The media still has questions to answer

“Self congratulatory lemmings” was the phrase used by Jon Faine on ABC Radio 774 Melbourne this week to describe the media, and in particular the Canberra Press Gallery. The context was the so-called ‘AWU slush fund scandal’. He was referring to the incessant, yet fruitless assault on the Prime Minister over her time as a lawyer at Slater & Gordon twenty years ago.

Faine repeated what he has been saying for ages: that despite this matter having been trawled over time and again over several years, despite two hour-long press conferences where the Press Gallery was invited to ask any and every question about this matter, despite repeated questioning all this week by Julie Bishop in the House, nothing, repeat nothing, has ever been unearthed to implicate Julia Gillard in any wrong-doing.  Even a fifteen minute opportunity yesterday in the House for Tony Abbott to put his case of criminal behaviour by the PM yielded nothing, nothing at all. Yet the cry: ‘She still has questions to answer’ has echoed around the Gallery and appeared in print and on air, and it still does. No matter how many answers she gives to no matter how many questions, there are always more. No allegations have ever been made, but there are still ‘questions to answer’. 

In my view it is the mainstream media and especially the Canberra Press Gallery that has questions to answer, not Julia Gillard.

As Faine used the word ‘groupthink’ to describe journalists’ behaviour, I was reminded of the first blog piece I wrote four years ago, in June 2008, on Possum Comitatus’ Possum Box: Is the media in Australia suffering from groupthink?

In that piece, having defined groupthink, and having given a number of examples, I concluded: ”The result is media of indifferent quality, which generally follows the leader in promulgating facts that are often inaccurate or distorted, embraces fashionable concepts and buzz words, and indulges in ‘copy-cat’ commentary that does little to inform or enlighten. Perhaps the only reassuring aspect of this lamentable state of affairs is that so many of the voting public let most media offerings pass harmlessly over their heads.

“Many in the media abuse the power inherent in the journalistic pen. Where has objective, informed, balanced reporting and commenting gone? Often the two are confused as journalists seek to promulgate their views rather than the facts. It’s a pity that the small coterie of good quality journalists is diluted by such a motley collection of writers of indifferent, and in many instances, low standard. Groupthink seems to be the genesis of much of the pathology they exhibit.”


Has anything changed over these last four years? In my view the answer is ‘Yes’. The mainstream media has deteriorated, and continues to decline. Faine says the MSM has reached its lowest point.

What is the evidence for this assertion? Think back. Can you recall a time when the media has made such a meal out of any story, as it has of the S&G ‘scandal’? Can you remember any catchphrase being repeated so often by so many on such a plethora of platforms: newsprint, radio, TV, blogs? ‘PM Gillard still has questions to answer’ has been everywhere.

So here’s the first question the media has to answer:

What is the genesis of this obsessive pursuit of a matter twenty years old, which has been mulled over hundreds of times, over many years, without uncovering a ‘smoking gun’ to condemn Julia Gillard?

Let me hazard an opinion.

We all know that the business model of many of the traditional outlets is now obsolete. The rivers of gold from advertising have slowed to a trickle, and circulation revenue is down. Digital media are replacing print, but making it profitable has been difficult. Media houses have sacked journalists, others have left, and those remaining feel apprehensive, insecure, and overworked as they now have to prepare material for several platforms, and in less time.

As the thrust of journalism has progressively morphed from reporting into entertainment and titillation, as the attention span of consumers has shrunk to tiny sound bites or strident headlines, the quality of their work has deteriorated, has become more reliant on press releases, has become degraded into ‘he said, she said’ accounts of events, and more and more susceptible to groupthink as journalists talk with colleagues in the next office, chatter to each other and their ‘sources’ in the corridors of power and at their favourite watering holes. This week on the Jon Faine radio show, News Limited CEO Kim Williams denied that there was any groupthink in his organization!

I am not alone in my views. Mike Seccombe, in a comprehensive appraisal of the media in The Global Mail: Truth Tally – What’s Wrong With Australian Political Debate quotes Malcolm Turnbull. ”He [Turnbull] made particular reference to the media, saying that as news organizations came under greater cost pressures, good reporting which held governments and oppositions to account "was diminishing".
 "Instead, he said, newspapers and other media were resorting more to commentary and opinion and more to analysis of the effectiveness of political spin than to analysis of the substantive issues.”

We ought not be surprised then that the same boring, unoriginal phrases creep into their writings, the same people are interviewed by journalists and the same ‘insiders’ talk to each other on radio and TV shows. Boot leather remains pristine as investigative journalism morphs into superficial, insubstantial accounts of events, light on facts but heavy on opinion. Following Rupert Murdoch’s dictum that ‘opinion is news’, journalists now believe they can avoid the arduous task of fact gathering and fact checking, and substitute for them their own opinion. But on what is their opinion based?

We have seen the result of this approach. The Canberra Press Gallery has expressed its learned opinion only to be found to be wrong again and again.

We have had countless predictions of the fall of Julia Gillard as leader, if not by Easter, by mid-year, by year-end, and although we are in her third year, she is still leader and going from strength to strength. They have told us this ‘hung’ minority parliament cannot possibly work, that it is unmanageable; indeed it is ‘toxic’. Yet 449 pieces of legislation have already been passed in this term, some of them historic reforms such as the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, plans for more major reforms are in train this very week such as the NDIS and the Gonski education reform, and the economy is in great shape. How often can journalists be wrong before the electorate ignores them?

They were left standing mouths open wide when Kevin Rudd was replaced, and caught again when PM Gillard appeared with Bob Carr as Foreign Minister. And they got it completely wrong when they dismissed the PM’s ‘misogyny’ speech as inconsequential.

Indeed, I believe it is this stark exposure of their incompetence that has alienated many of them. They have resented looking stupid, they have been angered by PM Gillard’s unwillingness to kowtow to them and her readiness to pull them into line. ‘Don’t write crap’ upset them. Still seething, they are rude in press conferences, as was Sid Maher this week. Pulled into line, his antagonism will rise. The ‘experts’, the ‘insiders’, the ‘pontiffs’ have been exposed as pseudo emperors with no clothes. And they are angry, and express that anger in their vitriolic columns.

Add institutional antagonism to this personal resentment, and you have a formula for vituperative writing that seeks to demean the PM no matter what she does, that seeks to diminish whatever the Government achieves. We all know, and hear it from honest journalists, that News Limited has the institutional objective of bringing the Labor Government down, destroying the Greens at the ballot box, and installing an Abbott Government. Little attempt is made to disguise this. We know that Rupert Murdoch has this intent, as do the editors of his tabloids and broadsheets.

Recently, Fairfax has joined in the ‘let’s get Gillard’ campaign, and with some gusto by Peter Hartcher and Michelle Grattan, whose dislike of PM Gillard is palpable. Even the previously balanced AFR, now with ex-News Limited man Michael Stutchbury as its editor, has swung anti-Government, and some of its more balanced authors with it.

Returning to Seccombe’s article, he further quotes Turnbull: “…there is more media "narrowcasting" – strident partisanship aimed at like-minded consumers.
 "Fox News in the United States is an example of how commercially successful that strategy can be as are some of the shock jocks in Australia," he said. Dumbing down complex issues into sound bites, misrepresenting your or your opponent's policy does not respect 'Struggle Street'; it treats its residents with contempt. It is the opposite of the Jeffersonian ideal," said Turnbull.
 "This was extraordinary stuff, coming from a Liberal MP. He [Turnbull] was bagging the Murdoch media model – only Fox by name, but its Australian operation by implication – when he talked about that the "hopeless, confused, hyper-partisan" coverage of climate change. The News Ltd papers, and particularly The Australian, have led the climate-change deniers.”

There can be no doubt News Limited is partisan; it misrepresents facts that do not fit its case, lies when it suits it, and acts as a collaborative mouthpiece for the Coalition. Whilst it can do as it pleases, what it does do does not make a quality bipartisan balanced news outlet.

We know too that online media, the Internet, the Fifth Estate, and social media have made Old Media less relevant. News is available online before it can reach the newsstands. No longer is the Fourth Estate a repository of facts, figures, reasoned analysis and balanced opinion, as it once was. Opinion is available from a host of well-informed and articulate commentators in the Fifth Estate, who have access to as much information as journalists do, and who analyse it in a better-balanced way than most Fourth Estate journalists. We read their opinions every day, while eschewing the Fourth Estate, much of it locked behind pay walls, and not worth paying for.

Because Old Media cannot compete with the immediacy of online news, it seems to have taken on another role – advocacy. Look for example at The Australian. The front pages are now full of the S&G matter, every day, still. The paper is advocating the pursuit of our PM. There was nothing on its front page about the recent alarming reports on global warming which threatens our planet, just hundreds of column inches on S&G. Indeed the only major paper that reported on its front page the alarming global warming story out of the Doha talks was The Age. What has become of a media that gives precedence to a long-running non-story that it deems a ‘scandal’, but scarcely bothers to highlight a story about dangerous threats to our planet and everything on it?

So here is the next question the media has to answer.

What is the purpose of bringing down our PM and our elected Government?

Here again I offer an opinion. For News Limited there seems to be a commercial reason. We know Murdoch prefers conservative governments, as he believes they provide a more congenial environment for his empire and its expansion. That has come out starkly in the Leveson Inquiry. Ideologically too, Murdoch prefers conservative governments. He was a great supporter of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Regan, and although he supported Tony Blair, we now know that came at a price to Blair and his Labor Government. Here, Tony Abbott is his man. ‘I hope he liked me’ said Abbott after his only meeting with Murdoch.

There is another reason Murdoch wants Labor gone – the threat of a body being established to regulate the media, a move vehemently opposed by Murdoch’s man here, Kim Williams.

Ben Eltham has views on the media’s role in the S&G saga. He wrote a comprehensive piece this week on the facts of the matter: The AWU Scandal Unpacked. If you wish to read a summary, you won’t find one better than his.

But this piece is not about this matter; instead it is used as background to illustrate the current state of the media and the questions it still has to answer.

Eltham wrote another piece on the same day: Gillard Puts The Press To Shame. After giving a thorough analysis that will repay your attention, he concludes: “Throughout the coverage of this affair, the onus of proof has consistently been placed on the Prime Minister by the media. The common line has been that she has "questions to answer". That argument is dead in the water, given that the Prime Minister has twice answered all the questions the media has put, at considerable length.

“In fact, the onus of proof in investigative reporting should run the other way. The role of journalists is not simply to ask questions. It is to uncover evidence and to substantiate and corroborate serious allegations. The argument that the Prime Minister owes the public an explanation of her actions 17 years ago is valid. But she has provided an explanation, many times.

“Perhaps its time we asked some questions of journalists like Hedley Thomas and Mark Baker.”

“Some questions that come to my mind are:

When does an investigation become a giant fishing expedition?

What responsibilities do journalists have to back up their claims? 


And if you have evidence to support your leading questions, why won’t you release it?


Most importantly, in a week in which legislation for the National Disability Insurance Scheme was introduced to Parliament, we need to ask:

Why is this even news?


While these questions arise out of the S&G matter, they are generic. They could, and should be asked of journalists no matter what they are reporting.

Yes, journalists are the ones who have questions to answer. I have suggested some specific ones about the S&G matter, and some generic ones arising out of it.

Writing in The Conservation in AWU ‘scandal’ says more about the media’s ethics than the PM’s, Janine Little says: ”Mainstream campaign journalism being what it is, competing for its shrinking share of a public attention span focused largely on social media, journalists haven’t let a lack of evidence stop their pursuit of the prime minister. If mainstream media organizations are attempting to compete with the reach and timbre of social media at the expense of a sustained respect for evidence and fact-based reporting, then it’s journalists who practice such things who stand to lose most.

“Journalism based on solid research and verified source material has uncovered serious wrongdoing not so long ago in Australia’s past, and for the benefit of a public’s right to know what matters. When there’s hardly anyone willing to question why an array of facts pointing away from the prime minister somehow keeps media organisations hot on her trail, it becomes solely a question of ethics answerable by journalists rather than Julia Gillard.”


For the reasons suggested in this piece, the standard of journalism in the Fourth Estate has deteriorated since I first wrote about it over four years ago, and it continues to slide. The perversion of journalism brought about by the pursuit of partisan ideological objectives, aggravated by commercial and professional stresses within the Fourth Estate, accentuated by the loss of its status, prestige, and previously unchallenged authority, continues relentlessly.

It is depressing to see what was once a lofty and respected professional contribution to our society now so degenerate, ineffectual and disrespected.

This piece asserts that it is journalists and indeed the entire Fourth Estate that has questions to answer, questions about its intent, its behaviour, its ethics, its performance, and the quality of its offerings. Unless the Fourth Estate has the courage to answer these questions, unless it is willing to address its problems, it will sink into obscurity, replaced by a plethora of other providers of news, analysis and opinion, many in the Fifth Estate.

After seeing the media reaction to how Julia Gillard’s outmanoeuvered and humiliated Tony Abbott in the last QT for the year, I have little hope the Fourth Estate has learned anything at all. The commentators continue to insist that ‘She still has questions to answer’.

They remain self congratulatory lemmings.


What do you think?

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Ad astra reply

30/11/2012[b]Folks We are at the end of the political year. Lyn has posted her last links and Twitterverse for 2012. She now goes on a two-month break. Of all who contribute here, none do so more constantly than Lyn, none so comprehensively. Try to estimate in your head how many links she has posted this year, how many Twitterverse and Twitterati items. I don’t know the answer, but my guess is that she has posted between four and five thousand links, and I can’t count how many Twitter items. Lyn is the HUB for [i]TPS[/i] and for the whole Fifth Estate, as there is no other site that provides a service like Lyn’s Links. She attracts thousands of visitors to the site, visitors who appreciate how much time she saves them in keeping up with goings on in both the Fifth Estate and the Fourth. Her fingers do the walking, and we all are the beneficiaries. She is a gem – our own wonderful Tweety-Bird. We wish you a relaxing and refreshing break Lyn, a wonderful Christmas with your family, and a fantastic 2013. We send you grateful thanks and our love.[/b]

2353

30/11/2012And thank you for your work in presenting well written and intelligent comment on current political events during 2012 AA. I hope that you also have a relaxing and refreshing break (although this blog site will probably require some attention).

Truth Seeker

30/11/2012Ad, I believe your summary of the degradation of MSM is pretty well spot on, not only well written, but well researched and put together. Although you are much too modest to admit it, you are one of the authors/ shining lights that you refer to as "providers of news, analysis and opinion, many in the Fifth Estate." Your contributions are invaluable, as are Lyns Tweety links. TPS and it's many contributors (with a few notable exceptions) prove that the power base is shifting from the fourth to the fighting fifth and their (the fourth) irrelevance is becoming palpable. A merry Christmas and a happy new year to all. Rest, regain and rebuild over the holls so that we can redouble our efforts for the battle ahead in 2013 to keep the mad monk and his cohorts from the Lodge, and keep their grubby mits off the purse strings..... your country needs YOU! Cheers :-) :-) :-) Ps, Ad if it's ok with you I will post my poem "Tony Abbotts Christmas Do" tomorrow. :-)

Marilyn

30/11/2012I agree with every word of this and add something. While the media are on and on about nothing at all, Gillard is paying illegal bribes to our neighbours to trade and jail human beings and wasting billions in the process. If we didn't have all white racist media this would be noted as a genuine crime.

42 long

30/11/2012Thanks Lyn and AA, Lyn is terrific and you are too modest AA. Plus you must be really on the ball, as I agree with you, on the content. I thought lefties were supposed to be naieve youths. The mad right don't like us, but we are much more likeable than them. IF you have to put a dollar value on everything, there are a lot of good things that will pass you by.

Truth Seeker

30/11/2012Speaking of notable exceptions!

LadyInRed

30/11/2012Ad astra I could feel the passion in this article. Well done. The best we can hope for is to win the next election and sit back and watch the MSM have to eat humble pie, again. They consistently get it wrong, we no longer expect them to be honest in their reporting, to report the truth, to be bi-partisan, to .....well to give us the news instead of opinion served up as fact. TAbbott will lead the coalition next year, though he doesn't deserve to. To give the PM his scalp would be more than the MSM could bear. That she deserves his scalp cannot be denied, that she earned it 10 times over in the last 6 months is obvious to all who rely on evidence and truth, but she wont get it. If the Libs changed leaders the MSM would have to change the way they looked at her, she would have to be recognised as a winner, as formidible, as a person of substance who deserves to be PM. MSM and the Libs couldn't have that. They sell lots of newspapers selling the Australian public a pantomime, a punch and judy show. And who on the Libs side would want the job after the PM won TAbbotts scalp? She is formibible now, a tower of strength, she would be indestructible if she did TAbbott in? Thanks Lyn, as always.

Lyn

30/11/2012Dear Ad Astra and my TPS Friends’ Ad Astra thankyou for your lovely compliment, your beautiful words. You are a Hero, the King of all blogmasters . TPS leads the way. Wonder how many thousands of words you have written for our enjoyment . All our beautiful contributors have written me the most heart warming thankyou’s. They are neatly filed in my Golden File. Together our TPS Team, we have made TPS what is today, the opinion posts you all take time to write and share with each other are second to none. I wish everyone a Happy Xmas and a Happy New Year. It really is a lovely time of the year. Thankyou to you guys and girls you make my work worthwhile, I appreciate you very much. Ad Astra, Jaycee, Lady in Red, Truth Seeker, 42 Long, Michael, N’ellie May, Bob Macalba, Shirley, 2353, DMW, Janice, Nasking, Janet, Doodle Poodle, Jason, NormanK, Talk Turkey , Khtagh, Patriciawa, Casablanca, Robynne , Pappinbarra Foxette, Jane, Libby33, Uriah , Gravel , Wake Up, BSA Bob, Bacchus, Rocco, Doodle Poodle, PJ, Miglo ,Paul Walter, Ian, Bushfire Bill. :):):):):):)

Patriciawa

30/11/2012As you so rightly say, Ad Astra, there are questions that need answering. The obvious one this week being [b][i]What has become of a media that gives precedence to a long-running non-story that it deems a ‘scandal’, but scarcely bothers to highlight a story about dangerous threats to our planet and everything on it?[/i][/b]

Ad astra reply

30/11/20122353, Truth Seeker, Marilyn, 42 long, LadyinRed, Lyn, Patriciawa Thank you all for your very kind words and your good wishes. It has been a good year for Labor. Despite working with a minority parliament, Labor has passed nearly 250 pieces of legislation, has introduced many historic reforms, and has maintained a strong economy. It has done this in the face of unremitting Coalition negativity that continued until the close of play yesterday, and continues even today. And even more commendably, it has achieved what it has despite an antagonistic media hell bent on criticizing every move, and giving scant credit for any achievement, a media that by and large is pushing for an Abbott government and is using every device at its disposal to achieve that. Incompetent and malevolent reporting, disingenuousness, and even downright lies are its stock in trade. News Limited is like Fox News in the US, an organ of the conservative side of politics. The unfairness of this is obvious. It is a great tribute to PM Gillard and her ministers that they are still standing, and indeed making good progress. I am proud of her resilience, determination and courage. Yes LiR, I do feel angry about the awful state of our media. It was why I started writing over four years ago, and the media is even more degenerate now. That is why there is passion in what I write. I feel it in my heart. It has been a good year for [i]TPS[/i] thanks to Lyn’s links and Twitter feed, and the splendid contributions you all have made. We combine together to make this a premium site that attracts a large volume of traffic. Let’s take a break over the end-of-year period and come back with renewed enthusiasm for the election year, in anticipation of a Labor victory. When time allows him, NormanK will post some links. I will keep the site open to allow you to continue your conversation with each other, which I trust will be polite and helpful. Web Monkey and I are working on [i]TPS Mail[/i], which is being designed to enable you to easily send emails to politicians and journalists. We hope to have it ready for beta-testing by year end. I’m now going to call it a day.

Miglo

30/11/2012Enjoy your well-deserved break, Lyn. You are a living legend.

Robynne

30/11/2012Dearest Lyn, refresh andhttp://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/business/media-2/on-trial-with-newsltd/ enjoy the quiet. Your work is truly amazing and I am in awe. As a newcomer to the Sword can I just say that I am humbled by the welcome I have received and inspired by the comments that I read. Ad Astra, you are truly an inspiration and it is a joy to know that not all of us oldies are self interested and have no thoughts for future generations. Wish I could work out how to link to IA and an article by Margo Kingston, it truly show what a duplicitous bastard abbort is.Recommend all swordsters have a read of this,it reminds us of the lies and devious behaviour of the would be pm. Whoops, this has become a mess but if you can read this article by Margo Kingston it will be worth my reputation as a dill in all things internetty.

Shirley

30/11/2012On the subject of Rupert Murdoch's dealings with prime ministers, Leveson said he had found no evidence of "express deals with politicians" but added in a rather waspish paragraph: "[b]Sometimes the very greatest power is exercised without having to ask ... Just as Mr Murdoch's editors knew the basic ground rules, so did politicians.[/b] In their discussions with him, whether directly or by proxy, politicians knew the prize was personal and political support of his mass circulation newspapers." The report recommends greater transparency about dealings with the press. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/nov/29/leveson-report-last-chance-saloon-for-press Ad Astra, I agree the media do have questions to answer and your analysis fits well with the Leveson findings. The press know the game as do his chosen politicians. Australians may not be as gullible as some media owners/editors seem to think they are. Americans certainly were not.

Robynne

30/11/2012Bugger, just when I thought I was getting better at this stuff I think I may have linked to another,albeit relevant article Imeant to go to thishttp://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/tony-abbott-and-his-slushy-question-of-character/ This is yet another exposure of the msm being so lazy and inept. Thank s to TPS and a few others we are well informed about the duplicity and utter tripe the msm serve up, and to their shame the abbort broadcasting corporation are in lockstep with turdoch.

Shirley

30/11/2012Isn't there a female PM in Australia that has chosen not to cosy up to the paper editors/owners............... 2. [b]John Major consciously chose not to be close to the media[/b], he told the inquiry, adding that during his time in office [b]"a culture of press hostility" arose leading to "unfair and inaccurate" coverage.[/b] [i][b]Leveson finds that the hostile treatment he received was a lesson to many subsequent politicians, who resolved to handle the press different[/i]ly.[/b] http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/nov/29/leveson-report-last-chance-saloon-for-press

Lyn

30/11/2012Hi Ad, Would you be kind enough to send my email address to Khtag for me please. On November 26. 2012 05:53 PM Ktagh wrote me about honey. If you can find it combed honey is the absolute best[honey still in the honey comb]& the healthiest, when bees seal the honey cell they use a natural anti fungal/bacterial component to keep it in the best condition for later use in the coming winter. This is unfortunately removed by all processes that give you container honey Thankyou Ktagh you are very interesting but as you know I am a great believer in honey as a vitamin and also those bees are incredibly interesting they really intrigue me. Robynne thankyou, you are a sweetie what a lovely post you left for me. Ad Astra will tell you a plain and simple way to post links he did for Bob the other day. The Independent article you are referring to by Margot Kingston is brilliant she is a talented writer. The author of "Run Johnny Run". Margo wrote the article for "The Drum" and they wouldn't post it, wonder were they protecting Abbott after all it is their ABC. Somebody told her the bloggers would publish for her and so Independent Australia did just that. This is a quality article: Now it's Abbott with questions to answer, The Drum Abbott appeared to base his extravagant claim on an equally extravagant Fairfax report that morning that had all but accused the Prime Minister of fraudulent behaviour, a conclusion drawn by misquoting a document it had in its possession. the inaccurate Fairfax report had already been corrected. Given the opportunity to address the House for 15 minutes and substantiate his allegation that the Prime Minister had committed a crime, Abbott could not. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4401340.html :):):)

MWS

30/11/2012A good article on the week in federal politics by Jenny Hocking: [quote]Speaking on national television, Abbott claimed that Gillard had made 'false representations' to the WA Corporate Affairs Commission in order to ensure the incorporation of the association. Abbott appeared to base his extravagant claim on an equally extravagant Fairfax report that morning that had all but accused the Prime Minister of fraudulent behaviour, a conclusion drawn by misquoting a document it had in its possession. How extraordinary that those same media that had repeatedly demanded that the Prime Minister explain actions and recall meetings from 20 years ago had been unable to correctly describe a document that was right there in front of them. [/quote] http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4401340.html

Shirley

30/11/2012Robynne The Margo Kingston article is brilliant, especially her challenge for joint investigation. The ultimate put up or shut up. While Ms. Hanson's political beliefs were challenging Abbott should be held to account for his actions. I would like to see his red budgie smugglers hoisted up the flag pole on Capital Hill by the woman of Australia while Helen Reddy's I Am Woman plays.

jaycee

30/11/2012Lyn..If you partake of a very good red over the break..with the first sip, press the liquid to the palate and "squeeze" the flavour out!...it is the taste of summer! Have a good one!

jaycee

30/11/2012Conroy's dept' will HAVE to review the entire management proceedures at the ABC. There is no doubt that there has been a culture of conservative bias at the National Broadcaster. The govt' has to replace the management there with an apolitical management. If Labor wants to have a fair go in the next election, they have to have their backs covered with a neutral media outlet. The MSM. comercials are finished unless they drop their old-farts and go to neutral and serious journalism. I don't see anything like that happening while the current proprietors want government change.

Sir Ian Crisp

30/11/2012[quote][i]The other similarity between Breivik and sic(k) Ian Crisp is they both like John Howard's policies. By the way, the Sir in Ina Crisp's name is probably illegal unless he has changed is name by deed poll or was knighted prior to the introduction of the Australian Honours System. On the balance of probability that neither of these options have happened - someone who is regularly committing an illegal act has no basis to criticise or comment on what anyone else does! 2353 [/i][/quote] I’m not a slow learner. When I selected Sir Ian Crisp as my moniker I was ‘young and naive’. We all know now that being ‘young and naive’ explains away all things even those that are illegal. I might have signed a ‘Change of Name Certificate’ but so much paperwork lands on my desk daily that I can’t possibly remember every last piece I have signed.

jaycee

30/11/2012I posted this on Hocking's piece today on The Drum. I notice her article only appeared at around 4pm. It is now closed for commentry. It wasn't open for very long! jaycee : 30 Nov 2012 5:51:34pm What I find extrordinary, almost beyond belief, is that two journalists of doubtful repute, one; Smith and one; Baker seemed to have "called the shots" on the entire scam! These two "carpetbaggers" have sold the opposition a "pup' and they fell for it hook-line-and sinker! Of course, they couldn't have supplied and funded the witness and documentation without access to a petty-cash supply and permission from "someone" in the MSM. heirarchy There is the saying..: "Follow the money"..I would suggest instead one ; "Follows the bumbling stupidity!"

Jason

30/11/2012Sir Ian, No legal papers we served on me today why?

Megpie71

30/11/2012The questions Julia Gillard has to answer regarding the AWU slush fund affair: 1) Why DIDN'T you do anything criminal, when you must have known your political opponents would be chasing dirt to dig up on you in the future? 2) Why are you so MEAN and NASTY in refusing to provide us with an appropriate scandal to prove women aren't suitable leaders for this country? After all, Carmen Lawrence co-operated in WA; Joan Kirner co-operated in Victoria; Anna Bligh co-operated in Queensland; Cheryl Kernot, Meg Lees and Natasha Stott-Despoja co-operated for the Democrats; Bronwyn Bishop and Julie Bishop are co-operating for the Liberals - why do you have to be so damn adamant about not co-operating with our dominant media narrative which shows that women aren't fit leaders for Australian states, Australian political parties, and Australian institutions as a whole?

TalkTurkey

30/11/2012Woo-Hoo a new thread I haven't read yet, (feisty title!), but this is a great article I want to post because it is just the ant's pants. Reposted from Twitter. William Jones‏@william7424 RT Now it's Abbott with questions to answer - The Drum Opinion (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) http://bit.ly/U5TOQr #ALP #AUSPOL #LNP By sheer force of performance in every sphere *J*U*L*I*A* has reduced Abbortt to a cringing skulking* Gollum** whose Precious is forever beyond his grasp. Spare a thought for the man's state of mind. The "One Ring to Rule Them All and in the Darkness Bind Them" ~ (i.e. [i]Us![/i] )~ it's been so close, so very very close, it has haunted his dreams and dominated every waking moment . . . No boxer, no cyclist, no hot gospeller was ever so obsessed as he, for they all have hours of respite, he lives with his rage every moment. He is a like a dog kept apart from a bitch in heat by a single wire mesh, going berserk with lust . . . but not only for a few days, but on and on . . . Only *J*U*L*I*A*s no bitch, (though that's what he thinks of her), and though I am quite certain Abbortt has sexual fantasies about her, I am equally certain that she has none about him. (Urgh!) I've been saying all year: Abbortt Remember The Ides of September! Challenge in November ~ Dead Meat come December! Abbortt is under challenge as never before - but the challenge comes from *J*U*L*I*A* herself, there is no-one on Abbort's side with the courage, ability and stupidity to challenge him now! [i]Stupidity?[/i] - Yes, because Abbortt has so led them so deep into Sewer Swamp that anyone who took the leadership now would be pre-doomed, with no policy, no costings, and with their party reeling in disbelief and denial as Abbortt's captaincy drags it ever further into the mire. They are stuck with him I think. Nothing could be more delicious. Can you imagine the freaked conversations with POO-POO, Credlin, Madam Asbestosis, Brandis SC, Abetz, Snotty Joe . . . Two months to fester, with no cure to hand . . . Oh I have long fantasized with this outcome, almost as if I had seen a movie of the development of the situation all along. Not that I could have predicted the dramatic events of the year, in fact they have amazed me - but through it all *J*U*L*I*A* and her team have never wavered and never been diverted - and it is that which I foresaw. Just what she said she'd do. No mystery. It's just that I believed her all along, - as has Caucus. That's why we're where we are. And *J*U*L*I*A*, smiling, fresh and radiant in Surprising Pink, good-humoured and beautiful always except when striking out at her antagonists, is now bullet-proof and teflon-coated, now that she has fought the Yellow Media and the whole smear campaign to an ignominious snivelling backdown, a battle which few could have endured as she has. (I think she is astounding.) It is a fascinating psychological duel isn't it. Nearly Dead Meat December. I'll have to take a fresh look with my Eye of Time now. What will develop over the next two months? What devilry will the Abborttians cook up? Where will the Polls be by then? Watching the Walkleys now. Cheers Comrades. *skulking is good, skull + sulking **Where did I see that caricature of him as Gollum today? Anyone know? It is so right!

TalkTurkey

1/12/2012Reposted from Twitter Thanks Sarah Joseph‏@profsarahj So here's the #walkleys cartoon from @firstdogonmoon Funny, poignant, exposes Australia's shame. Wonderful! http://www.firstdogonthemoon.com.au/my-walkley-nomination-about-which-i-am-very-excited/ … My sincere congratulations Mr FirstDogOnTheMoon! Wonderful, melancholy, all-too-true crystals your drawings are.

BSA Bob

1/12/2012Hi Lyn Thanks a zillion for your tireless efforts. Have a good & refreshing holiday doing the things you like.

Bultaco Metrella

1/12/2012Thanks for everything and enjoy your break

Patriciawa

1/12/2012Shirley, I Am Woman is great. When Julia Gillard's misogyny speech inspired me to write a pome.......the words somehow came out to that tune and echoed those lines. Dreadful plagiarism, I know, but I hope Helen Reddy will forgive me. She's the original mighty Aussie ranga I'm referring to here. We are women! From near and far We are calling Julia, To let you know we’re with you to the end! We raise you a loud hurrah, Cos though PM and super-star You’ve been insulted once too often to pretend. Who’s this Abbott, the boy wonder, The misogynist Downunder? Making light of feminism Could prove his biggest blunder. Trying to steal your thunder Underlined his chauvinism. He called you liar, tried to frame you, Tried in many ways to shame you, But instead roused so much anger That once he had inflamed you Women everywhere acclaimed you! Another mighty Aussie ranga! We are women, how we’ve grown, Not always going it alone. There are men who know what’s fair and right. But for some it’s still a battle zone To keep the world their own. For that they’re ready any time to fight. In spite of them you have come far, You’re number one now, Julia! No matter where be their time zones, The whole world knows who you are! Women and men have hit the phones Saying, [i]“Misogynists Downunder, Au revoir!”[/i]

nasking

1/12/2012 The election was won When Tony ran for his Mum Got long lost wife and friend instead Ambition betrayed The deal of a lifetime As the Queen became Pawn Smiles became stretch marks Permanent frown like the iceman cometh Recycled he cycled...and cycled Nagging guilt the Manitou on his back Who better to scorch in the cathartic act Than the Banshee of his dreams And so it is...the final act Upon realisation of the obsession That She-King...and Warrior Queen Was for yonks the shimmering image at the Scree Both mirror and scream As the Cross topples as hollowed out mis-en-scene The mountain awaits The true self reaching out To the book in the clouds Music surprising Erupting from self Long long forgotten Galaxies roar Doors doors and doors NARZISS UND GOLDMUND Which future...perhaps both...is HE END...of this chapter Exit stage...walks thru the rubble..nodding, apologetic... Tony has left the building N'

nasking

1/12/2012 Lyn, you have indeed done an amazing and consistent job...rest well. Your rejuvenated self will be ESSENTIAL in 2013. Ad, you are another with the consistency and stamina required of an informative, enlightening and wise guide. Sometimes I envy you both those qualities...yet in turn recognise that my codes will not permit...my role as unpredictable as the present seasons...hopefully you can accept that volatility...as I do your ability to serve the public a consistent taste of the Motivational potion...along chum and cheery road. Let this mental nomad and occasional cave dweller raise a cup of good cheer to you both...and the entire TPS team... and place our swords gently away...to be used effectively another day...sparkling soon in the light of a new born day. Cheers N'

TalkTurkey

1/12/2012Someone remarked to me on Twitter wtte the Abborttians thought their free ride with the MSM would never end. My reply :- O [i]what a surprise![/i] ?! Tony Abbort tells [i]lies![/i] It's all turned to [i]shit![/i] And [i]WE SWALLOWED IT![/i] [i]We'll dance on his grave when he dies![/i] Brandis was almost [i]savaged[/i] on Friday morning in his stupid Presser. You could feel some of the journos coming out of their long trance, starting to snap at his heels ~ and it's not just him, it's the Medusa gone to ground, and Abbortt freaking out, and the whole sorry lot of them cowering like sheep in a corner, all afraid of one little Red Fox of whom I am so very proud. [i]Our Ranga Lass[/i]. From memory Abbortt was on 27% approval rating a week or so ago. I wonder what it would be today? With Medusa caught out lying, and Brandis so hateful and nearly rattled by the Media, Brand Abbortt stocks have taken a hiding this last few days. At the perfect time too. They take this into Crispmess and the New Year with them. It will feel like they are carrying a big damp oozy bag of smelly Coalition poo up an ever-steepening hill on a heating-up day, to the jeers of the bystanders - and it is all because of their own complicity and connivance with Abbortt. And you gotta love that metaphor, when it's Them it's happening to. :) I told yous-all it would come to this by now. [i]Didn' I[/i] told yous! Optimism has replaced doomsaying on all the sites I care about, as blind impotent fury has replaced reason on all those I don't. A very nice pre-Crispmess pressie for the Comrades.

TalkTurkey

1/12/2012Lyn I don't know how you'll do without us all, I hope you don't go into terminal withdrawals but I don't see how not, when for instance you know that Truth Seeker has promised us a poetic tour de force this very day . . . Oh that's cruel, nasty Turkey I am. You know though I sincerely believe that you have done [i]more than anyone[/i] for, not just the effectiveness, but the very tone of the Fighting 5th Estate, your Tweety gravatar is the best-known best-beloved of anyone's, it seems to very[i] be [/i]you, all those little love hearts of your welcomings and encouragings, liaisings and congratulatings, archivings and recordings, . . . Oh there is no-one like You Lyn. Never doubt that what you are doing is important, special, ground-breaking, unique, a magnum opus of an entirely new kind. Lyn while informing us daily of contemporary writings you have inadvertently* created a whole new genre in the history of modern Australian political thought, it is no ordinary matter. It is shaping as a classic, especially if - as Please Dog - you keep doing your Links all the way to the next election. It will never be replicated - or [i]replicable[/i] - but that makes it all the more precious. It would surely take another whole Lyn, now, just to keep that Golden Box of Nice Things People Say To You up-to-date. Yet all of us combined can never praise you enough, for all the easy pickings of pleasure and information and opinion you provide us for breakfast . . . We are all richer and wiser and shrewder for this infinitely varied diet that we simply would never have had if not for you. It is a very precious gift you present us each day, and you keep giving it all the time. We can only guess at the effort involved. So, Happy Holiday Lyn. Please though in "going on holiday" from TPS, don't feel you mayn't pop up anytime you wish, OK? Gee I'm glad you're on our side. And Thank You NormanK for stepping into the breach again. We are all a little bit more blog-savvy now, we can all help a little this time. And by the way - Nobody need feel self-conscious about things like typos and failed links by the way. Just don't worry about it.

Truth Seeker

1/12/2012Nas, did you write that? Cheers

Truth Seeker

1/12/2012Ambition betrayed The deal of a lifetime As the Queen became Pawn Smiles became stretch marks Permanent frown like the iceman cometh Says a loy! Cheers

Truth Seeker

1/12/2012That should read "says a lot" oops Cheers :-) :-)

Sir Ian Crisp

1/12/2012[quote][i]Sir Ian, No legal papers we served on me today why? Jason [/i][/quote] Jason, I didn't get a visit from the coppers. Why? Let's lighten things up a little and have a laugh. Here, this'll make you wet yourself: [quote][b]I've been saying all year: Abbortt Remember The Ides of September! Challenge in November ~ Dead Meat come December![/b][/quote]

Ad astra reply

1/12/2012Folks Can we please keep comments polite even if forceful.

Ad astra reply

1/12/2012Folks [b]ALERT ALERT. I've looked at the Front Pages but can't find even one that is saying that PM Gillard 'still has questions to answer' from the 20 year old S&G matter. What has gone wrong with the MSM? Can you find any? There must be some more, somewhere![/b] Of course there are strident calls for a judicial inquiry, now joined by turncoat Michael Costa, where I imagine they would have a plethora of questions she still has to answer, but while those calls will echo for a day or two, the allure of such an inquiry will recede as the mechanism for initiating it fails the reality test. You have been active overnight while I was watching the Walkley's and Lateline, and hear this morning the Leigh Sales got one for 'Best Interview'. Do any of you know for what interview she was awarded it? I will respond to your comments later.

bob macalba

1/12/2012to all other decent folk, sorry for swearing, dont like doing it normally, just ignore the wankers, they only believe in lies, they are what my mum would describe as cowardly bastards, mum never wasted words when a two word description would do

Ad astra reply

1/12/2012bob macalba We understand your feelings!

LadyInRed

1/12/2012 I WANT to be optimistic about the future of political journalism and the press gallery, if for no other reason than that its past shows that it really matters. But I have to say I'm not as optimistic as I'd like to be. Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/polly-press-gang-spreads-the-word-20121130-2amfa.html#ixzz2DkNWwLJY Dirty politics stains the PM, Abbott and all of us Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/dirty-politics-stains-the-pm-abbott-and-all-of-us-20121130-2amf8.html#ixzz2DkPGdlp3 [i]I don't like the structure of this headline. Nice how Gordon left out the MSM's part in all this [/i]

Jason

1/12/2012Aa, The ABC's Leigh Sales has won a Walkley Award for best interviews for her work on 7.30 quizzing Tony Abbott, Scott Morrison and Christine Milne. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-12-01/walkleys/4402348

bob macalba

1/12/2012Leigh Sales wins a Walkley for doing her job properly, hope the rest of msm are paying attention, sadly it wont, as i read somewhere not long ago that newspapers only putting in news stories to fill in the gaps between the ads, funny but almost true

Janet (@j4gypsy)

1/12/2012 Just a couple more #msm pieces that reflect Ad's post. The first an interview Tingle did with the PM yesterday, Friday, with Tingle still seeming one of the very few to try straight reporting vs opinion. Labor reforms mean tough choices: PM Laura Tingle (AFR not paywalled) “For us, I think we come out of 2012 with momentum, I think we come out of 2012 entitled to say without anybody able to contradict us that Labor has shown it is a political party of courage driven by purpose,” she said. “We have had a lot of lazy critiques in the past about Labor being driven by focus groups and spin but at the end of 2012 no one can make that claim about Labor.’ http://www.afr.com/p/national/labor_reforms_mean_tough_choices_xust4yMpS6id4rL1x7MpqO Stirring this storm in a teacup Mike Carlton This week they soared to dizzy new heights. What I suppose we must call the Gillard/AWU Affair whipped them to a frenzy, to page after page of grey print that bellowed and howled like some lunatic chained in a padded cell. It seems every hack on the payroll has lunged into the fray, save for the golfing writer and the food editor so far as I can gather, but sooner or later even they will be expected to join this News Ltd stampede to crucify the Prime Minister. It's the group-think way the joint works. HOPELESS JULIA DOUBLE-BOGEYS 18TH. PM's COQ AU VIN POISONS CAT. With the federal election due next year, the creative possibilities are endless. http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/stirring-this-storm-in-a-teacup-20121130-2alxv.html#ixzz2DkSPx52O

Ad astra reply

1/12/2012Jason Thanks - it's interesting what interviews won her the award. LadyinRed That piece by Laurie Oakes was fascinating. That is the first time I have seen a journalist facing up to the reality of social media for the political journalists. He sounded quite sombre. Michael Gordon made some good points, but failed to acknowledge the central role of the MSM in promulgating the S&G matter. Like most political journalists, he is either blind to the role of the MSM in this matter, or deliberately avoids addressing this awkward reality. In my opinion, he did not sufficiently pinpoint Abbott and his dirt team as the group responsible for the genesis of all of this dirty politics. There would have been none of this had Abbott decided to focus on policy debate. His deliberate choice of trawling the S&G matter with the intent of damaging the PM is why it has taken up almost the whole of QT for a week. It may have damaged the PM in the eyes of some, although I expect it would have had the effect of simply reinforcing entrenched antipathy, rather that pushing swinging voters away.

Tom of Melbourne

1/12/2012In the spirit of seasonal good will and compromise, I’m entirely willing to accept that Abbott is misogynist! [b]As long as other contributors here accept that Gillard is a lying, racist homophobe[/b]

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1/12/2012Hi Lyn I’ve copied you into the email I sent to KHTAGH. The Jenny Hocking article in [i]The Drum[/i], mentioned also by MWS, was right on the money. Can you imagine such an article appearing in a News Limited outlet? http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4401340.html Margo Kingston’s article in [i]Independent Australia[/i], mentioned by Robynne, too was spot on. Why haven’t we heard about the Abbott slush fund from News Limited or Fairfax? I think we know. http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/tony-abbott-and-his-slushy-question-of-character/ You must feel in high spirits after reading all the tributes you have had from the [i]TPS[/i] family. Have a restful and refreshing break and a Happy Festive Season with your family.

MWS

1/12/2012Just a bit of housekeeping: Above the comment box there are four buttons, [u]b[/u] [u]i[/u] [u]u[/u] and [u]quote[/u]. When quoting from another article (as we are all doing while Lyn is on her break), could you please highlight the quote from the article and click the [u]quote[/u] button. This puts the words in italics and indents it, so other readers can easily see what is a direct quote, and what is an opinion on the article by the poster of the comment. Additionally, put the link to the article either directly before or after the quote. This is even more important if you are linking and quoting more than one article. PS the [u]b[/u] [u]i[/u] [u]u[/u] buttons are for bold, italics and underline respectively.

bilko

1/12/2012AA And Lyn Thank you for an uplifting year the TPS is where honest and mind stirring articles are written by a handful of scribes who without exception put the OM(Owned Media my preference) to shame. You asked "Has anything changed over these last four years? In my view the answer is ‘Yes’" I agree. The media has become more feral, the 1984 truth ministry resides within the Murdoch empire. My comment 5yrs ago about a hostile press confirmed by Bushfire Bill in Possum then, still stands to their shame with very few exceptions. Swordspersons keep up the poems and the fight the force is still with us

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1/12/2012Folks I’m catching up on comments. Robynne To post a link, simply copy the URL from your Internet address field and paste it into [i]TPS[/i]. There is no need for tags. jaycee It is surprising that the likes of Smith and Baker lead the charge in some outlets. They get their facts wrong, as does ‘Walkley Award winning’ Hedley Thomas, yet when the PM picks them up she is accused of being trivial, while their whole campaign is pursuit of the trivial from 20 years ago! Megpie71 Your questions to Julia Gilard are delectable: [i]”1) Why DIDN'T you do anything criminal, when you must have known your political opponents would be chasing dirt to dig up on you in the future? 

2) Why are you so MEAN and NASTY in refusing to provide us with an appropriate scandal to prove women aren't suitable leaders for this country?”[/i] TT I admire your unrestrained exuberance: [i]”And *J*U*L*I*A*, smiling, fresh and radiant in Surprising Pink, good-humoured and beautiful always except when striking out at her antagonists, is now bullet-proof and teflon-coated, now that she has fought the Yellow Media and the whole smear campaign to an ignominious snivelling backdown, a battle which few could have endured as she has.”[/i] Patriciawa That’s a great pome. Thank you. If only those men who strive [i]”To keep the world their own.”[/i] would read what you have written! Nasking Thank you for your complimentary and kind words. And thank you too for our elegant verse fragrant with classic overtones. With the Festive Season upon us, let’s [i]”…place our swords gently away...to be used effectively another day...sparkling soon in the light of a newborn day.[/i].

TalkTurkey

1/12/2012Robert Randell was the very first and for many years the only US citizen to be permitted legally to smoke marijuana for his glaucoma - for which smoked cannabis the best preventive treatment. NORML raised sufficient funds to bring Mr Randell here on a lecture tour, but the Fraser Government refused to allow him to bring his US-Government-issued joints into Australia, and that was that was that. It's [i]our[/i] eyesight . . . It's [i]our[/i] cancer pain . . . It's [i]our[/i] Alheimers we are being denied the best medication for, all because of deliberately-promulgated ignorance and prejudice, and costing untold legal persecution too. Even on the 5th Estate few are prepared to champion the Cannabis cause, so effective has been the misinformation and disinformation campaign ever since marijuana was vilified by DuPont in the US in the 30's. Ever since then it has been used by police and governments as a convenient handle to control certain sections of the public. The current policies relating to Cannabis are a serious abrogation of human rights, though the trivialisation of the issue is always the first resort of the Media. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QhykeTyM98

Ad astra reply

1/12/2012Folks I’m still catching up on comments. Janet The [i]AFR[/i] is at last a factually rich account of what PM Gillard has in mind for next year. Mike Carlton’s piece [i]Stirring this storm in a teacup[/i] was so delectable, I couldn’t resist copying and pasting it here” [i]”Sometimes there are moments when a prime minister must keep faith with their convictions," snapped yet another scolding editorial in The Australian on Wednesday. Oh dear. Sometimes a leader writer must keep faith with plain English grammar: tautology, singular, plural, that sort of thing. “Even in quiet times the Oz's Canberra political coverage has a hectoring tone. Obsessive, bombastic, endlessly repetitive, it is a newspaper with Asperger's. Platoons of reporters, columnists and commentators, all grandly titled - chief this, national that - tumble over each other in furious agreement with their proprietor's view that only nice Mr Abbott can save the nation from the perdition to which Labor is leading us. “This week they soared to dizzy new heights. What I suppose we must call the Gillard/AWU Affair whipped them to a frenzy, to page after page of grey print that bellowed and howled like some lunatic chained in a padded cell. It seems every hack on the payroll has lunged into the fray, save for the golfing writer and the food editor so far as I can gather, but sooner or later even they will be expected to join this News Ltd stampede to crucify the Prime Minister. It's the group-think way the joint works. HOPELESS JULIA DOUBLE-BOGEYS 18TH. PM's COQ AU VIN POISONS CAT. With the federal election due next year, the creative possibilities are endless. “Towards the end of the week a collective madness seemed to infect everybody. Fairfax Media, publisher of this very organ, was berated by the Prime Minister in Parliament over its front page splash on the subject. At the ABC, a couple of impenetrable interviews on 7.30 shed more heat than light. “Despite the sound and fury, what have we got at the end of this week and this turbulent year in Parliament? For all the lurid talk of slush funds and bagmen, the allegations of fraud and other sinister crimes, no one has produced one shred of evidence to nail Julia Gillard with any corrupt or illegal act during her time as a lawyer at Slater & Gordon. Neither The Australian nor the opposition has come up with the smoking gun in the drawing room, the bloodstained candelabra in the library, the clump of charred faxes in the fireplace. Nothing. “Yes, she once had a dud boyfriend, until she dropped him like a hot brick. Show me a woman her age who hasn't. Even the sanctimonious but risibly ineffectual Julie Bishop might have to plead guilty to that heinous offence.”[/i] http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/stirring-this-storm-in-a-teacup-20121130-2alxv.html#ixzz2DkSPx52O bilko Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. We will take a break and gird our loins for the battle of 2013. Our biggest foe is, as you said five years ago, is the even-more-feral MSM. But we have their measure, and they know it. Read Laurie Oakes this morning: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/polly-press-gang-spreads-the-word-20121130-2amfa.html#ixzz2DkNWwLJY

Ad astra reply

1/12/2012Folks I’m now catching up with comments on the last post. NormanK Thank you for your kind and encouraging remarks. We will take a break and gird our loins for the battle in 2013. We know you have responsibilities that keep you very busy, so any links you have time to post over the break will be gratefully received. pappinbarra foxette I also enjoyed Tony Windsor’s quip: [i]"I don't have to read the paper. I don't read The Australian anyway. Our family still uses Sorbent." [/i]

TalkTurkey

1/12/2012Lady in Red, Don't worry your head, The Fighting 5th Folk will take over instead! We'll make OM irrelevant, won't that be a swell event! They're so blind they can't see their own Kitchen Elephant!

Rocco

1/12/2012Over here in Perth Paul Murray's usual Saturday morning anti-Gillard rant in The West Australia is headed "Gillard survives but saga far from over" that is all I read .... Turn the page and The editorial is headed " inquiry is the best way to clear air in AWU scandal". Sadly t he newspaper that produced gold Walkley winner Steve Pennels doesn't have the same talent among its contributors or its leader writers.

Truth Seeker

1/12/2012Hey swordsters. Patricia, another great poem, well done, our PM is the source of great admiration world wide, and you echo the thoughts of us all (nearly all). Cheers As promised, my latest epic. I know that some have already read it thanks to Lyns tweety links, who we all know is a legend, but I did promise so here it is! Tony Abbotts Christmas Do. The Abbotts invitations… were all posted out For the big… Christmas party… he’d planned It’s to be… fancy dress… with no particular.. theme Except all… normal clothing… was banned The only stipulation.. for attending the Do was That only.. the radical right.. were allowed With Little.. Johnny Howard… the man of the minute Feeling pumped up… and ever so proud He‘s been asked.. to be.. Tones guest of honour Although honour’s.. not really.. his strength As he once taught the Abbott.. that to win in this game You must be driven… and go…. to any length To lie… and cheat… are the tools of… the trade. To be used….. by a Liberal….. politician Using.. economic.. sleight of hand.. to distract.. from his stand On mad ideologies.. like some manic.. magician So the Abbott… the host… with the least… not the most Dressed up… in the role of… Santa Clause But the role didn’t work… cos the Abbott’s a jerk Delivering presents.. through all the wrong doors But he practiced his lines.. for appropriate times With the heartiest of…. HO.. HO.. HO… HOs But to his great chagrin… he was so full of spin That they always came out.. NO… NO… NOs The Cathedral was booked.. and the figures were cooked So they could… claim it all back… on their tax A shelf company was bought.. just in case they got caught Playing fast… loose and rough… with the facts George Pell’s.. his MC…. For the Christmas party Coming dressed… as a Pope… on a rope Cos the Abbott you see… wants him tied to the tree To protect all his presents…… the dope! With Pyne on the door… checking invites galore And his mate Ashby …. there by his side For this night.. all was good.. as he reflectively stood Wagging his… long fluffy tail… with such.. pride With his eyes.. all aglow.. and his chest puffed.. for show And.. by his side… dummies packed… in a pail But his mate seemed unimpressed.. as he was totally obsessed By the vision… of the poodles… wagging tail The bouncer was Joe…..cos a punch he could throw With his size.. and his…. “I’ll hurt you”… pout And it’s his leaders big show… so he couldn’t say no Or the Abbott…. would knock him…… right out So dressed up as Fred Flinstone.. complete with a big bone He wandered round…. looking for... strife But.. when he stepped in… people just gave a grin As irrelevance …. is sloppy Joes… life The Bishop waltzed in…. with her usual spin And a smile… plastered over… her face On the door… Chris was shocked…. And.. went off half cocked Cos the smile…. just looked so.. out of place But she gave him a pat… and said… stop doing that I need practice… to get… the look… fine For the time when the Abbott… gets cooked like a rabbit And the keys… to his office… are mine Lucrezia Borgia….. Pope Alexanders… Daughter Was the costume…. she’d chosen… to sport An ill repute girl.. who’d give anything.. a whirl For political….. advantage… to court With parallels clear… to the bird standing here And the rest… of her party… as well For the Borgia’s and Libs.. both used stabbings and fibs And are tainted… by the same.. corruption… smell Malcolm Turnbull snuck in.. on the strength of his spin Saying… his invite.. got lost… in the mail And… Ashby said sure… guiding him through the door While the poodle.. looked round.. for his pail “What are you doing”.. he cried… “that damned tree hugger lied It’s only… for us…. rabid right” But Ashby just smiled… making Pyne.. feel defiled Ashby knows… Pyne’s.. bark’s.. worse…. than his bite So with Turnbull inside…. and along for the ride In the costume.. of.. Alexander.. G Bell The irony was missed.. by the minister.. still pissed Dealing with… the portfolio…. from hell Telling lies to appease.. the Libs.. leadership sleaze About a system.. he really believes in With Bell.. turning in his grave.. over Turnbull the knave And his.. mendaciously bad… NBN spin Little Johnny was late… cos he just had to wait For the right time.. to make… his arrival A lesson he learnt… trying not to get burnt When it comes… to political.. survival His entrance was planned…. to be the most grand Dressed as Lazarus.. brought back… from the dead But the problem he had… was the costume was bad.. Like Wee Willy Winkey…. Just got out of bed. His night shirt was long… and the decay smell was strong From old policies….. festering.. away It was a smell you could tell… that would linger quite well Cos they’re all…. well past.. their… used by day He stopped beside Tones… who was thinking of bones He could point… at the Ranga… usurper He’d tried all that he had….. being deceitful and bad But nothing…. he threw seemed to…. hurt her But his presents were stacked.. as his guests.. stood and clapped And he got himself… set for the start Introduced by George Pell… who was ringing his bell Abbott let go…. a massive.. brain fart But the crowd didn’t care… because they were just there To support him… whatever… he said Cos they knew in their hearts… support Abbotts brain farts Or risk… a quick punch… to the head So the party got going… with the alcohol.. flowing To wash… Annus …. Horribilis … away At the sound of Pells chime.. it was party trick time And Costello… stepped into.. the fray Dressed up as a clown… juggling books up and down With a technique… that’s shonky… for sure While some fans applauded him.. some smart arse cried.. audit him And his books promptly crashed to the floor Eric Abetz was quite jumpy.. as the dwarf that was.. grumpy And his old mate… George Brandis was there With a costume of fur that seemed very obscure Looking something like… Poo.. minus… Bear But they both took the stage… and in spite of their age They attempted…. an athletic… rendition Of the rise…. of the right… to a dizzying height But collapsed…. like a dysfunctional…. coalition Then Sophie the Hun… dressed up like a nun Stepped up to the stage… for her spell But her habit dropped free.. revealing more than just knee As she started… a lap dance… on Pell Burlesque was her theme… shocking her front bench team Sending Pyne.. to his pail… for a dummy Which he spat… with all might.. at the terrible sight Hitting… Barnaby Joyce… in the tummy Now Barnaby’s dream… was to defuse the scene With his own party trick… fire breathing So with metho in gob.. he felt up to the job But misjudged… the amount of Pynes….. seething And the dummy hit hard.. spraying fire a yard Where it caught on the presents… and tree And pandemonium broke out.. as up went a shout And the Liberals… all blamed.. Barnaby Now the heat of the fire.. rose up through the spire Till the star… at the top… started glowing And the media’s night… was made up.. by the sight And the sign.. that Devine blessings.. were flowing And they all went away.. to prepare.. headlines next day Stating… ‘Abbott’s big bash…. a success’ Knowing naught of the fire… or the heat in the spire Or the truth… of the Un-Godly… mess Now the fire burnt out… helped by Johnny’s water spout And a lot of hot air from Joe Hockey Who was left to clean up… with the mendacious pup And Ashby who was… somewhat less cocky And it ceased being fun… so they called the night done Hoping.. there’d be… no political…. cost And the Abbott reflected.. feeling somewhat dejected On his pressies… and the tree… that was lost And his guests all went home… leaving Tony alone To reflect… on the state… of his party With his policy lack…. and Mss Gillard… fighting back And his brain… being nothing but…. Farty But it’s his…. right to rule… and he knows he’s no fool So he just… has to stick… to his guns And he can still sink their ship… being no ice berg… all tip Cos the media… will still score him… the runs So he’ll continue his stand… with his head in the sand And repressing….. his misogyny… he’ll try To continue the battle…. With the ALP cattle And the cow… that won’t…. lay down and die And poll numbers won’t matter.. when the ALP scatter And he’ll claim his right spot.. as the king of the lot And he’ll make them all pay.. with his grand power play And he knows his best chance… is to continue the dance In his own… little pugilist…. Way He’ll delight in the fight….. and he’ll fight….. for the Right Cos after Christmas…… comes…….… Boxing… day! Cheers :-) :-) :-)

nasking

1/12/2012 Quite a poem Truth Seeker. Effectively stimulates memories...what a motley crew this Coalition bunch are...and so inspiring. :D Abbott at the end of 2011 was the NEGABORE End of 2012...the NEGATHUG...at times a figure of ridicule...other times ya wanna give him a good kick up the butt. -------- [b]Nas, did you write that?[/b] I did...get a couple of reds in me and I find my muse. :D Used to write poems on a regular basis...and post them...way back when. Performed some during my time with the QLD Multicultural Writers' Association. Good times. Keep up the good work Truth Seeker...and evocative poetry...you, TT and Patricia are quite the wordsmiths...adds further colour to the blogosphere. --------- Ad, yer quite welcome. Thnx for the opportunity to express myself. Cheers N'

bob macalba

1/12/2012TT, i agree, but its a tricky topic to discuss without being labeled a pothead, hippie,druggie etc. this is done to try and diminish any reasonable discussion on its medical values, how much police and court time taken up, criminal records that need not be, and the HUGE amounts of money going to criminal syndicates instead of back into the community, regulate it, control it, and tax it. take the criminality away then we can all chill, didnt see you at Tanelorn did i TT? cheers

nasking

1/12/2012 Ad wrote: [b]We have had countless predictions of the fall of Julia Gillard as leader, if not by Easter, by mid-year, by year-end, and although we are in her third year, she is still leader and going from strength to strength. They have told us this ‘hung’ minority parliament cannot possibly work, that it is unmanageable; indeed it is ‘toxic’. Yet 449 pieces of legislation have already been passed in this term, some of them historic reforms such as the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, plans for more major reforms are in train this very week such as the NDIS and the Gonski education reform, and the economy is in great shape. How often can journalists be wrong before the electorate ignores them? [/b] Indeed. I reckon the electorate are now taking many of them with not a pinch, rather a bucket, of salt. As you've noted Ad, there are some journos, columnists who move outside the herd...supplying quality views...not sycophantic in their approach to evaluating the govt, PM and their performance and policies...but at least giving them a 'fair-go'. And assessing programs, economic management, foreign relations, service delivery and interaction with the community in a wider context...minus the corporate bias against unions and social democratic politicians. It's so tiring to read and hear so much from the corporate interest, conservative religious, rampant capitalist, defenders of the so called 'wealth creators' perspective...they've had decades of dominance due to the constant undermining of alternative and public broadcaster funding and expression...an obsession with markets and shares and investment and efficiency and productivity has stifled other ways of thinking...and led us on a path towards 'fiscal cliffs'...'bailouts'...GFC tsunami...and a lingering sense that the carpet could be pulled out from under us at anytime. The corporate media has tentacles in so many wells...some toxic...their staff oft not recognising they are spreading the poison each time they write...open their gobs...express an opinion reflecting that which ensures a secure job and can pass through the gatekeepers' critical, agenda-ridden post... in the process forgetting to be something more than just a corporate hack...strings pulled by editors whose strings are pulled by barons whose strings are pulled by advertisers. N'

nasking

1/12/2012 in the process forgetting to be something more than just a corporate hack...strings pulled by editors whose strings are pulled by barons whose strings are pulled by advertisers and shareholders.

2353

1/12/2012quoting Sick Ian Crisp [quote]The other similarity between Breivik and sic(k) Ian Crisp is they both like John Howard's policies. By the way, the Sir in Ian Crisp's name is probably illegal unless he has changed is name by deed poll or was knighted prior to the introduction of the Australian Honours System. On the balance of probability that neither of these options have happened - someone who is regularly committing an illegal act has no basis to criticise or comment on what anyone else does! 2353 I’m not a slow learner. When I selected Sir Ian Crisp as my moniker I was ‘young and naive’. We all know now that being ‘young and naive’ explains away all things even those that are illegal. I might have signed a ‘Change of Name Certificate’ but so much paperwork lands on my desk daily that I can’t possibly remember every last piece I have signed.[/quote] However you have committed what seems to be an illegal act - no one has yet demonstrated conclusively that the Prime Minister has. Also TPS doesn't have the resources to fund a legion of right wing conspiracy theorists with chips on their shoulder to dig through the Prime Minster's past until they found something that sounds like it might be illegal if given the right spin by a compliant media - as the LNP does. Credlin was walking around with the folder labelled Gillard/AWU demonstrating the organisation behind it. AA - the Courier Mail leas today with a story about the alleged failures of Community Services in Queensland. The [i][b]REALLY[/i][/b] interesting this is the rabid right wing Des Houghton (thankfully reduced to a two page spread on a Saturday (apart from some cafe reviews etc) is very critical of the Newman Government (not online apparently) for at least half of it over an environmental issue - before suggesting that Palmer should support them again! This is one of the leads in the Courier Mail opinion area today -> http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/well-they-are-not-laughing-now/story-e6frerc6-1226527718631, along with a discussion on why the Aussie Dollar is still high. The worm is turning.

bob macalba

1/12/2012This is the drug that should be made illegal, only product i know legally for sale, that if used as directed WILL kill you, does my head in. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-12-01/tobacco-plain-packaging-laws-come-into-effect/4402590

Truth Seeker

1/12/2012Nas, if all it takes is a couple of "reds", then I would suggest that you always keep a ready supply on hand, and rejoin the ranks of the poetic for the enjoyment of all. BTW thanks for your complementary remarks about my poem. :-) Cheers :-) TT, like Bob, I agree that the misinformation that has been spread around about THC only supports the criminal elements. As a young-un I saw first hand the corruption around dope, when the standing joke in our neighbourhood was that when there was a bust most would be back on the streets within a couple of weeks, as one of the big local dealers of it was the desk sergeants son. From what I have heard, even the big hospitals used by American pollies, bureaucrats and armed forces personnel use it for treating glaucoma. there is much hypocrisy and ignorance around. There is a very good doco called " the evil weed". I have seen it a couple of times on ABC, and it debunks many of the myths about Marijuana. Cheers :-)

bob macalba

1/12/2012Lenore Taylor http://www.smh.com.au/data-point/question-of-character-in-battle-to-bitter-end-20121130-2ame1.htmlFFo

bob macalba

1/12/2012try again http://www.smh.com.au/data-point/question-of-character-in-battle-to-bitter-end-20121130-2ame1.html

Christine H

1/12/2012Dear Ad astra thank you for your insightful article above and for The Political Sword. I am a newcomer to your wonderful blog, happening upon it this year and enjoy reading the worthwhile contributions from all here. I too wish to express my thanks to Lyn for the interesting links she posts everyday, it is evident that this is very time consuming and also much appreciated. Lyn I hope you have a well earned and relaxing break, next year will no doubt be challenging and busy being an election year. I have had a keen interest in politics for many years which I can trace back to the 1975 dismissal of the Whitlam government, I have studied poltics at university and I can honestly say that the state of political coverage in this country, with a few stark exceptions, is beyond comprenhension. As you say in your article above Ad astra and as Mike Carlton observed in his usual pithy way, group think has well and truly taken over like some kind of communicable disease. Only a few have managed to escape it by maintaining a strick quarantine. I have given up on programs like The Drum and 7.30, which I would not miss when Mr O'Brien was in the chair but the mediocrity that has descended over it has made it unwatchable. As for Leigh Sales receiving a Walkley for her interviews, that says it all, a journo now receives this prestigious award for just doing the job it seems. It is so depressing now to be an avid follower of politics. Where are the invesitgative pieces that seek to find the truth and present the facts for the reader/viewer to then assess and form an opinion? I do not regard half baked opinion from people I no longer respect or regard as professional to be journalism. Barracking is not journalism. I watch QT I understand the process and what occurred there and what so called journalists are serving up is a complete misrepresentation of the facts. The way the MSM covered the PM's misogyny speech or the events re the so called AWU scandal betrays an agenda. It is almost as if the Canberra Press Gallery inhabit a bizarro world. The point this week where I felt reality had departed the scene was the press conference the PM gave on Monday where she again answered all questions put to her, some of them quite stupid and ignorant, faced up to the inane questions of J Bishop in QT and apparently the assessment of esteemed (in their own minds anyway) Press Gallery was the PM still had questions to answer but they then failed to specify which questions needed answering. Seriously, have these people had a collective lobotomy? The questions I want answered is why Mark Baker has not been upfront about his relationship with Nick Styant Brown and why is NSB hanging on to legal files from 20 years ago? Having worked in various legal offices during the 1980s I can say from experience that this is most unusual. Others here have expressed opinions that I whole heartedly agree with the media are letting us down badly, the Prime Minister Julia Gillard and the Labor government is getting on with the job of governing responsibly bringing to fruition policies that will improve the lives of all Australians whilst Abbott on the other hand, being the dilettante he is only concerns himself with the pursuit of his own ambitions. Abbott has no regard for the way his behaviour and actions are damaging the institution of Parliament and the office of the PM. Really, what state of affairs are we at when members of parliament and journalists who occupy positions of privelge in this country can abuse that privilege by accusing the Prime Minister of criminal activity based on nothing more than innuendo and their own fevered imaginings without serious repercussions? Decent, honourable people would realise their error and do the honourable thing and apologise or resign but these are not the kind of people we have here. Anyway thats my two cents worth, thanks again for this wonderful blog, we would all be bereft without it.

bob macalba

1/12/2012Truth Seeker. Its a bit like,-if you have knowledge or know to much you must be involved, so if you are a user in any way you are less likely to get involved in any sort of debate so as you dont draw unwanted attention to yourself, its madness because they are the real players in any discussion, the ones that know, even now typing this is enough to feel a bit uneasy about unwanted attention and i aint got nothing to hide, cheers

bob macalba

1/12/2012forgive my punctuation still getting hang of this

bob macalba

1/12/2012Sgt STEDENKO, your not reading this blogsite are you?

Teddy Sea

1/12/2012Thank you so much for your clarity on the matter of the decline in standards of the media. I summarise theirs and the oppositions stance lately as 'no facts .. no substance .. no credibility' We can't change the decline in standards and thus raise the media credibility can we? It's on the way out as a medium to be trusted and will continue to sink into dubious right wing opinion and theatre. Can we educate people to ignore them ... not buy .. switch off .. ? Is there anyone who can start a real campaign for truth and balance and fair reporting? The Global Mail http://theglobalmail.createsend1.com/t/ViewEmail/r/B7DC07CCBEEFD10A/78A904A0D081721DDCC9454293137CA2 & The Conversation http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/ViewEmail/r/7E1333B55160CF50/1985144C82EB973E81176E9AA71FFAE9 Crikey and New Matilda are all great online sources.

David

1/12/2012Thanks for a beaut well researched article. Made for great reading and there is nothing in it I could disagree with. It is by publishing the truth, not lies and self satisfying glorification that encourages myself and many many others to seek out this and similar on-line media to get the facts. 5th Estate 10 MSM 0

Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

1/12/2012 Hey Twitter friends Teddy Sea and David (now I recognise the pic!): nice to see you here! Christine H: Really enjoyed your stirring two cents worth :-). Teddy Sea: You might be interested in Barry Tucker's site 'Truth in Media Resource Centre' at: http://truthinmediaresourcecentre.wordpress.com/

Ad astra reply

1/12/2012Christine Hicks Welcome to [i]The Political Sword[/i] family, and thank you for your complimentary remarks. You write eloquently and with precision. I agree with your assessment of the current state of our media. Having browsed through [i]The Weekend Australian[/i] which watching the cricket just now, I was astonished to read that writers there, particularly Chris Kenny, were critical of the poor job the media has been doing, and scathing about the pro-Government bias the rest of the media is exhibiting! Doesn’t bias have a powerful influence. I do hope you will comment regularly here. We shall enjoy your writings.

Ad astra reply

1/12/2012Teddy Sea Welcome to you also to [i]The Political Sword[/i] family, and thank you for your generous remarks. You are right – [i]The Global Mail[/i], is great reading, particularly Mike Seccombe’s offerings, and [i]The Conversation[/i]. It is these outlets that compete with and put to shame much of the Fifth Estate.

Ad astra reply

1/12/2012David I think you too are a newcomer, so welcome to you also to [i]The Political Sword[/i] family. Thank you for your kind remarks about the piece. I hope you will return as we start again in the election year in February.

LadyInRed

1/12/2012Yes Ad astra the Laurie Oakes article was fascinating. But I was more amazed that everything and absolutely anything that Kevin does to lift his profile he puts up on youtube.

Ad astra reply

1/12/2012Truth Seeker What brilliant imagery your poem evokes. You have a lot of talent.

Michael

1/12/2012As Ad Astra observed in his excellent article to found this post's topic, Peter Hartcher's dislike for Julia Gillard has been, and may well remain, "palpable". But here, today: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/pm-lives-to-fight-another-day-20121130-2amng.html what he rights about the PM tells us more than I recall reading elsewhere just exactly why Julia Gillard is our PM in December 2012, and very likely will be in December 2013. And tells us much of why Shouldabeen PM Tony Abbott is very likely NeverGonnaBe. There's some mealymouth stuff in the article, too, of course, when Hartcher 'opinionates', but where he is actually reporting on his interaction with the PM, well, see above...

Michael

1/12/2012Ross Gittins doesn't directly address the 'get Labor' bias in so much of the mainstream media here: http://www.smh.com.au/business/numbers-shed-new-light-on-real-state-of-nation-20121130-2amxx.html?rand=1354280426437 but if you read the article you will recognise that what he writes about that is going unreported might be accurately characterised as mischievous and malicious. No 'good news' for Labor will be allowed. Of course, the greater malaise in the mainstream Press is ignorance and lack of experience to even recognise that ignorance and how to reduce it. Throw in bias, what have you got? You could go down to the newsagent and flick through any Murdoch Press publication to answer that question. Not talking (writing) the truth about Australia's economy is as pernicious as lying about it as the Coalition's sanctimonious bloviaters do.

Michael

1/12/2012Bad Abbott. Well, quelle surprise! Yes, Shouldabeen, when explaining on Friday why George Brandis's opinion as a lawyer is so highly valued, said 'he's a Senior Counsel', and 'recently practising'. Have a look here: http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2006/s1788236.htm And you will find Senator Brandis was made a Senior Counsel in Queensland under circumstances that raised both eyebrows and questions at the time (2006), not least of all because he hasn't practised law since 2000. It was a nudge-nudge wink-wink political appointment, and does not reflect in any meaningful way Brandis's contribution to the profession of law. But then, Abbott will say anything. The question is, does he actually listen to what's coming out of his mouth?

Ad astra reply

1/12/20122353 What surprises me in the Courier Mail article is that Campbell Newman could be in so much strife with his team so suddenly, and so quickly dropping in the polls. While it won't worry Newman with his massive majority, it will play on the mind of the Queensland electorate as a demonstration of what a Coalition Government can and will do. What state Coalition governments do and don't do will affect Federal voting. The voters are not impressed. In Queensland, Victoria and even in NSW.

jaycee

1/12/2012Sir Ian Crisp...:"Let's lighten things up a little and have a laugh. Here, this'll make you wet yourself": (quoting TT.) I've been saying all year: Abbortt Remember The Ides of September! Challenge in November ~ Dead Meat come December! Sir Ian Crisp. I'll remind you, Sir Ian, of Julius Caesar's similar taunt to the auger that warned him of the ides of march.. "The ides of March are here, Auger..and so am I!" "Yes, Caesar..they are here...but they are not yet gone!" The rest, as they say...

Ad astra reply

1/12/2012Nasking As we have seen over and again, self interest governs corporate behaviour. It has ready support from most of the media, whose own interests are served by its corporate mates. It's not surprising that they collaborate. From whence then shall the poor, the disadvantages, the unemployed, the disabled receive media support. Nowhere. That is the inherent unfairness in our system.

Shirley

1/12/2012An excellent historical record of Mr Abbott's slush fund, the people associated with it and damaged by it. I was amazed by some of the names mentioned and how with the passage of time details quickly of these events fade from collective memory. Mr Abbott should remember "people in glass houses should not throw stones" A few words spring to mind Karma Misogyny patriarchy Ethics and morals [b]http://www.smh.com.au/specials/abbottaffair/[/b]

Ad astra reply

1/12/2012Rocco Do you have the links to those articles?

TalkTurkey

1/12/2012Wow. Pomes to the right of me, verse to the left, And when his Muse moves him Nasking is quite deft At coining a metaphor, turning a phrase - And to new Swordsfolks, Welcome! It's like . . . It's a CRAZE! Nasking your poetry feels like real literary poetry, the stuff to win prizes, I know that because it's always the poems with imagery like that that do win!. But you made me look up Wikipedia for Manitou: [i]Manitou are the spirit beings of Algonquian groups of Native Americans. Manitou is similar to the East Asian qi, the Hindu Brahman or the Japanese kami.[citation needed] This spirit is seen as a contactable person as well as a concept. Everything has its own manitou—every plant, every stone, even machines.[citation needed] The term was already widespread at the time of European contact. In 1585 when Thomas Harriot recorded the first glossary of an Algonquian language, Roanoke (Pamlico), he included the word mantóac meaning "gods" (with a plural ending). Similar terms were found in nearly all of the Algonquian languages. In some Algonquian traditions, the term Gitche Manitou is used to refer to a Great Spirit or supreme being. The term was similarly adopted by Anishnaabe Christian groups such as the Ojibwe to refer to the monotheistic God of Abrahamic tradition by extension, often due to missionary syncretism. However, the term has analogues dating back before European contact. In the shamanistic traditions the manitous (or manidoog or manidoowag) are connected to achieve a desired effect, like plant manitous for healing or the buffalo manitou for a good hunt.[/i] So I got that bit. Patricia never has a woman roared as *J*U*L*I*A* is roaring, her voice is heard all over the world, and she has changed forever the Australian culture of misogyny - which I insist means primarily [i]contempt[/i] for women - because as Abbortt has found to his cost, it isn't about punching heads with fists in this world, but with brains, and in that department he is a flyweight. (Oh I just realized it's been a while since I heard "Handbag Hit Squad", I think the media and the Opposition have got the picture at last, yes Labor women are powerful, they're not there for decoration. I quite like that expression now. It's ours now!) Truth Seeker this is a wonderful Party you threw, reminds me of The Drover's Dream actually. Now TS I have hesitated to mention this, but, here goes, do you think you really need to insert . . . between the phrases? I don't think they're necessary at all, though perhaps you might carefully employ punctuation as per normal, commas, quote marks, italics, semicolons etc. The thing is, if the verses scan, the reader will work the cadences out h/self. I am only saying this because I think maybe you think that people need more help than we do. Although, I grant you, some people would mess up a reading of Little Miss Muffet if they got the chance. But your verse will be . . . more beautiful . . . if it doesn't keep having . . . these hiccups! Bob and TS, thanks for the comments, yeah well I have decided to make my feelings clear on this issue as on the issue of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians of Gaza, they both are fraught with paranoid thoughts and not without reason. But anyway I do speak out, albeit with some trepidation on both fronts. Gee there's several newies, all I can say is Welcome, I'm sort of tuckered out, Oh but Christine! You are exactly the sort of creature we love to entrap, you make us proud and sure of ourselves too. I tought I taw a TweetyBird flitting around Twitter this morning, I [i]did,[/i] I [i]did[/i] taw a TweetyBird . . .

Sir Ian Crisp

1/12/2012[quote][i]Bad Abbott. Well, quelle surprise! Yes, Shouldabeen, when explaining on Friday why George Brandis's opinion as a lawyer is so highly valued, said 'he's a Senior Counsel', and 'recently practising'. Have a look here: www.abc.net.au/.../s1788236.htm And you will find Senator Brandis was made a Senior Counsel in Queensland under circumstances that raised both eyebrows and questions at the time (2006), not least of all because he hasn't practised law since 2000. It was a nudge-nudge wink-wink political appointment, and does not reflect in any meaningful way Brandis's contribution to the profession of law. But then, Abbott will say anything. The question is, does he actually listen to what's coming out of his mouth? Michael [/i][/quote] Relax Michael, it's been done before. Track the 'stellar' career of Billie Einfeld and Syd Einfeld's (ALP pollie) son ex- judge Marcus Einfeld and his occasional excursion to the chthonic world. If that doesn’t amuse you toss in ALP ‘luminary’ and ex-high court judge Lionel Keith Murphy. Judge Murphy was so pure and chaste that we mere mortals may not view his personal file for a number of years. His life was so exemplary we would blush at our shortcomings in comparison. Does anyone know what happened to Murphy's "little mate"?

jaycee

1/12/2012I see McClymont won a walkley for her piece on Thomson!!!???? I'm bloody amazed that after all that bullshit, she didn't spell Thomson with a "P"! Unbelievable!..The MSM....talk about a masturbation circle!

Truth Seeker

1/12/2012Ad, thank you for your very complimentary comments on my poem, I do appreciate and value your opinion. Cheers :-) :-) Bob, I hear you, and do feel a bit the same, but it has been something that I have been passionate about for a long time. TT, thanks for your complementary response to my poem, although it was supposed to be a party thrown by the Abbott. :-) I do the spacing on my poems for two reasons; Firstly as the poems that I post are predominantly satirical in essence, I like to be able to emphasise the cadence to gain maximum impact for every line, some of which contain subtle truths or inferences hidden within, that can get lost by reading them too quickly, and I find when writing them it also helps me maintain the flow for the next line. Secondly, when reading poetry, I find that if I don't get the natural cadence of a line, I HAVE to re-read the line until I do, which then interrupts the flow of the poem for me. Maybe its a muso/songwriter thing, as songs have a way to dictate the spacing of syllables to make the whole thing work. I do understand where you are coming from though, and I don't tend to do it when writing more serious verse, but with such a wide variety of readers, my hope is that it makes poetry more inclusive for those that might otherwise not have the passion for it that we do. I would be very interested to hear what other readers/ posters think. Cheers :-)

jaycee

1/12/2012Tony's been done like a dinner..The Libs have been done like a dinner...The MSM. has been done like a dinner.....Now..NOW..they will start to get real dirty!..Now they are as mean as a cut snake..they will try something desparate...get ready for it before christmas!

uriah

1/12/2012Thank You,Lyn and Ad for your wonderful articles and insights. To yourselves and all at TPS,I wish you a very merry christmas and a happy and prosperous new year.

Sir Ian Crisp

1/12/2012[quote][i] Credlin was walking around with the folder labelled Gillard/AWU demonstrating the organisation behind it. 2353 [/i][/quote] Do you honestly think Credlin should have a copy of the Sportsman or the TV Guide tucked under her arm? Of course she had a folder on Gillard and the AWU. As I said, I was young and naive when I selected my moniker.

jaycee

1/12/2012No, Sir Ian..not "young and naive"...but I bet you were a "Richo Boy"!..you have the smell of "frustrated right wing Labor!"

2353

1/12/2012Again Sick Ian Crisp misses the point. No one has yet demonstrated any crime committed by the Prime Minister of Australia, unlike the illegal use of the title "Sir". Credlin having the file was instructive - thats all, it wasn't illegal. It showed the intent of the LOTO's office to smear the Prime Minister without proof of any actual crime, regardless of Bishop the (slightly) Younger's willingness to place herself inbetween her "esteemed" leader and a fate similar to Turnbull's when the plan inevitably went pearshaped - as it did. If even the media is again you Crispy, you really don't have any argument. Like Troll from Melbourne, if you believe the Prime Minister has questions to answer you need to specify the question. So far, all anyone has produced is assertions (refer the previous topic for an explanation). So your challenge is to cut the crap and describe exactly what question/s you want the PM to answer. Troll from Melbourne has hardly been seen since he was asked - bet you don't do any better.

Michael

1/12/2012Sir Ian, George B had a "little mate" of his own a while back: GEORGE BRANDIS: [speaking about Godwin Grech on Lateline, August 5, 2009] "...for a person who wants to blow the whistle on concerns he has about the way in which a government department is being - program is being administered, to go to the Opposition, alert them to the problems, suggest lines of inquiry to them, is completely appropriate... And in going to the Opposition, suggesting to Senator Abetz lines of inquiry that would direct Mr Grech particularly to the matters he wanted to put into the public arena, he was behaving completely appropriately, and so, for that matter, was Senator Abetz." That's the potential next Attorney General of Australia, there. Of course, Godwin Grech only "suggested lines of inquiry" to the Opposition. Nick Styant-Brown dribble-feeds them more and more of a law film's exit interview that he probably should not have legally in his possession, all the time claiming he is acting with nothing but pure intent... Except when today's 'pure intent' is demolished by the PM, he has to find more 'pure intent' to deliver tomorrow. The Coalition are painting themselves into a corner with other peoples' brushes and yet others' paint, but it's Bishop, Abbott and Brandis who'll be stranded in that corner.

Ad astra reply

1/12/20122353, uriah Thank you for your kind words and your good wishes. I hope we can all take a break from the political tumult of 2012. I’m calling it a day.

Sir Ian Crisp

1/12/2012[quote][i] [...] Like Troll from Melbourne, if you believe the Prime Minister has questions to answer you need to specify the question. So far, all anyone has produced is assertions (refer the previous topic for an explanation). So your challenge is to cut the crap and describe exactly what question/s you want the PM to answer. Troll from Melbourne has hardly been seen since he was asked - bet you don't do any better. 2353 [/i][/quote] Tried that once before. I was chided for having an opinion so I confine myself to using just a few lines. And I'm sticking to my young and naive line.

Sir Ian Crisp

1/12/2012[quote][i]Sir Ian, George B had a "little mate" of his own a while back: GEORGE BRANDIS: [speaking about Godwin Grech on Lateline, August 5, 2009] "...for a person who wants to blow the whistle on concerns he has about the way in which a government department is being - program is being administered, to go to the Opposition, alert them to the problems, suggest lines of inquiry to them, is completely appropriate... And in going to the Opposition, suggesting to Senator Abetz lines of inquiry that would direct Mr Grech particularly to the matters he wanted to put into the public arena, he was behaving completely appropriately, and so, for that matter, was Senator Abetz." That's the potential next Attorney General of Australia, there. Of course, Godwin Grech only "suggested lines of inquiry" to the Opposition. Nick Styant-Brown dribble-feeds them more and more of a law film's exit interview that he probably should not have legally in his possession, all the time claiming he is acting with nothing but pure intent... Except when today's 'pure intent' is demolished by the PM, he has to find more 'pure intent' to deliver tomorrow. The Coalition are painting themselves into a corner with other peoples' brushes and yet others' paint, but it's Bishop, Abbott and Brandis who'll be stranded in that corner. Michael [/i][/quote] You're right Michael but we EXPECT that sort of behaviour from the Lib-NP people. But to have the 'progressive ALP' people behave in that manner.....well now. It's just not on because they are progressive (cough cough). Not being privy to Stayant-Brown's exit from S&G I am prepared to think that he wanted certain things handed over to him upon his termination. He might have said something along the lines of "...I'm not going to have this matter visit me 10 years or more down the track so I want a copy of certain documents and failing that I might become a talkative type of person." So Stayant-Brown may in fact be in possession of those documents legally. Seeing that the PM and S&G have been traduced in the print media why no legal action? Guantanamo Bay pin-up boy sued a radio station for calling him a "grub" and "bludger" and welfare cheat. Stronger words have been hurled at the bird of paradox but no action. And Pickering has dared S&G to sue him; he has invited that law firm to sue him. Why not action? Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/habib-sues-over-grub-bludger-claims-on-radio-20111017-1lsro.html#ixzz2DnSWzGlY

TalkTurkey

1/12/2012Remember this, what fun! Thanks to The SQib‏@The_SQib “@CoolElectricCar: Julia Gillard jokes while Abbott chokes! http://youtu.be/JyZkvqlRDbo ” HILLARIOUS STUFF! Go PM JG! #Auspol #destroyingthejoint

42 long

1/12/2012Think abbott must have an obsessive compulsion to want to put red heads in Gaol. What was done to Pauline Hanson was shamefull. she was Gaoled and released the detailed circumstances of which elude me but I think she was cleared of whatever charge she was convicted of. There is no doubt of Abbotts involvement. and has been proven to have lied about many aspects of that. This guy goes off at others who are far less guilty of what he is accusing them of than He has been in the past. Is this some kind of projection or has this guy got a more serious problem in finding himself. I don't think that waiting for the answer to that concern is a safe course of action for australia. There are more than ever very serious matters to be dealt with, in the era we are in. All abbott cares about is getting control, but That facet of his personality is deeply troubling as he seems to lack objectivity. This clouds his judgement He really believes that he is destined to be the great leader. His impatience is obvious. Pretty scary. Think what he owes his backers. THAT is not in the interests of this country.

Tom of Melbourne

1/12/2012Here’s some [b]questions[/b] that I’d like Gillard to answer (though I have posed them previously) 1. Why did you lie to Wilkie? 2. Why are you a dishonest, homophobic racist? 3. Why did you create a conflict of interest that caused your employer to lose its biggest client? 4. Why did you put interests of your boyfriend in front of the interests of your employer and your fee paying client? 5. Why did you confuse your personal affairs with your responsibilities as a solicitor? 6. How can you claim that you were “young & naïve’ when you were actually middle aged, a partner and an experienced political activist? 7. How can you describe your role in establishing the slush fund as “limited” when you did all the work in having it registered? 8. Other than simply signing the documents you prepared, what other work was involved in establishing the slush fund? 9. Why did you previously say you didn’t need to tell the police about the funds as they were already investigating, but this isn’t a fact? 10. What was your role in lobbying the WA regulator to have the slush fund approved? 11. Are you a habitual liar?

Jason

2/12/2012ToM, Why are you frightend to ask such questions under your own name? Could it be you're Gutless and a coward?

nasking

2/12/2012 [b]Firstly as the poems that I post are predominantly satirical in essence, I like to be able to emphasise the cadence to gain maximum impact for every line, some of which contain subtle truths or inferences hidden within, that can get lost by reading them too quickly, and I find when writing them it also helps me maintain the flow for the next line. Secondly, when reading poetry, I find that if I don't get the natural cadence of a line, I HAVE to re-read the line until I do, which then interrupts the flow of the poem for me. Maybe its a muso/songwriter thing, as songs have a way to dictate the spacing of syllables to make the whole thing work[/b]. Truth Seeker, indeed...our heads work in wondrous ways...so diverse...we see the world...hear it...interpret it...in different yet equally valuable ways... the offer is there to accept or stare with gaping gawk or barely a share if all of life was seen in colours so fair...there would be no reason to attend the 'fair'... where clowns and barkers and twilight artists survive the predictability of government share we each have a place visited once or twelve...thru tunnels and mine fields...we all love to cherish acknowledging eight is less like a scared snake than the answer we sought all along and so we enter the chapels...and the ruins of echoes...dressed in the owl's evening wear... chuckling to ourselves about the level of the thrills and the sense the chill will not be ours... looking about we see the reflection of love in the strangest of eyes and in the ones past and to be assured we sing...of the hope and the free and the ones who helped build that street til we get home and munch on a bone and a ignore the phone telling of the bomb that exploded and the kid with the habit of acting savage who went to the war without constraint based on a flag gracious to lads flavoured with waving and brag of character we thought we once used to be and so it is...this histrionic history...filled with OI OI OI...like the liquid in the ground missing the L...and some coffee we are ever confused...searching for truth...assured by the talk of love, peace and Ruth be to be sure on the road at ever great speed in mind and dreaming things...that's a whole nuther spin where fathers drank Bacardi and Gin... N'

nasking

2/12/2012 BTW Truth Seeker i read out loud yer entire poem to,Stace...she was tired...but remained in seat without yawn...enthralled by poem's end...indeed...a wee bit long...but appreciated for the depth and the funny as flow...and the apt which helps appreciation grow. :D Worth multiple readings...and performance once refined. N'

nasking

2/12/2012 Here’s some questions that I’d like Gillard to answer (though I have posed them previously) 1. Why did you lie to Wilkie? Why did the media put her in a situation where the PM had to compromise? 2. Why are you a dishonest, homophobic racist? How many bills went thru to improve the lives of gays and lesbians? Ask Penny if Julia is homophobic. 3. Why did you create a conflict of interest that caused your employer to lose its biggest client? It's not about CAUSE...it's about CHOICE. The Coalition backed ABC LEARNING...how many workers, businesses, kids, parents & guardians felt the weight of that CHOICE? ABBOTT AND HOWARD AND COSTELLO AND OTHERS CHOSE TO BACK PRIVATE HEALTHCARE...HOW MANY DIED...SUFFERED...BECAUSE OF THAT CHOICE? Do YOU really want to continue down this road? 4. Why did you put interests of your boyfriend in front of the interests of your employer and your fee paying client? Geez, I wonder why you wouldn't get this TOM...considering yer OBSESSION. 5. Why did you confuse your personal affairs with your responsibilities as a solicitor? SEE ABOVE. 6. How can you claim that you were “young & naïve’ when you were actually middle aged, a partner and an experienced political activist? How old did you feel in yer early 30s TOM? Knowing you...a hundred...going on filthy fifteen. 7. How can you describe your role in establishing the slush fund as “limited” when you did all the work in having it registered? Ask Tony. 8. Other than simply signing the documents you prepared, what other work was involved in establishing the slush fund? Not referring to it as a 'slush fund' for one. Two, helping those clients cared about...TRUSTING THEY WOULD DO THE RIGHT THING...SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW ALL ABOUT TOM. 9. Why did you previously say you didn’t need to tell the police about the funds as they were already investigating, but this isn’t a fact? CAREFUL TOM. 10. What was your role in lobbying the WA regulator to have the slush fund approved? PERHAPS IF YOU OPEN YER EARS... 11. Are you a habitual liar? AGAIN...DO YOU REALLY WANT TO GO DOWN THIS ROAD TOM THAT NOBODY REALLY KNOWS?...HIDDEN FROM SIGHT IN CASE WE GET A FRIGHT?...OR IS IT REALLY JUST THE FACT YER INFLUENTIAL RIGHT...SCARE TO REVEAL...IN CASE WE BITE...THE MAN WHOSE LIFE DESCRIPTION AIN'T QUITE RIGHT...RARELY CONTRITE...FOR SPEAKING SUCH TRIPE...AS THO INJECTED WITH STEROIDS AND MIGHT...FROM MASTER PREFERS YE KEEP OUT OF SIGHT? N'

nasking

2/12/2012 Cheers TT. Keep up the great work. We've had our good times... and differences...good... I can't abide too much goodwill...a wee bit is nice when the effort is thrice...but too much makes me suspect I've been made MAN OF THE YEAR by a media grotesque...just before they desire a BIG BITE. So the positive observation is appreciated. And the kick. Makes you real. And probably giving a damn. I'd rather you YOU... than a fake and a sham. N'

nasking

2/12/2012 [b]Think abbott must have an obsessive compulsion to want to put red heads in Gaol. What was done to Pauline Hanson was shamefull. she was Gaoled and released the detailed circumstances of which elude me but I think she was cleared of whatever charge she was convicted of. There is no doubt of Abbotts involvement. and has been proven to have lied about many aspects of that. This guy goes off at others who are far less guilty of what he is accusing them of than He has been in the past. Is this some kind of projection or has this guy got a more serious problem in finding himself. I don't think that waiting for the answer to that concern is a safe course of action for australia[/b]. 42 long Indeed. Catholic Church...rather imprison that which cannot be permitted...than let it run free. N'

nasking

2/12/2012 [b]As we have seen over and again, self interest governs corporate behaviour. It has ready support from most of the media, whose own interests are served by its corporate mates. It's not surprising that they collaborate. From whence then shall the poor, the disadvantages, the unemployed, the disabled receive media support. Nowhere. That is the inherent unfairness in our system.[/b] Indeed Ad...indeed. Even when they bring the plight of these people up...it's part of an AGENDA. Like the cuddly animal...reduced to sweet...instead of complex and evolving...possibly oneday...replacing US. Or ancestor US. Connected to US. AHHH...there is the rub. N'

Truth Seeker

2/12/2012Nas, thanks for your reply... you really do have a talent in the classical style of verse and prose. As TT said (paraphrasing) the type that win prizes in competitions! Well done. No yawn is a good thing from one tired, and I appreciate Stace's appreciation. Please thank her for me and wish her well. I did contemplate another four or five verses, including more of the motley crew, but instead opted for the extended last stanza to emphasise the flawed and puerile thinking processes of the man. Cheers :-)

nasking

2/12/2012 Sir Ian Crisp, I have no probs with yer moniker... you could call yerself Sir Full Ofit for all I care. Spray like a cat...it's yer choice... Nothing will change the fact...the Coalition have stuffed up bigtime...virtually impossible for them to pull outa the dive now. They just don't have the experts with imagination to do it. Watched Contrarians the other night...example of the smug condescending idiots that dominate the right-wing of politics...and the pretenders' wing. If the Coalition keep heeding the old guard...the likes of Jones, Murdoch, Howard, Abbott, Krogers, Henderson, Bolt, Akerman, Singleton, recruited Paul Kelly, and so many other painful bores and ocker thugs yer gonna get yer asses kicked. Yer surrounded. Ya just don't know it yet. BTW...ya know the Tea Party?...we pushed the RIGHT into creating it...in order to blow off so much steam during the mid-term election it would leave the Republicans divided in the long run...pushed to the extreme Right. I larfed and larfed. Even Morris and Rove didn't get it. Hook, line and stinker. N'

nasking

2/12/2012 http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IEsdiiYkhT8 N'

nasking

2/12/2012 To the so called RIGHT I KNOW WHAT YOU DID WE...KNOW WHAT YOU DID WE HAVE BEEN PATIENT NOW YOU WILL PAY ...V...

bob macalba

2/12/2012According to sky news, only one in five people believe PRIME MINISTER JULIA GILLARD regarding the events ay S.G, also they want you to believe latest Newspoll 46-54 coalitions way, really? bringing on the nonsense so be ready folks

bob macalba

2/12/2012http://www.skynews.com.au/politics/article.aspx?id=822193 heres the story

janice

2/12/2012Ad astra, the media have most certainly sunk to the lower depths of the cess pit since you wrote your excellent piece on Group Think. Seems to me the 'group' has chosen the lowest common denominator to forge their thinking and that comes about when reporters are not made accountable for the stuff they feed us. There are so few in the media one can point to as being truthful, fair and rational thinkers. I am continually being disappointed when, on the rare occasions I feel I can stomach these panels of journalists interviewing journalists, that the likes of Lenore Taylor and even Laura Tingle are inclined to bow to the Group Think by throwing up their hands and tarring Labor with the same brush as the filthy muck-raking coalition. I've come to the conclusion that they do not have the guts to go against their peers' opinions. Anyway, I have already thanked Lyn for her stoic efforts over the past year and sent her my best wishes for R & R and the festive season. So now, I also offer you my thanks and appreciation for TPS and the long hours you have devoted to providing us with this excellent forum. I wish you and yours the compliments of the season and a bright, prosperous and healthy 2013.

nasking

2/12/2012 Agree...from Barrie Cassidy @ The Drum: [b]The Republican strategy in the prosecution of the Whitewater story was to focus not so much on the end game, but to simply and constantly remind the public that the Clintons once associated with shady characters. Stupidly, Coalition MPs were backgrounding journalists that that was their strategy in the AWU case as well. At the end of the Whitewater media saturation, the public did not focus so much on shady characters from the past; they were left confused, certainly, but nevertheless satisfied that Clinton's opponents had gone flat out to destroy the president and came up empty. That's the risk again for the opposition in this strikingly similar case; the breadth and volume of the media coverage - and the intensity and time committed to it by the Coalition - can only be justified if in the minds of the public there was ever a reasonable chance that the Prime Minister did something wrong. To this point there has been no substantiated allegation of wrongdoing, and while that remains the case, the issue can only go one of two ways from here: either it will have a neutral outcome, or it will backfire on the Opposition.[/b] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-11-30/cassidy-drowning-in-whitewater/4398882 The knife thrown hits and bounces back...into... Some cool jazz please... N'

Doug Evans

2/12/2012Don't visit as frequently these days so I missed the opportunity to comment on the previous piece on global warming before comments closed. So even though it's now off topic I'll try to have a couple of words here. First I'm with the many who have already praised the piece. A good summary of the truly scary news from the climate front. Some further thoughts: Anyone wondering where it is all heading and looking for some authoritative crystal ball gazing couldn't do better than read Jørgen Randers '2052'. Can't remember the rest of the title and I don't have it handy at the moment but that should be enough to google it up. For anyone unfamiliar with Randers who has just been in 'Oz' lecturing, he was one of the co-authors to the remarkably prescient original Club of Rome report 40 years ago. This is his 40 year update gazing another 40 years into the future and the message is not cheering. He predicts that things will not begin to turn really nasty until after mid century but that thereafter the descent into climate generated chaos will be rapid and probably irreversible. Three short pieces summarizing Randers' position can be found on David Spratt's blog Climate Code Red http://www.climatecodered.org/ What can we do? Well probably not enough to save our future environmental viability but supporting political parties energetically promoting the expansion of Australia's fossil fuel extraction and export and failing to hold them to account for their massive subsidies to fossil fuel fired power generators and miners is absolutely throwing fuel on the fire. Anyone unfamiliar with these and the relative insignificance of the mining industry to the Australian economy might like to check out the excellent research on these topics carried out by the Australia Institute. Do not vote for such policies or if you do know that you have positively contributed to the coming climate chaos.

nasking

2/12/2012 Lot of brilliant comments from newcomers...and recent contributors...and the reliable pirates :D N'

jaycee

2/12/2012I couln't believe that WANKER: Van Onselen wanking on the ABC. this morning to Jonathan Green about the "tactics" of Tony Abbott!!?...TACTICS!!?..They got done like a dinner...smashed like a friday drunk..beaten like a bogan bully and Van Onselen says'.."Ah!...but it's the tactics".. What a crap artist!...what a p*ss weak ar*elicker!. I have a cartoon from my 1954 "Esquire Treasury" anthology, it goes like this : There's this beat-up looking boxer in his corner between rounds, he's got a black-eye, is battered and bruised and he is being advised by his manager on tactics...:"Now in this round, lead with your left, feint with the right, jab with the left, cross with the right-get up at the nine count." Van Onselen, you're a dickweed!

bob macalba

2/12/2012Ol coke bottle glasses has a piesce in SMH about Abbotts own forgotten slush fund, my laptop gone silly and not letting me copy any links

Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

2/12/2012 Just trying a wee bit of Twitterreporting in honour of our resting Tweety (oh - maybe she's not resting quite as much as she should be :-)) Ross Bowler Tony Abbott: The Australians For Honest Politics Slush Fundhttp://sfy.co/hC96 Nellie @margokingston1 good grief!!! margo has jogged michelle's memory... http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/abbott-has-his-own-slushy-history-20121201-2anjy.html … us tweeters have better memories that michelle! David Marler #qldpol #auspol #Newmania 'Self-destructive, Infighting Rabble@stevenwardill: "Well, They Are Not Laughing Now" - http://ht.ly/fJA4o LynLinking The Liberal Party & its media blowhards in News Ltd &Fairfax (Mark Baker of the SMH) are now in damage control .excerpt http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2012/11/enough.php#more … LynLinking Tony is admitting that he's done everything he could think of to bring down the government ..excerpthttp://auspolfocus.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/its-been-while-but-this-week-was-well.html … LynLinking criticism of Gillard in acting for Wilson is “ridiculous” Pointing to New South Wales Law Society guide of legal excpthttp://coffsoutlook.com/gillards-legal-practices-less-than-kosher-but-not-unusual-lawyers/ …

jaycee

2/12/2012Doug Evans..Your deep concern is warranted...But I am fearfully afraid it will remain till some natural disaster of catastrophic proportions jars humanity into sluggish action...it will go like this : We all remember the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan...we all saw the damage..the carnage..Well, Japan must have been the most well-prepared country to handle earthquakes and tsunamis...but this one event was so much bigger than previous that even the purpose-built sea-walls couldn't hold it back. "But that's a tsunami"..the denialists cry!..."not climate"...sure, we know, it is the damage and loss of life that is the concern..AND I don't fully discount some sub-terranium activity related to surface activity, it stands to reason. But it is the incapacity of society to be prepared for bigger and greater events that is the worry...Take cyclone Yasi...well, you can say ; "we survived and next time..." ok, next time, while we are picking ourselves up and getting some sort of system up and running..what if we suddenly get hit with another cyclone on top of that...a week or so later?...will we be prepared for THAT event...can we be prepared for that? and science is talking of more frequent and bigger... Disaster scenarios yes..but that is what makes distasters...not balmy spring weather! But where the real problem exists, is in those countries with dense populations on the coast...Bangladesh, the Ganges delta...The Mekong delta, etc...there we will see disaster like we have never seen before..worse than Atche (sp.?)..Then, perhaps then we will see concern toward the climate. Until there is a natural distaster that makes the killing fields of Rwanda look like a teddy-bears picnic, I am afraid there will only be lip-service.

nasking

2/12/2012 LUCKY BOY...in the LUCKY COUNTRY Abbott was born in London, England,on 4 November 1957 to expatriate Australian parents. [b]On 7 September 1960, his family moved to Australia on the Assisted Passage Migration Scheme ship Oronsay.[/b] His mother was an Australian citizen and his father had lived in Australia since 1940 when he arrived as a 16-year-old to get away from the dangers of wartime Britain. His father trained in dentistry and then returned to England. Wikipedia Ten Pound Poms http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assisted_Passage_Migration_Scheme Think he could find some compassion...he acts like he's the REAL THING at times...but is more like KLAATU. N'

nasking

2/12/2012 What I really DIG about our UNIQUE and SPECIAL TT? Curious. Knowledgeable. Thinks...wide----- Ever...searching... N"

Ad astra reply

2/12/2012janice Thank you for your comment and your kind remarks. Having commented on my very first piece – on groupthink – you have seen the media’s steady deterioration over the last four years since I wrote that piece, and share my dismay. Your analysis is right: [i]”There are so few in the media one can point to as being truthful, fair and rational thinkers. I am continually being disappointed when, on the rare occasions I feel I can stomach these panels of journalists interviewing journalists, that the likes of Lenore Taylor and even Laura Tingle are inclined to bow to the Group Think by throwing up their hands and tarring Labor with the same brush as the filthy muck-raking coalition. I've come to the conclusion that they do not have the guts to go against their peers' opinions.”[/i] In a group it is difficult to speak against the prevailing views of peers. Too often, even sound journalists don’t have the guts to do so. I believe the same happens within the institutional group. Since Michael Stutchbury, a longtime Gillard hater, has been editor of the [i]AFR[/i], I have noted a subtle change in Laura Tingle’s writings and utterances. Cause and effect, I wonder. Thank you for your loyalty in following my writings for now four years and a half, since June 2008. And a Happy Festive Season to you and yours. I look forward to reading your comments in 2013.

Ad astra reply

2/12/2012Nasking Thank you for your many contributions. I wanted to pick up on your comment about the US Tea Party, and how its extreme positions detracted from the Republican message and lost it the Presidential election. The same is happening here. Cory Bernardi has consulted with Tea Party people in the US and has imported their techniques here. They build their case on destruction of their opponents, so they can gain power. That has been the strategy of the Coalition from the beginning, and continues to today. The policies they have articulated are negative ones – repeal the carbon and minerals taxes, demolish the NBN, not proceed with Gonski, and so on. Their overt behaviour has been destruction. Destruction of the legitimacy of the Government, destruction of its policies, destruction of its achievements, and destruction of its leader, something we have seen in full flight these last weeks with the S&G matter. In an otherwise uninspiring [i]Insiders[/i] today, one revealing statement came from Niki Savva, who in response to Malcolm Farr pointing out that the Government’s achievements this week, for example passing important legislation for the NDIS and the Gonski education reform, and signing into law the Murray-Darling Plan, were drowned out by the AWU ‘slush fund’ matter, said that indicated how successful the Coalition strategy had been. Savva seemed quite chuffed that the Coalition has obscured from public gaze the good things the Government had done, and of course had smeared the PM in the process. This shows the cynical self-serving depths to which the Coalition has sunk – that it believes it has been successful when its destructive intent has been achieved.

nasking

2/12/2012 [b]In a group it is difficult to speak against the prevailing views of peers. Too often, even sound journalists don’t have the guts to do so. I believe the same happens within the institutional group. Since Michael Stutchbury, a longtime Gillard hater, has been editor of the AFR, I have noted a subtle change in Laura Tingle’s writings and utterances. Cause and effect, I wonder.[/b] Ad, I have noted such too. Stutchbury is a vampyr...I dislike his bloodless approach...whereas, I have a deep respect for the courageous and articulate Tingle...as in Laura. If Laura bent and sagged to that prevailing piss and wind...I would be as saddened as when we lost, for some essential time, Margo. We must ensure this does not happen. Anyone have a few spare millions? N'

Ad astra reply

2/12/2012Nasking That piece by Barrie Cassidy may turn out to be prescient. The similarities between the unsuccessful Whitewater case against the Clintons in the 1990s, and the unsuccessful case against Julia Gillard over the S&G matter, are striking. The outcome will be the same. And how stupid were Coalition members in back-grounding journalists that that their strategy was, as in the Clinton case, to constantly remind the public that Julia Gillard once associated with shady characters. Niki Savva said as much today on [i]Insiders[/i]. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-11-30/cassidy-drowning-in-whitewater/4398882

bob macalba

2/12/2012The Leveson report; a true test of who rules Britain [Polly Toynbee]http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/30/leveson-report-true-test-who-rules

Ad astra reply

2/12/2012Doug Evans Welcome back, thank you for your kind remarks, your thoughtful comments and your link to [i]Climate Change Red[/i] and the review of Jorgen Randers’ book: [i]2052 - A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years[/i], which I have bookmarked. http://www.climatecodered.org/2012/11/systematic-short-termism-climate.html It is very scary times we are facing, yet the preoccupation of our incompetent and malevolent media is on what happened at S&G twenty years ago. Let’s not look forward and worry about the next forty years, when dirt can be dug from twenty years back!

bob macalba

2/12/2012JK ROWLING; 'I feel duped and angry' http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/30/jk-rowling-duped-angry-david-cameron-leveson

2353

2/12/2012Troll from Melbourne - putting a question mark at the end of an assertion does not turn it into a question. As you seem to be a bit slow on the uptake - the first on your list "Why did you lie to Wilke?" should have been written as Did you fulfil your agreement with Andrew Wilke to the best of your ability? I don't have any idea on what you want to know from the rest of them as they are based on your prejudices and cannot be answered rationally. If you put them into an appropriate format I would be prepared to send them to the PM's Office for response on your behalf. Another example for you to think about - the question "Do you know the difference between an assertion and a question?" could also be written as an assertion "Why are you too stupid to understand the difference between an assertion and a question?" The first one requests information, the second is not able to be answered rationally.

bob macalba

2/12/2012last onehttp://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/02/leveson-report-press-must-respond-reasonably

Ad astra reply

2/12/2012Janet Thank you for the Twitter links. I am getting a visual image of the emaciated body of the Coalition strategy of last week lying twitching and gasping for air, with the devotees of the Coalition in the Murdoch media desperately giving it mouth to mouth, in the hope that even if it can’t be resuscitated, it can be keep it on life support for a little longer. The story of Abbott’s involvement in the Pauline Hanson slush fund saga, thought to be long dead, is showing signs of life again, with the Fairfax media checking its pulse and giving its chest a few anticipatory thumps, while the Murdoch mob is searching for its shovels to bury it once and for all. Margo Kingston might have stolen their shovels.

Ad astra reply

2/12/2012bob macalba The articles in [i]The Guardian[/i] give a foretaste of what we might expect here should our Government seek to implement the Finklestein recommendations on media regulation – trenchant resistance from much of the media, the Coalition voting with the media, and a few voices, mainly in the Fifth Estate, supporting the recommendations, just a JK Rowling has done in the UK regarding the Leveson recommendations. We can see it coming a mile off. We need to get ready for a battle.

Michael

2/12/2012Recall earlier in the week how 'golden boy' Malcolm Turnbull went on about Australia looking "weak and impotent" by abstaining in the Palestine UN vote? Hasn't had much to say since in the light of both the UK and Germany being amongst the 41 abstainers. Not exactly countries noted, especially in Malcolm's preferred Conservative circles, as "weak" or "impotent". (For the benefit of Peter Hartcher, if Australia had not abstained, there would only have been 40 abstainers. See my post at http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2012/11/26/So-the-globe-is-warming-after-all.aspx listed at November 28. 2012 09:24 AM)

jaycee

2/12/2012"Houston, we have a problem"..has become synonymous with generic problem reporting. So I will expratpolate with..: Social Media.; we have a problem! While there are no end of lucid, verbose postings and articles on social media blogsites, every now and then a timid soul will appear and speak their piece with an accompanying apology for their grammar or spelling or elocution, as if there is an understanding that only those with the magical power of "correct grammar" have permission to voice their concerns! In my world, I am constantly pulled up for using "vulgar language" as if there is a code of "correct usage" hammered out in granite and deposited in the deep, dark vaults where they scribe out the "Oxford Dictionary"! Let's get this "polite conversation" thing sorted and then we can ALL join in the collective abuse of the rancid smegma that is the MSM.! I studied Latin at university, I did my first year and though I passed, was advised that I may find the second a bit beyond my capabilities. I had to agree..you see..the "Latin" grammar one studies is in reality medieval latin as against ancient latin. It is this "constructed grammar" of the monastries and scribes that has such complexity that it discourages all but the most determined scholar (see Monty Python ;Life Of Brian..:"Conjugate! Conjugate!")and it is from this gramatical construct that we derive the gravitas of "correct english". Because, in reality, if one was to translate verbatum the letters and plays and commentry from the ancient writers of Rome, you would be assulted with obscenities and vulgarities would make a warfie blush!...and that was just a matter of course for those days, but..but..because an awful lot of the translations of those texts were done in a more puritanical time, the gross vulgarities were censored or softened, for instance you would have to look long and hard to find the language where Cicero accuses Julius Caesar in the senate of being King Nicomedias' "caenadus"(A*se f*ck).....and I can gaurantee that if Julius Caesar WAS to remark about "yon Cassius there..." he much more likely would have said.."Look at that scrawny,little pr*ck!...I wouldn't trust the ba*tard as far as I could throw him!"....so I say; forget the gravitas all you shy people, write it how you think it..Hell!, I do...although, it wouldn't hurt to use the asterix in place of the telling letter!

Pikiranku

2/12/2012Hello all Swordsters ... I'm back. No, I didn't die, just disappeared off the horizon, meandering around half the country in our little camper-trailer for 5 months. And all very interesting and entertaining it was too. One of the interesting - and deeply frustrating - challenges for us was surviving without the Fifth Estate, with only the MSM to inform us. You don't realise how reliant you've become on blogs such as this one until you're deprived of it for an extended period. The dependence just creeps up on you unawares and the alternative comes as a horrible shock to the system. We used to turn on our car radio to catch the hourly ABC news, listening in the desperate hope of hearing something significant, something worth hearing ... and then turn to one another in dismay: 'Is that it? Is that all that's happened?' - 5 minutes of The Ah-lympics/the US election/Saturday night mayhem in Perth/scandal in Canberra, followed by 5 minutes of sport and a couple of weather. And that was all! No wonder most of the population is so uninformed. And no wonder people are turning in droves to the Internet for their news. The professional failure of the MSM in this country is truly appalling and they deserve the decline they're now experiencing. It's been a combination of dumbing-down and indoctrination - from which people are, very rightly, turning away. Which brings me to the shining light at the end of the tunnel! That's you, TPS, all of you and especially AA and very, very especially, Lyn. I'm very sad, Lyn, that I've only had a couple of days back to enjoy your offerings again before you took off for a spell. But of course there's plenty of homework for me in the archives to fill the gaping hole the past 5 months have left. And I'd like to join all those other Swordsters in thanking you and wishing you a very very happy Christmas and New Year break. Greetings and thanks to you, too, AA - no blog survives without a central stimulus and the work you put into those informative, well-reasoned and thought-provoking posts of yours which get us all going is prodigious. And no blog survives without its bloggers - Season's greetings and heartfelt thanks to all you thoughtful people who contribute so much to the quality of my life.

Pikiranku

2/12/2012PatriciaWA I thought your comment posted at (I think) Andrew Elder the other day was absolutely spot-on. This whole saga has given Julia Gillard an opportunity to demonstrate to us all the extraordinary courage, intellectual command and strength of character which she possesses. I admired her before but now I'm in awe.

Ad astra reply

2/12/2012Pikiranku Welcome back to [i]TPS[/i] after your perambulations, and thank you for your generous remarks and good wishes. It is immensely gratifying and encouraging to read your comments, and see that you derive useful information from [i]TPS[/i]. Your account of what you get here, compared with the MSM, gives us great heart. I see you are as appalled as we are with most of our mainstream media. I heartily agree with your assessment: [i]”No wonder most of the population is so uninformed. And no wonder people are turning in droves to the Internet for their news. The professional failure of the MSM in this country is truly appalling and they deserve the decline they're now experiencing. It's been a combination of dumbing-down and indoctrination - from which people are, very rightly, turning away.”[/i]. We, the public, are in a dangerously serious situation. Lyn’s Links give [i]TPS[/i] a unique characteristic. No other site provides such a service. This year she has added another magnificent dimension – her Twitter feed. She enables [i]TPS[/i] to be a hub for the whole Fifth Estate. We know thousands come here for what she provides. Combined with the pieces provided here, and the plethora of informative and thoughtful comments, [i]TPS[/i] has become a valuable part of the Fifth Estate. Lyn is taking a two-month break while Canberra politicians are in recess, and I am also. I have a lot of maintenance to do around the property, mowing, brush-cutting, pruning, and chain-sawing; as well as many tasks that I have not had the time to complete during what has been a very busy year. Today I began sorting clothes; tomorrow I start on dozens of boxes of photos that need placing in albums; after that the barn needs cleaning up. So although I’ll leave the site open, and will look in every day to see what’s going on, I won’t be around much over the next couple of months. Both Lyn and I need to refresh ourselves for what promises to be a frenetic political year in 2013. Best wishes to you and yours for the Festive Season.

DoodlePoodle

2/12/2012Perhaps I am easily convinced but I have had the feeling for the past few weeks that Barrie Cassidy has somewhat swung behind the ALP. I didn't see Insiders last week but two weeks ago and again today two of the guests have come out in defence of the Govt. Two weeks ago they made Piers look somewhat foolish and today they debated Niki Savva on the points she was trying to make. I have enjoyed our poets contributions. Very clever.

MWS

2/12/2012From http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/national/15532042/theyll-keep-carrying-on-about-this-pm/ [quote]Mr Abbott told the Andrew Bolt program all he really wanted to do was talk about coalition plans for Australia's future. "As far as I am concerned, what last week was all about was the coalition's positive plans for the future," he said.[/quote] So running with all questions from Julie Bishop to the PM for FOUR days was the "coalition's [u]positive[/u] plans for the future?" I wonder what they think being "negative" is? And I wonder who prepares plans "for the past". Surely all plans are for the future!

Ad astra reply

2/12/2012DoodlePoodle I agree, and so has Jon Faine of ABC Melbourne radio, most notably over the S&G matter. They feel this campaign has been quite disingenuous.

2353

2/12/2012So Troll from Melbourne and Sick Ian Crisp want to replace Julia Gillard with Tony Abbott (on the basis that Abbott has lead a blameless life). Sorry to disappoint but this link http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/21852/20040221-0000/www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/08/28/1062028274721.html shows you mate Abbott has been the instigator of "slush funds".

TalkTurkey

2/12/2012[b]..?...[i]Wha'?[/i][/b] Nasking you said December 2. 2012 10:11 AM What I really DIG about our UNIQUE and SPECIAL TT? Curious. Knowledgeable. Thinks...wide----- Ever...searching... N" nasking I am a bit taken aback I must say. That is very nice of you but I don't know what I've done to merit it. Just to know that one has a readience stimulates writing and with it thought, I find, but my ramblings are very scatty, I'm no researcher nor even a very good reader nor very well read even. But importantly, together we can keep each other informed and thoughtful, we're learning day by day from Lyn and NormanK how to drive this medium better, it is really our homework to try to make ourselves as effective as possible in focusing human energy where it will help. Lyn has opened the skies and our eyes, that's why these people are all congratulating and thanking you Lyn, just for us you are boldly going where no-one has ever been, and you bring back treats every day. Meanwhile Ad astra and Web Monkey are working on ways to make it easy for us to contact politicians (and media persons?) at the drop of a hat, Wow. So keep practising those Sword skills Comrades, doubling the fists, deep breathing exercises, vigilance wrt the Enemy's weaknesses, loyalty to our Party, and service to TPS. That's what this blog is all about. This isn't a chat forum (though it is!), this is the self-declared Hub of the Fighting 5th Estate, and there is no nobler cause in defence of our country than to help swell its influence. Funny thing, I'm sure everybody has wrestled with the name of this blog, given the adage The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword. Well this is The Sword That IS the Pen That Is Mightier Than The Sword. The trouble with old-fashioned pens - and swords too - is that they only work in very limited ways. If you don't have printing presses and newspapers and distribution networks, or if you don't have an army, the odd pen or sword is pretty forlorn. But the 5th Estate is boundless. Talk about a cat can look at a King! Yesterday on Twitter I again let Malcolm Fraser know that I think he should offer an apology to Gough while he has the chance, (I did on Nov 11 too btw), and [i]Fraser replied to me![/i] Here's how the conversation has developed so far (I might take it further I think) It started with the irrepressible David Horton the Watermelon Man's tweet to MF, I don't know what went before: David Horton‏@watermelon_man [b]Yeah, look @MalcolmFraser12, probably best if you don't get into a discussion about "dirty politics". #neverforget1975 [/b] [i]I weighed in: [/i] 1 DecTalkTurkey‏@TalkyTurkey @watermelon_man @MalcolmFraser12 [b]I've suggested to Malcolm Fraser that he apologise unreservedly to Gough in person while he still can. [/b] [i]And MF replied! : -[/i] 1 DecMalcolm Fraser‏@MalcolmFraser12 @TalkyTurkey @watermelon_man [b]I have a friendly relationship with Gough. What we say to each other is between us.[/b] [i]At which stage a new-to-me Tweep observed truly :[/i] 1 DecRob Richards‏@DynamicMutation @MalcolmFraser12 @talkyturkey @watermelon_man [b]except many of us still have issues with what went on in 1975 - that wasn't a private matter [/b] [i]To which MF has provided this [b]bemusing[/b] response:[/i] 1 DecMalcolm Fraser‏@MalcolmFraser12 @DynamicMutation @talkyturkey @watermelon_man [b]So true, hashed and rehashed.[/b] D'Uh? I think I MUST follow the old villain up eh? Because I CAN! Love this blog. And Twitter. [i]Together we will rule the world![/i]

nasking

2/12/2012 [b]Savva seemed quite chuffed that the Coalition has obscured from public gaze the good things the Government had done, and of course had smeared the PM in the process. This shows the cynical self-serving depths to which the Coalition has sunk – that it believes it has been successful when its destructive intent has been achieved.[/b] Ad, spot on...and unfortunately even ABC political reporters contribute to the negativity...using a dodgy Galaxy poll and a variety of Liberals to speak nonsense. One can see how they earnt their badges under the Howard regime. --------- [b]So keep practising those Sword skills Comrades, doubling the fists, deep breathing exercises, vigilance wrt the Enemy's weaknesses, loyalty to our Party, and service to TPS. That's what this blog is all about. This isn't a chat forum (though it is!), this is the self-declared Hub of the Fighting 5th Estate, and there is no nobler cause in defence of our country than to help swell its influence. [/b] Nicely put Talk Turkey. N'

Sir Ian Crisp

2/12/2012[quote][i]Sir Ian Crisp, I have no probs with yer moniker... you could call yerself Sir Full Ofit for all I care. Spray like a cat...it's yer choice... Nothing will change the fact...the Coalition have stuffed up bigtime...virtually impossible for them to pull outa the dive now. They just don't have the experts with imagination to do it. Watched Contrarians the other night...example of the smug condescending idiots that dominate the right-wing of politics...and the pretenders' wing. If the Coalition keep heeding the old guard...the likes of Jones, Murdoch, Howard, Abbott, Krogers, Henderson, Bolt, Akerman, Singleton, recruited Paul Kelly, and so many other painful bores and ocker thugs yer gonna get yer asses kicked. Yer surrounded. Ya just don't know it yet. BTW...ya know the Tea Party?...we pushed the RIGHT into creating it...in order to blow off so much steam during the mid-term election it would leave the Republicans divided in the long run...pushed to the extreme Right. I larfed and larfed. Even Morris and Rove didn't get it. Hook, line and stinker. N' nasking [/i][/quote] Gee, thanks for not being upset about my moniker. Be vewwy vewwy careful with your moniker because Jason is suspicious about people who have their say but don’t use their correct names. I don’t think nasking is your real name. You might even think about calling yourself nuthin'king. You sound nervous about the ALP’s prospects in 2013. If the polls are correct the ALP will be able to hire the Kimba Civil Defence Hall for its party meetings. The next time you engineer a group like the Tea Party you might think about letting the other fabulists at TPS know. Some of them were positively livid about the Tea Party not knowing that they were responsible for its creation.

Jason

2/12/2012Sir Ian, You're right I am suspicious! I put my name and address up the other day for you to take legal action and serve me with papers, and you done what? Nothing! PS, I converse with Nasking on facebook once or more a week. I know who he is! same can't be said about you.

nasking

2/12/2012 [b]The story of Abbott’s involvement in the Pauline Hanson slush fund saga, thought to be long dead, is showing signs of life again, with the Fairfax media checking its pulse and giving its chest a few anticipatory thumps, while the Murdoch mob is searching for its shovels to bury it once and for all. Margo Kingston might have stolen their shovels.[/b] Ad, it's another example of the kind of schemer Abbott is...prepared to do almost anything to bring down opponents...which gives you an idea of how he would run his government... no workers' protectors would be safe from his whip...and you can imagine that if many a state government is friend to him rather than resistant...we would have a massacre of RIGHTS the likes of which we've never seen... his intense hatred of unions and anything that has opposed him...that puts hurdles up...will see the most loathsome battles...destructive to our economy... for he is a politician who has created many enemies, and much distrust in his scheming journey to the Coalition leadership. The arrogance of the state premiers of conservative persuasion is already evident to most...once they get their Federal mate in place the mocking and bullying type antics we oft saw displayed on the Howard front bench will raise their ugly heads... and the opportunity for this country to progress in a fair and egalitarian way will be lost in a whirlwind of moral pontificating, unleashed religious bigotry, stomping corporate and mining magnates and execs, floods of live exports, mass destruction of trees, bushland and wildlife, tasers and vicious dogs, fear-mongering and sportsmen without caution nor restraint. N'

Sir Ian Crisp

2/12/2012[quote][i]Sir Ian, You're right I am suspicious! I put my name and address up the other day for you to take legal action and serve me with papers, and you done what? Nothing! PS, I converse with Nasking on facebook once or more a week. I know who he is! same can't be said about you. Jason [/i][/quote] It must have been a draw then Jason. I was waiting for the cops to knock on my door and cart me away. You did what? NUTHIN'?. How do you know it's nuthin'king on facebook? Keep up with technology...there's a good chap.

Jason

2/12/2012Sir Ian You didn't seem to want to give me your address! What was I to do? Mind you mine was real make sure I never find out yours!

Sir Ian Crisp

2/12/2012[quote][i]Sir Ian You didn't seem to want to give me your address! What was I to do? Mind you mine was real make sure I never find out yours! Jason [/i][/quote] What if I go one better and get you Abbott's address? You can visit him and tell him to resign. I can find the address of all the Lib-NP MPs and you can pay them a visit and insist they resign. So waddya reckon big mouth; you want 'em?

Jason

2/12/2012Sir Ian, Abbott and LNP members didn't cross me you did!

Sir Ian Crisp

2/12/2012[quote][i]Sir Ian, Abbott and LNP members didn't cross me you did! Jason [/i][/quote] Well what are you going to do about it bigmouth?

Jason

2/12/2012Sir Ian, I don't need to do anything! You've shown everyone on here what you're like!

Jason

2/12/2012ToM, Can you point to where any crime was committed? Was Wilson and Blewitt charged and convicted? was there a complainant eg Theiss that has said anything in the last 20 years? Where is the actual crime?

Tom of Melbourne

2/12/2012Call me old fashioned Jason, but I think politicians should be capable of a better character test than “avoided criminal prosecution”

Jason

2/12/2012ToM, Call me old fashioned tell me where this crime is! How do you avoid prosecution if there hasn't been any to avoid?

Ad astra reply

2/12/2012Folks It's working. The newly-installed crap detector has deleted some of ToM's recent posts. He reposted them, and it deleted them again! It is programmed to close the site down if resposting continues beyond a fixed limit.

42 long

2/12/2012Great post nasking. You have nailed it. Abbott is a mean spirited union hating seriously disturbed person. You would have no real indication or assurance of the limit of his extreme views, and actions if he got in. Even rusted on Liberal voters are concerned about him. He hates unions as do most of his supporters yet the right to collective representation is almost universally accepted around the world. we will be going down while the rest of the developing world is lifting the living standards up. To the wingeing middle management sheep, who want a capitalist utopian dream of a cringing workforce who are so desperate for work that they will do it for $2 per hour . Get real! What other country would you want to live in? If you don't pay your workers a living wage they cant buy what you produce. Manage your business and do your job right and don't expect to get your profits at the expense of worker's rights. In a competitive environment if one company gets an advantage by dudding workers, the others have to do the same to stay in the game. A race to the bottom. Look at the aims of the H.R Nichols society. That is Abbotts view. The evidence is out there. Don't be surprised when it happens. Look at Queensland. Broken promises and probably a created recession

Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

3/12/2012 Early good morning peeps. A little reading, mainly from blogs. The ‘Truth in Media’ one is a beaut summary of evidence of Ad’s ‘groupthink’ in media. The Elder one also picks up on the themes of Ad’s last post, and he's very cross! [b]Reframe or die[/b] Andrew Elder The opposition's tactic of blocking or diverting from every positive piece of news must be taken as another feature of our political system deserving of scrutiny, rather than as a given which the press gallery and the voters have no choice but to put up with. Hartcher's assessment that the Prime Minister has merely "survived" her most recent test, rather than passing it, is telling; so too is the absence of even putting the opposition to any test worth the name, rather than a recognition that it failed. http://andrewelder.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/reframe-or-die.html [b]Pennies drop and the balance shifts[/b] Barry Tucker The Opposition’s negative attack campaign, directed principally and personally against the Prime Minister, is supported mainly by the News Ltd newspaper group, some journalists in the Fairfax group, a few former MSM journalists who are now “independent” bloggers, the blatantly biased former News Ltd editor Andrew Bolt and (most disturbingly) some journalists and hosts of various ABC television programs. The bias of the hopelessly committed and compromised News Ltd is understandable and will not change until the board wrestles control from the Murdoch family, or the organisation is broken up by government decree as one of the steps towards creating decent and honest democracies around the world. Perceived bias by ABC News and Current Affairs is neither understandable nor acceptable ... http://truthinmediaresourcecentre.wordpress.com/2012/12/02/pennies-drop-and-the-balance-shifts/ [b]Let’s rethink our treatment of boat-people[/b] Julian Burnside If I could re-design the system, it would look something like this: • boat-arrivals would be detained initially for one month, for preliminary health and security checks, subject to extension if a court was persuaded that a particular individual should be detained longer; • after initial detention, they would be released into the community, with the right to work, and a right to Centrelink and Medicare benefits. Even if none of them got a job, it would be cheaper than keeping them locked up; • they would be released into the community on terms calculated to make sure they remained available for the balance of their visa processing; • during the time their visa applications were being processed, they would be required to live in rural or regional areas of Australia. http://www.julianburnside.com.au/rethink.htm [b]The 2013 election is looming[/b] Stephen Koukoulas On all measures, Liberal Party leader Tony Abbott is deeply unpopular. His disapproval rating is among the lowest recorded for an Opposition leader and his policy agenda is universally seen as shallow. Former colleagues of Abbott and Liberal Party elders are on the record saying “he has no interest in economics – he has no feeling for it”, he is “innumerate” and that his future “was not in economics”. http://www.melbournereview.com.au/commentary/article/the-2013-election-is-looming [b]Australia’s two biggest lies about boat people[/b] Marilyn Shepherd (Independent Australia) So, with such clear rules, legally binding on all signatory states – and even non-signatory states, to some extent – how did Australia come to have so little leadership on the three most important and non-derogable articles of the Refugee Convention? http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/australias-two-biggest-lies-about-boat-people/

janice

3/12/2012Ad astra, [quote]It's working. The newly-installed crap detector has deleted some of ToM's recent posts. He reposted them, and it deleted them again![/quote] Fantastic Xmas gift to us all. Thank you.

2353

3/12/2012Thanks Janet, Here's a couple more: [i]Money downunder a economic wonder[/i] http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/money/down-unders-a-land-of-economic-wonder-20121201-2andy.html [quote]Happily, we do boast a few home-grown economic wonders. One would have to be the Productivity Commission, which is funded by the government only to tell it what it doesn't want to know. Having an independent economic body with no vested interests is priceless. And look at super: a marvel the way it has been made farcically bureaucratic and complicated, though I was thinking more along the lines of its sheer size. There's $1.5 trillion sitting there at last count, making little ol' us - actually by GDP per head we're the seventh-wealthiest country - one of the most superannuated nations. That amount is so enormous, it's out of this world.[/quote] [i]An extraordinary week in Queensland politics - courtesy of the LNP[/i] http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/an-extraordinary-week-in-politics-courtesy-the-lnp-20121202-2aoom.html [quote]By anyone’s standards, the past week has been an extraordinary time in Queensland politics. The Liberal National Party, which came to power with an unprecedented majority of 78 seats in March, could not shake free from scandal; three members of the party resigned, while one of the LNP’s biggest supporters, billionaire Clive Palmer, launched a scathing attack on the government leaders and threatened to establish a separate political party.[quote]

2353

3/12/2012Come back Lyn - all is forgiven. I can't even do two links without stuffing it up :D

Ad astra reply

3/12/2012janice I’m sure many others who visit here share your views about the crap detector. It is programmed to detect boring repetitivity. Repititivity is defined by the [i]Urban Dictionary[/i] as [b][i]“The process of repeating oneself and looking like an idiot to the rest of the world at the same time. Repetitivity is being able to use the following keystrokes: CTRL+C, CTRL+V at great speed”[/b][/i] ToM clearly meets this criterion. It seems to be taking an eternity for ToM to realize that if his posts are to pass the crap detector test he needs to refocus his attention on matters that really matter and get off his weary condemnation of everything that our PM does and say, or has ever done or said. We are proud to have a PM like Julia Gillard who gets things done despite all the difficulties inherent in a minority Government, who has courage and resilience, who has the strength to resist the constant denigration of the Coalition and a malevolent MSM and come up smiling and at times feisty despite it, and who possesses the capacity to put the LOTO back in his miserable box.

Ad astra reply

3/12/2012Janet Thank you for your links to several interesting articles. Andrew Elder is always good value. Like others, he is pointing to the appalling state of the MSM. But I doubt if many journalists are listening, cocooned as they are in their echo chambers where groupthink, generated out of arrogance, reverberates endlessly. 2353 The links worked for me. Regarding emphasis, I find it easier to place emphasis manually. As we use square brackets here, for italics, use opening square bracket i followed by closing square bracket at the beginning, and opening square bracket /i followed by closing square bracket at the end of the passage to be emphasized. For bold, use b instead of i. I hope that makes sense.

Ad astra reply

3/12/2012Folks Isn’t it a delight to hear the news and current affairs this morning focussing on PM Gillard’s proposal to COAG to reduce electricity bills. There is even support for her plan, amid of course the expected doubts from Coalition state governments. I haven’t heard one word about the S&G matter!!!!!

Ad astra reply

3/12/2012Folks The crap detector has deleted another of Tom’s repetitive posts. He is a very slow learner. If only he would try addressing something else, something of importance.

bob macalba

3/12/2012Janet, 2353 I came, i saw. i linked, all good and thankyou, Ad, agree with Janet, Andrew Elder very cross indeed, i believe the FIGHTING 5TH vs The Mendacious 4th battle over the coming 12 months will be very interesting indeed, looking forward to it, cheers

MWS

3/12/2012Bushfire Bill has commented on the Andrew Elder piece: [quote]Property writers always find something to spruik about property. It's either a buyer's or a seller's market. To a sports writer "sport is always the winner". Science writers talk up the latest stunning medical breakthrough. But political writers alone seem to take contrarian pleasure in talking governance and government DOWN.[/quote] For more: http://andrewelder.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/reframe-or-die.html?showComment=1354455210907#c2385114138671711695

bob macalba

3/12/2012Coorey, PM; inquiry pledge shows Abbott 'wedded to sleaze' http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/pm-inquiry-pledge-shows-abbott-wedded-to-sleaze-20121202-2ap1v.html nice photo of Tony

Ad astra reply

3/12/2012MWS BB, as usual is in his best incisive mode. Brilliant. bob macalba That article by Phil Coorey is one of his more pathetic. It is simply a 'she said' account of what Julia Gillard said. Coorey hasn't the guts or inclination to express his own views of Abbott's intent. And that is likely because he's off to work for Gillard-hater Michael Stutchbury at the AFR.

TalkTurkey

3/12/2012Last night I tweeted to @awelder Andrew Elder CAN'T be homeless~ He knows that the Right is POMEless!~ :) & he knows the nicer neighbour is the 1 who votes 4 Labor! I cannot think that a person of his perspicacity would conceivably vote for an Abborttian Government. He knows we respect his povs but he must know too that decency and honesty is now, unfortunately, the sole preserve of the Left.

bob macalba

3/12/2012Ad, maybe Coorey,s going to use the article as part of his resume folder

Ad astra reply

3/12/2012TT Judging from what he writes, I doubt if Andrew could ever bring himself to vote for a Party that housed Abbott, even has/had him as its leader. bob macalba More likely Coorey doesn't want to upset Stutchbury before he takes up his [i]AFR[/i] post. Stutchbury has been trained in the Chris Mitchell school where the editor calls the shots and the journalists comply.

LadyInRed

3/12/2012A sensible voice on NAPLAN, at last: Children deserve the best possible education the system can provide - and a public education system that is genuinely responsive to its community, that is prepared to listen to inputs from outside, and that is prepared to prioritise quality, is an education system that more people can have confidence in. Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/one-parents-plea-hands-off-naplan-20121202-2aowe.html#ixzz2DwckeAdC

TalkTurkey

3/12/2012Ad, This magic Crap Detector, does it come in an industrial version? It would be interesting to turn it loose on Australian newspaper articles . . . Great areas of blank paper would result. I am vastly amused that anyone could delude h/self that the Crap Detector applied to YOUR blog, Ad, could constitute censorship. Personally I don't give a rat's about these idiots, they are just scrollworthy, but for them to think they have a right to come here and say what they like, and then [i]WAAAAHHHH! [/i]because they get Crapped is just so funny.

nasking

3/12/2012 [b]You have nailed it. Abbott is a mean spirited union hating seriously disturbed person. You would have no real indication or assurance of the limit of his extreme views, and actions if he got in. Even rusted on Liberal voters are concerned about him. He hates unions as do most of his supporters yet the right to collective representation is almost universally accepted around the world. we will be going down while the rest of the developing world is lifting the living standards up. [/b] Indeed 42 long, what the likes of Abbott don't tell the public is that like Howard this Coalition group have every intention of working alongside their state mates to create a WORKFORCE FLEXIBILITY that will undermine so many hard fought for conditions. They are driven by companies and religious institutions who want to create a cheap and easily manipulated workforce...and obedient big families crushed by debt...consumers who will not question the quality of goods and services...being so fatigued...and kept in line by media, religion and Coalition bullying... with the odd carrot offered to give the sense they care...whilst in fact they allow the rich supporters to reach into your pocket in various ways... whilst women are turned into baby machines...producing the next disposable warriors for their religious and profiteering wars... and producing the next generation of consumers of toxic goods... and producing the next generation of working 24-7 types who have no time to appreciate the wonders of nature...permitting them to create massive factory farms...resorts and casinos and marinas where essential life force areas are decimated...and factories poor poisons into the rivers and sea polluting like cities of the 19th century would spread sewage and smoke. Their idea of progress is for all but the chosen few to live in a moral and financial straightjacket choking and poisoned...obedient...whilst being told you have "choice" and are "free". [b]To the wingeing middle management sheep, who want a capitalist utopian dream of a cringing workforce who are so desperate for work that they will do it for $2 per hour . Get real! What other country would you want to live in? If you don't pay your workers a living wage they cant buy what you produce. Manage your business and do your job right and don't expect to get your profits at the expense of worker's rights. In a competitive environment if one company gets an advantage by dudding workers, the others have to do the same to stay in the game. A race to the bottom. Look at the aims of the H.R Nichols society. That is Abbotts view. The evidence is out there. Don't be surprised when it happens. Look at Queensland. Broken promises and probably a created recession[/b] Well said. We must remember that their utopian dream turned out to be the GFC. N'

nasking

3/12/2012 That should be: [b]and factories pour poisons into the rivers and sea polluting like cities of the 19th century would spread sewage and smoke[/b] N'

nasking

3/12/2012 Janice wrote: [b]Fantastic Xmas gift to us all. Thank you.[/b] Couldn't agree more...let the bells ring... http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZATym-iip4 and the children sing!!! There is a Santa Claus. :D N'

Ad astra reply

3/12/2012LadyinRed Katharine Murphy’s article is very good. Honest and balanced. Having worked in education circles for over 25 years, I offer a considered opinion about the resistance by some to NAPLAN. First, professionals in education, especially at the upper echelons, have a high regard for their own professional opinions, and probably resent Government ‘interference’ in their domain. After all, what would politicians and bureaucrats know? Of course NAPLAN was designed not by them, but by educators. So why should other educators raise objections? That is the nature of professional pursuit. Next, different viewpoints and professional jealousy are a reality that distorts debate about education, as indeed it does about politics. While there are a few ‘absolutes’ in education, such as the accepted dictum that [b]‘Education is a change of behaviour as a result of experience’[/b], there are many areas of contention, assessment being one them. Assessment of students is not contested as a necessary part of education, but since it is also an assessment of teachers, it is they who raise objections, especially when an assessment reflects poorly on their educational endeavours. That, I believe, is why the Australian Education Union and the Independent Education Union voice their objections. They resent intrusion into their domain by an outside agency that shows up some teachers and schools in a poor light. They dredge up information about kids vomiting and overcome by anxiety, without attempting to explain why this is so. Would kids be anxious if teachers assured them that NAPLAN was to see how well their school is helping them to learn? I suspect that it is the teachers and school administrators who induce anxiety in the children though their own anxiety about how well they are performing. Another criticism is that teachers are teaching for the NAPLAN test and of course in the process are neglecting other aspects of the curriculum. Whose fault is that? It is the teachers’ and administrators’ preoccupation with funding that induces then to ‘teach for the test’, (not a new phenomenon), and in the process focus the students’ minds on what might come up on the test and the process of answering questions. While some of the latter is justifiable, it appears that overdoing that aspect may be the genesis of student anxiety. We ought not to be surprised at the objections that have arisen, nor about the findings of the recent study. These were entirely predictable. But to make political capital out of them as Christopher Pyne is attempting, or to disband NAPLAN or make major changes to it is not just wrong-headed, but dangerously irresponsible, as Katharine Murphy hints in her conclusion about NAPLAN: [i]”But I'm going to stand up for the principle of transparency. We can't just have ''the educator's perspective'' in this debate, because the educators are not the only stakeholders. It is not the educators who will wear the consequences of a suboptimal education. Children deserve the best possible education the system can provide - and a public education system that is genuinely responsive to its community, that is prepared to listen to inputs from outside, and that is prepared to prioritise quality, is an education system that more people can have confidence in.”[/i] Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/one-parents-plea-hands-off-naplan-20121202-2aowe.html#ixzz2DwpJInqw

nasking

3/12/2012 The RBA must lower rates in December...the people need a lift...Tony Abbott and his team's constant negativity...and the job destroying antics of a number of state govts have contributed to a bad atmosphere...that only gets worse as Republicans in America try to bluff their way into a better deal for their donors...contributing to the economic unease that will keep people from buying goods and services from those wee companies that provide quality...and are essential to keeping our communities running. If the RBA does not lower rates at this important time it will once again be accused of missing the beat...and contributing to woe. http://www.smh.com.au/business/markets-live/markets-live-investors-shrug-off-retail-weakness-20121203-2apta.html#poll N'

Michael

3/12/2012http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/julia-gillard-heckled-over-plight-of-disabled/story-fn59niix-1226528830078 Murdoch press flagship, The Australian, lies to readers in its own story headline. Visit the link above and you'll find the word "heckled" in the headline. "Julia Gillard heckled over plight of the disabled". "heckle" is defined as 'interrupt (a public speaker) with derisive or aggressive comments or abuse'. Read the opening paragraphs of the story and you will certainly find the word "interrupted". You will also find, as the paragraphs describe a disabled person, Ms Mel Leckie, reading a statement from her wheelchair, this portion: "Ms Gillard stopped speaking and listened quietly, along with the large audience, and after Ms Leckie had stopped speaking, told her the government was listening, and she would arrange for a staff member from her office to talk to Ms Leckie." You will nowhere find any indication that Ms Leckie offered abuse, or derisive or aggressive comments. What you WILL find by visiting this link is the abuse of Prime Minister Gillard by false headlining, a consequent inaccurate perception of events for anyone who does not read past the headline, and thus, also the verballing abuse of Mel Leckie. In short, The Australian's mendacious headline offers another example of a question the "media" needs to answer - why do you falsely represent the actual content of your articles with inflammatory headlines? PS Over at The Canberra Times, the headline reads, "Disabled woman interrupts PM". Which paper would you reckon is doing its job properly?

nasking

3/12/2012 My wife is a Maths/Science HOD...she reckons the NAPLAN is essential...though we both had our doubts when it was rolled out. That probably had more to do with the role of the media...the fear it would be used to bash schools and teachers in struggling and disadvantaged areas. And of course there was the fear that instead of those schools being provided with decent funding and appropriate support, recognising the cultural diversity and ESL and learning difficulties aspects of the student population...and the burden that can put on staff...it was assumed that the test would be used to label schools as FAILING...and staff would be thrown to the wind...schools having made valuable contributions to their communities closed to make way for independent schools undermining hard fought for work conditions and wages....think of the positive role Mabel Park primary and SHS played after the dreadful house fire that killed some of its past and present students...they became sanctuaries of good feeling and healing during a time of community despair. N'

nasking

3/12/2012 [b]In short, The Australian's mendacious headline offers another example of a question the "media" needs to answer - why do you falsely represent the actual content of your articles with inflammatory headlines?[/b] Michael, I saw similar at SMH. There is a sickness in our MSM. They will end up following Murdoch off a cliff. N'

Ad astra reply

3/12/2012Talk Turkey You are right, we need an industrial strength crap detector applied to the MSM. It would be overworked. The term ‘crap detector’ was first used many years ago by Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner in their magnificent book [i]Teaching as a subversive activity[/i], published by [i]Penguin[/i]. I have lamented losing my copy, which I have never been able to replace. But just now I thought I’d Google it, and hallelujah, there it was, in pdf format: I’m exhilarated! http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/smedcohort/files/2009/07/Teaching-as-a-Subversive-Activity-Postman.pdf If you take a look at it, you will see in the index that first chapter is titled: [i]Crap detecting[/i]. This is an excerpt of their words from that chapter: [i]”We believe that the schools must serve as the principal medium for developing in youth the attitudes and skills of social, political and cultural criticism. No. That is not emphatic enough. Try this: in the early 1960’s, an interviewer was trying to get Ernest Hemingway to identify the characteristics required for a person to be a 'great writer'. As the interviewer offered a list of various possibilities, Hemingway disparaged each in sequence. Finally, frustrated, the interviewer asked, 'Isn't then any one essential ingredient that you can identify?' Hemingway replied, ‘Yes, there is. In order to be a great writer a person must have a built-in, shockproof crap detector.' “It seems to us that, in his response, Hemingway identified an essential survival strategy and the essential function of the schools in today's world. One way of looking at the history of the human group is that it has been a continuing struggle against the veneration of 'crap'. Our intellectual history is a chronicle of the anguish and suffering of men who tried to help their contemporaries see that some part of their fondest beliefs were misconceptions, faulty assumptions, superstitions and even outright lies. The mileposts along the road of our intellectual development signal those points at which some person developed a new perspective, a new meaning, or a new metaphor. We have in mind a new education that would set out to cultivate just such people - experts at 'crap detecting'. [/i] [b]That just about says it all, but casts gloom about the possibility of most of our current MSM ever being able to meet the criterion of being ‘crap-free’.[/b]

nasking

3/12/2012 MWS, I agree with BUSHFIRE BILL: [b]Hartcher et al are shitting in their own nests. They've already wrecked the jobs and lives of hundreds of their colleagues by pursuing their Nihilist, post-apocalyptic doom scenarios concerning government and governance. They're also trashing the shareholders who hung onto their stock, only to see it now at penny junk prices. Literally not worth a stamp. Lastly, they're demolishing their own companies by inducing enough punters to believe that there's no hope for us. These readers (the ones left, that is) sew up their wallets and don't bother getting out of bed in the mornings to go and shop. The advertisers, facing reduced business, can't afford to advertise in newspapers.[/b] I do not link as much to Fairfax now. I often skip articles due to the Murdoch empire feel of headlines. I spend much more time now reading articles from indie and alt blogs and sites. I still put up the odd Fairfax link...but sadly much less than I used to. There is a sickness in our media... I do watch ABC breakfast news...even tho some of it pisses me off...but that's balance I guess. I heard ABC BREAKFAST will be extended to 10am for awhile. Good. I like the fact there are NO INTRUSIVE ADS. N'

LadyInRed

3/12/2012Thanks Ad astra for your well considered opinion, it is much appreciated. I have always been behind the NAPLAN and I am not surprised by all the criticism or the politiking - but I am dissappointed that something so important as childrens education, to the child and ultimately the nation, is being used in this way.

Ad astra reply

3/12/2012Talk Turkey Being an ex-school teacher, I’m sure you will enjoy this verse, that prefaces the Postman and Weingartner book: [i]Teaching as a subversive activity[/i]. [i]1 What did you learn in school today, Dear little boy of mine? What did you learn in school today, Dear little boy of mine? I learned that Washington never told a lie, I learned that soldiers seldom die, I learned that everybody's free, That's what the teacher said to me, And that's what I learned in school today, That's what I learned in school. 2 What did you learn in school today, Dear little boy of mine? What did you learn in school today, Dear little boy of mine? I learned that policemen are my friends, I learned that justice never ends, I learned that murderers die for their crimes, Even if we make a mistake sometimes, And that's what I learned in school today, That's what I learned in school. 3 What did you learn in school today, Dear little boy of mine? What did you learn in school today, Dear little boy of mine? I learned our government must be strong, It's always right and never wrong, Our leaders are the finest men, And we elect them again and again, And that's what I learned in school today, That's what I learned in school 4 What did you learn in school today, Dear little boy of mine? What did you learn in school today, Dear little boy of mine? I learned that war is not so bad, I learned about the great ones we have had, We fought in Germany and in France, And someday I might get my chance, And that's what I learned in school today, That's what I learned in school. [/i]

nasking

3/12/2012 From Mike Seccombe: [quote]There are, of course, differences: Gillard’s involvement was only as a lawyer who handled the legal work entailed in setting up the AWU fund. She did not control its accounts, she was not a trustee, she had no involvement, so far as anyone can show, in the disbursement of the funds and did not receive any benefit from them. [b]Abbott on the other hand, was a trustee and did determine how the money in his fund was spent. So his role was more analogous to that of Bruce Wilson and Ralph Blewitt.[/b] That is not to say there was anything fraudulent in Abbott’s case. What it says is that when factional warfare breaks out in political organisations, legal skullduggery takes place. [b]Abbott’s actions 14 years ago were a manifestation of such internecine nastiness. Let us not forget that Pauline Hanson was a creation of the Liberal Party, which selected her as its candidate for the seat of Oxley in Queensland. Abbott himself was even more deeply involved; he employed the man who would later become Hanson’s Svengali, the egregious David Oldfield. (Just another of those interesting personal associations which mark Abbott’s career, like BA Santamaria, George Pell, Cory Bernardi, et al.)[/b] [b]Then of course the Liberal Party and Abbott got rid of Hanson and Oldfield, but adopted much of the substance of One Nation’s distasteful policies on race issues. Then they set up a slush fund to try to ruin Hanson.[/b][/quote] http://www.theglobalmail.org/blog/in-politics-slush-happens/505/ Indeed. N'

nasking

3/12/2012 I used this poem in my classes: DULCE ET DECORUM EST Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, Till on the haunting flares we turned out backs, And towards our distant rest began to trudge. Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots, But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind; Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots Of gas-shells dropping softly behind. Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!--An ecstasy of fumbling Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time, But someone still was yelling out and stumbling And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime.-- Dim through the misty panes and thick green light, As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. In all my dreams before my helpless sight He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning. If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace Behind the wagon that we flung him in, And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin, If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs Bitter as the cud Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,-- My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori. Wilfred Owen

Sir Ian Crisp

3/12/2012[quote][i] [...] If even the media is again you Crispy, you really don't have any argument. Like Troll from Melbourne, if you believe the Prime Minister has questions to answer you need to specify the question. So far, all anyone has produced is assertions (refer the previous topic for an explanation). So your challenge is to cut the crap and describe exactly what question/s you want the PM to answer. Troll from Melbourne has hardly been seen since he was asked - bet you don't do any better. 2353 [/i][/quote] [quote][b]2353 Tried that once before. I was chided for having an opinion so I confine myself to using just a few lines. And I'm sticking to my young and naive line. Sir Ian Crisp [/b][/quote] [quote][i]Folks It's working. The newly-installed crap detector has deleted some of ToM's recent posts. He reposted them, and it deleted them again! It is programmed to close the site down if resposting continues beyond a fixed limit. Ad astra reply [/i][/quote] Numbers, see what I mean. Advance your views and AA runs for a crap detector. Other points of view will not be tolerated.

LadyInRed

3/12/2012Ad astra its easy really isn't it? I think it ought to be one of the subjects journo's study. Core Courses: Communications and Scholarship News Literacy Principles and Practice of Public Relations Introduction to Communications Studies And lastly one of the most popular, and dare I say important courses, for up and coming jounalists, our widely acclaimed course : [b] Don't write crap [/b]

MWS

3/12/2012I haven't read the NAPLAN article, but I would like to make a few points. The testing is carried out early in term 2, and the results aren't available until towards the end of the school year. If the aim of NAPLAN is to identify struggling students and allow for early intervention, then the testing should be done as early as possible, and the results quickly made available to the relevant teacher. If, on the other hand, NAPLAN is primarily a tool to rate the performance of students and teachers, then an end-of-school-year test is most appropriate. As far as I can see, NAPLAN was originally intended to identify struggling students, but is now seen as an assessment tool. Really, we need TWO tests. A private school near me considers the NAPLAN tests so important, they start the school year early, so they have more "teaching" time before the test begins. They also advance the holiday between term 1 and 2, so the children have been back at school longer before the tests. Other schools "recommend" to parents that their child is unsuitable for the tests. All this is doing is skewing the data, to the detriment of everybody. NAPLAN in its original form had merit. However, teaching to the test shouldn't be allowed. If a school's primary focus was to train students to pass exams, then teaching to the test would be useful. Unfortunately, life is rarely as simple as a multiple choice test. (I have a similar issue with IQ tests. A high score simply means that you are good at completing IQ tests. That's all. They are rarely testing "real-life" abilities. And I say this as a person with a high measured IQ)

nasking

3/12/2012 [b]The Economic Policy Abbott Can't Grasp[/b] By Ian McAuley NEW MATILDA [quote]Eliminating the carbon tax, he claims, will save the budget $4 billion and eliminating the mining tax will save another $6 billion. [b]Can elimination of taxes really improve the budgetary position? To get an insight we need to go to the history of a discredited theory called "supply side economics". Arthur Laffer, an adviser to Ronald Reagan, suggested that a tax cut would stimulate the economy to the extent that tax collection actually rises. Laffer was wrong. Tax revenue fell and America’s public debt trebled on Reagan’s watch.[/b] At least Reagan backed up his wacky ideas with a theory, but Abbott doesn’t bother with any explanation. He doesn’t have to, because he just knows he’s right. His arrogance is most clearly exposed in his statement "As workplace minister, I boosted construction productivity by $5 billion". [b]That first-person "I" goes some way to explaining his disdain for cabinet colleagues and for public servants who do the hard work of implementing policy.[/b] [b]The book is a lazy piece of work. He hasn’t even edited out statements such as "The focus of the next election should be the carbon tax, which will swing like a wrecking ball through the Australian economy." [/b]He didn’t even bother to change the tense. In fact, it is no more than a cut-and-paste of the illogical rhetoric that the Opposition has been churning out since Abbott took over from Turnbull three years ago. [b]No one other than a clutch of partisan Murdoch journalists takes such rhetoric seriously. For example, it would be hard to find any economist, on the left or right, who would back up Abbott’s puerile criticism of the Government for practising counter-cyclical management in response to the 2008 crisis.[/b] [b]One of the few consolations of opposition is freedom from the bounds of logic, factual accuracy and economic rigour, and Abbott has used that freedom in full measure. But it does not do for a pre-election statement, which should be much more disciplined. Is it just possible, perhaps, that Abbott doesn’t know the difference between sniping and articulating polices?[/b][/quote] much more here: http://newmatilda.com/2012/12/03/party-libs-could-be SPOT ON N'

nasking

3/12/2012 Ad, this will probably bring back memories: [quote]In an attempt to instill students with these qualities and behaviors, a teacher adhering to the inquiry method in pedagogy must behave very differently from a traditional teacher. Postman and Weingartner suggest that inquiry teachers have the following characteristics (pp. 34–37): They avoid telling students what they "ought to know". They talk to students mostly by questioning, and especially by asking divergent questions. They do not accept short, simple answers to questions. They encourage students to interact directly with one another, and avoid judging what is said in student interactions. They do not summarize students' discussion. They do not plan the exact direction of their lessons in advance, and allow it to develop in response to students' interests. Their lessons pose problems to students. They gauge their success by change in students' inquiry behaviors (with the above characteristics of "good learners" as a goal).[/quote] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inquiry_education I still remember during my early prac days one of my supervising teachers advising me to take a different approach than the lesson being teacher-centric..."Don't just be talk and chalk". Worked wonders. :D You've got to let students off the leash. Discovery...interaction...permit them to bounce views and ideas off one another...assist each other in learning how to learn. You act as a guide. And help set-up learning journeys. In the long run the students will appreciate that certain amount of independence...my film and TV groups would eagerly spend many hours outside of school hours working on their projects...enthused...often negotiating with me...and their group...and they demonstrated so much responsibility and intrinsic motivation. N'

nasking

3/12/2012 [b]Being an ex-school teacher, I’m sure you will enjoy this verse, that prefaces the Postman and Weingartner book: Teaching as a subversive activity.[/b] Ad, shared this on Facebook. N'

nasking

3/12/2012 Janet, 2353, LadyinRed and others...good job. So much useful stuff to read and SHARE. Gonna take a break...my eyes and head hurt much more these days with the cataracts...unfortunately I don't think I can keep this level of reading and posting here and on Facebook up for much longer...each time I finish I feel dizzy and my vision is lousy for hours. N'

LadyInRed

3/12/2012MWS I thought NAPLAN was to identify struggling students? What I now hear is that it has been highjacked by some teachers/schools, educators in general, to be all about them. Perhaps what needs to happen is that more information needs to get out to the public that is balanced, and that parents can then use this information to also hold teachers/schools to account. 'Teaching to the test' should not be not tolerated. It is not just NAPLAN that tells parents how a school is doing? Myself, if I found that I was sending my child to a school that was deliberately focused on 'the scores' rather than the 'students overall needs' then I know what I would be doing....making my voice heard, and failing that I would be removing my child from that school. But I am mindful that is not always possible. It sounds like the debate has focused on giving too much weight to the 'perceived' down-side to testing, with Ad astra identifying the many reasons and vested interests above. If the focus is on the child, then the tests will be fine and the results can be used as intended. It doesn't help when the opposition are using this as a political tool, and where their voice is given too much weight in the MSM. That's why I appreciated Murphy's acticle so much. This is the first time I have really looked at this issue and it is an interesting debate. Thanks to everyone for their comments.

TalkTurkey

3/12/2012Ad astra you are a Legend. You really are a living treasure, across such breadth and into such heights of human experience and thought, so responsive to all of us your beneficiaries. You're a funny feller too, very very dry, just tiny twinkles of humour . . . but most of all you are the best Teacher I have ever met, I thank you on behalf of us all, we are very blessed because, you know, you didn't [i]have[/i] to happen, there would still be a world if your life had been snuffed out long ago, but we are so lucky that you [i]are![/i] Thank you for that poem, it is very deja vuey somehow, whether I've read it before somewhere . . ? But poignant forever. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Nasking that is an horrific poem by Wilfred Owen, he was [i]pro patria mori[/i] himself within days. The inhumanity of Humanity eh, it is as boundless as greed, and we have white phosphorus bombs to this day. I would guess that most of the older Swordsfolk, and our ilk, dared to hope we could do better than we have in avoiding the situation in which the world, aghast, finds itself today. We underestimated hundredsfold the cynical use of Power in pursuit of Wealth to corrupt 'most everything. We have always been too nice, and that's why things are as they are today. We have let things slide - up to and including being complicit in foreign wars. Not that we could ever have prevented it from happening, and we didn't. Dam.

2353

3/12/2012Sick Ian Crisp said [quote]see what I mean. Advance your views and AA runs for a crap detector. Other points of view will not be tolerated.[/quote] Wrong again on both counts - Troll from Melbourne posted what he thought of as questions at 11.49 on 1 December. They we're questions - rather they were assertions but at least there was an effort. What's holding you up? AA explains his crap detector (TM Pending) on the following lines [quote]I’m sure many others who visit here share your views about the crap detector. It is programmed to detect boring repetitivity. Repititivity is defined by the Urban Dictionary as “The process of repeating oneself and looking like an idiot to the rest of the world at the same time. Repetitivity is being able to use the following keystrokes: CTRL+C, CTRL+V at great speed” ToM clearly meets this criterion.[/quote] Clearly it's not holding an opinion that triggers the crap detector, it's the [b][i]LACK[/b][/i] of an opinion that counts.

2353

3/12/2012Line 4 "we're" should be "were not"

Ad astra reply

3/12/2012Nasking I see you agree with janice, as I see many others here do. This morning commenters here have written about NAPLAN, education (and your own and Stacey’s experience), industrial relations, pollution, interesting articles in the MSM, poor journalism, mendacious headlines, course suggestions for journalists, great blog posts, particularly Andrew Elder’s, and BB’s comment on [i]PB[/i]. There has been comment in the news about the NDIS and PM Gillard’s plan to COAG to reduce electricity prices There’s plenty there for intelligent, well-informed discourse, and there has been lots of that. What a refreshing change it would be if ToM got off Julia Gillard’s S&G case, desisted from his continuous spewing of bilious comments about her, and gave us his learned opinion about the matters mentioned above. What is his view of NAPLAN? What does he think about the NDIS? How does he view the Gillard plan for COAG? What does he think about the standard of journalism and this morning’s offerings? If he, (or for that matter Sir Ian) were to address such subjects in a balanced and unbiased way, the crap detector might allow such comments through.

nasking

3/12/2012 Meant to post this: [b]Together we can make the National Disability Insurance Scheme a reality - share this today! [/b] http://www.facebook.com/everyaustraliancounts?ref=stream --------- [b]The inhumanity of Humanity eh, it is as boundless as greed, and we have white phosphorus bombs to this day. I would guess that most of the older Swordsfolk, and our ilk, dared to hope we could do better than we have in avoiding the situation in which the world, aghast, finds itself today. We underestimated hundredsfold the cynical use of Power in pursuit of Wealth to corrupt 'most everything. We have always been too nice, and that's why things are as they are today. We have let things slide - up to and including being complicit in foreign wars...[/b] TT, well said. N'

Ad astra reply

3/12/2012TT Thank you for your kind and generous comments. Education and medicine have been lifelong delights for me, and now politics. It is curious how much in common these have. The principle of ‘transfer of learning’, which refers to how individuals transfer learning in one context to another context that share similar characteristics, has been so helpful in medical education, and now I find it helpful in discussions of politics. Of course, because politics is complicated by aspects that do not contaminate medicine and education to the same extent, analysis is more complicated. But the cross pollination is fascinating.

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3/12/2012Nasking I do like your list of objectives for learning and teaching: [i]”In an attempt to instill students with these qualities and behaviors, a teacher adhering to the inquiry method in pedagogy must behave very differently from a traditional teacher. “Postman and Weingartner suggest that inquiry teachers have the following characteristics (pp. 34–37):
 “They avoid telling students what they "ought to know".
 “They talk to students mostly by questioning, and especially by asking divergent questions.
 “They do not accept short, simple answers to questions.
 “They encourage students to interact directly with one another, and avoid judging what is said in student interactions.
 “They do not summarize students' discussion.
 “They do not plan the exact direction of their lessons in advance, and allow it to develop in response to students' interests.
 “Their lessons pose problems to students.
 “They gauge their success by change in students' inquiry behaviors (with the above characteristics of "good learners" as a goal).”[/i] If only teachers, or should I say facilitators of learning, would adhere to these principles. In my view, [i]Teaching as a subversive activity[/i], although presented in a modestly priced paperback, is one of the best books on education I have ever read. Don’t try to respond to this. You have been very active this morning. You need a spell.

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3/12/20122353 Spot on. Nasking The Mike Seccombe article was great reading. His conclusion is germane: [i]”Surely what matters is their [Julia Gillard’s and Tony Abbott’s] respective plans for the future. “Which is why the only salient part of Thursday’s last Question Time for the political year — dominated yet again by the Opposition’s carping on about the AWU matter — was Gillard’s last answer. “That was the one in which she swatted away the allegations one last time, and set about recounting what this government had done in a practical sense, and what it was still working towards. “She ticked off the positives: raising the tax-free threshold, initiatives on dental care, mental health care, the national disability insurance scheme, implementing school funding reform, and carbon pricing, among others. “And then she shut Question Time down, before Abbott could say another thing. Not that he would have had anything to say — of a positive nature at least.”[/i]

LadyInRed

3/12/2012I remember listening to the radio and the interview was to a principal of a school in Brisbane (sadly I forget which), anyway once a week the school devotes 1 hour to philosophy, where children discuss all sorts of things. The lesson being sharing ideas and getting your point of view accross and listen to the views of others, and just generally thinking bout things. Like moral dilemmas....."Is it stealing if you borrow a pencil and forget to give it back?". This is a video of The Philosophy Club in a UK school: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAqeQYfrLNs

bob macalba

3/12/2012 I know its not a poem but http://www.lyricsfreak.com/d/dire+straits/brothers+in+arms_20040736.html

LadyInRed

3/12/2012I highly recommend this to read. It is really worth the 3 minutes it will take. http://www.dailylife.com.au/life-and-love/real-life/why-dont-men-cover-their-faces-20121129-2ai19.html

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3/12/2012MWS You make good points. I don’t understand why the process of feedback of results to schools and students takes so long. Although it takes a little time for computer processing, and more time for assembling and sending results, months seems far too long. The immediacy of feedback is important. We adhered to the principle that the feedback after any performance, whether it was a summative examination, a formative test, a laboratory experiment, or an observed consultation in person or by video, should be as immediate as possible, but always taking into account the emotions evoked by any assessment. Feedback can to too rapid, but generally the sooner the feedback is given after the emotions have settled, the better. We are talking here of minutes or hours, not months. As I understand NAPLAN, it was designed to not only assess struggling students, but also schools struggling because of the socio-economic status of the students, because of inadequate resources, and because of inadequate teachers and poor teaching. It was designed to identify schools that needed more resources and better teachers, working on the principle that the best teachers should be in the most needy schools. It is sad to read that: “[i]Other schools "recommend" to parents that their child is unsuitable for the tests. All this is doing is skewing the data, to the detriment of everybody.”[/i] Exactly. That perverts the whole concept of NAPLAN. I agree with you about IQ tests. LadyinRed makes a good point when she says: [i]”…if I found that I was sending my child to a school that was deliberately focused on 'the scores' rather than the 'students overall needs' then I know what I would be doing....making my voice heard, and failing that I would be removing my child from that school. But I am mindful that is not always possible.”[/i]

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3/12/2012Folks When will ToM give us his views on NAPLAN instead of continuing his whingeing about this site? The crap detector caught him twice again complaining he is being denied the right of reply, and that he has commented on the thread. If only he wrote something worth reading he might be pleasantly surprised as he passed the crap detector test and someone took him seriously. Here is his big chance.

jaycee

3/12/2012Had to groan when I read of Kate McClymonts Walkley Award for "Investigative Journalism" on the Thom(no P)son saga, after Peter Wicks had completly and succinctly demolished the entire sham investigation! It just goes to show what sort of mutual stroking outfit the MSM. has become.

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3/12/2012LadyinRed That article by Hind Aleryani is poignant. The injustice of it all!

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3/12/2012bob macalba The last verse of brothers in arms is so true: [i]”Now the sun's gone to hell And the moon's riding high Let me bid you farewell Every man has to die But it's written in the starlight And every line on your palm We're fools to make war On our brothers in arms”[/i]

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3/12/2012LadyinRed I have overrun my usage limit, so I’m on dial up speed. So I’ll have to leave viewing your YouTube video until tomorrow, when I start again.

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3/12/2012Folks While Galaxy and those who find its assessment of the AWU matter to their liking write it up to PM Gillard’s disadvantage, Essential Research, a much more professional polling outfit has this to say: [b]Awareness of Julia Gillard and AWU issue[/b] Q. How much have you read or heard about the Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s involvement with the AWU when she was working as a lawyer 20 years ago? 60% said they had read or heard a lot or some about the Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s involvement with the AWU when she was working as a lawyer 20 years ago, 25% said they had read/heard a little and 12% had read/heard nothing. Those most likely to have read/heard a lot/some were men (65%), aged 55+ (78%) and Liberal/National voters (67%). Those most likely to have read/heard a little/nothing were women (42%), aged 18-34 (53%) and Greens voters (57%). [b]Handling of Julia Gillard and AWU issue[/b] Q. How would you rate the way each of the following have handled this issue concerning Julia Gillard and the AWU? (based on respondents who have read or heard about the issue) 39% think Julia Gillard’s handling of the issue has been good and 35% think it has been poor. Among Labor voters, 71% think it has been good and 7% poor and among those who have read/heard a lot about the issue, 39% think it has been good and 49% poor. 20% think the Opposition’s handling of the issue has been good and 49% think it has been poor. Among Liberal/National voters, 41% think it has been good and 21% poor and among those who have read/heard a lot about the issue, 26% think it has been good and 58% poor. 20% think the media’s handling of the issue has been good and 37% think it has been poor. Among those who have read/heard a lot about the issue, 25% think it has been good and 43% poor. [b]Impact of AWU issue on views of Julia Gillard[/b] Q. How has the issue concerning Julia Gillard and the AWU affected your views on Julia Gillard as Prime Minister? 38% say the issue has made them feel more negative about Julia Gillard as prime Minister while 59% say it has made little or no difference or made them feel more positive. Among Labor voters 89% say it has made them feel more positive or made little or no difference. 64% of Liberal/National voters say it has made them more negative while 35% say it has made little/no difference or made them more positive. Those most likely to feel more negative about Julia Gillard were aged 55+ (45%) [b]That paints a different story.[/b] http://essentialvision.com.au/category/essentialreport

MWS

3/12/2012From first comment (by "Dr Dog") on the New Matilda article that nasking cited: [quote]In government we will also seek to harness the food production opportunities offered by the flocks of flying pigs that have recently appeared in Australian skies. Members of the shooters party have been convened to address this new policy shortfall. The testing of our Julie Bishop robot has been a complete success, and on election we intend to roll out this model to take up positions as school headmistresses and bowling club presidents across the nation. We understand public concerns and will ensure that the hair is less metallic and more flexible in the new models. In the spirit of true libertarianism we will legalise gay marriage and marijuana, which will be taxed to provide unprecendented improvements in health services. We have realised that a Liberal government has no place in social issues and therefore will stop being such busybodies. While we acknowledge that George Brandis cannot be available every time, public enthusiasm indicates that there are enough hardheads and nut jobs in the current party to make public floggings a monthly event. Requests for Tony Abbott to be released from his lead lined coffin and beaten will be considered but do not take into account the fact that he enjoys it. Opus dei huh? Does anyone get it? I don’t. Our newly created position of Parliamentary Jester will be taken up by Joe Hockey, and once he is on permanent loan to Channel 7 and back to his avuncular self the government anticipates annual savings of up to 12 million dollars in manufactured outrage. The CSIRO, Bureau of Meteorology and Dolly Doctor will be disbanded for annual savings of some 213 million dollars annually on the basis that Christopher Pyne already knows everything.[/quote] http://newmatilda.com/2012/12/03/party-libs-could-be

MWS

3/12/2012Ad astra @2.54, BB was commenting on the Andrew Elder article, not PB. I was pleased to see that he is spreading his wisdom around, so there is more chance of me reading it. The thousands of comment on PB make it hard for me to find the nuggets.

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3/12/2012MWS The [i]New Matilda[/i] piece was delightful satire and Dr Dog's comment a bonus. Thank you for correcting me about BB's comment I thought it was [i]PB[/i], where he makes most of his comments.

KHTAGH

3/12/2012AA Finally getting the chance to sit & read this piece was a good break well worth the time spend doing so, to catch up with all the comments was an education in its self as always. Have a great Xmas Ad Astra & all that I have had the pleasure of talking to over the months since I found TPS. Many thanks for lyn's contact too. I'm glad to see you now have an answer for TfM's ravings (crap detector), I hope I don't incite the ferocity of said beast.

Ad astra reply

3/12/2012KHTAGH Thank you for your kind comments and good wishes, which I reciprocate. I'm sure the crap detector will not catch you.

Miglo

3/12/2012Ad Astra, congratulations on the installation of the crap detector and another fine post.

KHTAGH

3/12/2012AA I have been thinking since reading this piece, along with your last one. My question is, seeing that the Murdocracy has gone out of his way to stymy & negate any reporting to bring the general public up to speed on this dire situation in every country that he manipulates the media in, for his own person economic gain. Why can't he & his editors who do his bidding be charged in the international criminal court for crimes against humanity. He is going to be directly responsible due to the delay he & his editors have perpetuated, for 100's of millions of people that[b]are[/b] going to die due to lack of food. He should die in jail.

jaycee

3/12/2012I often wonder if the MSM. journos' read these opinions we have about them. I doubt they would even want to, they probably avoid all sightings of social media criticism..like those people who live in gated communities..secure in the sight and similar writings of their colleagues. Continually being reassured by their editors thet they are doing the right thing!

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3/12/2012Miglo Thank you for your kind comment. My hope is that the crap detector will eliminate some of the puerile comment that has contaminated [i]TPS[/i] recently, and that we can enter 2013 with everyone ready to contribute facts, figures, reasoned positions and thoughtful opinions. Difference of opinion is acceptable, but boring repetition of mindless slurs is not. Everyone is welcome to express an opinion, but at the very least it needs to be backed by verifiable facts and logical conclusions. Slogans are worthless; it is helpful comment that we seek. Quality dialogue is our object.

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3/12/2012KHTAGH That is a good question – why are deliberate media lies not considered to be criminal offences? In Canada there is a law against the promulgation of lies in the media. This is said to be the reason why Murdoch’s Fox News does not operate there. The media generally, and the Murdoch media specifically, is trenchantly opposed to any change to the existing regulation of the media, which is by the Australian Press Council, a body that is generally agreed to be a ‘toothless tiger’. Funded by the media, it is susceptible to threats of withdrawal of funding. Its rulings have generally been timid and the penalties it imposes of little consequence. Labor is considering implementing the recommendations of the Finkelstein Inquiry, which would improve regulation without becoming draconian. But this is being resisted vigorously by the MSM and particularly by mouthpieces of the Murdoch media, chiefly News Limited CEO, Kim Williams. One recommendation is that any assertion promulgated by the media and shown to be untrue would have to be retracted in the same paper on the same page and in the same type font and size. That recommendation is one that terrifies them, as any apology or retraction is usually buried where almost no one will see it. The media wants to continue its freedom to lie, obfuscate and confuse as it does now, without restriction and without redress. This is one cogent reason why it wants Julia Gillard and her Government out, and the compliant Tony Abbott and its Coalition in.

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3/12/2012jaycee I suspect that some journos do read the Fifth Estate. Phrases used there appear in the Fourth Estate. Maybe that’s coincidental, but… However, such is the arrogance of most of them, such is their belief that as ‘insiders’ they know best, even although they don’t, as was the case in regard to PM Gillard’s ‘misogyny’ speech, that they can readily dismiss Fifth Estate writings as uniformed ‘chatter’ that can be ignored. Meanwhile the media Titanic, with a gaping hole in its hull, sinks into the icy waters. And the band plays on.

TalkTurkey

3/12/2012Great article reposted from GrampaGeorge‏@GrampaGeorge6 on Twitter "Don't criticise a Judge's wife".#auspol And now the big guns are turned on Abbott & t http://tl.gd/k7g6em via @chrismurphys So I replied to GrampaGeorge 9mTalkTurkey‏@TalkyTurkey @GrampaGeorge6 @chrismurphys This is a delicious situation with wide Ramjanifications Heh heh but it is eh! It goes to court tomorrow! Kroger picked the wrong person to slag off. He will lose. It will take a while and others will be under the microscope too.

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3/12/2012TT That is fascinating. Oh what a tangled web has been woven by the Abbott acolytes. If Alan Jones has had the good sense to retreat, I wonder why Michael Kroger hasn't? Although the matter of whether Tony Abbott did punch the wall near Barbara Ramjan is not part of the defamation case, it will again come into prominence. I wonder will the media then insist that 'Abbott still has questions to answer'?

Libbyx33

4/12/2012Ad Astra, OH NO!!! WHAT AM I GOING TO DO NOW??? No QT, 7.30, Lateline, Aust. Story, 4 corners, Lateline, Insiders, Q&A, etc, etc, and now you're off on hols. Of course, you & the Loverly Lyn deserve a well-earned break. You both do so very much work that benefits us all. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Ad & Lyn, My Hubby/BFF & I wish you a peaceful, loving & fun holiday period. As others above have already noted, we'll all be in for a hell of a ride in 2013. You will be VERY busy coming into an election year. As will I, spreading the Labor message far & wide. As an aside, if you were here in Qld, the anger at the LNP is palpable. They are despicable, mean, dishonest, cruel zealots! They are targeting the sick, poor, elderly, disabled, community workers, nurses, and on & on & on... I live in the electorate of Forde, a seat I believe will go to federal Labor next year. People say the LNP has such a HUGE majority they'll be a shoo-in at the next state election. Huh! We'll see about that! I know quite a few people in Ashgrove who bitterly regret that Kate Jones (the hardest-working MP I've ever heard of) was turfed out for this utter fraud Newman. Regrets, they have MORE than a few. Hope he likes being a oncer, if he even makes it to the next state election, of which I have grave doubts. He certainly did the wrong thing pissing off Clive Palmer! Now he'll pay! To all my fellow Swordsters, thank you for all your lovely & informative contributions, links & opinions. Here's to a very happy holiday & 2013, when we will be VICTORIOUS :-) Well done! Cheers, L.

TalkTurkey

4/12/2012Ad astra It is, it is a lovely situation, well from a self-confessed Vindictive's point of view. Along with the developing Asbestosgate that is enveloping Medusa, and as you say the inevitable airing - by experts! - of Abbortt's Punchgate, and Vampirella's upcoming Dementiagate litigation ... All based in nasty typical bits of Abborttian behaviour, well ain't it just dandy that they are so far out on a limb accusing OUR side of 'conduct unbecoming'. I'll tell them what's unbecoming, they are unbecoming a Government!

Libbyx33

4/12/2012Not that I want to give the Libs any ideas, but if they want a chance of winning the next election (Heavens, NO) they'd have a much bettr chance if Arthur Sinodinos was their leader. I caught an in-depth interview by Lyndall Curtis on abc24 with guests Sinodinos & Chris Bowen last Friday. Was THE best interview I've seen all year! Sinodinos is careful, deferential, personable & very smart. Huge change from the current ding-bat that is their leader! (PS a HUGE favour you have done us, Ad, with the installation of your crap-o-meter. Wonderful xmas gift from you. Thank you!)

Casablanca

4/12/2012MARGOT SAVILLE said in her article at http://www.twitlonger.com/show/k7g6em that after reading David Marr's Quarterly essay she asked her husband to punch the wall either side of her head just to see what it felt like - and it was a terrifying experience. Did anyone see an episode of 'Waking the Dead' on ABC last week where 2 big time thugs punched the wall on either side of the head of a poor terrified youth and reduced him to a quivering mess? These thugs had guns which they later used in a Russian roulette manner to further terrify the youth. To say the very least, the method of intimidation seen in 'Waking the Dead' was very topical. It was significant too, given the [alleged] attack on Barbara Ramjan, that these well armed thugs choose an attack that leaves no physical scars.

Michael

4/12/2012"Heckled" became the word of the day on mainstream media yesterday, on the ABC news, SBS News, The Drum... A misused and misapplied word in a headline in the Murdoch Press becomes the accepted description of what every subsequent print and TV presentation of what actually happened made abundantly clear was not heckling of the PM. Answer this question, 'media', when the Judas goat bleats, why do all you sheep line up behind it?

Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

4/12/2012 Goodness, what a fabulous discussion on education and so many other things the TPSers had yesterday. (Ad, I suspect that -as with the luscious Lyn - it may be a bit hard to go cold Turkey (sorry TT :-)) on resting from the marvellous interactions that make up this blog. I have a lot of posts to catch up on. Just adding a few Twitter posts/links from yesterday that might interest. David Horton Good heavens, climate change top of the news bulletin on @BreakfastNews? Heads will roll. Mr Denmore Why the US fiscal cliff is a scam - Professor James K Galbraith http://tiny.cc/ihkpow Bernard Keane Geoff Winestock of the AFR absolutely nails the stupidity of@GreghuntMP on electricity reform http://is.gd/txikkY Enemy of the State Parliament actually did a lot of work last week. No thanks to the Noalition. The Punch http://bit.ly/11m7hLj Sam absolutely hilarious. The #carbontax is more popular than @TonyAbbottMHR http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/11/26/essential-carbon-tax-much-more-popular-than-abbott/ … Kings Tribune Casting the First Stone - Tony Abbott and the Slush Funds by @juzzytribune (with help from @margokingston1 ) http://bit.ly/QZM6gb Liv Great letter in SMH today re what many of us think about Gillard - well worth a read. #auspol http://www.smh.com.au/national/letters/pm-imperfect-but-she-leaves-most-others-for-dead-20121202-2ap1i.html …

bob macalba

4/12/2012The Pope has got himself involved in Twitter, its only for sending tweets not to follow them, my guess is that his first tweet to his followers will be 'send more money' hee hee hee

jaycee

4/12/2012Been getting stuck into the rightoe-deniers over at The Drum...God!...one can hardly believe the absolute and complete stupidity....and every man-jack and jill a Liberal voter! I tell you, the next election will only be 50% about policy the other 50% (right-wing) will be about stupidity! It will be an election where reason vs. stupidity!

pilgrim

4/12/2012Back to Naplan. The writing task for the past two years, and again in 2013, has been to write a persuasive essay. Thus even in Year 3, students are learning to recognise and use the techniques of persuasion. I regards this as terrific - it should enable them to recognise more easily when these techniques ae used to con them.

42 long

4/12/2012We use the rivers as sewers and kill them. We put belching smokestacks into the atmosphere and axpect it ( the atmsphere to just absorb it or it ]"the foul chemical pollutants)will just go away. Abbott believes all this is "CRAP" ( CLIMATE SCIENCE) That the scientists can't be trusted and being well funded by people like Gina, who doesn't believe in it either . Belief probably for some is what suits them to believe so they can continue to literally RUIN the planet. Hartcher says it is a "conceit" to think human activity can change the climate. I would suggest it woud be a complete FOOL who rules it out and ridicules it, or WORSE, someone who peddles false information, ridicules the persons who believe it and may have studied it for years, and want to get the message out. Why do many of these people put the denier case so strongly? In most cases because they are paid to spread that line by well funded organisations who have vested interests in the status quo. This is developing into a "reason" v/s Treason. but it's not a country that suffers. It's the entire planet. The giggling peddlers of falsehood like Bolt, are just well paid to misrepresent. If Abbott gets in he will be well recompensed for his work in delaying the proper assessment of carbon and other greenhouse gases on the habitability of the only planet we have. His backers will ensure he is looked after. Thats' how it works. ( In America you would end up on the board of a big arms manufacturer after retirement from politics . We will be flat out doing the right thing now for the whole planet. How badly has Australia been served by this nothing but opposition and vilifying witch hunting, nasty, bunch who call themselves a political party. The "Spider Monkey and the Extreme Right wing-nuts" show should have been closed down long ago. It's not good for our kids to watch it. They might think it's normal. There's plenty of rusted on Liberal voters who will NOT vote liberal while this "man" Abbott runs the show ( and by inference the modus operandi)of the LieNP. Tony uses wrecking balls on the economy, Parliamentary procedure, separation of judiciary and state, character assassination, most things where principle is important, he scores badly in. WARNING IF Tony praises some one, be carefull of that person. He has some bad friends He should be in line for a Master's degree in VILIfication surely. Dishes it out but can't take it himself. Wrecking balls, no other.

Ad astra reply

4/12/2012Janet Thank you for the Tweets and links. The James K Galbraith video gave a new slant on the ‘fiscal cliff’; I’m glad someone has nailed the disingenuous Greg Hunt, who habitually represents his solutions to complex problems as ‘simple’, such as planting millions of trees; Malcolm Farr points out how many important bills have been passed, in fact 195 this year (and 449 in this term), yet most of his columns focus on the inconsequential. Wasn’t it good to read that positive letter about our PM! The references to Abbott were amusing, and suggest he ‘still has questions to answer’.

Ad astra reply

4/12/2012Libbyx33 Thank you for your comment. I hope you don’t suffer prolonged withdrawal symptoms with all of our favourite political programs in recess. Lyn is taking a spell, but so far I’m finding it difficult to extract myself; there is still so much interesting and well-informed comment to which I feel compelled to respond. I was amused by your reference to the [i]TPS[/i] crap detector as a ‘crap-o-meter’, which indeed it is. It meters comments for boring repetition and needless slagging, and deletes the offending ones. It does not absolutely prohibit comment by an individual, as do some sites, which ‘ban’ offenders. For the benefit of those who seek to use this site simply to wield their idiosyncratic political weapons, I summarize the [i]TPS[/i] position in bold below. [b]All that is necessary to pass the crap detector is to submit comments that are relevant, factual, well reasoned, light on repetitive themes, slogans and mantras that bore to distraction the other users of the site, using words that are polite and respectful. While disagreement is acceptable, disagreeable behaviour is not.[/b] I was amused to read the invitation to comment on the blogsite [i]The Big Picture[/i], to which Janet provided a link. It reads: [i]”Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data, ability to repeat discredited memes, and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Also, be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor even implied. Any irrelevancies you can mention will also be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.”[/i] What a delightful description of what we don’t want here. I reciprocate your good wishes for the Festive Season.

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4/12/2012pilgrim I enjoyed reading your comment. If it did nothing else, studying the techniques of persuasion would give students the insights necessary to identify the disingenuous crap that soils so much of our MSM. It is not just [i]TPS[/i] that needs a crap detector to catch the occasional offender, but as TT has suggested, an industrial scale crap detector is needed to monitor the MSM, and point to its pervasive disingenuousness, and at times outright deception.

Ad astra reply

4/12/201242long Your comment about climate change is interesting and informative. I presume it is a critique of a Hartcher article. Do you have the link?

Ad astra reply

4/12/2012Folks ToM continues to post comments that are quickly deleted by the crap detector. As he seems unable to get the message about how to escape its eagle eye, I repeat it below. ToM can post here; he simply needs to follow the guidelines below, and get off his regular theme that somehow he is being unfairly treated. He goes on and on and on posting confrontational comments about how this site operates, and wonders why they are deleted. He needs to understand that as I own and operate this site and pay for its maintenance, I call the shots. If he wants to continue with his line of posts he should try Andrew Bolt’s or a similar blog, where he may find a home among like-minded people. Here are the guidelines again: [b]All that is necessary to pass the crap detector is to submit comments that are relevant, factual, well reasoned, light on repetitive themes, slogans and mantras that bore to distraction the other users of the site, using words that are polite and respectful. While disagreement is acceptable, disagreeable behaviour is not.[/b]

TalkTurkey

4/12/2012 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCBxI9yKLgw Tune: When I was a Lad (from HMS Pinafore, Gilbert & Sullivan) When I was a kid, I came out from England to Australia as a Ten-Pound Pom: My folks went to Sydney, where we lived on the fringe, And every Pommie loved to have a real good whinge! [i](And every Pommie loved to have a real good whinge!)[/i] I learnt how to whinge so plaintively That my Mummy said one day I'd lead the whole country! [i](He learnt how to whinge so plaintively That his Mummy promised he would lead the whole country!)[/i] As a choirboy I loved to perch Above the congregation in the Catholic church; I loved the sensation being so much higher Than all the other people, and I ruled that choir! [i](Than all the other people, and he ruled that choir!)[/i] I ruled that choir so raucously They sent me away to University! [i](He ruled that choir so raucously That they sent him away to University!)[/i] As a uni student I earnt respect From people like Joe Hockey, whom once I decked! I threatened all the women and I punched the wall And never really had to study much at all! [i](He never really had to study much at all!)[/i] I punched that wall so forcefully Cos I wanted to be Leader of the whole country! [i](He punched that wall so forcefully Cos he wanted to be Leader of the whole country!)[/i] For reasons that I don't quite foller I became a legend as a new Rhodes Scholar It might have been the fact that the Bishop was my buddy Because the roads to power were the only roads I studied! [i](Because the roads to power were the only roads he studied!)[/i] So I got sent to England, all for free To a College for Theology, a Priest for to be! [i](And he got sent to England, all for free To a College for Theology, a Priest for to be!)[/i] I said my prayers every day on my knees But I wasn't very happy so I said "God please I really don't want to be praying every hour What I really want's to get my hands on Power!" [i](What he really want's to get his hands on Power!)[/i] And would you believe it, God said to me [i][b]"Saint Tony, Oz Prime Minister's your Destiny!"[/b][/i] (And would you believe it God said, said He [i][b]"Saint Tony, Oz Prime Minister's your Destiny!)"[/b][/i] And from that day to this I've sought my Holy Grail: To be Prime Minister, I must not fail, I lie on behalf of the Born-to-Rule Class To get my hands on Power I would sell my arse! But now that JuLIAR bitch that I call She Has gone and said I'm guilty of misogyny! (But now that JuLIAR bitch that he calls She Has gone and said he's guilty of misogyny!) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Tony Abbortt here's an end to your story: I'm very pleased to tell you that you won't find glory! Arsebigot Pell's holy water won't stop you stinking Now the Fighting 5th Estate has got people thinking! [i](Now the fighting 5th Estate has got people thinking!)[/i] And when We vote, We'll tell you this for free: You'll Never Be Prime Minister Of This Country! [i](And when We vote, We'll tell you this for free: You'll Never Be Prime Minister Of This Country!)[/i] And when We vote, We'll tell you this for free: You'll Never Be Prime Minister Of This Country! (And when We vote, We'll tell you this for free: You'll Never Be Prime Minister Of This Country!) And when We vote, We'll tell you this for free: [i][b]You Will NEVER Be Prime Minister Of This Country![/b][/i]

Ad astra reply

4/12/2012Talk Turkey That is brilliant. And what happy memories of G&S it brings back to me from my schooldays.

bob macalba

4/12/2012Talk Turkey Bravo, excellent gonna have tune in my head all day, oh well

Miglo

4/12/2012If I may be so brash as to promote a post I have written I'd like to mention it here, with As's blessing of course. My post [i]Mr Abbott's witch hunt[/i] has the right-leaning bloggers in a mad frenzy. Do feel free to take a look. http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/mr-abbotts-witch-hunt/

Ad astra reply

4/12/2012Miglo You are welcome. Great article!

Janet (Jan @j4gypsy)

4/12/2012 TT: I did warn you that scansion sublime would produce symptoms akin to a severe crush. But you didn't listen. 'When I Was a Lad' consequently led to a swoon. Young(er) persons had to bring me smelling salts. I am recovered now, you will be pleased to hear :-) As Ad says, your last piece is brilliant. A masterpiece. I had a vision of a bunch of people all over Oz singing this sometime next year as Red O'Brien intones 'We are just waiting for the Prime Minister now to acknowledge Mr Abbott's concession speech after a resounding defeat predicted by no-one (except of course the fifth estate). Cheers

MWS

4/12/2012Aa, perhaps you could place your posting guidelines next to the comment box so they are clear to all, forever?

Ad astra reply

4/12/2012MWS That is a good suggestion.

Jason

4/12/2012Aa, I've tried looking for a link of substance today, but to no avail,I'm even starting to get excited about the RBA announcement!

Ad astra reply

4/12/2012MWS I've taken up your suggestion and have added 'Posting guidelines' at the end of the text of the piece. Thank you for your helpful idea.

Sir Ian Crisp

4/12/2012[quote][i]AA explains his crap detector (TM Pending) on the following lines I’m sure many others who visit here share your views about the crap detector. It is programmed to detect boring repetitivity. Repititivity is defined by the Urban Dictionary as “The process of repeating oneself and looking like an idiot to the rest of the world at the same time. Repetitivity is being able to use the following keystrokes: CTRL+C, CTRL+V at great speed” ToM clearly meets this criterion. Clearly it's not holding an opinion that triggers the crap detector, it's the LACK of an opinion that counts. Numbers [/i][/quote] Numbers, why then doesn’t AA ban himself for a fortnight? He certainly offends time and time again and is engaged in “The process of repeating oneself and looking like an idiot to the rest of the world at the same time.” AA has invented a special brand of synecdoche...TPS synecdoche. Abbott equals bad and bad equals Abbott. Abbott equals Goebbels and Nazi equals Abbott. Just the other day I was buying apples at the local supermarket and I picked one up and noticed it was bad. Straight away I thought (automatically) that Tony Abbott must have handled the apple and somehow spoiled it. See how AA sneaks in a subliminal message? I’m starting to abuse people I meet with the unfortunate name of Tony. Here’s an example of AA in “The process of repeating oneself and looking like an idiot to the rest of the world at the same time.” [quote][i]Do Australian businessmen really believe Tony Abbott? Monday, 19 November 2012 19:11 by Ad astra Abbott and Hockey are endangering Australian business Thursday, 15 November 2012 16:31 by Ad astra The Abbott ‘family’ rush to prop up its errant child prodigy Tuesday, 6 November 2012 07:41 by Ad astra The inexorable disintegration of the Leader of the Opposition Friday, 2 November 2012 14:40 by Ad astra Tony Abbott beware! Incitement is a very dangerous game Sunday, 2 September 2012 17:04 by Ad astra The disintegration of the Abbott machine Sunday, 26 August 2012 20:41 by Ad astra Journalists awake! You know Tony Abbott is conning you Monday, 13 August 2012 16:58 by Ad astra Abbott and the Goebbels Factor Thursday, 26 July 2012 18:36 by Ad astra Etc. Etc. Etc. [/i][/quote]

Ad astra reply

4/12/2012Jason I haven't been looking as I've been busy doing other things. I wondered what Peter Hartcher had written that 42long referred to in his 9.43 AM post. Re the RBA decision, my guess is that more controversy will be generated if they don't change the interest rate than if they do.

Gravel

4/12/2012Ad Astra and Lyn I am probably too late to thank Lyn, but I do want to thank you both for keeping me well informed and sane through this what has to be the maddest of years in politics. I have become numb to both good and bad news. I can now predict how anything Julia or Labor does will be reported. I now only read everyone's opinion here to keep my sanity. Ad Astra I agree with all you have written on this and almost every other topic you have ever written. I am just catching up with The Political Sword, been busy and distracted for a while so I will keep reading the rest of your responses. Megpie 71 wrote on the 30th at 10:41pm i/[quote]The questions Julia Gillard has to answer regarding the AWU slush fund affair: 1) Why DIDN'T you do anything criminal, when you must have known your political opponents would be chasing dirt to dig up on you in the future? 2) Why are you so MEAN and NASTY in refusing to provide us with an appropriate scandal to prove women aren't suitable leaders for this country? After all, Carmen Lawrence co-operated in WA; Joan Kirner co-operated in Victoria; Anna Bligh co-operated in Queensland; Cheryl Kernot, Meg Lees and Natasha Stott-Despoja co-operated for the Democrats; Bronwyn Bishop and Julie Bishop are co-operating for the Liberals - why do you have to be so damn adamant about not co-operating with our dominant media narrative which shows that women aren't fit leaders for Australian states, Australian political parties, and Australian institutions as a whole? Megpie71 /i[/quote] Wow, your comment above just blew me away. I agree totally, it is as simple as you have put it. Thank you.

Jason

4/12/2012Yes, friends, Turnbull’s NBN policy has evolved into a worthy, achievable, well-thought out telecommunications policy. But it’s not as good a policy as Stephen Conroy’s NBN vision – the best telecommunications policy which Australia has ever had. http://michaelwyres.com/newsdesk/article.php?hash=a9b71b0c4730290d0ae59db61f7c284a

Ad astra reply

4/12/2012Sir Ian What the repetition about Abbott’s unsuitability to be PM of this nation does show is what a disaster in waiting he is should he become PM. Facts and opinion based on them do not an idiot make. Absence of facts and reason does. Repetition of the facts does not dilute their validity. There will be more of the same in 2013. Prepare yourself for it, and instead of behaving like a librarian cataloguing the pieces that are similar, laudable as that may be, try refuting what is written if you disagree with it. But do try using verifiable facts and sound reasoning. I’ve been waiting for your comments on NAPLAN, the NDIS, the Gonski reforms, the PM’s proposal to COAG to reduce the cost of electricity, the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, the commencement of plain packaging of cigarettes, and the pending RBA decision on interest rates, all matters of contemporary interest, and in the news, but what do we get from you, a catalogue of [i]TPS[/i] pieces pointing out what an appalling prospect Abbott is for PM, the only virtue of which is to underscore how awful that prospect is. I suppose I should thank you for that.

Ad astra reply

4/12/2012Jason Thank you for that very sound article on the Coalition's versus the Government's NBN plan. Anyone who believes the Coalition has the answer should read it: [i]Sorry, Mr Turnbull: we're not convinced[/i]: http://michaelwyres.com/newsdesk/article.php?hash=a9b71b0c4730290d0ae59db61f7c284a

nasking

4/12/2012 INTEREST RATES LOWERED BY .25% N'

Ad astra reply

4/12/2012Nasking Thanks, that will please the retailers, although they wanted more, and mortgagees, but retirees on pensions might not be so pleased

nasking

4/12/2012 SLY NEWS GOING BERSERK: "Is this just...policy on the fly?" Dopey stuff. Sounds like desperate propaganda. N'

Ad astra reply

4/12/2012Gravel Thank you for your kind words and greetings. I too thought the comments of Megpie 71 were spot on. It is most heartening to read your encouraging words, especially when we are regularly assailed with negative comments from a couple of visitors who enjoy finding fault with the site, rather than come to grips with the major issues confronting the nation.

Ad astra reply

4/12/2012nasking What is Sly News going on about? I haven't got access to it here, which is probably just as well.

42 long

4/12/2012Sorry A A The Hartcher comment was a bit piece like a throw away line in an article or interview. A few months back would be my guess. It stuck in my mind as a funny way to approach the discusion. We are used to it being a "weightless gas" Tony's outrageous term. Plant food etc but to take a "humble" sort of insignificant humans approach was a break from the "usual". I go for the scientific facts and they have added up to a bad thing for years now. I have plenty of friends who deny human caused climate change. They will argue every obstacle many totally unrelated and if I successfully argue the individual points, the final out for the denier is "I will be dead by then so it won't matter". Some religious types believe the whole thing is god's action and armageddon will come first so just go on driving the good o'le Humzee with one person in it. Cheaper oil was the most important policy in Newt Gindrich's campaign

nasking

4/12/2012 Ad, I switched over after a minute or so...to watch Treasurer Wayne Swan on ABC 24...but I recall them farting on about the Reserve Bank bringing up instability in Europe...they seemed to think that wrong. It came across as bluster to me...a group of Murdoch hacks not wanting to see mortgage holders and businesses get a break. Petty stuff. N'

Ad astra reply

4/12/2012Thanks Nasking. No doubt I'll see it analysed on the news. At least mmost of the economists got it right for once.

nasking

4/12/2012 MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. SWAN AND PM GILLARD :D AND TO ALL DESERVING MORTGAGE HOLDERS AND BUSINESSES. IF THE BANKS HOLD OFF...WE KNOW WHO THE SCROOGES ARE. WE NEED THE STIMULUS...WORK FOR THE PEOPLE. THERE ARE MORE CITIZENS THAN JUST GINA, SOLOMAN, TWIGGY AND CLIVE. AND THE ONES WITH THE BIGTIME COFFERS. N'

Tom of Melbourne

4/12/2012OK – let’s try this one - [i]”the PM’s proposal to COAG to reduce the cost of electricity”[/i] Gillard is talking about a “gold plated” (that’s a “fact”) standard of the power distribution network… such questionable catchphrase for a particularly complicated engineering question. Electrical distribution infrastructure in Victoria has been in decay for over a decade (that’s a “fact”). Far from “gold plated” the condition of the infrastructure caused the death of over 100 people (that’s a “fact”) only a couple of years ago. Someone here might explain how the infrastructure supplying 27%% of the population (that’s a “fact”) is “gold plated”, and to what extent people in Victoria should reduce the current condition of the distribution network.

nasking

4/12/2012 HOCKEY SOUNDS LIKE FLATULENCE FROM A DESPERATE MAN BLOATED WITH CRAP...HE'S FULL OF IT. N'

pappinbarra foxette

4/12/2012Hello Ad and Lyn and all swordspersons, Merry Christmas and a happy new year and if you are not into Christ then a merry god (or not- for atheists)of your choice holiday. Thank you Lyn especially for the links - willl be sorely missed during my vacation. I am not so enthralle dabout NAPLAN. I believe that the role of educators is to teach (or lead) students to think. More particulalry to think analytically and creatively. All the "subjects" are merely tools as an aid to better thinking. The classroom teacher is the best person to assess whether a student is getting better at thinking or not. As for inter-school comparisons - you do not need tests to see that lower soci-economic schools do not do as well as high socio-economic private schools. I hope no-one suffers withdrawal symptoms over the AdLyn break. Gettings all!

nasking

4/12/2012 THE FLYS WERE ALL OVER HOCKEY...ATTRACTED TO... :D N'

Michael

4/12/2012This: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/12/03-5 is quite a long article about the withering away of America as a manufacturing and jobs-creating economy and society. It's quite frightening reading because what is recounted here very closely parallels where Australia has been, and where this nation is heading, especially because we have used the USA as a 'role model' for so long. However, because the cited examples, the towns, the states, the politicians, are from 'over there', it allows you to read it relatively objectively, without the inevitable confusion that arises with references to "towns, states and politicians" in Australia where your own personal knowledge might lead you to think you know better or differently from what's contained in such an article. You might. But reading how the world's dominant economy, society and national community, the USA, has slow-collapsed over the last three to four decades, something colluded in by the 'get rich quick' and 'keep anyone else out' brigade, is a sobering opportunity to consider just how close the parallel developments are in Australia. I don't think you will have much difficulty in realising that the article may be a slightly different mirror from one held up to this country, but only 'slightly'. We've been (and are being) done over. There and here.

Ad astra reply

4/12/2012ToM That is an appropriate comment. PM Gillard uses the catchphrase ‘gold-plated’. So do others that comment on the surfeit of polls and wires that electricity suppliers have installed to ensure that enough electricity can be transmitted during periods of peak demand, notably in very hot weather when air conditioners are used, and blackouts/brownouts thereby avoided. There doesn’t seem to be much doubt about the gold-plating (or whatever descriptor you use); who is denying it? Can you suggest a better descriptor that the PM and others could use? Are you saying that Victoria’s electric distribution network is not ‘gold-plated’? Frankly, I don’t know, but there seems to be agreement that distribution networks generally are ‘gold-plated’. Is Victoria an exception? In your second point, I guess you are referring to the current case in the courts where one Victorian network is accused of starting the Black Saturday bushfires. The court will decide that. If they find that is so, does that mean the rest of the network is in decay as you have stated? What is your evidence for that? Your third point is related to the second. I don’t know if Victoria’s network is gold-plated in areas other than the one you mention re the bushfires. You seem to know. Perhaps you could enlighten us.

Ad astra reply

4/12/2012pappinbarra foxette Thank you for your kind words and greetings, which I reciprocate. An object of NAPLAN was to identify needy students and needy schools. If it did that and enabled a fairer distribution of resources and good teachers, that would be a desirable outcome. Michael That is a frightening article. I have bookmarked it. Thank you.

Tom of Melbourne

4/12/2012http://www.esv.vic.gov.au/Portals/0/About%20ESV/Files/RoyalCommission/Response%20to%20PBST.pdf Try having a look at the link and then try to argue that the 100+ deaths were not caused by a failing distribution network. If deaths occur because the antiquated distribution network causes bushfires… and the network shuts down (failure and programmed) during heat waves which has proven to cause death among the elderly… isn’t it up to Gillard to demonstrate how much the quality of our power distribution infrastructure should fall? Is fixing up the network to prevent death “gold plating” it?

TalkTurkey

4/12/2012What have the Unions ever done for Us? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=184NTV2CE_c This is good.

Ad astra reply

4/12/2012ToM I looked at the attachment you provided and the recommendations regarding the network. I am unable to make a decision about the culpability of the distribution company. That matter is before the court. It will decide, and we will accept its decision. What follows remains to be seen. Has PM Gillard said that the quality of the distribution network in this part of Victoria is gold-plated, and by your implication needs ‘to fall’? Has PM Gillard said that the quality of the distribution network in the whole of Victoria is gold-plated and needs ‘to fall’? I find it a curious challenge that you seem to be directing to the PM: [i]”…isn’t it up to Gillard to demonstrate how much the quality of our power distribution infrastructure should fall?[/i] Is she saying in fact that the quality of any network needs to fall? If you think so, show me where she said that. Even were networks found to be ‘gold-plated’, is there any suggestion from PM Gillard or anyone else for that matter that they should be degraded? Is anyone suggesting the polls and wires be pulled down? Is there any suggestion from PM Gillard that any defect identified in the Victoria network that led to the bushfires be not corrected? Judging from your predilection to lay on PM Gillard any ‘misdemeanour’ you perceive she has committed, are you accusing her of misleading the country when she uses the term ‘gold-plating’. If so, are all others who use it, such as journalists, commentators, and those in the electricity business, also misleading us? You haven’t suggested a better descriptor than ‘gold-plating’. If you decide to respond, a good place to start would be to answer the questions I have posed. And perhaps you could enlighten us about what precise point you are trying to make.

Ad astra reply

4/12/2012TT Great YouTube video.

Tom of Melbourne

4/12/2012The point I am making is that engineering planning for power distribution is more complicated than applying a catch phrase/slogan such as “gold plated”. I’m happy to criticise others who use the slogan, just tell me who. But it is Gillard who has been in the media using the term in the last 24 hours. Gillard has said that there is an over investment in poles and wire. This is the distribution “infrastructure”. Already the elderly suffer fatally during heatwaves. People die because power and therefore cooling systems are shut down on rotation due to excess demand or because of system (infrastructure) failure. This is all “fact”. If this occurs with the current “gold plated” infrastructure, what is the planned level of reliability at the proposed base level? It isn’t up to me to answer these questions, it is up to the people who propose a reduced standard of infrastructure maintenance and/or capital expenditure, ie a level lower than “gold plated”. -------------- The Courts will determine applicable culpability and damages, that the fires were caused by failing power lines during a heat wave is hardly the issue that is contested. Or is your contention that the Royal Commission into the Bushfires reached the wrong conclusion, and made incorrect recommendations?

Gravel

4/12/2012Ad Astra I learned to scroll passed certain gravatars so I am not bothered by rubbish. I have to say I now have a numb bum, I refused to leave the computer until I had read through all the comments on this thread. I have loved all the pomes and verse, it is good to see so much optimism at the moment. A great way to end the year. Janet Thanks for the twitter links, you are doing a great job, Lyn would be proud of you. Now to the topic. Maybe the MSM are getting a taste of what many of us felt during the Howard period. Instead of being able to blast us with their wonderous opinion, we are now giving them our opinion and they don't like it. Ad Astra, your stats from Essential polling have shown that people are getting harder to manipulate. With a bit of luck and a pinch of salt, maybe they will start hearing and reading the MSM bias and start discounting a lot of their rubbish. We can but hope.

Jason

4/12/2012John Cleese‏@JohnCleese In the debate about decency in the British press, I note that the newspapers have come down on the side of the newspapers It's also spread to our "journos" when they gather on talk shows!

Ad astra reply

4/12/2012ToM No one is suggesting that the complexity of electricity infrastructure engineering can be adequately captured by a single term: ‘gold-plating’. We all know that. You still haven’t suggested a better term for the phenomenon of over investing in poles and wires, which authorities concede is the case. Do you deny this has occurred? If you haven’t heard others using ‘gold-plating’, you haven’t been listening. And it hasn’t been just the last 24 hours; it’s been for we