Words, words, words


Lenore Taylor reported in August that Tony Abbott had told a ministerial meeting that the party had not broken any election promises, not one. My first reaction was that this was the sign of a narcissistic personality, someone who cannot bear to be wrong. On second thought, I pondered that perhaps it is true. After all, as Humpty Dumpty said:

When I use a word, … it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.

Was Abbott merely playing Humpty Dumpty in Through the Looking Glass, and using words, words, and more words as he intended them, not as the electorate might understand them?

Take a careful look at Abbott’s and Pyne’s statements regarding education and the Gonski reforms. ‘Gonski reforms’ — what are they? ‘Gonski’ is not mentioned, although the media continued to refer to Abbott’s proposed education funding by the shorthand ‘Gonski’. Why does this make a difference? — because the Gonski funding reform was actually about improving funding for disadvantaged schools and that was a key aspect supported by the electorate.

Thus, when Abbott said he was on a ‘unity ticket’ with Labor on education, people took that to mean that he supported Gonski, but that wasn’t what he said, although it was clearly the impression he meant to leave. Mainly he spoke about funding and implied that there may be changes, by emphasising that an Abbott government would reduce the ‘command and control’ (a military phrase, for which he has a penchant) in Labor’s funding model. So although he spoke about the ‘funding envelope’ and promised no school would be worse off, the media coverage and the public perception continued to relate that to ‘Gonski’ and the (unspoken) issue of educational disadvantage. That led to further problems and the famous double backflip.

On 26 November 2013 Pyne announced that the new government would only honour the Gonski funding model for 2014 and develop a new funding model for subsequent years. He suggested that, as well as Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory not being included, Victoria and Tasmania had also ‘not signed bilateral agreements’ with the federal government. What the premiers of those latter two states quickly pointed out was that they had signed ‘heads of agreement’, or in other words the outline of the agreement, or an in-principle agreement. But according to Pyne, in Humpty Dumpty words, they had not signed the agreement. When does an agreement become an agreement? Even courts recognise that verbal agreements can be legally binding.

Pyne blamed the press gallery for the eruption that followed, suggesting ‘It’s not my fault if some members of the press gallery don’t understand the complicated nature of the school funding model.’ Abbott supported him, saying that ‘Our pre-election commitment was that there will be exactly the same quantum of funding …’ — here we are back to the ‘funding envelope’, perhaps the same envelope on the back of which budget calculations are made.

Eleven days later, Abbott, with a sheepish looking Pyne beside him, announced that the government would provide funding for four years in accord, in dollar terms, with the previous Gonski model. Pyne added:

… no school, state or territory, can be worse off because of the Commonwealth’s actions.

But Abbott was also back onto ‘command and control’, insisting his funding would remove the control that the Canberra bureaucracy would have been able to exercise under the original Labor agreements on funding. What he was saying effectively removed any concept of overcoming educational disadvantage, but that was never reported and perhaps not so easily seen amongst the words he used. That did, however, come back to bite Abbott and Pyne when they were forced to concede that they could not guarantee that no school would be worse off because, in reality, how the money was spent was now a matter for the states — no more ‘command and control’. Pyne’s little addition that no school would be worse off ‘because of the Commonwealth’s actions’ was vital: the fact he phrased it that way suggests that he was already aware that the ‘promise’ of no school being worse off was in tatters.

That announcement came after Pyne had reached ‘in principle’ agreements with the previous non-signatory states. Is an ‘in principle’ agreement the same as a ‘heads of agreement’? While Pyne had earlier claimed that Victoria and Tasmania had not signed up because they had only signed ‘heads of agreement’, now he was claiming validation of his approach because he had an ‘in principle’ agreement. For Pyne, like Abbott, an ‘agreement’ is what he says it means.

Embedded in that debate was whether or not an amount of $1.2 billion actually existed. Labor had initially kept that amount for the states and territory that had not signed up but it was removed in the PEFO prior to the election. That allowed Abbott and Pyne to claim that they were putting an additional $1.2 billion into education. If it was previously foreshadowed, is it an extra amount? In the sense that it had been temporarily removed, perhaps it is, but it was always intended that those jurisdictions should receive some increase in funding. In Humpty Dumpty’s world, our normal understanding of words is not sufficient to clarify when money actually exists, and that also became central to the 2014 budget.

The education debate helped give rise to the classic $80 billion ‘savings’ in education and health in the budget. Labor attacked these as ‘cuts’. What is the difference between a ‘saving’ and a ‘cut’? — or is there a difference?

When Labor attacked it as a ‘cut’ Abbott responded that it did not exist as it was never included in any Labor budget, so nothing had been ‘cut’. The dollar amount certainly wasn’t in Labor budgets but Labor’s funding formulae would have led to increased health and education funding over a ten year period. The deals Labor had negotiated on education lasted up to six years (not just the four that Abbott was then supporting) and were ‘back-loaded’, meaning more money was paid in the later years rather than at the start of the agreements. The details do not really matter because if the money wasn’t there can it be a ‘saving’? It is a little like a game some mates and I used to play when we stayed out too late at Friday night drinks after work: we would calculate how much we had ‘saved’ by each bus that we missed. Abbott avoids the word ‘cut’ but still insists it is a ‘saving’. For the States it is a cut in the sense that they will now not receive, in the future, money that they were expecting, even if that expectation was not set in concrete. It is the same as someone being told they can expect a pay rise and on that basis planning to buy a new car but the pay rise doesn’t eventuate, and so, nor does the new car. For Abbott, that means they haven’t lost anything but he has saved by not giving the pay rise. See what I mean about Humpty Dumpty words. In this context, Abbott is saying that it can only be a ‘cut’ if it is the reduction of something the states already have, ipso facto, if the states don’t yet have it, it’s not a cut!

The changes to health and education also reflect the meaning of ‘agreement’ as used by Pyne. When Abbott was forced to concede that cuts to health funding would occur in the current financial year, and not four years into the future as he originally maintained, that involved scrapping or making unilateral changes to a number of agreements with the states and territories, particularly the national partnership agreement on public hospitals. So even a negotiated and signed agreement may not be an ‘agreement’ when the word is used by Abbott and Pyne.

In defending the budget, Abbott said it was ‘fundamentally honest’. ‘Fundamental’ has a few inter-related meanings:

  • forming a necessary base or core, of central importance
  • relating to the essential nature of something or the crucial point about an issue
  • so basic as to be hard to alter, resolve, or overcome
If used in the first way, it echoes John Howard’s core and non-core promises. Or if used in the second way, is the budget only honest in its ‘essential nature’, perhaps implying there may be parts that are dishonest? Would he dare suggest that the budget is so honest no-one could challenge it (the third meaning)? I would think not but don’t put that beyond Abbott. In fact, in Humpty Dumpty speak, Abbott is using the word in all three ways. It leaves him free to respond to questions in any way that suits him at the time.

He went on to say that ‘the most fundamental commitment I made was to get the budget back under control.’ It is true that the opening promises of his 2013 election launch were:

We’ll build a stronger economy …
We’ll scrap the carbon tax …
We’ll get the budget back under control …
We’ll stop the boats.
And we’ll build the roads of the 21st century …

No mention of health or education, the aged or unemployed, or other welfare recipients, at least not in these opening ‘core’ or ‘fundamental’ promises. If you look at them, they are the promises that he does appear to have done most to keep (even if his view of a strong economy is somewhat at odds with the views of those outside the IPA or those who are not economic rationalists). Given his history of not reading important documents, perhaps he can only remember those opening promises, or perhaps his advisers have not yet gotten past them. Whatever the reasons, it appears that these are Abbott’s ‘fundamental’ promises. Did the electorate understand before they voted that ‘fundamental’ related only to the opening promises of his speech and not to the many other promises made in the subsequent pages? Or was Abbott saving that explanation for later?

Another matter was in March when Abbott and Morrison celebrated that it had been 100 days since an asylum seeker boat had reached Australian shores. Note that it was Australian ‘shores’. What do they mean by ‘shores’? They mean actual landfall because it does seem that at least one boat was in sight of Christmas Island, before it was taken back to Indonesian waters, which would suggest it was in Australian territorial waters (extending 20kms off shore). And perhaps it does not include reefs. Another popular site for people smugglers back in 2000-01 was Ashmore Reef, another Australian territory less than 150kms from the Indonesian island of Rote. We have heard nothing of it under Operation Sovereign Borders. If a boat had landed there, we would no longer be told but they would definitely be on an Australian ‘reef’, though perhaps not a ‘shore’. What may be a ‘shore’ can thus be very flexible — it may depend on whether the tide is in or out! We have also learned in the High Court challenge regarding the boat from India that ‘shores’ also does not include the deck of an Australian vessel, even though that is effectively Australian territory.

Now just a word or two on Abbott’s military phraseology. We have Operation Sovereign Borders and Operation Bring Them Home, which are self-explanatory. When Abbott and Morrison first announced Operation Sovereign Borders at a joint press conference in Brisbane prior to the election, Abbott said of it, ‘we will have the appropriate command and control structures’. Recognise that phrase? In this context, he was using it to highlight his ‘adult’ approach to asylum seeker boats but in the education debate he used it as a pejorative phrase describing Labor’s approach. Is it a positive way to approach policy issues or a negative way? Obviously Abbott can use it as both. ‘Command and control’ is bad if it is Labor but good if it is Liberal. Does that sound like Humpty Dumpty?

Abbott promised an ‘adult’ government. But he has also used that word in a couple of other contexts. When the state governments reacted angrily to the education and health ‘cuts’ in the budget, Abbott said:

… we make no apologies for wanting the states to be grown up, adult governments that take responsibility for the programs that are theirs, for the institutions that they run.

Being an ‘adult’ government, then, is not something that automatically applies to Liberals but only to Abbott’s own government. Even state governments of his own political persuasion are not ‘adult’ if they can’t manage the reduction in future funding, and it is not Abbott’s problem now, it is theirs, so they need to grow up. And he said of the unemployed, who would now not receive unemployment benefits for six months, that ‘Being an adult means taking responsibility for the choices you make and making the best possible choice in the circumstances you face.’ Has Abbott been taking responsibility for his choices? Perhaps not, but that does not matter because the way he uses the word it is his government that is ‘adult’ by definition — everybody else needs to be told when to grow up and how to be ‘adult’.

Abbott promised going into the election that his would be a government of ‘no surprises’. Well, certainly no surprises for Abbott. Like Humpty Dumpty, he was the only one who understood what he meant.

In the end none of this matters. In a quote from Abbott’s swearing in as prime minister, which I have referred to a couple of times in earlier pieces, he said:

We hope to be judged by what we have done rather than by what we have said we will do.

Consider that carefully. He is basically saying ‘all bets are off: as from the day I have become PM, we start afresh, ignoring all I have said before, and only what we actually do from now on counts’. Why wasn’t that statement given more prominence by the media at the time? It is a catch-all statement wiping the slate clean of election promises and starting over: it is a clear statement that his election promises were vacuous.

As with so many of Abbott’s statements, it is easy to find another that is contradictory, unless we understand and accept that he uses words as Humpty Dumpty did — they mean what he chooses them to mean, no more and no less!

What do you think?



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TPS Team

21/09/2014Ken Wolff returns today with analysis of what most are calling the Abbott government's 'lies', but are they really? The analogy with Humpty Dumpty in [i]Through the Looking Glass[/i] is especially revealing. Enjoy!

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21/09/2014Ken What a stylish piece you have penned. I do like the Humpty Dumpty analogy. Humpty insisted that a word means [i]“just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”[/i]. The Abbott government is decked out with an array of accomplished Humpty Dumpty’s. Humpty Dumpty-in-Chief is Tony Abbott himself – not one of his ministers can match him. Christopher Pyne though comes not far behind, with Joe Hockey, Mathias Cormann, and Scott Morrison well up in the field. They all have the uncanny knack of calling black white, of denying having uttered the words in question, even insisting that the public, the listeners to their words, didn’t hear correctly! Therefore, the public’s accusation of lying is, in their view, misplaced, since it was the listener’s fault in not hearing properly, not hearing what they were [b]really[/b] saying! As I understand Humpty, he was not condoning lying. Rather he was arguing that words may carry different meanings, and that [b]his[/b] meaning is simply what he wants it to be. So lying, which is a [i]tour de force[/i] of the Abbott government, is a different matter. That would take another piece or two to document forensically. To me, the most arrogant feature of the Coalition’s Humpty Dumpty syndrome is that even those who listen carefully to the utterances of Abbott and his ministers, even those who apply the rules of English and grammar to those words, even those who use the clearest of thinking to interpret them, are blithely informed that they got it wrong, that they misheard, that they failed to grasp the profound subtleties buried within their words. This leads to just one of two conclusions: either the Coalition’s denials are the usual dross that we have come to expect from politicians, or we, the listening public, are being subject to deviousness of monumental proportions, that all their words do indeed mean exactly what they wanted them to mean, and that their intention to deceive had been carefully devised and work-shopped long before the deceitful words escaped the lips of the perpetrators. If the latter is the case, heaven help us – Goebbels has returned to live amongst us.

Ken

21/09/2014Ad I think many politicians these days are guilty of using words in ambiguous ways - which is one reason people are less trusting of what they say. But Abbott and co have really turned it into an art form. It arises, I think, because many English words can have various shades of meaning - often just the difference between common understanding of a word as opposed to its dictionary definition (laso noting that words can be changing shades of meaning before dictionaries catch up). And the politicians have become very skilled (rather their media advisors have) in playing on those misunderstandings. I think there is an element of Goebbels in the 'unity ticket' phrase. That appears to have been deliberately used to imply acceptance of the Gonski reforms but all he was actually accepting was the Gonski funding (the 'funding envelope') not the 'needs' based funding that was central to Gonski. In a sense, it was the same as the Gillard 'no carbon tax' remark. While Gillard went on to explain that her government would still be addressing the CO2 issue, Abbott went on to talk about funding (but not needs). I am sure that Abbott's advisors knew full well that that short phrase would be what stuck in the minds of the voters and not the explanation. I am also confident that it was intended to mislead.

Catching up

21/09/2014To be honest,. Pyne and Abbott only said they would spend the same amount on education. It was the media that translated that into supporting Gonski. Pyne at all times criticised Gonski and the Labor plan. I was strongly pointing pout this fact at the time. Was also stating what Pyne was about. No one was interested enough to take heed. Yes, Alice in wonderland speech is what Abbott is good at. Better at saying much, that means nothing at all. When it comes to cuts in welfare, that is a different matter. Abbot was very clear, that he could bring the budget back to surplus, by not cutting welfare at all. No double talk there.

Catching up

21/09/2014One can hope, that Abbott ends up like Humpty Dumpty, That he has a fall, that no one can put him back together again.

Casablanca

22/09/2014[b]JULIA GILLARD - THE WHOLE TRUTH[/b] Nine News special: 6.50pm Tuesday, September 23, 2014. [b]Julia Gillard: Giving Kevin Rudd hope on night of knifing was a mistake[/b] Judith Ireland. September 21, 2014 Julia Gillard says she regrets giving Kevin Rudd "hope" that he had more time in the top job on the night that she deposed him as prime minister. In an interview to promote her upcoming memoirs, the former prime minister tells Channel Nine that the time she replaced Mr Rudd as prime minister on June 23, 2010, was "very emotional". http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/julia-gillard-giving-kevin-rudd-hope-on-night-of-knifing-was-a-mistake-20140920-10jjoj.html

jaycee

22/09/2014The reason I am so vitriolic about this mob now in power is because i consider each and everyone of them a traitor to this nation...I recall with anger those three and more years they did nothing..NOTHING..but debase the parliament on the floor of the House, no policy debate, no big government consideration, just a record number of POO's and the brooding sulk of mischievous scheming...and then there was the "running from the House " moment... But I don't accuse them of treason for being the LNP. or just wanting power...hell! most politicians want authority if not absolute power...that's what they are there for..to exercise power...But I despise them for the way they went about achieving it!...They sat there for three years in sullen pout, letting their "quisling" Murdoch and his "falllatiotti" do the dirty-work to get them into office...and we know Murdoch and his "agent provocateurs" pulled a swifty...mis-reported, outright lied and framed certain parties to undermine democracy..anything to get "his boy" into office......It is for those MSM. eunuchs that I reserve the lowest place in hell for... THEY...had no desire for authoritative power...they only wanted the least of rewards...: an ego boost!...a by-line with their mug-shot accompanying it...THEY sold their nation to Murdoch's dream of a "page-three pin-up" economy for the princely sum of small-change from Murdoch's trouser pocket !....; two bob and a hand-job!...It is for these lowest of scum that I reserve my most vitriolic lines....and I ask..: How can a so-called-loyal citizen who shelters under the rewards and comforts of a contented homeland, who can and does take holiday within safe and secure borders, sell with certain, vicious glee, with their free-obtained education, to an opportunist whose "benevolent smile" lands pecuniary reward "small-change" in their bank account/s, the soul, and aspirations of their nation? The only thing that got this mob into govt', the only thing that keeps them there and the only thing that will get them a second ..HEAVEN FORBID...term..is the MSM....particularly those self-absorbed sphinkter-limpets in the Murdoch stable......Hell!...old Murdoch uses them up then hangs them out to dry when it suits him like babv-napkins in the wind...He's laughin'... to think that the most cunning used-car salesman on a city's "golden Mile" would welcome a once in a week such a gullible sucker...and here's Murdoch with a whole stable of them!!...He must wake up laughing every day and say to himself in the mirror every morning..; " Tell me I'm dreamin' "!!!

Ken

22/09/2014Catching up You are absolutely right. Abbott and Pyne only spoke about funding, never about 'needs based funding' which was central to Gonsksi. And when Abbott said he was on a 'unity ticket' with Labor on education, the media reported that as supporting Gonski. It was a con of the highest order. I fuuly support your hope that Abbott ends up like Humpty Dumpty.

Casablanca

22/09/2014[b]Questions arise over Christopher Pyne's taxpayer-funded trip with his wife to London and Rome[/b] Richard Baker and Nick McKenzie. September 22, 2014. The Abbott government is facing more scrutiny over travel entitlements, with fresh documents revealing Education Minister Christopher Pyne and his wife had a taxpayer-funded $30,000 trip to London and Rome in April. The trip included taxpayers being billed $1352 for Mr Pyne to "day let" a room at a swish London hotel before he and his wife, Carolyn, flew back to Australia later that same day and more than $2000 for VIP services at Heathrow Airport. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/questions-arise-over-christopher-pynes-taxpayerfunded-trip-with-his-wife-to-london-and-rome-20140922-10k6zr.html

2353`

22/09/2014Here's a bit of fun that actually adds to this conversation as well. Take the test on when Abbott used the subject more - before or after the election. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-22/tony-abbott-before-after-quiz/5746356 As the ABC only published this today - it shows [i]The Political Sword[/i] is ahead of the game - again :-)

Catching up

22/09/2014Ken, Gonski was mostly abut how to distribute the money. Howard's scheme was highly criticised. Saying that the rise is spending, under that system bought no results. Pyne has reverted back to Howard's broken scheme. Most of what Pyne keeps spruiking, can be found in Gonski. In fact much was already in place. Pyne hates government schools, and is not backward in saying so. Gonski funded the individual child. Pyne funds the private school system. Pyne believes all government has to do, is provide schools etc. It is not the job of government to care about where children come from,. He does not believe, has said so, the environment or home life stops kids from learning. Therefore, the not job of government to worry about. Pyne believes that teachers have to go back to teaching methods of the past. Yes, all about rote learning and phonetics. Teachers are to blame for any failure.

Casablanca

22/09/2014Ken, I haven't yet had a chance to read what Ad has termed your 'stylish piece' - and I know that his description will be spot on. In the meantime, here are four articles that also focus on words and therefore will complement your piece. The first is apposite as it makes a quiz out of Abbott's utterances before as compared to after the election. The second by Paula Matthewson examines the subtle shift in Bill Shorten's words. This is adjudged politically savvy by her but is leaving some Labor supporters a bit perplexed with what I have previously dubbed as Labor's 'All the way with Tony A'. Mungo MacCallam examines the gap between words and actions in our relationship with Australia's First Peoples: paternalism and fairness are unequal forces in our conservative Government. The fourth piece is a poignant story about a 10 year old challenging play-ground language and the profound hurt that it can cause only to be censored by the Education Department. [b] Take the Tony Abbott 'before or after' quiz[/b] A data-driven analysis of more than 200,000 words Tony Abbott spoke in the 12 months before and the 12 months after the federal election has identified which subjects were more dominant in each period. Take our quiz to find out more. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-22/tony-abbott-before-after-quiz/5746356 [b]Shorten's timely transition from 'no' to 'me too'[/b] Paula Matthewson. 22 Sep 2014. Bill Shorten is trying to establish a more "constructively-negative" approach to opposition. Relentless negativity isn't the only path to electoral success, a fact that Bill Shorten appears to understand as he carefully picks his battles with the Abbott Government. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2014/09/21/Words-words-words.aspx#comment [b]Indigenous recognition is more than just words[/b] Mungo MacCallum. 22 Sep 2014. The Prime Minister has made it clear that he favours a minimalist model on Indigenous recognition, but it would be a great shame if all that emerges from the referendum is a bland motherhood statement.So it may well be that what emerges will be bland to the point of inanity - a Mickey Mouse statement of motherhood which satisfies no-one and achieves nothing. This will be a huge pity: a lot of time and effort from a lot of sincerely involved people - including Abbott himself - have committed to making a genuine step towards reconciliation; not quite a treaty, perhaps, but at least more than anodyne pap. But unless a lot more happens in the last few months than has in the many long years, it just is not going to happen. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-22/maccallum-indigenous-recognition-is-about-more-than-words/5759402 [b]A lesson in the power of words (and censorship)[/b] Elizabeth Jackson. 19 September, 2014 Words like "spastic" and "gay" are bandied around the playground every day, but when my son wanted to speak thoughtfully about the harm they can do, he wasn't allowed, writes Elizabeth Jackson. We like to think it's part of what defines us as Australian. Telling it like it is, calling a spade a spade. But something's changed. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-19/jackson-primary-school-censorship/5755808 I'm off now to enjoy your piece, out in the glorious afternoon sun and with a cup of my excellent caffeine brew.

Casablanca

22/09/20142353 Apologies for duplicating your posting of the ABBOTT QUIZ without any acknowledgement. I agree with your comment about TPS again being ahead of the game.

Casablanca

22/09/2014[b]How Abbott let down the libertarians[/b] David Leyonhjelm. 22 Sep 2014. A new bill to amend section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act is deserving of support, because Tony Abbott's failure on this front has appalled more than just the libertarians in his own party. The left may be the noisiest of complainers, but there is no group Tony Abbott has let down in a more brazen way than the classical liberal wing of his own party. We often hear it said that the Liberal Party is a broad church, but Abbott's actions demonstrate that as far as he is concerned, classical liberals can go to hell. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-22/leyonhjelm-how-abbott-let-down-the-libertarians/5755160

Casablanca

22/09/2014[b]What is sharia law?[/b] ABC. 22 Sep 2014, 5:13pm Sharia law has been in the headlines for the past few months, with Islamic State fighters expanding their territory in Syria, anti-terror raids in Sydney and Brisbane, and Jacqui Lambie's calls for the burka to be banned. Even the term 'sharia' can conjure fear, with many considering it a threat, and others convinced there is a plot to overthrow the Australian constitution to replace it with the Islamic code of law...many of the laws that sharia encourages Muslims to follow align closely with the laws of Australia. Theft is illegal, as is murder, manslaughter and rape, although Australian punishments are less severe. Even the morals held by many non-Muslims are enshrined in sharia - Muslims are encouraged to show kindness, to be just, to honour legal contracts and to not be involved in any kind of corruption. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-22/explainer3a-sharia-law/5759774

Casablanca

22/09/2014Ken, The sun has dipped down below the trees, the coffee was good, the mozzies were getting annoying but your article was excellent and I endorse Ad's response.

2353

22/09/2014Casablanca @ 5:12. No problem - we both must think it is alright ;-)

Casablanca

22/09/2014[b]Tony Abbott warns balance between freedom and security may shift as Government acts to combat 'darkening' terrorism threat[/b] Emma Griffiths. 22 Sep 2014. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has warned Australians that the balance between freedom and security "may have to shift", given the current "troubling" and "darkening" security situation....Senator Leyonhjelm remains worried about the legislation's impact on freedom of the press.* http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-22/abbott-warns-of-shifting-balance-freedom-security/5760818 * As Bob Ellis said of Abbott's proposed terrorism laws: [i]he’ll body-search Australians at football finals in case they’ve got atomic weapons up their clackers.[/i] http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/the-chicken-little-in-chiefs-big-scare,6892

2353`

23/09/2014John Burmingham in Brisbane Times - suggesting that the rhetoric around the 'war on terrorism - Mark 3' is purely theatre. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/blunt-instrument/lights-camera-action-for-abbott-and-isis-20140923-10kkby.html

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23/09/2014Casablanca You have been very active since I last looked at [i]TPS[/i]. I look forward to working through them later today.

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23/09/2014Folks I came across an intriguing article in the University of Melbourne’s alumni magazine [i]3010[/i] about a recently appointed professor of Experimental Finance and Decision Neuroscience at the Faculty of Business and Economics, Peter Bossaerts, who is also an Honorary Professorial Fellow at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. It was titled [i]Of Markets and Minds[/i]. Professor Bossaerts is assembling a diverse team of professionals at the University to explore the new field of ‘neuroeconomics’, which includes economists, neuroscientists, psychologists, computer scientists, and engineers. His contention is that the discipline of economics has relied too much on historical research, whereas it needs to devote time to controlled experimentation, which so far it has been reluctant to embrace. He research will focus particularly on ‘decision-making under uncertainty’, and the role that biology has in decision-making. Asked what he hoped his research would achieve, he said: “[i]I became interested in this area because I realized that if we keep acting according to economics, we are going to destroy the planet. There are situations where the markets do a very good job, but only with the right rules of engagement.”[/i] His research will explore decision-making in markets. We know that emotion has a profound influence on investors and markets, sometimes more so than logical reasoning. Markets go up and down with good and worrisome news, sometimes seemingly defying common sense. We know how greed and fear influence investment decisions, and how both can be activated by unscrupulous traders and brokers, so strikingly demonstrated in the film: [i]The Wolf of Wall Street[/i]. Professor Bossaerts’ emphasis on the neurobiology of decision-making is therefore welcome. What happens in the deep recesses of our brain, what transpires in our minds as we make decisions, is critically important in the field of economics and finance. Those of us who despair of the advice offered by traditional economists, many of whom work under the spell of the particular model of economics they have embraced during their education to the exclusion of others, welcome the innovative approach that Professor Bossaerts is taking, and look forward to reading of his experiments and their outcomes. There must be a better way of managing and governing global markets; there must be a better way of making decisions about personal and institutional financial matters. Hopefully, Professor Bossaerts will point us to them. If this comment excites your imagination, you may wish to play the video below, which is an interview of Professor Bossaerts by Carsten Murawski, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Finance at the University of Melbourne. It runs for around thirty minutes. It exposes the extraordinary complexity of the exciting research the Professor Bossaerts is undertaking. http://vimeo.com/99006027

TalkTurkey

23/09/2014Bloody Rudd. How I despise that man. He even makes me despise myself for ever thinking well of him. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/ladyinwaiting-to-lady-macbeth-julia-gillard-opens-up-on-mistakes-20140923-10knkj.html?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=nc&eid=socialn%3Atwi-13omn1677-edtrl-other%3Annn-17%2F02%2F2014-edtrs_socialshare-all-nnn-nnn-vars-o%26sa%3DD%26usg%3DALhdy28zsr6qiq

Ken

23/09/2014TT Not that I normally watch commercial channels but the interview with Julia tonight will be worth making the effort (and turning mute on during the ads)

TalkTurkey

23/09/2014Listen to Clive Palmer in 2012! http://www.theaustralian.com.au/video/id-xvaHc0NTqjhBBL4YKD3O824TXTy5tI-O/Clive-Palmers-rant

jaycee

23/09/2014 You know, there's low bastards and there are LOW BASTARDS !...the lowest bastards in the history of our nation did for Gillard...and all the bullshit flinging in the world won't wash off their persons, either Labor or LNP.....Australians can tell bullshit as easy as they can pick Vegemite!....and the LNP. and some Labor players (and WE know their names) are full to the brim of it! Damn the crawlers to Sheol!

Bacchus

23/09/2014"[quote]the interview with Julia tonight will be worth making the effort[/quote]" Yes Ken - lovely, honest and straight-forward as ever. Australia has lost badly here.

Casablanca

24/09/2014[b]What we can learn from Tony Abbott's words[/b] Chris Uhlmann. 24 September, 2014 In politics words are weapons. And we live in an age when the political class values nothing more highly than the ability to deliver a line and maintain discipline. The result is that much of the public discourse has all the nutritional value of a TV dinner: pre-cooked, snap-frozen, reheated and unappetising. How closely have you been paying attention to Prime Minister Tony Abbott's words? Take our quiz to find out. Ask politicians whose fault it is and they will blame the rise of gotcha journalism. Ask journalists and they will say it's that the major political parties are now value-free and poll-driven, and craft their words based on market testing. So correspondents weigh every word leaders utter because qualifiers, or slight shifts in rhetoric, can carry great meaning. www.abc.net.au/.../5760172

Casablanca

24/09/2014[b]Julia Gillard cried when she found out Kevin Rudd viewed her as disloyal, former PM tells Ray Martin[/b] Matthew Knott. September 23, 2014 On the morning of Ms Gillard's leadership challenge in June 2010, Fairfax Media published a report saying Mr Rudd had dispatched his chief of staff to test his caucus support, because he did not believe his deputy's public assurances that she was not interested in the leadership. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/julia-gillard-cried-when-she-found-out-kevin-rudd-viewed-her-as-disloyal-former-pm-tells-ray-martin-20140923-10l3b4.html [b]'Lady-in-waiting to Lady Macbeth': Julia Gillard opens up on mistakes[/b] Michael Koziol September 23, 2014 In the interview, Ms Gillard acknowledges she struggled to engage with the public after taking the top job. Her transformation from a warm and funny deputy to a cold and aloof leader was partly a result of the job, partly herself and partly the twin battles she had to fight against Tony Abbott and Mr Rudd, she tells Martin. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/ladyinwaiting-to-lady-macbeth-julia-gillard-opens-up-on-mistakes-20140923-10knkj.html [b]Julia Gillard laments reputation for 'political brutality' after rolling Kevin Rudd for prime ministership[/b] Anna Henderson. September 23, 2014 Ms Gillard has given a rare interview to Channel Nine ahead of the release of her memoir and maintained she had "no choice" but to take over as Labor leader. "I felt like I'd done everything I possibly could to support and prop Kevin up," she said. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-23/gillard-laments-reputation-for-political-brutality/5764068 [b]The 7 parts of the Julia Gillard interview everyone’s talking about.[/b] Mamamia. 24 September, 2014 And the former Prime Minister’s interview tonight with Ray Martin is what everyone will be talking about in the morning. The Channel Nine interview took over three hours to film, and the former Prime Minister opened up about everything from what she misses most (and least) about the leadership role, to her views on marriage equality, to her walks with Reuben the dog. But there were seven moments — including Julia’s confession that she cried when trust broke down between herself and Kevin Rudd and her revelations she practiced boxing in The Lodge — that really stayed with us. Here are the key quotes you need to know about: http://www.mamamia.com.au/news/julia-gillard-interview/#65dJvdvUB85kuKed.99 [b]7 Things We Learned About Julia Gillard From Ray Martin's Interview[/b] Tuesday, 23 September 2014 Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard spoke to TV legend Ray Martin tonight in a candid world exclusive ahead of the release of her new book, My Story. "It’s my truth. Of course I had to make selections about what should go in, [but] its unashamedly through my eyes," Gillard told Martin of the book. http://www.kiis1065.com.au/entertainment/7-Things-We-Learnt-About-Julia-Gillard-From-Ray-Martin-s-Interview#OMwCz6gqwosMC2ih.99

jaycee

24/09/2014Knew Ray Martin would screw it up...the man's a legendary drongo who lacks both wisdom and wit to realise the prize interview he had before him! Facile and banal.

jaycee

24/09/2014Thought I'd go "over the road" to "the Poll Bludger" to see the commentry re; Gillard interview....nothing at all but this : " imacca Posted Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 9:02 pm | Permalink Not one comment here about Gillards interview. Not one. Just some rambling discourse on a national anthem. I suspect no-one wants to provoke the usual suspects into the inevitable flame war that would result." This is the gutless response to what is one of the most shameful and cowardly acts in our parliamentary history. This disgraceful episode MUST be debated and the chancre lanced!...If we, as a nation continue on in this cowardly, cringing way to accept the low-bar of political discussion, it will be no time at all before we accept policy via three-word-slogans! Labor has to bring this issue to a head or risk losing the next election...there are many, many people still fuming...absolutely red-hot in anger over the whole sordid episode....from those white-anters within the Labor movement and why they are still tolerated to be there, when their betrayal is so obvious..NOT just of Gillard, but of US!!..the people who relied on them to be part of the party bringing much neglected and needed social policy to the most vulnerable...to those protagonist-journalists in the MSM. who used their position, particularly in the national broadcaster to peddle disharmony and the endless "leadership" issue, even when it was a non-issue....why are they still in their jobs when it is now obvious they were playing a partisan role while being paid from the public purse? I am looking forward to her book and have put in my order at the local library....I am hoping NOT to see the debate on who and what brought us to this now wretched govt' quenched, but want to see it get red-hot for some "players". I know it is not good for one's heart at my age to get so fumed over any issue, but damn and be dammed if this is a case of "justice delayed is justice denied"...and NOT only for our first female Prime Minister, but for those other forgotten victims...US!!...BLOODY US!!...who worked so hard for a clean, decent future...a future with dignity at least..at only least!!....to stand by helpless and witness a dirty, low-life like Murdoch, sifting the dross of political quislings through his pulpy, soft fingers and plucking this one and that one to do his and his types bidding with apparent ease of purchase.....God!...I don't want vengeance...not at all...I simply want bloody justice!

TalkTurkey

24/09/2014Watch & Listen to *J*U*L*I*A* in the book promo! (I'm just proud of always putting her name up in lights!) http://www.bookworld.com.au/books/my-story-julia-gillard/p/9780857983909?gclid=CLLno_HQ-MACFcmXvQodpCsAlQ How good is she eh! She has a lot of time to get her own back on Rudd and his 'slickers. And she won't really even have to try. The truth of his perfidy and her loyalty will become the stuff of history and of legend. Rudd will become a byword for Rat. Mean little rat at that. He has eaten too much of the poison he intended for *J*U*L*I*A*. He is dying of his own nastiness. I wish him well with that. But ... Ohhh! *J*U*L*I*A* ! Sob.

jaycee

24/09/2014Though a tad of vengeance would not be refused admission!

jaycee

24/09/2014TT...when you "sob" for Julia, it almost breaks one's heart!

jaycee

24/09/2014" That's the verdict, at least, of Australian television viewers, who delivered a timeslot victory to Ray Martin's interview with Gillard on Channel Nine last night." That's because this is still "unfinished business".

Casablanca

24/09/2014[b]*J*U*L*I*A*[/b] A Nine spokesman confirmed that the full interview will be posted to 9news.com.au. possibly as early as this afternoon. Last night Martin tweeted: "Thanks all for your feedback – it's easy to hit someone on TV but hard to get them to talk. I liked meeting a PM we didn't really know. We saw the real Julia Gillard and that pleases me." http://www.9news.com.au/ [b]No alternative but to dump Rudd, says Julia Gillard[/b] Laura Tingle Julia Gillard believed Kevin Rudd would be relieved by the weight of losing the prime ministership in 2010, “because he had found it so difficult in those last few months”. The former prime minister made the observation in an interview on the Nine Network on Tuesday night ahead of the release of her autobiography on Wednesday. Interviewer Ray Martin asks Ms -Gillard about her suggestion in the book that Mr Rudd was suffering an emotional breakdown at the time of the June 2010 coup and whether she had expected him to walk away rather than fight to get his job back. “ I think you know on the loss of the prime ¬ministership, yes, I did expect him to be miserable but I also expected that emotion of relief that he was free from the weight of it to be a very strong one, because he had found it so difficult in those last few months,” she said. “Obviously I was wrong about that.” http://www.afr.com/p/national/no_alternative_but_to_dump_rudd_rlMh2uR52Z1XnnesPMzV0I?utm_source=PoliticOz&utm_campaign=5f32166cef-PoliticOZ_24_September_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_673b6b002d-5f32166cef-302949185 [b]Julia Gillard's memoir is insightful, unflinching and revealing[/b] Katharine Murphy. 24 September 2014 With all that preamble noted – and with a further declaration to readers that I’m currently about three quarters through My Story, not quite to the conclusion – Julia Gillard’s memoir provides real, detailed, forensic, and clinical insight into the government from her central, completely unique, vantage point. Gillard occupied the office she quaintly terms the gumnut room. Before the “dream team” of Kevin and Julia fractured into mulish remonstrance, Gillard maintained sufficient trust to be able to wander in and out of Kevin’s gumnut room at will. As a consequence of her own leadership, and her window on Rudd’s, she can plunge the reader into government at a deeper level than most other protagonists of this historical period; and the memoir strives to not only recount first-hand experiences, but also analyse.... She certainly does not spare others but, when she can push herself past the basic forgiveness reflex that all humans possess, she does not spare herself either. The best of the material comes in moments of reflection rather than juicy anecdote. I know that won’t be the Canberra view, but it is my view. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/24/julia-gillards-memoir-insightful-unflinching-revealing [b]Julia Gillard more popular than John Howard and Home and Away[/b] Michael Lallo. September 24, 2014 Julia Gillard may have left politics, but the former prime minister woke today to an odd polling victory: she is more popular than both John Howard and the residents of Summer Bay. That's the verdict, at least, of Australian television viewers, who delivered a timeslot victory to Ray Martin's interview with Gillard on Channel Nine last night. www.canberratimes.com.au/.../...140924-10l7yl.html [b]Julia Gillard: I don’t see an alternative to what I did that day[/b] Katharine Murphy. 23 September 2014 She acknowledges that the act of blasting Rudd out of the prime ministership was traumatic for him and consequential for her. It assigned her a reputation for “political brutality” – “the woman who wielded the knife” – a difficult bequest given that in the critical moment of decision, she’d actually been “hesitant.” http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/23/julia-gillard-i-dont-see-an-alternative-to-what-i-did-that-day?CMP=ema_632 [b]Gillard and the question of gender [/b] Michael Gordon. Sep 24 2014 Julia Gillard says gender helps to explain why her experience as Prime Minister was so different from those who went before her. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/gillard-and-the-question-of-gender-20140923-10kts4.html [b]Julia Gillard was always going to be cast as a ‘bad woman’ but men could have done more to help[/b] Angela Priestley / Sep 24, 2014 According to Julia Gillard, successful women still have only two choices when it comes to how they're perceived: to be viewed as a "good woman" or a "bad woman". They're stereotypes that were first outlined by Anne Summers in her 1975 book Damned Whores and Gods Police, but ones our former prime minister and first woman to hold the title believes still exist today. And as a woman wielding significant power – especially in a complex minority government – Gillard believes she was never going to be seen as a 'good woman'. "So I must be the bad woman, a scheming shrew, a heartless harridan or a lying bitch." http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/editor-s-agenda/julia-gillard-was-always-going-to-be-cast-as-a-bad-woman-but-men-could-have-done-more-to-help/201409244656?utm_source=Women%27s+Agenda+List&utm_campaign=e9914fedb3-Women_s_Agenda_daily_17_09_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f3750bae8d-e9914fedb3-30634093#.VCJO9haIiSp [b]A message for John Howard: misogyny is not a “card” any woman wants to play [/b] Georgina Dent. Sep 22, 2014 In one fell swoop Howard perfectly captures the exact sentiment that led to Julia Gillard’s fiery riposte in the first place... he described the famous "misogyny" speech Julia Gillard delivered in parliament in October 2012 as "nonsense". http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/editor-s-agenda/a-message-for-john-howard-misogyny-is-not-a-card-any-woman-wants-to-play/201409224643?utm_source=Women%27s+Agenda+List&utm_campaign=e9914fedb3-Women_s_Agenda_daily_17_09_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f3750bae8d-e9914fedb3-30634093#.VCJMDRaIiSo [b]Gillard accuses Rudd of sabotage, offers regret on Beazley [/b] Michael Gordon. Sep 24 2014 Julia Gillard has directly accused Kevin Rudd of sabotage and blackmail, but expressed anguish over her own role in toppling Kim Beazley. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/gillard-accuses-rudd-of-sabotage-offers-regret-on-beazley-20140923-10kw9p.html

Casablanca

24/09/2014 Julia GillardVerified account ‏@JuliaGillard As My Story goes to print, I have recorded the prologue and epilogue for the audio book. JG

jaycee

24/09/2014Good posts, Casa'

TalkTurkey

24/09/2014Christopher Hitchens on Religion! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQorzOS-F6w&feature=youtu.be

TalkTurkey

25/09/2014Ken. Words, yes. Well I LOVE words. I love it that we who speak English as a first language are blest with more words than there have ever been in any language anywhere. Well over half a million words, more than anyone knows all of, and more all the time, commonplace, or technical, or highly esoteric. Every word with its own special niche meaning. Some are abused by over-use or inaccurate application, some are used so little they might disappear, but every word is best for expressing at least one idea uniquely nuanced to a precise meaning. Each word is as individual as human DNA. Not just in spelling. I hate it when that precision is compromised. Here's an example. There was a time on this site when someone said someone else was deserving of 'fulsome' praise, intending to mean [i]genuine and effusive [/i]praise. We've all heard the term 'fulsome praise' - it's been used a lot, it's not original - but what does it really mean? Well Concise Oxford defines 'fulsome' as [i]cloying, excessive, disgusting by excess (of flattery, servility, exaggerated affection).[/i] This was plainly exactly counter to the intent of the writer - from sincerity and thanks, all the way down to fawning contempt and deception. And basically he used the term because it is a commonplace expression. But that doesn't excuse it. So the interests of pure English I pointed this out, I think quite gently ... ... but the response I got was quite hot! Basically the other writer argued that, well, anyway, I knew what he meant, and so did everyone else, (this was true, because of foregoing multiple misuse by others), and therefore that 'fulsome' could be validly used that way. Well, No! Hot can't mean cold or lukewarm or cool just because I want it to. Each word has a meaning, and the meanings are mutually exclusive. If fulsome can be used to imply sincerity, as well as insincerity, then it has no meaning. And if we decide to consign it to the dustbin for its ambiguity (which is not its fault!) then what word will mean [i]cloying, excessive, disgusting by excess (of flattery, servility, exaggerated affection)[/i]? Now, to Abborrrrtt's use of words. Well I'll leave that to the morrow.

Bacchus

25/09/2014 Interesting TT... BUT :) Language grows and changes over time - it is not a static thing. Your example of 'fulsome' is useful to show this, since its [i]original[/i] meaning was 'generous or abundant'. How come it now means 'complimentary or flattering to an excessive degree'? (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/fulsome) Perhaps between its earliest recorded use in the 13th century meaning 'generous or abundant' it grew by common (mis)usage to a completely new meaning? Think of words that have changed in your lifetime - gay, cool, sick, misogyny ;-) I'm sure you can come up with many more... Did you know for example that 'literally', according to the Oxford dictionary, CAN be used for emphasis rather than being actually true such as ‘we were literally killing ourselves laughing’? Language grows and changes over time with common use [i]and[/i] misuse. Here's some more for you: http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2012/10/change-in-word-meanings/

Catching up

25/09/2014Abbott using many big words his morning., Did ot add more sense to whyat he was saying, I believe. There is one word we really need to look at carefully. Yes. "radicalization". What does it mean. We do know, whatever it means, we are building a war around it. We are using the same word to take away more of our freedoms under law. Label a person radicalised,,, and they lose their right to the justice system, They are no longer innocence until proven guilty. In fact, they can be depicted anyway, our Tony and government wishes. Our Tony has convicted the young man that was shot, on the world stage, at the security meeting. Yes Mr. Brandis, this could be more serious than the Cold War. Yes, because of the word, we are losing more freedoms, our justice system becoming more unfair. What radicalises a young person. It appears they are not going to the Mosque. Could the biggest was to radicalise a person, is abuse them as they are growing up in this land. Could their experience of being racial vilified. Whatever the answer is, it is occurring here, not overseas.

Catching up

25/09/2014TURC back to HSU. Matters of law being discussed. I believe they are trying to shut up Peter Wicks. http://commcast.com.au/turc/

TalkTurkey

25/09/2014I used to be respectful Polite as I could be But Abborrrtt's hate And the Fourth Estate Have really coarsened me Rupert Murdoch runs most of the Media But it really angers me That he pulls strings And controls things At what was [i]Our[/i] ABC For the Right has seized the medium I've relied on since my youth Not just to ease life's tedium But more - To tell the Truth! Now I'm nasty and I'm bitter And I love to take the piss Taking too much time on Twitter Writing venom-spits like this: [Trivioli - Toy Boy Rowley]: [i]"Gobble Gobble!" - "Pretty Polly!"[/i] (Only hope such venom works On all our Auntie's circle jerks!)

Ad astra

25/09/2014Casablanca As I've been reduced to dialup speed, progress through your interesting set of links about Julia Gillard's book and the Ray Martin interview has been slow, but so worthwhile. I thought that Katherine Murphy's account of her book was well balanced and comprehensive. The analysis of John Howard's comment about Julia Gillard's 'misogyny' speech being 'nonsense' was spot on. Howard is oblivious that HIS attitude feeds the feelings that Julia had about misogyny and sexism. He missed the point when he defended Abbott against the accusation of misogyny, seemingly unaware of the wider issue of misogyny and sexism among men, inside and outside the political arena.

DMW

25/09/2014Good Morning Ken and all Swordsters, I've been a bit distracted/involved in other things and places of late. One of the distractions has been/is reading [b]The Drownings Argument [/b][i]Australia's inhumanity: Offshore processing of Asylum Seekers [/i] produced by Labor for Refugees (Review http://goo.gl/bNFh3y) In it I have found something that could be absorbed anybody and/or everybody interested in policy and debate about policy: [i]It is our belief that good quality policy whatever the topic will share a number of characteristics. ... Criteria for judging the quality of any policy and its implementation should include the following measures: * be directly relevant to the problem being addressed * cost effective and beneficial * not create undesirable secondary effects * not threaten the democratic or human rights of those affected * be robust and durable over time * ensure Australia's reputation as a global ctizen is maintained and enhanced * provide high quality and ethical leadership to all stakeholders * represent an equitable sharing of the burden and responsibility to find solutions * be transparent in its operation and accountable in its outcomes[/i] We could argue the toss whether all of these points are relevant to all legislation and also whether the list is complete or, indeed, overkill but, it seems a pretty good starting point. Taking just one point: 'not create undesirable secondary effects' and benchmarking the various proposals around education against it I ask 'is it an undesirable outcome if, as it is alleged by some, that changes to University fees well prevent many from lower socio-economic backgrounds will not be able to get a tertiary education?' It may be that it is one of the desired outcomes of the proponents of the changes but I would challenge them to be upfront in saying so. Fat chance of that. Using these guidelines it is obvious that quite a few pieces of legislation do not meet any of the criteria and that applies to legislation going back to say, 1901. Oh well, back off into my little dream world where the intentions of all politicians are honest and transparent and that best interests of our federation is the touchstone that guides our deliberations.

DMW

25/09/2014Uggh How to torture language and abuse words: [i]... 'is it an undesirable outcome if, as it is alleged by some, that changes to University fees well prevent many from lower socio-economic backgrounds will not be able to get a tertiary education?'[/i] I think I know what I meant but will anybody else? Time to crawl, red faced, under a rock

Casablanca

25/09/2014[b]Pyne and vile Kyle most outstanding sexists[/b] Margot Saville. 25 September, 2014. The Ernies were started in 1993 by NSW Labor member Meredith Burgmann and others to celebrate the retirement of the Australian Workers' Union secretary Ernie Ecob, who had said that women only wanted to be shearers for the sex. Burgmann famously replied to this: "But that's what we thought the sheep were for." The awards (motto: Keep Them Nervous) have grown so popular over the past two decades that there are now several categories, with a Gold Ernie for the best overall winner. Winners are decided in a “boo-off”, with the assembled guests loudly voicing their disapproval...There’s always a dress code -- as it is 120 years since women received the right to vote in South Australia, this year's theme was "suffragette" and the room was full of crinolines and “Vote for Women” sashes. Burgmann sounded a sober note, saying that although she thought that overall the situation was improving, having a female prime minister seemed to have triggered a great deal of blatant sexism. "Having a woman in power, it somehow gave permission for people to be sexist again." As I stumbled into the night, ears ringing from the booing, shouting and laughing, I pondered whether we would ever get to a year without nominations because no one had made a sexist remark. Not in my lifetime. http://media.crikey.com.au/dm/newsletter/dailymail_316dc65189509b9b7138e03405005291.html#article_31664 [b]Christoper Pyne wins Ernie Award 2014 for his comments on the impact of uni fees on women[/b] Jenna Price. September 25, 2014 The Minister for Education Christopher Pyne beat the Prime Minister Tony Abbott in a tight leadership contest at Parliament House last night. The Prize? Australia’s Top Sexist; and the competition was fierce. The Ernie Awards, now in its 22nd year, is held each September at NSW Parliament House. Hundreds of loud, proud women (this year, dressed as suffragettes) shout out as part of the judging for the most sexist remarks by public figures during the previous year. It honours the legacy of Ernie Ecob, the unionist who said in 1989, that women only wanted to be shearers for the shags... www.dailylife.com.au/.../...en-20140925-3gjsu.html [b] THE COMPLETE LIST OF ERNIES 2014[/b] [b]GOLD ERNIE and Political Silver Ernie:[/b] Christopher Pyne For claiming that increases in uni fees won't disproportionately affect women because - "women are well represented amongst the teaching and nursing students. They will not be able to earn the high incomes that dentists and lawyers will earn." [b]Media Silver Ernie:[/b] Piers Akerman "The ABC has tried to foist its left-wing agenda on the nation. Even the cartoon character Peppa Pig pushes a weird feminist line that would be closer to the hearts of Labor's Handbag Hit Squad than the pre-school audience it is aimed at." [b]Judicial Silver Ernie:[/b] Philip Strickland SC For suggesting that former MP Jodie McKay's recall of a conversation might not be accurate because she was in "an emotional state". [b]Industrial Silver Ernie:[/b] Wicked Camper Vans For slogans on their vans: "Fat girls are harder to kidnap." "In every princess, there's a little slut who wants to try it just once." "Life sucks if your girlfriend doesn't." [b]Sport Silver Ernie (The Warney):[/b] South Coast Winter Swimming Association in response to women swimmers wanting to join the club moved the following motions: "That the name of the South Coast Winter Swimming association should be changed to the South Coast Men's Winter Swimming Association." "That member affiliation of the South Coast Winter Swimming Association is limited to males." [b]Clerical/Celebrity Ernie (The Fred):[/b] Kyle and Jackie O For their on-air questioning of Sports Journalist, Erin Molan on how many sportsmen she has had sex with, whether she has had a boob job, and whether she has ever slept with a cricketer. [b]The Elaine (for the remark least helpful to the sisterhood):[/b] Dead heat between Michaelia Cash, Minister assisting the PM on Women "In terms of feminism, I've never been someone who really associates with that movement. That movement was a set of ideologies from many, many decades ago" Miranda Devine "After rising to the top of her party through affirmative action, our first female prime minister cynically played the victim card. Her unscrupulous complaints about sexism and misogyny just empowered the worst kind of women to excuse their own failings, and justified every sexist stereotype." [b]The Good Ernie:[/b] Mark Lennon, Secretary of Unions NSW For giving female staff 2% more superannuation than men, to acknowledge the structural issues that lead to women having one third of the super savings of men when they retire. [b] The Clinton (for repeat offenders):[/b] Tony Abbott, Prime Minister and Minister for Women.

jaycee

25/09/2014The descent into bedlam is almost complete..with just a little nudge from “the war on terror”, the whole juggernaut of temporal wars, long-standing wars, open wounds, economic disasters and climate change uncertainty and Tony Abbott will turn our lovely nation into an Hieronymus Bosch nightmare !

Casablanca

25/09/2014[b]Julia Gillard reflects on national security and defends her record[/b] Katharine Murphy, 25 September, 2014 Julia Gillard says maintaining good community links in a time of heightened national security risk is imperative to keep Australians safe from the threat of domestic terrorism and violence. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/25/julia-gillard-wades-into-national-security-debate-and-defends-her-record?CMP=ema_632

Ken

25/09/2014Casablanca Have been enjoying your links including the recent ones on the Ernies and Julia's comments on the security situation. And a belated thank you for your kind words on amy piece.

Ken

25/09/2014DMW The policy prescriptions are a bit like motherhood statements. As an ex-public service policy person, one tries to take account of most of those but it is easier said than done. 'Not creating undesirable secondary effects' belongs to the science of 'hindsight'. Identifying such undesirable effects in advance is 'second-guessing' at best, or sometimes ideologically based. My 'undesirable' effect may be someone's 'beneficial' effect. Even that policy should be 'cost effective and beneficial' is problematic. We certainly seek 'beneficial' but again hindsight is required to see whether or not we actually got it right. And I always question 'cost effective' because there are some things worth doing irrespective of the price - not that I could convince people of that given the current economic thinking (going back to the '80s).

DMW

26/09/2014Good Morning Ken can't say I disagree with what you have written and I thought I had sort of covered it with wondering if all were relevant to all legislation etc. Like any 'ideal' achieving all of them, and, sometimes any of them, would be the ultimate impossible dream. However, I sort of hold to an idea that if we don't set our dreams, ideals and aspirations high in the sky no one will ever attempt to reach for the stars and what a boring world that would be. Set the bar low and we will always wallow around in the shallows or something like that. The point that I worded very badly was if an undesired effect is identified ahead of the legislation such a lower socio-economic cohort being disadvantaged and that is a desired outcome for the proponent is that they should be upfront and say so. There is little chance that any would admit it and they would usually weasel around and with hand on heart say 'that is not our intention and we believe it won't happen because of x, y and/or z' Maybe it is one of my many flaws having a soft spots for idealists and idealism ;)

TalkTurkey

26/09/2014People to reply to! Casablanca Your links are so judicious these days, I can keep up with them much better than when you used to put so many up. These are very focused, when I've read your selection I have a pretty fair idea of how I feel about whatever the subject might be. This time *J*U*L*I*A* steals the limelight! Thanks always for all the effort you put in. [Isn't Miranda Devine HORRIBLE! What a hateful rancid old tart she really is!] Catching Up, You prompted me to look up the meaning of the word "radical". It's used pretty freely (as in 'radical solution', 'political radical', 'Hey man that's radical!') without ever having a defined meaning at all. Which is a bit radical in itself. What I found is that the root of [i]radical[/i] is really [i]radiculus[/i], (bit pun, see? :) ) Latin for [i]root[/i] (it's the origin of the word [i]radish)![/i] The word [i]radicle[/i] means the embryonic part of a plant that will become the central root. The extended meanings, as above, relate (albeit a bit tangentially) to fundamentals, deriving from a centre, "root-&-branch" I guess is the connection. But perhaps we just need the word radical to be wider than just about literal botanical roots, so that's the way we use it. And we know what we mean even if we don't! DMW That's a pretty good set of principles for policy makers I reckon. Well spotted. I bet the IPA has taken them to heart ... As for the slight muddling of a sentence ... You get that sometimes ... deleting.. cutting and pasting ... posting ... Oops! typos. I think we're long past worrying. jaycee I always enjoy your RANTS! [Rant: (Oxford): v.i. & t., & n.] 1. Use bombastic language; declaim theatrically; preach noisily] I use the term with deepest respect and admiration! You PUNCH, where hardly any mainstream journalists even pinch, let alone slap. Spot On too imo. You should be on a political radio/TV panel. I'm like you, fretting and fuming, but battle on Comrade, we'll dance on Aborrrttt's grave yet. Maintain the Rage. Who've I missed? Anyway it's 3 AM, I'm mad, too tired to talk words any more tonight. I'll answer you tomorrow Bacchus. Well [i]today[/i], but later.

TalkTurkey

26/09/2014Liddle RIDDLE: (with a built-in clever PUN!) Q:[i]Why can't a bicycle stand upright by itself? [/i] A: Because it's ... ..... ! (2 words, describing my own state atm, to be found in the last paragraph of what I just said at 3.46.) GO FIGURE.

2353`

26/09/2014Too tired. TT - look after yourself. Posting here or anywhere else at 4am unless you're a shiftworker (and you're not) is not healthy.

jaycee

26/09/2014Below is a passage of observation by Theodor Mommsen from his magnum opus ; “The History of Rome”, for which he was awarded the Nobel prize in 1902. This work would have been a major part of the teaching of Classics in many Universities of that era. The accrued knowledge ought to have welded itself to our culture, social science and general knowledge ,and should be learned wisdom to use and reflect upon through the years. But it is not!...It is a waste of knowledge up there with the loss for millennia of the knowledge for making cement….How many mistakes could have been avoided and lives spared if such knowledge was taken seriously. I, myself, am disgusted and disappointed at the lax attention to such knowledge by those who ought to know better. I feel disappointed and let down by a clique of higher – educated “elite” who seem to prove Mommsen’s observations below to be so accurate . However, it is neither wit nor wisdom on my part to make these observations, for I am but the messenger…it is however, on the part of those who ought to understand and know better ; an utter betrayal and a dishonourable disgrace. “ It is true that the history of past centuries ought to be the instructress of the present ; but not in the vulgar sense, as if one could simply by turning over the leaves discover the conjunctures of the present in the records of the past and collect from these the symptoms for a political diagnosis and for the specifics for a prescription ; it is instructive only so far as the observation of earlier forms of culture reveals the organic conditions of civilization generally – the fundamental forces everywhere alike, and the manner of their combination everywhere different – and leads and encourages men, not to unreflecting imitation, but to independent reproduction. In this sense the history of Caesar and of Roman Imperialism, with all the unsurpassed greatness of the master worker, with all the historical necessity of the work, is in truth a more bitter censure of modern autocracy than could be written by the hand of man. According to the same law of nature in virtue of which the smallest organism infinitely surpasses the most artistic machine, every constitution however defective which gives play to the free self-determination of a majority of citizens infinitely surpasses the most brilliant and humane absolutism ; for the former is capable of development and therefore living, the latter is what it is and therefore dead. This law of nature has verified itself in the Roman absolute military monarchy and verified itself all the more completely , that, under the impulse of it’s creator’s genius and in the absence of all material extraneous complications, that monarchy developed itself more purely and freely than any similar state. From Caesar’s time , as the sequel will show and Gibbon has shown long ago, the Roman system had only an external coherence and received only a mechanical extension, while internally it became even with him utterly withered and dead. If in the early stages of the autocracy and above all in Caesar’s own soul the hopeful dream of a combination of free popular development and absolute rule was still cherished, the government of the highly-gifted emperors of the Julian house soon taught men in a terrible form how far it was possible to hold fire and water in the same vessel.” And THAT was Julius Caesar who tried and failed…and HE was a genius !...What have we in these times..: A moron!..an utter fucking moron! It’s got to a point where I am sick and tired of hearing “experts” in law or politics, or military advice or economics , from a plethora of institutions and universities pontificate on their subject of choice , yet have no intention of protesting against this descent into bedlam that seems our fate. If these “behemoths” of learning and “influence”,cannot demonstrate either in the face of political imbecility…then I ask ; What fuckin’ use are they…one might as well have a dog and bark oneself! If we of the labouring classes have to cop the flak, without noticeable help from those better placed to influence, then they can go their way and we will ours..for THEY will just be another burden to carry.

Pappinbarra Fox

26/09/2014Problem is [quote]When I use a word, … it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less[/quote] Abbott does not have a clue what half the words he uses actually mean, even if he is the suppository of all wisdom.

TalkTurkey

26/09/20142353 Yes, "A bicycle can't stand up by itself because it is too tired", one of the cleverest puns I have ever heard. It's true, I have been tiring quickly since I had the 'flu a month ago. J**** too. It's not nice. Makes one wobbly and weak for weeks, months. Some say years, some say always. I think they're probably all true, I think it's a bit like brain damage to boxers, there's acute damage but worse is the cumulative effect of past things like anaesthetics and various drugs and illnesses that results in a sort of punch-drunkenness. I know that my memory of WORDS has suffered a hit. And I'm sort of de-focussed. It's quite a mind-affecting beast this farticular poo, er I mean particular flu. Speaking of Spoonerisms, this is what you might call a Forkerism: Tony Burke Bony Turk Turkey Bone Burny Toke! ;-) He's a lovely bloke is Tony Burke imo. Funny, well-spoken, softly persuasive and effective, dedicated to public service and to Australia, and never forget, LOYAL to both Labor and *J*U*L*I*A* as Leader throughout the years of the perfidy of Rudd his yellow dogs in the Party itself. Yes jaycee, I seethe at the thought of those bastards too. But Tony Burke was and remains above it all, respected by all in the Party who themselves deserve any respect. (H'mmm, IYSWIM!) Anyway 2353, see I sleep a lot now since the month of Flu, but in randomly-timed and random-lengthed bursts ... and anyway too, I do find that my thoughts are pretty clear in the small hours. And writing here is so efficacious, because of ... Us!

Ken

26/09/2014Pappinbarra Fox Yes, but someone in his office does and chooses them very carefully and with deliberate shades of meaning or misleading implications. Tony used to get a lot of words wrong but has been better coached leading up to the election and particularly since the election. If there was some way of checking, I think the number of 'gaffes' has been diminishing. But that doesn't change that what he does say is a load of crap.

Casablanca

26/09/2014[b]*J*U*L*I*A* [/b] Video: 2.36m Julia Gillard talks regrets, how she spends her Sunday afternoons, what's on her bedside table and the one piece of advice she should have listened to. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRtmlLcm4c8

Ken

26/09/2014Casablanca Interesting little piece from Julia. But also the down-side of being an author. You have tyo do marketing things like that whether you want to or not. :-)

DoodlePoodle

26/09/2014Words, words, words - Tony Abbott promises a "Light on the Hill" while at the same time he approves of the Cambodia "solution" and temporary protection visas. These asylum seekers were certainly looking for a "Light on the Hill"

Ken

26/09/2014DoodlePoodle No one will ever find a 'light on the hill' under this mob. But as you say, Abbott is very good at saying (or implying) one thing but doing another.

DoodlePoodle

26/09/2014Typical Abbott when he was shaking hands with various World Leaders had a very aggressive stance with one hand in the handshake the other firmly around their back as though he felt superior and was standing over them.

Casablanca

27/09/2014[b]"Canada-Australia axis of carbon". [/b] [b]Australia's climate stance savagely condemned at New York summit[/b] Nick O'Malley. September 27, 2014 ..it was Australia and to an extent Canada that were subject to most of the opprobrium, in part because they have already enjoyed the economic benefits of carbon emissions, in part because China is perceived to be on the brink of significant action. One of the successes of Tuesday's meeting was China's announcement for the first time ever that it would set an emissions target, aiming to reduce its emissions of carbon per unit of GDP by 45 per cent by 2020, compared with levels in 2005... On Tuesday the Pulitzer Prize-winning climate change news website Inside Climate News published a story about the "Canada-Australia axis of carbon". It suggested that not only were the two nations not willing to pull their weight, but that they were seeking to derail the binding agreement on emissions reductions at next year's talks in Paris that many view as the world's last best hope to prevent catastrophic climate change. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/world/australias-climate-stance-savagely-condemned-at-new-york-summit-20140926-10mc0x.html

TalkTurkey

27/09/2014Words. I'm still trying to get around to saying what I think about Tony Abborrrtt's use of words. He isn't Humpty Dumpty. Not a dumb egg. He is a WEASEL. Now, Weasels [i]love[/i] Eggs. They can squirm through amazingly small holes in chook houses, then they nip little holes in the eggs and suck them dry. They are so clever that they turn the empty eggs so the holes can't be seen, so they look like whole eggs. That keeps the chooks thinking their nests are safe so they keep laying in the same spot. A good arrangement, for the Weasels. Abborrrtt doesn't mean ANYTHING by what he says. It is ALL Weasel-Words. Bafflegab. Motherhood terms, verbal fudge. He can never be tied to any precise meanings, because when Abborrrrtt says "APP-solutely", the only thing that's absolute is his ability to squirm out of the little funk-holes he leaves himself. He has APP-solutely no qualms about telling lies. To him the Truth is immaterial: it's just a question of how, like Basil Fawlty, he can "get away with it". With Abborrrrtt it's deliberate, reflexive, compulsive, cynical and self-righteous. And hypocrisy means nothing to him. How comes it that a man can be so base? I think a combination of aspects of his youth must have so mis-shaped him. North Shore Sydney. Privilege. Favouritism. Joh Bjelke-Petersen, B.A. Santamaria, Howard. The IPA, the DLP. Bad luck. Bad company. But most of all, and tying them all together, is his own form of Roman Catholicism, with his suckhole bumbuddy 'confessor', Arse-Bigot Pell, weekly absolving him of all bastardry he has committed in the past week. Weasel words.

Casablanca

27/09/2014 [b]Life Cycle (for Big Jim Phelan), by Bruce Dawe[/b] September 23, 2014. Kay Rollison Bruce Dawe is sometimes called ‘the Poet of Suburbia’, and the poem is characteristically straightforward – especially for anyone who knows anything about Australian Rules Football. It follows the life of a footy barracker from birth and first exposure to the game through the milestones of life: - the reckless proposal after the one-point win, the wedding and honeymoon after the grand final . . . . . . to old age, with the prospect of new cycles of life. Dawe’s theme is that supporting a footy team is a religious experience. http://theaimn.com/poetry-review-life-cycle-big-jim-phelan-bruce-dawe/

Casablanca

27/09/2014[b]Abbott’s end game[/b] September 26, 2014. The AIM Network Australia has been moved Moved from extreme concern about the First Hockey Budget to extreme concern about the Islamic terrorist threat. This coincided with a fall in the polling for the Abbott Government...As a consequence, in further attempts to terrify the populace into supporting Abbott and his insanities, we are losing freedoms every day. Now all our cyber activities are available to Senator Brandis at the stroke of a single pen on a single sheet of paper. We no longer have freedom of movement around the world. Our civil rights are being eroded with every sitting of our Parliament. http://theaimn.com/abbotts-end-game/ [b]Abbott – “It’s a Matter of Trust” [/b] John Lord. September 25, 2014 Politicians in general place a lot in the trust of the people. Howard went to many an election shouting the mantra ‘’who do you trust’’. Tony Abbott, despite being a pathological liar, often invokes the ‘’just trust me’’ principle as if he has some form of ownership on righteousness when in fact trust is born of truth. A concept beyond his comprehension. http://theaimn.com/abbott-matter-of-trust/ [b]Threat to Australians sparks Tony Abbott support[/b] Crispin Hull. September 26, 2014 The voters, of course, are irrational. But smart politicians recognise voters' irrationality and you can hardly blame them for playing the national security card. But do not mistake it for leadership. A proportionate response would be to increase the quality, quantity and resourcing of policed forces in Australia, not to engage in a foreign military adventure with no measurable aims and no end in sight.. A government determined to have "protecting our people" as its "first priority" would look more seriously at other threats which will affect the lives, livelihoods and health of far more of us...A good government would do its best to protect its people from climate change..from disease and obesity... It could protect Australians against the threat of rogue financial advisers; poor health services and over-priced tertiary education...These pose greater danger to Australians' security than terrorists... But these are silent, gradual threats, that do not resonate with those who answer opinion polls... And they are nowhere near as compelling for media coverage or inducing exaggerated fear as the beheadings of white people. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/threat-to-australians-sparks-tony-abbott-support-20140925-10kxlu.html [b]Real feminism comes in many forms[/b] Judith Ireland. September 26, 2014 http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/real-feminism-comes-in-many-forms-20140926-10mnam.html [b]There's still life in the Rudd-Gillard stoush[/b] Barrie Cassidy. 26 Sep 2014 After the latest burst of prominence, Coalition strategists must know that the fallout from the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd merry-go-round will go around again at one more election campaign...In the wake of the Gillard interview, two things happened in much the same way as they always do. Rudd gave a considered and brief public response. At the same time, ever so mysteriously, a far more detailed and poisonous critique is leaked; not a direct response to the interview mind you, but part of a secret submission that he gave to Labor's 2010 election review; a submission that had remained secret for three years or more, only to surface just as Gillard's book is released. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-26/cassidy-theres-still-life-in-the-rudd-gillard-stoush/5769824 [b]Missing in action? Bill Shorten's 'small target' strategy is his only option[/b] John Quiggin. 25 September 2014 Some version of the ‘small target’ political strategy is effectively forced on an opposition, meaning we should expect criticism of the government to come from elsewhere. In the absence of any real debate between the major parties, the only effective criticism of government policy comes from forces outside the traditional political process: minor parties, activist groups of various kinds and public mobilisation. These forces have derailed some of the government’s attempts to reset the terms of political debate over issues like social justice and environmental policies, and have achieved at least some limits on the near-boundless expansion of police powers sought in recent weeks. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/25/missing-in-action-why-bill-shortens-small-target-strategy-is-his-only-option?CMP=ema_632 [b] ‘No more ideology,’ Abbott cabinet told[/b] Phillip Coorey The federal government’s chances of a budget breakthrough any time soon are bleak, with Senate crossbenchers saying they will not be “bullied” by threats of tax increases. There was no sign of breakthrough in the standoff a day before Parliament resumed as members of cabinet were advised by Coalition party officials to show more public discipline. Following a six-week winter break marked by bungles, gaffes and mixed messages on budget and other policy issues, Liberal Party federal director Brian Loughnane and his Nationals counterpart Scott Mitchell spoke to the cabinet on strategy. Sources summarised the key ¬messages as “no more distractions”, “no more ideology”, “stick to the middle” and “slow things down”. http://www.afr.com/p/national/no_more_ideology_abbott_cabinet_Ctvy72uzUgqwzFrxvpeE2L [b]Strap yourselves in, this could get bumpy[/b] Greg Jericho. The joy of the mining boom is over and China's growth is waning. Now Australians must remind themselves of life in an economy where income growth and increased standards of living don't come easy... Last weekend, Treasurer Joe Hockey was out lauding the G20 finance minister's commitment to the 2 per cent target for additional economic growth over the next four years. While no doubt he wished to spruik the success of the meeting he chaired in Cairns, it jarred with the news in the same week that the OECD had revised down its forecasts for growth this year and for 2015: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-24/jericho-strap-yourselves-in-this-could-get-bumpy/5764004

Catching up

27/09/2014Yes, Abbott's and Co words ,exams noting. They will and are saying anything, to defend their position., Much of what they say is both irrational and senseless. Like Hockey and Cormann stunt of blaming the last budget results on Labor. In fact so ridicules that the Press Conference fell like a lead balloon. Was not reported on after the PC. To begin with, Zit was their budget from September of last year. Swan and Gillard had made adjustments to their predictions, at great cost to them during the year. In fact, they halted their fiscal consolidation, as the economy faltered. More cuts where made, to meet the falling revenue. No budget is set in stone. Predictions are that. Yes, can only come about, if everything stays the same, the day they are made. In fact this never happens. Labor had taken steps to halt the budget deterioration. Which by the way, the Coalition fought at every turn, repealing many when they took over the reins, adding to the growing deficit. In fact Hockey added to the budget deficit and debt himself. What amazes me, that in their hubris, they really think they can get away with anything. Seem shocked, when asked question by the media, as happened with Hockey and Cormann., Sadly this does not happen often enough. As for Cassidy's statemen6t that there is still interest in the Rudd/Gillard conflict. I suspect he is having himself on.

Catching up

27/09/2014They say Shorten is missing in action. At the same time, he is making, almost daily some wonderful speeches.

TalkTurkey

27/09/2014O my country. Surely the Cambodian deal makes Australia the most despicable of all rich nations. I am appalled, and to the extent that I/we have not managed to prevent this, I am ashamed. Australia is now indeed truly a plum target for jihad. And not unfairly, dreadful to admit. In his one year since seizing power, he has angered Indonesia, China, Russia, and every Muslim State in the Middle East. It seems to me that an innocent Australian head would be a cherry on the top for an aspiring martyr. [i]These people cannot be intimidated[/i]. They're already WANTING death! And they cannot be blasted out of existence either. I remember two memes from the Vietnam days: One was the official line of the US Govt, that we were "winning hearts and minds" of the people, The other, Sgt? Calley's justification for utterly destroying the village of My Lai and murdering all its people: "We had to destroy it in order to save it"! ISIS and its various radical spinoffs and related bodies CANNOT be stopped. It is like trying to drain an abundant well dry: the supply is endless, it comes from all directions, and the more the ground is fracked, and the bigger the hole, the greater the insurgence. We all know this. So what the West is doing is deliberately fomenting war without end. And we can only lose. It is madness.

Ken

27/09/2014TT Even if the current campaign can stop ISIL, or at least reduce it to a rump, we are sowing the seeds of the next battle in that area. One of the main groups being supported against ISIL is the Kurds of northern Iraq. They have wanted their own homeland for over 200 years and if they come out of the current fight well-armed... they may well have the means to achieve it,or at least intensify the fight. We did the same in Afghanistan. It was the arming of local tribal warlords in the fight against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s that largely contributed to the break-down of governance and the problems that followed the Soviet withdrawal. Look at Libya more recently. The West supported the fall of Gaddafi (with air strikes, as now) and there hasn't been effective government there since. I fear we are doing it again.

Casablanca

27/09/2014Catching Up @ 07:07 AM I agree with you that Shorten is making some wonderful speeches. Pity that he does not get much coverage in the MSM. That is a good article by John Quiggin www.theguardian.com/.../missing-in-action-why-bill-shortens-small-target-strategy-is-his-only-option

Bacchus

27/09/2014Interesting lecture in London overnight by Michael Cooney, executive director of the Chifley Research Centre. which ties in with recent articles here discussing the way forward for Labor. [b]The work for Labor’s generation X leaders[/b] [quote]A surprising number of activists inside and around Labor parties and progressive politics genuinely seem convinced that the way forward for our parties is to go back seventeen years, to recapture the “new day” which dawned in London in 1997; or even more implausibly, to go back thirty one years, to restore the so-called “reform era” which began in Canberra in 1983. This is an enormously influential internal view in Australia and one non-Labor and ex-Labor voices endlessly amplify. ... Australian Labor’s next platform, and the next Australian Labor Government, can’t be a restoration of anyone or anything; neither can the next Government here in the UK. Look at clean energy. The solution we take to the 2016 election or implement in the years beyond won’t be simply restoring a carbon price scheme exactly the way Julia Gillard “got it done”. Asia? No part of the world changes faster. Ageing? A whole new social and economic world opens. The future of growth and of work. How do we lift living standards, what will jobs be like? There’s so much more to talk about than the dollar float or Clause Four, and so much more to promise than “reform”. This must be the work for Labor’s Generation X.[/quote] http://www.chifley.org.au/the-work-for-labors-generation-x-leaders/

jaycee

27/09/2014Cross-posted from The Pub. The collapse of the Intelligenzia. The rise of economic rationalism, free markets and the right-wing political parties has coincided with the collapse of intellectual debate on it’s acceptance as a “norm” of civilized society. The right-wing denial of “society” is, in effect the enactment of a philosophy devoid of humanism…and with civilization very sparse on the ground. In fact , it is the rise of the “new Barbarian”…and his right as an ”individual warrior’ to a free-market of grasping rapine and plunder. This collapse of the intelligenzia has come with the collapse of the “house of cards” that was postmodernist philosophy. When “modernism” was discarded as passe’ and replaced with postmodernism in the universities, politics and the business world, a whole new vocabulary was constructed around it’s direction, ambition, capacity and culpability. “Whatever it takes” was it’s moral limit. Consider these two interpretations of science… Modernist…: “The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.” Postmodernism…: “Postmodernism is largely a reaction to the assumed certainty of scientific, or objective, efforts to explain reality. In essence, it stems from a recognition that reality is not simply mirrored in human understanding of it, but rather, is constructed as the mind tries to understand its own particular and personal reality. For this reason, postmodernism is highly skeptical of explanations which claim to be valid for all groups, cultures, traditions, or races, and instead focuses on the relative truths of each person. In the postmodern understanding, interpretation is everything; reality only comes into being through our interpretations of what the world means to us individually. Postmodernism relies on concrete experience over abstract principles, knowing always that the outcome of one's own experience will necessarily be fallible and relative, rather than certain and universal. I got those two definitions from a quick Google search with the heading ..: “Science..interpretations.” of one then the other.As you can see, one is concise, the other is convoluted…There is a “yardstick” one measures bullshit by..; it is the amount of time or words used to explain a simple situation. I’ll leave you to judge the above. The telling thing with the rise of postmodernism and the new right-wing business model, was the new vocabulary that arose alongside the excuses…I know when this happened in academia, because I was there, by accident, with a mature entry scheme ambition to study Classics and Latin at the university…It was at the time when the Howard govt’ gave Brendan Nelson the job of “cleaning out’ all the old “leftist / Marxist” influence from higher learning. They did this in part by retiring or promoting over the top of “in line for seniority” younger , pliable, contract lecturers…a generational change..a philosophical change….many of these younger academics were mesmerized with the new postmodernist language of Michel Foucault. If there ever was a quasi philosopher more deserving of the dust-bin of history, it is he, for with the adoration almost to the point of hagiographic, his prosletysers manufactured an entire language to wrap around and protect their fragile fantasy. So that now, after the all too realistic disasters of the GFC. The collapsing climate, the chaos in international politics along with our own ill-managed domestic economy and political policy..we have this sudden fleeing from responsibility and reality by those postmodernist prophets who were out there only recently pedaling the emperor’s new clothes…..we now have a vacuum of intellectual argument concerning direction of social science and economic development….not to mention a declining refugee and military situation….The right-wing postmodernist dialogue just cannot handle reality. It cannot use it’s convoluted language to reduce risk to life and limb. It is a dead philosophy and along with it’s demise, it has taken intellectual higher-learning discourse into the same grave. Of course, the contra argument points the finger at yours truly and says..; “who is this person to claim such things?”…and I say..; “I am a carpenter, I am a citizen, nothing more ”…and then you hear the laughter….then you hear the slander, the insults, the mocking against credentials to even THINK or DARING to question those so much more qualified to interpret such deep considerations…. I reply..: Yes..I am a carpenter..a mere bagatelle, a trifle in the world of higher professionalism…but I say ; I am a carpenter, I am a builder, a drawer of plans and schedules..a builder of physical structures and compartments…of estimates and schemes, of conversations with people and places, of costs and monies and economies of scale…of fifty fuckin’ years of managing with more, of managing with less, of just managing with people and raw materials , of reading plans that demand accurate interpretation..not guess-work of intent….in many places with a multitude of ethnic groups all with a different idea but with one expectation…the success of a project….I am the go-between from start to finish..from concept to reality..I am what THEY will never be!...I am the harsh fucking reality of what society must be!! Yes..I am a carpenter…I am a citizen…I am you , I am he , I am “society” !. [ I put this piece up not to be a pompous prick, but to make us realise there IS a legitimate left-wing argument and direction that can be adopted by the Labor opp’n…however, I do not believe it will come from the intellectuals within the advisory groups of the movement…it has to come..it WILL come from us here on the social media boards…THIS is where the intellectual discussion is taking place…it may not be grammatically pretty, nor loquaciously well expressed, but none the less..HERE is the foundation of the future building of Labor…THAT I truly believe!]

Ken

27/09/2014Bacchus The lecture by Cooney is interesting and makes some vaild points about a new set of policy approaches for the future. I can agree with that but the point which many here have been making for months (and which Cooney seems to ignore entirely) is that Labor still needs some basci principles to work from. Without that, the type of policy Cooney talks about will be fed by polls and media commentary. It needs a solid base, and then changes can be made to suit the times. I was put off a little when I read the brief bio about him. He was a speech writer for Gillard. Now I know who to blame!! She was always best when she didn't follow the speeches. Even before Rudd's return, I used to complain in my comments here about the quality of the speeches Gillard had to make. So, after that, I'm not sure whether to pay much attention to Cooney's lecture - despite the fact that some points are valid.

Ken

27/09/201442long Keep the rage about private property and capitalism for a piece that will appear here on TPS in another week or two - 'Is the free market free?' It will address that issue of private property and how it is misused by the neo-liberal economists. So keep an eye for that and then have your say.

Casablanca

28/09/2014[b]Republicans Air Early Attack Ad on Newborn Clinton[/b] WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) — A Republican Super PAC defended the broadcast, on Saturday morning, of an attack ad highly critical of Hillary Clinton’s infant granddaughter, Charlotte, who was born on Friday. The ad raises several serious questions about the newborn, at one point accusing her of being “related to Benghazi.” In criticizing a one-day-old infant, the ad is believed to be the earliest political attack ad on record. “Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky is fair game,” a spokesman for the Americans Concerned About Charlotte Super PAC said. “We have to assume that she is the presumptive Democratic nominee in 2052.” http://links.newyorker.mkt4334.com/ctt?kn=7&ms=NzE1OTA0NwS2&r=NTUzMTQwMTg3MzgS1&b=0&j=NTIyOTQ5NTg1S0&mt=1&rt=0

Casablanca

28/09/2014[b]The other half [/b] Claire Melamed "To end inequality, we must realise that it isn’t about the rich, it’s about the poor. And we know almost nothing about them." http://aeon.co/magazine/society/to-end-inequality-we-must-understand-how-poverty-works/ [b]CEO pay study shows we're a tolerant lot on inequality[/b] Peter Swan 26 Sep 2014 Surprisingly, Australians seem to be far more comfortable with unequal pay outcomes than most other nations. Almost everyone in a study soon to be published in Perspectives on Psychological Science thinks chief executive officers are paid significantly too much -- almost everyone it suggests, except Australians. http://click.email.businessspectator.com.au/?qs=0e95d9d1bbeab0f4ac0f53bc5a0ebe8341f2ad5602c1f490231bc6b174c8488b5217d9f74d145952 [b]Labor's generation X leaders can't afford nostalgia, and can promise more than 'reform'[/b] Michael Cooney. 27 September 2014 Parties which are homesick for the past can never effectively comprehend the real issues of our contemporary life.. A surprising number of activists inside and around Labor parties and progressive politics genuinely seem convinced that the way forward for our parties is to go back 17 years, to recapture the “new day” which dawned in London in 1997; or even more implausibly, to go back 31 years, to restore the so-called “reform era” which began in Canberra in 1983. This is an enormously influential internal view in Australia and one non-Labor and ex-Labor voices endlessly amplify. It is urgent business for Labor thinkers to shake the grip of what I call a “nostalgia for the new”. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/27/labors-generation-x-leaders-cant-afford-nostalgia-and-can-promise-more-than-reform [b]Hockey can't play the Swan card forever[/b] Rob Burgess. 26 Sep 2014 The government’s decision to play down the impact of the GFC and structural shifts in the economy lets it pin fiscal woes on Wayne Swan. But this revisionism distorts our perception of the current economic environment. http://click.email.businessspectator.com.au/?qs=0e95d9d1bbeab0f4dbae96ccb90ca110d06c2c6a2e00f2f603ef5d908e19d22c47cdeb2f558fd737 [b]Just Don't Mention The Wars: Australian Media's Demonisation Of Muslims[/b] Michael Brull. 26 Sep 2014 I don’t think we will ever hear a sober, extended argument about why Australia should join the fighting against ISIS. The real case for war is being made through innuendo, fear, and cheap sloganeering. https://newmatilda.com/2014/09/26/just-dont-mention-wars-australian-medias-demonisation-muslims

TalkTurkey

28/09/2014A bit more on WORDS! I wrote this 25 years ago, as a break between chapters of my big book of verse, NEW WORLDS! - which was partly about the fact that Planet Earth is the only 'new world' humans will ever have. The book also teaches how to make one of my educational papercraft models, "Spacecraft Earth", a hollow icosahedronical 3D world map on the outside; while printed on the inside, visible through a pop-open doorway, is a night-sky chart aka planisphere, with named glow-in-the-dark stars down to 5th magnitude. This little bit is called TIME Just because your car is speedy Doesn't mean you [i]have[/i] to speed Whereas -(even if you're greedy)- If there's no food, you can't feed! Centipedes can't choose but use [i]ALL[/i] legs - they're centipedy! You CHOOSE - to read, or not to read - this: It is - Are you? - [i]READ[/i]-y? And if the WORDS are hard for you - You think they weren't, for ME? - A DICTIONARY's all you need - A good one, let it be - So many words! If thoughts are birds, The only substance known For feathers, flesh - and [i]brain![/i] - is words - And written word is BONE! My reading hints are simple: Just re-trace my steps - Re-tread! And as I have re-written lines, So let them be re-read. [i]Life's not meant to be easy[/i] - This is Rubik's Cube-ic rhyme! What's a little time to read it - eh? As Gough would say - [b]"It's Time!" [/b]

Catching up

28/09/2014Pyne believes all the government has to do, is create a equal playing field. When talking about education, it is providing opportunities. Labor, I believe that providing the opportunities is not enough. It is not level playing field if one does not have skills or ability to takes advantage of the opportunities provided by the government. Pyne believes it is only poor teachers and people who are to lazy to gain an education, that is the problem. Pyne and his ilk believe it is not up to government to do more. Yes an word can mean different things to different people.

jaycee

28/09/2014I have put this piece up without ANY editing for syntax, grammar or clarity of structure. I accept there are some typos, there are grammatical gaffes and some weakness in layout etc. I do this not because I am proud of my grammatical failings, they will always be there, my lousy education guarantees THAT!..I do this because it must be realized that there are many who would like to contribute, to post articles , but are sometimes a tad awed by the prospect of judgement..not on their opinions, but on their writing. There are many who do post here with admirable skill more accomplished than myself…Ian, GD. Fiona, BB. Aguirre, Kambah Mick, Puff, Leone2, Janice and others (and I apologise for missing any, but you and we know you!)..but I feel there are others who lurk here and who post commentary that would have bloody good yarns and stories to tell.. I myself , left high school after the second year to go into trade and never sat for another academic exam till my forty sixth year…and then it was touch and go!...and THIS TOO is the Labor story…that those who have worked their way through life, perhaps raised a family, developed a trade, profession or business or are on PAYE employment, can draw from their own experiences and pass them on to a listening audience without fear of ridicule and rest assured that what they do pass on will be woven also into the Greater Labor story. Death by a Thousand Cuts, Living by a simple philosophy. Or : “Old Ideas, New Australians.” Quote : “ 1983…Business ………..of Survival. With the Death of Richard, I must now manage alone, on one pension. The house seems in good condition. No large account, only the small loan I had taken out, which finishes in June 1985. Must try not to take out anymore loans, to(sic) much drain on my low income. I must try to live on produce from garden, with eggs to help out. Try to cut down on weekly food bills, most of all on meat. The animals take quite a lot (money) for food, reg, etc. As the fowls are all getting old, must breed up some new hens. “ That was from a aged pensioner’s diary…sure, we know she was not going to die of hunger or homelessness..or do we?...She certainly was afraid of some vague uncertainty…and therein lies the simple truth..: “A lifetime of habit, creates a certainty of belief ..a moment of uncertainty doubts a lifetime of belief ”. For that lady, her entire life was constructed around hard work…the old-age pension that Labor and the unions put in place gave her a measure of security so she could live out her final years in dignity…that is a word well worth praising…; Dignity…..Let’s put that up there at the top of the page of Labor principles. Dignity. And damn if a person who applies their person to contribute toward the social betterment of their family, friends and neighbours for their working life, they are denied that most basic of respects..; Dignity ! ..and it only comes from others who have walked that same path . The speculator, always on the make..always on the lookout for the next “win”..the next “deal”, has neither wish nor capacity for dignity…he has traded it away with a Faustian deal with capital…no need to look to him for a “fair go”, his motto is ; “Opportunity”…but does he seriously believe that if HE did not exist, there would be no work to do? [Actually,The name that lady called her late husband was not quite correct…you see..his name really was ; Riccardo….he was an Italian…SHE was born in Australia of Irish / Cornish stock….now THERE’S a mix!...But you know, it is not at all uncommon..of the three sisters in that lady’s family, after the war, one married an Italian, one married a German (third generation Australian) and the third a Polish man. This idea that we are just lately become a multi-cultural nation is not true..for many years there has been intermarriage in the community…sure, the surnames may be Anglo, but there is mixed ethnic in the family somewhere..and we should be proud of this…love knows no boundaries, children know no race.] I keep hearing this catch-cry ;”What does Labor stand for?”…To my mind, Labor stands for what it was raised for..a simple measure of dignity…in work, in leisure, in the fair go for all people. I remember when I was about ten years old, with my older brother, selling newspapers at the Royal Show…The manager would allocate you so many papers for the day, you’d sell them, putting all the coins into a leather bag at your hip and at the end of the day, you’d give the bag over to that manager and he’d count out what you owed for the papers and any over (you’d get tips, but most times didn’t have the time to separate the tip from the coinage) incl’ tips he’d give back to you along with your pay….But there was this one big bastard manager one year, who’d keep back most of your tips…my older brother, being a stroppy sort of young fellow , challenged him (my brother was canny enough to keep a careful watch on his tips) and the manager got angry , saying ;”If you don’t like the way I do things , you can get off with yourself !”…and THAT included me. So a thirteen and a ten year old couple of kids get cheated by an unscrupulous manager (News Limited, by the way!)….nothing new, neither then nor now!...MacDonalds do it all the time…it’s called ; cheap labour…but to cheat kids..what sort of people are these ? Vermin….who steal the rights of their fellows…Labor with the unions, stand up for those rights..Let’s put that up on the list. Rights. And damn if a person applies their advantageous position to cheat even paper-boys…what sort of bastards are we up against?...and they ask what does Labor stand for?..Labor stands for what it was raised to stand for…the Rights of the everyday people to stop the vermin from ripping off the wages of ALL people and to bestow on All of us what Gough Whitlam called for and what Labor calls for now..: “A fair go”. Labor must think carefully before they pass these new “security laws” put up by Brandis…They are not to protect us from “terrorism”, but are deliberately being put in place to track and control our own citizens…it is as obvious as the nose on your face. There has to be a measure of restraint in how far we go to cower and threaten the populace. There has to be a measure of dignity and rights in our confrontation of any threat. Better we offer safe harbour to the majority of whom have been driven from their homelands in fear of their lives or livelihood, like those three men-folk above, than attempt to cower and oppress a minority for little more than their own particular culture. Now read these comments and tell me they are irrelevant today..: “ As rivers glisten in different colours, but a common sewer everywhere looks like itself, …so the all powerful rule of capital ruined the middle class, raised trade and corporate agriculture to the highest prosperity, and ultimately led to a – hypocritically whitewashed – moral and political corruption of the nation…” And.. “ The leisure class lives by the industrial community rather than in it. Its relations to industry are of a financial rather than an industrial kind. Admission to the class is gained by exercise of the financial aptitudes—aptitudes for acquisition rather than for serviceability. There is, therefore, a continued selective sifting of the human material that makes up the leisure class, and this selection proceeds on the ground of fitness for financial pursuits.” Both the above pieces are over one hundred years old..The first by Theodor Mommsen on ancient Rome, the second by Thorsten Veblen on post Victorian capitalism…yet they could both have been written today. Why is it that such rational observations go unheeded in our society?...I read such and take them in and use them (as you see here) as moral and ethical fodder in my own life. Where do we see such civilized observations used widely?...I don’t know!..I don’t hear or see it in everyday life!..Where is the scholarly debate among political higher learning in this nation?....Education abandoned..that’s where..Let’s put that word up there too.. Education. And damn if the multitude of tomes of wisdom that have been written in the tears of humanity over millennium, get abandoned for stupid, facile , quick-fix slogans. What sort of people are these who, flaunting their higher education, claim the high ground of public debate , yet cannot or will not learn from history and will not read from the wisdom of the ages…There are those who cannot claim education beyond the third year high school, who read and revere such books…their shelves a proud display of well-thumbed volumes. And some ask what should Labor stand for?..Education…Labor stands for what it was raised for…: Education for all peoples..not the abandonment of an age of learning..but education. The many different ethnic groups that come to these shores, from the earliest to the latest have one goal in mind…”Betterment”..of their family fortunes, their security and their children’s education…it is that simple…sure, ( and I mean no disrespect, only metaphor).. they brought their metwurst and salami and tabouli and prayers with them..that is their immediate security..we all take a bit of “home” when we go on holiday…When one is driven in haste and fear from one’s house..; What would YOU grab?..a piece, any piece of home?…that is what “culture “ is…a little piece of the past to carry with oneself into the future..in the worst case, it could be but a poem, a prayer, a song from the motherland….in the best case it is the family. How can one reject the call of assistance…not charity…assistance to a family in need and still shelter under the common name of humanity? So there are the players, there are the situations…we know what the problems are today…what can be the solution? Check this little piece from a short story by Eric Knight, see if it gives you ideas..: “Never Come Monday”. “The Prime Minister thought of a lot of things all at once. Suddenly he called his secretary and said : “Carrington-Smaithe. It is Sunday to-day, I hear, and it will be Sunday again tomorrow. Pack my things,. We’re going away for the weekend.” “But sir,” said the secretary “What about the international crisis?..We have two ultimatums that must be answered immediately.” “Dear me”, said the Prime Minister. ‘That is a nuisance, but all the world knows the British weekend is inviolate, and if this be Sunday, as it seems to me it must be, than I won’t be able to answer till the weekend is over.” “But when will it stop being Sunday, sir?” “Well, Carrington-Smaithe, how long will it take our fastest cruiser squadron to get around to that troublesome part of the world?” “Oh, about thirty-six more hours, sir.” “Hmmmph! Then I think it will stop being Sunday in about thirty-six more hours.” There is a secret desire in that little piece of the realization of reality..(it is well worth a read by the way)..a desire that is really a need for time off from work. But it can be more than that..it can be the barricade between capital demand and producer compliance..a demarcation line between demand and supply. I have never liked sacrificing my weekends for overtime, ever! Damn their work..No-one should be compelled to work on the weekend..and if they must, as in the emergency services..then they ought to be suitably..VERY SUITABLY rewarded..work will be around a long time after we are ALL dead and gone!…and there can be the solution to differentiating Labour from Capital…the inviolate weekend..the compulsory time off for R&R. . For as long as one stays healthy, one can always earn money…but time is of the essence..you will run out of time before you run out of money…take the time..screw the money..let capital know it has no price for your free-time. And they still ask what Labor stands for…Labor stands for what it was raised for…honouring the eight hour day or it’s modern equivalent, honouring “family time”..personal time ..resting time. Those who would try to reduce the vulnerable to a kind of 24hr. slavery would love to claim ownership of the whole of our weekend…bugger them!..they can’t have it! The solution is that WE who are the producers, the consumers, the life and breath of business, take control of our working lives…We draw a demarcation line between being compelled to work and a time for life. we stop the machine for a pause in production so we can enjoy our family and friendships…I say we take back our lives and deny the vermin their pound of flesh!...it has never been the speculator who physically laid the “foundations”, never the stock-broker who mixed the “mortar” , never the wealthy who carried the “hod of bricks” to build “our house”.They don’t own it..they don’t own us..they OWE us ! THAT, is Labor policy…: Dignity..Rights..Education..and what flows automatically from those simple entitlements..Stake your ground, claim your rights and serve your people. " The quality of mercy is not strain'd. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest: It blesseth him that gives and him that takes "...

Catching up

28/09/2014jaycee the main reason I love the blogs is that so many write from the heart. Yes, from the heart, with the addition of life' experiences. The blogs contain a wealth of information and data for historians, socialist, and maybe even psychologist down the track. I am sure, t5hey will be interested in content, not whether the grammar passes some. Yes, the Coalition have no dignity or respect for any with differing ideas or beliefs. What's more, they see no reason why they should have. That is the sad part. In my youth, I can still see headlines after elections, the likes of Caldwell complain that Menzies pinched Labor's policies. Yes, Menzies seen no p4roblem with putting into legalisation some of Labor's election promise. Do not ask me what the policies where. Was too young, too long ago. It is only when we come to Abbott, do we see as leader that sets out to demolished all of the previous governments I think much has gone without this government bothering to assess or care about worth. No one ideology has all the answers. No one party is all correct. There are often many options to solutions needed. As they say, more than one way to skin a cat It is a matter of choices.

TalkTurkey

28/09/2014Check the comments below the gut-wrenching testimonies! Bloody Israel. What I been telling you for years. It's taken thousands of innocent deaths in Gaza, but at least people the world over are at last aware of Israel's criminality. http://www.scriptonitedaily.com/2014/09/24/israel-was-tried-for-war-crimes-today-the-testimony-will-break-your-heart/

Ad astra

28/09/2014Jaycee Your words ring true. Dignity, Rights, Education. What a platform from which to operate for progressives! Yet anathema to conservatives!

Marks

29/09/2014Just for interest, here is a Canadian article dealing with the matter of words from the Canadian PM. I am sure Swordians will enjoy. https://ca.news.yahoo.com/harper-to-the-world--we-are-angry--and-we-have-adjectives-163309123.html
How many oranges do I have if I have 3 oranges and take ONE away?