opposition leader, said in 1987, “The mandate theory of politics from the point of view of proper analysis has always been absolutely phoney.” Eleven years later, he had changed his mind. After winning a second term as prime minister with a majority of seats but not a majority of the popular vote, he claimed a mandate to implement the goods and services tax. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://ausopinion.com/2013/09/15/everyone-has-their-mandate/ *** 6. Border protection under Tony Abbott [i]by: [/i] Tony Kevin [i] We will see under the Abbott Government a tougher philosophy and administration of Australia's policing of its northern maritime borders against unauthorised boat people. It cannot be assumed numbers of arrivals will quickly fall to zero, though they are already trending downwards since Kevin Rudd announced in July that all irregular maritime arrivals will be processed in PNG or Nauru and resettled offshore. The Coalition pledged during the campaign to maintain that policy, and to augment it with new tough measures of deterrence at the borders.[/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://aussieobserver.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/border-protection-under-tony-abbott.html *** 7. The student who never learned [i]by: [/i]Andrew Elder [i] Sophie Mirabella embodied all of the worst aspects of student politics and none of the best. She learned nothing about building small-c coalitions, but learned how to build a small, tight-knit and ruthlessly committed knot of supporters who could get her anywhere she wanted to go. This was what she took to the monarchist movement in the '90s: she was always kept away from events where people might need persuading, but where there was a little-watched debate against some diffident republicans putting their case as though it were inevitable, she would all but sink her teeth into their ankles and make sure any undecideds left the debate undecided as the republicans limped away. She'd done her homework but those who could match her there were threatening, personally threatening. She got nasty early and had no game plan for those who could stand the heat. People who backed off when she got personal vindicated her self-image as a strong person. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://andrewelder.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/the-student-who-never-learned.html *** 8. Bronwyn Bishop to be Speaker .. [i]by: [/i] Michelle Grattan [i] Liberal frontbencher Bronwyn Bishop has accepted the job of Speaker in the House of Representatives – despite making it known to colleagues earlier this year that she did not want the position. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://theconversation.com/bronwyn-bishop-to-be-speaker-18226 *** 9. Let business pay to hear from ALP contestants: Albanese [i]by: [/i] Michelle Grattan [i] Anthony Albanese has suggested Labor should help pay for its leadership contest by running a forum for business people to hear from the two candidates. Tomorrow Labor’s national executive will discuss the rules of engagement for the battle between Albanese and Bill Shorten – which will run several weeks – including whether the debates between them should be public.[/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://theconversation.com/let-business-pay-to-hear-from-alp-contestants-albanese-18223 *** 10. The politics of ingratitude? Norway and Australia at the polls [i]by: [/i] Rob Manwaring [i] Imagine a country with a strong, well-performing economy, ruled by a centre-left party that has achieved a number of key reforms. Yet, despite having a good story to tell about strong growth, low unemployment, and low inflation it is heavily defeated at the polls, and replaced by a resurgent centre-right government. In this case, we are talking about Norway, not Australia. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://theconversation.com/the-politics-of-ingratitude-norway-and-australia-at-the-polls-18064 *** 11. Gillard’s essay a mix of sound points and flawed argument [i]by: [/i] Michelle Grattan [i] Julia Gillard’s hard hitting critique of Labor’s past problems and future challenges, posted on Guardian Australia at the weekend, has, among many messages, one central point. Labor, she argues, should be a party of purpose, rather than being driven by the polls.[/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://theconversation.com/gillards-essay-a-mix-of-sound-points-and-flawed-argument-18225 *** 12. Culture wars II: why Abbott should leave the history curriculum alone [i]by: [/i] Tony Taylor [i] In the last week of the campaign, some naggingly familiar comments came out from the Coalition. Then opposition leader Tony Abbott said he wanted to see the national curriculum in history changed because it was too left-leaning and underplayed Australia’s western heritage. Slightly inconsistently, but to his credit, Abbott added that it would be up to teachers to decide what was in the curriculum. If, now as prime minister, he sticks to that latter position, there will be sighs of relief amongst educators. If he doesn’t and the Coalition attempts to meddle in the history curriculum, as former prime minister John Howard did, Abbott should look to the past to see he doesn’t repeat it. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://theconversation.com/culture-wars-ii-why-abbott-should-leave-the-history-curriculum-alone-17925 *** 13. Former News Corp chief plays coy on election coverage [i]by: [/i] Brian McNair [i] In his first major speech since his sudden resignation last month as News Corp Australia’s chief executive, Kim Williams had the packed Grand Ballroom at Brisbane’s Hilton hotel abuzz with speculation. What might he reveal about Rupert Murdoch and News Corp’s internal politics? And what would he say about the News papers' “Kick this mob out” election coverage? [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://theconversation.com/former-news-corp-chief-plays-coy-on-election-coverage-18125 *** [u]FOURTH ESTATE[/u] 14. Man who lifted lid on hidden costs of buying [i]by: [/i] Ross Gittins [i] The man who first thought that governments should auction off rather give away the rights to such things as broadcast spectrum or taxi licences, and who started the thinking that led to the invention of emission trading schemes, died last week at the age of 102. He also inspired the joke economists tell each other as a warning against reading too much into statistics: ''If you torture the data long enough, it will confess.'' He was British-American economist Ronald Coase (rhymes with rose), of the University of Chicago, who in 1991 was awarded the Nobel prize for his trouble. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/man-who-lifted-lid-on-hidden-costs-of-buying-20130913-2tq3o.html#ixzz2ew1MNKMr *** 15. Focus back on ALP leadership, days after feeling voters' wrath [i]by: [/i] Daniel Hurst [i] The news vacuum is largely the result of incoming prime minister Tony Abbott's attempt to present a picture of a calm, ''methodical'' government - going about things in a measured, almost boring manner. He has not even been sworn in yet.[/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/focus-back-on-alp-leadership-days-after-feeling-voters-wrath-20130915-2tss4.html#ixzz2eyMIciiv *** 16. Concerns over state of wiring for the NBN [i]by: [/i] Lucy Battersby [i] The condition of millions of copper wires the Coalition will rely on to deliver its broadband policy is unknown, and it will take months to uncover how many are functional and how many are beyond use. Fault rates have increased in the past seven years from about 13 per cent in 2006-07 to 18 per cent, or 1 million faults, in 2011-12, according to figures published by the communications regulator.[/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/concerns-over-state-of-wiring-for-the-nbn-20130915-2tswo.html#ixzz2eyNVUnI3 *** 17. Mirabella creeps up but McGowan is still hopeful [i]by: [/i]AAP [i] Independent Cathy McGowan's lead over Liberal incumbent Sophie Mirabella continued to shrink in Indi, and the seat of McEwen is still on a knife edge. With about 8 per cent remaining to be counted, Ms McGowan's 837-vote lead in the Victorian seat had been cut to 515 at 5.40pm on Sunday. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/mirabella-creeps-up-but-mcgowan-is-still-hopeful-20130915-2tss5.html#ixzz2eyOHdoQp *** 18. Kevin Rudd switch was right: MPs reject Julia Gillard attack [i]by: [/i] Daniel Hurst [i] Kevin Rudd's backers have hit back at post-election criticism from former prime minister Julia Gillard that this year's leadership change sent voters "a very cynical and shallow message" about Labor's lack of purpose. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/kevin-rudd-switch-was-right-mps-reject-julia-gillard-attack-20130915-2tshp.html#ixzz2eyPKIl8J *** [u]PERIODICALS[/u] 19. When Women Don’t Vote for Women [i]by: [/i] Emily Greenhouse [i] In her concession speech at the end of the 2008 Democratic Presidential primary, Hillary Clinton said to those who had supported her, “You can be so proud that, from now on, it will be unremarkable for a woman to win primary-state victories, unremarkable to have a woman in a close race to be our nominee, unremarkable to think that a woman can be the President of the United States.” To think it, though, is not the same as to know it. We still don’t know, actually, that a woman can be elected the President of the United States, or even the Mayor of New York City. “It was hard to know if these attacks were being made because she was a woman or because she was this woman or because, for a long time, she was the front-runner.” But several academic studies have shown that Clinton’s 2008 Presidential campaign was ultimately brought down by sexism. In 1982, the scholar Raisa B. Deber wrote a paper on women in Congress, with the title, “The Fault, Dear Brutus.” Deber offered four reasons for under-representation of women in politics: self-selection (women are less likely than men to seek office); targeting (women who run are more likely to have strong candidates held against them, which diminishes their chances of winning); political resources (women usually have less relevant political experience and less party support); and sexism (negative attitudes and stereotypes about women). [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2013/09/women-and-regrets-about-christine-quinns-candidacy.html?mbid=social_retweet *** [u]PETITIONS AND SUCH LIKE [/u] 20. Albo for Leader! [i]by:[/i] Anthony Albanese MP Electorate Office [i] I just signed up to support Albo for Leader! Join me and spread the #Albomentum [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.alboforleader.com/join?recruiter_id=3175 *** TWEETS Toni ‏@toninicho 13 Sep I thought Tony had heaps of women for his front bench. Apparently his 3 daughters & wife weren't actual candidates. #confused #OneTermTony *** joy cooper ‏@apgf2009 12 Sep #OneTermTony - back to basics: http://wp.me/p30D9d-1zp via @MigloMT @Vic_Rollison Only hope he won't totally wreck the joint before he leaves *** Jaco Potgieter ‏@Moesamoeroep 8 Sep #OneTermTony Ok, battle lost but war not over. We will need to be vocal & engaged in political process for the sake of ALL Australains. *** Nadia B ‏@NadiaWB 7 Sep @SafiyaOutlines @FarahWB We had marriage equality, emissions trading and the NBN with Labor. Now we have NOTHING *** F.R. ‏@friedarose 7 Sep Woeful speech, shit policies, awful dude #OneTermTony *** Mike Nicholson ‏@Mikey_Nicholson 7 Sep Alright everyone. Time to get #onetermtony trending now. #australiavotes *** Michael Morris ‏@theMickMorris 2h Women of Australia… 1 woman in cabinet of 20? Abbott confirms what he thinks of you all.. YOU can help make him #onetermtony *** Armidale NBN Users ‏@ArmidaleNBNUG 14 Sep @Red_Hag @mahootna2 @davidlen2 We have it too! Love it #NBN first fully fibre city! :-) *** [u]TODAY’S FRONT PAGES[/u] Australian Newspaper Front Pages www.thepaperboy.com/australia/front-pages.cfm [u]NEWS HEADLINES [/u] http://www.hotheadlines.com.au/

Casablanca

16/09/2013File this under FIFTH ESTATE!! 14. Beyond Kevin, beyond Julia, beyond Kevin [i]By: [/i] GuyB [i]At this point I am not sure if it would have really mattered if Labor had, during its time in office, eliminated poverty in Australia, built an impervious boat-frying force field around the nation’s circumference, and managed to transcend time and space by colonising Jupiter. Stirred on by the media, the situation with the leadership had become incredulous – a laughing stock – and I am not sure you can blame some voters for being sick and tired of that.[/i] [i]Read More: [/i]http://larvatusprodeo.net/archives/2013/09/beyond-kevin-beyond-julia-beyond-kevin/ ***

Michael

16/09/2013If The Political Sword is to be sheathed, I will always think of it as having been finally sheathed in the body of the Abbott Government, where over a short period of time it will touch and shrivel every organ in that body... and bring it down. Farewell Ad Astra, Lyn, all who have contributed here and been a great site's life and energy. Illigitimus non carborundum.

Keith D

16/09/2013There's a perfectly good site withering on the vine here.. http://dailywire.com.au/

Ken

16/09/2013A sad day. Although it would be good if there was someone to take over TPS, it would not be the same without you Ad. That's not to say, that if someone comes forward to take on the role, it should not continue. As you (Ad), say, it could rely more on contributions and the person in charge focusing on "managing" the site. Even that, however, is a time consuming task (which is a reason I draw the line at putting myself forward). It could become an occasional blog, rather than regular weekly posts, but that would somewhat destroy the nature of the site. In that sense, it is perhaps best, that TPS comes to an end so that it stands, as it was, as a tribute to Ad and Lyn. For that reason, I think, if it continues in some form, it should adopt a new name and perhaps a new format, but paying homage to its parentage. "Daughter of the Political Sword"!! I agree with previous comments that the Sword has had a real family atmosphere and will miss that. Apart from the occasional troll, we have been able to have disagreements but not let that get in the way of continuing discourse. Ad, enjoy your retirement (although it seems you still have lots to do) and know that you have created a lasting legacy with the TPS that has been appreciated by many and played a significant role in political debate.

Bilko

16/09/2013catching up @ 07:56 PM, I do not think there will be a Jim Hacker type third candidate emerging anytime soon. I would have liked Wayne to put up his hand to guide them through the next two years then hand over to a more promising candidate, wishful thinking on my part. By the way is was nice meeting you at Migs & Mins wedding plus the other bloggers at our table. Fiona@ 10pm "I wept that night back in 2010" I am missing some thing here with your comment. However I have shed a few tears over Julia's exit and still maintain that she would have run a blinder of a campaign. As Fitzgibbon commented Kevin's policy on the run was a ????? however "farce" is my comment on the subject. His flip flopping made Abbort look good and he seemed to have lost his mojo. Rather like Latham who also needed nor took any advice, he new it all. One time Tony has a nice ring to it.Amen

Gravel

16/09/2013Ad Astra Here I was thinking you were only taking a break. Okay, so I have read almost every article since you started in 'the box'. It was the first site that I started to comment on, although most to agree with yourself or other posters, as I am a reader, and not very good at advancing an argument. I will miss TPS, and like many others here, wish to thank you sincerely for all your hard work and support. Lyn Linking Your links were invaluable at a time when many of us were upset and confused. You allowed us to see that there are many people out there that feel and appreciate the same things about politics. I also want to thank all the other commenters, without your input this site would have not resonated as well as it has. I am sure many of you will or are visiting other good sites and adding your two bob's worth. This site, and many of the regulars here, will always hold a special place in my mind and heart.

Catching up

16/09/2013Thanks Bilko for your kind words. Good night. As for Labor, it will, as it always does, come back, stronger than ever. Trouble is, we might have to go through further embarrassment, until Rudd is gone. Sadly, he does not destroy himself, but all around him. Yes Gillard gave them the direction to follow, if they cannot listen, that is their folly. At least the Royal Commission is opening today, and I believe is one thing that Abbott's demolition drive cannot destroy. For that alone, she needs to be remembered If Labor gets it right, Abbott will be known as one term Tony. In fact it would not surprise me, that at the next election, it will be about getting rid of the Coalition, as this one was of getting rid of Labor. I have not noticed any great love for this new government. If anyone is thinking of keeping this site going, I am always willing to help. Do not have the ability to do much more, but have plenty of free time to assist.

TalkTurkey

16/09/2013http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6jxxagVEO4

NormanK

16/09/2013Ad astra Sorry to hear of your decision to hang up your sword but also excited to know that you are going on to other interesting pursuits. Thanks for the many years of wisdom and compassion. You coaxed me out of the shadows and for that I will be forever grateful. Lyn I hope you enjoy your well-earned retirement. You achieved that most difficult of tasks - taking an idea and crafting it into a fully-functioning reality. There will be others who will follow in your footsteps but you will always be the first and the best.

N'ellie May

16/09/2013Dear Ad Astra and Lyn, It is sad to have to say good-bye to you both but what an amazing family you have built over these years. You helped me and many others begin our new adventure with on-line opinion and support for fellow progressives. You gave us all information that was not regularly available to the general population and also the means to access so much more. What was even more important was the bringing together of people who were all having the same thoughts and feelings. You brought us out of isolation and gave us confidence to contribute with your gentle, nurturing comments. Good luck to you and your families. I have enormous gratitude for you both. I am sure this site will go on and hopefully you will be looking in from time to time, as any good parents would as they watch over their creations.

sandra searle

16/09/2013I'd just like to add my best wishes to both you Ad Astra & to Lyn as well. You were my very first point of contact as I was seeking to find out what was truth from all of the stuff that was being said by the MSM. I must thank you so much for that introduction to the 5th Estate - it was my first venture into the political commentary. I would have to say that there are a few really good blog sites that like Jan, I follow. From AIM, we get really great people who write good, well thought out articles. Many of the people who follow AIM have also started on TPS, they are very active & give us oldies a lot to be able to forward onto Twitter & Facebook. Ad Astra, perhaps you could do what the wonderful John Lord does, that is to put pen to paper so to speak, when he feels strongly about things. He has, like you, a great philosophic view on the important things in life. That includes of course politics. Best wishes to you, hope we still can get to read some of your pearls of wisdom sometime in the future.

42 long

16/09/2013Making sure the undeserving abbott didn't get elected was a worthy aim. Now that he is there and his aims are clear we need more than ever to have a focus like TPS. Our job is just beginning. We need a list of Journo's of truth and integrity. Murdochs papers are in a death spiral. There will be many ejected from the system. He can't shut all of them up. we used to have small independent papers around Sydney. The Youth are always a potential source of political energy. Thanks Ad as and Lyn, if I don't get the chance to thank you later. Good effort that gave many of us a platform of like minded souls to discourse with.

DMW

16/09/2013 . . ' ~

Misst

16/09/2013Oh, Ad Astra it's sad news that you and Lyn are moving on, but perfectly understandable. I'm fairly new to this site but I will miss it ... lots. Thank you so much. I haven't been too vocal but I've been an 'invisible' regular over the past few months and thoroughly enjoyed your excellent articles, not to mention Lyn's links which always took me on and on. Thank you also, Lyn .... I think ;) All the very best to you whatever you do. I empathize because Gordon and I eventually closed down a 10 long year running site in order to catch up with other things. We've since enjoyed 3 wonderful overseas trips ... go for it!! Hope The Political Sword doesn't disappear it needs to be in Pandora for safe keeping ... Tony is already re-writing history and we need some honesty to look back on.

Ad astra

16/09/2013Russell in Glendale, Catching up, Frank, Bilko, Janet j4 gypsy, Truth Seeker, Fiona, Woodypear, Patriciawa, Michael, Keith D, Ken, Gravel, Talk Turkey, NormanK, N’ellie May, sandra searle, 42 long, DMW, Misst I thank you all for your generous and kind words to Lyn and me, and your good wishes for us. It’s heartwarming to read how you feel about [i]TPS[/i], and to learn how much this blogsite has meant to you over the years. For us, it has been a labour of love, and to read what this has meant to you is sufficient reward. Our spouses have supported us all the way, for which we are eternally grateful. We would continue into the period ahead, but as we both have other things to do, other responsibilities, and other goals, this seemed like a good time to say goodbye. We shall miss you all, your friendship and the [i]TPS[/i] ties that have kept us together as a close-knit family. I am looking around for someone, or some group that might be willing to take over management of [i]TPS[/i]. Janet j4 gypsy has made some suggestions and I have spoken to her and Talk Turkey today to explore ways of keeping [i]TPS[/i] afloat. I am following up on these suggestions. I would welcome advice from other blog owners about how to proceed. In the meantime, I’ll keep in touch until there is some resolution of our dilemma.

Michael Taylor

16/09/2013Ad Astra, don't you go anywhere. You're too valuable to lose.

Casablanca

16/09/2013 [quote]Australia ranks 42 globally in terms of female representation in the lower house of parliament, with women making up 26%[/quote] http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2013/sep/16/australian-parliament-gender-equality?CMP=twt_gu Chris Bowen has made the telling point that the government of Afghanistan has more women in cabinet than has Australia. We are only just ahead of Iraq. For heavens sake, we have just fought wars in both of those countries to establish modern democratic societies where women can be accorded proper respect.

Ken

16/09/2013A political comment that perhaps reflects the need for TPS to continue in one fprm or another. We always knew Abbott wanted to take us back to the Howard years. Have a look at the list of Ministries - it's more like a list from the '70s. All back to the very basic issues and no clear picture yet where everything will go. We're back to a Minister for Social Security but have retained a Minister for Human Services. The old Social Services used to make the payments but that is now done by Human Services, so I will be interested to see what is subsumed in the "new" Social Security. The current Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, has only one obvious Ministry, that of Indigenous Affairs. Whether housing, families and community services end up under Social Services will beinteresting to see. The Administrative arrangements will be very interesting and give a real indication of where Abbott is heading.

Ad astra

16/09/2013Michael Taylor Thank you for your kind comment. Do have you any suggestions about who might be interested in taking over the management of [i]TPS[/i]? If someone, or another blogsite, could do this, I could stay quietly in the background instead of disappearing completely.

Casablanca

16/09/2013I guess that we will have to await the arrival of Abbott's 'women of calibre' and their progeny to address the female/male imbalance in the governing of Australia. It's not a matter of 'back to basics' as Abbott insists but 'back to blokes'.

jane

16/09/2013Ad astra and Lyn, I'm very sad that you're hanging up your blogging gloves, but understand how time consuming and demanding it must have become over the last 3 years in particular. You and all Swordsters have fought a sustained campaign to counter the egregious lies, smear campaigns, misinformation, FUD, bully boy tactics and sheer bastardy of the vapid fact, policy and substance-free Abbott-led opposition and their corrupt barrackers Rupert Murdoch's msm. Even more disappointing is the role the ABC has played in openly lying about the Rudd/Gillard governments and comp;ete lack of scrutiny of the opposition. There has also been precious little genuine objective analysis of government policies; in fact the hysterical beat ups around Julia Gillard's glasses and the leadership issue illustrates my point exactly. Certainly the undermining and backgrounding by Kevin Rudd and his cohorts in the last three years should, imo, attract a hefty portion of the blame. If they had behaved like mature adults instead of spoiled children, I feel certain that Labor would be getting set to continue their legislative program. Once again, I thank you and Lyn for all the hard work and wish you both all the best for your retirement.

Michael Taylor

16/09/2013Hi Ad Astra. Not off hand. Those who already run a blog site, as you will no doubt be aware, are kept extremely busy with their own sites. It is demanding work, no only with the writing but the admin side of things. I've been lucky at CW and The AIMN in having many helpers. I could run neither site by myself. For that reason I take my hat off to you for your solo efforts, with the wonderful Lyn's help. But, and if I may say so, you are a greater asset to the Fifth Estate than any blog site. I'd like to think that you're work isn't done yet, even if TPS does sadly close. Both yourself and TPS have a revered name. I do hope at least one of you continues.

Curi-Oz

16/09/2013Ad Astra, thank you. There isn't a lot more that I could say about what The Political Sword has meant to me this last couple of years, but partly due to the efforts of all here I have to thank you for helping me realise that it wasn't all a figment of my imagination and that I did have something to get cross about. And now I'm doing something about it. I will miss the old TPS, but I think that you and LynLinking certainly deserve a good rest from the absolutely top job you have put in this year running up to the election. As I have observed before, you have all been a real education for me, and I find myself at a bit of a loss as to how to say "I'll miss you". Hopefully you will all keep writing and adding to the enlightenment of this lovely country of ours. Thank you.

Ad astra reply

16/09/2013Michael Taylor What a lovely compliment you pay us. Coming from you, so accomplished in The Fifth Estate, makes it very special. It is a wrench to leave TPS behind. Let's see how the time ahead unfolds. Maybe there is someone out there who might give TPS a home. Jane Thank you for your generous comments. We are glad you have found TPS useful. I'm sure you will be able to find another site where you will feel at home. Curi-Oz Thank you too for your kind remarks. I'm glad you have found TPS congruent with your own ideas. You have been a welcome participant here.

jaycee

16/09/2013Congratulations, Ad Astra, for a job very well done. It takes the patience of a saint, the wisdom of a Solomon and the wilyness of Dicken's Fagan to juggle and manage the trickeries of a political blog...master juggler you! As for the future of the Political Sword...It's "future" is assured as one of the fore-runners of sophisticated political blog formats..The matrix that has moulded this site is already being used as a standard by many new and original fifth estate sites. Gypsy Jan has mentioned this formulae in her reference to other places.....again ; well done. However, looking after and managing a site such as these requires a mature, rational and sensitive at the same time swift to "deliver the cut" personality..such a personality takes many years to develope into an "elder's" judgement..I don't think it is in the interests of the burgeoning Fifth Estate to maintain such a site solely out of sentiment...it could end up with a lowered tone, through no fault save the lack of an "elder's" authority...and the time it takes to oversee such a site demands perhaps too much time for someone who has but a managerial interest. I fear it could be too big a beast for only one to manage, but too unweildy for a committee to control without it becoming "beige". Best let it lay with the dignity it has accrued and the memory of the delight it has brought. With the unstoppable rise of the NBN. there will inevitably be also a surge in the number and complexity of political blog sites. The saying that one cannot stop an idea whose time has come could as well be applied as "when an idea's time has gone it should be stopped" In all sadness, yes, I agree..but I believe we are all "senior" enough to recognise that a beautiful memory can easily be smothered by too much sentimental love.

Casablanca

17/09/2013This from Sam at Larvatus Prodeo: Much more interesting than the symbolism of not having a science minister is the symbolism of Abbott’s announcement when elected: [i]“Australia is now open for business”[/i]. Forty years ago, almost to the day, General Augusto Pinochet staged his coup against Salvador Allende in Chile. Thousands of people, maybe tens of thousands, were tortured and murdered by Pinochet’s regime. One of his first acts, and I am not making this up, was to take out ads in US newspapers which proclaimed, [i] “Chile is now open for business”.[/i]

Catching up

17/09/2013I am confused, as I did not know the country has been closed for business.

Casablanca

17/09/2013Ad Astra, I am sad, but not surprised, at your decision to put the sword back into the scabbard. You have kept up a punishing pace to provide us with a cornucopia of well crafted, carefully researched and logically argued pieces on a diverse range of topics. Over and above that, you also welcomed new contributors to the site and acknowledged the great majority of contributions with a personal thanks and/or comment. Often, you took on a caring role with people who were feeling a bit fragile or were in need of understanding and encouragement. Lyn, for her part, has led us through the morass of the MSM to show us the extent of the [i]groupthink[/i] in most pieces. She has also led us to the offerings from the Fifth Estate which have expanded over time in both quality and quantity. Others have made suggestions here about a future for The Political Sword. It appears, however, that volunteers are scarce on the ground as they ponder what big shoes they would have to fill. I for one, doubt that I could sustain the sort of effort it has taken over the past week or so to generate 'Casablanca's Cache' even though I have got most of the bugs out of my Template. I doubt too that a group of contributors could manage the site effectively on a volunteer basis. It would be like trying to herd cats. Thus, it seems that I have moved from a position of wanting to save the site to musing that [i]'You Can't Step In the Same River Twice'.[/i] TPS has been an innovative and inclusive site. Many will rue its loss. What is not at stake is a future in the blogosphere for each member of the TPS family. Many have cut their blog-teeth here. We will be welcome (though perhaps not so personally welcomed) at other sites. Larvatus Prodeo, to my mind, has always had the most user friendly format of any group blog but I have no idea which blog engine it uses. On LP several topics can be run at once; each comment is numbered which makes it easier to cross check and cross reference comments; the Recent Comments feature is more easily viewed; it has more editing options in the comments panel; and, the week-end is a politics free zone. The other interesting thing about LP is that it was closed down some time ago but re-opened for blogging in relation to the 2013 Election. It now seems to be operating as it did of old. So there's a thought - put TPS in mothballs. I thank you and Lyn for all your dedication to TPS & its contributors and wish you both all the best for your next adventures. At the very least you will live on in our memories and in Pandora. I would also like to acknowledge the painstaking work done in the background by Web Monkey, especially for the innovative (TPS M@IL).

Casablanca

17/09/2013 [u]CASABLANCA'S CACHE:[/u] 15 September, 2013 [u]FIFTH ESTATE[/u] 1. Sarah Hanson-Young's Zoo suit righteous [i]by: [/i] Ruby Hamad - a Sydney writer and associate editor of progressive feminist website The Scavenger. She blogs, and tweets as @rubyhamad [i] Crikey asks what implications the case could have for The Daily Telegraph, which has recently depicted former speaker Peter Slipper as a rat and Kevin Rudd and Anthony Albanese as bumbling characters from Hogan's Heroes. Similarly, Fairfax's The Vine compares Zoo's Hanson-Young image to the Telegraph's depiction of then communications minister, Stephen Conroy, as Joseph Stalin. While the Murdoch press' ludicrous comparisons of centrist Australian politicians to genocidal, authoritarian tyrants needs addressing (if for no other reason than they are an insult both to the intelligence of the public and the actual victims of genocide), Zoo's treatment of Hanson-Young is an altogether different beast. The Telegraph's attacks on Labor politicians, while clearly designed to undermine Labor's chance at the polls, were ostensibly criticisms of the said politicians' policies. The Zoo image, on the other hand, was an explicitly gendered attack that had nothing to say about Hanson-Young's actual stance on asylum seeker policy. It is a classic case of sexualising a woman in order to deflect any danger of taking her seriously. [/i] [i]Read more: http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=38190#.UjaQ-lK19ZY [/i] *** 2. Julie Bishop's opportunity to press PNG on death penalty [i]by: [/i] Michael Mullins [i] The passing of legislation in such a dubious manner, and now the idea that humans can be executed in an effort to demonstrate to foreigners that PNG is a safe tourist destination, is a sign that PNG's law and order problem can be traced not just to an unruly criminal element, but to the country's rulers themselves. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=38191#.UjaSw1K19ZY *** 3. Absolute Crap [i]by: [/i] Ed Butler [i]The Australian model of governance, despite the varying attitudes of the major parties, has long revolved around the fact that government has a role to step in and support those who require it. Which sectors those are change from government to government, but this is not America, where one half of congress effectively advocates to minimise its own role. One area where the market routinely fails to deliver is in research – particularly the scientific variety. When it comes to research, there are broadly three kinds: basic or pure research, applied research, and development. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://ausopinion.com/2013/09/16/absolute-crap/ *** 4. Things That Have More Women In Them Than Tony Abbott’s Cabinet [i]by: [/i] Steph Harmon [i]Tony Abbott announced his ministry today. Of the 42 spots in the executive, only six will be women. And in a Cabinet of 19, there will be only one: Julie Bishop. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://junkee.com/things-that-have-more-women-in-them-than-tony-abbotts-cabinet/19819 *** [u]FOURTH ESTATE[/u] 5. Liberal senator attacks party's promotion of women [i]by: [/i] Jenna Price [i] Queensland Senator Sue Boyce has attacked the Liberal Party's inability to recruit and promote women. Her criticism comes just as incoming prime minister Tony Abbott announces his new cabinet, which is predicted to have only one woman, Julie Bishop. Senator Boyce, who will retire from the Senate next July, said the Liberal Party did not support women through the parliamentary process. Senator Boyce has floated the idea of an organisation to emulate the success of Emily's List, an organisation which seeks to develop women candidates with progressive values.[/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/liberal-senator-attacks-partys-promotion-of-women-20130916-2tu2r.html#ixzz2f1uTQIth *** 6. Sex Party points finger at minor rival over preference form bungle [i]by: [/i] Jonathan Swan [i]A rival minor party deliberately cruelled the Australian Sex Party's chance to gain a Senate seat in Victoria, its leader Fiona Patten has alleged. Ms Patten says she does not believe the story of fax machine troubles that apparently led to the Liberal Democratic Party failing to lodge group voting tickets with the Australian Electoral Commission in Victoria. The fight between the LDP and the Sex Party was evidence of ''how crook the system is'', argues the election analyst Antony Green. ''I think it's a bit tedious when people who are engaged in an outright attempt to game the system to complain when things don't go their way,'' Mr Green said. ''The Labor Party and Liberals will sort it out . . . They just can't allow a system to work this way,'' he said.[/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/sex-party-points-finger-at-minor-rival-over-preference-form-bungle-20130916-2ttvb.html#ixzz2f1vMPHqx *** 7. What next for gay rights in Tony Abbott's Australia? [i]by: [/i] Drew Sheldrick [i] Last week was a bittersweet one for gay Australians. They heard Kevin Rudd fiercely advocate for same-sex marriage only to see him marched out of office five days later. Now comes the inevitable – and farcical – attempts by “pro-family” groups to correlate the ALP’s electoral defeat with Rudd’s gay marriage push, and demand the issue be left in the political wilderness. They’re likely to get their wish in the federal parliament at least, where prime minister elect Tony Abbott has raised doubts as to whether it will even come up in his first term. Those looking for progress should instead turn their attention to the legislative assemblies of NSW and the ACT. It's here that the battle for equality will be staged next. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/13/gay-rights-tony-abbott?CMP=ema_632&et_cid=49096&et_rid=7108914&Linkid=http%3a%2f%2fwww.theguardian.com%2fcommentisfree%2f2013%2fsep%2f13%2fgay-rights-tony-abbott *** 8. Gender equality in government: how does Australia compare? [i]by: [/i] Nick Evershed [i] Australia ranks 42 globally in terms of female representation in the lower house of parliament, with women making up 26% [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2013/sep/16/australian-parliament-gender-equality?CMP=twt_gu *** 9. Jobs for the boys: Libs were warned on Abbott cabinet, but didn’t listen [i]by: [/i] Fiona Smith [i]There is no point allowing the boy’s club to prosper and then, when you have reached Government, turning around to ask with a mask of astonishment: “But where are the women?”. At that point, it is too late to simply stick a woman in a career elevator and shoot her, untried and unprepared, to the top. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.brw.com.au/p/leadership/jobs_didn_listen_boys_libs_were_1SfufkQwMq46ssC52YSxHI *** 10. After three years of campaigning, how about a rest... [i]by: [/i] Jonathan Green [i]Tony Abbott's wrecking ball approach to opposition has been vindicated at the polls, but we can only hope Labor's next leader doesn't try to emulate it. The key lesson in Tony Abbott's triumph is that it was not built on a strong, disciplined five-week campaign. Rather, the Coalition victory last weekend was built on three years of assiduous, constant campaigning; three years spent on a remorseless war footing. Day after day in hard hats and hiviz vests; day after day on the road with simple, sometimes-idiotic-but-always-unwavering messaging. The message from the Coalition was not to be clouded by policy detail or points of debatable disagreement. The message by late August was simply, I am not Kevin Rudd, nor am I the chaotic disaster that preceded him. Policy was by the by. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-12/green-leave-the-campaigning-to-the-campaign/4951712 *** 11. Sue Boyce and Judith Troeth express dismay over Tony Abbott's male-dominated Cabinet [i]by: [/i] Heather Ewart, [i] "To encourage business and the ASX to actively seek and promote women in business, and then to not have them in the one body that runs the country, which is federal Cabinet, to me is hypocrisy," Ms Troeth said. These women have long memories - a record number of Coalition females MPs were elected in 1996 in a John Howard landslide, yet only two women were appointed to Cabinet. Almost two decades on, Mr Abbott has halved that representation - Ms Bishop.[/i] [i]Read more: [/i]http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-16/senior-female-coalition-figures-slam-male-dominated-cabinet/4961344 *** 12. Tony Abbott's male-heavy cabinet is a disappointment to Tony Abbott [i]by: [/i]Lenore Taylor [i] The prime minister elect has talented women 'knocking on the door', but he has more pressing priorities than letting them in [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/16/tony-abbott-cabinet-disappointment?CMP=twt_gu *** 13. Tony Abbott unveils experienced, male-dominated cabinet [i]by: [/i] Lenore Taylor [i]Mathias Cormann and Barnaby Joyce among winners, while Arthur Sinodinos is passed over for finance portfolio. Abbott said he was “disappointed” there were not “at least two” women in the cabinet, but said he expected women to be promoted over time, with “good and talented” women in the outer ministry “knocking on the door” of cabinet and more women “knocking on the door” of the outer ministry. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/16/abbott-cabinet-experience-but-lack-women *** 14. Tony Abbott ministry: meet the new team running the country [i]by: [/i]ABC [i]Tony Abbott has revealed the make-up of his first ministry, including some "significant promotions" but a "disappointing" number of women. See who's who in Team Abbott. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-07/abbott-govt-meet-the-team/4942726 *** 15. That Big Idea is still waiting, Mr Hockey [i]by: [/i] Michael Pascoe [i] One of the nice euphemisms to have gained prominence over the past two months is “salary packaging”- it actually means “tax minimisation”.[/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/that-big-idea-is-still-waiting-mr-hockey-20130916-2ttje.html#ixzz2f4qO2BHT *** [u]TWEETS[/u] Erik Jensen ‏@ErikOJensen 10h The way Twitter's carrying on, you'd think Julie Bishop was the only woman in cabinet. *** Lauren ‏@LozVox 7h Abbott must feel so relieved not having to pretend to give a shit about women any more. #abc730 *** Michael Hing @hingers Gillard's ministry had more Prime Ministers in it than Abbott's cabinet has women. #AusPol *** Destroy The Joint ‏@JointDestroyer 9h Women can be maternal but not ministerial? Lib Senator attacks party's promotion of women: http://m.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/liberal-senator-attacks-partys-promotion-of-women-20130916-2tu2r.html … pic.twitter.com/WSEE35t2M0 *** ABCnewsIntern ‏@ABCnewsIntern 15 Sep "Oh, no, we don't have QUOTAS, we have MERIT." What you have is VERY FEW WOMEN. *** Destroy The Joint ‏@JointDestroyer #ReasonsIDontNeedFeminism Education, voting, safety, equal pay & women in cabinet are not important to me pic.twitter.com/PisM6wmVYa *** Destroy The Joint ‏@JointDestroyer 4h @WicalBNE mmm, perhaps a woman knocking makes a different sound & the men can't hear it? twitACTION 6h @JointDestroyer Abbott calls it his 'back to basics' cabinet; it's actually a 'back to blokes' cabal *** ‏ twitACTION @twitACTION 7h @JointDestroyer we will have to await Abbott's 'women of calibre' and their progeny to address the female/male imbalance in cabinet. *** Mark Hosking ‏@SpaTapas 4h @MikeCarlton01 They're gonna 'Party' like its 1959! *** Julie Posetti ‏@julieposetti 4h "The PM elect has talented women 'knocking on the door', but he has more pressing priorities than letting them in" http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/16/tony-abbott-cabinet-disappointment … *** Victoria Rollison ‏@Vic_Rollison 5h What if we hate Mirabella because she is a nasty politician, not because she is a nasty woman? #mediawatch *** [u]TODAY’S FRONT PAGES[/u] Australian Newspaper Front Pages www.thepaperboy.com/australia/front-pages.cfm [u]NEWS HEADLINES [/u] http://www.hotheadlines.com.au/

clarencegirl

17/09/2013Come on Political Sword - if North Coast Voices is willing to hang in there past its 6th birthday you can too! Now is the time for more bloggers commenting on social. economic and political agendas at states and federal level, not less. Your blog has been a good read over the years and I will be sorry if you all do decide to fold your tent.

2353

17/09/2013AA & Lyn - while I can't hope to understand the quantity of work that goes into making TPS the site it is, (let alone the quality), there has to be a way to allow it to continue. It seems that the blogsites with the greatest longevity are a group effort after being started by an individual (with apoligies to people such as "clarencegirl"). The individual that starts the site then acts as an editor in chief and directs the tone and quality of the articles. While I certainly don't have the skills, ability or time to run a site of my own, I so have time to research and write a conversation starter occasionally and submit it to a site for publication, I have seen a number of group sites - not all political - (AIM, Pbxtragics, the Cafe, LP etc) survive and prosper under a model where there is a number of "trusted" moderators and others regularly post commentary - which reduces the workload of the site owner & Editor in Chief. I assume there is some edit and approval process in the background. Personally I hope to see TPS continue rather than see it fold like Bryan Palmer's "OzPolitics" site years ago where the moderation got too much for the owner, or become an occasional very interesting post like Scott Steel's Possum site or even Greg Jericho's "Grogs Gamut" site both of which where life got in the way of their musings. The challenge is to work out a system where the quality and quantity is maintained but you both have time to "have a life". I hope you can develop a solution. Regardless of your decision, thank you must go to AA & Lyn for your generosity of time and effort, the presentation of a different outlook and the ability to hold a reasoned and considered debate. If you do decide to fold, your efforts will be missed. All the best for the future and take care.

Ad astra

17/09/2013jaycee Thank you for your complimentary remarks. What wise words you write. I shall discuss them with my spouse, who too has been deeply involved in [i]TPS[/i]. We both seek to have time free from the responsibilities of managing the site. Taking an extended or a permanent break seems the only way we can accomplish the other goals in our life. The advice given by the many thoughtful contributors here has been invaluable. The concern and wisdom offered by so many has been both comforting and helpful in contemplating the best course of action for [i]TPS[/i]. Thank you.

Ad astra

17/09/20132353 Thank you for your kind remarks and your helpful advice. Over the next few days my spouse and I will review all the thoughtful suggestions our [i]TPS[/i] family members have made and decide on how to proceed. It is a dilemma to which there is no easy resolution. If only there were!

Ad astra

17/09/2013clarencegirl Thank you for your remarks; you are well aware of all that is involved in running a blogsite. There has been much useful advice; we now have to weight it up and reach a balanced decision.

Ad astra reply

17/09/2013Casablanca Thank you for another comprehensive set of 'Casablanca Cache' items, which I shall soon read. Thank you too for your thoughtful advice about the future direction of TPS. The options are unfolding. There is no easy resolution. I emailed you yesterday about archiving 'Casablanca Cache' items. What do you think?

Ad astra

17/09/2013Casablanca I have just now sent you an email.

TalkTurkey

17/09/2013 Whatever... Check this out anyway. Laugh. http://www.flixxy.com/michael-carbonaro-the-magic-clerk.htm#.UTwOkqWVdOQ

Catching up

17/09/2013Ad astra, make the decision, one that suits you and your family. Do no heed us selfish people. We have no right to even suggest you keep going. Ignore the feelings of you have a duty to continue. You do not. If anyone comes up with a way, of taking over the responsibility from you, I am only too willing to offer my assistance in anyway, short of taking full responsibility. Good luck for the future. Abbott seems to do everything right, before the election. Since September 7, he seems to do nothing right. Who is surprised. Love that last question yesterday. Asked Abbott if he chooses to stay at the academy, to get away from women, or words to that effect. We now have the retiring Pakistani Ambassador to Indonesia, saying that he believes that the Indonesians are confused and concerned about Abbott;s plans for the refugee. Suggest he put all aside, and talk with people in the region own country, making life safer for all. Listening to Hunt defended no women on the front bench. Maybe they should just shut up, especially when they keep praising Mirabella, as if she was a woman of quality. Even with her, it would have only been two, out of eighteen, I believe. It is not so much, that there are no women of merit in the Coalition, it is that many of the males are yesterday's men. Stale old men, plus a handful of extreme new males,. Find it hard to use the word men, for some. Also the titles of the ministers raised concern. No titles, that identifies what is facing the country at this time. Science, transport and communications down played. Aged care and disability push into the background. Abbott seems more interested when announcing his front bench, in having digs at Labor and Gillard, than why it is good for the country. Yes, the titles were becoming unwieldy, but Abbott has gone to far the other way. His titles tells us nothing.

TalkTurkey

17/09/2013Twitterpome Dennis Jensen Didn't get mention! Him not happy like im said! Tony Abbott As him habit Im want punch in Jensen's head! Jensen wanted to be Science Minister ... Did someone say he is a climate change denier? But there ISN'T a dedicated Science Portfolio at all, Abborrrtt intends to deny ALL science it seems. THIS WILL BITE HIM! As Barry Jones already has, both barrels... Gee I love that old man. Another Sage. Abborrrtt already threatening the motor industry. And Jensen has threatened to CROSS THE FLOOR over Abborrrrtt's Baby Bonus bullshit policy. That didn't take long! And just 1 female person made it to the front bench, and that in a portfolio in which she is dangerously out of her depth. Dangerous for Australia's foreign relations that is. The ONE woman, and she a shallow nasty shrill advertisement for her gender at that. Geez imagine little glowing beings from Uranus visited Earth and saw only her, and analysed her thought-waves, and figured she was typical, cripes they'd be out of here so fast, and they'd put on their Planetary Planisphere a big bold red message [b]HERE BE DRAGONS![/b] And O My Dog if Sophie had got in there'd be TWO awful horrible women! But I would have thought O'Dwyer was nasty enough. She'll be there all too soon I am sure and she'll be no adornment to womanhood neither. Abborrrtt really hasn't made a good start has he, wonder what the result would be if an election were to be held now! People will very soon realise they've been gypped, no offence Jan, and they will be very resentful. But they've also been goaded into being generally general in their generalities and they, "the People" have never learnt to tell who their friends are, and deeply ungrateful as a whole. So they, the People and the Media, tar Labor with the same brush as the rotten Right, only they let the pious Right get away with all sorts of abuses, whilst hounding individuals on the left for everything from Paddington Bears to milkshakes ... Why is that? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I for one think that we should be in no hurry to beat the Sword into a ploughshare or melt it down. I think it has an edge like no other, and if it can still serve to further humanism in Australia ... Well just let's not be too hasty eh? I know, because Ad has told me so, that there are some logistics problems with the daily mechanics of posting Cache of the Day (?!) by any name. There is also the other problem of keeping it worthy of its founder. Which is a bit impossible! [i]That doesn't mean it's all impossible nor worth the effort![/i] Catching Up, I did note what you said with interest. If the Sword is to have a future role at all I would think your offer could be of great worth. The rest of us would have to do a lot of the work too - but we do already and we can do more if we want. You would certainly be integral to a new sort of Sword. Barry Jones just today lamented peremptory choices in matters political. This is a matter political. Let us not give ourselves cause to lament. Everybody's still here... "Come, let us reason together, one with another" as my dear old Dad used to say sometimes, apropos of nothing in particular, just to be funny ... Write in Comrades, with your thoughts ... What would a Swordless world feel like? ReCaptcha : 344 Hotelyal Ha ha Sounds like a wild weekend somewhere for most of the Swordsfolks!

Casablanca

17/09/2013TT Here is the reference to Dr Jensen being a climate sceptic: Questions for wannabe science minister and climate sceptic Dennis Jensen [i]by: [/i]Graham Readfearn [i] Dennis Jensen, recently re-elected Liberal member for Tangney, wants to be Australia's new science minister, telling Fairfax Media that he has some "unique attributes" that he can bring to the new but not-yet-announced Tony Abbott ministry. One of those attributes is that he doesn't accept the position of the world's science academies and Australia's CSIRO that climate change is caused mainly by humans burning fossil fuels and chopping down trees and that this might be bad. Jensen told interviewer Jonathan Swan that just because 97 per cent of research papers published in scientific journals agree that humans are causing climate change, this doesn't necessarily mean they're right.[/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2013/sep/13/climate-change-science-minister-dennis-jensen-monckton-questionnaire ***

Janet (j4gypsy)

17/09/2013The hard-nosed Bushfire Bill continues the fight (you may have to scroll a smidgeon to grab his comment): http://pbxmastragics.com/2013/09/15/the-women-of-simpson/comment-page-5/#comment-90879

Casablanca

17/09/2013I confess that I have carried this politically incorrect & sexist statement in my head since well before the formal Election campaign. What Abbott has been saying to us for three years is [b]'trust me, I'll still respect you in the morning'. [/b] Well tell that to the latest group to feel his disrespect. In today's press he informs the Heads of Public Service Departments that: 'There will be some changes there, but I would like the people of Australia to understand that I respect the Australian Public Service'. Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/shakeup-of-public-service-heads-imminent-abbott-says-20130916-2tut6.html#ixzz2f8CgHrxG

Ad astra reply

17/09/2013Casablanca After a busy day, I've now completed today's cache, an interesting read. Michael Pascoe has Joe Hockey nicely summed up. We will see lots of backflips, lots of pretending that all their talk of budget emergency never happened, perhaps hoping we may believe that the arrival of the Coalition government has suddenly reversed the fictitious emergency they were touting. It is dishonesty writ large. But why should be surprised?

MarkatPort

17/09/2013I would like /need/plead for this blog to continue, whatever it takes ! We need you now more than ever to guide us through a very bumpy ride over the next 3 years. I believe in the 5th Estate. . We cannot let Murdoch and his ilk win !

Michael Taylor

17/09/2013Hello Ad astra, Following the recent death of my old computer I no longer have your email address. Could you please send me an email so I may again have it? Safely, this time. Besides that, it'd be good to stay in touch.

Casablanca

18/09/2013 [b][u]CASABLANCA'S CACHE:[/u] [/b] Wednesday, 18 September, 2013 [u]FIFTH ESTATE[/u] 1. The Women of Simpson. [i]by: [/i]Fiona [i]We need to refocus, we need to start the campaign for the next election NOW, and we need to trumpet every broken promise, every bit of damage to the polity, every bit of stupidity that this Abbott-led government will undoubtedly commit. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://pbxmastragics.com/2013/09/15/the-women-of-simpson/comment-page-5/#comment-90879 *** 2. An Abbott and Two Bishops walk into a Party. [i]by: [/i] rossleighbrisbane [i] When someone clarified that the question was, in fact, about women actually being part of the cabinet, Mr Abbott assured the media that all decisions were made on merit, not on the basis of people’s sex, religion, race or what school they went to. “It’s just that we have no women of the calibre of Christopher Pyne, Peter Dutton, Barnaby Joyce, and… ah, whatsisname, the Deputy PM.” At this point, Mr Abbott got very agitated when he thought somebody said the Deputy PM’s-war-on-trust, but it was cleared up they said the Deputy PM’s Warren Truss, very slowly. When asked if his decision to bunk with the AFP boys reflected a desire not to be around women, the press conference came to an abrupt halt.[/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://theaimn.com/2013/09/17/an-abbott-and-two-bishops-walk-into-a-party/ *** 3. Crikey’s fantasy cabinet, with four times the women [i]by:[/i] Cathy Alexander [i]Is it so very hard to select a Coalition cabinet which meets these requirements, but is not 95% male? .Crikey decided to have a go.[/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/opinions/crikeys-fantasy-cabinet-with-four-times-the-women/201309172910 *** 4. Promotion on - Ahem - Merit. [i]by: [/i]Jane Caro [i] I sometimes think I have met more idiots at the top than I ever have at the bottom but, to be fair, that's probably because idiots with power are far more of a problem than idiots without it. If we really do promote on merit, as so many claim, then merit is astonishingly concentrated amongst white, middle class, private school educated men. (Someone claimed last night on twitter that there were more ex-students from Riverview in the Abbott cabinet than women.) Quotas are not new. Indeed, until relatively recently, there was a worldwide 100% quota that reserved all positions of power, authority and privilege for men. This was regarded as natural, normal and unexceptional. Even in our very own Federal cabinet, quotas are in existence. I heard a discussion about how difficult it was to select a new Ministry given how the PM had to balance the required number of Ministers from Queensland, WA, Tassie etc, plus the required number of National Party people. Um, sorry, pardon my ignorance but aren't they quotas? [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/opinions/promotion-on-ahem-merit/201309172909 *** 5. Australia's new female-lite frontbench [i]by: [/i]Michelle Grattan [i] Abbott has ended up with five women in his ministry of 30, plus one female parliamentary secretary out of 12, fewer in total than in a slightly larger opposition team. He says there are “strong and capable women knocking on the door of the ministry,” but if so they will have to have very long arms. The only woman among the parliamentary secretaries is one who was escalated downwards. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/top-stories/australia-s-new-female-lite-frontbench/201309162906 *** 6. Mirabella out of Parliament? [i]by: [/i]Andrew Self [i] [Independent Cathy McGowan] puts her accomplishment to, what she describes as, the 'kitchen table' approach. That is developing community engagement and working the issues of the electorate through close meetings. In addition she has developed a strong swag of volunteers that number into the hundreds along with the support of high profile people including former PM Malcolm Fraser. Both Liberal and Labor are now all but entirely composed of life-long professional politicians, schooled in the micro-factions, and those who have never been in the situation of those they 'represent'. McGowan was able to capitalise on the collective discontent of Indi, and Australia. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/top-stories/mirabella-out-of-parliament/201309152898 *** 7. Where Sophie went wrong [i]by: [/i] Jenny Podesta. #Indivotes candidate @jenpodesta [i] As the dust begins to settle across the nation after the 2013 election, the significance of what has been achieved in the electorate of Indi will continue to be a talking point for some time to come. It will no doubt be analysed from multiple positions: by engaged and disgruntled voters in other electorates who may seek to use the Indi model as a playbook for their own democratic awakening; by party political campaigners keen to adopt some of the secrets to build their own flagging supporter base; and maybe, hopefully, by Members of Parliament who recognise that a sitting member holding a ‘safe’ 10% margin losing her seat is a lesson to all.[/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://nofibs.com.au/2013/09/13/sophie-went-wrong-indivotes-candidate-jenpodesta/#sthash.1wlxSaQ5.dpuf *** 8. The sociology of how Cathy won Indi [i]by: [/i] Kate Sleeman @ktbar0 [i] This quote from the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg may help explain the Cathy McGowan phenomena: “A movement starts because of the social habits of friendship and the strong ties between close acquaintances. It grows because of the habits of a community, and the weak ties that hold neighborhoods and clans together. And it endures because a movement’s leaders give participants new habits that create a fresh sense of identity and a feeling of ownership.” Charles Duhigg explains that sociologists have identified a three step process which occurs again and again in successful social movements. To illustrate how each part of the process works, Duhigg focuses on the 1960s civil rights movement and the importance of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King in this process. While much will be made of social media and crowd funding for donations in Cathy McGowan’s successful campaign, what should not be ignored was how Cathy was able to harness [Duhigg's] 'weak social connections' through her own strong networks and create new habits of political conversations and participation which were innovative and respectful.[/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://nofibs.com.au/2013/09/12/sociology-cathy-won-indi-ktbar0/#sthash.tIsBlKm0.dpuf *** [u]FOURTH ESTATE[/u] 9. Rights group to ask UN committee to condemn Abbott Government's asylum seeker policy [i]by: [/i] Jeff Waters [i]The incoming Federal Government's immigration policies are being brought before a United Nations Human Rights council meeting in Geneva, possibly as soon as tonight. The council is meeting this week and an item has been included in the general debate agenda which will openly condemn the new Government's plans. A representative from Australia's Human Rights Law Centre (HRLC) will read a statement to the body, calling for it to hold Australia to account for what it calls violations of the Refugee Convention and other treaties. [/i] [i]Read more:[/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-17/un-committee-asked-to-hold-australia-to-account-for-immigration/4963088 *** 10. Boys club is a very bad look for Tony Abbott [i]by: [/i] Jenna Price [i] It doesn't explain everything … it explains some things. And there is quite a lot of explaining to do. It's 2013. Boards have targets for appointing women. But the new federal ministry can only manage one woman in cabinet and a further five in other roles. That opening sentence came back to me on Monday as the incoming prime minister Tony Abbott announced that ministry. Which is strange, since the words belong to former Prime Minister Julia Gillard. She was talking about sexism and misogyny and whether everything could be boiled down to gender. And there is one thing I'm even more confident about now - and that is the veracity of Gillard's words. Men have been preselected and promoted on the basis of gender for a long time. That's got to stop in 2013. If companies can start to address the problem, so can the Liberal Party. One is not enough, people. It's just not enough.[/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/boys-club-is-a-very-bad-look-for-tony-abbott-20130916-2tv7m.html#ixzz2f90aocFQ *** 11. Scientists conclude humans key factor in global warming [i]by: [/i] Matthew Doran [i] A report by a team of international scientists concludes there now is no doubt climatic changes are due to humans rather than any other natural factors. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-17/scientists-say-humans-key-factor-in-global-warming-of-climate/4962796 *** 12. Two-star veteran Angus Campbell promoted to run border protection [i]by: [/i] David Wroe [i] Deputy Chief of Army Angus Campbell will be named Tony Abbott's three-star military commander of border protection, with the job of co-ordinating the new government's tough asylum-seeker policies. The former SAS commander and deputy National Security Adviser has emerged as Defence's choice to head up the 16 departments and agencies under the Coalition's Operation Sovereign Borders policy, which effectively militarises border protection.[/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/twostar-veteran-angus-campbell-promoted-to-run-border-protection-20130917-2twru.html#ixzz2f9DiWNDM *** 13. We thought you knew women Tony, but then you do this [i]by: [/i] Jacqueline Maley [i] To have such a women-poor cabinet is to either say that you deliberately overlook competent women because you are sexist, or to say there are no competent women in your ranks to promote in the first place. If the latter is the case, whose fault is that?[/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/we-thought-you-knew-women-tony-but-then-you-do-this-20130917-2twg8.html#ixzz2f9Srdrnk *** 14. Merit pushed aside as host of factors set seats at table [i]by: [/i]Mark Kenny [i]That a government with 90-plus seats in the House of ''Representatives'', and many more in the Senate, can find just one spot for a woman in its 19-member cabinet, is astounding. Five per cent representation. Seriously? In 2013? The old demand of ''no taxation without representation?'' springs to mind. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] : http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/merit-pushed-aside-as-host-of-factors-set-seats-at-table-20130916-2tv57.html#ixzz2f9TsouBn *** 15. What kind of Opposition will Labor be? [i]by: [/i] Paula Matthewson [i]Labor ... will need to decide what kind of Federal Opposition it is going to be. That's not to say there isn't a place for vigorous exchanges within Australia's political conversation, but this type of brutal discourse has moved from being the exception to the rule. As a result, those in the Australian community who are interested and engaged in politics now seem to approach any related discussion from a state of constant combat-readiness instead of a willingness to listen and explore other perspectives. It may not have occurred yet to the new Labor Federal Opposition, but it has an opportunity to change the tone of our national political conversation to something that is, dare I say, kinder and gentler.[/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-09/matthewson-labor-opposition/4944816 *** 16. PS jobs slashed at call centres [i]by: [/i]Noel Towell [i]Up to a quarter of Centrelink call centre workers around the nation are set to lose their jobs before the end of the year. Pensioners, the disabled and families will feel the pain of drastically reduced customer service as between 1100 to 1200 customer service workers are shown the door from the Department of Human Services, according to the public service union. Many of the temporary workers were hired just months ago in an effort to tackle an escalating crisis in waiting times for members of the public trying to contact government call centres. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/ps-jobs-slashed-at-call-centres-20130917-2txm1.html#ixzz2fA3E2NBr *** 17. The High Price of Federal Churn [i]by: [/i] Markus Mannheim [i] Once again, the federal bureaucracy is poised to upend itself to suit a prime minister's passing whims. This week, the public service will begin to squeeze itself into a shape that fits Tony Abbott's new Administrative Arrangements Order. These reshuffles are among the most pointless rituals of government. The restructure will probably create enough work to keep hundreds of public servants busy for a year, if not longer. It's not only the relatively simple process of renaming departments, redesigning websites and changing a few signs in foyers. Machinery-of-government changes can lead to lengthy legal negotiations. No one knows how much the changes cost taxpayers; neither the Finance Department nor any other agency collates the expenses.[/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/high-price-of-churn-20130917-2txlz.html#ixzz2fA4HSAxC *** 18. Abbott promises a day of action straight after he is sworn in [i]by: [/i]Mark Kenny [i] Prime minister-elect Tony Abbott plans to hit the ground running on Wednesday afternoon, issuing orders to scrap the carbon tax, stop the Clean Energy Finance Corporation from writing business, and cease granting permanent protection visas to asylum seekers found to be refugees who had arrived by boat. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/abbott-promises-a-day-of-action-straight-after-he-is-sworn-in-20130917-2txam.html#ixzz2fA62CByb *** 19. Our world travelling better than the headlines [i]by: [/i] Michael Pascoe [i]Leaving domestic politics aside, the global economic headlines last month seemed to be painting a world of continuing crises and substandard growth. As far as our world was concerned though, those headlines were misleading.[/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/the-economy/our-world-travelling-better-than-the-headlines-20130917-2twbp.html#ixzz2fA7qZwSr *** [u]CARTOONS[/u] 20. Bringing dignity back, baby 17 Sept 2013 [i]by: [/i]David Pope [i]See more: [/i] http://www.theage.com.au/photogallery/federal-politics/cartoons/david-pope-20120214-1t3j0.html *** 21. Qualified women, merit and sex appeal 17 Sept 2013 [i]by: [/i]Cathy Wilcox [i]See more: [/i] http://thehoopla.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/not-Tonys-fault.jpg *** [u]PETITIONS & SUCH LIKE[/u] 22. JOIN THE MOVEMENT OF 636,945 AUSTRALIANS [i]by: [/i] GetUp! [i]GetUp! is an independent movement to build a progressive Australia and bring participation back into our democracy. Our new Prime Minister-elect has made his priorities pretty clear. But if he expects us to just throw up our hands and give up, he doesn't know us very well. GetUp members have faced down a conservative government before. We know exactly what it takes to campaign strategically and harness the concerns of everyday people into real political power and impact. We also know the last thing right-wing conservatives want right now is for GetUp to grow stronger – so let's do exactly that. There is some serious work to be done. Can you help power this movement with a small, regular donation? Just $6, $8 or $10 a week can power everything we do to stand up for our values and the issues that matter most. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.getup.org.au *** [u]TODAY’S FRONT PAGES[/u] Australian Newspaper Front Pages www.thepaperboy.com/australia/front-pages.cfm [u]NEWS HEADLINES [/u] http://www.hotheadlines.com.au/

TalkTurkey

18/09/2013From Twitter: Robyn Hannan ‏@RobbiePHannan 5m Julia Gillard's Achievements: http://youtu.be/8ZFyt7M7NUc via @youtube Thankyou @JuliaGillard I'm in tears realising what we've lost. #auspol Yes. Et moi aussi mes camarades! Is everybody thinking hard about the headline for this thread? I am and I know some others are. Well, I adjure you all to give the matter your earnest attention. To be plain, for my part - and while I agree vehemently that The Sword shouldn't be kept on Life Support for the sake of it - I believe that under a hostile Government TPS may have as brilliant a future as its past, and, I [i]fear[/i], we might have an even more desperate need for it. And don't miss this fact, [i]TPS is perfectly lusty and in fighting trim as we speak.[/i] We just have to be worthy of its past, not necessarily even to match Ad astra and Lyn, but to do our best to honour their record and maintain the service TPS provides. We don't need to be perfect, just intellectually respectable and honest and alert. And of that, I know, the Comrades of The Sword are capable. We need to talk - all those who would like to see TPS continue. But no-one teleconfers as far as I know, I don't, so we must use [i]this[/i] slightly clumsy mode of communication. (And it is salutary to realize that if we didn't have TPS we couldn't do this neither! Just grok on [i]that!)[/i] I do have a few suggestions as to how we might restructure the blog so as to share the load more evenly than the way it was before, which as we all knew put far too much load on Ad and Lyn. [But weren't they a grand pair! We could not do other than to let them work themselves near to breaking point, [i]how do you interrupt Torville and Dean?[/i] - because these two, don't miss it, have written new dimensions into the 5th Estate, set the bar for rational consideration of political events in this country - and indeed, how could we have missed that bar, we have had our Sage Ad for calm reason and our Spy in the Sky Tweety to liaise us with the very best writing around Australia every day - [i]how could we have missed?][/i] So that's a lot to just let go. Ad would like TPS to continue, but only if it is full-on honourable and not going to be a pain. And make no mistake people, Lynnie and Ad are [i]Out[/i], they'll be watching from the sidelines I'm sure but they've done their part. And I feel ... [i]somewhat[/i] ... the same way too ... Sure I feel it, the disappointment and exasperation of all we tried to do in our little but important way. And I'm sure my Comrades you know that for all my abrasiveness, whatever, I've written my heart out for the last 3 years here myself... But Lynnie and Ad each have reason to call an absolute halt, I'm not quite to that point yet, and like some others here I want to explore the possibilities of a future for TPS. Because I know the next 3 years are going to be drearier for having no comradeship here any more. Several people have tentatively offered to help. I'd love to talk especially with you Casablanca and you Catching Up, Ad could give you my phone numbers if you rang him. I'll ring you back after you get to me if you like. Clumsy I know. We're all paranoid now of course. But anyway Comrades if you do do that the sooner the better please. I'll post a bit of a suggestion, hardly even a proposal really, but something tentative, sometime tomorrow. But it depends on others. One thing don't even think about is, I TT am not even inclined, much less capable, of taking on the task of Blogmaster myself, No No No. But we might all be able to help - given the core of individual talents who have already evidenced themselves in the last few days. If any other people might feel inclined to help TPS keep its edge, now's the time to speak up. On the broader scene, we must fight back now. And we will too. Labor ALWAYS will fight back, even as we fall away by virtue of aage or infirmity. There is nothing nobler in the world than for righteous people to stand and fight together for common right. And TPS is a noble blog. DAM! Double the fist Comrades! Don't let the bastards grind you down! [i][b]VENCEREMOS![/b][/i]

TalkTurkey

18/09/2013 (Mark Kenny re Women in Abborrrrtt's Cabinet) Five per cent representation. Seriously? In 2013? The old demand of ''no taxation without representation?'' springs to mind. What sprang to [i]my[/i] mind was the Greek play [i]Lysistrata[/i], in which the blokes are always off to war except when they come home for a shave, a shower, and, of course, a shag. Well the women under the leadership of Lyssie herself decide that they will withhold the pleasures of the flesh from the fellers until the fighting is stopped... so it's more like [i]"No copulation without capitulation." [/i] On the other hand ... the thought of having it off with the likes of Mirabella O'Dwyer Cash and Nash and Bishop and Bishop is probly what made the blokes prefer going to war in the first place ...

2353

18/09/2013There is a Dog. Mirabella concedes her seat in Parliament. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/18/sophie-mirabella-concedes-defeat-indi

TalkTurkey

18/09/2013Speaking of Dog ... O My Dog CHECK THIS OUT! Liam Kenny is Chris Kenny's son A most impressive manifesto of filial piety. ... Well ... Not exactly, no. :) http://junkee.com/in-defence-of-the-chasers-picture-of-my-dad-having-sex-with-dog/19967

Casablanca

18/09/2013TT I have already asked Ad to forward my email address to you. Do read the Jane Caro article listed at no 4 in CC above: Great reposte to the stupid Mark Kenny defence of Abbott's cabinet and the merit/quotas argument: [i]Quotas are not new. Indeed, until relatively recently, there was a worldwide 100% quota that reserved all positions of power, authority and privilege for men. This was regarded as natural, normal and unexceptional. Even in our very own Federal cabinet, quotas are in existence. I heard a discussion about how difficult it was to select a new Ministry given how the PM had to balance the required number of Ministers from Queensland, WA, Tassie etc, plus the required number of National Party people. Um, sorry, pardon my ignorance but aren't they quotas?[/i]

Ad astra

18/09/2013Folks We are now getting on the road back to the south coast. I'll be back later.

Malcolm Kukura

18/09/2013Returning after an absence of a few weeks I am only a little surprized to discover that you Ad Astra and Lynn have decided to move on to other important matters. I've found great enjoyment in participating in reading your articulate and discerning essays and in contributing where I can. It is entirely understandable that managing this blog has required such a major commitment and that it is not possible for you to keep it up indefinitely. I feel very strongly that The Political Sword should be survive you, be preserved for ever and be continued and I am ready and willing to play any role I can in doing that. My guess is that you both might even have time to visit occasionally if others were to assume the responsibility of management. Do let me know if I can be of assistance - I am fully committed to the use of the fifth estate to continue the struggle for justice and freedom and am confident that TPS is an excellent tool for doing this and is far too valuable to disappear.

Michael

18/09/2013How out of character - The Australian applauding head of gumnint 'Made It! Abbott' "putting the broom through Canberra's bureaucracy". Mainly because of close connections with Labor government policy (which I would have thought characterised ALL public servants as a matter of professional responsibility, whoever was the previous government), but... Well, this is Tiny Abbott. Incidentally, I find it just a tad chilling that Customs and Border Protection, a department with a legal and semi-military function is now in the Immigration Department under Bwana Morrison. Used to be overseen by the Attorney General, now supremo-ed "jump, I say, jump", by Bwana. Seriously, don't you think that a Department of Immigration is all about welcoming new citizens to Australia, not finding more aggressive ways to deny them? Also, couldn't help noticing Abbott giving the evil eye to the ABC News camera, and thus, us, when filmed having a lot of trouble remembering the words to Advance Australia Fair at the Boys' Club swearing-in ceremony today. Lay any bets on how long before God Save the Queen is 'our' national anthem again, fair dinkum? Just another "also". Can he and Julie Bishop stop kissing one another!!?? Please!

42 long

18/09/2013The kissin is sicknin.alright.. Awkward toney. Politicising the public service is a bad sign of a vindictive government. Vindictiveness has been observed as a characteristic of the abort. We will no doubt see more of it from him because it's his nature. Sense of humour? I'm sure he has one. I could guarantee he thought Gillard falling over in the grass with high heels on was funny.

DMW

18/09/2013ToM careful what you wish for It might be granted.

el gordo

18/09/2013 The posts are too long, biased and without humour, so I hope any new management takes this into consideration.

Ken

18/09/2013There are a number of roles involved in TPS and, if we are to continue, the question is who is now capable and willing of doing which. As I see it, providing a starting blog for discussion is the easy part. I'm sure, TT, Michael, Catching up and others are more than capable of producing an occasional blog (as I am myself). But we would need an [u]editor[/u]to coordinate such input coming from a number of people. We may also need to avoid four or five people all putting a blog in for the same week. The editor could even create a roster (if needed). we would need an [u]administrator[/u] to monitor the site and control the trolls. And also to manage the site generally. I think all of us can play a role in welcoming new people to the site (one less burden for the editor). We need [u]someone like Web Monkey [/u]to manage the technical aspects of the site and remedy issues as they arise. Is there someone else, or would Web Monkey still be willing to assist? And of course we need Casablanca or someone else to continue (or share) the preparation of links. Of course, these can each be different people, but the more people involved, the more difficult the coordination becomes (the editor's role?). With disparate people involved, we need, as TT has already started, to have people in direct contact (by phone, e-mail, etc) not just through this site). These are just thoughts on the practicalities on continuing TPS. Other people who understand web sites beeter than me, may be able to clarify the details and help us work out the best way forward.

Catching up

18/09/2013Ken, editing, I am not capable of, or at least very poor at. Finding links yes.

Catching up

18/09/2013Ken ask AD for my details. Same for Talk Turkey

TalkTurkey

19/09/2013Hello folks Working on some notional proposals as to how to make this all work. We have the people, with the skills, and energy, and time and the technology - we only need the will and the organization, to keep this blogsite as bravo as ever. But I think I have to fade right now ...

Casablanca

19/09/2013 [u]CASABLANCA'S CACHE:[/u] [i]Thursday[/i], 19 September, 2013 [u] THE [i]er[/i] NEW [i]um[/i] GUMMINT[/u] Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his Ministry was sworn in by the Governor General, Quentin Bryce on 18 September 2013 The [b]ADMINISTRATIVE ARRANGEMENTS ORDER [/b] was signed on 18 September, 2013 by the Governor General. This Order sets out the matters dealt with by a Department and its Minister of State. The official Abbott Ministry List was also released: • Administrative Arrangements Order 18 September 2013 • Ministry list – 18 September 2013 [i]Downloads here[/i] : http://www.dpmc.gov.au/parliamentary/ [u]THE PRIME MISOGYNIST [/u] The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet has responsibility for [u]Women’s policies and programmes[/u] and [u]Australian Government employment workplace relations policy, including equal employment opportunity and administration of the framework for agreement making and remuneration and conditions. [/u] Put another way, Prime Minister Abbott is the Minister for Women This really tops it all - the Prime Misogynist supported by a Senator Michaelia Cash - she who screamed personal abuse at Senator Wong across the Senate in the last days of the previous Parliament. (Video at http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jul/01/michaelia-cash-penny-wong-attack) 1. Portfolio details spell out Tony Abbott's role as women's minister [i]by: [/i] Lenore Taylor [i]Abbott takes primary responsibility for women's issues, along with Indigenous affairs, deregulation and national security[/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/18/tony-abbott-womens-minister-portfolio?CMP=twt_gu *** 2. Removing World Heritage by request? [i]by: [/i] Commonwealth Parliamentary Library [i]The Coalition announced that, if elected, it would seek to have the recently approved extension of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area removed. Can a World Heritage Area be delisted by request? There is no procedure for Australia to directly remove the extension to the TWWHA. The World Heritage Convention’s Operational Guidelines do not include any protocol for removing an Area while its Outstanding Universal Values remain intact. So it would seem that only the World Heritage Committee has the authority to decide to remove an area from the World Heritage List. It is therefore unclear at present how an elected Coalition government could proceed in removing the extension of the TWWHA from the World Heritage List.[/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://parliamentflagpost.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/removing-world-heritage-by-request.html#more *** 3. Measuring success in skilled migration policy: the subclass 457 visa program [i]by: [/i] Gareth Larsen. Commonwealth Parliamentary Library [i]A new report by Monash University’s Centre for Population and Urban Research reveals that recently arrived migrants are dominating the growth in the number of employed persons in Australia. It also points to local young workers being adversely affected by the competition for employment, with a global pool of ‘job hungry temporary migrants looking for the same work’. According to the OECD, the young and the low-skilled will continue to be hardest hit across OECD nations through 2014. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://parliamentflagpost.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/measuring-success-in-skilled-migration.html#more *** 4. Looking back: nominal and real GDP growth [i]by: [/i] Robert Dolamore. Commonwealth Parliamentary Library [i]In the lead-up to the 2013 Budget an issue that attracted much attention was the weakness of Australia’s nominal economy and the impact this would have on government revenue. For three consecutive quarters (June, September and December 2012), annual growth in nominal gross domestic product (GDP) was less than real GDP growth, the first time this had happened in at least the last 50 years. This short note uses the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics national accounts data to take another look at Australia’s nominal and real GDP growth story [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://parliamentflagpost.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/looking-back-nominal-and-real-gdp-growth.html *** 5. Dental checkup [i]by: [/i] Amanda Biggs. Commonwealth Parliamentary Library [i] It will be interesting to see if access to affordable and timely dental care improves as the Dental Reform Package announced by the former Labor Government is rolled out. This package allocated additional funding of $344 million to the states and territories from July 2014, to improve their public dental services under a National Partnership Agreement (NPA). From January 2014 it also provides a means-tested Medicare benefit, capped at $1,000 over two years, to children aged up to 17 for basic dental treatment. Both these initiatives look set to continue, at least in the short term. In its health policy election document, the Coalition indicated it would honour the NPA, but at its expiry (December 2015) it would move adult dental services under Medicare arrangements. Child dental benefits also appear to be supported in this document. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22library%2Fprspub%2F2729411%22 *** [u]FIFTH ESTATE[/u] 6. Who's who and what's what [i]by: [/i] Andrew Elder [i]The press gallery reporting of the Abbott government ministry (the very phrase still rankles) has been poor, to say the least, and that bodes ill for the quality of reporting we might expect from it over the years ahead. First, the generalities. The reason why the make-up of the Coalition ministry does not reflect the glorious diversity of Australia is because the Coalition parties don't. The average age of Liberal Party members is over 65. They remember an Australia run by white men, they tend to preselect white men, and Tony Abbott promised a return to John Howard's Australia. What did you expect? Abbott's frontbench is 80% the same as it was in opposition. If you don't know why you're in government (other than for its own sake, or for the lurks) you won't be there long. Labor has to learn that lesson, but so too must the Coalition. Guess which is most receptive to learning hard lessons, has nothing to lose that it doesn't value, and has more time and more energy up its sleeve. Guess which is complacent and risk-averse, and confuses debate with dissent. The press gallery literally have a box seat in observing this new government, which isn't new to them; but they just can't tell what's going on. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://andrewelder.blogspot.com.au/ *** 7. The derp surplus [i]by: [/i]Matt Cowgill [i] One of the key economic policy battles in the first term of any government is to shape the public’s understanding of the previous government. Howard and Costello successfully associated the Keating and Hawke governments not with a massive program of economic liberalisation, but with “Beazley’s black hole,” a supposedly hidden fiscal deficit that was used to justify sharp spending cuts. The first Rudd government could and should have made more of Howard’s failure to make the most of the mining boom, squandering much of the benefit in unsustainable tax cuts, but they failed to ram this message home. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://mattcowgill.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/the-derp-surplus/#more-1582 *** 8. Cathy McGowan Is Australia’s Leslie Knope [i]by: [/i] Alex McKinnon NB. Sophie Mirabella conceded defeat on the morning of the swearing-in of the Abbott Government, 18 September, 2013. She announced that she would not seek a re-count. [i]It’s just too perfect: An election in a pokey backwoods town. A plucky, hard-working community organiser with a rag-tag bunch of supporters and a hat full o’dreams. A grassroots campaign run against a nasty, forever-absent frontrunner who has the backing of the big-end of town. A down-to-the-wire race that our heroine tragically loses by the skin of her teeth. But wait – a last-minute recount! What? The good guys are winning? THE GOOD GUYS ARE WINNING! The crowd goes wild![/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://junkee.com/cathy-mcgowan-is-australias-leslie-knope/19726 *** 9. The reckoning of Indi: What took so long? [i]by: [/i] Tom Anderson [i]This election in Indi has been like none before in living memory. Normally, Indi is a very safe seat and a winner can be declared within hours of the counting process being commenced[/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://nofibs.com.au/2013/09/18/reckoning-indi-took-long/#sthash.rxgYwe2Z.dpuf *** 10. Why Bob Hawke's opinion about Tanya Plibersek's leadership potential is not excused [i]by: [/i] Georgina Dent [i]I explained that my initial reaction on hearing Hawke's comment was despair. Instead of banging my head on the desk and openly weeping, as I felt inclined to do, I reasoned that given Hawke is 83 the comment wasn't entirely unexpected. Rather than just castigating him (and anyone else who shares his view) I tried to explain why being a mother and a leader are not mutually exclusive options. This has been construed as me excusing Hawke, which I can understand, and it's reminded me again of a related and relevant dilemma. Which is, what is the most effective way to try and change an attitude? When you encounter an attitude or opinion that you disagree with and desperately want to shift, what do you do? [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/editor-s-agenda/why-bob-hawke-s-opinion-about-tanya-plibersek-s-leadership-potential-is-not-excused/201309112884 *** 11. Feeding the beast [i]by: [/i] Ed Butler [i]This, then, got me thinking. Do we pay too much attention to politics? The kind of person who reads/writes for this blog is in all likelihood the kind of person who is engaged in the minutiae of daily political life, who will follow the events of the day. Rather than, say, learning that there will be a leadership spill, then waiting for the spill to happen and finding out who won, we will hang on every dribble of information – Crean may have switched, Shorten’s switched, RUDD HAS THE NUMBERS. But what do we gain from this? We aren’t actually paying attention to policy. One glance at the most-read items on this site alone will show you that our big audience-pleasers are about leadership, the Wikileaks preference debacle, and ‘sex appeal’.[/i] [i]Read more: [/i]http://ausopinion.com/2013/09/18/feeding-the-beast/ *** 12. What I have been reading [i]by: [/i] Andrew Norton • [i] Amanda Ripley, The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way. Some countries do much better in OECD school tests than others, prompting much investigation about why (my Grattan colleagues among them). • Jackie Dickenson, Trust Me: Australians and their politicians. An appropriate book to read during an election campaign in which many people were saying that they were disillusioned by politicians and the major parties. As Dickenson shows, similar complaints have been made many times over more than a hundred years. As Dickenson suggests, these attitudes can be a pose – cliched views that don’t translate into diminished expectations of government or even necessarily into opinions about individual politicians. But she usefully analyses real-world trends that foster mistrust.[/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://andrewnorton.net.au/ *** 13. Climate Leak Bombshell or Numeric Dyslexia. We report. You Decide. [i]by: [/i] Rex Ringschott [i]High profile climate un-changer Professor Andrew Bolt of the Herald Sun School of Thought Homogeneity, is well known for his contention that the temperature rise of the planet has stopped. He’s been saying it for years. Today, Professor Bolt wrote that a leaked IPCC report concedes that warming is only half what it ones was (so half way there for Mr. Bolt). He quotes liberally and approvingly from Britain’s favourite birds-in-bikinis and saucy-celebs news website The Daily Mail, where fellow climate conspiracy theorist David Rose, who has obtained the leaked document claims that “Scientist accept their computers “may have exaggerated”. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://clubtroppo.com.au/ *** 14. Institutions and public goods – institutions ARE public goods: The graphic [i]by: [/i] Nicholas Gruen [i] A nice visual illustration of the idea of institutions as public goods. Note the word ‘institution’ is here used to mean more than formal organisations. The Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy provides this quote from sociologist Jonathan Turner a complex of positions, roles, norms and values lodged in particular types of social structures and organising relatively stable patterns of human activity with respect to fundamental problems in producing life-sustaining resources, in reproducing individuals, and in sustaining viable societal structures within a given environment[/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://clubtroppo.com.au/category/economics/ *** [u]ABC[/u] 15. In Defence Of The Chaser’s False Depiction Of My Dad Having Sex With Dog [i]by: [/i] Liam Kenny [i]Chris Kenny is my dad. On one of the Sky News political analysis programs he hosts, he has replied to the Chaser joke, lamenting that if his children were ever to Google his name in the future, this is the kind of filth we would stumble across. Heaven forbid. Kenny is a staunchly neo-conservative, anti-progress, anti-worker defender of the status quo. He is an unrelenting apologist for the Liberal Party. He was one of Alexander Downer’s senior advisers at the time of the Iraq War. He’s been known to argue for stubborn, sightless inaction on climate change. He spits at anyone concerned with such trivialities as gender equality, environmental issues or labour rights from his Twitter account on a daily basis. Recently, he characterised criticism of the lack of women in Tony Abbott’s Cabinet as a continuation of the Left’s “gender wars”. He is a regular and fervent participant in The Australian’s numerous ongoing bully campaigns against those who question its editorial practices and ideological biases. The profoundly irresponsible, dishonest, hate-filled anti-multiculturalist Andrew Bolt has recently referred to Kenny on his blog as “a friend”.[/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://junkee.com/in-defence-of-the-chasers-picture-of-my-dad-having-sex-with-dog/19967 *** 16. Lieutenant Colonel Cate McGregor [i]by: [/i] Steve Cannane [i] Cate, a Duntroon graduate, is the third generation of her family to serve in the armed services but the first to do so during and after gender transition. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2013/09/18/3851509.htm *** 17. No to women in altar roles [i]by: [/i] ABC [i]Tasmania's new Archbishop has reignited the debate about women in the Catholic Church saying he prefers altar servers to be male.[/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-18/no-to-women-in-altar-roles/4966728?section=tas *** 18. Indonesian MP Tantowi Yahya says Coalition's asylum seeker policy threatens to damage relations [i]by: [/i]Lateline [i] A member of the Indonesian parliamentary foreign affairs commission has described the Federal Government's asylum seeker policy as "offensive" and "illegal". The Coalition's policy includes turning boats back to Indonesia, buying old boats from Indonesian fishermen and paying Indonesians to spy on people smuggling operations. It came a day after Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said the Coalition would ask for Indonesia's understanding, rather than its permission, [See link in Item 18 below] as it tries to stop the flow of asylum seekers. [/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-19/indonesian-mp-says-turn-back-the-boats-policy-is-offensive-and-/4966934 *** 19. Coalition won't be asking for Indonesia's permission on asylum seeker policies: Bishop [i]by: [/i]ABC [i]Incoming foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop says she is confident the Coalition will be able to implement all of its asylum seeker policies regardless of how Indonesia views them. Indonesia's foreign minister Marty Natelegawa recently rejected the Coalition's plan to purchase boats from Indonesian fishermen in a bid to prevent people smugglers buying them. The policy is part of Operation Sovereign Borders, the Coalition's regional action plan against people smuggling which was announced during the federal election campaign. Ms Bishop has told Sky News she will leave for meetings at the United Nations in New York on Saturday and will talk to Dr Natalegawa while she is there. "What we have in place is a series of policies that we intend to implement by legislation and operationally, and they will not breach Indonesia's sovereignty," she said. "We're not asking for Indonesia's permission, we're asking for their understanding.[/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-16/coalition-to-ask-indonesia-for-understanding-not-permission/4959976 *** [u]FOURTH ESTATE[/u] 20. The Coalition swearing-in: Abbott enjoys his moment of perfect possibility [i]by: [/i] Katharine Murphy [i]In politics there are only two states of being: there is power, and there is the absence of power. Heat gradually rises as the various ministers, junior ministers and parliamentary secretaries oath and affirm their way to personal and professional transformation. An aide to the governor general moved noiselessly to open the side doors on Wednesday to allow the cross breeze to cool and temper the new Abbott government, which had a distinct collective personality in the moment of its birth: triumph, and relief. [/i] Abbott's opening gambit on Wednesday was a rare political speech at a swearing-in, which normally eschews partisan affectations in favour of unvarnished bureaucratese. It was the coda of a long and arduous campaign and the final decisive flip from the relentlessly negative and combative opposition leader to the prime minister, who is now trying to calm the national clamour he unleashed in order to occupy the Lodge. [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/18/coalition-swearing-in-tony-abbott?CMP=twt_gu *** 21. Libs dream of returning us to a Menzian torpor [i]by: [/i] Ross Gittins [i]But ''one of the main reasons participants felt disconnected from politics and the election was their dissatisfaction with both of the major parties' leaders,'' the report says. ''Regardless of whether their values were more closely aligned with Liberal or Labor (or the Greens) few people had positive things to say about either Kevin Rudd or Tony Abbott.''[/i] [i]Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/libs-dream-of-returning-us-to-a-menzian-torpor-20130917-2tx0i.html#ixzz2fGY9aVf9 *** [u]TWITTERVERSE[/u] Mike Carlton ‏@MikeCarlton01 3h The swearing in. This is an elegant, evocative piece of writing from @murpharoo. Must read for journalism students. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/18/coalition-swearing-in-tony-abbott?CMP=twt_gu … *** Julie Posetti ‏@julieposetti 25m It's just excellent, Katharine. I'll certainly be posting for my j-students' consumption *** Victoria Rollison ‏@Vic_Rollison 2h Gillard has grace, dignity, intelligence, wit, perseverance, courage, morals, kindness and charisma. Mirabella has the opposite of these. *** Mike Carlton ‏@MikeCarlton01 3h This PJK speech on the Unknown Soldier http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGh0HdG9ViA … was tweeted tonight by @LachlanFHarris.It was 20 years ago. Listen and weep. *** Mike Carlton ‏@MikeCarlton01 3h Why, er..... does, ah......Tony Abbott.......talk like, um......this ? Is he, er......a slow........um, thinker ? *** Virginia Murdoch ‏@virginia 3h So I went to sleep and when I woke up Tony Abbott was Minister for Women’s Affairs. Knew something bad would happen. *** [u]TODAY’S FRONT PAGES[/u] Australian Newspaper Front Pages www.thepaperboy.com/australia/front-pages.cfm [u]NEWS HEADLINES [/u] http://www.hotheadlines.com.au/

Casablanca

19/09/2013How Tony Abbott defeated liberal feminism [i]by:[/i] Jeff Sparrow [i]Abbott quite overtly took on a strand of feminism – and comprehensively defeated it. Progressives have to understand the logic of culture wars if they want to challenge him Read more: [/i] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/18/australia-merit-abbott-cabinet *** Coalition sources blame Cathy McGowan for lack of women in cabinet [i]by:[/i] Oliver Milman [i]Indi defeat led to reduced female representation and absence of science minister, Mirabella supporters claim Read more: [/i] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/18/mcgowan-blamed-lack-women-cabinet *** Why Tony Abbott wants to abolish the carbon price [i]by:[/i] Alex White [i]Why is abolishing the carbon price Tony Abbott's 'top legislative priority'? Firstly, he is either not convinced of the urgency of the threat of climate change to Australia's economy or society, or doesn't believe in climate change at all. For example, one of Tony Abbott's business advisors, former ABC chairman Maurice Newman, in an article in The Australian equated concern over climate change to a "global warming religion" and climate scientists as a "global warming priesthood". Secondly, powerful vested interests in Australia, including the fossil fuel lobby, mining industry and carbon intensive corporations are heavy donors to Mr Abbott's Liberal Party. Read more: [/i] http://www.theguardian.com/environment/southern-crossroads/2013/sep/18/tony-abbott-abolish-carbon-price *** Five women who should have been in Abbott's cabinet - and yes, on merit [i]by:[/i] Ben Eltham [i]Tony Abbott says his overwhelmingly male cabinet was appointed on 'merit'. Well, here are five women who deserved to be appointed Read more: [/i] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/18/women-abbott-cabinet

Michael

19/09/2013Has anyone picked up in the mainstream Press anywhere how 'women of calibre' can be paid a fortune to gestate, but, Death Stare aside, no others with an organ of gestation were considered of enough calibre to be on Abbott's front bench?

2353

19/09/2013Michael - No, I haven't either In the 50's women were supposed to be barefoot and pregnant - weren't they (I wasn't born then so I can't remember.)

Janet (j4gypsy)

19/09/2013Hi all, Have been keeping up with the 'where to from here' discussion and the offers of voluntary support via TPS posts, but also in chats with TT and Ad separately. Ken, your list defining people/roles is terrific because it has also defined needs and tasks, a first step to working out a new set of processes if TPS does have a go at becoming a collaborative venture for a time. I've advised both Ad and TT that I have professional editing skills (12 years in Deakin Uni's Publishing Unit and its later iterations as e.g. Editor/Program developer etc.) just for starters. Am happy to do a quick copyedit + lay-out (or a little more structural editing, if needed, with a less confident writer) on any piece offered as a discussion starter, once a little process for so doing is worked out. (And I will be helping out in this way on at least one other Oz political blog.) Also happy to back-up as have done with Lyn in the past on researching and posting links and Twitterverse. Casablanca has been sublime in organising her 'template' and getting stuck in to this task in the last few weeks. But as she has noted, keeping up a daily offering is very time-consuming. Having others take turns (again with a bit of a process organised to determine who and when, so that links aren't doubled up or possible reading proffered is overwhelming) can ensure both links and humans are able to continue. If links [i]are[/i] to continue, have been wondering about the worth of keeping them under the rubric of 'Lyn's Links'. I think I wouldn't be too ready to change. Using the language of marketing again, her brand has wide recognition! So many people have pursued TPS, from what I can see in this 18 months with you, for the links especially. Keeping the title or heading of the links as is, is also a continuing way of honouring Lyn (and it doesn't really matter who is working on the links in the background?)? I wanted to say that while offering to copyedit pieces, am not offering to take a central 'site manager/managing editor' role of the kind several people posting consider needed. I am truly a gypsy and won't have a settled existence for some time, so am not prepared to take on that level of responsibility But I am, in fact, not sure that you need one person only in a central managing role once you start thinking in group-function terms. It's quite possible to have two or three people, and preferable in terms of managing to sustain the work of the site. Several other political blog sites function this way with a core managing/editorial group. It's hard to shift our thinking away from an existing model (one manager of a site) but to make the most of the lateral thinking we all can do, we need to. I think the only possible task area not covered by Ken was the need to update the email contacts for MPs and journalists if TPS m@il is to be maintained as a relevant facility. Groups come together and make change when the [i]processes[/i] they operate under are worked out effectively. If I can help with that part of trying for a collaborative effort, also very happy to. TT, Ad, others, am also happy to be included in ongoing group discussion via email. Three cheers for everybody's efforts :-)

Michael

19/09/2013Over at http://ninemsn.com.au/ 10 times more people are saying "No" to the question "Are you happy to see Tony Abbott become PM?" - 72,000 plus to 6,500'ish when I saw the figures around 7:30. The site was a routinely Labor-bashing one with its pre-election and election polling, so I suspect we're seeing a "'wtf' did I just do?/repent in leisure" reaction to actually voting Coalition. A sign that just like when Howard was routinely re-elected you could never find anyone who admitted to voting for him? (Which might also, from a different angle, be answering the question "Where to from here?" - into denial?)

Truth Seeker

19/09/2013Michael, yes it's amazing that Abbott thinks that he can placate wealthy women while ignoring the majority, and their real need for representation in HIS cabinet. And by sheer coincidence, my latest post is [b["LNP women of calibre!"[/b] :-) http://truthseekersmusings.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/lnp-women-of-calibre/ Cheers :-)

jaycee

19/09/2013On reading of the enthusiasm of those determined to keep the site operating,I may have to withdraw my previous comments and wish those showing so much attitude...good luck and good wishes!

TalkTurkey

19/09/2013 Good Evening All. Come Let us reason together, one with another. First let me note that Ad astra himself would positively like The Political Sword to continue, if that should prove possible without losing the quality and camaraderie here, though he himself wants to be relieved of all responsibility for it. He has told me that Web Monkey is prepared to continue with the knobs and levers - Thank You Mr Monkey You have been BRILLIANT labouring unseen for us for all these years, and now without your continuing work I can't think TPS could easily continue either. Like Ad and Lyn you deserve our deep gratitude, but we never see you, out of sight out of mind, so you don't get much recognition. Thank you thank you and thank you again. Now, in the last couple of days many people have posted heartfelt hopes for the continuance of TPS, and several have sincerely offered to put in serious energy of their own. Gypsy Janet has made some "left field suggestions" relating to, well I guess you could say, some sort of merger with another blog or some other blogs.(BTW I know that she is also quite open to other arrangements too.) But re that, I know The Pub is fun and popular and clever too, and Miglo knows of the esteem in which I hold his writing, but TPS is the one with the express intention of [i]putting politicians and commentators to the verbal sword[/i], and of being [i]a hub for the 5th Estate[/i]. That sounds a bit dry I guess (no pub intended), but it resonates with me, and TPS has always been true to those maxims. It has allowed those such as myself to wander into other areas freely and uncritically, but it has always had a no-nonsense critical political orientation, and I think that is valuable. The best political commentary, right here, either from Ad astra's threads and our own comments each to the others, or through Lyn's Links to all the other blogs. I am one who feels that TPS has a potential future too important to abandon without a fight, and for that matter, a present too friendly. It is home to some of the best yet least egotistical writers on politics in the whole blogosphere, myself excepted of course, and to me, (and I know I'm no orphan) it is a place where I can feel sane, get and give information and swap points of view, and be understood by like minded rational people like those reading this. I reckon that is important for the mind, especially with the world in general and our homeland in particular getting crazier by the moment. It is truly a two-edged sword: I've read of studies which affirm the mental benefits of several hours' writing a week. It feels like that to me anyway. Well now. Yesterday Barry Jones lamented the peremptoriness of the Labor Caucus in rolling over time and again for the media, being basically morally fibreless and hasty. I agree. And I also wish that so many of our very finest hadn't left the stage immediately in protest at *J*U*L*I*A*s deposing, I needn't name them all but Dr Craig Emmo Emerson was a special friend on Twitter, Lynnie will have a little tear I think. So let us not be too precipitate ourselves. The TPS engine's running perfectly. Our Mechanic is tirelessly on the job. It's just that we have to take over the driving and the navigation! And we can always call a halt if we can't make it up the inevitable hills in the next days and weeks, but by then we can have thought through what should happen. Sheathe the Sword? Too sad. Let's be strong. If it doesn't work out we might have to sheathe it later. The things that have to be done can be separated, to a degree. Ken has thought along the same lines, and Gypsy Jan too. [i]Someone - or some people, rather, I would think - will once a week need to write a lead article.[/i] Perhaps not with quite the same gravitas as Ad commanded, but whatever, the subjects need to strike a chord. If that, all other followers follow with their own thoughts. In fact I think Ad astra's most astonishing skill of all has been his ability, week after month after year, to pick germane subjects himself before writing about them. OK but set that aside for now. We can come back to it later. There are things more pressing: [i]Someone has to take overall responsibility for the site itself.[/i] I'm not quite sure what that entails but Ad obviously is, and I'm sure he'll teach the basics to whomever might be that someone. It would certainly involve policing the site for unacceptable and mischievous commentary, and a welcoming role too. Ad has always done most of that, at the same time thanking folks and commenting on their comments, you see why I called him Webmaster of the Era! And Lyn has always been so welcoming, and even I have been known to greet newies, it's pretty easy! [i]Someone has to post daily links.[/i] That really is why people keep coming here, it is a unique service to all and sundry, and it also forms a lot of the ongoing discourse here, after the first 2 or 3 days of closer attention to whatever is the subject of Ad's current thread. Lyn's Daily Links is a huge job the way Lyn has done it, and it is so now too, the way Casablanca is doing it. My thought is, the rest of us have to help! Several people - one of whom could be You, Dear Reader - could post just a very few judicious links at anytime, with a brief excerpt a la Lyn. Any more than a score in all would be a pain. Then our Poster Person could scoop them up, add a few more of (her?!) own (without having such a great big job of finding so many out in the entire 5th Estate wilderness), and then post them in the familiar format ready for the day. Only, it would have to be (her) decision alone as to which of the preselected ones (she) included. Some may simply be missed, some (she) might find less than interesting and (she)'d have to have the right to omit such ones. In fact of course it's like that John West fish ad, It's the Links that Lyn rejects that make Lyn's Links the Best! (I know it is presumptuous to assume that a female person would be more likely to do that job than a male, but why wouldn't I, on heaps of empirical evidence it's plainly true! Thanks Gals.) And there is one other job, ARCHIVING. It is one of the unique glories of this site that every word is on record, every link to and from all those wonderful free writers' articles and the sleazy MSM, I've used the Bayeux Tapestry analogy before but it's true, TPS Archives are like no other resource. In years to come the contemporary politics of this most turbulent three years in Australia's history will be studied by PhD students using the archives here. It has to be done every day, I don't understand the magic but again, Ad would have to explain. He has done it for years, ad nauseam, but the thread has been unbroken since I came here 3 years ago and I think that's pretty impressive! I think of it as a sort of buried treasure, much of which it may be that no-one ever sees again, but it's always there, all our collected wisdoms, courtesy Lyn hitherto, now we are on our mettle. Sword, mettle. Yes. So what have we got? Well for a start we have three very strong women who have already committed to being considerably committed (but, understood, not obsessively so.) Not ignoring ALL the other people who've offered help, Gypsy Janet, Casablanca and Catching Up seem to me to have all the nous and grit needed to form a very stable and I know savvy trio to keep the Sword singing, with the help of the rest of us a given. But you girls must do some talking to each other, sort out your strengths, and what you are prepared to do, and how you might propose to do it, (and I for one will try to help in my own lame, er, male way, probably more to cheer on than be much use though). I have believed in the power of three women ever since I read Macbeth. "When shall we three meet again ..?.." I'm not entirely kidding either: I'd rather trust arrangements to women "of calibre" than to a random men, yes I would, in fact men "of calibre" are pretty bloody disappointing a lot of the time if you ask me. Women ... think of things! I actually recommend the *telephone* for conversations of this kind, (Never thought I'd be lecturing women on not talking enough!) I have talked to Ad, Lyn, Gypsy Janet, Casablanca (in the order in which I first talked to them per telling bone), and afa concerns Catching Up I will be with Catching Up with you soon! I do so appreciate your offer of putting in time, you sound like a powerful force for the Sword and another of those who can be the core of what I reckon is Critical Mass. But I am including everybody else in that too. Telephone contact does change a relationship a lot. You girls I know can sort each other's numbers on Twitter or via Ad astra, I'd be personally gratified if you all can get in contact with one another per 'bone, it's the way to get things straight, and fast. ( And by the way, - don't let us miss this, - all this is quite exciting, challenging, broadening too, when you view it with positive eyes. It is a privilege as well as a burden. We can all help. It sort of becomes really OUR blog now, a legacy of two legends: are we big enough to appreciate just how precious TPS is, and to adapt it, and ourselves, to meet the new Era? ) Ad astra has always been our de facto General Secretary as well as our General General, and certainly someone very responsible and dedicated needs to fill that role. I don't think it's so onerous actually, Ad would know, but it does involve answering any Contact mail. But a tad of legal confidence would be a plus I'm sure, just for everyone's comfort. (I've never seen anything actionable here anyway.) Do you know how many wellwishers and keepgoingers had written on this thread last time I looked? - Several as I said with offers of help, offers which may need reiteration and redefining to fit with whoever does take on the lead roles - probably missing a few BY ACCIDENT NOT DESIGN, ALL YOU MOB LISTED BELOW! in no order. Truth Seeker. Frank. Russell in Glendale. Ken. Gravel.Fiona. Woody Pear.Sandra Searle. N'ellie May.MarkatPort. NormanK. 42 Long. PatriciaWA. jaycee (who had an epiphany like Dick Whittington! :) ). jane. GypsyJanet. Clarence Girl. Casablanca. Curi-Oz. 2353. Michael Taylor. Michael. Catching Up. Who've I Misst? and Good Evening All. Let us reason together, one with another. First let me note that Ad astra himself would positively like The Political Sword to continue, if that should prove possible without losing the quality and camaraderie here, though he himself wants to be relieved of all responsibility for it. He has told me that Web Monkey is prepared to continue with the knobs and levers - Thank you Mr Monkey You have been BRILLIANT labouring unseen for us for all these years, and now without your continuing work I can't think TPS could easily continue either. Like Ad and Lyn you deserve our deep gratitude, but we never see you, out of sight out of mind, so you don't get much recognition. Thank you thank you and thank you again. Now, in the last couple of days many people have posted heartfelt hopes for the continuance of TPS, and several have sincerely offered to put in serious energy of their own. Gypsy Janet has made some "left field suggestions" relating to, well I guess you could say, some sort of merger with another blog or some other blogs.(BTW I know that she is also quite open to other arrangements too.) But re that, I know The Pub is fun and popular and clever too, and Miglo knows of the esteem in which I hold his writing, but TPS is the one with the express intention of [i]putting politicians and commentators to the verbal sword[/i], and of being [i]a hub for the 5th Estate[/i]. That sounds a bit dry I guess (no pub intended), but it resonates with me, and TPS has always been true to those maxims. It has allowed those such as myself to wander into other areas freely and uncritically, but it has always had a no-nonsense critical political orientation, and I think that is valuable. The best political commentary, right here, either from Ad astra's threads and our own comments each to the others, or through Lyn's Links to all the other blogs. I am one who feels that TPS has a potential future too important to abandon without a fight, and for that matter, a present too friendly. It is home to some of the best yet least egotistical writers on politics in the whole blogosphere, myself excepted of course, and to me, (and I know I'm no orphan) it is a place where I can feel sane, get and give information and swap points of view, and be understood by like minded rational people like those reading this. I reckon that is important for the mind, especially with the world in general and our homeland in particular getting crazier by the moment. It is truly a two-edged sword: I've read of studies which affirm the mental benefits of several hours' writing a week. It feels like that to me anyway. Well now. Yesterday Barry Jones lamented the peremptoriness of the Labor Caucus in rolling over time and again for the media, being basically morally fibreless and hasty. I agree. And I also wish that so many of our very finest hadn't left the stage immediately in protest at *J*U*L*I*A*s deposing, I needn't name them all but Dr Craig Emmo Emerson was a special friend on Twitter, Lynnie will have a little tear I think. So let us not be too precipitate ourselves. The TPS engine's running perfectly. Our Mechanic is tirelessly on the job. It's just that we have to take over the driving and the navigation! And we can always call a halt if we can't make it up the inevitable hills in the next days and weeks, but by then we can have thought through what should happen. Sheathe the Sword? Too sad. Let's be strong. If it doesn't work out we might have to sheathe it later. The things that have to be done can be separated, to a degree. Ken has thought along the same lines, and Gypsy Jan too. [i]Someone - or some people, rather, I would think - will once a week need to write a lead article.[/i] Perhaps not with quite the same gravitas as Ad commanded, but whatever, the subjects need to strike a chord. If that, all other followers follow with their own thoughts. In fact I think Ad astra's most astonishing skill of all has been his ability, week after month after year, to pick germane subjects himself before writing about them. OK but set that aside for now. We can come back to it later. There are things more pressing: [i]Someone has to take overall responsibility for the site itself.[/i] I'm not quite sure what that entails but Ad obviously is, and I'm sure he'll teach the basics to whomever might be that someone. It would certainly involve policing the site for unacceptable and mischievous commentary, and a welcoming role too. Ad has always done most of that, at the same time thanking folks and commenting on their comments, you see why I called him Webmaster of the Era! And Lyn has always been so welcoming, and even I have been known to greet newies, it's pretty easy! [i]Someone has to post daily links.[/i] That really is why people keep coming here, it is a unique service to all and sundry, and it also forms a lot of the ongoing discourse here, after the first 2 or 3 days of closer attention to whatever is the subject of Ad's current thread. Lyn's Daily Links is a huge job the way Lyn has done it, and it is so now too, the way Casablanca is doing it. My thought is, the rest of us have to help! Several people - one of whom could be You, Dear Reader - could post just a very few judicious links at anytime, with a brief excerpt a la Lyn. Any more than a score in all would be a pain. Then our Poster Person could scoop them up, add a few more of (her?!) own (without having such a great big job of finding so many out in the entire 5th Estate wilderness), and then post them in the familiar format ready for the day. Only, it would have to be (her) decision alone as to which of the preselected ones (she) included. Some may simply be missed, some (she) might find less than interesting and (she)'d have to have the right to omit such ones. In fact of course it's like that John West fish ad, It's the Links that Lyn rejects that make Lyn's Links the Best! (I know it is presumptuous to assume that a female person would be more likely to do that job than a male, but why wouldn't I, on heaps of empirical evidence it's plainly true! Thanks Gals.) And there is one other job, ARCHIVING. It is one of the unique glories of this site that every word is on record, every link to and from all those wonderful free writers' articles and the sleazy MSM, I've used the Bayeux Tapestry analogy before but it's true, TPS Archives are like no other resource. In years to come the contemporary politics of this most turbulent three years in Australia's history will be studied by PhD students using the archives here. It has to be done every day, I don't understand the magic but again, Ad would have to explain. He has done it for years, ad nauseam, but the thread has been unbroken since I came here 3 years ago and I think that's pretty impressive! I think of it as a sort of buried treasure, much of which it may be that no-one ever sees again, but it's always there, all our collected wisdoms, courtesy Lyn hitherto, now we are on our mettle. Sword, mettle. Yes. So what have we got? Well for a start we have three very strong women who have already committed to being considerably committed (but, understood, not obsessively so.) Not ignoring ALL the other people who've offered help, Gypsy Janet, Casablanca and Catching Up seem to me to have all the nous and grit needed to form a very stable and I know savvy trio to keep the Sword singing, with the help of the rest of us a given. But you girls must do some talking to each other, sort out your strengths, and what you are prepared to do, and how you might propose to do it, (and I for one will try to help in my own lame, er, male way, probably more to cheer on than be much use though). I have believed in the power of three women ever since I read Macbeth. "When shall we three meet again ..?.." I'm not entirely kidding either: I'd rather trust arrangements to women "of calibre" than to a random men, yes I would, in fact men "of calibre" are pretty bloody disappointing a lot of the time if you ask me. Women ... think of things! I actually recommend the *telephone* for conversations of this kind, (Never thought I'd be lecturing women on not talking enough!) I have talked to Ad, Lyn, Gypsy Janet, Casablanca (in the order in which I first talked to them per telling bone), and afa concerns Catching Up I will be with Catching Up with you soon! I do so appreciate your offer of putting in time, you sound like a powerful force for the Sword and another of those who can be the core of what I reckon is Critical Mass. But I am including everybody else in that too. Telephone contact does change a relationship a lot. You girls I know can sort each other's numbers on Twitter or via Ad astra, I'd be personally gratified if you all can get in contact with one another per 'bone, it's the way to get things straight, and fast. ( And by the way, - don't let us miss this, - all this is quite exciting, challenging, broadening too, when you view it with positive eyes. It is a privilege as well as a burden. We can all help. It sort of becomes really OUR blog now, a legacy of two legends: are we big enough to appreciate just how precious TPS is, and to adapt it, and ourselves, to meet the new Era? ) Ad astra has always been our de facto General Secretary as well as our General General, and certainly someone very responsible and dedicated needs to fill that role. I don't think it's so onerous actually, Ad would know, but it does involve answering any Contact mail. But a tad of legal confidence would be a plus I'm sure, just for everyone's comfort. (I've never seen anything actionable here anyway.) Do you know how many wellwishers and keepgoingers had written on this thread last time I looked? - Several as I said with offers of help, offers which may need reiteration and redefining to fit with whoever does take on the lead roles - probably missing a few BY ACCIDENT NOT DESIGN, ALL YOU MOB LISTED BELOW! in no order. Truth Seeker. Frank. Russell in Glendale. Ken. Gravel.Fiona. Woody Pear. Sandra Searle. N'ellie May. MarkatPort. NormanK. 42 Long. PatriciaWA. jaycee (who had an epiphany like Dick Whittington! :) ). jane. GypsyJanet. Clarence Girl. Casablanca. Curi-Oz. 2353. Michael Taylor. Michael. Catching Up. Who've I Misst? Oh yes Ad! Anyway I reckon that ought to be plenty to convince us that we need us. And of course if there are some Comrades who have special skills to offer - as I know some of you have - please put up your hand and let us all benefit. I love this song even though they pronounce Dog wrong. What I mean is the chorus line. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iP27eatYxE AND this one too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g--Vlij1X1Y I don't think there is need for extreme haste here. Ad wants the weight gone but we need to sort ourselves out, won't be long, in the meantime keep the boiler pressure up! AAAARRRRRRRRRR Me Hearties! (It's International Pirate Day I'm told by Trivioli and her petboy Rowley. Who else!)

TalkTurkey

19/09/2013Sorry I Siamese Twinned that last post ...

Janet (j4gypsy)

19/09/2013Splendid post TT, especially twinned, but we need some blokes in the core managing mix. I've been busy dobbing you and Ken so far, to a certain star. :-)

Casablanca

19/09/2013Why Gillard will win the history wars [i]by: [/i] Paul Sheehan [i] Exactly one year ago, on September 19, 2012, the Prime Minister was white with grief when she addressed the Parliament. She was surrounded by silence. Gillard....kept a minority government in office for a full term, a Herculean task. She implemented major spending reforms in disability care and education. When she stepped aside she maintained a dignified silence, and wished both Abbott and Rudd well in their campaigns. Rudd, in contrast, delivered a long burst of triumphalism in his concession speech on election night, even as Labor received a smashing rejection from the electorate. The contrast between Gillard's eloquent silence and Rudd's bombast was extreme. To portray Gillard as a victim or a martyr is to patronise her. She was and is better than that. I expect she will thrive in her political afterlife and hope she does. Read more: [/i]http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/why-gillard-will-win-the-history-wars-20130918-2tzor.html#ixzz2fK0dtJHn ***

2353

19/09/2013TT - that post was so good you had to say it twice :) I'm serious in that I would consider it a privilege to contribute a conversation starter post on a negotiated basis. I already have a idea of what the first one could be about (sometimes it's good to stare out the window while catching the train to work). I suspect we need to work out the mechanics and go from there.

2353

19/09/2013P.S. AA has my email address but it is having conniptions at the moment. The ISP is working on it. If you want to contact me, it might be an idea to wait until next week.

Ad astra

19/09/2013Talk Turkey I have read your comments, twice! Thank you for your sound suggestions and good counsel. My mind has been travelling along similar paths. I believe we can work out how to keep TPS going while giving me a breather. Many aspects are amenable; perhaps the most technically difficult is finding someone who understands the rudiments of HTML, which is necessary knowledge for posting pieces on TPS. It really is quite straightforward; like everything else in life, it’s easy when you know what to do. To make text readable, HTML tags need to be inserted in the text to achieve the text format, font, paragraph spacing, links, images, and so on. Sounds complex, but it’s not. If any reader has this knowledge, please speak up! Most of the other duties/functions of site management can be delegated. Tomorrow, I’ll email you and others with my thoughts, and will seek your feedback. We are getting there.

Catching up

19/09/2013Am willing to help all I can. Time is one thing I seem to have too much of.

Ad astra reply

19/09/2013Casablanca I finally finished Casablanca's Cache sitting in bed tonight. What a great read it was. I'm already looking forward to tomorrow's. Thank you for your continuing efforts.

TalkTurkey

19/09/2013I think TPS Comrades are being absolutely wonderful!

TalkTurkey

19/09/2013That song A Place In The Choir is so much fun, I've posted the lyrics so you can get every word as you play it. In particular I love the rhyme* in the bass section that I've bolded, so clever! And so funny, that beautiful young bloke, the bass, you'd think his voice hadn't even broken, his hippopotamus knocks the other fellers flat! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iP27eatYxE All God's creatures got a place in the choir Some sing low and some sing higher, Some sing out loud on a telephone wire, Some just clap their hands, or paws, or anything they've got now All God's creatures got a place in the choir Some sing low and some sing higher, Some sing out loud on a telephone wire, Some just clap their hands, or paws, or anything they've got now Listen to the top where the little bird sings On the melodies and the high notes ringing, And the hoot owl cries over everything And the blackbird disagrees. Singing in the night time, singing in the day, When little duck quacks, and he's on his way. And the otter hasn't got much to say And the porcupine talks to himself All God's creatures got a place in the choir Some sing low and some sing higher, Some sing out loud on a telephone wire, Some just clap their hands, or paws, or anything they've got now The dogs and the cats they take up the middle While the honeybee hums and the cricket fiddles, The donkey brays and the pony neighs And the old gray badger sighs... Listen to the bass, it's the one on the [b]bottom[/b] Where the bullfrog croaks and the [b]hippopotam[/b]us Moans and groans with a big t'do And the old cow just goes moo. All God's creatures got a place in the choir Some sing low and some sing higher, Some sing out loud on a telephone wire, Some just clap their hands, or paws, or anything they've got now It's a simple song a little song everywhere By the ox and the fox and the grizzly bear, The dopey alligator and the hawk above, The sly old weasel and the turtle dove. All God's creatures got a place in the choir Some sing low and some sing higher, Some sing out loud on a telephone wire, Some just clap their hands, or paws, or anything they've got now All God's creatures got a place in the choir Some sing low and some sing higher, Some sing out loud on a telephone wire, Some just clap their hands, or paws, or anything they've got now All God's creatures got a place in the choir Some sing low and some sing higher, Some sing out loud on a telephone wire, Some just clap their hands, or paws, or anything they've got now All God's creatures got a place in the choir. *Why is it we must have RHYME in song? It's like . . .like ... I don't know what it's like but it's like it all right. What would lyrics be like if they didn't rhyme? Have you ever considered how lucky we are to have English, with so many words - far more than any other language - to make so many rhymes which fit into songs? I know a couple of people on this blog who most certainly have. Rhyming gets to be a bit like spinning ENIGMA in your head, you know, the German encoder that the British were able to crack? So like you want a rhyme for [i]bottom[/i], it goes dzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ Brrr rrrr rrrr CHING! Rhymes for BOTTOM: Cotton POOR Dott'm - Fott'm,flott'm frott'm - Got'em GOOD Hott'm - Jot'em Possible K L M - Not 'em Usable Pot 'em Interesting! Q - Rot'em Possible Slot'em Possible Sod'em Marginal Tot'em Possible V - What'm? Possible fun X - Y - Zot'em Possible in sci-fi pome! NO PERFECT MATCH IN SPELLING SEVERAL PHONETIC MATCHES But then you have such an invention as Hippopotam ...us! and in the song it works perfectly! ABBA has some lovely and clever rhymes in their songs - but they had to come to English to make them. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ And there you go Swordies, if TPS didn't exist where could I post that rave among people who would give it time of day? I don't mean among soppy poets, I mean gutsy political junkies like you lot, with a sense of fun too.

Casablanca

19/09/2013Ad I assumed that you would have used an HTML editing program when creating your essays for TPS. I've manually inserted the code into the MS Word 2003 template that I created for Casablanca's Cache but I would hate to have to do it manually for a whole article. In the distant past I used Nvu which was an open source WYSIWYG content editor. Unfortunately, it has been dis-continued. Its replacement is called BlueGriffon which like its forerunner is a WYSIWYG content editor and is designed to edit HTML, Javascript and CSS. From the sense of Janet's comments I guess that she would know her HTML, though given that she worked in a professional editing unit I guess that she would have had an Adobe editor like Dreamweaver. As BlueGriffon is open source I will download it and check it out. Versions are also available for Mac OS X and Linux. There are 32-bit and 64-bit Linux builds, as well as Windows and Mac OS X packages and extensions. I'd welcome any further suggestions for Web editors that suit both Apple and Windows platforms.

Casablanca

20/09/2013 [u]CASABLANCA'S CACHE:[/u] [i] for [/i] Friday, 20 September, 2013 [u]SURPRISE SURPRISE !!![/u] [b] 1. PRESS COUNCIL FINDS FAIRFAX FABRICATED AWU GILLARD STORIES [/b][i]by: [/i] Alan Austin [i]A scathing assessment of the ethics of Fairfax Media by the Press Council confirms Fairfax’s decision to follow the tawdry lead of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp in falsifying ‘news’ for political ends. The Australian Press Council this week upheld complaints by law firm Slater & Gordon about reports by The Age’s editor-at-large Mark Baker. The adverse findings relate to two of Baker’s many articles on the matter of former PM Julia Gillard’s legal work for a trade union in the early 1990s. His stories have peddled innuendo, half-truths and falsehoods for nearly a year Read more: [/i]http://www.independentaustralia.net/2013/business/media-2/press-council-finds-fairfax-fabricated-awu-gillard-stories/ *** [u]FIFTH ESTATE[/u] [b] 2. McGowan to apologise to Indi Aborigines: Transcript of her victory press conference [/b] [i]by: [/i] Wayne Jansson [i]McGowan announced that she would end the hurt created by Ms Mirabella’s boycott of the stolen generations apology by making a formal apology on behalf of Indi next Sorry Day. Read more: [/i] http://nofibs.com.au/2013/09/19/mcgowan-to-apologise-to-indi-aborignes-next-sorry-day/#sthash.VgudzdzP.dpuf *** [b] 3. Suck It Up, Princesses – Abbott is not Ruling for You[/b] [i]by: [/i] prestontowers [i]Right now, there are many people dismayed at the actions of the new Abbott Government, whether it’s the sacking of three senior public servants who gave the impression of supporting Labor policy, shutting the Climate Commission, launching inquiries into wind farms as to find an excuse to shut down their expansion, fighting the ACT Government’s move to approve marriage equality or the move of having just one woman in their cabinet. These people, for the most part, did not vote for the Abbott Government. These are the people who need to Suck It Up, because Abbott is not ruling for all. He’s ruling for his People. His Crew. Read more: [/i] http://ausopinion.com/2013/09/19/suckitupprincesses/ *** [b] 4. Arctic sea ice "recovers" to its 6th-lowest extent in millennia [/b] [i]by: [/i] dana1981 [i] Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its annual minimum extent, at approximately 5.1 million square kilometers. This is the 6th-lowest extent since the satellite record began in 1979. Read more: [/i] http://www.skepticalscience.com/arctic-sea-ice-recovers-to-6th-lowest-extent-in-millennia.html *** [b] 5. Department of Pigeon Catting – Time to Change Australia Day [/b] [i]by: [/i] Gummo Trotsky [i]I learnt something interesting today, while I was writing up notes on legal history: Australia didn’t formally achieve complete judicial and legislative independence from Old Blighty until 5.00am, Greenwich Mean Time on March 31st 1986. That’s the precise time that the Australia Acts, passed by the British Parliament and our Federal Parliament came into effect. Read more: [/i] http://clubtroppo.com.au/2013/09/19/department-of-pigeon-catting-time-to-change-australia-day/ *** [b] 6. Addressing harms from pokies: insights from new reports [/b] [i]by: [/i] Amanda Biggs [i]Some recent reports are reminders that addressing problem gambling harms associated with electronic gaming machines or pokies remains challenging, but progress is possible. The first report evaluates the decision to ban Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) from pokies venues in Victoria. The second quantifies the harms of pokies gambling in Victoria, prior to the removal of ATMs, while the third summarises lessons learnt from pre-commitment trials in South Australia. Read more: [/i] http://parliamentflagpost.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/addressing-harms-from-pokies-insights.html *** [b] 7. What’s wrong with merit? Why ‘equal’ treatment does not reward the most deserving [/b][i]by: [/i] Michelle Smith [i] What is problematic about the idea of merit is that it presumes all people have the same opportunity to succeed. The movement to formal equality through anti-discrimination legislation has created the impression that there are no barriers to the participation of women, Indigenous people, GLBTIQ people, people with a disability, and people of colour in the workplace and public life. Read more: [/i]http://theconversation.com/whats-wrong-with-merit-why-equal-treatment-does-not-reward-the-most-deserving-18317 *** [b] 8. With friends like these: Labor hatred of the Greens is self-defeating [/b][i]by: [/i] Dennis Altman [i]This anger at the Greens is not new. In the opening paragraph of his preface to former treasurer Chris Bowen’s book Hearts and Minds, Paul Keating asks whether “the political role of Labor can be replaced in some bifurcation between the Liberals on the right and the Greens on the left". Read more: [/i] http://theconversation.com/with-friends-like-these-labor-hatred-of-the-greens-is-self-defeating-18230 *** [b] 9. The nation decides – and sport is the winner [/b][i]by: [/i] David Rowe [i]Tony Abbott said, 'Happy is the country which is more interested in sport than in politics, because it shows that there is a fundamental unity, it shows that the business of the nation is normally under reasonably good management if we can be as excited as we usually are about sport'. Read more: [/i] http://theconversation.com/the-nation-decides-and-sport-is-the-winner-18268 *** [b] 10. Amgen and Abbott: who’s that on the PM’s cycling kit? [/b][i]by: [/i] Ian Musgrave [i]Amgen is an American drug company, one of four that sponsor Pollie Pedal along with the pharmaceutical industry group Medicines Australia. This is ironic, given Tony Abbott’s cabinet has dropped science from its portfolio and for the first time in around 80 years we do not have some form of science ministry. Read more: [/i]http://theconversation.com/amgen-and-abbott-whos-that-on-the-pms-cycling-kit-18142 *** [u]ABC[/u] [b] 11. Australia's new PM for Women has a lot to learn [/b][i]by: [/i]Anne Summers [i]Speaking as a former head of OSW (in the Hawke era), I applaud this move....If Tony Abbott has brought women's policy back to his own department just so he can closely supervise the further winding back of women's equality, then we are no better off. ....there are at least three reasons for scepticism. Read more: [/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-19/summers-status-of-women/4968946 *** [b] 12. Policy challenge: Abbott's education plans [/b][i]by: [/i] Kevin Donnelly [i]Much of the post election analysis of the Abbott Government's education polices focuses on funding. Whereas the Rudd government promised to fund schools for six years, with most of the funding coming in the final two years, the Coalition's policy only covers the first four years of the forward budget estimates. Read more: [/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-19/donnelly-abbott-government-education/4967216 *** [b] 13. Tony Abbott's lobbyist integrity call prompts resignation of Liberal Party powerbrokers [/b][i]by: [/i] Eliza Harvey [i]Prime Minister Tony Abbott has triggered a reshuffle within the state executive of the New South Wales Liberal Party after declaring party members should no longer work as lobbyists. Two of the state's most powerful conservative lobbyists Michael Photios and Joe Tannous resigned from their party roles just hours after the announcement. Read more: [/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-19/prime-minister-tony-abbott27s-lobbyist-integrity-call-prompts-/4969650 *** [b] 14. Official figures show largest drop in quarterly employment for 13 years [/b][i]by: [/i]Staff Reporter [i]Official figures show Australia has recorded its largest quarterly fall in employment in 13 years. Labour-force figures from the Bureau of Statistics show 26,500 jobs disappeared in the three months to August. Read more: [/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-19/official-figures-show-large-drop-in-quarterly-employment/4969608 *** [b] 15. Turn Back Tony [/b][i]by: [/i]Tracey Spicer [i] The most powerful man in the land is behaving like a toddler throwing a tantrum. Fingers shoved firmly in his ears, saying “la, la, la, la, la, la”, he ignores 97 per cent of the world’s scientists to “doom future generations”, according to scientist and environmentalist David Suzuki. Read more: [/i] http://thehoopla.com.au/turn-tony/ *** [b] 16. Poverty in a time of prosperity [/b][i]by: [/i]Peter Whiteford [i] Measured by income, most Australians have never had it so good. But some groups are falling dramatically behind. Read more: [/i] http://inside.org.au/poverty-in-a-time-of-prosperity/#sthash.MZOuDmIm.dpuf *** [b] 17. Small-target health policy gets off to a shaky start [/b][i]by: [/i] Lesley Russell [i]The new government’s aged-care decisions suggest it will prioritise providers over consumers. Read more: [/i] http://inside.org.au/small-target-health-policy-gets-off-to-a-shaky-start/#sthash.e2Z9sdHp.dpuf *** [u]FOURTH ESTATE[/u] [b] 18. Welcome to the Abbottoir[/b] [i]by: [/i] Paul Sheehan [i]Tony Abbott is a misogynist, sexist, homophobic prick, a bully, a racist, a liar and is the worst PM in Australian history... I'm quoting here. These are the words which introduce a Facebook page entitled ''Tony Abbott - Worst PM in Australian History''. The page was created even before Abbott has even been sworn into office. Within days the page received more than 166,000 ''likes''. Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/welcome-to-the-abbottoir-20130915-2tsrm.html#ixzz2fJzEzW2T *** [b] 19. Why Gillard will win the history wars[/b] [i]by: [/i] Paul Sheehan [i] Exactly one year ago, on September 19, 2012, the Prime Minister was white with grief when she addressed the Parliament. She was surrounded by silence....To portray Gillard as a victim or a martyr is to patronise her. She was and is better than that. I expect she will thrive in her political afterlife and hope she does. Read more: [/i]http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/why-gillard-will-win-the-history-wars-20130918-2tzor.html#ixzz2fK0dtJHn *** [b] 20. The data that proves Tony Abbott should change his mind on public transport [/b][i]by: [/i] Jacob Saulwick [i]Here is another position Abbott will hopefully discard as retrograde and redundant - his insistence that the federal government should pay for motorways only and not for public transport. For a party that professes allegiance to free-market principles, the Liberals are curiously insensitive to market demand for transport. Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/the-data-that-proves-tony-abbott-should-change-his-mind-on-public-transport-20130915-2tsrk.html#ixzz2fKabhg1T *** [b] 21. Indi upset a lesson to major parties[/b] [i]by: [/i]Editorial [i]Mirabella would almost certainly have been Mr Abbott's first choice as industry minister - and a valued and close colleague of the Prime Minister in cabinet. They share a similar political style and are fellow travellers of the Liberal Party's ideological right, after all. Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/ct-editorial/indi-upset-a-lesson-to-major-parties-20130918-2tzlp.html#ixzz2fJiloIOL *** [b] 22. Tony Abbott will doom future generations if he ditches carbon tax[/b] [i]by: [/i] David Suzuki [i]...politicians around the world continue to retreat from the battle to protect the environment. Your new prime minister Tony Abbott is just another who finds it easier and more politically rewarding to focus on the next election cycle rather than the mountain of evidence that continues to grow and show we are trashing the biosphere and must reduce carbon emissions. Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/tony-abbott-will-doom-future-generations-if-he-ditches-carbon-tax-20130917-2tx0j.html#ixzz2fJyMrIPo *** [b] 23. Australian retirees hardest hit by GFC? [/b][i]by: [/i] Leith van Onselen [i]Retirees in Australia have been the hardest hit in the world by the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), according to HSBC’s latest Future of Retirement report. The research also found one in six Australians who are currently working feel they will be unable to ever retire, and more Australians in the future will opt for a phased retirement compared to the current generation of retirees. Read more: [/i] http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2013/09/australian-retirees-hardest-hit-by-gfc/ *** [b] 24. Productivity: the only way to raise living standards” [/b] [i]by: [/i] Leith van Onselen [i]In early 2003, I joined the Australian Treasury where I was immediately introduced to the Department’s “Three P’s” framework, which effectively argued that Australia needed to: 1) boost productivity; 2) raise workforce participation; and 3) increase the population via skilled migration, if the nation was to continue to enjoy rising living standards.[/i] Read more: [/i] http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2013/09/productivity-the-only-way-to-raise-living-standards/ *** [b] 25. GM puts heat on Coalition over car subsidies [/b] [i]by: [/i]Leith van Onselen [i]General Motors Holden (GMH) has delivered a simple message to the new Coalition Government: commit to subsidising the Australian car industry within two months or we will follow Ford in ceasing production in Australia. Read more: [/i] http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2013/09/gm-puts-heat-on-coalition-over-car-subsidies/ *** [b] 26. Prominent economists back macro-prudential” [/b] [i]by: [/i]Leith van Onselen [i]Macro Bussiness' campaign for Australia's financial regulators to adopt macro-prudential curbs on higher risk mortgage limits has received a shot in the arm today, with two Godfathers of Australian economics - Ross Garnaut and Bob Gregory - coming out in support of such measures. Read more: [/i] http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2013/09/prominent-economists-back-macro-prudential/ *** [b] 27. Labor leadership: what Australia's Labor party can learn from UK's Labour[/b] [i]by: [/i]Paul Wheeler [i]Over in the UK, the Labour party has been involving members in the election of its leader since the early 1980s. We learned a thing or two in the process Read more: [/i] http://www.theguardian.com/global/2013/sep/19/uk-labour-australia-labor?CMP=ema_632&et_cid=49582&et_rid=7108914&Linkid=http%3a%2f%2fwww.theguardian.com%2fglobal%2f2013%2fsep%2f19%2fuk-labour-australia-labor *** [b] 28. Time for Labor to be a 'team united', says Bill Shorten [/b][i]by: [/i] Sarah Elks and Liam Quinn [i] "I fundamentally believe it is only Labor that will come up with the ideas for the future challenges that Australia faces, and deliver them. "Australia has a proud history of being a leader in science - we can't afford to lose that just because Tony Abbott is prime minister. Read more: [/i]http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/politics-news/time-for-labor-to-be-a-team-united-says-bill-shorten/story-fn59nqld-1226722728565?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheAustralianNewsNDM+%28The+Australian+%7C+News+%7C%29#sthash.BfFbqPzp.dpuf *** [b] 29. Senior Labor MP Jenny Macklin backs Anthony Albanese for Labor leadership [/b][i]by: [/i] Jonathan Swan [i]Senior Labor MP Jenny Macklin has announced her support for leadership aspirant Anthony Albanese, while former attorney general Nicola Roxon is out campaigning for Bill Shorten. Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/senior-labor-mp-jenny-macklin-backs-anthony-albanese-for-labor-leadership-20130919-2u0j4.html#ixzz2fLxx1YBP *** [b] 30. New master in the house [/b][i]by: [/i] Jack Waterford [i]The message many will draw from his sacking is that detached loyalty to the government of the day, and the saying of things people do not want to hear, will be punished by the government. The conspiracy-minded might also think that another lesson is that one should never fall foul of senior colleagues who go on to work in ministers' offices. Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/new-master-in-the-house-20130918-2u007.html#ixzz2fM3lTBKX *** [b] 31. Australia should show more respect to its public servants [/b] [i]by: [/i] Simon Copland [i]We Australians love targeting Canberra, and the city's public servants are the most obvious target of all. The exercise works for Abbott, who plans deep cuts in the sector Read more: [/i] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/18/public-services-australia?CMP=ema_632&et_cid=49582&et_rid=7108914&Linkid=http%3a%2f%2fwww.theguardian.com%2fcommentisfree%2f2013%2fsep%2f18%2fpublic-services-australia *** [b] 32. Questions over Abbott's sudden sackings [/b][i]by: [/i] Markus Mannheim [i] One of Prime Minister Tony Abbott's first acts – the dismissal of three department heads – will cost his government almost $2 million in payouts. The sudden sackings may also expose the Commonwealth to legal action, though if any of the trio did challenge the decision it would be near impossible for them to win damages. Read more: [/i]http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/questions-over-abbotts-sudden-sackings-20130919-2u0yf.html#ixzz2fLyTvRUp *** [b] 33. Coalition delivers on promise to axe Climate Commission [/b] [i]by: [/i] Chris Kenny [i]THE Abbott government has moved swiftly to disband the Climate Commission and sack its commissioners, including controversial chief commissioner Tim Flannery Read more: [/i] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/policy/coalition-delivers-on-promise-to-axe-climate-commission/story-e6frg6xf-1226722787406 *** [b] 34. Abbott shuts down Climate Commission [/b][i]by: [/i] Tom Arup [i] The Abbott government has abolished the Climate Commission, which had been established to provide public information on the effects of and potential solutions to global warming...Environment Minister Greg Hunt rang chief climate commissioner Tim Flannery at 10am on Thursday to tell him the body had been shut down. Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/abbott-shuts-down-climate-commission-20130919-2u185.html#ixzz2fLxIGDpF *** [b] 35. Abbott criticised by both sides over lack of senior women in government [/b][i]by: [/i] Judith Ireland [i] Former Labor minister Tanya Plibersek has dismissed Prime Minister Tony Abbott's decision to move the Office for Women into his own department, saying it does not matter where the office is located if he does not have women in his frontbench team. Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/abbott-criticised-by-both-sides-over-lack-of-senior-women-in-government-20130919-2u182.html#ixzz2fM0rpoZ2 *** [b] 36. Direct Action keeps state policymakers guessing [/b][i]by: [/i] Peter Hannam [i] The new Abbott government continues its mantra that the carbon tax must go and that its Direct Action program will deliver the pledged 5 per cent reduction on 2000 levels in national emissions by 2020 at a cheaper cost to the taxpayer. Read more: [/i]http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/carbon-economy/direct-action-keeps-state-policymakers-guessing-20130918-2tzoe.html#ixzz2fM1jHzhg *** [b] 37. Aid decision threatens to put politically expedient choices before improving lives of poor [/b][i]by: [/i] Tim Costello [i] Although only two weeks ago the Coalition retreated further on a bipartisan commitment to take Australian aid up to the global benchmark, its message that it would begin ''reform'' of the foreign aid program by redirecting funding towards non-government organisations was welcome. These organisations enjoy public support and trust. (World Vision Australia now only receives 11 per cent of its funding from AusAID.) Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/aid-decision-threatens-to-put-politically-expedient-choices-before-improving-lives-of-poor-20130918-2tzoq.html#ixzz2fM4l8Xr1 *** [b] 38. Official figures show largest drop in quarterly employment for 13 years [/b][i]by: [/i]ABC [i] Official figures show Australia has recorded its largest quarterly fall in employment in 13 years. Labour-force figures from the Bureau of Statistics show 26,500 jobs disappeared in the three months to August. Read more: [/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-19/official-figures-show-large-drop-in-quarterly-employment/4969608 *** [u]PERIODICALS[/u] [b] 39. UK Labour as the party of civil liberties? We won't be fooled that easily [/b][i]by: [/i] Richard Morris [i]But now, ...., you’ve gone too far by claiming Labour, and not the Liberal Democrats, is the champion of civil liberties. How quickly you must think we forget. ...It is the Liberal Democrats that have secured the return of the freedoms curtailed by Labour. Read more: [/i] http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2013/09/labour-party-civil-liberties-we-wont-be-fooled-easily *** [b] 40. The challenges facing the left - and what can be done about them [/b][i]by: [/i] Rafael Behr [i]The paradox of thrift, political inequality and the difficulties of conference season. ....focused on large-scale problems for “progressive” movements across Europe – the conundrum of why it is that what looked in 2008 like an obvious failure of globalised, free-market capitalism hasn’t massively benefited social democratic politics. Read more: [/i] http://www.newstatesman.com/uk-politics/2013/09/challenges-facing-left-and-what-can-be-done-about-them *** [u]TWITTERVERSE[/u] That dude you knew ‏@Deadly_Thoughts It's offensive it's illegal and the Indonesians reject it, stop the illegal boat policy Mr Abbott #turnbacktony #auspol *** Tim Ferguson ‏@WithTimFerguson BREAKING: Abbott Demands Women Ministers Must Have Experience. Makes Himself Minister For Women. #auspol *** Destroy The Joint ‏@JointDestroyer 3h I prefer my Minister for Women selected on merit, not #teMERITy. #auspol pic.twitter.com/gOAnkjOHje *** Financial Review ‏@FinancialReview Senior counsel says the clean energy finance corp is legally obliged to ignore Joe Hockey #auspol http://www.afr.com/p/national/clean_energy_bank_obliged_to_ignore_CgtxRm0FxrV4O3ZD5K5H9L … *** Tony The Geek Rulz ‏@geeksrulz 16h Turn back the climate. Turn back the boats. Turn back the women. http://bit.ly/15DVfjI #auspol *** [u]TODAY’S FRONT PAGES[/u] Australian Newspaper Front Pages www.thepaperboy.com/australia/front-pages.cfm [u]NEWS HEADLINES [/u] http://www.hotheadlines.com.au/

Janet (j4gypsy)

20/09/2013Morning all and huge thanks again for Casablanca's cache efforts. Just catching up on the "working with html" discussion. Am afraid it's been about 15 years since working with something like Dreamweaver. After that period the editorial role in large ed. publishing institutions was split away from the "web designer" role and the work of getting content up on a site was undertaken by the latter. Then in came the pre-designed learning systems such as Blackboard in late 1990s, and an author and editor could work directly into them without having any real grip on html coding. I suspect that pre-designed blog systems such as Blogger and WordPress, which allow putting text and layout directly into pages, operate on similar principles to the online teaching/learning systems now used in universities. Ad, I think a germane question might be: 'how long does it take you to get the html code into a discussion piece?'. Am sorry, have no knowledge of conversion to html programs: because of those predesigned systems, haven't had to keep up.

Janet (j4gypsy)

20/09/2013Just found this page linking to a number of free software programs that will convert text to html. A couple might be worth a look. http://softwaresolution.informer.com/Word-to-HTML-Converter/

Michael Taylor

20/09/2013As an avid reader of TPS I'm encouraged that so many here are putting their heads together in a combined and committed effort to keep it running. Many readers, like me, do appreciate that. A word of warning, though. On my own blogs I've ran into all sorts of trouble when writing a post in Microsoft Word and copying it into Wordpress (the platform I use for my own blogs). Somehow the spacing between paragraphs gets mixed up and cannot be corrected. It may not be the same for all platforms though.

Ad astra

20/09/2013Catching up Thank you for your offer of help. Today, I’ll put together an email to you and the others who have indicated a willingness to collaborate in this process of continuing [i]TPS[/i], while allowing me to step back. It will outline how we might work together to achieve this. Michael Taylor Thank you for your cautionary advice. I don’t use a program (such as Dreamweaver) to insert HTML tags. I insert them manually while doing my final proof read and find that it doesn’t take all that long, and they always work. Straight text is easy; links and images take a little more time. So although I’ve used Dreamweaver on other blog sites, I’ve never found a need to use it on [i]TPS[/i], which uses BlogEngine.NET. You are right though to point to the difficulties that can arise in converting Word documents into web pages. I guess I’ve been lucky with the off-the-shelf freebie engine I use. Janet I'll get Web Monkey to take a look at the text to HTML programs you list.

DMW

20/09/2013Casablanca, thanks for the extraordinary huge variety of links you have cached. A right royal (oops republican) treat indeed

Ken

20/09/2013We may need some guidelines for discussion starters if we are to maintain the high standards set by Ad. If we end up with an editor or editorial committee, she/he/it may define the final guidelines but here are a couple of suggestions. The basic rule is "putting politicians to the sword" so that should be taken into account by any who propose putting up a piece. We need to keep that focus. Following in Ad's tradition, the pieces should be factually based and draw on information (often from the links that have been provided) and not be merely opinion pieces - although an occasional purely opinion piece may be warranted (at the discretion of the editor/editors). Each piece should be on a contemporary issue, or, if an historical piece, one that adds understanding to the contemporary issue. And, of course, there is a need to ensure that any piece remains within the law and is not libellous.

TalkTurkey

20/09/2013My heart is full of tears this morning, I know because little bits keep squeezing past my eyelids. Tears for *J*U*L*I*A*, tears for the good policies being axed and good people being sacked. Tears for the environment, tears for the destitute people at the other end of the world in every way that Abborrrtt the Christian is condemning to death by slashing overseas aid. Tears for my country, and for my fellow beings who are such simpletons that as a mass they cannot tell who their real friends are. And tears for the world in the hands of our species. But there's other tears too. Delicious bitter sweet ones, of pride in the effort we of the Fighting 5th Estate put in only to see us fail this time, but with the certain knowledge that Murdoch must now fade and fail, that old arch villain, and that now Abborrrt is there the MSM can't vilify Labor any more and the People must turn their eyes to the real villains. And there's really sweet tears too, and they're the ones I'm wearing now. They are brought on by the posts from people like, I'll just name the last one, Michael Taylor aka Miglo. Migs runs his own blogs, Café Whispers (what a great name!) and that other one I don't think I've even been to, sorry Mr Taylor, but here he is cheering for TPS, for all the right reasons too, and I know he speaks from a full heart too. Did you know that tears are the body's best way of ridding itself of excess - I think it's Rhodium not Iridium, but anyway it's a rare earth or anyway a trace element and we get it in food, and too much of it acts as a depressant. When we weep the tears are very rich in it, and so when we have a good cry we feel better! I feel very proud of all the response here, so much talent and wisdom, so many good hearts, [i]we[/i] are the real tribute to Ad and Lyn! We have some cornerstones for a (necessarily)broader-based TPS I reckon, several in that list I listed above, including 2353 who said [i]I'm serious in that I would consider it a privilege to contribute a conversation starter post on a negotiated basis. I already have a idea of what the first one could be about[/i] Re that, it is an offer I'm sure will be accepted gladly, but I suppose we must sort out a way of queueueueueuing threads ... ! Or maybe even before that, queueing [i]subjects[/i] for the next thread, (castles in air here) ... but anyway for now Ad must be Caretaker really, Sorry Ad Old Friend but you'll have to write down how to do everything and we are going to have to study it, that is horrors for a genuine early-onset ADHD like me but I am strongly persuaded now that there is such competence in the Comrades of the Sword, and such sensibly-limited commitment, that within a month we will have the wrinkles straightened. And 2353 maybe Ad would like to follow last week's evocative subject, je ne sais pas ... BTW One thing please everyone, don't all look at me! We can work it out, I couldn't. I gobble a lot. Gobbelix, remember? Not much good at heavy lifting, but earnest yes. One thing though, if I can PLEASE induce would-be helpful people, PLEASE try by such methods as DM (Direct Message) on Twitter to find each other's PHONE NUMBER (best) or at least email address. And then RINGGGG each other! Telling~Bone is so friendly! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69CilJuCRjU [Note: Many years ago the kids at two schools consecutively, but quite independently, dubbed me Catweazle! A story goes with it ... Not now. ] Use your Telling~Bones! :) Please. Get to know each other. [b]When in doubt COMMUNICATE![/b] I'm prepared to send intentionally-helpful people my ph nos on DM on Twitter if you ask me, but I'm not clever with any technology and I am absolutely not up to the job of being main Go-to. But like I said- we can work it out. Oh and Ken you sound like a real useful feller, bottler Cobber!

Bacchus

20/09/2013Just a couple of thoughts... For your "editorial committee" - you could have a simple blog setup with a [b]members only[/b] requirement to vet and suggest edits to the weekly piece. This wouldn't need to be anything fancy - just a freeby Wordpress site. The advantage of this approach is the ability of committee members to make comments in real time, rather than relying on emails back and forth for the editing process. I would be happy to facilitate such a site, if necessary. IF none of the HTML editors proves satisfactory, I could manage the HTML tags required. I'm pretty sure you'll find better candidates who also have editing skills as well though ;-) From experience reading other blogs, personalities can become involved. potentially leading to a disastrous "falling out" between people with different views. For example, one may wish to have a completely open and un-moderated site, while another might wish to provide a higher level of moderation. The advantage that TPS has at the moment is that Ad Astra is the benevolent dictator deciding this policy. Put this to a committee, and it can turn pear-shaped quite quickly (can't it Migs?) Another option, rather than continuing on with TPS as it is, would be to keep it for posterity, and start a new blog, spawned from TPS. It could keep the same engine and underlying workings, but be a separate entity. If any ill-will befalls the committee approach as mentioned earlier, the good name of Ad Astra and TPS will not be sullied by "blog wars." Just my 2c worth...

Ken

20/09/2013Bacchus Good advice. In an earlier post I did suggest that perhaps TPS should remain as is, as a tribute to Ad, and a new "Daughter of TPS" take its place, at least for now.

TalkTurkey

20/09/2013Ad and Ken, We're pretty much in the same channel here, I hadn't seen either of your posts when I said [i]Ad You'll have to write it all down,[/i] nor Ken when I said [i]You sound real useful[/i]. Ad [i]is[/i]writing it all down and Ken [i]is[/i] sounding more useful the more he says! And the Clan's a-gathering! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqfUNyvLrgA (I can't find the actual song Gathering of the Clans though, to my surprise!)

Ken

20/09/2013A bit of radical "fun". The "new" site could be "Rosa's Daughters", with us mere males along for the ride, following in the Social Democratic tradition of Rosa Luxemburg. quote from Rosa Luxemburg where she disgreed with Lenin's approach to centralisation. [quote]The fact is that the Social Democracy is not joined to the organization of the proletariat. It is itself the proletariat. And because of this, Social Democratic centralism is essentially different from Blanquist centralism. It can only be the concentrated will of the individuals and groups representative of the working class. It is, so to speak, the “self-centralism” of the advanced sectors of the proletariat. It is the rule of the majority within its own party. The indispensable conditions for the realization of Social Democratic centralism are: 1.The existence of a large contingent of workers educated in the class struggle. 2.The possibility for the workers to develop their own political activity through direct influence on public life, in a party press, and public congresses, etc. [/quote] The Fifth Estate is organising. And a marvellous song to go with it (a song I have known in folk circles for years) "Rosa's Lovely Daughters" Robb Johnson Chorus: We are Rosa's lovely daughters We are no man's blushing bride We are Rosa's lovely daughters And we will not be denied Who's that walking miles for water Who's that sweat-shoppin' all the day long In the hot south, in the cold north Who are these so proud and strong From the workbench in the back room To the cradle by the side of the bed From mad mothers to peace campers Who are these seeing red Well our fathers handshake their bargains While their good wives stand round and they weep But our hearts sing when we're dancing We are no man's to give or to keep Wearing white scarves in the plaza Burning pass-books in the centre of town We are wildfire in the backyard And that big white house is a-burning down Take this as you will.

TalkTurkey

20/09/2013Ken Here's that tune, I love staunch songs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yx-ZfeXkfo8 A bit of Battleship Potemkin spirit wouldn't go astray! I like this one even if it was tongue in cheek. I've posted it before but it's fun. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdOCWUgwiWs

Michael

20/09/2013The carpetbaggers are lining up. I wonder if Abbott ever considered that the greatest threat to his supposed 'easy as it goes' theory of 'adult government' would come from within? And from those so closely affiliated they consider themselves to be "in"... and owed. Barnett and the GST-increase/change push is just today's most public manifestation of this. All the various iterations of 'business councils' are full of advice and 'you got elected because the business community assisted in shopfront-badmouthing Labor' commentary. They ALL want their cut, and if you need any further evidence, consider that when Liberal Party apparatchiks who were also professional lobbyists had to choose which role to publicly keep, they've followed the money and quit Liberal Party positions. Does anyone seriously believe that this means they won't still be tight-to-the-guts bound with the Libs' non-parliamentary apparatus? The boys will still be boys out where boys express their special boyiness - the clubs, the golfcourses, the private rooms in restaurants, the schools parent nights (believe that one!), the brothels (well, come on, you don't think so?), places of secret handshakes and unnodded nods and unwinked winks because the signals aren't necessary if you're within nod or wink distance. What will undo the Conservatives, what always undoes them, is the fine intersection of greed and entitlement where they always raise their tents. And Abbott, who, weirdly, went to the trouble at a recent press conference to assert that he never wanted to be rich, never plans to be (Mister Parliamentary Expenses Account Winner four years running, mind you, so who needs to be rich on the taxpayers' tab?), will coast along as PM never having to reach into his wallet, until, one day (and it started weeks, months, years ago) the favours will be called in. And he will fall, surrounded by 'friends'.

Ken

20/09/2013TT Roy Bailey does a great version of "Rosa's Lovely Daughters" but unfortunately it doesn't seem to be on Youtube. But here's an example of Bailey's singing (he does a lot of Robb Johnson songs) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLkO7cAtrkI A song of hope in the darkness!!

Ad astra

20/09/2013TT, Ken, et al I'm still working on an analysis of how TPS might continue. I'll email later/

Catching up

20/09/2013I have this funny feeling, that Abbott might have more trouble with the Coalition states, than Labor did. Maybe what we are seeing, is the many putting their hands out,for their pound of flesh from Abbott. Bishop has a international problem on her hands with Green Peace incident. Will be interpreting to see how she reacts.

Ad astra

20/09/2013Talk Turkey, Janet, Casablanca, Catching up, Truth Seeker, Ken, 2353, Malcolm Kukura, jaycee, Bacchus I have just now emailed you about the continuance of [i]TPS[/i]. 2353, the email to you was rejected by your server. Could you please send me your current email address, via 'Contac' on the top menu.

Casablanca

20/09/2013Ad Email received. Wow! I'll digest it over a cup of coffee later. Just watching Lord Downer chatting to Lyndal. He is being his sensible self for once discussing the transition to government.

Casablanca

20/09/2013[b] Abbott wise to pull back... but not too far [/b][i]by: [/i] Barrie Cassidy [i]Prime Minister Tony Abbott's predecessors were clearly overexposed, but he should consider the cautionary tale of Ted Baillieu before he stops feeding the chooks altogether, writes Barrie Cassidy. Tony Abbott's immediate media strategy is to put the country to sleep, or at least lower the volume so that everybody can enjoy a little quiet reflection after a tumultuous few years. In the longer term, however, the media has to be alert to the danger that Abbott and his ministers wind back media engagements primarily to avoid scrutiny and accountability. If that is both the motive and the effect, then that will become obvious soon enough. Read more: [/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-20/cassidy-abbott-wise-to-pull-back-but-not-too-far/4969208 ***

Curi-Oz

21/09/2013Now, I wonder who this reminds me of (though I have no idea who actually uttered it first) ... [quote]Only the brave know how to forgive. A coward nevr - it is not in their nature[/quote]

Casablanca

21/09/2013 [u]CASABLANCA'S CACHE:[/u] for Saturday, 21 September, 2013 [u][b] THE [i]er[/i] NEW [i]um[/i] GUMMINT [/b][/u] Rupert Murdoch ‏@rupertmurdoch 19 Sep [b]Great first day by PM Abbott firing top bureaucrats,merging departments and killing carbon tax. Much more to do yet.[/b] *** Wayne Swan ‏@SwannyQLD 19 Sep That's 3 crossed off your list, @rupertmurdoch. What's next? Slashing the social safety net? You must be happy with your latest acquisition *** [b] 1. An Open Letter to Rupert Murdoch [/b][i]by: [/i] Victoria Rollison [i] Dear Rupert Murdoch, I am writing with good news. Not good news for you. Let me explain. You are probably in a pretty good mood right now, understandably. Your puppet is running my country. Not your country. My country. Read more: [/i] http://victoriarollison.com/2013/09/20/an-open-letter-to-rupert-murdoch/ *** [b] 2. How to restore Australia to its former glory [/b][i]by: [/i] Clementine Ford [i] I reckon there’s room to add a couple of things. You know, restore Australia to its former glory - to a time when white, heterosexual men of privilege didn’t have to be afraid to speak their minds, or apologise for giving the tea lady an affectionate swat on the bottom and telling her you like her muffins. By all means, trim the fat of wasteful rubbish like ‘saving the environment’ (you gotta build out to grow up, people!) but let’s consider honouring some of the following by giving them their own portfolios. Read more: [/i] http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and-views/dl-opinion/how-to-restore-australia-to-its-former-glory-20130919-2u1ls.html *** [b] 3. Just a Quick Poll [/b][i]by: [/i] rossleighbrisbane [i] The most ridiculous thing I know of is..... Read more: [/i] http://theaimn.com/2013/09/18/just-a-quick-poll/ *** [b]Destroy The Joint ‏@JointDestroyer 2h [/b] And then there were none: inside Tony Abbott's [b]menistry[/b] http://www.independentaustralia.net/2013/politics/and-then-there-was-none-inside-tony-abbotts-new-menistry/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=and-then-there-was-none-inside-tony-abbotts-new-menistry … pic.twitter.com/ll3wo5b3TI *** [b][u]FIFTH ESTATE[/u][/b] [b] 4. Take science brief across government, science chief urges [/b][i]by: [/i] Michelle Grattan [i] The Chief Scientist, Professor Chubb said Australia was falling behind in science at the school level, and also performing poorly in commercialising research. Australia needed a comprehensive approach similar to that of the United States, to ensure “things are funded appropriately and we’re not missing things”. Read more: [/i] http://theconversation.com/take-science-brief-across-government-science-chief-urges-18284 *** [b] 5. Public servants victims of long Coalition memories [/b][i]by: [/i] Michelle Grattan [i] Three secretaries have been flicked and the Treasury head, Martin Parkinson will be moved off mid next year. All these decisions are political. Read more: [/i] http://theconversation.com/public-servants-victims-of-long-coalition-memories-18372 *** [b] 6. Abbott has ragged start and tough times ahead [/b][i]by: [/i]Michelle Grattan [i] Abbott is talking about a “measured” start but it has been a messy one. The dearth of women in the ministry, including only one in cabinet, is a bad look on a simple matter – it will register with many in the community who don’t tune into much about politics. The ministry itself wasn’t the worst of it. To have only one woman in the frontbench “kindergarten” – parliamentary secretary level – was ill judged and hard to understand. Read more: [/i] http://theconversation.com/grattan-on-friday-abbott-has-ragged-start-and-tough-times-ahead-18433 *** [b] 7. Sal Kimber on singing the @voiceforindi song, and getting Paul Kelly’s OK [/b][i]by: [/i] Sarah Capper [i] Sarah was at the Wangaratta Performing Arts Centre where Sal performed on election night, during which swings going against the tide of the rest of the country increasingly showed Cathy McGowan keeping pace with the sitting incumbent Liberal Member Sophie Mirabella. Read more: [/i] http://nofibs.com.au/2013/09/20/sal-kimber-singing-voiceforindi-song/ *** [b] 8. The intellectual grunt behind @Indigocathy Indi victory: [/b][i]by: [/i] Sarah Capper [i] When Jeff Kennett lost the “unlosable” Victorian election in 1999, the Victorian Women’s Trust’s Mary Crooks wasn’t overly surprised. In the years leading up the state poll, in her new role as Executive Director of the VWT, Crooks designed and led the ‘Purple Sage Project’ – which involved a community ‘kitchen table’ dialogue process with some 6000 people across the state. Read more: [/i] http://nofibs.com.au/2013/09/20/intellectual-grunt-behind-indigocathy-indi-victory-sarah_capper-report/#sthash.XgNANuMH.dpuf *** [b] 9. The Purple Sage Project [/b][i]by: [/i] The Victorian Women's Trust [i] In a special post-election review by the Sunday Age, 24th October 1999, entitled Victoria’s Watershed: Faces of the Revolution, Paul Heinrichs observed that the Purple Sage Project tapped into the inchoate unease that Victorians were experiencing about the Kennett revolution… and that it was to become a massive exercise in participatory democracy. Read more: [/i] http://www.vwt.org.au/initiatives-30-81.html *** [b] 10. Abbott's night of the short knives [/b][i]by: [/i] Tony Kevin [i] The standard selection criteria for members of the Senior Executive Service of the Australian Public Service state that they should 'shape strategic thinking, achieves results, exemplify personal drive and integrity, cultivate productive working relationships, and communicate with influence'. The third of these goes to the crucial working relationship between SES public servants and their political masters. Read more: [/i] http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=38209#.UjxkS7e19ZY *** [b] 11. Dubious reasons for sackings [/b][i]by: [/i] J.R. Nethercote [i] The Coalition is taking full advantage of the fact the traditional tenured structure for senior public servants has been eroded. In more recent times, the individuals receive handsome payouts, but their departure usually means a loss of talent; a number, of course, prosper in the dubious ranks of consultancy. This feature of the present structure of the secretary group is the most potent symbol of the politicisation of the APS because it entails the termination of a career in the merit-based public service by ministerial decision, not professional appraisal and judgment. Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/dubious-reasons-for-sackings-20130920-2u5fl.html#ixzz2fRbTnEoR *** [b] 12. There are none so soft minded as those that think themselves hard headed [/b][i]by: [/i] Richard Tsukamasa Green [i] AKA “Intellectual vanity and policy poseurs”; AKA “Contorting sophistry in favour of contractionary monetary policy”; AKA “The global Serious id hrumphs again”. Part 3 of a series (1, 2).This one about Richard Goyder CEO WesFarmers Read more: [/i] http://clubtroppo.com.au/2013/09/20/there-are-none-so-soft-minded-as-those-that-think-themselves-hard-headed/ *** [b] 13. Tonight Only – A Free Shot of Xenophobia with Every Order! [/b][i]by: [/i] Gummo Trotsky [i] A couple of minutes later I got my chips and left the shop. On the way to the bus I decided that was the last time I’d be buying anything from that particular chippie. They were very good chips but all the same I won’t be visiting that little corner of Tony Abbott’s Australia again. Read more: [/i] http://clubtroppo.com.au/2013/09/19/tonight-only-a-free-shot-of-xenophobia-with-every-order/#comment-511189 *** [b] 14. Australia needs climate institutions, whoever is in power [/b][i]by: [/i] Frank Jotzo [i] The new Australian government is sacking the public service heads who implemented Australia’s carbon pricing scheme, and is closing institutions for climate change information and policy advice. It risks further politicisation of the climate change issue in the public service. Read more: [/i] http://theconversation.com/australia-needs-climate-institutions-whoever-is-in-power-18371 *** [b] 15. Tony Abbott and Clive Palmer share an opinion on lobbyists – now [/b][i]by: [/i] Michelle Grattan [i] Anyone who wants to lobby the government commercially must be on the federal register, and meet certain conditions. This week’s planned new requirement relates to office holders across the political spectrum, not just in the Coalition parties. Read more: [/i] http://theconversation.com/tony-abbott-and-clive-palmer-share-an-opinion-on-lobbyists-now-18487 *** [b][u]ABC[/u] [/b] [b] 16. Labor attacks Government's move to end announcements of asylum seeker boat arrivals [/b][i]by: [/i] Simon Cullen, [i] Labor's immigration spokesman Tony Burke has attacked the Federal Government's changes to announcements about asylum seeker boat arrivals, warning of the creation of a "culture of secrecy". Read more: [/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-21/labor-attacks-changes-to-announcements-of-asylum-seeker-arrivals/4972760 *** [b] 17. Disability reform is enough to keep any minister busy [/b][i]by: [/i] Stella Young [i] Given Australia's lacklustre record on disability reform and the number of people relying on improvement, let's hope we don't rue the abolition of a dedicated minister for this portfolio Read more: [/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-19/young-dsability-reform-is-enough-to-keep-any-minister-busy/4969060 *** [b] 18. Abbott's climate change strategy holds no surprises [/b][i]by: [/i] Sara Phillips [i] Leader of the Greens, Christine Milne called it "cowardly". Contender for leader of the Labor party, Anthony Albanese immediately branded it, "a shameful act". But what exactly did we expect? Read more: [/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-20/phillips-abbott-environment-no-surprises/4970328 *** [b] 19. Modern politics 101: adapt or perish [/b][i]by: [/i] Jonathan Green [i] In a world in which appeals to tradition and the loyalties of the last century have lost their effect, the Australian Labor Party may or may not have a place. Read more: [/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-19/green-modern-politics-101-adapt-or-perish/4966350 *** [b] 20. If it's broke, you've got to fix it [/b][i]by: [/i] Greg Jericho [i] As the dismal state of The Lodge demonstrates to us all, saving money by not spending it on areas that need funding doesn't make the need go away. That same lesson should be applied in politics. Read more: [/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-18/jericho-spending-lodge-economy/4962816 *** [b] 21. Labor's mini-moguls lose power but gain perspective [/b][i]by: [/i] Annabel Crabb [i] With their power over the Labor leadership more or less gone, Labor's factional mini-moguls will find their survival and prosperity now depends on the whole party doing well, Read more: [/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-20/crabb-labors-mini-moguls-lose-power-but-gain-perspective/4969462 *** [b] 22. The intelligent design of Tony Abbott's new cabinet [/b][i]by: [/i] Tim Dunlop [i] This is as near as damn it to the living embodiment of jobs-for-the-boys as you're likely to see in a major institution this side of the twentieth century. It represents a value judgement by our new prime minister, a clear indication that he simply cannot accept women as equals and can only relate to them - as per his constant parading of his family - as wives, mothers and daughters. He can no longer hide on this. Read more: [/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-18/dunlop-the-intelligent-design-of-tony-abbotts-new-cabinet/4965704 *** [b] 23. Will Abbott play a winning strategy on foreign affairs? [/b][i]by: [/i] Catherine McGrath [i] And so to the UN. Former prime minister Kevin Rudd believed in a grand vision of Australia's role in the world and Labor's work managed to see Australia win the seat. But having won it a new Government that doesn't appear to value it so highly is in charge now. Leaders week at the United Nations is about to begin and the new Prime Minister is sending his Foreign Minister instead. Read more: [/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-18/mcgrath-abbott-foreign-affairs/4965552 *** [b] 24. Chief executive salaries at Australia's top-100 listed companies drop slightly in 2011-12 financial year [/b][i]by: [/i] Pat McGrath [i] A report by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors shows average pay for chief executives with the top 100 publicly listed companies was $4.7 million in the 2011-12 financial year. Read more: [/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-20/executive-salaries-drop-slightly/4971134 *** [b][u]FOURTH ESTATE[/u][/b] [b] 25. Coalition scraps Climate Commission, dispensing with Tim Flannery [/b][i]by: [/i] Oliver Milman [i] 'Dismayed' Flannery says Australians have 'a right to independent and accurate information on climate change'. The commission, which was established in 2011, has compiled 27 reports on various aspects of climate change. Its most recent major report, The Critical Decade, warned that the world must "virtually decarbonise in the next 30 to 35 years", with Australia keeping most of its fossil fuels in the ground in order to avoid serious consequences from climate change. Read more: [/i] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/19/coalition-scraps-climate-commission-flannery?CMP=ema_632&et_cid=49733&et_rid=7108914&Linkid=http%3a%2f%2fwww.theguardian.com%2fworld%2f2013%2fsep%2f19%2fcoalition-scraps-climate-commission-flannery *** [b] 26. Blair's bunker: leaked emails reveal real story of rows, abuse and threats [/b][i]by: [/i] Patrick Wintour [i] Reflecting in the Guardian today on those events, Wegg-Prosser writes: "When Labour returns to office, as it could do in less than two years, Ed Miliband will no doubt consider how the errors of the last generation should not be repeated by his. Drawing a line in the sand with the nastier politics of the Blair and Brown era, but not the sound policies, would be wise in my view." Read more: [/i] http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/sep/19/leaked-emails-blair-no-10-bunker?CMP=ema_632&et_cid=49733&et_rid=7108914&Linkid=http%3a%2f%2fwww.theguardian.com%2fpolitics%2f2013%2fsep%2f19%2fleaked-emails-blair-no-10-bunker *** [b] 27. Abbott may have decimated the Climate Commission, but my work will go on [/b][i]by: [/i] Tim Flannery [i] I see it as a moral imperative to continue my work and tell people that climate change is happening and threatening our country. Australians have a right to independent information Read more: [/i] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/20/climate-commission-tim-flannery?CMP=ema_632&et_cid=49733&et_rid=7108914&Linkid=http%3a%2f%2fwww.theguardian.com%2fcommentisfree%2f2013%2fsep%2f20%2fclimate-commission-tim-flannery *** [b] 28. Hot Albo's appeal is not about sex, it's about Labor's golden age [/b][i]by: [/i] Van Badham [i] What gives Hot Albo its viral political currency is that it reminds us of a time when Labor had managed to fight Australia out of its Cold War cultural cocoon. Labor politicians were standing for things more important than factional victories, and the party's big vision was about principles and ideals promoting a better and fairer society: Medicare, stopping the Franklin Dam, education expansion, affirmative action. As a leadership candidate and a warrior for the Labor's left, Albanese is the repository of those big ideas. Read more: [/i] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/19/hot-albo-sex-appeal-albanese?CMP=ema_632&et_cid=49733&et_rid=7108914&Linkid=http%3a%2f%2fwww.theguardian.com%2fcommentisfree%2f2013%2fsep%2f19%2fhot-albo-sex-appeal-albanese *** [b] 29. Hockey may delay bad budget news [/b][i]by: [/i] Phillip Coorey and John Kehoe [i] In the days since the September 7 election, the Coalition has been preparing for an about-face on the economy. On Saturday, the AFR Weekend revealed the new government was looking at boosting infrastructure spending over the next 12 to 18 months to fill a larger than expected growth gap as the resources investment boom ends. Read more: [/i] http://www.afr.com/p/national/hockey_may_delay_bad_budget_news_2QycNRxSeUZKL88TSX0nHJ *** [b][u]PETITIONS[/u][/b] [b] 30. Petitioning The Hon. Tony Abbott [/b][i]by: [/i] Matthew William Joyce [i] Prime Minister Tony Abbott: Appoint somebody qualified to be the Minister for Women Read more: [/i] https://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/prime-minister-tony-abbott-appoint-somebody-qualified-to-be-the-minister-for-women *** [b][u]TODAY’S FRONT PAGES[/u][/b] Australian Newspaper Front Pages www.thepaperboy.com/australia/front-pages.cfm [b][u]NEWS HEADLINES [/u][/b] http://www.hotheadlines.com.au/

TalkTurkey

21/09/2013Good Morning To You Casablanca! Without you this page would be blanker! Your Cache of the Day Keeps the blankness away And from my heart's bottom I thank ya! Which doesn't rhyme perfectly I know I'm sorry about that The last line could've been [i]And from our hearts' bottoms we thank 'er[/i] But it would necessitate using 3rd person all the way through And I wanted it to be personal. On behalf of us all, Thank you very much.

TalkTurkey

21/09/2013 Abborrrtt's brain scan is in... ...And ..?.. ... It's completely negative. http://www.theglobalmail.org/feature/are-you-scared-yet-the-mugging-of-the-australian-electorate/691/ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ How do we make random links like this one help TPS' overall presentation? To make it easier for Casablanca? And more valuable to the 5th Estate?

Ad astra reply

21/09/2013Casablanca I've enjoyed your eclectic collection on my new min-tablet this morning sitting up in bed looking out at a grey sea and sky - much like the Abbott ministry. I especially enjoyed Tim Dunlop's piece, and noted that even Michelle Grattan is unimpressed with Abbott's 'ragged, start. Wonders will never cease! TT I've bookmarked that superb Mike Seccombe article about the differences in brain function between progressives and conservatives - a biological explanation for observed political behaviour.

Algernon

21/09/2013I don't know what to suggest here being more of an observer than a regular contributor. I did think that Bacchus suggestion of September 20. 2013 11:55 AM has merit. The falling out as they suggest can have devastating consequences as I've noticed elsewhere.

TalkTurkey

21/09/2013G'day again Swordsfolks It was Saturday morning, and in every house The Swordies were yawning, not moving their mouse: But by mid-afternoon it's gone well past a joke! Sleepers, Awake! Or I'll give you a POKE! I won't really. Enjoy your day. Beautiful in Adelaide. Personally I have to say I would rather stick with *The Political Sword* than change its name. I don't know about Ad, whose opinion here is the main consideration I think; we should ask him of course. Somehow comparatively everything else sounds a bit like calling it The Political Sheath which hasn't got the same ring. We could call the blog [i]Excalibur[/i], King Arthur's magic blade: Or Samson's [i]Ass's Jawbone*[/i], - All those Philistines he slayed! Or Frodo's [i]Sting[/i], the halfling's blade throughout [i]Lord of the Rings[/i] But let's keep The Political Sword! - It's sharp - It's straight - It SINGS! It's a really noble tradition of political commentary Ad has set us here, antidotal to all the screaming hype from the MSM, unfailingly germane and crystallizing the best points of view on any given subject. We, the relatively-few who read this blog, have been privileged to read his weekly threads and daily posts, we are all the wiser for their wisdom. So we have to keep the tradition up because it can't be half-hearted and it can't be weak. There is need for some commitment here, well I'll do my bit my best as long as mood permits because I too have a touch of [i]le chien noir[/i] - for which writing for TPS is my best remedy, so you can see I'm kind of committed nilly willy anyway. It's sort of my [i]"'hood", [/i]and I really like my neighbours! Even as some come and some go, there is a decency here that collectively speaks well of the proper Fighting 5th Estate. In a way it doesn't matter about other blogs' opinions much to me, because this one is a suppository of all knowledge that, with the strength of Truth here, I'm quite prepared to stick up any of Theirs. It is possible to have one's thinking straight in my opinion, Don Dunstan and Barry Jones and Gordon and PJK and Justice Kirby, and I think, most of any of them, our very own host here, are cases in point. It's not mysterious nor esoteric nor religious-based, J.S.Mill pretty well nailed the thinking, when was it, I forget, but a long time ago! And the people on this site either know the thinking from reading, (good), or intuit it, (maybe better), but anyway on this site we are reassured and reinforced in this sensible universal non-sectarian value system, which btw is both our blessing and our curse - for if you hold it sincerely, the Others have the advantage of you. But we KNOW we ARE better than Fascists anyway, that's the burden and the triumph of humanism. Oh well. Defend the Keep, go for the Orcs' throats where their armour has a chink, fight on Comrades, [b]VENCEREMOS![/b] *Not a bad bloody blogsite name either btw if I might just mention! :~)

TalkTurkey

21/09/2013CQ CQ This is a test ...Is there anybody still alive on Planet Sword? Over ...

Curi-Oz

22/09/2013That is just such a good line for the beginning of a ghost story, TalkTurkey. At the moment I think that I can hear the creak of an old windmill turning in the willy-willy winds and the kookaburra's passing their opinion at our deliberations ... puts me in mind of this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=282tZAOAqvQ wry regards

Ad astra

22/09/2013[b][u]CASABLANCA'S CACHE:[/u][/b] [i] for [/i]Sunday, 22 September, 2013 [b][u]FIFTH ESTATE[/u][/b] [b] 1. Five things we learned about Tony Abbott’s first week [/b][i]by: [/i] Giles Parkinson [i] ... the first full day of government coincided with a full moon, a giddy combination. Abbott’s Green Army – another branch of the UMBP (Upper Middle Bogan Party) – was deployed to pick up litter, plant trees, and remove any sign, repeal any legislation, and dismantle any institution that featured the words “climate” or “clean energy”. Legislation for the repeal of the carbon price, stopping the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, dumping the Climate Change Authority and keeping its recommendations secret was crafted. The Green Army also went on a “graffiti hunt” and reported any public servants that had written the words climate or carbon pricing in note-books or post-it notes. They were promptly sacked, and the two most recent heads of the department of climate change were shown the door. Read more: [/i] http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/five-things-we-learned-about-tony-abbotts-first-week-63660 *** [b] 2. I told you so. [/b][i]by: [/i] First Dog On The Moon [i] Hide the Boatz!!! Read more: [/i] http://www.crikey.com.au/2013/09/20/i-dont-want-to-say-i-told-you-so-but-i-told-you-so/ *** [b] 3. Two Weeks with Tony Abbott [/b][i]by: [/i] John Lord [i] ‘’Has Australia ever elected a Prime Minister so ignorant of technology, so ill informed of science, so oblivious of the needs and aspirations of women and so out of touch with a modern pluralist society?’’ Read more: [/i] http://theaimn.com/2013/09/20/two-weeks-with-tony-abbott/ *** [b] 4. Abbott’s direct action on climate [/b][i]by: [/i] Brian [i] On Thursday the Abbott government took four actions on climate change. First, Greg Hunt phoned Tim Flannery, letter to follow, that the Climate Commission was to cease operation. We can take for granted that money was not the problem. Five million over four years in a $400 billion pa budget is not even small change. Read more: [/i] http://larvatusprodeo.net/archives/2013/09/abbotts-direct-action-on-climate/ *** [b] 5. Why some Australian women loathe Tony Abbott – especially now [/b][i]by: [/i] Van Badham [i] When then Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard denounced her opposite number, the conservative Tony Abbott, as "the definition of misogyny in modern Australia", her words, and her fury, went viral. She had, after all, been subjected to the man's taunts, eye-rolling, jibes and sexist comments for the entire tenure of her prime ministership. Women across the globe recognised her level of frustration as a woman in a leadership position consistently undermined by gendered attacks. Abbott had, after all, challenged the Labor Prime Minister to "make an honest woman of herself". He'd been photographed in front of protest signs denouncing the Prime Minister as a "bitch" and "witch". Read more: [/i] http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/opinions/why-some-australian-women-loathe-tony-abbott-%E2%80%93-especially-now/201309172911 *** [b] 6. Brandis’ vision for human rights in Australia [/b][i]by: [/i] Cristy [i] Before the election, the Human Rights Law Centre asked Mark Dreyfus, Penny Wright and George Brandis to each write a short article outlining their visions and priorities for human rights and justice in Australia. Now that Brandis has become our Attorney-General, it’s worth examining what he said in his piece. Read more: [/i] http://larvatusprodeo.net/archives/2013/09/brandis-vision-for-human-rights-in-australian/ *** [b] 7. What TV taught me about hate [/b][i]by: [/i] Georgina Dent [i] Sunday night upset me hugely. Not because so many people were quick to insult me – though that obviously isn't heart-warming – but because so many people were so quick to insult what I am: a woman with an opinion. And let's be clear - I am not making this about my gender, they did. The comments did not come in the form of respectful disagreements, rather, they came in the form of insults that, more often than not, referenced my gender. Derogatively. Read more: [/i] http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/editor-s-agenda/what-tv-taught-me-about-men-who-hate-women/201309182917 *** [b] 8. Meet the employers that don’t ‘do’ flexibility [/b][i]by: [/i] Kate Mills [i] Last week a female lawyer with a nine-month old son rang me to see if I knew of any flexible work opportunities. She is a highly qualified lawyer – trained at a top tier firm - and on maternity leave from her role in the in-house team at a well-known listed company. After the birth of her child she no longer wanted to work five days a week so approached her employer about working four days instead. The answer was no: it was five days bum-on-seat or nothing. Read more: [/i] http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/opinions/meet-the-employers-that-dont-do-flexibility/201309152897 *** [b] 9. What we can learn from Julia Gillard [/b][i]by: [/i] Georgina Dent [i] Whichever side of the political fence you favour it is hard to deny that the past six years in government have been tumultuous and Julia Gillard is inextricably linked with that. Yalda Hakim, the correspondent the BBC sent to Australia to cover the federal election, says it's been such a dramatic chapter in Australia's politics that the appetite for news from overseas was significant. Read more: [/i] http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/editor-s-agenda/what-we-can-learn-from-julia-gillard/201309162902 *** [b] 10. Anti-Abbott T-shirts selling like cronuts [/b][i]by: [/i] Daily Life [i] As an antidote to the crushing reality of a Post-Abbott world she's created some cathartic T-shirts with slogans that include 'Abbott is not my Prime Minister' which can be bought online. Read more: [/i] http://www.dailylife.com.au/dl-fashion/antiabbott-tshirts-selling-like-cronuts-20130910-2tgxz.html *** [b] 11. Tony Abbott’s new Cabinet: Alarmed but not surprised [/b][i]by: [/i] Georgina Dent [i] Who else did we expect Tony Abbott to include? There are competent and capable women in the Liberal party whom Abbott could have included; Sussan Ley, Fiona Nash and Kelly O'Dwyer all spring to mind. But Tony Abbott made it clear throughout the election campaign that his government would not be a government of surprises. We would get what we saw. And what did we see? Read more: [/i] http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/editor-s-agenda/tony-abbotts-new-cabinet-alarmed-but-not-surprised/201309162907 *** [b] 12. Be more confident but don’t be too pushy. Speak up but not too much. Are you confused? Join the club [/b][i]by: [/i] Catherine Fox [i] Talk about missing the point. Another series of confusing and sexist generalisations and rationales were wheeled out and effectively suggest those without much formal power were to blame for that situation while those who make the decisions had nothing to do with the outcome. No mention of the daunting levels of systemic discrimination that still mean women in the LNP were mostly not even in the running to have their 'merit' assessed. Read more: [/i] http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/opinions/be-more-confident-but-dont-be-too-pushy-speak-up-but-not-too-much-are-you-confused-join-the-club/201309192922 *** [b] 13. The key to a positive government? Prioritising equality [/b][i]by: [/i] Archie Law [i] A hollow hope for equality, sometime in the future, does not equate to equality now. And not acting to achieve equality - when it is attainable - is a sure indication that it is not a priority. Read more: [/i] http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/opinions/the-key-to-a-positive-government-prioritising-equality/201309182921 *** [b] 14. The assumption of ignorance [/b][i]by: [/i] Ed Butler [i]A....core tenet of Tony Abbott’s electioneering style was to determinedly avoid scrutiny, via whatever means possible. Ignore requests for long-form interviews from informed journalists like Leigh Sales, Tony Jones and Fran Kelly, in favour of a non-stop carousel of media-managed events in hard hats, and soft interviews. Read more: [/i] http://ausopinion.com/2013/09/21/the-assumption-of-ignorance/ *** [b] 15. We Should Dissent [/b][i]by: [/i] M Nash [i]This idea that they should meekly put up and shut up is silly; it is a silly as the idea that the ALP and the Greens should meekly support the Abbott Government’s legislative agenda (the term is “Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition”, not “the Government’s Rubber Stamp”). It is disrespectful to freedom of choice, and to freedom to form and hold political opinions. And it is counter to the basic notion of democracy; no matter how great your majority, some people will disagree with you, and they have the right to freely do so. Read more: [/i] http://ausopinion.com/2013/09/21/we-should-dissent/ *** [b] 16. The day after the night before [/b][i]by: [/i]Jeff Sparrow, 8.Sep.2013 [i]....the Left can easily fall prey to bitterness, a disdain for the public who voted in such a deeply reactionary figure. That would be a terrible mistake. Denouncing ordinary Australians as fools and halfwits, as slackjawed dupes of Murdoch too dim to grasp the obvious, might make us feel better but hurling abuse at those you want to convince has never been a successful strategy, particularly in a context in which the Left is all too often portrayed as a clique of self-satisfied elitists. Read more: [/i] http://overland.org.au/2013/09/the-day-after-the-night-before/ *** [b] 17. Kim Jong-Un Comes Out In Support Of Gay Marriage: 'I'm Not A Monster' [/b][i]by: [/i] The Onion [i] North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un told reporters that, considering he’s not a completely awful human being, he unequivocally believes that gay people should be able to marry. “Of course I believe gay and lesbian couples should be treated equally under the law, for God’s sake; I’m not a monster,” the despotic leader said, Read more: [/i] http://www.theonion.com/articles/kim-jongun-comes-out-in-support-of-gay-marriage-im,31821/ *** [b][u]ABC[/u][/b] [b] 18. Pope Francis says Catholic Church must shake off 'small-minded rules' on abortion, homosexuality [/b][i]by: [/i] ABC [i] Pope Francis said the Catholic Church must shake off an obsession with teachings on abortion, contraception and homosexuality and become more merciful or risk the collapse of its entire moral edifice "like a house of cards". Church should not make homosexuals 'socially wounded'. Pope says church needs 'feminine genius' Read more: [/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-20/pope-francis-says-church-must-shake-off-homosexuality-obsession/4970058 *** [b] 19. Labor attacks Government's move to end announcements of asylum seeker boat arrivals [/b][i]by: [/i] Simon Cullen [i]Labor's immigration spokesman Tony Burke has attacked the Federal Government's changes to announcements about asylum seeker boat arrivals, warning of a "culture of secrecy". Read more: [/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-21/labor-attacks-changes-to-announcements-of-asylum-seeker-arrivals/4972760 *** [b] 20. Our sights must be set on the Asian century [/b][i]by: [/i] Jane Hutcheon [i]We should be able to tell the story of Asia better. We have plenty of correspondents, returned correspondents and retired correspondents and we have journalists whose backgrounds, connections and stories reach all over the Asian region. As journalists, we can do better, rather than take the complacent road. Read more: [/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-20/hutcheon-asian-century-media/4970616?WT.mc_id=newsmail *** [b][u]FOURTH ESTATE[/u][/b] [b] 21. Pope Says Church Is ‘Obsessed’ With Gays, Abortion and Birth Control [/b][i]by: [/i] Laurie Goodstein [i] His surprising comments came in a lengthy interview in which he criticized the church for putting dogma before love, and for prioritizing moral doctrines over serving the poor and marginalized. Read more: [/i] http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/20/world/europe/pope-bluntly-faults-churchs-focus-on-gays-and-abortion.html?_r=0 *** [b] 22. Women in politics face the ugliest of juggles [/b][i]by: [/i] Annabel Crabb [i] I'm sorry. I know everybody means well. And all the debate about parliamentary culture and ''Why don't we have quotas?'' and ''Let's encourage women more at the branch level'' and so on is all very interesting and thought-provoking and no doubt useful to a certain degree, but surely, when all those interesting and thought-provoking and partially useful conversations have been had, we can quietly acknowledge that really, deep down, there is just one main reason why women don't go into politics. And here it is: for chicks, you can choose politics or you can choose having children. The odds are against you pulling them both off at the same time and if you do, life will be very, very hard. Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/women-in-politics-face-the-ugliest-of-juggles-20130921-2u6d2.html#ixzz2fYgiSlDT *** [b] 23. Abbott’s disconcerting Night of the Long Knives [/b][i]by: [/i] Laura Tingle [i] ...the image of [i]Treasurer, Joe Hockey and Treasury Head, Dr Martin Parkinson[/i] sharing a breakfast fruit platter in a tropical paradise in rather difficult circumstances somehow captures the brutal reality of a change of government at a human level. Read more: [/i] http://www.afr.com/p/opinion/abbott_disconcerting_night_of_the_cpT7ISX2Sn3zr9IvDL9YsJ *** [b] 24. War footing: Minister eyes next hotspot [/b][i]by: [/i] David Wroe [i] Australia's new Defence Minister David Johnston says he wants the military to be battle-ready for future conflicts in the unstable Middle East and south Asia, even including the possibility of fresh trouble in Afghanistan. Read more: [/i] http://www.smh.com.au/national/war-footing-minister-eyes-next-hotspot-20130920-2u5dm.html#ixzz2fViUvAOq *** [b] 25. Abbott as women's minister may not be such a bad thing. Here's why [/b][i]by: [/i] Andie Fox [i] Cabinet is important because it sets the government’s agenda: what changes, what stays the same, what expands and what gets closed down. Under the umbrella of women’s issues are a bunch of policies, programs and legislation aimed at improving women’s safety, economic security and inclusion – no small fry. But women’s issues tend to face their greatest battle not in competing against other government priorities for the spoils, but in even getting visibility at all in cabinet rooms. Read more: [/i] http://www.theguardian.com/global/2013/sep/20/abbott-minister-women-issues *** [b] 26. Baby, guess what dad started? [/b][i]by: [/i] Phillip Thomson [i] ‘‘I learned the most important thing was to get your idea out quickly and refine as you go, rather than perfecting it before you launch.’’ Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/baby-guess-what-dad-started-20130921-2u6bj.html#ixzz2fVtDZOA7 *** [b] 27. Strap yourself in, we're all going back to the future [/b][i]by: [/i] Mungo Maccallum [i] So Tony Abbott would have you believe that the past six years were an aberration, a bad dream that never really happened. Now, suddenly, we have reawakened in the golden glow of the Howard years, or at least a very good imitation of them. Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/strap-yourself-in-were-all-going-back-to-the-future-20130920-2u5ax.html#ixzz2fVuNfO6e *** [b] 28. Climate change: UN makes high-risk attempt to break deadlock on talks [/b][i]by: [/i] Fiona Harvey [i] The United Nations secretary general is to invite world leaders next week to an unprecedented summit on climate change, in the hope of breaking the long deadlock on global warming talks. The high-risk strategy will put heads of state and government together to talk about the issue for the first time since the Copenhagen summit in 2009 ended in scenes of farce and disarray. Read more: [/i] http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/sep/20/climate-change-un-talks?CMP=ema_632&et_cid=49886&et_rid=7108914&Linkid=http%3a%2f%2fwww.theguardian.com%2fenvironment%2f2013%2fsep%2f20%2fclimate-change-un-talks *** [b] 29. UK Labour to guarantee care for primary school children from 8am to 6pm [/b][i]by: [/i] Jane Martinson, Patrick Wintour and Nicholas Watt [i] Childcare and living standards to be at heart of party's push for 2015 UK general election Read more: [/i] http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/sep/20/labour-care-primary-school-children?CMP=ema_632&et_cid=49886&et_rid=7108914&Linkid=http%3a%2f%2fwww.theguardian.com%2fpolitics%2f2013%2fsep%2f20%2flabour-care-primary-school-children *** [b] 30. States must unite for GST reform [/b][i]by: [/i] Leith van Onselen [i] It’s a lot easier for the Federal Government to duck and weave like Tyson on tax reform when there is disagreement within the states and territories. And until such agreement is reached, the states will find themselves remaining overly reliant on a narrow base of volatile (not to mention economically inefficient and inequitable) taxes, like stamp duties, which rise and fall with the fortunes of the property market Read more: [/i] http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2013/09/states-must-unite-for-gst-reform/#comments *** [b] 31. States must unite for GST reform [/b][i]by: [/i] Michael Pascoe [i] WA Premier Colin Barnett has started a political process that will inevitably lead to significant tax reform, including his desired increase in the GST's scope and/or rate. How long the process takes will depend upon the integrity of our state and federal politicians. Yes, it is likely to be many years. Read more: [/i] http://www.smh.com.au/business/states-must-unite-for-gst-reform-20130920-2u3zl.html *** [b] 32. Should penalty rates be abolished? [/b][i]by: [/i] James Adonis [i] “Great, there go our penalty rates,” remarked a friend on 7 September upon hearing Tony Abbott had won the election. Another mate, a small business owner, uttered similar words, only he was gleeful rather than sardonic. Two people, both intelligent, expecting what Abbott has clearly said he will not do. Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/small-business/blogs/work-in-progress/should-penalty-rates-be-abolished-20130919-2u2r5.html#ixzz2fY346WyR *** [b] 33. A message to the ALP machine: stay out of this [/b][i]by: [/i] Simon Balderstone [i] The Rudd reform of "direct election" of the ALP parliamentary leader is ironically also proving that the unattractive, unhelpful and increasingly unelectable habits and agendas which have hog-tied the party are still there. Read more: [/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-20/balderstone-the-alp-machine-should-stay-out-of-this/4971084?WT.mc_id=newsmail *** [b] 34. Department rebranding costs millions [/b][i]by: [/i] Phillip Thomson [i] One time secretary in the Finance Department, Stephen Bartos, says it will cost millions of dollars restructuring Commonwealth departments in line with the Prime Minister's vision. He said departments that have already had their operating budgets cut will probably need to absorb the cost of moving, computers and phones. ''It will cost easily into the millions, probably $10 million or the low double digits,'' Mr Bartos said. Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/department-rebranding-costs-millions-20130921-2u70v.html#ixzz2fY77v0YH *** [b] 35. Ruddock warns new ministers [/b][i]by: [/i] Bianca Hall [i] Liberal Party elder Philip Ruddock has warned the new government to beware of conflict-of-interest pitfalls that brought down seven of former prime minister John Howard's cabinet ministers in two years. Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/ruddock-warns-new-ministers-20130921-2u6lm.html#ixzz2fY7uk9yW *** [b] 36. Rudd saved Labor, leaked polling shows [/b][i]by: [/i] Jonathan Swan, Bianca Hall, Rick Feneley [i] Mr Rudd saved Labor at least 15 seats, including those of enemies Wayne Swan, Warren Snowdon and Gary Gray, who would all have lost their jobs if Labor had persisted with Ms Gillard, according to the polling. Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/data-point/rudd-saved-labor-leaked-polling-shows-20130921-2u6my.html#ixzz2fY8ac7oW *** [b] 37. Don't feed the chooks: Tony's taken politics out of our faces [/b][i]by: [/i] Jacqueline Maley [i] Our new Prime Minister has an instinctive understanding of how little average voters like politics, or engage with politics. That's why Abbott's first few interviews as prime minister-elect were with Triple M and talkback radio. Just like the man on whom he will model himself, John Howard, Abbott will speak to the political ''outsiders'', not ''insiders'', the people many in his party scorn as inner-city elites. Read more: [/i] http://m.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/dont-feed-the-chooks-tonys-taken-politics-out-of-our-faces-20130920-2u535.html *** [b] 38. What next for the Australian left? [/b][i]by: [/i]  Antony Loewenstein. Thursday 12 September 2013 [i] A period of reflection, anger and despondency is expected. But calmer heads will soon realise the left must offer solid alternatives – here are some pointers. Treating voters with contempt is the perfect way for the left to guarantee itself permanent exile from the political scene. Read more: [/i] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/12/what-next-australian-left *** [b] 39. Coalition says media outlets will not be told when illegal boats arrive until weekly briefings [/b][i]by: [/i] Samantha Maiden [i] Defending the plan against Labor's claim of a "culture of secrecy', Mr Morrison warned the control of information was vital to fight people smugglers. Read more: [/i] http://m.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/coalition-says-media-outlets-will-not-be-told-when-illegal-boats-arrive-until-weekly-briefings/story-fni0cx12-1226724431068 *** [b][u]PERIODICALS[/u][/b] [b] 40. Why It's Futile To 'F*ck Abbott' [/b][i]by: [/i] Sarah Burnside [i] Yes, Tony Abbott is your Prime Minister, so you'd better get used to it. T-shirt politics will get us nowhere - the left needs to move on from belligerent despair. In 1973, historian Manning Clark characterised the Menzies era as a time "of unleavened bread", and with an anti-Labor backlash to deliver, the Abbott years promise even less wholesome sustenance for the nation. Still, the Coalition won decisively, and those of us who wish it hadn't have to accept the result rather than indulging in the kinds of tantrums the conservative parties threw after failing to form government in 2010. To return to the t-shirts, the criticisms about their anger or aggressiveness — and their use of the f-bomb — tend to overlook a bigger problem. Read more: [/i] https://newmatilda.com/2013/09/20/why-its-futile-fck-abbott *** [b][u]TWITTERVERSE[/u][/b] julianburnside ‏@JulianBurnside 5h @Meanz71 Won't know if boats stop: it's "operational detail" now. Is it better if people are killed by Taliban rather than drown? View conversation *** Mick Horne ‏@Mick_Horne 10h @JulianBurnside Oars muffled, they drift with stealth upon a moonless sea of information, hiding their actions & aspirations from the media. *** julianburnside ‏@JulianBurnside 16h Tony Abbott rules out changes to the G.S.T. But if he changes it, he won't tell us so it won't matter http://tinyurl.com/lyz5bck *** julianburnside ‏@JulianBurnside 16h Scrapping Climate Commission criticised in UK "Like beating cancer by sacking doctor" http://tinyurl.com/mydrhbt *** Victoria Rollison ‏@Vic_Rollison 8h Here's a challenge for those calling themselves journalists: find out how many boats are arriving without relying on a govt press release. *** [b][u]TODAY’S FRONT PAGES[/u][/b] Australian Newspaper Front Pages www.thepaperboy.com/australia/front-pages.cfm News Headlines http://www.hotheadlines.com.au/

Ken

22/09/2013TT, Ad Has there been a problem with TPS in the past 24 hours. This is the first time I have been able to access the site in that time. At first I thought it may have been my computer playing up but I was still able to access other sites just not TPS. TT, if others have had the same problem that would explain the lack of activity.

Ad astra reply

22/09/2013Ken I have had no problem accessing TPS either on Safari or Firefox, but at least one other has. I'll get Web Monkey to check.

Bacchus

22/09/2013Yes, Ken and Ad. I have only been able to access TPS intermittently over the last 24 hrs or so...

Michael

22/09/2013Here's a more immediate 'where to from here?' question for Tony Abbott. The next US Ambassador to Australia, the representative of the nation with which this country has its most important alliance, is not only gay, he's same-sex married. I suspect Obama may have been playing a little tongue in cheek with the appointment of this undoubtedly very competent diplomat when it became obvious Abbott would become PM. Not one of the first 'minefields' Abbott might have seen ahead as buff PM of Boystralia.

Ad astra

22/09/2013Ken, Bacchus, Casablanca Web Monkey informs me that there has been domain issues in the past day that have made [i]TPS[/i] unavailable, but that is all resolved now.

Curi-Oz

22/09/2013I spotted this (http://tinyurl.com/myduf7x) this morning and thought ... "Well, there goes the neighbourhood!" And while I'm thinking about it, how come the concept of the ALP being in coalition with other parties is a bad one, but the Liberals in coalition with the Nationals and a bunch of other individual LNP parties is perfectly okay? The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that the volume of anti-depressant medication is going to increase in the next few years, because people are increasingly convinced that they can't do anything and that makes them depressed. It's almost enough to drive one to drink!

DMW

22/09/2013Did I hear this correctly? [i]This is a military operation ... [/i] What the ... (disorderly) immigration is a military operation I am gob-smacked, well not really, but I am shaking my head in wonderment. and did I hear that the new Defence Minister has as a high priority that our [i]defence [/i] forces are to be made more battle ready. Looks like we have a government full of solutions searching for problems to solve.

42 long

22/09/2013If something REAL happened what would the dopes do? Inventing a crisis when it doesn't exist. Perhaps they will create a crisis out of nothing but their stupid actions. That is the more likely outcome of this Police Academy Five Mob. what's the betting they will Upset Indonesia with all this? London to a brick on they will.

Jason

22/09/2013Sorry ABC and insiders! every time this tosser comes on your show he makes outrageous Insiders Sunday 22 September Barrie Cassidy is joined by Jacqueline Maley from the Sydney Morning Herald, Dennis Atkins from the Courier Mail and Piers Akerman from the Daily Telegraph. Note: On the program, Akerman made a suggestion regarding former treasurer Chris Bowen and Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson. The ABC has since spoken to Mr Bowen and Dr Parkinson, who both reject the claim. On this basis, the ABC accepts the allegation is without foundation. Mr Akerman also accepts he was misinformed and apologises to both Mr Bowen and Dr Parkinson http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/

Ken

22/09/2013DMW, 42 long As a "military operation" they can justify their silence on "operational" grounds - can't talk about the boats or it might jeopardise military operations. Actually it's very clever when you think about it!! Expect to see a lot more of this type of "cleverness".

TalkTurkey

22/09/2013"From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent." Winston Churchill March 5 1946 "From Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean to the islands of the Pacific, a sound-proof barrier has descended across the Third World." TalkTurkey Today.

Michael

22/09/2013Re Ken's comment above: The 'military' angle on immigration matters is "clever". And in the spirit that you mean that description, Ken, it is also insidious, dangerous to the polity of this nation, and likely to create a model for dealing with all sorts of other federal government interactions with Australians. The secrecy, the controlled release of information, the assertion of necessary military involvement and 'subsequent necessity' for military protocols in non-defence related matters. Matters redefined as 'defence related', to extend that involvement and application of protocols (bye bye habeus corpus, for one). Extravagant? Paranoid? Not too much more time will tell - these guys have only been the government less than a week.

Casablanca

22/09/2013TT Delighted by your pome at September 21. 2013 08:09 AM. Ditto the one at September 21. 2013 03:16 PM. - [i]The Swordies were yawning, not moving their mouse:[/i] Very creative. By now you know that some of us could not log in to the TPS website because of a domain problem. AA Thanks for posting the Sunday edition of CC. Glad that I finally had the bright idea of emailing it to you after the frustration of not being able to access TPS. I feared that I may have bombed the site because of excess spaces, places and asterisks! You said: [i]I've enjoyed your eclectic collection on my new min-tablet this morning sitting up in bed looking out at a grey sea and sky - much like the Abbott ministry. [/i] Now is that new min Tablet a birthday present by any chance? That would be the Abbott Menistry! (And then there were none: Inside Tony Abbott’s new menistry: http://www.independentaustralia.net/2013/politics/and-then-there-was-none-inside-tony-abbotts-new-menistry/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=and-then-there-was-none-inside-tony-abbotts-new-menistry) Finally, far from being grey here in Canberra on Saturday. In fact, it was a glorious day for the Big Picnic day at Yarralumla. (http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/whale-of-a-day-for-families-at-ggs-open-house-20130921-2u6ww.html). Seeing the ever radiant Quentin Bryce reminded me that her extended term must be drawing to a close. My biggest fear is that the Abbott may appoint John and Hyacinth Howard as our next Their Excellencies. Then they could neighbours on Sydney Harbour opposite the Opera House - Admiralty House and Kirribilli House: slightly up market of Bennelong and Warringah. I can't find a link for the David Rowe cartoon of Abbott caricatured as the opera house but it was featured in Talking pictures. http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/content/2012/s3843842.htm

Casablanca

23/09/2013 [b][u]CASABLANCA'S CACHE:[/u][/b] [i] for [/i]Monday, 23 September, 2013 [b][u]FIFTH ESTATE[/u] [/b] [b] 1. Study: Are some people born conservative? [/b][i]by: [/i] Katie Mcdonough [i]A new study suggests that our political leanings could be a product of how our brains are wired Read more: [/i] http://www.salon.com/2013/02/15/study_are_some_people_born_conservative/ [b] 2. Are You Scared Yet? The Mugging Of The Australian Electorate [/b][i]by: [/i] Mike Seccombe [i] There is mounting evidence that conservatives and liberals see, hear and even smell the world differently from one another. Read more: [/i] http://www.theglobalmail.org/feature/are-you-scared-yet-the-mugging-of-the-australian-electorate/691/ [i]See also: [/i] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ajps.12016/full [b] 3. Hot Albo's appeal is not about sex, it's about Labor's golden age [/b][i]by: [/i] Van Badham [i] #hotalbo What gives Hot Albo its viral political currency is that it reminds us of a time when Labor had managed to fight Australia out of its Cold War cultural cocoon. Labor politicians were standing for things more important than factional victories, and the party's big vision was about principles and ideals promoting a better and fairer society: Medicare, stopping the Franklin Dam, education expansion, affirmative action. As a leadership candidate and a warrior for the Labor's left, Albanese is the repository of those big ideas. Read more: [/i] www.theguardian.com/.../hot-albo-sex-appeal-albanese [i]See also: [/i] https://twitter.com/mariekehardy/status/374064745424236544 [b] 4. My Prime Minister, your Prime Minister [/b][i]by: [/i] Andrew Elder [i] There remains a desire in this country to hold the government to account. Some people want the government to do what it was elected to do, others want it to do something else. Traditionally the media also held governments to account, but these days they only do polls. Read more: [/i] http://andrewelder.blogspot.com.au/ [b] 5. FYI: FOI Is Broken [/b][i]by: [/i] Nick Ollee [i] Australia needs to expose itself to the scrutiny of the rest of the world, via the international Open Government Partnership....Australia finally joined the partnership this year as the 59th member state, as announced on May 22 by the then Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus. But it remains one of a handful of partnership countries yet to develop its “country commitment”, open government-related targets that are monitored by all member states...And where the Coalition stands on this remains unclear: newly appointed Attorney-General George Brandis has yet to reply to The Global Mail’s questions about the new government’s plans for the OGP. Read more: [/i] http://www.theglobalmail.org/feature/fyi-foi-is-broken/701/ [b] 6. Abbott: Open For Business — And Multinational Lawsuits [/b][i]by: [/i] Mike Seccombe [i] Labor rejected it outright. Even the Howard government issued America with a rare “no” over the legislation, declaring it contrary to national interests. But now the Abbott Coalition is flirting with a trade agreement that would allow companies, acting increasingly in secret, to sue Australia if they don’t like its regulations. Read more: [/i] http://www.theglobalmail.org/feature/abbott-open-for-business-and-multinational-lawsuits/700/ [b] 7. News Corp’s Australian newspaper revenues fall by $350m – three times more than Fairfax’s drop [/b][i]by: [/i] Mumbrella [i] The extend of News Corp’s financial woes in Australia have been revealed for the first time in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US. The filing reveals that the company saw its Australian newspaper revenues fall by $350m compared to the previous year, a fall of 15 per cent. It also wrote down the value of its Australian newspaper assets by $1.4bn. Read more: [/i] http://mumbrella.com.au/news-corps-australian-newspaper-revenues-fall-350m-three-times-fairfax-179273 [b] 8. RIP, the (US) middle class: 1946-2013 [/b][i]by: [/i] Edward McClelland [i] The 1 percent hollowed out the middle class and our industrial base. And Washington just let it happen Read more: [/i] http://www.salon.com/2013/09/20/rip_the_middle_class_1946_2013/ [b][u]FOURTH ESTATE[/u][/b] [b] 9. Abbott's asylum seeker transit plan raises suspicions in Jakarta [/b][i]by: [/i] Michael Bachelard, David Wroe [i] A largely overlooked element of the Abbott government's people-smuggling policy involving asylum-seeker ''transit ports'' on Indonesian soil has emerged as the latest lightning rod for anger in Jakarta. Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/abbotts-asylum-seeker-transit-plan-raises-suspicions-in-jakarta-20130922-2u81g.html#ixzz2feLnG7W1 [b] 10. First boat arrives as Government says it will hold weekly asylum seeker boat briefings with media [/b][i]by: [/i] ABC [i] An asylum seeker boat carrying about 30 people has arrived at Christmas Island, the first since the new Federal Government implemented its border protection policy. Read more: [/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-22/government-to-hold-weekly-asylum-seeker-briefings-says-morrison/4973512?WT.mc_id=newsmail [b] 11. Weekly briefings will end boat arrival blackout, says minister [/b][i]by: [/i] Peter Martin [i] The three-star general in charge of Operation Sovereign Borders, Lieutenant-General Angus Campbell (pictured), will hold the first in a series of weekly media briefings on Monday, ending a blackout that has withheld confirmation of the arrival of the eighth asylum seeker boat since the election. Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/weekly-briefings-will-end-boat-arrival-blackout-says-minister-20130922-2u81u.html#ixzz2fd7DjRCd [b] 12. Entire NBN board resigns [/b][i]by: [/i] Adele Ferguson, Eric Johnston [i] The board of NBN Co has offered to resign en masse, falling on their sword amid suggestions they do not have the confidence of the incoming government. Read more: [/i] : http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/entire-nbn-board-resigns-20130922-2u835.html#ixzz2fd5Lp2Pd [b] 13. More women Labor MPs than in Coalition [/b][i]by: [/i] Tim Colebatch [i] Despite its sweeping victory at the election, the Coalition will have fewer women in the new House of Representatives than Labor. But it will have more than twice as many men. Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/more-women-labor-mps-than-in-coalition-20130922-2u81p.html#ixzz2fd64ILZ6 [b] 14. Talking of axing Canberra public service jobs, let's cut to the chase [/b][i]by: [/i] Jack Waterhouse [i]If Tony Abbott and his ministers set out to take a big axe to Canberra, one might well argue that federal Labor gave them the mandate to do so. The only consistent part of the Labor campaign was that Abbott was going to cut public expenditure ''to the bone''. Abbott's denials were unavailing so far as Labor was concerned. Perhaps the electorate believed Rudd, not him, but thought a massacre appropriate. Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/talking-of-axing-canberra-public-service-jobs-lets-cut-to-the-chase-20130906-2tao5.html#ixzz2fdAu3p9r [b] 15. How far will the climate purge go? [/b][i]by: [/i] Tom Arup [i] Having institutions such as a Climate Commission to distil such complex and confusing information is critical for a functioning democracy. To quote Thomas Jefferson: ''Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government.'' Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/how-far-will-the-climate-purge-go-20130919-2u2mg.html#ixzz2fdCE6K6A [b] 16. Labor leaders in dole backflip [/b][i]by: [/i] Tim Colebatch [i] As Labor's grassroots members prepare to vote in the leadership ballot starting on Tuesday, both candidates agreed their government was wrong to cut the incomes of single parents. Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/labor-leaders-in-dole-backflip-20130922-2u83r.html#ixzz2fdCnG5oi [b] 17. Morris leads in lobby powers [/b][i]by: [/i] Phillip Thomson [i] Grahame Morris has became the most powerful lobbyist in Canberra...The client list for lobbyist Barton Deakin, of which Mr Morris is federal director, has grown by more than 200 per cent in the past fortnight, simply because it is so closely aligned with the Coalition. Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/morris-leads-in-lobby-powers-20130921-2u6lv.html#ixzz2fdDNnTJa [b] 18. Abbott's poorly built cabinet can't hope to last [/b][i]by: [/i] Peter Martin [i] Never has a prime minister's first cabinet been more insulting. Never has it mattered less. I can understand the bewilderment many Australians felt hearing we were going to be run by a board of 18 men and one woman....Abbott's cabinet won't last long. Read more: [/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/abbotts-poorly-built-cabinet-cant-hope-to-last-20130921-2u6dm.html#ixzz2fdDn9r2T [b] 19. Navy ready for Abbott's boat policy [/b][i]by: [/i] Tim Barlass [i] ''What we have got this time is a set of procedures that are well developed. We&#