The thought thief

Two events occurred in January that have alarming parallels.

The Book Thief was released in cinemas across the country and Education Minister Christopher Pyne announced yet another review of the school curriculum.

The movie is based on the book by Australian author Markus Zusak. A synopsis of the story is here. While one would assume that there is some literary licence in both the book and movie, the burning of books in 1930’s Germany is fact. The ‘book burning’ was a staged event to remove ‘unGerman spirit’ from society and is discussed on the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website:

In a symbolic act of ominous significance, on May 10, 1933, university students burned upwards of 25,000 volumes of ‘un-German’ books, presaging an era of state censorship and control of culture. On the evening of May 10, in most university towns, right-wing students marched in torchlight parades ‘against the un-German spirit’. The scripted rituals called for high Nazi officials, professors, university rectors, and university student leaders to address the participants and spectators. At the meeting places, students threw the pillaged and ‘unwanted’ books onto bonfires with great ceremony, band-playing, and so-called ‘fire oaths’. In Berlin, some 40,000 persons gathered in the Opernplatz to hear Joseph Goebbels deliver a fiery address: ‘No to decadence and moral corruption!’ Goebbels enjoined the crowd. ‘Yes to decency and morality in family and state!’

It is well documented that the Nazi Party was very successful in modifying the mindset of the German population in the lead up to World War 2. Communication in the ‘teen years of the 21st century is considerably better than the 1930’s with the internet and faster travel across the globe allowing people from different countries and cultures to meet and interact on a regular basis. It is a common occurrence for events around the world to be reported as they occur in 2014 due to the use of satellites and the internet — Goebbels' practices would need to be updated if they were attempted now.

While some countries do attempt to restrict the use of common electronic communication technologies, the results are variable. For example, North Korea severely restricts use of the internet but there is a domestic communications framework and some links to the ‘outside world’. There was considerable reporting of Dennis Rodman’s recent basketball tour of North Korea — including singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Kim Jong-un, the North Korean Leader (here is a link in case you want to relive this momentous event). North Korea also thought it was a good practice to remove all public references to Kim Jong-un’s uncle who was recently executed for a crime against the state. Unfortunately, the alterations were discovered and the story reported worldwide in The Guardian.

If book burning and restriction of communications won’t work to alter the mindset of a population in 2014, what will?

Stockholm syndrome’, sometimes referred to as ‘capture bonding’, relates to a situation from which people cannot escape and may bond with their abductors or abusers and demonstrates one intriguing way that mindsets can be changed. It was first described after some bank staff were held captive in a bank vault for six days in 1973 while the criminals were negotiating with police. The bank staff identified with the criminals and refused assistance to leave the vault, as well as defending them once the stand-off had ended. In a similar fashion, you could argue that the mass displays of ‘affection’ for Kim Jong-un and similar leaders that do get reported in Australia demonstrate some level of acceptance of the status quo despite documented hardships, such as lack of food or shelter; and it could also be said of the German population of the 1930’s when it accepted the need to ‘cleanse their culture’.

Education is another way. School age people are impressionable as they rely on their ‘teachers’, both inside and outside the classroom, to guide them. Harry Chapin (a US singer/songwriter who tragically died in a car accident in the 1980’s) wrote a song about altering the mindset of school children.

In announcing the curriculum review Christopher Pyne said he wanted the national school curriculum to have a greater focus on the benefits of Western civilization.

Also, in an opinion piece written for The Australian (reported in Fairfax media outlets) Pyne wrote:

concerns have been raised about the history curriculum not recognising the legacy of Western civilisation and not giving important events in Australia's history and culture the prominence they deserve, such as Anzac Day.

Australia’s national curriculum is developed and written by an organisation called ACARA (Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority). The body is funded by government and is also responsible for the national annual NAPLAN testing and ‘My School’ website. Professor Barry McGaw AO is Chair of the ACARA Board, Mr Tony Mackay is the Deputy Chair, and it has 11 other members, representing the Australian Government and all education systems (independent, government and Catholic) across states and territories.

Yet Christopher Pyne, an MP since 1993 — he was 25 at the time — and prior to that a ‘practicing solicitor … and senior member of the Liberal Party’ tells us that ‘ACARA is ‘not the final arbiter on everything that is good in education'. Pyne obviously thinks he knows better than an eminent panel of educational professionals.

Christopher Pyne’s announced review of the Australian national curriculum will be headed by Kevin Donnelly and Ken Wiltshire. Donnelly was Chief of Staff in 2004 for Kevin Andrews (of ‘Workchoices’ and recently ‘the $200 for marriage counselling’ fame). They each come to the review with strong pre-existing views on what should be done.

Donnelly has stated:

In recent years several education groups have sought to introduce gay, lesbian and transgender studies in the classroom and to convince schoolchildren that such practices, along with being heterosexual, are simply lifestyle choices open to all.
and
Multiculturalism is based on the mistaken belief that all cultures are of equal worth and that it is unfair to discriminate and argue that some practices are wrong.

Perhaps of more concern is Donnelly’s work in designing a school program to discuss peer pressure and decision making funded by Phillip Morris — the manufacturers of a number of cigarette brands. Donnelly is also on the record as saying that Australian education has become too secular, and the Federation's Judeo-Christian heritage should be better reflected in the curriculum.

Wiltshire has described the current educational funding system as a failure and suggested in 2010 that the independent politicians holding the balance of power should support the Coalition.

Pyne acknowledges that not everyone will be pleased with his choice of who will review the curriculum, but insists it will be ‘objective and fair’.

‘It's not possible to appoint anybody to review the national curriculum who doesn't have a view on education,’ Mr Pyne said.

‘The important point is to appoint people who are going to bring an intelligent and considered approach to the review, and both Kevin and Ken have a long history and experience in education.’

Various state education ministers, teaching unions, other political parties, as well as at least one state’s Parents & Citizens association, have rubbished this claim. The former Tasmanian Education Minister (a member of the Greens) stated: 'The Abbott government’s overhaul of the national curriculum appears to be a ‘brainwashing and propaganda mission'. 
 
It is said that the sum total of human knowledge increased exponentially in the 20th century, and continues to do so. As evidence, your car, provided it is not an ‘old banger’, has more computing power than NASA relied on to get Apollo 11 to the moon.

In 2008 all Australian education ministers agreed to the ‘Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians’. It commits to supporting ‘all young Australians to become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens’. This document provides the principles and scope for the development of the Australian Curriculum. Many educational institutions promote and pride themselves on producing ‘successful lifetime learners’ as a result. The reality, with human knowledge increasing at an exponential rate (as the comparison between Apollo 11 and the modern car demonstrates), is that no one person can ‘know everything’. Or as Michael Legrand said: ‘The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize the less I know.’

Book burning and the imposition of restrictions on the use of online material doesn’t work. If books are removed from circulation, the book is either available for sale from another jurisdiction or can be accessed online. Australians apparently excel in the breach of copyright laws through downloading entertainment from the internet: it stands to reason that if people are being encouraged to become ‘successful learners’ and ‘active and informed citizens’, as planned by Australia’s education ministers in 2008, they will be skilled in the tools and knowledge necessary to discover for themselves information that they are interested in or need to know. A part of this process will be the ability to determine if the information is reliable.

So how does a government develop a compliant citizenship that believes the myth of the superiority of ‘western civilisation’ or the ‘evil’ of alternative lifestyle choices? It withholds teaching of the ability to discover and assess information that is relevant to the individual while the individual is impressionable. The Jesuit premise of ‘Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man’ has been tested by the 7 Up English television series since 1964 and, admittedly from a small sample, seems to have some basis of truth. (Australia’s current prime minister received a Jesuit education.)

While the concept of reminding our school students of Australian historical events rather than the date Columbus ‘discovered’ America has merit, should we be concerned about the deliberate choice of two conservative ‘experts’ to conduct a review of the educational system? Of course we should! While Pyne, Donnelly and Wiltshire are entitled to their opinions, where are the differing opinions that would promote balance and integrity in this proposed review?

Why the urgency to replace portions of a national curriculum that is so new parts of it have not yet been implemented?

How do we ensure that our children have the ability to think critically rather than just absorb (sometimes useless) information as was done in the past?

How do we justify to our children that a government minister with a clearly ideological agenda sidelines the body set up to manage a national curriculum?

What do you think?

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TPS Team

16/02/2014This week 2353 provides us with his first piece for 2014 and a provocative piece it is! He makes an alarming connection between Christopher Pyne’s announcement of a review of the national curriculum and the movie [i]The Book Thief.[/i] The movie is about book burnings in Germany in the 1930s when the Nazi Party were influencing the populace’s thoughts and culture. Education of our children is a vital component of the future of our nation but if that education is influenced by political considerations, as in Nazi Germany, what will be the outcome? Is Pyne more subtly doing the same as the book burnings? Or is he trying to create the next generation of LNP voters? Should politicians continue to have so much influence on the school curriculum? What should children be taught in schools? What is the role of values in education? If there is a role for values, we face the critical question — whose values? Pyne obviously wants it to be his. Or as 2353 suggests, is the main purpose of education these days to provide skills in accessing and assessing information? These and many other questions may arise as you read the piece. We look forward to your comments.

Ad astra

16/02/20142353 What an important article you have written. The frightening example with which you begin ought to alert us to the danger we face with the Pyne ‘curriculum review’. Dismissive of the thoughtful work that many educational experts have put into the current national curriculum over a long period, Christopher Pyne sets himself up as the arbiter of what students should learn, what students should know. There is scarcely a more dangerous act than to attempt to police what enters learners’ minds, as George Orwell so cleverly showed us in [i]Nineteen Eighty-Four[/i]. Only someone with the extraordinary arrogance of Pyne, arrogance backed by the enthusiastic endorsement of his leader, could even contemplate the move that he has made, and so quickly after the election. Pyne’s objections to the contemporary curriculum are consistent with the conservative mindset that he, perhaps more than most in his party, exhibits most brazenly. George Lakoff’s characterization of the conservative mindset as promoting ‘Strict Father’ morality, upholding the ‘Moral Order’ and protecting people from external evils, fits Pyne to a tee. Like his leader, he was educated at a Jesuit ([i]‘Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man.’[/i]) school. He knows that if a child can be indoctrinated with [b]his[/b] preferred beliefs, [b]his[/b] moral preferences and [b]his[/b] morality, that will be hard to erase. Goebbels knew this, as does every totalitarian, every despot. What I find most unnerving about Pyne is his ability to utter his grotesque ideas and intentions devoid of any embarrassment or shame. He has absolute confidence in everything he says, there is no shadow of doubt, no indication of thoughtful reflection, no sign of concern for the opinion or the authority of others, no matter how well qualified, no discomfiture at appointing two men whose opinions he wishes to be reflected in the outcome. A weekend Moir cartoon about government inquiries pointedly illustrated this with the caption: [i]”Here are the terms of reference. Here are the findings”.[/i] As you point out, Goebbels had no Internet with which to contend, no social media to counter his indoctrination. Can the latter day dictators get away with this doctrinaire approach? While the Fourth Estate, acting largely out of self-interest, seems unprepared to seriously challenge Pyne’s review, once again it will be up to the Fifth Estate to do so, and ensure that the process and the outcome is exposed to public gaze, thoroughly critiqued, and robustly criticized.

Ken

16/02/20142353 and Ad Excellent piece which is quite scarry in its implications. Is it time that the school curriculum was takenm completely out of the hands of politicians? I know they do not have a direct influence but when they can appoint lop-sided enquiries like Pyne's, even that is too much influence. Should ACARA (or a similar body) become like the Reserve Bank, independent of government, and free to set the curriculum in consultation with the states' and territories' education departments. Politicians still would have some influence by directing their state departments on issues but it would be a considerable improvement on the current situation.

Casablanca

17/02/2014CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Monday, 17 February 2014: [b]The Abbott Art of Lying permeates LNP[/b] Posted below and at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CASABLANCAS-CACHE-2014-02-17.aspx

Casablanca

17/02/2014 [b]CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Monday, 17 February 2014: 28 items[/b] ENTITLEMENTS, BORN TO RULE SYNDROME + FIDDLES 1. Money for nothing and the clicks are free Kaye Lee Tony Abbott has spent $4.3 million so far to find out what we think. Apparently future policy decisions will be made dependent on facebook likes or the number of comments for or against an idea on social media. I would http://theaimn.com/2014/02/16/money-for-nothing-and-the-clicks-are-free/ INDUSTRY WARS 2. Toyota – Oh, What A Fleeing! rossleighbrisbane Economics has a lot of theories most of which are excellent, except in practise. As someone once observed, economists are people who are paid to explain why their forecasts were wrong. Therefore, I don’t intend to spend the next few http://theaimn.com/2014/02/10/toyota-oh-what-a-fleeing/ 3. Building a housing industry from the relics of a car industry Jemma Green and Peter Newman Unless you have been living under a rock, you couldn’t help but hear the dying wail of manufacturing here in Australia. Car manufacturing and food manufacturing being the most recent victims. There’s no shortage of potential contributors: the high Australian dollar, the natural resources sector, the unions, cheap foreign imports, etc. http://theconversation.com/building-a-housing-industry-from-the-relics-of-a-car-industry-23195 CULTURE WARS 4. Abbott’s culture wars and ideology risk Australia’s future Matthew Donovan Through their blind ideology, their words and their actions the Abbott Government has overseen the death of the auto industry in Australia and they are just getting started. Matthew Donovan outlines the reckless Abbott Government agenda. It is crystal clear the Abbott Government has… http://theaimn.com/2014/02/11/abbotts-culture-wars-and-ideology-risk-australias-future/ 5. ABC – its size threatens democracy according to Bolt, who frequently argues that size doesn’t matter! rossleighbrisbane From Blot on The Landscape’s Blog: “The ABC would be very, very stupid to take this as a comfort rather than a threat: ‘TONY Abbott has cast doubt on whether an independent inquiry could finish the debate over bias at… http://theaimn.com/2014/02/12/abc-its-size-threatens-democracy-according-to-bolt-who-frequently-argues-that-size-doesnt-matter/ POVERTY WARS 6. Message in a bottle Kaye Lee Capitalist fundamentalists have taken over my country and are carrying out a jihad against anyone who earns less than $80,000. They have enslaved our country and sent us all ‘down pit’. They are eroding avenues for complaint or legal action… http://theaimn.com/2014/02/10/message-in-a-bottle/ 7. Personal Responsibility OR A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats, but As You’re NOT a Boat, You’d better Learn to Swim! rossleighbrisbane What is the Liberals’ obsession with boats? We need to stop them, buy them, tow them, give them away, and, now in Joe Hockey’s economic plan, we need to lift them. A key strategy in this is the removal of… http://theaimn.com/2014/02/14/personal-responsibility-or-a-rising-tide-lifts-all-boats-but-as-youre-not-a-boat-youd-better-learn-to-swim/ POLITICS, SECRECY, HYPOCRISY, DECEPTION 8. The thought thief 2353 Two events occurred in January that have alarming parallels. The Book Thief was released in cinemas across the country and Education Minister Christopher Pyne announced yet another review of the school curriculum. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2014/02/16/The-thought-thief.aspx#comment 9. The Age of Entitlement is moving up in the world. Kaye Lee In 2002, Tony Abbott’s hostility to paid parental leave reached a crescendo, when he declared to the press: “Compulsory paid maternity leave? Over this Government’s dead body, frankly.” Writing for The Australian in October 2008, he claimed that paid parental leave – like abortion – was part of a “radical women’s agenda” championed by extreme feminists in the Labor movement. He spoke out about his opposition to the scheme based on the ways it reduced stay at home mothers to second class citizens, lambasting then Prime Minister Rudd’s commitment to women workers as an example of “Political Correctness”; extreme lip-service to the feminists in Labor ranks. http://theaimn.com/2014/02/15/the-age-of-entitlement-is-moving-up-in-the-world/ 10. Just Political Language or the Abbott Art of Lying johnlord2013 Lying in Australian politics has reached an unprecedented level. The Prime Minister and his cabinet are taking lying to such depths that it is not disingenuous to suggest that they no longer have a moral compass or understanding of truth http://theaimn.com/2014/02/14/just-political-language-or-the-abbott-art-of-lying-2/ 11. Blood and Chocolate Billablog Well, the prime minister may well say so but it’s time to start asking if [such] glib and convenient answers are good enough. Every incoming government has a period of finding its feet while enjoying the hubris of an election win but now that we are over 15% of the way into the Abbott government’s first term, we should be able to expect some more serious answers than this. http://ausopinion.com/2014/02/16/blood-and-chocolate/ ECONOMICS + BUSINESS 12. IMF chief Christine Lagarde urges Australia to help G20 make financial reforms Glenda Kwek The International Monetary Fund's chief, Christine Lagarde, has called on Australia to help the G20 work together to complete financial sector and tax reforms, as a resurgence of unilateral approaches to monetary policy threatens to undermine the global body's mandate of international economic co-operation. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/imf-chief-christine-lagarde-urges-australia-to-help-g20-make-financial-reforms-20140216-32tv7.html 13. What’s Right? Thoughts from a Negative Gearing Capitalist Who Owns Shares In A Gold Company rossleighbrisbane “Finally, there’s the continuing urge to make the economic crisis a morality play, a tale in which a depression is the necessary consequence of prior sins and must not be alleviated. Deficit spending and low interest rates just seem wrong… http://theaimn.com/2014/02/16/whats-right-thoughts-from-a-negative-gearing-capitalist-who-owns-shares-in-a-gold-company-but-is/ 14. Help, I’m sinking Kaye Lee In a press conference today, Joe Hockey repeated his catchphrase yet again: “Lift the tide and all boats will rise” Well I’m sorry Mr Hockey but the figures don’t back you up on that theory. In August last year, the http://theaimn.com/2014/02/13/help-im-sinking/ 15. Selling the Golden Geese buzzztj Roll up, Roll up, Round two of the Great Howard Fire Sale is here! We’re under New Management, so let’s have a look at what we have on the block today. We’ve got Medibank, ACS, AGS (don’t worry about acronyms,… http://theaimn.com/2014/01/09/selling-the-golden-geese/ 16. Asset Sale Threatens Hospital Growth Annastacia Palaszczuk Qld Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk says the Newman Government needs to explain why it is selling public assets at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital campus under plans that will restrict expansion opportunities at the state’s biggest hospital. “The Newman Government plans to sell off almost one-third of the 18-hectare RBWH campus in yet another sneaky sell-off,” http://annastaciapalaszczukmp.com.au/2014/02/16/asset-sale-threatens-hospital-growth/ 17. High debt doesn’t hurt economic growth: IMF Kylar Loussikian High levels of government debt won’t hurt economic growth in the medium and long-term, according to a new paper released by the International Monetary Fund. The research findings contradict earlier arguments that high debt is a constraint on growth. Monash University’s Rodney Maddock said the findings were a “good antidote to some of the feverish debate about debt that had been going on internationally” http://theconversation.com/high-debt-doesnt-hurt-economic-growth-imf-23247 18. Debt and Growth: Is There a Magic Threshold? Andrea Pescatori Using a novel empirical approach and an extensive dataset developed by the Fiscal Affairs Department of the IMF, we find no evidence of any particular debt threshold above which medium-term growth prospects are dramatically compromised. http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/cat/longres.aspx?sk=41352 NBN 19. Anger grows over plan to wind back NBN fibre connections ABC A contractor affected by plans to stop the fibre rollout for the National Broadband Network fears millions of dollars spent on equipment may have been wasted. NBN Co has revealed the network will use the existing copper wires where possible from next year. http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/21467261/anger-grows-over-plan-to-wind-back-nbn-fibre-connections/ POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT + COMMITMENT+ WARNINGS+ PORTENTS 20. Growing Global Inequality Craig Emerson ANU philosopher Dr Christian Barry joins Emmo to discuss growing global inequality. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pwhKItdy3s&index=2&list=PLTo-MPmtfATkYbd2YBIj0_9iKmyHhEo3H 21. The Public Good is good for everyone Victoria Rollison While the Abbott government continues to swing their wrecking ball, it would appear many people are waking up to just how extreme-right this government is. http://theaimn.com/2014/02/16/the-public-good-is-good-for-everyone/ 22. Australia must be destroyed Tim Dunlop There are legitimate questions any country must ask itself about the sort of place it wants to be, and the political arena is the proper place for that discussion to take place. But a few months into the existence of the Abbott Government and it is becoming coming clear that we are being taken in a direction that the government itself has never fully articulated. http://www.kingstribune.com/index.php/weekly-email/item/1972-australia-must-be-destroyed 23. How income inequality hurts America Steve Hargreaves It's not just income inequality. It's lifespan inequality. And education inequality. And declining economic growth. http://money.cnn.com/2013/09/25/news/economy/income-inequality/ GENDER INEQUALITY +DOMESTIC VIOLENCE 24. It’s a man’s world Kaye Lee My grandmother began teaching a few years after Federation. When she married my grandfather in 1917, she was forced to resign because the Commonwealth Public Service Act stated that a female officer had to resign on marriage. Moving on a couple… http://theaimn.com/2014/02/11/its-a-mans-world/ 25. Please Dont Hit Me Again johnlord2013 ‘I think she said. ‘History is just an ongoing commentary on the incompetence of men.’... ‘At some time in the human narrative…..in our history, man declared himself superior to woman. It must have been an accident, or at least an act of gross stupidity. But that’s men for you’ As a journalist I had heard many a feminist speaker utter words intended to be confrontational but this was planned to provoke even if it sounded trite. She went on. ‘In Australia, the incidence of domestic violence is among the highest in the developed world.’ http://theaimn.com/2014/02/15/please-dont-hit-me-again-2/ HEALTH 26. The narcissistic injury of middle age Joseph Burgo "'I feel invisible.' I often hear variations on that statement from people who are middle-aged or older, especially women. As our bodies age and younger people find us less physically attractive, they seem to look right through us, as if we no longer exist. Finding that we have lost our sexual currency can come as a blow to our self-esteem, even for those of us who haven’t relied heavily on our looks to garner attention." As we pass our prime, it is with a growing awareness that younger people coming after us haven’t yet reached their peak. Those who can’t bear the shift to a supporting role may become increasingly narcissistic in the unhealthy sense of the word. http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/02/the-narcissistic-injury-of-middle-age/283602/ 27. Sit less, move more: new physical activity guidelines Fron Jackson-Webb Australians should aim for around 60 minutes of physical activity per day, double the previous recommendation, according… http://theconversation.com/sit-less-move-more-new-physical-activity-guidelines-22948 28. Quitting smoking reduces stress, depression and anxiety Fron Jackson-Webb Quitting smoking is associated with reduced depression and anxiety, and has a similar effect to antidepressant drugs for… http://theconversation.com/quitting-smoking-reduces-stress-depression-and-anxiety-23188 OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Pappinbarra Fox

17/02/2014An excellent article, designed top make us think. I have long held the view that education is for one purpose - to make us think better or to train us to think. There are two limbs to this teach is to think analytically and to teach us to think creatively . Reading maths etc are the tools we use to this end. Often teachers lose sight of this in the nitty gritty of their subject matter.

TalkTurkey

17/02/2014Lynlinking ‏@lynlinking · 4m Tony Abbott's Indigenous Staff Get Paid Less Than Their Counterparts: $19,000 less than their co-workers. excerpt http://www.businessinsider.com.au/report-tony-abbotts-indigenous-staff-get-paid-19000-less-than-their-counterparts-2014-2 …

Catriona Thoolen

17/02/2014I am pleased that we have option to MSM with Facebook and Twitter and of course blogs. I am not sure that I like the idea of our government 'watching' Twitter to see what is being said and possibly deleting tweets they don't agree with or then the idea they may be watching people. A couple of weeks ago when Sharman Stone called out Tony Abbott on the untruth of what he had said about SPCs wages and conditions, I supported her. I ran against Sharman in the 2013 election. I supported her for supporting her electorate. However, many Libs on twitter were very angry with her not following the party line and just agreeing with Tony Abbott. When the comments got the point of abuse and threats to Sharman, I continued to support her and negate the abuse. I was reported to twitter for abuse of # and @ This was strange since I only 'replied' to their comments. I was later told there is an ability to create 'mega' reports that will make my comments appear to have been 'reported' by multiple people. I am now wary in trying to repudiate unfair abuse as I am concerned I will be threatened with suspension again. This will be the limiting factor on social media being able to bring the other side of the debate.

DMW

17/02/2014Thanks 2353 well thought out and explained. Ken @ February 16. 2014 07:23 PM asked: [i]Should ACARA (or a similar body) become like the Reserve Bank, independent of government, ...[/i] The obvious answer is yes, however, politicians have a need to look like they have some form of control over 'things' and a need to meddle which can undo the theoretical independence of such a body. Over the last forty years or so politicians have become increasingly powerless to influence the economy and many aspects of our lives and this has caused a 'need' to meddle in other things. Mr Abbott the other day said something along the lines of 'governments don't create jobs, they create the conditions that encourages jobs growth'. At last a small but important truth has (accidentally?) stumbled from his mouth. Maybe there is a tiny grain of awareness inside him after all. Given this possible awareness that they are powerless in some ways the need to prove, if only to themselves, that they have some influence if they were to create an independent ACARA they would meddle and stack the board with fellow travellers. You could probably make a motza betting that Kevin Donnelly and Ken Wiltshire would end up being chair and deputy chair of the new 'independent' board.

Pappinbarra Fox

17/02/2014DMW, What Abbott was doing was putting a philosophical position. He would not know the truth if slapped him in the tush. Of course governments can create jobs.Remember when the railways were used to soak up unemployed in the 60s - used to work at Darling Harbour myself. Of course those were the days before % returns and corporatisation of gov entities. Maybe there were inefficiencies in this maybe not, but unemployment stresses were not a dominant theme. Ah ... the good ole days. So it is a shift in ideological perspective not a fundamental economic rule that says governments do not create jobs.

Ken

17/02/2014DMW Agree that politicians like to have control. When I was in ATSIC I was told the following story by a senior SES officer I used to drink with occasionally. A new Minister had just been appointed to Aboriginal affairs and met with the senior management of ATSIC (who were still Public Servants). When they explained to the Minister the extent of his powers (the Act provided that the Minister could provide only 'general directions' to ATSIC)he said 'you mean I don't have any power' and the bureaucrats told him yes, that was correct. Not much of a role for a Minister! That is one reason why politicians don't like independent bodies. And they seem to ignore that they also lack power over major aspects of the economy because global corporations now have as much, if not more, influence than governments. They also seem to be blind to the fact that these free trade agreements they are signing up to only enhance the power of global corporations - soon they will have no control at all over the economy. If politicians wonder why the voters aren't interested any more - it's partly because voters know the politicians' influence is waning.

Ad astra

17/02/2014Catriona Thoolen Welcome to [i]The Political Sword[/i] family, and for your comment. Do come again. As you have discovered, there is a well-disciplined team of Liberal supporters out there ready to counter any adverse criticism of Abbott or his inept government. They use social media and are active on talkback radio. They are vitriolic in defence of the Abbott government, and will use all the powers of social media to achieve their purpose. Many applauded Sharman Stone for her honesty, but honesty is not an attribute that the Liberal Party espouses, especially when it exposes the dishonesty of its parliamentary members. It is regrettable that Liberal thugs have threatened you, but they do exist and will brawl with anyone who opposes or criticizes, no matter how valid the criticism. Pursuit of power is always their aim, and clinging to it now their intention.

TalkTurkey

17/02/20142353 Bookburning is of course the quintessential physical expression of a State desire to control the thought of the masses. George Orwell told us: War is Peace Freedom is Slavery Ignorance is Strength But at the very core of those maxims is the fear of free thought by Ewen Mee. Rock Music may be indulged and absorbed, sex may be channelled and nullified, but thought when using psychoactive substances, in particular cannabis and the misnamed "hallucinogens", is uncontrollable. No wonder that the Right is so crazy about the War On Drugs. It is one of the starkest modern physical equivalents of book burning. Most people have at least tried alcohol. That so many have never tried cannabis, so much less harmful - if indeed at all! - shows just how effective are is the Thought Police.

DMW

17/02/2014Hi P Fox, the problem with sweeping generalisations such as the one I often assert about governments not creating jobs is that it is not very hard to find an example that apparently disproves the assertion. At one level whenever a government buys services it creates jobs and the current governments Operation Sovereign Borders would be one abhorrent example of a government buying services that is creating jobs albeit that those jobs are 'overseas' in large part. Any government that lays claim to creating 'x' thousands of jobs should be honest enough then to admit to the number of jobs that it has destroyed in the process of creating those jobs. You wrote [i]What Abbott was doing was putting a philosophical position.[/i] Ahem, methinks you have have credited Mr Abbott with something beyond his capabilities. I would posit that the only [i]philosophical position [/i] Mr Abbott is capable of would be something close to 'lie back and think of Queen'. Perhaps though Mr Abbott, but more likely his advisors, has realised that to take credit for job creation they would have to wear the burden of job destruction. However, the wider point I was making was not of the specific example of a governments inability to create jobs but that largely governments are not in control (or have far less control than they would like us to believe) of the forces shaping our world and as a result need to meddle and assert their 'authority' more and more over the few things they can control.

Casablanca

18/02/2014 [b]CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Tuesday, 18 February 2014: 26 items[/b] INDUSTRY WARS 1. What really killed vehicle manufacturing in Australia Andreas Bimba The death knell for Australia’s vehicle manufacturing industry was not because of high labour costs.....Primarily, it was because of inadequate trade protection of the Australian new car market, the historically high Australian dollar, and finally, extreme hostility shown by the current Federal Government and the Productivity Commission in regard to dealing effectively with the urgent concerns of the industry. http://theaimn.com/2014/02/17/what-really-killed-vehicle-manufacturing-in-australia/ 2. Duopoloy retailers: their dirty secret about private label Errol Brandt The cosy retail duopoly that operates in Australia between Coles and Woolworths has become so powerful that the mega-chains have no need for manufacturers such as SPC Adrmona. It’s a dirty secret in the industry that retailers make higher profits when local manufacturers fail – because they can sell private label products instead. http://nofibs.com.au/2014/02/17/duopoloy-retailers-dirty-secret-private-label/ 3. Bickering hides our resource failure Ian Verrender Both sides of politics have played a direct role in the demise of Australian industry and have wasted the proceeds of the resources boom...Who is to blame? Who cares?...The simple fact is that the hollowing out of the Australian economy is gathering pace while our bickering leaders thrash about with no plan on how to arrest the decline of manufacturing and precious little understanding of why it has occurred. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-17/verrender---auto-industry/5261200 4. Can’t bail cars but gunna save tanks, mates! Leith van Onselen While the Abbott Government talks tough on welfare and entitlements, it continues to take contradictory positions that risk undermining its legitimacy. In addition to providing taxpayer support to Qantas and Tasmanian firms Huon and Cadbury, the Coalition has reportedly ear-marked tens-of-billions of taxpayer dollars to local defence manufacturing, when high quality http://macrobusiness.createsend4.com/t/i-l-fhrct-dtyueir-f/ 5. About this Qantas thing John Kelly Trying to understand a nation’s economy is not easy. There is so much to absorb. Whenever I feel unable to get my head around any particular matter, I try to reduce it to the raw basics of my own household… http://theaimn.com/2014/02/17/about-this-qantas-thing/ CULTURE WARS 6. Scrapping the Australia Network will weaken our diplomatic toolkit Tanya Plibersek What citizens in Indonesia, China, or the Pacific think of Australia can seriously affect our interests. Getting rid of our foreign service is a crucial diplomatic mistake http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/17/scrapping-the-australia-network-will-weaken-our-diplomatic-toolkit?CMP=ema_632 7. Anzac's long shadow: The cost of our national obsession James Brown A century after the war to end all wars, Anzac is being bottled, stamped and sold. Nicky is not the only one spruiking the Anzac spirit. The Anzac industry has gone into hyper-drive. The year 2015 will be a bumper one for battlefield tour operators as thousands of Australians wing their way to Gallipoli for what is being marketed as a once¬-in-¬a-¬lifetime opportunity. http://www.themonthly.com.au/blog/james-brown/2014/02/17/1392601420/anzacs-long-shadow-cost-our-national-obsession POLITICS, SECRECY, HYPOCRISY, DECEPTION 8. Staffer Alastair Furnival had links to alcohol industry, helped strip funding from group minimising alcohol harm Amy Corderoy A lobbyist working in Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash's office had links to the alcohol industry and played a key role in stripping Australia's peak drug and alcohol body of its funding. Alastair Furnival told staff at the Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia in a meeting in December that their organisation, established 46 years ago, would no longer be funded. The Public Health Association of Australia and the Australian Medical Association say the decision is not in the best interests of Australians and must be urgently reversed. Fairfax Media can reveal that Mr Furnival ran the meeting where the council was informed of the funding cut with no input from the Assistant Health Minister despite a respected former Liberal politician being a key player on the council's board. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/staffer-alastair-furnival-had-links-to-alcohol-industry-helped-strip-funding-from-group-minimising-alcohol-harm-20140217-32w0q.html 9. In Conversation with Josh Frydenberg: "G20 will carry our domestic message abroad" Michelle Grattan Finance ministers from the G20 countries gather in Sydney this weekend, a crucial step on the way to November’s Leaders meeting, which will be the most important gathering of world leaders Australia has… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pidutx-trhltityg-k/ 10. Mr Abbott, make 2014 a year of health reform, not regression Stephen Duckett This year is crunch time for Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s health policies. The financing and policy changes from the Rudd-Gillard government are finally taking effect and the National Commission of Audit… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pidutx-trhltityg-g/ ECONOMICS + BUSINESS 11. International Monetary Fund contradicts Tony Abbott on debt policy Peter Martin The International Monetary Fund has slapped down a line of argument run by Prime Minister Tony Abbott ahead of a visit to Australia by its chief, Christine Lagarde. Dr Lagarde will attend the G20 finance ministers meeting in Sydney on Thursday and Friday and take part in an ABC Q&A special on Thursday night. In an interview with Fairfax Media's Good Weekend, Dr Lagarde urged Mr Abbott not to abandon Australia's role as a ''pioneer'' in the debate on climate change, saying previous Australian governments had played an important role. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/international-monetary-fund-contradicts-tony-abbott-on-debt-policy-20140216-32tv8.html 12. Joe Hockey risks scaring off consumers Ross Gittins You can never be sure what a fall in the measures of consumer confidence actually proves, but if I were Joe Hockey I'd be a bit worried. If he keeps on playing tough guy he may frighten people into clamping their purses shut. We learnt last week that the Westpac-Melbourne Institute index of consumer sentiment fell by 3 per cent this month, down 9.5 per cent from its election-time high. Optimists now barely outnumber pessimists, the worst result since July. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/joe-hockey-risks-scaring-off-consumers-20140216-32ttn.html 13. News Corp’s $882m blew the budget Neil Chenoweth The single largest factor in the underlying deterioration of the federal budget announced by Treasurer Joe Hockey in December was a cash payout of almost $900 million to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. The massive windfall, revealed in the US group’s accounts a week ago in New York, was at a time when News Corp newspapers were highly critical of the budget and called for deep cuts. The drama over the payout, one of the largest cash payments made by the Tax Office, played out behind the scenes during the federal election. http://m.afr.com/Page/Uuid/40b2fa2e-9546-11e3-ba72-5443b98a6665 14. Rupert Murdoch tax win blows $880m hole in federal budget Ben Butler Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has blown an $880 million hole in the federal budget after winning a long-running battle with the Australian Tax Office over deductions...The payout represents a significant proportion of the $16.8 billion deterioration in the federal budget announced by Treasurer Joe Hockey in December. It all but wipes out $1.1 billion in savings announced by Mr Hockey when he unveiled the mid-year economic and fiscal outlook on December 17. Mr Hockey did not mention the payout at the time, instead blaming the budget's ''fiscal deterioration'' on a softer economic outlook, downgraded exports forecasts and the previous Labor government. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/rupert-murdoch-tax-win-blows-880m-hole-in-federal-budget-20140217-32v4r.html 15. Our lives have changed but childcare hasn’t Accepting that the cost of childcare is a legitimate expense incurred in the process of working is a vital attitudinal shift. http://womensagenda.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=30f81b85614c4a46de129a5d6&id=c3d86fdd25&e=87e80a7b7d NBN 16. Coalition confesses to inflating Labor NBN costs Posted by Houses and Holes From ItWire: Malcolm Turnbull’s Parliamentary Secretary Minister Paul Fletcher has admitted that the Coalition’s estimate of the cost of Labor’s NBN was ‘perhaps a little high’. Oh … THAT $34 billion! In the lead up to the last Federal Election, Malcolm Turnbull and the Coalition incessantly said that the real cost of Labor’s NBN would http://macrobusiness.createsend4.com/t/i-l-fhrct-dtyueir-ji/ POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT + COMMITMENT 17. The story behind Anne Summers’ conversation with Julia Gillard Georgina Dent "Everywhere I went people, but particularly women, were coming up to me asking how she is," Summers explains. "She had disappeared and people assumed that I knew her or that we were friends. It wasn't the case. People didn't understand that I was defending her because I was appalled a woman would be treated that way. It wasn't about being friends or knowing her. I just thought how dare this country treat our Prime Minister that way." The frequent queries about Gillard's wellbeing, and the emotional resonance underpinning those concerns, gave Summers an idea. http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/editor-s-agenda/the-story-behind-anne-summers-conversation-with-julia-gillard/201402133575?utm_source=Women%27s+Agenda+List&utm_campaign=660b2ab11f-Women_s_Agenda_daily_17_02_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f3750bae8d-660b2ab11f-30634093 18. Protest in the 21st century: is naked the new balaclava? Winnifred Louis and Emma Thomas For those of us who grew up with marches and rallies as the default type (or stereotype) of protest, some of the 21st-century forms – such as The World Naked Bike Ride or Nannas Knitting Against Gas and… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pidutx-trhltityg-z/ MEDIA + BIAS + GROUPTHINK 19. Sloppy Journalism from Laura Tingle kayrollison Here’s a question for you. Should we bother to comment on what we read or see or hear about politics from the mainstream media? On one hand, why pay them the compliment of caring what they say?.....Tingle’s article claimed, in brief, that the Abbott government has had ‘stunning success’ in using the death of Australia’s car manufacturing industry to turn the tables on Labor over industrial relations. According to her, ‘the Abbott government has not only managed to weather a series of bad news stories about manufacturing and the economy but actually used them to gain utter control over the industrial relations debate’. 20. Catch-up journalism Andrew Elder In their downsizing programs, old media companies have let go of specialists and kept generalists, rather than the other way around...Amy Corderoy is not a press gallery journalist, yet she has uncovered a story that is one of the central political stories right now. There are precedents for this: the journalists who uncovered heedlessness to environmental issues on the part of successive environment ministers when approving massive development applications tended to be environment journalists, not in the press gallery...Abbott and his pet journalists, confusing their output with the will and wants of the people. http://andrewelder.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/catch-up-journalism.html?spref=tw ENVIRONMENT + ENERGY 21. SPC Ardmona's bailout is crucial given China's food safety record Christopher G. Baker SPC Ardmona’s $22 million lifeline from the Victorian government seems to have saved Australia’s largest food packaging company. Yet the firm’s recent tribulations are a reminder of why I regularly choose… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pidutx-trhltityg-c/ 22. I have a plan Kaye Lee Having just listened to a very concerned Greg Hunt and Ian Macfarlane announce a review – yes another one – into the renewable energy target and industry I have decided to put on my thinking cap and save us… http://theaimn.com/2014/02/17/i-have-a-plan/ ASYLUM SEEKERS 23. Asylum seekers riot on Manus Island News.com.au "Scott Morrison has confirmed there has been a “disturbance” at the Manus Island detention centre as details of how hundreds of detainees “rushed” the gates emerge. Papua New Guinean online news site pngedge.com reports one asylum seeker has been rushed to hospital after being seriously injured in a clash with security guards. The report, which quotes a member of the private security force detailed with guarding the asylum seekers, says up to eleven other escapees have been recaptured." https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=newssearch&cd=1&ved=0CCwQ-AsoATAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.news.com.au%2Fnational%2Fasylum-seekers-riot-at-manus-island-detention-centre%2Fstory-fncynjr2-1226828853128&ei=sT8BU5OmLcbLlAXpnICICQ&usg=AFQjCNFs18xTMidE_wKIYKpES4ZhgcMyZA&sig2=DeAtWoaeH5pO2Uj5nxc58w&bvm=bv.61535280,d.dGI ECONOMIC RATIONALISM Vs LONG-TERM ECONOMIC PROSPECTS 24. Coalition eases us into tough love policies Paula Matthewson Abbott and Hockey appear to have mastered the alchemy of public opinion transformation, but will face their biggest test when they release their first budget http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-17/matthewson-coalition-eases-us-into-tough-love-policies/5263390 25. Rise or fall of the Australian middle class? Posted by Houses and Holes Two pieces in the media today warrant further comment. Commentary heavy-hitters take diametrically opposing views on the prospects for the Australian middle class. In the doom-saying corner is a locked-up Gotti: …we are about to follow the US in seeing a decline in the middle class and rise in the number of people on high incomes and an http://macrobusiness.createsend4.com/t/i-l-fhrct-dtyueir-jh/ 26. End of entitlement catapults Libs Posted by Houses and Holes For the past two years or so I have been begging a politician of any stripe to step up with a narrative that helps genuinely explain the lousy Australian economy. As we watched Wayne Swan try to impose narcissistic optimism upon people’s difficult circumstances and we watched Kevin Rudd toy with realism about the end [...] http://macrobusiness.createsend4.com/t/i-l-fhrct-dtyueir-tr/ OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Casablanca

18/02/2014 CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Tuesday, 18 February 2014:[b] exposing deceit, unfairness, and poor journalism[/b] Posted above and at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CASABLANCAS-CACHE-2014-02-17.aspx

Michael

18/02/2014"The age of entitlement is over" may well resonate with the "polity" at the moment, but when Hockey's first budget whacks, as it will, 'my entitlement, why not theirs?', then we'll see how much the "polity" resonates with the Coalition's 'grand narrative'... Which anyone with eyes and ears and even a modicum of historical perspective can see is the same old Right wing whack the wage-earner, puff up the white collars (ecclesiastical as well as commercial) grind as has ever been. Every single wage and salary earner who is NOT a union member in Australia should do ten minutes research to find out just why they receive the wage or salary they do, and what other elements of their employment are 'theirs' because of unions here and worldwide. Then scrub the word "entitlement" out of their self-satisfied and plug ignorant vocabularies. Learn the difference between "right" and "Right" while they're about it.

Casablanca

18/02/2014 DYNASTIC APPOINTMENT Lord Downer set to replace Mike Rann as High Commissioner in London. [quote]The decision to summarily end [Mike Rann's] tenure would represent a shock move away from the protocol between the parties in which previous political appointments are honoured - albeit often grudgingly - until the terms abroad end.[/quote] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/labors-man-an-alsoran-as-downer-heads-for-london-20140217-32wfh.html

TalkTurkey

18/02/2014Detainees on PNG shot, 1 dead. Gee that should convince 'em we mean business! Torpedo The Boats next.

42long

18/02/2014Not a good outcome for Craig Thomson in Vic Court.

Curi-Oz

18/02/2014Finally read the Paul Barry book and now waiting for the sequel ... http://wp.me/p3xJZ6-6P

TalkTurkey

18/02/2014TalkTurkey ‏@TalkyTurkey · 2m Man killed, others critical, many dozens seriously injured In PNG AS detention. @ABCNews spends much more time on Craig Thomson. TRAITORS!

Patriciawa

18/02/2014Talk Turkey - that's just an 'incident' - Scott Morrison will let us know if what he considers a 'serious event' has occurred.

2353

18/02/2014PatriciaWA - LOL. And welcome back for 2014 by the way.

Casablanca

19/02/2014 [b]CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Wednesday, 19 February 2014: 32 items[/b] NEW GROWTH INDUSTRIES: ROYAL COMMISSIONS & INQUIRIES 1. Renewables inquiry leader vows ‘open mind’ on target’s future Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra The head of the Abbott government’s new renewable target review says he is going into the inquiry with “a very open mind”, despite his scepticism about humans' contribution to global warming. Former Reserve… http://theconversation.com/renewables-inquiry-leader-vows-open-mind-on-targets-future-23305 2. Climate sceptic to lead review of Australia's renewable energy target Lenore Taylor "The Abbott government has appointed a self-professed climate sceptic to head an “extensive” review of the renewable energy target... As flagged by the prime minister, Tony Abbott, the review’s terms of reference focus heavily on the impact of the RET on power prices, but also include the need for investment certainty for the renewables industry." http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/feb/17/cimate-sceptic-to-lead-review-of-australias-renewable-energy-target INDUSTRY WARS 3. Car industry fallout 'already here', says condom maker Ansell Jessica Gardiner The demise of car making in Australia is already causing pain in the wider economy, as Ansell chief executive Magnus Nicolin says the automotive manufacturers and their suppliers have begun to cut back on purchases of the protective equipment it supplies. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/the-economy/car-industry-fallout-already-here-says-condom-maker-ansell-20140217-32wco.html 4. Australian aluminium outgunned by cheap, coal-free global rivals Tony Wood, Grattan Institute Alcoa’s decision to close the Point Henry smelter, at a cost of almost 1000 jobs in Geelong and elsewhere, comes amid a perfect storm buffeting Australia’s aluminium industry. Point Henry will be the second… http://theconversation.com/australian-aluminium-outgunned-by-cheap-coal-free-global-rivals-23135 5. Qantas can’t have it both ways on foreign ownership Margaret McKenzie, Deakin University The Federal Government appears ready to “throw a lifeline” to Qantas, which has been seeking a government-backed debt guarantee and a lifting of the 49% foreign ownership limit in the Qantas Sale Act… http://theconversation.com/qantas-cant-have-it-both-ways-on-foreign-ownership-23307 CULTURE WARS 6. Abbott is Murdoch’s dream come true Matthew Donovan The Australian’s Christian Kerr was the one called up to last bucket the Labor Party’s leader. There is nothing unusual about this but I was struck by the column inches wasted on what can be only labelled as an infantile http://theaimn.com/2014/02/18/abbott-is-murdochs-dream-come-true/ 7. Factional fighting Kaye Lee The title of this article is Murdochesque in that it may have inflamed anger you are already feeling, but the article that follows won’t provide what the titillatory heading implies. I am not going to discuss Shorten vs Albanese or Abbott vs Turnbull... http://theaimn.com/2014/02/18/factional-fighting/ POLITICS, SECRECY, HYPOCRISY, DECEPTION 8. Tony Abbott dismisses link between drought and climate change Bridie Jabour "A drought package is being put together to take to cabinet in the next week, with backing from the agriculture minister, Barnaby Joyce, who is also on the tour with Abbott. Lowering interest rates from 4.5% and extensions of 10 to 15 years for farming loans; lifting asset tests on income support payments for farming; and a reduction in the populations of kangaroos and wild dogs are major considerations for the package." http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/17/tony-abbott-dismisses-link-between-drought-and-climate-change 9. Come clean on your climate stance, Prime Minister Matt Grudnoff The review of the Renewable Energy Target is the latest move from a Prime Minister whose actions on climate change don't match his words http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-18/grudnoff-come-clean-on-your-climate-stance-prime-minister/5267604 10. There's only so many jobs in building roads Mungo MacCallum "He had always said that he wanted to be known as the Infrastructure Prime Minister, but now he told us just what he actually meant by infrastructure in the 21st century: roads. Not a global information network or national broadband, not the airwaves, not even ports, harbours, railways and air terminals, but roads. Roads, those things cars run on, the cars that won't be made in Australia anymore. Roads, that were last at the cutting edge of innovation about 2,000 years ago when the ancient Roman Emperors were planning their future economies." http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-17/maccallum-theres-only-so-many-jobs-in-building-roads/5264274 11. One Nation co-founder sues Abbott for $1.5m ABC PM [16 Apr 2013] Legal papers have been served on Opposition Leader Tony Abbott by the co-founder of the now-defunct One Nation party. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-16/one-nation-founder-sues-abbott/4633398 12. Alcohol lobby link to dumping health body Amy Corderoy and Mark Kenny, The Age "Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash's former chief of staff had links to the alcohol industry - and played a key role in stripping Australia's peak drug and alcohol body of its funding. Alastair Furnival told staff at the Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia in a meeting in December that their organisation, established 46 years ago, would no longer be funded. He and his wife own a company that owns another that lobbied for the alcohol industry as recently as 2012." http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/alcohol-lobby-link-to-dumping-health-body-20140217-32wft.html ECONOMICS + BUSINESS 13. Bumper profits but sounds of silence in Canberra Michael Pascoe Another day, more bumper profits as most of Australia's major companies continue to surprise on the upside. They have certainly factored in miserable times for Australian business, but we're not seeing that reflected in this reporting season Yes, it looks like the latest federal Treasurer is proving just as bad at forecasting as his predecessors and that his budget predictions will be as hopelessly wrong. The difference, of course, is that Joe Hockey is lucky enough to have Treasury's forecasting imperfections displayed on the upside, rather than the downside that plagued Wayne Swan and then, briefly, Chris Bowen. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/comment-and-analysis/bumper-profits-but-sounds-of-silence-in-canberra-20140218-32xoy.html 14. Why consumers need to stand up for FOFA or be stood over by the planning industry. Christopher Zinn The industry in the shape of the Association of Financial Planners (AFA) says it’s launching, in its words, a grass roots lobbying campaign to counter the scare mongering about government plans to dilute FOFA. This means using their local association members to hector our local members, MPs, to block their ears to consumers’ legitimate concerns. FOFA: is the Future of Financial Advice the fair dinkum reforms brought in last July, after long and arduous negotiations and consultation, to give consumers more protection when dealing with planners and wealth managers after various collapses and scandals. http://www.determinedconsumer.com.au/#!tumblr-feed/c68z ECONOMIC RATIONALISM Vs LONG-TERM ECONOMIC PROSPECTS 15. New Zealand rocks but the poor are rolled Cecily McNeill With the Australian economy in disarray, the Abbott Government is showing keen interest in New Zealand's projected unusually high growth. But NZ's status as a rock star economy is in question from commentators who say it has never recovered from major policy shifts 30 years ago. In particular its sexy image on the global business stage does not translate to a better life for those on low incomes, particularly women and children. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=38907 YARTZ & CULTURE 16. Are youse using English properly – or mangling your native tongue? Rob Pensalfini Languages evolve and transform. If that weren’t the case, the only word in the previous sentence that would be considered English is and (which in any case used to mean if). The English we speak would… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-piklytt-trhltityg-c/ 17. High percentage of creative practitioners embedded in non-creative industry Creative Industries Innovation Centre A report released today by the Creative Industries Innovation Centre (CIIC) has found that 43% of the creative workforce… http://theconversation.com/high-percentage-of-creative-practitioners-embedded-in-non-creative-industry-23313 ENVIRONMENT + ENERGY 18. Climate Council: heatwaves are getting hotter and more frequent Will Steffen, ANU; Lesley Hughes, and Sarah Perkins Heatwaves are one of the most important climate-related risks for Australians. Sometimes called the “silent killers”, they cause the greatest number of deaths of any natural disaster type in Australia… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-piklytt-trhltityg-h/ 19. Four pillars or four pillows? Banking's comfy collective Rodney Maddock, Monash University Australia’s four pillars policy is widely misunderstood. At heart, it is an anti-bank policy, one which prohibits the large banks from doing what they might like to do and that is to merge. It stops them… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-piklytt-trhltityg-n/ 20. Is job insecurity becoming the norm for young people? Lucas Walsh, Monash University In recent years, job insecurity among young people has risen to unsettling proportions. Last year, The Economist reported that as many as 290 million 15-24 year olds were not participating in the labour… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-piklytt-trhltityg-x/ 21. Heatwaves linked to an increase in Australian suicide rates Xin Qi, Queensland University of Technology Heatwaves and high temperatures can have a dramatic impact on people’s physical health. We only have to look at the increases in emergency department admissions during recent heatwaves to know that. But… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-piklytt-trhltityg-f/ 22. Three questions on the Arts Minister Michael Burge @burgewords No Fibs Arts Editor Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #CreatingWaves 18th February 2014 The federal Minister for the Arts has a standing invitation to participate in an interview for No Fibs’ Arts column #CreatingWaves. Contact was made with his office in January 2014, and I followed-up his staffer’s […] http://nofibs.com.au/2014/02/18/three-questions-arts-minister-artsculturegov-burgewords-creatingwaves/ FAMILY BREAKDOWN 23. Thank You, Rosie Batty Wendy Harmer How much so more precious then, from a mother who, in the midst of indescribable grief, offers her hand so you can touch it for a brief moment and, in her open palm, discover an infinite blessing. An affirmation for the love of family. All the sublime joys it brings, but also an acknowledgement of all the terrible, attendant despairs. http://thehoopla.com.au/thank-rosie-batty/ HEALTH & MEDICINE 24. Commission of Audit should know costs but appreciate value Jane Hall, University of Technology, Sydney The Commission of Audit is holding its third Hearing in Canberra today. Witnesses include the Consumers Health Forum and Australian Health and Hospitals Association, so health is clearly the order of the… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-piklytt-trhltityg-k/ 25. Alternative medicine research must be publicly funded Paul Biegler, Monash University Testing alternative therapies - La Trobe University’s decision to accept funding from Swisse for a new centre to research alternative medicines has sparked controversy. This final instalment of the series… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-piklytt-trhltityg-u/ 26. Palliative social media Mark Taubert, Gareth Watts, Jason Boland and Lukas Radbruch4 The uses of social media have become ubiquitous in contemporary society at an astonishingly fast-paced rate...The online world, in particular, is alive with discussions, comments and anecdotes about the topics of illness, disease, hospitals, death and dying. The topic of death and dying had in the not too distant past been seen as taboo, but willingness and need to talk openly about it appears to be on the increase. In parallel to this, many public awareness campaigns are highlighting society's need to be more prepared for dying and death. http://spcare.bmj.com/content/4/1/13.long 27. Blueprint for an Ageing Australia [Crowdsourcing required] Emily Millane The story of the project Help us finish the blueprint for an ageing Australia. The Advisory Panel on Positive Ageing was axed by the Federal Government only six months out from completing its Blueprint for Ageing. Per Capita, an independent, progressive think tank, has partnered with former Panel members to complete the Blueprint. This crucial work will ensure that Australia prospers through ageing. Help us make the Blueprint a reality! http://www.pozible.com/project/177631 28. Study turns up hypothermia risk for older women ABC Researchers say hypothermia deaths happen indoors among elderly, often isolated, women in Australia, in contrast to deaths in the snow in the northern hemisphere. A study has found South Australia has a higher death rate from extreme cold than Sweden in northern Europe, where snow is common. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-12/study-turns-up-hypothermia-risk-for-older-women/5254996 ASYLUM SEEKERS 29. Manus Island & the Ministry 0f Truth Tracey Spicer “Do you not begin to see, then, what kind of world it is we are creating? A world of fear and treachery, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world that will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself.” 
George Orwell, 1984. Calm has returned to Oceania, according to the Ministry of Truth. This follows two “incidents” on Manus Island among enemies of the state, known as “transferees”. http://thehoopla.com.au/manus-island-ministry-truth/ 30. Gosford Anglican Church les victor ‏@otiose94 Aug 14 Stop calling #asylum seekers illegal, I don't like it". God. Gosford Anglican Church sign pic.twitter.com/RB6STCZpD0 #afl #nrl #ausvotes https://twitter.com/ASRC1/status/365664351346110464/photo/1 31. The Manus detainees need to be processed quickly and given certainty Michelle Grattan Manus Island is a wretched place for those incarcerated and now it has become a national shame – Australia’s shame – with an Iranian asylum seeker’s death and many serious injuries in Monday night’s riot. For the Abbott government, Manus is a literal and political nightmare, as immigration minister Scott Morrison admitted he was unable to guarantee that there wouldn’t be further disturbances. http://theconversation.com/the-manus-detainees-need-to-be-processed-quickly-and-given-certainty-23371 32. Racism of rigid legalism greets asylum seekers and their kind Ghassan Hage, University of Melbourne We rightly celebrate living in a society where law and order prevail. Being able to follow established rules allows for the smooth operation of the many necessary transactions of everyday life. Yet it… http://theconversation.com/racism-of-rigid-legalism-greets-asylum-seekers-and-their-kind-22951 OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Casablanca

19/02/2014 CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Wed, 19 February 2014: [b]exposing deceit, unfairness, hypocrisy & poor journalism. [/b] Posted above & at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CASABLANCAS-CACHE-2014-02-17.aspx

Casablanca

20/02/2014 [b]CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Thursday, 20 February 2014: 32 items [/b] NEW GROWTH INDUSTRIES: ROYAL COMMISSIONS & INQUIRIES 1. Pyne turns spotlight on teacher training Matthew Knott Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne has announced review into teacher training in a bid to make degrees less ''ideological''. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/christopher-pyne-turns-spotlight-on-teacher-training-20140218-32ykx.html 2. Viewpoints: should penalty rates be abolished? Phil Lewis, University of Canberra and Bill Mitchell, Charles Darwin University With a major review of workplace awards underway, the Federal Government has asked the Fair Work Commission to consider whether penalty rates and other minimum conditions are still relevant. In this Viewpoints… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-piujtdl-trhltityg-a/ JOBS FOR THE BOYZ N GIRLZ 3. Dolly Downer goes to London Barry Everingham The Abbott Government hands out more jobs to the Howard mafia, with Alexander Downer being appointed London High Commissioner and Nick Minchin off to New York. THE DECISION of the Abbott Government to appoint former foreign minister Alexander ‘Dolly’ Downer to the plum diplomatic post of High Commissioner in London is as absurd as it outrageous (though not unexpected here at IA, where we signalled the Abbott Government’s intentions back in December). http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/dolly-downer-goes-to-london,6182 ENTITLEMENTS & FIDDLES 4. Magistrate finds Thomson guilty Peter Wicks For years now we have seen and heard the trial by media and today we saw the result of a trial by court.... Whilst authorisation for Thomson’s spending was never proven one way or the other, Magistrate Rozencwajg made the decision that much of Thomson’s spending did not pass the “commonsense” test.... In his judgement, [he] singled out cash withdrawals ... for special mention...in words that may make [Kathy] Jackson feel somewhat faint. Magistrate Rozencwajg stated that any cash withdrawal or expenditure at all from a union account was inappropriate and illegitimate, no matter what the circumstances. http://www.independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/magistrate-finds-craig-thomson-guilty,6186 INDUSTRY WARS & WOES 5. Workers not to blame for car making decline Paul Bastian Do we want to be a nation whose prosperity is held hostage by commodity prices, or do we want to be a nation that builds things, asks AMWU national secretary [...] http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/workers-not-to-blame-for-car-industry-decline,6189 6. The inconvenient truth about Qantas Posted by Houses and Holes Bogan-baiting is Australian leaders favourite sport. What’s remarkable, though, is how easy it is to do. Just frame whatever entity it is that you wish to favour as a “battler” and all sorts of rules can be bent, broken or shoved permanently aside. Take the Qantas debate today, from the AFR: The federal government is [...] http://macrobusiness.cmail2.com/t/i-l-fhruut-dtyueir-tu/ 7. Qantas can't have it both ways on foreign ownership Margaret McKenzie, Deakin University The Federal Government appears ready to “throw a lifeline” to Qantas, which has been seeking a government-backed debt guarantee and a lifting of the 49% foreign ownership limit in the Qantas Sale Act… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-piujtdl-trhltityg-z/ 8. Australian aluminium outgunned by cheap, coal-free global rivals Tony Wood, Grattan Institute Implications for the industry, its workers and local communities are grave, and the situation is piling pressure onto state and federal governments already reeling from the shrinkage of other Australian manufacturing sectors. Where did it all go wrong? http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-piujtdl-trhltityg-c/ 9. AFR: The Greens killed Alcoa Posted by Houses and Holes The AFR’s Ben Potter has an awful take on the departure of Alcoa today: Maybe now gas crunch deniers like the NSW Greens and the conservative governments of NSW and Victoria will get the message: Costly energy drives out industry, manufacturing, and high paying jobs. In the scheme of things Point Henry didn’t stand a [...]The mad dash for LNG that took hold of successive governments and the gas industry without any consideration of the consequences is the clear culprit, ably supported by a cheer squad of official economists endorsing structural adjustment to higher commodity exports. http://macrobusiness.cmail2.com/t/i-l-fhruut-dtyueir-m/ POVERTY WARS 10. Don't rob the poor to pay the rich Bruce Duncan The budget problems are not caused by Newstart or disability pensions, which have been declining as a proportion of economic activity. Had the Howard Government not been so generous with its tax cuts to upper and middle income groups, there would today be no budget deficit. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=38862 11. Is the Australian ‘fair go’ dead in 2014? Jackson Stiles Central to the idea of the ‘fair go’ is the belief that we are a “diamond-shaped” society, with a big middle class and a small percentage of people on either side...The statistics, however, tell a different story....“Across the developed world, our level of inequality puts us in about the top third, so we’re clearly more unequal than most of Europe, but not at the same level of inequality as, say, Mexico or the US,” says renowned economist and member of Parliament Dr Andrew Leigh. http://thenewdaily.com.au/money/2014/02/17/fair-go-dead/ POLITICS, SECRECY, HYPOCRISY, DECEPTION 12. An act of betrayal Kaye Lee Before the introduction of carbon pricing Tony Abbott claimed that the price of petrol would go up by 6.5c per litre. It actually went down by 3.3 per cent in the first year. He claimed that the cost of living http://theaimn.com/2014/02/19/an-act-of-betrayal/ 13. Tracking Abbott’s Wreckage Tony Abbott has been in power since 7 September 2013. From that moment, he and his government have broken promises and hurt Australians. The tally rises to 105 http://sallymcmanus.net/abbotts-wreckage/ 14. “Who’da Predicted That, Eh?” – Federal Government Response to Victoria. rossleighbrisbane Prime Minister Tiny Habit has indicated his government will provide some assistance to Victoria because of concern about significant job losses. Mr Habit met with Victorian Premier Denis Naptime on Wednesday morning in Melbourne where they discussed the very real… http://theaimn.com/2014/02/19/whoda-predicted-that-eh-federal-government-response-to-victoria/ 15. Abbott has little to gain at by-election Jack Waterford Abbott has little to gain at a by-election for six Senate seats - but fighting it could badly affect his momentum. Tony Abbott ought to be cursing the virtual inevitability of a fresh West Australian Senate election about two months from now. The Coalition's chance of improving its position is slim, but the possibility of its position becoming worse, and of practical government becoming more difficult, is significant. Even worse is the difficulty of having an important by-election early in the government's term, when it would normally have some latitude to be making initially unpopular decisions. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/abbott-has-little-to-gain-at-a-byelection-for-six-senate-seats-20140218-32yuw.html 16. Post-democratic times Bob Ellis If we still had an unmanacled press and lived in democratic times, the Abbott Government would be on its way out. http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/post-democratic-times,6190 ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS 17. Forget debt - it's our jobs we're worried about Peter Lewis and Jackie Woods For all the debate about debt and taxes, polling shows one issue reigns supreme when it comes to economic management: employment..... But with the job cut headlines showing no sign of slowing down, Labor's ability to build an economic management narrative around jobs - rather than the existing story which focuses on debt - represents its best chance of defying history and being a one-term opposition. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-19/woods-and-lewis-job-security/5269330 18. We are all spillovers now: G20 finance meeting explained Susan Harris Rimmer, Australian National University Finance ministers and central bank governors from the Group of 20 major economies will meet in Sydney this week. A lot of troubled financial waters have flowed under the bridge since this group last met… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-piujtdl-trhltityg-f/ 19. Spectre of jobless recovery looms The Reserve Bank has increased its expectations for growth but the unemployment figures will douse any optimism for workers. Four consecutive quarters of above-trend growth in 2011-12 did little to improve the unemployment rate or reverse the effects of the GFC. In this sense we are currently in a very post-recession-like era, and it will be a long time before we see unemployment rates of the type before 2008. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-19/jericho-spectre-of-jobless-recovery-looms/5266442?WT.mc_id=newsmail 20. How we blew the boom Ian Verrender What a spectacle: The self-righteous fury and finger pointing on both sides of the political spectrum that has greeted the long, slow and ultimately unavoidable death of the domestic auto industry. Who is to blame? Who cares? The simple fact is that the hollowing out of the Australian economy [...] http://macrobusiness.cmail2.com/t/i-l-fhruut-dtyueir-f/ 21. So much for public service job cuts Leith van Onselen It seems the long awaited retrenchment of public sector jobs has failed to come to fruition, with Federal Government agencies replacing lost staff with temporary contracts. From the Canberra Times: Private recruitment firms are reaping tens of millions of dollars from the federal government’s public service cuts, supplying thousands of temporary [...] http://macrobusiness.cmail2.com/t/i-l-fhruut-dtyueir-jr/ 22. Memo to the BCA: FTA’s are not free trade Leith van Onselen The Business Council of Australia’s (BCA) Jennifer Westacott has published a rather Panglossian view of Australia’s free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations in locked-BS, which she argues are unambiguously in Australia’s national interest: The government’s conclusion of a free trade agreement with Korea is the first down-payment on an ambitious but achievable [...] http://macrobusiness.cmail2.com/t/i-l-fhruut-dtyueir-ji/ ECONOMIC RATIONALISM Vs LONG-TERM ECONOMIC PROSPECTS 23. Social responsibility more than a business add-on Dirk Matten As long as social responsibility remains a side pursuit for businesses rather than a core purpose, people will continue to think poorly of corporations.... Ever since Milton Friedman trashed CSR in the New York Times in 1970, critics have argued that corporations simply do not have the ability to cater for societal needs beyond producing goods and services at a profit to shareholders. Those critics have always accompanied the rise of CSR. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-18/matten-social-responsibility-as-more-than-a-business-add-on/5265100 POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT + COMMITMENT 24. Advancing human rights in the market Frank Brennan ...I pay tribute to Bruce Bonyhady and John Della Bosca who took forward one of the few 2020 Summit ideas which was really big, really new, likely to make a huge difference in the lives of Australians, and now given a chance of actual realisation. I commend them and politicians like Bill Shorten and Jenny Macklin for seeing through a commitment to replacing a disability system based on welfare with one based on insurance, investment and individualised funding. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=38885#.UwSmv4AQ9ZY YARTZ & CULTURE 25. Too much sport is barely enough: what makes Roy and HG funny? David Rowe, University of Western Sydney The Sochi Winter Olympics has seen the return to Australian television screens of sport parodists extraordinaire “Rampaging” Roy Slaven and HG Nelson. Roy and HG’s Russian Revolution presents the familiar… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-piujtdl-trhltityg-q/ 26. This Old Man. Life in the nineties. Roger Angell Check me out. The top two knuckles of my left hand look as if I’d been worked over by the K.G.B. No, it’s more as if I’d been a catcher for the Hall of Fame pitcher Candy Cummings, the inventor of the curveball, who retired from the game in 1877. To put this another way, if I pointed that hand at you like a pistol and fired at your nose, the bullet would nail you in the left knee. Arthritis. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/02/17/140217fa_fact_angell?utm_source=tny&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dailyemail&mbid=nl_Daily%20%28119%29 ENVIRONMENT + ENERGY 27. A wet warning from Australia's Top End on rising sea levels Andrew Campbell and Stephen Garnett, Charles Darwin University Sea levels around Darwin, which abuts the warm, shallow Arafura Sea, have risen by about 17 centimetres over the past 20 years. As the CSIRO noted in its last State of the Climate report, the rates of sea-level rise to the north and northwest of Australia have been 7 to 11 millimetres per year, which is two to three times the global average. Along the eastern and southern coasts of Australia, rates of sea-level rise are around the global average. http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-piujtdl-trhltityg-m/ ASYLUM SEEKERS 28. Morrison isn’t going anywhere Ed Butler The calls for Scott Morrison’s sacking have begun. The charges levelled at Scott Morrison are not new. Scumbag, inhumane, detestable, there’s barely a negative superlative you can hurl at him that has yet to be used... http://ausopinion.com/2014/02/19/the-myth-of-ministerial-responsibility/ 29. Toxic politics endure as Morrison gets nosy with the Navy Ray Cassin Scott Morrison is the first Immigration Minister to inspect ADF facilities. There has always been cooperation between the Defence Force and other government agencies, but Operation Sovereign Borders has radically changed the playing field. Indonesia's politicians might relish the irony of seeing in Australia an increasing interpenetration of military and civilian hierarchies - something that Australians used to see as a fault in Indonesia. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=38917 30. Manus Island: Must do better Chris de Bono With the death of an asylum seeker on Manus Island and injuries incurred by 76 others “Could we have done better?”. THE [...] http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/manus-island-we-must-do-better,6191 31. Fresh evidence emerges of Manus horror Refugee Rights Action Network WA The following account has been put together from multiple sources that various Refugee Rights Action Network activists have complied after collating a multitude of communications our activists have received over the last few days directly from asylum seekers and staff based on the island. This contests many of the claims by the Australian government. - See more at: http://redflag.org.au//node/3708#sthash.ViGNvgTv.dpuf HEALTH 32. Stress and wellbeing in Australia survey 2013 Australian Psychological Society The stress and wellbeing of Australians two years on…Overall, while the pattern of findings was largely consistent with those reported in 2012 and 2011, the key findings of the Stress and Wellbeing Survey 2013 indicated that Australians had significantly lower levels of wellbeing and significantly higher levels of stress and distress, and depressive and anxiety symptoms than in previous years. http://www.psychology.org.au/Assets/Files/Stress%20and%20wellbeing%20in%20Australia%20survey%202013.pdf OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Casablanca

20/02/2014 CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Thursday, 20 February 2014. [b]Abbott! Give us back our future.[/b] Posted above and at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CASABLANCAS-CACHE-2014-02-17.aspx

Michael

20/02/2014These words: "This is where the rubber hits the road in terms of the future of the world economy and I look forward to meeting with my fellow finance ministers and central bank governors over the next few days as we shape the destiny of the world economy," Mr Hockey said. Here http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/treasurer-joe-hockey-to-sell-nsw-model-to-g20-20140219-33100.html?skin=text-only from a man who usually shouts from the rooftops that government has to get out of the way and let the 'markets' set economies. Does anyone scent hypocrisy in "shape the destiny"? (Or missionary fervour more in place with a snake-handling Pentecostal preacher than a nation's "finance minister"? 'Missionary fervour' to claim the worldwide recognition Wayne Swan received a couple of years back, perhaps? That Joe won't be a 'real' Treasurer until he gets that gong?) Or it it just Jiving Joe all tumescent about strutting the world stage in his own home town? Or... gormless excitement on the part of a piddling provincial? Me? I reckon "gormless excitement on the part of a piddling provincial" with a side serving of playing with the big boys (and girls) tumescence.

42long

20/02/2014Nothing as sexy as being amongst those that count even when you are not one of them SGD Joe

Catching up

20/02/2014It indeed looks like Medicare as we know it, is on the chopping block. Now I might be mistaken, but I think most will find they are all ready contributing directly to the doctor's bills, especially specialist. My doctor does not bulk bill. I paid something like $30 per visit. In the case of specialist, generally much more than 50 or 60 percent. If that is not a co-payment, what is it? No, they want to dismantle Medicare, which is on welfare, but national insurance scheme for a welfare model. If money is the problem, all that needs to be done, is to raise the levy, Yes, raising the levy ensures that those with the ability to pay, pay the most. We hear only about the cost. We do not hear from this government, what the money spent on health saves the budget and country. Just heard Abbott say, this leopard does not change his spots. Yes, for once, Abbott is telling the truth. Medicare is about a universal system. Any changes made by this government will mean that disappears. Yes, there will be an increase in the number of aged. So what, this does not mean one becomes ill, when one ages. Yes an increase, but also a healthier age cohort. Living longer, does not mean that one is frail longer.

2353`

21/02/2014One of the pieces of writing I have seen for a while. http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and-views/dl-opinion/an-apology-to-asylum-seekers-past-and-present-from-a-future-prime-minister-20140220-334j3.html

DMW

21/02/2014Thx for that link 2353 Try this [b]Manus Island: so many questions, one simple solution[/b] Malcolm Fraser @ Canberra Times http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/manus-island-so-many-questions-one-simple-solution-20140220-333sn.html

Casablanca

21/02/2014 [b]CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Thursday, 21 February 2014: 44 items[/b] OFFICER HOLDERS: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY 1. A lesson in dignity and tenacity: Quentin Bryce’s extraordinary legacy Catherine Fox Some of the support the GG has offered to women has not been visible to the public and that's exactly the way she wanted it. But as she found her voice in the role there were occasions when she did speak out – such as the Boyer lecture series last year. And many of us listened carefully to her views on gay marriage and the prospect of an Australian head of state. She showed us that having quiet impact, dignity and tenacity is at least as effective as grandstanding. That standing up for women is not about attacking men but making them advocates for change too. What we observed in Quentin Bryce was not only a woman leader but a woman leading for women. It's not enough to tell women they should aspire to decision-making and leadership roles – they have to believe they can do them too. That's why it was so important to see Quentin Bryce go about her job with confidence and make an impact that leaves a strong legacy. http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/opinions/a-lesson-in-dignity-and-tenacity-quentin-bryces-extraordinary-legacy/201402193604 2. The Public Life of Scott Morrison archiearchive In Who’s Who Morrison lists the church as his number one hobby, and his maiden speech reads in part like a personal testimony delivered on the last night of a church retreat. It included passages from Jeremiah and also the Book of Joel: “Your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.” http://archiearchive.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/the-public-life-of-scott-morrison/ 3. Scott Morrison all at sea over asylum seeker solution Bruce Haigh The Minister for Immigration, Scott Morrison, should resign. He is not a fit and proper person to be responsible for vulnerable lives. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/scott-morrison-all-at-sea-over-asylum-seeker-solution-20140219-3318v.html NEW GROWTH INDUSTRIES: ROYAL COMMISSIONS, INQUIRIES & REVIEWS 4. Killing renewables softly with endless reviews Clive Hamilton You have to feel sorry for people working in renewable energy. Their industry has been reviewed to within an inch of its short life, and the goalposts have been shifted so many times that they don’t know… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdlhykd-trhltityg-f/ 5. Morrison celebrates record-breaking half-century Michael Galvin The speeches revealed Morrison's office decided to have a party to celebrate an amazing milestone. It seems the minister had just announced the 50th independent inquiry he had set up into activities carried out by staff working to implement Operation Sovereign Borders. Yes, Morrison reached his half-century in record time – just over six months in government – something of which he seemed particularly proud, being recorded saying: "Some Ministers are in their plush offices for a decade, and never do enough work to have to announce an inquiry. I've announced 50 in less than a year. I think that is worth celebrating." http://www.independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/morrison-celebrates-a-record-breaking-half-century,6195 ENTITLEMENTS & FIDDLES 6. Dick Warburton investigated over foreign bribery scandal Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker, James Massola The senior businessman appointed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott to review Australia's renewable energy target has been the subject of a secret internal investigation into his role as a former director of a firm involved in Australia's worst foreign bribery scandal. The investigation findings were sent earlier this month to the Reserve Bank board and deal with Dick Warburton and his fellow former Note Printing Australia directors' knowledge and handling of Note Printing Australia's sanctions-busting trip to Iraq in 1998. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/dick-warburton-investigated-over-foreign-bribery-scandal-20140219-3313y.html 7. Emails show Finance Department failed to rule on Tony Abbott's taxpayer-funded travel to Sophie Mirabella's 2006 wedding Jonathan Swan The failure of the department in charge of MP entitlements to provide a ruling follows a pattern in which it has been unwilling to comment or take action on any of the examples of questionable travel claims revealed by Fairfax Media. And it comes as the Australian National Audit Office interrogates the "effectiveness of the Department of Finance's administration of travel entitlements provided to parliamentarians". In recent months, the Finance Department has refused to say whether it would examine allegations that former Coalition MP Alex Somlyay employed his wife for non-existent "electoral office" work... Fairfax Media sent a number of questions to the Finance Department on Thursday, asking why it was unable to determine whether Sophie Mirabella's wedding constituted "official business". http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/emails-show-finance-department-failed-to-rule-on-tony-abbotts-taxpayerfunded-travel-to-sophie-mirabellas-2006-wedding-20140220-333ld.html INDUSTRY WARS & WOES 8. Why Australian workplaces need much better leaders Peter Gahan, University of Melbourne Over the last decade, Australia has experienced a productivity slump. Our long term productivity growth ranks well below the OECD average, and significantly below that enjoyed by leading economies. However… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdlhykd-trhltityg-h/ 9. Doing the dirty work Frank Bongiorno The Coalition's attack on the unions won't necessarily have the expected political impact. The Coalition, it is true, has learned from WorkChoices. But elements in the business community and at News Limited have been clamouring for a return to the fray. Recently, Henderson’s notion of an Industrial Relations Club has been implausibly revived in order to allow the Coalition to craft a language of IR reform that avoids the implication that it is anti-worker or even anti-union. - See more at: http://inside.org.au/doing-the-dirty-work/#sthash.PZ8iBYJM.dpuf http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=MUngk&m=Jt1eHS2QK4hdzG&b=aMIWGEE9ZDzlp_GJtBFb0Q 10. We can rebalance Australia’s economy with creative industries Roy Green, University of Technology, Sydney and Lisa Colley, The Conversation Australia’s economic challenge is now starkly apparent. In the wake of a diminishing contribution to our national income by primary commodity exports (think iron ore, coal), we need to “rebalance” the… http://theconversation.com/we-can-rebalance-australias-economy-with-creative-industries-23458 11. Cannery SPC Ardmona put under cosh to cut wages in return for government bailout Ben Schneiders and James Massola The Abbott government pressed SPC Ardmona to slash pay for workers by as much as 40 per cent under a radical bailout plan for the food processor. Three union officials told Fairfax Media they had meetings with SPC Ardmona managing director Peter Kelly before Christmas in which Mr Kelly said he was being pressured by the Abbott government to put workers on the award if the company wanted a $25 million subsidy. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/cannery-spc-ardmona-put-under-cosh-to-cut-wages-in-return-for-government-bailout-20140219-3313w.html CULTURE WARS 12. Labor's Green opportunity Dennis Altman Labor's combative relationship with the Greens reflects its failure to develop a genuine counter-narrative to the Coalition worldview. http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=MUngk&m=Jt1eHS2QK4hdzG&b=T8jdZayquXKLJGU3uFqX7w 13. Ed Miliband, a waiting game David Hayes After more than three years in the job, where is Britain's Labour leader taking his party http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=MUngk&m=Jt1eHS2QK4hdzG&b=p7gF.wu_u0oizyeejuGpqg POVERTY WARS 14. Is Australia's welfare system unsustainable? Peter Whiteford Figures from the past two decades challenge the view that the welfare budget is out of control, and help us understand the likely impact of future policy changes http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=MUngk&m=Jt1eHS2QK4hdzG&b=YRY03tcvJlCtyRByzgzidg POLITICS, SECRECY, HYPOCRISY, DECEPTION 15. Death of National Drought Policy takes us back to policy on the run Linda Botterill, University of Canberra Australia’s National Drought Policy, introduced in 1992 and recognised internationally as world’s best practice, now appears to be dead. In its place we are seeing back-to-the-future policymaking. This… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdlhykd-trhltityg-z/ 16. Government urged to free up enterprise agreements Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra Australian Industry Group chief Innes Willox has called on the Abbott government to “put beyond doubt” an employer’s right to propose to workers changes in their enterprise agreement to meet new conditions… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdlhykd-trhltityg-v/ 17. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison suddenly finds his world out of control Michelle Grattan The lapses might be "inadvertent" but Scott Morrison struggles with the consequences. The Abbott government, so scathing in opposition of Labor’s administration lapses, is now coping with the fallout of two serious foul ups in its asylum seeker operations, as well as the Manus Island disaster. http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdlhykd-trhltityg-w/ 18. Mining tax: it's time for all Australians to realise they are being ripped off Luke Mansillo The mining boom has resulted in a huge extraction of wealth. Norway has been turning its resource bounty into a fund for future generations, while Australia is dangerously careless with it http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/19/mining-tax-its-time-for-all-australians-to-realise-they-are-being-ripped-off?CMP=ema_632 19. 'Rigged' Commission of Audit should be broadened: Richard di Natale Dan Harrison The chairman of a Senate committee has accused the Abbott government of "rigging" its Commission of Audit to justify "cruel cuts." Speaking about an interim report released by the committee on Wednesday, Greens Senator Richard di Natale said the Coalition was using the Commission as cover to justify the spending cuts it wanted to make. "The Abbott government has constructed very narrow terms of reference for the commission and hand-picked ideological allies as commissioners so that it gets precisely the outcome it wants," Senator di Natale said. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/rigged-commission-of-audit-should-be-broadened-richard-di-natale-20140219-330ft.html 20. WA half-Senate election spells a whole lot of uncertainty for Tony Abbott Lenore Taylor The high court decision to send West Australians back to the polls creates many possibilites – some more difficult than others http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/20/half-senate-election-spells-uncertainty 21. Victoria's anti-protest laws pass lower house by one vote Michael Safi Controversial new laws give police powers to disperse protests and arrest people for breaching a move-on order...The summary offences and sentencing amendment bill passed by one vote on Thursday afternoon, and will now go to the upper house, the Legislative Council, for approval. The laws will allow police to issue move-on directions, in which a person or group is ordered to leave a particular area or cease an action, on a range of new grounds. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/20/victorian-anti-protest-laws-pass-lower-house?CMP=twt_gu 22. Tony Abbott’s cuts directly hurt Aboriginal children Padraic Gibson Indigenous specialist services have been slashed by a tidal wave of cuts. This has a direct impact on the health and safety of thousands of Aboriginal children http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/20/tony-abbotts-cuts-directly-hurt-aboriginal-children 23. Slick Tony's Indigenous insincerity Lyn Bender Tony Abbott’s ‘Closing the gap’ speech has apparently made some wonder whether the PM has changed and become a kinder, better person. http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/slick-tonys-indigenous-insincerity,6194 EDUCATION 24. My school and yours: the disappearing achievers Chris Bonnor A new analysis of schools data shows why we mustn't walk away from the promise of Gonski. http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=MUngk&m=Jt1eHS2QK4hdzG&b=HaW1rQtOGSKklA4aJC_VFw 25. Independent schools: an idea whose time has passed Francis Beckett Christopher Pyne's plan for "independent"ť public schools bears a family resemblance to the academies and free schools that have undermined British education. http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=MUngk&m=Jt1eHS2QK4hdzG&b=_xUQikBgZQJuI5Owj6eNfw ECONOMICS + BUSINESS 26. What Madness is This? John Kelly There is strong support to suggest that Australia’s hosting of the G20 in November this year is not going to bode well for Tony Abbott. One suspects that our reputation in two key areas, that of economic management and climate change, will take a hit. When the finance ministers of the world’s richest countries together with the European Union and the IMF gather to discuss future plans, we are going to look very odd indeed. http://theaimn.com/2014/02/20/what-madness-is-this/ 27. Why we didn't see the GFC: OECD admits failures Robert Samuelson These are hard times for economists. Their reputations are tarnished; their favourite doctrines are damaged. Among their most prominent thinkers, there is no consensus as to how - or whether - governments in advanced countries can improve lackluster recoveries. All in all, the situation recalls a cruel joke: How many economists does it take to change a light bulb? None. When the one they used in graduate school goes out, they sit in the dark. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/markets/why-we-didnt-see-the-gfc-oecd-admits-failures-20140219-330go.html 28. Explainer: the G20 and the fragile five Rodney Maddock, Monash University Financial markets love to come up with snappy acronyms – you have all heard of BRICS, but there are many others, with the “fragile five” being the latest. The BIITS - Brazil, India, Indonesia, South Africa… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdlhykd-trhltityg-c/ 29. Can Australia win from FTAs in the Asian Century? Chris Baumann Australia and South Korea are entering a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), but before you think “advanced Western country gains access to a large Asian market”, think again. Economic powers have shifted seismically… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdlhykd-trhltityg-q/ 30. Blow to China free trade deal; Wage price index up, slowly: Midday Roundup Melinda Oliver and Yolanda Redrup Tony Abbott’s aim to sign a free trade agreement with China by September this year hit a stumbling block yesterday, with China’s commerce ministry spokesman failing to list it as a priority for the country this year. http://www.smartcompany.com.au/growth/economy/35683-blow-to-china-free-trade-deal-wage-price-index-up-slowly-midday-roundup.html# POLITICAL COMMENT + COMMITMENT 31. Are We The “White Trash” Of Asia? Fr. Michael Kelly SJ It is now over 30 years since the then Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, described Australians as the “white trash of Asia”. The barb stung and is still recalled with shame and hurt by Australian politicians as then prime minister Julia Gillard did in 2012. But the term has reached a new level of accuracy since the arrival of the current Australian government led by Tony Abbott, who has degraded Australia’s relations with China, Indonesia and Timor Leste close to their lowest points in decades with one piece of diplomatic ineptitude and insensitivity after another... By accident this week, and despite the government policy of “no speaks”, I discovered something new – to me anyway. Almost since the day they arrived on the Treasury benches, the Abbott government has found a new way of persecuting victims. http://thehoopla.com.au/white-trash-asia/ 32. Rest in Peace Reza Berati murdered on Manus #auspol #qanda #asylumseekers #Australia #LNP #Morrison Gosford Anglican Church https://twitter.com/TrentWPSmith/status/436428875191439361/photo/1 MEDIA MANIPULATION + BIAS + GROUPTHINK 33. On trial for hacking: the story so far Rodney Tiffen It's now the defence's turn to put its case in the News International phone-hacking trial in London: the testimony to date untangled http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=MUngk&m=Jt1eHS2QK4hdzG&b=sUidtpvhlhpC3Eah7lXf3g 34. The journalists writing and talking about journalists space is getting very crowded Richard Farmer Crikey is in on the act today with its version (free) of the newspaper editors at war that follows my own earlier effort on the same subject - Editors editorialising about editors. Then for those that pay there’s Bernard Keane showing how he can be wiser after the event than other journalists were before it when it comes to that federal proceeds of crime legislation that had the thumpers at the 7 Network yesterday. http://politicalowl.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/the-journalists-writing-and-talking.html 35. Newspaper editors at war: Crikey mediates Mitchell v Stutch Myriam Robin Chris Mitchell and Michael Stutchbury used to work together. Now their newspapers are at war, and it’s getting personal. Crikey’s media reporter mediates. http://www.crikey.com.au/2014/02/19/newspaper-editors-at-war-crikey-mediates-mitchell-v-stuch ENVIRONMENT + ENERGY 36. How we ended up paying farmers to flood our homes (UK) George Monbiot This government let the farming lobby rip up the rulebook on soil protection – and now we are suffering the consequences. In some places the crop lines run straight down the hill and into the water. When it rains, the water and soil flash off into the lake. Seldom are cause and effect so visible. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/17/farmers-uk-flood-maize-soil-protection?CMP=ema_632 GENDER EQUALITY The one rule that could benefit all working women Sarah Macdonald The first Female leader of the country Park Geun-Hye has declared helping women ‘balance family and work amongst the most critical items on her agenda’. Amazing when you consider she is pretty busy dealing with the threat of the pariah nuclear state of North Korea. It’s also rather surprising considering she’s been criticised for not having any sense of feminist agenda or commitment to equality in the past. http://www.dailylife.com.au/life-and-love/work-and-money/the-one-rule-that-could-benefit-all-working-women-20140210-32bsz.html 37. Diversity and innovation: Why we need to bridge the gender gap in science Cathy Foley, CSIRO As International Women’s Day approaches on March 8 and my time as NSW Premier’s Woman of the Year draws to a close, I have been thinking about diversity in the workplace, and in particular, the relationship between diversity and innovation. www.womensagenda.com.au/.../201402193605 ASYLUM SEEKERS 38. Shocking claims after Manus Island bloodbath Paul Toohey AS BLAME is exchanged on the Manus Island detention centre bloodbath, it has been claimed that the Iranian asylum seeker killed on Monday night may have been murdered by out-of-control guards who stomped his skull as he lay defenceless on the ground. According to an account from an Australian guard working for security contractor GS4, obtained by New Corp, local guards working for GS4 were in a frenzy and jumped on the man’s head in a rage on Monday night, inside the detention compound. http://mobile.news.com.au/national/shocking-claims-after-manus-island-bloodbath/story-fncynjr2-1226833207973 39. Manus Island: so many questions, one simple solution Malcolm Fraser There is a humane, efficient and affordable approach. If only we would try it. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/manus-island-so-many-questions-one-simple-solution-20140220-333sn.html#ixzz2trnTxZAM 40. We created the Manus Island danger Moira Rayner We created this risk, intending it to 'deter' boat people and people smugglers. As a consequence, we've created racial conflict in PNG and the collapse of the rule of law in Nauru. Now, it is surely a duty to re-evaluate a policy that leads to mental illness, destruction of property, hope, imagination and civil society, and death. I think we have a duty to refugees, because we are descended from refugees and may be refugees ourselves, one day. http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001HjL0Ics9O0Kt60SaiCysxHQpX9SIP2BPxxN7Enz73TZ39kye5Fr7za6Tm9XUVr5cS_gZdYENXQI7C0-jK6F0OXAvc_gsKrKfE4_z7p4RoO3dmfbJYcqqpDJxIrlMqSkwND-HKTwVNM2cXa4iNZveA2xTJyzGFXEDfh-iXN3gH8r8iZZgIeyJZu8iXxLaDoH82UuVUsoZ2uaCBIMmaachrf-cReyIxKy1&c=QTwxT6145bqkl3FzuUVfIa95rtDfwnmgxGzn81PznoivZ-XbQE7WwQ==&ch=XeLtayluppLpKEiqVNb-QtBiuNzWOGOuRZiAzN7pELL8L60u3dfYHw== 41. Boats don’t arrive but continue to bring trouble for Abbott government Michelle Grattan The government’s response to Sunday’s violence at the detention centre, where there are more than 1000 people, again sends the strong message that humanitarian considerations are secondary in its border security policy. http://theconversation.com/boats-dont-arrive-but-continue-to-bring-trouble-for-abbott-government-23326 42. Manus riots illustrate a failure of Australia's refugee protection Melissa Phillips, University of Melbourne Defining “success” in refugee protection can be a tricky proposition. It could be a reduction in the number of people displaced worldwide, places made available for refugee resettlement or the number of… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdlhykd-trhltityg-s/ Much in this article also applies to the student at an overseas university & the lack of transition assistance. 43. Grasping the Third Rail kayrollison There is a scene in The West Wing where a Democratic presidential candidate says: ‘Social security is the third rail of American politics. Touch it and you die.’ (The third rail supplies direct electrical current to trains: hence the metaphor.) Asylum seeker policy is the third rail of Australian politics as far as the Labor Party is concerned. http://theaimn.com/2014/02/20/grasping-the-third-rail/ 44. An apology to asylum seekers past and present from a future Prime Minister Alex McKinnon In the event that a future Parliament deems it necessary to offer a national apology to those who have been held in mandatory detention the following is a draft motion to be considered by the federal House of Representatives. I move: That today we honour those Australians who arrived in this country as asylum seekers and refugees, and suffered under the policy of mandatory detention. We reflect on their past mistreatment. http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and-views/dl-opinion/an-apology-to-asylum-seekers-past-and-present-from-a-future-prime-minister-20140220-334j3.html OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Casablanca

21/02/2014CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Friday, 21 February 2014. [b]Abbott, a pimp for big end of town.[/b] Posted above and at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CASABLANCAS-CACHE-2014-02-21.aspx Apologies for the lateness - I've had problems accessing the site.

Bacchus

21/02/2014Rough night Casablanca? Even lost track of the days? ;-)

Casablanca

21/02/2014 [b]Why I miss Julia Gillard[/b] Arabella Wauchope I celebrated Julia Gillard becoming our first female prime minister and dreamt of a political future, as did many girls. Then we witnessed the crude harassment, disgusting personal comments, threats and derogatory questions she had to endure while in office. Some of us can recite sections of her ''misogyny'' speech that went around the world. Now we have elected Tony Abbott to lead the country, and have a political environment pretty much devoid of women at the top. Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/why-i-miss-julia-gillard-20140219-330py.html#ixzz2tuuZ5pNU

Casablanca

21/02/2014 Bacchus Fair shake of the sauce bottle mate! I got it half right! (Corrected where possible)

Bacchus

21/02/2014LOL - you got it a whole lot more than half right Casablanca! I'm amazed at the amount of effort you must put in to come up with your valuable, informative cache each day :D

Casablanca

21/02/2014 Media Statement: Finalisation of referral in relation to fraud allegations Release Date: Friday, February 21 2014, 11:55 AM The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has assessed allegations of fraud committed by former Federal MP Alex Somlyay. All available information, including a package of documents received on 17 January 2014, was examined to determine whether an investigation was warranted. The assessment of this matter did not identify any conduct by Mr Somlyay that would constitute a criminal offence. The employment of Mrs Somlyay using her maiden name and receipt of payments for work performed was also considered in the assessment. Both Mr and Mrs Somlyay were spoken to by the AFP during the assessment of this matter. The AFP found no evidence of criminality relating to fraud against the Commonwealth to warrant an investigation. The AFP considers this matter finalised and will not be providing further comment. Media enquiries: AFP National Media (02) 6131 6333 http://www.afp.gov.au/media-centre/news/afp/2014/february/media-statement-finalisation-of-referral-in-relation-to-fraud-allegations.aspx

Casablanca

21/02/2014Bacchus, thanks. Comment much appreciated. My task would be much easier if there was a standard bibliographic system followed by all online publications. It would save thousands of key strokes. I frequently fantasize about a Harvard System (Casablanca revision) for online publications.

Casablanca

21/02/2014 A little birdie told me that it is Ad Astra's 27th Wedding Anniversary today. Congratulations and felicitations.

Jason

21/02/2014Jonathan Swan ‏@jonathanvswan · 3m Breaking: Ray Hadley's wife lodges apprehended violence applications against him and his son http://www.smh.com.au/national/ray-hadleys-wife-lodges-apprehended-violence-applications-against-him-and-his-son-20140221-336z9.html … via @smh

Catching up

21/02/2014Just for the record, that AVO application was made by the police on behalf of the wife. Withdrawn because of her request.

Ken

22/02/2014Has everyone seen this? http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-22/government-to-hand-over-confidential-cabinet-documents/5277156 Brandis is prepared to handover Cabinet documents just to 'get at' the Labor party. It trashes every convention of Cabinet government (as even Malcolm Fraser says in the article). Just proves how vindictive this government is and that they are more concerned about 'nailing' Labor rather than governing the country. As has been said here before they are still operating in election mode - only now for the 2016 election.

Michael

22/02/2014Were you wondering how Abbott had the nerve to call himself the "Infrastructure PM"? All is made clear here: http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/2014/02/22/08/49/hockey-again-flags-raising-pension-age where Joe Hockey spouts that the Age Pension may have to go. But... the beauty of the Coalition's vision! Build more infrastructure, more roads and bridges, and you won't need an Age Pension to provide anywhere for people to live except... under all those bridges. Where all the homeless abandoned oldies go... to die.

Casablanca

22/02/2014 [b]CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Saturday, 22 February 2014: 48 items[/b] THE GROWTH INDUSTRIES: ROYAL COMMISSIONS + INQUIRIES + REVIEWS 1. Business figure to help lead sweeping review of Fair Work laws James Massola and Clay Lucas Sources familiar with the government's plans said at least one senior figure from the business world could be drafted in to assist the commission with the review, with the government seeking ''people with industry experience, not academics'' to review the laws. The terms of reference for the review have not been signed off by cabinet but will be finalised before the government's self-imposed March deadline. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/business-figure-to-help-lead-sweeping-review-of-fair-work-laws-20140220-334db.html 2. Government to hand Labor Cabinet documents to home insulation scheme royal commission Will Ockenden The Federal Government says it will make confidential Cabinet documents from the former Labor government available to a royal commission into the home insulation scheme. Four young insulation workers died while working on the rollout of the so-called "pink batts" scheme set up by the Rudd government in 2009. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-22/government-to-hand-over-confidential-cabinet-documents/5277156 3. Pyne’s Review Panel: Will it help improve teacher quality? Benjamin T. Jones, University of Western Sydney “The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living from the dead.” While Aristotle’s axiom is purposefully exaggerated for dramatic effect, modern research confirms that there is indeed an… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdyijty-trhltityg-o/ 4. Indonesia incursion report provides more questions than answers on turn-backs Natalie Klein The release on Wednesday of the review into the circumstances of how and why the Australian navy repeatedly entered Indonesian waters might have been expected finally to reveal information about Australia’s… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdynld-trhltityg-n/ ENTITLEMENTS & FIDDLES 5. Alastair Furnival lobbied the Tasmanian government to secure taxpayer funds for chocolate maker Cadbury Mark Kenny and Amy Corderoy Dumped Abbott government health adviser Alastair Furnival lobbied the Tasmanian government directly through 2012 to secure taxpayer funds for the chocolate maker Cadbury. But a $400,000 grant agreed to by the state government to relocate its visitor centre to the Hobart waterfront never flowed after Cadbury went cold on the project. Instead, the company turned its attention to the incoming federal Coalition government, securing a $16 million pledge from then opposition leader Tony Abbott. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/alastair-furnival-lobbied-the-tasmanian-government-to-secure-taxpayer-funds-for-chocolate-maker-cadbury-20140220-334by.html 6. As it happens, crime does pay ... and it always will Richard Ackland For the past 18 months the Australian Federal Police have had the power to directly launch proceeds of crime recovery proceedings. Unlike those nancy boys at the Commonwealth DPP, the coppers know how to get things done - three dozen of them swarming over Channel Seven's cheque butts and other bits of paper at the offices of various lawyers. Some of the information from material they seized has turned up in the daily papers. Amazing. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/richard-ackland-as-it-happens-crime-does-pay--and-it-always-will-20140220-333yv.html#ixzz2tvNA9LZo 7. So you think you can spot a liar? Stephen Dawson As some people are better at spotting liars than others, so some are better at telling lies than others. Some can be very good at it indeed. Which brings us back to Craig Thomson. A magistrate has determined that Craig Thomson did use his employer-issued credit cards to, among other things, employ the services of sex workers. Yet who among even the most cynical of us, watching Thomson's speech in Parliament in May 2012, did not experience a twinge of doubt as to his guilt? Were we not at least a little moved by the emotion in his voice as he pointed at then opposition leader Tony Abbott and accused him: "You have unleashed the lynch mob", as he waved at the press gallery: "and you have fanned it." http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-21/dawson-so-you-think-you-can-spot-a-liar/5274330 POLITICS, SECRECY, HYPOCRISY, DECEPTION 8. Tony Abbott's promised treat no red letter day Anne Summers The purpose of ripping up this "red tape", the Prime Minister says, is to make "life easier and less costly for everyone". Big call. We only need look at two of the proposed "deregs" to see that these claims are simply not true. The proposed changes to the Corporations Amendment (Future of Financial Advice) Act 2012 and the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 are very likely to increase human misery and to significantly increase costs for business. The former piece of legislation, the FFA, was the direct result of the financial and emotional havoc wreaked by the collapse of Storm Financial in late 2008 where as many as 4000 Australians lost a combined total of $3 billion of their life savings. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/tony-abbotts-promised-treat-no-red-letter-day-20140221-3378s.html#ixzz2u1XVBBs9 9. WA election re-run pitches Greens and Palmer into fight for balance of power Lenore Taylor "The Greens and the Palmer United party are each appealing to Western Australian voters to give them clear influence over the balance of power in the Senate when the state reruns its half-Senate election because of the dispute over lost ballot papers. Palmer foreshadowed a populist campaign in the poll, likely to be held in April or May." http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/20/wa-half-senate-election-greens-clive-palmer 10. One term of Tony will be good for the country Jeff Schiller One dire and dismal term of Tony Abbott may be just the medicine to make Australians remember the fair go values we once stood for, http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/one-term-of-tony-will-be-good-for-the-country,6197 11. Tony Abbott to introduce Australian Story for transgender friend Cate McGregor Judith Ireland Prime Minister Tony Abbott may have recently had some stern words for the ABC, but he will be in a friendlier mood next Monday, when he introduces the Australian Story for his friend Cate McGregor. The ABC program will next week feature Lieutenant Colonel McGregor, an army officer and cricket expert who is also one of Australia's most high profile transgender people. It is well known that Mr Abbott is a long-standing friend of Lieutenant Colonel McGregor, after the two met in their student days. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-to-introduce-australian-story-for-transgender-friend-cate-mcgregor-20140220-333x4.html 12. Malcolm Turnbull trumps Tony Abbott in poll Matthew Knott When voters were asked to give the men a score out of 10, Mr Turnbull, who is Communications Minister, received an average score of 5.2. Mr Hockey received 4.8, Mr Abbott 4.3, and Mr Pyne 4.1. The Abbott government received an average score of 4.4. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/malcolm-turnbull-trumps-tony-abbott-in-poll-20140220-334c3.html 13. To fix the Federation we must harness the digital revolution James Horne, Australian National University December’s Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting passed with barely a murmur. But structural conflicts between the federal and state governments are a constant, making government dysfunctional… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdynld-trhltityg-b/ 14. Things we CAN afford. Kaye Lee I know times are tough and that we will all have to tighten our belts (well so the government keeps telling me). The list of things we can’t afford grows longer and more depressing every day. But take heart. http://theaimn.com/2014/02/21/things-we-can-afford/ 15. Are you being served? OzFenric Democratic governments provide two fundamental functions in the service of a single overriding responsibility. When a government, through the performance of its two functions, betrays the single responsibility it holds, it has lost its mandate to govern. There is a case to… http://theaimn.com/2014/02/21/are-you-being-served/ 16. Then… And Now OR And Now For Something Completely Different! rossleighbrisbane February, 2012 Mr Abbott said the rebate ”is an article of faith for the Coalition. Private health insurance is in our DNA.” ”Support for people who want to get ahead – it is our raison d’etre,” he told Sydney radio http://theaimn.com/2014/02/21/then-and-now-or-and-now-for-something-completely-different/ ECONOMICS + BUSINESS 17. Sinodinos’ super storm grows Posted by Houses and Holes From the Government’s favourable Herald Sun today comes more bad press for Arty Sinodinos’ cowboy super reforms: Australian Super chief executive Ian Silk told the Herald Sun on Thursday that financial planners’ and big banks’ profits were being put ahead of retirees’ interests. …“This is not in the best interest of consumers,” he said. “One person’s red [...] http://macrobusiness.createsend1.com/t/i-l-fhhpk-dtyueir-jr/ 18. Labor shows backbone on free trade deals Leith van Onselen Labor’s Penny Wong has written a solid article in The Guardian explaining why Australia should be wary of so-called “free trade” deals, following the signing of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA): …when the Abbott government finally released all 1,800-plus pages of the proposed free trade agreement with South Korea this [...] http://macrobusiness.createsend1.com/t/i-l-fhhpk-dtyueir-jj/ 19. Hockey flags major aged pension reform Leith van Onselen In a welcome development, Treasurer Joe Hockey has flagged major changes to the Aged Pension, stating that failure to reform would be akin to “intergenerational theft”. From the AFR: [Hockey] noted the aged pension, introduced in the early 1900s when life expectancy was 55 years, was now servicing an expectancy of [...] http://macrobusiness.createsend1.com/t/i-l-fhhpk-dtyueir-jh/ 20. A history of Australia’s terms-of-trade Tom Conley, Griffith Business School. You can follows Tom’s blog here. The Reserve Bank has recently published a historical comparison of the terms of trade in Australia entitled “Macroeconomic Consequences of Terms of Trade Episodes, Past and Present” by Tim Atkin, Mark Caputo, Tim Robinson and Hao Wang. Now while such articles [...] http://macrobusiness.createsend1.com/t/i-l-fhhpk-dtyueir-tj/ 21. Bank on guv’ment! Posted by Houses and Holes The AFR has a nice banking panegyric today timed for the G20: The big four banks are among the most highly rated financial institutions in the world; superannuation assets, which have grown to $1.7 trillion, represent the world’s third-largest pool of investable assets; the Australian interest rate derivatives market is the world’s fourth-largest and the largest in Asia; [...] http://macrobusiness.createsend1.com/t/i-l-fhhpk-dtyueir-ti/ NBN 22. Broadband availability report released Ben Grubb The federal government has released a report and website showing the quality and availability of broadband services across Australia in an effort to demonstrate how it will prioritise the national broadband network rollout. The Broadband Availability and Quality Report and MyBroadband website compare broadband quality and availability at homes and businesses in more than 78,000 local areas. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/it-pro/government-it/broadband-availability-report-released-20140220-hvd6v.html 23. NBN Co to gain first access to Telstra copper in trials Australian Financial Review, David Ramli, James Hutchinson "NBN Co is close to signing a deal with Telstra that will give it access to the copper network for trial purposes, in a move that will provide the first indication yet of whether Australia’s copper network can support faster broadband services... The trials will provide the clearest indication yet of whether Telstra's copper network, which union officials and critics have labelled as disastrous, can be used to speed up broadband services in Australia." http://www.afr.com/p/technology/nbn_trials_to_gain_first_access_ycpjAzL9hCqKMPeAiBfX6K HUMAN RIGHTS 24. Everyone, including the asylum seekers, has a claim to the rights agenda Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra This week the government’s new “freedom commissioner”, Tim Wilson, fresh from the Institute of Public Affairs, started at the Human Rights Commission, with the central task of promoting free speech and… FAMILY LAW + DOMESTIC VIOLENCE 25. Will We Learn Anything From The Killing Of Luke Batty? Pasanna Mutha A lot of questions get asked after family violence tragedies, but rarely the ones that matter. The links between violence and male entitlement need to be examined https://newmatilda.com/2014/02/20/will-we-learn-anything-killing-luke-batty ENVIRONMENT + ENERGY + DISMISSING CLIMATE CHANGE 26. It's Our Harbour And Our History David Shoebridge Despite its extraordinary beauty and a national heritage listing, a proposal is currently before the Federal Environment minister to approve the effective privatisation of this beautiful headland with the construction of an over-scale aged care facility. What the Federal Government allows to be done here will be a key test of their respect for Australia’s built and natural heritage. If past practice is any guide, it is a test they seem destined to fail. https://newmatilda.com/2014/02/19/its-our-harbour-and-our-history 27. "It's been hot before": faulty logic skews the climate debate John Cook Global warming is increasing the risk of heatwaves. This isn’t a hypothetical abstraction that our grandchildren may experience in the distant future. Heatwaves are currently getting hotter, they’re lasting… http://theconversation.createsend1.com/t/r-l-pdynld-trhltityg-h/ 28. Climate-change denier Lord Lawson is an expert – he once wrote a book about dieting I see climate-change deniers have brought out their big guns to deny the recent flooding and storms are anything to do with climate change. Former Thatcher chancellor Nigel Lawson went head-to-head with Met’ Office Chief Scientist Professor Julia Slingo – destroying her scientific assessments that the recent extreme weather conditions were almost certainly the result of climate change with the devastating scientific argument that she is just : “this Julia Slingo woman“. http://tompride.wordpress.com/2014/02/15/climate-change-denier-lord-lawson-is-an-expert-he-once-wrote-a-book-about-dieting/ 29. Graphic comparing scientific qualifications of Lord Lawson and Professor Dame Julia Slingo http://tompride.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/lawson-vs-slingo.png 30. Oil links of UK Tory climate denial grandees Will Straw | Published: November 25, 2009 Left Foot Forward can reveal that two Tory grandees who have consistently criticised domestic and international efforts to abate climate change – Lord Nigel Lawson and Peter Lilley MP – have close associations with the oil industry. The duo, with 13 years of Cabinet experience between them under Margaret Thatcher and John Major are on the payroll of companies directly engaged in, or associated with, the lucrative oil and gas industry. http://www.leftfootforward.org/2009/11/oil-links-of-tory-climate-denial-grandees/ 31. Sellafield clean-up cost reaches £67.5bn, says report BBC. 4 February 2013 Taxpayers are now spending £1.5bn per year on Sellafield, the authority said..The cost of cleaning up the Sellafield nuclear waste site has reached £67.5bn with no sign of when the cost will stop rising, according to a report. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-21298117 32. An Open Letter to the BBC on Lord Lawson's Today Programme appearance Rob Hopkins I am writing to complain in the strongest terms about your piece on this morning's programme on climate change and the current floods which featured Sir Brian Hoskins and Lord Nigel Lawson. I write both in my own capacity and on behalf of Transition Network, a charitable organisation supporting thousands of communities around the world taking practical and positive local action in response to the climate crisis, and for whom the distraction such articles present is deeply unhelpful. http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/rob-hopkins/2014-02/open-letter-bbc-lord-lawsons-today-programme-appearance 33. Met Office in the Media: 16 February 2014, response by Professor Mat Collins and the Met Office An article by David Rose appeared yesterday in the Mail on Sunday entitled: ‘No, global warming did NOT cause the storms, says one of the Met Office’s most senior experts’ In it he says that Mat Collins, Professor in Climate Systems at Exeter University, ‘appears to contradict’ the report released by the Met Office last weekend and that he ‘declined to comment on his difference in opinion’ with one of the report’s authors, Dame Julia Slingo. This is not the case and there is no disagreement. http://metofficenews.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/met-office-in-the-media-16-february-2014-response-by-professor-mat-collins-and-the-met-office/ ASYLUM SEEKERS 34. Manus Island police chief slams Tony Abbott David Wroe, Sarah Whyte and Philip Wen Manus Island's police chief has blasted the Abbott government's running of the immigration detention camp on the island, suggesting the recent fatal violence could have been avoided. Police commander Alex N'Drasal said the protests were sparked by the failure to act on a list of grievances raised by the asylum seekers. He said the Australian government should improve the way the detention centre is run. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/manus-island-police-chief-slams-tony-abbott-20140220-334ch.html 35. Morrison's law of intended consequences TONY KEVIN Manus is not subject to Australian law and public accountability safeguards, or only very imperfectly. Cover-up of atrocity is a lot easier in Manus than it would be in an Australian detention centre. And this of course is what was intended. Manus is part of the asylum-seeker deterrent system. The fear of death at sea, and the fear of death by security force brutalisation at Manus, are intended to deter asylum-seeker voyages. To stop the boats. http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001e7loGq1AT3SNdbqMWkqcWKnDzKjKOJQixW64HLDtAbLVkr9ZoXeEtl4Nee6SaAQEBRF1aOrGp82CMyGE6JHdUTmcNVPKmFh9Dg5zJzmF71l9Wkfgqf5FpQ5XWcsZrkQ6N4fITq5ByIrxVhubF8MlYqlKXtpjIoex2h3m4fbJ71lVa2mCHNQFpFLlsJ-Tf3gyVwMYksZ3IzHi2rashJN0CPNGyzdmd7lq&c=skdsZ1aI-0dCyKTYQqg8vtm7YxAFuiN9fxxifGkh0oVp2EDi6b6wQQ==&ch=YkpEfOAzNgspQHbBsvoaYWIZm2oRYYzQPfeVi05P11MtSH1CAGBoFg== 36. Critiquing the open borders policy Mark Fletcher When the poorest and most dispossessed refugees wait upwards of 17 years for a resettlement solution, an open doors policy is short-sighted. http://ausopinion.com/2014/02/21/open-borders/ 37. Scott Morrison and the Manus Island murder Bob Ellis 19 Covering up a murder and dozens of knife attacks is not a good look for an immigration minister— but Scott Morrison thinks differently [...] http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/scott-morrison-and-the-manus-island-murder,6203 38. Churches combine to condemn Abbott’s evils Alan Austin 39 Catholics are not the only religious group concerned at the Government’s failures and fiascos. http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/churches-combine-to-condemn-abbotts-evils,6202 39. Manus Island violence: shocking but not surprising Graeme McGregor Australia's detention facility on Manus Island is riddled with problems and it's hard not to feel that the recent violence there was inevitable.... An innocent man came to Australia in search of a safe haven. Instead, he was killed under the Australian Government's watch. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-21/mcgregor-manus-violence-is-shocking-but-not-surprising/5274518 40. Who's Policing Manus Island? Kristian Lasslett 'They will knock a few heads in, shoot a few pigs.' PNG's mobile squads, involved in the Manus attack, have a fearsome reputation - and Australia is their paymaster https://newmatilda.com/2014/02/19/whos-policing-manus-island 41. Operation Sovereign Borders: an @adropex fact check Lesley Howard No matter what you think of the ALP or the LNP policy on asylum seekers, regardless of whether you voted for this government or not, the riots, the violence and social unrest, the fear, the death and the injuries happened on our watch. Ours. Us. Australia. Australia is a signatory […] http://nofibs.com.au/2014/02/21/australias-failure-deliver-refugee-rights-adropex-comments/ 42. The Worst Way To Fight Racism Sarah Burnside and Helen Burnside The belief that allowing overt discrimination to flourish is the first step towards bigots learning the error of their ways flies in the face of experience https://newmatilda.com/2014/02/21/worst-way-fight-racism 43. The logic of PNG policy is sanctioned horror Waleed Aly There's a streak in us that sees a detainee's death merely as comeuppance. "Whatever these people are fleeing, whatever circumstance makes them think they'd be better off chancing death on boats hardly worthy of that description, we must offer them something worse. That something is Papua New Guinea. The worse it is, the more effective it is destined to be, and the more it fulfils the philosophical intentions of the policy... This is what it looks like when the policy works." http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/the-logic-of-png-policy-is-sanctioned-horror-20140220-333so.html#ixzz2tvMjLxpc 44. We'd Be Lost Without Whistleblowers Ben Eltham Brave people blowing the whistle on our immigration detention network are one of the only sources of accountability we have. They must be supported https://newmatilda.com/2014/02/20/wed-be-lost-without-whistleblowers 45. Secret ship suffers embarrassing leak Mark Kenny The irony is almost too rich. The federal minister best known for withholding general information that most would regard as harmless has inadvertently released genuinely sensitive personal information - data that should never see the light of day. A massive data leak from Border Protection Minister Scott Morrison's department has reportedly revealed the names and addresses of up to 10,000 asylum seekers held in Australia's detention system. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/secret-ship-suffers-embarrassing-leak-20140219-3314g.html#ixzz2tvaNhKZe 46. Squalid jail conditions on Manus Island Rory Callinan They are the squalid, inhuman jail conditions for asylum seekers that the Australian Immigration Department doesn't want anyone to see. For more than 48 hours, a group of frightened asylum seekers suspected of breaking out of the detention centre were caged in a cell at the PNG police station in Lorengau, the main town on Manus Island, in shocking conditions. The six men were locked in a metal cage about 15 by 15 metres with an assortment of alleged murderers, rapists and drunks who had either just been arrested or were serving their time in the cage, which is the island's only jail. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/squalid-jail-conditions-on-manus-island-20140221-337ke.html 47. Manus Island tragedy: In too deep? Michael Gordon and Sarah Whyte The aside came from Brendan O'Connor during an hour of uproar before Federal Parliament adjourned last Thursday, after its first sitting week of the year. As the former immigration minister brushed by the man who now holds his old job during a division, O'Connor remarked, more in empathy than spite: ''Not so easy, is it Scott?'' http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/manus-island-tragedy-in-too-deep-20140221-337kd.html 48. We'd Be Lost Without Whistleblowers Ben Eltham Brave people blowing the whistle on our immigration detention network are one of the only sources of accountability we have. They must be supported https://newmatilda.com/2014/02/20/wed-be-lost-without-whistleblowers ABBOTT'S BROKEN PROMISES: A RUNNING TALLY • Tracking Abbott’s Wreckage Tony Abbott has been in power since 7 September 2013. From that moment, he and his government have broken promises and hurt Australians. The tally rises to 107 http://sallymcmanus.net/abbotts-wreckage/ OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Casablanca

22/02/2014 [b]WEEKEND EXTRA[/b] CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Saturday, 22 February 2014. [b]Churches & MSM begin to question Abbott's regime[/b] Posted above and at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CASABLANCAS-CACHE-2014-02-21.aspx

Casablanca

22/02/2014 Facebook address for the Anglican Church of Gosford and Fr Rod, the priest with a social conscience and that provocative and pithy message board. 'The opposite of Love is not Hate, but Indifference' https://www.facebook.com/anggos

TalkTurkey

23/02/2014Greetings Comrades, This would be the longest break I've taken from writing something on TPS since I got here 3+ years ago. Sorry about that my friends. I'm still here but I've been working through some copyright arrangements with some people in the USA and spending too much time on Twitter and getting more involved with #MarchInMarch. I guess this thread is nearly at its end and a new one will be spun this afternoon, so I'll leave anything else I have to say until then. Love yous all.

TalkTurkey

23/02/2014 AshGhebranious ‏@AshGhebranious said According to coalition tasmanian leader, Malcolm Turnbull's decision to destroy fiber in Tasmania could cost them the election #auspol #nbn TalkTurkey ‏@TalkyTurkey replied @AshGhebranious Won't it be lovely if the Libs get blown to Hell & the NBN turns out to be their own Inchcape Bell !http://www.bellrock.org.uk/misc/misc_poem.htm …

TalkTurkey

23/02/2014If you haven't seen this, do watch the lovely Anthony Green smacking the loathsome IPA Berg-thing in his nasty little teeth! http://www.abc.net.au/iview/#/view/81198971

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23/02/2014Casablanca Thank you for your wedding anniversary felicitations. We had a great day. Thank you too for your most informative Cache, with which you enrich us day after day. What a valuable resource it is for the Fifth Estate. I hope that your difficulties accessing [i]TPS[/i] are resolved; I have passed on your report to Web Monkey.

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23/02/2014Folks What an interesting [i]Insiders[/i] this morning. Scott Morrison’s chickens are coming home to roost and Abbott’s obsession with superficial photo opportunities was exposed in a deliciously satirical way. The Fairfax media is being alienated steadily, but News Limited remains impervious to the increasing number of adverse events that are inexorably sinking Abbott and Co. A reliable sign that Abbott, his government, and the conservative cause are not doing well was Gerard Henderson’s defensiveness of Abbott, Morrison, Newman and sundry others. It was good to see Labor’s Yvette D’Ath winning the Redcliffe bye-election with a 16% swing. She is a good person who lost her federal seat in 2013.

Bacchus

23/02/2014The people at YaThink? (http://yathink.com.au/article-display/my-broadband-vs-reality,106) are running a survey to compare real broadband speeds with what Malcolm's 'My Broadband' site says. If you have interest in such things, help them out please... https://twitter.com/davispg/status/437398958269157376

TalkTurkey

23/02/2014I want people who intend to make it to #MarchInMarch in Adelaide to learn the first verse of this song from Les Miserables: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwM8fSDsgLI - so that we can all MARCH ON THE SPOT SINGING IT LOUD in front of Parliament House Because we are not allowed to muster in either Victoria Square or Elder Park so we just have to gum up North Terrace! Won't [i]that[/i] be a Media Event? We're going to get EVERYONE to BRING A BROLLY! Rain or shine, Won't it be fine Seeing THOUSANDS OF UMBRELLAS POP UP! Line on line on line! Remember, Dr Craig Emerson's [i]Whyalla Wipe-Out [/i]was the most successful media stunt Labor managed to pull all last parliament - it doesn't take much to draw the MSM blowflies! So no Naysaying Folks, let's all punch together, whatever #MarchInMarch you're taking part in, this ruse will focus and energise our troops. Just do it.

Catching up

23/02/2014Listening to Hockey. Not sure he is saying anything. Well, anything of substance. I am not sure who he means by "we" Has not used his new wonder word "tangible" Believe he used it around 20 times this morning.
How many oranges do I have if I have 3 oranges and take ONE away?