Who killed Cock Robin?

I read that opening stanza of the old rhyme as a metaphor of the continued and repeatedly frustrated human progress toward social advancement. It is the most disappointing certainty that as soon as the human collective gets its act together and starts to achieve really useful advances in all things supportive and advantageous to the promotion of the human condition, along come those who set it all back a generation or two, or worse. The person who first wrote the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden must have felt the same way. Take away the biblical language and I think it could go like this:

Here we have two people, a young man and a young woman, attractive and attracted to each other, living in the best of any world, a veritable Garden of Eden: no worries, all the food they can want, all the time in the world; nothing to do but eat, drink and make love; and what to they do but screw it all up! I tell you, it's a mug's game!

So let's forget about the many, many thousands of like-managed scenarios throughout history where exactly the same action has been repeated ad-nauseam with exactly the same result. Cut to the recent election where a majority of our own society, our own people, voted in just such a destroyer of many good policies even against their own interests. No-one can deny that Gonski was for the benefit of the vast majority of citizens; no-one can deny the NBN was for the benefit of the vast majority of citizens; no-one can deny that action on climate change in a coordinated policy with the rest of the world was for the benefit of a vast majority of citizens. So why do we always screw it up? What is this inherent 'evil' that, like some incubus, sitting, waiting for the favourable moment, then strikes to undo and demolish any or all good works that have taken years to put in place?

Who killed Cock Robin?
‘I’ said the Sparrow, ‘with my little bow and arrow’

Sadly, dear friends, it is the collective ‘We’, ‘We the people’ who kill the ideas that enhance a society. Take the NBN for instance. Under Malcolm Turnbull, who just a couple of years ago we would have considered a moderate liberal, a reasonable man, we see the total destruction of any meaningful future for a high-speed broadband network for a majority of Australians. Who would have thought when voting in such a person as the current minister, himself a self- and publicly proclaimed citizen loyal to the republican cause and the nation, he would descend to such a level as to destroy the best system so as to build an inferior system more favourable to a foreign national citizen and corporation — a corporation whose former highest executives, at this very moment, are before the Old Bailey on charges of grave criminal concern. Who would have thought this ‘honourable man’, this ‘everyman’, would cheerfully work with such players to destroy infrastructure put in place for the benefit of the nation?

‘...with my little bow and arrow, I killed Cock Robin.’

Of course, this methodical destruction of government institutions is all to serve the ideology of economic rationalism, a crude, barbaric system that favours individual speculation over government stimulus and investment; that favours corporate structures over what is spoken of in the economic rationalist circles as ‘socialist intervention’ by government. So we now weirdly have a free enterprise government that scorns public sentiment and investment but was voted in on a media-manipulated social platform of ‘all-inclusive democracy’. Even more strangely, it is now withdrawing what it sees as democratic-state social obligations toward the citizen body in favour of corporate entrepreneurial speculation that in itself is, in theory, a body wholly and completely founded on an all inclusive social-democratic principle of multi-shareholder citizens, valued employee citizens, serviced customer citizens and corporate responsibility ethics. If that doesn't sound like a humble all-for-one/one-for-all socialist principle, then nothing is!

When Margaret Thatcher said, ‘There is no such thing as society...’ when talking to Woman’s Own magazine, a magazine that delivered news and views to a broad English society, it had to be one of the most fatuous statements ever made! She might as well have said: ‘There is no such thing as sunshine: there are only beams of light’. Her comment reflects the contradictions in the perceptions of the right-wing mind, as in a society where the entire corporate success story is totally reliant on mutual cooperation between the executive, middle-management, shop-floor production and sales and distribution; and that is only sustainable over the long-term by employing fair-wage workers within a stable society. Surely a marvellous example of mutually beneficial socialist democracy at work! So what those in the right-wing think-tanks and those in the current government have not realised, even in their most lucid moments, is that all their cynical dismantling is doing is putting themselves out of perhaps the only job they are capable of, replacing themselves with corporate socialism. Murdoch/Rinehart/Forrest et al must be laughing at those pollies all the way to their ‘comrade investor’ shareholder cooperatives!

The contradictions of the corporate mind are evident in the ‘confected’ conflict between corporations and labour and that conflict must be addressed. It must be addressed by those two players as they are the crux of power in a modern democracy. The politicians are now just the bull-horn mouthpieces of these centres of power. While the Labour unions may seem decimated at the moment, they are still the ‘eye of the storm’ in their capacity to organise and negotiate outcomes. The capacity to recruit is there, as is a future recruitment pool — labour is labour is labour! Ever since the collapse of aristocratic control of parliament, the corporate middle classes have exerted their power on parliament and democracy. Given a full head of steam, we have seen them rise on the wings of fascism to seek total dominance over all forms of wages and labour. It is in their DNA to try and dominate. It is a necessity of the ‘bottom line’ profit margin to skim and skin, always looking for the ‘cheap-labour’ demographic and then to capitalise, coerce and govern through it.

But back to the rhyme …

Who caught his blood?
‘I’ said the fish ‘with my little dish’

What do the politicians supporting these people think will be the end result of their destructive machinations? Do they think the citizen body will respect them?

‘The Mateship’ from Keating; The Musical

Do they think the corporate body will even consider them as useful after they have done the dirty work? Do they think their lot in life will be a peaceful retirement after they have reduced the living standard of many of those fellow citizens around them? They have to go to the shops. They will want to go to the beach, to the hotel or restaurant. They will be noticed, they will be pointed out. Will they demand some sort of security to accompany them every time? If we consult The Discourse of Titus Livius by Niccolò Machiavelli, we will read where he recommends, ‘To deal judgement on a person of power, first remove him from his position of power and then deal with him at your leisure.’ Such will be the reward of those who spite and cruel the citizen body. There are few examples in history where vengeful memory has not brought some sort of rough-justice to such perpetrators of injury.

Who'll toll the bell?
‘I’ said the Bullfinch ‘cause I can pull, I'll toll the bell.’

There is an inherent truth in the line, ‘No man is an island unto himself ’. What we do unto one, we do unto all and only a child or the fool will delude themselves that they can get away with a secret deception. We of aged years know from rich experience that there are no secrets; there is no devious act nor kindness that is not noted and reciprocated. There is a hunger in the honest soul for justice. There is a hunger in the virtuous soul for kindness. There is a hunger in the community soul for equality in labour and reward. Those who would deny or willingly destroy such ambition in the spirit of a nation, history notes, will be culled from the citizen body before they infect the entire life-blood of a nation. History shows us there are two methods this can be done. One is the taking up of arms — an ugly result! The other is a better justice, a more resounding justice: to vote the bullies out in no uncertain terms at the ballot box. That is the greater justice, for that tells them to their face, ‘You are not wanted in this House’.

Who killed Cock Robin? 'I' said the sparrow 'with my little bow and arrow'.

Who'll be the mourner?
‘I’ said the Dove.
‘I'll mourn for my love,
I'll be the mourner.’

Maintain the rage!

What do you think?



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TPS Team

2/02/2014Welcome to the first [i]TPS[/i] discussion starter for 2014. The Team hopes everyone has enjoyed their Christmas-New Year-Australia Day break and is fighting fit for the political year ahead. If the start (eg intrusion into Indonesian waters by the Australian military and Abbott’s speech at Davos) is anything to go by, what a year it promises to be! There will be much to talk about and comment on. Our first piece is by jaycee. It builds around the rhyme ‘Who killed Cock Robin?’ to explain the government’s destruction of policies that would have benefitted Australian society, all in the name of economic rationalism and corporate greed. But there can be justice — described in a fitting end to the piece. It offers a cry to battle for the year ahead and so is an appropriate first piece for 2014.

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2/02/2014jaycee Thank you for gifting us with such a thoughtful piece to launch our 2014 political commentary. Rich with metaphor, you starkly expose the motives and the intent of our new ‘leaders’: serving their corporate masters rather than the mass of the people, serving the corporate good instead of the common good. Even with his ultra-conservative bow and arrow, our Prime Ministerial sparrow (what a descriptor) will not kill Cock Robin. The Fifth Estate will do what the Fourth Estate refuses to do – hold the sparrow to account, question his motives, challenge his intent. It is up to us. Thank you for pointing out what we need to do.

this is the real jaycee

2/02/2014Thank you AA., Ken and all...unfortunately, my email seems to have gone on the blink...so am travelling blind in that area.

Patriciawa

2/02/2014Well put, jaycee. That's the question I've been asking myself as I've watched institutions threatened and program after program pared back such rapid succession. Where will all this get him? My one hope is that Abbott is so lnept and lacking political know-how that he will bring himself undone, as even his Ministers and Government MPs realize his usefulness is no more. They will already be receiving on the ground feedback via mail, phone and even personal deputations to their electoral offices. Surely Rupert must die, now sooner than later and his control of mass media will lose its grip? Or does he plan as, many imperialists have tried in the past, to extend that beyond grave?

Casablanca

3/02/2014 [b]CASABLANCA'S CACHE Monday, 2 February, 2014[/b] POLITICS 1. A year of elections - and mixed signals Barrie Cassidy 2014 promises a mixed bag of elections, but don't count on any single result giving you a guide to the popularity of the Abbott Government http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-01-31/cassidy-2014-elections/5228738?WT.mc_id=newsmail 2. The new marginals Andrew Elder Since the late 1960s, the marginal seats in Australian politics have been on the suburban fringes. The diviners in the major parties have devoted much energy to determining what people who live in those places think, and how to develop policies that mirror those thoughts. http://andrewelder.blogspot.com.au/2014/01/the-new-marginals.html 3. A rogue Liberal spills the beans on SPCA Rob Burgess It is truly frightening to see how quickly the Abbott government’s refusal to pay SPC Ardmona a ‘structural adjustment’ subsidy has been dismissed by commentators as a case of ‘corporate welfare vs open markets’. Even the barest scratch of the surface reveals layers of complexity in this issue, and with fuller information, it begins to look like a case of breath-taking incompetence on the part of the Abbott cabinet – a triumph of ideology over compelling pragmatic arguments. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/1/31/agribusiness/rogue-liberal-spills-beans-spca?utm_source=exact&utm_medium=email&utm_content=570271&utm_campaign=kgb&modapt= 4. Labor's Penny Wong rejects ABC, SBS efficiency review as politically motivated. ABC The Federal Opposition has criticised the Government's planned efficiency review of the ABC and SBS as politically motivated, with Labor frontbencher Penny Wong saying the Coalition wants to avoid scrutiny. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-02/penny-wong-rejects-abc-sbs-efficiency-review-as-political/5233070?WT.mc_id=newsmail 5. Gates’ 2014 Annual Letter Natalia Beghin The fifth annual letter penned by Bill and Melinda Gates has launched an elegant retaliation against the three most dangerous ‘myths’ that ‘block the progress’ of the world’s poorest citizens. Moving away from the annual letters’ previous form as a report on the achievements of the foundation, this year the letter rebuts the notions that poor countries will always be poor, foreign aid is wasteful and that ‘saving lives leads to overpopulation’. http://www.visionofhumanity.org/#page/news/841 6. Tony Abbott’s Royal Commission: It’s all about WorkChoices Sally McManus Tony Abbott and his new Coalition government have long planned a Royal Commission into the union movement. This, of course, was not a policy that the Coalition took to the 2013 election. Such a naked attack would have ‘scared the horses’, exposing what the Coalition has been desperate to hide—its plan to reinstate WorkChoices. http://sallymcmanus.net/2014/01/30/tony-abbotts-royal-commission-unions/#more-156 7. “We not I” Tom McDonald This is a guest post from Tom McDonald who is now in his 80s. Tom was the former Building Workers Industrial Union (BWIU) National Secretary and one of the key figures who helped amalgamate several unions into the CFMEU. He was an influential union leader from 1970-90s. For the last 20 years Tom has generously shared his wisdom with new generations of unionists in the ACTU’s Organising Works traineeship for union organisers. http://sallymcmanus.net/2014/01/09/tom-mcdonald/ 8. #GriffithVotes citizen journo @GriffithElects live twitter reports of Libs ‘group call’ and campaign launch Jan Bowman On Wednesday February 29 the LNP ran a mass virtual ‘town hall’ teleconference with voters in Griffith. Apparently Labor used this technology recently in Griffith to link party members with Opposition leader Bill Shorten and is planning something similar in the last week of the campaign. - See more at: http://nofibs.com.au/2014/02/02/griffithvotes-citizen-journo-griffithelects-live-twitter-reports-of-libs-group-call-and-campaign-launch/#sthash.awwgy7iR.dpuf 9. Private schools and the public good OnlyTheSangfroid The public versus private education debate doesn’t make anybody look good. When that very knowing, overflowing, easy-going paladin, Chris Pyne, the Minister for Education, began hurling grenades over the content of the national curriculum, he had only just put his Gonski debacle to rest. The Op Ed industrial complex went into overdrive pumping out the usual sausages of suspect quality. «Private schools exist at the expense of public schools. Taxpayer funds shouldn’t be used to indoctrinate kids in religion. It’s all so unfair. Ghettos of privilege.» http://ausopinion.com/2014/01/29/private-schools-and-the-public-good/ 10. The Death Of Expertise Tom Nichols I am (or at least think I am) an expert. Not on everything, but in a particular area of human knowledge, specifically social science and public policy. When I say something on those subjects, I expect that my opinion holds more weight than that of most other people. I never thought those were particularly controversial statements. As it turns out, they’re plenty controversial. Today, any assertion of expertise produces an explosion of anger from certain quarters of the American public, who immediately complain that such claims are nothing more than fallacious “appeals to authority,” sure signs of dreadful “elitism,” and an obvious effort to use credentials to stifle the dialogue required by a “real” democracy. http://thefederalist.com/2014/01/17/the-death-of-expertise/ 11. Somebody call the waaaambulance - the ABC has been mean to Abbott John Birmingham Like the Jesuit education he turned his back on, he seems to have forgotten a few things about what reporters do, what role they play in a free society. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/blogs/blunt-instrument/somebody-call-the-waaaambulance--the-abc-has-been-mean-to-abbott-20140130-31nt0.html 12. Whose ABC is it anyway? Rick Feneley It was September 2009 when Maurice Newman, then the ABC chairman, paid a courtesy visit to the national broadcaster's Tokyo bureau. Mark Willacy, the bureau's award-winning correspondent, and his three Japanese staff put on the kettle and sat down for a cuppa with Newman and Bruce Dover, chief executive of the Australia Network, the ABC's Asia-Pacific service. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/whose-abc-is-it-anyway-20140131-31sa6.html 13. Audacity of hype: finding fault no real fix once in government Richard Denniss In an environment of continuous campaigning, being in government is no longer a massive advantage. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/audacity-of-hype-finding-fault-no-real-fix-once-in-government-20140131-31sur.html ECONOMICS 14. Crikey thrashes Hockey for lowering the dollar Posted by Houses and Holes in Australian dollar http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/01/crikey-thrashes-hockey-for-lowering-the-dollar/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily+MacroBusiness&utm_content=Daily+MacroBusiness+CID_44e57610d1efe558dd6e59b07efa3d15&utm_source=Email+marketing+software&utm_term=Crikey+thrashes+Hockey+for+lowering+the+dollar 15. Weekend Economist: Over easy Bill Evans The Reserve Bank Board meets next week on February 4. It is certain that the board will choose to keep rates on hold. However, as we discussed in a note on January 23, the key to next week's decision will be the wording of the governor's statement and the forecasts which the bank releases on February 7 with its Statement on Monetary Policy. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/2/1/economy/weekend-economist-over-easy 16. No sacred cows: Productivity Commission targets Toyota Remy Davison Ford and Holden gone. SPC Ardmona in jeopardy. Toyota under threat. The Productivity Commission’s (PC) position paper on automotive industry support fires a clear shot across the bows of the manufacturing industry. No industry sector can consider itself an untouchable sacred cow, strategic asset or Aussie icon. http://theconversation.com/no-sacred-cows-productivity-commission-targets-toyota-22647 ASYLUM SEEKERS 17. Tony Abbott finally says something so obviously against Australia’s interests that media stop covering for him; public turns* An Onymous Lefty Even if you have little sympathy for the fellow human beings fleeing persecution and asking for our help, even if you’ve internalised ridiculously misleading and flat-out inaccurate phrases like “illegals”, “queue jumpers”, “country shoppers”, and “non-genuine refugees”… if you’re otherwise a rational Australian you’d realise that a few thousand people on boats could never damage our country as much as a significant deterioration in our relationship with Indonesia, our most populous neighbour. http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/disclaimer/ ENVIRONMENT 18. Cards on the table please Minister Hunt Roselyn Druce What's all the fuss about the Leard State Forest? Well, it’s about a public forest that belongs to the people, both the traditional owners, the Gomeroi, and all Australian people. It is under threat by two mostly foreign-owned coal mining companies - Whitehaven Coal and Idemitsu Boggabri Coal. 19. Edis the ‘dishonest warmist propagandist’ Tristan Edis In last week’s article, Did solar and wind wilt in the heat, I sought to illustrate that the output of wind and solar power over the Victorian and South Australian heatwave week beginning January 13 was consistent with what the Australian Energy Market Operator expects and plans for in trying to ensure reliable supply of electricity. This was in an attempt to address alarmist claims that what occurred over the heatwave suggested that the Renewable Energy Target placed power supplies at high risk of blackouts. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/1/31/policy-politics/edis-dishonest-warmist-propagandist 20. Human Amplified Climate Change Paul Davis ...we should be using every significant weather event to reinforce the message. But what message? Global Warming and Climate Change hasn’t worked, what about “Human Amplified Climate Change”? http://thinkyness.com.au/article-display/human-amplified-climate-change,17 21. Global Warming Explained in 52 Seconds Shannon Hall We are awash in the unseen, the unknown and the unexplained. Our Universe is enshrouded in mystery. Even what we do know — the complex physical laws that describe the planets, stars and galaxies — can seem just beyond any normal human being’s grasp. We can’t all be Einsteins, after all. http://www.universetoday.com/107760/global-warming-explained-in-52-seconds/#ixzz2sAciXiMJ 22. Big old trees grow faster, making them vital carbon absorbers Adeshola Ore Large, older trees have been found to grow faster and absorb carbon dioxide more rapidly than younger, smaller trees, despite the previous view that trees’ growth slowed as they developed. Research published in the journal Nature this week shows that in 97% of tropical and temperate tree species, growth rate increases with size. This suggests that older trees play a vital role in absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. http://theconversation.com/big-old-trees-grow-faster-making-them-vital-carbon-absorbers-22104

Casablanca

3/02/2014 ...easing back gently into the Cache for 2014. See first articles at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CASABLANCAS-CACHE-2014-02-03.aspx

Michael

3/02/2014She'd know, wouldn't she? "Describing this as a trial whispers to me that sensible minds in the government want to get an early chance to kill this off." Amanda Vanstone, who'd know a thing or two about thinking in Coalition Cabinets, wrote the above about Kevin Andrews marriage counseling $200 vouchers plan. Need I remind you that National Disability Insurance Scheme launch sites were renamed "trial sites" by Abbott's gumnint? "Describing this as a trial whispers to me that sensible minds in the government want to get an early chance to kill this off." http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/cabinet-correct-with-cosgrove-and-ardmona-but-andrews-needs-counselling-over-handout-20140202-31v56.html?skin=text-only

this is the real jaycee

3/02/2014Casablanca..That article about "Rogue liberal..." The comments on it are revealing in their cold, callous,economic pragmatism. The cruelty that some use to dismiss the region, the people who live and raise their families there and the resulting social chaos of closing the SPC. plant show little regard for humanity and society...These "sociopathic pragmatists" are the real enemy of civilised communities. Their utterly simplistic explanations and resolutions show an intellect too shallow for consideration...If such is the yardstick for measuring their commitment to society, I suggest they be given the opportunity of migrating to another country better suited to their callous cruelty. Such people have no place in a civilised society.

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3/02/2014Casablanca Welcome back. We look forward to reading your Cache again in 2014. There are plenty of issues to examine with the secretive, inept government we now have.

2353`

3/02/2014Welcome back Casablanca. You've been missed.

Michael

3/02/2014"Turn the Great Barrier Reef into a dump site for construction waste?" Tick. "Return the Tasmanian forests from world heritage to locally logable status?" Tick. "Create a two (multi?) tiered public school system with some schools ranked 'independent' and others dismissed to the bottom of the class because of geographical or sociological dependency on government support?" Tick. "Assert who needs an ABC Fact Checking section as that section all-too-routinely assesses statements from Coalition ministers as 'Unfounded'"? Tick. "Allow Coalition mouthpiece Nikki Savva on 'Insiders' to tell all in the studio and watching that the ABC's Network Australia is 'gone'?" Tick. Big week for the "no surprises, no excuses" gumnint? Nope, pretty average. Lies, sidestepping, surrogates making pre-ministerial announcements, ministerial announcements exposed as falsely figured taradiddles, Abbott in hiding, Julie Bishop lost in the backstreets of 'Griffin' (maybe she needs an Australian Navy GPS system to find her way out... no, that won't work), the Australian Bureau of Statistics having its budget cut so it won't come up with any ABC-style 'unpatriotic' facts and figures on The Abbott Error... Yep, just an average week, a normal week, for this 'adult government' run from a cesspool of frustrated synthetic testosterone cooked up in a Prime Minister's Office and smeared across the entire nation, a nation being daily sold the idea that 'our stink is the real Australia, get used to it'.

Michael

3/02/2014Here http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/joe-hockey-the-age-of-personal-responsibility-has-begun-20140203-31xge.html Peter Hartcher not only bullshits for Joe Hockey and the Abbott gumnint, he lies about the electorate that SPC Ardmona has its Shepparton factory in to 'better' frame that bullshit. Sharman Stone does not hold a "marginal electorate". She holds it with a vote from the last election that makes the electorate of Murray the fifth safest seat of the 90 seats that the Coalition holds anywhere in Australia - her '2 candidate preferred' winning margin was 20.9%. Either Hartcher is ignorant, doesn't do basic research, or he's so determined to gild a rotting lily he doesn't care whether anyone is likely to check lies he tells for the furtherance of The Abbott Error.

TalkTurkey

3/02/2014jaycee I LOVE your writing, and [i]Who Killed Cock Robin [/i]is so poignant and so painful ... The last verse twists my heartstrings as it did when I was 5. But your article broadens and deepens the pain. http://www.mamalisa.com/?t=hes&p=1370 I wish I was so sure that what goes around does really come around to the people who for good or ill deserve it. Casablanca Good to see you back in harness, so to speak. Thank you. Plenty to do in the era ahead! Q&A audience showed just how they feel about the Abborrrrtt Gummint tonight. Mocking laughter at everything Bananaby said.

Casablanca

4/02/2014 CASABLANCA'S CACHE Tuesday, 4 February, 2014: 38 items PETTY CASH 1. Coalition clocks up $1.8 million cab bills ... so far Noel Towell Government departments are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars each month ferrying public servants around in taxis. www.canberratimes.com.au/.../...0140202-31vcl.html 2. Banks curry favour in Canberra Posted by Houses and Holes The big four banks outweighed the mining sector in corporate donations to the major political parties in the lead-up to last year’s election, while the Labor Party was ahead overall in the fundraising stakes by nearly $3 million on June 30 last year. Australian Electoral Commission data show the Labor Party’s total receipts were ahead [...] macrobusiness.createsend1.com/.../ 3. Political donors gave Liberals $13 million, ALP $3.6 million before election, AEC figures show Andrew Greene and Naomi Woodley The Liberal Party received nearly four times more in political donations than the ALP in the run-up to the federal election last September, according to the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). www.abc.net.au/.../5234544?WT.mc_id=newsmail TONY ABBOTT: A CONTROVERSIAL FIGURE 4. Seminary similarity Kaye Lee Recently I came across an extraordinary article published in the Bulletin magazine (reproduced at nofibs) written by Tony Abbott in 1987, six months after he left St Patrick’s seminary.... From the start, Tony was a controversial figure at the seminary. Whilst some seemed to admire him, others found him “just too formidable to talk to unless to agree; overbearing and opiniated”. After the heady days of university, “Tony was not, on the whole, impressed by his companions”. http://theaimn.com/2014/02/02/seminary-similarity/ 5. Tony Abbott on why he left the priesthood Tony Abbott When I finally quit, on March 27, no one seemed surprised. Looking back, it seems that I was seeking a spiritual and human excellence to which the Church is no longer sure she aspires. My feeble attempts to recall her to her duty — as I saw it — betrayed a fathomless disappointment at the collapse of a cherished ideal. The same sense of boundless human potential, of man soaring to God’s right hand, which led me toward the priesthood led me away in the end. nofibs.com.au/.../ 6. Australian Security Wrecked By Cyclone Tony jfreos Most importantly Abbott through his arrogant and aggressive response combined with his simplistic and militaristic “turn back the boats” mania , has stupidly all but destroyed our most important regional defence alliance. Ironically it was the Labor Government who had entered into this spying venture with the USA but it is the incompetent Abbott who will pay the price. http://theinterpretor.wordpress.com/about/ POLITICS 7. The story is the boats, not the ABC Alan Sunderland Navy personnel have been involved in dangerous events on the open seas, but some news outlets who should be chasing that story are instead fixated on how the ABC is reporting it. www.abc.net.au/.../5233954 GENDER EQUALITY 8. Obama's rallying cry for gender equality Melissa Grah-McIntosh His words were hardly grand and his ideas definitely not new, but Barack Obama has thrown the weight of the White House behind the push for gender equality... In making such a big deal about pay inequality in a speech that also included acknowledgement of the first female CEO of a global automotive company, GM's Mary Barra, Obama shows the serious momentum behind efforts to address the deficit in women's incomes and women's presence across the American workforce. By issuing these declarations, the president becomes a key player in this historic shift. www.abc.net.au/.../5234284 9. Janet Yellen: What's age got to do with it? Liza Mundy Yellen's later-in-life ascension raises the possibility that women's careers have a different trajectory than men's do—and that women may be defining a new career trajectory for everybody. One emerging insight, among those who study work-life issues, is that women's careers may peak later than men's do. That revelation could prove immensely helpful for families: If women – and men – re-orient their thinking to accept that significant achievement can, and should, occur well beyond mid-life, they may be able to strike a work-life balance with less dissonance and tension. Life is long, and we now know that parents who dial back their work hours when their children are younger can still ascend to the highest career heights. There is a lot of work life left, after all, when the nest empties and the college tuition bills roll in. www.womensagenda.com.au/.../201402023516 MEDIA+CULTURE WARS 10. Business Spectator erects paywall Posted by Houses and Holes The accelerating moves in Australian business media have thrown up another shift. From BS today: I’m writing to let you know that from next week, a little more than six years after we launched, Business Spectator starts a new era. It will be a time of growth and opportunity and we’re really excited about it, [...] macrobusiness.createsend1.com/.../ 11. The publish button killed the media @burgewords comments - No Fibs Michael Burge This week’s cancellation of the funding behind Australia’s flagship online news source The Global Mail sent shock waves through the local media, because many journalists were watching to see if the rise of the independent online media hub was a viable career lifeboat. It’s not all […] nofibs.com.au/.../ 12. Tony Abbott continues criticism of ABC over editorial judgement, says the Government is considering future of Australia Network Latika Bourke Prime Minister Tony Abbott has continued his criticism of the ABC, saying the national broadcaster should have better corroborated its reports containing claims that the Navy mistreated asylum seekers. www.abc.net.au/.../5235806 13. Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Abbott and the ABC Michelle Grattan The Abbott government has been firing rhetorical bullets at friends and enemies alike in the last few days. Some employers are weak-kneed. The ABC is unpatriotic. On the face of it, there’s little in common between the Coalition’s industry policy salvoes and its assault on “Auntie”. Look more closely and you’ll find a couple of threads. Both are attempts at strong-arming. In each case, there’s internal division on the issues. www.womensagenda.com.au/.../201401303507 14. Lost in transmission: the Australia Network, soft power and diplomacy Susan Harris Rimmer and Benjamin Day According to reports, the Abbott government is considering scrapping the ABC’s Australia Network in the May budget to save money, ending its role in “soft diplomacy” efforts in the Asia-Pacific region… theconversation.com/lost-in-transmission-the-australia-network-soft-power-and-diplomacy-22580 15. Joe Hockey reveals complaint phone calls to ABC managing director Mark Scott, who says complaints from politicians aren't rare Latika Bourke Treasurer Joe Hockey has admitted to phoning the ABC's managing director to complain about coverage, but Mark Scott says politicians phoning in complaints are far from rare. Mr Hockey says the ABC's coverage of news stories has at times left him exasperated. www.abc.net.au/.../5235024 16. Reframing Freedom Mr Denmore What a difference a year, and a change of government, makes to the over-cooked freedom rhetoric... A year ago, it was outrage at "the Gillard government" stamping its jackboot of oppression into the freedom-loving faces of the Australian people. Now the outrage is directed at journalists of the publicly funded ABC daring to question "our government" over alleged mistreatment of asylum seekers. It's that familiar cocktail of cant and affected piety disguising commercial self-interest that seems endemic to News Corp globally. thefailedestate.blogspot.com.au/.../...reedom.html INDUSTRY ASSISTANCE + CORPORATE WELFARE 17. A history of government handouts Harrison Polites Barnaby Joyce has called on his government to approve as much $7 billion in assistance for drought affected farmers. The suggestion comes days after the Coalition rejected a proposal to support fruit cannery SPC Ardmona through a plant restructure. Should the government pick winners? And who have been the largest recipients of assistance? www.businessspectator.com.au/.../history-government-handouts 18. Why does Australian PM Tony Abbott support fossil fuel subsidies? Alex White "The prime minister seems very happy to continue to give taxpayer's money to fossil fuel companies to the tune of $10 billion per year in subsidies. The fossil fuel subsidy decision is particularly inconsistent with his stance on industry support for SPC-Ardmona and the car industry. This is a prime minister who in December declared an end to corporate welfare." www.theguardian.com/.../fossil-fuel-subsidies-tony-abbott-spc-ardmona-corporate-welfare 19. More than one message in SPC decision Paula Matthewson The government’s decision to rebuff SPC Ardmona’s request for assistance may well be a line in the sand, but not just for the business community.... However, the big dose of tough love for the ever-demanding Australian business community will likely give little comfort to the recipients of the second message. Taken together, the Cadbury and SPC Ardmona decisions starkly tell voters one thing: some jobs are more equal than others. www.abc.net.au/.../5229740?WT.mc_id=newsmail 20. Hockey: SPC declares “age of entitlement” dead Houses and Holes in Australian Economy Treasurer Joe Hockey says the government’s refusal to assist SPC Ardmona was a signal to the rest of the country that “the days of entitlement are over and the age of personal responsibility has begun’’. All very dramatic. And I’m strongly in favour if it proves to be true. But as UE showed earlier today, some decisions are better assessed in pragmatic cost/benefit terms. Making an example of SPC that will cost tax-payers more in the long run isn’t good policy, it’s grandstanding. macrobusiness.createsend1.com/.../ 21. SPC needs pragmatic assistance Leith van Onselen Federal Employment Minister, Eric Abetz, was out over the weekend explaining that the Government’s refusal to provide a $25 million “structural adjustment” payment to SPC Ardmona was because of its “overly-generous” labour conditions, which the Government claims is behind the food processor’s woes. From The Guardian: …SPC Ardmona had the potential [...] 22. SPC Ardmona and the cheap Chinese food challenge Hans Hendrischke and Wei Li The political lobbying accompanying the government decision to withhold financial support from SPC Ardmona has overshadowed the big structural issues facing Australia’s preserved food industry. The two… theconversation.com/spc-ardmona-and-the-cheap-chinese-food-challenge-22579 23. Tony Abbott defends $16 million federal funding for Cadbury chocolate factory Eliza Borrello Prime Minister Tony Abbott has again defended the Federal Government's decision to spend money on the Cadbury factory in Tasmania while rejecting SPC Ardmona's request for assistance. www.abc.net.au/.../5236004 24. Labor promises SPC Ardmona funds if it wins Victorian election Warwick Long The Victorian Opposition has committed $30 million for fruit processor SPC Ardmona if it wins the November state election. Labor Leader Daniel Andrews made the announcement with Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten as the two toured SPC's Shepparton factory today. "This is not handouts, it's not bailouts, it's a partnership. "It makes sense; you can pay this much and much more in Centrelink payments, or you could do the right thing to save these jobs and save this industry." www.abc.net.au/.../5235306 25. Business group backs SPC decision, slams corporate welfare ABC One of Australia's leading business lobby groups has praised the Federal Government's decision to refuse assistance to SPC Ardmona. The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry today released its quarterly business expectations survey for December, which found confidence was at the highest level in more than three years, even though business conditions remained weak. www.abc.net.au/.../5235198?WT.mc_id=newsmail 26. Coalition is scapegoating SPC Ardmona in a union witch-hunt: Liberal MP Lenore Taylor Sharman Stone accuses the government of playing up 'piffling' provisions in the fruit factory's enterprise agreement www.theguardian.com/.../coalition-is-scapegoating-spc-ardmona-in-a-union-witch-hunt-says-liberal-mp EQUITY + EQUALITY 27. Guardian piece on welfare Matt Cowgill I’ve written a new piece for Guardian Australia, in which I draw upon my own experiences to defend the Australian welfare state against its critics. Part of the theme of the piece is the way that income support payments can help to promote social mobility. Without family payments and Youth Allowance, it would be much harder for kids from working class backgrounds to go to university, and so on. mattcowgill.wordpress.com/.../ 28. Abuse of power does nothing to protect us Gary W Crooke and Tony Fitzgerald. Politicians who cynically misuse the power of the state for personal or political benefit are a far greater threat to democracy than criminals, even organised gangs www.abc.net.au/.../5230272?WT.mc_id=newsmail 29. Childcare and a commercial model: not the right fit? Eva Cox, Can the Productivity Commission review commissioned by the Abbott government recognise the possible failure of the market-model funding of many early childhood services? This rather broad term now covers services that offer mixes of education and non-family care for children below school age. ...This is a crude divide based on history and funding. It is not driven by the realities that all services for small children, when parents are not there, should deliver both social learning/developmental activities and safe, enjoyable alternative care. www.womensagenda.com.au/.../201401193450 30. In Conversation: Maxine McKew and Linda Darling-Hammond Maxine McKew Australian schoolkids are scoring higher than their US counterparts in maths, science and literacy, but a visiting expert has warned that economically disadvantaged children are falling further behind. theconversation.com/in-conversation-maxine-mckew-and-linda-darling-hammond-22489 31. Building a culture of trust: The key to flexible work? Paul Migliorini But despite the proven advantages of flexi-work for small and giant companies alike, many business owners are unclear how to make it work in practice. It's not just a matter of announcing the end of fixed hours at fixed locations, or telling your employees to work from home instead of at the office. www.womensagenda.com.au/.../201402023515 32. The role of the Fair Work Commission in tackling workplace bullying Jaan Murphy From 1 January 2014, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has jurisdiction to hear complaints from workers covered by the Fair Work Act 2009 (FWA) who allege they are victims of workplace bullying. parliamentflagpost.blogspot.com.au/.../...-in.html ENVIRONMENT 33. Australia courting danger with the Great Barrier Reef Barbara Norman The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has announced it will allow the dumping of three million cubic metres of dredge spoil from the Abbot Point port redevelopment within the marine park’s boundaries… theconversation.com/australia-courting-danger-with-the-great-barrier-reef-20411 34. Federal Government defends move to delist part of Tasmania's World Heritage Area "The Government has asked the World Heritage Committee to delist about 74,000 hectares of 170,000 which was added under Tasmania's historic forest peace deal." www.abc.net.au/.../5233640 35. Why I quit climate's dark art Michael Mazengarb If you are a public servant and passionately disagree with government policies, and you believe it no longer respects the "advice that is frank, honest, timely and based on the best available evidence", then quit. www.canberratimes.com.au/.../...0140202-31v2o.html 36. Why rainbows and oil slicks help to show the greenhouse effect MarkR The greenhouse effect, where some atmospheric gases let through sunlight but absorb the infrared heat given off by Earth, can be understood in amazing detail by starting off with the spread of colours in a rainbow or on an oil slick. Greenhouse gases warm Earth’s surface by about 33 C and the carbon dioxide we’re releasing by (mostly) burning coal, oil and gas is seen by 97% of climate scientists to be causing most of the recent global warming. http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=2384 37. Why do some people not care about science? Joan Leach and Fabien Medvecky Surveys on public attitudes to science regularly tell us that there are swathes of the public that simply seem to not care about science, despite our best effort to engage them. But perhaps the issue is… theconversation.com/why-do-some-people-not-care-about-science-22473 ASYLUM SEEKERS 38. Scott Morrison in Shirelive "Pastor Alison had encouraged them to bring Christmas presents for children who are living with their mothers in a local women's shelter and in detention at Villawood. Among the congregation, and looking like any modern dad in shorts and loafers, is the local federal MP, the immigration minister Scott Morrison. One of his two young daughters is carrying a large parcel." www.themonthly.com.au/.../scott-morrison-shirelive xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Casablanca

4/02/2014 Casablanca's Cache for Tuesday 4 February 2014 is now posted above and at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CASABLANCAS-CACHE-2014-02-03.aspx

Michael

4/02/2014Further to my post of last night, in which Peter Hartcher gladhands Hockey... The weblink reference I gave above has been reallocated to another Hartcher variation on the same story, about Hockey and the supposed 'end of the age of entitlement'. A story in which the 'marginal electorate' status of Sharman Stone's seat has disappeared. The original article, however, can be found here now: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/joe-hockey-gives-government-muchneeded-direction-20140203-31xbo.html In it, this quote, relating to SPC Ardmona being refused Government assistance: "Hockey was unmoved that the firm, owned by Coca-Cola Amatil, was the dominant employer in a marginal electorate..." is what I referred to in regard to Hartcher gilding a rotting lily or being just plain dumb or too lazy to do basic political research. Funny how the weblink went 'sideways' overnight, huh?

TalkTurkey

4/02/2014Please, everyone who can, get involved with your local #MarchInMarch organization. Whatever causes you espouse - education, disability care, public transport, environment, asylum seekers or more - you maybe sure that these Abborrrttians are dead set against it. Well #MarchInMarch is deadset against these Abborrrttians. Whatever special abilities you may have - poster designing or manufacturing, letterboxing, soapboxing, useful contacts, spare MONEY, any way you can find to display your indispensability - (for we are all indispensable in winning issues and elections, and when people go missing is when we lose!) - STUMP UP COMRADES, SHOW YOUR STRENGTH! JULY is a critical month - for that is when the new Senators take their places, and Abborrrtt hopes to have a RW majority then in both Houses - And then LOOK OUT! HUGE numbers in #MarchInMarch may give some of those weird new people pause, even we might hope that the odd one or two may have an epiphany about what sort of creature Abborrrtt really is, and down what incredibly foolish paths his Government is taking this nation. Volunteer now if you possibly can! Here's how we thwart Abborrrtt's plan! Come on Comrades! Show your starch! On your feet Folks! [i]#MarchInMarch! [/i] VENCEREMOS! :)

Janet (j4gypsy)

4/02/2014Thank you jaycee for another piece laden with insight as well as the wisdom of all the ages you have explored in your life and study :-). TPS gains so much from the words you share. (And welcome back wondrous Casablanca! We hope you are rested :-).) Yes, jaycee, we hope precisely for the cull you describe here: There is a hunger in the honest soul for justice. There is a hunger in the virtuous soul for kindness. There is a hunger in the community soul for equality in labour and reward. Those who would deny or willingly destroy such ambition in the spirit of a nation, history notes, will be culled from the citizen body before they infect the entire life-blood of a nation. But I would add one more, possibly middle, way to your two methods of doing: [i]History shows us there are two methods this can be done. One is the taking up of arms — an ugly result! The other is a better justice, a more resounding justice: to vote the bullies out in no uncertain terms at the ballot box.[/i] And that is the kind of legitimate active protest that is evolving in the MarchinMarch14# movement. I dream it may be the kind of activity that can disrupt a political process long before we have waited through yet more years of destruction and wreckage - to the next ballot box. When misled sufficiently by deception and mendacity and the cowardice of media, sometimes the people can, indeed, get it wrong. This morning sees the first main stream media piece on March in March by Jenna Price ([i]The Age[/i]), and it's posted in full below. She is though - coming down on the side of the ballot box and not the 'grassroots protest'. [b]March in March grows from genuine grassroots[/b] [i]JENNA PRICE February 04, 2014 [/i] March in March 2014 is not a Labor Party thing. I know because I asked Nick Martin, the assistant national secretary of the Australian Labor Party. It's not a unions thing. I know because Ged Kearney, the president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, said so, although you can tell she'd love it to work: ''If people want to have a say because they are angry about the way the country is run by this government, by all means take this opportunity to get out there and do it.'' It's not a Greens thing. I asked Christine Milne's office and they confirmed it wasn't them. Sam Mclean, national director of GetUp!, says it's not them either. Plus, there would have been a thousand ''Dear Jenna'' emails in my inbox by now - not that there's anything wrong with that. I feel fairly confident I don't have to ask the Prime Minister's office if March in March is organised by the Liberals or the Nationals. What is it? It's what looks like an authentic public reaction to the Abbott government's way of running Australia - which means it's not only about asylum seekers; or climate change; or education funding; or union bashing; or attacks on universal healthcare coverage. Here's what MiM says about itself on Facebook: ''March in March Australia 2014 will be three days of peaceful assemblies, non-partisan citizens' marches and rallies at Federal Parliament and around Australia to protest against government decisions that are against the common good of our nation.'' Those kinds of events are usually run by existing groups - political parties and single issue groups with experienced organisers and huge email lists they can milk for support. The people running MiM have none of this - but in some respects, organising has become easier because of the glories of social media. I'm yet to be persuaded that the organising that happens on social media is somehow less effective than walking for hours in the sun and listening to speeches on a borrowed PA. Yes, MiM smells like grassroots, looks like grassroots, sounds like grassroots, strangely, in a country which has been overrun by top-down political organising. Ariadne Vromen, associate professor in politics at the University of Sydney, says it's a dilemma of contemporary activism. ''Formal organisations are increasingly being criticised for making top-down decisions for participants … [but] those organisations bring scale, resources and experience to a campaign.'' Still, she's reminded of the Not Happy, John! movement of 2004, which developed momentum through stunts and slogans. It marked the beginning of the great unravelling of Howard's authority. Only 15 per cent of Australians have ever been on a protest march, says Vromen: ''But protest attendance is still problematically held up as the gold standard for participation by most activists and scholars.'' Yet the MiM organisers are convinced Australians will rally. MiM has a national admin panel of eight, none of whom appear to be bigwigs (or even medium-sized ones) in any political party. Craig Batty, an educational designer who lives in regional NSW, is the spokesman and says he's never been a party member. He's never been an activist before. But he's had enough. He will be marching in Canberra on Monday, March 17 from 10am. It's a strange time of day for a protest, to be honest; and it smacks a little of the pathetic Convoy of No Consequence, organised around the campaign of radio announcer Alan Jones. Batty says it's important to do this on a sitting day at the seat of government. He is not troubled by the fact that it's a work day: ''I have rock solid certainty that we will beat Alan Jones by at least 1000 people … people are really frustrated about broken promises and lies.'' Says Vromen: ''No matter how strongly people feel, the threshold for engagement is very high to get ordinary people on the streets to protest - and for a weekday it may be even harder. ''A movement needs a lot of time, encouragement, and organising to develop and build critical mass.'' Are Australians really that frustrated with the federal government? William Bowe thinks so - but that a lot of the anger is directed at Tony Abbott: ''He is doing remarkably badly for a newly elected prime minister.'' The leeway the electorate grants to those who've just won an election is already gone - and Abbott is 10 to 30 per cent behind all the other prime ministers. Bowe is an election analyst and blogger for Crikey. He says in every piece of polling and research he has seen, Australians are far closer to the positions of the Labor Party than they are to the positions of the Liberal Party. Bowe says Australians are now thinking: ''This is not the government we were promised.'' But can the sentiment that underpins March in March have an impact? Shouldn't we just stay at home and wait to utilise the site where we can really demonstrate our power: the ballot box? Kirsty McLaren, an associate researcher in politics at the Australian National University, says rallies alone would never be enough. But when they are used to demonstrate public anger, that can have a serious impact. ''It can have an agenda-setting effect, and that is with the broader population, with politicians and also with journalists. ''Protests often contribute to the success of other actions,'' she says. So far, at least in Australia, it hasn't worked for our foreign aid involvement, for single parents. It's been reasonably successful on reproductive rights. And an absolute and tragic failure on the serious matter of climate change and the environment, with the Franklin Dam as the notable exception. McLaren says sometimes these movements are about developing a social movement. ''Gay pride marches are a way of creating and presenting a collective identity and that's a way of pressuring for policy changes.'' March in March plans to spring up everywhere. Nicola Bell lives in Newcastle with her husband, who is a nurse, and their two-year-old, Gabriel. She says she's never been much of a protester, nor are her friends. ''I'm an ordinary wife and mother; and we go to church … when I was younger, I was in the army reserve. ''I'm marching because I want to show the Prime Minister that this is not just an inner-city elite thing.'' Bell, 34, says she wants Abbott to take a more compassionate view on asylum seekers, on Medicare, on education. She says: ''The government works at the behest of the people, not the other way around. ''I'm not going to give the government my silent consent … you are not doing it in my name.'' Me? I'll probably end up going to see what turns up. I'm all for grassroots. But I love them to sprout up through the ballot box.

the real jaycee

4/02/2014Thanks for putting that up , Janet....MiM is getting traction...I can feel it in my bones..several people I know who never get that involved in street politics are going to march...and march passionately!....good on you!

the real jaycee

4/02/2014Sharman Stone finally gets a conscience! http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-04/5236328 "PM., Hockey, is a liar"

Janet (j4gypsy)

4/02/2014jaycee et al, this is the piece that goes hand in hand with the March in March concept: a brilliant piece in [i]New Matilda[/i] very recently by Guy Rundle. Note the 'public good' 'meme' as some kind of 'push back' umbrella resistance to what is. (And apologies - won't put up full pieces again ...) [b]Worst. Culture. War. Ever. [i]By Guy Rundle[/i][/b] It's only a culture war if your enemy is copping most of the damage - this is an incompetent mess. The left needs to stop panicking over Abbott and start strategising, writes Guy Rundle Good God. I’ve been writing about Australian politics for close to 20 years now, and US politics for close to a decade, and I have to say, I’ve seen some crap culture wars in my time, but this one is really a new low. Since taking power, the Abbott government has shown an unprecedented lack of focus. All new governments wobble a bit, but this one has wobbles in its wobbles. As Abbott arsed around in the first weeks, his loyal retainers in the Murdoch press kept repeating, with diminishing degrees of conviction, "government by adults, government by adults" — even as most of the trouble seemed to come from Christopher Pyne, the one member of parliament who appears to be forever nine years old. His hamfisted dealing with the Gonski question ensured that for a while, the official opposition was the NSW Government. As our relationship with Indonesia collapsed to its lowest point since the nation’s founding, and we prated on about sovereignty while crossing back and forth on their territorial waters, to the point where they have now dispatched ships to actively enforce it, the yet more feeble cry was heard, "government by adults". George Brandis attempted to get something going in free speech and the repeal of the "insult" provisions. The Liberal state governments introduced a range of legislation so draconian in so many different ways, that it made a mockery of the Right’s commitment to "freedomwatch" — so much so that incoming rights bureaucrat, former classical liberal, Tim Wilson, was moved to make a few plaintive croaks. Then the oldskool culture/political war began, banging the drum for a new curriculum, to be reviewed by the most obviously right wing fixers that could be drummed up, to revise a process that took five years to complete. But that was interrupted by Abbott’s announcement that he would seek a specific mention of indigenous people in the preamble to the constitution, something that has been anathema to the rightwing chorus for years. Then just as everyone was working out what they thought about that, there was the attack on the ABC, and the intimation that it should be "on Australia’s side" — ie on the government’s side — and then Malcolm Turnbull’s frank rebuttal to that, and then inner Sydney chipmunk Craig Laundy’s statement that reporting on Edward Snowden was "un-Australian", and then Bolt’s statement that he was indigenous, and on we went. Come on, this isn’t a culture war! It’s not a culture war when most of the damage is inflicted on your own side by friendly fire. But the only people trying to take it more seriously than the ragged right, are elements of the left, who jump at each chaotic announcement as if it were a 3am knock at the door. Can we stipulate for the record that the Abbott government is doing a terrible job, governmentally and politically, that their immediate post-election drop in the polls reflect this, and then start to strategise from there? Two obvious points come out of the recent months. The first is that the Abbott government has no real game plan, apart from killing the carbon tax, and stopping the boats, and then a footling series of culture war maneouvres. The real stuff — going up against the union movement, etc is going to be hard, and they’re not in shape for that yet. Truth is, they can’t even manage a culture war, tripping over themselves as different and contradictory initiatives fly every which way. Why are these political moves proving so chaotic, compared to the last culture war, in the Howard years? The answer is that Howard's gestures were part of a larger movement, the neoconservative wave rushing through the West after 9/11. The idea that decadent leftists had left the place to wrack and ruin, and that "Western Civ" would now be restored was quite powerful. Now? Meh. Western societies have returned to inward self-preoccupation. In the meantime, they have simply become more left-liberal, more comfortable and relaxed about being post-Christian, post-conservative cultures. Ten years ago people were still talking about "multiculturalism" as a scourge, as if assimilation could replace it as a strategy. Now the obvious question is, assimilation to what? We have become a more globalised, placeless culture than we ever were. Same-sex marriage may not have been achieved, but it is no longer some exotic bloom. Cory Bernardi’s book did not function as a call to arms, but as a silly season moment of severe oddness, as or more embarrassing to the Coalition as it was to anyone. That’s one reason why the Howard government was able to run a more efficient culture war. They had things they wanted to get done, and a sufficient external sense of grievance to match and support it. So it was a steady march through the ABC, the museum, the curriculum etc. Even then, it met with little success. Now its major achievement is to draw focus away from its popular policies towards boat arrivals etc. For people on the left to keep reacting to these scattered and fragmented moves would seem merely to give them a greater efficacy than they have. Everything the Coalition has done — from its pre-election commitment to a range of Labor policies, to the absence of a programme now — is evidence of weakness, not strength. That’s something that a number of us — Tad Tietze on Left Flank, the Piping Shrike blog — have been saying for a while, and it’s something to recognise in a political practice. What is required is to respond to these various haphazard attacks on public institutions, voluntary groupings (ie unions etc), with a reunification of them, and go on the attack. This would usually be the provenance of the ALP, but since they have abandoned any notion of defending even the most minimal social democratic idea of state and society, and relapsed to some free-market footnote to the government, whining about jobs, it has to be done elsewhere. The Greens don’t have the speaking position yet. My suggestion is, that with people already starting spontaneous protests about the ABC, the Victorian government’s assembly laws, the Queensland bikie laws, with a renewed focus on refugees and unions, a simple overarching campaign called ‘Public Good’ might be the go. Public Good — emphasising both the idea that distanced public institutions such as the ABC are A Good Thing, but also that, with refugees, there is a strong public desire to do good, to be simply decent, rather than the current metered out sadism. Public Good — I don’t propose it as any sort of group, meeting in church halls blah blah. I suggest it’s a logo, a symbol, a meme, an evolving set of simple principles which people campaigning on one or other of these issues would attach to what they’re doing. Eventually, if it has some sort of life, it may in turn draw some physical manifestations in its own name. The important thing seems to be to unify these separate issues, set chaotically by the Coalition, and give them a single form, that then starts to set the agenda. If anyone feels thus inspired and wants to get some sort of logo, words going, circulating, just, well, do it. It lives or dies on simply entering circulation. It’s not the sort of thing that can be readily appropriated. It would look so obviously ridiculous if fluoridationists or creationists were using it. Public Good, as I may have mentioned. Meanwhile, the Abbott thing shudders on. If it were a musical, it would have closed in the Geelong tryouts.

DMW

4/02/2014Jaycee wrote: [i]Cut to the recent election where a majority of our own society, our own people, voted in just such a destroyer of many good policies even against their own interests.[/i] Why did it happen? The answer/s as to why are many and varied but there are some simple truths that can illuminate our understanding of why. The late Joe Bageant, explored many aspects of why the masses vote against their own interests in his brilliant book [b]Deer Hunting With Jesus [i]Dispatches from America's Class War[/i][/b] http://www.readings.com.au/products/5765511/joe-bageant-deer-hunting-with-jesus-dispatches-from-americas-class-war If you haven't discovered Joe yet take a peep at his website: http://www.joebageant.com/joe/ Although this may not be the best quote to sum up why we act against our own best interests it sure explains a lot: [i]In a nation that equates democracy with everyman's right to an opinion, no matter how ridiculous, this was probably inevitable. After all, dumb people choose dumb stuff. That's why they are called dumb.[/i] It is from a brilliant essay written by Joe in December 2010 [b]AMERICA: Y UR PEEPS B SO DUM? [i]Ignorance and courage in the age of Lady Gaga[/i][/b] http://www.joebageant.com/joe/2010/12/america-y-ur-peeps-b-so-dum.html Be aware as you read the essay that while it shines a light it also holds up a mirror and has the potential to cause the asking of some difficult questions about our own selves. Oh, and there are quite a few laughs in there as well

DMW

4/02/2014Hi j4gypsy, thanks for that Guy Rundle thing it rattled a few cobwebs (?) and connected some dots for me. A long lost friend who is now a fairly prominent artist once told me: [i]The purpose of art is to create a reaction[/i] What has that got to with anything? Well, if politics is an art(form) and Tony whatsisface is practicing the art, he is doing a pretty good job of creating reactions. The problem is, knowingly or not, many on the left/progressive side are doing exactly what he wants and reacting in a predictable way. Many are falling for the sucker punch that whatsisface throws our way.

Michael

4/02/2014So Sharman Stone is the only one in Abbott and Credlin's government with brass ones! Balls, that is.

the real jaycee

4/02/2014DMW. Yes, I read that article a while back...trouble is, in a hard-played game of politics..when the ball is passed to you , you gotta either kick it or hold on to it....if you hold on too long, it gets kicked from your hands regardless...sure, it's just a big dumb game with a lot of big dumb players..and no room for spectators..but it's the only game going in town at the moment..so play up! play up! and play the game.

Mark

4/02/2014Great to see TTPS firing again after a well deserved break. Great article too, jaycee. Always remember, it was only 30 to 40K of voters in key seats which won the election for the Mad Monk. #OneTermTony is very doable but Dog help us in the meantime. Social media is getting stronger and more influential by the day. MarchinMarch I will be there.

this is the real jaycee

4/02/2014If Costello is the “Mr. Magic Millions” that they claim he is, how come he’s been unemployed for so long….Why hasn’t a big-bank or two taken him on as a consultant….Hey!…he’s the next best thing to God isn’t he?

Ken

4/02/2014Janet and DMW This post by Jeff Sparrow http://overland.org.au/2014/01/new-year-new-culture-war/ also looks at how the Left should respond: in this case to the so-called 'culture wats'. Together the pieces provide a case not to be distracted by the details of Abbott's changes but continue to focus on the bigger picture, the wider changes they will lead to.

Ken

4/02/2014sorry should have been 'culture wars' not 'culture wats' although the latter does seem appropriate

DMW

5/02/2014Hi Ken culture warts could be what your looking for :)

Casablanca

5/02/2014 [b]CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Wednesday, 5 February 2014: 32 items[/b] CULTURE WARS 1. The ABC Is On Solid Ground Ben Eltham The relentless attacks on the ABC over bias and the quality of its news gathering show how weak the Coalition's reheated culture war really is https://newmatilda.com/2014/02/04/abc-solid-ground 2. ABC, stay brave Michael Taylor It is without a doubt that the Abbott Government is intent on curtailing as much scrutiny of itself as possible. Step 1 is the ABC, with step 2 doubtless being the alternative and social media. However, for the moment it’s the ABC. Recent events include http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/abc-stay-brave/ 3. The nationalism wedge Simon Tatz The Abbott Government is transparently using nationalism to drive a conservative political agenda — and it could backfire disastrously http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/the-nationalism-wedge,6126 4. Abbott’s worst week Bob Ellis This last week may be seen by historians as the one that sealed Abbott’s doom. http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/abbotts-worst-week,6119 5. Worst. Culture. War. Ever. Guy Rundle It's only a culture war if your enemy is copping most of the damage - this is an incompetent mess. The left needs to stop panicking over Abbott and start strategising https://newmatilda.com/2014/01/31/worst-culture-war-ever 6. “We will decide what rights you have, and the circumstances under which you have them.” rossleighbrisbane Treasurer Joe Hockey has bluntly warned Australians that the days of governments saving businesses and jobs had passed, telling them, ”the age of entitlement is over, and the age of personal responsibility has begun”. Mark Kenny “The Courier”, 4th February, 2014… http://theaimn.com/2014/02/04/we-will-decide-what-rights-you-have-and-the-circumstances-under-which-you-have-them/ 7. Union Witch-Hunt Won't Win Votes Ben Eltham Reports of corruption in Australia's most powerful union have been the catalyst for the Coalition to go on another industrial relations binge - but does the electorate want to join in https://newmatilda.com/2014/01/30/union-witch-hunt-wont-win-votes 8. Rewriting History Glenn Davies Federal education minister Christopher Pyne appears to have reignited the History Wars with a call to rewrite the newly-minted national history curriculum to remove alleged left-wing bias. History editor ‒ and history teacher ‒ Dr Glenn Davies says how history is taught in Australian schools should not depend on who is running the country. http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/rewriting-history,6125 9. The politics of class warfare: from Sydney to Washington, the gulf is deepening Josh Bornstein The class war has been won by the rich. Millionaires are pulling up the drawbridge behind them, evading taxation while choosing to share their anger rather than their wealth..You can drown in data measuring inequality, but just as much can be revealed by examining our culture and politics and increasingly our interactions with each other. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/04/the-politics-of-class-warfare-from-sydney-to-washington-the-gulf-is-deepening INDUSTRY WARS 10. The Magical Land of Cadbury Kaye Lee The Land of Cadbury is a magical place. Whenever you want something just say the magic word abottandcadbury and hey presto….all wishes are granted. Tony Abbott loves visiting the Land of Cadbury to indulge his guilty pleasures, describing it as his ultimate weakness. http://theaimn.com/2014/02/02/the-magical-land-of-cadbury/ 11. One Firm's Subsidy Is Another's Burden Ian McAuley The Federal Government can't afford to help SPC modernise? That's nonsense. They pay plenty of industry assistance already - just not to companies with unionised workforces https://newmatilda.com/2014/02/03/one-firms-subsidy-anothers-burden 12. Shepparton Growers 'Stuck In The Doldrums' Dylan Bird The Federal Government's decision to deny SPC Ardmona the $25 million for modernisation promised to them under Labor will hit Northern Victoria hard https://newmatilda.com/2014/02/03/shepparton-growers-stuck-doldrums 13. Barnaby Joyce in Coalition tug-of-war as Nationals press on drought package Gabrielle Chan National party pushing for interest rate subsidies for farmers to be reinstated, while Liberals reject other pleas for support http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/04/barnaby-joyce-coalition-nationals-drought-package 14. No protection for SPC Ardmona or Australian farmers Matthew Mitchell (with Nick Rose) The failure of the Australian Government to support SPC Ardmona and Australian manufacturing all comes down to our slavish devotion to so-called “free trade” http://www.independentaustralia.net/article-display/no-protection-for-spc-ardmona-or-australian-farmers,6132 POVERTY WARS 15. It's all relative: The poverty wars are back Matthew Taylor Relative poverty is a poor measure when it comes to forming public policy aimed at helping those Australians who are really doing it tough. Adam Creighton, economics correspondent at The Australian, has taken aim at Australia's addiction to welfare and a welfare lobby committed to maintaining the "poverty charade". http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-04/taylor-poverty-wars/5237878 16. Welfare Cheats Are In The Eye Of The Beholder Ben Eltham Kevin Andrews' welfare review is targeting the 'unsustainable' parts of the system. Turns out unsustainable means something completely different at Coalition HQ https://newmatilda.com/2014/01/23/welfare-cheats-are-eye-beholder POLITICS, SECRECY, HYPOCRISY, DECEPTION 17. Tony Abbott's YouTube suspended after 'deceptive content' complaint Bridie Jabour www.theguardian.com User complaints about prime minister’s video, titled Delivering on our Promises, led to temporary suspension of account http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/03/tony-abbotts-youtube-account-suspended 18. A Hanging Judge For Labor's Pink Batts Scheme? Adam Brereton Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd have been summonsed to appear before the Coalition's pink batts Royal Commission. But who's running the show? Adam Brereton on Ian Hanger QC https://newmatilda.com/2014/02/04/hanging-judge-labors-pink-batts-scheme 19. Will The Australian Snowden Please Stand Up? Alan Austin Despite their assurances of transparency, the secrecy and hypocrisy of the Abbott Government is fertile ground for an Australian Edward Snowden https://newmatilda.com/2014/01/24/will-australian-snowden-please-stand 20. Hockey will soon have a deficit of his own Ben Eltham Australia’s public service is already very efficient. It’s difficult to see how further cuts will improve services for ordinary citizens. Indeed, given that Australia runs one of the smallest governments in the OECD, there is a good argument to make that greater public investment is required if Australia is to continue to deliver high-quality government services. http://vic.psnews.com.au/FeaturesVICpsn3393.html 21. Cadbury is a sponsor of the Pollie Pedal, SPC ARDMONA is not! http://carersaustralia.com.au/events/pollie-pedal-2013/sponsors/ 22. Cadbury cash 'radically different' to SPC Ardmona funding request, says PM Lenore Taylor Tony Abbott says grant was only for re-establishing chocolate tour – contradicting a pre-election Liberal party press release http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/feb/03/cadbury-cash-radically-different-to-spc-ardmona-funding-request-says-pm 23. Coalition's Acrobatics Deny Schools a Soft Landing Craig Emerson Education experts agree that extra school funding without reform won't improve student performance. But nor can the performance of disadvantaged students be improved without extra funding to pay for the support they need. Here's the irony: having called for reform and opposed extra funding for disadvantaged students the federal government has manoeuvred itself into a position of offering extra funding without reform. http://craigemersoneconomics.com/blog/2014/2/1/column-in-the-australian-coalitions-acrobatics-deny-schools-a-soft-landing 24. Turnbull hints at shift in TV ownership laws Dominic White Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has killed hopes of a near-term licence fee cut for commercial free-to-air television but will consider changes to ownership laws that could allow a merger of News Corporation and Ten Network Holdings. http://www.afr.com/p/business/marketing_media/turnbull_hints_at_shift_in_tv_ownership_lYhl3cbxA9iWv7Jb6S1QpK 25. Industry winning the fight against better food labelling Kathy Chapman Most people doing their grocery shopping are probably blissfully unaware of the industry lobbying and backroom politics that determines what information appears on food labels. So let’s start with some background. For almost two years, a Commonwealth government-led initiative involving http://theconversation.com/industry-winning-the-fight-against-better-food-labelling-22472 26. Reviving Wind Turbine Syndrome is just what you’d expect from a PM without a Science Minister Michael Vagg Abbott's war on science turns to wind. The Abbott Government has announced yet another pointless inquiry into the health impacts of windfarms. http://theconversation.com/reviving-wind-turbine-syndrome-is-just-what-youd-expect-from-a-pm-without-a-science-minister-22470 ECONOMICS 27. Anything more than a trim could hurt the economy Stephen Koukoulas The budget is actually in a manageable position - some policy tightening is necessary, but Treasurer Joe Hockey need not be as extreme as foreshadowed in recent media debate http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-04/koukoulas-anything-more-than-a-trim-will-hurt-the-economy/5236378 28. Abbott's Faith In Markets Is Blind Sarah Burnside While Tony Abbott sang the praises of free market orthodoxy at Davos, other voices joined in the chorus back home. We need to start calling this for what it is - a religion https://newmatilda.com/2014/01/28/abbotts-faith-markets-blind POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT + COMMITMENT 29. Why I will March in March Victoria Rollison When I first saw mention on Twitter of the March in March, I’ll admit I was sceptical. Thoughts of a very small number of trucks driving into Canberra, and Alan Jones getting all hot and bothered filled my mind. The last thing Australian progressives need is our own ‘Convoy of no consequence’. However, as the March in March organisers have got more organised, and as events across the country grow in number, I realised that of course I have to March in March, and in fact it would be totally hypocritical of me not to. Let’s use our numbers and our unity to show Abbott and those who support him that we’re not giving up that easily. http://theaimn.com/2014/02/01/why-i-will-march-in-march/ ENVIRONMENT + ENERGY 30. Renewable Energy Makes Tony sick. Kaye Lee Since the introduction of the carbon price in July 2012, emissions from the National Electricity Market serving eastern Australia have fallen about 8.9 per cent, in part due to less demand from a shrinking manufacturing sector. By 2020, under current projections, wind, hydro and other renewable sources will supply more than 20 per cent , perhaps as high as 27 per cent, of our electricity needs. So we appear to be on track. But, in what appears to be an increasingly common loathing for anything to do with tracks or Labor or anything green (unless it’s a paper abolishing regulations), Tony looks set to derail us again. http://theaimn.com/2014/01/31/renewable-energy-makes-tony-sick/ ASYLUM SEEKERS 31. Coalition Anti-Worker Crusade Goes International Katerina Pavlidis Two weeks ago, the Coalition government announced that it would no longer provide funding to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) — a United Nations agency which promotes labour rights, encourages employment opportunities and develops international labour standards. By cutting funds to a key labour organisation the Coalition has shown it is not interested in a real 'regional solution' to asylum seeker arrivals... The axing of funds to the ILO seems inconsistent with the government’s intention to develop a "regional solution" because this is exactly what the ILO, and in particular its GMS TRIANGLE project, is focusing on. 32. Three asylum seekers dead after boat turn back – Abbott has blood on his hands A report on news.com.au on 31 January 2014 revealed asylum seekers including children and teenagers were physically shoved inside an Australian Navy lifeboat and escorted back to Indonesian waters by Border Protection Command who then abandoned them. The boat came ashore at a sparsely inhabited jungle reserve. Three asylum seekers are reported to have died “while crossing a river in the jungle” in their attempt to seek assistance after coming ashore. http://rac-vic.org/2014/02/01/media-release-three-asylum-seekers-dead-after-boat-turn-back-abbott-has-blood-on-his-hands/ xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Casablanca

5/02/2014 CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Wednesday, 5 February 2014: Abbott has declared war on most of what we hold dear. See above and at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CASABLANCAS-CACHE-2014-02-03.aspx

TalkTurkey

5/02/2014Everyone singing Sharman's praises She's still a Lib, she can go to blazes! Her core promise now defeated - Here's what that mean Turkey tweeted: [i]It don't mean a thing If she ain't resigning Unless she goes Bye Bye Bye-Bye Bye-Bye! [/i] (Sing along):- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NxBaumftVg … Funny thing, if she doesn't resign I'll continue to revile her - If she [i]does[/i] resign, I'll [i]lionise[/i] her!

Michael

5/02/2014Every time I hear the words "Prime Minister Abbott", every time I see Joe Hockey interviewed as "Treasurer", I feel I'm in a particularly skewed Monty Python sketch. Skewed towards the utterly ridiculous. And then I see Julie Bishop, Scott Morrison, Pyne, Joyce, Truss, Corman... There's not even a hint of Pythonesque satire then, just some huge raspberry with associated stink from the Universe to Australia and everyone living here. Lunatics are not only running the asylum, they are getting to re-paint it, undermine it, re-label it (and thus its inhabitants) as the norm, the adult, the responsible and the proper. And Abbott and co keep telling us how lucky we are to have them!

this is the real jaycee

5/02/2014Funny, TT..I keep thinking of a sadder ..: "Harvest" by Niel Young....

Ad astra

5/02/2014Casablanca How good it is to have your links back. I'm still working through them, and enjoying the reading. Ben Eltham's piece on the culture wars, and the now-obvious-to-everyone ineptitude of our so-called PM, is spot on.

Michael

5/02/2014Paul Howes today said some Australian workers are being paid too generously. Does he count himself amongst them? Or his Qantas mouthpiece girlfriend? Of course, paying alimony and child support to the wife and kids he abandoned for his Qantas mouthpiece girlfriend might put a dent into his undoubtedly 'generous' paypacket.

42long

5/02/2014ABC BAD, Unions BAD. Anyone who doesn't worship me and my God is bad, and will get what they deserve I was born for the purpose I have now been entrusted with. It was meant to be. It is written in the papers of the great Murky. I am the chosen one. Australia and I are one. Starting to make North Korea look reasonable. You hear it first on 2GB where truth gets the treatment it deserves. A station with the battler at heart.

Ken

5/02/201442long Yes and uncle Rupert, GOOD. Gina, GOOD. Cadbury GOOD but SPC BAD??? It becomes a very long and inconsistent list. But you are right in pointing out that this is Abbott's ordained destiny - just because he is intellectually incapable of fulfilling his destiny seems to have been missed by some divine force!

Casablanca

6/02/2014 [b]CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Thursday, 6 February 2014: 25 items [/b] TRUTH WARS 1. Tracking Abbott’s wreckage Sally McManus Tony Abbott has been in power since 7 September 2013. From that moment, he and his government have broken promises and hurt Australians. This post will be regularly updated to keep track of the Abbott Government’s broken promises and everything his Government does to hurt Australians. Each separate item will have a link to a source. Broken promises appear in bold and in a separate list at the end. http://sallymcmanus.net/abbotts-wreckage/ 2. Still taxing and spending David Leyonhjelm Do not believe the Government's rhetoric about cutting tax and stopping waste, at least not yet. The budget update, released a week before Christmas, includes worrying indications of rising taxation and more wasteful spending. Tax receipts are estimated to increase by $1.6 billion this financial year as a result of the Government's policy decisions. Since it came to power in September, tax hikes amount to around $23 million a day. And that's not counting the tobacco tax increase, a parting gift from Labor that the new government gratefully pocketed. Perhaps Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey are taking to heart the 4th century prayer of the philanderer-turned-puritan Saint Augustine: 'Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet!' http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=15950 SNOUTS IN THE TROUGH, ENTITLEMENTS, FIDDLES 3. Audit commissioners earn top dollar for advising on cuts Heath Aston They were appointed in the spirit of austerity to identify billions of dollars to hack from government spending. But the Abbott government's audit commissioners have been accused of failing to walk the walk on what they are taking from the public purse. Audit chairman Tony Shepherd has so far been paid $25,000 for the equivalent of 17 days' work. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/audit-commissioners-earn-top-dollar-for-advising-on-cuts-20140204-31yqr.html 4. Commission of Audit boss again challenged on conflict of interest Anne Davies The ALP has raised new concerns about conflicts of interest arising from the business interests of the chairman of the National Commission of Audit, Tony Shepherd, after it was revealed he had taken a directorship at the newly formed Rearden Capital, which will market infrastructure debt financing to superannuation funds. Mr Shepherd agreed to join the board early last year, but formally became a director on December 2, after he was appointed chairman of the Commission of Audit. He will hold a 2.5 per cent share in the company and has paid $750 for his shares. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/commission-of-audit-boss-again-challenged-on-conflict-of-interest-20140204-31zcz.html CULTURE WARS 5. Minister Pyne and the curriculum – again David Stephens School curricula in history have been a political battlefield in Anglo-Saxon countries, on and off, for decades, the vehemence of the views expressed arising from two differing views of what history education is about: on one hand, there is the view that it is about training young people to think, making use of evidence from history, evidence that may lead different students in different directions; on the other side, the preference is for history as a set of agreed facts, the knowledge of which makes a youth a better citizen of their country and which, at a pinch, can be used as a test of whether the person concerned is ‘one of us’. http://honesthistory.net.au/wp/minister-pyne-and-the-curriculum-again/ 6. Conservatives dismiss the ABCs of democracy Sally Young To put it simply, doubt is the essence of knowledge. You have to have doubt in order to understand and discover. But the default position of conservatism is to accept and preserve rather than question, challenge or seek change. This means conservatives often misread the critical, questioning approach taken by good journalism and research-based education, seeing it in simplistic terms as ''left-wing'' bias....Although numerous internal and external studies of ABC content have found there is no systematic bias, conservative critics won't be convinced because they perceive bias in a more intangible way - as something that underlies the whole approach used at the ABC, rather than what is measurable (such as equal time or a right of reply). http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/conservatives-dismiss-the-abcs-of-democracy-20140204-31z3m.html#ixzz2sPCPmNNE 7. Abbott’s attack on ABC proves politicians are free press chameleons. Mark Pearson Politicians are free expression chameleons. Regardless of their political colours, they are inevitably staunch advocates of a free media and the free flow of information while in opposition. When they win government they tend to shut down criticism and negative press by implementing policies and passing laws to limit scrutiny. http://nofibs.com.au/2014/02/05/abbotts-attack-abc-proves-politicians-free-press-chameleons/#sthash.s1aW1iVq.dpuf 8. ABC poaches News Corp journalist to spin its message Matthew Knott The ABC has fired the latest shot in its increasingly bitter stoush with News Corporation Australia by hiring one of The Australian's most senior journalists to manage its media relations. The Australian's media editor Nick Leys, who wrote the paper's media diary column for two and a half years, has resigned from the company and will begin his new job as ABC media manager in March. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/abc-poaches-news-corp-journalist-to-spin-its-message-20140204-31yuc.html INDUSTRY WARS 9. Fish business gets a federal handout, but fruit is on the nose Peter Martin Within minutes of Treasurer Joe Hockey declaring an end to ''the age of entitlement'' on Monday Assistant Infrastructure Minister Jamie Briggs stood on a highway on the outskirts of Hobart and announced a grant of $3.5 million to a Tasmanian seafood processor, Huon Aquaculture. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/fish-business-gets-a-federal-handout-but-fruit-is-on-the-nose-20140204-31zio.html 10. Co-operate or perish Tristan Ewins SPC-Ardmona has a long history in Australia. In the early 1920s Ardmona had began its life as a co-operative enterprise. SPC also began as a co-op in the 1900s. They merged to form a united co-operative enterprise in 2002. For a period the merged companies operated as a workers' co-op. But in 2005 SPC-Ardmona agreed to a takeover by the multi-national corporation, Coca-Cola Amatil. Yet the high Australian dollar spelt disaster for SPC-Ardmona, as well as for fruit growers who could not compete with cheap imports. http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=15991 11. Slamming Abbott on SPCA isn't enough Rob Burgess As the reality of the SPCA situation hits home, there are two questions that need answering: one immediate, one longer term. The immediate question is what political advantage have Prime Minister Abbott and Treasure Hockey given to opposition leader Bill Shorten, with their charge against the hapless workers of SPCA? http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/2/5/politics/slamming-abbott-spca-isnt-enough?utm_source=exact&utm_medium=email&utm_content=574251&utm_campaign=kgb&modapt= 12. Abbott targets penalty rates in submission James Massola and Matthew Knott The Abbott government has urged the Fair Work Commission to take a softening economy and labour market into account as the industrial umpire reviews modern awards. The government's strongly worded submission to the commission suggests the government has heard business concerns, particularly from the retail and hospitality sectors, about the impact of penalty rates on employers' ability to operate. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/abbott-targets-penalty-rates-in-submission-20140204-31zil.html POVERTY WARS 13. A rudderless ship: government's older worker policy Malcolm King It's obvious that as Australia's population ages and projected revenues drop over the next 20 years, that policy-wise, it makes excellent sense to ensure that the Boomer generation has the capacity not only to work where work is available but to work longer to save for their own retirement. Unfortunately, there is no guiding hand at the helm of the largest demographic transition in Australia's history. http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=15967 14. Statistics on spending cut tax claims down to size Andrew Leigh Australia is a low-spending nation, so why is Tony Abbott listening to advice from economic extremists? http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/statistics-on-spending-cut-tax-claims-down-to-size-20140205-321gh.html#ixzz2sSAQPcZ0 POLITICS, SECRECY, HYPOCRISY, DECEPTION 15. The dubious virtues of Abbott's IR revolution Michael Gawenda The Liberal Party is on a radical mission to re-define itself, for the first time in history, as a true party of small government, self-reliance and 'private virtue'… seemingly, no matter what the costs... One commentator has argued that what Joe Hockey is on about - and what Tony Abbott, for now at least, supports - is a fundamental shift towards ‘the Protestant ethic of work, thrift and self-reliance’. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/2/5/politics/dubious-virtues-abbotts-revolution?utm_source=exact&utm_medium=email&utm_content=574251&utm_campaign=kgb&modapt= 16. Joe Hockey holds fast for now Jack Waterford Joe Hockey will be entitled to be the next conservative prime minister of Australia if he can win his argument about the need for the community to reduce its dependence on government. But it's a formidable challenge. He has to convince his own party, many members of whom are tough-minded in principle about the need to reduce expectations of what government can and should do, but are apt to go to water whenever there's a local business or industry mishap. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/joe-hockey-holds-fast-for-now-20140204-31zmb.html 17. Murdoch massages Abbott message Alan Austin The Abbott government is experiencing more challenges in its early months than many supporters had hoped. Hence Rupert Murdoch has been obliged to expand efforts to conceal some difficulties. Writers paid to massage the truth about the government include several who effectively distorted the record of the Rudd and Gillard administrations. Professor Ross Fitzgerald penned a piece last weekend for The Australian headed “Nation better off under an economically astute Abbott”. This was immediately arresting because of the PM’s legendary economic illiteracy. Others employed by The Australian to write glowingly of the government in recent weeks include Maurice Newman, Gerard Henderson and Greg Sheridan. http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=15975 ECONOMICS 18. Why our tax system is unfair and fails to budget for public services Nicholas Stuart Taxes are meant to pay for government services and help the needy. But do they?... this is the issue. Every time a justifiable decision is taken to protect a group of individuals, someone else ends up paying the price. The tax system is intended to do two things: raise money for the government and redistribute it to ensure it is directed towards achieving worthwhile ends. It's failing to achieve either of these objectives today. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/why-our-tax-system-is-unfair-and-fails-to-budget-for-public-services-20140131-31sux.html#ixzz2sSCR2gA8 POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT + COMMITMENT 19. A Practitioner’s Guide to Political Frames Joe Brewer ....I’ve found that many people have heard of frames, yet few really understand what they are or how significant their existence is for social change efforts. Also, I’ve typically found that people have wide ranging misconceptions about what frames are, how they work, and why it is so important that people learn to identify them effectively in their efforts... Frames are everywhere around us. They are the conceptual models that allow us to make sense of the world. We cannot have a coherent thought without them. There is no such thing as “choosing” to use frames, only a matter of consciously selecting frames or blindly using them without knowing it. http://www.cognitivepolicyworks.com/blog/2010/06/29/a-practitioners-guide/ ENVIRONMENT + ENERGY 20. Off the Charts: 2013 was Australia’s Hottest Year Will Steffen 2013 was a remarkable year for hot weather in Australia. Not only did we easily set the record for the hottest year since records began in 1910, we also experienced the hottest summer and warmest spring on record; the hottest January and warmest September on record; and the hottest summer day and warmest winter day on record. No part of Australia was spared the heat. For all states and the Northern Territory, 2013 ranked within the four hottest years they had experienced. Australia’s record hot year is part of a global, longer-term trend. http://www.climatecouncil.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/2013offthecharts.hottestyear-1.pdf 21. Is Tony Abbott's Australian administration the most hostile to his nation's environment in history? Kathy Marks In Western Australia, endangered great white sharks are being slaughtered. In Queensland, dredging spoil is to be dumped on the Great Barrier Reef. In Tasmania, ancient forests – harbouring some of the planet’s tallest trees – are in danger of being stripped of their World Heritage listing. Australians could be forgiven for wondering if the federal government they elected last September is the most conservation-hostile in living memory. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/is-tony-abbotts-australian-administration-the-most-hostile-to-his-nations-environment-in-history-9107534.html 22. Death by sludge, coal and climate change for Great Barrier Reef? Graham Readfearn Authorities approve plans to dump three million cubic metres of dredge spoil into waters of already at-risk reef. "Death by a thousand cuts", they call it, as small chunks of habitat are lost and environmental laws are eased or repealed. A bit of bush here for a tourism development, a stand of mangroves there for a beachside resort. An entire nature reserve for a coal mine. Sometimes, the threats come like pincer movements with all angles covered. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2014/jan/31/great-barrier-reef-australia-dredging-abbot-point-coal-export 23. Climate change is here despite denial Lyn Bender Anonymous memoir: First the Pacific Islands & Maldives were inundated but I didn't worry because they were low lying anyway. New Orleans was vanquished by hurricanes but they have always had storms. Then there were droughts and food and water shortages in Africa exacerbating conflict and displacing people. But Africa had always been dry. The Philippines had a mega typhoon, but it was typhoon season. There were extreme heat waves & fires in Australia, but it's always been hot, and we have always had fires. I turned up the air conditioner and watched the tennis plasma TV. Then sea levels started rising and there were long fire seasons and whole towns burned. Infrastructure & the economy began to crumble. There were food & water shortages. Climate Change is happening around me now. Wish something had been done years ago. http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=15983 MEDIA 24. New news is better than no news Scott Bridges In Stephen Harrington’s Australian TV News: New Forms, Functions, and Futures, research participant Eve speaks for many when she observes, “When someone says the word ‘news’ to me, you think, ‘(Sigh) that’s boring’. Well, to me it does, because you’ve grown up with six o’clock news that’s so serious, and you have to sit there and you never smile through it unless it’s some cute little story about a dog that’s been found…” http://inside.org.au/new-news-is-better-than-no-news/ JULIA GILLARD 25. The Path Forward for Improving Education Julia Gillard Recently I sat down in the Brookings studio with colleagues from the Center for Universal Education to discuss trends and opportunities in global education. There has been much improvement in the global dialogue on the importance of education and I believe there are many opportunities to leverage in the near future. http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/education-plus-development/posts/2013/12/13-opportunities-global-education-gillard xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Casablanca

6/02/2014 CASABLANCA'S CACHE, Thursday, 6 February 2014. Tracking Abbott’s wreckage, posted above and at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CASABLANCAS-CACHE-2014-02-03.aspx

this is the real jaycee

6/02/2014It is really sad going to the ABC. online page...it just reeks the language of fear...fear of controversy, fear of retribution. My OH. is a Radio National addict...it's on all the time and everywhere she goes...I am a visual person..radio distracts me and I find it annoying....I much prefer the silence of sight. But, she said she could hear the fear in the voices of some broadcasters on the ABC...she could detect the tremors of difference in the tone and pitch of voices she has been listening to for god knows how many years.....interesting.

Casablanca

6/02/2014 Ad Astra, George Lakoff is back in the frame! See item 19 in today's Cache.

TalkTurkey

6/02/2014 [u]The Ballad of *J*U*L*I*A* *G*I*L*L*A*R*D*[/u] A respectful parody of Pete Seeger's [i]Ballad of Joe Hill[/i] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_yC4ffyGiw (This is the original version by Pete Seeger) Also sung stirringly by Paul Robeson! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8Kxq9uFDes and Joan Baez! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3p4vKd6tNO8 Wow! Pretty staunch company! (First, my parody. Below that come the original lyrics to [i]Joe Hill[/i].) [u]The Ballad of *J*U*L*I*A* *G*I*L*L*A*R*D*[/u] I dreamed last night of *J*U*L*I*A* It seemed she's still PM! Said I, [i]Dear Lass, That's in the past![/i] Said she, [i][b]I'M BACK AGAIN! [/i][/b]Said she, [i][b]I'M BACK AGAIN![/b][/i] [i]In every city, Jules[/i], says I [i]In print and on TV, They framed you as [i]*Juliar*[/i] Girl![/i] [b][i]I never lied![/i][/b] said she. [b][i]I never lied![/i][/b] said she. I said [i]But traitors rolled you then! The Media and Rudd![/i] Said she [b][i]I've rolled right round again! Now let's throw back their mud! Now let's throw back their mud![/i][/b] And standing proudly, so serene, Adored by Labor friends The *J*U*L*I*A* we knew of old Is truly back again! Is truly back again! Let's make a stand throughout our land So truth and justice rules! Where workers stand up for their rights It's there you'll find our Jules! It's there you'll find our Jules! I dreamed last night of *J*U*L*I*A* It seems she's still PM! Said I, [i]Dear Lass, That's in the past![/i] Said she, [i]I'M BACK AGAIN![/i] Said she, [i]I'M BACK AGAIN![/i] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night, alive as you and me. Says I "But Joe, you're ten years dead" "I never died" said he, "I never died" said he. "The Copper Bosses killed you Joe, they shot you full of lead." "Takes more than guns to kill a man" Says Joe "I didn't die" Says Joe "I didn't die" "In Salt Lake City, Joe," says I, Him standing by my bed, "They framed you on a murder charge," Says Joe, "But I ain't dead," Says Joe, "But I ain't dead." And standing there as big as life and smiling with his eyes. Says Joe "What they can never kill went on to organize, went on to organize" From San Diego up to Maine, in every mine and mill, Where working men defend their rights, it's there you'll find Joe Hill, it's there you'll find Joe Hill! I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night, alive as you and me. Says I "But Joe, you're ten years dead" "I never died" said he, "I never died" said he.

Casablanca

6/02/2014 TT This paean to J*U*L*I*A* rates as one of the best of your many great literary offerings. You have an amazing talent.

Michael

6/02/2014I'm probably way too suspicious, but when Abbott adopts Labor policy, as here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-06/government-could-bring-forward-drought-relief/5241992 I have the niggling feeling that if drought-affected farmers or others complain about what the Federal government is doing as it's applied he'll use the policy's Labor origins to attack Labor. Tony Abbott wouldn't seek cheap political advantage like that, though, would he?

TalkTurkey

6/02/2014How terrible to be saddled with this Government. Abborrrttt's AS policies, and Australia's armed forces, have made this nation a pariah among the world community. A pariah, and a laughing stock. You're right jaycee, they've killed Cock Robin. As I write another orange lifeboat turns up in Indonesia. But read this. Are we content to do nothing? WE MUST TAKE TO THE STREETS! (Listen to Pete Seeger!) http://m.theage.com.au/world/investigation-burned-hands-on-the-high-seas-20140206-hvbdl.html

this is the real jaycee

6/02/2014Posted this up on The Guardian on Lenore Taylor's article...number 56 or so under "Joe Carli". Time to fess-up Lenore...I am hurting...we are hurting... Lenore, you and your colleagues have questions to answer about your professional conduct back in your "Fairfax days" and the lead-up to the last election. I protest here and now as an individual and challenge you and your press-gallery colleagues to explain TO ME, as a citizen and an individual, why, when you were over at Fairfax, you mocked the preferred democratically elected govt' AND the Prime Minister and systematically undermined the Parliament of the day. Why did you and your's dismiss and disparage Julia Gillard's "Misogyny Speech" and her address to a woman's conference as "playing the gender card"...yet held no such policy-examining spotlight against the coward who ran from The House? Was it Fairfax policy, or was it your own choosing that had you belittle and trivialise our Prime Minister and boosted the coward who ran from The House?...The coward who used the floor of the Parliament to personally abuse the Prime Minister with a veiled, smart-aleck accusation of parental shame. I am using these commentry pages as the only avenue I have as an individual to protest against that then callous and smirking MSM. that betrayed the principles of the Forth Estate of holding ALL our elected politicans accountable..of betraying the professionalism of your trade by group-think reporting...of playing protagonist instead of journalist. By you and your colleagues lazy and scornful mockery of our system of democracy, you opened the gates for a barbaric govt' that has every intention of hurting either myself, my family or my friends...certainly my fellow citizens and now of creating conflicts with our neighbouring nations. I am not going to let you and yours off on this, Lenore....you "profited" by your actions : You owe us (50% of the electorate) an explanation...like ALL trades and professions, you have a "responsibility of care" for your actions! Unless you give ME a respectful explanation of why YOU, in particular, lapsed in your duty to report the then and now bleedin' obvious on the then opp'n, now govt'....I refuse to read or comment on your articles..it is all I have as a power of one, to register my distrust of your capacity to honestly report...and I call on all others who post here to register their displeasure in no uncertain terms, at you Lenore and your colleagues acts of vandalism!......If you feel too "above us" to respond to my requests...perhaps you could get Michelle Grattan to do so...if she has not accidently fallen on the very sword she sniggeringly proffered Julia Gillard !

Michael

6/02/2014Channel Nine News (of all people) may be leading the charge to expose Abbott's intellectual paucity. Tonight, after Abbott asserted that he knew one thing about Griffith candidate Bill Glasson, he 'would vote to repeal the carbon tax'. Channel Nine's reporter pointed out that if Glasson is elected to the House of Representatives one thing he won't get to do there is vote to repeal the carbon tax - the House of Reps has already done that. Abbott shown looking like an ignorant wanker, the head of government who doesn't even know how his government (and himself) has voted. There have been other similar instances on Channel Nine News over the past month or so - simply letting Abbott speak for himself and then showing footage or offering restrained commentary to expose what nonsense has just effluviated past Abbott's lips. It's subtle, but it's there. And so easy to do with the pillock in question. Abbott's not alone, of course. Hockey came out with "governments don't pick winners" today. Then followed it up with "losers pick governments", without apparently the first thought about what he might be saying about the voters who 'picked' the Coalition to be Australia's government last September. Then there's Turnbull, who recently asserted "I have never misstated facts". Nobody can. Facts can only be stated accurately - or not at all, not uttered. When you utter a fact, it's an accurately statement. 'Misstating a fact' is a logical and linguistic impossibility. Such a phrase, in fact, could only be uttered by someone failing to convince themselves that they have never lied. Someone who knows they are lying in the very same instant as they tortuously construct a phrase such as "I have never misstated facts". Abbott, Hockey, Turnbull. Educated, adult, supposedly competent. All stumblebums. And doing it in public.

TalkTurkey

6/02/20144 *men* - [i]3 in their thirties[/i]! - did this! http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/news/national/men-charged-over-dead-possums-and-koalas/story-fnjbnvyf-1226816790811 What do we do with people like this? Note the last paragraph.

TalkTurkey

7/02/2014Can you imagine anything worse! So I've reprinted the whole article. Cops LOVE Tasering people, and it's like Pringles, once they pop they don't stop! [u]Queensland police taser woman in eye[/u] By Francis Tapim Updated 24 minutes ago Map: Woodridge 4114 A woman has undergone surgery to save her eye after being tasered by a police officer at Logan, south of Brisbane. Sheila Oakley, 36, was tasered by a police officer at her home on Jacaranda Avenue at Woodridge around 1:00pm (AEST) yesterday. She was hit directly in the eye by a steel taser prong. Ms Oakley underwent surgery late last night at the Princess Alexandra Hospital on Brisbane's southside. It is unclear if doctors have been able to save her eye. Her family says Ms Oakley became upset after a visit by social workers. Her sister says police were called in and then a short time later she was tasered. She says a steel prong carrying a high voltage electrical current hit Ms Oakley's eye and that she will probably lose her sight. "When she went to grab her handbag he tasered her and then the taser went straight into her eye," he said. She says with the taser still lodged in her eye, the officers continued to arrest her. "Four police officers then got her, threw her to the ground, turned her onto her stomach, put their knees into her back, and then put handcuffs on," she said. She says Ms Oakley was held at the house for more than 30 minutes before ambulance officers took her to the hospital. "She was screaming in total agony ... she was in so much pain she said to the police officers 'the taser's in my eye, the taser's in my eye', screaming all the while," she said. Her sister says after it happened, the officer apologised to Ms Oakley. "The police officer came to the ambulance to speak to Sheila and said to Sheila, 'I know you don't want to speak to me right now, but I am sorry'." A local resident who witnessed the incident says he saw social workers at the house, followed by ambulance, and then police. "The officer that came out of the second police car was the one who eventually tasered the person," he said. He says the officers could have handled it differently. "I don't think a tasering was necessary - one female, six cops," he said. Ms Oakley's family say they will be suing the Queensland Police Service. Police Ethical Standards Command and the Department of Child Safety are investigating the incident. Civil libertarians says there are strict rules regarding the use of tasers that must be enforced. The Queensland Police Union has so far declined to comment.

this is the real jaycee

7/02/2014The leadership of this country has debased so much that the authority subordinates, like those in the services and the police have taken the lead from such depraved politics and are now lax in personal discipline and work ethics. There is no leadership, there is no quality of authority, there is only rubbish.

42long

7/02/2014. Perhaps the police as part of their tazer training should be subjected to what it feels like. I'm sure the big tough guys would be able to take a little electricity without trouble. Give them a new toy and they will use it. LOOKI FOLKS... Every time I press this button the lady jumps all over the place. If we didn't have this magic enforcement tool she would have knocked the shit out of the six of us.

Ad astra

7/02/2014Casablanca After a busy day yesterday with a family birthday, I have just read your reference to the very interesting article about political frames, which I have bookmarked. This is a crucial aspect of political messaging, which the Coalition seems to have endorsed, perhaps intuitively, but which Labor has yet to adopt. Bill Shorten and his team had better get their act together or they will be outmanoeuvred by Abbott, Morrison, Hockey and Co.

Casablanca

7/02/2014 [b]CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Friday, 7 February 2014: 22 items[/b] TRUTH WARS 1. Tony Abbott - a trail of lies, deception and broken promises PhonyTonyAbbott Whenever Tony Abbott is interviewed by Leigh Sales, he usually ends up looking like a clown. Tony Abbott's interview on February 3, 2014, was no different, and as you will read, he was less than honest with his responses. http://www.phonytonyabbott.com/blog/tony-abbott-a-trail-of-lies-deception-and-broken-promises 2. An age of entitlement? Not quite Greg Jericho Treasurer Joe Hockey plans to usher in the "age of personal responsibility", but any golden welfare age Australia may have enjoyed was over a while ago. Before pondering the budget, it is good to remember that if you exclude the aged pension, Australia has fewer people now on welfare than 10 years ago. Indeed, the only years in the past decade the number of non-aged pension welfare recipients went up was in 2009 and 2010, due not surprisingly to an increase in the number of people on Newstart as the unemployment rate rose sharply during the GFC. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-05/jericho-not-the-age-of-entitlement/5237916 3. Abbott is lurching from event to event The ''events''' he has had to confront since assuming office last September have been neither more nor less serious than those faced by his predecessors. What has distinguished Mr Abbott's handling of them events is a certain clumsiness, lack of empathy and ill discipline. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/abbott-is-lurching-from-event-to-event-20140205-321wo.html#ixzz2sUI6NNgw POLITICS, SECRECY, HYPOCRISY, DECEPTION 4. Tony Abbott's faux IR attack laid bare Waleed Aly But when you accuse your own boss of "lying" and "hypocrisy", and when you lay bare the political imperatives of making election promises to marginal seats that contradict the decisions you make in safe ones, you inevitably open a vein. This is no longer just about whether or not the government's decision is justified. It's about why it has chosen to present this issue the way it has. Advertisement ...Why did Prime Minister Tony Abbott so grossly misrepresent SPC's enterprise bargaining agreement, and the costs it imposes on the company? http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/tony-abbotts-faux-ir-attack-laid-bare-20140206-324af.html#ixzz2saD9RfWf 5. Politics aside, Infrastructure Australia does need overhaul Adele Fergusion When Infrastructure Australia boss Michael Deegan publicly carpeted the Abbott government over its proposed legislative reforms to overhaul the government advisory body two weeks ago, it set off a political and industry-wide bomb. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/politics-aside-infrastructure-australia-does-need-overhaul-20140206-324m7.html 6. Grattan on Friday: As the government urges heavy lifting, Tony Abbott feels the weight Michelle Grattan A former colleague of Tony Abbott says John Howard would never have flatly denied SPC Ardmona the $25 million in assistance. “He’d have given $15 million with conditions,” said the man, who was praising http://theconversation.com/grattan-on-friday-as-the-government-urges-heavy-lifting-tony-abbott-feels-the-weight-22891 ECONOMICS 7. Ten economic reforms that transformed Australia Ross Gittins On the 40th anniversary of his career as one of Australia's most trusted economic commentators, Ross Gittins nominates the 10 reforms that helped transform Australia from closeted financial http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/the-economy/ten-economic-reforms-that-transformed-australia-20140206-324y9.html 8. Private sector must 'shoulder the burden' by buying public assets, says Joe Hockey Mark Kenny, Tom Allard 'The bottom line now is we need to recycle precious taxpayers' money from existing assets that the private sector wants to own, that your superannuation [fund] is desperate to own,'' the Treasurer told the Lowy Institute. ''The private sector is cashed up around the world. Governments are not. We need to facilitate that private sector investment.'' http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/private-sector-must-shoulder-the-burden-by-buying-public-assets-says-joe-hockey-20140206-324o8.html 9. Hockey attacks ‘corporate and middle class welfare’ Kylar Loussikian Governments have “run out of money” and the “cashed up” private sector needs to step up investment, Treasurer Joe Hockey said today as he outlined this year’s G20 agenda. http://theconversation.com/hockey-attacks-corporate-and-middle-class-welfare-as-he-outlines-g20-agenda-22890 INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS 10. Beyond the straight jacket of unions vs business Jonathan Green It's disturbing that a little lateral common sense can have such an arresting and headline-grabbing effect, but Paul Howes might be on to something with his ambition for a New Accord. Howes's suggestion of what cooperation might achieve is a challenge to both sides of formal politics and to the politicised arms of the business and union movements. A challenge to look a little more closely at whether the objective of the current interplay of action and ideas is actually growth and common comfort, or just the latest bitter twist in an ultimately futile and self-serving series of nakedly ideological contortions. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-06/green-a-new-accord/5241714 11. Howes sparks a storm James Massola, Mark Kenny Union leader Paul Howes' call for a "grand compact" between unions, business and the federal government has sparked significant divisions in the Labor Party and union movement, with one shadow minister questioning Bill Shorten's handling of union corruption. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/howes-sparks-a-storm-20140206-324p7.html 12. Penalty rates should be balanced against softening market, says Coalition Daniel Hurst Government argues awards review should 'carefully consider the impact of employment costs on employers’ willingness to hire' http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/05/penalty-rates-should-be-balanced-against-softening-market?CMP=ema_632 ENVIRONMENT + ENERGY 13. UN body calls Tasmania forest U-turn 'exceptional' Karl Mathiesen Unesco experts say move to strip 74,000 hectares of world heritage status so soon after it was added is unprecedented. Shifting political agendas within the deeply polarised community of foresters and environmentalists who live on its fringes have caused the Tasmanian world heritage area to be changed more often than any other UNESCO site. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/feb/04/unesco-tasmania-forest-world-heritage-exceptional?CMP=ema_632 14. Most Australians overestimate how ‘green’ they really are Zoe Leviston Most Australians overestimate how much they are doing for the environment compared to others, and are more concerned about water shortages, pollution and household waste than climate change, a new CSIRO… http://theconversation.com/most-australians-overestimate-how-green-they-really-are-22400 15. Green Growth: rebooted in South Korea, booted out in Australia Sung-Young Kim and Elizabeth Thurbon Like Australia, South Korea had a change of government last year. And like Australia’s, Korea’s new government was keen to distance itself from its predecessors' legacies – particularly its “Green Growth” initiatives. Yet Korea’s president has since re-embraced the previous government’s climate policies and embarked upon “Green Growth 2.0”. http://theconversation.com/green-growth-rebooted-in-south-korea-booted-out-in-australia-22243 ASYLUM SEEKERS 16. Manus Island: leaked report reveals hazards of processing centre expansion Paul Farrell and Oliver Laughland Environmental impact statement and design report highlights risks of unexploded ordnance, asbestos and toxic materials http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/04/manus-island-leaked-report-reveals-extreme-risks-processing-centre-expansion?CMP=ema_632 17. Witness details burns claims Michael Bachelard For a man whose words have whipped up a political and media storm in Australia, Yousif Ibrahim Fasher has been remarkably untroubled by visits from journalists. Or, for that matter, authorities.It was Fasher who alleged a month ago that three asylum seekers had their hands deliberately burned by the Australian navy during its second operation to tow back an asylum vessel to Indonesia in January. But since then, as the storm raged on, he was left largely alone. This week, in the Tanjung Pinang immigration detention centre on a little island off the coast of Sumatra, that changed. Fairfax Media conducted the first extended face-to-face interview with Fasher, who says he was an eyewitness to the incident, and he told his story in unprecedented detail. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/witness-details-burns-claims-20140206-324pw.html 18. Indonesia objects again to turnbacks as second lifeboat washes up on Java Paul Farrell Comments come as row over burns allegations is reignited by interview with man who says he witnessed mistreatment http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/07/indonesia-objects-again-to-turnbacks-as-second-lifeboat-washes-up-on-java?CMP=soc_568 POLITICAL THOUGHT + ENGAGEMENT 19. Our hypocrisy on democracy within political parties Simon Copland We love to demand that political parties become more open and democratic. Yet when they do we often talk of ‘splits’, ‘infighting’ and ‘leadership instability’. It’s time we learn to deal with how real democracy works... If journalists and opinion writers genuinely want to see the nitty gritty of political democracy, it is about time they learnt to deal with the realities of how it works. http://ausopinion.com/2014/02/06/our-hypocrisy-on-democracy-within-political-parties/ 20. Passion has a place in border protection's age of reason Benedict Coleridge Former Australian navy captain John Ingram doesn't mince his words. In an interview for the ABC, Ingram, reflecting on his long career in the Navy and his encounters with asylum seekers at sea, described the policy of turning back the boats as 'morally corrupt' and 'absolutely abhorrent'. We need to be suspicious then of language that narrows the issue at hand. To quote Ingram, through 'turning back the boats', through offshore detention, we have placed ourselves in a corner from which 'we need an honourable way out, and we need a way out very soon'. One part of finding this way out is to open up the discussion to include vocabularies other than those of unchallengeable 'reason' and 'sovereign prerogative' — vocabularies that offer instead an imaginative grasp of larger connections. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=38875#.UvQEVYAQ9ZY 21. Deciphering capitalism's corrupt metaphors David James The demise of the Soviet Union is viewed as confirmation that capitalism is superior morally and economically. But materialist and illogical use of language is evident in capitalism, too. In communist states language became a tool of state oppression, in capitalism it is a tool of money. But there are many similarities in the language use, especially in the tendency towards dehumanisation. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=38876#.UvQFuYAQ9ZY MEDIA 22. The News: Its Uses, Abuses, and How it Should be Different Alain de Botton The hum and rush of the news has seeped into our deepest selves. What an achievement a moment of calm now is; what a minor miracle the ability to fall asleep or to talk undistracted with a friend; what monastic discipline would be required to make us turn away from the maelstrom of news and to listen for a day to nothing but the rain and our own thoughts... We may need some help with what the news is doing to us: with the envy and the terror, with the excitement and the frustration; with all that we've been told and yet occasionally suspect we may be better off never having learnt.... http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2014/02/04/3937688.htm xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Casablanca

7/02/2014CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Friday, 7 February 2014: [b]Will no one rid us of this turbulent Abbott?[/b] Posted above and at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CASABLANCAS-CACHE-2014-02-03.aspx

this is the real jaycee

7/02/2014A good read ! http://loonpond.blogspot.com.au/

Ken

7/02/2014Casablanca Lots of excellent stuff to get one's teeth into, as usual. I'm only now catching up.

TalkTurkey

8/02/2014How can any person short of an outright Fascist support Israeli Zionism? Georges's last few sentences are where the truth lies*. Ron Hughes رون هيوز ‏@wherepond · 15m George Galloway hits a Zionist with facts. (Must Watch) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ly884hZoWk&feature=youtu.be … via @JOYOURPAPARAZZI pic.twitter.com/9J0FgcTOi8 * " ... truth lies ..." . . . That's it precisely with Israel. It's all the same thing. War is Peace Freedom is Slavery Ignorance is Strength and to the Rabid Right everywhere, [i]Lies is Truth is Lies[/i].

this is the real jaycee

8/02/2014We, of the left, have a problem. The problem is the National Party and it's adherence to the more cosmopolitan Liberal Party. It is an unhealthy alliegance in the fact that the Libs' have the psychological upper hand over the Nats'...in short, they have worked out how the mind of the National party voter thinks and they move and manipulate it with all the dexterity of a master puppeteer! Take these current two major upsets in National Party regions...the SPC. cannery row and the "struggling farmers" thing...in the opposite corner we have the Holden fiasco....with the latter, no problems..cut, cut ,cut.....they tried it with SPC. and the proverbial hit the fan and now we see Barnaby weeping tears for the ;" wives and the kids and the heat and dust and the flies..." so the Libs' soften somewhat with "drought relief"...of a kind...and no doubt the Nat' voter out there in the "heat, dust..etc" will choke back those sobs and dry away the tears and mumble a humble "thank you sirrr.." and get the patronising grip on the shoulder "good man" touch and all will be forgiven. You see, the Nats' are god-fearing people at heart...they may not go to the church as much as their forebears, but they know where it is and they willing attent the fetes, fairs and collections for...because those country folk know that there is a system in place in the bush, they can't articulate it, but they "feel" it is there...it is a seesaw between punishment and reward...rewards do come, but first one must be punished...one must suffer, and suffer humbly, quietly and completely...then comes the reward...and this is where "father" comes into the picture in the guise of the Liberal Party Prime-Minister (It is never a National Party prime minister!) and the appropiate amount of largesse is distributed to the faithful...and the local Nat' party-man struts through the district like Caesar on a Triumph and "mother" once again irons "father's" shirts with a hum and song and all is well at the local Ag. Supply store....the jokes flow once more. I know this through my familial connections in this district where I live and through the work I do with the "approved" environmental group...but you see, there is no reference to the environment in the name, nor in the general literature, at least not blatant...it is all warm / cuddly, non aligned stuff and THAT, I have been informed, is how it will stay!...this community know about the "environment", of course they do, they farm it...have been doing it for a hundred years or so...I am tempted to point out the bleedin' obvious on the collapsing condition of the town, the services, the salinity and the environs...but I know it would be wasted breath..They knows what they knows! I was called to go to one of these local farmers place -to pick up some mulching hay for a community garden we are developing- an old farming family ("been here for a hundred and thirty years") that got nearly burnt-out by these very recent fires we had around here. the sheds, equiptment and trees / garden all destroyed...only the piggery and the family house spared...but the patriarch was not deterred..he was a god-fearing man.. "...so you see, the house was spared..Now, I'm a humble man, but I am also a religious man and I believe (and you might think this a bit vain of me ) that god looked down and said ; "Look, there's old Klaus S...he's had a hard life"...and I have too..you know that , Dan' ? (his son leaning on the kitch' bench)...why, there's that bad accident of yours (you look at 'Dan' and one eye is looking back at you while the other is staring at something 90deg's to the right !)..too right and then your brother's bad accident....of course I had that time when the post-drilling auger grabbed my clothes and nearly ripped my arm off...broke my sternum something bad...and the prostrate cancer...the heart attack NOT A BAD ONE!..just five by-pass...and of course the stroke hardly touched me and I think God looked down and said " Ol' Klaus...he doesn't need his house burnt down and so he directed the fire around the house...(The reward, you see?)....and I thank God for that !" He then went on to show me charity things and deeds fellow church people and industry people had given him...to finish up with a costing rundown of farming and how it was unlike the (Labor) govt' that wastes money . So there you have it, in a nutshell...the Lib's know that to keep the Nat' voter on side, indeed , to keep the Nat' Party inside the "home", you keep it "bare-foot, pregnant (with want) and chained to the kitchen" and give it regular beatings like an abused wife. Sounds ghastly, sounds brutal and dishonourable....but as the man says' in the Lamb advert..."You know it's true"!

Ken

8/02/2014jaycee Spot on! It reminds me of an old cartoon where a man goes to a guru and asks: 'If the gods are all powerful, why is there so much suffering and misery in the world?' And the guru answers: 'So you enjoy the bits in between.'

TalkTurkey

8/02/2014Well I've lionized Mike Carlton for years, said he was the most outspoken defender of Truth yadayadayada. H'mmm. Read this with care. Last night he tweeted: ‏@MikeCarlton01 · 17h Johnston's rant today was unhinged. Nonetheless, my navy sources - and [u]they are absolutely trustworthy[/u] - assure me there was no torture. And I tweeted back: TalkTurkey ‏@TalkyTurkey · 13h @MikeCarlton01 *Absolutely trustworthy navy sources* is oxymoronic, u weren't there! I do hope u give justification either here or on SMH ! (He kept saying in tweets that it would all be explained in his SMH article today.) This is what he came up with. (Between his comments [i]in italics [/i]I've interspersed my own [b]in bold[/b]. Underlines are my emphasis.) [i]The navy is wearily accustomed to the tripe so often written about it in the media. Blithely ignorant, journalists who wouldn't know port from starboard blather on about maritime doctrine and strategy.[/i] [b](Blah?)[/b] [i]Some of it is beyond ludicrous, largely resting on ironclad cliches, of which the top three are: the admirals are gold-braided dolts, the Collins class submarines are catastrophically expensive duds, and the service remains addicted to rum, sodomy and the lash.[/i] [b](Blbba blbba Bllllb!)[/b] [i]Myths, each one of them. The top brass, all with serious post-graduate qualifications, are better educated for their jobs than most journalists I know. Despite what you've been told, the Collins boats are a unique triumph of Australian shipbuilding technology, the spear point of our maritime defences and intelligence, with years of service ahead of them. And there is no more sexual harassment or bullying in the navy than, say, in the office towers of the Sydney CBD.[/i] [b](Yaaddada Yaddadda Blah!)[/b] [i]So here's what my navy sources tell me[/i] [b][AT LAST! Absolutely trustworthily yes?][/b] [i]about those refugees with the burnt hands.[/i] [i]Somewhere north of Christmas Island[/i], [b][Well that's absolutely trustworthy eh! ... Oh hang on our Navy dunno where it are do it?!][/b] [i]a party of sailors from the frigate HMAS Parramatta boarded an Indonesian fishing boat[/i]. [b][You found out in whose waters they were in of course, being as you are an investigative journalist?][/b] [i]Some went below to secure the engine-room and were accosted by angry male passengers who were trying to disable the engine.[/i] [b][Was that going-below a "safe to do so" exercise a la Abborrrtt's re-re-re-repeated assurances? Or on the edge of a catastrophic explosion?!][/b] [i]A scuffle broke out.[/i] [b][The sailors wouldn't just say that to cover their arses would they ... Oh wait up ...] [/b] [b]*Apparently* [/i]eh. What [i]*appeared* [/i]to you Mike? The Ghost of Sailors Past?] Is this what you call absolutely trustworthy testimony? [u]I'll take you up on that *apparently* at the end OK?! [/u][/b] [i]A sailor used pepper spray to subdue them.[/i] [b][Is pepper spray not HIGHLY INFLAMMABLE? In a confined space where there's a burning fuel-soaked rag? - Now Hang on ... !][/b] [i]In the uproar, blinded by the fumes, two panicked asylum seekers grabbed hold of hot engine pipes.[/i] [b][Incredible! On their own familiar boat, they didn't know where not to stumble and land on what must have been REDHOT pipes? Yeah that'd be right. Dumb asylum seekers. They can't even count to THREE, see, the witness - to whom you give NO credence - said there were THREE whose hands were - he said very deliberately - very deliberately burnt. And his story rings true, that the navy held the men's hands to the pipe/s to frighten people into not going to the toilets, (or *head* as we nautical types call it), more than once per day! It has not been disputed that the once-per-day rule was true, and is that not deliberate torture? I say the translator/witness's story has ring of Truth. Unlike you though Mike, I will not say he is "Utterly trustworthy." So how do we find out? No investigation, and credulous (or creative?)crap like you have written to hose it all down? NO! ][/b] [i]The refugees have another story, but I accept this one.[/i] [b][Oh. It must be true then. FED Me DUCK!][/b] [i]Deliberate torture would be impossible to keep secret in the confines of a naval vessel.[/i] [b][WTF sort of Faith Elixir are you on Mike? or have they got you on Untruth Serum? This is worse than spin, it is deliberate misrepresentation of the true situation. The people in whose propensity for truth-telling you claim, I think spuriously, to have such faith, are [i]thicker than thieves[/i], they have absolute codes of silence. And only ONE or TWO people would have been needed to burn the hands of all THREE. You think it couldn't have been kept to a very few? [u]Pshaw![/u]][/b] [i]Such an episode would have got out eventually.[/i] [b]Eventually hasn't eventuated yet![/b] [i]It just didn't happen.[/i] OK now Mister Carlton, I say this: Your use of the word *apparently* betrays your utter ignorance of the entire situation, - for if the burning rag is BS, so is everything else, [i]and you know it[/i]. Worse, by its use you have attempted to dig yourself a pathetic funk-hole should Truth emerge in a very different form from your Faith-Healing effort. You will want to say "Oh but I said 'apparently' because that is what I was told y these absolutely trustworthy men..." Your despicable little scuttle-refuge won't let you out though: You've chained yourself to your "absolutely trustworthy" statements, and unforgivably, in doing so you have skewed the debate as much as you could to exonerate the crew - if indeed, as I believe, they are guilty of deliberate torture. The way you tell it, there is no need for further investigation. Well listen here Mike there has never been an issue that so screams for public open air. In my opinion, this is as piss-poor a piece of propaganda as any ever by Bolt, a betrayal of my trust in you as a decent journalist, and [i][u]apparently[/u][/i], just pure toadyism, either to the Government, or the Navy, or probably both. "It just didn't happen" Carlton says. THAT is a LIE, because his "APPARENTLY" [i]definitely[/i] means he DOESN'T KNOW. To say you know when you don't is to bear false witness, and when such matters are at stake they represent huge betrayal of trust. There is no escaping that logic! I say Mike Carlton defend yourself. I call you Liar. I invite, nay encourage, Swordsfolks who visit other sites e.g. the Pub, the Café etc (I don't generally) to repost this my post there. I think Carlton's distortions and inventions and overreach are disgraceful and should be exposed. He should know MUCH, MUCH better. OPEN INVESTIGATION NOW!

Catching up

8/02/2014Repeat of NPC with Paul Howes now on. Might be of interest of what he really did say. The union movement, yes movement, is under attack by this government. There are three unions in the government's headlights. Yes, first is thew AWU, Howes union., Abbott is going after Gillard with his judicial inquiry into twenty years old allegations and rumours. Could one say, that Howe is trying to get control of that agenda by getting first. The other two unions, is the Builders Labourer's and HSU. Howe has as important role to play in the coming battle, against workers, as the Opposition Leader has. Shorten, I believe, has to be careful, not to come across as a union leader, but as leader of Labor, and the Opposition. I believe that Abbott, thanks to Howe, is losing control of the agenda in this case. Just a thought. We have to keep focus on the real problems. That is the actions of Abbott. Abbott's strenght, is divide and rule. War is the only language that Abbott knows. War, is what we need to avoid.

this is the real jaycee

8/02/2014TT....BB. has posted a piece along your lines at the Pub.

Jason

8/02/2014Insiders ABC ‏@InsidersABC · 22h This Sunday on #insiders: @BOConnorMP + panel @lenoretaylor @markgkenny @andrewprobyn & Talking Pics w @cathywilcox1. 9am Sunday! Expand

Catching up

8/02/2014Sorry, Tasers are not being used for defence but for punishment. It is amazing that the allegations made by those refugees sent back in the life boats, complained of events that occurred below death. Hands onto hot pipes and teasers into the face. I am sure there will be no videos available. If there are rednecks within the police, why not elsewhere.

Jason

8/02/2014 bushfirebill February 8, 2014 at 9:31 AM Mike Carlton is well worth reading this morning. http://www.smh.com.au/comment/still-killing-the-abc-its-the-ghost-of-ba-santamaria-20140207-326xu.html Don’t why why you say it’s well worth reading, BK. Carlton has been a conflicted soul ever since Viet Nam. On the one hand he has a pugnacious and witty sense of humour, but when it comes to the defence forces he has a very large blind spot. It sounds like he’s been got at by his pals in the Navy. The story that, “in the heat of battle”, five – repeat five – asylum seekers burnt their hands while our brave Navy boys attempted to subdue them doesn’t have the verisimilitude of the simpler story of their being forced to grip the hot pipe as a punishment. EDIT: Socksfullofsand above points out that the Carlton version is just one of many scenarios provided by various sections within the Navy, all of which differ, some of which contradict each other, but all of which completely exonerate the Navy! We may never know what went on down in those bilges, but one thing’s for sure: a simple appeal to the honour and professionalism of the Navy doesn’t cut it as an automatic excuse. There are several reasons. Firstly, it’s the same tactic that was used during the Children Overboard business. Criticism, even routine journalistic probing and questioning was met with “Are you calling me a liar?” Well, as it turned out, the Children Overboard story was wrong and journalists and skeptics were perfectly correct when they questioned it. Reith first referred to it in a radio interview. ASIO apparently noted the interview and put it in a report. Then Reith quoted the report as an “intelligence assessment”. A perfect example of a bootstrap, where Reith’s original words were laundered through ASIO. He was quoting himself! Taking up the challenge of calling a minister a liar to his face, or of impugning the character of our defence forces is a big deal and few journalists were prepared to do so. It wasn’t until too late when Tony Jones (in the days where he had a spine) put it to Howard – three days before the 2001 election – that Children Overboard was a load of claptrap. Carlton uses the same “character” technique. He “knows” the Navy. He is “connected”. He has his private sources yada-yada. THEY tell him that there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for all this. No need to worry. Carlton passes on this inside information. End of story. But it was all still based on the alleged “good character” of our Naval personnel. Which is why it’s puzzling that Carlton, in the next section of his column, gets stuck into the Navy for poor Northern Defence management in general (an anachronism from 1942, he tells us), plus poor navigation and discipline regarding incursions into Indonesian territorial waters in particular. It leaves one to ponder how such professionals – whose job, after all, is precisely the art of accurate navigation – could “f**k up” (as Carlton’s contacts put it) so badly as to invade Indonesia’s space. There is an app available from the NSW department of Roads and Maritime Services (the old RTA) for smartphones. It tells you when you have drifted into various speed limit zones. It uses GPS. The aim is to allow users of the app to know at all times what the speed limit is. Ever been confused. Ever asked your spouse, “Is it 100k or 110k here?” on the open road? It can be confusing. This app, calibrated in accuracy to civilian GPS’s +/- 5 metres, answers that question. If an iPhone app can work out the myriad of fluctuating speed zones on our roads, for free, then it is inconceivable that our Navy, with GPS accurate to the centimetre (the military version), and with the Navy’s business being the mapping (covert or otherwise) of every Indonesian speck of an island in the waters to our north – particularly so in these “troubled times” of “operational matters” concerning asylum seeker boats – would not have vastly more sophisticated software at hand to ensure they knew the position of their ships at every moment, referenced to international boundaries, complete with alarms that told navigators when an incursion was both imminent and actual. The real question is why the Navy breached Indonesian territory. Did they do it in some kind of gung-ho spirit, under orders to make sure the Boaties made land, or did the navigators involved do so, for genuinely compassionate reasons, in defiance of orders that may have resulted in drownings if the boats had not been towed closer to Indonesia? According to Carlton it was a stuff up that went all the way back to the dark days of WW2, the product of an outdated and incompetent-by-design chain of command that should be thoroughly reformed. The sailors on the scene would never do this kind of thing if left to drive their boats by themselves. Read soberly, Carlton’s second segment was just more assertions. In the first section he asserted that the Navy is professionally run, but in the second segment he found it convenient to assert that the whole of Northern Command was incompetent, designed to fail. Both approaches gave the same result: the Navy boys, the lower officers and crew, were not at fault. They could not have been at fault. They’re too professional. It’s all the brass’s fault, and the political interference. Carlton is on safer ground when he bashes Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison. But he won’t hear a word against his sailor mates. But what went on in the bilges of the asylum seeker boat will boil down to whose word will be accepted. Bluster and “insider” knowledge, appeals to patriotism, or condemnations of the ABC (now looking a bit thin as Fairfax has gotten into the act, uncondemned) may defer the day of reckoning, but as it becomes more and more apparent that there is a cover-up going on, expect real investigative newshounds to get onto the story and find out the truth (where is Hedley Thomas when you need him?). It appears to me that Carlton, a well known and sympathetic conduit for Navy scuttlebutt (from certain sections of the Navy, that is) has been conned. The story of the below-decks scuffle where hands were burnt inadvertently is too pat to be left as conclusive all on its own. His story this morning is internally contradictory, telling us we should both trust and distrust officers and men in the same area of command. With all the sophisticated equipment they have they managed to blunder into Indonesian territorial waters, yet while they were doing so, they committed no atrocities. This is hardly a convincing line of argument. I sense that some sections of the Navy want to get a message out, and that message is that they have little faith in their commanders and are losing heart for the mission. That heads are predicted to roll as a result of the GPS cock-up, but not as a result of the alleged harsh treatment, seems to me to be a political decision, designed to save arses in Canberra, not Darwin. The situation can’t continue this way. If Morrison refuses to participate in the information gathering process of journalists, then he can’t criticise them for doing some digging of their own, even if they DO come to wrong conclusions. Carlton joins the ranks of those asserting that the ABC “got it wrong”… but what if they didn’t? what if – after all the bluster, threats, intimidation and toadying up to the gentlemanly behaviour of the Navy – the story is true? That is when someone pretty high up is going to get their balls tangled in a propellor. A painful predicament, I’m told. http://pbxmastragics.com/2014/02/07/off-the-mark-raffles-7214/

TalkTurkey

8/02/2014[i][b][u]VENCEREMOS[/u]![/b][/i] :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVlNB_7HqbI

Catching up

8/02/2014What did the ABC get wrong? That there were allegations. There was evidence of burns. NO one in the government would tell us what the reasonable circumstances are. There have been more allegations, including one of a person being tasered in the face. All occurred below decks. What did the ABC get wrong? All this happened. We have seen the videos. No one has said the Navy is to blame. Not even who it is alleged is involved. Is it customs or navy. What is a fact. Abbott is lying. The boats are still arriving in Australia waters. They have not stopped. The story is really about government keeping all secret. A government that believes we have no right to know the means used to stop boats. I am sure, the smugglers have all the information they need, even before the navy boards the boats. As they take all phones, they refugees are obviously sending the videos live. The only people being kept in the dark, is us, the Australian public. The ABC is doing it's a shame they do not do so in other areas.

2353

8/02/2014"Are you someone who likes to keep up to date with the latest news, but can't stand the sight of Tony Abbott's face? This is the browser extension for you. Stop Tony Meow does what it says on the box: Replaces any image it can identify as Tony Abbott with a cute kitten." http://stoptonymeow.com All I'm going to add is that it works in Safari and supposed to work in Chrome and Firefox (which I haven't tried).

BSA Bob

8/02/2014I'm just using Internet Explorer, has anyone been able to hook onto Stop Tony Meow with that? I can't.

this is the real jaycee

9/02/2014The entire case of what happened to the asylum seekers being burnt is dependant on the public perception of those asylum seekers...with the govt' going in hard-sell on them being "illegals" and therefore "branding" them and promoting an unsympathetic attitude in the Aussie racist psyche, I doubt there will be much sympathy in the mainstream. This is a dangerous and destructive path we go down as a nation...greater nations and empires than ours have been wiped off the historical map by a kind of 'self-immolation" politics....class against class, brother against brother ...and the rest you know. The gullible voter is playing into the hands of the plutocracy by giving them a head of steam to wipe out social saftey-nets and install economic rationalist "dog-eat-dog" principles...These unprincipled 'CEO's' have no loyalty to country nor nation..nor peoples, nor families....they move and reside where business interests favour them...a problem arises with legalities...simple...move on, corrupt, move on again..debase, disgrace, destroy....move on to the next...like a parisitical virus seeking a healthy body to infect. I think you know who I mean !

TalkTurkey

9/02/2014Congratulations Terri Butler MHR for Griffith! Comrades, Onwards to #MarchInMarch if you POSSIBLY CAN! Try to be helpful to your local Marchers organization, make placards, spread excitement, poster shops, but most of all when the day comes BE THERE!

Catching up

9/02/2014Glasson still not conceding defeat. Over ten thousand postal and pre poll votes to count. His comments on polls, could point to the polls this week being bad for Abbott. Also, to be putting faith in the uncounted votes must mean the polling for Glasson was better before Abbott showed up. That launch was shocking.

Michael

9/02/2014stoptonymeow.... Replace Abbott's face with an image of a pussy? For accuracy's sake, shift back a couple of centimetres.

2353

9/02/2014Michael - the pussy in question is the 'suitable for work' version! It still gives me a surprise that every story I see with Abbott has a cute little kitty cat instead of a person with ears nearly as big as Billy McMahon! CU - The Brisbane Times was reporting this morning that Glasson would have won a couple of weeks ago. [quote]Former prime minister Kevin Rudd has heaped praise on his likely successor in Griffith, as it was revealed internal Labor Party polling had the Liberal National Party headed for victory two weeks out of Saturday’s poll.[/quote] http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/labor-holds-rudds-former-seat-in-byelection-20140208-328wq.html#ixzz2sn8dPlFu

Ad astra

9/02/2014Folks In my opinion, today’s [i]Insiders[/i] was an example of the balanced commentary we have yearned for from our ABC. Lenore Taylor, Mark Kenny and Andrew Probyn were able to critique equally both sides of politics, which gave an aura of authenticity to the program. If the ABC can do it once, why not do it every week?

Fiona

9/02/2014Ad Astra, [quote]If the ABC can do it once, why not do it every week?[/quote] Tut tut, doing so would authenticate their left-leaning bias ..... and a happy 2014 to you, Sir! Jaycee, Sterling work (as you well know ;) )
How many oranges do I have if I have 3 oranges and take ONE away?