And that was . . . 2014


Welcome to 2015. Happy New Year from The TPS Team.

Traditionally The Political Sword tends to avoid too much politics and media bashing in January as in reality Australians are more interested in the beach, cricket, being with friends and complaining about how hot/cold/unusual the weather is. While it would be easy to write a piece about the less than impressive record of the Abbott Government, there are other sites already expending much effort on this — some examples are here and here — and in any event Ad Astra foretold the reality in 2012 but boasting of TPS’s past achievements in the first post of the year is not a good look! However we digress.

It’s often said that a week is a long time in politics. While the daily news cycle gets faster and less detailed, let’s look back at 2014 and see if there really was that much change in Australian politics during the year.

The newly minted Abbott Government came to power late in 2013 in part by pointing out that the leader of the other side of politics was either a liar or so controlling his supporters had to sack him. The federal government opened 2014 having to put out a minor bushfire over who was really running the country, the elected politicians or the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, Peta Credlin.

Senator Abetz told a Senate estimates hearing last week: "At the end of the day it was decided by the Prime Minister as to who would be appointed to my ministerial staff and to the staff of my ministerial colleagues,"

As revealed by Fairfax, Ms Credlin has insisted that all 420 government staff appointments right down to junior electorate officers are approved by the panel.

The ‘axing’ of the ‘carbon tax’ was a work in progress early in 2014. Despite promising that the repeal of the carbon pricing scheme would be one of the first actions of the Abbott Government, reality hit when it didn’t pass the Senate. Abbott had to wait until the Senate changed to get a ‘watered down’ repeal of the necessary acts of parliament through with the assistance of Clive Palmer’s Palmer United Party. Various utilities are now passing back the ‘savings’ that were made by the repeal of the ‘carbon tax’. When Ipswich City Council in Queensland recently announced that a refund to ratepayers would be paid just in time for Christmas and average $14.04, the response was rather underwhelming according to the Queensland Times:

Carla Kompenhans posted: "$14; early Christmas present? Are you serious? I don't know anyone who would be excited about that.

"What part of Christmas will that cover exactly?"

In 2014, Australia was the ‘Chair’ of the G20 Group of Nations; consequently the Finance Ministers’ meeting was held in Cairns and the Heads of State meeting held in Brisbane during the latter part of 2014. The leadership of the Australian government (Prime Minister Abbott) was also keen to keep climate change off the agenda at the G20 meetings — much to the concern of the Europeans. With China and the USA announcing an agreement to actively reduce carbon emissions by up to 28% below 2005 levels on the Wednesday prior to the G20 Heads of State meeting, the subject was never going to go away. Widely reported was Obama’s speech to University of Queensland students in suburban ‘Brisvegas’ where he discussed his, China’s and the United Nations concerns about climate change and carbon emissions.

He then described the impact of climate change on Australia:

Here, a climate that increases in temperature will mean more extreme and frequent storms, more flooding, rising seas that submerge Pacific islands. Here in Australia, it means longer droughts, more wildfires. The incredible natural glory of the Great Barrier Reef is threatened. Worldwide, this past summer was the hottest on record. No nation is immune, and every nation has a responsibility to do its part.

Obama also called on the country to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions:

And you’ll recall at the beginning, I said the United States and Australia have a lot in common. Well, one of the things we have in common is we produce a lot of carbon. Part of it’s this legacy of wide-open spaces and the frontier mentality, and this incredible abundance of resources. And so, historically, we have not been the most energy-efficient of nations, which means we’ve got to step up.

Abbott’s response, as reported on the Mashable website, was less compelling.

In contrast, Abbott told reporters that the U.S. and China have a far greater responsibility to address climate change than Australia does. “China emits some 24% of global carbon dioxide,” Abbott told reporters in Canberra on Nov. 14. “The U.S. emits some 15% of global carbon dioxide. By contrast, Australia’s about 1%. So, I think it’s important that they do get cracking when it comes to this.”

Despite Abbott’s wishes, the final communiqué from the Brisbane G20 included some action on climate change. Turkey is the ‘Chair’ of the G20 in 2015 and has stated support for a number of climate measures in the past.

No recollection on political events within Australia in 2014 would be complete without a reflection on the life of Edward Gough Whitlam. It is claimed that Gough Whitlam made the ALP electable again. Geoffrey Robinson writing on The Conversation website suggested that the claim Whitlam was solely responsible for making Labor electable may be overblown:

The truth is more complex and interesting. Whitlam was a man for his time: his achievements were representative of new and old social movements, including the emerging progressive intelligentsia, feminists, non-Anglo migrants and the working class.

Robinson also observes

Like Keating or Julia Gillard, Whitlam has functioned as what cultural theorists call a “floating signifier” — a symbol whose power and significance is necessarily distantly connected to historical events. “It’s Time”, “the sweetest victory of all” and the “misogyny speech” exist in a world of symbols but are none the less real for this.

While there doesn’t seem to be a 1972 campaign advertisement for the Liberal Party online (if you find one, please post the link below the line), the performance of then Prime Minister McMahon on Mike Willesee’s A Current Affair is a stark contrast to the Labor Party’s ‘It’s Timeelection campaign and probably explains in part why the Liberal Party was not re-elected.

Fast forward to November 2014, and the Victorian state election. The Liberal/National coalition was removed from office after one term by the ALP, led by Daniel Andrews, who came from behind to win the fancy office in Spring Street. The common opinion at the previous election was that the ALP (then led by John Brumby) would retain Government with a reduced margin with the polls for the then state Liberal leader (Ted Ballieu) rising and falling in line with the corresponding falls and rises of Gillard’s ALP government in Canberra. Ballieu had won then but didn’t even last out the four year term as premier, being replaced by Denis Napthine soon after Rudd replaced Gillard. While Newman is still premier of Queensland, there seems to be a concern within the ranks of the LNP that Newman may also lose his seat and the LNP lose Government early in 2015 when the next Queensland election is due. The Abbott government is significantly less popular than the ALP or in fact themselves when elected some 18 months ago:

In opposition, Abbott liked to say that Julia Gillard was the most incompetent and untrustworthy prime minister in Australia's history.

The voters now have decided that they have found one that's more incompetent and just as untrustworthy.

"Only half of people polled said that Abbott is competent," says the Fairfax pollster, Jess Elgood of Ipsos.

"That's lower than for any prime minister we have figures for," a data set starting with Paul Keating in 1995.

Compared to Abbott's 50 per cent, the comparable figure for Gillard four months before she was deposed was 53 per cent.

Not a lot did change in the world of Australian politics in 2014. At the start and end of the year, we have the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff being the news rather than managing the PM’s office. At the end of 2014, there are claims of disagreements with Foreign Minister Bishop and of ruling the government with an ‘iron fist’.

The media is still leading discussion on climate change and how to manage it (with price signals — such as a ‘carbon tax’ being mentioned as an effective mechanism), and that Abbott either is changing or should change his view that ‘climate change is crap’.

Governments in various jurisdictions around the country are still not doing well in polling after they have been accused of lying or not being able to organise themselves — with Victoria changing government; Queensland’s Premier implying he will lose the significant majority won at the 2012 event at the next election; and the Federal Government some 10% behind the opposition after 18 months. Australians are still complaining about the ‘carbon tax’ — this time the small refunds that are gradually making their way onto invoices from its repeal; and the country has lost another ‘person of renown’ in the guise of Gough Whitlam.

Let’s hope that 2015 is another year of civilised discourse on The Political Sword and that the genuine nature of the discussions here spreads to other blog sites, the media and our civilisation in general. Prime Minister Hawke achieved more results through building a consensus than Prime Minister Whitlam did by trying to crash through. Please keep your hatred for the mozzie that bit you at the BBQ last week — we on this site and on this earth genuinely don’t need it.

A bit of housekeeping to conclude this piece. The TPS Team will be reducing our output for January. The ability to comment ‘below the line’ will be open all month and we invite relevant comment as usual. There will be some new commentary posted during January on an irregular schedule (so keep looking). We will return to our weekly (or better) schedule on 1 February 2015. Be aware it’s not all sitting by the pool in the banana lounge for The TPS Team, there is usually one of us sitting near the computer with our finger poised over the ‘delete’ button for those that haven’t yet lost the hatred.

Happy New Year and may all you wish for come to pass. We look forward to your continuing support and comments in 2015.

The TPS Team



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4/01/2015Folks [i]And that was … 2014[/i] tells the sorry story of conservative politics in this nation. A Victorian State LNP government eliminated after just one term, a rare event; the Queensland LNP government that knows it will lose countless seats at the next election, with a premier that might lose his own; and the most incompetent, untrustworthy and mendacious federal government in living memory that is the most unpopular government ever in just its first year in power, with the most unpopular and distrusted PM anyone can remember. It is ironic that this conservative clique that rates itself both federally and at a State level as superior money managers, and quite the most competent at managing the economy, first creates a spurious federal debt crisis and an imaginary budget emergency to punish Labor, then makes a catastrophic mess of ‘managing’ it via its punitive, ideologically-driven budget, not only incompetently fiscally, but also in selling it to the public. Even their own supporters have rated it as unfair, unreasonable and unacceptable. Federal polling reflects the disgust of the electorate and their firm intention not to vote for the Coalition, reinforcing a longstanding adverse trend for the LNP. 2015 promises to be no better. Abbott, Smokin’ Joe and the rest of them seem to have no idea of what to do next, no idea how to dig themselves out of the hole they themselves have dug, and trenchantly unwilling to embrace the one who might get them out – Malcolm Turnbull, whose popularity with the electorate exceeds all others in the LNP. They seem to be on a suicide mission to blow themselves up, and the rest of us with them. At least there will be plenty to write about this year; we hope that we can provide material that will interest you and evoke your comments.

TalkTurkey

5/01/2015As Ad says: 2014 tells a sorry story of conservative politics. Not even conservative really: decisions on the run, no real strategy, just the wrecking ball everywhere the IPA points Abborrrrtt's bastardry. I don't think Abborrrtt is actually too concerned about a second term: he will have achieved such destruction by 2016, and rorted so much himself, that Australia will be permanently indentured to Rinehart and in thrall to Murdoch and his successors to the end of time. We must vociferously demand a Double Dissolution asap, and even though we probably won't get one, the very demands repeated and repeated will have a cumulative effect. Now, Change of Tone (no pun intended, but Yes Please!) A bit of [i]Through The Looking Glass [/i]by 'Lewis Carroll': [i]When the sand is quite dry, he is gay as a lark, And speaks in contemptuous tones of the shark; But when the tide rises, and sharks are around, His voice has a timid and tremulous sound[/i]. My parody: When the country's not dry, he plays Firie games, And speaks in contemptuous tones of the flames; But when there's a fire, and flames are around, He flees overseas, he's nowhere to be found. And here's why I hate Twitter, because it makes me do this with the too-short 140 characters: WhenCountry'sNotDry,HePlaysFirieGames &SpeaksInContemptuousTonesOfFlames ButWhenThere'saFire&FlamesRAround HeFleesOverseas,He'sNowhere2BFound One of my best friends lives AT Humbug Scrub. On a little paradise of a farm, orchards of EVERY kind of fruit I know and then some, olive groves, Goats and Chooks and more, all done by him and his missus (whom I've known for FORTY years) The fire has been AT HIS GATE,from the North on Saturday (repulsed) AT his western side yesterday (repulsed again) 10 minutes ago, coming at him a THIRD time from South-East. Humbug Scrub itself -a Government sanctuary since forever - is in flames as I write. And me in tears.

TalkTurkey

5/01/2015We still haven't found Seth.

TalkTurkey

5/01/2015Feistiest writer of the entire Fighting 5th, jaycee, posted this at The Pub. Too good for just boozers! :) As we venture into this new year, we enter the next phase of the LNP Government’s plan to reverse the social order of our nation. Make no mistake, the intention of right-wing ideology is not to appease, but to conquer and control economic, social and political policy direction of our country by the use of extreme measures that it has been carefully putting in place for the last year. Not for fear of terrorism were such search, monitor and police powers legislated … how many acts of terrorism have we ever suffered in this country to justify such complete control over our actions? And even if there were, would we not rise above such a situation with the stoicism and courage that many nations do when confronted with any such act? Australia is not as puny as a corporation born from one family’s twisted fortune. No, the right-wing has but one great fear: that it will lose control of the mechanisms that gain it both power and profit … after all, it was only for profit that Murdoch moved to put the LNP in power in the first place – that much is obvious. The first six months of this year will be an “attack period”. Attacks on our social welfare system, attacks on social media criticism, attacks on the environment and political discourse. Perhaps, too, attacks on even our persons. The appointment of Scott Morrison to lead these attacks has been premeditated by warming him up with his unrelenting, cold-hearted cruelty towards asylum seekers. The gross hypocrisy of his claim of being cruel to be kind, by saving thousands from a watery grave, is exposed by the treatment AFTER ARRIVAL of those refugees he claims to have saved from drowning – as if they must now be taught a lesson for NOT drowning! No, the lessons of precise targeting learned from experimenting with asylum seekers, i.e., identifying and denouncing the “economic refugees”, the “no longer in danger” peoples and / or “how far to persecute and prosecute before strategic retreat from absolute cruelty” tactics will stand in good stead the master of the fates of any or all on some sort of welfare. According to the IPA’s philosophy, everybody knows “They’re nearly ALL malingerers of some sort – even those on an old-age pension – who, if they had any gumption at all, would have in their working life put away enough to fund their own retirement, just like Gina or Rupert or Twiggy!” Rest assured, Scotty has plans – oh yes! – he has plans … for us. Now WE must plan. We, in social media, must work on a foundation platform of how to attack and render harmless the right-wing media which, as sure as sunrise, is going to set the tempo for this second year of the regime’s agenda. Murdoch knows he must either control or destroy the free democracy of social media. Social media is starting to confidently outstrip the MSM both news delivery and in satire of right-wing politicians, the MSM, and the MSM’s reporters and big-shot players. Not only that, but social media can now also lead in attack and parry and defence of ideals that appeal to a vast majority. Murdoch knows this ground: he has traversed it many times. The advantage we hold (at this moment) is the technology of the internet and the capability to use it. The old MSM is hamstrung by an unwieldy “hard-copy” press machine and with it an anachronistic “see, hear, report, edit, print” timetable. Social media has no such delays – it happens, it is visualized or tweeted as it happens – instant news! THIS is our weapon against the Murdoch juggernaut! Murdoch has only ONE power base: his employees, especially his journalists. Murdoch himself has no capacity to report or deliver – he has to rely solely on his employees – take them out of the picture and he is lost. It is the old story of the “for the want of a horse-shoe nail” – it IS that simple. I believe we have to invent a brand new mechanism of political involvement via social media. We cannot do this alone or in individual blogs: we must try and involve the ALP, who need to build a broad information base and access to a wide readership. It would perhaps be to the party’s advantage to have instant rapport with its support and to reach out to those lurking and seeking persuasion to come over from the dark side! The ALP. already has a presence on Twitter, albeit a sort of loose familiarity – but it does twitter so much better than the LNP. After all, social media communication is more suited to those who sympathise with social equality and those who like to reach out and “touch” each other. We have to build “chat tag-teams” to develop and push important topics along the conversation threads: to keep certain important policies in the public eye and discussion – not faking it, but delivering real issues to the front and centre of discussion AND having them discussed – not letting important news or policy be blown about by idle chatter then getting lost in the hubbub of gossip or advertising. We need “tag-teams” to liaise between the Party and the boards, to attack individual MSM journalists who propagandise for the LNP/ IPA/Murdoshians. We are beyond the point of beginning, but rather are seeking to complete the construction of a new generation of political discourse with social media at the centre. This year will be an attack year for the LNP. They will have to cull Labor’s social policies and put in place their market-based options. It will be a slash and burn year for them. Murdoch will have his creatures going flat-out in support – his corporate future depends upon control of the media. They will probably use the Abbott / Morrison duo in a “good cop / bad cop” set-up. However they do it, they have to have their policy in place by the end of the year so as to butter the voters up for the next election. They have a plan, a strategy. We too must plan a counterattack and defence: it must be loud, wide-ranging and relentless. We must be able to melt back into the shadows and be ready to emerge with as much concentrated opinion as we can muster in as short a time as possible if we are to win this battle and we must be able to take it , via twitter, directly to the Floor of The House. Instant outrage! For it is a battle of ideology: to lose is to see a century’s worth of social infrastructure and a lifetime’s achievement of environmental restructuring wasted and destroyed. And for whom? For these people know no life save the barbaric solution of rapine and looting what is not and has never been theirs to loot! Can we do it??? . . . “Yes we can!” [Or putting it another way: [i]VENCEREMOS![/i] -(TT)]

Ken

5/01/2015One good thing to come out of 2014, in a twisted sort of way, is that the Liberals showed their true colours, their neo-liberal agenda, and the voters didn't like what they saw. The budget is in such a parlous state that it is unlikely the Libs will be able to 'buy' their way out with election bribes. That is a rod they have created for themselves by making a budget surplus their budgetary mantra. Whether Abbott can keep his position is the next question. If there is no improvement in the polls over the next six months or so, the pressure will mount. But there are many factors working in Abbott's favour. The Libs saw the public reaction when Gillard replaced Rudd and will be wary (they would have to convince themselves that Abbott is less popular than Rudd was and so may get away with replacing him). The main alternatives appear to be Turnbull and Bishop the younger. Turnbull has a problem internally because the Liberals are now dominated by Tea Party types (the 'drys') and they would loathe the direction Turnbull would take the party. Bishop is a woman - not a problem in itself except for the way the Libs treated our first female PM and fostered a backlash in the community. They may not be able to control that if they pick a female who like Gillard is childless. I do like it that they have managed to paint themselves into such corners and look forward to them being stuck there leading into the next election.

jaycee

5/01/2015Thank you TT...(th' cheque is in the mail!...just don't cash it till fri'). Seriously, Thank you for the boost...I do believe that manysites like TPS. have already gone far down the road to creating forceful delivery of social media. But I do think the Party has to be brought in to a "Hub" of social media input so any surge of outrage of policy just delivered in The House, can be instantly transmitted to the Leader of the oppn'..after all, it has to be presumed that Murdoch has direct link via twitter to Abbott via Credlin..or perhaps now via Bishop jnr....she's always on her phone there behind Tony!

jaycee

5/01/2015It is a quite straightforward equation really..: " If an Australian citizen sheltering under the priviledges enjoyed by his country's passport, takes payment from a foreign national and works to bring benefit to that foreign national contrary to the interests of his own country (regardless of his own opinion), then he is guilty of taking payment for betrayal of his own country"...erg-bloody-o , ; He is a traitor...it's as simple as that..no arguement, really. All Murdoch's journo's are traitors. jaycee.

jaycee

5/01/2015We could get "teams" together from different blog sites , say ; here at TPS. ,The Pub, Miglo's site, Andrew Elder's, Bludger and even have some fun "competing" for most hard-hitting , highest "hits" on the LNP. !...Could be quite forceful while being enjoyable at the same time...after all, wouldn't it be bloody good fun to slam-dunk the bastards all in good enjoyment?

Pappinbarra Fox

5/01/2015A letter to the SMH this morning - [quote]Is this really the kind of healthcare system we want? Most people seem unaware that on January 19, the Medicare rebate for a GP consultation lasting 6 to 10 minutes will fall from $37.05 to $16.95, and then down to $11.95 from July 1. I am a GP. Sometimes I can re-solve a patient's problem in less than 10 minutes. This is usually because of the fact that I know a particular patient or family very well, because our practice provides continuity of care, and because we have years of education, experience, and hard work behind us. Occasional shorter con-sultations provide a much-needed opportunity to reduce the waiting room backlog while still offering high-quality care. Forty per cent of my billings go directly to my practice to cover staff wages and their entitlements, rent, accreditation, supplies, etc. None of these costs will drop des¬pite the rebate falling 54 to 67 per cent over the next six months. This is an intolerable insult to the practice of family medicine. GPs earn considerably less than other medical specialists and yet we are crucial to cost effective healthcare. It beggars belief that I should use my experience and decision-making capabilities, and expose myself to medico legal risk for $11.95. I cannot do it. And it is unfair to expect families to be able to absorb the huge gap that will be necessary to keep medical practice viable - especially with further reductions for the 10 to 20 minute consultation planned for July, and the freezing of all these reduced rebates until 2018. Is this really the kind of health-care system we want? Dr Jennifer Sterrett Turramurra [/quote] This is an appalling situation because it will come back at the poor and the dispossessed and the downtrodden. It is clearly an attempt to get Doctors to charge for their services in addition to the rebate that is offered, so that is the end of Bulk Billing. I am beginning to hate this government and all who sail in her.

Ken

5/01/2015Pappinbarra Fox I read that the change related to the short consultation rebate was intended to stop 'six minute' medicine. I know the department of Health is aiming that at some of these private clinics that bulk bill and churn people through to turn a profit. I can agree with that but, as usual, there are unintended consequences such as that described by the doctor you quote. I agree with your conclusion, however, that it is a surreptitious push to privatise medicine and reduce the effectiveness of Medicare. All benefits/rebates will be reduced by $5 so the pressure is placed on the doctors to charge that extra fee. I haven't yet checked but I would assume that the government is also changing the parameters of the medicare 'safety net' because the new arrangements will mean people (not being bulk billed) are left paying more and could in theory reach the safety net much quicker unless it is changed. Yes, it is another example of this government trying to make Australia a neo-liberal paradise.

jaycee

5/01/2015The fact that the "neo-Liberals"are going in hard to shore-up their levees and barricades against social change, demonstrates they are at the "end-game"of their capacity to bring growth to the community. They have reached "top-heavy" saturation point where it will be almost impossible for any new-players in the high-end of town to break into and expand their corporation. Now, those who are the "Haves" are compelled to secure through their political arm, the treasure they have accumalated.I bet they deeply regret the separation of the military from politics..but they are trying their level best to politicise both ASIO and the Federal Police. There can really only be one reason for that.

jaycee

6/01/2015Now listen, I’m going to relate to you a series of events that have happened to my family over the last six months concerning the passing of my mother and the sale of her property just before Christmas. I am going to tell you how the series of events unfolded upon this working-class suburban family…I don’t want your opinion, advice, judgment or commentary or anything..it is all effing useless now anyway!...just shut up and listen…who knows, you just may learn something for when your turn comes around. Last August, My mother was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis…in an advanced state.. basically, a death sentence…As she lay in palliative care, the two eldest of her children granted “power of Attorney” (she was a traditionalist) took over control and management of her financial concerns…now THIS is where the “situation” developed. Let me describe the two “powers of attorney” people to you..: ” Straight down the line suburban working-class. Married once / still. Living in the same house since marriage, some forty years. Never had dealings with real estate or financial advisers or any of those “externals” ever…working-class, you see…never had such excess money as required the service of financial advisers….till now!...in short, they are your straight, plain, capable, surburban working family stiffs….you see them all the time at shopping malls with “the wife ‘n’ kids” or with a fishing rod or crab-net in hand whilst gazing hopefully over the edge of a jetty somewhere on ‘th’ peninsula’ in the ‘hol’s’ …oh!..and they drive an old Ford or a Holden. That’s it…no great thing in their life…not looking for it..; straight down the line, like the vast majority of the “ ‘burb brotherhood “. The sale of the property is going to change things..they seek financial advice whilst their mother is still alive..the ‘lurking’ financial adviser sell them a ‘package’ of choices they can take for the pricely charge of two and a half G’s…ie; a glossy pre-printed brochure promoting himself and his company with a list of figures and a pamphlet of fear of what could happen if they make the wrong decision..that is ; if they don’t take HIS advice!...They take his advice which promptly becomes redundant because our mother passes away…exit the financial adviser with his “well-earned” fee…enter the Probate Lawyer who promptly sets about with his “manner confident” to f#ck the probate documents so it STILL hasn’t gone through..yet at a modest charge of ..yes ; Two and a half G’s…(what IS it with the 2and a half G’s?)..yet the house was put into the trusting hands of the auctioneer for sale “pending probate” (a mere formality we are assured) who sells the property at below the “reserve”, to a “boutique developer” with himself (the real estate agent) as “Nominee”, despite HOWLING PROTEST from other members of the family because, according to “The nominee”.. “…you see..there are problems attached to the size, location, existing house and council requirements that will impede the speculator from making his money back and it is really only a labour of love that he will take this ‘burden’ off their hands as it is…..sigh!”…simple people are the working-class compared to the sharks of the business world…so easy to push around…so easy to bluff. So , short of coming to blows, and having in the end to accept the decision of the powers of attorney , and not wishing to see either some members of the family end up in the morgue or the lunatic asylum, BUT with some heavy last ditch (and successful) bargaining to lift the price..it is decided to accept the offer….with conditions..which have yet to be fulfilled. And there you have it…but it begs this most important observation.: So strip away all the judgments, all the presumptions, all the need for haste or snap decisions…and just leave in place those common, sad moments yet necessary actions requiring consultation with qualified, licensed agents and advisers in the everyday actions within any community at any time through any period and what do we see ? We see two “out of their depth” people doing their best in a situation they have not created , yet had thrust upon them, compelled by law and respect and responsibility to follow through legalities with he assistance of “professional people” to a satisfactory conclusion. What do we get? We get scheming, conniving, rip-off merchants!..We get vultures, hyenas and carpetbaggers waiting in the wings for just such a situation ..INDEED..licensed, certificated, networked with fellow societies to prey in such an indecent manner on those in such a vulnerable state as to be so morally indecent that Count Dracula could be considered a BLOOD DONER in their presence! What sort of schooling prepares children for such as rapacious career? What sort of society tolerates such a degree of preying hunters? What sort of arseholes are the professional class that so many can move through it’s ranks doing the most crappy things to the most vulnerable without apparent fear of prosecution…and talk about prosecution..when we had Marty Fels in charge of the AtripleC , we saw some action…but as for that Samuels bastard, who would “prefer to go and have a chat rather than bring in the courts to such things…” Hello!...I don’t want the head of the Ax3 ‘chatting to the fellows’…”Oh I say , chaps….what ho!...oh be nyce!”…no!..I want the coppers there with a warrant, dragging the bastards by the collar of their Pellacos and the arse of their pants , thrown down a flight or two of stairs so they look like they had a run-in with a hub-cap, then dragged before the Beak who sends them to the salt-mines for a couple of generations!...I don’t want ;NICE!...it’s too late for ; NICE!..so if any of you out there want to start a revolution..sign me up, I got a mate who’d love to join as well, an’ he’s got half an old ww2 bofors gun that he swapped (I DON’T F#CKIN’ KNOW WHY!!) for a trail-bike (needs work)…cause we’re geed-up an’ ready to go! An’ I’m telling you..: Joe Stalin was too soft!

Casablanca

6/01/2015[b]1. Abbott has six months to get it right[/b] Paula Matthewson 5 Jan 2015. The next federal election may be two years away, but Tony Abbott's reckoning will take place within the next six months. In reality it's too early to tell whether Abbott will make it through 2015 as Prime Minister but there are three - maybe four - upcoming tests of his survival. The first will be a likely "headland" address to the National Press Club later this month. The second and third will be the state elections in Queensland (expected by end of March) and NSW (on March 28). And the last will be the budget in May. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-05/matthewson-abbott-has-six-months-to-get-it-right/5999936 [b]2. Abbott government spends up big on media monitoring[/b] Bevan Shields. January 5, 2015 Federal government departments are spending eye-watering sums to know what the public is thinking and what the media is saying about them, new documents show.... "In opposition the Liberals said too much money was being spent on media monitoring, but now they are spending vastly more themselves," he said. "It's this kind of hypocrisy from Tony Abbott and his ministers that is disgusting the Australian public." http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/abbott-government-spends-up-big-on-media-monitoring-20150104-12hj88.html [b] 3. Why this obsession with cutting public service jobs?[/b] Gareth Hutchens. January 2, 2015 Too much discussion about the public sector remains based on ideology, partisan cant and misperception. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/why-this-obsession-with-cutting-public-service-jobs-20150104-12h1nj.html#ixzz3Nxow1TUN [b]4. The IPA, Friedrich Hayek and the 'socialist conservative' — Tony Abbott[/b] Ross Jones. 5 January 2015, 8:00am In the wacky and dangerous world of the IPA and its backers, Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek rules and people like Tony Abbott are regarded as socialists [...] https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/abbott-the-ipa-and-hayek,7232 [b] 5. The Insidious Invasion of the IPA into Australian Politics... or Public Apathy and 75 Ideas to Make You Shudder.[/b] John Lord. January 5, 2015 The Institute of Public Affairs is a free market right-wing think tank that is funded by some of Australia’s major companies and is closely aligned to the Liberal Party. In April 2013 it held its 70th Birthday Bash with Rupert Murdoch as its keynote speaker. Andrew Bolt was the Master of Ceremonies. Special guests included Gina Rinehart, Cardinal George Pell and many other conservative luminaries. A special address by then opposition leader Tony Abbott was a highlight. The IPA put forward 75 proposals for a future Abbott government to consider. They were accompanied by an article titled Be like Gough: 75 radical ideas to transform Australia and attributed to John Roskam, Chris Berg and James Paterson. http://theaimn.com/insidious-invasion-ipa-australian-politics/ [b]6. 25 more ideas for Tony Abbott[/b] IPA REVIEW ARTICLE John Roskam, James Paterson and Chris Berg https://ipa.org.au/publications/2110/25-more-ideas-for-tony-abbott [b]7. Why One Term Tony doesn't care[/b] Ross Jones 27 December 2014, Peta and Tony have turned their shoulders to making a country for Gina and Rupert and the conga line of IPA/multinational bullies. They will be well-rewarded for their efforts. As the pair work their way through their paymaster’s itinerary, published in manifesto form as the IPA’s itemised agenda, it’s tick after tick after tick. https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/why-one-term-tony-doesnt-care,7224 [b]8. It’s the Chalice from the Palace that has the pellet with the poison![/b] Edward Eastwood. January 5, 2015 Despite the best efforts of the Coalition spin doctors to paint Abbott as a credible leader, nothing has worked. Not the threat of terrorist attacks, not the deployment of troops to fight terrorist threats – real or imagined, and certainly not ‘shirt-front’ diplomacy. The gaffes and parochialism of Davos were repeated at the G20, and Abbott side-lined and reduced to insignificance by Obama and Xi’s declaration to combat climate change. Mid term now looms, and the LNP power brokers are on the verge of panic. http://theaimn.com/chalice-palace-pellet-poison/ [b]9. Stealing our children’s future [/b] Kaye Lee. January 5, 2015 It is a theme that is repeated constantly, with Hockey even summoning a tear as he refused to burden his children with our debt. Mind you he seems quite happy to burden the taxpayer with his debt but that’s a whole other issue. http://theaimn.com/stealing-childrens-future/ [b]10. Cormann was once a little Focker. [/b] John Kelly. January 4, 2015 There was an article in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age today with the heading, “Govt to tackle head on claims it is unfair and say borrowing against our kids is the most unfair act of all”, by Latika Bourke. (see below) Whoever came up with that headline needs fatigue counselling, but putting that to one side, it is the content that, if accurate, displays an incompetence within the ranks of government thinking, which is simply mind-boggling. http://theaimn.com/mathias-cormann-was-once-a-little-focker/ [b]11. Govt to tackle head-on claims it is unfair and say borrowing against our kids is the most unfair act of all [/b] Latika Bourke. January 4, 2015 - 1:43AM But Senator Cormann warned of the unfairness of expecting the next generations to fund today's lifestyle and said they would face higher taxes and deeper spending cuts if the debt and deficit were not repaired. "Bill Shorten wants our children and grandchildren to pay for our lifestyle today and lessen their future opportunities in the process. We think that's unfair," he said. www.canberratimes.com.au/.../...150103-12gtum.html [b]12. Joseph Stiglitz: Thomas Piketty gets income inequality wrong [/b] Lynn Stuart Parramore. Saturday, Jan 3, 2015 The famed economist reveals the real reason the rich are getting richer -- and what it means for the rest of us http://www.salon.com/2015/01/02/joseph_stiglitz_thomas_piketty_gets_income_inequality_wrong_partner/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=socialflow [b]13. ‘We need permanent revolution’: how Thomas Piketty became 2014’s most influential thinker [/b] Owen Jones. 23 December 2014 Piketty’s book is surely the most influential published by an economist in a generation, infuriating the right as much as it delighted an intellectually starved left. Using a mass of data, the book sought to expose why modern capitalism is an engine of exploding inequality: the rate of return on capital exceeds the rate at which the economy grows, he argues, and wealth is becoming ever more concentrated at the top of society. More explosively, he proposes a global wealth tax as a check on this process, even though he has conceded this is “utopian” www.theguardian.com/.../we-need-a-wealth-tax-thomas-piketty-2014s-most-influential-thinker [b]14. "Suicides highlight the grim toll of 4 week benefits sanctions in austerity Britain"[/b] Ashley Cowburn. 4 January 2015 UK Department for Work and Pensions investigates 60 claimant suicides, with sanctioning [policy] connected to crime and depression http://gu.com/p/44hpy/stw [b]15. Man with terminal illness told to look for work [/b] Matthew Kelly. January 4, 2015 - 11:07AM "As I am trying to come to terms with a rare stage 3 malignant brain tumour, one thing is driving me incredibly crazy – the strict requirements of the Disability Support Pension," Mr Grayson said. "[Newstart appointments] are very time costly, which I have so little of. I'd much rather be visiting friends and relatives before I die," he said. "The idea of a terminally ill person having to go out and look for a job feels like a kick in the groin." www.canberratimes.com.au/.../...150104-12hisn.html [b]16. NDIS funding: Cry of blackmail at move to slash welfare [/b] Rachel Browne. January 3, 2015 Critics are wrathful at the government’s claim that welfare must be cut to pay for the NDIS www.canberratimes.com.au/.../...150102-12fg0m.html [b] 17. Let’s talk about privilege and single parents [/b] Trish Corry. January 4, 2015 Social discourse is a key element to social change. Many of the comments from people, as per my last blog post, painted those on welfare in a very negative light. In fact, the ones highlighted were of the very strong view that those on welfare “should not breed”. The Liberal National Coalition (LNP) Government has a very strong discourse on punitive measures aimed to punish people on welfare and sets this standard, through their unfair cuts to welfare and treatment of jobseekers. http://theaimn.com/lets-talk-privilege-single-parents/ [b]18. The 5 Biggest Threats To Social Security From New Republican Congress (lessons for Australia?)[/b] Eric Laursen January 2, 2015 Increasingly beleaguered, American households need Social Security to do more for them. But this enormous, and enormously vital program, is intimately entwined with every aspect of their working lives. Public and private pensions, international trade deals, race relations, the minutiae of Washington fiscal policy—in 2015, Social Security's defenders will have to keep an eye on all of these balls if they want to preserve and enhance it for the future. http://www.alternet.org/economy/5-biggest-threats-social-security-new-republican-congress

Ad astra

6/01/2015TT, jaycee, Ken, Pappinbarra Fox Thank you for your insightful comments. They propel us into 2015 with a refreshing vision of what is possible with coordinated and purposeful social media activity. The ideas you promote are exciting and enticing. This blog, along with many others, combined with the potency of Twitter, can counter the dwindling influence of the media power-brokers, and reverse the self-interest they relentlessly pursue. Eventually, the voice of the people can drown out that of the tyrants; we now have the mechanisms for doing this. Let's get going at full throttle in 2015.

jaycee

6/01/2015So Campbell Newman has called an election...he's gotta be done for, surely!...if not, there's gotta be something in the Qld. water.

TalkTurkey

6/01/2015There's this bloke Howard Schulze I've known for 30 years, he is/was Australia's longest-ever Patent Attorney. He's a climate denier and a Liberal Party Member and full-on supporter. That's his worse side. He's retired now and nearly every day for many years he sends Dog-knows-how-many people emails - some smutty, some scientific, photographic, artistic, fascinating, whatever, And some are very very funny. [i]You won't be able to watch the Scottish Cops one without laughing yourself to tears[/i]. > > Ear Niu Zillund safety video > > Air New Zealand > > > Now this is one airline safety-video that is NOT boring. > For those who watched the Hobbit. Must have cost a fortune. > > www.youtube.com/embed/qOw44VFNk8Y?feature=player_embedded"frameborder= > "0"allowfullscreen></iframe > > > http://www.chonday.com/Videos/bearcanwi2#.U7t1QU5uB9Q.aolmail > > Farmer rescues a black bear which had a milk can stuck on his head. > Very delicate touch by the operator. And one hell of a happy bruin once it came off! > > > Scottish Police Have The Greatest Sense Of Humor > > http://dumpest.com/scottish-police-sense-of-humor/ > >

jaycee

6/01/2015All this "kitting out" of the Abbott, reminds me of those sad blokes that, having absolutely NO dress-sense of their own, get "taken in tow" by the "new love of their life", dragged to "Tardjay" and over dressed to the point of caricature (like Kel, in Kath and Kim). I'm sure now that Credlin must be rooting him as he exhibits all the worst qualities of the above...but , like those tragic "pre-owned batchelors", there is no way she could make a "suavo leather-jacket " wearer out of a pig's arse!

Casablanca

6/01/2015[i]'Sometimes the most important reforms are those that are done slowly and quietly'.[/i] That's an ominous statement when it comes from a scion of the IPA. The right wing ideologues have not given up on Tony Abbott implementing their agenda which has now been extended to 100 demands. (See 4, 5 and 6 in list above). [b] 1. The Government can revive its 'freedom agenda'[/b] Chris Berg 6 Jan 2015, 11:22am It's not too late for this Government to honour its commitment to being "freedom's bulwark", and the inquiry into laws that encroach on our rights is a good step in that direction. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-06/berg-the-government-can-revive-its-freedom-agenda/6001684 [b]2. There's no indication Abbott will change tack[/b] Mungo MacCallum 6 Jan 2015, 12:45pm If 2015 is to be the year of redemption for the Government, it will be a very hard road to both Damascus and re-election. Unfortunately there is no indication they intend to change. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-06/maccallum-theres-no-indication-abbott-will-change-tack/6002178 [b]3. Half-hearted Coalition measures rewarded with drop in polls[/b] Bruce Hawker. January 5, 2015 Scraping barnacles off the hull of a vessel makes it go faster but voters don't want Tony Abbott to speed up: they want him to change course. http://linkis.com/www.theage.com.au/co/MPsSO

Ken

6/01/2015Casablanca Thank you. Have taken the opportunity to also catch up with your earlier links. All excellent as usual. I always enjoy Mungo MacCallum's comments and the interview with Stiglitz was enlightening. And, as usual, I see that other commentators are like-minded, talking about the IPA and Abbott having about 6 months to turn things around.

Casablanca

8/01/2015Ken, I thought that the one from MacCallum was equal to his best. As for Abbott being given one chance after another and then some, it's sickening considering how little leeway was given to Julia. To paraphrase the famous comment about Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers, Julia had to do everything and more than other PMs did, but with her back to the wall and in heels!

jaycee

8/01/2015When Uhlmann goes for Gillard...A lesson from recent history. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZApYBuSLWTY

2353

8/01/2015The Brisbane Times is reporting 50% (TPP) all to the LNP & ALP in Queensland. It might get really interesting - Newman is already going dirty in Rockhampton this morning. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/queensland-state-election-2015/poll-call-january-8-2015-20150108-12jw15.html

TalkTurkey

9/01/2015A Different view of the Paris Terrorist Attack Swordsfolks will know how I feel about religions generally. I despise them all. I don't despise the humans unfortunate enough to have been indoctrinated from birth by their unfortunately-indoctrinated parents, though I have no time for their bigoted and irrational views. But if there is one religion more persecuted that another it is obviously Islam, and if there is one religion which is most outrageous in its persecution of them, it is Judaism. I see no end to the hatred deliberately generated by Israel and the Jewish diaspora in all its many enclaves and guises, and it is driven by the doctrine that Jews are the chosen of Jahweh and all the rest of Humanity are Goyim - barely above beasts. The article below is the first I have heard with a point of view different from the prevailing one which has Charlie Hebdo pure as the driven snow and even handed in its alleged condemnation of all religions. Underlining for emphasis is mine. I hope I don't get the offices of The Political Sword bombed with white phosphorus for posting this! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Thursday, January 08, 2015 Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 7:07 AM I am certainly not Charlie Hebdo If a Western publication specialized in insulting Jews and Judaism and in mocking the Holocaust, and if its cartoonists suffered a vicious attack (like the one in Paris yesterday), not a single Western writer or journalist would have dared to stand in solidarity with the publication. Not one person. I am not Charlie Hebdo, and can't be. And please [u]don't give me the notion that the magazine satirized all religions. It did not. It specialized in mocking and insulting Muslims and Islam (all Muslims and not only radical Muslims).[/u] And no, this stance does not mean that I don't condemn the attack. But the terrorists who attacked the publication, are your terrorists and not mine: these are the children of Western policies in Syria where the West romantacized for more than three years what they dubbed as "moderate rebels" when in reality they were training and arming and nurturing vicious terrorists and Arab leftists like me were warning of the follies of Western policies and that those policies would produce vicious terrorists, and that the Afghanistan film from the 1980s will be repeated yet again. As Amer Mohsen wrote today, this was your version of Islam: the one you arm in Saudi Arabia. Email This

2353

9/01/2015Hi TT - if only [i]The Political Sword[/i] had an office :-) Religion has a lot to answer for and the comment about hatred at the end of the piece that starts this conversation is even more appropriate today than when it was written. On local matters - it seems that there is someone with a delightful sense of irony commenting on the LNP's Queensland election advertising. [quote]The LNP appears to be using the 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' mentality with its election ads, heavily borrowing from at least two successful campaigns for their own strategy. In the age of the internet no political campaign is an island, which means sharp-eyed politicos would have noticed some very similar imagery in the Queensland LNP's first ad. In the ad, which debuted, a team of rowers takes on the elements and wins while a voice over intones both the government's successes and the work its still needs to do. This could have some Kiwi's feeling a little homesick, or at the very least give them a sense of deju vu. The New Zealand Nationals used a very similar ad, including rowers, ocean waves and vooiceover, as part of winning its campaign in 2014. The government scrapped the electoral spend cap so expect more ads in the coming weeks, which may include some original ideas.[/quote] http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/queensland-state-election-2015/queensland-election-2015-lnp-borrows-ad-themes-from-nz-20150108-12kl11.html

TalkTurkey

9/01/2015 USA accused of shooting down aircraft over Ukraine. Mossad now widely suspected of Paris shootings. My prediction: Alleged accused Muslims will be shot dead, never arrested. And that will PROVE that Muslims done it.

TalkTurkey

9/01/2015 Amazing Japanese Old Man See if you can figure it out. This respectful Japanese old man is Astounding! http://www.youtube.com/embed/75X7G-38xBk

jaycee

9/01/2015 Those fundamentalists who perpetrate atrocities against society and use a tenuous connection with a religion to do it, can in many…MOST cases be called political right wing operatives…The right-wing opposition to anything contrary to an “Absolutist” principle is written in stone.Their “brand-mark” can be seen on display in a multitude of historical and contemporary atrocities, from bloodthirsty pogroms by ALL religions in the ancient times to bloodthirsty military campaigns of contemporary times, to small collectives or “lone-wolf” brutality against perceived left-wing conspiracies. To compare and seek absolution for those insanities by claiming they had some sort of “right of retaliation”, is to lose our collective “corporate memory”…The right-wing has lost ANY sort of “forgiving clause” by the examples of it’s history. This current outrage is not against any kind of “Guy Fawkes / Bring down the Govt’ ” conspiracy, it is, like Anders Brevik’s, an attack against a social “safety valve” that allows written satire to do the work of physical violence. The right-wing does not do satire well…because, being the anal-retentive fellowship it is, it lacks a deeper understanding and sympathy with the faults and failings of the “human within” all societies and us! To defeat these right-wing bastards that use their association with ANY particular religion, those Grand Mufti’s , The Pope, The patriarchs, The Grand Rabbi’s…whoever..must excommunicate the fundamentalists from the community body of the religion, therby denying the perpetrators the “safe-harbour” of religious tolerance or forgiveness for their actions…this then removes the “In God’s Name” from the deed, turning it into a common murder and the resulting manhunt into a criminal activity. But the heads of the relevant faiths MUST excommunicate these fundamentalists…the must!…for THAT connection is the crux and crutch that most of these criminal acts rest upon. The thing that worries me, and ought to worry us all, is that the solution to these fundamentalist outrages has been known and in many cases been implemented throughout history ..consider these lines from the 18th century.. ” The various modes of worship, which prevailed in the Roman world, were all considered by the people, as equally true; by the philosopher, as equally false; and by the magistrate, as equally useful. “.. the fact that “curative action” has not yet been put in place by ANY of those major powers whose sage advisers, fully aware of such procedures, prompts me to ponder on the advantages of “allowing” such atrocities to take place…

Ken

9/01/2015jaycee Great stuff! I get my Sunnis and my Shias mixed up but part of the current problem is not just fundamentalist Islam against the West or Christianity but Sunni against Shia. It has elements of the Catholic versus Protestant battles of the 1500s and 1600s. You are right that if the religious leaders came and said 'not in my name', 'not in god's name', some of the wind would be taken from the terrorists'sails. Unfortuately, the Koran does appear to offer immediate paradise to those who die fighting in a jihad and I don't think they can overcome that bit of writing but they can deny the terrorists the 'protection' of jihad and come out and say that what they are doing is not a genuine jihad. The west got it wrong when George W declared 'war' after the twin towers attack. I think it was from the 1940s to the early 1960s, during IRA bombing campaigns in Britain, that the British government refused to treat the IRA as a political force and instead dealt with issues as criminal matters. That makes a lot of sense in terms of not allowing the other side any political credibility. But poor old George W and his right wing advisers lost the plot and gave Al Qaeda legitimacy as a political and military force. Ban Ki Moon is one of the first politicians to really stress the point that we cannot allow these attacks to divide the community. It seems a fairly obvious tactic of the fundamentalist Muslims to create fear and division between Muslim and non Muslim in western society. We have seen, even here in Australia, that such division serves the militants' interests and helps radicalise young Muslims who feel they are being pushed aside by the society they live in. To the extent that happens, the terrorists win. I like your quote. Who was that?

jaycee

9/01/2015" I like your quote. Who was that?"..: Edward Gibbon.

jaycee

9/01/2015" Unfortuately, the Koran does appear to offer immediate paradise to those who die fighting in a jihad "...Unfortunately, my copy of Sale's ; The Koran...is difficult to follow...just where is that passage, please?..

Ken

9/01/2015jaycee Gibbon! Of course. Thinking cap was a bit slow. Will have to get back to you on the other. I know it's about the belief, like Christianity, that there will be a day of judgment and that the dead remain in their graves until that day, unless they have been martyrs.

jaycee

9/01/2015Thinking on that clip of those assassins in Paris, I notice the professionalism of their behaviour and handling of their weapons...and that sadistic act of killing the already wounded officer...a cool, calculated action...almost as if they were being "coached" from an observer post in a building nearby...and to leave his ID. card in the stolen car....hmmm...

TalkTurkey

10/01/2015Sweet young Liberal lady filmed stealing Labor sign. Will the Qld Cops make an example of her? Is the Pope a Muslim? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcIfZUEblC8

jaycee

10/01/2015It being a bloody miserable day and all that, I’m going to jot down a few thoughts just to give you the pips!...why should I suffer alone?..A problem shared is a problem halved and all that! Seriously though…I’ve been reflecting on a couple of parental things since my mother passed away. She had a good sense of humour underneath the Catholicism…after all, anyone who voluntarily attends a mass for much of their life to metaphorically indulge in cannibalism HAS to have some lean toward the fun things in life! But you know…the thing I think I am going to miss most with the passing of the parents, is that “unconditional praise” that comes with the job description…ie; As a child, you could “finger-stitch” the roughest looking doily ever and there’d be the “Why that’s lovely!...for ME!..of you dear…” …that sort of thing…or if as growing youth, you ..say O , I don’t know…rob a bank, say…and the next time they let your mother see you she will bolster you up with …’…and I thought you looked rather handsome in that black beanie with all those people bailed up!...quite the ‘man in charge‘! Or even if they hung you (back in the old days)..you could almost hear her saying to someone..; “ Oh I don’t know…the way he stood there erect and silent..stoic even …reminded me of ‘is father..quite proud I was..”…I’m certain that’s how it would be…Parent’s ..once they’re gone…you can’t replace them…I think I’m going to miss that unconditional praise.

Casablanca

10/01/2015[b]Tony Abbott must stop baffling* the voters[/b] Latika Bourke.January 10, 2015 - 12:00AM Tony Abbott won the Liberal leadership on his own good instincts, it's time to remind himself of that. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/tony-abbott-must-stop-baffling-the-voters-20150109-12kv1q.html * bullshitting would have been more apt.

TalkTurkey

10/01/2015This RWNJ that J**** & I know well, he's a Patent lawyer and climate change denier even now, sends emails to Idunnohowmany people nearly every day. Smutty, clever, funny, whatever (hey that rhymes!) Today's is a bit of all those above! Just for fun. Subject: Thoughts on sex - "Bisexuality immediately doubles your chances for a date on Saturday night. Rodney Dangerfield "There are a number of mechanical devices which increase sexual arousal, particularly in women. Chief among these is the Mercedes-Benz 380SL." Lynn Lavner "Sex at age 90 is like trying to shoot pool with a rope." Camille Paglia "Sex is one of the nine reasons for incarnation. The other eight are unimportant." George Burns "Women might be able to fake orgasms. But men can fake a whole relationship." Sharon Stone "My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch." Jack Nicholson "Ah, yes, divorce, from the Latin word meaning to rip out a man's genitals through his wallet." Robin Williams "Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place" Billy Crystal "According to a new survey, women say they feel more comfortable undressing in front of men than they do undressing in front of other women. They say that women are too judgmental, where, of course, men are just grateful." Robert De Niro "There's a new medical crisis. Doctors are reporting that many men are having allergic reactions to latex condoms. They say they cause severe swelling. So what's the problem?" Dustin Hoffman "There's very little advice in men's magazines, because men think, 'I know what I'm doing. Just show me somebody naked !" Jerry Seinfeld "See, the problem is that God gives men a brain and a penis, and only enough blood to run one at a time." Robin Williams "It's been so long since I've had sex, I've forgotten who ties up whom." Joan Rivers "Sex is one of the most wholesome, beautiful and natural experiences money can buy." Steve Martin " You don't appreciate a lot of stuff in school until you get older. Little things like being spanked every day by a middle-..aged woman. Stuff you pay good money for in later life." Elmo Phillips " Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same." Oscar Wilde " It isn't premarital sex if you have no intention of getting married." George Burns

Ken

10/01/2015jaycee yes, that what parents, particularly mothers, are for. I recall from many years ago a scene on television. A bloke had been arrested for a bank robbery: basically 'red handed', still with the sawn-off shotgun and the money. But there was his mother on telly saying 'he's a good boy'. (And he probably was to his mother.) And on the old Simon and Garfunkel LP (yes, I still have the vinyl) 'Bookends' there is a section of old people talking and a woman saying, 'A mother's life is to live for her child'. I am still working on the other issue. It took me a while to find my translation of the Koran (hidden behind my wine rack - which is ironic as you will realise). Basically, like christianity, it comes down to the Book (Bible or Koran) having contradictory statements and the church (priests or imans and scholars) providing various interpretions.

Ken

10/01/2015TT Enjoyed the thoughts on sex (which is about all I have now - thoughts). Among a number I liked was Lyn Lavner's, except in my day it was probably the Mercedes Benz 250SL.

jaycee

11/01/2015On a reading of history, one has to conclude that the faith of Islam has, with the aid of "western military powers" creating unlivable conditions in it's "home territories, migrated via refugees further into and in greater numbers than ever was achieved through centuries of Moslem incursions into the West!.....it would seem that the Islamic Elders and intellectuals have "learned from their history"..while the West is still "repeating it's mistakes".

jaycee

11/01/2015jaycee@jaycee ‏@trulyjaycee 22s23 seconds ago Why would those "Charlie" killers,expecting martrydom ergo "heroism", hide their faces..unless they also expected to get away?

Ken

11/01/2015jaycee I don't think they expected to get away, except to the extent they would live to launch another attack. And I think the French feared that attack was going to be on Charles de Gaulle airport (although they are not yet saying so). The brothers were actually returning towards Paris, on the freeway to the airport, and it was feared/rumoured they had some sort of rocket launcher (perhaps just a grenade launcher). Flights at CdeG were disrupted and I don't think that was solely to do with the police and military helicopter movements in the area. It was only when the brothers were cornered that the airport said it was operating normally. Have a look at this explanation of 'jihad'. http://www.quran-islam.org/articles/part_3/the_concept_of_jihad_(P1360).html While it debunks the terrorists' approach, I think it is easy to see how they construe some of the key parts. One, they feel that the West is the aggressor and they are acting in self-defence and they are striving (jahadu)in god's name. And, two, striving in that way makes them 'winners' in terms of accessing paradise. Of course, they are supported by certain imans who support that interpretation. As for the bible in christianity, much depends on how it is interpreted. We have only to look at the fundamentalist christians in the USA for a christian equivalent (at least in words if not yet as militant for the most part). I always thought that was the problem when George W was president: that we had fundamentalist Christians facing off against fundamentalist Muslims - which can only end badly for the rest of the world and it has.

TalkTurkey

11/01/2015[u]How To Fool The World An Alternative reading of the French Massacre Here's what you do: (if you're Mossad, right?) Select 2 or 3 known Muslim firebrands to be your stooges. See that they have guns, preferably same type you use. Keep your faces covered. Dress like Muslims. Organise your own expert raid on Charlie, (You don't like much them anyway because OCCASIONALLY they lampoon Jews. Just a little, of course. Hardly noticeable compared to the shit they put on Muslims, but still, Jews brook NO criticism.) Kill most of the staff, while yelling [i]Allahu Akhbar! [/i]Cop tries to stop you, yelling [i]But I'm Muslim![/i] Perfect! - Shoot him too! (Makes you look even more ruthless because people think you're shooting one of your own!) Jump into ?driverless? car conveniently in the middle of the road and escape, no hurry. Well done! Drive to Car 2. Abandon Car 1 leaving in it fake ID card of one of the brothers you've selected as your stooges. Jump in car 2, loaded with Molotov cocktails and ISIS flags prominently displayed so gas station attendant notices when you "stop to get petrol". Drive off to somewhere near where stooges live. Disappear. As if friends, alert stooges per phone that they are going to be targeted. Tell them to flee with weapons of their own. Keep out of sight drinking Schnappes & Hi-Fiving. Cops then do the rest. Find ID card, [i] Aha we know these men[/i], give chase. Make sure the men never have a chance to surrender & plead innocence. (The youngest one of the ?3? apparently has done that, he's probably a paid stooge who will be cleared soon as mistaken identity. His part is not yet clear.) Broadcast claim that men WANT to be shot dead rather than be captured. Do that. No loose ends except one stooge's girlfriend who has fled France - her part isn't clear yet either but she'll be useful somehow, part of the plot, or maybe not, in which case she'll be killed soon somehow, before she can call out the true assassins. ALL the blame now on Muslims. Wow. Just like Twin Towers all over again, but far simpler, and in France's foetid social climate, highly contagious. France goes berserk and so does all the West. Huge numbers of local Jews now feeling so precious they flee to Israel where they can steal Palestinian houses and land under protection of Netanyahu's nazist regime. QED. Mission accomplished! Someone said on Twitter yesterday, WTTE, [i]Conspiracy theorists are those who don't believe stories by those who are known to lie.[/i] I'm a conspiracy theorist.

Ken

12/01/2015I see Murdoch is maing inane comments again on twitter, this time suggesting all muslims are responsible for the attacks in Paris by not removing the 'jihadist cancer'. Australia is responsible for Rupert Murdoch and now has to apologise for him. See this at The Independent: http://i100.independent.co.uk/article/white-australian-men-are-now-apologising-for-rupert-murdoch--gkvvDrFoqg

Bacchus

12/01/2015One for the Queenslanders: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDED238r1DU

jaycee

13/01/2015One does have to wonder on the training one would have to undergo to keep as straight a face as Malcolm Turnbull as he delivers his announcements of utter bullshit on the NBN. I mean, we've all fronted up to some counter or other and had to "massage"the story of the broken toaster a tad...the old conscience gets a battering and if one does succeed in getting a replacement on warranty, one tries to avoid ever being in that situation again by making a careful decision on our next purchase. But here we have the Turnbull, month by weary month, delivering worse and worse news...bigger and bigger lies...thicker and smellier bullshit all without the slightest blush and with a face as straight as the Bishop giving "Billings Method" birth-control advice to a room full of catholic mothers. Can this deceit come without the most intensive workshopping within LNP. training camps? I know Chrissy Pyne has overcome ANY recourse to confession by using his "Puppet-head" delivery system of crappola. Tony Abbott, while still a "work-in-progress" when it comes to "lying like a pig in shit", does have "expertise advice" at hand in the form of his COS. And then there is the Amateur Hour with the Nat's side-show...we will not examine closely the performances of Mr. Truss or Mr. Joyce...twitter or you-tube replays do , I believe, indulge such light-hearted entertainments. Of Mr. Hockey, one can expect no better, having, like any school-yard rotund spent his lunch-money on lollies and "pez-drops"trying to buy friends, he then goes around behind the change rooms to weep his lament of hunger and regret....every day!..and then there is the Bishops..What can one say of them that has not, in the most derogative terms, been already said in the clubs and society that most supports and embraces LNP. philosophy. If all evidence of domestic violence points to those most close to the victims, it would do the Bishops well to keep their backs to the wall, defences at the ready and their pension super all topped up ready and waiting, for there can be no more precarious career than a woman swimming in the pond full of sharks that is politics...particularly when the pool is owned, bought and paid for by the most brutal, most ugly, most voracious and untrustworthy specimen ever let loose on a vulnerable school of little fish as Mr. Murdoch! How DO they do it?

jaycee

14/01/2015For more than 2,000 years we've had the religoe's cutting into us with pogroms, inquisitions, crusades, "cleansing" and papal bulls and effing edicts...and now, for the first time in history, when we have a "peoples media" so we can strike back at their pathetic insecurities, they gotta start whinging!...Fuck 'em!...we had to put up with their ideological bullshit till it literally came out of our ears!!...God this, God that..on your knees! say your prayers, smack that bottom, hoist that cross and all the rest of the shit that goes with stupid, delusional ritual that has never stopped the tide from coming in, the sun from setting and the most innocent child from drowning. And now, when you laugh at the futility of their prayers, they get all high and mighty and cry ; "racism!!"...well it's not racism, it's taking the piss out of foolish ideology..the same as they took the piss out of Paganism...If they want to go to heaven..good luck to them...GO!..if they want to pray to go to heaven..good luck to them..go, PRAY TILL IT BLEEDS behind your temple doors and leave us to enjoy the sunshine while it lasts.. If the insults are so bad that they want vengeance..THEY got the so-called "omnipotent god" go call on him to wreak vengeance on us...because, on the strength of their own doctrines, it must surely be the greatest form of blasphemy for any mere human to presume to do the work of "God"...up there surely with the "Tower of Babel"?

jaycee

14/01/2015In his book The Road to Serfdom, Freidrich Hayek asserts that the economic freedom of capitalism is a requisite of political freedom… with continual growth being the mechanism that feeds such “economic freedom”. So we have to propose the question : What makes an “Advanced Society”? Could it be that as proposed by Hayek above?..Or is it something more basic…more durable…more sustainable than the capitalist notion of continuous growth / continuous consumption? Can it be presumed that a technological advanced society holds greater ethical dominance and therefore deserved racial dominance over the more stable tribal structures that once were spread throughout the Australian environment for tens of thousands of years? Consider these examples.. Eucalyptus Largiflorens (Black Box) : Distribution and occurrence: Local community dominant, in grassy woodland on heavy black clay soils in seasonally flooded areas; In this area of Sth. Aust’, primarily restricted to ex / swamp-lands. This tree, like many that have evolved to an environment-specific location can be found near my residence in the Mallee. Like the Mallee trees everywhere, it has evolved in a stable, static environment over many thousands of years..indeed, you can see that a mulititude of trees and understory in the Mallee bio-forest were reliant on such a stable environment for them to spread so wide, so far in such profusion. Any extreme disruption of climate or landscape would have changed the appearance and bio-diversity of the entire forest and it’s denizens..THAT is a “given”. We have to accept ; the very existence of such a bio-forest system proves beyond argument that the geography where they settled, took root and evolved was stable, static and sustainable for a very long period of time. This is an important point to my thesis..we have to understand and accept that the Mallee bio-forest, from the dry-lands to the swamp-lands, from the canopy to the forest floor is a unique interconnected species specific / environment specific entity that relies upon a stable, static geophysical situation to maintain it’s integrity. Certainly, that integrity has been corrupted over the last two hundred years since settlement to the point where we cannot truthfully claim that pristine Mallee exists anymore at all. It has become a victim of “continual economic growth”. Likewise, if we look at the indigenous peoples who lived and thrived along The Coorong in Sth. Aust’. I will not even attempt to disassemble the complex tribal structures that existed along the lower Murray River…it would be presumption on my part and liable to insulting error. Enough to point out that settlement is proven for many thousands of years. Indeed, carbon dating of one site of middens (discarded mollusc shells) alone put it back to 2.500cal BP. (2.500 yrs. Old)…so we have evidence that of the many sites scattered along the seaward-side of The Coorong there was regular gathering and consumption of a reliable food source by the indigenous peoples for thousands of years. I have seen these middens many years ago…scattered amongst the site were numerous camp-fire circles, denoting the practice of stopping, gathering, cooking and consumption of the food and presumably the social intercourse that accompanies such moments. For such feasting to have taken place (these middens are huge!), would prove the reliable, regular supply of the molluscs and the reliable, regular harvesting by a group of peoples familiar with and capable of attending to such a chore on a continual basis for thousands of years. I know the geography of The Coorong well..on the seaward-side we have bountiful harvest of shell-fish, on the landward-side we have bird and mammal life…the evidence of indigenous people’s fish-traps indicate regular harvesting of food there, the abundance of fresh water from the natural Sth. East drainage system then in place, guaranteed the presence of kangaroos, emus and sundry wildlife for food and clothing…in all, one must admit, that along with the temperate climate, not a bad place to reside…indeed, it could be considered almost an idyll..and reside here people did ..undisturbed for many thousands of years…mark that!...food, clothing, shelter of a quantity and quality that remained in-situ for many thousands of years…exploited but not over-exploited..harvested but not depleted..lived with but not dominated..and perhaps it could have gone on for time immemorial..like it already had...if not finally destroyed by the kind of “advanced society” lauded by Mr. Hayek at the start of this article. So tell me..: What constitutes an advanced society?..is it the one who uses it’s developed technology to invade, subjugate, desecrate and finally, perhaps, annihilate that very environment it relies upon for it’s life…or is it the other who, with astute observation recognizes a “line” between sustainability and destruction, and by managing it’s population ,refuses to be tempted by the possibility of a gluttony of temporary riches and maintains a judicious, salubrious lifestyle and culture for many thousands of years, visiting the same locations for food, clothing, shelter without desecration nor selfish accumulation? So YOU tell me.: Who has the most “advanced society” ?

Ad astra

15/01/2015[b]Messing with Medicare[/b] [i]An opinion piece by Ad astra[/i] We ought not to be surprised that the federal Coalition is once again messing with Medicare. It was never enamoured of it, and PM Howard would have deleted it if he were able. But being a consummate politician though, with his ear to the ground, he came to realise that it would be political poison to remove or damage an iconic institution that the electorate values and wants to retain. Taxpayers readily pay the Medicare levy; they know what good value they get for their money. So why is the Abbott government making a play that will diminish Medicare and harm the less-well-off who depend on it for their health care? In my view the reasons given are spurious. The pretence that they must curtail its use and the cost of it for budgetary and sustainability reasons is a facade, behind which lurks their ideological imperatives of user-pays and opposition to welfare and the 'leaners' that 'exploit' it. They are doing what Howard wanted to do; instead killing Medicare by stealth. As so far they have failed to get their $7 GP co-payment past the Senate, they are now resorting to 'back-door' methods of forcing GPs to accept $5 less for for their consultations, and where they refuse to accept this, to charge that to their patients, a virtual co-payment. They are also changing the length of the consultations that will attract the usual short consultation Medicare rebate from six to ten minutes on the pretext that it will stop or reduce 'six minute consultations', which by implication are deemed undesirable. Yet this time interval is all that is needed for many consultations, such as, for example, a blood pressure check and repeat prescription, or an immunisation shot. In other words, the Abbott government is dictating to doctors how long they need to spend with their patients, irrespective of the patient's needs, an exercise in gross presumptuousness. There is no need here to furnish the details, which are well documented in a January 14 article by Julia Medew in the SMH: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/new-20-gp-fee-abbott-governments-health-charge-changes-explained-20150113-12n32h.html. Read all about it there. What are the implications? General practice, or family practice as we prefer to call it, is a business. Those who run family practices have the costs of rent, staff and supplies to pay, like all other small businesses. While GPs are not poor, nor are they noticeably wealthy. Few drive expensive cars (take a look at their car parks) or live in mansions. Like all small businesses, when changes to their income stream are arbitrarily imposed upon them, their ability to survive is jeopardised. Wholly bulk-billing practices assert that the proposed changes will force them to charge co-payments or go out of business. The electorate would be wise to listen to what they say, especially those who rely on their services because they can afford no other. These folk will have no other option than to seek care in emergency departments of public hospitals. The consequence of a surge in ER patients are so obvious that they need no elaboration. What does all this mean for the electorate? The Coalition is messing with Medicare, and attempting to do it by regulation because it can't persuade the Senate of the merits of its case. Left untrammelled, it will destroy Medicare. Like a cancer, the affects of the government's moves will multiply, metastasise, and eventually overwhelm the basic structure of this Aussie institution. And all in pursuit of a neoliberal ideology, a user-pays mindset, and the intent to punish Hockey's 'leaners' whom he believes rip-off welfare entitlements. We can only hope that the intent of some senators to disallow this move is successful. As if it was not inherently hard enough to institute these draconian measures, Abbott appoints Peter Dutton to do the job, a man recently voted by doctors as the worst health minister in 35 years and described as "...the dullest, least innovative and most gullible for swallowing the reforms from his think tank..." . Read the awful details here: http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/jan/12/peter-dutton-ranked-as-worst-health-minister-in-35-years-in-poll-of-doctors?CMP=ema_1731. Are there no better solutions to the task of making Medicare sustainable in the long term? Yes. That's for next time. [b]What do you think?[/b] [i]Ad astra is a retired academic with years of experience in rural family practice.[/i]

Paul of Berwick

15/01/2015There must be a parallel Limited News universe. For while Fairfax, Guardian, ABC, Channel 7, The Project, etc, etc all are talking about this Medicare Matter there is silence in this parallel universe. It musn't be a real issue then! Something to be ignored.

2353

15/01/2015Maybe I'm being simplistic here - I thought Medicare was funded by a 1.5% levy on income. If so, why is there even a debate about the increasing cost of healthcare and its funding. If the levy isn't paying for the majority of the expenditure - increase the levy. It is completely illogical where people will pay thousands per annum to (for example) send their kids to private schools - a service they can procure for far less through the public system with similar educational results - yet will not pay an extra few hundred a year to fund a 'universal (in theory) free' healthcare system that is the envy of the developed world.

Ken

15/01/20152353 Agree that increasing the levy would be the simplest approach. Perhaps part of the problem is that general revenue to government from income tax is declining as the baby boomers leave the workforce, whereas when the levy was first introduced income tax revenue was strong. There may be an option to increase the GST on the proviso that the money is used for medicare and hospital funding. Given our history of accepting levies for specific purposes (medicare itself, the gun buy-back, the flood levy) I think such an approach would be generally accepted.

Casablanca

15/01/2015FEUDalism: Medieval and Capitalist FEUDalism compared https://scontent-a-hkg.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10906462_1029193680441124_6719868478108866747_n.jpg?oh=cc41a15f57d4fd261615f3951cd2e467&oe=55243FA0

Ad astra

15/01/2015Paul of Berwick, 2353, Ken First Paul, welcome back to commenting on TPS. As you will see from the comment I will post next, I agree with you 2353 and Ken that increasing the Medicare levy would be one of solutions to the issue of making Medicare sustainable. Why has this not been mentioned by Abbott? is he scared of having a Great Big New Tax albatross hung around his neck, just like he hung around Julia Gillard's neck?

Ad astra

15/01/2015[b]Medicare - Has Abbott the nous of Howard?[/b] [i]An opinion piece by Ad astra[/i] When John Howard tried to change Medicare many years ago, he soon picked up the unmistakable message from the electorate: 'Don't mess with our Medicare'. He had the nous to listen to the people and pull back. The question today is: 'Has Abbott got enough of Howard's nous to do the same?' Sadly, I doubt if he has. When did he last allow the voice of the punters to override his ideological intent? The clarion call from both the users and the providers to withdraw his changes to Medicare are likely to be ignored. Abbott is stubborn, ideologically driven and vengeful. The only hope is that his newly-appointed Health Minister, Sussan Ley, a smart politician with an abundance of common sense, will persuade him to back off before the implementation date of 19 January, especially now that the numbers in the Senate indicate that the proposed changes to the regulations are likely to be disallowed later in the month. If Abbott proceeds, it looks as if his punitive changes will have a very brief and inglorious life. Yet there is a need to make Medicare, now a revered Australian institution, sustainable in the long term and able to accommodate the accumulating needs of an ageing population, many of which will suffer dementia or other disabilities, and to adapt to a healthcare system that offers more and more with each passing year, but at great expense. There is a better way to achieve this, but Abbott, Hockey and Co. seem to know only the punitive. What alternatives are there? [b]Listen to the doctors[/b] This nasty assault on Medicare seems to have ignored the advice of the very people who provide healthcare: the doctors and those who work with them. The Abbott government, in an exercise in arrogant presumptuousness, has declared war on 'six minute consultations', which by inference they regard as 'bad medicine'. Yet doctors with many years of experience assert, correctly, that some GP consultations require only six minutes, or less. How long does it take a doctor who knows the patient very well to check a hypertensive's blood pressure and renew a script; how long does it take a doctor to review their patients with type 2 diabetes and their medication; how long does it take to check the response of a skin rash to treatment; how long does it take to give an elderly person a flu shot? As anyone who has ever attended a doctor knows, not long. Of course some consultations need much longer: a new patient; a patient with important new symptoms; the initial visit for pregnancy; the annual health check; counselling of the worried and the mentally disturbed. That's why there are graded consultation lengths that attract different Medicare rebates. But Abbott thinks he knows better when he makes what he regards as a virtuous move 'to get rid of six minute medicine'. He would certainly need a consultation longer than six minutes to unravel his disordered thinking about consultation length. If he thinks he can force doctors to spend an extra few minutes with each 'short consultation' patient to attract the current Medicare rebate, what is that supposed to achieve medically? Doctors know how long patients need; what makes Abbott think he knows better? Longer consultations would result in fewer patients being seen each day, or doctors working longer, with no additional health benefits. The president of the AMA, backed by the many thousands of GPs that he represents, is out today imploring Abbott to back off and scrap the proposed changes. Some will see this simply as promoting the self-interest of doctors, and will back Abbott; most will see it for what it is: a plea to Abbott to abandon his ideologically-driven move to punish the less-well-off in pursuit of his budgetary objectives, disregardful of the fallout for healthcare. [b]Listen, Abbott, Listen. Go slowly[/b] The Abbott government seems to have no sense of timing. Its bull in a china shop approach is applied to everything it does. The people are not unreasonable. They know that if they want our first class healthcare system to be sustainable, more revenue is needed now and in the long term. They are amenable to gradual solutions, to solutions that do not hit them like a sledgehammer. There is no need for a sledgehammer today or tomorrow; what is needed is long-run change to which the people and the economy can gradually adapt. [i]Review the Medicare levy[/i] Remember how little protest resulted from a proposed increase in the Medicare levy to fund the NDIS; the people recognised the inadequate deal those with disabilities were receiving. Then why not implement a gradual increase in the Medicare levy, a progressive tax that does not disproportionately disadvantage lower income earners. Why not increase it progressively, by say a half or a quarter of one percent each year until sufficient money is levied to cover costs. The people are much less concerned about paying more tax if they can see where the tax is going, where they can see the benefits flowing to them. What they resent are sudden tax hikes where the money disappears into a black hole where its use is a mystery, where it is used at the discretion of governments to pursue their ideological objectives. [i]Review Health Card eligibility[/i] Millionaires with vast assets do not need a Health Card which affords the holder benefits, especially substantial pharmaceutical benefits. Are all holders needful? Could money be saved by restricting benefits to those who really need them? [i]Prevention is better than cure[/i] This old adage is as true as when it was first uttered. Avoiding illness, especially avoiding hospital care, has been documented over and again as a way to contain and even reduce health care costs. Yet the Abbott government, which is burdened with an anti-science mindset, has reduced funding for preventive care, as if this established approach is a variety of green imposition. Encouraging and facilitating good nutrition, regular exercise, smoking cessation and moderation in alcohol use are all proven measures in maintaining health. The government should be strongly encouraging and properly funding prevention, knowing for certain that this will curtail health costs in the long term. Abbott and Hockey talk a lot about long term sustainability, yet ignore a powerful device for achieving it in healthcare. [b]Has Abbott the nous of Howard?[/b] In my view, the answer is a resounding NO. His stubbornness in pursuing his ideological imperatives in spite of good advice and public protest has been evident since his election. Think about how he clings tenaciously to his Paid Parental Leave scheme, as if it was his favourite Teddy Bear, in the face of trenchant opposition, even among his own backbench. Once more, I expect we will see him persist until yet again the Senate throws out another Abbott brain failure. But I suppose miracles are possible still. [b]What do you think?[/b] [i]Ad astra is a retired medical academic with years of experience in clinical general practice.[/i]

Ad astra

15/01/2015Casablanca What a telling graphic! Nothing changes except the names!

2353

15/01/2015Ad, I'd love to say it was the force of your argument above that did it, but regardless some sanity has prevailed. The new Health Minister was reeled out this morning to rule the $20 GP Tax off the table. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/health-minister-sussan-ley-backs-away-from-plan-to-cut-medicare-rebate-20150115-12qp0n.html

Ken

15/01/2015Ad Agree Abbott will not accept the simple solution of an increase in the levy (or in other taxes) because he has locked himself into the neo-liberal idealogical position of 'small government' and 'lower taxes'. Even Howard introduced the gun buy-back levy and, although opposed by gun owners at the time, it was widely accepted as a step to reduce gun violence. To foreshadow a piece that will appear in February, there is also the option of reducing 'tax expenditures' - that is tax foregone by government concessions. Some of the concessions are beneficial, such as no tax on certain government payments, but others, such as the concessions on superannuation are of more benefit to the well-off. A small increase in the tax on superannuation would raise a few billion dollars without having a significant impact on the middle and lower economic groups. There are many ways of addressing revenue shortfalls which Abbott is consistently ruling out because of his ideological position, leaving cuts to government services as his only solution. But as you point out, that ignores the long term because such cuts now are more likely to lead to the need for more government services/spending in the future.

Ad astra

15/01/2015Folks [b]Just published in [i]Australian Doctor[/i][/b] [i][b]Govt backs down on level B rebate cut[/i][/b] 15 January, 2015 AAP [i]The Federal Government has abandoned its plan to cut a level B rebates paid to GPs for short consultations from Monday. Health Minister Sussan Ley says she is deeply concerned by misinformation that is causing confusion for patients and confusion for doctors about the changes. "As a result, I'm announcing today that the changes to level A and B Medicare consultation items will not commence on Monday as planned," she told reporters in Melbourne. "The government is taking them off the table." "I have heard, I have listened and I have decided to take this action now," the minister said, after breaking her holiday to address the issue. However, she insisted it remained critical that there should be reform to ensure the Medicare system has a sustainable future to give quality care. The minister made a strong commitment to undertake a wide ranging consultation on the ground with doctors and the community to come up with sensible options. "I need to explain ... that our Medicare system is growing at a rapid and unsustainable rate." Earlier, doctors had urged Prime Minister Tony Abbott to return from his holiday to put an end the plan to cut by $20.10, from Monday, the rebate paid to GPs for consultations under 10 minutes. "It was never a good idea, and Mr Abbott should take this opportunity to ditch it and instead consult with the medical profession on how to support quality primary healthcare," AMA president Brian Owler said on Thursday.[/i] [b]The people and the providers have spoken. While our tone deaf PM remains on holiday, Health Minister Sussan Ley has returned from hers and has fixed the mess, at least temporarily.[/b]

Ad astra

15/01/2015Folks This is what GP Paul Smith wrote in [i]Australian Doctor[/i]: [i][b]Govt a mess after rebate backdown[/i][/b] 15 January, 2015 [i]This government is a mess. It’s sneaky meddling with the funding for short GP consultations — allegedly motivated by a concerns for high-quality general practice care — has been flushed down the gurgler. Health Minister Sussan Ley has said the level B rebate cuts, which were meant to come into force on Monday, were “off the table”. And apparently the government, having stuck its middle digit up to the specialty for so long, is preparing to “consult and listen”. This is the same government that gave GPs just five weeks to prepare for the biggest change to general practice funding since Medicare was introduced. Practices across Australia were bracing themselves for the mass reaction on Monday morning as their first patients started walking through the surgery door wanting to know why they were being asked to stick their hands in their pocket. The discussion would start: "Yes, there is a fee to see the doctor. No, the clinic can’t bulk-bill. No, we are not being greedy." Whether this would have ended up as a discussion on the strictures of the level B item descriptor in the MBS book is another matter. But clearly, Prime Minister Tony Abbott today woke up to the fact that general practice, united in its anger, would make clear to thousands of patients/voters that he’d stuffed them. The specialty has fought and won. The AMA and the RACGP, disturbingly complacent in their reaction when the government first announced the changes last month, have done good. It took a savaging from their grassroots memberships, of course, but the end result is what will count for many. As always with general practice, there is a deeper, complicating issue that needs to discussed. There will be more than a few doctors out there who will be depressed by the sight of Abbott’s white flag. Next Monday, if the PM had kept his bottle, would have been the start of an important social and political experiment for general practice, which would have answered a fundamental question. To those who believe Medicare has been damaging for the specialty, this question has always been whether GPs can be weaned off the bulk-billing teat and the lousy patient rebates Medicare offers. Monday, so it has been argued, was going to show a glimpse of a better world for GPs where they could charge their true worth. Unless (or until) the four-year rebate freeze and the $5 co-pay cuts take effect, we will not find out the extent to which patients will pay what is necessary for high-quality GP care. For now, despite the words written and blood spilt over the past five weeks, the carrots and sticks of funding general practice remain as they were.[/i] [b]So once more the Abbott machine has landed itself in a mess of its own making. It has now angered the entire medical profession. Although the changes were directed at general practice and general practitioners, other doctors were enraged with what they saw as an attack on the core component of effective health care in this country - general practice and general practitioners. The profession is united against the Abbott attack, will resist it fervently, and will force Abbott not to think again - he didn't think in the first place. That created the mess.[/b]

Ad astra

15/01/2015Folks This is the one we have to thank for fixing the mess while Abbott holidays! http://media.cirrusmedia.com.au/AD_Media_Library/AD_WEB_IMAGES/People/Ley_Sussan_2.jpg Health Minister Sussan Ley

Ad astra

15/01/2015Folks The ignominious retreat of the Abbott government on the Medicare changes were on full display on TV news and [i]7.30[/i] tonight. The only ones to defend the changes were Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson, who was still clinging pitifully to the necessity for the changes, and Health Minister Sussan Ley, who valiantly tried to salvage the rationale for the changes, but who saw more mileage in stressing the need to consult with those involved in healthcare. What a novel idea! Nick Xenophon summed up the situation by pointing out that while poor consultation with the stakeholders was a factor in the failure of this and other policies, the prime factor was simply poor policy. He pointed out that no matter how articulate, no matter how persuasive ministers were in negotiating with the cross benches, if they were touting a dud policy they would get nowhere. It has been Abbott's multiple dud policies that have caused him grief. He rates as one of the most incompetent and unsuccessful PMs in Australian history. He will continue to suffer humiliating rejection of his policies as long as they are duds. He could reduce the chance of pushing dud policies, but only if he asks stakeholders for their opinions, listens carefully to what they say, and accepts the validity of the opinions and advice offered. Abbott has a tin ear, born of an arrogant view that he knows best. He is unlikely to change. We can only wonder how long sensible ministers like Sussan Ley will tolerate such a bumbling leader, how long she will be happy cleaning up the messes he so regularly creates. It will be interesting to see how the print media reports this astonishing backflip, reversal, retreat, surrender, whatever we call it.

2353

16/01/2015And our 'Captain Catholic' PM has other problems to resolve as well, The Pope has waded into the climate change debate suggesting [quote]"We have in a sense taken over nature. I think we have exploited nature too much." The comments were Pope Francis' clearest on the environment since he pledged to make the issue a priority on the day of his installation as Pope in 2013. "We have, in a sense, lorded it over nature, over Sister Earth, over Mother Earth," said the leader of 1.2 billion Catholics, who has in the past spoken about the need to protect the environment.[/quote] http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/world/man-has-gone-too-far-pope-francis-says-we-are-primarily-responsible-for-climate-change-20150115-12rcwm.html

Ad astra

16/01/2015Folks As I looked for media reactions of the Abbott government’s backflip on Medicare yesterday, I found the expected factual accounts of Health Minister Sussan Ley’s announcement that the proposed cuts to rebates for short consultations with GPs were ‘off the table’, and that she would now consult doctors and others ‘to come up with sensible options to deliver appropriate Medicare reform’, but there was little in the way of commentary. In [i]The Guardian[/i] Lenore Taylor ventured an opinion about Ley’s intention to consult: “[i]It’s just a shame the government didn’t think of that in the first place, either when it announced the original across-the-board $7 co-payment, or when Tony Abbott and his then health minister, Peter Dutton, waited until after parliament had risen for 2014 to announce a complex series of changes to replace the original budget policy that had stalled in the Senate.”[/i] [b]It is clear that yesterday’s move is yet another Abbott smoke and mirrors exercise.[/b] As asserted yesterday in my opinion piece, stubbornness will prevent Abbott from changing his mind; Ley’s intervention is simply part of a holding pattern to allow Abbott’s troops to re-engineer another attack on Medicare. The intention to reduce the payment to GPs by $5 on July 1, and the intention to freeze Medicare rebates until 2018 remain in place. On ABC radio, it was Christine Milne who gave the most perspicacious assessment, namely that rather than changing his mind, Abbott would continue his assault on Medicare, would continue to press for co-payments, and would push for other austerity measures on the grounds of making Medicare sustainable. In other words, Abbott’s intentions are unchanged. The only change is a brief cessation of fire in his war on Medicare, and a promise to consult. While Sussan Ley might be prepared to listen and take advice, Abbott will do no more than go through the motions while he finds another strategy to get what he wants. [b]Let’s not kid ourselves that yesterday’s significant retreat will change Abbott’s mind. We all know what a devious and mendacious politician he is, how he breaks promises with impunity, and how he excuses his lies by insisting that we didn’t hear what he really said. Why should he behave any differently over Medicare? I hope that those involved in discussions with Minister Ley will be mindful that Abbott will be hovering in the background determined to get his way on Medicare in the end. Never trust this man to act with goodwill or to keep any promises he makes.[/b]

Pappinbarra Fox

16/01/20152353, indeed! He has recognised the need the protect the environment. Habitat destruction due the burgeoning world population is a key factor in this environmental degradation and in the current massive extinction episode. It will be interesting to see if the pontiff takes the next logical step and calls on all Catholics to practice genuine birth control to reduce the rate of population growth. (I could be unkind and suggest that it is a shame the PM's father didn't practice birth control way back when, but I am not that type of person so I wont)

Ad astra

16/01/2015Folks An article in today’s [i]The Guardian[/i] offers the Abbott government avenues of savings alternative to the punitive ones they told us they were scrapping yesterday. “[i]The Australian Council of Social Service (Acoss) welcomed the dumping of the Medicare rebate cut and offered the government some cost cuts of its own. “Acoss said scrapping measures such as the private health insurance rebate (PHIR) and the extended Medicare safety net, and tightening legislation on the pharmaceutical benefits scheme would save nearly $9bn. “A GP co-payment, including through cuts to rebates for GP visits, isn’t ‘serious reform’ as the prime minister has it. It’s a straight-out cut that directly undermines the vital role of the GP in reducing chronic illness, and misses the point about where the most wasteful expenditure lies,” the Acoss chief executive officer, Cassandra Goldie, said. “We need to see the full picture on health expenditure and canvas a much wider range of options before big decisions are made. “The government needs to start again on health policy, and give top priority to supporting a decent universal health system, which is cost-effective.” “The PHIR was ‘wasteful’ and should be scrapped, Goldie said, adding that dumping the policy would save $6.6bn. “The PHIR has failed in its promise to increase private health insurance and take pressure off public hospitals. It disproportionately benefits people on higher incomes who can afford private cover in the first place, and has been a significant factor in driving up costs without any evident gain in achieving its initial policy intent,” Goldie said. “As of September more than 13 million Australians, or 55% of the population, had some form of private health cover.”[/i] [b]Will Abbott be prepared to tackle the sacred cow of health insurance? What do you think?[/b]

Ad astra

16/01/20152353, PF I wonder how Abbott will interpret the pontiff's words? No doubt he will find some weasel words to avoid the Pope's clear message.

Ad astra

16/01/2015[b]Abbott's carbon tax chickens come home to roost[/b] [i]An opinion piece by Ad astra[/i] So imprinted is it in our collective memories that it's hard to forget Abbott's 'Axe the tax' mantra. Over and again he repeated his intent to get rid of this 'toxic tax', which after about nine months in government he finally managed to have repealed by a reluctant Senate following some PUP contortions. It's also hard to forget his promise that 'Australian families would be $550 better off after its repeal'. He failed to tell us what he already knew - that carbon pollution would rise again, and that the revenue the tax was raising would cease. So the inevitable happened. Carbon emissions, after falling as a result of the tax, began to rise again, and the revenue the tax generated dried up. Soon Joe Hockey was bemoaning his diminishing revenue base, made worse by the fall in iron ore prices and receding demand for that commodity. Suddenly we had a fiscal 'crisis' and a 'budget emergency' that Hockey felt compelled to fix by whatever draconian means he could find. It could be argued I suppose that the sacrifice of revenue could at least be offset by the benefit that would flow to families as electricity prices plummeted and they pocketed the promised $550. But something funny happened on the way to the $550 bonanza. It hasn't eventuated, and likely won't. Wouldn't we love to know how that magic figure was generated. Hockey uses Treasury as a cop out, insisting that they generated the estimate, and therefore it must be right. Mind you, in the past he has repeatedly disparaged Treasury estimates when that suited his political agenda, but on this occasion insists they ought to be trusted without question. Will anyone in the MSM bother to monitor how many families get their hands on the $550 prize, a reward for voting in the Abbott government? You can lay long odds that the Murdoch media will neither monitor it, nor report it if anyone bothers to check if the $550 ever arrived, and especially if it failed to turn up. So we may never know from any authoritative source what became of the elusive $550. But there are other information streams. Talkback radio and social media will not remain silent. Yesterday morning on 774 radio Melbourne, Steve Martin, standing in for Jon Faine who is on holiday, raised the matter with his listeners, and soon got a flood of responses. Steve (from Ballarat ABC) has been a fine substitute for Jon. Astute and well-informed politically, he is balanced in his appraisals and comments. Soon a listener was annoyedly telling Steve that his electricity bills were going up, not down. We know that there are reasons for that: higher charges for transmission (the old poles and wires story), and higher charges imposed by electricity providers on the grounds that diminished demand has reduced their profits, and therefore they have to compensate for that by charging consumers more per kilowatt hour. The diminished demand is the result of several factors: consumers are deliberately using less electricity to reduce their bills; many are installing solar panels to augment their domestic supply and are therefore using less coal generated power; and many have opted to receive power from renewable sources. Because electricity companies are steadily reducing the refund on electricity generated from solar panels and fed back into the grid, householders who expected a return on their solar cell investment to offset its cost, are now very angry, and more determined than ever to use alternative energy. Moreover, as electricity prices rise, more and more consumers are reducing their dependence on the grid, resorting to solar power despite fewer inducements and lower feed-in rebates. [b]The death spiral of coal generated power companies has begun.[/b] As it continues, it will become fatal for some providers. The problem for government then will become how to support failing electricity companies who will still need to supply industry and commerce with the power they need. If some of these, for example supermarkets, install solar power to meet some or all of their needs, the crisis will widen, and the death spiral will accelerate. Talkback callers were uniform in their criticism of the power companies, angry that they have been, and would be further dudded by them, sceptical about whether they would ever see the elusive $550, and generally offside with the Abbott government, who were seen as reneging on yet another promise - the hard to get hold of $550 bonanza. The solar energy debate continued on ABC radio this morning. It attracted many callers and text messages, portraying the great community interest in solar power. The guest, the CEO of the Australian Solar Council, among fielding many pertinent questions, asserted that some power companies are actively campaigning to end the solar industry and the Abbott government is out to destroy it via reductions to the renewable energy target. Given Abbott's public support for the coal industry, that assertion is plausible. [b]Abbott's carbon tax chickens are coming home to roost with deafening wing-flapping. Carbon tax revenue has ceased; carbon pollution is rising again; the price of power is rising, not falling; electricity companies are charging more to offset falling revenue; householders are economising and turning more and more to power from renewables; the death spiral in which power providers are trapped continues relentlessly; the $550 seems as difficult for consumers to grasp as it ever was; yet another of Abbott's pre-election promises is a dud, and Abbott's trustworthiness takes yet another dive. None of us are surprised, nor should we be. What do you think?[/b] [i]Ad astra is retired medical academic.[/i]

jaycee

16/01/2015Barbarian Intellectualism. “For so many in the techno-elite, even those who don't entirely subscribe to the unlimited optimism of the Singularity (The Singularity is a notion of some futurists…Google it if you wish), the notion of perpetual progress and economic growth is somehow taken for granted. As a former classicist turned technologist, I've always lived with the shadow of the fall of Rome, the failure of its intellectual culture, and the stasis that gripped the Western world for the better part of a thousand years. What I fear most is that we will lack the will and the foresight to face the world's problems squarely, but will instead retreat from them into superstition and ignorance.” (Quote from the internet.) . In an earlier post, I questioned the presumption of what constituted an “Advanced Society”..ie; The notion of perpetual progress and economic growth is somehow taken for granted vs. the concept of creating a deliberate stable, sustainable social environment. While the former demands a “ laissez faire” economy, the latter would encourage a more “softly, softly” approach. To say that the latter would constitute a kind of “anti-intellectualism” is wrong..I would say that it is more of a “steering” of intellectual prowess toward community relevant advances, rather than toward that which enriches and can be utilized only by a wealthy elite. The barbarian idea of plunder and rapine to enrich the few rather than the most is anti-intellectualism..a degree of thought would prove that, like a garden, a sustainable harvest brings greater wealth in the long run rather than a one-off slash and burn approach..”softly, softly catchee monkey”. But that is not to say that the Barbarian class hasn’t learned by their mistakes. In ancient times, the Scythians, a most barbaric nomadic tribe from the Steppes of Eurasia , would contract the Grecian artists and artisans to manufacture works of beauty in plundered gold for their own vanity. The barbarian hand, while being adept at wielding a weapon, seems always to lack the finesse and temperament for cultured art. One cannot sing through gritted teeth! The IPA. , considered in these days as being THE VOICE of the right-wing think tanks in Aust’, is one such example of “Barbarian Intellectualism”. Reading articles from personalities of this institution, one can visualize through the chosen jargon and clichéd phrases, them trawling through their university days learned texts with “join-the-dots” logic that is more intellectualism by rote than by inquisitive enquiry. They will reach to give ‘legitimizing cred’ to their words by quoting from even dissenting sources, as if the reader cannot discern their cunning…like the schoolyard trick of the older boy offering the younger child ; “One BIG ‘gob-stopper” for all those little jaffas”…we’ve all witnessed THAT scenario and it’s nothing but insulting to have such juvenile methodology foisted upon us in our old age. Truly, many of the arguments put up by the “Barbarian intellectuals” , no matter who they quote, are little more than excuses for behaviour, rather than seeking to discover. If there is one famous quote that could embrace the entire Barbarian intellectualism ethos and moral direction, it would have to be that ghastly logic from the Vietnam War , where one ; “…must destroy the village to save the village.” And we have seen just how far such insane logic has taken the governance of this once well-administered country . The social-suicidal implementation of the IPA. “wish list” has driven both the object and the integrity of conversation in this country to a depth never before plumbed. To have to listen to the childish babbling of its’ creators is to give too much valued-time to too little thought. The influence of such puerile philosophy on the ministers of the govt’ demonstrates the even lower level of capable discourse amongst the front bench of that govt’. To call this govt’; “capable” is to outright lie..To call the govt’ of the day “culpable” is to be somewhere closer to reality…as to what they are “culpable” of is for a future commission to ascertain…but the least charge that can be leveled is the one of cultural “Barbarism”.

Ad astra

16/01/2015jaycee You do write profound prose. I enjoy reading it. It extends beyond the everyday issues of politics and the ordinary concerns of the electorate to deeper issues. Today, among other things, you explore the question of whether 'perpetual progress and economic growth' are prerequisites for the welfare of the human race. We are assured from both sides of the political divide that this is so. The IPA holds that view, and believes that a free market-based economy offers the most effective mechanism for achieving growth, prosperity, and progress. Its equation does not include social harmony and cohesion, nor does it place any value on community unity and solidarity, nor the 'fair go' for all. It fosters the survival of the fittest, the strongest, the best endowed, and let the devil take the leftovers. It is regrettable that IPA dogma infects so many conservative politicians, most those who lean towards Tea Party doctrines. The IPA influence, which you equate with Barbarian intellectualism, underlies many of the Abbott government moves, the most contemporary of which is his assault on our universal health care system. Abbott is a destroyer. Left unopposed, he would destroy Medicare, reshaping it to align it with his basic ideology where the 'lifters' are supported and applauded, and the 'leaners' are despised and left to wallow in their slough of despond. Thank you jaycee for stirring our feelings and feeding our intellect.

jaycee

16/01/2015Well, THANK YOU, AA. for the "thank you"!..This whole medicare schmozzle is so obviously ideological and divisive..you have to wonder, as has been mentioned by yourself and others on the media, just WHERE such shallow thought-out policy comes from!!? It is SO childish and pointless...as Bob Ellis said also..: What is the levy expense compared to a mortgage/rent per week, where it is seen as a necessity but your health is seen as an option!! It is beyond bizarre, it is eye-wincing, head shaking idiocy...AND the carbon pricing, AND chasing manufacturing offshore, AND mucking up the Renewable.E.S. ? Barbarian to the core.

jaycee

16/01/2015And now they want us to get up on our feet and sing the bloody national anthem ! Geez!..when I was an apprentice, you counted on your fingers the weeks or days to The Queen's Birthday, Australia day etc. as a day off work and weren't you thankful for it!...but to call for one to sing the national anthem??...going a tad too far!..what are they almost demanding allegiance..; bloody commies or summat?

2353

16/01/2015Jaycee - to paraphrase: "First they come for the refugees . . . Pseudo-nationalism is always a concern. To paraphrase again: Those that don't remember their history are going to repeat it.

Ken

16/01/2015Some of the current talk about 'saving the environment' reminds me of the 1970s. It wasn't so much the 'environment' then but 'resources'. During and immediately following the oil crises of the 1970s, there was much discussion about what we needed to do to ensure we had sufficient resources going into the future. But at the same time, the economic rationalists (and others of similar views) came along and said all that would be sorted by 'the market' and the economics of individual self-interest. Theoretically it is in an individual's self-interest to ensure resources do not run out and to protect the environment. But as we are witnessing, in reality it doesn't work like that. We only need to look at the falling price of oil at the moment. OPEC was asked to cut production to force the price back up but refused to do so. Why? No one is saying so but you only have to look at the effects of lower prices. North American shale oil plants are cutting production, even closing. New oil exploration is uneconomic. I see OPEC protecting its own interests by forcing 'competition' (alternative supplies, even alternative forms of fuel) from the market. It may suit OPEC for decade or two but it is certainly not in the broader interest of humanity. Unfortunately, it is likely to continue like this until governments reassert some control over economics and not leave it in the unfettered hands of the market.

jaycee

16/01/2015"...it is likely to continue like this until governments reassert some control over economics and not leave it in the unfettered hands of the market." Too true, Ken..but the upshot of OPEC. trying to force the market into it's corner, is that new allegiances are being formed..past enemies are seeking each others company for "economic warmth".

jaycee

16/01/2015Not only that, but blind Freddy can see that renewables are the base-load energies of the future...the not too distant future..the fossil fuel crowd are now like the injured viper biting itself in frustration. The only thing I fear is their capacity to use the military to create chaos to ensure their dominance of power.

Ken

16/01/2015jaycee We can't write off the fossil fuel industry yet. They are taking advantage of global warming. In Canada, the US, Russia and Norway (that I know of) survey ships are out in the Aarctic Ocean during the summer attempting to map the continental shelves and see how much each country can claim when the ocean is ice free. Canada is already planning the development of a major port in its north to cater for shipping traffic through the 'north-west passage'. They are expecting to find more oil and gas. Somehow the message needs to get through that we don't need more oil, at least not as a major fuel (perhaps just as lubricants). But that is not yet happening. Again, it comes back to governments standing up and saying in the interests of humanity we cannot afford to burn more fossil fuels.

TalkTurkey

17/01/2015http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/01/16/393353/-Charlie-Hebdo-editor-instigated-attack Comrades I had most of a post written but I lost it. All I had left was this link whose main thrust and comments thereto say a lot of what I think about the Paris massacre. I don't believe the official version at all. What I did say at the beginning was how depleted I feel in face of this bloody Government, and how much I admire the spirit of such as Ad astra and jaycee, to write on and on undaunted ... It just feels all so futile when they are so bent on contrariness, hypocrisy, illwill and destructiveness. On supporting Privilege writ large, on vast engorged salaries and profits for the 1% andscrewing ever harder the genuine battlers. But the worst thingis thebloody people just don't get it no matter what we write nor how many people march in the streets. Well I wrote more and better before, but I'm still here anyway, and I'm going to post this now before I lose this too. Never fear, we will beat these bastards out of power, but oh their bloody-mindedness, and the mindlessness of the jock-shock-listening morons who vote for them against their own best interests is just so infuriating, and so depressing ... Isn't it!

jaycee

17/01/2015TT..it sometimes breaks one's heart...BUT!!..that is why we Aussies created our unique vernacular..and I use it to succinctly express my emotions and to give vent to my frustrations...use it, I say! STUFF THE BASTARDS!!...VENCEREMOS!!

Ad astra

17/01/2015TT So good to see you back. Abbott's grotesqueness knows no bounds. 2015 is the year his ugliness, his nastiness, his punitiveness, his unfairness, his sheer incompetence will be exposed for everyone to see, for all to witness. His fatal political slide is well underway. It is irreversible because he knows no other way and cannot or will not learn. Be of stout heart. He is on the run. The terminal outcome is inevitable.

Bacchus

17/01/2015What a stirring start to a sticky Saturday morning. First TT telling it how it is and then jaycee and Ad astra chiming in with a 'call to arms'. VENCEREMOS!! indeed. I feel better already :)

Ken

17/01/2015Ad, TT, Bacchus Stirring indeed. Just back from mowing the lawn and finally got to these latest comments and burst into song. .... Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer, We'll keep the red flag flying here. Oops. Perhaps I'm not allowed to sing that anymore. But it still stirs [i]my[/i] spirits.

Curi-Oz

17/01/2015Ken, perhaps it is one of the range of alternatives that Australians might be singing at noon on the 26th?

Ad astra

17/01/2015[b]Is climate change still crap Tony?[/b] [i]An opinion piece by Ad astra[/i] It [i]is[/i] holiday time, where your overworked ministers take a 'well earned break' from the turmoil and anguish of trying to work out how to run a vast nation of 23 million with a federal budget near one and a half trillion, so it might be excusable Tony that so far there has been no response from you or your Environment Minister to the the latest alarming report on climate. We will be interested to see how long it takes you to respond, if indeed you bother at all. Now we all know that what you really said at that fateful meeting in Beaufort was: "the science behind climate change was crap", and that since that unwise utterance, designed to curry favour with your audience, you have backtracked, as you so often do. But we wonder how you regard the latest science that confirms what rational people, who have regard for the facts, already know, namely that the planet is warming steadily and dangerously. NASA has just released its annual report, which states categorically that: [i]"The year 2014 ranks as Earth’s warmest since 1880, according to two separate analyses by NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists. The 10 warmest years in the instrumental record, with the exception of 1998, have now occurred since 2000. This trend continues a long-term warming of the planet, according to an analysis of surface temperature measurements by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) in New York. In an independent analysis of the raw data, also released Friday, NOAA scientists also found 2014 to be the warmest on record."[/i] The report goes onto say: [i]"Since 1880, Earth’s average surface temperature has warmed by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius), a trend that is largely driven by the increase in carbon dioxide and other human emissions into the planet’s atmosphere. The majority of that warming has occurred in the past three decades. "This is the latest in a series of warm years, in a series of warm decades. While the ranking of individual years can be affected by chaotic weather patterns, the long-term trends are attributable to drivers of climate change that right now are dominated by human emissions of greenhouse gases,” said GISS Director Gavin Schmidt. "While 2014 temperatures continue the planet’s long-term warming trend, scientists still expect to see year-to-year fluctuations in average global temperature caused by phenomena such as El Niño or La Niña. These phenomena warm or cool the tropical Pacific and are thought to have played a role in the flattening of the long-term warming trend over the past 15 years. However, 2014’s record warmth occurred during an El Niño-neutral year."[/i] You don't have to believe me Tony - read the report for yourself, and do take the time to play the short video at the top of the page and the graphics in the right panel. They might startle you; at least I hope they will. http://www.nasa.gov/press/2015/january/nasa-determines-2014-warmest-year-in-modern-record/#.VLmnp8YihHh Commenting on the report, our own Professor Will Steffen, Director of the ANU's Climate Change Institute said: [i]"Effects of the steadily warming climate such as heatwaves, bushfires and extreme weather were happening more frequently and closer together. Historically in Australia, more people die from heatwaves than they do from any other type of natural disaster."[/i] He told ABC's AM: [i]"It does have consequences and it isn't the meteorological record that scientists and geeks like to look at, it's actually affecting us on the ground, now." "There is no doubt that to really get on top of this problem we have to have deeper targets, more ambitious targets for 2020."[/i] Professor Steffen said the rise in sea level temperatures was the most significant aspect of the reports: [i]"This is a real cause for concern because 93 per cent of the excess heat - because of the greenhouse gases we're popping into the atmosphere - actually ends up in the ocean. When you start to see the ocean warming up as much as it is, there's a lot more heat down there that's going to come back to bite us."[/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-17/2014-was-hottest-in-modern-history-say-us-scientists/6022714 Hear him for yourself: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-17/2014-hottest-year-on-record/6022804 We know you've countered arguments supporting the reality of climate change by reminding us that it was hotter in Jesus' time and that in this country we've had bushfires and floods for centuries, although you [i]have[/i] conceded that man might have contributed to global warming. But we are still to be convinced that you or your Environment Minister are taking global warming seriously. You killed off the carbon tax that [b]was[/b] reducing carbon pollution, and you tried unsuccessfully to knock it off the G20 agenda on the spurious grounds that this forum was about the global economy, although we all know climate is global too and affects [b]every[/b] economy. If you can remember any of the chemistry you learned at school, you will recall that when carbon dioxide dissolves in water, as it now is in alarming amounts, it forms carbonic acid, which dissolves calcium, a major component of coral reefs. You may also recall that as water gets warmer it expands, and so the sea level rises. Warming also melts ice, which falls into the sea and raises its level too, which will lead to inundation of low-lying seafronts, of which we have many in Australia. For someone as intelligent as you must be to win a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford, and to become PM of this nation, it is complete mystery to me why you seem unwilling to acknowledge what climate scientists have been telling us for ages. NASA's report now strongly reinforces the data scientists have assembled for many years. Instead, you continue to be a vocal advocate for the coal industry, happy to tell us that it will be our main energy source for decades (while our scientists insist it should stay in the ground), and at the same time you have been seemingly prepared to reduce our renewable energy target, leaving environmentalists and the rewewables industry convinced you are determined to put renewables out of business. The only explanation of this illogic I can muster is that you are so ideologically driven, so wedded to coal interests, so determined to prevent renewables from damaging the coal industry, that you have abandoned scientific facts and logic. Are you really prepared to irreparably damage our planet so that its becomes uninhabitable for your grandchildren and mine? [b]Tony, do you really still believe that the science behind climate change is crap? Please awaken; please accept the science; please take decisive action now; please persuade all your counterparts to do so next year in Paris. Otherwise, life on earth is doomed. Seriously! What do you, the readers, think?[/b] [i]Ad astra is retired medical academic who lives two metres above sea level.[/i]

Ken

17/01/2015Curi-Oz Yes, perhaps it should be; and it may be at least for a small group among us.

TalkTurkey

18/01/2015TwitterVerse [I do too much of this!] [i]Greens r full of good intent Of schemes they'll never implement! Real achievements?Pure invention! Hell's road's paved with good intention![/i] Bloody Twitter could've at least given us inflicters of doggerel 200 characters to write decent limericks with! The above is exactly 140, the absolute limit. As many of my Tweets are!

Ad astra

18/01/2015TT You really are a clever writer of doggerel. Who writes magic doggerel? Who is he who writes such doggerel? TT of course – our beloved talking turkey? [b]But he does tell it just how it is – our talking turkey.[/b] I doubt if the above amateur attempt is doggerel, or limerick for that matter; it serves simply to acknowledge your literary talent.

2353

18/01/2015Ad, Abbott's had a good weekend. First the Pope suggests that climate change is due to mankind - and humans have to fix it, then NASA reveals that 2014 has been the hottest year for quite a while. Abbott and the Luddites (good name for a 60's pop band by the way) are probably hunkered down in the bunker this weekend working out how to neutralise the bearers of bad news - or buy off the Catholic Church and NASA :-)

Ad astra

18/01/20152353 If the MSM has any guts at all, it will be pointedly asking Abbott how he reconciles his antediluvian attitude about climate change with that of his pontiff. I can see his response in my mind's eye, staring with his open mouth, then 'Look', his favoured opener, followed by a mishmash of weasel words that contain no answer, in fact no meaning at all. First, of course, he has to get his riding instructions from Peta, who no doubt will be furiously constructing short rejoinders to deflect attention from both the Pope and NASA. Then again, the MSM might do what it usually does - decline to challenge him at all.

jaycee

18/01/2015What is this “Treason”? “ The modern instinct is to seek a reason for everything, and to doubt the veracity of a statement for which a reason cannot be found. So many examples can be given … that the truth of the phenomenon cannot be held to be doubtful.” I hold that the same can be said for the betrayal of our national interests to foreign individuals and corporations by the current Government. Policies put in place by the Labor govt’, like Medicare , the NBN. and the Renewable Energy Scheme are being betrayed to individual and corp’ interests by an act of treason against our state and peoples. That a specific law for a charge of treason cannot or will not be brought to bear on these actions does not lessen the accusation nor the crime…The deed IS being done, THAT is obvious..the charge is just not being reported as an act of treason, but rather as an economic excuse . The cover-up is in the reporting by the MSM. ( majority owned or influenced by foreign nationals), who accept monies , like Judas, for obfuscating such betrayals. These employees are the real traitors. Some time back, I posted a piece on the boards titled “The Meaning of Treason”…it was met with much doubt as to what exactly treason was in this day and age…could it even BE a law anymore..was it now redundant?...Well, the old image of ‘cloak and dagger skullduggery’, with the exchange of envelopes of information for money or favour between ‘trench-coated’ shadowy figures is a thing of the movies…The charge of High-treason reserved for the likes of international whistle-blowers revealing the common-crimes of governments rather than the conquest of nations. Dirty murders rather than a Guy Fawkes conspiracy. But there is another form of treason…less “high” than “common”…yet, govt’s do get “overthrown”..treasuries sacked and looted, innocent lives lost…all through a corruption of our sacred democratic system. There are those political players who are held up and who hold themselves up as the self elected, rightful inheritors of the “Born to Rule” elite. Strange that with this self-righteous belief, comes their capacity to overturn every tradition of democracy and social convention to grasp that “right”. These “born to rule” dictators will stop at nothing, stoop to unfathomable depths , sell their souls in a Faustian deal to whichever devil to hold that power. This is the LNP. as we see it today. So how do we measure this act of treason? Where is there unequivocal evidence of a deliberate act of betrayal to a foreign individual or corporation that has affected the well-being of the national economy or personally affected Australian citizens? I will point to two examples of recent decisions that seem obvious to this writer. : 1) The deliberated shutting down of the Motor Manufacturing Industries. There is also associated with this act the dismantling of the Ship-building industry and along with these two major employers, the ricocheting hits on allied suppliers and manufacturers. The entire front-bench of the LNP. were behind this deliberate sabotage of the Australian manufacturing industry. Their refusal on pure ideological grounds to continue to support a most vital national industry, destroyed many tens of thousands of jobs and eroded the infrastructure in-situ that guarantees national independence in times of self-defence of a nation. This was done so as to secure a free-trade agreement that suited little other than the major international corporations who would benefit from the exchange of goods or commodities manufactured in foreign lands by cheap labour while our own nationals went unemployed or sought retraining in a service industry for less pay and conditions…in short, the demeaning of OUR skilled workforce to suit the importation of manufactured cars and goods from a foreign source. We were betrayed. 2) The NBN. (National Broadband Network) with it’s heart of “fibre to the home” was a policy of huge benefit to the nation and it’s peoples as well as one of great engineering imagination, worthy of comparison to the Snowy Mountain Scheme. The destruction of this communication capacity by the unashamedly selling out to a foreign national’s whim, can be compared to Vichy France’s selling out to the Nazi regime. The awful spectacle of the current minister for communications , going through an act of the most gross debasement of self-respect can be compared to “speech-night theatrics” of the most amateur ham!... The only support for such destruction of such a vital infrastructure network has come from the foreign national’s own employees, who seem to relish joining in selling their nations interests for little more than a weekly salary. There are , thankfully, only a few adjectives that best describe such persons..I leave that section of the English dictionary to give them verbal recognition for their base efforts. This destruction of efficiency of fibre communications in exchange to benefit the most corrupt media mogul has yet to be fully felt..the slow-motion dumbing-down of broadband speed and capacity has already cost the nation in both development and employment. The future of communications is now compromised save for the fortunate or the wealthy..In this isolated area, the NBN. was seen as a God-send to join communities and peoples suffering that great Aust’ blight of the tyranny of distance, to both join and allow the joining of services and industries. That is now destroyed. We have been betrayed. To return to the opening quote..; “…the truth of the phenomenon cannot be held to be doubtful”….The above acts of betrayal have been or are in the process of being done. The national interest, the economic interest, the peoples employment interest, the very health of ourselves has been compromised…there is no doubt to that..So what CAN you call an act that takes the national / citizen / economic structure and trades it off to a foreign corporation or national , against the wishes, the well-being and the future good of a country, but an act of betrayal…an act of treason!?

Casablanca

18/01/2015It's in their DNA! [b]What Makes Them Tick: Inside The Mind Of The Abbott Govt.[/b] 'If the Abbott Govt was an individual, he'd be a psychopath'. http://shar.es/1bubTW

Ken

18/01/2015Casablanca An excellent piece from New Matilda. The conumdrum, however, is that the conservatives support the free market and capitalism, but it is the market and capitalism that are major drivers of change in our society -- the market itself changes and also presents new products that change society. Some of those changes, like the internet itself, promote egalitarianism but, of course, some promote inequality. But why would conservatives support such a force that drives change rather than stability. Logically, the conservatives should be controlling the market, limiting the changes it can drive, but that is not their approach at all. There lies the conumdrum.

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18/01/2015Casablanca Thank you for finding the New Matilda piece, which gives an informative insight into the conservative mind and personality. The comments furnished even more insight. Such pieces enhance our understanding about why politicians behave the way they do. It explains but does not excuse conservative behaviour.

2353

19/01/2015Casablanca - an excellent article thanks. It seems we also found where Iain Hall got to as well.

TalkTurkey

19/01/2015Ar There Comrades On the Pre-Poll booth for a by-election for the SA State seat of Davenport, I think win is impossible (don't know the figures at all) but hafta fly the flag for Labor anyway. I haven't started yet, then I have a 2-hour stint, 4 hours on Wednesday. Same timing as Qld. Labor's close to the wind in SA Parlt but we're safe, this won't change Govt. I think Newman might get more than a personal surprise. Abborrrtt ain't lookin good and the two of them are seen as twins by everybody, rightly so too. Leasing their assets is Far-Right Crazy, keeping the farm but with the 1% in charge, dirt-cheap renting the usufruct, the stock, the barn, the machinery, - and the well, and the gold mine. For a promised $100 bucks! Queenslanders ought to be scared.

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19/01/2015TT I don't know about Davenport, but in the Sunshine state, clouds are gathering for Abbott's political 'twin': Campbell Newman. This article from [i]The Guardian[/i] might interest you: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/17/campbell-newman-trailing-labors-kate-jones-in-ashgrove-newspoll-shows?CMP=ema_1731 And this too: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/17/former-lnp-minister-launches-scathing-attack-on-newman-government?CMP=ema_1731 Abbott is an albatross around Newman's neck, just as he was around Denis Naphine's in Victoria. They will wither together.

Ad astra

19/01/2015TT I don't know about Davenport, but in the Sunshine state, clouds are gathering for Abbott's political 'twin': Campbell Newman. This article from [i]The Guardian[/i] might interest you: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/17/campbell-newman-trailing-labors-kate-jones-in-ashgrove-newspoll-shows?CMP=ema_1731 And this too: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/17/former-lnp-minister-launches-scathing-attack-on-newman-government?CMP=ema_1731 Abbott is an albatross around Newman's neck, just as he was around Denis Naphine's in Victoria. They will wither together.

Ad astra

19/01/2015Folks This might give you some heart: http://thenewdaily.com.au/money/2015/01/18/2015-global-economy-bad/ about our future prospects, provided of course our 'adult' government does mess up our economy any more than they have already done.

Casablanca

19/01/2015[b]Signs of mutiny on the Good Ship Abbott[/b] Paula Matthewson. 19 January 2015 We've known for some time that the Good Ship Abbott was in trouble, partly because it was constructed using shonky policies and shattered expectations, but also because it was steered with the reckless abandon that comes from political hubris mixed with a misguided sense of entitlement...What is clear is that now Abbott has apparently single-handedly botched the "reset", he'll likely be deemed unseaworthy and slated for a visit to the ships' graveyard, perhaps by mid-year....The only factor that remains in Abbott's favour is that there's no clear front-runner to replace him. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-19/matthewson-signs-of-mutiny-on-the-good-ship-abbott/6024180

Casablanca

19/01/2015An excoriating attack on Newman by Alan Jones [b]LNP are 'prostitutes': Jones (04:41)[/b] Alan Jones launches a scathing attack against Campbell Newman on 4BC, saying he "lied to me" and couldn't "run a chook raffle". http://media.brisbanetimes.com.au/news/qld-news/jones-bans-media-from-ashgrove-launch-6176650.html?next_video=true

Casablanca

20/01/2015[b]Does the average person realise how much the Abbott Government is helping the wealthy?[/b] Michael Taylor. January 19, 2015 'Mates help each other; they do not tax each other" Abbott, 23 Feb 2011. Hansard. http://theaimn.com/average-person-realise-much-abbott-government-helping-wealthy/

DoodlePoodle

20/01/2015And that was ... 2014 As a regular reader of TPS and one who doesn't contribute very often, 2014 seemed like a year of "mourning" at TPS. Just three weeks into 2015 and I perceive a real spring in everyone's step here at TPS. May the LNP continue to shoot themselves in the foot. Abbott clearly has "foot in mouth".

TalkTurkey

20/01/2015January 20. 2015 12:51 PM TalkTurkey Doodle Poodle You have given me a RUSH! Good on you for that upbeat little observation. It's what we all want to hear, and to feel. Just a few words! Yes. We are on the attack now. Only skirmishes in Federal tersm so far, but don't forget we SAVED SA, (won the Fisher By-Election here [i]amazingly![/i] ), WON Victoria, now we are challenging Godzilla in Queensland. And then Labor will work like the Devil for NSW. And then will Abborrrtt will feel the wrath of the fully awakened People. WE WILL MAKE IT HAPPEN. Right now Anastasia Palaszczuk is speaking very well to the Comrades at the Qld ALP Launch. That is all she needs - just good sense & policy and some NICENESS. AWAKE NOW, FOLKS OF QUEENSLAND! To SELL the FARM's INSANE! Once Newman's LEASED YOUR ASSETS They'll NEVER COME AGAIN! Queenslanders! Tell Newman his Government SUCKS! Don't sell him your vote for $100 BUCKS! Kick his thugs out now! SEIZE THE DAY! LABOR's Australia's PROPER WAY! Palaszczuk finishes "We're in this to WIN!" Or in a word: ... [i][b]VENCEREMOS![/b][/i]

TalkTurkey

20/01/2015We're STILL searching for Seth in Hawaii. We fear the outcome but we must find out what's happened. Seth is/was in a wheelchair, told us he became homeless Sept 4, heard nothing further from him(He writes to us often usually,for years.) By looking, we found out six weeks ago he was [i]dis[/i]-charged from hospital October 4 last year ... Nothing further. (We didn't know he had even been in hospital.) Anyway we found his brother Alexander in Florida, and then, amazingly, one of our contacts was able to provide him with Seth's Social Security number ... Sonow Alexis hopefully empowered to get the necessary information off thr US SS Department. But have long feared that the outcome cannot be good, and then yesterday J**** found this article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/12/homeless-woman-letter-hawaii_n_6148292.html Read it, and be very very afraid lest Abborrrttians Americanise Australia's health system. BTW this event took place at Waikiki, same as where Seth has disappeared, and same as where that Golfer was beaten up. Waikiki sounds like a Must to Avoid. I really want to go there now! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icEUzyyL88A

Ken

20/01/2015I see Abbott is playing with words again. In response to reports that the abandoned idea of cutting Medicare payments for short consultations had been opposed by Hockey and Dutton and that it was a 'captain's call' (ie. Abbott's idea), Abbott claimed the decision was 'unanimous'. There is a convention in Westminster parliamentary politics that there is 'Cabinet solidarity'. (One reason Abbott kept Turnbull in the Cabinet so he couldn't be a loose canon criticising government policy). So even if a decision is made solely by the Prime Mnister, or by a casting vote, or a simple majority, it is deemed to be a 'Cabinet decision' which all ministers must then support. The very fact that there are leaks suggesting otherwise is not good for Abbott.

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20/01/2015Doodle Poodle, TT, Ken 2015 is a year of hope as the wheels fall off Abbott's wobbly circus and Newman's corrupt machine. This year we will se a continuation of the steady disintegration of the conservative apparatus , at both a state and federal level. It's year of hope for progressives.

Casablanca

21/01/20151. What we're fighting for http://www.alp.org.au/ 2. Parents Weighing Up What Age To Tell Children That Bill Shorten Doesn’t Exist The Shovel | December 14, 2014 Parents around Australia are wondering how long they should let their kids keep believing Australia has an Opposition Leader. Perth mother Dianne Haynesly said she was unsure of the right age to end the make-believe. “It’s hard to know when to break it to them. My kids are in their teens and still just assume that he’s a real thing,” she said. http://www.theshovel.com.au/2014/12/14/parents-weighing-up-age-to-tell-children-bill-shorten-doesnt-exist/ 3. Be careful what you wish for. John Menadue. 01/16/2015 With the Victorian election result the Labor Party may be hoping to see the demise of Tony Abbott in the New Year. But it should be careful what it hopes for. http://johnmenadue.com/blog/?p=2805 4. Unelectable Shorten vs unre-electable Abbott? Mungo MacCallum 20 Jan 2015 Bill Shorten may have dragged Labor back from the abyss to become a genuine competitor, but time is running out for him to find a policy vision, just as it is for Tony Abbott. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-20/maccallum-unelectable-shorten-vs-unre-electable-abbott/6027844 5. Bashing Bill Shorten John Lord. January 19, 2015 You would have to go back to the period of Whitlam, Hawke, and Keating to experience the exhilaration that might come about with an enthusiasm for what might be possible through the political process. http://theaimn.com/bashing-bill-shorten/ 6. It’s time to get on with it Kaye Lee. January 16, 2015 To Bill Shorten and the Labor Party: What you should be saying is “We do not support the Government’s proposal because……Our plan is to……” http://theaimn.com/time-get/ 7. Shorten’s ‘New Labor’: policy and the challenges of leadership Narelle Miragliotta. 15 October 2013. In his pitch to Labor’s rank and file for the right to lead the federal parliamentary party, Bill Shorten declared that his aim - should he become prime minister - would be to serve on behalf of: the powerless, for the disempowered, for people who don’t have a voice in society. http://theconversation.com/shortens-new-labor-policy-and-the-challenges-of-leadership-19148 8. As the party faithful drift away, can Bill Shorten reinvent Labor? Dennis Altman. Sep 7, 2014 - Bill Shorten, who seemed so impressive as a union leader and minister, is shaping up as the least inspiring opposition leader since Alexander Downer. In foreign affairs, Shorten’s fear of repeating Mark Latham’s mistakes means that he is trying to outbid prime minister Tony Abbott in unquestioning support for bellicosity abroad. In domestic affairs, he has adopted Abbott’s negative style, which may yet trap him. http://theconversation.com/as-the-party-faithful-drift-away-can-bill-shorten-reinvent-labor-31098 9. What should Labor stand for? Geoff Gallop. 4 July, 2014 In many ways the question of what Labor should stand for is pretty easy to answer. It’s all there in the National Platform. There are the “enduring values,” the “vision for Australia’s future” and, tucked away in chapter 12, our “objectives” and “principles of action” as a “democratic” and “socialist” party. That’s all very well, but I want to dig deeper and see if we can sort out the essential from the peripheral and come up with a definition that continues to work for participants and those who analyse their behaviour. http://insidestory.org.au/what-should-labor-stand-for 10. Climate Change Is Shorten's Big Chance Ben Eltham. 31 October, 2014 The rest of the world agrees that Tony Abbott's climate policy is crap. Standing firm on the carbon tax is Bill Shorten's chance to prove he's PM material. https://newmatilda.com/2013/10/31/climate-change-shortens-big-chance 11. What does Labor stand for? Principles to drive policies and programs. John Menadue John Menadue 09/13/2013 Labor should be explicit about the principles that drive policies and programs. Those key principles were Fairness, Freedom, Citizenship, Stewardship and Ethical responsibility. In addition to these principles Labor should stand for democratic renewal, including of itself and the key role of government in a strong economy and society. http://johnmenadue.com/blog/?p=752http://johnmenadue.com/blog/?p=752 12. A back-flip on the carbon tax. John Menadue. 10/31/2013 http://johnmenadue.com/blog/?p=857 13. What does Labor stand for? Part 4 John Menadue. 09/23/2014 Ethical responsibility http://johnmenadue.com/blog/?s=What+does+Labor+stand+for%3F+Part+4 14. What does Labor stand for? Part 5 John Menadue 09/24/2014 Democratic Renewal http://johnmenadue.com/blog/?p=2327 15. What does Labor stand for? Part 6 The economic role of government http://johnmenadue.com/blog/?p=2329#comment-22595 16. The Australian Christian Lobby will not go away John Warhurst 03 November 2014 | The ACL's recent national conference was held in Canberra and featured Opposition Leader Bill Shorten as keynote speaker. Appearances at the lobby's conferences have become something of a political rite of passage in recent years. Despite serious academic criticism from Professor Rodney Smith of the University of Sydney questioning its claims to political influence, it is now established in the top echelon of lobbying groups. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=42235#.VL6AYi74hM4 17. Bill Shorten's WorkChoices moment Fatima Measham 18 May 2014 In the decade under John Howard, Labor leaders in opposition slid to the middle, perhaps in the belief that offending the least number of people was a suitable strategy for winning office...successful opposition seems to rely heavily on people getting terribly het up about something. But it takes a clever opposition leader to channel this in his favour. What Shorten has been handed this week [in the Budget] is several WorkChoices with which to galvanise people. He needed it. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=40425#.VL55lS74hM4

jaycee

21/01/2015I think social media suffers somewhat from a kind of “capability cringes”…by that, I believe we are still on the back foot to the forth estate…it looks to me that we are waiting for the MSM. to lead on a story or create an outrage of commentary and THEN we react to it. I believe we ought to now have the capacity to take the fight right up to and attack the forth estate on their home turf…attack them BEFORE they get a grip on the stories..before THEY make the story…we can pre-empt their bullshit by constructing the story scenario on our terms, in our territory on our conditions…we have access to a greater audience, a willing to connect audience and a participatory spectatorship! Lets create the news…lets attack the MSM. For without the MSM., bums like Murdoch or Rinehart have no capacity…no power at all! Here’s a start…; All these MSM. Journos, who are employed by the big media houses, do they participate in an “Employee Share Scheme”? Most large corps’ have them where employees are given as bonus’s or are encouraged to hold a certain amount of shares in the parent co’. Given that this may (I do not know for sure if it is the case) be the situation in the MSM. , would it then make the journos’ pushing govt’ policy be complicit in a kind of “cash for comments” scenario…and also make them more liable to accusation of “seeking govt’ favourable to their own profits”….Again , I don’t know where you’d go to find the facts…but Hey!...since when did facts slow the Murdoch rags down?...it is a fair question..I say we raise it loud and long…Attack! Attack! Attack!

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21/01/2015Casblanca I see you are gearing up for the year ahead! I'll read your very pertinent list of links when time permits; I've got a busy few days ahead. We who support Labor need to ask ourselves what its vision is and how Bill Shorten intends to express and implement it. jaycee I agree, let's be proactive and attack. We can also mount attacks that are precipitated by current events, no matter where reported. We can attack the MSM when we see it perverting fairness and justice, which it does regularly through distorted self-interested reporting. We have lots of options.

jaycee

21/01/2015jaycee@jaycee ‏@trulyjaycee now All Murdoch journos in "group-talk-think"...so all members of a NEW CLUB..: "THE HAW HAW CLUB" !..(variations in spelling can apply!).

Casablanca

21/01/2015[b]Low 10-year bond rates are the deal of the century but Abbott's not at the table[/b] Peter Martin. January 21, 2015 - 12:15AM We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It'll slip through our fingers. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/low-10year-bond-rates-are-the-deal-of-the-century-but-abbotts-not-at-the-table-20150120-12tq4j.html

jaycee

21/01/2015http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/podcasts/ The Boyer Lecture today was a beauty...catch it here.

jaycee

21/01/2015https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=093UhTuZmPA&feature=youtu.be&app=desktop David Donovan catches the moment with MP. Ray Stevens. Sorry about the botch-up last post...don't know what happened!

Bacchus

21/01/2015Fixed jaycee :) Another link to the 2015 Boyer lectures: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/boyerlectures/past-programs/ Just caught David Donovan's interview with Ray Stevens through facebook - lovely man, with that attitude, everyone should vote for him :-O

jaycee

21/01/2015Geez!...you can feel it unraveling for the LNP. everywhere...though I wouldn't get my hopes too high in Qld. , it does make a contest of it . I'm excited!!

jaycee

21/01/2015Brilliant!! http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/new-xray-technique-reveal

Ken

21/01/2015Casablanca I say Peter Martin for Treasurer.:-)

jaycee

21/01/2015George Monbiot on journalists. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/20/broadcasters-mouthpieces-of-elite-balanced-news-journalists

Casablanca

22/01/2015Government To Legislate Against Further Temperature Rises After Record Hot Year With 2014 confirmed as the hottest year globally, and the third hottest in Australia, the Government has taken a decisive step to prevent further increases – introducing a new bill which would make future temperature rises illegal. http://www.theshovel.com.au/2015/01/21/government-to-legislate-against-further-temperature-rises/ Joe Hockey Says Australians May Live Long Enough To See Him Pass His First Budget Advances in science and medicine mean Australians may live to 150 – long enough to see the Government pass the 2014 budget, Treasurer Joe Hockey said today. http://www.theshovel.com.au/2015/01/19/joe-hockey-says-australians-may-live-long-enough-to-see-him-pass-his-first-budget/

jaycee

22/01/2015Bastard Morrison... http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/jan/22/journalists-rep

Casablanca

23/01/20151. How to win an election Brett Evans. 5 June 2012 A timeless guide for politicians with a sting in the tail . http://insidestory.org.au/how-to-win-an-election/ 2. Voters forgive leadership change, but not disunity Paula Matthewson 22 Jan 2015, 5:00pm Despite Tony Abbott's protestations to the contrary, there is no golden rule in Australian politics damning a governing party that changes leaders mid-stream to eternal political opprobrium. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-22/matthewson-voters-forgive-change-but-not-disunity/6034746 3. Wounded Abbott fighting for his political life | Steve Lewis. 22 January 2015 http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2015/01/22/wounded-abbott-fighting-political-life/#.VMEM24xgGkA.twitter … 4. It makes no difference who replaces Abbott: It’s not Abbott who has to go. It’s this government. Victoria Rollison. 22 January 2015 http://theaimn.com/makes-no-difference/ … 5. Massive review into workplace laws to examine penalty rates and the minimum wage James Massola. 22 January 2015 http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/massive-review-into-workplace-laws-to-examine-penalty-rates-and-the-minimum-wage-20150122-12vxa2.html … 6. Democracy for sale on penalty rates? Peter Wicks. 22 January 2015 https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/democracy-for-sale,7283#.VMEQavJsnGM.twitter … 7. What is Joe Hockey softening us up for? Rob Burgess. 22 January 2015 http://thenewdaily.com.au/money/2015/01/21/joe-hockey-softening-us/#.VMELA-ZIsHU.twitter … 8. The truth about bracket creep and Hockey's tax tales Ben Phillips. 22 January 2015 http://theconversation.com/the-truth-about-bracket-creep-and-hockeys-tax-tales-36492 … 9. We need Medicare reform, but co-payment 3.0 is the wrong place to start Stephen Duckett http://theconversation.com/we-need-medicare-reform-but-co-payment-3-0-is-the-wrong-place-to-start-36508 … 10. Hockey needs a crash course on income tax Callam Pickering. 20 Jan, 2015 http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2015/1/20/tax/hockey-needs-crash-course-income-tax … 11. Journalists reporting on asylum seekers referred to Australian police Paul Farrell. January 22, 2015 http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/jan/22/journalists-reporting-on-asylum-seekers-referred-to-australian-police?CMP=share_btn_tw 12. Politics is failing us, but we can fix it Stephanie Peatling. January 22, 2015 - 2:02PM http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/politics-is-failing-us-but-we-can-fix-it-20150122-12vq8w.html 13. Everything wrong with political journalism Andrew Elder. 8 January 2015 http://andrewelder.blogspot.com.au/ 14. Health and education Andrew Elder. 19 January 2015 http://andrewelder.blogspot.com.au/ 15. A rightwing insurrection is usurping our democracy George Monbiot. 2 October 2012 http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/oct/01/rightwing-insurrection-usurps-democracy?CMP=share_btn_tw 16. Our ‘impartial’ broadcasters have become mouthpieces of the elite George Monbiot. 21 January 2015 http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/20/broadcasters-mouthpieces-of-elite-balanced-news-journalists?CMP=share_btn_tw

Casablanca

23/01/2015[b]Return to higher education elitism[/b] Bill Uren 22 January 2015 The Minister, Christopher Pyne, has sought to justify the reforms by suggesting that higher education is elitist in character. Why should the rank and file taxpayer, he asks, pay for 60 per cent of the costs of students attending university? This, of course, is a highly contentious argument. It relies on four questionable presuppositions. It ignores in the first instance the whole nature of taxation where we all are taxed for benefits in which only some of us participate. Secondly, it ignores the intergenerational nature of support for education. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=42542#.VMHLjS74hM4

jaycee

24/01/2015 Rebecca West ; “Conclusion ; The Meaning of Treason”…” But there is a case against the traitor. It has been put with classic simplicity by the law :” If a state gives protection, it has claims to his allegiance, and if he gives it his allegiance it is bound to give him it’s protection.” Murdoch has freely chosen which foreign State will have his allegiance. His Aust’ employees would had better chosen theirs..They have thrown their lot in with his and his international corporate interests against the social and unilateral interests of Aust’…they have in no uncertain terms betrayed Aust’ interests…ergo ; They are traitors!

Casablanca

24/01/2015The power politics of Tony Abbott's leadership woes Dale Hughes 23 Jan 2015, 3:58pm Tony Abbott's problems don't centre around what he has or hasn't achieved in government, but with how he achieved the leadership in the first place http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-23/hughes-the-power-politics-of-tony-abbotts-leadership-woes/6043096
What does two plus 1 equal?