What makes a good political speech? PM Keating’s Redfern speech

This is a further speech for your appraisal in our change-of-year series of political speeches. Like the Kevin Rudd speech, it is about indigenous issues. Although there is still controversy about its authorship – between Paul Keating’s speech writer Don Watson and Keating himself – it is generally regarded as one of Keating’s finest, and one of great merit. It is a little over 2000 words. Here it is for you to judge for yourself.

Here is the source of this address.

Prime Minister Paul Keating’s Redfern address, Sydney, 1992

Ladies and gentlemen

I am very pleased to be here today at the launch of Australia’s celebration of the 1993 International Year of the World’s Indigenous People.

It will be a year of great significance for Australia.

It comes at a time when we’ve committed ourselves to succeeding in the test which so far we have always failed.

Because, in truth, we cannot confidently say that we’ve succeeded as we would like to have succeeded if we have not managed to extend opportunity and care, dignity and hope to the indigenous people of Australia – the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

This is a fundamental test of our social goals and our national will: our ability to say to ourselves and to the rest of the world that Australia is a first rate social democracy, that we are what we should be – truly the land of a fair go and the better chance.

There is no more basic test of how seriously we mean these things.

It’s a test of our self-knowledge. Of how well we know the land we live in. How well we know our history. How well we recognise the fact that, complex as our contemporary identity is, it cannot be separated from Aboriginal Australia. How well we know what Aboriginal Australians know about Australia.

Redfern is a good place to contemplate these things.

Just a mile or two from the place where the first European settlers landed, in too many ways it tells us that the failure to bring much more than devastation and demoralisation to Aboriginal Australia continues to be our failure.

More I think than most Australians recognise, the plight of Aboriginal Australians affects us all. In Redfern it might be tempting to think that the reality Aboriginal Australians face is somehow contained here, and that the rest of us are insulated from it. But of course, while all the dilemmas may exist here, as we all know, they are far from contained. We know the same dilemmas and more are faced all over Australia.

This is perhaps the point of this Year of the World’s Indigenous People: to bring the dispossessed out of the shadows, to recognise that they are part of us. That we cannot give indigenous Australians up without giving up many of our own most deeply held values, much of our own identity and, indeed, our own humanity.

Nowhere in the world, I would venture, is the message more stark than in Australia.

We simply cannot sweep injustice aside. Even if our own conscience allowed us to, I am sure, that in due course the world and the people of our region would not. There should be no mistake about this – our success in resolving these issues will have a significant bearing on our standing in the world.

But however intractable the problems seem, we cannot resign ourselves to failure – any more than we can hide behind our political opponents contemporary version of Social Darwinism which says that to reach back for the poor and dispossessed is to risk being dragged down.

It seems to me not only morally indefensible, but bad history.

We non-Aboriginal Australians should perhaps remind ourselves that Australia once reached out for us. Didn’t Australia provide opportunity and care for the dispossessed Irish? Did it not for the poor of Britain? The refugees from war and famine and persecution in the countries of Europe and Asia? Isn’t it reasonable to say that if we can build a prosperous and remarkable harmonious multicultural society in Australia, surely we can find just solutions to the problems which beset the first Australians – the people to whom the most injustice has been done.

And, as I say, the starting point might be to recognise that the problem starts with us – the non-Aboriginal Australians.

It begins, I think, with the act of recognition. Recognition that it was we who did the dispossessing. We took the traditional lands and smashed the traditional way of life.

We brought the diseases and the alcohol.

We committed the murders.

We took the children from their mothers.

We practised discrimination and exclusion.

It was our ignorance and our prejudice. And our failure to imagine that these things could be done to us. With some noble exceptions, we failed to make the most basic human response and enter into their hearts and minds. We failed to ask – how would I feel if this was done to me?

As a consequence, we failed to see that what we were doing degraded us all.

If we needed a reminder of this, we received it this year with the Report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, which showed with devastating clarity that the past lives on in inequality, racism and injustice. In the prejudice and ignorance of non-Aboriginal Australians, and in the demoralisation and desperation, the fractured identity, of so many Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.

For all this, I do not believe that the Report should fill us with guilt. Down the years, there has been no shortage of guilt, but it has not produced the response we need. Guilt, I think we’ve all learned, is not a very constructive emotion.

I think what we need to do is open our hearts a bit. All of us.

Perhaps when we recognise what we have in common we will see the things which must be done – the practical things.

There is something of this in the creation of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation. The council’s mission is to forge a new partnership built on justice and equity and an appreciation of the heritage of Australia’s indigenous people. In the abstract those terms are meaningless. We have to give meaning to ‘justice’ and ‘equity’ – and, as I have said several times this year, we will only give them meaning when we commit ourselves to achieving concrete results.

If we improve the living conditions in one town, they will improve in another, and another. If we raise the standard of health by 20 per cent one year, it will be raised more the next. If we open one door others will follow.

When we see improvement, when we see more dignity, more confidence, more happiness – we will know we are going to win. We will need these practical building blocks of change.

The Mabo judgment should be seen as one of these. By doing away with the bizarre concept that this continent had no owners prior to the settlement of Europeans, Mabo establishes a fundamental truth and lays the basis for justice. It will be much easier to work from that basis than has ever been from any case in the past.

For this reason alone we should ignore the isolated outbreaks of hysteria and hostility to Mabo in the past few months. Mabo is an historic decision – we can make it an historic turning point, the basis of a new relationship between indigenous and non-Aboriginal Australians.

The message should be that there is nothing to fear or to lose in the recognition of historical truth, or the extension of social justice, or the deepening of Australian social democracy to include indigenous Australians.

In fact, as all of us I think here know, there is everything to gain.

Even the unhappy past speaks for this. Where Aboriginal Australians have been included in the life of Australia they have made remarkable contributions. Economic contributions, particularly in the pastoral and agricultural industry. They are there in the frontier and exploration history of Australia. They were there in the wars. In sport to an extraordinary degree. In literature and art and in music.

In all these things they have shaped our knowledge of this continent and of ourselves. They’ve shaped our identity. They are there in the Australian legend. And we should never forget – they helped us build this nation. And if we have a sense of justice, as well as common sense, we will forge a new partnership.

As I said, it might help if we non-Aboriginal Australians imagined ourselves dispossessed of land we have lived on for 50,000 years – and then imagined ourselves told that it had never been ours.

Imagine if ours was the oldest culture in the world and we were told that it was worthless. Imagine if we had resisted this settlement, suffered and died in the defence of our land, and then were told in history books that we’d given up without a fight. Imagine if non-Aboriginal Australians had served their country in peace and war and were then ignored in history books. Imagine if our feats on the sporting fields had inspired admiration and patriotism and yet did nothing to diminish prejudice. Imagine if our spiritual life was denied and ridiculed.

Imagine if we had suffered the injustice and then were blamed for it.

It seems to me that if we can imagine the injustice then we can imagine its opposite. And we can have justice.

I say we can have justice for two reasons: I say it because I believe that the great things about Australian social democracy reflect a fundamental belief in justice. And I say it because in so many other areas we have proved our capacity over the years to go on extending the realms of participation, community and care.

Just as Australians living in the relatively narrow and insular Australia of the 1960s imagined a culturally diverse, worldly and open Australia, and in a generation turned the idea into reality, so we can turn the goals of reconciliation into a reality.

There are very good signs that the process has begun. The creation of the Reconciliation Council is evidence itself. The establishment of the ATSIC – the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission – is also evidence. The Council indeed is the product of imagination and goodwill. ATSIC emerges from the vision of indigenous self-determination and self-management. The vision’s already become the reality of almost 800 elected Aboriginal Regional Councillors and Commissioners determining priorities and developing their own process.

All over Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are taking charge of their own lives. And assistance with the problems which chronically beset them is at last being made available in ways developed by the communities themselves. If these things offer hope, so does the fact that this generation of Australians is better informed about Aboriginal culture and Aboriginal achievement, and about the injustice that has been done, than any generation before has so been aware.

So, we are beginning to more generally appreciate the depth and the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. From their music and art and dance we are beginning to recognise how much richer our national life and identity will be for the participation of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders. We are beginning to learn that the indigenous people have known for many thousands of years how to live with our physical environment.

Ever so gradually we are learning how to see Australia through Aboriginal eyes, beginning to recognise the wisdom contained in their epic story.

I think we are beginning to see how much we owe the indigenous Australians and how much we have lost by living so apart.

I said we non-indigenous Australians should try to imagine the Aboriginal view.

It can’t be too hard. Someone imagined this event today, and it’s now a reality and a great reason for hope.

There is one thing today we cannot imagine. We cannot imagine that the descendants of people whose genius and resilience maintained a culture here through 50,000 years or more, through cataclysmic changes to the climate and the environment, and who then survived two centuries of dispossession and abuse, will be denied their place in the modern Australian nation.

We can’t imagine that.

We cannot imagine that we will fight it.

And with the spirit that is here today I am confident that we won’t fail.

I am confident that we will succeed in this decade.

Thank you for being with me today.

The ABC has classified this as ‘An unforgettable speech’. If it is, what makes it so? What do you think of it? How does it compare with its predecessors in this series? There are still more to come.

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D Mick Weir

9/01/2012Tap Tap Bang Colours firmly nailed to the mast. The best and greatest (political) speech in (my) living memory. Watson wrote it and Keating OWNS it. No matter the spat all speech writers know it is the speech giver that takes credit for the speech when it goes well and takes the blame when it flops. [i]cest la vie[/i] In a wide ranging chat on [b]Late Night Live[/b] mostly about Keating's book [b]After Words[/b] Adams relates the story of the day he told Keating that LNL listeners had voted the speech the second best of all time and Keating only begrudging acceptance of second after he learnt that it was some bloke's [b]Sermon on the Mount[/b] speech that had pipped him at the post. The LNL chat is well worth the listen http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/lnl-1-december-2011/3700054 There are many reasons that this is a fine speech. The craftsmen wordsmithing, the delivery, the fact that it turned an unintersted audience into an an intent group of listeners and many more. The standout reason for mine is that it spoke of previously unspeakable things in a simple and matter of fact way and rather than laying blame it accepted responsibility on behalf of the nation. [i]Pièce de résistance[/i]

Feral Skeleton

9/01/2012Feral Skeleton Sigh. Paul Keating says what right thinking people think. He, and Don Watson, put into words, and found the appropriate platform for, the expression of the sentiments we all wish we could have uttered to this much-maligned group of people who are at the core of our very existence in this country. He also spoke to them, and not down to them. So the speech is very forthright and frank, but it spoke to all of us to tell us that we should recalibrate our approach to our Indigenous Brothers and Sisters. It provided the leadership that had been sorely lacking from the Coalition since the end of World War 2, when the nation was reshaping itself away from the White Australia Policy, and in the wake of the Referendum on recognition of Indigenous Right to Vote, Wik & Mabo. I also like how Paul Keating doesn't resort to Polly Waffle. Instead of using the amorphous term, 'The National Interest', he used the much more direct and specific, "This is a fundamental test of our social goals and our national will" And what a beautiful way he swept all of us up together with our Indigenous people and their problems, by making the point that we can't just put them and their troubles in a box and label it, 'Hopeless cases', because the troubles they manifest are faced by Australians all across the country, they just blend in better in our suburbs and towns than the Indigenous people do. Genius. Such a way of not allowing us to run away from responsibility for these people and their troubles because they are OUR troubles too. We just had to be told that to our faces., and be left with nowhere to run and nowhere to hide from the facts. As he says, brutally but realistically, and succinctly: "We simply cannot sweep injustice aside." The way that he employs a sort of eliptical logic, almost like a rhetorical boomerang, that he throws out there and then it hits home: "With some noble exceptions, we failed to make the most basic human response and enter into their hearts and minds. We failed to ask – how would I feel if this was done to me?" Then, when Keating has gone right down into the heart of Australia's psychic darkness, he pivots, seamlessly, to hope: "Down the years, there has been no shortage of guilt, but it has not produced the response we need. Guilt, I think we’ve all learned, is not a very constructive emotion. I think what we need to do is open our hearts a bit. All of us." From the depths of our dark hearts he asks us to let in a little sunshine, because sunshine is the best disinfectant, and it lets us rise above the negative thoughts and behaviours that drag us down as individuals, and as a nation. But, he doesn't let us off into the airy fairy ether like balloons, he brings us back down to earth again, with a short, sharp dose of reality because he doesn';t want to let the opportunity be wasted to tell us what he thinks needs to be done: "We have to give meaning to ‘justice’ and ‘equity’ – and, as I have said several times this year, we will only give them meaning when we commit ourselves to achieving concrete results." He then brings the reality check part of the speech to an end by telling us, in a more dignified exposition of the old Australian colloquial term, 'And if you had any bloody common sense, you'd do this..' Before he turns on a dime again and lets our imaginations run with the hope of a better Australia if we just join hands with our Indigenous citizens, instead of spitting on them. Then he nails his core theme to the post by tying together the two strands of the speech, of 'justice' and 'injustice' with this: "It seems to me that if we can imagine the injustice then we can imagine its opposite. And we can have justice." Which, to me, more than anything else about this speech, exemplifies the genius of it. Paul Keating says something that has needed to be said by someone, anyone, but had never been said before. And he said it using the simplest of language and the fewest of words. Sadly, what he didn't imagine was the bastardisation that would beset this hopeful beginning down the track when you reflect on what went so very wrong with ATSIC due to the opportunists in the Indigenous Community that took advantage of their own brothers and sisters just as much as any Whitefella ever did, for their own self-agrandisement. Which seemed to go hand-in-hand with Howard's undermining of the system that Keating left behind. But Keating wasn't to know that when he gave that speech, as, with any great dreamer, any great leader, he only saw what might be, not what might be the cause of the failure of his dream. If you could say only one thing about this speech, it is that it was Paul Keating's 'I Have A Dream' speech. And, in the Australian context, it was just as important.

D Mick Weir

9/01/2012Well said FS, I beg to offer a small change to one bit you wrote [i]... It provided the leadership that had been sorely lacking from the Coalition since the end of World War 2, when the nation was reshaping itself away from the White Australia Policy, ...[/i] to '... lacking from [i][b]government[/b] (on this issue)[/i] since the end of World War 2 ...' We will never know the alternate history if there had been a Labor government in any of those wilderness years from 1949 - 1972 and whether Whitlam would ever have become PM if there had been a Labor government elected in say 1961 (the Killen / Communist Party Preferences election) but I would suggest that the 'social maturity' of the country would not have evolved to the point that we would have been ready to hear the message until about the time that Keating spoke those words.

2353

9/01/2012T'is the exception that proves the rule. In this case the general rule is the shorter the speech the better. Not only is it a relatively long speech and it resonates well today - Keating nailed the delivery. You'd have to ask what happened to the Country that was prepared to accept the intent of this speech - the Country that stood back and supported the Northern Territory intervention, paternalism in Far North Queensland and even the invective directed at those on this "civilised" blog that have an opinion that is different to the beliefs of a certain political party.

Feral Skeleton

9/01/2012DMW, Hard to say. However, I reckon that if Australia had joined hands across the water with the American Civil Rights movement, we could have seen that better day grow out of the 1967 Referendum to grant Indigenous Australians the Right to Vote and be full citizens of Australia. If only we hadn't been hamstrung by a Conservative Coalition government, who granted Charlie Perkins the referendum for those hard fought for concessions, but nothing more.

D Mick Weir

9/01/2012FS, fair call will have to put that into alternative history thought tardis

D Mick Weir

9/01/20122353 unfortunately the alternative history thought tardis got well and truly misdirected and broke down in some outer galaxy around the turn of the millennium and well yes umm shudder and we have a long way to go to get back to where were in 1996 in some ways.

TalkTurkey

9/01/2012Not on thread (again) but I foreshadowed this on the last thread. [i]And I am proud of it[/i]. [BTW in that same post I addressed individually each of those who have responded to my question re AS processing. I hope you all see those replies because [i]I really want people to turn the heat up on the Greens until they wilt[/i]. I think the discussion has been helpful so far but now I want to see some fight! Remember that whoever else you thought less than covered in glory, [i]less than one person had anything at all good to say about those bloody hypocritical Greens[/i], the mob who have cast stumbling blocks in Labor's way at every turn. Fie on them, wilt thou not help to wilt them? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now, a friend of mine who obviously reads both Poll Bludger and the Political Sword, alerted me to these posts today in PB. I must say that it is exactly what I had hoped would be the response throughtout the blogosphere, not just for PB and TPS neither but for all decent political blogsites, and hopefully the same sorts of messages are passing around. I don't write on other blogs, but I'd be delighted if someone posted my warm appreciation to Victoria and Cuppa, or better still directed them here. There are 3 posts concerned. [This was what I wrote when [i]not[/i] awarding any blogsite the ultimate Ad astra Sword Award . . . Oddly, in spite of my words Victoria decided that "they" had really awarded it to PB anyway! :) Well I had no control over "them", so PBers, enjoy!] One thing though: December 2012 there [i]will[/i] be such an award made, if I have anything to do with it, and it will be on a [i]popularly-decided basis[/i], as hinted at in my rave below. But hey, TPS is off to a great start with Victoria and Cuppa saying unsolicited such nice things about us. I want the same goodwill between all decent blogs, I hope everybody feels the same way. [i]Power to the People![/i] Remember, here's what I said on TPS just before Christmas, today quoted verbatim by Cuppa on PB:: 153 victoria Posted Monday, January 9, 2012 at 10:54 am | Permalink BB I found this over at the political sword recently Well Swordsfolks and others, I regret to tell you that, much as I might like to, I cannot award The Political Sword the dazzling prize for Political Blogsite of the Year. There are more reasons than one for this, each of them absolute in itself. One, I am unfamiliar with most sites, so how would I know? Two, I would be presumptuous to judge, even if I were across them all. Three, I acknowledge of course that some sites attract far more traffic than TPS though we don’t do badly I’m sure. Each site has a different character, I tend to think that the ever-so-popular Poll Bludger relates to TPS a little as doth a dictionary to a thesaurus . . . or maybe Jack and Mrs Sprat . . . PB has lots of quick posts . . . TPS much fewer, but many rather longer . . . but while I do think that the contributors to The Political Sword acquit themselves wonderfully well, I do not presume to make the Best Political Blogsite Award for any site myself, and [u]for this year it must go unawarded.[/u] There will be many more years. But I must say, Poll Bludger and William Bowe most certainly deserve to take a double bow. Well done Bludgers all. You are, I hate the word usually but it’s true of you, awesome. my say please take a little bow too on behalf of Bilbo’s wonderful site and your own amazing contributions. Or you may curtsey if you feel more comfortable doing that ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 162 Cuppa Posted Monday, January 9, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink Victoria, The Political Sword is a fine blog with some outstanding writers. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/ 163 victoria Posted Monday, January 9, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink Cuppa Yes it is. [i]The fact that they awarded PB best blog[/i], was noteworthy!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Well Victoria, *We* actually [i]didn't[/i], but PB did do well, and *We* wouldn't want to rain on your parade . . . so celebrate PBers, look out for us in December!

Michael

10/01/2012Bad Abbott Speaking about the upgrading of the Pacific Highway following upon the truck crash and deaths in Urunga, Shouldabeen applied his standard crass abuse of tragedy and crisis to make political hay. "The federal Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, said yesterday he doubted ''very much'' whether the federal government would complete the highway's duplication by 2016. Mr Abbott said it was far more important to spend money on the Pacific Highway than the national broadband network." http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/leaders-at-odds-over-bill-to-finish-highway-20120109-1prwj.html

2353

10/01/2012The Curious Snail is reporting this morning that the Queensland State Election will be held in late February. Maybe you read it here first instead of Poll Bludger (I haven't checked). DMW - Agree completely. The Tardis went in for a service in 1996 and lost 13 years!

Sir Ian Crisp

10/01/2012[quote] "The federal Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, said yesterday he doubted ''very much'' whether the federal government would complete the highway's duplication by 2016. Mr Abbott said it was far more important to spend money on the Pacific Highway than the national broadband network." [/quote] I disagree with Tony Um-Err-Ahh on this point. It is more important to fund Asylum Airlines than it is to spend money on a road that captures the zeitgeist of the 30's and 40's. I wonder if a window seat on Asylum Airlines provided a good view from 25,000 feet of the accident at Urunga. I wonder if AUD$1 billion would provide a suitable Urunga bypass. On the matter of the alleged politician P Keating he is the only person in the world who needed a personality bypass.

Jason

10/01/2012Sir Ian, I see your rant ties in nicely with the main Liberal talking point today! MIGRANTS should be taught about the importance of wearing deodorant and waiting in queues without pushing in, the Federal Opposition says. Cultural awareness training should also be given by employers bringing skilled migrants into Australia under the 457 visa program, the coalition's citizenship spokeswoman Teresa Gambaro told The Australian. In an interview with the newspaper, Ms Gambaro said she was concerned about new migrants on work visas not integrating into the community because Australia had failed to teach them about cultural issues related to health, hygiene and lifestyle. "Without trying to be offensive, we are talking about hygiene and what is an acceptable norm in this country when you are working closely with other co-workers," she said. Wearing deodorant and waiting in line politely were about "teaching what are norms in Australia". The MP for Brisbane said while her comments may upset people, migrants also needed to be educated about their rights and how to improve their chances of getting work. Read more: http://www.news.com.au/business/migrants-dont-know-how-to-wear-deodorant-or-queue-up-say-liberal-teresa-gambaro/story-e6frfm1i-1226240418996#ixzz1j0HioNEI

Sir Ian Crisp

10/01/2012Hey J guy, I have to agree with Ms Gambaro. I was shopping at Victoria's Basement and I happened to be standing next to a Pakistani woman who was badly in need of two cans of Rexona deodorant. How did I know she was from Pakistan? She told me she was on a holiday in Oz and was having a jolly good time. On my return home I dropped to my knees and thanked >insert deity< that I wasn't the poor slob who would be seated next to her on the return flight to Pakistan. Parenthetically, Australians have a certain BO uniqueness as well. The thought is that due to our high consumption of dairy products our bodies give off an odour. J guy, check this out: http://www.oceanicaus.com.au/

NormanK

10/01/2012Question for every journalist present at Tony Abbott's press conference where he said "it was far more important to spend money on the Pacific Highway than the national broadband network"? Why do you fail to point out, every single time Abbott makes one of these false claims, that money spent on the NBN is off-budget? It can not be redirected towards roads. Or hospitals. Or schools. Unless of course fees are to be charged for use of said roads, hospitals and schools. In which case perhaps the Coalition would like to let the Australian public know that all roads, hospitals and schools are to become user-pays/privatised if they win government. This is journalism at its most basic. Don't let any politician or public figure get away with demonstrable falsehoods. Surely it can't be that difficult.

Feral Skeleton

10/01/2012The Opposition are simply scandal mongers and empty policy vessels, as today's 'Hold Your Nose White Australia As You Look Down Upon Them Policy' shows. Btw, has Ms Gambaro 'Whited out' her own family's smelly history? I can still remember the smell of garlic in the classroom emanating from the Italian immigrants' kids. (Cue SIC's entirely predictable retort of 'racism', when it's nothing of the sort.) Just pointing out Gambaro's hypocrisy.

Sir Ian Crisp

10/01/2012Hey Feral I thought that 'racism' carried a special cachet. Hell, the word racist was applied to people who didn't like a certain religion. Are you now saying the word 'racism' is losing its sting just like xenophobia and other tropes.

NormanK

10/01/2012[b]The White Deodorant Policy[/b] by Ash Ghebranious Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery [quote]It is quite clear that Ms Gambaro’s comments where not aimed just at skilled workers. What Ms Gambaro is saying is foreigners are a smelly lot who disobey authority. Now where have I seen something similar to that?[/quote] http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/the-white-deodorant-policy/ Warning: Contains link to Frank Zappa video clip.

Feral Skeleton

10/01/2012Lol: https://twitter.com/#!/helishingly/status/156314454307508224/photo/1

D Mick Weir

10/01/2012Micks Media Mix [b]Labor Party needs reform but the timing is all wrong[/b] Mungo @TheDrum [i]... success brought fresh problems. With the rise of the white collar workforce and the growth of the middle class, the party needed to move beyond its industrial base. It did so, and became a broad-based progressive party of the centre-left, increasingly winning support from intellectuals whose aims and ideals encompassed a far wider agenda than those of the factory floor.[/i] http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3763952.html [b]Federal politics in 2012: More leadership speculation?[/b] Mark Bahnisch @LavartusProdeo [i]The year wasn’t very old when we had the first ALP leadership speculation story, courtesy of Bob Hawke’s endorsement of Julia Gillard’s tenure as Prime Minister. Whether or not the former PM was very helpful to the current PM is highly questionable, given that he accompanied his praise of her qualities and abilities with a call to reduce union influence in the party, something now more commonly associated with Kevin Rudd’s push for party democratisation (and, no doubt, his dislike of the AWU).[/i] http://larvatusprodeo.net/2012/01/09/federal-politics-in-2012-more-leadership-speculation/ [b]Having a beer with Bob[/b] Louise Maher @The Drum [i]Slim Dusty's famous song about drinking beer immortalises a bloke called Duncan – but it also includes a verse about Bob: I love to have a beer with Robert, I love to have a beer with Bob. We drink in moderation, just one more and back on the job.[/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-01-10/maher-having-a-beer-with-bob/3764492 [b]Sea Shepherd antics make a great story, but the real whaling news is elsewhere[/b] Tim Stephens @TheConversation [i]Japanese whaling and Australian opposition to it has become as much a staple for the Australian media in summer as bushfires and the cricket. The level of interest has greatly intensified since Sea Shepherd Conservation Society entered the scene. Eschewing the restrained and peaceful protest tactics of Greenpeace, Sea Shepherd’s antics generate spectacular images of conflict.[/i] http://theconversation.edu.au/sea-shepherd-antics-make-a-great-story-but-the-real-whaling-news-is-elsewhere-4877 [b]Common sense is in the eye of the beholder[/b] Ben Eltham @TheDrum [i]It's one of the oldest saws of the political commentator, and a favourite refuge of the political scoundrel. Whenever a politician tries to explain a pragmatic or cynical decision, common sense is often at the top of the list.[/i] http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3762920.html [b]From the Bible to Marx and beyond[/b] John Passant @enPassant [i]The fundamentalists want to impose some values on others because there is a higher non-human ’truth’ exposed through writings 2 millenia old and the battle in society against those ideas has not yet been won. [/i] http://enpassant.com.au/?p=11993 [b]What's inferior? Not much, according to the Reserve Bank[/b] Peter Martin @HisBlog [i]Wikipedia defines an inferior good as... "...a good that decreases in demand when consumer income rises, unlike normal goods, for which the opposite is observed." Get it? The more your income, the less you want this good[/i] http://www.petermartin.com.au/2012/01/whats-inferior-not-much-according-to.html [b]All politics isn’t necessarily local[/b] Andrew Lynch @InsideStory [i]AS Australians enjoy the traditional diversions of January – the beach, cricket, festivals – it’s understandable that their thoughts tend not to dwell on the topic of local government. And to the extent that local councils do cross their minds, it is a safe bet they are not thinking about constitutional reform at the same time. That’s just one of serious obstacles facing the proposal to hold a referendum to amend the Australian constitution by providing “recognition” to local government.[/i] http://inside.org.au/all-politics-isnt-necessarily-local/ [b]When the boat people were welcome[/b] Marion Diamond @TheDrum [i]The problem of unauthorised boat arrivals on the north coast of Australia shows no signs of going away any time soon, despite all the good will – and bad will – of politicians and the public. Yet the subject of a permeable frontier in the north is hardly new.[/i] http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3762926.html [b]Chopper Read, Coles and Twitter: going down and staying down?[/b] Julie Posetti @TheConversation [i]It is a very 21st century story. A Twitter account purporting to be that of noted Australian criminal Mark Brandon “Chopper” Read takes offence to an ad featuring ageing singer Normie Rowe and uses his social media popularity to call for a boycott of the supermarket chain. Read is of course a popular culture icon in his own right, having been portrayed by Hollywood star Eric Bana in the award-winning film Chopper as well as having put his name to numerous “true” crime books.[/i] http://theconversation.edu.au/chopper-read-coles-and-twitter-going-down-and-staying-down-4881 [b]Arguing on Twitter – Bear Baiting for the 21st Century[/b] Preston Towers @ThePrestonInstitute [i]It attracts a whole lot of snark and heat. Especially in the summer break for the politicians of Australia. This seems to have brought on a bit of a silly season ...[/i] http://prestoninstitute.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/twitterbearbaiting/ [b]5 years ago today …[/b] Joshua Gans @Digitopoly [i]... 10 minutes into the talk jobs announced — Apple TV. Well, that is true but that is not why people remember the speech. Instead it is what happened 24 minutes in. Jobs revealed it like a magician — the very first iPhone. [/i] http://www.digitopoly.org/2012/01/09/5-years-ago-today/

Feral Skeleton

10/01/2012Another Lol: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/multimedia/33572/431045/january-3-2012.aspx?Start=5&page=1

D Mick Weir

10/01/2012A shortened link for the pic FS gave @ 10:55 AM http://goo.gl/Bb09n

D Mick Weir

10/01/2012Morning All hope the 'Elevenses' mix goes down well with your morning tea cuppa :)

D Mick Weir

10/01/2012NK, thanks for that link. How could have I missed esp as it features FZ I am ignoring the calls that have been coming in from the editorial board now I think I know why they are calling :P

Jason

10/01/2012Sir Ian, "I happened to be standing next to a Pakistani woman who was badly in need of two cans of Rexona deodorant" Now I know you're full of it!You mixing with the great unwashed! pull the other one.

D Mick Weir

10/01/2012Kudelka on smelly things http://goo.gl/Bh7Qt

Sir Ian Crisp

10/01/2012[quote]Now I know you're full of it!You mixing with the great unwashed! pull the other one.[/quote] J guy, they long to be near me. They want to touch me. J guy, check this out: http://www.dogzonline.com.au/breeds/puppies/poodle-toy.asp

Feral Skeleton

10/01/2012Thank you, DMW! Another sterling effort! :)

Feral Skeleton

10/01/2012Or, is it 'stirling'???

Feral Skeleton

10/01/2012Hey Talk Turkey! Dog explaining Climate Change: http://www.grist.org/climate-change/2012-01-07-act-of-dog-global-warming-walking-fido-video

D Mick Weir

10/01/2012Take note Mr Abbott - all immigrants must be taught how to use deodorant. Including Poms. [b]Using deodorant and other great Aussie traditions[/b] Tory Shepherd @ThePuch [i]A Coalition suggestion that migrants need deodorant classes is an outrageous, racist furphy. It’s an absolute myth that Poms are soapdodgers[/i] http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/using-deodorant-and-other-great-aussie-traditions/

Michael

10/01/2012http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3764452.html Barely any logic in this article that supports Shouldabeen's "No" strategy. And you know how naive Chris Berg is when he writes of Tiny stepping aside for another more popular Coalition figure to lead the conservatives to victory at the next election. Tony Abbott step aside??? For a passing Cardinal to swish his skirts, maybe. Nothing else.

D Mick Weir

10/01/2012Ms Gambaro & the story that just keeps on giving [i]Of all people coming to Australia to live and work under 457 visas, the largest group come from the United Kingdom: the land that soap forgot. I know, I know. Stereotyping is an ugly business but it does, as they say, save time.[/i] [b]Whenever I hear the word culture…[/b] Jack The Insider http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/jacktheinsider/index.php/theaustralian/comments/whenever_i_hear_the_word_culture/

TalkTurkey

10/01/2012Feral Skeleton Dost thou yet doubt the power of Dog to make straight the paths of Men? (oh and btw in the Canine Canon there may also be Women, better deal than yous female lot get in the Bible!) It is a bloody brilliant animation. Ta FS. I hope Dog finds Abbortt (because Abbortt will never find Dog!) and bites his Budgie! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I heard Gambaro on ABS news Raduo today, they gave her about five hours, she is like Vampirella Mirabella's litter mate, ohhhh, she is disGUSTing! Gambaro I'm told means [i]Prawn[/i]. Can you imagine [b]Gambaro Personal Deodorant[/b], half a day in the sun, [i][b]MOZ[/i]za~[i]RELLL[/i]la![/b] 'Course we never stink to ourselves do we. (Well I don't anyway of course, I'm a redhead.) Ms Prawn wouldn't of course. Reminds me of one ABC Adelaide afternoon radio hostess, she's like the Girl with the Delicate Air most of the time, you know like [i]"Your hands need never touch the (insert preferred brand)"[/i] but this one time many years ago she was interviewing some bloke about [i]home-brewed beer[/i], Cor, then she says, (verbatim I swear) [i]"It's like with farts, your own's not bad!"[/i] Delicate air, :). There is a terrible obscenity about this Gambaro, and Mirabella too. Voices of hate. This year we will [i]de-flate [/i]them, [i]hope you can hold your breath[/i], and [i]nobody strike a match! [/i]

Gravel

10/01/2012I heard Gambaro on the ABC. It was disgusting. I suppose she will get away with it as the Nopposition always do. I had a giggle at the total surprise in the announcers voice when he was saying the poll on the Newsradio web site was 48% agree with her and 52% against, it was as if he was expecting everyone to pleasantly agree with her. Bah humbug, do I want to follow politics this year? Unless things pick up a bit I will try to give it a miss, although I will always come here to read up what is happening. Ad Astra Sorry I haven't read PK's speech yet, busy busy, but I needed to vent. Will try and get to reading it tomorrow.

Feral Skeleton

10/01/2012"My comments were taken out of context." Typical mealy-mouthed Conservative backdown line.

TalkTurkey

10/01/2012OopsOopsOops ABS news Raduo = ABC News Radio! Now Gravel, just don't you unravel! You're not one to cringe, nor to cavil! [i]We need you in our mix![/i] As with straw for mud bricks, To make real concrete, we need Gravel! Pretty bad limerick yep, but what else can you do with [i]Gravel?[/i] But you know we all Love You here Gravel that is true.

Jason

10/01/2012A new Liberal poster ready for the next election! http://afrankview.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/border-protection.jpg

2353

10/01/2012And "Gambaro" is such a "good Australian name" :D Some decades ago, her family was in the same position - immigrants "learning" the social norms in a new country. Off topic but relevant - the Gambaro family (of which our friend with the elevated olfactory sensitivity is one thereof) own one of Brisbane's best and longest established seafood restaurants. I wonder if the "offended" political and social elite if there are any (they have to be elite to afford the prices) will go elsewhere in protest?

Jason

10/01/2012Here is the complete works of George from Poll Bludger! Very funny http://www.flickr.com/photos/64041833@N04/

Jason

10/01/2012I think this link works! http://t.co/UstcZgYo

Feral Skeleton

10/01/20122353, I read today that if 'Can Do' Campbell fails to win Ashgrove in the upcoming Queensland State Election, then he will angle for Teresa Gambaro's seat of Brisbane at the next federal election. So many Queensland LNP politicians seem to believe in the foregone conclusion of a Tony Abbott victory at the next election and an easy ride for them into government federally. I guess we will finally see exactly how far the concept of 'all spin and no substance' can get a political party. Though it would be interesting to see whither the fortunes of the LNP in Queensland if they end up not winning the next State election and they fall apart at the seams again just before the federal election. :D

Feral Skeleton

10/01/2012Jason, For the exact reason that George's photoshopped images are so funny is why I am going to miss Acerbic Conehead's contribution to TPS this year. We don't have a resident satirist anymore. :(

Feral Skeleton

10/01/2012Someone saying what I think(so I don't have to bother :D ): http://citizen-cam.tumblr.com/post/15371270057/beating-the-drum

2353

10/01/2012FS - the Queensland LNP has a reputation for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. One famous occasion was when the Liberal Leader (Junior Party in the Coalition) was asked on day one of an election campaign who would be Premier if the Liberals won more seats than the Nationals. He couldn't answer! Last time round, Springborg was too busy fighting off challenges from his own party to seriously take it up to Anna Bligh (by the way I don't think Beattie's dog would have won!) who didn't really do that well. THis time the LNP strategy is that Newman can win Ashgrove (with a 7% margin to the ALP) and the LNP will win enough seats to form Government. It's a fair call to speculate that if Newman wins Ashgrove, the 2nd part will occur as well. If however Newman doesn't win Ashgrove - and Kate Jones is a young Mum with some real personality - not a long term MP that should be superannuated out of the seat - who'll be Premier? The current Leader of the Opposition in the Parliament, Jeff Seeney, apart from being a recycled National Party Leader of the Opposition has already stated he doesn't want the job, another Newman clone (ex-Brisbane City Councillor) Tim Nicholls seems to fill in frequently for Seeney and Springborg, Flegg and a (from memory) couple of other ex- Leaders of the Opposition are still hanging around as well. The conservative vote will also be split between the LNP, the rump of One Nation and Katter's mob in an election with optional preferences. The ALP will also have a problem with exhausted Greens votes. In essence at a Queensland State election - you can just Vote 1 - something that has been effective for the ALP in the past. Far be it from me to suggest strategy to the ALP on a public forum - but who is going to be the Premier if Kate Jones & the LNP win?

Catey

10/01/2012Around the time Paul Keating delivered his Redfern address I spent some time in the Kimberleys. This was my first experience with how our indigenous people were existing. I remember my horror and guilt at what I was seeing. Listening to this address I was reassured that our political leaders understood the problem and would do all they could to improve the situation. Little did I know that in a short space of time we would have a JWH led coalition government which was completely lacking in commitment to reconciliation. Reading this speech now I feel a great sense of sadness that so much time was wasted and so little has been achieved. I enjoyed your comments FS and agree with you. On the issue of a lengthy speech v brevity. The length of this address was appropriate for the occasion. It's a question of assessing the occasion, the audience and the purpose of the speech - usually less is best.

Feral Skeleton

10/01/2012Catey, I, too have seen a lot of the lives and living conditions of the Indigenous Australians of WA, as I lived and worked there for 15 years. One of the saddest places to me was Geraldton. Not city enough for them to become a part of the diaspora, and small enough for White bigotry to freeze them out of any employment opportunities. So all they had left was boozing. Same applied to Ceduna, on the outskirts of the Pintjinjarra Lands on the Great Australian Bight SA/WA border. There were small, defiant pockets of proud survivors of the discrimination against them which is an ongoing blight they have to endure. These places usually prospered because the Indigenous community in the town and it's environs had resolved their inter-family differences, which is also an impediment to getting ahead for them, and there was a sympathetic local Mayor or Shire President, who made it one of their goals to make the local Indigenous population feel a part of the local community. Also, it's good to see a few Indigenous politicians in WA getting into State and Federal Parliament, even if they do come from the one family, ie, Ben and Ken Wyatt. Carol Martin as well. Ernie Bridge from a while ago. Still, as PJK pointed out, we need to see them everywhere, succeeding in all walks of life like any other Australian with the appropriate talent and skills.

Feral Skeleton

10/01/2012All right. I'm going to say it because no one else will. We have been snubbed. And, as a result, I have lost all faith that Bushfire Bill will ever grace our blog again. While he had the golden opportunity to come back here and have a chat with us over the Xmas break, when Poll Bludger was in recess, what did he do? He ignored us! Instead he ponced over to Larvatus Prodeo and endured their insipid political correctness gone crazy instead-even when they severely moderated his input, he kept going back. He should have realised then that that would never happen here, and we would have welcomed him back with open arms. But no. We got the big ignore, the big cold shoulder, instead. What have we done that is so wrong? Not Happy, Bill!

Feral Skeleton

10/01/2012And, yes, of course he had every right to do it, but I would have thought that he might have at least dropped in to say 'Merry Xmas & A Happy New Year', with all the time he seems to have had on his hands. It's just bleedin' annoying. And that's the last thing I'm going to say. I'm over it.

TalkTurkey

11/01/2012 Images Maps Videos News Shopping More Melbourne, VIC Change location Search Options The web Pages from Australia Any time Past hour Past 24 hours Past 4 days Past week Past month Past year Custom range... More search tools Search Results Santorum Choice. But one day it might be a Quiz Night question, [i]What is . . ? . .[/i] [u][b]Santorum[/b][/u] 1. The frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex. 2. Senator Rick Santorum. - And I don't think he's the [i]worst[/i] of the GOP's hopefuls!

TalkTurkey

11/01/2012Oops. I didn't know THAT was going to happen! Sorry.

TalkTurkey

11/01/2012(On thread at last) Paul Keating was the man they called the Undertaker, they created a meme that he was [i]arrogant[/i] (never mind that he was incomparably the most [i]competent[/i] leader in the land) and that it brought the Government down in 1996. Keating had better things to do with his life than finish High School! He became urbane and cultured, yet remained an earthy bare-knuckle fighter with devastating delivery in combat. True believers never had any doubt that he alone should lead Labor, and of course Australia as Prime Minister. Keating was the Big-Picture Man, a true visionary, with deep insight into economics, with no sympathy for privilege, but as this remarkable speech shows, a man of profound compassion and undoubted sincerity. Thanks DMW for the information that PJK didn't author the speech, I didn't know that, but that he attracted people of the calibre needed to write such a speech speaks for itself. Keating's words have a melancholy edge to them today, for in nearly 20 years since then, (and several since Rudd's Sorry speech), we all know that Aboriginal people remain a distrusted dispossessed maltreated underclass in their own land, even as compared with recent arrivals of the kind referred to by Gambaro the Smelly Prawn Woman. But that Keating meant every word, and that there is now vastly more sympathy with their cause (at least amongst the Left), is beyond question, due to the leadership first of Don Dunstan in SA, then Gough Whitlam, both in the early 70's, then Keating's as declared in the Redfern speech, and then Kevin Rudd fifteen or so later, all Labor leaders, as I hardly need mention. With regard to indigenes, each of the three Prime Ministers is remembered for a defining moment: Rudd for Sorry, Keating for this great speech, and Gough Whitlam for that eternal image of him symbolically pouring sand into the the old Traditional Owner's hands . . . But for me personally, my most touching moment came in 1968 when I was waiting for my then girlfriend, a social worker, to come out from a meeting with brilliant SA Attorney General Don Dunstan (shortly thereafter to become SA Premier of course) and some old Aboriginal people, about some legal problem they needed help with. As they came out from the meeting, one old girl said, [i]"Ohhh, but he's got a lovely face, hasn't he eh!"[/i] and the way she said it, you could tell, no whitefella in authority had ever treated her people with that kind of respect. Don Dunstan was the first enlightened leader wrt to indigenes in this country, a marvellous man. It is not the way our leaders deal with the rich and powerful, but how they treat the poor and powerless that truly defines their own stature. And the only ones who turn back to lend a helping hand are always Labor. As things stand, it could not conceivably be otherwise. Words are never enough of themselves, but when they plainly come from the heart, they may be a great deal nevertheless. This speech of Keating's was one of the most moving I ever heard.

Michael

11/01/2012So Warren Truss is currently Acting Opposition Leader. At least they admit it with him.

Feral Skeleton

11/01/2012Michael, Don't you mean, 'Acting Alternative Prime Minister'? And, isn't Truckin' Tony Abbott the 'Acting Up Opposition Leader'? ;-) :D

Feral Skeleton

11/01/2012Albo, also writes a nice line or two, or he has someone in his office who does: http://anthonyalbanese.com.au/steering-adelaide-from-the-past-into-the-future

Feral Skeleton

11/01/2012Talk Turkey, As far as I know, every MP and Senator has a speechwriter in their office on staff, who spends every day collaborating with them on speeches they have to make in parliament when they rise to speak to legislation, or which they give to the myriad public engagements they attend, and, of course, when they stand in front of the press every day or in sit-down interviews, when they give their spontaneous answers to journalists' questions. ;-)

D Mick Weir

11/01/2012Micks Media Mix [i]"Amazing how one brainfart (sorry, there's no other word) can still dominate a whole day's news cycle."[/i] Mark Colvin @Colvinius on Twitter ... and yes there a couple of links relating to that story which I thought added some humour and some insight. But I will open with some links that comment on a different brain fart. [b]Australia owes a fair day's pay to those who serve[/b] Bill Shorten @The Daily Telegraph [i]... the grand Australian genius of weekends is that it's about taking a break from work and being able to do what you want. Our American friends make sweeping speeches about freedom -- we just get on with it. So surely we can agree that if you work on the weekend you should be compensated for it - just as you should if you have to be at work in the evenings, or overnight or on a public holiday.[/i] http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/australia-owes-a-fair-days-pay-to-those-who-serve/story-e6frezz0-1226241122484 [b]George Calombaris – would you like penalty rates with that?[/b] Matt Cowgill @WeAreAllDead [i]To believe that Mr Calombaris would open his restaurants on Sundays only to have them run at a loss is to believe that he’s running some sort of altruistic quasi-charity, an impression he attempts to give by suggesting that he opens on Sundays for reasons of “tourism”. I don’t believe that a successful businessman like him would not run at a loss out of the vague goodness of his heart.[/i] http://mattcowgill.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/george-calombaris-would-you-like-penalty-rates-with-that/ [b]Retail staff face underpayment: audit[/b] Stephanie Anderson @CanberraTimes [i]One-quarter of Australian retailers are underpaying staff or failing to keep proper time or wage records, according to an official audit.[/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/retail-staff-face-underpayment-audit/2415988.aspx?storypage=0 [b]Australia is Part of Asia[/b] Richard Tsukamasa Green @ClubTroppo [i]It is, of course, the season for holiday fun times making worthless definitions. Last week my wife and I were making a rare trip into Namba, a popular entertainment and shopping district in Osaka. We happened to see a restaurant named “Blue Billabong (Japanese)”. It purported to be an Australian themed restaurant. We looked at the menu, expecting to snigger in the same resigned fashion as we would looking at the Menu for the Outback Steakhouse.[/i] http://clubtroppo.com.au/2012/01/10/australia-is-part-of-asia/ [b]Asylum seekers – the solution[/b] Sev Ozdowski @OnLineOpinion [i]Our refugee policy continues to be in permanent crisis. Not that long ago minister Bowen announced that he will start placing boat people in the community on bridging visas to ease Australia's overcrowded detention centres. Although we are yet to see how the new policy will work, the decision was welcomed by human rights advocates, including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pollay. More recently it was reported that Labor is prepared to accept asylum-seekers to Nauru as part of a deal with the coalition to legislate its Malaysia Solution and reinstate offshore processing.[/i] http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=13102 [b]Teresa Gambaro, and see how the sharks circle such a swell smeller ...[/b] Dorothy Parker @LoonPond [i]The pond is now in a position to report that moments after the pond drove through south western Sydney a drive-by shooting took place. Now you might retort that as drive-by shootings are scheduled to take place daily this means absolutely nothing, but likely that means you're the sort of cynic who suggests with a sly, hollow laugh that can find politicians and sharks and reporters in the ocean any day of the week.[/i] [b]Never mind hygiene, how about some manners?[/b] Marion Dalton @TheConscience Vote [i]Ah, Summer. The time of slow news days, photo opportunities for local pollies in their own electorate, and the occasional human interest story about Opposition Leader Tony Abbott just missing out on a close call with a shark down at Manly Beach. Unfortunately, it’s also a time when politicians tend to get a little … indiscreet with their words.[/i] http://loonpond.blogspot.com/2012/01/teresa-gambaro-and-see-how-sharks.html [b]I don’t use deodorant either, Teresa Gambaro[/b] John Passant @enPassant [i]I doubt that Teresa Gambaro , Opposition spokeswoman on citizenship, is one of the intellectuals of the Coalition. Then again, we are talking about the Liberals. ... So using deodorant is an Australian custom. I don’t use it. I guess that makes me, shock horror ‘unAustralian.’ [/i] http://enpassant.com.au/?p=12002 [b]A touch of cultural diversity in politics[/b] Jieh-Yung Lo @OnLineOpinion [i]Australia is arguably one of the world's most multicultural countries. Almost one in four Australians were born overseas and up to half of all Australians (45 per cent) were either born overseas or have one or both parents born overseas. As a nation, we speak over 300 languages, come from over 200 ancestries and practice more than 100 religions. What I would like to see is more diversity in politics to ensure our parliaments have a more balanced representation. But before we get there, we have to come up with why people from cultural backgrounds are not interested in politics from the start.[/i] http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=13106 [b]Gerard Henderson, Mark Latham, and why the freedom to be silly should be severely curtailed ...[/b] Dorothy Parker @LoonPond [i]The pond simply hasn't been able to shake the image of Gerard Henderson lost on a beach on Xmas day, maddened and enraged at the left-leaning ABC as he listened to a repeat of Yarnbombing: when Granny gets punk, then in outrage scribbling ABC's leftish drill still needs to be corrected by its deeds.[/i] http://loonpond.blogspot.com/2012/01/gerard-henderson-mark-latham-and-why.html [b]Keep your cool to give tolerance a chance[/b] Jacqueline Maley @NationalTimes [i]Two women walk into the ladies room of a bar and stand in front of the mirror to reapply their make-up. It could be the start of a very bad joke, and in a way it is.[/i] http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/keep-your-cool-to-give-tolerance-a-chance-20120110-1ptha.html [b]It starts with Barbie[/b] Mary Ann Sieghart @CanberraTimes [i]A cute little naked baby is grinning at the camera. ''Is this the happiest she'll ever be about her appearance?'' the slogan on the billboard asks.[/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/opinion/editorial/general/it-starts-with-barbie/2416126.aspx?storypage=0 [b]The devaluing dream; why Australian suburbia is an economic disaster[/b] Robert Nelson @TheConversation [i]In spite of what everyone believes through natural pride and vanity, the family house is an asset that depreciates. Don’t be deceived that the value of property goes up and up, which of course it does. The rising prices are caused by the land becoming more expensive, not the house itself.[/i] http://theconversation.edu.au/the-devaluing-dream-why-australian-suburbia-is-an-economic-disaster-4792 [b]Whores, damned whores and female convicts: Why our history does early Australian colonial women a grave injustice[/b] Riaz Hassan @TheConversation [i]From the very onset, convict women had three possible roles open to them: whore, indentured worker, wife/mistress or a combination of these. The construction of these roles began almost from the very beginning ships of the First Fleet started their voyages. Women were seen as whores.[/i] http://theconversation.edu.au/whores-damned-whores-and-female-convicts-why-our-history-does-early-australian-colonial-women-a-grave-injustice-4894 [b]Standing for her Convictions: the campaigns of Vida Goldstein[/b] Summer Features @RadioNational [i]Vida Goldstein was the first woman in the British empire to nominate for parliament and the first woman in Australia to earn her living as a political activist. She didn't succeed in her quest for a parliamentary seat, but did change perceptions of women in politics.[/i] http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/summerfeatures/standing-for-her-convictions-the-campaigns-of-vida/3739944

D Mick Weir

11/01/2012oops, The link to Dorothy Parkers' article on that big brainfart story @LoonPond fell off - umm I cut - during editing and damn my proof reading skills are slipping again. Here 'tis http://loonpond.blogspot.com/2012/01/teresa-gambaro-and-see-how-sharks.html

D Mick Weir

11/01/2012... and the first tweet I read this morning: [i]Teresa Gambaro has announced LNP to implement a Hygiene & Deodorant Tax.. this is designed to offset foreign emissions[/i] Zen Digital @z3n digital There is nothing I can add to that

D Mick Weir

11/01/2012... and now Leunig on #refugees and #asylumseekers http://instagr.am/p/gER1T/ Hat Tip @bradchillcott

TalkTurkey

11/01/2012Gambaro Stinks: Constituent A Queensland voter, who has requested to be named only as Nicole, who went to Gambaro on a matter of some urgency, has complained of bad smells in the premises so unpleasant that it almost made her vomit. She has vowed never to go there again, a declaration echoed by others who have had a similar experience. Among other claims made against Gambaro personally by another Queenslander, Kelly, are rudeness, requests going unanswered and other claims of nauseatingly offensive odoriferousness. Yet another, only identified as Meltz, agreed, and several more vowed never to go back. http://www.google.com.au/url?url=http://www.urbanspoon.com/n/337/40005/Brisbane/Fortitude-Valley-restaurants&rct=j&sa=X&ei=kd8MT9PDEe2QiAf-qPSXBg&ved=0CDwQ6QUoAjAE&q=gambaro++prawn&usg=AFQjCNGIIgP3uMo85sazbywC8n_Zvlv7Bg http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=gambaro%20%20prawn&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CB0QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.independentaustralia.net%2F2012%2Fpolitics%2Fteresa-gambaro-goes-off-like-a-prawn-in-the-sun%2F&ei=kd8MT9PDEe2QiAf-qPSXBg&usg=AFQjCNGOuL_U4KimaLiqDbTqAzQ_6WqOig

Feral Skeleton

11/01/2012D Mick Weir, You are a champion. :) Btw, did you know that WorkChoices. Not. Allowed restaurateurs to define their own 'weekend'? So, if Tues and Wednesday were your slow days, or Monday & Tuesday, you couuld self-designate them as your 'Weekend', and that's when you had to pay Penalty Rates to your staff if they worked then. Except you probably closed the restaurant on just those days and didn't end up having to pay Penalty Rates at all, at any time. Or, you opened maybe but just had a skeleton staff or the family working. Of course John Howard never made any of this public, such that I only found out yesterday. Though it speaks to me now that, I wonder who, is co-ordinating an IR pushback campaign via proxy. Now, who was it again who covertly co-ordinated the campaign against Pauline Hanson via proxies? Tony Abbott. And who was it that used fake grassroots community groups to get camapigns happening which seemed to be the result of a popular uprising? The Liberal Party and one of their best billionaire mates, Solomon Lew. Frankly, I am not going to be surprised at all to see Truckin' Tony Abbott start turning up at restaurants this year as part of his ongoing Cunning Stunt Enterprises Inc. political performance art meaningless set pieces. Just like he did last year at fishmongers, butchers and building supplies joints.

TalkTurkey

11/01/2012DogDammit, even one of those links to Gambaro stinks! :) DMW Your feet have grown a lot I reckon, well done.

Feral Skeleton

11/01/2012DMW, Thank you for 'Whore, Damned Whores and Female Convicts'. I think I spied my great,great,great,great,great grandmother in the picture at the top of the article. :D

D Mick Weir

11/01/2012TT, thanks It helps to have some tips, tricks and guidance from an expert & to have some tipoffs from a top secret tweetie (nudge, nudge, wink, wink say no more) FS, one of the better things about the silly season slowdown, apart from finding great put downs of Gambaro type brainfarts is having the time to read some longer insights of our political and social history.

Miglo

11/01/2012What a blight it was that everything Paul Keating initiated for the betterment of Indigenous Australians was ruthlessly dismantled by John Howard. Does anybody remember his 1996 and 1998 election speeches? He promised to end Indigenous suffering in this country. Oh how he added to it.

2353

11/01/2012And Migs, the Australian population sat there and let it happen which is something we all should be hanging our heads in shame about.

D Mick Weir

11/01/20122353, Miglo the problem/challenge may best be summed up as: [i]Never get in the way of a conviction pollie and his ideological rewriting of history'[/i] JWH set out wit a firm (and mostly hidden at the time) agenda of rewriting the history to suit his ideology. It is sad that most did not believe the few who saw it and spoke up until it was a bit too late.

Miglo

11/01/2012As a Liberal politician whispered while I was at ATSIC; Aboriginal bashing is good politics.

Feral Skeleton

11/01/2012Migs and 2353, What I think I should add to this discussion is that, now that the Churches and Private Schools have opened their doors to Indigenous students, Aboriginal bashing has virtually stopped. There are shows on SBS and ABC, 'Living Black' and 'Message Stick', and the one about Indigenous Sport whose name I can't remember, plus 'The Deadlies' and the successful careers of musicians like Jessica Mauboy, and Indigenous filmakers and, of course, artists, which are living proof which cannot be denied by any White-skinned Conservative politician seeking to gain advantage at the expense of the dignity of these people, that they have come a long way, because they have been given half a chance. However, to my eyes, the Aboriginal people of this nation are now being exploited again by the Whitefella, in a much more sophisticated way, such that they are being pitted against each other, in a sort of 'Two Tribes' scenario. The ones who agree with the basically assimilationist policies of the Conservatives, up against those who are aligned with the Progressive Deterministic mindset of the egalitarian, socially-democratic Left. Which, in essence, to me, allows for a celebration of the difference between 'Black' and 'White' Australia, due to the Indigenous Peoples' unique heritage which sets them apart from everyone else. A sort of unique subset in the Multicultural Australia spectrum. 'Same, same but different', as the saying goes. This emerging battleline was evidenced most acutely last year with the racial profiling court case involving Andrew Bolt, and his 'Reverse Racism' theory, which attempted to portray those Indigenous Australians with fairish skin, not negatively because they WERE Aborigines, but negatively because they wanted to identify as Aborigines. And, ipso facto, they were panhandlers because they were taking advantage of opportunities that should only have been open to 'Boot Black' Aborigines. As if you could put that fine a line on Aboriginality and Non-Aboriginality anyway. An argument which was especially hypocritical because, on the other hand, Andrew Bolt argues that there is no such thing as uniquely Aboriginal Australians, they are all just Australians. So you can see the hypocrisy of his initial argument which only sought to quarantine scholarships etc. for the Pure Blood Aborigines; as he would really prefer they didn't get any preferential treatment at all. Truth be told. Anyway, as I said before, the next big battlefront in the ongoing storyline that is the contemporary history of Indigenous Australia, will be that which plays out the fight and battles amongst themselves for what it is to be an Australian Aboriginal in the 21st century. Will they dance to the Assimilationist's tune, or will they seek to reinforce their unique position in Australian society? And be 'allowed' to do so. Yes, of course, they can and do do both, but the wider context is what I'm talking about.

Feral Skeleton

11/01/2012Beautiful photos of our lovely PM in Queensland: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150519373864674.393894.7861714673&type=3&l=db79e67bec

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11/01/2012Folks I've been busy these last few days and will be so for the next few. So you won't see much of me until the weekend. Thank you for keeping the site active with your comments. I'll post another political speech over the weekend.

2353

11/01/2012FS - you're right about the photos. Beautifully shot and show Gillard's charm. I'm not on Facebook - so can't comment there. I'd also like to think that you were right about the Aboriginal bashing virtually stopping - but I don't think we're quite there yet. There seems to me to still be a lot of latent discrimination expressed at times in likely and unlikely places that the Aboriginals get something extra, don't look after what they're given; don't suffer like we do etc regardless of the other ethnic groups who do the same or worse not being tarred with the same brush. I do agree that there are a number of groups playing Aboriginal politics (for want of a better term) where once they have outlived their "usefulness', the people they claim they are "assisting" will again be forgotten.

D Mick Weir

12/01/2012Micks Media Mix [b]clubs, daily telegraph go after garrett[/b] cyenne [i]The local papers of NSW have a long history of publishing pro-clubs, pro-poker machines articles that are heavy on sensationalism and light on facts. That’s no surprise given that the clubs industry across the state is a major source of support and advertising revenue for such publications. But when the story involves someone like Peter Garrett, the Federal School Education, Early Childhood and Youth Minister, then the big guns get involved. And this morning’s story in The Daily Telegraph is a prime example.[/i] http://www.cyenne.com/discussion/clubs-daily-telegraph-go-after-garrett/ [b]Tony Abbott's perspective on 2012[/b] Ian @TheBlowfly HatTip a special tweetie linkhound [i]The Blowfly wants you to imagine that you are in Tony Abbott’s shoes at the moment. 2012 has dawned. This time last year you were confident that if you went at the Gillard Government with all your energy, spin and bluster you had a reasonable chance of causing a hung parliament to become ‘unhung’.[/i] [b]Security and sovereignty: the truth behind foreign investment[/b] Paul Barratt @TheDrum [i]There the Coalition goes again, banging the populist drum about foreign investment in agriculture and trying to get some mileage out of an issue that it likes to suggest constitutes some kind of threat to Australia's food security.[/i] http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3766318.html [b]Judge slams mandatory sentence for people smugglers[/b] Christine Flatley @TheAge [i]A judge has criticised the five-year mandatory minimum sentence for people smugglers, saying it robs the courts of any ability to consider offenders' personal circumstances. Brisbane District Court Judge Terry Martin handed down the obligatory sentence today to Hasim, a 29-year-old poverty-stricken fisherman from Indonesia.[/i] http://www.theage.com.au/national/judge-slams-mandatory-sentence-for-people-smugglers-20120111-1puvi.html#ixzz1j8YJxR1S [i]Excuse me while I hang my head in shame -Ed (DMW)[/i] [b]United we stand: are we harmonising the right OHS law?[/b] Niki Ellis @The Conversation [i]Modern OHS laws are a form of self regulation. They aim to have employers protect their employees from harm by creating safe and healthy working environments. They also establish a voice for workers in identifying, assessing and mitigating risks at work – as a means of “keeping the bastards honest” as the saying goes.[/i] http://theconversation.edu.au/united-we-stand-are-we-harmonising-the-right-ohs-law-1013 [b]The Strike Threat System[/b] Rafe Champion @OnLineOpinion [i]The Strike Threat System is the name of a book by the English economist William Harold Hutt (1899-1988). He also wrote The Theory of Collective Bargaining on the history of the trade union movement and the principles and practice of collective bargaining. He examined several of the historical claims which support trade union demands for special privileges, especially the use and the threat of physical violence which would normally be illegal.[/i] http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=13107&page=0 [b]The car industry’s (not so) merry-go-round[/b] Bernard Keane @Crikey [i]Here we are again, just over three years on from the last effort to save the automotive industry … In November 2008, it was an extension of what became the Automotive Transformation Scheme to 2020, a Green Car fund (since mostly nixed in budget cuts) and some structural adjustment support for component manufacturers. Total cost over a decade: several billions of dollars, to support around 50-60,000 jobs.[/i] http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/01/11/stop-me-if-youve-heard-this-one-before-on-car-subsidies/ [b]Australia’s handout-addicted car industry needs some tough love[/b] Henry Ergas @TheConversation [i]Do direct bailouts of this variety serve to ensure a sustainable future for the car manufacturing industry? The experience to date is that it steers it towards further external, tax-payer funded bailouts. We have a long history of providing these bailouts now.[/i] http://theconversation.edu.au/australias-handout-addicted-car-industry-needs-some-tough-love-4907 [b]Big bank bash continues in 2012[/b] Michael Janda @TheDrum [i]The core issue in Australia's banking market is whether four major banks, and their much smaller rivals, are enough to promote sufficient competition to keep prices down for consumers. The answer to that is not clear cut. A senate inquiry into banking found a lack of competitive pressure, ...[/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-01-11/janda-big-bank-bash-continues-in-2012/3767722 [b]Environmentalism for people on low incomes[/b] Elizabeth Jakimow @OnLineOpinion [i]Whether it's a store devoted to green products, a fruit and vegetable shop that sells mostly organic food, or the organic aisle in the supermarket, there's often the feeling that people with little or no money don't belong. There's the sense that this store is for people who have more money to spend. You realise that you're shopping in a place that is not catering for people who often have baked beans for dinner because they can't afford anything else.[/i] http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=13111 [b]Wanted: leaders with principle and purpose, whether right or wrong[/b] Elizabeth Farrelly @NationalTimes [i]One of The Iron Lady's surprisingly frequent touching moments is shot in a Dartford driveway. It's October 1959 and Margaret Thatcher's twin six-year-olds, Mark and Carol, chase her car into the leafy street. ''Mummy, mummy,'' they cry, ''come back, mummy!'' She does not, of course. Mummy is late for work. It's day one, Westminster.[/i] http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/politics/wanted-leaders-with-principle-and-purpose-whether-right-or-wrong-20120111-1pv7j.html Looking at Politics through the Lense of Sport [b]Fleet-footed Abbott needs to be playmaker[/b] Richard Stanton @NationalTimes [i]I've got a mate who is fond of observing Australian politics. He makes frequent informed comments, usually in the form of text messages after he has read a few things about a policy or event. A recent message, however, was puzzling: ''Put the abbott on the right wing and give him a run''.[/i] http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/politics/fleetfooted-abbott-needs-to-be-playmaker-20120111-1pv7i.html

D Mick Weir

12/01/2012Just in ... [b]The frozen gales of political bluster are near[/b] Greg Jericho @TheDrum [i]And so we turn our eyes from the smouldering car wreck of 2011 politics to 2012 with freshness and buoyancy in our hearts. Oh God. Already? Surely the break was meant to take longer than this? But no, let us realise that the evitable cold winds commeth, ...[/i] http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3768324.html

Feral Skeleton

12/01/2012DMW, Interesting point Grog made about Tony 'His Masters Voice' Abbott, running around linking every financial ask on the government purse with the NBN, so as to attempt to stem the tide which is turning against his master's squirrel grip on 70% of the media in this country plus the tendrils it has extended into the ABC, as a result of the spread of the NBN around the nation. Expect to see the anti-NBN hysteria ramped up to 11 this year, especially the red herring thrown about that people are not embracing it, hence it's useless.

TalkTurkey

12/01/2012Greg Jericho is special. Thanks DMW, + wink I think :) Read the article Folks, guard your lions, armour yourselves with the facts Mr Jericho provides. Then please try by all means to spread them around the [i]Menzies[/i] voters in your family and close circles, they who have voted for Holt and Howard in their time because they see them as His successors, (they were wrong about Menzies at the time but they have been far wronger ever since.) The grey generation is the single worst for Labor (bodes better for the future! :)) and though a hard dose of facts won't dislodge many, we only need a few. Softly softly, but hard facts. If a few die because they can't come to terms with the facts, well :)! Read Greg Jericho and weep. For many reasons, sad and glad.

Feral Skeleton

12/01/2012Oh noes! The party is hopelessly split! No, not the Labor party: http://www.afr.com/p/national/car_handouts_split_libs_fPCH30bcIHzubqYvAX5APM :D I think this is the first shot in Labor's 'Campain'(sic) ;-) against the Liberal Party this year.

TalkTurkey

12/01/2012FS, 2353, Doesn't *J*U*L*I*A* look lovely in those photos, yes, happy relaxed and unaffected, pretty and sincere and sparkling. Not the sort of shots of her we see in the MSM, [i]ever![/i] Compare with the shots of Abbortt running on the beach, flat out, looking like his boiler's about to burst, the laughing youngsters running alongside of him doing it (doing [i]him![/i] ) so easy . . . He looks ridiculous, as indeed he is. [i]The Ides of September,[/i] Antonius, [i]beware the Ides of September![/i]

BSA Bob

12/01/2012T.T. The Greg Jericho article's good indeed, a country like ours faced with such financial constraints as Mr Abbott tells us we have could do worse than getting rid of most of its press contingent. Though as Greg says, being wrong and/or biased over & over again doesn't matter much in those circles. F.S. 7.30 last night had a piece on another problematic policy for the Liberals, the Murray-Darling. Oh so politely mind you, with none of the aggression reserved for pieces on the ALP, it gently pointed out that Mr Abbott's policy of telling everyone they can have all the water they want might cause a few implementation problems. Speaking of the Murray-Darling, fellow S.A. residents might join me in remembering something from a few years back. The Liberal opposition leader of the time, Moaning Martin Hamilton-Smith announced with much fanfare an expedition he would undertake up the river to consult with his fellow conservatives in the East & Get Things Right! Like a lot of ventures into the interior it didn't go all that well. A long period of no news, then dazed survivors staggering back- "the horror!". His upstream cronies had of course told him to piss off & that they wanted the water for themselves. I doubt much has changed there.

Feral Skeleton

12/01/2012BSA Bob, Did martin Hamilton-Smith take the path of Burke and Wills? ;-) Btw, speaking of junketeing pollies, which the LNP nevr do, of course, did you hear that Bananaby is following in the footsteps of Douglas Mawson and going to the Antarctic? Wonder how his Climate Change Ludditism will go down there? :)

Feral Skeleton

12/01/2012TT, Buster Bloodvessel was also said to have looked a bit the worse for wear, in comparison to Ted Baillieu, when he finished the Pier to Pub in Victoria recently. Tony Truckwit said he was 'out of condition'. I'd say he's pushed his rubber band too far and he has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

BSA Bob

12/01/2012F.S. Not quite the same path of course, but much the same result. P.S. Like Buster Bloodvessel. Hadn't heard it.

2353

12/01/2012FS - Abbott's modus operandi (got to stop watching those crime shows) is to identify a issue. offer a solution that identifies a "fault" in the Government's practice or policy, screm it from the rooftops and move on prior to anyone noticing the absolute failure of logic in the claimed position. Despite the NBN rollout being off budget, there is a perception that infrastructure projects such as this can be stopped at any stage without financial damage to the Government. Abbott has clearly failed to "Stop the Carbon Tax", so this is the next thing on his hitlist. In the past Governments of all tribes and large companies have wasted billions doing this as the various contractors usually have a right to claim (at least) the profit they would have earned in the event the work was completed. Abbott obviously has no intention of repealing the CPRS as the attack has shifted to the NBN. I suspect that once the NBN has reached a critical mass and there are some success stories around (souch as a rare diesease being diagnoised remotely due to telehealth), the NBN won't be stopped by Abbott if he ever gets in either. And TT, I wouldn't be too confident on the future ALP vote. The ALP is being attacked from the left just as the LNP is being attacked from the right. A lot of Greens and Katter/One Nation type voters are where the are because the two large tribes are seen not to be hard conservative/progressive enough in their policies.

Feral Skeleton

12/01/20122353, That's exactly the problem. The Greens are mining for votes from the ALP's Left flank, and so criticise them just as mercilessly and unbreasonably as any Coalition politician does from the Right. What's worse, they are even joining together as well to fight the government. Which they have every right to do in a democracy but the Labor Party aren't used to fighting attacks on bothe their flanks at once. Which is where superior problem resolution and policy formulation and implementation will have to come in, and hopefully the electorate will remain rational enough to appreciate the fact(s). I think one good example which suggests there are some effective hardheads in place now can be seen in the fact that Bob Brown was outmanouvered this week wrt the Whaling issue. I honestly have never seen him so angry. The PM chopped him off at the knees by organising the transfer of the 3 big, hairy galoots that boarded the Nishin Maru and immediately started a hunger strike. Game over! :D I wonder if the PM had had time to read a Saul Alinsky book over the Xmas break. Or watched a few episodes of 'Survivor': 'Outwit, Outplay, Outlast.' ;-)

TalkTurkey

12/01/20122353 said [i]TT, I wouldn't be too confident on the future ALP vote. The ALP is being attacked from the [b]left[/b] just as the LNP is being attacked from the right.[/i] Yeah the 'left' as in left and gone home, not Left as in We that are Left and staying the course. You know where I stand, I make it clear enough, whose side are you on 2353? There are of course those so bent out of shape that they would rather jeer everybody, especially those they run with, than commit to a joint effort with the only team that can and does keep the Huns at bay. A great concentration of these are to be found in the Greens, not all of whom I acknowledge are turncoats or simpletons or pale people, they may be any or all at the same time! 3-Word Slogan heh heh worth copyright eh? [b]DAM the [i]GREENS![/i][/b] Whoo Hoo did I TT think of that myself? :) Don't anyone dare to pass it on! No NO NO it's Copyright! NO No don't you dare! Fro The People to win, we must be united. Please, Greens of genuine goodwill, and Yes there are many, the above slur of mine was but a joke (maybe) but look-you, Please don't cut off all our noses to spite a few faces! I have been, oh so "green" all my life you wouldn't believe, truly, I cheered for Brown and his brave troops over the Franklin, I've committed a lot to promoting eco-education, it is my first passion (not politics really, the politics is the [i]servant[/i]) but if all the Greens are going to do is spike the decent progressive side's guns, and end up with a Rabid Right mob instead, well DON'T! Please. See sense. To vote Green is to divide the Left. It is as obvious as the crack in your bum.

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12/01/2012Folks At long last I have good access to the Internet. I have changed this afternoon from 3G to ADSL broadband here in the centre of Melbourne, as the former was unreliable and very slow. The ADSL is working well after much technical manipulation, and is much faster than 3G. I will be away all day tomorrow taking a one day trip to Hobart, and will be back at the weekend with another piece in the change-of-year series of political speeches, this time with Martin Luther King's 'I have a dream' speech.

NormanK

12/01/2012[u]Uncle Tony da Vinci van Gough[/u] Announcer: Good morning listeners. As is always the case at this time on a Friday morning, it's time now for [i]Artswipes[/i], the programme that takes you down the lesser-travelled paths to those little outbuildings that have so often been the refuge for artists seeking to unburden themselves of what they would consider as natural compulsions. We are particularly lucky this morning because our guest, who is well-known to us in his many and varied roles in public life, is the Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott. Not many people are aware that Mr Abbott is an artist of some long-standing who has added painting to his ever-expanding repertoire. Earlier this week, Mr Abbott gave us a guided tour of his inner-sanctum, one of them at least, his studio. Good morning, Mr Abbott. Tony: Good morning Virginia. Announcer: Now, Tony ..... you don't mind if I call you Tony, do you? Tony: No. You can call me anything you like, just don't call me late for a Stimulus Package vote. Heh, heh, heh. Announcer: [i]Vino interruptus[/i], eh? Okay, Tony. Well, firstly, thank-you for making time and allowing us to invade the privacy of your studio. Not many of our listeners would have guessed that you have an artistic bent. Tony: Surprise is usually the reaction I get, Virginia but I feel painting helps me to stay in touch with my feminine side. Announcer: Indeed? Well, shall we go in? Ooh, this is an unusual building! If I hazard a guess, I would say this is an old freezer, a meat locker? Tony: Yes, Virginia. Once that door is closed behind me, no-one can get in without my permission and it's also fairly sound-proof so if things get a bit ..... noisy ... in here, I don't disturb anybody. Announcer: Mmm, okay. Well, I can see that you have quite a few works in progress scattered around the room. You like to work concurrently then? Lots of projects on the go all at once? Tony: Yes, well, as you can imagine, I don't get to come here as regularly as I would like so quite often I find myself starting new pieces before the old ones are quite finished. I also dash down here to add a few strokes when inspiration strikes me. It's difficult juggling your time between family commitments, altruistic charity work, a bit of sport and, of course, providing visionary leadership to my party and Australia as a whole. My art pays the price unfortunately. Announcer: Your wife is a very lucky woman. Okay, well, shall we start with this piece just here? Ooh, it's very striking. Tony's Starry Night, perhaps? For the listeners, it is a large canvas that has been painted completely black and then pierced by hundreds of little points of light. Reminiscent of aboriginal artwork. Paying homage to the nights spent under the stars communing with your indigenous friends? Tony: It's very nice of you to interpret it that way Virginia but actually I painted this as a reminder for myself. On the day that Oakeshott and Windsor turned their backs on their own constituencies and gave succour to Jul.....argh ..... to the uh Pri.....errgh ..... the uh ... the Labor Party, I painted this so that each time I walked in the door I would be reminded of just what my attitude should be to each piece of legislation put up by this illegitimate government. A hard impenetrable wall of opposition that won't let anything through regardless of whether it is in the public interest or not. It's worked a treat - I haven't strayed from that commitment. Announcer: And the points of light? Tony: Yes, well they are the uh ..... the pieces of legislation that have managed to sneak past our defences with the help of treacherous independents and the looney Greens. Announcer: But there are hundreds of them? Tony: Yes, well uh. It's good to uh .... have an ambition ..... a uh ... an ideal to which one can aspire but uh .... sometimes Virginia, God reminds us that we are only mortal and uh ..... and uh ..... shouldn't hold ourselves to too high a standard of success. I think it's uh ..... a mark of my own ..... [b]humility[/b] that I have painted in every one of the 250 or so bills that have passed. I still have a large pot of red paint for all of those bills that we defeat on the floor of the House and I look forward to making good use of it this year. Huge bomb-blasts of red. Pretty exciting I reckon. Announcer: Okay, so not ready for public viewing just yet? Tony: No Virginia - a work in progress. Announcer: Alright. Beside it we have another ... oh no, I'm mistaken, this is just a blank white canvas. A future project? Tony: No no Virginia, this is another work in progress. I started this one on election night 2010, when the best Opposition Leader in history was on the brink of becoming the greatest Prime Minister this country has ever served under. Eventually it will contain thousands of additions, my signature in gold leaf, one to mark each visionary new policy achievement of an Abbott-led government. That sounds nice, doesn't it? Announcer: Gold leaf. Interesting. Tony: An Abbott-led government. Mmm. Prime Minister Abbott. Ooh. The Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Tony Abbott. Soon, my precious. Announcer: It has a ring to it. Your wife is a very lucky woman. Tony: Gold leaf costs a fortune you know. Especially with the price of gold so high. Maybe I should have waited for GFC Mark II and picked it up for a song. Still, a couple of kilos of gold will always come in handy, won't it? Announcer: Is that something that worries you? GFC Mark II? Another potential meltdown? Tony: Of course it is. I'm terribly worried that it won't happen! I've staked the house, literally, on Australia plunging into a deep recession but no matter how much Joe and I talk things down, the bloody numbers just keep going up. The Pri......erk, Ms Gill....aurgh, Labor is just so incredibly lucky. Costello bequeaths them a finely-tuned economy and none of their tinkering has caused it to miss a beat. It should be me driving that economy. Then Joe would have the award for World's Largest Finance Minister. Announcer: Okay, so .... ah now, this is something I can recognise. The start of a self-portrait if I'm not mistaken? Tony: That's right Virginia. Announcer: The canvas is dominated by a pair of men's swimming trunks, very very obviously male, and a lot of body hair. Part of a triptych is it? Tony: No no. This is a stand alone piece. Heh, heh. Announcer: Mmm. It's larger than life-size. Was that deliberate? I mean, is it to scale? Tony: I believe so Virginia. Announcer: Well, I hope you won't be shocked or think me forward but .... tumescent is a word that springs to mind. Tony: Why, thank-you Virginia, if I knew what tumescent meant I'd be even more flattered I'm sure. I started this one the day I finished my first full Iron Man event. My wife remarked on the fact that I could still find the energy to paint after such a strenuous day. You know what women are like, well of course you would, making demands on a man at the most inappropriate times. That night I just felt so ..... potent ... that I had to come and paint something. And there it is. Life-like don't you think? Announcer: An interesting use of colour and perspective. Your wife is a very lucky woman. Tony: I think I've captured the light perfectly. Announcer: Let's move on to the largest work in the room. My Goodness!! What an ..... interesting ..... mixture of media and techniques. Perhaps you could talk us through this one. Tony: This was going to be my entry for the 2011 Archibald Prize for portraiture. It started out as a painting of the biggest female loser in the 2010 election. I think I started this during Week 3 of the campaign. The polls were all pointed my way .... our way .... and it seemed as though I .... we .... couldn't lose so I started a portrait of the Pri.....eye-yi-yi ..... Labor Leader with her Mona Lisa smile so that I could appear magnanimous in victory. Announcer: I can see a patch of red there, presumably the Prime Minister's famous hair. This work obviously has many layers. Perhaps you could take us through your processes. Tony: I started with a charcoal sketch from a photograph that I had of Jul......erraugh. Announcer: Julia. Tony: Juliar!! Childish I know, but if that's the name she wants to go by, who am I to object. Heh, heh. I fleshed it out, so to speak, with acrylics and blood. My own. Then later additions have been made. Announcer: Each one no doubt corresponds with a significant event in your life. Let's see. Coffee - complete with fragments of a mug? Tony: My wife bought me that mug. [b]World's Greatest Husband[/b]. Announcer: Your wife is a very ..... Tony: Yes, I know. Announcer: Inspiration? Tony: Flood Levy. Announcer: I hesitate to say just what this looks like. Tony: Let's just say, Virginia that if you throw enough of it, some of it will stick. Be sure to wash your hands afterwards. 2011 Budget. Announcer: Glass shards. Wine label. No wine though? Tony: Empty! Empty! Empty! Carbon Tax. Announcer: Putty knife? Buried up to the handle. Tony: Mining Tax. Announcer: Three legged stool? Tony: Peter Slipper! Announcer: Do you have any ..... Tony: Sorry Virginia but all of this talk of she-who-must-not-be-named has rather inspired me. So unless you've got a fetish about blow-torches, it might be time to bring this interview to an end. Announcer: Thank-you very much for your time Mr Abbott. Tony: Just make sure the door closes properly behind you. My wife doesn't understand my artistic impulses. Announcer: She's a very .... Tony: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Fire in the hole!!

Feral Skeleton

12/01/2012NormanK, You might have to replace your avatar with one of those gifs of a rose which sparkles. That waas fantastic! So Gothic Horror. I'm sure a great Film Noire could be made out of that little scenario. Might I suggest a title? 'The Picture of Tony Abbott'? As that's the one self-portrait I'd guess he has well hidden away from view. ;-)

2353

12/01/2012TT - in response to your "Do you still bash your wife?" question above- the answer is mind your own bloody business. If you don't like the answer - that's tough. In my view blind adherence to any group of people without critical thought is dangerous - look at what it's done to Tony Abbott. I enjoy the luxury of being able to make up my own mind on a number of issues that affect the City, State and Country I live in as I don't hold membership in any political tribe. I'll give you a tip - I call them tribes as they all expect tribal levels of behaviour and "loyalty" - something I'm not prepared to do. I'm sure AA will advise me by email if membership of a political party is a necessary requirement to continue to comment on this forum as I don't and never will belong to a political party. Just pull your head in - if you can't take an alternate viewpoint you really do have a problem. On a brighter note I see NormanK is trying to fill the shoes of the lamented AC. If that's the intent you have indeed succeeded sir. Well done.

BSA Bob

12/01/2012Norman K That was very good. F.S. I hope I never have to look at The Picture Of Tony Abbott. Medusa like, it'd turn you to stone.

Feral Skeleton

12/01/20122353, Hear, hear! Oh, and btw, don't you be going away please, it's bloody quiet in here atm. :)

Feral Skeleton

12/01/2012BSA Bob, It already seems to be turning people's hearts to stone. :(

NormanK

12/01/20122353 As a brief bit of history, when I first stumbled onto [i]TPS[/i] it was AC's song parodies and little skits that gave me permission to knock out the occasional bit of satire. Unfortunately, the well has been a bit dry of late. Withdrawal symptoms from AC's clever wit may inspire further efforts. Not to mention that the site could do with a bit of lightening up. :)

TalkTurkey

12/01/20122353 said very warmly, [i]TT - in response to your "Do you still bash your wife?" question above- the answer is mind your own bloody business. [/i] My question was " . . . whose side are you on 2353?" That is not the sort of question you characterise it as, it is a simple probing question, but perhaps you might agree with me that for you so to characterise it is very truly "poisoning my well" by you. (I studied just enough philosophy to discern such differences, apparently quite imperceptible to some.) It was a fair question, which you might have chosen to answer or not, civilly or not. You actually have answered very plainly, but quite uncivilly, well that's settled then, you are unmasked by your own hand. You may notice on a second, (or perhaps first [i]proper[/i]) reading of my post at 4.31 2353, that nothing I said insulted you. Your reply on the other hand . . . :) I never resile from needling people I think are gainsaying the best efforts of the Labor Party, but needling is not insulting, it is attempting to winkle out Truth. Needling is what Crows do with cactus spines to winkle out Grubs, and from what I have seen it works a treat. :) BTW I have as much right to ask you your position as you to refuse to answer, and you have every right to tell me to endocephalate, but as you may realise that doesn't actually work. 2353 you said, [i]TT, I wouldn't be too confident on the future ALP vote.[/i] I do have some sympathy for that adage, [i]If you're not for us you're against us.[/i] As far as I'm concerned, the above line isn't just ansimple statement of opinion, it doesn't even deserve to be graced with the term 'defeatist talk', it is worse again, it is insidiously and imo deliberately demoralizing, and if anybody is going to endocephalate, it won't be me when I hear such Grub-in-heartwood talk. (I am a Crowie of course.) But have you noticed, the Crow needles the [i]head [/i]end, and the Grub comes out real quick, [i]rsend[/i] first! I don't adhere to Labor without critical thought neither btw thank you very much, I won't argue about that, it's just so ohhh forget it. As somebody once before said: If you don't like the answer - that's tough.

Feral Skeleton

12/01/2012Talk Turkey, We get it, OK! You love, love, love the Labor Party and love, love,love Julia Gillard, and are prepared to defend her and the party to your last breath. However, I think you can go too far over the top sometimes. You have every right to do so, as it is your sincerely-held opinion. I get that. I just think that, inevitably, it will drive people away, rather than towards the people and the party you and I support, through good times and bad. The same applies to this blog. This blog is not a Labor Party blog. It is for 'putting politicians and the media to the sword'. Of all political persuasions. Which is how I like it to be as well. Not a Labor Party love-in. They need criticism, as well as fulsome support, for their own good. I am thus grateful when those criticisms come this way and are constructively put. So, Chillax, man!

TalkTurkey

13/01/2012FS you will find that my tolerance abounds With allegiances open and free, But run with the hare and hunt with the hounds, You won't get much leeway from me. FS I don't even disagree with jj and Limpy because of their politics, but because they have been so rude. To yourself in special, may I remind you, in common with several others btw. If the Right ever had anything positive to say, and making at least a certain amount of sense, I'd be quite prepared to consider it, but I must say I can't remember the last time I thought that they had anything to offer at all. I will certainly attack what I think are unwarranted or veiled and toxic putdowns of the Labor Party, I am committed yes. I have always made that clear. And I do not wantonly talk my Party down, even when, as you don't, I disagree with *J*U*L*I*A* on a matter like Assange. For which you also attacked me quite bitterly if you remember. I do disagree, but it doesn't alter my overall allegiance and I won't try to bring down the Government over it, that's help a heap I don't think, the best I might hope to do is add a featherweight to his support. so don't anyone tell me I don't ever disagree with the ALP, I hate our commitment to our bloody wars too but I'm better trying to fight it inside a Government whose actions I largely support rather than outside an abomination whose every attitude I abhor. Does that all seem clear to you? And Feral, since you seem so intent on finding bones to pick with me, and since you intimate that I might be responsible for driving people away, - which seems to be a preoccupation with certain posters here btw, rather than the rigorous and fearless pursuit of Truth - let me sensitively point out that whereas I was not posting on this site - as you [i]were[/i] - when Bushfire Bill, one of TPS's earliest posters and brilliant thread-writers, decided for whatever reason,rather to post on Poll Bludger, yet I TT have sung only siren songs of praise and welcoming to him, where you have fulminated against him to the degree that, well, he's burnt off now for sure. I do wonder what got to him in the first place, can't imagine really. But Cuppa and Victoria, two of PB's most prolific and sensible posters, said such nice things about TPS, enough to invite people here [i]not[/i] repel them, in response to a comment of mine they found for themselves here, and as I posted earlier in this thread: 162 Cuppa Posted Monday, January 9, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink Victoria, The Political Sword is a fine blog with some outstanding writers. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/ 163 victoria Posted Monday, January 9, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink Cuppa Yes it is. . . FS I don't hear no "Hear, hear!" from you about that FS, (nor anyone else btw) how coming this? Sag rapes? I would have thought it was music to your ears. Not a sausage. I can't say it was damned with faint praise though I guess. Thanks to everyone concerned.

TalkTurkey

13/01/2012BTW, [i]Fulsome[/i] isn't a fancy word for [i]effusive[/i], Oxford has it thus: Cloying, excessive, disgusting by excess (of flattery, servility, exaggerated affection.)

TalkTurkey

13/01/2012Dog, the dopey woman on ABC24 just said that the smallest frog ever found, in PNG somewhere, was now the world's smallest [i]invertebrate[/i] Did you know that even when brain-dead, frogs can show surprising signs of lifelikeness for quite a while? Sounds like the ABC staff eh! :)

Feral Skeleton

13/01/2012Talk Turkey, Now you're getting petty. Really. Might I also just add that, as you have posted the comments about TPS that Cuppa and Victoria made, you have, yet again, not put up here what someone there said about something I wrote in answer to your Asylum Seeker question. Coincidence, or an honest oversight? Or don't you think my contributions here are worthy of highlighting when others go to the trouble of singling them out elsewhere? Also, fyi Bushfire Bill had been praised to the high heavens by me long after he decamped. Ad Astra and I tried every which way but loose to get him to come back. So please don't say that all I'm interested in is dissing him, and insinuate that is the reason he left, never to return. It's just not true. Anyway, today, my comment to you was more about what I thought was a disrespectful attitude towards 2353, not whether you are right and he is wrong, or vice versa. I stand by that assessment. Honestly, this is a much better blog when we respect each other and the opinions we each express and seek not to dismiss one or another contributor because, in your estimation, they are not as enthusiastic as you think they should be towards the entity or policies you support. Nevertheless, I'm sure Ad Astra will have something wise to say which will smooth the waters. He always does. On that we can agree. :)

TalkTurkey

13/01/2012FS if you are referring to my correcting you on the meaning of fulsome, no, that was not me being petty, nor even pedantic, that was me being educative, for which I do not apologise. If I wanted to be petty, I could pick people up on their misuse of the ' or not in it's or its. :) But I wouldn't do that.

2353

13/01/2012TT - you've been got. Surely on a blog with a byline of "Putting politicians and commentators to the verbal sword" should be seen to be free of bias and mindless loyality such as recently displayed by you when I first mentioned The Greens in the last thread. It's equal in my opinion to Bolt, Jones and co. Following your rather vitrolic attack on them & me, I decided to bide my time and expose you for the idologue you obviously are. I could go into a whole list of reasons why the two major political tribes are losing supporters and voters - but it would be falling on deaf ears. Regardless of your personal opinions - there are alternaitve opinions that are equally as valid; deserve discussion and like it or not; no political tribe has the exclusive on "the whole truth". Compare your postings here and elsewhere to Jason's. While Jason wears his ALP membership proudly, he is prepared to accept that others hold differing opinions and have a right to express them. He treats SIC and JJ with much more tolerence than I can muster as example. As stated earlier I don't belong to a political party and attitudes like yours, which belong in the ark, are a large part of why I will never join one. Your attitiude as displayed here is a symptom of why there is so much aggro in politics and to a large degree why Abbott and other conservative politicians has been so successful he and elsewhere in the world - they are inflaming hatred of those that express a differing view. In short - you're part of the problem. FS - I don't plan on reducing my contributions to this blog anytime soon (unless ALP membership is *[i]really[/i]* a pre-requisite for membership :D) P.S. TT - I don't tell my family who I vote for; why whould I tell someone I have never met on a public internet forum? My postings here and elsewhere over the past 5 years are a reasonable guide.

D Mick Weir

13/01/2012Micks Media Mix [b]Drum Piece–Winter is Coming[/b] Greg Jericho @Grog's Gamut [i]God I hate those start of the year predictive pieces that do the rounds. When will Gillard be challenged? Will Abbott survive the year out? Honestly, who gives a damn. It’s all guess work and conjecture and standard pap churned out without any need to actually do any thinking (which is probably why there are so many of them written ...[/i] http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2012/01/drum-piecewinter-is-coming.html [b]Spot the difference: are all News Limited bloggers the same person, or a piece of automated software?[/b] @Watching the Deniers HT: VSTSLTweetie [i]The bloggers over at News Limited have all perfected a similar style, so much so that it is becoming almost impossible to distingush “who” is actually writing individual posts.[/i] http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/spot-the-difference-are-all-news-limited-bloggers-the-same-person-or-a-piece-of-automated-software/ [b]Elsewhere: what exactly is the point of The Drum publishing “opinion” from the actual politicians?[/b] Jeremy Sear @PurePoison HT: VSTSLTweetie [i]Blogger “Citizen Cam” asks what’s the point of the ABC’s “The Drum” being simply a mouthing-off spot for what are essentially political press releases?[/i] http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2012/01/09/elsewhere-what-exactly-is-the-point-of-the-drum-publishing-opinion-from-the-actual-politicians/ [b]Underarm stink also underhand[/b] Waleed Aly @NationalTimes [i]Such outbursts may not be Coalition policy, but they express a certain political logic that Coalition policy does express, just in more moderated tones. The individual who goes too far (like Gambaro) is transgressing only in degree, not in essence.[/i] http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/politics/underarm-stink-also-underhand-20120112-1pxf8.html [b]The rebel is the pure soul[/b] Greg Barns @OnlineOpinion [i]The common garden variety American liberal supports Barak Obama, votes Democrat and is generally a supporter of gay marriage and abortion rights. But according to Hedges it is the failure of the liberals to dismantle corporate greed, to end US foreign policy adventurism and to meaningly reduce inequality that is their evil. You don't expect the Right to do any of this but you do expect their political opponents to have a crack, goes the logic.[/i] http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=13114 [b]The anti-shopping movement goes mainstream[/b] Sean Sands @TheConversation [i]Once thought of as on the fringe, consumer resistance movements that eschew consumption are becoming increasingly mainstream. These so-called “inscrutable shoppers” are commonly anti-globalisation, anti-sweatshop, anti-chain store movements, and anti-technology.[/i] http://theconversation.edu.au/the-anti-shopping-movement-goes-mainstream-4804 [b]Healthcare reform in 2012: whose health system is it anyway?[/b] Peter Brooks @TheConversation [i]As many of us recover from the festive binge of overeating, drinking too much and not exercising enough, spare a thought for the new health minister as she plans for 2012. An exciting agenda looms – will we finally see a national dental scheme? And will the government finally manage to address escalating healthcare costs?[/i] http://theconversation.edu.au/healthcare-reform-in-2012-whose-health-system-is-it-anyway-4905 [b]Greens' true colours tested[/b] Daniel Flitton @NationalTimes [i]The tantrum Brown has thrown this week over the Tasmanian forest deal is only the latest example of a party full of conviction but lacking courage to govern.[/i] http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/politics/greens-true-colours-tested-20120112-1pxf6.html [b]Age of media mediocrity[/b] Mark Latham @AusFinReview (Public) [i]One of Tony Abbott’s mantras is to return Australia to the glory days of the Howard government. Last Thursday the Channel Seven-Yahoo! news service took him seriously. Under a timeline of January 5, 2012, 2.44pm, it reported that “Prime Minister John Howard has again warned ...[/i] http://www.afr.com/p/opinion/age_of_media_mediocrity_rJS67aMY0vsQV3INhBoNVI [b]Weight and baggage arbitraage for airline passengers[/b] Stephen King @CoreEconomics [i]There has been some controversy in the last couple of days about the potential for airlines to price discriminate on the basis of passenger weight. Weight is a major factor in airline costs and some airlines already set different prices depending on whether or not a passenger has check-in luggage.[/i] http://economics.com.au/?p=8276 [b]Fast internet is taking too long[/b] Canberra Times [i]Australians can be forgiven for wondering if they will see the national broadband network unrolled in their street. Their frustration with the slow pace of the project is understandable, given the Federal Government's hype of the project.[/i] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/opinion/editorial/general/fast-internet-is-taking-too-long/2419033.aspx?storypage=0 [b]EXPLAINER: Why your broadband seems slower[/b] Paul Budde @TechnologySpectator HT: VSTSLTweetie [i]More often these days, both in our email boxes and during radio interviews, we are being asked questions and hearing complaints about the quality of broadband.[/i] http://technologyspectator.com.au/industry/internet/explainer-why-your-broadband-seems-slower [b]Doubt cast over Telstra buyback[/b] John McDuling @AusFinReview (Public) [i]The Labor government’s move to squeeze telcos for spectrum licence fees to shore up its budget position has cast further doubt on Telstra’s ability to return capital to shareholders.[/i] http://www.afr.com/p/business/companies/doubt_cast_over_telstra_buyback_IAdT9UZNWZIAz2fAhek0vO [b]Holiday Reading. Economics, "the most male of the social sciences"[/b] Peter Martin @HisBlog [i]"The knowledge that every problem has an answer, even and perhaps especially if that answer may be difficult to find, meets a deeply felt human need. For that reason, many people become obsessive about artificial worlds, such as computer games, in which they can see the connection between actions and outcomes. Many economists who pursue these approaches are similarly asocial. It is probably no accident that economics is by far the most male of the social sciences." - John Kay[/i] http://www.petermartin.com.au/2012/01/holiday-reading-economics-most-male-of.html [b]My heart is breaking[/b] John Ward @IndependentAustralia [i]The John Howards (Australian prime ministers) of the day, after being exposed as butchers who carelessly threw our poorly trained, badly equipped and shamefully led volunteers onto the wrong beach, then went on a campaign to glorify the slaughter of our sons as an emergence of the Australian nation out of the boiling, maggot-riddled, putrefactive corpses of no-man’s land.[/i] http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/my-heart-is-breaking/ [b]The Antikythera Mechanism: The Story of Humanity’s Oldest Analog Computer, circa 150 B.C.[/b] Maria Popova @BrainPickings [i]In 1902, however, archaeologist Valerious Stais made the most momentous discovery of all, and he did so from the dry safety of the National Archaeological Museum in Athens — embedded in one of the pieces of rock, he noticed a discernible gear wheel. Nicknamed the Antikythera mechanism, this object became known as humanity’s oldest analog computer[/i] [b]Car handouts split Libs[/b] AusFinReview (Public) [i]The Gillard government’s job-saving handouts to car makers have prompted Coalition backbenchers and influential conservative businessmen to ramp up pressure on Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to reject subsidies for the car industry and other vulnerable manufacturers.[/i] http://www.afr.com/p/national/car_handouts_split_libs_fPCH30bcIHzubqYvAX5APM [b]Hockey fights car handouts[/b] AusFinReview (Public) [i]Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey has told colleagues he will counter any move to reverse the cut not only because of its importance to the Coalition’s overall savings plan, but also out of concern at the mounting federal payments to the big car companies. The decision escalates the political brawl over industry assistance as former Labor finance minister Peter Walsh warned the federal government against “propping up” the car companies if they could not sustain commercial operations in the long term.[/i] http://www.afr.com/p/national/hockey_fights_car_handouts_omeeluYDR3I8k7NkZIYl7N

Tom of Melbourne

13/01/2012[i]”This blog is not a Labor Party blog. It is for 'putting politicians and the media to the sword'”[/i] Now that is TPS humour at its best! The primary purpose of this blog is to support whatever the latest press release from the government. There is no effort to put [b]all[/b] politicians to the sword, there is no attempt to expose political hypocrisy on both sides. Alternative views are disparaged rather than addressed. I pop in occasionally simply to point out these facts.

NormanK

13/01/2012[i]fulsome:[/i] [b]adjective[/b] [b]1[/b] complimentary or flattering to an excessive degree. [b]2[/b] of large size or quantity; generous or abundant. [b]usage[/b] Although the earliest use of [i]fulsome[/i] was 'abundant', this meaning was replaced by the negative sense 'excessively complimentary', and is now generally held to be incorrect. It is often heard in phrases such as [i]fulsome praise[/i]. however, where the speaker merely means that the praise is abundant rather than excessively flattering. Concise Oxford Dictionary Fulsome [quote]In modern usage, “fulsome” has two inconsistent meanings. To some people it means “offensive, overdone,” so “fulsome praise” to them would be disgustingly exaggerated praise.
To other people it means “abundant,” and for them “fulsome praise” is glowingly warm praise.
The first group tends to look down on the second group, and the second group tends to be baffled by the first. Best to just avoid the word altogether.[/quote] http://public.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/fulsome.html Dictionaries are descriptive not prescriptive. Just being educative. :)

Feral Skeleton

13/01/2012Tom of Melbourne, Yes, it is quite obvious to me that you only 'pop in occasionally'. Though not to point out anything constructive, and not to point out the 'fact' that we only support without critique the Gillard government and the Labor Party, as, if you did 'pop in' more than 'occasionally', you would have read posts by myself, plus comments by others, other than yourself, which are critical of the Labor Party, plus the back and forth around the criticism. What IS surprising to me, is that: 1) You never seem to criticise the Liberal Party of Tony 'DLP' Abbott, and 2) Why you think that it should be de rigeur for every blog site to be unfailingly critical of the Gillard government. So, unless you can come back with an argument a bit more substantial then, 'Because they are crap, because I say so', or the latest Coalition unsubtaqntiated by the facts, adverse aspersions and talking points, I will continue to treat your derision of this site and our conversations with the disdain it so obviously deserves. ToM, I advise you to buy some rope and tie it around your leg and then tehter it to St Kilda Pier, as your arguments are so lightweight you are in danger of floating away.

D Mick Weir

13/01/20122353, I endorse and back your sentiments. An old line but I am a Marxist (of the Groucho variety) in that I would not join any club that would stoop to having me as a member. But then I prove my hypocrisy in that I joined Twitter and I guess you could say I am a member of The Political Sword Club. :P I usually say when asked who I voted for [i]That is between me and the Electoral Commissioner[/i] I will reveal though I often don't put either of the big two first (or even second) on the ballot paper but it is always dependant on the candidates as I assess them. Fortunately in ACT not many on Senate ballot paper so I always vote below the line.

D Mick Weir

13/01/2012Hi ToM, guess you never stay long enough to peruse the links that are provided. Take the time and go back through and I suspect you will find more than one that give an alternative to the assertion [i]... primary purpose of this blog is to support whatever the latest press release from the government.[/i] I can say that I for one do often put an alternative view as do others.

Tom of Melbourne

13/01/2012Right, let’s just look at the easiest of examples. The welcome from you was “bumchum”. That followed my reasoned contribution to the subject of marriage equality. If I have this opinion of your site, it’s because your actions have earned it. With very few exceptions (and they deserve congratulations for their stamina), this site is mainly blinkered apologists for the ALP and whatever they publish in their latest press release.

Tom of Melbourne

13/01/2012You're the one I was referring to above MDW.

Tom of Melbourne

13/01/2012You're the one I was referring to above MDW.

Gravel

13/01/2012NormanK That was just excellent, I needed that little boost. I hope you do nurture your talent with or without AC's absence. Ad Astra We will be going from satellite to ADSL and I'm looking forward to a faster download.

Rx

13/01/2012I would not put it past the Liberals to confect a "division" on subsidies to auto manufacturers. Or, indeed, on any other matter. The party of no policy and no principle would be keen to [i]give the impression[/i] they do care about policy and/or principle. What better way than to contrive some "bitter internal wrangling over matters of principle"? It would be just an act, however. Their only [i]principle[/i] (if you can call it that) is to better the lot of the already-wealthy and priveleged at the expense of the wider public.

Feral Skeleton

13/01/2012Here's a great open letter to Gerry Harvey from a Funds Manager that I came across in Business Spectator today: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Big-boys-game-big-boys-rule-pd20120113-QFR39?OpenDocument Aprpopos speeches and telling it like it is to make a very good point.

Feral Skeleton

13/01/2012Rx, That description of the Liberals sounds exactly the same as that being bandied about wrt Mitt Romney. Oh wait, they are both representative parties of Vulture Capitalism and Agrarian Socialism. :)

TalkTurkey

13/01/2012 Fulsome actually means exactly what I said it means. People who don't understand what they are doing use it wrongly. (In this case they think (it's/its) a [i]fulsomer[/i] word for [i]full.[/i] :) ) They then claim legitimacy for the second totally wrong meaning. Then they reckon it's all too hard to discern. [i]So then they reckon the language would be better without it.[/i] NK quoted his version of the Newspeak Dictionary: [i]The first group tends to look down on the second group, and the second group tends to be baffled by the first. Best to just avoid the word altogether.[/i] Yes well no wonder the first group looks down on the second mob who don't know their it's from their tits and are always baffled anyway of course. They devalue the language. But NK is conforming to a splendid literary precedent, playing his predecessor, Syme, in George Orwell's 1984, chapter five. Sorry a bit long, but it wouldn't do Eric Blair justice to cherrypick from these few paragraphs:: "'How is the Dictionary getting on?' said Winston, raising his voice to overcome the noise. 'Slowly,' said Syme. 'I'm on the adjectives. It's fascinating.' He had brightened up immediately at the mention of Newspeak. He pushed his pannikin aside, took up his hunk of bread in one delicate hand and his cheese in the other, and leaned across the table so as to be able to speak without shouting. 'The Eleventh Edition is the definitive edition,' he said. 'We're getting the language into its final shape -- the shape it's going to have when nobody speaks anything else. When we've finished with it, people like you will have to learn it all over again. [i]You think, I dare say, that our chief job is inventing new words. But not a bit of it! We're destroying words -- scores of them, hundreds of them, every day. We're cutting the language down to the bone.[/i] The Eleventh Edition won't contain a single word that will become obsolete before the year 2050.' He bit hungrily into his bread and swallowed a couple of mouthfuls, then continued speaking, with a sort of pedant's passion. His thin dark face had become animated, his eyes had lost their mocking expression and grown almost dreamy. [i]'It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words[/i]. Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well. It isn't only the synonyms; there are also the antonyms. After all, what justification is there for a word which is simply the opposite of some other word? A word contains its opposite in itself. Take "good", for instance. If you have a word like "good", what need is there for a word like "bad"? "Ungood" will do just as well -- better, because it's an exact opposite, which the other is not. Or again, if you want a stronger version of "good", what sense is there in having a whole string of vague useless words like "excellent" and "splendid" and all the rest of them? "Plusgood" covers the meaning, or "doubleplusgood" if you want something stronger still. Of course we use those forms already. but in the final version of Newspeak there'll be nothing else. In the end the whole notion of goodness and badness will be covered by only six words -- in reality, only one word. Don't you see the beauty of that, Winston? It was [b]B.B.[/b]'s [ :) ] idea originally, of course,' he added as an afterthought. A sort of vapid eagerness flitted across Winston's face at the mention of Big Brother. Nevertheless Syme immediately detected a certain lack of enthusiasm. 'You haven't a real appreciation of Newspeak, Winston,' he said almost sadly. 'Even when you write it you're still thinking in Oldspeak. I've read some of those pieces that you write in The Times occasionally. They're good enough, but they're translations. [i]In your heart you'd prefer to stick to Oldspeak, with all its vagueness and its useless shades of meaning. You don't grasp the beauty of the destruction of words.[/i] Do you know that Newspeak is the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year?' Winston did know that, of course. He smiled, sympathetically he hoped, not trusting himself to speak. Syme bit off another fragment of the dark-coloured bread, chewed it briefly, and went on: [i]'Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.[/i] Every concept that can ever be needed, will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten. Already, in the Eleventh Edition, we're not far from that point. But the process will still be continuing long after you and I are dead. Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller. Even now, of course, there's no reason or excuse for committing thoughtcrime. It's merely a question of self-discipline, reality-control. But in the end there won't be any need even for that. The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect. Newspeak is Ingsoc and Ingsoc is Newspeak,' he added with a sort of mystical satisfaction. [i]'Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?'[/i]" All doubleplusgood education.

NormanK

13/01/2012[quote]Fulsome actually means exactly what I said it means.[/quote] There you have it in a nutshell, TT. It doesn't matter to you that the Oxford Dictionary is willing to recognise common usage. You belong to one school of thought and as far as you are concerned that is the only legitimate one. I imagine you didn't recognise the irony of using the quote from [i]1984[/i]. The language can not be frozen in time - how people choose to use it is the way it will be. I could quite happily join you in railing against Americanisms and text-driven abbreviations but if they come into common usage then they acquire legitimacy. No-one writes a dictionary. The entire language group helps to bring words (and their meanings) into or out of favour as the case may be. It is not up to you to dictate what is right or wrong. On this or any other subject.

Feral Skeleton

13/01/2012And now for something completely different: Someone actually said this to Rick Perry when he was out on the US Presidential Primary trail: "Good to see someone as homophobic and racist as you." :|

D Mick Weir

13/01/2012I just realised ... ... I am missing comments from A Boor's Boar

D Mick Weir

13/01/2012... probably assisting as a trainee Armchair Coach for the Aus cricket team.

NormanK

13/01/2012D Mick Weir A Boor's Boar tells me he has been forced into early retirement because with the current version of BlogEngine it is not possible for him to change his Gravatar. I tried to put up a photo of Gemma (Little Gem) the Wonder Dog but it doesn't seem to take. Oh well.

D Mick Weir

13/01/2012thanks for the info on the Boar really thought the Gambaro might set his nostrils flaring :) notice that you are doing a pretty good job with the cricket keep up the good work

TalkTurkey

13/01/2012Wow! NormanK, you have at last found the letters TT on your keyboard! Con-Grat-U-Lations! (I mean, I know it's only to have a go, but at least I know you care! :) It's been nearly a year since you managed it, not since you swore blind that the Greens were not responsible for doing down the Rudd SPRS and were so dismayed that you have never forgiven me for your being so rude to me and so threatening and so wrong. Now at last I can address you directly, remember you banned me? So I do exist after all!

TalkTurkey

13/01/2012Sulphur Pollution Reduction Scheme? CPRS of course.

D Mick Weir

13/01/2012... and for those who don't know [b]Armchair Coach NormanK[/b] has Australia in commanding position @ Tea on the first day of the Third Test @ The WACA India is struggling @ 6/144

2353

13/01/2012Well done NormanK - and with your inspired leadership I trust that the overall result will be of the same standard as your last piece of inspired work!

2353

13/01/2012Oh - NormanK, can you pass on to ABB that a GMail or Hotmail account may solve their immediate problem.

D Mick Weir

13/01/20122353 I suspect NK is deeply immersed in tactical discussions with the remote control :)

Feral Skeleton

13/01/20122353, You are absolutely correct about the extra gmail or hotmail account. I have 2. One for everywhere else, which still manifests a black box avatar, but is important to me to keep because it is my main e-mail account, so I let it roam free where I don't care about the black box. However, here, where I care about my avatar, I have had to set up a new e-mail account which hasn't been affected by the Internet Black Death problem, and allows me to thus be the Ugg boot-wearing skeleton I am today. :) Btw, NK better start giving advice to the Indian team if he wants the 3rd Test to go for more than a coupla days. They seem shattered by the Oz team as it is standing. Which just goes to show the exemplary standard of his advice. :D

Feral Skeleton

13/01/2012Guys, Look at the photo accompanying this article of Tony Abbott, and tell me he doesn't have fillers and other forms of modern era Plastic Surgery to 'refresh' his, what you would expect to be severely sun-damaged skin: http://delimiter.com.au/2012/01/04/the-five-nbn-misconceptions-of-tony-abbott/ In fact, I bet that's where he has slipped off to this week, so that he can come back 'refreshed' for a new year of politics and parliament.

NormanK

13/01/2012Lucky the last thing I said to Dave Warner before he went out to bat was "build your innings slowly". :D 79 off 56 balls as I type. That young man can hit a cricket ball.

Jason

13/01/2012I'm speechless, perhaps the editor should move here, I think this was dispensed in "our" media years ago. Should The Times Be a Truth Vigilante? By ARTHUR S. BRISBANE . I’m looking for reader input on whether and when New York Times news reporters should challenge “facts” that are asserted by newsmakers they write about. One example mentioned recently by a reader: As cited in an Adam Liptak article on the Supreme Court, a court spokeswoman said Clarence Thomas had “misunderstood” a financial disclosure form when he failed to report his wife’s earnings from the Heritage Foundation. The reader thought it not likely that Mr. Thomas “misunderstood,” and instead that he simply chose not to report the information. Another example: on the campaign trail, Mitt Romney often says President Obama has made speeches “apologizing for America,” a phrase to which Paul Krugman objected in a December 23 column arguing that politics has advanced to the “post-truth” stage. As an Op-Ed columnist, Mr. Krugman clearly has the freedom to call out what he thinks is a lie. My question for readers is: should news reporters do the same? If so, then perhaps the next time Mr. Romney says the president has a habit of apologizing for his country, the reporter should insert a paragraph saying, more or less: “The president has never used the word ‘apologize’ in a speech about U.S. policy or history. Any assertion that he has apologized for U.S. actions rests on a misleading interpretation of the president’s words.” That approach is what one reader was getting at in a recent message to the public editor. He wrote: “My question is what role the paper’s hard-news coverage should play with regard to false statements – by candidates or by others. In general, the Times sets its documentation of falsehoods in articles apart from its primary coverage. If the newspaper’s overarching goal is truth, oughtn’t the truth be embedded in its principal stories? In other words, if a candidate repeatedly utters an outright falsehood (I leave aside ambiguous implications), shouldn’t the Times’s coverage nail it right at the point where the article quotes it?” This message was typical of mail from some readers who, fed up with the distortions and evasions that are common in public life, look to The Times to set the record straight. They worry less about reporters imposing their judgment on what is false and what is true. Is that the prevailing view? And if so, how can The Times do this in a way that is objective and fair? Is it possible to be objective and fair when the reporter is choosing to correct one fact over another? Are there other problems that The Times would face that I haven’t mentioned here? Throughout the 2012 presidential campaign debates, The Times has employed a separate fact-check sidebar to assess the validity of the candidates’ statements. Do you like this feature, or would you rather it be incorporated into regular reporting? How should The Times continue a function like this when we move to the general campaign and there’s less time spent in debates and more time on the road? Please feel free to leave a comment below or send me an e-mail at public@nytimes.com with the subject line: Readers Point the Way: Correcting Untruths. Please adhere to my comment moderation policy when posting. http://publiceditor.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/12/should-the-times-be-a-truth-vigilante/?pagewanted=all

TalkTurkey

13/01/2012I have long agonised over sending such a post as this, (truth), thought we'd got things straight last year, but now with me being 'got' and all that, I think I'd better have it out. Sorry to all uninvolved people, but one thing, it's a fascinating phenomenon this Flame War thing of which this Other Bloke accused me of wanting to start. (And he was the one who was dead wrong, as later proven, as we shall see.) So at last I'll retort. So you might as well enjoy the soap. [i]I hope you are sitting comfortably[/i], but note, this has all been written in the last 18 hours, so get a fix on how I feel about this-all. OK? FS said Talk Turkey, Now you're getting petty. Really. >Actually, Feral, no. Many months ago, when I merely ventured to query the wisdom of the West's complicity in helping to overthrow Ghaddafi, you attacked me in terms that made me feel you saw me like I was yellow scum. So rather than argue, [i]I pulled my head in.[/i] I didn’t want nastiness here on TPS. When I supported Assange against the actions being taken against him, he was to my way of thinking pretty much vilified unjustly here, and I was surprised to find [i]myself[/i] basically ridiculed and castigated, (not only by you btw FS), for supporting him. So, to keep the peace here on TPS, [i]I pulled my head in again.[/i] Then when Jason and I challenged [i]false[/i] assertions by certain Greens sympathizers that the Greens were not critical to the defeat of the Rudd Government's CPRS Bill, (they [i]were[/i] don’t forget!), a certain Other Bloke who for now I shall not name supported them [i]to the hilt[/i], and attacked us, (me in particular), in such trenchant terms as I had never met! He accused me of trying to start a "flame war"; he vowed never to read anything I wrote ever again, to scroll past me with his fancy scroll wheel, [i]remember all this?[/i] He threatened never to come back too! (This do you see is psychological blackmail no less! - Or is that too weak a term when people are the bargaining chips? ) This Other Bloke basically [i]forbade me to address him any more![/i] [A ban I have respected to this day btw, though be it noted, I have several times praised his own posts, sincerely but obliquely, as olive branches. He is indeed a very useful bloke, a fact I have always acknowledged, fully though not fulsomely.] But, so as not to start this here 'Flame War' of which he accused me, [i]what do you think I did?[/i] - Why Yes! [i]I pulled my head in![/i] How did you guess! Some weeks later, as I remember, this Other Bloke thought he had found some evidence that he was right, and despite his own previous declaration that wtte he wouldn't never no more talk to me as long as we both might live, he challenged Jason and me directly of his own accord, and in pretty jeering tones at that. He was exactly wrong. [i][Disclaimer: This is all from memory, I'm not going trawling back, so there may be small errors but we are all aware that every word is archived and if I have made important distortions I expect to be called on them. No cavilling though please. No deliberate spin, no nitpicking, no deliberate bodyline OK Feral? You like Cricket metaphors eh? Just not Aussie Rules.] [/i] Well Jason quicksmart gave the lie to that Other Bloke, chapter and verse of the Senate vote and the circumstances, which so utterly confounded this Other Bloke that he said a tiny squeak [i]Oh sorry I was wrong[/i] and he just stfu then. Never a word of apology to me for his false accusations and insults and sending me to Coventry right out here publicly, threatening to take his IT expertise and run off home so I'd be blamed by other Swordsfolks ([i]Clev-ver!)[/i]and by now he has had nearly a year and never in that time has he had the ********* to even so much as write the letters TT! Not a nod or wink, well I ask you. Sage, huh? Huh is right! [b][u]STOP PRESS[/u][/b] [i]As of today that is no longer so![/i] This Other Bloke has finally found the letters TT and addressed me directly, only to have a go at me as I anticipated it’s true, but he still knows I exist in person! However this Other Bloke again charged in a few weeks ago to accuse by imputation Gravel, Jason and TT of ‘tag team bullying’! [i]Gravel![/i] :) And of course it was completely untrue, none of the three of us conspired, we all had arrived at the same point of view independently, it was an unworthy comment in itself. (Jason elicited an admission from OB that he was in a tag team relationship with ‘someone else’, but Oh see that was only ‘conversation’ (Was that the word OB? Like that anyway), not like our Gravel-Jason-Turkey evil conspiracy at all, oh no. Like Barrie Cassidy’s disclaimer, Oooohhh No it’s not [i]us[/i], it’s those [i]others[/i]. Tee bloody hee.) So now 2353 has TOLD me to pull my head in, [b][i]guess what? [/i][/b] This time I [i]WON'T[/i]. Head-pulling-in Worm no more, OK Feral? OK everyone? Several time too many, I bin addem up, No more bin Worm, me bin im [i]Adder[/i] now! See I don't think I deserved to be attacked [i]nastily[/i], as I was, over my mere querying of the wisdom of our complicity in Libya, (and it has turned into just the mess that I dreaded!); nor for my support for Assange (which I still think is right, whether or not I like him much is immaterial); nor [i]most especially[/i] for [i]objecting to the falsification of history to exonerate the Greens,[/i] - (thanks Jason for providing the confounding evidence)- resulting in my [i]ongoing perverse disdain by this Other Bloke [/i]I mentioned before, around whom I have trodden as if on eggshells ever since, but who seems not ever to have been able to come to terms with his appalling unwarranted abuse of me. As you may know, it is much harder to forgive oneself than it is to forgive another, so this Other Bloke appears to have chosen the easier course, i.e., [i]blame me[/i]. How can I honour him for that? [i]Nastily[/i] I say you addressed me FS. I say that of you in particular. Suck it up, or deny it if you can. Perhaps FS now you might appreciate the full depth of my objection to your ill-advised and self-important and inappropriate and extemporaneous naming of this Other Bloke as what you named him as. Someone who so profoundly owes someone a proper apology, and [i]isn't up to it[/i], never mind Sage, Parsley more like, and as Ogden Nash observed: Parsley Is Ghastley. Furthermore, though I hate the thought of driving people from this site, I reckon that if you can't mix it here, and say you're sorry as sincerely as once I did to this Other Bloke myself over a rash comment of my own, if you are so pale in commitment or so thin-skinned that you take every challenge in matters of fact as personal threats, or arguments contrary to your own as insults, and say boo hoo I’m running off home as some threaten to do, well what was it 2353, [i]"tough". [/i] “Might I also just add that, as you have posted the comments about TPS that Cuppa and Victoria made, you have, yet again, not put up here what someone there said about something I wrote in answer to your Asylum Seeker question.” >[i][b]Que?[/[/b]i] [u] I haven't a clue what you’re on about![/u] Coincidence, or an honest oversight? >This is an unknown unknown. :) “Or don't you think my contributions here are worthy of highlighting when others go to the trouble of singling them out elsewhere?” >Pig in a poke . . . . “It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma”; still no clues . . . Please explain? However this did not go unnoticed: [b]You FS whinged, weirdly, this weird whinge:[/b] “Also, it would have been nice if I had been at least accorded *a passing mention.*” [i]WTF FS?[/i] Whaddya reckon [b]*this*[/b] is? [i]“ Before I announce the Three Winners, there are many who deserve recognition - too many to mention. So I will just mention one, whom I do not include in the list of Three Winners, only because her pheromonomenal contributions are mainly internal to The Political Sword blog itself, rather than pretending to a title like Best Bloody Blogger in the whole Wide Brown Land, iyswim. I think that whatever category Professor Feral Hillbilly Skeleton would win, it would have to be invented specially for her, and it would be along lines of Well Done you good and faithful and bloody prolific servant! And it would be richly deserved too." [/i] >Not good enough for you FS? Next year you can write your own eh! (In the Skeleton Awards) :) I reckon it'll be really somethin', [i]hubba hubba![/i] “Also, fyi Bushfire Bill had been praised to the high heavens by me long after he decamped. Ad Astra and I tried every which way but loose to get him to come back. So please don't say that all I'm interested in is dissing him, and insinuate that is the reason he left, never to return. It's just not true.” >Just wonderin’ . . . Never alleged nothin', I wasn't there. :) “Anyway, today, my comment to you was more about what I thought was a [i]disrespectful attitude [/i]towards 2353, not whether you are right and he is wrong, or vice versa. I stand by that assessment.” >See I think this is pretty rich coming from you FS, who so rabidly attacked me on the Libyan matter. Yellow scum I said you made me feel, well I've faced mounted police charges into crowds more times than once, and small though I am I fought effectively to keep furious great wharfies from attacking vicious stick-wielding [i]agents provocateurs[/i] who were themselves attacking innocent young women in Moratorium marches, I kept them apart at risk from both sides, so that the baddies wouldn't get the fight they wanted for the media, so don't call me wtte yellow scum FS because I'm not, OK! I would do it again too on like principles, no not gladly, it was no fun first time. And I haven’t pulled my head in because you intimidate me, I just haven’t wanted to harm the Sword’s interests. But I figure the Sword can survive some very robust discussion, it’s insults that do harm, I don't start them but if they start on me sure I get stuck in. I’ve had all the insults and intimidation I’m going to take, and I’m sticking all right. Disrespectful attitude? Oh yes FS and when I was so [i]infra dig [/i] as to describe the state of political play in Aussie Rules terms, you were [i]so scathing![/i] A withering blast you sent me instanter, so I pulled my head in on that too. Dog you are a hypocrite FS, might as well face it. Turned out that Skeleton Law decrees that Politics must only be described in *Cricket* terms, which then you proceeded to do if memory serves. (I’d a bit lost interest by then.) “Honestly, this is a much better blog when we respect each other and the opinions we each express and seek not to dismiss one or another contributor because, in your estimation, they are not as enthusiastic as you think they should be towards the entity or policies you support. “ >Classic pious weasel words FS! Yellow scum, not those words Feral but the way you made me feel you thought of me. I never turned on you for that until today, but don't think I forget that easy. Forgive, yes I could with the right approach, but forget I can't, don't even want to. You weren't the only one gung-ho for bullets and bombs but you sure were one of the most raucous, so there, and you were the one who attacked me so nastily, to my dismay may I say. When I had always defended you against your several attackers from elsewhere, oh well. “Nevertheless, I'm sure Ad Astra will have something wise to say which will smooth the waters. He always does. On that we can agree.” >Feral Skeleton kindly leave Ad astra out of this, he has no part in any of it. I'm calling [i]you[/i] a hypocrite and a caviller, unnecessarily and unfairly and unwisely abrasive Feral. If I'm right [i]you have been the sole focus of every attack from foreign bloggers since I started here[/i], you accuse [i]me[/i] of driving people away? What say you to this? And you attack me, and you say I'm being petty? Well mony a mickle mecks a muckle, it all adds up, I cautioned you to get off my case because I didn't want this but now it's here, bring it on I say I. Please note, Dear Readers, that [i]the issues on which I have been so tag-team bullied by the Gang of Four are not petty, but matters of great moment.[/i] The overthrow of a Government in Libya; the fate of a whistleblower who could face death or long incarceration after US kangaroo court proceedings; and the attempted airbrushing from history of the greatest act of destructive bastardry I can ever remember in Australia being perpetrated by a supposedly ‘left’ group on a Labor Government, (yes left the fight to the honest Left 2353), the deliberate voting down by the Greens of the first CPRS under Rudd, an act of sabotage resulting in the closest thing possible to Labor losing Government. Fie on the Greens, and their apologists who have been desperately denying any part in doing that, let alone all the spinoffs, pull your own heads in you revisionist denialist yellow Greens. 2353, I won't pull my head in anymore, for you or anyone else. (Though you are welcome to demand it.) As for your personal politics I don’t give a rat’s, just don’t come here saying snide putdown lines about Labor and expect me to wear it with a grin. TPS is ‘for putting politicians and commentators to the verbal sword’, that’s what I’m here for, you’re a commentator, if I disagree with you enough well [i]en garde[/i], and I don’t need your gang of four tag team bullies, I’ll do you myself or get done in the process. As for having ‘got’ me, well not before time you lot, you’ve been trying for long enough. Takes more than that to cook a Turkey’s goose, I’ve just let Other Bloke and FS browbeat me up to now with the welfare of TPS as the armtwister, well tough, not any more. TPS will be OK, whatever. I’ll say this for FS, she only insults me some of the time. Other Bloke’s insults and accusations and threat to desert TPS, and refusal to even acknowledge me for most of a year has stayed with me all the time, think about it. Tiptoeing on eggshells for His Preciousness, well it's [i]crunch[/i] time now Other Bloke. What fun. I only endoencephalated so many times before so as not to hurt this blogsite, but that was when the Government, thanks to the bloody Greens, were hanging on by a straw. Now we have the assurance of going the distance – thanks to an ex-Liberal! - I don’t feel that I must pull my head in so much, the Sword will be in great shape when the time comes, so It’s Time now I told you and your gang, Other Bloke, some home truths. Then you can pull your own heads in instead of me. Or set things right with me, which would be easy really but maybe too hard for you OB as it was for JWH. Other Bloke, see if you can find ‘TT’ on your keyboard *even if it's only to abuse me some more.** This is the first time I've broken your ban, though you broke your own promise just that once to bray at Jason and me that you had the goods on us . . . So-o-o-o wrong! See if you can forgive yourself for being so wrong, then you can try to forgive Jason and especially me for just being right. Wotcher reckonno Big Fella? Got a pair? Yet? If anything I have said in the foregoing is ‘spin’, or untrue, well I challenge anyone to show me where and how, and if I have seriously misrepresented anyone or anything, I will apologise sincerely, (as I can.) But I think my account to be overwhelmingly true, as honest as I can tell it. It’s all in the Archives. If I’m seriously wrong, show me. *Other Bloke [i]has[/i] found ‘TT’ after many months, ** and it [i]was[/i] to give me a serve, just as I anticipated. :) Funny or what. I realize that this thread will probably be shortlived, Oh well just have to repost this I guess, FS and Other Bloke can bloody well face up to what I'm saying. It's all true, and I'm fed up with your sniping, so you can just cop this broadside. Boy I'll interested in the serve (or lack thereof) that I get from this post.

D Mick Weir

13/01/2012Hi Jason thanks for that article that raises some issues about news coverage/reporting that are perplexing. At what point is it news that an opposition says the government is 'incompetent'? - they usually say that if somewhat more often now the in times past here. At what point is it news that a government says an opposition is not ready to govern? - they usually say that though it isn't reported as often currently here. At what point is it news that a politician cherry picks the statistics to paint a picture favourable to their own cause? - it happens all the time on all sides. There are some very interesting questions and dilemmas posed in the article that are well worth discussing and you have set a challenge worthy of deeper thought. Thanks J

Jason

13/01/2012DMW, As I said "I'm lost for words" and it being Friday deep thought isn't happening. However my one thought at the moment is how has it come to this? Doesn't the "public" deserve to have the "facts" served up to them no matter how good or bad they are? But as you said worthy of deeper thought.

D Mick Weir

13/01/2012I'm off on a tangent. One of the things I like about Twitter and one of the challenges of the micro blogging format is how to get your message across in 140 characters or less. Challenging and entertaining. Imagine trying to write a love letter restricted to 140 characters or any type of letter. Legal people get paid in very small time increments (six minute intervals I think) which encourages them to write long and laborious letters that waffle on forever. Imagine if they had to restrict themselves to 140 characters. Anyway what I also wondered what would it be like if we had to pay to make a comment? What if we had to pay say, 1,000th of a cent for every character we typed (including spaces) would we get to the point sooner and would it change the way we think and behave? Would you for example type discombobulate when confuse would be cheaper (by half) and as a bonus probably better understood by most readers? Just a wayward Saturday thought bubble

Esta Njeri

13/01/2012am unfamiliar with most sites, so how would I know? Two, I would be presumptuous to judge, even if I were across them all. Three, I acknowledge of course that some sites attract far more traffic than TPS though we don’t do badly I’m sure. Each site has a different character, I tend to think that the ever-so-popular Poll Bludger relates to TPS a little as doth a dictionary to a thesaurus . . . or maybe Jack and Mrs Sprat . . . PB has lots of quick posts . . . TPS much fewer, but many rather longer . . . but while I do think that the contributors to The Political Sword acquit themselves wonderfully well, I do not presume to make the Best Political Blogsite Award for any site myself, and for this year it must go unawarded. There will be many more years. But I must say, Poll Bludger and William Bowe most certainly deserve to take a double bow. Well done Bludgers all. You are, I hate the word usually but it’s true of you, awesome.

Feral Skeleton

14/01/2012Goodness, gracious me!

NormanK

14/01/2012TalkTurkey You are absolutely right - I won't be responding to your diatribe, detailing as it does poorly remembered exchanges (on your part) and grossly exaggerated slights (attributed to me). You don't like me? That's fine. Look for the rose and scroll on by.

TalkTurkey

14/01/2012Other bloke Three lies in one sentence Poorly remembered - Lie. Grossly exaggerated slights - Gross lie. [i]Won't be responding . . . er . . .[/i] Everything I said is true including your nose so far out of joint you haven't been able to bring yourself even to acknowledge me for a year. A sniper not a fighter. And lacking the moral ************ to climb down from your sniping tower and say sorry. Huh. Parsley.

D Mick Weir

14/01/2012[i][b]Mad Mick's Media Mix[/b][/i] The I think it is Saturday Edition Good Morning All, before I get stuck into today's links I'd like to mention a couple of things about the madness in my method of coming up with articles for you to click through to. As it is summer, at least it is somedays in some places, we are in the 'silly season' and, as they say somewhere else, [i]because we don't live by politics alone[/i] I have been searching out stuff that ain't exactly politics though sometimes there is a bit of learning related to politics in some of the articles. In the process I have come across many good articles (about politics) from last year. One thing I toyed with doing was to bring you links to some of the best articles from the last year but then I thought why rehash the past?, what makes it a 'best article'? and mostly 'cos it was too hard to choose. I have also been cautious about giving links to the 'top ten' and 'best of' articles of others as, mostly it is tedious to rake over old coals. Sometimes it's better to leave the past in the past or something like that. Anyway today I am breaking my self imposed 'rules' not once but at least twice. First up something from last year from a site I just stumbled across and I think might be worth keeping an eye on so we can tap into the 'political zeitgeist'. If you choose to follow the link have a poke around and see what you think. [b]Labor in deficit on surplus[/b] Graham Young @WhatPeopleWant Thursday, 08 December 2011 [i]On balance Wayne Swan's sliver of surplus spent far more political capital than it saved. Australians have a nuanced view of government spending, understand that times are difficult, and aren't too concerned whether the government achieves a surplus or not.[/i] http://whatthepeoplewant.net/polls-blog/december-2011/labor-in-deficit-on-surplus.html And second up a Top Ten article. I chose to link to this top ten for a few reasons but mostly because I think The Conversation is one of the best developments over the last twelve months for providing food for thought. There is always some varied and interesting reading offered and the top ten lest gives some great samples. [b]The Conversation’s top ten articles[/b] [i]In case you missed them the first time, we’ve packaged up the Conversation’s ten best read articles for 2011…. Enjoy![/i] http://theconversation.edu.au/the-conversations-top-ten-articles-4929 Something else I've tried to do (and failed) is not [i]editorialise[/i] or make comment on the links. Just let the links speak for themselves. Well as it is a [i]Silly Season Saturday[/i] and I have already broken 'the rules' an editorial comment to start todays offerings: An economist finally talks about one of the important things in the Aus way of life - BEER - well sort of. [b]Electricity versus Beer versus Mars Bars[/b] @TheKouk [i]One of the popular and certainly headline grabbing ways that opponents of the price on carbon try to demonise the issue is to create an impression that there will be a huge impact on electricity prices and therefore household budgets will be under increasing pressure.[/i] http://stephenkoukoulas.blogspot.com/2012/01/electricity-versus-beer-versus-mars.html [b]Austerity & Equality[/b] Chris Dillow @Stumbling and Mumbling [i]The 1945-51 (UK) government inherited a debt-GDP ratio three times today’s level and yet built the modern welfare state, created the NHS and increased income equality* whilst running a budget surplus. Poor public finances, therefore, are no obstacle at all to egalitarian policies. So what are?[/i] http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/2012/01/austerity-equality.html [b]The Disability Support Pension's False Crisis[/b] Peter Horbury @Ramp Up [i]The Gillard Government has now made a series of changes to the DSP; new impairment tables are now in place for all new DSP applicants and those subject to review. According to Centrelink modelling, 40 per cent of current DSP recipients will no longer be eligible under these new provisions.[/i] http://www.abc.net.au/rampup/articles/2012/01/12/3406656.htm The following is given as I found some of the comments to the article umm dare I say 'informative'. [b]Gambaro in Brisbane[/b] Peter Brent @MumbleBlog [i]If you hadn’t heard of Teresa Gambaro before this week, you have now.[/i] http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/mumble/index.php/theaustralian/comments/gambaro_in_brisbane/#commentsmore [b]Decisions from the Coalition[/b] Andrew Elder @Politically homeless [i]The Federal Coalition starts 2012 on the horns of a number of policy dilemmas. In each of these there are good reasons for going one way or another, but in each of these decisions will have to be made and defended in such a way that makes them look like a credible alternative government. The Coalition is ill-equipped to make those decisions, and to stand by them, ...[/i] http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2012/01/decisions-from-coalition.html [b]Writer asks for similar aid offered to carmakers[/b] John Birmingham @TheDrum [i]John Birmingham says his industry deserves the same support. "JB directly employs at least one Australian right across the country and is a real economic driver of many pubs and cafes," he said.[/i] http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3771848.html [b]The costs of unemployment – again[/b] Bill Mitchell @billy blog HT: VSTSLTweetie [i]One of the strong empirical results that emerge from the Great Depression is that the job relief programs that the various governments implemented to try to attenuate the massive rise in unemployment were very beneficial. At that time, it was realised that having workers locked out of the production process because there were not enough private jobs being generated was not only irrational in terms of lost income but also caused society additional problems, such as rising crime rates.[/i] http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=17740 [b]Truth, truthiness and balance[/b] Professor Q @CrookedTimber [i]Arthur Brisbane, Public Opinion editor for the NY Times, has copped a well deserved shellacking for a column in which he asked whether reporters should act as ‘truth vigilantes’ in relation to statements made by public figures. Having observed the silliness of asking whether newspapers should (aspire to) tell the truth, the obvious question is: How should they telll it. Here are a some suggestions[/i] http://crookedtimber.org/2012/01/13/truth-truthiness-and-balance/ [b]The Global Economy - On A Knife Edge[/b] [i]While no real surprise, the credit rating downgrades meandering through Europe only go to reinforce the parlous nature of the global economy and its financial markets. This is not just because the eurozone, as the world's largest economic entity is almost inevitably lurching into a recession, but because when the public finances of the US are considered, it too is likely to be downgraded further over the course of 2012.[/i] http://stephenkoukoulas.blogspot.com/2012/01/global-economy-on-knife-edge.html [b]Midst of the silly season and the nonsense goes on[/b] John Huxley @NationalTimes [i]… ANYWAY, as I was saying, after going to the cricket and to the movie The Iron Lady, ...[/i] http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/politics/midst-of-the-silly-season-and-the-nonsense-goes-on-20120113-1pzd1.html [b]Tariff rhetoric driving a wedge in the Coalition[/b] Lenore Taylor @NationalTimes [i]Kim Carr was the first politician I ever heard say the truth out loud. Without tariff walls or government subsidies, a country just can't make cars. Take away protection and payments, and car makers will go somewhere else they can get them.[/i] http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/politics/tariff-rhetoric-driving-a-wedge-in-the-coalition-20120113-1pzbt.html [b]Out of our league: the global auto affair[/b] Annabel Crabb @TheDrum [i]The world loves cars. Cars are an object of desire; a status symbol for the wealthy, an aspiration for the poor.[/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-01-13/crabb-global-auto-affair/3771826 [b]Without car manufacturing, we are on the road to ruin[/b] Ian Porter @NationalTimes [i]What the situation requires is not so much a job for ministers. This is a job for the World's Best Treasurer, Wayne Swan, who has to make some big decisions if Australia is to avoid becoming just another South Pacific quarry.[/i] http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/politics/without-car-manufacturing-we-are-on-the-road-to-ruin-20120112-1pxf9.html [b]What Happened With The NBN This Week?[/b] Nick Broughall @Gizmodo HT: VSTSLTweetie [i]Tower troubles, tide troubles, Tony troubles… It’s been a tough week for NBN Co this week, as you’re about to discover in this week’s roundup…[/i] http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2012/01/what-happened-with-the-nbn-this-week-47/ [b]Wealth Problems[/b] Henry @CrookedTimber [i]John Sides posts some results suggesting that while voters mostly understand that Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are rich, they are more likely to think that Mitt Romney doesn’t care about their interests because he is rich, than Barack Obama.[/i] http://crookedtimber.org/2012/01/13/wealth-problems/ [b]Safety ads not a sign of a nanny state, just one that cares[/b] Brian Owler @NationalTimes [i]I wish I was not in the ad. Like me, the other participants also wished they were not in the Don't Rush advertisements conceived by the Australian Medical Association and the Roads and Maritime Services.[/i] http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/politics/safety-ads-not-a-sign-of-a-nanny-state-just-one-that-cares-20120112-1pxeg.html [b]Elevator Groupthink: A Psychology Experiment in Conformity, 1962[/b] Maria Popova @BrainPickings [i]What vintage Candid Camera can teach us about the cultural role of the global Occupy movement.[/i] http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/01/13/asch-elevator-experiment/ Sacre bleu - is this world full of heathens with no culture? [b]Mahler, Interrupted[/b] Bo Kim @AllThingsD http://allthingsd.com/20120113/mahler-interrupted/ [b]The Politics (and lies) of the Apostrophe[/b] Michael Rosen @hisblog [i]... in the explosion of the written word with texting, blogging, forums, chat rooms and the like, people are making up their own rules, they're testing each other's tolerance of what's acceptable and what isn't. Hundreds of new abbreviations are coming in and, I notice, the apostrophe is losing out.[/i] http://michaelrosenblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/politics-and-lies-of-apostrophe.html [i]Umm some astute readers may have noticed a subtle change bought about by my reading the above[/i] :$ [b]Howard's award: is there Merit in a Republic?[/b] Bruce Haigh @TheDrum [i]What has John Howard in common with, Joseph Lister, Florence Nightingale, Thomas Hardy, Henry James, Edward Elgar, John Galsworthy, ... Nothing at all, except ...[/i] http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3770580.html Oh by the way in case you wondered, HT (HatTip) VSTSLTweetie = Very Special Top Secret Linking Tweetie and no, I will not reveal the identity of the secret agent not for love nor money :P [i]That's all folks[/i] at least for now. Thanks to the support crew here @ Mick's Media Monitoring Madhouse. So long and thanks for the fish.

Jaeger

14/01/2012Swordfolks, There seems to be too much head-butting and chest-beating on TPS of late, and precious little swordplay - not a good look. Food for thought (I hope.) Cheers.

TalkTurkey

14/01/2012FS said Goodness, gracious me! No Feral, badness, ungracious you. How about a proper reply, I'm not anticpating an apology but I have called you on your abrasiveness and hypocrisy and personal nastiness to me over Libya, all you can manage is *crickets* ? Oh that's right I'd forgotten, Crickets OK, Aussie Rules is for putdowns of me. Cat's never got your tongue before though . . . When the sands are all dry, he is gay as a lark, And will talk in contemptuous tones of the Shark; But, when the tide rises and sharks are around, His voice has a timid and tremulous sound ...

D Mick Weir

14/01/2012Wow, another penny has dropped. Why is the coalition so interested in it's Nauru Solution? The clue came from one of the articles above. [i]... to make some big decisions if Australia is to avoid becoming just another [b]South Pacific quarry[/b].[/i] Yes folks, Trucking Tony and his motley crew of Tonka Truck Tories need to use Nauru as working model for what Australia is likely to become if his mob get their hands on the levers.

D Mick Weir

14/01/2012Hi Jaeger, hope the links & my comment @ 9:10 AM offer a little swordplay. [i]En Garde[/i]

D Mick Weir

14/01/2012... and a late link via VSTSLTweetie *See note below [b]Politics of race the real stink in Rexona row[/b] George M @TheAus [i]IT took Teresa Gambaro, the Coalition's spokeswoman for citizenship, less than a day to say sorry for advising migrants to wear deodorant. John Howard, by contrast, waited two years before he condemned Pauline Hanson's more toxic brand of intolerance.[/i] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/politics-of-race-the-real-stink-in-rexona-row/story-e6frgd0x-1226243922914 *Note you may have have to jump the wall to get to the full story but as an experiment try this shortened link to see if it jumps the wall for you http://goo.gl/3Hfvy

TalkTurkey

14/01/2012Jaeger, Agreed, but did you I hope get my point, I have said NOTHING of Other Bloke and Feral Skeleton's snipes and gripes for a YEAR, always being positive, but when a DAM bursts don't expect a trickle! I could not pull those specific accusations I made of them out of the air, they are in the Archives for all to see, and if there are any inaccuracies in my memory, as I allowed there might be, they are small and immaterial, not as the lying Other Bloke characterised them, "poorly remembered exchanges and grossly exaggerated slights". If he wants to substantiate that let him try, from the archives, he won't because he can't. I'm only saying this because it's TRUTH. But I don't intend to wear OB's putdowns ever again, it's a Bran Noo Year. Jaeger you would already know that like [i]all[/i] of us, I appreciate your own comments de temps en temps. I'll say it again, these matters, [b]*Libyan regime overthrow*, *Assange*, *Airbrushing from history the Greens' sabotage of Labor*, [/b]they are [b]HUGE POLITICAL ISSUES[/b], [i]the very stuff of political blogs[/i], did I get proper [i]argument[/i], no, I got denial, abuse, ridicule, dismissal, contempt, so when you go looking for real political content here on those issuess you'll hardly find them at all, and when you do you'll find that the former two were introduced by TT to TPS as subjects for discussion, HA!, I got flame throwers instead, and then OB's utterly false denial of the Green's part in bringing down the CPRS - I know he really thought he was right, well he was wrong, but just because you think you're right doesn't give you the right to insult someone and dismiss them as contemptible! Then of course OB found his error, just a teensy squeak Oops for the error, (everybody makes errors, I don't even think sorry is hardly needed for being wrong), he should never have been insulting though, and that, if he had an ounce of Sage about him, is what he should have apologised to me for (and Jason, and Gravel to a lesser extent too btw). I now call OB a scurrilous coward for not doing so. A moral match for JWH. How does that feel OB? You now characterise what I have said as "poorly remembered and gross exaggeration", those are LIES! [i]Fess up![/i] Or PROVE it! And Feral Skeleton, get off my case. As I have never been on yours until now. On a lighter note: I said I've been tiptoeing on eggshaells for a year, my recaptcha is OVUM estingug. Crunch time!

D Mick Weir

14/01/2012... and from the international desk via @Colvinius Mark Colvin [i]Colbert's satirical run for President is revealing things about the system that straight journalism can't or won't:[/i] http://colv.in/xyXSbe [b]The Colbert Report Is School House Rock on Steroids[/b] John Hudson @The Atlantic Wire [i]If Stephen Colbert's announcement to explore a presidential run was one-part ratings ploy, it was at least two-parts civics lesson. On Thursday night's show, the Comedy Central host took the legal steps to ready his presidential bid by handing over control of his super PAC, Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, to partner-in-comedy Jon Stewart, rechristening it The Definitely Not Coordinated with Stephen Colbert Super PAC. It could've been seen as a necessary plot detour to arrive at the climactic presidential announcement. But in fact, it was the crucial development in his ongoing scheme to lampoon our absurd post-Citizens United campaign finance rules.[/i] http://goo.gl/rsbWz Note: both links [u]should[/u] take you to the same article

D Mick Weir

14/01/2012I am off to put my nose to the wheel folks so enjoy the day. Talk Turkey, and any who wish to further engage in the discussion that TT is having Please follow this link: http://blog.talkingphilosophy.com/?p=2139 before you engage in any further discussion. Thankyou

Ad astra

14/01/2012Folks I was away interstate all day yesterday at the funeral of a dear friend and colleague to whom I have been close for over thirty years, and did not return until late last night. You can appreciate how dismayed I was when I read this morning some of the comments that were made during my absence. I don’t know how many times I have reiterated that [i]TPS[/i] is a blogsite where political issues can be debated as vigorously as fits their importance, but that agreement and disagreement, even attack, ought to be directed at the issue, not the person. Personal attacks on other bloggers have no place on [i]TPS[/i], and serve only to diminish the site, as one of our frequent bloggers commented. Once again I ask all who comment here to at all times avoid personal remarks about others who blog here, or elsewhere for that matter. It is unnecessary, counter-productive, and unpleasant. I realize that feelings among some of you are running high. It is not my intention to assign blame to anyone for what transpired yesterday, or in the past, as that would serve only to exacerbate the situation. But unless we exhibit good manners and courtesy to each other, the site quickly becomes a forum for unseemly quarrelsomeness. If the tenor of yesterday continues, I will close the site to comments for a while to allow feelings to subside. Within the next hour I will post another speech, Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech, for your interest, appraisal, and comment. To allow the other issues that have contaminated [i]TPS[/i] recently to dissipate, I will close comments on this thread. Please direct your remarks to the new thread and let us have your comments about what is regarded by many as one of the finest speeches of all time.

Ad astra

14/01/2012Folks I have just posted [i]What makes a good political speech? Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech[/i]: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com
I have two politicians and add 2 more; how many are there?