What makes a good political speech?

There has been much recent comment about the quality of political speeches, and indeed this has been so over the life of the Gillard Government and in fact during the period of the Rudd Government too. Commentators, most of which have likely never written a political speech, feel qualified to comment, and describe speeches of which they disapprove by using throwaway pejorative phrases such as ‘banal’, ‘uninspiring’, ‘lacklustre’, and sometimes more unkindly, ‘plagiarized’. They scarcely ever specify what was missing, or incorrect, or overdone; they may make comments on bits they regard as inappropriate, but they never suggest how the speech should have run. That seems too difficult for them.

On this blogsite we have attempted to draft speeches that our PM might make in order to lay bare what the MSM seems incessantly to crave – her Government’s ‘vision’, its ‘narrative’, and what she and her Government ‘stand for’. We have done this here because MSM journalists never deign to propose how political speeches ought to read or how they ought to be delivered. Here are our two recent attempts at ‘speechwriting’ for our PM: Julia Gillard’s Light on the Hill and Julia Gilllard’s Vision for the Asian Century.

What follows is the first in a short series of speeches that will be reproduced here verbatim over the break. Some are regarded as outstanding. The challenge for you is to read and assess them as brilliant, ordinary or poor, and most importantly then indicate why you so classify them. Let’s not have throwaway comments without backing – leave that to our journalists, who seem unable to do better. Take Laurie Oakes as an example. He made disparaging remarks about PM Gillard’s opening speech at the recent ALP National Conference, in The Daily Telegraph on December 10, 2011 in a piece A brilliant speech could save Gillard. Yet he offered no advice about how a ‘brilliant speech’ might come about. Let’s see if we can do better.

Here is the Prime Minister’s address at the opening of the ALP National Conference on Friday, 2 December 2011, reproduced verbatim: it is just short of 3000 words.

Why not judge her speech yourself.

Prime Minister Gillard's Speech to the ALP National Conference

Thank you Jenny, it’s so good to be so warmly welcomed by our President, elected by our members.

Delegates, here we acknowledge Australia’s first people, we acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet.

And I look forward to the great day when we will acknowledge them in Australia’s Constitution as well.

Delegates, it is good to be with you all again.

In the sixteen months since we stood together in that toughest of Federal election campaigns, our Party has governed and governed well.

We all shared the hard work of those campaigning days.

And we share the achievements and opportunities of these days of government.

As I have travelled our country since, I have seen our achievements reflected on so many Australian faces – and seen the opportunities we want to spread to all Australians.

I saw them in the faces of the education-hungry young women I met at UnitingCare Ambarvale in May.

Young mums getting help with childcare, with skills, help finding a job, leaving a life of exclusion behind.

That’s why this year our Labor Budget gave better help to Australians to get a job and to make sure it pays.

Achievements reflected in the face of a hard-working woman I met last month in Melbourne’s west.

She suffers an acquired brain injury but she’s never been a victim, started a business in her own home – marketing gourmet dog biscuits over the Internet!

Now selling them to Harrod’s of London for thirty-five pounds each.

That’s why this year, we took the decision to lay the foundations for national disability insurance, fairness at last for two million Australians, people with disabilities and their carers – it will be a defining Labor reform.

Opportunities reflected in the face of a woman I met in Darwin last year.

A cancer survivor worried by a sore leg that won't heal, now getting the care she needs.

Because her dermatologist in Adelaide can examine her leg on a high speed video link on-line.

That’s why we’re rolling out high speed broadband.

Tasmania led the nation, beginning the replacement of the hundred-year old copper wire network, and now this year in Brunswick and Armidale, Townsville and Kiama, the National Broadband Network is an investment in the future which is operating now.

Achievements and opportunities reflected in the face of a resilient teenager I met in The Canberra Hospital.

A sixteen year old boy getting a hip joint operation faster because we’re cutting waiting times.

That’s why this year we delivered for health – not just much-needed extra funds, but the long-lasting reforms to give our people better care.

And delegates, achievements and opportunities I have seen reflected in so many faces of our clean energy future.

I’ve met workers at a Brisbane tip generating power from methane, traditional apprentices with clean technology skills in Brunswick and wind farm technicians in Bungendore.

Workers at one of our cleanest baseload power stations at Dalby and staff who told me about pioneering technology at Kogan Creek.

The faces of the new jobs being created in our clean energy economy.

That’s why this year.

After a debate lasting the best part of two, even three decades together, this year, we turned words into deeds and next year, Australia will have a price on carbon.

Great Labor achievements – great Australian opportunities.

And delegates, together we’ve done more.

Labor is the Party of jobs.

And you know the value I put on the benefits and dignity of work.

A value I’ve never seen reflected so clearly as on the days when I have been lucky enough to visit Australia’s gas fields and mines.

And all the places in our great resource states – Western Australia, Queensland, and now South Australia – where our young people are trained in the trades they need to make the most of the mining investment boom, to win their own jobs and to make the boom last.

As the Party of jobs, we govern for jobs.

So in the worst global recession in seventy years, over conservative opposition in the Parliament and beyond, we brought our economy through, stronger than any developed country, and your Labor Government created more than seven hundred thousand Australian jobs.

Labor is the Party of growth.

And you know my passion for education – growth’s long-term key.

It is a passion I’ve seen more than shared, I’ve seen it exceeded, by the kids, the parents, the teachers – and by a great principal, Margaret at Goodna State School, in Queensland’s south east.

Where our national partnerships are lifting teacher quality, improving the children’s reading and writing, and rebuilding this local school as well.

That’s why your Labor Government doubled education funding.

And delegates, Labor is the Party of fairness.

The fairness I believe we express above all through the respect we show each other as Australians.

Fairness and respect that your Labor Government works hard to extend to every Australian every day.

As we did when we decided to make a new, fortnightly payment to support surviving Australian prisoners of war – another victory in Labor politics for that great fighter for fairness Tom Uren.

As we did when we took the decision finally to give Australian women paid parental leave.

And when we took the decision to give caring workers equal pay.

We did it because we know that fairness begins in the workplace.

Delegates, we always have from our first days in office in Australia.

Watson’s Labor worked so hard for conciliation and arbitration – to protect working people.

It took longer than that first, four-month term for Labor in national office – but Watson’s Labor got it done.

And in doing so they set the test for every one of their successors.

That urgent, ultimate test they set for Labor in office is still the same: did you do the right thing for rights at work.

Friends, this Labor Government did.

Your Labor Government put Work Choices in the grave.

And only victory in 2013 will bury Work Choices forever.

Delegates, we meet today as Labor.

We all know the Labor way.

The way of jobs, of growth, of fairness.

The way of education, of hard work, of respect.

The way of the future.

And we meet as a Party which knows that the Labor way is the Australian way.

Our great movement’s shared identity – and our grand Party’s historic mission – combine as simply as this: we are Labor for Australia.

To govern for Australia is a great privilege for us – it is a great responsibility as well.

We love this movement – its traditions and ideals – but we have always seen it as a movement in service to the nation we love more.

We have always governed by putting the nation first.

The responsibilities of Government are the responsibilities of hard choice.

Curtin knew that when he raised conscripts for military service overseas.

Chifley knew that in the industrial winter of 1949.

Whitlam knew it when he ended the bitter debate over state aid.

Hawke and Keating knew it every day they governed.

And we know it now.

We showed it this week, as we made the hard decisions to bring the Budget back into the black.

We will show it again this weekend, as we make the hard decisions to prepare our nation for the future too.

Delegates, in these coming days, I want us to have a fair dinkum Labor Party conference.

We didn’t join Labor in our youth because we had no opinions.

We didn’t come here for a coronation or a campaign launch.

We came here for debates, we came here for surprises, we came here to have votes.

This is why I called the review of our Party last year.

And why I asked three fine Labor servants – John Faulkner, Steve Bracks and Bob Carr – to serve our Party once more.

To bring forward proposals to strengthen us – to be a Party of members because I knew we needed change.

That’s why I also stated very clearly in September how I believe the next stage of Party reform should begin.

And at this Conference, I believe we can go further.

We can set a recruiting challenge.

Eight thousand new members next year and I want this Conference to sign up to the target this weekend.

We can adopt a community organising approach.

Backed with real resources, giving our Labor members and activists the tools they need “to organise and fight” for progress in their communities.

So as we grow, we grow in connection, including trialling community preselections, “primaries”, in some seats.

And we must lead in the new world of campaigning on line.

We must have a serious digital presence through which Australians who share our values can engage with our ideas.

A base from which Labor campaigns can be organised.

The proposal to build a much stronger Labor on line presence is a vital proposal for the future.

We can move to modern structures.

Recognising that the old branches alone are not the future, embracing new forms of online membership and opportunities for supporters to become more involved.

Allowing members to organise around policy areas that reflect their interests and ideas.

And offering new opportunities to participate in policy development through genuine forums which include parliamentary, union and directly elected representatives.

And above all, we can create a richer experience for members of the Labor Party.

A genuine opportunity for all Labor people to take part in the Party’s political life.

More opportunities to have a say and a direct vote in important decisions.

Starting with a National President, elected by members, to serve a full, three-year term.

I know change needs fresh thinking and strong leadership.

But you know it needs something else as well.

No parliamentary leader – no executive or committee – can dictate the moment at which we become again a Party of members.

As Leader, I can create the opportunity – only you can take it.

Delegates, in the debate tomorrow I urge you to seize this moment for reform.

A Party of members will always be a Party of passions.

And I know we are more than able to express our passions in unity and with respect.

Because the respect we share – the trust we have in each other – join us in a bond that no debate, however passionate, can untie.

Because we meet as Australian Labor people.

Because we meet to debate the way ahead – for our country and for our common cause.

And because we know that our cause and our ideas our plans for jobs and growth and fairness, these things must be fought for.

Argued here, yes, then fought for as well.

Fought for in politics against determined conservative opposition, fought for in every street, suburb and town.

Together, we must seek to govern, because only Labor can govern for all.

Delegates, I said 2011 would be a year of decision and delivery, I never said it wouldn’t be hard.

And I knew that in 2011 our Labor Government would have to persevere.

Showing the courage of your convictions does take courage.

But delegates, I knew something else.

I knew that in 2011 we would not be alone.

Because I always knew that the volunteers and the members, the activists and the organisers – all those who fight for Labor in our time – would prove more than worthy of the Labor generations who went before.

You were with us in the hard days of the last election campaign.

You were with us in the hard days of Government this year too.

Labor generations past have claimed great achievements as their own as 2011 ends, you can be proud of what you have done.

And together in 2012, we will do much more.

In 2012 we will cut taxes, lift family payments and lift the pension.

In 2012 we will cut company tax, lift super and build new infrastructure.

In 2012 we will create tens of thousands of jobs.

Delegates, I believe Australians are naturally confident.

We face the future and we see a chance to build, a chance to grow, but I also understand that Australians ask hard questions about their own future too.

Will the mining boom last?

Will all our people get a fair share of our mineral wealth?

What will sustain our economy in the days beyond the boom?

Will we build on the great advances that have helped our people live longer?

Will our senior generations have the choices to work and to live a full life as they age – and will they have security of accommodation and care when they need it?

Will Australians with disabilities, children, adults, seniors and their carers, two million in all – be able to live a full life?

And perhaps the question that lies at the foundation of it all.

Will we remain economically strong in the Asian Century – growing our wealth and spreading fairness too?

What is the future of Australian jobs?

Delegates, I look forward certain that we will answer these questions.

Because we do know the future of Australian jobs.

That future is not jobs for their own sake, not hard work without reward.

But jobs with skills which will be in demand for years – jobs in industries which will grow for decades to come.

The farmers of tomorrow won’t only farm the wheat to feed us, they’ll farm carbon and trade the credits in the world.

The plumbers of tomorrow will have the skills we’ve always relied on and more and more they’ll apply them to transform the energy and water efficiency of our factories and our homes.

Just as the panelbeaters who work our metals today will work in new supply chains tomorrow, for the global manufacturing that will flourish in the Asian Century.

And the caring abilities of our nurses and doctors will be applied in entirely new ways, offering diagnosis and advice on-line and from afar.

This is what working life will really be like in a high-tech, high-skill, clean energy economy.

And these are just some of the future jobs we can already see.

We will create new jobs in our whole economy, from tourism and hospitality, to retail and finance, construction and mining will change as well.

And there are jobs coming which we can hardly imagine today.

Entirely new occupations – created by tomorrow’s entrepreneurs – using the new skills and new technologies we’re investing in now.

These are the jobs of the future for which we govern.

And we govern for them now.

We are on track to create over three hundred thousand more during the next two years.

Today we would not swap places with any economy in the world.

It’s often said, but rarely is it so true: we did this not by chance, but by choice.

We govern for jobs – by governing for growth.

And we govern for growth by saying yes.

Yes to the skills, to the infrastructure.

Yes to keeping the doors of trade open, to walking the reform road in office every day.

And for that still to be true tomorrow, we still have work to do.

This is the key to Labor’s economic approach: Labor says yes to Australia’s future.

To trade training in high schools, to extra university places.

To better roads and ports and to high speed broadband.

To a nation strong and respected in the Asian Century.

And while we govern for jobs through growth, we govern for jobs for fairness.

Fairness, when we extend opportunity to all – so everyone has the chance to get ahead.

Fairness too, when we ensure no Australian is left behind.

When we govern for jobs, for growth, for fairness, that is when Labor governs for all.

Delegates, Labor has always governed for all.

This is how we began.

As men and women coming together in trade unions – giving the ordinary person power in the workplace he or she would never have alone.

Aiming to give working people security – to end want for all who work.

In the second half of our existence, we aimed higher.

Aiming for a fair distribution of opportunity in a modern economy.

Above all, through an education system that would give working-class kids a chance.

That historic work is not yet done – but we must lift our eyes again.

Because we know just how much has changed in these long years – we can sense already just how much will change in the future.

And it is because we have always looked with confidence to the future that we are confident to look to the future now.

Confident to show our people the future we see and seek.

Australia is a special country – and we can do something special here.

We can set a goal for which few peoples in the world can realistically hope.

Australia can be both prosperous and fair.

Sharing the wealth and the benefits of hard work with all.

Showing the world that a prosperous nation can be a fair nation still.

And silencing the many voices who say it cannot be done.

There are still those who say we must make a simple choice between growing jobs and being fair.

Friends, because we are Australians, because we are Labor people, we know that they are simply wrong.

We have proved the world wrong many times before today.

We are the people who share and stick together.

We are the people who hold on to mateship and the fair go.

We know that to have jobs, we must have growth.

We know that to have fairness, we must have jobs.

So we grow and as we do we spread the growth.

We create jobs – and we demand that every job be a job worth having.

We know ours is a people who work hard – and we deeply believe all deserve a share in the benefits of their hard work.

This is the Labor way.

This is the Australian way.

We follow it simply because we are us.

And this is Labor’s historic task too: to be Australia’s Party, to lead in the Australian way.

Our historic task, to carry forward a torch which first burned decades before we ever knew the words “the light on the hill”.

We always sought to govern and we always governed for all.

We still do.

Delegates, Australia can do this.

We can do this when we say yes.

Yes to jobs, to growth, to fairness.

Labor says yes to Australia’s future.

There it is. Please analyze and assess it, and voice your opinion, but when you do, please state the basis of your assessment.

Some aspects you might care to consider include: What were her prime take-home messages? How well did she make them? Were they memorable? Were they appropriate? Were they sufficient? If not, what messages would you have added? What was your general impression of what she said? Did it inspire? Those who heard it could add a comment about delivery.

Above all, let’s not mimic our journalists, too many of whom criticize without saying specifically what they dislike and why; who use pejorative, or for that matter the occasional complimentary words, without pointing out why they are using them. Let’s demonstrate in our comments how a balanced critique is written, one that gives constructive feedback where the word ‘because’ follows the criticism, or the plaudits. And let’s remember that constructive feedback focuses on the behaviour of the individual (in this case giving a speech), not on the person.

If the desire takes you, tell us what you would have said. The expression of opinion is fine, but let’s not do what too many journalists do day after day, express opinions without a shred of supporting evidence to back them.

Enjoy yourself.

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Feral Skeleton

19/12/2011Ad Astra, As you know, I was there at the ALP National Conference when the PM delivered this speech. So what I shall say comes with the benefit of being able to say things about the speech that others who were not privy to it, cannot. Which is not to say that I think that the speech was as bad as the commentariat have painted it to be. However, what I remember was that the speech was delivered as if the PM was reciting a Shopping List. The audience were not engaged by her delivery, and the small mutterings that occur in an audience when a speaker is not engaging them, were to be heard throughout the hall. This is in contrast to the speech that Kevin Rudd gave, which, although he is almost universally derided in the party as a troublemaker for Julia Gillard, still had the audience sitting quietly and listening intently to what he had to say. Because he delivered it with vim and vigour. Unlike the PM. Now I know the PM is an admittedly 'shy girl', as am I, but she should have resolved long ago, as I did, to take that on board and teach herself how to project better in public. The 'Perception' thing, I guess you could characterise it as. She has taken on the job of Prime Minister, and one of the parts of the job description is that you have been given the national Bully Pulpit, and you should therefore use it often, and use it well. So, if I were Julia, I'd be spending my downtime over the holiday break from parliament, putting in a phone call to John Bell, or Geoffrey Rush(but not Cate Blanchett as she has become too besmirched in the public eye), and ask them about voice and projection. She needs to become Labor's Number 1 Saleswoman. At the moment that is not the case, and people are buying the sullied Bill of Goods Tony Abbott is selling them. Yes, she has achieved heaps, and yes, there are lots of success stories abounding across the nation, but she just doesn't seem to know how to put them up in lights and create some pizzazz around them in her speeches. Finally, let me just add that I think her speeches need to be much shorter, because they are boring for Australia at 3000 words, or thereabouts, each. They need a good editor to tighten them up and put in some zingers to leave a good impression, or any impression at all other than to be laughed at for saying, "We are Us". Otherwise, the jaded Press will continue to make the assumptions they have made recently.

D Mick Weir

19/12/2011FS, thanks for your 'on the ground report' that gives some perspective. One thing I take from your comment is that the PM needs to sell the sizzle not the sausage. ouch recaptacha [i]offulte mechanical[/i]

TalkTurkey

19/12/2011Who's LURCH? :) www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9fs_6v20Cw

Gravel

19/12/2011Ad Astra Having read the speech, the things that stood out for me were jobs, the future, and everyone to benefit by a prosperous and exciting Australia. I found some of it a bit repetitious, but in context. I also read Feral Skeleton's real life experience, and can say that I was disappointed that Julia didn't pass it off that well. Have to dash, just got word people are coming through house soon, tidy up tidy up, tidy up.

TalkTurkey

19/12/2011Horrorshow! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRn-Makj6t4&feature=related

Jason

19/12/2011Aa, Although it has nothing to do with the current thread! But one for your ABC watch if you still do it! from Adelaide. Weather: Adelaide 16°C - 25°C. Morning shower or two. ABC radio presenters Matthew Abraham and David Bevan found guilty of bias From: AdelaideNow December 19, 20113:38PM AUSTRALIA'S broadcasting watchdog has found ABC Adelaide presenters Matthew Abraham and David Bevan guilty of bias and using "loaded questions" and disparaging language" in an interview with former deputy premier Kevin Foley. In a statement released today, the Australian Communications and Media Authority said the pair had "breached the impartiality requirements of the ABC code of practice" in the April 5 interview. It is the first breach of the impartiality provisions of the ABC code of practice since 2004. The interview followed a second alleged assault on Mr Foley in an Adelaide nightspot - Gouger St's Royale Bar. "ACMA found that the presenters displayed fixed prejudgment on the topics discussed, asked loaded questions and used disparaging language," the statement said. "The ACMA is liaising with the ABC about appropriate remedial measures." ACMA opened the investigation in response to two complaints it received. One of the complainants also alleged that the broadcast had conveyed prejudice on grounds of sex and disability. That claim was dismissed. The ABC today defended the pair as tough interviewers not afraid to ask difficult questions and said it was "surprised at the outcome". It released a statement but refused to comment on what disciplinary action, if any, would be taken. "The ABC acknowledges the ACMA's ruling following a lengthy and highly complex investigation," the statement reads. "The ABC has vigorously defended the broadcast throughout the ACMA's deliberations and is surprised at the outcome." The ABC indicated it did not agree with ACMA's assessment of the public broadcaster's own code of practice. "Our interpretation of the ABC's Code of Practice in this instance differs from that of ACMA, and we continue to disagree," the ABC stated. "Matthew Abraham and David Bevan are experienced broadcasters, with a reputation for asking tough questions in a robust political environment. "This approach will continue in line with the ABC's editorial policies. "The ruling has been discussed with the broadcasters involved, and we are satisfied that the ABC's Code of Practice will continue to be respected and upheld by them." http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/abc-radio-presenters-matthew-abraham-and-david-bevan-found-guilty-of-bias/story-e6frea83-1226225731746

Ad astra

19/12/2011FS Thank you for your assessment of the speech, having heard it at first hand. Delivery is important. Julia has a drawl, speaks slowly and rarely coins clever phrases. I doubt, even with coaching, that she will ever sound like Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King, J F Kennedy, or even Barack Obama. Would coaching produce the ‘real Julia’, or a fake one that every journalist would poke fun at? Journalists are very quick to detect change, which no doubt they would criticize no matter what she does. I don’t mind her voice – it’s hers and that’s fine by me. Regarding length, 20 minutes is usually regarded as the time when an audience loses concentration. Maybe 30 minutes is too long even for a devoted audience. BTW how did they ever graduate when most lectures run for 50 to 60 minutes? Maybe ADD is more widespread than we thought. Gravel Thank you for your perceptive comment. I agree there was repetition. It is a time-honoured way of transmitting information and ideas that all teachers use. There is an apocryphal story about a highly regarded Negro preacher, who when asked about his success in the pulpit said: “Well, first I tells my people what I’m going to tell them; then I tells them; then I tells them what I just told them.” That is what good orators do. It is unwise to assume that telling something once is enough. Tony Abbott knows the benefit of repetition. I imagine that repetition was a conscious technique she was using. Remember Martin Luther King’s repetition of “I have a dream”.

2353

19/12/2011Taking FS's comment about the delivery into account - I can see how it fell flat. However I suspect if Whitlam. Hawke or even Beasley had delivered the same speech - the crowds (and media) would have cheered. The speech as written seemed to me to be trying to wind the audience up into excitement. Like it or not, Gillard just doesn't speak like that - she would have been better off doing a care and empathy speech from a chair at the front of the stage - with a completely different speech about how the Government's program has helped people pay their mortgage, gain job security and overcome adversity.

TalkTurkey

19/12/2011Congratulations Jason Obelix! For helping to bring even lower those two [u][i]bottom[/i][/u]-feeders (a very apt visual metaphor iyswim!) [b]David Bevan and Matthew Abraham[/b] Resident hoods on our hood's ABC Radio 5AN You Jason have told them (and their ilk generally), time and again, about their relentless bias and rudeness. How come a humble (well sort of :) ) pastry cook can discern bigotry beyond the bounds of decency and the ABC Charter, and tell them so repeatedly and pointedly, yet the [i]unnamed source [/i]representing the ABC itself is so "surprised at the outcome"? Anyway who cares wtf the Australian Communications and Media Authority says? "Loaded questions and disparaging language"? "Bias and fixed prejudgment"? Who, [i]US?[/i] Naaahhhh . . . "Our interpretation of the ABC's Code of Practice in this instance differs from that of ACMA, and we continue to disagree," the ABC stated. . . . . . . "This approach will continue in line with the ABC's editorial policies*." * Which are obviously [i]not[/i] in line with its [i]Charter![/i] So . . . Sing along with the ABC chorus to this tune . . . http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=i%20dont%20care%20what%20momma%20dont%20allow&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCQQtwIwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D1EEQooES03w&ei=L9zuTvCACoeQiQf9l5E9&usg=AFQjCNF8-zMraec7A7w0PTuPQe6OPqTrFg Here we go: ACMA don't allow no loaded questions round here! ACMA don't allow no loaded questions round here! But [i]we don't care[/i] what ACMA don't allow [i]Gonna load those questions anyhow![/i] ACMA don't allow no loaded questions round here! ACMA don't allow no disparagin' language round here! ACMA don't allow no disparagin' language round here! [i]We don't care[/i] what ACMA don't allow, [i]Gonna use disparagin' language anyhow! [/i] ACMA don't allow no disparagin' language round here! ACMA don't allow no show of bias round here! ACMA don't allow no show of bias round here! [i]We don't care [/i]what ACMA don't allow [i]Gonna show our bias anyhow![/i] ACMA don't allow no show of bias round here! ACMA don't allow no fixed prejudgment round here! ACMA don't allow no fixed prejudgment round here! We don't care what ACMA won't allow, Gonna have fixed prejudgment anyhow! ACMA don't allow no fixed prejudgment round here! [i]ACMA says ABC can't do just what it likes around here! ACMA says ABC can't do just what it likes around here! WE DON'T CARE WHAT ACMA WON'T ALLOW! WE'LL DO WHATEVER WE LIKE ANYHOW! ACMA says ABC can't do just what it likes around here![/i] [i]OH YEAH!? [/i] We're gonna clean out you nest of traitors to the Australian People,[i] just you wait[/i]. Be very very afraid. I HATE what you have done to what used to be [i]OUR[/i] ABC. I don't mean all of you. I know who we mean and so do you. One day WE will be saying to YOU lot - [u][i][b]*GOTCHA*![/b][/i][/u] http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=i%20dont%20care%20what%20momma%20dont%20allow&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCQQtwIwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D1EEQooES03w&ei=L9zuTvCACoeQiQf9l5E9&usg=AFQjCNF8-zMraec7A7w0PTuPQe6OPqTrFg

D Mick Weir

19/12/2011It took me a couple of reads of the written version of the speech to realise why it grated for me. I felt at the time it was not an inclusive speech that bought us all into what the PM saw as the future for us all. The speech was presented to the annointed few that were lucky enough to be chosen to represent the broader party at the national comference. However it was broadcast to all those interested in an open manner and, like it or not, was another of those never ending tests of the PM's authority and leadership. What I found grating and annoying when I listened (but I was unaware of until I read it) was the constant use of the word 'delegates'. I realise now that what I was hearing was 'comrades' and I was feeling excluded as I was not one of those on the inside. It was almost like I was not supposed to be hearing the speech. To me the speech fell down because it did not speak to the 'broader electorate' and those 8,000 or so that the PM hopes will become new recruits to the cause but spoke more towards those lucky few who are on the inside. Some of my other disappointments with the speech are more 'with hindsight' things in that I don't think in the speech the PM put a solid case for the reforms put by the 'party elders' and the days that followed showed the complete lack of desire of the conference face up to the challenge of reforming the party.

Feral Skeleton

19/12/2011D Mick Weir, You're wrong about the 'delegates' references. It is pro forma in speeches at conferences, such as the ALP National Conference, to refer to the delegates in the room listening to your speech in such a way. It sounds to me like you're becoming one of those people who are finding the smallest thing that the PM says or does to reinforce your inherant dislike of her.

Feral Skeleton

20/12/2011Ad Astra, You appear to have misconstrued the point I was trying to make about the PM's delivery of her speech at the National Conference. Yes, she has a drawl, speaks slowly, and dare I say it, is nasal in her intonation. None of that matters to me. And yes, I can cope with it just as easily as you can. It doesn't bother me in the slightest. What does bother me, and let me reiterate, in case anyone in her office has the time and the inclination to read this blog in their downtime over the holidays, is that she puts no effort into engaging her audience, it seems to me from listening to a variety of her speeches over the days of the Conference. She does not do what Tony Abbott and Kevin Rudd do very well. They put a twinkle in their eye and turn their mouth up into, yes, a smile, when they deliver their speeches. It comes across as warmth. Julia comes across as cold. Yes, she is a wonderful human being. Yes, she is doing amazing things for our country with the legislation she is guiding through parliament. No, she couldn't sell a hot pie to a footy fan on a cold day. Yes, she may well be a warm and personable type of individual in private. However, both she, and Wayne Swan, who is guilty of this too, have to learn how to 'Flick the switch to Vaudeville', as the Great Communicator, Paul Keating, famously said. Otherwise her words will sink like a stone. People will stop listening. And that is fatal for a politician. As then they start listening to someone else. Like Tony Abbott, or Kevin Rudd. And let me just say, neither man means it when they project warmly, they are both cold and calculating individuals. However, they have taught themselves this necessary skill for a politician.

D Mick Weir

20/12/2011FS @ 11:29 PM blissfully unaware that the use of delegates is 'form' I will now say the overuse of delegates. I can't be bothered counting how many times the word was used. [i]... finding the smallest thing that the PM says or does to reinforce your inherant dislike of her.[/i] Sometimes it is the small things that annoy most and like the snowball rolling down the hill get bigger the further it rolls It is an assumption on your part that I dislike JG. That I am critical of some policies and/or actions does not equal dislike of the person.

D Mick Weir

20/12/2011Professor Q on [b]Old men behaving badly[/b] http://johnquiggin.com/2011/12/20/old-men-behaving-badly/ [i]John Howard’s endorsement of Ian Plimer’s children’s version of his absurd anti-science tract Heaven and Earth has at least one good feature. I can now cut the number of prominent Australian conservatives for whom I have any intellectual respect down from two to one.[/i] A short and sweet summary.

D Mick Weir

20/12/2011NK, your recent lament about there being no hope for a sane and rational discussion is both proven and disproven (in a small way) here: [b]Riding the asylum seeker merry-go-round[/b] KP @CT http://clubtroppo.com.au/2011/12/19/riding-the-asylum-seeker-merry-go-round/

jane

20/12/2011TT, although their ABC flatly refuses to acknowledge that bias exists, it's now out in the open and perhaps more people will be on the lookout for it and be prepared to go public with their criticism. FS, On reading the speech like DMW, I too was unaware that using the word [i]delegates[/i] was pro forma. On reading the speech for the first time, i thought that she outlined the achievements of the government and a vision for the future quite well. It certainly seemed to me to have the "narrative" the msm seems to crave. I didn't hear her deliver the speech, so your critique was very valuable and I agree that she needs help to get that delivery right. From what you said, I get the impression that she doesn't feel at all confident addressing a large assembly of people, part of being a shy person, a condition I have also been afflicted with most of my life. There is a trick that I'm told most public speakers use when they have to address a large audience and that is to focus on a person and direct the speech to that person like a friend, so that they feel more connected to the audience. I understand that in person the PM is very warm, vivacious and bubbly, but that rarely comes across when she has to address a crowd. I'd say she needs tuition to overcome her nerves, so that she speaks to her audience as she no doubt does to her friends. I'll bet they're in no doubt about her passion for the future and the present of this country. Studying how great communicators work the crowd; the little gestures, body movements and eye contact should help. They shouldn't be copied, of course, but be a tool to help develop her own style. Above all, she must project her natural warmth, vivacity, sincerity and passion. Acting lessons should be on the agenda for the summer break.

BSA Bob

20/12/2011Jason & T.T. Thanks for the stuff on MattnDave I gave up on them, as have many others, a long time ago. I rang them once to complain that Garrett was copping all the crap over the pink batts with no focus at all on the installers. All I got was "YesBobGoodPointGoodbyeClick." No attempt to engage, it obviously wasn't the line they required. No I'm not sulking, I just didn't fit their requirements & nor did my point of view. So much for the idea of a Soap Box. Their task now is to push the coalition through criticism of Labor. Come to think of it, I've pretty much given up on the MSM in its entirety.

Feral Skeleton

20/12/2011BSABob, Don't completely give up on the MSM! There's still a couple of pearls in amongst the swine excreta. Such as Lenore Taylor: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/stop-the-politicking-and-start-saving-lives-20111219-1p2ky.html Also this opinion piece in the smh today was worth the time spent reading it: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/climate-sceptics-might-just-be-captive-to-basic-emotions-20111219-1p2hl.html And then there's...hmmm...

Ad astra reply

20/12/2011Folks Up here in Melbourne, once again access to the Internet from my computer is almost impossible, so much so that today I went to Teltra and ordered up ADSL 2 , although I will still have to use 3G on the south coast, where it works well. So now I have to have two plans as there is no ADSL where we live on the coast. Because of the difficulty accessing the Internet here, I won't be commenting much at all until I return to the south coast later in the week. This comment is from the iPad, which works OK here. I will continue to enjoy reading your comments and following your links via the iPad.

Feral Skeleton

20/12/2011OK, OK, it's a cut n paste from Bushfire Bill at, yes, Poll Bludger, and, yes, you may already have read it, but as he is basically agreeing with everything I have said before, but has put it all together and tied it up with a nice little bow, I am going to put it here :) [quote]789 Bushfire Bill Posted Tuesday, December 20, 2011 at 8:59 am | Permalink I sense a disturbance in The Force. Morrison isn’t being as obnoxious as he can be. The “Well, they’re the government not us,” guff looks pretty lame in the face of people drowning by their hundreds. The simple truth is that they wouldn’t have tried it on if they’d known all the effort would land them in Malaysia indefinitely. I am sure some of these people had legitimate concerns for their freedom or their lives in their home countries (apparently Iran this time), but they tried the shortcut not available to the majority of asylum seekers: a short hop from Dubai, nice A/C buses to the port of embarkation, and then a risk-free voyage (I’m sure they were told this, or it was implied) to XI, a quick pantomime where they pretend to lose their documents, frustrated and overworked Immigration officials rubber-stamp their new visas, and then home in time for a tea with the rellies. It was the rellies here who were the source of the stories that our government had been cruel to survivors by being optimistic about the number of other survivors. It was the rellies who have saved up and either sent or supplemented the money for the airline tickets, the buses and the boat trip. One of the women from last year’s XI tragedy was on the telly demanding that we send for her aunties and uncles in the old country. It was the least we could do, apparently, for causing her all the grief she suffered losing her husband. There are millions of punters all over the world who believe they are being wronged by their own country and have convinced themselves they deserve exceptional treatment somewhere else, where they can start again. Some have the wherewithal to accomplish this, most don’t. An entire industry has grown up in Australia around refugees. To justify its existence it now claims we should be subsidizing nicer boats by not burning the ones that arrive here. It defends people smugglers in criminal courts. Apparently they are now the good guys. Some have gone even further by suggesting we cut out the artifice of making the candidates endure a risky voyage in a leaky boat and just fly them here, indeed some say “Pay for the tickets”. Where from? Dubai? Or Jakarta? That is not specified. It happens with all loopholes. They become rorts. The Opposition had a chance to get both their way and to let the government have theirs. But no, they wanted to turn the screws. They wanted a government defeat (they haven’t had one yet). They wanted a return to the old days that they knew, had been advised, would not work: Nauru. Nauru is no Bali H’ai, but Abbott and Morrison hold it up as a “special island”, a tiny dot of exhausted gauno in the middle of the ocean that is the only place in the entire world that will work to deter boat people. Bali Ha’i is calling…. Why? Because it “worked” once before, they reckon. No matter that the High Court and the Solicitor-General and the department say it is now illegal. Tony Abbott knows better than all of them. He wants the government to give in on Nauru so that they can lay the blame for all the trouble and misery since 2008 squarely on the government. All those wasted lives, all that money, and we had a solution all the time, right there in front of us… Bali Ha’i. It was the government’s fault we didn’t use it. QED. CUE: Shock jocks. “Leaky boats…” there’s a song about them, not a bad song either. “Leaky boats” is a wonderful euphemism. It gets the message across that the trip is chancy, but it also allows the Greens to make out that the vessels are only dodgy, not fatal. Their argument has jumped the shark, of course. It’s gone from humane treatment to putting out the welcome mat. Cut the “rort” variable out of the equation altogether and let’s have a party. They are silent on what will happen when word gets out that Australia pays refugees to come here, or what that will do to their precious “sustainable Australia” mantra. The media laps it up, naturally. When the amendment was not presented to parliament because it didn’t have the numbers to pass, we were subjected to a discussion as to whether a later Labor opposition would be wedged into passing it after an election (where they had lost government, inevitably). In other words, the scribes knew the amendment would do the job it was designed to do, but they were having fun speculating how Abbott would get it through when the time came. Because without it he was sunk too. There was some idle brainstorming about how knocking it back now might look bad for Abbott. But the scribes examined their own consciences, they dug deep, and decided they’d be able to fix it for him so that Labor proposing it now was bad and Labor opposing it in the future was bad. A double-headed penny. Come in spinner. This arguing about belly-fluff can only take place while lives are not at stake, while the risk is restricted to the angels-on-a-pin prognostications of the rose water sniffers in the Press Gallery. It was the same with the GFC. We survived brilliantly, indeed prospered, but we survived so well that we could afford to whinge about it, pick it to death, pore over the rough edges, whinge about the odd rort or exception, turn four deaths (each a tragedy, but hardly the stuff of national disaster) into industrial manslaughter by callous government negligence. Retailers were doing so well they thought they were invulnerable in their cosy commercial sinecures. They moaned, they blamed everything on Gillard and Rudd, they invoked a (then) non-existent Carbon Tax, they pointed at rising interest rates that were actually falling as the source of all their woes. Well, gee, it worked… they’re up shit creek without even a stick now, much less a paddle. No-one’s buying their spin anymore and no-one’s buying their over-priced brown goods either. They’ve talked the nation into a recession, into stuffing their money in a tin under the bed. Gerry Harvey, who hasn’t stopped crying since he was born, made his own bed but wants the government to lie in it. Hard cheese, Gerry. This is your life. There are consequences that arise from being a professional moaner and carper. Eventually people start to believe you. The nation’s well-being, and the lives of 200 fools who thought coming to Australia was a doddle, more a package tour than a perilous journey through monsoon storms, are now paying the price. As long as people keep coming to your store you can whinge about how bad things are. As long as nobody actually drowns you can talk about risking their lives in terms of political nuance. As long as there isn’t a drought you can promise “Water is Life!” and get cheered for it. As long as the media promotes the arrant nonsense of “Election Now!”, you can convince the punters that it’ll all be over one day soon, with few, if any adverse consequences other then getting rid of Bob Brown’s Bitch. As long as it’s all just on paper, like a thousand articles written by our guardian angels such as Lenore Taylor, for example, we can indulge ourselves in whimsy and dire predictions of doom. But when real deaths and real recession start, when we’ve talked ourselves into the grave, watery or otherwise, what words will suffice to bring us back from the abyss? Try these from Lenore Taylor: Stop the politicking and start saving lives OUR politicians say they don't want to ''play politics'' on border protection while bodies are still being plucked from the ocean. But they don't promise not to start again once the toll is tallied. They should. The major parties now believe in the same solution - offshore processing as a way to deter people from getting on boats. So they should get on and implement it. Legislation restoring the power of the executive to implement offshore processing (removed by the August High Court decision) is gathering dust. That legislation would have allowed either major party in government to implement their preferred processing destination - for Labor, Malaysia, and for the Coalition, Nauru. ... It's time for a deal. Desperate men, women and children drowning is not a political game. http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/stop-the-politicking-and-start-saving-lives-20111219-1p2ky.html#ixzz1h1D117Ld Sorry to say it, but Lenore gave a pretty good impression of lives being a political game a few months back when she was writing up the frilly bits around the edges. How I wish she’d written the words above a long time ago; her and a few of her mates. Our national discourse is not a Reality TV game show. The consequences of inaction and naysaying are real. Dogs lick their balls because they can. We moan and whinge because we can afford to… until we can’t. Australia is at risk of being the only nation in history that was so lucky, yet talked itself to death. [/quote]

Feral Skeleton

20/12/2011Someone brought this to my attention the other day on Twitter but I found it fascinating reading and great background to the constant efforts by Sen Bill Heffernan, Tony Abbott and Noel Pearson to 'open up' the North of Australia to exploitation and damn damming: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Rinehart-Fairfax-Media-Ten-Network-MRRT-mining-pd20101222-CCQYQ?OpenDocument#.Tu3LA0wDDXk.twitter

Lyn

20/12/2011 So when Feral rules:- December 6. 2011 01:20 PM Talk Turkey and lyn, That's as may well be, except I happen to think that Andrew Elder's work is as good as, and in many cases superior to, that of Bushfire Bill. [b]However, he is simply linked to[/b], [quote] 'The Complete Works of Bushfire Bill' should only be put up here if he again contributes them himself as original blog posts. [/quote] [quote]those comments up here at TPS, holus bolus, we implicitly sanction them, and I, for one, am not comfortable with that[/quote] [quote]if no change occurs along the lines of compromise I have helpfully and hopefully suggested,[b] then there are other blogs to go to where Bushfire Bill's pronouncements aren't as in your face as here[/quote].[/b] [b]They are on Poll Bludger in their entirety, and that's where they should stay,[/b] via links from here to there. As is the case with every other off-site blogger and commentator. It's not behind a paywall, [b]so I can't see the necessity of reproducing it in full here, when we can easily go there to read it once alerted to it[/b]. [quote]Feral Skeleton [/quote]

2353

20/12/2011I'm inclined to agree with Lyn here. While Bushfire Bill's comments may suit a particular argument that has been promoted here, it doesn't make it worth sharing word of word when a comment along the lines of "Bushfire Bill agrees with my position on off shore processing of refugees - http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2011/12/19/9450/comment-page-16/#comment-1118641", as you can link to the appropriate post on PollBludger as demonstrated here. I don't necessarily agree with the argument, so I'm inherently less inclined to support the post - but for my money (and saying this I hope I live by this ideal) unless it's behind a paywall - post a link rather than the post. It saves space here - and we really don't need to be afflicted by PollBludger syndrome in not being able to keep up because it just takes so long to scroll through. And on the topic - I still think that political and economic assistance of the countries where most of the refugees are coming from will do more in the long term that "deterrents" such as off shore processing or regional processing. Remember that people have been migrating through any method they can from less developed or enlightened countries to countries that are perceived to be better for centuries - and Australia's arrival numbers (by both plane and boat) are a mere drop in the ocean in comparison to others. Regardless - the "common" policy promoted by both major political tribes of off shore processing borders on inhumane.

Patricia WA

20/12/2011Agreed,FS, Not just re Bushfire Bill but for any full length posting of long articles for which a one or two line link will serve as well. Otherwise they impact on the flow of original comments and make a lively exchange of views difficult. Some days I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time here scrolling down through something I've either read already, or which is not of immediate interest to me. I come here to read long and short comments from TPS subscribers on events of the day. I can fllow up on articles suggested by them elsewhere immediately if they're relevant or store links to them for reading later.

TalkTurkey

20/12/2011Aw c'mon guys, lighten up, I'm the bully around here remember? ;-) :)

D Mick Weir

20/12/2011and the punching bag agrees with the comment @ 5:49 PM [i]... c'mon guys, lighten up[/i] Full Stop

jane

20/12/2011BSA Bob, @11.56am, me too. I used to buy the papers, but got so sick of paying for Liars Party party political broadcasts that I no longer bother and being in the sticks, the radio reception is crap and even crapper if the only thing that's loud and clear is Anal's pig ignorant rants. (With apologies to oinkers)

Casablanca

20/12/2011Missing Christopher Hitchens. Frank Brennan http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=29503

D Mick Weir

20/12/2011jane @ 11:09 AM wrote [i]There is a trick that I'm told most public speakers use when they have to address a large audience and that is to focus on a person and direct the speech to that person like a friend, so that they feel more connected to the audience.[/i] In the dim distant past working with a DJ that couldn't get 'that oomph and warmth' into his voice we dressed up a store dummy to look much like his girlfriend and sat 'her' on a chair in the studio and made the dj talk to her. Worked a treat - he went on to bigger things. Wondering if JG were to talk to us like she would talk to the first bloke if that would help things along?

jj

20/12/2011I thought the PM's speech, having watched and now read it, was quite poor on content and delivery. There was far too much repetition, and the early section where she named certain people she had spoken to went for too long (there were too many examples...1 0r 2 would have been better) and seemed confected. I think the party was looking for her to be frank and fierce, somehow show dominance, and this could have been achieved by ditching the one liners, smiling less, and cutting out the motherhood statements. The speech was ok, probably a 1/5, and i am harsh because i saw her first press conference after taking the job which set the bar very high. The problem in Australian politics at the moment is that we dont have very good orators. Abbott is just as bad as Gillard and most of the other ministers and shadow ministers are also pretty poor. Even if you dont like Barnaby, having listened to him a few times live, he is quite a star in front of an audience. I have also seen Peter Garrett live and would say that he is up there amongst the best of them also. Oratory is a dying art, both sides could do much to improve the public speaking talent within their own ranks...it is sure to help their standings' in the public which is currently at an all time low.

jj

20/12/2011You are obviously a very silly person Jane. No wonder you are so one eyed.

Jason

20/12/2011"I thought the PM's speech, having watched and now read it, was quite poor on content and delivery" WHAT!!!!! I can't speak for everyone on here, but I can't tell you how shocked I was to read your comment jj! But then I remembered you don't even like her breathing.

2353

20/12/2011jj @ 7.01 produces a reasonable on topic comment adding to the discussion jj @ 7.02 proves the 7.01 comment was a flash in the pan.

Feral Skeleton

20/12/2011lyn, Lighten up! Anyway, yes I did consider whether to only put the page link up for the BB comment. However I decided not to simply because it was so quiet here and I wanted to fill up the page with something, anything. Well, I guess it's the Naughty Corner for me for the rest of eternity then. Human fallibility, you can't live with it, you can't live without it. :)

Feral Skeleton

20/12/2011DMW, I'm an equal opportunity bagger! :D

Feral Skeleton

20/12/20112353, Dr jj Jekyll & Mr jj Hyde. :D

Lyn

20/12/2011 Yes well you make a rule, cause a fuss embarrass me. I was only trying to inform people too. Just the same as everybody else does, with posting information on TPS. You told me to go to another blog, because you didn't like Bushfire Bill bing posted. Which is it???

Feral Skeleton

20/12/2011jj, Fair points(Comment #1). What do you think about Malcolm Turnbull as a speech deliverer? I think he tries to be Churchill, but comes off a bit like a Cigar Store Indian. That is, a bit wooden. Actually, my opinion of Barnaby is that he overeggs the pudding. You can achieve more of an overall positive effect if you mix the sotto voce with the basso profundo. BJ is all bluster. Sure, he has a way with words, but I get the impression he gets carried away with his fabulousness at times. So you've heard him a few times lately? Haunting Tamworth and environs a lot? Trying to unseat an actually effective local member who has got more for your electorate than over a 100 years of Country/National Party representation ever did. Good Luck! Barnaby will really have to have more going for him than being a good raconteur. Has anyone in the audience thought to ask him what he would be able to bring to the seat in an Abbott government? Or are they still in the 'Bewitched by Barnaby's Blarney' phase?

TalkTurkey

20/12/2011[b]2011 Inaugural Ad astra Awards[/b] I am hereby announcing the Winners of the [b]2011 Inaugural Ad astra Awards.[/b] These Awards were themselves unheralded, and have only become necessary because the Wonkley Awards have apparently ceased to exist. If I am wrong I apologise; if there are, lurking somewhere in the blogosphere that even *Lyn* can’t find, organisations grinding away into the night evaluating Who the Real Wonkley Winner of the Best Bloody Blogger Award is, well they’re well hidden, and anyway wrt to the Winners of the three categories I am announcing tonight, I am Right. There can be, will be, no argument. That is why these Awards are necessary, because they are so clearly to leaders in their field, and by this I mean indisputable Australia-wide pre-eminence; and their work, freely given, is enormously valuable to us all. Before I announce the Three Winners, there are many who deserve recognition - too many to mention. So I will just mention one, whom I do not include in the list of Three Winners, only because her phenomenal contributions are mainly internal to The Political Sword blog itself, rather than pretending to a title like Best Bloody Blogger in the whole Wide Brown Land, iyswim. I think that whatever category Professor Feral Hillbilly Skeleton would win, it would have to be invented specially for her, and it would be along lines of Well Done you good and faithful and bloody prolific servant! And it would be richly deserved too. FS you hold up a great deal of sky. We honour you hugely. And you wear the mantle of Ordinary TPS Blogger Extraordinaire, and you wear the ordinary part for the rest of us too. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now, without further ado: The AWARDS! The Winner of the [b]2011 Inaugural Ad astra Award for Political Pometry [/b] IS . . . You all knew it . . . Let’s hear it for *Patricia WA* !!!!! Patricia just gets better and more prolific as the issues go by. Her burgeoning works are being collected in Polliepomes, go polliepomes.wordpress.com/ . . . too easy. Anyway Patricia you’re right out on your own, cripes, I guess I’m the next potaster down from you so I should know. Keep it up, verse crystallizes history as doth no other form. And I’m sorry, I just must say, Patricia Patricia! Your pomes get delicia! Best wishes we wish ya! We wish we could KISS ya! (K) ! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ NEXT! The Winner of the [b]2011 Inaugural Ad astra Award for BLOG-SPOTTING ! *IS*![/b] You All Knew It! Give it up Folks for Our very own Early Tweety-Bird . . . *L*Y*N* ! For her unique and enormously valuable contribution to The Political Sword and the whole Blogosphere, in her Lyn’s Daily Links, or Lyn’s~Links as some wag likes to abbreviate it so prettily. The hours this woman has made us waste chasing links, Dog Albitey I could have built a new Great Wall! Seriously, Lyn’s contributions are beyond ordinary value, knowledge is better than gold, and many of us are much the better informed because she daily points us to the best of the best political writers in the Wide Brown Land, she attracts Lurkers as well as Posters, she welcomes all to the Sword, you betcha even our Twolley-Wollies resort to Lyn’s~Links to troll for something to distort to turn into venom and . . . But I digress. Lyn is som’thin’ else as they say, it turns out that she is our Guru, pointing people every day to sources of wisdom - spreading knowledge - there is no higher calling, perhaps none so high indeed. Just let us remember to see what she does for what it is, hard digging and wonderful display daily, it don’t just happen the way Crispmess Dinner just happens. But it is worth so much to so many, and Lyn knows it, that’s why she does it and that’swhat sustains her. And of people that do produce anything at all like Lyn’s~Links, she is so far in front that they’re almost out of sight. And how I know that is, even though I’m not familiar with all the sites, Lyn *is*, and she doesn’t know of anyone else in the same gray-dawn street where she finds so much for us to enjoy. If she doesn’t no-one does. That’s good enough for me. An aestivating bird, Tweety Lyn is sorely missed over Crispmess, but she’ll return in early Fall to dig up earlybird worms and leave their little tails just sticking up for the rest of us to chase the rest of them. Pretty generous eh! (K) to you too Lyn. www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx And Congratulations on this richly deserved [b]Ad astra Award for Blogspotting![/b] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ And Finally! We come to the Main Award! The Initial [b]Ad astra Award for POLITICAL BLOGMASTER OF THE ERA![/b] [But here I must digress again, to explain something. Many months ago I announced, on TPS, the shortlisting on the second-to-be Wonkley Awards, of TPS for Blogsite of the Year. I repeated it a few times but there were no bites. The problem seems to be that the Wonkleys are no more, and that really is a great pity, for remember, just a year ago the redoubtable Grog’s Gamut, later outed by an unmentionable cur owned by Merdeoch as the now very public Greg Jericho, won the Inaugural Award for the Political Blogger of 2010 – and his site Grog’s Gamut won its category too. It was regarded as prestigious, and also fun. Well it is no more, so now we have the Inaugural Ad astra Award to fill the void. Well Swordsfolks and others, I regret to tell you that, much as I might like to, I cannot award The Political Sword the dazzling prize for Political Blogsite of the Year. There are more reasons than one for this, each of them absolute in itself. One, I am unfamiliar with most sites, so how would I know? Two, I would be presumptuous to judge, even if I were across them all. Three, I acknowledge of course that some sites attract far more traffic than TPS though we don’t do badly I’m sure. Each site has a different character, I tend to think that the ever-so-popular Poll Bludger relates to TPS a little as doth a dictionary to a thesaurus . . . or maybe Jack and Mrs Sprat . . . PB has lots of quick posts . . . TPS much fewer, but many rather longer . . . but while I do think that the contributors to The Political Sword acquit themselves wonderfully well, I do not presume to make the Best Political Blogsite Award for any site myself, and for this year it must go unawarded. There will be many more years. But I must say, Poll Bludger and William Bowe most certainly deserve to take a double bow. Well done Bludgers all. You are, I hate the word usually but it’s true of you, awesome. my say please take a little bow too on behalf of Bilbo’s wonderful site and your own amazing contributions. Or you may curtsey if you feel more comfortable doing that.] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ So now at last, the Main Award: For Blogmaster of the Era. Just consider for a moment what influence political blogsites have, and how they in turn are influenced by those who host them. Each blogsite owner sets his own standards by his own example and his own rules, and such influence extends outwards from him. Inevitably his standards will be challenged, either in a spirit of good or of illwill. By the way he handles such challenges his observers may judge him pretty shrewdly, and where he falls short of expectations he is likely to lose influence. And in the end influence is what political website hosts seek to have, and to do. The website host must lead by example, and although there might be no absolute requirements for a good host, here are some of the desirements: temperate language, sage pronouncements on controversial issues; fairness; attention to posters’ comments; encouragement, rigour in matters of truth, kindness, not necessarily impartiality though in matters of principle, but tolerance of others’ points of view if not entirely counter to one’s own . . .The ability to defuse conflict . . . Well Folks I don’t need to tell you anyway do I. So . . . Who combines these properties, I wonder . . ? . . Someone sage and mannerly, experienced and articulate, prolific as a lead writer himself, across the issues, au fait with the latest informational technology despite being well-struck in well-spent years . . . benevolent and encouraging, with a reliable moral compass and an urge to make the world a better place by teaching . . ? . . Not asking much! Who indeed. As if we didn’t all know. Bloggers of Australia, it is my great honour to present today The Initial Ad astra Award for POLITICAL BLOGMASTER OF THE ERA! Thunderous Unanimous Acclamation if you please For The Host of this very Blogsite on which I have by his indulgence the Privilege to announce it Our own esteemed (Dare I say, beloved? . . . . . . Yes I dare!) - Host Of Our definitely beloved Blogsite The Political Sword . . . *AD ASTRA* HIMSELF! Congratulations and heartfelt thanks Ad astra, it is the greatest tribute of all to you that I know that even those most critical of everything that the Left stands for will support your Award. They better. Although I’d love Swordsfolks to bruit Ad astra’s amazing win all through the blogosphere, The Ad astra Awards carry no extrinsic rewards. Any jewels are jewels of wisdom and wit only, and the golden thread of understanding through communication is the only gold. But the Blogosphere is powerful and will grow in power, and it is good to realize that there are so many in the WBL of goodwill and the determination to use this amazing medium to make the world a better place. And that there is such an one as Ad astra to draw and focus us. Websites like dogs and people and all things must pass, but for now and into the foreseeable future, Ad astra and his creation The Political Sword – with the help of Web Monkey, let us not forget! - have set the tone and the bar for political bloggers in this country. Viva Ad, and Viva TPS, and Viva all those who make the blogosphere a rich place to be. Thanks and congratulations again Ad, long may you hold this richly deserved title created in your own honour on your own blog Undisputed Winner of the Ad astra Award for *Blogmaster of the Era* ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Merry Crispmess everybody. Well . . . Everybody . . . ’Cept Them . . . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Oh AD! I've just had a miracle recaptcha! Just for you! Get this: edoctor worldwide :)

D Mick Weir

20/12/2011NK, don't know if you have been following the comments @ the CT post that I linked to earlier. This one: http://clubtroppo.com.au/2011/12/19/riding-the-asylum-seeker-merry-go-round/#comment-456898 has struck me as an emminently sensible one and despite my thoughts on [i]'returning irregulars'[/i] I think I could buy into it.

nasking

20/12/2011I've had a very busy few days dealing w/ assisting my ailing parents. I looked forward to returning to find some substance...and less arguing. I reckon some long-time posters need to take a break...and try to be less offensive when describing others they don't agree with...and somewhat more diplomatic when dealing w/ other contributors...less mockery would help. I do believe Norman has been saying similar for a good long time now & should be heeded. And Ad did request people desist in going at each other. The angst, feuding here really puts me off...I'm sure it does other readers. And we know that a blogger from another reputable blog was also offended when he came here under another name...leading him to negatively label this blog. I don't believe he was justified in attacking the reputation of TPS as he did...but let's not provide him and others with ammunition...if you get what I mean. This has often been a polite & welcoming blog...let's keep it that way. Less stroppiness based on end of year fatigue and illness the better methinks. It's a sad state of affairs, particularly when so many useful posts are put up...as evidenced by Ad's latest. Lyn, you are a superb contributor. I have no problem with reading Bushfire Bill...I wasn't really acquainted w/ his material previously but do find much of the recent stuff worth reading. I do believe that Feral has recognised you & Ad were right to respect BB's comments and post them occasionally...and in doing so has now posted one herself. I don't believe she meant to offend you previously. As a supporter of both The Greens & Labor I do expect full-bore Labor supporters to occasionally disagree w/ The Greens, their policies and interviews...but considering that Julia Gillard & Labor are in power now partly due to many Greens' preferences & a succesful negotiation w/ the likes of Brown & Bandt...I would expect people to tone down their rhetoric if in disagreement. Particular as they know there are contributors on here who support The Greens in the senate. Robust debate and a bit of fun friendly leg pulling is one thing...aggressive head butting style is another. As someone who has been overly robust himself at times and regretted it later, I do recommend we try to keep things more civil...and analytical. I will be. Ad has created a wonderful blog alongside other contributors. Let's respect that. Cheers N'

Feral Skeleton

20/12/2011Talk Turkey, No matter how nice you are to me, I will not bequeath Bruce's abandoned mound to you! ;-) But thank you anyway. :$

nasking

20/12/2011As PM Gillard's speech, I would agree it was a wee bit long...but I'm pleased she provided examples of achievements...and generally provided a plan for the future. Sometimes I believe Gillard lacks the imagination & emotive, descriptive language and touches of humour that really bites... she comes across as tho she's directing everything at some generic working family who loves footy, eats meat and three veges, works day and night feeding & clothing the 1-6 kids...and aspires to little but paying off their basic bills including rent/mortgage, watching sports, going to the beach occasionally and deciding on where they should send their children to school, church and childcare...and voicing their opinion vociferously to anyone who will listen regarding their xenophobia when it comes to asylum seekers. It's rather uninspiring. And somewhat Howardish w/ a touch of the Iron Lady. I do believe PM Gillard needs to be fearless...and read wider...and start to make contact w/ and draw from The Arts. The other day I was listening to Paul Keating and said to my wife, "If only he'd come back and lead the party". Especially after watching yet another irritating & distracting clip of Julia & Tony going at each other in parliament like a separated couple battling over custody of us. Don't get me wrong, I do believe Gillard is an intelligent, occasionally effective speaker & debater...and far more useful when it comes to negotiating needed outcomes than Tony Abbott. She is also, thank goodness, much more positive and forward looking than her opposition. Gillard has achieved this year, regardless of what some of the usual suspect naysayers might opine to the contrary...and she's demonstrated real quality leadership on the foreign affairs front and dealing w/ influential visitors... I do believe her confidence & abilities are growing by the day as she settles into the driver's seat...and considering the complex makeup of her government's alliance...and the rocky road of the economy, climate and overseas conflicts and other events, I reckon she's handled herself & the country w/ a calm & collected hand...bar the odd stuff-up such as the East Timor & Assange episodes. Forgiveable considering they were made during her maiden year. And let's face it, I doubt that many PMs in history, in any country, have had to contend w/ such an unrelentingly hostile, hyperbole-driven, cynical media...and changes to communication technology as a whole that has seen a great deal of abusive partisanship. In conclusion, I would give PM Gillard's speech an ADEQUATE + Like her speech, Gillard gets the job done, most of the time, sometimes clumsily...occasionally the goal is not quite clear as it could be...but these are cynical & wobbly, uncertain times...and it will take perserverence to guide Australia thru the oncoming storms of change & resistance... if Gillard can get down on the ground and start to connect w/ the people...of all varieties...and continue to deliver...and sell such...she will bring them into the tent...and win the next election. Fearlessness, a nice smile, a caring hand, determination...and a touch of imagination to promote a brighter future help. Less arguing w/ the Opposition too. Let others do the broadsides more often than not. The speech was positive that way. And be prepared to reach across the aisles. In the long run, voters love big leaders...not shrunken, bitter leaders...like Abbott & Joyce. They also deserve a better media landscape. N'

D Mick Weir

20/12/2011We have only slightly touched on the way Julia speaks today In his post today [b]Poshest in parliament?[/b] Peter Brent (@mumbletwits) gives the most plausible explanation I have read for why JG speaks the way she does. [i]Australian women’s accents don’t tend to be as broad as men’s. Julia Gillard’s is, which is why it stands out. It’s also very Adelaide, so lots of “l"s are replaced by “w"s. Think of (the pretty lame) “yes we will” ("yes we wiww") at last year’s election campaign launch. Like Hawke, Gillard has been accused of bunging it on, but a more likely explanation is the migrant kid who goes a bit further to fit in.[/i] Have a geek at the whole post http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/mumble/index.php/theaustralian/comments/pollies_accents/ interesting diversion.

NormanK

20/12/2011D Mick Weir I've pretty much fired all of my guns on the AS issue. I'm still reading but as we were instructed via a blog a few months ago, if you come to a debate with your mind already made up then it isn't a debate. So, while I'm prepared to keep an open mind in terms of new input, nothing has been presented recently that has caused any shifts in my thinking. For what it is worth, two things don't get much of a mention in the tens of thousands of words written on this subject and should always be in the mix. The first is a possible negative for the government but perhaps not if only they would clearly spell out their intentions. What is the proposed purpose of a detention centre on Manus Island? If it is simply Nauru at a different longitude and latitude then they have negated most of the arguments they have put up regarding a regional solution. If its long-term task is to be a centre where countries from the region can send potential refugees to have them processed in a humane and orderly manner with good prospects of being resettled elsewhere after a reasonable length of time then it is in keeping with the basic thrust of Labor's latest policy. I can't find an answer to this anywhere. The second thing is the 800 people who will ostensibly be sent to Malaysia. The Department, Chris Bowen and the PM have all stated on various occasions that if things go as they would hope (and who embarks on a course of action planning exclusively for failure?) only a couple of boatloads would be sent to Malaysia for processing and barred from entering Australia as a refugee. The message would soon go out that you are wasting your money if you try it while this scheme is in place. Putting aside recent numbers and working on the types of numbers per boatload that were coming when the Malaysian proposal was first put up, this would mean somewhere between 100 and 200 people would be flown out. To be a bit hard-hearted about it, the same number of people who would be disappointed and find their plans in disarray would be roughly the same as the number who drowned in this one most recent incident. Which of those is the better outcome? I am completely unconvinced by the two extremes of this debate. If it wasn't for the bloody boats sinking on the way here, I would say that on-shore processing (complete with full access to the courts for appeals), bridging visas and community release is a good approach. The numbers are not huge, the cost is not prohibitive and it meets our international obligations. All I'm left with are the drownings and I can't take the doe-eyed attitude of Hanson-Young who wants to hold hands and mourn the losses. Nor can I entertain TPVs that encourage kids to jump on boats to join their parents or siblings. The rest of Abbott's nonsense is just that - nonsense. He can't turn boats around and Nauru won't work a second time. Where does that leave me? We should give Malaysia a go and seriously boost our intake from more formalised sources but not exclusively from our region.

NormanK

20/12/2011On the subject of the PM's speech, I reckon she should back herself and just talk from notes rather than speeches. When she is winging it, she can be funny, engaging and even stirring but as soon as a script is put in front of her, out comes the stilted delivery. Sure, she might drop a few more clangers if she performs off-the-cuff but if her answers during press conferences are anything to go by, she will carry it off beautifully and a whole lot more naturally.

Casablanca

20/12/2011[b]Dear Mr Abbott, let's talk. Dear Prime Minister, put it in writing. [/b] Kirsty Needham. December 20, 2011 - 1:26PM Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/dear-mr-abbott-lets-talk-dear-prime-minister-put-it-in-writing-20111220-1p392.html#ixzz1h4S9zVvk [b]Abbott says 'no' three times to compromise on boat people.[/b] Tim Lester. December 20, 2011 - 12:16PM Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/abbott-says-no-three-times-to-compromise-on-boat-people-20111220-1p300.html#ixzz1h4TE9I67 Correspondence between PM & LOTO http://images.smh.com.au/file/2011/12/20/2849933/Corro.pdf [b]Questions surround latest asylum seeker boat disaster. [/b] Tony Kevin. December 18, 2011 [i]Australian politicians and officials will blame the easy target we have been taught to hate: people smugglers. The tragedy will be exploited by both sides of politics. Gillard will use it to pressure Abbott to pass her legislation to enable Malaysian offshore processing. Abbott will use it to pressure her for Navy towback of boats, and for Nauru — as SIEV X was exploited by Howard to force Indonesia to accede to Australian towbacks. It is an indictment of Australia's border protection system, including its secret intelligence-based parts, that such disasters go on happening, and that the Australian system continues to avoid admitting any degree of knowledge or accountability. I will continue to research these issues, asking fact-based questions that the Australian Government would prefer not be asked. I do this because deaths of people at sea in these numbers are intolerable in any decent society that claims to conduct intelligence gathering on people smugglers, and people smuggling disruption operations in cooperation with the INP, by lawful means.[/i] http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=29492 Tony Kevin is an author and former ambassador to Cambodia and Poland whose 2004 book A Certain Maritime Incident sparked debates about Australia's moral responsibilities on the high seas.

Feral Skeleton

20/12/2011NormanK, The words of a sage. :) Now, I don't know if this will help you wrt to teasing out the government's thinking on Manus Island, but it is the transcript of Chris Bowen's Press Conference today, plus audio. Have a listen. He is asked specifically about Manus, and the impression I got was that he wants it to slot into the Regional Framework: http://australianpolitics.com/2011/12/20/bowen-abbott-refugees.html

Feral Skeleton

20/12/2011Talk Turkey, I was looking forward to The Wonkleys. :(

nasking

20/12/2011[quote]Like Hawke, Gillard has been accused of bunging it on, but a more likely explanation is the migrant kid who goes a bit further to fit in. [/quote] DMW. This might be the case...but I reckon the focus on Gillard's accent is meaningless...and generally only suits critics and those columnists/taking heads who have nothing better to do than treat a leader like a regular celebrity...rather than focusing on the bigger, more important issues at hand...and there are plenty of them. It's "hook-in-the-reader" by using lazy methods. When it comes right down to it, the assessment that Gillard is the migrant kid trying to fit in and over doing it now & then bit is like stating the bleeding obvious. We all know that migrants get a hard time usually until they conform to certain expectations...as does the nerd, think Howard. It takes time for people to become comfortable in their own shoes...and you can imagine how many adjustments to confidence and style can happen when people are under the intense scrutiny of the public 24 hours a day as political leaders...it's not surprising that due to that scrutiny, the natural work stress and the chronic fatigue related to the demands of the job that someone like Gillard might over-stress words, syllables etc. in order to sound more authentic Australian...or in an attempt to appeal to the ockers. It's a much ado about nothing. Having listened to thousands of speeches and many a speaker in my 50 years I found John Howard to be one of the most boring, uninspiring, irritating speakers I've ever come across... yet, he won many an election. I don't think PM Gillard's accent is gonna make one bit of difference as to whether she wins or not...it has more to do w/ how she reaches out to the people...what she has to sell...how she and her government sell it...and whether she has the confidence & skills to use experts and common-sense to formulate & implement useful policy...and manage the country in a calm, measured, enthusiastic, determined, imaginative and generally non-divisive way. Frankly, the cult of the celebrity...and the OCD over-the-top, too oft tricky back-handed analysis that comes w/ it bores me...and many others to tears. I'd like to see PM Gillard fearlessly deal w/ this asylum seeker problem...including doing a deal w/ Abbott on reopening Nauru for now...based on his agreement that he will support another unrelated policy... by adding the Malaysian deal...and Manus Island...alongside Nauru...the government will not be able to prove the Nauru answer doesn't work...because it could be the Malaysian deal that slows the boats down. It's important to make a quck, decisive decision...put pride aside...in order to TRY and save more lives. To be honest, I doubt anything will work 100%...there will probably always be countries that create intolerable conditions for part of their population leading to people fleeing and searching for a new land/home...as there will be desperate, determined economic migrants...someone always willing to take that big risk... and I doubt that the oft easily made fearful and/or bi-polar people of this, or any other country, will accept bringing in huge amounts of refugees flown or shipped in from places like Indonesia in order to prevent drownings... not in this highly tense, HYPED 24 hr news cycle environment where any sh*t stirrer is given an opportunity to fear-monger in order to bring in the audience/readership... this is not the same media climate as the 70s... it's likely that our media would use mass refugee intake to build up inner-city conflict...and feuds between groups and workers VS unemployed etc... benefitting police, security corporations, a few politicians and their sponsors...and the media/MSM, of course... whilst creating a grotesque, anxiety, argument-ridden environment for the rest of us... and a sense of being persecuted & dispossessed for those asylum seekers...leading to more social disharmony...and even more bucks and advertisers for the complicit, sh*t stirring media. If Labor feels the Nauru experiment will fail...let them be brave enuff to prove it. Either that, or outwit Abbott by reaching across the aisles and getting an alternative deal/agreement. BTW, if we are going to apportion blame...I reckon we should point fingers at those countries who make life so intolerable for some they feel the need to take such risks w/ theirs & their family's lives. The bulk of money to deal w/ this problem should be spent on assisting trauma victims...and trying to change the broken governments of those countries. And ensuring that those persecuted & mistreated get appropriate access to the legal system and some justice. Deal w/ the root causes...deal w/ much of the problem. That includes dealing w/ climate change. It also displaces people...makes life in their region/area intolerable...forcing them to look for kinder, safer, more secure shores. Lastly, the tensions & global uncertainty related to Nth Korea at this time provide a good example as to why no dictatorship should be permitted to have nuclear weapons. The bully w/ nukes thinks they can get away w/ anything. Including crushing its own people...and threatening others...and passing weapons & technology on to other like-minded bullies & haters. For many, many years. Gadafhi did not have nukes. He's gone. Thank goodness. Nor did Saddam. Nor did the Egyptian dictator. Or in Tunisia. N'

Patricia WA

21/12/2011Congratulations to Talk Turkey for his Inaugural Ad Astra Awards! He's provided just that shot of enthusiasm we all need at the end of an amazing year so full of cliff hangers and dramas that it's left us drained and somewhat enervated. What a compliment too to be included amongst award winners like Lyn and Ad Astra, both of whom have given me so much help with information and encouragement throughout the year. And what a lovely thought this is - [quote]Verse crystallizes history as doth no other form![/quote] You're no mean poet yourself, TT, as I've said to you before. So I feel particuarly proud of this award, which as a late bloomer I was not expecting. It's something special to treasure.

Casablanca

21/12/2011After all the horse-trading, Gillard team braces for judgment day. December 20, 2011 Professor George Williams [i]In all of the challenges likely to be brought [to the High Court] next year, the Commonwealth will start in the stronger position. It will have the advantage of drafting the legislation under attack, and will have done so in a way that maximises its chances of withstanding High Court scrutiny.[/i] Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/after-all-the-horsetrading-gillard-team-braces-for-judgment-day-20111219-1p2bm.html#ixzz1h530Bhzs

nasking

21/12/2011Just thinking before, is Abbott willing to take the risk of the government agreeing to his Nauru solution? If Nauru doesn't work, he's dead in the water. One of his key issues down the drain. If it does work...then Manus etc. can be added. And hopefully those detention centres/camps will provide appropriate housing, healthcare & education. If it does work, the government can say that they were big enuff to move on this issue, unlike Abbott...and that it was the dreadful treatment, imprisonment, abuse of asylum seekers in detention under Howard...and the mocking, mean-spirited, blatantly fear-mongerin' approach for naked political gain of the Howard government that saw them & many supporters feel the need to examine alternatives... but left w/ no option...and wanting to save lives, they decided to do what's best for the country and the refugees...rather than just trying to make political headway using asylum seekers as political footballs. I reckon the people would forgive them for trying alternatives...particularly if the decent media reminded voters as to why so many stopped trusting in the Howard government's detention approach. Frankly, the right-wing politicians need to learn that if you're are gonna be tuff to save lives...don't be mean & mocking...and don't gloat. And don't profiteer. These issues are far too serious to be used to score points, win elections...at the cost of future lives. Howard should be bloody ashamed of himself. And Ruddock. N'

nasking

21/12/2011The Hillsong church disgusts me...just another example of what's gone wrong w/ our communities these days...partially due to prosperity evangelism/religion and their media bedfellows: [quote]It's difficult to ignore the role of the Hillsong Church when determining who really runs Christmas in Australia. The Church not only commands the attention of its followers at this time of year, but can also dominate the music charts and put on some of the country's most extravagant Christmas pageants. Around 20,000 people attend Hillsong Church services in Australia every week, a far cry from the 700,000 Catholics who regularly attend mass, according to a national count by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference in 2006 (although some studies suggest Catholic Church attendance has declined since then). Still, the Catholic Church is no rival when it comes to garnering the attention of its followers through entertainment, particularly via the power of song. Over the weekend, the Hillsong Church put on six shows of its version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, with 20,000 free tickets handed out for the event in the Church's Sydney heartland, Castle Hill. This week, the Church is targeting the punters with the release of their Christmas CD, Born is the King. The album is currently sitting in the No. 20 spot on the ARIA charts, just behind The Acoustic Chapel Sessions. Its first single has amassed 268,000 views on YouTube. It's not unusual for Hillsong albums to dominate the ARIA music charts, despite the fact many avid popular music listeners have never heard their tunes. ARIA Gold status has been granted to 18 CDs and eight Hillsong DVD's to date, with the Church able to boast a number of No. 1 ARIA hits, including their 2004 album, For All You've Done. [b]Senior Pastor Brian Houston is executive producer for the label and would see no shame in its success. Houston argued in his 2009 book, You Need More Money, that Christians should have a more positive view on money and wealth, and that they should seek to eliminate the "poverty mentality" that prevents them from enjoying their good fortunes.[/[/b]quote] http://www.thepowerindex.com.au/and-the-winner-is/hillsongs-power-in-determining-the-sound-of-christmas/20111218858?utm_source=The+Power+Index&utm_campaign=6638759c17-The_Power_Daily_19_Dec_2011&utm_medium=email Profiteers peddling nonsense wherever ya look. CONS American style. N'

Feral Skeleton

21/12/2011Nasking, Surely it's allowable to keep ribbing jj and Sir Ian Crisp again next year? ;-)

Feral Skeleton

21/12/2011Nas, You know we have a 'Member for Hillsong' in our federal parliament? Louise Markus, a Psychologist employed by Hillsong(tells you everything you need to know about the joint), was chosen by the Liberal Party to stand for Greenway when Howard & Costello were at their grovelling best and always making sure they turned up there for photo opps & Conferences. The delicious irony now is that the Liberal Party want to drop her for the next election, and replace her with someone who would be more effective, as she has turned out to be a dud politician. But they are afraid of upsetting the Hillsong cabal! :D

Feral Skeleton

21/12/2011Nasking, I like your suggestion about Nauru, sort of. It just seems to me that you are saying, in effect, that the federal government has to kowtow to the Liberals' idea that Nauru is the best place to resurrect Offshore Processing, then move to Manus Is. Then? *crickets* I see, therefore, that you make no mention of Malaysia. Why is this? Is it because you have believed the media/Coalition/Greens/Refugee Industry hype that Malaysia does naughty things to Asylum Seekers in it's country? When it has been proven time and again, and with statements from the Malaysia PM and FM themselves, that that will not be the case. And that it is only the case wrt Illegal Immigrants found within it's borders. Who are a completely separate group to those people who would be sent back to Malaysia as part of the Malaysia turnaround. Who, with the approval of the UNHCR would be provided with Health, Education, Food & Shelter by the Malaysian government, funded by the Australian government. Same with Manus Is. So, I think if the government were to adopt your suggestion, it might be politic if the government and their preferred option, you know, the ones that are supposed to be running the show, got their way before the Opposition's alternatives were incorporated.

Gravel

21/12/2011Talk Turkey Well done on the "Ad Astra Awards". You have allocated them as I would have done, with a very honourable mention to yourself as one of the very regular commentors. In fact an honourable mention to just about everyone here, with many a varied opinions. Sorry to everyone that may disagree, but I, like Feral Skeleton, cannot see why Labor have to give in to the Nopposition on asylum seekers. Labor are in Government and should be able to decide how they want to handle it, and then be held responsible for the results. I personally think that the Malaysian Regional option would work, that is why the Nopposition are so against it.

nasking

21/12/2011[quote]when Howard & Costello were at their grovelling best and always making sure they turned up there for photo opps & Conferences.[/quote] Feral, it was one of the low points for Costello...extremely off-putting. As for Howard, rather than being a useful, confident negotiator in his final years as leader he did alot of kowtowing. It was embarrassing to observe. N'

nasking

21/12/2011I agree w/ the following: [quote]Rubin hedged his bets as you would expect from an economist, tipping that Europe would grit its teeth and push through the crisis. However, once things stabilised, countries would again review the merits of being tied to the success and failures of each other. ''I think, on balance, the probability is the euro zone will muddle through to some point where they will have a position that is sustainable … to a point in time, and then there will be real structural changes,'' he said. The US economy would be given a cleaner bill of health, the panel said, if Republicans conceded ground on raising taxes and the Democrats addressed spending cuts. ''[New York] mayor Michael Bloomberg is right when he says that we don't need to sacrifice our sacred cows, but we have to find a way where we can get a little bit of milk from each of them,'' Porat said. Rubin argued that members of the US Congress should be the ones sacrificed at next year's election if a way forward was not reached. ''If they don't get their act together there will be an expiry of tax cuts and 4-5 per cent fiscal contraction in one year,'' he said. ''I don't think it will matter who is elected, but afterwards I think there is a material likelihood of major government action on fiscal matters in the post-election period.'' Porat became an unlikely barracker for the sentiment expressed by the Occupy Wall Street movement by describing the growing wealth divide in America as ''inappropriate''. ''The wealthiest can afford to pay more in taxes, I don't know anyone who doesn't agree with that,'' she said. ''There is anger in this country, and there should be when you look at data that says … the wealth disparity between the lowest end and the highest end continues to expand.'' ...senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said Chinese debt could slow the country's growth in 2012. ''For savers, Chinese households, real interest rates have been negative for more than seven years,'' Lardy said. ''That has made residential property the preferred asset class and investment in residential property has gone up over this period. It is running at 11 per cent of GDP; at the peak in the US just before the crash it was 6 per cent. ''Debt to income is substantially higher in China than it is in any other emerging market. The share of wealth that households hold in property had roughly doubled in the last decade and it is very unlikely that it will double again. Bank exposure has also doubled since 2004 and exposure to individual mortgages has increased. ''Most Chinese can't invest abroad, so this could have a major economic impact in slowing growth in 2012. Hopefully there will be a return to positive deposit rates for savers.'' For media organisations to be successful and profitable in 2012, Huffington said, next year would have to be about rebuilding the public's trust. She said the media would not be walking that road alone. ''There is such lack of public trust in our institutions … politics, media, the financial sector. The most important thing they all need to do is restore that trust,'' she said. ''This is why I believe we will see the creation of a killer app that immediately fact checks everything that politicians and public figures say. Can you imagine how much fun that would be in a Republican Party debate?'' Crowley said apps would get so sophisticated in 2012 they would begin to know what we wanted before we did, simply based on storing our behaviour patterns and preferences. ''If any of you have used Siri for the iPhone, you can press a button and ask, 'Siri, show me the best Italian restaurant', or, 'Hey, Siri, show me the best directions to this place','' he said. ''We will be doing that with our TV; we will be doing that with our appliances; we will be doing that with our laptops. It sounds a bit weird, but I bet by the end of next year I am sure we will be there.'' Kati London, director at games maker Zynga, said the collective sharing of your personal information with your networks could explode in 2012. Groups such as 23 and Me, a service where you spit in a tube and in return receive genetic information, are growing in popularity. London said these services could potentially pair up with social networks such as Facebook to introduce you to 10,000 relatives you never knew you had. The downside to all these gadgets and gizmos is that the jobs lost since the global financial crisis might not be returning, said Paul Saffo, founder of Discern Analytics. ''The short answer is the jobs won't come back, because those people have been replaced by robots,'' he said. ''You look at a huge company like Facebook and it has only 3000-4000 employees. Google also has very few employees. ''My forecast for 2012 is that the phrase 'cyber structural unemployment' will enter the vocabulary and we will discover that this jobless recovery is a secular change of cyber structural unemployment.'' Saffo said he believed that 2012 would be the year that Google started a pilot program for its employees to start driving to work in a robotic car.[/quote] http://www.smh.com.au/business/hold-on-tight-there-are-more-bumps-and-bruises-to-come-20111220-1p3wc.html N'

2353

21/12/2011On watching the Early News this morning - could the judicious leaking of the letters between Abbott and Gillard on refugee processing be yet another nail in Abbott's coffin (pun unintended)? Until now, the argument (you can't call it a discussion) has been in effect academic about some nebulous group of people who get ripped off by con artists primarily in Indonesia. The only real problem for Australia has been what to do with the people that get here - and the numbers are a drop in the ocean. Remember we don't know how many others have drowned further away from Indonesia and media coverage. Now it's personal - something like 200 people are dead, the media reported it and Gillard is being seen by the media to have been attempting to arrange a compromise so that people are deterred from making the trip prior to the tragedy (I'm not sure of why we need the deterrent - but my view isn't the mainstream apparently. Despite the spin Morrisona nd Abbott are trying, it seems that the media isn't buying the argument. The LNP seems to be getting painted as the villian here and not supporting a resolution to a long term issue that has now been linked with fatal events.

nasking

21/12/2011I might add, my comment @ December 20. 2011 09:04 PM was written & posted before I saw TT's contribution re: awards. Good to see somethin' positive, cheering people up. Especially at this time of year. N'

NormanK

21/12/2011Nasking Nauru is a very poor choice for all of the reasons that made it a great solution for Howard. It is a little fly speck in the middle of the ocean that only gets one flight in each week (as I recall). The media is kept at arm's length because they are not going to commit a team for week - if they're allowed access at all. Lawyers and NGOs have a similar impediment, something Howard & Co would have relished since part of their aim was to unclog the judicial system that was being overwhelmed by appeals. The political situation is highly unstable to say the least. They are desperate for external funding but then waste it on rorts and feather-bedding. There is not an adequate fresh water supply. There is not enough electricity to keep the current community operating properly much less service a new influx of people accustomed to all of the mod cons. The Department estimates $900 million to get the centre working again. We can quibble the numbers, but a majority of those sent there ended up in Australia anyway. A significant portion went to NZ but there is no assurance that they will play ball this time. A significant portion were 'sent home'. A fair few were 'encouraged' to return home with a few dollars in their pocket. Nauru is out-of-sight out-of-mind whereas Malaysia would be in the full glare of NGOs, the media and UN agencies. Manus Island probably the same. Nauru has nothing to offer us, the winners will be the politicians of Nauru and, to a lesser extent, perhaps the population there. Abbott loves to talk about the 'forgotten families' - inmates on Nauru really were the 'forgotten people'.

Feral Skeleton

21/12/20112353, Hope you're not in line for a Christmas Cyclone this year? Well, it's probably more likely a present for NormanK but the Brisbane area may get the blow-back, or flow-on I guess would be a more appropriate way to put it. :)

TalkTurkey

21/12/2011Seems to me I heard that (our?) D Mick Weir tweeted on ABC 24 wtte that JG and TA should be locked in a room and made to thrash out an agreement on Asylum Seekers. Commentator called it a light-hearted comment. I found it [i]profound[/i]. ;-)

Feral Skeleton

21/12/2011Look, this whole ruse being played out this morning, via Tony Abbott's media musings on 2PR(2PropagandaRadio, or 2GB as it is quaintly known), wrt his evolving position on the attempts by the government to have a mane e mane talk(but then Tone ain't no mane but an overgrown adolescente), away from the glare of the kleig lights, cameras and microphones(somehow I think Tony Abbott would shrivel up and blow away without them, so...), and with Scott Morrison doing the talking and not Captain Blowhard seeking to make every post a political winner, is just that, a ruse. Cast your minds back a little while to when the government first asked the Opposition Leader to get around a table and help craft the legislation that was to go to parliament. Well, Tone trailed his perfumed handkerchief around parliament, in front of the media mainly, and sent messages via them to the government(as I don't remember there being a correspondence chain then, but I could be wrong there). He didn't say 'No!' outright, but he didn';t say, "Yes, let's get together on this". What he basically did was say that it was his way or the highway wrt Asylum Seeker policy. Eventually. After leading them a merry dance and attempting to achieve either a humiliation or a capitulation along the way. Of course, as we now know, the government were going to have none of that and finally realised after an interminable amount of Tony's pretending he might come on board, that he never would, and that his sole aim, as always, was to say 'N0', so as to frustrate their legislative agenda as much as possible and to stymie progress, which would make his 4 Word Slogan, 'This is a dysfunctional government', moot. He only ever wants to win. He never wants to compromise on his carefully-crafted tactics. And I don't think it's any different now. Already he is attempting to string the government along by pushing out the negotiations to Christmas Day. That way he gets all the time in the media he wants, up until Christmas to play with the government like a cat with a mouse. Then he'll seek to dominate Christmas Day media with a supposedly grandiloquent gesture to the government to negotiate, even on Christmas Day! Not Scott Morrison, mind you, Tony 'AntiChrist' Abbott. I mean, I haven't characterised him in the same breath as the devil for no good reason. He takes many shapes. Nevertheless, we would then have had our Christmas Day TV viewing dominated by the government running around at Tony Abbott's beck and call(and notice, he cynically has not suggested the meeting continue for as long as it takes to get a resolution, say into Boxing Day, because the Sports-conscious media manipulator knows that the country's attention is diverted on Boxing Day to the Boxing Day Cricket Test and the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, and thus he would achieve negative reaction to his stunt as a result). Then he'd still end up saying 'No' to the government, just like last time, but would have given the spurious impression that he was willing to compromise, and, of course, it would be all the government's fault that a compromise could not be reached.

Ad astra reply

21/12/2011Folks I'm forced onto the iPad again with Internet access from my computer nigh impossible.  I'm returning to the south coast today where Internet reception is normal.  Typing on the iPad is slow and tedious so this comment will be short. I have enjoyed reading your many comments this morning.  Thank you for them.  TT Thank you so much for your witty account of TPS and its ways, your perspicacious appraisal of its contributors, and your generous awards to your selected winners.   I am personally deeply honoured by your complimentary remarks and your award of the Ad Astra Award for Political Blogmaster of the Era.  What more can I say but Thank You from the bottom of my heart. Overseeing TPS is one of the most gratifying pursuits in which I have engaged, and such a worthwhile endeavour during retirement.  I have met many new blogsite friends, enjoyed much intelligent discourse, discovered new perspectives, enjoyed controversial discussions, and have been pointed to a vast array of resources by Lyn and others posting here. Modesty prevents me from commenting on my award, but I endorse enthusiastically your comments about others and your other awards. Finally, thank you for all you contribute, day after day, to TPS. To use your own word, you are a goodwillian, spreading goodwill across TPS, so welcome a relief from the supercharged and nasty world of politics. If I may be permitted an indulgence, I endow you with another Ad Astra Award: Most Colourful Transmitter of Goodwill and Humour and Commonsense Our very own matchless Talk Turkey

D Mick Weir

21/12/2011Afternoon All, Thought Mr Bowen handled that ABCNews24 confrontation pretty well. Yes TT it was I that tweeted. A big part of the problem as I see it is that Mr Abbott has painted himself into a corner and left no room to move. In impasse situations one of the keys is to find a way for the protagonists to save face and to me it seems that TA is not prepared to lose any face nor give Ms Gillard any chance of saving face. There needs to be a 'circuit breaker' but who can do what to break the impasse? Our system doesn't allow it but by gees right at the moment I wish the GG had the power to (metaphorically) bash TA and JG's heads together and say Solve it NOW. did I just hear Mr Obama say something like [i]We have more important things to do than saving face?[/i] Guess that TA would not hear that. I can't get inside that head anymore as all I find is a black hole.

NormanK

21/12/20112353 It's good to see the ALP showing some political mongrel by releasing those letters. Normally I would prefer a 'gentlemanly' approach to discourse but the last 12 months have shown that it is patently impossible for that to occur on any subject with this current leader of the opposition. I can pretty much see where you are coming from when it comes to a question of why do we need a deterrent. I'm sure you would be aware that I don't agree (but not in some axe-weilding way). Let me try an analogy. Sorry if it is a bit laboured. :) On one side of a busy highway (Side B) there is a beautiful fruit tree that produces fruit all year 'round and is surrounded by mythical stories of health-restoring properties. As luck would have it, there is a blind corner just at the point where people try to cross from neighbouring properties (Side A) to collect the fruit. The locals of Side A have learned that it is not worth taking the risk of trying to cross the highway to get the fruit for free when they can get a lesser version for a modest price from a supplier on their own side of the road or have learned that those fruit will never be theirs unless someone gives some to them for free. In the meantime they will have to wait for their own seedlings to grow big enough to produce comparable fruit. So famous is this tree that people come from miles away to take their chances with the trucks and cars in order to harvest its bounty. Over the years many have died attempting the crossing. The locals on Side A appear to be more concerned about all of these strangers traipsing through their gardens than they are about the deaths. Perhaps this is in appearance only and the truth is that they have much more pressing tasks to be getting on with in order to lift the standard of living of their own people. The keepers of the tree are seriously conflicted. Some want to fence the tree and put a 24 hour guard on it so that only a certain type of individual can access it even if it means some fruit fall on the ground and rot. They are worried that none will be left for them if the elders keep giving them away. Others want to build a footbridge to facilitate safe, unfettered access but are remarkably silent when asked what happens when demand outstrips supply, as it inevitably will once word gets out. The elders want to try a scheme where anyone who is caught crossing the highway using traffickers who have assured them that they can get them across easily and safely for a small fee, will be sent several blocks away and henceforth blocked from any access to the tree and will have to try their luck elsewhere. Rather than attempting the crossing, they will be encouraged to go back up the highway a bit where a make-shift crossing has been arranged. The crossing is primitive because it requires the co-operation of a large number of diverse individuals who each have their own concerns and demands. Anyone wishing to use the crossing will have to be patient and wait their turn but their prospects will be improved if they and their supporters lobby the interested parties to get on with building a decent set of traffic lights so that orderly safe movement can become possible. Not only leading to the tree at Side B but to other orchards around the world where the global community is helping to foster the growth of more trees grafted from the mystical Trees of the West. There will always be a quota because the tree is not a Magic Pudding that can replenish itself indefinitely. So the question of a deterrent becomes one of whether Side B should feel any responsibility for the deaths on the highway or do they regard it as the responsibility of the individuals involved in making the attempt or perhaps they believe Side A should be doing more to discourage crossings. I would suggest that all measures are required. Supplying seedlings to places that don't have their own at present; charitably giving away to those in need as much as each owner can spare; discouraging people from risking their lives on what might prove to be a useless or fatal journey; setting up shops where a limited amount of produce can be dispensed; and hunting down the traffickers so that they can no longer peddle their lies of eternal happiness.

Patricia WA

21/12/2011[quote]Most Colourful Transmitter of Goodwill and Humour and Commonsense! [/quote] As blogmaster you don't need a seconder, do you Ad Astra? So all I can add to your commendation to Talk Turkey, is [b]"Here! Hear!"[/b]

Casablanca

21/12/2011Keating marks 20 years, but where's the party? The Power Index, Tuesday, 20 December 2011 http://www.thepowerindex.com.au/where-are-they-now/keating-marks-20-years-but-where-s-the-party?utm_source=The+Power+Index&utm_campaign=09d67f19a6-The_Power_Daily_20_Dec_2011&utm_medium=email

BSA Bob

21/12/2011It's generally considered that the Nauru option wouldn't work, therefore there'd be no appreciable effect on the boat arrivals. To offer this as an option to Abbott would be politically dangerous for Labor. Having got the offer on public record Abbott would be free to brag, & free to opt out at any time. If the Nauru option was tried & failed, Abbott would have no trouble portraying it as another failed Labor policy. It would be near impossible to devise wording that locked Abbott into anything, the concession of Nauru would be enough for him. He'd grab that, run with it & ignore anything that didn't suit.

Casablanca

21/12/2011At last a couple of responses from the Liberal side that are supportive of the Government being allowed to make decisions on asylum policy. Malaysia plan still possible, says Ruddock Lenore Taylor, Kirsty Needham. December 21, 2011 Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/malaysia-plan-still-possible-says-ruddock-20111220-1p421.html#ixzz1h8eRuxR2 [i]THE former immigration minister Philip Ruddock has said a compromise asylum deal could include Labor's preferred option of processing in Malaysia if that country formalised a promise not to return refugees to countries of persecution. And another former Howard government minister, Alexander Downer, has said Tony Abbott should initially keep out of negotiations and let his team of ministers sit down and talk to government ministers to break the political impasse on offshore processing before Christmas. ''The public want the government to do something about this - when you see those people drowning it's heart-wrenching stuff,'' Mr Downer said.[/i] Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/malaysia-plan-still-possible-says-ruddock-20111220-1p421.html#ixzz1h8d94YOJ reCAPTURA: Adelaide. (A nod to Lord Downer of Adelaide.)

NormanK

21/12/2011Casablanca Thanks for all of the links and useful comments over recent weeks. I don't respond anywhere near often enough to the contribution of others. "Tis the season for saying thank-you. Have you thought about getting a Gravatar for yourself? Then again perhaps you like the automatically generated one since you are a fierce member of the Grammar Police. :D It is a bit of fun and not that hard to do. http://en.gravatar.com/

Feral Skeleton

21/12/2011NormanK, Seeing as how the egalitarian communnity of TPSville are handing out awards for the Silly Season, may I offer you the: "Sage of the Sword Award'. The term, 'Cool Runnings' appears to have been created for people like you. Merry Xmas and a Peaceful Happy New Year. :)

Feral Skeleton

21/12/2011Seeing as how we appear to be slipping into the Season of Yearly Summaries, here's a good one from Peter Lewis of Essential Research: http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3739986.html

2353

21/12/2011NormanK, Thanks for the analogy and while I get the justification for a deterrent - I still don't believe it is necessary in the long term. Again using the same analogy. After a while, the traffic lights to control accss to the tree from Side A are deemed to be too slow and there is a push for either a bridge over the road or an underpass due to increasing volume of users. Apart from the obvious dislocation the construction would create, the cost is excessive, there are questions about access for those with special needs. It was realised that any overpass or underpass will not cope with the projected demand into the future - just as the traffic lights don't cope now. Ideas such as rostering people's access or timing visits were considered but rejected as to hard to manage. So there is a general wailing and gnashing of teeth about the costs, benefits and concerns of those who have particular axes to grind who attempted to bash each other up by victimising those that want to cross the road as sub human and not worth our respect or help. In the end, it is realised that to overcome the everchanging and more draconican methods of controlling access to the tree, some bright spark works out that the road is less than 20 metres wide and whatever grows well on Side B will probably do as well on Side A. After a number of seedlings were propagated, cared for and planted - one of the plants survived and reached full maturity - removing the need to cross the road in the first place.

2353

21/12/2011FS - So far, it's quite a bit drier than last year. Hopefully we don't get too many cyclones/rain depressions/east coast lows that decide to make the South East corner home for a couple of days this summer. Thanks for the thoughts and I hope your recent troubles are rapidly improving.

Feral Skeleton

21/12/20112353, Good news about the weather. Cyclone Watch has just been issued for the Northern Territory though. As far as the stormy weather, metaphorically speaking, down this way is going, a little sunshine has peeked out from behind the clouds. :)

Ad astra reply

21/12/2011Folks I’m back on the south coast where Internet access is good. I have enjoyed reading your comments. Patricia WA, I second you ‘Sage of the Year Award’ to NormanK. Casablanca The past Coalition ministers are thinking of the greater good; Tony Abbott is thinking only about what political advantage he can squeeze from the asylum situation. As I said in my assessment of him 10 days after he took office, with him as Opposition Leader the politics will be ‘unremittingly ugly’. It has been. and will continue to be; this man knows no other way. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2009/12/10/The-pugilistic-politician.aspx I hope the intransigence of Abbott, even in the face of the loss of around 200 lives because he refused to support the Government bill to give each side of politics its choice of offshore processing options, will finally dawn on the public.

Feral Skeleton

21/12/2011I just don't get it. The Coalition are OK with selling Uranium to India,which hasn't signed the NNPT,with appropriate safeguards; but not Asylum Seekers to Malaysia,which hasn't signed the Refugee Convention,but with appropriate safeguards?

D Mick Weir

21/12/2011As many have observed the problem with commonsense is that it is not very common. However today I point to some commonsense talk from a person while he may consider himself common keeps proving he is extraordinary. [i]“We can all stick to our guns at the extremes and continue to achieve very little or we can leave our guns at the door, reach a workable compromise and achieve an outcome that will benefit the country. “Whilst I understand the politics of product differentiation between the Greens and the Labor Party, there are times when compromise is better than achieving nothing.”[/i] [b]Tony Windsor urges Greens to compromise on boats, Murray-Darling Basin[/b] James Massola @TheOz (appears to be NOT paywalled) http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/immigration/tony-windsor-urges-greens-to-compromise-on-boats-murray-darling-basin/story-fn9hm1gu-1226227486509

Patricia WA

21/12/2011Next weekend in Canberra, So all the papers say, Tony Abbott, Rupert’s boy, Will work on Christmas Day! Journalists and cameramen, Dare not disobey. They must record his every word, And just for normal pay. Hark how all the media sing! A man at last! Hooray! That’s how PMs in Oz should be! At work on Christmas Day! Recorders hum and mobiles ring. The shock jocks yack away. This is how a leader’s born! What master power play! And where will Julia Gillard be? Where else but in SA, Spending time with her mum and dad, At home on Christmas Day. She’s written her instructions down. It’s there in her “Out” tray. [i]Whatever Tony Abbott asks, Meet him more than half way.[/i] She's long gone, having set the scene For Tony’s shadow play, When News Ltd’s messiah Appears on Christmas Day. Bells ring out and children sing, Awaiting Santa’s sleigh. Before sun’s up they’re out of bed And on the beach to play. Headlines shout and emails ping! Who’s reading what they say? That Man will be known for evermore For spoiling Christmas day.

NormanK

21/12/20112353 All of what you say is true but the different starting points for our discussion are that I am trying to address the short-term whilst long-term arrangements can be negotiated and you are looking further down the track. Unfortunately when you say [quote]I still don't believe it[/quote] (a deterrent) [quote]is necessary in the long term[/quote] it indicates that you are overlooking the tragedies that are unfolding right now. Apart from that, I suspect that we are not so very far apart.

NormanK

21/12/2011Ad astra It was the bony one with a sword who made the 'sage' suggestion. I think my siblings would choose to offer a different impression of me, even at Christmas. It is a lovely thought, though. Thanks FS and Ad astra.

Feral Skeleton

21/12/2011PatriciaWA, Just magnificent! It's one that should be sent to the likes of Laura Tingle and her Carollers to sing! :D

D Mick Weir

21/12/2011NK, while I am in agreement of the bestowed honorific you could use this definition: [i]... [b]common sage[/b] is a [b]small[/b], perennial, evergreen subshrub, with [b]woody stems, grayish leaves[/b], ... It has a long history of [b]medicinal[/b] and culinary use[/i] (with my emphasis added) source wikithingo :) :P

2353

21/12/2011NormanK - you're right, we aren't far apart at all. In the short term however I would rather the effort be put into identifying and demonising the low life scum that take the money and "supply" the transport - rather than the people who are either gullible enough or desperate enough to pay the money and take their chances. Certainly run an education campaign amongst the prospective customers - preferably showing a people smuggler "enjoying" the fruits of their "success" while others suffer while arranging with the appropriate authorities for a law or the observance of an existing law if there is one. An ideal job for our esteemed Foreign Minister. I suspect that those that understand the distances involved in getting to Australia do the 747 option and overstay their visa rather than try the leaky boat. Apart from anything else - the airfare is cheaper, you get fed and watered even in "the main cabin" and might even be able to catch a movie on the way ;-)(assuming you can get a visitors visa).

D Mick Weir

21/12/2011NK, 2353 good discussion. There are some factors often overlooked in the broader problem. These are around the so called people smugglers and the rights of displaced persons. An excerpt from an informative article [b]People smuggling is not the issue[/b] @Champions of Change http://www.championsofchange.org.au/?p=816 [i]Moreover, the Australian government has contributed to the creation of people smuggling by restricting the legal avenues for asylum seekers to find protection in Australia. As the world’s leading authority on international refugee law, Professor James Hathaway, explains, "The whole people-smuggling problem is a false issue. We created the market for human smuggling. If asylum seekers could lawfully come to Australia and make a refugee claim without the need of sneaking in by boat, they would do it. But we make it illegal and create the market that smugglers thrive on."[/i] Professor Hathaways quote is from an ABC RadioNational Breakfast programme http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/asylum-seeker-policy-international-refugee-law/3585712 The hard reality is our government/s created the problem for themselves and us. Unfortunately we are at the pigheaded stage of negotiating a way out of the mess we created (through our government/s).

Feral Skeleton

21/12/2011D Mick Weir, Thank you for the informative and interesting links & sidelights you bring to the discussions. :)

Feral Skeleton

21/12/2011NormanK, If I lived in the country with the Magic Tree, I would take the fruit, throw it over the freeway and see who caught it on the other side. Then, I would get in my car, go pick them up, and take them to the ACB & offer them up as Members of the First 11 for Australia. :D

2353

21/12/2011DMW - very interesting link. Unfortunately I reckon that both political tribes have invested so much capital in the "boat people" victimisation game, neither of them will have the courage to change the law and allow people to travel to Australia with dignity (and a reasonable chance of getting here) then claiming refugee status.

Feral Skeleton

21/12/2011Hey, I just had a thought. What was the one issue the PM was unable to achieve an outcome on in her 'Year of Decision and Delivery'? Answer: Asylum Seekers! So, I guess she's still trying to achieve her goal, right up until the last embers of 2011. :)

Jason

21/12/2011 Tony Abbott the musical http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qr_Jo9UYYKI

NormanK

21/12/2011Cheers Jason! What a hoot! :D

D Mick Weir

21/12/20112353, blame game is one of the worst aspects of our politics. It happens across so many parts of the governance project, the economy, workplace relations, laura norder, need I go on? With my idealism to the fore, (and obvious pixie land thinking), wouldn't it be wonderful when a problem is identified that it was fixed rather than seeking to lay the blame at the feet of one's opponents?

D Mick Weir

21/12/2011Hi FS, I missed your comment @ 8:18 PM until a moment ago. I had been suspecting I would be bestowed with the innaugural AdAstra PITA Award. :P I will accept your thanks as a better 'prize' :)

Feral Skeleton

22/12/2011First the Liberals had 'Pig Iron Bob'. Now they've got 'Pig-Headed' Tony.

Gravel

22/12/2011Well done to all the "Ad Astra Award" winners. Thanks to everyone for all your great debate on the asylum seeker issue. Having heard on the ABC news this morning that three Indonesion Police were involved in organising this latest catastrophe, also that these unfortunate people flew to Malaysia and were directly taken to Indonesia, I fully agree with what the Government want to do with the Malaysian Regional tactic. It will stop people "jumping the queue", allow people who cannot afford to come that have been already processed to come, albeit in small numbers, but larger than otherwise would have been. For the "Sworder's" who are or will be busy for the next couple of weeks, please have a great Christmas and New Year. Safe travel to everyone's family, and get lots of exercise after all the good Christmas pudding with Brandy (real) sauce. Now back to sorting and packing......will have a break Christmas day. :-) If we are very good, Santa might come a wave a magic wand and do it all, plus clean up.......one can but dream. :-)

Ad astra reply

22/12/2011Gravel I hope your move goes smoothly, and that you have a Happy Christmas and New Year. Like you, I have valued the comments made by several of our regulars about the asylum issue.

nasking

22/12/2011[quote]Nauru is a very poor choice for all of the reasons that made it a great solution for Howard. It is a little fly speck in the middle of the ocean that only gets one flight in each week (as I recall). The media is kept at arm's length because they are not going to commit a team for week - if they're allowed access at all. Lawyers and NGOs have a similar impediment,[/quote] Norman, you've made the case as to why Nauru could be the perfect choice for the average ignoramus who detests boat people arriving...their fear pumped up by a morally bankrupt media & some politicians. The ones who see a potential terrorist in every boatload. If it doesn't act as a deterrent, which I doubt it will, then the Coalition will be forced to consider the Malaysian solution. Which I also don't believe will work. Neither in the long run. Until certain regimes are changed, their countries managed more effectively in relation to security...including protecting all of religious persuasions & beliefs/non-beliefs by way of secular laws the asylum seekers will continue to arrive in various countries full-bore. The same if we don't deal w/ climate change/natural disaster-related issues...at a global & national level...much to do w/ food security, location of housing, prevelance of disease, access to clean water and so on. This is an issue that will not go away for a good long time...no short-term fixes I'm afraid. But I would like to see Nauru used in order to prove what nonsense the Coalition is spouting. The same w/ the Malaysian solution...down the road. BTW, I've always had suspicions that some of the Indonesian authorities have greenlighted sabotage of asylum seeker boats over the years...possibly during the Howard years...and in recent times. It wouldn't surprise me if it was/is an attempt to humiliate Australia into taking masses of asylum seekers as it did during the end of the Vietnam war...a short-sighted attempt to take huge pressure off the Indonesian system... and it could be an attempt to create confusion in Australian political circles and w/ the public...leading to distracting & continual leadership changes...weakening Australia strategically. I doubt there is really much love when it comes to certain Indonesian nationalist & military individuals' feelings about Australia's various governments. Considering what happened under Whitlam...the various attempts to control East Timorese resources, the invasion of that country...lecturing over the conflicts in Papua and West Papua provinces...and so on. And of course, this latest strengthening of American/Australian ties...more troops into Darwin. We know a military man runs Indonesia. A war criminal. Unfortunately, I think this asylum seeker situation is far more complex...and related more to strategic positioning than some might think. The sooner our leaders & media get together and start thinking wider...and about the national interest...and the lives of those poor refugees...the better. N'

nasking

22/12/2011[quote]Now back to sorting and packing......will have a break Christmas day.[/quote] Gravel, Have a wonderful Christmas...hope the move goes well. I know how exhausting it can be...but once you're settled in, it will all seem worth it. Thankyou for your support & contributions since I arrived on this blog. They helped a great deal. Cheers N'

NormanK

22/12/2011For anyone who may perhaps still believe that Julia Gillard is not being treated differently because she is a woman, have a look at the photo accompanying this article. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/tony-abbott-call-for-prime-minister-julia-gillard-to-return-from-hoilidays-early/story-e6freuzr-1226228283889 Coy little girl flirting with Uncle Tony? Flippant insouciance over the deaths of 200 people - too busy batting her eyelids?

nasking

22/12/2011Games people play when it comes to resources...so many different ways pressure can be applied to governments: http://westpapuamedia.info/2011/12/16/australia-must-act-after-more-conflict-in-west-papua-greens/ N'

nasking

22/12/2011Norman, I'll take your word for it...I dislike visiting the Daily Telegraph. BTW, I doubt we've ever had a more immature, irresponsible & uninspiring opposition leader than Tony Abbott. Considering the storms that are coming...and the possible need for a future unified government, Tony Abbott is not the kind of character that should be leading the Coalition. Sick & tired of political point scorers who put the national interest last. N'

NormanK

22/12/2011Lyn, I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive those of us who may have contributed to your feeling of embarrassment over the BB thing. It would be a real shame to go into Christmas and the New Year break with ill-feeling between us, especially when one party is as selfless and giving as you are. For my part in causing you discomfort, I unreservedly apologise. If I drop off the radar for the next little while, may I wish you a happy festive season. And a summer without storms. :) :) :)

NormanK

22/12/2011Ad astra, The far-flung members of the family are due to start arriving soon so may I take this opportunity to thank you for another year of access to a stimulating and refreshing site. I hope you and your family have a safe and happy Christmas. Incidentally, I am jealous of the fact that you can mow a week out from Christmas and be confident that the yard will still look respectable a week later. At the moment I'm lucky if it lasts for about four days with the way the lawn is jumping up out of the ground. Fingers crossed for the Boxing Day Test. :)

nasking

22/12/2011How many commentors across the blogosphere said we should blame the borrowers as much as the finance corporations/companies for the housing crash/GFC? Plenty. Now this: [b]$335 Million Settlement on Countrywide Lending Bias[/b]By CHARLIE SAVAGE NY Times Published: December 21, 2011 The Justice Department on Wednesday announced the largest residential fair-lending settlement in history, saying that Bank of America had agreed to pay $335 million to settle allegations that its Countrywide Financial unit discriminated against black and Hispanic borrowers during the housing boom. A department investigation concluded that Countrywide had charged higher fees and rates to more than 200,000 minority borrowers across the country than to white borrowers who posed the same credit risk. It also steered more than 10,000 minority borrowers into costly subprime mortgages when white borrowers with similar credit profiles received prime loans, the department said. The pattern and practice covered the years 2004 to 2008, before Countrywide was acquired by Bank of America. A court filing in 2010 in a civil fraud case brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission against Angelo R. Mozilo, the former chief executive of Countrywide, disclosed that the firm’s lending practices during the heyday of the housing boom were under scrutiny. It showed that regulators with the Federal Reserve, analyzing Countrywide data from 2004, had uncovered evidence of “statistically significant disparities by race and ethnicity” among its customers: African-American and Hispanic borrowers were being charged higher fees and rates than whites. The filing also showed that the Fed had referred the matter to the Justice Department’s civil rights division in early 2007. [b]Under federal civil rights laws — including the Fair Housing and Equal Credit Opportunity acts — a lending practice is illegal if it has a disparate impact on minority borrowers. Amid the housing boom, the Justice Department brought relatively few enforcement actions based on fair lending laws under the Bush administration. But against the backdrop of the foreclosure crisis, the Obama administration has made a major effort to step up enforcement of fair lending laws.[/b] In January 2010, the division created a unit to focus exclusively on banks and mortgage brokers suspected of discriminating against minority mortgage applicants, a type of litigation that requires extensive and complex analysis of data. It also reached an agreement to gain access to data the Treasury Department is collecting from banks about loan modifications for people seeking to avoid foreclosure. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/22/business/us-settlement-reported-on-countrywide-lending.html NO LONGER EYES WIDE SHUT [b]Countrywide financial political loan scandal[/b] The U.S. financial political loan scandal in 2008-2009 involved politicians who allegedly received favorable mortgage rates. In June 2008 Conde Nast Portfolio reported that numerous Washington, DC politicians over recent years had received mortgage financing at noncompetitive rates at Countrywide Financial because the corporation placed the officeholders in a program called "FOA's"--"Friends of Angelo", Countrywide's Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo. The politicians extended such favorable financing included the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Christopher Dodd (D-CT), and the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, Kent Conrad (D-ND). The article also noted Countrywide's political action committee had made large donations to Dodd's campaign. The largest recipient of campaign contributions from Countrywide, though, was Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), House Financial Services Committee), who has received $37,500 since 1989. Dodd has advocated that the federal government, through the Federal Housing Administration, insure up to $300 billion in refinanced mortgages for distressed homeowners. Franklin Raines, then Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fannie Mae, on July 31, 2002It was reported by the Wall Street Journal on 6 June 2008 that 2 former CEO of Fannie Mae, Franklin Raines and James A. Johnson, who was also an adviser to then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, had received loans from Countrywide. On July 16, 2008, The Washington Post reported that Franklin Raines had "taken calls from Barack Obama's presidential campaign seeking his advice on mortgage and housing policy matters." However, Raines and the Obama campaign both allege that Raines has never advised Obama. On 18 June 2008, a Congressional ethics panel started examining allegations that Democratic Senators Christopher Dodd of Connecticut (the sponsor of a major $300 billion housing rescue bill) and Kent Conrad of North Dakota received preferential loans by troubled mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp. Dodd has faced criticism for his role in this scandal from Connecticut's largest newspaper, the Hartford Courant as well as from the Connecticut Republican party. Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named Dodd its June 2008 "Porker of the Month" for accepting a preferential mortgage deal from Countrywide Financial which stands to benefit from a mortgage bill he is pushing through Congress. On January 6, 2010, Dodd announced that he would not run for re-election. ----------- [b]Angelo Mozilo[/b] Angelo R. Mozilo (born 1938) was the chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Countrywide Financial until July 1, 2008 Mozilo's compensation during the United States housing bubble of 2001–06 has come under scrutiny. During that period, his total compensation (including salary, bonuses, options and restricted stock) approached $470 million His compensation also includes payment of his annual country club dues at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, CA, The Quarry at La Quinta golf club in La Quinta, CA and Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, VA SEC accusation regarding insider sales Over many years, Mozilo sold hundreds of millions of dollars in stock personally even while publicly touting the stock and using shareholder funds to buy back stock to support the share price. On June 4, 2009, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged former CEO Angelo Mozilo with insider trading and securities fraud. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angelo_Mozilo more here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/05/countrywide-whistleblower-mortgage-fraud-systemic_n_1129637.html Martin Luther King would be clenching his fist at this point I reckon...but for the fact there is a part black President...and plenty of blacks in influential positions across America. Not sure how Malcolm X would feel about some of the crap that's been goin' down tho...considerin' the rug has been pulled out from under many a hard working & disadvantaged black American. As for the Hispanic community...I imagine they're used to be abused & screwed over by the country that ate their land...and sends their kids off to badly run, corporate aristocracy feeding conflicts in order to get the privilege of a Green Card... [quote]and scholarships, post-service employment, and various medical and pension benefits[/quote]: [b]Life lottery: US military targets poor Hispanics for frontline service in Iraq[/b] http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0JQP/is_378/ai_n13807724/ BUT RACISM DOESN'T EXIST IN AMERICA ANYMORE. Exploitation certainly does. N'

nasking

22/12/2011Yet, it's the Occupy Movement protestors getting arrested: [b]Arrests as Occupy Wall Street movement turns to church[/b] http://business-standard.com/india/news/arrests-as-occupy-wall-street-movement-turns-to-church/458951/ [b]government of the people, by the people, for the people[/b] N'

nasking

22/12/2011A reminder: [b]The few, the proud, the very rich [/b] [quote]Upon closer inspection, the Forbes list reveals that six Waltons—all children (one daughter-in-law) of Sam or James “Bud” Walton the founders of Wal-Mart—were on the list. The combined worth of the Walton six was $69.7 billion in 2007—which equated to the total wealth of the entire bottom thirty percent! BTW the new 2011 Forbes 400 has the inherited worth of these six Waltons at $93 billion. The 2010 SCF data that is slated for release spring of 2012 will almost certainly show a further widening of the wealth gap given that corporate profits, stocks and CEO pay have all recovered while housing values & equity (the lion’s share of wealth for average American’s), wages and family incomes have yet to turn around. These revelations renewed my interest in the inheritance and estate tax debates. Also, didn’t I just read somewhere that Wal-Mart is substantially rolling back health care coverage for part-time workers and significantly raising premiums for many full-time staff? We’ve got to get serious about reversing the long term trend of the ever increasing concentration of income and wealth into the hands of a few at the expense of the many. At stake is nothing less than our economy and our democracy.[/quote] http://blogs.berkeley.edu/2011/12/05/the-few-the-proud-the-very-rich/ I guess a FEW people are gonna have a great Christmas. N'

nasking

22/12/2011Delivering a deceitful message in an all-spin zone way: [b]Walmart Edit Of Union Story On Internal News Wire Reveals Tactic That Could Spell Trouble [/b] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/16/walmart-union-internal-news-wire-huffington-post_n_1154097.html I wonder if Walmart is considered [i]too big to fail[/i]? Obviously big enuff to ripoff workers. N'

TalkTurkey

22/12/2011let me be very clear here. I am not joking. There is one Sage on this site and it is Ad astra. There are three winners of Ad astra Awards and three only. They are I repeat: Patricia WA for Political Pometry [Polliepomes] Lyn our Early Tweetybird for Lyn's~Links Political Blog-Spotting Ad astra For Political Blogmaster of the Era The event closed when the true awards were announced. * Please desist FS and others from further trivialising this promising and socially vital event. It is not and will not be an internal-to-TPS mutual admiration award by whomever whenever by whoever for whatever, it will exist for as long as I can help it and for as long as others will help, and it will have gravitas or not at all. It will respect Ad astra in the present and *ad astra*. The awards categories in future will be few, but they will be deserved at every level of service to the Blogosphere, to such as the three true winners are, of [i]national uniqueness [/i]and [i]pan-Blogospherical influence[/i]. Why, because I said so because that is what this award must be about or fail. Our Sage, [and I have used this term repeatedly of Ad astra over time, not just now] will be Political Blogmaster of the Era as long as he runs this blog, it is an honorary and perennial award like Poet Laureate, I created it and gave it to him. [i]May it be handed on to worthy successors in the far distant future [/i](in the unlikely event that Ad should ever, erm, well, naaahhhh can't happen). In addition to the two categories for Pomes and Blog-spotting (and the two current recipients will take some rolling next year and beyond I predict) there will be a competition for Best Political Blogger of the Year, and Best Political Blogsite of the Year - the very categories which Greg Jericho won on the now-defunct and lamented Wonkleys, whose spirits, both jocular and fixed-bayonet serious, I have single-handedly and single-mindedly snatched from beyond the gates of Hades and transgrogrified into the Ad astra Awards, because they are needed. They are not a joke. There may be a very few more categories, by popular demand. 'Sage' will not be one of them. It is [i]taken[/i], ceded to, subsumed by Ad astra's title and that of his eventual successors (O Ad! Live for Ever!)into the future as Political Blogmaster of the Era. The Ad astra Awards will go to such as the three true winners are, of [i]national uniqueness and pan-Blogospherical influence.[/i] We happen on the Sword to win [i]anyway[/i] in three of those, very select few, self-defined categories, for Political Pomes, for Political Blogspotting, and most of all for being our Sage in all Australia, Political BlogMaster of the Era. They are the best [i]in all Australia in their field,[/i] that's what these awards are about. I KNOW there is no-one out there who would even challenge any of the winners for the categories I have named. That's why I could name them with utter confidence, they're all right out on their own. But value-judgment judgments such as Best Political Blogger I would never presume to judge by myself. Such categories, where there [i]will[/i] be proper disputation, (as there is not for PWA Lyn and Ad), will be decided by some sort of democratic evaluation process involving those who express opinions. Please do not further devalue Ad astra Awards' perceived worth to the present three holders, and in future to The Sword and those whose work it honors, by further extemporaneous silliness. This is not a joke.

Feral Skeleton

22/12/2011Thanks for nothing Talk Turkey. I don't know why I bother.

Lyn

22/12/2011Dear Norman K Thankyou so much for your apology. I can't tell you how much it means to me. Shattered confidence takes awhile to heal, your words are soothing and heartfelt. Your sensitivity is to be admired Cause & effect, action - reaction combination can be very sole shattering. I have been very happy to see your Rose on TPS pages a bit more frequently of late. Adding substance and reading to our page. If the readers out there haven't got anything to read what will they do. Thankyou for your Christmas wishes. I hope you have a nice happy Christmas with your relatives. Ummm hope you get at least one present. Think you know by now how much I love presents, kind of never lost the delight of unwrapping the paper as a child. Best Wishes NormanK

Michael

22/12/2011Bad Abbott just gets worse Is there anybody in Australia who can still possibly believe that Shouldabeen is a genuine person, when he offers to sit down only with the PM to discuss asylum seeker policy only if the government takes dictation, writes down Coalition policy, and presents it to him as 'woken up' government policy? This is worse than 'my way or the highway'. This is "no way but anyway I say no matter what I might say down the line, except you have to put it in writing and I don't because if it all goes to Hell, I can say, 'no way was that my way'". Only bullies could respond at all positively to Shouldabeen's characteristically bow-legged stance on this one. And that reveals even more clearly just why Abbott is such a threat to this country - as Mussolini gathered thugs and bullies around him with the promise of unfettered thuggery and bullying for all 'with' him, Tiny does the same. He would lead Australia down such a blind alley (one already way too familiar to way too many Ozzie Ozzie Ozzies) that we might never emerge from it except as Il Duce did.

2353

22/12/2011As a few are leaving us for some of the festive season - it is timely to offer the:- [quote][b]Elf & Safety rules for the festive season[/b] All persons planning to dash through the snow in a one horse open sleigh, going over the fields and laughing all the way are advised that a Risk Assessment will be required addressing the safety of an open sleigh for members of the public. This assessment must also consider whether it is appropriate to use only one horse for such a venture, particularly where there are multiple passengers. Please note that permission must also be obtained in writing from landowners before their fields may be entered. To avoid offending those not participating in celebrations, we would request that laughter is moderate only and not loud enough to be considered a noise nuisance. Benches, stools and orthopaedic chairs are now available for collection by any shepherds planning or required to watch their flocks at night. While provision has also been made for remote monitoring of flocks by CCTV cameras from a centrally heated shepherd observation hut, all users of this facility are reminded that an emergency response plan must be submitted to account for known risks to the flocks. The angel of the Lord is additionally reminded that, prior to shining his/her glory all around, s/he must confirm that all shepherds are wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment to account for the harmful effects of UVA, UVB and the overwhelming effects of Glory. Following last year’s well publicised case, everyone is advised that Equal Opportunities legislation prohibits any comment with regard to the redness of any part of Mr. R Reindeer. Further to this, exclusion of Mr. R Reindeer from reindeer games will be considered discriminatory and disciplinary action will be taken against those found guilty of this offence. While it is acknowledged that gift bearing is a common practice in various parts of the world, particularly the Orient, everyone is reminded that the bearing of gifts is subject to Hospitality Guidelines and all gifts must be registered. This applies regardless of the individual, even royal personages. It is particularly noted that direct gifts of currency or gold are specifically precluded, while caution is advised regarding other common gifts such as aromatic resins that may evoke allergic reactions. Finally, in the recent instance of the infant found tucked up in a manger without any crib for a bed, Social Services have been advised and will be arriving shortly. Happy Christmas to you![/quote] And thank you for putting up with my ramblings (as well as the [i]very occasional [/i] insight) through 2011. Thanks especially to AA for hosting and setting the tone of TPS - it really is anice place to be considered a regular. Let's hope we are all back here in 2012. I'll be here throguhtout the "holidays" - I hope some others will join me.

D Mick Weir

22/12/20112353, I am just back from almost 12 hours of having the nose to the wheel. Your 'romp' @ 2:43 PM certainly lit up my afternoon and with 'insights' such as that in the offing I will join you as often as I am able over the next couple of weeks. [i]Finally, in the recent instance of the infant found tucked up in a manger without any crib for a bed, Social Services have been advised and will be arriving shortly.[/i] that was the cherry on top of a delightful pudding with lashings of cream thanks multiple numero :)

Ad astra reply

22/12/2011NormanK Thank you for your Christmas wishes which I reciprocate wholeheartedly. Based of previous years, a thorough mow at this time of the year suffices for the summer, but this year seems different. We have had quite a lot of rain, and with the heat now increasing steadily, the grass is growing more than usual. I may have to top up after Boxing Day. This morning we have been hacking back tea tree that has become rampant close to the house, constituting a fire hazard. There seems endless work to do at this time of the year. So I won’t be around much on [i]TPS[/i] until well into 2012. Jason Your YouTube clip of the Great Pretender is apt. Abbott’s behaviour wouldn’t be so serious if it were not for the fact that he wants to be PM! Nasking I see you are revving up for 2012! Michael Abbott’s audacity is breathtaking – it MUST be HIS WAY or he won’t even TALK, and he will talk only with the PM. And what’s more, it must be IN WRITING. All this adds up to the truth that he wishes NEVER to endorse the Malaysia arrangement for fear it would work. He is a bully and a tyrant. Heaven help this country if the media ever allow him to become PM, and they know it is in their power to stop him. 2353 Thank you for your Christmas advice. To all Folks who may be taking off early for Christmas: I wish you all a Very Happy and Peaceful Christmas and a Satisfying 2012. Do come back and join us next year.

Lyn

22/12/2011Hi Talk Turkey Thankyou for my award, I accept with the deepest gratitude, I will wear my award with honour. Talk Turkey I appreciate the obvious time, effort and work you have put into the Wonkley Awards. I value you efforts very much. Not just for me but for TPS. You have spent a lot of time on your genuine, well thoughtout carefully chosen words. [i]The Winner of the 2011 Inaugural Ad astra Award for BLOG-SPOTTING ! [/i]*IS*! [quote]You All Knew It! Give it up Folks for Our very own Early Tweety-Bird . . . *L*Y*N* ! to you too Lyn. www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...-DAILY-LINKS.aspx And Congratulations on this richly deserved Ad astra Award for Blogspotting[/quote] I see that ”The Notion Factory” Super Opinion, stopped operating his blog all together quite some time ago http://notionfactory.net/wonkleys/ Greg Grog was delighted to win the Wonkley’s last year, as Adstra is this year. Best Wishes Talk Turkey to you for Christmas. and for the New Year xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Jason

22/12/2011Not sure what is going to be said. latikambourke | 2 minutes ago Immigration Minister Chris Bowen has called a press conference for 1700 Canberra time in Newcastle.

Jaeger

22/12/2011Abbott is just plain lazy. He wants everything up front, in writing, just so he can say "No" and wave it at the cameras while saying it's "bad policy", "stop the boats" etc. etc. I suspect Bowen's speech will point out that even with their precious Nauru "solution" on the table, Abbott refuses to engage. Even Ruddock says the Malaysia solution may work, so what's Abbott's problem? The ball - and responsibility for further losses of life - are firmly in his court.

Patricia WA

22/12/20112353 - Thank you for the Elf and Safety Rules. Very useful for this time of the year! Funny too! Jason - as Ad Astra and Michael have noted too - Abbott doesn't seem to understand that word 'compromise' or even what is meant by 'negotiation.' http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-12-22/swan-tired-of-abbotts-asylum-talks-stonewalling/3744384. No wonder he couldn't get support from the Independents after the election last year.

Sir Ian Crisp

22/12/2011[quote]TONY Abbott has called on Julia Gillard to return from her holidays and deal with Australia's border protection crisis. The Opposition Leader said this morning the issue was too important for the Prime Minister to remain on leave. [/quote] How callous of our PM to spend her time on holidays while desperate people risk life and limb by boarding those leaky boats in Indonesia. Has our PM become inured to the sight of people thrashing about in the Timor Sea? Surely our PM can stop playing paint ball (everyone admits she’s an easy target – like tracking an elephant) long enough to sort out this intractable problem. It’s time she, as leader of the ALP – the party of artificial intelligence – stopped her perfidious behaviour and entered into meaningful dialogue with Tony Um Err Ahh.

TalkTurkey

22/12/2011Lyn they're not Wonkleys now, they are [i]*Ad astra Awards*[/i], by default and by our pegging the vacated claim. But you received that award from me because you deserved it, as did the other two recipients theirs. I was comparing you with any others elsewhere, like DK on PB who does good stuff but Lyn's~Links is #1 and everybody knows it. If there had been a Wonkleys, and if they had had a BlogSpotter Award as they ought, you would most assuredly have won it, you know it, and I know it too, because of all the sites you have led me to! In fact that's also how I know that Patricia is the best pometress and Ad is unquestionably Blogmaster of the Era. You, Tweety, you're responsible! You can't claim to have a Wonkleys Award Lyn, but you have richly-deserved recognition from All Of Us anyway. What I want is to make the Ad astra Awards next year a prestigious e-vent worthy of Ad astra himself. To encourage bloggers and blogs. Jason Obelix reckons wtte awards are hooey. Yob. :)

janice

22/12/2011Good evening all. Ad astra. I have no criticism to offer re the PM's speech. IMHO we cannot expect our PM to excel in everything given that each of us has our own failings. I do not agree that she should take acting lessons or to be coached - if we cannot accept her as herself, or if we prefer to see her and hear her as a performing actress, then perhaps we could hire a professional actress to run the government. I liked her speech and to me she comes across as a caring, honest, intelligent and very capable leader. But, that is only my opinion and I hope I'm not the only Labor voter who is happy with our PM as she is, warts and all. I would like to wish all Swordians the compliments of the season with special thanks to you Ad astra for this excellent blog, to our wonderful Tweety Bird Lyn for her contributions throughout the year, To FS for her time and effort put into producing her articles and to Ascerbic for his pieces of satire which never failed to amuse. May 2012 be kind to you all. Merry Xmas.

Lyn

22/12/2011Hi Talk Turkey You will just have to accept my apology please, please, there is no way out of it for me. Forgive me please. Otherwise you will have to peck me. Now I'm fluffing up my wings for making a mistake. [quote]What I want is to make the Ad astra Awards next year a prestigious e-vent worthy of Ad astra himself. To encourage bloggers and blogs[/quote]. I am honoured by your words, work, preparation, presentation, enthusiasm. This evening I received by courier a big box, a big present, from my Sydney daughter, I am in a fluster you know. I love what you are doing, thankyou TT :):):):):):):)

Lyn

22/12/2011Hi Janice A Happy Christmas to you too and your family. Janice I value your support very much not just to me but to "The Political Sword". You are part of the furniture you know. Thankyou to you for your contributions and interesting opinions thoughout the year, they are enjoyed by all. Best wishes xxxx

Lyn

22/12/2011Hi Ad and Everybody You may be interested, this is a copy of the Governments letter to the Abbott Opposition lynlinkingLyn Linking Reading "Govt Letter to Opposition" on Scribd http://www.scribd.com/doc/76286943 #Readcast sharing I had better fade out now, I am supposed to be on holidays. :):):):)

nasking

22/12/2011[quote]I see you are revving up for 2012! [/quote] Ad, I'm looking forward to it. Already taken many a note for my first couple of posts. And have downloaded on the Kindle Barack Obama's books, The Audacity of Hope...and...Dreams for my Father. To get some further insight into the American President's character and goals. I intend to grab some related to Romney too. Furthermore, I'm looking forward to the 2nd part of the BBC 2/ BBC World doco, The Party's Over: How the World went Bust: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b017znzt Tho, I will be taking a significant break soon. [b]2353 & Norman[/b], Have an enjoyable hols & a merry Christmas. I've enjoyed reading your comments. It looks as tho we're going to get a dry spell, yet again, in this sth-east Qld corner...only one decent rainfall in the past 6 weeks...our garden...and the school one...are desperate for more. Getting that parched look. "Jenny, where's the rain". :) An inside joke related to QLD ABC news. Cheers N'

D Mick Weir

22/12/2011FS, for a totally different 'sidelight' [b]The difference between a failure and a mistake[/b] Seth Godin http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/12/the-difference-between-a-failure-and-a-mistake.html [i]A failure is a project that doesn't work, an initiative that teaches you something at the same time the outcome doesn't move you directly closer to your goal. A mistake is either a failure repeated, doing something for the second time when you should have known better, or a misguided attempt (because of carelessness, selfishness or hubris) that hindsight reminds you is worth avoiding. We need a lot more failures, I think. Failures that don't kill us make us bolder, and teach us one more way that won't work, while opening the door to things that might. School confuses us, so do bosses and families. Go ahead, fail. Try to avoid mistakes, though.[/i] PS I suspect I know why you bother but we will leave discussion on it for another time :)

TalkTurkey

23/12/2011Lyn you are so funny. Your Gravatar brings up the sun on TPS. Don't fade please, the more you're here the better we like it. Fascinating to read the Govt letter to the Opposition. Who does Abbortt think he is to demand he get his way when he is Opposition and there are people drowning that might not have attempted a sea crossing . . . a Christian eh? Then I can't help thinking that this situation was really brought about by the fact that the High Court *found* the 'Malaysia solution' illegal. *Found* it thus? Like, there it was just lying there all the time, "Oh look, here it is, yeah, No sorry Government, see? It's illegal, that's the way we found it!" No that's not the way they [i]found[/i] it, that's the way they [i]made[/i] it. It's just a matter of a few blokes and sheilas in wigs, and from my experiences wigs don't actually make people any wiser than hats do. Political pundits get things wrong all the time, I mean wrong in all conceivable and some unbelievable ways . . . Those bloody Judges are just as fallible as anybody else in such a matter as this, Oh I'm sure politics played no part in their 'finding', not much, gee they really spiked Labor's guns by their judgment, but they're pure and highminded and above any of the consequences of their 'findings'. They only 'found' it that way anyway. Not their fault if as a result of their finding Australia continues to have no proper AS policy at all, so not their fault that people still attempt crossings by boat, so not their fault if . . . High court judges are given God-given-wisdom status, as though Moses-like they come down from their heights with these infallible pronouncements, well they're people in wigs and they come disproportionately from privileged classes with their own prejudices and I don't want my fate ever to be in judges' hands ever again. When you give evidence they pretend to think that if you swear on the Bible you are more likely to tell the truth than if you do the other thing, i.e. make an affirmation. Of course the reverse is actually true, (and they actually know it), the latter group do so from a personal moral decision. But the funny bit is that in that same Bible JC Him-Holy-Self says somewhere wtte [i]Judge not others lest you be judged in the same measure[/i], h'mmm, and there's this bloody [i]Judge[/i] looking at you!. . . :) High court finding, Oh Well done your Honours. You just [i]found[/i] it like that, on the evidence before you, like finding doggy-do on the carpet eh. And where will we end up? With nothing better anyway! Judges, pure and above any responsibilty for years of delay in finding a humane procedure in dealing with asylum seekers, yep, as pure and above any responsibility as are the Greens for years of delay in getting any action on climate change. Funny how people who are so pure and insistent on having everything they want are so effective in ending up just stymying any progress at all for anybody. High Court Judges, and Greens. Oh [i]theirs[/i] don't stink! People who do vote Greens, - I know many of you do so with good intent - OK follow your heart but Oh Please don't be so pure-minded that you are part of bringing this good Government down. Three quarters of a loaf is a whole lot better than none. Labor can't satisfy everyone about everything, it's a logical impossibility, but Labor is always better for more people than the Right. Which has its face turned in a determinedly-contrary direction. Imagine the satisfaction if ever it comes about that the Greens increase their vote to the extent that the Government falls so there's the Greens in the Senate thinking [i]uh[/i]-oh [i]What have we done![/i] Dear Dog Please don't let that happen!

Lyn

23/12/2011Good Morning Everyone Just to start the conversation for today, compulsion made me collect some reading for you:- ThefinnigansTheFinnigans天地有道人无道 Let me repeat: [b]To solve the AS problem, it requires a bipartisan approach from Labor, Coalition and the Greens [/b]#auspol 10 minutes agoFavoriteUndo RetweetReply ThefinnigansTheFinnigans天地有道人无道 Methinks it's time for Cardinal Pell to make a call to Dr. Death Abbott. Afterall it's Xmas time for the good Cardinal to save lives #auspol 13 minutes agoFavoriteRetweetReply vexnewsvexnews Tony Abbott not budging on Malaysia Solution for asylum-seekers even if government agrees on Nauru #auspol http://bit.ly/s4ihFh 41 minutes agoFavoriteRetweetReply Maybeee2011Maybe Hi @SamWells_ u mangled the link when you copied my tweet. Here is the proper 1: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2011/12/19/9450/all-comments/#comment-1119635 Also, u changed #fibs 2 #libs #auspol 45 minutes agoFavoriteRetweetReply thetodayshowThe Today Show 'If the government can rule out Temporary Protection Visas, we rule out Malaysia.' - Tony Abbott #asylum 47 minutes agoFavoriteRetweetReply @9NewsOnline 9News No deal on Malaysia solution: Abbott http://bit.ly/vWAiL012 minutes agovia twitterfeed FavoriteRetweetReply No deal on Malaysia solution, says Abbott , News Com. December 23, 2011 7:07AM The High Court prevented the Government from implementing the plans in August, leading it to table amended legislation. But it needs the support of the Opposition or the Greens. http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/no-deal-on-malaysia-solution-says-abbott/story-e6frfku0-1226229015162#ixzz1hIYE6AVo [i]prestontowersPreston Towers[/i] Why I think Bowen isn't serious about the Nauru "compromise" - and why the media need to probe Abbott more The difficulty for Abbott in this situation would arise if the Canberra press gallery were to pursue him on two main points about TPVs and the towing back of boats. They should research the history of TPVs and ask Abbott whether he was aware that TPVs were responsible in part for the increase of women and children on boats. Whether he knows that these risks were taken because of the nature of TPVs – that once asylum seekers gained a TPV, they couldn’t apply for family members to come to Australia as well. That this caused these asylum seekers to take the risk of bringing family members. This point is almost never made in the coverage of the asylum seeker issue .http://prestoninstitute.wordpress.com/2011/12/23/chocwedge/?blogsub=confirming#subscribe-blog The Only Wedge at Christmas Should Be a Choc Wedge – The Nauru “Compromise” - http://wp.me/p1hM82-7N Have fun, cheers :):):)

TalkTurkey

23/12/2011my say's posts on Poll Bludger are often hard to decipher from typos and disjunctions and lots of little errors But she is one of the most notable bloggers I know Check this Posted Friday, December 23, 2011 at 7:31 am | Permalink Womble We have changed our mind s, to save lives Offinnocents Last month we nearly lost our daughter and grandson, The agony of those three weeks will stay with us all forever, We are blessed we still have them Imagine watching, a child a baby, bobbing on the floxim and waves some high some low Ones hands frantically trying to recapture the little mite you r child, as it sinks beyond reach, You turn and to the left yousee your wife, yoursister , or your brother, the person you made friends with. Screaming save me, there is nothing you can do as you cling to a piece of wood from a boat That is crumbling about you. Its all in my mind s. Eye imagine if this was real Its. Our duty of care that’s important, not politics Thank you my say You don't need fancy words I hope your near and dear ones are out of danger now. Someone will mention this here on TPS I'm sure becasue I don't comment there, I do read some posts there though. It just goes too fast! Dog spare us [i]too many[/i] people coming to TPS - PB is like seeing a place from a T-jet, TPS is like going by land. We need both. I just can't keep up with all the posts on PB or even go close, I only dip into the odd 50, but my say if ever you honour us here with a visit you'll be welcome. i say

2353

23/12/2011Nas - Even Jenny's on holidays. It must be Christmas. We got a little rain last night - 10 minutes after we had finished looking at Christmas Lighta. Don't know where you are in SEQ - but if your close, take a drive down Chatsworth Road Greenslopes.

TalkTurkey

23/12/2011OOPS! Spot the error! "Someone will mention this here on TPS I'm sure becasue I don't comment there, I do read some posts there though. It just goes too fast!" It isn't the 'becasue' neither! (That's the [i]other[/i]error)

TalkTurkey

23/12/2011OOPS! Spot the error! "Someone will mention this here on TPS I'm sure becasue I don't comment there, I do read some posts there though. It just goes too fast!" It isn't the 'becasue' neither! (That's the [i]other[/i]error)

TalkTurkey

23/12/2011FLASH! ABC 24 will be *Trivioli-free* until sometime in January! My best pressie so far.

TalkTurkey

23/12/2011"Labor has *caved in* to Opposition demands on Nauru" Not 'offered to accede to". Not 'agreed to'. Not "stated that it is prepared to compromise on." #*cking ABC should be stoned. Now Abbortt getting a great long free kick with a 200 metre penalty. F#S he's still going on and on Still going on and on. Still going on and on Turn the boats around he's still going on I can't bear to watch Ring up the President of Nauru He's still going on Soft petal questions Cripes he's still going on like an Eveready Rabbit. 'Nauru is going to open again' Cripes he's still going. Oh now at last it's Baillieu No it's not they've glitched and ditched Baillieu now they've gone back to Malicia Clarke in the studio To explain it all to us semimoron plebs Thank Dog for Malicia's guidance.

Bring Back Maxine

23/12/2011Season's Greetings to all Swordians! May the Festive season be a safe and happy one for all. Special thanks to Lyn for her daily links throughout the year. Also the regular posters, TT, nasking, HS, janice, Patricia et alia for their valuable insights. But the ultimate thanks goes to AA for providing this great site. Abbott's intransigence on AS is truly appalling during this time when we as a civilised people reflect on peace and goodwill toward our fellow man.

D Mick Weir

23/12/2011Parental Guidance Reccomended all possible warnings apply before you follow the link to the pic Mr Denmore tweeted The spirit of Christmas http://pic.twitter.com/dynVVthK

Lyn

23/12/2011Hi 2353 and Everybody I'm in Hervey Bay, we have had a lot of rain yesterday. Very windy, dark and black clouds this morning. How many QLDers have we got on TPS. Nasking could you tell me more about your Kindle. I am adoring mine. Xmas present so I am a new user, I want to change the awful wallpaper. Is it possible to install perhaps a photograph, a rose would be nice. Do you have any tips about using Amazon and what do you do with the ebook once read, give it back or copy to disk???? Some more compulsive reading for you the result of compulsion:- conceravotaConcera Vota Brilliant read ! RT @SpaceKidette: [b]Bushfire Bill nails it again: [/b] http://bit.ly/rAH2lH http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2011/12/22/morgan-face-to-face-53-5-46-5-to-coalition/comment-page-16/#comment-1121255 3 minutes agoFavoriteRetweetReply Abbott presser , somebody said “How Many Times Did Abbott Say God”. jot_auJoT And the hide of Abbott to "thank God" that the govt has seen reason. What a sneaky, lying hypocrite. No God would forgive his skullduggery 10 minutes agoFavoriteRetweetReply Somebody let Hockey out without his medication. SkyNewsAustSky News Australia Govt and Oppn in asylum seeker talks http://ow.ly/1gkeWm ThefinnigansTheFinnigans天地有道人无道 @latikambourke Tony Abbott is turning this into a circus 12 minutes ago FavoriteRetweetReply ThefinnigansTheFinnigans天地有道人无道 Let me repeat. As long as Abbott is the LOTO. He wants them boats keep coming. He is now Dr. Death #auspol AndrewBGreeneAndrew Greene Perhaps Minister Chris Bowen will offer another concession today and put the #boatphone on the table for discussion...? australianThe Australian Howard-era visas key to asylum deal: THE reinstatement of temporary protection visas appears to be the sticking ... http://bit.ly/uGCHac [i]THE reinstatement of temporary protection visas appears to be the final sticking point in an offshore processing compromise between the Gillard government and the Coalition[/i] TheKoukStephen Koukoulas @mumbletwits I just wrote this on the Hockey article. http://stephenkoukoulas.blogspot.com/2011/12/joe-hockeys-gross-incompetence.html [i]Default threat as Liberals issue debt warning[/i] THE Coalition has threatened to block any effort by the government to raise the $250 billion limit on public sector borrowing, [b]potentially forcing the government to run out of money. [/b] Writing in The Australian today, opposition Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey warns that he will demand a high price for the Coalition's support for increased debt. Mr Hockey's approach borrows from [b]the Republican Party in the US[/b], which brought the government to the brink of default in August by refusing to vote for an increase in the debt ceiling. A deal was done one day before the government ran out of money, with the Obama administration forced to accept $US2.1 trillion ($2.07 trillion) in budget cuts, but the threat of default led the major credit ratings to strip the US of its AAA credit rating. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/treasury/default-threat-as-liberals-issue-debt-warning/story-fn59nsif-1226228923811 mumbletwitsPeter Brent Libs copying US Republicans on debt ceiling. That's the spirit. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/treasury/default-threat-as-liberals-issue-debt-warning/story-fn59nsif-1226228923811 Cheers :):):)

TalkTurkey

23/12/2011Bring Back Maxine more often! [i]"Abbott's intransigence on AS is truly appalling . . . "[/i] Yes it is. Appalling. I'm . . [i]appalled![/i] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~ Jim Hacker: I'm [i]appalled[/i]. Sir Humphrey: [i]You're[/i] appalled? [u][i]I'm[/i][/u] appalled. Jim: I - I just can't believe it, I'm - I'm [i]appalled![/i] . . . What do you make of it Bernard? Bernard: I'm [i]appalled[/i], minister! Jim: So am I. . ! .. . [i]Appalled![/i] *Short pause* Sir Humphrey: It's [i]appalling![/i] Jim: [i]Appalling![/i]... I just don't know how to describe it. Bernard: [i]Appalling[/i]? Jim: [i]Appalling![/i] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ [There is a single youtube link but my computer won't fire it up.] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Other Raries - Good Morning! - Goodwillian Greetings - How about giving us a hoy hey? Chris Bowen just said wtte ‘We’re going to have to sit down [i]and . . .[/i] ..... [wait for it . . . . It’s coming . . . . ! . . .

Tom of Melbourne

23/12/2011I posted this at my usual haunt, but though I’d share it with readers here... To paraphrase John Maynard Keynes for ALP barrackers – [i]“When the ALP changes its position, I change my opinion. What do you do Sir?”[/i] ---------------------------------- I think if there were thousands of Swedish backpackers stranded in Indonesia, we wouldn’t be talking about a Malaysia Solution, or any other solution, other than how do we get them here and more quickly!!?? We’d have half a dozen ferries, taxpayer funded, to bring them to a permanent welcome to Australia party. The need for a “solution” is based entirely on skin colour. The ALP barrackers entirely neglect this point. They prefer the faux concern about a perilous boat journey first run by Bolt. The Liberals have always been ugly and consistent on this issue.

Gravel

23/12/20112353 Thanks for your Elf rules, I had a good chuckle. Jane I concur with all you say about Julia. There maybe flaws and faults but no one is perfect. I don't understand why many other people can't see how incredibly good she is. No one else I know would be able towith stand the horrific stuff that is said and written about them and still come up smiling. Lyn Aha, you can't stay away, like most of us here at the moment, we seem to need our TPS hit each day. Thank you for all your hard work and effort with all your links, and enjoy the accolades, they are well earned by yourself. Talk Turkey Sometimes, son, I have trouble disciphering what you write, but always read it. On the odd occasion that I have wandered over to the PB site, I have seen mysay's comments. As I have a dyslexic son I have learned to interpret what is written, and she certainly has the same difficulties, but I admire her spirit in persevering. I can't remember if I have wished everyone Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, or whatever you wish to call this festive season. Now, back to the walls, I'm very naughty being here talking. :-)

TalkTurkey

23/12/2011Gravel said Talk Turkey Sometimes, son, >["'son'"? :)] I have trouble disciphering what you write, >[i]What?[/i] but always read it. >You only like me 'cos I'm good in print! On the odd occasion that I have wandered over to the PB site, I have seen mysay's comments. As I have a dyslexic son I have learned to interpret what is written, and she certainly has the same difficulties, but I admire her spirit in persevering. I'm not sure but I thnk it has to do with my say's hands, she has arthritis in them but she says she can make perfect wedding dresses [i]EH![/i] I can't remember if I have wished everyone Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, or whatever you wish to call this festive season. Now, back to the walls, I'm very naughty being here talking. Gravel Have the best Crispmess ever! Oh but I still want to know what you have trouble deciphering! recaptcha : ledites Bruce :)

D Mick Weir

23/12/2011... and so the longest day quietly came and went presaging the onset of pagan festivities more akin to an opposing season to the one that we currently enjoy. So Swordsfolk, for those that choose to partake in religious anniversary celebrations of dubious historical accuracy may it bring you joy. For those that wish to partake in the more mercantile forms of celebration inspired by religous anniversaries may it bring you joy. And for those without a foot in either camp may your year draw to close with much peace, goodwill and joy. Many thanks to one and all for your contributions, your sparring and for the lessons you taught me. It has been a pleasure having had you know me.

2353

23/12/2011And for those in Christchurch - we're thinking of you.

Ad astra reply

23/12/2011Folks As Christmas Eve is almost upon us, I take this opportunity to wish all who visit here a Very Happy and Peaceful Christmas and a Satisfying 2012. To those of you who contribute original material: Lyn, FS and AC, please accept my heartfelt thanks for all you have given to [i]TPS[/i] throughout the year that has kept the site humming along, and for making it such an attractive one for visitors. To those who comment here regularly, please accept my thanks for keeping the site current and dynamic. You add information and interest. For those who simply visit but don’t leave a comment, and we know there are many, many of you, we appreciate your contribution to the traffic through [i]TPS[/i]. We hope all of you will come back to join us next year. We will keep a thread open, but will not resume normal activities until late January. I am leaving early tomorrow for Melbourne for the Christmas period and won’t be back on the south coast until Boxing Day. I’ll not take my computer with me, but will take the iPad so I can take an occasional look at what’s happening on [i]TPS[/i].

debbiep

23/12/2011 Merry Christmas Ad Astra, and a very merry christmas to all. Looking forward to the New year.And will continue to check in. Cheers.

debbiep

23/12/2011Silent night, holy night All is calm, all is bright. ( [i]except for Tony abbott [/i]:)

Lyn

23/12/2011Hi Debbie P Thankyou for your Merry Christmas Wishes. Merry Christmas to you and your family from TPS. We appreciate your support and comments during 2010, we are all looking forward to your continued opinion posts in 2012. we all look forward to your opinion posts all of next year. Cheers DebbieP xxxxx :):)

Lyn

23/12/2011 Asylum talks fail to reach agreement, Channel 7 AsUpdated December 23, 2011, 7:39 pm A[i] bipartisan meeting to end the stalemate over Australia's border protection policies has ended without agreement[/i] [i]Mr Morrison says both parties have agreed not to reveal details of today's discussions. "I'm not going to get into a running commentary on them. That's what we've agreed to do," he said.[/i] "Now it's a matter for the Government to come back on a number of matters they said they'd come back to us on. "[i]We've had a long and courteous discussion. It hasn't reached a conclusion at this stage." Mr Morrison says it will be "a matter for the Government to initiate that next contact."[/i] http://au.news.yahoo.com/latest/a/-/latest/12447954/asylum-talks-fail-to-reach-agreement/?cmp=twitter Cheers

Gravel

24/12/2011Talk Turkey Ah, don't get me wrong, I love your sense of humour, I can't really explain what I mean by "discipher" exactly. All I know is I have to concentrate when reading your input sometimes. I love your 'Ad Astra Awards' but had to really read it thoroughly, I guess that maybe what I meant. As for the "son" reference, it is my way of saying I'm not cranky with you. :-)

Patricia Lorimer

24/12/2011Excellent article in The Age this morning by John Menadue and Arja Keski-Nummi titled "No man is an island. they say. So why the sea of heartbreak". Best wishes to all and thanks for 'the conversation'. I'm missing you FS. So often I log on to see what FS thinks about a particular issue and find you have invariably commented for me!

TalkTurkey

24/12/2011Gravel I knowed you was sweet on me The feeling is mutual (sincerely) You said "I love your 'Ad Astra Awards' [good, I'm glad] but had to really read it thoroughly" [better still!] :) How's your house now, we are all agog? We share your joy and wish you more.

Ad astra reply

24/12/2011Folks We're off to Melbourne now.

D Mick Weir

24/12/2011A short but interesting conversation from twitter @NicholasGruen Nicholas Gruen Why should an economist be the great truth teller of modern politics? Perhaps because he reports a subject not racecalling. @electric589 Nicholas Ellis @NicholasGruen Ow. But yes. I want a newspaper of economists, scientists and new-journalists. Each takes a pass at the same subject. Thinking about it, more often than not the likes of Mega, TheKouk, Peter Martin, Ross Gittins and even Gruen himself give us some of the best analysis of what is going on despite that old saw [i]ask three economists for an opinion and you will get four answers[/i]

NormanK

24/12/2011Fellow Swordians, 'Tis the season for family duties. This little subshrub needs to turn his attentions to being a congenial host - no simple task. May your Christmas be all that you could wish it to be.

NormanK

24/12/2011Feral Skeleton Cheer up, girl!! We need your feisty presence to keep us on our toes. I hope you and your boys have a great weekend. ReCaptcha - special Pleasua. Close enough I think. :D

Feral Skeleton

24/12/2011Patricia Lorimer, Thank you for the kind words. They are very much appreciated. At least someone cares about my opinions and doesn't just pass over them on the way to another screed by the TPS Deserter, Bushfire Bill. What he says may be important, and the thoughts that many of us wish we had the wherewithall to express ourselves, and they may be a necessary contribution to our political dialectic, but they are not Sermons from the Mount we need to bow down before. They are just another person's pov, and if he can be bothered he can post them here himself in their entirety. Otherwise they can be linked to, like any other work of worth. And, yes, lyn, I have again hardened my position wrt that issue. You are 'lyn linking', not 'lynsuckinguptoBushfireBill'. Though, in a free country, it's all our choices what we do. Which is why I have my opinion and I'm sticking to it as well. If you don't like it, I'll just start my own blog I guess. Which is fine by me, because, as Patricia Lorimer has stated today, there are some people, and I love her dearly for making the point, that come to The Political Sword to read MY work, not Bushfire Bill's, which, as sentient adults they can navigate their way to at Poll Bludger if they so choose. Surely we can take the essence of what Bushfire Bill says at Poll Bludger, after it has been linked to, and then use this space to advance the discussion here after we have mulled over it? Honestly, I think Andrew Elder's work is every bit as worthy as Bushfire Bill's, and, Talk Turkey, if you could get your head out of your nether regions for a moment and be gracious enough to consider other bloggers when handing out your putative yearly 'Awards' for blogging, then I might take them more seriously than I do now. Also, it would have been nice if I had been at least accorded a passing mention. Yes, I get it that you believe Ad Astra is the greatest blogger since sliced bread, and, no, I won't let you take away from me the 'award' I bestowed upon NormanK for his sagacity. Because in my opinion, and because it is mine, I own it, NormanK can be just as entitled to wear that mantle as Ad Astra. And, as any wise sage will allow, they are not the Supreme Being, and others can wear the laurel wreath upon their head too. So, lyn, cut the 'wounded pride' crap. You've made your point. However, in the spirit of compromise which should be about this week wrt the Asylum Seeker issue, but which is still sadly lacking from the 'All politics, no policy', Leader of the Opposition, let us at The Political Sword lead by example and compromise on the contentious issue of the refugee from TPS Land, Bushfire Bill. Can we just take him down from his pedestal and just treat him like a blogger like all the rest of us? Their & my work may not be as perfect, but it is ground out, by me at least, with blood,sweat and tears, just as much and probably moreso because us 'alsorans' are not possessed of his obvious talents, but which we would just like to see recognised and not crowded out by him. Of course, this is all subject to Ad Astra's final sayso.

Lyn

24/12/2011 Oh well! Merry Christmas to you too Nice talk. [i]And, yes, lyn, I have again hardened my position wrt that issue. You are 'lyn linking', not 'lynsuckinguptoBushfireBill' And, yes, lyn, I have again hardened my position wrt that issue. You are 'lyn linking', not 'lynsuckinguptoBushfireBill'[/i] [i]let us at The Political Sword lead by example [/i] Some example set

2353

24/12/2011Folks, We've done PollBludger and some of it's commentators to death. Can we move on - please? Merry Christmas.

D Mick Weir

24/12/2011Good Morning the person of large numbers :) On a totally different tack there is some good reading in the Weekend AFR including Alan Stokes' very awful Xmas puns. [i]Saint Nickerless is a very sacksy man[/i] groan [i]It's beginning to look a lot like credit limits[/i] ouch Mr and Mrs Claus support sleigh marriage[/i] no comment :)

Patricia WA

24/12/2011FS, sympathetic as I am to the idea of linking to BB with a few lines just as lyn always does to those sites offering the best commentary of the day, I think it doesn't fit the tone at TPS to gripe if he still gets more attention than some. He is a clear thinker, has a wonderful way with words and makes a unique contribution. I always scroll down over there to look for his take on the day after I've checked out here and at Cafe Whispers. No doubt more readers here new to his work will be getting to know him better after having their curiosity raised well beyond lyn's link by your somewhat surprising objections. And yes, Norman, feisty is as feisty does, but fierce feistiness among friends can be offensive and fatally factionalising. Let's follow 2353's advice and move forward!

Patricia WA

24/12/2011Sorry about that long blank space! How did that happen? I simply deleted three words at the end, ffs!

Ad astra reply

24/12/2011Folks We are now in Melbourne for the Christmas festivities. As it's the Season of Joy and Peace and Goodwill to all, can we please move on from today's dialogue about BB's writings and their presence on TPS, and wish each other a Happy and Peaceful Christmas. Let's make our Christmas the new beginning it symbolizes, and start afresh in the New Year.

Feral Skeleton

24/12/2011OK, I'm moving on. I've taken everyone's advice and will let bygones be bygones. I've been invited to the local Carols by Candlelight tonight, so I think I might go and see if it makes things change in my heart, like it did this guy: http://heathenscripture.wordpress.com/2011/12/24/christmas-or-how-i-learned-to-stop-wishing-a-violent-death-on-reindeer/

Patricia Lorimer

24/12/2011Sent in a card from a friend: "As the Christmas Crackdown approaches I would like to share an experience with you about drinking and driving (something never to be taken lightly). As you may well know, some of us have been known to have had brushes with the authorities on our way home from the odd social session over the years. Well, I have done something about it. A couple of nights ago I was out for a few drinks and knowing full well I may have been slightly over the limit, I did something I've never done before - I took a bus home. I arrived home safely and without incident which was a real surprise since I had never driven a bus before and have no idea where I got it from" ( source unknown). May 2012 be a good year for the TPS family. Keep up the good work on my behalf FS.

D Mick Weir

24/12/2011... from the left field files [b]Firemen, donuts and meetings[/b] Seth Godin http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/12/firemen-donuts-and-meetings.html [i]When a building is burning down, fireman coordinate their actions, make decisions and save lives. They do this without Aeron desk chairs or Dunkin Donuts. They do it without subcommittees, McKinsey studies or input from the boss in another city. To quote Al Pittampalli, "why bother going to a meeting if you're not prepared to change your mind?" To which I'd add, "Don't bother having a meeting if you're not there to change or make a decision right now." Somewhere along the way, meetings changed into events where we wait for someone to take responsibility (while everyone else dives for cover). How would you do it differently if the building were burning down? Because it is.[/i] ... just a wayward comment that hopes to inspire some different thinking in the vain hope someone may be able to plug it into the minds of our leaders.

Patricia WA

24/12/2011Thanks, Patricia, lovely laugh. That was unexpected, but then familiar somehow! Great thing about getting old is that some jokes seem forever new!

TalkTurkey

24/12/2011This is dedicated to anyone who like me is inclined to atheism, who like me finds Crispmess beyond tiresome, but who unlike me is happy one day to appeal to its proximity as a compelling reason for peace and goodwill, and the next day (but one?) to denounce it in trenchant terms. The Song Santa's Gnomes Sing Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells! [i]What a crock of Sh**![/i] We used to work for Santa But we chucked it in - [i]we qu**![/i] While we do all the #*cking work He steals the #*cking show! Ho Ho #*cking Crispmess? Ho Ho #*cking Ho! But in a lighter vein I hope people here can weather a bit of weather because for worse or I hope better, we're about to have some and I don't mean the kind the Met Bureau concerns itself with. Merry Crispmess Goodwillian Swordsfolks All!

BSA Bob

24/12/2011Merry Christmas folks, have a good one. I think I'll take Patricia's advice & get a bus myself.

Feral Skeleton

24/12/2011Just back from Carols by Candlelight and Mosquito. :D Looks like Syders will be 26 degrees and maybe sunny, maybe showery. That'll do me. Now for the yearly ritual of last minute present wrapping. :( Tomorrow we'll be going to Lunch art a friend's place(yes, I do have some ;-) ) So, Happy Kwanza to everyone! And a Happy Sir Ian Crispmess! to SIC, and a joyeux noel to jj. Oh, and even 'Seasons Greetings' to Tom of Melbourne. At least you keep coming back. Even if it is just to abuse/disabuse us. Finally a word to Talk Turkey. Thank you for all your unbridled enthusiasm for the cause. It is always appreciated. :) And, lyn, Felix Navidad! :)

2353

24/12/2011I was going to list a lot of comments on the individual posts today which were very clever, only it was going to take all night. As I have other things I have to do - have a great day gathering with friends and family tomorrow (even for the resident trolls under the bridge).

Patricia WA

24/12/2011TT, I find it hard to be an atheist, married as I was to one for many years. He hated god! And cursed him all the time! I just kept quiet, thought a lot and finally defined myself as an agnostic. Doesn't mean I don't share the gentler values and holidays of our Christian culture. I've left my kids to make up their own mind, which surprisingly (maybe not?) is very similar to my own. We'll have a wonderfully warm time together, tomorrow as every year, enhanced for the past twelve by haing small children around. They're coming into their teens now though, so the conversation is very interesting around the Christmas dinner table. Just over at the Pollbludger, enjoying some of their last minute witticisms before their long break. Someone mentioned that not much had been heard of our friend Mr. Rabbit for a few hours. Castle commented that perhaps he was all [i]'petared out'[/i], which sort of inspired a few last minute lines of wishful thinking. Maybe something will come of it over the holiday break! I couldn't quite bring myself to use the gossipy spelling. It's often mentioned over there. Do you think there's anything in it? If there is....... [i]That’ll be the end of Mr. Rabbit. Now he’s developed that bad habit. He’ll finish up all petered out And go off with a whimper, not a shout.[/i]

Patricia WA

24/12/2011Gaffhook has come up with a further suggestion - that 'Mr. Rabbit' could be hoist on his own [i]petard![/i] I'm not given to gossip normally but I'm thoroughly enjoying the sensation of running between there and here and CW with a tiny bit of tittle tattle. I am open to censure and will desist if asked. But the lines are already running through my head with things which must be said, and it surely won't be hard to rhyme something to petard. So with luck a delicious political scandal could break over the holiday and we would be all ready for it!

Ad astra reply

25/12/2011Happy Happy Christmas to Everyone who comes to The Political Sword from all of us here.

Gravel

25/12/2011Merry Christmas everyone, we are waiting here for 8am to ring the little grandkids to see what Santa brought. :-) Next year we can be there and watch, oh joy. :-) Talk Turkey The move is not till 1st Feb, but lots of sorting, cleaning and some packing, am expecting big grandkids and son to visit in the next week or so then the serious stuff begins. Thanks for asking. Oh an luvs ya too. :-) Patricia WA Ooohhh la la, sounds like things might be getting spicy. I for one do not mind you playing around with the thoughts going on in your wonderful head. Have a great break over Christmas. Feral Skeleton Hope you and your children have a wonderful Christmas. I too look forward to all your input. Hope that tooth is not giving you too much trouble. Ad Astra Enjoy your little break, you will need to make the most of it, once Parliament starts back I think we'll all have lots to say, what with a new speaker and such. I have to say I am looking forward to the next major Poll on asylum seekers to see how it is playing out in voter land, what with the nopposition saying NO to stopping the boats. I bet there are some very confused followers out there at the moment.

TalkTurkey

25/12/2011Merry Crispmess One and Most! Ad and Gravel personally thanks form us all personally. BTW Gravel I did say, [i]inclined[/i] to atheism. I don't curse G .. goh. . .g-gg . . .. [i]GO-O-O-Oh [/i ]gee I just can't say it. I praise Dog instead! And I do curse Religion. It IS the curse, all we can do is try to turn a mirror to it like Perseus slaying the Gorgon and hope its blood freezes. I would destroy every vestige of religion if I could, all belief in supernatural altogether, bye bye Harry Potter, Science is what should be occupying young minds not BS witchcraft but what can you expect with bloody Religion like herpes infecting everywhere. If ever I'm lying mugged in a drain I hope to Dog someone inclined to atheism comes along pretty dam quick! Thank Dog it's nearly Crispmess past. Je n'aime pas. Crispmess? Yep roast piggy with crackling today! That is the true spirit of Crispmess, conspicuous consumption. Poor Piggies, as they say their commitment to Crispmess is total. Same with Turkeys, just as well my real identity is LiarBird. So I posted this last December 24, I didn't realize you could sing it to [i]And so this is Crispmess[/i] [i](WAR IS OVER[/i]) by John Lennon, I'll see if I can find it : http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=and%20so%20this%20is%20christmas%20youtube&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCYQtwIwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DyN4Uu0OlmTg&ei=OEf2TsGyDtGZiQeQ-ZGlAQ&usg=AFQjCNEdTW8S-HV9yVR_0X5kG5sGFLv0fw Dear John. War is never over, not while we've got Religion. "The sins of the fathers shall be visited in the children even unto the third generation." Sweet. Who was it decreed that? He whose name I cannot bring myelf to put in print. It needs a chorus verse I think though. But sing along with John's tune but the Crispmess Turkey's attitude! [u]The Spirit of Crispmess[/u] And so this is Crispmess, and all round the Earth The “Christians” are fighting for all they are worth, And so are the Moslems, and so are Hindus, And so are the Buddhists, and so are the Jews. The works of the holy are everywhere seen: In Ireland there’s hatred ’twixt Orange and Green; While “Christians” bomb Afghans (with help from above), And Jews shower Arabs with napalm and love. Each other religion is always at odds With anyone worshipping different gods; They all reckon their god’s the one god that’s right, So for permanent peace, they eternally fight! Some folks say of Evil that Money’s the root But Religion’s its seed, and Blind Hatred’s its fruit And as for that Evil, it’s religion’s own word! And the “Christians” claim Love’s what they spread! How absurd! [Please observe that I only use “parentheseses” Around those who claim to be followers of Jesus, For as he observed truly, as plain as can be, The worst of transgressions is Hypocrisy.] You can’t blame folks for ignorance, if they’ve had no teaching Of the brotherly love that was Jesus’ main preaching; But find me true Christians so gentle and meek That genuinely do turn their own other cheek . . ? . . O sure, Jesus’ teachings would be very good If anyone practised them – if anyone could! But here in the real world, where saints don’t exist, A slap on the cheek’s mostly met with a fist. The parable of the good neighbour was Jesus’s, (’Course, he wasn’t “Christian” in parentheseseses!) You don’t need religion to be a good neighbour: Good Samaritanism's just [i]Labor[/i] behaviour! Stay safe Folks. And remember the true spirit of Crispmess, (Schnappes, Santa's favourite tipple.)

Acerbic Conehead

25/12/2011AA, A very Happy Christmas to you, your family, and all TPS contributors and readers. Pax, AC.

Feral Skeleton

25/12/2011Have a Merry Day Everyone! From someone who can't believe in a God but is constantly and pleasantly amazed by all the good works done in his name by his Rank and File. :) If only the Labor Party would allow their Rank and File to get on with doing good works and spreading the word in their name too!

Feral Skeleton

25/12/2011Talk Turkey, That's a very profound pome you have written there! Have a Merry Day! Hope you are bathed in the love and goodwill you wish upon others. :)

Feral Skeleton

25/12/2011lyn, Merry Xmas to you! 'Tis the Season of Goodwill, and, let me just say, I hope we all go from strength to strength at 'The Political Sword' in the New Year. :)

Feral Skeleton

25/12/2011Ad Astra, Merry Xmas to you and your wonderful family! :) Where would we be without you and yours? Answer: Blowing head gaskets away in some dark and lonely corner. :( An appropriate ReCaptcha for our blog father: parentes. :D

D Mick Weir

25/12/2011... and for my contribution to merriment something from, you guessed it, left field [b]The Red and the Mondegreen[/b] http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/humor/mondegreens.asp Legend: Misheard lyrics to Christmas songs are immortalized as 'mondegreens.' Origins: The term 'mondegreen' — representing a series of words resulting from the mishearing of a statement or song lyric — is generally attributed to Sylvia Wright, who is credited with coining the neologism in a 1954 Harper's column. Ms. Wright was chagrined to discover that for many years she had misunderstood the last line of the first stanza in the Scottish folk ballad "The Bonny Earl of Murray," Read on to have a few giggles.

D Mick Weir

25/12/2011and for more on mondegreens try http://musiced.about.com/od/faqs/f/mondegreens.htm

Feral Skeleton

25/12/2011Acerbic C., Buon Natale! Thank you for being the light that shines at the top of the TPS Xmas Tree! :) (And all year round for that matter. You have brought warmth and good humour to TPS, which is a blessing from The Great Spaghetti Monster. :)

Feral Skeleton

25/12/2011PatriciaWA, Have a joyous day with family all around you! They are a treat that makes Xmas a very special day. I hope it's not too hot in Freo today(I can remember some scorchers!) :)

Feral Skeleton

25/12/20112353, Hope it's warm and dry in Brisbane today! :) That would be the best present for you all in Queensland today. Thank you for all your encouragement. It is always appreciated.

Feral Skeleton

25/12/2011NormanK, What can I say? You are one very special dude I think. :) Have a fun and music-filled day, and this one's for you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12qBoy2rhVw

Feral Skeleton

25/12/2011Nasking, To our TPS brother from another mother,CW. Glad to have you aboard the good ship TPS! :) I know you will have a wonderful day with your family because they obviously mean so much to you. Hope you get lots o' lovely bear hugs. :D

Feral Skeleton

25/12/2011debbiep, Thank you so much for keeping on coming back to The Political Sword. Have a very Merry Xmas! :)

Feral Skeleton

25/12/2011BSABob, Have a very Merry Day! Your humour is as dry as the nut in my ReCaptcha: cashew, and very much appreciated every time it turns up on TPS. :)

Feral Skeleton

25/12/2011Gravel, I truly hope you have a brilliant New Year in your new house! :) You are kindness and warmth personified!

Feral Skeleton

25/12/2011D Mick Weir, You are a trooper! Thank you so much for sticking around on The Political Sword and continuing to provide us with your insights. They are valued because it's always good to have a contrarian in the mix. :) Merry Xmas and have a safe New Year out there on the roads driving 'around the traps'. :D

Feral Skeleton

25/12/2011Patricia Lorimer, Thank you for your kind words. :) Merry Xmas to you and yours and I hope to keep providing you with excitement and insight in 2012. ;-)

Feral Skeleton

25/12/2011Bring Back Maxine, Merry Xmas to you and thank you for stopping by The Political Sword. It always brings a smile to my face. :) Did you know Maxine has moved to Melbourne?!

Feral Skeleton

25/12/2011janice, Merry Xmas! And I hope the Cicadas are singing you a happy tune at your place today! They finally are here at my house. It's just not an Australian Xmas without the deafening noise of the cicadas in the background of everything you do. :) We have had a new baby Crow, new baby Kookaburra and a new baby Magpie this year, plus heaps of new birds realising this is a domestic pet-free zone and so making it their home. The more the merrier!

Feral Skeleton

25/12/2011Sir Ian Crisp, Merry Crispmas! :) Can't wait to see what new gems of derogation you come up with in 2012! :)

Feral Skeleton

25/12/2011jj, Merry Xmas and a Happy and productive New Year ttrying to get Barnaby Joyce elected over a good and competent man, Tony Windsor. :) This ReCaptcha has come as a present just for you: Churchill :)

Feral Skeleton

25/12/2011Tom of Melbourne, Try hard to have a good day, with all your fellow Trashers. :)

Feral Skeleton

25/12/2011Jason, Maaattteee!!! You are the Big Aussie Boomer on Xmas Day! :) Merry Xmas to you, Rosie and the kids. :D You have made this family's Xmas a happier one. :) :) :)

Ad astra reply

25/12/2011TT, AC, TT, Gravel, Patricia WA, DMW, BSA Bob, BBM, and all of you who sent Chrismas Greetings Many thanks for your good wishes. Have a great Christmas. We are now off for a day with our large family. Back tomorrow.

Feral Skeleton

25/12/2011Casablanca, Merry Xmas from all of us(I think I can safely say that :) ), at The Political Sword! Thank you for all your contributions and the increasing frequency of them lately. Keep it up in 2012, we need all hands on deck to weather the coming storm of media and Opposition negativity(same thing), which I predict from here on in. I think they were all only getting warmed up this year. :)

Feral Skeleton

25/12/2011Michael, Merry Xmas to you and yours! :) I can't thank you enough for your stoic adherance to the cause of outing the slimy Tony Abbott in all his shape-shifting forms. Very much appreciated and more strength to your arm in 2012!

Ad astra reply

25/12/2011Postscript: The first TT should have been our very own Feral Skeleton. FS - have a wonderful day with your family.

Feral Skeleton

25/12/2011jaeger, I haven't forgotten you! You pop up at the most opportune moments with little gems of comment. Merry Xmas and Happy and Peaceful New Year! :)

NormanK

25/12/2011Feral Skeleton Great to see you back in good spirits. Thanks for the Tom clip which I hadn't seen before. Now I'm all teary-eyed. Have a lovely day, FS.

Feral Skeleton

25/12/2011jane, From one feisty broad to another, Have a fun and feisty Xmas! :D I hope you keep enlivening us with your own brand of pungent wit and comment in 2012!

NormanK

25/12/2011D Mick Weir Forgive me if I single you out but with your new grandchild I'm sure this is a particularly special Christmas for you and yours. I hope you have a wonderful day. Soak it up. :D

Feral Skeleton

25/12/2011NormanK, Don't be unhappy! Cool Dudes Rock! :D And, yes, I am feeling a lot better because all my friends have rallied around me down here and shown me the meaning of the Spirit of Xmas. :)

Feral Skeleton

25/12/2011Now to ring the family. :)

Gravel

25/12/2011Feral Skeleton Merry Christmas to you and yours, you have just about covered all the Sworder's. Now off the cousins for lunch. We do look forward to our move and it is getting closer all the time. :-) Acerbic Conehead Great to hear from you, hope you are having a good break. MC and HNY to you and yours. Look forward to more laughter inspired by your brilliant satire. :-)

TalkTurkey

25/12/2011Ad astra said "TT, AC, TT, Gravel, Patricia WA, DMW, BSA Bob, BBM, and all of you who sent Chrismas Greetings . . . The first TT should have been our very own Feral Skeleton.: No Ad the first one is me!

Patricia WA

25/12/2011Incomparable Talk Turkey! Absolutely no malarkey. None of us would be anything Without our main support, our Lyn! I know that Ad Astra would agree, Not this time with you, but me! So would second place in honors do? Knowing who's ahead of you?

jane

25/12/2011FS, thank you for your good wishes and I wish you the same. I hope you had a wonderful day and come back in the new year refreshed and ready to stick it to Liealot, the Liars Party and their cheerleaders in your inimitable feisty way. And I hope that tooth and that bloody dentist both do the right thing. No point expecting Liealot to do the same even though he's probably spent all day on his knees before Cardinal Pell trying to channel the Almighty. Season's greetings to all fellow Swordsters and hoping everyone has had a joyful day and has a happy, healthy 2012 as we continue to hold the Liars to account.

Patricia WA

25/12/2011jane, you'll've seen Möbius Ecko's link to the Cardinal's Xmas address at CW by now. I can't see Abbott surviving personally into the New Year, the more I think of his manner and his apparent circumstances, but when you listen to Pell and his nonsense you really wonder about Abbott's common sense and sanity. What a relief it must be to those in the know that this country is not in immediate danger of being run by Abbott and his three Catholic stooges, counselled by Cardinal Pell and Lord Monckton, promoted by Rupert Murdoch and funded by tobacco giants and mining magnates!

Feral Skeleton

25/12/2011I don't think I'll be able to eat another thing ever again! :(

Gravel

26/12/2011Our Christmas lunch was just excellent. Pudding with brandy custard AND brandy cream to just die for. Got home, slumped in our chairs and were asleep by 8pm. Two young children, their delight with their gifts, our delight receiving gifts even after saying no gifts due to our monetary policy at the moment. Feeling very humble at family's generosity. Had a wonderful nights sleep and slept in till 6.30am. Haven't done that for so long I can't remember. Hope everyone had a wonderful day and a good relax today. Still don't feel hungry. :-)

2353

26/12/2011FS - thanks for your personalised greeting. It was much appreciated. I'm really happy to see that you're in much better spirits. Hope everyone had a wonderful day - kids really make it special (even those that don't really appreciate it yet).

TalkTurkey

26/12/2011The ancient tradition of Crispmess - [i]How did it come about? - Can you guess?[/i] See, the Pagans would roast a whole Piggy - [i]Yum[/i], [i][b]Crackling![/[/b]i] Now [i]there's[/i] your crisp mess! And it worked too, no bullet-hard nor rawhide-tough bits; by the grace of Dog, our whole shoulder roast with skin 1"-square diamond-cross-scored by my own hand bubbled quite beautifully and all crunchily disappeared before much of the (blush, but I didn't buy it) squashed Turkey* or the prawns though the prawns got an earlier start than the crackling. Getting crackling just right has been one of the great mysteries of cooking to me. Yesty's wasn't quite absolutely perfect, the crackling went a bit dark, didn't spoil the taste though and I have learnt how to do it now and did you know animal charcoal is #1 for bad breath and with salt as a dentifice (I use it all the time, not!) and for amoebic dysentery which I've never had. But gee roast pork beats ham, do you know the Chinese story re its origins? :) *I ate a little bit of it, not really very tasty and don't accuse me of cannibalism, I've told you and told you, Turkey is only my masquerade, I'm really [i]LiarBird[/i], so it's not as bad as you might have thought.

Feral Skeleton

26/12/2011Says it all to me that Abbott was itching to work in the office on Xmas Day with Peta, as opposed to being at home with the wife and kids. Has anyone else noticed that the women he falls for all look like him? ;-)

TalkTurkey

26/12/2011Thanks kindly to those who over the year and especially recently have said some very nice things aboout my input, I do it with truly best intentions, as far as I can tell my own motives anyway. Perhaps an impossible task, even harder perhaps than this one - [i][Oh wad the Dear the giftie gi'e us To see oursils as ithers see us!][/i] (? Rabbie Burns?) And from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, or someone else: [i]It is easier to know a thousand cities than one man's mind.[/i] And from TT [i]The hardest mind to know is your own. Erm, I think, maybe.[/i] And from Dog Albitey: [i]Humans[/i] never [i]know their own minds, they are eternally confused by their ego.[/i]

janice

26/12/2011FS, Personally, I don't give a fig where Abbott spends Xmas Day or any day, for that matter. I am however, thankful that he's got nothing whatever to do with me or mine :) I've no idea what Peta looks like but I have it in my head that she would look like every other Lib women in and out of Parliament. Thankfully another Xmas Day has been and gorn - I enjoy the company of my family but prefer to see them in smaller gatherings where the grandies are less verbose and noisy :D: Christmas fare was different this year and no-one over indulged in either food or drink because a couple of family members had health problems during the year so have become very "healthy' diet conscious. Lots of yummy fresh salads, fruit, unsalted nuts and a dearth of fizzy drinks and junk stuff. The only indulgence was a rich trifle with cream/icecream and plum pudding with brandy sauce.

Feral Skeleton

26/12/2011Below are a few Letters to the Editor of The Age about the ongoing Asylum Seeker saga, which make some valid points(sorry,janice,one of them mentions Peta Credlin);p [quote]THE Malaysian solution is now endorsed by the Pacific Solution's architect, Philip Ruddock (''Ruddock puts heat on Abbott'', The Age, 21/12), yet Tony Abbott still opposes it because boats equals votes. Dr No ''needs'' to see a meeting agenda so his Brains Trust, Peta Credlin, can tell him what stance to take to frustrate the government. This cynical political game-playing with border security by the Coalition leader wilfully stymies bipartisanship against the best interests of the nation and shows Abbott is willing to break his duty of care to Australians to advance petty political point-scoring at any price. As for the Greens continuing to advocate onshore processing, how about an island off Tasmania in Bass Strait? Jewel Rainbow, Atherton Tablelands, Qld Complex causes ROBERT Manne believes the Pacific Solution succeeded in deterring the boats (''How the left got it wrong'', Comment, 22/12). Unfortunately, part of his argument involves a departure from his usual clear thinking. He uses two sets of facts as though they were the only factors in the case, and deduces one is the cause of the other. The periods of different policies and the number of asylum-seeker arrivals during those periods are assumed to be cause and effect. This is the kind of misleading assertion made by politicians to justify their particular position. Any objective consideration of this difficult issue would at least acknowledge the existence of other factors prompting people to escape desperate situations. The fact that these cannot readily be quantified is no excuse for pretending that the ebb and flow of asylum seeker numbers is due solely to Australian government policy at the time of their decision to risk everything in search of a better life. It is obvious that many other factors would have been taken into account as they made those decisions. Sadly, both major parties have so misled Australians in this matter that it is probably now too late to expect solutions truly based on international law and humanitarian principles. Robert Andrew, Hamilton Sensible queue THE flaw in Robert Manne's argument is that, if the only alternative is languishing indefinitely in an Indonesian limbo, and if you're guaranteed to eventually make it to Australia, then the prospect of spending a couple of years in Nauru is unlikely to be much of a deterrent. The only way we will humanely deter people from making that dangerous journey is by increasing our refugee intake, while working with Indonesia to assess asylum seekers in situ. If we're intent on having a queue, at least have one in a place that makes sense. Brian Collins, Cardigan One is too many MATHS Methods Question 22: How many refugees will drown while Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison weigh up the electoral benefits of (a) Refusing to co-operate in establishing a workable offshore processing system? b) Pretending to co-operate but dragging out negotiations for six months before reluctantly agreeing to the Malaysian approach? Answers may be estimates rounded to the nearest multiple of scores. Peter McCarthy, Mentone[/quote] Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/letters/abbott-breaching-his-duty-of-care-20111225-1p9j1.html#ixzz1hadZ8TNr I love the first writer's name: 'Jewel Rainbow of Atherton in Queensland'. :)

Feral Skeleton

26/12/2011You can see how good Acerbic Conehead by gauging his work against this: http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/politics/a-day-in-the-life-of-tony-saying-yes-is-a-nono-20111225-1p9it.html

Feral Skeleton

26/12/2011There should be an 'is' in there. You can probably figure out where. :)

Patricia WA

26/12/2011Sorry, TT, the finer points of crackling are beyond me. But the joy of being with one's children and theirs doesn't need finessing. Sad to hear of people who suffer in accidents on the road and in the home as always around the country. But great that there were no major disasters and no pollies grandstanding for headlines or on TV screens. How did the government manage it so that we actually have had a happy, peaceful and family Christmas day, the three things the LOTO specifically asked for? If Christmas Day greetings from political leaders are considered political speeches I'd say the PM's was more appropriately friendly though, brief, to the point and warmly sincere. Compared with his somewhat drained and dour demeanour, she didn't look in the least bit overburdened by high office. A new boat arrived too, and Tony Abbott hasn't so far appeared to comment. Now that could almost count as a Christmas miracle in the light of his antics last week.

TalkTurkey

26/12/2011PatriciaWA You said Incomparable Talk Turkey! Absolutely no malarkey. None of us would be anything Without our main support, our Lyn! I know that Ad Astra would agree, Not this time with you, but me! So would second place in honors do? Knowing who's ahead of you? Thanks first two lines but I don't know What I can't be compared to! But sure, the next two lines below Are manifestly true! The sagacious Ad astra and Lyn I applaud, But You're Bull Goose Pometress round here - My few pomes are only seen here on the Sword - Your many, the whole Blogosphere! That's if those two lines relate to me. I'm not quite sure what you mean, truth to tell, but I know you're being nice.

BSA Bob

26/12/2011F.S. & Ad Astra For your personal greetings, thanks very much. So now even the architects of the Pacific Solution, Ruddock & Downer, are wrong. Everyone's disposable to Abbott, another instance of his similarity to Howard. "Nauru"- the word itself is all he really has left in the policy stakes & he repeats it as if that alone is sufficient. Regrettably, that alone seems to be sufficient to rake the votes in.

Feral Skeleton

26/12/2011Here's a great little online booklet from Essential Communications which outlines 2011 from their perspective and gives us a peek into what they have planned for 2012(seems my Progressive TV channel idea occurred to someone who could put it into practice): http://www.essentialmedia.com.au/emc-2011-year-in-review/

Ad astra reply

26/12/2011Folks I've enjoyed reading about your Christmases. You seem to have all had a good time. We had a marvellous Christmas dinner with relatives up-country, but on our return to Melbourne we ran into the severe electrical storm you will have heard of on the news. It rained golf-ball sized hailstones and 100 mm of rain on our son's house before we arrived, and flooded some bedrooms. We got very wet running from the car but had a lovely time with the family. We return to the south coast this afternoon to prepare for the arrival of the family on Tuesday. I'll post another speech in the next day or so for you to mull over.

Sandy

26/12/2011Seasons Greetings to all! Did anyone else see the dead eyed, bloated and pasty face of Pell giving his so called Christmas message on early news ABC24 yesterday? It was really a lecture about his negative take on climate change. I didn't see it repeated on ABC24 news or any of the other TV channels. Probably thought it would scare the children - the adults as well! It scared me!! He is either very,very ill or just plain evil. And this is the man that stands behind the shoulder of Abbott? Everyone in the country should see that film clip.

nasking

26/12/2011I hope everyone had a wonderful & relaxing Christmas. I meant comment on Christmas eve but we couldn't get the computer working...and we've been so busy w/ preparations & visiting rellies. S' & I have decided to buy a new computer this week...this one has finally reached its expiry date...no more waiting 1-5 minutes for a page to change...if it doesn't freeze. It's been a nightmare the past few mths. This old computer & I have done plenty of commenting & researching together...but it's time for us to part ways. I'm a wee bit sad...but...all things change. [b]I won't comment after this one until the new computer is up & running (hopefully). [/b] [quote] We got a little rain last night - 10 minutes after we had finished looking at Christmas Lighta. [/quote] [b]2352[/b], We got brill rain for a couple of days. I can't tell ya how thrilled we were. Gardens flourishing. :) You musta brought us good luck. Or perhaps Jenny sent a mind wave into the clouds. :) [b]Bring Back Maxine [/b], thankyou for the kind wishes & support...I hope you thoroughly enjoy the rest of the hols. [b]Lyn[/b], I'm really enjoying the Kindle...I've been listening to one of my fave sci-fi novels [i]Cryptonomicon[/i] (unabridged): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptonomicon I've found Amazon easy to deal with...connected straight from the Kindle...the cost of books goes straight to the credit card. I also joined their Audible.com: http://www.audible.com/t1/CJ?source_code=GO1DG9037SH122011&gclid=CImttODgnq0CFYqCpAodF2o6nQ I tend to wake after 3-4 hours and find it hard to get back to sleep. Now I listen to the Kindle and it puts me back to sleep after an hour or so. It's a brill gift from S'...very thoughtful. S' said, "If you are having trouble sleeping wait until you hear/read Mitt Romney". :) [b]Feral[/b] What a great best wishes for Xmas. Many thnx. It's nice to be onboard this ship and ready to hit some exciting shores... keep up the top scrutinisin' of the political & corporate BSers & wannabe aristocrats. Incrementally WE will make things BRIGHTER...so the heart & fractal souls feel LIGHTER. Ya got me thinkin' about this: [b]The Brother from Another Planet Trailer [/b] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGaueP0Iufo I dig director John Sayles. I hope EVERYONE on this blog, visitors included, has a peaceful, safe, enjoyable, restive rest of the hols. Til later. Cheers N'

Feral Skeleton

26/12/2011This is a very interesting article from The Economist which references the stance that Conservative Parties the Western World over have taken to Social Democrat governments in order to frustrate their legislative agenda and to make them appear weak and ineffectual, up to the point of contradicting their own, supposed, basic principles(sound familiar?): http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/12/payroll-tax-cave (I love the phrase 'Peak Contrarianism' :) )

Bring Back Maxine

26/12/2011Hi Swordians Thank you for your returned kind wishes. We had a great lunch, just the four of us & my mum. My wife gave me a great pressie, "Recollections of a Bleeding Heart: A Portrait Of Paul Keating PM" by Don Watson. It is compelling reading. Sandy, I saw the Pell clip as well. The ABC news sites have an edited 1:34 version. Here is a link to the full 3:34 version http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4TjCePn1K0I#! Pell appears so smug with his "subtle" incorporation of climate change denialism in his message.

TalkTurkey

26/12/2011I posted the pome down below just over a year ago . . . December 21. 2010 10:00 AM Since then Abbortt has only got worse and his tag team of bullies with him. And so many more lives lost at sea! [ BTW as one of the few pomesters on this site I want to encourage AC who sometimes does it and Janice who often does it too :) and anybody else who sometimes may do it occasionally, (and there are a few), to [i]write verse please please please.[/i] Reading even my own from times past makes me realize how much we forget, and how little we remember. And as Patricia WA said t'other day "verse crystallizes history", you can see it from this one. It comes back with force I hope, more so than prose I think, usually, [but no words of mine can touch the heart like *my say*'s simple message on this issue (I cut-and-pasted from Poll Bludger) a few days ago.] But this time you'd have to go scrolling for that either here on this long thread, or amongst the 2.4 billion posts on PB in the past week. PB has closed down for comments until January 8. I never feel resentful of PB btw, grateful rather, we couldn't stand that amount of traffic without utterly changing the Sword's character, and we need both. Lyn's~Links for example would be a near-total waste there, flushed as often as a big family's dunny, she's perfectly placed here, while I go often to PB not exactly to lurk but to get news of anything happening. Unless that is exactly lurking, anyway not with bad intent. William Bowe is a very fine blogmaster, one must respect that. Anyway here's what I wrote a year ago: H'mmm AC Thought I'd better get into that lucrative Nauru music market myself. So . . . Sorry, "Island in the Sun" . . . Thanks Harry Belafonte . . . Can't find a youtube link that willfire up in beautiful high-status inner suburb of Adelaide . . . Optus bloke advised me to go to Telstra for my wireless mobile broadband! Island of Nauru This is my island of Nauru Built entirely of gannet poo: There is not very much to do here But imprison people [Abbott/a boat] sends to here. [(sing deliberately ambiguously)(like, [i]Ah-bohrt[/i])] As morning breaks, I scan the sea Wondrin’ if more boats come to me Sent ’way back from Australia’s shore Abbott say im bring more and more! I see woman on bended knee Begging freedom for family I see body of child who died Boat get smashed on the surging tide. Oh island of Nauru Built entirely of gannet poo Man sell bird poo from all around, Now Nauru just big hole in ground. But we got now new industry Makin prison for refugee It an ill wind that blow no good This bring jobs to our neighbourhood. I hope the day again soon come When Aussie Government again send some Prisoner peoples from overseas; Makin' jobs for our families. Makin jobs for our families Makin jobs for our families Alternative ending verse! Me hope someday the day will come When Australian people soften some To those boat people refugees Seeking safety from surging seas. Seeking safety from surging seas. Seeking safety from surging seas. Juices Crisp I just started to cry. Right then. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Interruption for 2011 update: I just sang this to J**** (not Jason) - I couldn't quite finish without wet eyes and catch in throat. Verse works for me! That's why there should always be an Award for political pomes. The power of verse! It is special even in small ways, how do you learn how many days in August eh? You re-cite the little verse don't you! Then there's Songs! What would they be without lovely perfected ideally-rhymed verse, you may even forgive bad rhymes if the riffs are OK but never as bad as Wanna wear your chain Around my neck To show the world I'm yours by heck! Elvis Presley [i]Teddy Bear[/i] U want it U find it :) or (?Eskimo/?Indian/?moth-eaten?/I-forget) Girl don't leave me alone I've got a heart as big as a stone Aren't they vile? It makes your flesh crawl don't it,like fingernails down a blackboard and I've done that a few times, [i]eeeeekkk! [/i] well you don't know what you'll find in these annals. Yes 2 n's. Because [i]neck[/i]'s rhymes are a bit limited see? But he couldn't very well say well the other obvious body part of Elvis to tether him byconvincingly, and besides [i]totem[/i] is a pretty useless best rhyme with that anyway, so by heck that's what it had to be. And for [i]alone[/i] in that song it's a bit funny, (Whatever)-Girl don't leave me alone (good so far!) I got a heart as big as a - ? . .. .([i]what??[/i]?) (must be a noun), ? [i]Bone?[/i] er . . . ?Cone? (AC?) Ken Done? Phone? (groan not really, hone (v.) no), Dame Joan!? [K=cone, Lone = alone which is itself, moan, all no use . . . [i]Roan,[/i] like horse? Naaahhhh . . . Stone is what our bold lyricist decided on . . but [i]our Tone!!!, And finally, like, a war zone? The [/i](O?)-Zone! There are quite a lot of rhymes but they are astonishingly useless. Imagine [i]Her[/i] in reply: "So, I got a heart as big as a stone eh? Oh sweet, yeah, a stone about as big as the diamond in that engagement ring you bought me you lousy skinflint, well here's what you can do with your rotten little ring . . ." and so on. Turkey humour, I suppose you'll just have to wear it, nothing else much happening on Sword, just me thinking about the power of verse. Undersestimated in my estimation (is that a contradiction?), because not many people write it mellifluously, verse is great for mnemonics and chants and uniting the troops even if they're just little kid troops, they like verse automatically, we all do, you know for years one of the best selling kids' books is [i]*Hairy McClary from Donaldson's Dairy*[/i], you can see why from the title! J****'s little Dog Muffin is the spit and image of Hairy McClary, it's a lovely little book of verse by a Kiwi woman whose name I forget, sorry, find it yourself, worth it if you like reading to youngish kids because you'll love it too. Would anybody remember "a stripling on a thin and weedy beast" racing at breakneck pace down a ravine to try to head off a mob of wild bush horses, with his iron-shod mount's hoofs "striking firelight from the flintstones every stride" , had the story not been immortalised in verse? But because of its imagery, rhyme, rhythm, and the hair-raising-spine-chilling hazards of this young bloke's ride, "The Man From Snowy River is (still) a household name today", and not just the stockmen, but millions of Australians, [i]tell the story of his ride.[/i] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ I ended that rave a year ago with . . . Too bloody easy to write this. Hatefully easy. I shouldn't have to be writing this stuff in 2010. Curse you Abbott Howard Reith and all your sucks You are the ones who have meant this is a hate-ridden society. Hey it's nearly Crispmess. Can't you just feel the religious love-fervour-charity all around. (Cynic!) BTW there might be another verse or so to the above. I sort of hope so, but my tears got in the way. No wonder Yous nearly all thought I was a girl. Swordfolk you gotta be staunch. We're all we got and we have to win the society back. From the brink. TalkTurkey That'll do for now.

D Mick Weir

26/12/2011Meanderings through things I missed I have found some interesting reading. I haven't relly had a view one way or the other on WikiLeaks however reading this article causes me to think [b]The News of the WikiLeaks: Both Share a Dangerous Rationale[/b] Michael Fullilove @ the Atlantic http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/08/the-news-of-the-wikileaks-both-share-a-dangerous-rationale/243153/ [i]Before it was shut down, Murdoch's British tabloid had the same M.O. as WikiLeaks: No one is entitled to confidential information[/i]

Feral Skeleton

26/12/2011Nas, You will really enjoy reading this: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/obamas-surprisingly-good-2011/2011/08/25/gIQAbjZqDP_blog.html

D Mick Weir

26/12/2011Another one I missed: [b]Political predictions help lessen future shock for voters[/b] Malcolm Mackerras @TheCanberraTimes 5 December 2012 [i]With the political year almost over, the time has come for me to review the predictions I have made in my nine articles published so far in The Canberra Times in 2011. Unlike several pundits, at no stage have I ever written off Julia Gillard or Tony Abbott. I have, however, consistently disparaged the following pieces of speculation by others[/i]

Patricia WA

26/12/2011TT, loved your song. Do you play guitar and sing yourself? If not it's worth getting those lyrics to someone who does. It's very topical, maybe the odd word updated to current events. By the I was quoting [b]you[/b]who said, [i]"verse crystallizes history!" [/i]

Feral Skeleton

26/12/2011D Mick Weir, Thank you for the link to the Michael Fullilove 'compare and contrast' between Assange and Murdoch. Boy, we produce some right megalomaniacs, don't we? Which is what I felt in my bones(and, as a skelton I can feel these things viscerally :) ), from the very moment Mr Julian Assange came onto my radar. I sensed that what we had was someone who had started out, maybe, with the germ of a good idea. That is, that secretive government, after the Cold War, and with the aid of new technology made available cheaply to us all, could not be allowed to fester and grow again, and that it was the duty of right-thinking, technologicaqlly-savvy individuals to use the tools at their disposal to make sure of it. However, as Michael Fullilove exquisitely points out by drawing the comparison, Mr Assange, like Mr Murdoch, once they got control of those tools simply used them to accumulate power unto themselves, and wielding it like a sword, instead of opening them up like a flower for us all to benefit from. "I like crushing bastards." Now, over and above the egomaniacal interpretation that this sentence allows us to make about Mr Assange, I found it interesting to reflect upon the fact that, still, he is not and never has been an equal opportunity wrecking ball. It might just be a quirk of timing, but I doubt it, however what I have seen is a man who has released information detrimental to Social Democrat governments in the main, and has stayed quiet about some of the real 'bastards' of politics of the last decade. Where is the information which shows that George W.Bush, John Howard & Tony Blair knew of the atrocities committed under their name, or the information sleights of hand which led their countries to war? *crickets* Surely Mr Assange was sent some of this information by disgruntled whistleblowers? I can ascertain that he received information from this era because he released that film footage of the Apache Helicopter attack on innocent civilians. We know he has other information cahes hidden away of 'truly explosive stuff', but has seen fit not to release any of it, if any of it may be detrimental to Conservative political parties, which would stop the momentum that they have built up again since they were deposed from power in the US, Australia, Spain or Britain. Why? Instead, what we get from Mr Assange is a continuous load of drivel attacking governments, such as our own, who, according to him are supposed to bow down before him and kiss his feet for releasing classified information that may have had a detrimental effect on the strategic business of government, that no other government in history has ever had to deal with the consequences of. Yes, the PM and former Attorney General Robert McClelland, clumsily described what Assange had done as 'illegal'. Immoral would have been a better choice of words. And, for that, they became subject to a personal vendetta from Mr Assange, who haughtily rained down an unjustified barrage of bitchy epithets on them, taking every opportunity offered to him by the likes of Tony Jones & Q&A, and the Walkley Awards, as one self-proclaimed, self-serving 'journalist' to a room full of other sanctimonious twats, or to the Australian nation-at-large, to paint himself as the hard-done-by victim. I don't believe a word of it. Fair dinkum, in the Australian vernacular, the man has tickets on himself. And if I could get close enough to him, and around all the arsk-lickers that he has surrounded imself with these days, I'd tell him so to his face. It's what he needs. Plus I'd ask a few pertinenet questions that no one else seems to have the guts or the inclination to do. He has been cursed with good looks, intelligence and an over-inflated opinion of himself as a result. Those things have never fooled me.

D Mick Weir

26/12/2011Hi FS, interesting take on it. As I said earlier I haven't really had an opinion one way or the other on Assange and the whole WikiLeaks thing. In some ways I could understand that the 'black' secrects and subterfuge aspects of international 'diplomacy' needed to be exposed. In other ways I could also understand the need to keep those things 'in the dark'. Fulliloves' take on it has given me aspects that had not occured to to make me think further and maybe even deeper on the whole thing. Given my propensity for contrarian thinking and looking at it from a different angle another aspect of it is that it has taken an Australian 'think tanker' to call it out. Something that occurs to me is that we are a very fortunate country that does have some independant 'thinkers' and think tanks such as the Lowey Institute (Fulliloves 'residence) and a few others. We do not suffer the same fate as the US where the failed or defeated immediately find a home in a supposedly independant but decidely partisan 'think tank'. Sure we have partisan tanks, on both sides, but for the most part they are fairly upfront about it, such the Fabians, or obvious as some on the other side are.

TalkTurkey

26/12/2011Sandy said ". . . the dead eyed, bloated and pasty face of Pell . . ." I do not like Archbigot Pell; The reason why I know full well, And he and Tone can go to Hell I do not like Archbigot Pell! (Original : I do not like thee, Doctor Fell; The reason why I cannot tell: But this alone I know full well, I do not like thee, Doctor Fell! Dam Religion! Yet *my say* on PB somehow manages to combine exceptional humanity with Catholicism, which says a lot more for *my say* than it does for RCism. It shows that humanity can survive unrelenting indoctrination into religion, as trapped miners can sometimes, finding a pocket of sweet air in their tunnels underground. In *my say*s case that sweet air is inside her head and even the Pells of this world have not managed to pollute it entirely. But it's not the song of Religion here, it's the singer of Humanity.

TalkTurkey

26/12/2011Patricia WA: "I was quoting you who said, 'verse crystallizes history!'" :)

Gravel

27/12/2011Talk Turkey Thank you for re-posting the 'Narau' post. As you say, some of us seem to be suffering from short term memory, as I don't remember that post at all. Maybe it is because the nopposition have said and done so much that would have hounded out other politicians and/or parties that it is a way to save our sanity by forgetting the horribleness of it all. recaptcha: healing

Ad astra reply

27/12/2011Folks I have just posted the second in the series on political speeches: [i]What makes a good political speech? ‘Light on the Hill’ speeches[/i]. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2011/12/27/What-makes-a-good-political-speech-Light-on-the-Hill-speeches.aspx The post begins with Ben Chifley’s ‘Light on the Hill’ speech in 1949, and is followed by Julia Gillard’s 2010 speech to honour Ben Chifley. Compare and contrast them, and give us your critique.

TalkTurkey

27/12/2011Gravel said, . . . [i]some of us seem to be suffering from short term memory, as I don't remember that post at all.[/i] Dam, I can hardly remember [i]writing[/i] it, the more I write the less I remember, sometimes I come across old posts of mine or things I've written elsewhere and I'm thinking [i]Did I write that?[/i] No joke. I only came across it accidentally when I was looking up my [i]And So This Is Crispmess[/i] pome and it surprised me, though I'm sure when I wrote it I wasn't expecting the issue still to be unresolved - with many more lost at sea. I do think, now, (and despite PJK's trenchant criticism of it, and be it noted I usually agree with him), that there are compelling nay conclusive reasons for off-shore processing, and for reasons better than those of the Lying Rodent's, though some do remain the same. If it is done with humanity and diligence and vigilence in protecting the rights of those being 'processed' off-shore - that is surely the core concern, and I do not misdoubt that the Australian Government will be at [i]extreme[/i] pains to make sure their treatment is anyway better than they have ever received here, and that should not be too hard I'm ashamed to acknowledge. Not that I did anyone harm or treated them badly, no, but if I can be proud that other Australians won the Nobel Prize for Astronomy I am entitled to be ashamed of 'our' treatment of refugees. I write heaps of verse and even I can't remember some of it, Dorothea McKellar writes one little poem about 'sweeping plains' (and I bet she never swept one in her life) and she's ever so famous forever, Where I ask you is the justice? But you nailed something important here, sort of by inverse implication, that [i]the notability and memorability of verse is such that you are surprised by the fact that this time you can't remember it [/i]. . . That's a lot of what I was trying to say yesterday, and I think that is probably what Patricia WA - [who you might recall is the *Ad astra Sword Award Winner of the Political Pometress for 2011* - it's only been a week, so you might ;-)] - meant when she famously said quite recently, *"Verse crystallizes history"*.
I have two politicians and add 2 more; how many are there?