The media needs to pull up its socks in 2011

If it doesn’t, it will become increasingly irrelevant to thoughtful people, and will serve only to provide flimflam for the unthinking, the disinterested, the feckless. In case some of you are groaning, ‘not hammering the media again’, my response is ‘yes, yet again’, for unless those of us in the Fifth Estate continue our quest for competent reporting, the poor standard we see much of the time will continue to deprive the electorate of relevant information and what it needs to know to make decisions at election time.

The media in this country fits into the ubiquitous bell shaped curve with outliers, good and bad, but the majority centered round the average. At the quality end we find fine journalists who comment competently on politics and economics such as George Megalogenis of The Australian, Laura Tingle of The Australian Financial Review, and Peter Martin of Fairfax media. At the appalling end of the spectrum we find Piers Akerman of The Daily Telegraph, Andrew Bolt of the Herald Sun, and Terry McCrann of the News Limited stable. The bulk of journalists are scattered around the average. Generally they do a very ordinary job, occasionally surprising us, but generally disappointing those who look for completeness and accuracy in the reporting of significant issues, and well-reasoned opinions. [more]

On 4 January David Horton wrote in The Drum Unleashed: Wanted: serious political reporting: “Australian political journalism is now basing its political reporting on single minor incidents and then pretending that these encapsulate all we need to know about the politician concerned. It is political reporting totally converging on political cartooning. Here a handshake, there a slip of the tongue, a long speech, a pair of boots, a hair style, a publicity stunt, a laugh, a stumble, a sporting event. Oh it's an amusing game, no doubt, this ‘gotcha’ moment of finding an incident or accident that can be used to characterise a politician once and for all in words, just as a cartoonist does with a nose or eyebrows or ears.”

That sums up the situation pretty well. Most so-called political reporting is cartooning, presented for amusement, or to push a political line (The Australian is often guilty of this), or to glorify the journalist who has scored a gothca moment, or spilled a leak, revealed some stunning insight, or simply wants to sound learned, even prophetic.

Horton concludes by pointedly asking: “Have political reporters become merely stand-up comedians with humorous one-liners, or do they see themselves as serving the public interest? Are they going to keep on doing the equivalent of The Guardian celebrity profile with great weight placed on how the subject holds a wine glass or folds a napkin, or will they begin reporting seriously about the qualifications, experience, interests, political beliefs, aims of the people who govern us or wish to do so in future?” This begs the question: Can they, will they?

The phenomenon of poor or biased reporting is not peculiar to this country; indeed it is widespread, some would contend as widespread as the Murdoch Empire. Fox News in the US has become an overt propaganda machine for the conservatives – the Republicans, and now The Tea Party.

Here is what Ezra Grant had to say on January 10 on the EzKool website in the aftermath of the Arizona shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the killing of six people in a piece titled: Rush Limbaugh Continues Without Missing A Beat. He wrote: “But politics in America is nothing new. It’s been around since this country’s inception. But something about this cycle of politics is different. Ask any member of Congress and they will tell you that they have not seen things this bad in quite a long time. So what made it this bad?” Grant answers his own question: “It’s the Sarah Palins, the Rush Limbaughs, the Glenn Becks, those radio and television personalities who are more concerned about dividing the country to fatten their pay­checks, than they are about working together to bring the country together. These personalities are financially invested and vested in keeping this country divided.”

He goes onto say: “It is also the main stream media. These are the networks many Americans look upon to deliver ‘real news’. These new media types are more concerned with drama than they are with facts. They put two members with opposing views on their network and give them a 5-minute segment to battle things out. Gone are the days when real reporters and real anchor-persons present the unbiased facts. What we have now is reality-based media, the only difference is, no one is voted off. The more yelling in these 5-minute segments, the more news networks request their presence.” It isn’t quite as bad as this in Australia, but don’t be surprised if Fox News and other TV channels go down this track here. America is a warning to us.

There are other changes, some of a technical nature, that complicate the media scene in Australia. In a background paper to the Government’s Convergence Review, one paragraph stood out: “Another trend affecting business models is the trend towards the ‘granular’ nature of media consumption; for example consumers can now download songs, not albums; watch specific TV shows on demand and not the linear programming of a channel, and read a single news article through an online search engine, rather than purchase and read the day’s newspaper edition. In the online world the consumer is in the driving seat of their own media and entertainment consumption patterns with more choice and control than ever before.” Note particularly the sentence about newspapers. 
 People now have a superfluity of content, more that they can cope with, and that content is often fragmented, inaccurate and confusing. But just as importantly they have choice, more than ever. They can now decide to abandon the printed papers, as I have largely done, and instead focus on specific online articles from the wide variety of online offerings now available. They can, and will pick and choose. They can decide to never again read the rantings of Akerman, Bolt and McCrann, and focus instead on the considered and balanced views of the quality journalists.

So what is the chance that the media can be changed, even prepared to be changed? The prospects are not good, but not impossible either. The way in which Greg Jericho was able to influence Mark Scott, MD of the ABC via his blog site Grog’s Gamut, is something we will fondly remember. We can all do a ‘Greg Jericho’.

The Political Sword has as its strapline: ‘Putting politicians and commentators to the verbal sword’. So let us as bloggers here continue to take our swords from their scabbards and put poor journalism to the sword. Let us take any instance of inaccurate reporting, biased coverage, illogical reasoning, flawed interpretation and unsubstantiated opinion, and ruthlessly tease it apart and critique it mercilessly. We ought not to spare journalists who let this country down when they exhibit these incompetencies or worse still, exhibit malicious intent.

There will be plenty of opportunities to dissect faulty journalism. Be assured that journalists do read blog sites, just as they listen to talkback. The adverse reaction of talkback callers to the inappropriate questions of journalists at one of Julia Gillard’s press conferences at the height of the flood crisis showed how the voice of the people can and will be heard. How sensitive journalists are to it is uncertain, but persistent complaints must eventually be heeded. You will recall Dennis Shanahan’s and his editor’s defensive reaction to trenchant criticism on blog sites of his interpretation of Newspoll results. Criticism stings. This showed that persistent criticism can erode confidence and enough of it eventually can have its effect.

Will you join us on The Political Sword during 2011 in making a small contribution to cleaning up the political media in this country? To do nothing would be unthinkable.

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D Mick Weir

1/02/2011And he came out swinging!! Well written Ad. Thinking about your comment [i]"....defensive reaction to trenchant criticism on blog sites of his interpretation of Newspoll results. Criticism stings. This showed that persistent criticism can erode confidence and enough of it eventually can have its effect."[/i] reminds me of a [b]double edge sword[/b]. Constant criticism of the government seems to be having an effect also. Hmm! What to do? Be a constant critic? [b]Maybe there is a Third Way!!![/b]

Ad astra reply

1/02/2011D Mick Weir Thank you for your comment. It would be nice if there was a more gentle third way of changing journalists' behaviour, but experience suggests that a full frontal attack is the most effective approach.

Ad astra reply

1/02/2011Folks I'll be away for a couple of hours. There is a fire in the area, but hopefully it will soon be controlled.

kerry

1/02/2011Hi All Here's a list of the Murdoch empire's reach as posted by Space Kidette at 12.31pm today on Pollbludger at http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2011/01/31/essential-research-51-49-to-coalition-6/comment-page-10/#comments Makes me sick to think of the power one man has. Will do my best to critique articles as I come across them. PS Patricia of WA You know that I'm an untech-head when you see that I've called the accompanying pics avatars. Thanks for the correction. I'm learning.

NormanK

1/02/2011Ad astra Thanks for the first official post of 2011, it goes right to the core of how I came to stumble on to TPS - the media and how far out of whack it has become and the quest to understand why. One of my Media Studies//Journalism lecturers in the early 80's tried to warn us of the consequences of cross-media ownership resting in the hands of too few people and although it has arguably taken 20-30 years for his worst fears to be realised, never-the-less they have been and in spades. The Murdoch monopoly is only one of the problems that we face. Journalistic laziness (which I find unforgivable in the digital age - more on that another time); understaffing as advertising revenue continues to fall and journalists are asked to do more with less; the rise of opinion as news and the reporter becoming an increasingly large part of the story; news as entertainment or political "reality TV" and the so-called 24 hour news cycle are all serving to drag down the quality of the information delivered to us by mainstream media houses. Although I am inclined to agree with you when you say : [quote]They can, and will pick and choose. They can decide to never again read the rantings of Akerman, Bolt and McCrann, and focus instead on the considered and balanced views of the quality journalists [/quote] - it could also be said that people can choose to [b]only[/b] read Akerman, Bolt and McCrann and to [b]only[/b] watch Channel 9 News and ACA or exclusively lock their brains in to Sky News. This blinkered view of the world is what produces a polarised society. There is something fundamentally wrong with our education system when it produces so few citizens with enquiring minds willing to break out of the habitual cycle of relying on only one or two sources for our knowledge of the world. For what it is worth, my shoulder will be put to the wheel to advance the endeavours of TPS to keep the bastards honest throughout 2011.

Feral Skeleton

1/02/2011Good melting day to you all, 45 degrees in the car today! Nevertheless, in the spirit of Andrew Bolt, I have not put my 'Keyboard is mightier than the Sword(but not the Political Sword)' down. Thus may I make this additional point, 'Convergance' is the word. Take a look at Andrew Bolt, Peter Van Onselen, Piers Akerman, et al., they are moving onto the next level, cross-platforming themselves and their poisonous points of view wherever they may go, straight out of the Murdoch Regressive playbook. As one door closes(print media), they are forcing another open. They stuck their foot in the door of the ABC when it tried to shut them out(with John Howard & Richard Alston's help), all in the name of 'Balance', of course, as in 'Fair and Balanced' Fox News type 'Balance'. They've got themselves a radio station or two(MTR in Melbourne, plus the Singleton/Jones network around the country), and a Cable Channel(SkyTV). Not only that but they have wheedled their way into regular spots on the commercial, free-to-air TV stations, such as Channels 9,10 & 7. 'Rust Never Sleeps', as they say, and neither should we.

Feral Skeleton

1/02/2011Speaking about how all forms of the media are being used by the Regressive faction of politics, I found this article informative on the 'Sat No 2 Tony Abbott' link that lyn put up on the last blog this morning: http://sayno2tonyabbott.wordpress.com/2011/01/29/the-tea-party-has-arrived-in-australia/ It references the Machiavellian moves of Tony Abbott's Parliamentary Secretary, and equally conservative religious wingnut, Senator Cory Bernardi in the media sphere.

Patricia WA

1/02/2011Eddie at Cafe Whispers led me to this fascinating article on Murdoch. It is a 'must read!' and something to circulate as widely as possible. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jan/29/phone-hacking-rupert-murdoch-news-corp Join the club, Kerry, I'm also on a steep learning curve on IT - even typing skills. I'm still finding it hard to align and indent properly!

Jason

1/02/2011FS, 45 in the car! we had 43 in the shade on sunday and monday here in Adelaide!

Ad astra reply

1/02/2011NormanK, FS, Thank you for your pertinent remarks, and your desire to fight media incompetence and malevolence. Kerry’s link to a comment on [i]The Poll Bludger[/i] highlights the extent of the problem. Thank you too Patricia WA for the link to the Murdoch phone tap scandal. To give an idea of the magnitude of the problem of poor journalism, take a look at Ali Moore’s interview with Kevin Rudd last night on the first edition of [i]Lateline[/i] for 2011. http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2011/s3126274.htm I like Ali and find her to be a sound journalist. But look at just two of her questions about the situation in Egypt: [i]ALI MOORE: Do you believe President Mubarak can hold on to power? Can he be part of the solution or is he too much part of the problem?[/i] Really, what sort of a question is that? What did she expect Rudd to say? [i]“KEVIN RUDD: I don't think it's productive for me, Ali, to make public comments about President Mubarak's future role. That is entirely a matter for the Egyptian people and the political processes there underway at present…”[/i] And later: “[i]ALI MOORE: And when you talk about this being up to the Egyptian people, the US of course has also called for an orderly transition to a more open Egypt. Is it time for America to put its money where its mouth is? It funds the Mubarak regime to the tune of more than $2 billion a year.”[/i] And later still: “[i]ALI MOORE: Would withdrawing funds though help push the process?[/i] What on earth did she expect our Foreign Minister to say? “[i]KEVIN RUDD: I'm not in the business of providing public lectures to the Americans about the direction of their aid policy.”[/i] These silly questions are the bane of politicians, particularly those in the diplomatic business, yet they keep on coming, even from the mouth of someone as sensible as Ali Moore. Are they just stupid questions, or are they designed to evoke a gotcha moment? Whatever it is, they are unbecoming for an ABC journalist.

2353

1/02/2011AA, Your quotes seem to indicate an interviewer completely out of her depth. I wonder if the problem is deeper than the "talking heads" - are the people who are planning and editing these interviewers have any idea of the roles and responsibilities of the various people they interview. For example why would Rudd publically state a position on the future of the Egyptian President or the USA's Aid Program, why would anyone ask Abbott what he would do if PM in specific circumstances (he doesn't have access to *all* the information the Government has) and why should a talkback announcer get abusive when told by anyone - let alone the PM - that they didn't want to or have an answer to question. I commented recently about the ABC Brisbane morning show announcer. I still believe her attitude to those that were doing a difficult job under a lot of pressure during the recent flooding here was rude and arrogant. The interviewer is not more interesting that the story - look at Australian Story on ABCTV. The show has been running for years and they pride themselves on the fact that the interviewer's voice and face rarely if ever gets into the finished product.

Jason

1/02/2011AA, Have a read of this! http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/43380.html As I don't live in that sort of market I don't know if he's right or not? But one quote seems to make sense " In Chris Masters' book about Jones, he made the point that for all his bluster, the extent of his power and influence is debatable. For one thing, his audience simply isn’t that large."

Ad astra reply

1/02/2011Jason Thank you - great article. I've added it to my references list.

Ad astra reply

1/02/20112353 You are right. Sometimes interviewers seem out of their depth. I wonder do they construct their own questions, or it that done by some back room journalist. If I were handling such interviews I would insist on formulating questions, rather than look foolish spouting those fashioned by others behind the scene.

NormanK

1/02/2011Just a thought to follow up 2353's and Ad astra's discussion of Ali Moore interviewing Kevin Rudd. 2353 said : [quote]are the people who are planning and editing these interviewers have any idea of the roles and responsibilities of the various people they interview.[/quote] Watching the 7.30 Report tonight I was prompted to wonder the following. Do these presenters spend too much time talking firstly to experts (legitimate and otherwise) who offer analysis of current affairs which after all is only their opinion and secondly to other journalists who really are only offering their opinion? They then lose sight of the fact that they are, in this instance, interviewing Australia's most senior diplomat. Could it be that Ali Moore lazily imagines that Kevin Rudd would be happy to shoot the breeze and speculate about highly sensitive international matters as if they were sharing a beer down the pub rather than being on national television? "Chris Uhlmann would answer this question if I asked him so why won't you?" Which fits in with how much easier it must be to interview a fellow journalist or a tame expert who will provide a long, detailed and highly predictable answer to every question because the questions are Dorothy Dixers. No obfuscation, no qualifications, no pulling punches and certainly no talking back or disagreement. This would go some way to explaining the frustration of the likes of Mitchell when the interviewee does not go along with all of the premises and preconceptions built into the question in the same way as a "tame" fellow-traveller would. Not to say that this explains all of their behaviour - just throwing it into the mix.

Lyn

1/02/2011Hi Everybody Norman K I hope you are safe from Cyclone Yasi. Grog has a brilliant piece again, Grog and everybody else is very worried about Yasi: The interest is on things that really matter, Greg Jericho, Grog's Gamut [b]Cyclone Yasi is bearing down on Cairns It’s not often you get scared by a weather map, but that picture has me as worried as any of the pictures of violence coming from Egypt.[/b]http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/

Ad astra reply

1/02/2011NormanK I believe there is much truth in what you say. Shooting the breeze with a fellow journalist or with tame experts is no way to prepare for interviews of important people dealing with sensitive national and international issues. An appropriate way to prepare might be to first analyse the style and past performance of the interviewee, then dissect the subject to ascertain the most important aspects, then draft the questions taking into account the likely response, then discard the silly questions that will evoke only a backhanded response, then role play them with someone playing the role of the interviewee, and finally fine tune the questions to the essential few that will inform the public. We know that politicians preparing for important debates do this so as to debug their answers. Surely it is not asking too much of interviewers to do the same. But as you say NormanK, many are too lazy, and in any case too often have other motives: to trap, to embarrass or to achieve a gotcha moment.

NormanK

1/02/2011Lyn Thanks for your kind thoughts. We are as prepared as we can be and now it is just a question of staying as calm as possible in the circumstances. My thoughts are with those living in Cairns and its environs who will bear the full brunt of this massive whirling dervish. Unless you are a rainforest, there is no such thing as a good cyclone.

Ad astra reply

1/02/2011Lyn Thank you for the link to Greg’s piece, superb as usual. All of us here on [i]TPS[/i] wish for the safe passage through this threat of all our colleagues, and of course all who live in the path of Cyclone Yasi. NormanK, please keep us an informed, as is safe for you, as this terrible threat approaches and passes over you.

Graeme

1/02/2011I saw that Sir Michael Parkinson and Sir David Frost were advertised as appearing on Today Tonight, so thought I would have a look. The reporter asked Michael Parkinson what he believed made a good interviewer. 'Do plenty of research, and listen to the answers when you ask a question' was his reply, if memory serves me correctly. What an apt piece of advice for our political reporters. I wonder if it will be heeded.

Lyn

1/02/2011Hi Graeme I have never seen, read, or heard any Political Reporter or Journalist practice that sound advice, have you? '[quote]Do plenty of research, and listen to the answers [/quote] They all hate listening to the answers and as for research, well that's very funny. Cheers

Lyn

1/02/2011Hi Everybody Island view is blogging an hourly report: Blogging Yasi, Island View, Blogging Townsville For those new to the blog, [b]I'm posting from Magnetic Island, off Townsville - [/b]a small rural city somewhere east of Mount Isa and somewhere south of Yasi's projected path (we hope). http://bloggingtownsville.blogspot.com/

NormanK

1/02/2011Ad astra I can tell you that the report is much the same as during the prelude to Anthony. My eldest brother (born, bred and lived here all of his life) and I were talking this afternoon about what it might have been like living through this situation a hundred years ago. Unless they were a couple of old salty dogs with a feel for the weather and a hunk of seaweed hung up on the front verandah, two brothers might have had this conversation. A : What do ya reckon? Should we go down the creek and chase a few crabs? N : If tomorrow's anything like today it should be great. A shower of rain mid-morning to cool things off, a beautiful clear blue sky, not too hot and a breeze to keep the sandflies and mozzies away. Sounds good. A : C'mon, if we get a wriggle on we can catch the outgoing tide, row down to the mouth, camp there for the night and get stuck into 'em first thing in the morning. N : That bit of rain we had last week should have flushed a few muddies out. We might even get a feed of prawns. No need to take much tucker, we'll have bellies full of crab this time tomorrow. A : Don't tell Mum. We'll surprise her with a sack full of crabs. There is nothing to indicate what is coming, in fact it is a beautiful tropical night, the crickets are doing their thing, the birds are discussing plans for the morning and the stars are blazing down in all their glory. I expect all of that to change mid-morning by which time we should be in full lock-down. My commiserations to those in the south sweltering through the current heat-wave. It sounds as though you are in for quite a few more days of it yet. What a year so far, eh? And the US about to be blasted by a blizzard. Strange days indeed.

Feral Skeleton

2/02/2011NormanK, Stay safe, and don't go out Crabbing just yet. :) I reckon your Indigenour brothers and sisters, who've been in the area for a few more thousand years than us Whities, would have some A-one information about ther best way to handle a Cyclone of this magnitude, as I'm sure, Climate Change aside, they occurred on their watch back then as well as now. I'd be finding myself the nearest cave if I was up there. Take the battery-powered radio, or one of them new-fangled crank it up type radios they sell in Australian Geographic shops, a few long-lasting candles, a Billy and Butane stove, a few victuals, and then wait it out. Wow! Category 5! I wonder if Phoney Tony will begrudge a levy to pay for the reconstruction after that!?!

Lyn

2/02/2011TODAY'S LINKS [i]Blogging Yasi, Island View, Blogging Townsville[/i] For those new to the blog, I'm posting from Magnetic Island, off Townsville - a small rural city somewhere east of Mount Isa and somewhere south of Yasi's projected path (we hope). [b]Update 10:05pm Tues [/b];God, the MSM give me the sh*ts sometimes a lot of the time. [b]Update 6:22am 02/02[/b]: The rain has started http://bloggingtownsville.blogspot.com/ [i]The interest is on things that really matter, Greg Jericho, Grog's Gamut[/i] Cyclone Yasi is bearing down on Cairns It’s not often you get scared by a weather map, but that picture has me as worried as any of the pictures of violence coming from Egypt. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ [i]Leaky argument..., Gus, Your Democracy[/i] Abbott parades naked with his brain on fire. He wants to get rid off the government programs that are propping up the economy and the future of this country. http://yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/11637 [i]USQ Toowoomba puts flood levy Nay- Sayers to shame, The Conscience Vote[/i] people in Melbourne and Sydney whining about having to sacrifice a single cup of coffee each week http://consciencevote.wordpress.com:80/2011/02/01/usq-toowoomba-puts-flood-levy-nay-sayers-to-shame [i]Floods expose national loss of loyalty and respect for leaders , Ross Gittins[/i] What he's saying to the nation is: [b]I'll do all in my power to make Parliament unworkable until you make me leader.[/b]http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/floods-expose-national-loss-of-loyalty-and-respect-for-leaders-20110201-1acbw.html [i]Welcome to the new Political Year, Ben Eltham, New Matilda[/i]She has also kept her cool despite repeated provocation from an increasingly disrespectful press gallery. http://newmatilda.com/2011/02/01/let-us-spend-your-money [i]Methodologies to Value Broadband, Joshua Gans, Core Economics[/i] download it here. That will get you started on the benefits. For the costs you’ll need a network engineer http://economics.com.au/p=6660&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+com%2FJUlM+%28CoreEcon%29 [i]Conroy has his work cut out for him in February, Paul Budde, BuddeBlog[/i] This means that if progress is not made over the next few months the Opposition may still be able to derail the NBN at the last minute. http://www.buddeblog.com.au/frompaulsdesk/conroy-has-his-work-cut-out-for-him-in-february/ [i]Political donations give and take, Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i]Crikey says this every year, but this is a complete bloody disgrace. Online filing should mean donations are revealed to the public within days, not years. http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/02/01/political-donations-give-and-take-libs-get-6-3m-labor-7-8m/ [i]Return of the Bread Riots: Egypt spinning on its history, Derek Barry, Woolly Days[/i] For once, the West can no longer control what will happen next http://nebuchadnezzarwoollyd.blogspot.com/ [i]Better than Chris Pyne, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i].it shows how inadequate Chris Pyne is for a big, important job like Federal Minister for Education http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/ [i]An outbreak of positive thinking on new media and the future of journalism, Ken Parish, Club Troppo[/i] The future of journalism and blogging – chapter 957. Essentially I argued that, despite all the despairing navel-gazing and prognostications of doom for MSM news and political journalism http://clubtroppo.com.au/2011/02/01/an-outbreak-of-positive-thinking-on-new-media-and-the-future-of-journalism/#more-14458 Ad Astra's already knows all this information, how do I know, because he Master Minded, Produced, Authors and Conducts our popular "The Political Sword". Ad are you sure you haven't helped Dr Troppo write this article? [i]How to be a popular blogger, Dr Troppo, On Line Opinion[/i]Linking to other like-minded bloggers will encourage them to link back to you. And remember, some of your readers will be using RSS feeds http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=11564&page=1

Jason

2/02/2011Hi Lyn, Sorry for being so rude welcome back!

Lyn

2/02/2011Hi Jason, Thankyou for your welcome. Good to be back, good to see you. Jason your contributions and participation, over the holiday, was fantastic most enjoyable, keeping our readers informed with your thoughtful, knowledgeable,comments. Cheers

Ad astra reply

2/02/2011NormanK Thank you for your post. All the news reports paint a worsening threat with Yasi now category 5, or even high 5, winds near 300 kph and a massive storm surge accentuated by the high tide. It’s like a catastophic bush fire approaching but with no hope of a reversing wind change. After all Queensland has suffered this past month this one has the potential for bringing more tragic outcomes. Our hearts are with you all as this cataclysmic event approaches and hope that all the preparations will avoid loss of life. Property destruction seems inevitable, adding to the already devastating losses so far. More rebuilding support will be needed; the Government will respond. Let’s hope this time partisan politics can be put aside while all pull together.

Ad astra reply

2/02/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Rx

2/02/2011How ironic. An article 'tut-tutting' about the decline of journalistic standards - published on the ABC site! The ABC: that is supposed to set the standard for quality is going downhill itself faster than you can say "fair & balanced".

Lyn

2/02/2011Good Morning Ad Is there a Gravatar facility button, hiding somewhere on our new blog maybe. Cheers

Ad astra reply

2/02/2011Good morning Lyn The word 'Gravatar' did appear on the last version of BlogEngine.NET, near the name box, indicating that your Gravatar would be added to your post. Although the word 'Gravatar' it is not on this version, Gravatars appear on every post, so they must be added automatically. A Gravatar can be selected by going to http://en.gravatar.com/ Once selected, it is applied to all comments on any blog site that accepts them.

Feral Skeleton

2/02/2011Ad Astra, Speaking of Bushfires, how's that one going near you? I heard there was one at Lakes Entrance in Victoria. Is that near you?

Ad astra reply

2/02/2011FS The one near me was close to Inverloch, and is now under control. The serious one is near Nowa Nowa in East Gippsland, east of Lakes Entrance. It has cut the Princes Highway, and is still uncontrolled.

Feral Skeleton

2/02/2011Let’s hope this time partisan politics can be put aside while all pull together.[quote][/quote] No hope. I've read that people on the News.com.au website, which appears to be the fast-developing hotbed of intolerant Regressive bigotry, are already construing many and varied ways to put the boot into the federal Labor government over the Cyclone. One disgustingly insulting commenter referred to the PM as, 'Ms Gizzard'. Ross Gittins, in his no nonsense way, encapsulates the problem we face as a result of all this hyper-partisanship very well: 'Why are we becoming so much more prone to arguing the toss than falling into line? And how do we imagine making leadership so much more difficult for the leader of the day will leave us better governed? Why are we training our governments to timidity? Part of the explanation is partisanship – our willingness to put loyalty to party ahead of loyalty to our community and its need for effective leadership. I didn’t vote for these people, so I’ll regard everything they try to do as illegitimate. Trouble is, there is little partisanship running the other way. Consider the deathbed bastardry of Labor’s own Kristina Keneally in objecting that NSW taxpayers deserve special concessions under the levy. No, there’s more to this than partisanship: there is a general loss of loyalty and respect for whoever is our leader. The government is always and everywhere fair game. Consider the lack of public censure of the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, for his utterly obstructive behaviour. Having narrowly lost the last election, he’s behaving like a spoilt child, refusing to support any policy proposed by the government, whether good, bad or indifferent. His self-righteous opposition to the flood levy and all tax increases is extraordinarily hypocritical, considering he proposed his own special levy in the election campaign and supported at least six temporary levies imposed by the Howard government, not to mention that ultimate ”great big new tax on everything” known as the GST. What he’s saying to the nation is: I’ll do all in my power to make Parliament unworkable until you make me leader. Oh yeah, we reply, fair enough. We have a democratic right to make our country ungovernable – and it seems we’re well on the way to doing so.[quote][/quote] http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/floods-expose-national-loss-of-loyalty-and-respect-for-leaders-20110201-1acbw.html

NormanK

2/02/2011Morning all. The wind picked up at 7.00 EST. No birdsong. Deceptively sunny sky. Going to Cat 5 is the worst possible news. We're in for a horrible 24 hours or more. Island View is likely to be more adept at keeping a running commentary than I am. If things go as they usually do, the power will go off today so I expect to go off air. All the best to those in the path of Yasi.

TalkTurkey

2/02/2011Lyn's Ba-a-ack! Welcome, and how Tweety lights up the blog! I wondered how we would cope without your Links Lyn. We did, thanks to the usual suspects, and Jason gets four stars here. But now I wonder how I will cope with your links! Giving us a sense of direction from Magnetic Island, eh. You are the unique difference between TPS and any other site. Not that I mean to gloat, just to rejoice, but Daily Links is the Best. Info Exchange Central. Hey but Dog Grog's a class act isn't he. Thank you Greg. Singlehandedly raising the bar on journalism! As John Lennon said, A workin'-class hero is something to be. Kerry I have meant to say Welcome to you, but somehow after I wrote a post including you yesterday I touched something accidentally and Pft! it was gone. [I have done this several times, it's infuriating, or worse, depressing . . . Does anybody know what I'm doing wrong or how I can retrieve a pfted post? Please? I know I could write in a diferent program etc but it's easier direct in this box.] Anyway Kerry you bring a sharp edge to The Sword, I concur with your respect for Tony Windsor and I dips me lid to this thrust especially: " . . . the disgraceful opportunism of Abbott, a poisonous, arrogant little boy." Nobody could have said it better. To the Thread: AA you have nailed it, this is the issue of the age. I never quite worked out that thing about the medium being the message, but I sure am unhappily aware of the message the media - Rupert's media - are trying to bring the world - Rupert's world. Also today: NormanK, Lyn, anyone else in potential harm's way from Yasi, our thoughts are with you. Yasi looks freakish from the pix. 290+ KPH! Sounds beyond belief almost. Then there's the issue of Julian Assange, the extradition application against whom is due to be considered within a few days. John Pilger and Geoffrey Robertson have both supported him, and each of them cuts a lot of ice with me. But I'm going to post this before it goes Pft!

Lyn

2/02/2011Hi Talk Turkey I have been waiting anxiously for you yesterday and today, now your here. Thankyou so much for your superb compliment, I appreciate your words very much. Thankyou Talk Turkey a million for sending my little book, "Brucie the Bilby" it arrived on Friday, that is just so, so, so, so, nice of you, I will treasure it with tweetie, by my computer. I hope Island view is safe, they seemed to think so last night, but Magnetic Island, Oh! dear. Hervey Bay is safe we think. Storm surges are the biggest worry though. Deakin University reported years ago, it is not a matter of if, it's a matter of when in Hervey Bay, and as we know mother nature can stike at any time, the ocean only has to surge up the channel between here and Fraser Island. This morning the tide is over the boardwalks and splashing The Esplanade, so we will definately get king tides. The Sky is very dark and there is an eerie silence about. We are only a few minutes walk from the beach, so if the ocean surges, "poof" we are gone. So far I have not lost my links in the comments box, but have duplicated one lot, I have been feeling shaky ground, so now highlight and copy them into my mouse first, before pressing "save comment". With regard to miserable Mr Abbott the Murdoch papers think it's imperative that we all know " Tony Abbott is in Sydney today, "there are no media conferences scheduled today", they report he is working. The typing wavered, with stiff fingers, a brief Julia Gillard sentence first: James Massola, The Australian Tony Abbott is working in Sydney today. He has no media appearances scheduled. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/capital-circle/yasis-eye-squarely-on-queensland/story-fn59nqgy-1225998447695 What does everybody else think?, I think Mr Abbott has gone undercover, as he usually does after a massive gaffes, eg. Flood Levy, Can't trust Labor with Money, Build more Dams, Stop the Floods, Great Big New Tax, The poor Rich, Leg rope the Independents, Be Prime Minister this year without an election. Looking forward, in anticipation, to hundreds of valuable opinions, from you all this year Talk Turkey. Cheers

Lyn

2/02/2011Hi Norman K We are worried about you. Where are you situated, so I can watch and read. what is happening in your area. I am praying you stay safe.

Lyn

2/02/2011Hi Ad Thankyou so much for the Gravatar information, with the link. Cheers

NormanK

2/02/2011Hi Lyn I'm in Home Hill nursing frazzled nerves. The wind and rain have just started in earnest which actually releases a bit of pressure because now it's out of our hands and in the lap of the gods. This morning was like sitting in the dentist's waiting room - furiously trying to keep busy just to distract ourselves. I wouldn't mind putting a few of the News.com commenters mentioned by FS on to a plane bound for Cairns and we'll see if they still think a Cat 5 cyclone is a good vehicle for political point scoring. Like the Victorian bushfires and the Queensland floods, images on television only convey a small percentage of what people go through during these events. If anyone comes up with remarks similar to Miranda Devine's as quoted in Grog's latest blog, I will go ballistic. My eldest brother and both of his sons are electricians so they are all going to be part of the first response teams which lets me put aside some of my own anxiety and channel it towards wishing them well. Thanks for your concern. The fickle finger of fate will rule for the next day or so.

Lyn

2/02/2011Hi Norman K Thankyou for letting us know. Island View has been silent for the last hour. I thought you might like to read Coffee with Ruby: [b]Here comes Yasi – and the political storm, Coffee with Ruby[/b]the radar images tell a terrifying story: a swirling, menacing mass, the eye of which is over 50 kilometres in diameter. In the time it has taken me to write this piece Yasi has taken out the weather tracking station on Willis Island, so it is less clear what the storm is doing. The next 24 hours are crucial http://coffeewithruby.wordpress.com:80/2011/02/02/here-comes-yasi-and-the-political-storm/

TalkTurkey

2/02/2011Jason pointed us to this article http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/43380.html in which this appears 'As the great historian of journalism James Carey puts it, in discussing American journalism after Watergate: . . . Werner von Braun journalism: “we just send the rockets up; we don’t know or care where they come down.”...' I don't know who originated the WvB quote, but it was part of a song by the immortal Tom Lehrer: "Vunce der rockets are up, who cares vhere zey come down? Zot's not my department! says Wern(h)er von Braun." Anyone who doesn't know anything of Lehrer's 1950's-1960's work will be delighted.

Ad astra reply

2/02/2011TT You mention the aphorism: “the medium is the message”, coined by Marshall McLuhan, a Canadian educator and philosopher. Wikipedia has an interesting article about him at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_McLuhan One paragraph reads: “[i]McLuhan's most widely known work, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (1964), is a pioneering study in media theory. In it McLuhan proposed that media themselves, not the content they carry, should be the focus of study – popularly quoted as ‘the medium is the message’. McLuhan's insight was that a medium affects the society in which it plays a role not by the content delivered over the medium, but by the characteristics of the medium itself.[/i]” Another version of the aphorism, rich in overtones, is ‘the medium is the massage’. McLuhan’s insight has had a profound effect on our understanding of communications. We now know that it is not just the message that counts, but the way it is transmitted; in fact he maintains the latter is supremely important. The person or news outlet delivering the message, the words used, the accompaniments of the message, and the form of communication: personal, print, radio, TV, blog and social media, influence in a major way how the message is received. We see this vividly illustrated in contemporary politics. The accompaniments of the message – the sneer, the sarcasm, the pejorative remark, the habitual attitude of antagonism, the put-down, the gotcha, the sloganeering, all have more influence than the innate substance of the message. We all know that. We know how much of the media manipulates the public, not with facts and figures, but with opinion, too often perverted by bias and prejudice. This is what we are up against. McLuhan gave us other memorable aphorisms: He highlighted the danger we face when [i]“We drive into the future using only our rearview mirror.”[/i], which is what the Coalition is doing in opposing the NBN. He also wisely said: “[i]A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding.[/i]”, a fault of which much of the MSM is guilty. Murdoch himself asserts that ‘opinion is news’. Media people ought to re-visit and absorb McLuhan’s book: Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Understanding_Media

Ad astra reply

2/02/2011NormanK In Home Hill you are not far south of Townsville, so you too will be threatened by Cyclone Yasi. So as you weather this awful storm be assured that we at [i]TPS[/i] are thinking of you and your family and hoping you will emerge unscathed. We shall be anxious if you go off the air, but hope it’s because of an electricity blackout.

Ad astra reply

2/02/2011Lyn We are all anxious about our colleagues in the path of Cyclone Yasi, particularly NormanK in Home Hill. I hope all in the affected area will stay safe. If any visitors here are affected, please keep us posted. But I am relieved that Tony Abbott is safe in his Sydney office and does not have to face the media today.

NormanK

2/02/2011Another eerie calm has descended here. High humidity, gusty winds which seem to vary between rushing towards the storm and coming off the trailing tails. In many ways it is just another rainy day with overcast skies and drizzling rain. The birds (one of our best baromoters) came out for a feed at mid-morning but have now taken refuge where they can find it. My dog (another good barometer) knows that something is up and sought shelter when the winds first picked up this morning. Worrying to us is the fact that Yasi has begun to drift south a bit but we should have an accurate assessment of landfall in the next couple of hours. The storm surge has become a very large threat with estimates that it could reach 6.5 to 7 metres above high tide levels in the areas adjacent to landfall. Marshall McLuhan's book is compulsory reading for anyone interested in evaluating the media.

Easygoing777

2/02/2011Hi well Sky tried the first of the Faux News tricks with Hadley,who with his own brand of stupidly fell on its backside. Problem with Hadley is the demographic on both his and Jones is over 55,the large majority under that don't listen to talk back radio. And I think don't have pay TV,Hadley and Jones and the other three fools and their radio station preach to the converted,anyone who can think would not waste their time with them

Ad astra reply

2/02/2011Easygoing777 Welcome to [i]TPS[/i] 2011. Do come again. You are right – we ought not let shock jocks like Jones and Hadley, or 3AW’s Mitchell for that matter, get under our skin with their outrageous remarks and their sneering disregard for politicians and authority. They have a limited audience, which dwells on their every word, but never changes its vote as a result. They talk to occupants of a political wasteland where prejudice reigns and opinions never change.

Ad astra reply

2/02/2011Hi Lyn [i]How to be a popular blogger[/i] on [i]Club Troppo[/i] was amusing. It exposes Andrew Bolt’s formula. http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=11564

Feral Skeleton

2/02/2011Bushfire Bill has still got it. This is from Poll Bludger this morning on the Ross Gittins article: [On Gittins… the Rent-A-Whinge crowd are already out in comments, proving his point. I read every nauseating one of them. They are convinced Labor has wrecked the country, and will wreck it again. This is their excuse: why pay a levy that they are certain will be wasted. They’d rather see Queensland – from north to south – ruined, its infrastructure left in tatters, than do that. This is all down to Abbott’s sociopathic delusion that the Independents are about to crumble. With sociopaths it’s all about “me”. He’s convinced himself that one last little push in the right direction will see him in power. He can taste it: “Abbott, PM“. It’s right there in front of him, tantalizing. He’s convinced many people to state that they will never donate to charity again, from nameless bloggers to shire Mayors in Sydney. He’s convinced people that they’re broke and can’t afford even a dollar a week. Millions have forgotten the results of the GFC Stimulus, if they ever accepted them or the existence of the GFC in the first place. All they can think of is “debacle”. There are no excuses or explanations permitted, just as if the government defers the 2013 surplus, the reason for that will be forgotten also. The biggest economic catastrophe in history, the double-whammy of unprecedented floods and the most ferocious cyclone, the consequent economic losses will mean absolutely nothing to them. The meme will be : “Gillard should have planned for this when she said she’d make surplus in 2013. The fact that she didn’t shows her incompetence. The promise itself shows how she’s prepared to lie.” I jokingly said many posts ago that even if an asteroid hit Australia, there’d still be a few Liberals crawling out of the wreckage blaming her for not bringing home a surplus. Hockey would out there saying, “I told you there’d be no surplus.” Abbott would be still rabbiting on about cancelling the NBN. Well, the asteroid is about to hit. It will make no difference to their hatred. There’ll be lip service for a while to Yasi, but soon the “However, a promise is a promise” opinion pieces will begin. Within 3 months Yasi will be just another Labor excuse for bad economic management. Rudd set the scene by admitting fault to Cassidy. I said so at the time and I believe it even more now. It may have been supposed to be a circuit breaker, a la Peter Beattie, but all it did was ramp them up, give them oxygen. It was a dreadful mistake, but at least understandable at the time. They talk about “tests” for Julia (Shanahan has another one just this morning). Here’s a test: the way she answers the first question about how Yasi will affect the surplus will determine her Prime Ministership. In my view she should bury whomever it is (probably Matt Franklin or one of his malignant mates), their newspaper and the Opposition for feeding it to them at such a terrible time. She should take the opportunity to state a few home truths in the most forceful and scathing manner possible. No more “Nice, Reasonable Julia”. “Nice” and “reasonable” don’t work with these creatures. Give them a bit of the old fashioned cold steel. They don’t like it up ‘em, you know. She should forget about trying to please these bastards, as they can’t be mollified. No more pointless shouting matches on Sky News that nobody hears. No more advertising in Murdoch papers. Cut them off at the knees, and then start out on Abbott and his fantasies of imminent power. The Independents will stick with her. They have no option. No matter how much the spambots and the fascists on the Right don’t like it, we already have a government, and this is the government that has to act, not argue, beg and plead every little step along the way for a few crumbs of bi-partisanship. She should govern as if she has a majority of 50 seats. If the Independents wobble, put the alternative – inglorious anonymity – to them without mercy. Call their bluff and see who blinks. Be a prime minister, Julia, not a mediator. There is no consensus. There is no bi-partisanship. Stop pretending that either of these can even be achieved. Show them who’s boss and see who follows.][quote][/quote]

Ad astra reply

2/02/2011NormanK Please keep us posted as long as the power holds. We're anxious.

Feral Skeleton

2/02/2011Ad Astra, I put square brackets around the quote, then pressed the quote button. Nothing. :(

Lyn

2/02/2011Hi Hillbilly Did you highlight the text first. cheers

Feral Skeleton

2/02/2011Wrt SkyTV interviews when there is a member of the government and the Opposition, but the Opposition MP usually is given the first word and goes on for ~3min, which usually leaves only about 30 seconds for the government MP to rebut before they are cut off by the Sky bozo. Someone on PB(I know, I know, it's addictive), suggested this: [quote][/quote] Ever since someone here mentioned ACMA I have been spending a bit of time on their website and reading the important parts of the codes of practice for radio and TV and it is clear that there is an obligation for fairness and an obligation not to portray opinion as fact. I think govt ministers should have their staffer who arranges media appearances, such as with Neil Mitchell or Sky, to remind the program producer or presenter of these obligations before agreeing to the appearance and then, if they are not honoured, take action. If they don’t want to do it directly, they could arrange for a member of the public (a party member or supporter) to lodge the complaint and push it hard with some legal assistance (lawyers infest the ALP). They should get the message after being roughed up a few times.'

Lyn

2/02/2011Hi Ad Now we have it in writing so it must be true, Mr Abbott will axe the NBN: [i]We can do better than Labor’s flood tax [/i][quote] We can do better than Labor’s flood tax, Liberal update Projects such as the National Broadband Network could easily be deferred. [b]If it was our decision,it would be scrapped [/b]and the taxpayer saved billions [/b]of dollars in more government debt We can do better than Labor’s flood tax [/quote] We can do better than Labor’s flood tax http://www.email.swordcdc.com/t/ViewEmail/r/E0C4E554D2379407/D9B432B78353AE1FD9767B6002735221

NormanK

2/02/2011FS Highlight the required quote then press quote and it will put brackets etc. in place. Good on ya BB. The rain has started, coming in at 30 degrees to horizontal to remind us to take it seriously. Ayr, about 7 Km north, is reporting severe winds, power outages and trees down but so far it's pretty tame here. I'm a little surprised because the satellite photos show us covered in cloud and past experience says we should be feeling it by now. Ad astra, please don't be anxious, the likelihood of a power outage is very high so if I drop out it will most likely be caused by that. I will drop a note here as things change. Strange for me to say but it is reassuring to have an outlet such as this. Am I becoming a Social Networker? As well as a right winger, FS. I should remark that those with whom I am in personal contact are in good spirits which shouldn't be too surprising since we deal with something like this on average every other year. That is not to say that Yasi is being underestimated - she is a monster. I will be ropeable if this becomes a political football at the hands of GFC- and now flood-deniers.

Ad astra reply

2/02/2011FS To put something into italics, you have two options: Highlight the text and then click the 'i' or 'quote' buttons, whereupon the correct tags will be added, OR add the tags manually: 'i' in square brackets before the words to be placed in italics and '/i' in square brackets afterwards, or 'quote' in square brackets before and '/quote' in square brackets after. That is what I usually do as I prepare comments in Word before posting. But it may be easier to highlight the text in the comments box and click the 'i' or 'quote' buttons. Give it a test.

Ad astra reply

2/02/2011FS PS: you don't have to put square brackets around the material you want in italics - just highlight it and click the 'quote' button, or the 'i' button - the effect is the same..

Ad astra reply

2/02/2011Hi Lyn Tony Abbott is irreversibly locked into opposing everything the Government does. He feels this has worked for him in the past, so why won't it continue to do so? He may be disappointed as columnists like Ross Gittins call his opposition for what it is: Gittins says: "[quote]Having narrowly lost the last election, he's behaving like a spoilt child, refusing to support any policy proposed by the government, whether good, bad or indifferent. His self-righteous opposition to the flood levy and all tax increases is extraordinarily hypocritical, considering he proposed his own special levy in the election campaign and supported at least six temporary levies imposed by the Howard government, not to mention that ultimate ''great big new tax on everything'' known as the GST. What he's saying to the nation is: I'll do all in my power to make Parliament unworkable until you make me leader."[/quote] In the accompanying video, Gittins concludes: [quote]“We are walking down a path to make this country ungovernable and it makes no sense”.[/quote] He’s right. http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/floods-expose-national-loss-of-loyalty-and-respect-for-leaders-20110201-1acbw.html

Ad astra reply

2/02/2011Folks I was asked to include [i]Twitter[/i] on this version of [i]TPS[/i] as a modern way to enhance the distribution of information about what’s on the website, but so far I have only two genuine followers – Lyn and a relative; the other seven are unknown to me and seem not to be [i]TPS[/i] users. If it is to do its job, many more followers are needed. If you want to follow what’s doing on [i]TPS[/i], apart from visiting the site regularly, you can do so by joining [i]Twitter[/i]. The link is: https://twitter.com/signup It is free and without obligation. This is my first effort at tweeting, and while it does not take much effort on my part to enter a tweet, there seems to be little point in doing this regularly if just a few are following. If you want this facility to continue as something useful to you, please let me know, and join [i]Twitter[/i]. Likewise let me know if you have no use for it and would prefer tweeting to be discontinued.

Lyn

2/02/2011Hi Ad This is what happened to me, and how I got some followers. Most of my followers were collected by me clicking their twitter button on their web site, the same as I clicked yours here on TPS. I click on "follow Hillbilly" she gets an email to tell her that I am following her, and can accept or decline, Hillbilly my friend accepted. This happened to everyone I am following,, Possum,Ash, Bernard Keane, Mark Scott, Jeremy Sear, Super Opinion, Grog, there are more, so you see I have a some followers now by following them. So when I click retweet on a message, something, just say it is your message the tweet goes to all my followers. Hope I put this reasonably clear. Cheers

Lyn

2/02/2011Hi Ad Oh I forgot to tell you, it looks like you have some advertisement pests following you. You will need to delete them on the actions option. cheers

Ad astra reply

2/02/2011FS What a splendid response on [i]PB[/i] from BB! We need such writing here.

Ad astra reply

2/02/2011Hi Lyn Where are the ‘advertisement pests’ following me? On [i]Twitter[/i]? There seem to be no ads in comments on [i]TPS[/i]. Where do I find the ‘actions option’? I looked but couldn’t see it on [i]Twitter[/i]. Can I delete followers I don’t know or want? If so, how?

Lyn

2/02/2011Hi Norman K We are still barracking for you. [quote]Am I becoming a Social Networker? As well as a right winger[/quote], No, you are looking for some company, I think, did you read "Coffee with Ruby" that I sent you, her blog is interesting. Here is Ken Parish with a story for you: [i]Waiting for Yasi, Ken parish, Club Troppo[/i] [quote]if you leave your departure until too late. Thats happened to us in one of the Darwin cyclones we went through[/quote]. http://clubtroppo.com.au/2011/02/02/waiting-for-yasi/#more-14466

Lyn

2/02/2011Hi Ad Did you hear Julia Gillard's Press Conference just now. Julia was excellent I thought. 1st question Michelle Gratton: something about the Levy Julia said: The levy was announced last week, this is not the time for the levy debate. Sam Maiden: What is the damage cost for Cyclone Yassi Julia said: it is impossible to estimate the damage cost of a cyclone that hasn't even hit yet. Have your watched Abc's Gillian Bradford before, she really is an awful severe, cynical, journalist. Well she did the summary of the press conference and said: Julia Gillard's speech was a "Sombre War Time Speech" with echo's of war. Cheers

Ad astra reply

2/02/2011Hi Lyn I can see how you have collected followers, but I don’t want to have to follow someone to entice them to follow me. I have enough coming into my realm without lots of tweets. I had anticipated that those interested in receiving tweets about [i]TPS[/i] via Adastra5’s tweet would join [i]Twitter[/i] if they had not done so already, and then follow me. But so far not much success! Even those [i]TPS[/i] users (except you and one relative) that might already be tweeters have not followed. That is why I am questioning if the tweet facility is worthwhile.

Lyn

2/02/2011Hi Ad The delete option is ghosted, so just wave your mouse around under the tweet you wish to delete or retweet, up will come options. Try now and let me know how you go

Jason

2/02/2011Yasi http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=49066

Lyn

2/02/2011Hi Ad Sorry looks like my last comment crossed over yours. Yes I understand what you are saying, I agree with you, I didn't worry about following the Blog owners, because they are inviting followers on their bloggs, but yes you certainly don't need another burden when TPS is so popular and busy now. With regards to nobody clicking on TPS twitter, to follow TPS maybe because some of our readers are unfamiliar with Twitter or do not want to bother joining. Ad [quote]That is why I am questioning if the tweet facility is worthwhile.[/quote] I think Twitter is worthwhile Ad, and a wonderful tool for advertising TPS topics and new posts, but I also understand what you are saying too. Maybe Hillbilly will come along soon, she is much more experienced than me, and will offer you some sound advice. Cheers

Feral Skeleton

2/02/2011Ad Astra, Ah, I see you have my request for social networking buttons on TPS back to front. What I meant was a 'Share This' facility which would allow us here on the blog to share the blog with our 'Friends' on facebook or Twitter, or Newsvine, or Redditt, or Digg. To see what I mean, go to Grog's site and scroll down to the end of his latest blog. Down there you will see what looks like a little green Pac man with words beside it saying, 'Share this'. Click on that widget and once it has downloaded you can mouse over it and all the social networking sites come up on a menu, from which you can click on any of the buttons to share the blog around. :)

Lyn

2/02/2011Oh! Jason Thanks for the link. The picture is absolutely terrifying, it has put goose bumps all over me. All those people in the path and abc says it is TEN TIMES bigger than cyclone Tracy. Bigger than any cyclonic disaster in history ever. I can't leave my computer, I have stayed here for hours, 1 hour off for lunch.

Ad astra reply

2/02/2011Lyn, I didn’t see all of Julia’s press conference, but what I did looked good. It’s hard to imagine why Samantha Maiden would ask her the cost of the cyclone before it arrives; that must qualify as ‘the stupid question of the week’. I usually find the ABC’s Gillian Bradford reasonable – she must be having a ‘bad-comment day’. Thanks for the ‘delete’ options to get rid of unwanted followers. I’ll give it a try.

NormanK

2/02/2011The wind has arrived in steadily increasing fury, catching the rain and blowing it horizontally, searching out every chink in the house's armour. It is already apparent that the green waste clean-up is going to be huge as the palm trees are the first to shed their leaves in an attempt to cope with the wind. We are in a sense lucky that the ground here is not already saturated so there may be less whole trees going roots up. Loose iron sheets on neighbour's back sheds are making themselves known as they creak and complain. For anyone who has never experienced the phenomenon, Grog described the wind very well in his last blog. It is not a sustained assault but rather bursts of energy which are short in duration but frightening in their ferocity. It plucks at things rather than drags. This is what allows it to twist and snap branches and tease plants out of the ground. It also has the capacity to trick unwary humans into thinking that there is a break in the weather where they might venture forth only to be assaulted by a wicked snap of wind which can easily take a person off their feet. Looking on the bright side, it is lovely and cool.

Ad astra reply

2/02/2011NormanK I'm glad you are safe. Let's hope the full ferocity of Yasi does not hit Home Hill.

kerry

2/02/2011Hi everyone Ad, glad you survived the fire threat. Was looking outside frequently (in Gippsland too, but not near Inverloch) and trying to contact my kids at Port Douglas. Haven't been paying much attention to anything other than their safety. After 24 hours I finally spoke to my son (he said: didn't want to worry you, mum, wt??). Anyway they're safe and sound at Coolum Beach after driving for over 24 hours. Thanks for all the welcomes. Here's a site if you're interested (re the cyclone)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0gPNVc70tk this guy is great. He should have something else to say shortly. Sorry Lyn you've probably already done this but my favourite today is http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/moodys-counters-opposition-to-prime-ministers-queensland-flood-levy/story-e6frg8zx-1225998615990 Will have more to say later (if I can decipher the two words below) Cheers everybody

adelaidegirl

2/02/2011Hillbilly, I couldn't agree with you more! Especially this . . . She should govern as if she has a majority of 50 seats. If the Independents wobble, put the alternative – inglorious anonymity – to them without mercy. Call their bluff and see who blinks. Be a prime minister, Julia, not a mediator. There is no consensus. There is no bi-partisanship. Stop pretending that either of these can even be achieved. Show them who’s boss and see who follows.] I'm tired of Julia being put to the test, having to "sell" her policies, having to mollify people who will not be mollified. She's the bloody Prime Minister! She doesn't have to sell stuff, she just has to put her case and get the votes. She doesn't need to be tested any more, she's won her electorate, won the PMship and won an election! I want to see a bit of iron fist in a velvet glove from her. I want to see some backbone and some backhanders. I want to see her step up to the whingers, the disrespectful journos, the liars and say, in some way, enough is enough! Aaargh! Good luck to Norman and anyone else in peril from Yasi. I felt sick to my stomach watching the morning news, hearing it raised to Cat 5. Good luck.

Ad astra reply

2/02/2011FS In response to your request to incorporate a ‘share this’ option, we have been checking to see how to incorporate it in [i]TPS[/i]. I sent one option I found to my son-in-law a couple of days ago, but having looked at the one on Grog’s Gamut, I have forwarded that too as it looks very comprehensive. That would allow users of [i]TPS[/i], me or anyone else on a networking site, to send a piece to others via their preferred sharing site. That would be most useful and we will do all we can to work out how it could be included in [i]TPS[/i]; we have not yet finished tweaking the site. But that seems to be a different process from using a facility like [i]Twitter[/i] to sent messages about [i]TPS[/i]. As I understand it, the ‘share it’ option allows the sharing of a piece on [i]TPS[/i] with others, but using [i]Twitter[/i] in the way it is offered allows me to send messages out about new pieces, comments, links, especially Lyn's links, information about [i]TPS[/i], especially when we are having technical difficulties, and anything else that might be of interest. My question, in view of the small number of followers to date, is whether the [i]Twitter[/i] facility is a useful addition to [i]TPS[/i]. When we installed it, it seemed to be a way of sharing with followers what was going on on the site, quite separate from users sharing pieces with colleagues, which the ‘share this’ option seems to offer. We can easily delete the [i]Twitter[/i] button if it can serve no useful purpose. I would value your opinion.

Ad astra reply

2/02/2011Hi Lyn I’ve been able to block messages from unwanted followers, but I can’t delete unwanted followers; even after hovering as I did over everything that seemed to be related to followers, the ‘ghost’ option of deleting did not appear. I must be missing something.

NormanK

2/02/2011The rain is now torrential - 2 to 3 inches per hour (50 to 75 mm) with short downpours two or three times that amount. The heaviest rain is producing volumes which are far too big for the gutters to accommodate and there are cascades of water coming straight off the roof. Conditions are such that only the foolhardy would be out and about risking encountering the flying fronds and branches. The streets are often full of water as the drains struggle to channel the water away. Fortunately, occasionally there is a brief hiatus which allows systems to catch up. Predicted landfall is 10 o'clock EST and we should be experiencing the worst of the winds at about that same time.

Jason

2/02/2011HI All, On Twitter "LaurieOakes | 6 minutes ago Lib fundraising on back of Qld flood disaster as a devastating cyclone bears down will not earn Tony Abbott any credit.Deeply embarrassing. He then Follows it up with " LaurieOakes | 4 minutes ago Lib director Brian Loughnane getting blame for "donate to help our campaign against Labor's flood tax" email. But it's Abbott's signature http://www.email.swordcdc.com/t/ViewEmail/r/E0C4E554D2379407/F090A796BD06A087F6A1C87C670A6B9F To this! You're receiving this email because you registered your email with a Liberal Member of Parliament and indicated your interest in hearing from us. If you're no longer interested click here to unsubscribe instantly. View on your browser. We can do better than Labor’s flood tax The devastation wrecked by the floods across our nation brought out the best of the Australian character. Family, friends, neighbours and countless benefactors have displayed enormous generosity towards their fellow Australians in trouble. The task now ahead is to repair and rebuild. The Coalition is committed to doing everything necessary to get the infrastructure of Queensland, northern NSW and northern Victoria operational again. But we disagree with the Government on how to pay for it. We believe the costs for repairing and rebuilding infrastructure damaged and destroyed by the floods should come from Budget savings, not from a new tax. Julia Gillard is trying to pitch her proposed flood tax as a “mateship” tax, but mateship is about helping people, not taxing them. Only a Prime Minister who is out of her depth would seek to exploit people’s generosity to flood victims to try to win acceptance for yet another new tax. Australian families and businesses should not have to endure yet another new tax on top of the mining tax and the carbon tax that the Gillard Government intends to introduce in 2011. There is a world of difference between a levy to fund unavoidable extra spending when there is no fat in the Budget and the Gillard Government’s latest raid on people’s wallets. Julia Gillard oversees a $350 billion national budget. It defies credibility to deny that an extra $1.8 billion in savings cannot be identified in an annual budget of that magnitude. Projects such as the National Broadband Network could easily be deferred. If it was our decision, it would be scrapped and the taxpayer saved billions of dollars in more government debt. The Government still hasn’t spent around $15 billion of its stimulus money, and there is about $2 billion uncommitted in various funds such as the Building Australia Fund. The Coalition has offered to sit down with the Prime Minister in the spirit of bipartisanship and in the national interest to come up with the additional $1.8 billion in savings needed to pay what’s necessary without the new tax. Hardworking Australians, struggling to meet their own family budgets, deserve nothing less. Tony Abbott Leader of the Opposition PS. Click to donate to help our campaign against Labor's flood tax Click to read my address to the 2011 Federal Young Liberal Convention

Calligula

2/02/2011AA – The word entropy comes to mind. The press may have become stale in the face of a deal of competition from your Fifth Estate. Then the monopolies drive their agenda while governments refuse to inform either the press or the populace. Collusion? Yes. You can’t expect the press to dole out anything better than bubble ‘n squeak if all they’re thrown is table scraps. Of course even hash slingers like to keep their jobs too – so there lies another cause. Who mentioned Qld – floods – cyclones? Grog via Lyn, was it? Best images and scuttlebutt we’d encountered came from private sources. I’ll tell you why – censorship and suppression of fact have been rife up here. A radio news report about two hours ago, allegedly live. Point 1 – disc glitched mid word Point 2 Qld’s senior cop saying that he would NOT give a sit rep because “conditions had changed”. Changed from what? The individual members of the media cannot follow their ideals and inclinations ‘cos they’re always under threat from those who control them.

Feral Skeleton

2/02/2011Jason, What a bunch of tossers they are in the Liberal Party! Malevolent tossers, who can't spell, by the way. It's not 'The devastation WRECKED by the floods...', it should be 'The devastation WREAKED by the floods...' How could anyone believe that such an ignoramus as Tony Abbott is qualified to be our Prime Minister? Actually, with Brian Loughnane now saying that, even though the begging letter went out under Abbott's name, it was actually all his, Loughnane's work, you must now come to the conclusion that even those things that are written down and carry the signature of Tony Abbott aren't able to be believed as the Gospel Truth from him.

Feral Skeleton

2/02/2011Ad Astra, I agree with the proposition that you delete the Twitter button in the corner and just go with the Share This option as exemplified in Grog's blog. We just want to spread the word about TPS's blogs, and that's all we really need to do it. :)

Jason

2/02/2011FS, I'm lost for words!Abbott is the leader the buck has to stop with him! wishful thinking I suppose! jj spin this one!

kerry

2/02/2011Hey FS Where's Brian Loughnane saying the letter/email was his. Do you have a link? Ta

Jason

2/02/2011FS, An ABC Twitter site to look at http://www.abc.net.au/thedrum/twitter/

Lyn

2/02/2011Hi Ad In reply to your last comment: [quote]I’ve been able to block messages from unwanted followers, but I can’t delete unwanted followers; even after hovering as I did over everything that seemed to be related to followers, the ‘ghost’ option of deleting did not appear. I must be missing something. [/quote] Ad I think unfollow is the same as delete, likewise block. Hover Mouse on tweet by whoever you like, you will see a heading far right actions, click the tiny black arrow underneath actions there is your drop down menu. You would have already used this I guess, because you said you have blocked some followers. But as I said I think, block and unfollow is the same as delete. I just unfollowed Antony Green on my home page and he doesn't appear there anymore, same as delete to me. Your doing good, you have found the options.

Lyn

2/02/2011Hi Jason So now it's in writing ,the NBN will scrapped by the Coaliton. That means it's gospel now, set in cement, not a lie, the NBN will be dead buried and cremated by Mr Abbott. Boy a lot of Solicitors are going to reap the harvest when Abbott causes all the contracts to be broken and work in progress stopped, how stupid of Abbott, it would cost a fortune to stop the works in 3 years time. Cheers If it was our decision, it would be scrapped and the taxpayer saved billions of dollars

Lyn

2/02/2011Hi Ad Sorry, I have put up Jason's reply twice, the text is not clearing in the comments box. Ad would you delete one comment for me please.

Lyn

2/02/2011Hi Ad This is good news: WA Nationals MP Tony Crook backs Gillard flood levy plan , Ben Packman, The Australian JULIA Gillard has won the support of West Australian Nationals MP Tony Crook for her $1.8 billion flood levy, dramatically improving her chances of getting the measure through parliament. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/wa-nationals-mp-tony-crook-backs-gillard-flood-levy-plan/story-fn59niix-1225998889949

Feral Skeleton

2/02/2011One keeps wondering if Tony Abbott and the Coalition can get any lower than a snake's belly, well, today with their plea for funds to go towards their campaign to end Labor's Flood tax(which it isn't, it's a Levy, something with which the Liberal Party are very familiar), well they have. I didn't know that legislative propositions, such as a Flood Levy needed to be campaigned against, like you were in an election. Oh, that's right, Tony Abbott thinks he is, and he just has to come over all hot and heavy and the Indies will melt into puddles at his feet & hand the Prime Minstership to him on a platter, our first unelected Prime Minister from an Opposition party. That man truly is the Sarah Palin of Australian politics. Clueless and charismatic.

Jason

2/02/2011Lyn, Even if Abbott is right on this and who cares? As I said on the weekend the "faceless Men " of the Liberal party think He's now a liability,If you remember Abbott used to say He would decide on a case by case basis as to weather or not he would grant a pair! Well Mr Abbott since you own most of the seats in QLD lets Play politics now?

Feral Skeleton

2/02/2011kerry, That was the impression I got, about Loughnane, from reading Laurie Oakes tweet, which Jason copied. :)

Jason

2/02/2011Kerry, LaurieOakes | 25 minutes ago Not a hoax. embilbie @ @LaurieOakes has this been confirmed? Some question of a hoax

Feral Skeleton

2/02/2011lyn, How could Tony Abbott & the Coalition think they are on a winner with cancelling the NBN? It was probably the single biggest positive the ALP had going for it at the last election, and it most certainly was the deciding factor for more than one of the Indies to give their support to JG. Actually, now that he has laid his position on the line wrt NBN, the INdies have all the proof they need to withold their support from him. Is it not the Coalition that are beginning to unravel? Abbott has only one shot left in the locker in order to bargearse his way to the top job before July 1st, beyond which date political irrelevancy beckons.

Feral Skeleton

2/02/2011Jason, What will be interesting to watch is whether the Murdochracy cover Tony's bare backside again by trying to bury the story. I can't remember where I saw the analysis recently, but someone analysed the data and found that the only negative scrutiny of Abbott was coming from Fairfax(heaven forbid what will happen to that now that Gina Rhinehart has designs on it), and the ABC(unusual, I know). Murdoch's scribes tend to exclusively focus their political wrath on Labor(who woulda thunk it?). Of course, the 'balance' that they provide is by way of positive commentary at times, just no negative opinions and analysis of One Trick.

Acerbic Conehead 2

2/02/2011AA, Tones really feels strongly that this insidious Queensland flood levy is going to bring an end to civilisation as we know it. So, as has been pointed out, there is a campaign afoot to raise donations to fight this nefarious scheme. BURY THE LEVY! So make sure you buy a copy of his latest single and ensure the royalties flood in to this most worthy cause. Here’s Tones singing his version of The Flying Lizard’s one-hit-wonder, “Money – that’s what I want”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFy33mBA0lc&feature=related :- ) Nuthin’ round here is for free Specially when I’m a big mortgagee I want money :- ) (That's what I want) That's what I want :- ) Your votes give me such a thrill But your votes won't pay my bills I want money :- ) (That's what I want) That's what I want :- ) Love of money’s the root of evil But my needs are unbelievable I want money :- ) (That's what I want) That's what I want :- ) I want money I want lots of money In fact I want so much money Give me your money Just give me money I need new budgies Poverty’s for losers I’m no fiscal phoney Can’t pay my boatphone bill Can’t pay my ironing lady My bike’s got a puncture Need to fix the nature strips Gotta pay for WorkChoice’s funeral ...then its resurrection...heh...heh... Just give me money!

Jason

2/02/2011FS, Now that Laurie Oakes the "god Father" of the press corp has called it for what it is! as well as Gittens and a few others Abbott is the leader of the Libs, the email went out with his signature on it! I ask anyone to remember about those that died during the insulation roll out, we were told it was the governments fault and the buck stopped with the minister?, This time we have "Abbott's firm written guarantee as well as signature!

Feral Skeleton

2/02/2011Calligula, Good to see you back at TPS in 2011! Please provide more evidence for your assertions when you get it.

2353

2/02/2011FS, Don't hold your breath waiting for the evidence. NormanK hang in there and take care.

Ad astra reply

2/02/2011Folks I need your opinion about the [i]Twitter[/i] button recently installed on [i]TPS[/i] at the top of the left panel. H/FS has suggested we delete it, and go instead for a ‘Share this’ button attached in or near the ‘Actions’ panel at the end of each piece. My son-in-law is investigating whether it will be possible to add the ‘Share this’ option. I hope it will. This option enables any visitor to [i]TPS[/i] to share a piece with a colleague via one of the many networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Digg, and so on. The [i]Twitter[/i] button subserves a different function: it enables me to send tweets to ‘followers’ about what’s happening on [i]TPS[/i] – new posts, links, information, news. But its efficacy depends on how many are ‘following’ the tweets. At present very few are following tweets about [i]TPS[/i] via my tweet ‘Adastra5’. Unless there are a lot more interested in ‘following’ these tweets, the effort to send them may not be worthwhile. I’m willing to persist but only if eventually enough are interested in following. ‘Following’ involves joining [i]Twitter[/i], which is easy, and free. Whatever you feel about [i]Twitter[/i], we will attempt to add a ‘Share this’ option similar to that at the end of pieces on [i]Grog’s Gamut[/i]. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ But what I need is your view about whether or not we should retain the [i]Twitter[/i] button on [i]TPS[/i].

Lyn

2/02/2011Hi Jason, Hillbilly, Kerry This is absolutely amazing, campaigning against the flood levy by the Leader of the Opposition, who does he think he is, offering to sit down with the Government and make savings of 1.8 billion, every man and his dog knows the Government doesn't need the Opposing Political Parties to help them do anything. Just imagine what John Howard would have said to that, if Kim Beazley, Simon Crean, or Kevin Rudd had, have said anything remotely like that to him, he would have self distructed in temper. We have it in writing all right Jason, arrived in my email box this afternoon at 1pm. [quote]Projects such as the National Broadband Network could easily be deferred. If it was our decision, it would be scrapped and the taxpayer saved billions of dollars in more government debt. The Government still hasn’t spent around $15 billion of its stimulus money, and there is about $2 billion uncommitted in various funds such as the Building Australia Fund.[/quote][quote]The Coalition has offered to sit down with the Prime Minister in the spirit of bipartisanship and in the national interest to come up with the additional $1.8 billion in savings needed to pay what’s necessary without the new tax. Hardworking Australians, struggling to meet their own family budgets, deserve nothing less. [/quote]Tony Abbott Leader of the Opposition LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA [b]PS. Click to donate to help our campaign against Labor's flood tax[/b] Click to read my address to the 2011 Federal Young Liberal Convention [b]Authorised by Brian Loughnane [/b]for the Liberal Party of Australia Cnr Blackall & Macquarie Streets, Barton ACT 2600 http://www.email.swordcdc.com/t/ViewEmail/r/E0C4E554D2379407/D9B432B78353AE1FD9767B6002735221 [b]Hillbilly[/b] your words: [quote]Abbott has only one shot left in the locker in order to bargearse his way to the top job before July 1st, beyond which date political irrelevancy beckons.[/quote] Why doesn't any journalist challenge Abbott on the 3 billion worth of bills held up in the Senate, means test medibank etc. Your right Hillbilly, Abbott is running scared [quote]irrelevancy beckons as you say .[/quote]

Lyn

2/02/2011Hi Ad, Jason, Hillbilly, Kerry, Look at this, see it doesn't matter what he just lies his way out of everything, no-one is saying anything about the authorisation at the bottom of the email: [i][b]Abbott didn't call for flood levy donation, Andrea Hayward, Nine MSM A spokesman for Mr Abbott said the call for donations was added to the email by the Liberal Party.[/b][/i] [quote]A spokesman for Mr Abbott said the email was received by subscribers to an e-news letter.[/quote]A postscript at the bottom of the email contained a web link for supporters to donate to the Liberal Party's campaign against Labor's flood tax. http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/floods/8205562/abbott-didnt-call-for-flood-levy-donation

Ad astra reply

2/02/2011Kerry I’m glad your kids are safe. We hope all our friends in FNQ safely pass through this crisis. Your YouTube from robcenter1 is truly frightening. Our thoughts are with all in FNQ who cannot avoid Yasi’s fury. adelaidegirl Welcome back. I too would like Julia to hit back hard at arrogant, ignorant, incompetent journalists who ask stupid questions and show disrespect for our elected leader. Who do they think they are; who do they think they represent? Jason Thanks for the link to the Abbott/Loughnan email. What supreme arrogance it portrays! They must know that after all the insults Tony Abbott has heaped on Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan, there is no way they would ever sit down with him in ‘a spirit of bipartisanship’ to ask his help in sorting out how to pay for the flood damage. Abbott knows that – all this is is a grotesque publicity stunt, which will likely backfire badly as more and more moderate journalists tell it for what it is – naked political opportunism at a time on national crisis. Abbott has no intention of showing bipartisanship. Calligula Welcome back. ‘Entropy’ is a good word to describe the state of much of the MSM. Degenerate, irrelevant, incompetent and malevolent are other words that come to mind. AC Does Tones really need money? He can find it anywhere – he says so – in the budget, in his phony savings, out of mid air. He’s magic! All you have to do is ask him, and he’ll put on his bipartisan hat and find all the money that’s needed. NormanK Thanks for the update. Stay safe and dry. We’re all thinking about you. Yasi is more important than anything else tonight. I’m packing it in to watch its progress on TV.

Feral Skeleton

2/02/2011lyn, The key to the anti-flood levy campaign donations imbroglio is to see which journalist at Channel 9 was roped into covering the Liberal Party's and Tony Abbott's exposed behind. It has the byline, 'Andrea Hayward'. Note, it is not 'Laurie Oakes', because if you've been following Laurie's tweets tonight you would have seen that he was, 'Not Happy Tony', and, once roused, the Sphere of Influence, like the Titanic, is hard to turn around again. Interesting also to note that it was Channel 9 that was the 'Go To' station for the Lieberal Party to start to try to spin their way out of the quicksand.

Feral Skeleton

2/02/2011AcerbicC., That one deserves a visual mash-up, then to be sent off to the first episode of Q&A for the year. :) I laughed heartily, and I'm hot & bothered in the middle of this damn heatwave in NSW atm!

NormanK

2/02/2011Wild & wooly up here now, boys and girls. As scary as it is here, I'm sure it is as nothing compared to Innisfail. Good that there has been cricket and an Abbottism to keep me distracted through the evening. As others have said before me, this should be a watershed moment for the Gillard government. As I'm fond of saying, when it reaches the point where you can't cover it up with make-up, it's time to squeeze the pimple. Now is the time for the PM and her government to squeeze the pimple that is Abbott and the associated anti-government movement. Today's reading has been fascinating.

TheWebMonkey

2/02/2011Hello all, I just wanted to let you know that there is now a 'share' option in the actions box. The trick with this feature is to click on the post you wish to share (rather than a comment option) and then share the post with whichever social network you prefer. I've additionally increased the width of the comments box. Hopefully these features come in handy. Best wishes also to any readers from FNQ. TheWebMonkey

Feral Skeleton

2/02/20112353, I was being a little cheeky. :)

Feral Skeleton

2/02/2011Good point made on PB: Why aren't the Libs also fundraising to stop Abbott's PPL Levy? ;)

Lyn

2/02/2011Hello Web Monkey Welcome to TPS, I think you are Ad Astra's magic son inlaw. Thankyou for the share option. How are you? nice to meet you, thankyou for all your wonderful work you have done "The Political Sword". Cheers and best wishes to you

Feral Skeleton

2/02/2011Tongue planted very firmly in cheek here: [quote]I would have thought the Liberal party would have made provision in their budget forecasts for unexpected events. Can’t they just cut some of their spending at HQ if they need additional money? I understand there was a lot of waste during the election campaign – money spent in safe seats unnecessarily, for example. It’s not fair to be asking people to donate to the Liberal party twice, when most of their supporters are just over helping to fund two election campaigns. I’m worried that if I donate money to this campaign, it will just be wasted on administration costs. I just don’t trust the Libs to spend my money wisely.[/quote] Zoomster@6.30pm(PB)

Feral Skeleton

2/02/2011Wow! It worked! I can highlight quotes! :)

Miglo

2/02/2011Brilliant article, Ad astra. You can count me in as joining the cause. I will link this article to my Facebook pages and on Australian Blog Sites as this week's best pick (along with Mr Denmore's latest piece). I certainly do hope that the people from Café Whispers read the article which definitely reinforces that we must stand together.

Miglo

2/02/2011Awesome! Lyn is back. :)

Ad astra reply

2/02/2011H/FS Web Monkey has met your request for a 'Share' option and an extended width of the comments column so less scrolling will be needed for long posts. You can see how fortunate I am to have such talent in the family. Thank you Web Monkey - the changes are brilliant. Folks All I need to know from you now is whether or not you want the [i]Twitter[/i] facility as well.

Lyn

2/02/2011Hi Ad I just went and used the "Share" option and sent your piece within seconds to all the tweeters I am following. It is really magic, just wonderful, no I don't think you need the twitter button now. Oh we really are with it now on TPS. Cheers Lyn

Lyn

2/02/2011Hi Miglo Happy New Year, all the best of everything for you. Cheers

Jason

2/02/2011AA, I don't use twitter! but as it's your site I'm happy with what ever you do! PS Next time I'll stop sitting on the fence!

Lyn

2/02/2011Hi Norman K Recommended for everybody this Video Streaming provided by Jeremy Sear at Pure Poison, [b]a web Cam positioned on a building in the middle of Cairns I think[/b] [b]cyclone yasi thread[/b] Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison [b]VIDEO STREAMING up-to-the-minute cyclone coverage [/b] http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/

TalkTurkey

2/02/2011ABC 24 as I write is carrying testimony from Keith and Rae Wakeley at Nelly Bay on Magnetic Island . . . So Tweetie I hope you've got a Yasi-proof cage! . . . Rae said she feels sorry for Innisfail, just inland and up from which is Tumoulin, Australia's wettest town, where my friend Yara lives, and she is surrounded by big trees . . . She is precisely in Yasi's cross hairs. She says she thinks her house is in grave danger tonight, but she's staying home anyway, I can tell she's very afraid. NormanK, Lyn, we are all holding our breath again on behalf of Queensland. Good luck, and keep us posted. Yasi's Eye is about to cross the coast. It sounds like the basic plot of a monster destruction movie, but this is real. Banana-folk, Victorian and NSW flood victims, and WA and NSW fire victims, and all the people who are going to need major government funding to replace infrastructure, all true-hearted and sensible Aussies, living as we do in the best-off economy in the universe, need just to be staunch and philosophical and decent about losing a scrape off our income, which is what exposes Abbortt as Un-Australian of all time, he is dead set on DIVIDING Australians on geographic and demographic and economic differences, making people feel resentful and hateful, and that is so-o-o-o EVIL! Bloody hypocritical "Christian"! He makes me nearly vomit. Can you imagine Humanists, and Socialists, and those with the love of Dog in their hearts, deliberately fomenting jealousy and obstructionism amongst one's own countrymen? Oh yeah, has anybody any idea as to just how much money was actually donated for flood relief? Helpfulness is one thing, hard cold cash is quite another, we are going to need BILLIONS, that's why it MUST come through Government when the hard yards on the road and the fences and the powerlines and the other public infrastructure that belongs to all of us have to be paid for. For Abbortt to stir people up against paying a proper share is Treason. Bloody TREASON, Abbortt! You are a bitter, hateful, nasty, dumb, inarticulate, talentless, unscrupulous traitor to the best interests to the people of this land, caught up in your own perpetual tantrum loop of what you think is your own best chance of seizing power for your own vainglory, and no matter what Murdoch and Jones and Bolt and Ackermann do for you, the truth of this sentence is starting to percolate through to more and more Aussies . . . You are as empty as a hot-air balloon, only Abbortt your gas is nearly run out and you're going DOWN. I will never have had more pleasure at watching anyone fall, except maybe your superior, that ( * ) Howard. (BRING BACK MAXINE!) Best wishes Queenslanders. Gonna be a scary night for you. See you in the morning.

BSA Bob

2/02/2011Just got home, clicked on the Channel9 link mentioned above. Pertinent to this thread about the media, this link is a good example of one of its favourites. It defends its chosen one uncritically, whilst getting in a freebie large scale quote of his message. Samantha Maiden must surely have wrested the crown from Nikki Savva (at least temporarily) but I reckon the MSM will circle the wagons around her.

Lyn

2/02/2011Hi BSA Bob I haven't said welcome to you before, so welcome and hello, but I have been reading all your interesting comments. As Hillbilly said, you see, they know where to go to try and get out of trouble, 9msm. The email asking for donations was endorsed by Brian Loughnane. I just read a comment by a person saying; "They are asking us to give money, so they can stop them, from giving us money". Crazy eh! You have unknowingly taught me how to link my name on my comments to "The Political Sword " thankyou BSA Bob.

Lyn

2/02/2011Hi Talk Turkey Thankyou for your kind thoughts, Hey! I left a long thankyou letter for you above, about 30 comments back. Will you find it maybe.

Jason

2/02/2011Lyn, The Herald Sun is Running! Opposition Leader Tony Abbott embarrassed by flood levy email http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/special-reports/opposition-leader-tony-abbott-embarrassed-by-flood-levy-email/story-fn7rxoal-1225998971397

Lyn

3/02/2011Hi Jason I can't get over this, it's just staggering, amazing, did you read any of the 165 comments. Wow! would this be a "Great, great, great, big, big, big, gaffe. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott embarrassed by flood levy email , Phillip Hudson, Herald Sun THE Liberal Party has been embarrassed after it tried to collect political donations to fight the Gillard Government's flood tax as Queensland braced for Cyclone Yasi. Underneath Mr Abbott's signature the email says ``P.S. Click to donate to help our campaign against Labor's flood tax''. It links to the Liberal Party fundraising page that asks for donations of $25, $50 or more. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/special-reports/opposition-leader-tony-abbott-embarrassed-by-flood-levy-email/story-fn7rxoal-1225998971397

BSA Bob

3/02/2011Lyn Thanks for your kind words. I saw a bit along the lines of "Please donate generously to our campaign to absolve you from paying any money" too. It's laughable, along with the "Billionaires united! We'll never be defeated." line run against the Mining Tax. And seriously worrying that it seems to work. Jason Saw your bit about Abbott's weaseling his way out. Can't remember the details, but I'm sure Howard tried the same line in 2007? when confronted with disproved statements. He had never uttered those words, it was some mob called the Australian Liberal Party, & he couldn't be held responsible for anything THEY said. It had to do with interest rates.

TalkTurkey

3/02/2011Lyn Oui Madame, I did see your billet doux, merci bien, and my Dog how you are making up for lost time! I tought I taw a Tweetie Bird, and I did! I did taw a Tweetie Bird! And then another, and another, and another! But I do hope your cage is safe, looks like you are in the thick of it. Oh Jason, you are Gold for that link to the Herald Sun, and THANK YOU PHILLIP HUDSON, and My O My, as Lyn says, what about the COMMENTS Eh! I read through them all, chortling with delight! - WE ARE WINNING! Nearly all despising Abbortt and his All-Star Losers. It's like People Like Us have just been waiting for a chance to vent our collective collected spleen, and we will DROWN you in it Abbortt! So many of US in that list of commenters! We are winning despite Murdoch and sycophants, because ABBORTT IS NOW MENTALLY UNSTABLE! He has gone troppo! Lost the plot, and I do mean, he's not right in the head. He has failed to come to grips with the reality that he has failed to crown himself, he was always a simpleton and now he is round the twist, crazed with frustrated ambition. It is a recognized condition, Swordsfolk, spread THAT around! Bye bye Phoney Tony, people won't at ANY price have a leader whose very sanity and judgment is in serious doubt. Abbortt, your slimy Coalition sycophants are wavering . . . sloughing off you . . . "Ooooopssss . . . d-errr . . . what have we done . . . erm . . . Snotty Joe? Turdball? Poodle-Do?" Swordsfolk who haven't read the report and the comments in question, do yourselves a favour, if nothing else good comes out of the trials our beloved country is having at the moment, there is this, that the WORST thing that could have happened to Australia, economically and ecologically and educationally and sociologically, namely the seizing of power by a crazed semimoron and his gang of droogs, has finally been put beyond possibility. Folks, DON'T LET Abbortt recover from this. Vociferously and publicly doubt his sanity. He's not right in the head.

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3/02/2011NormanK How are you?

Lyn

3/02/2011[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] A Horrible Night Ahead, Greg Jericho, Grog's Gamut To those in Far North Queensland, good luck and stay safe. My thoughts and prayers are with you this terrible night. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ [i]A worthy cause, Jeremy Sear, An Anymous Lefty[/i] What kind of idiot would rather donate to the Liberal Party to fight against paying a levy to help their fellow Australians, than pay a levy to help their fellow Australians? http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/2011/02/02/a-worthy-cause/ [i]Pre season Wrap up!,ashghebranious , Ash's Mavhiavellian Bloggery[/i] So what I don’t get is if there is a cease fire, will the Liberal Party return the donations as that campaign has now ended? http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com:80/2011/02/03/pre-season-wrap-up/ [i]Abbotts contribution, Dave's Archives[/i] There is something terribly misanthropic about this sentence: PS. Click to donate to help our campaign against Labor's flood tax and the sentence appeared in an email sent by Tony Abbott. http://davec.org/ [i]Opposition Leader Tony Abbott embarrassed by flood levy email , Phillip Hudson, Herald Sun[/i] THE Liberal Party has been embarrassed after it tried to collect political donations to fight the Gillard Government's flood tax as Queensland http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/special-reports/opposition-leader-tony-abbott-embarrassed-by-flood-levy-email/story-fn7rxoal-1225998971397 [i]Abbott wants donations to fight flood levy, ABC[/i] The email finishes with a line encouragaing donations: "PS Click to donate to help our campaign against Labor's flood tax". http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/02/02/3128336.htm?section=justin [i]Abbott puts foot in mouth over levy , Mark Kenny, The Advertiser[/i] TONY Abbott does not want you to pay to rebuild Queensland but thinks you may want to help the Liberals. http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/national/abbott-puts-foot-in-mouth-over-levy/story-e6frea8c-1225999047245 [i]Inappropriate Politics , Muttering with myself[/i] half is about to be hit by a massive cyclone is donating money to the Liberal Party… Instead of, oh I dunno to flood relief. http://ozfinn.blogspot.com/2011/02/inappropriate-politics.html [i]Tony Abbott wants a lollipop - donations please - idiot, The Eye-ball Opinion[/i] Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has sent an email encouraging people to donate money to the Liberal Party’s campaign against the Government’s proposed flood levy. http://bleyzie.wordpress.com/2011/02/02/tony-abbott-wants-a-lollipop-donations-please-idiot/ [i]Abbott Seeks Donations To Fight Flood Levy, Malcolm Farnsworth, Australian Politics[/i] Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is under fire tonight for an email sent to the Liberal Party’s email subscribers. http://australianpolitics.com/2011/02/02/abbott-seeks-donations-to-fight-flood-levy.html [i]Bring uzs the Specifics, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i] Janet Albrechtsen is a little bit lost in disagreeing with Noel Pearson http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2011/02/bring-us-specifics-janet-albrechtsen-is.html [i]The Daily - Online Newsss' Litmus Test, Matthew Hatton, The Notion Factory[/i] Rupert Murdoch’s iPad-only digital newspaper, The Daily, is going to be the litmus test for paid, online news http://notionfactory.net:80/2011/02/02/the-daily---online-news'-litmus-test/ [i]The Digger and the dirt, Frank Bongiorno, Inside Story[/i]It has been revealed that David Cameron had a cosy dinner with at least two of Murdoch’s local lieutenants – son James and Rebekah Brooks – in Oxfordshire over Christmas. At a time when both the BSkyB and phone-hacking http://inside.org.au/the-digger-and-the-dirt/

Lyn

3/02/2011Good Morning Ad I hate to tell you this so early in the day. The reCaptcha made me type their words five times. Cheers

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3/02/2011Folks There have been no injuries reported from the cyclone affected areas, so hopefully all are OK. So we trust you are safe NormanK in Home Hill and that you will communicate with us when power is restored and you have the opportunity. Folks I have to get on the road soon to Melbourne. I'll be back online later this afternoon. Lyn I'll post your links to your special page when I get back to my computer.

Lyn

3/02/2011Good Morning Everybody Just testing comments, everybody has gone away.

TalkTurkey

3/02/2011Lyn said "Good Morning Everybody Just testing comments, everybody has gone away." . . . Are you sure Maggie Island hasn't been blown into a parallel universe? (Comments didn't work for a while. Back now.) NormanK you OK? Seems like Queenslanders were forewarned and forearmed against Yasi, but the banana-benders will be out of a job for a while. The bananas are bent enough already. (Oh very funny TT!) Dog where would we be without HUMOUR? (Sweden?)

Lyn

3/02/2011Hi Talk Turkey Good on you, the best. Comments were down but they came back at 8am, so that is why I was worried thought they may be down again for some windows. Talk Turkey one of your worthy comments on the other thread just has to be posted again, it's brilliant. This one I hope you don't mind me pasting it here: January 31. 2011 01:59 AM I can't wait now for Parliament to sit. This will be Gillard's time to shine. She will take chunks out of Abbortt, you watch. He can't evade her any longer. He can't dodge her in the House. I am licking my lips. Just you wait Phoney Tony just you wait. Can you imagine the ammo she has on him and how she will relish the chance to fire it. OOOOhhhh. Shudder of anticipatory pleasure. Tony's on his way down now. He shall deflate now. All that's keeping him there is the lack of anyone to replace him. Turnbull's too Wet and too damaged by his own hand. Abbortt will be rolled by Scott Morrison, yes? Greg Hunt? We gotta be careful here what we wish for though. We got rid of Alexander Downer as Leader once, only to end up with Howard. But look-you, such talk as I’m talking now is all it’s gonna take to roll Abbortt. He’s yesterday. Going nowhere, and They have this awful cloud of realization of that creeping across their hoped-for royal blue sky. He’s failed. Especially since his disastrous unAustralian performance over the flood levy. The Libs are starting to turn their eyes in other directions, wavering already. It’s all good, they’ve got themselves wedged between the shrivelling past and a slithery future. Hell hath no fury like a clever ranga woman given a hard time and then given the whip hand. Go Julia. One day soon, Swordsfolks, you will feel almost sorry for Abbortt – incredible as it may sound right now. TalkTurkey

TalkTurkey

3/02/2011OOOPS! TalkTurkey strays ONTO thread! The compliance of the spittle-lickin’ Media is, beyond Murdoch himself even, the single greatest barrier to civilized progress. By himself Murdoch will die, but his vampire empire and its minions and copycats and sycophants will go on sucking the life from the planet unless the Fifth Estate can bring it to heel. And much of the life has been sucked from it already, through promoting war rather than peace, division rather than unity, bigotry and ignorance instead of enlightenment and tolerance. But it's not a new phenomenon exactly. By chance I happened across John Pilger’s “A Secret Country” a few days ago, published in 1989. 22 years ago . . . The very Introduction, top of Page 1, starts: "As a young reporter on the Sydney Daily Telegraph, assigned to cover the wharves and the airport, I was obliged to ask ‘visiting celebrities’ what they thought of Australia. Although they might only have seen those unique Australian officials who spray arriving passengers with disinfectant, they were expected to play a game and make a statement affirming all was good and sublime about ‘Godzone’. Exhausted by a seemingly endless journey, and broiling or shivering in the corrugated iron sheds that stood at our nation’s gates, they were prompted about the delights of our ‘beer, beaches and way of life’. Compliance ensured them generous space in the next day’s paper; resistance risked public opprobrium. When the actress Elizabeth Taylor loudly and accurately described the question as ‘dumb as shit’, the size of the bags under her eyes was reported and it was noted that her latest husband was ‘dwarf-like and grizzled’.” Compliance cuts both ways, the celebs and the journos were and are both expected to lick spit. Pilger, Andrew Olle, Alan Ramsey and some relatively few others flew fairly free, but the bulk of the media since then has been ever more inbred and obsequious, ingratiating themselves shamelessly to their masters, of whom the master is Murdoch himself of course. We must develop strategies to deal with this pernicious crew. Ridicule, pull-yer-head-in humour, and better-than-Theirs writing, such as Grog's for example, are our weapons. En garde Bum-Bolt! Venceremos!

TalkTurkey

3/02/2011Lyn? Seems like we're BOTH in a parallel universe! WHERE IS EVERYONE?

Lyn

3/02/2011Hi Talk Turkey I can't find them anywhere, looks like it's just you and me left here, OK! then, we will just talk turkey. I Thoroughly enjoyed your last comment Talk Turkey. [quote]We must develop strategies to deal with this pernicious crew. Ridicule, pull-yer-head-in humour, and better-than-Theirs writing, such as Grog's for example, are our weapons. [/quote] I agree and the best place is "The Political Sword" to give them some. See Mr Abbott has stirred up a large percentage of the population again, this time with his pleading and begging for donations, in an attempt to save people having to pay the Flood Levy. Cheers

TalkTurkey

3/02/2011Abbortt to address the Media shortly. (ABC24 Adelaide 1.30pm.) This'll be good, uh.

Lyn

3/02/2011Talk Turkey Can't wait, hard questions from the Journalists, do you think, Oh! well nothing wrong with anticipation.

nasking

3/02/2011Useful, informative post Aa...keep up the intense scrutiny of our too oft negligent & bankrupt media. Fortunately, I have seen improvements over the past few weeks...more intense questioning of Abbott than the previous lacklustre, occasionally kowtowin' stuff. The scrutiny of Murdoch & his growin' empire began many years ago & seems to be finally bearin' fruit. If governments fail to recognise the growing public disquiet, and for some anger, regarding Murdoch's influence & reach, they put themselves at risk of extinction. There is a social revolution going on across the democratic & non-democratic nations aided by communication technology such as the internet & mobile phones that is exploding outwards like new life...and to oppose this change would be tantamount to genocide. N'

nasking

3/02/2011Welcome back Lyn! Missed ya. Hope you had some relaxing downtime...as much as possible anyway...in our increasingly stressful world. I've just posted on the Egypt situation: http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/dormant-egypt-explodes-time-for-democracy-to-bloom-on-fertile-ground/ [quote]Hopefully sanity will prevail and Mubarak will stand down and permit the more democratic leaders of Egypt to usher in a new & vibrant era. Enough blood has been shed in this region to last many lifetimes. The children deserve better. It’s time for democracy to bloom on this fertile ground…just as agriculture did along the Nile many years ago.[/quote] I know, I'm hopeless...never get the posts up for the morning rush & linking. :) Cheers N'

TalkTurkey

3/02/2011Nasking wrote of: ". . .improvements over the past few weeks...more intense questioning of Abbott than the previous lacklustre, occasionally kowtowin' stuff" Nas have you been on the Honeybrom*? "More intense questioning" . . ?! . . "occasionally kowtowin'" . . . Ya shoulda just seen Abbortt on the ABC being subjected to "more intense questioning" . . ! NOT!!! "Occasional kowtowin'" . . . Is that when they take a break from ( * )-lickin'? We love your posts N', but growlin', not purrin'! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ *Does ANYONE remember Honeybrom? Boy it used to cool me out when I was little!

Lyn

3/02/2011Hi Nasking, Thankyou for missing me. I have just come from the Cafe and enjoyed your article very much, well done Nasking. Yes, as Talk Turkey said no Questions, Actually I am wondering what that press conference was for, other than Abbott posing for a fash picture on tonights news, what about the one handing the broom back to the old lady, that was funny. We are happy for you to growl Nasking, we know you are feeling well then. [i]Dormant Egypt Explodes – Time for Democracy to Bloom on Fertile Ground, Nasking, Cafe Whispers[/i] Attorney General Phillip Ruddock repeatedly denied he was ever aware of Habib’s whereabouts, as did PM John Howard and Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer. http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/dormant-egypt-explodes-time-for-democracy-to-bloom-on-fertile-ground/

TalkTurkey

3/02/2011Lyn quoting Nasking: "Attorney General Phillip Ruddock repeatedly denied he was ever aware of Habib’s whereabouts, as did PM John Howard and Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer." cafewhispers.wordpress.com/.../ IMO Howard Downer Ruddock Andrews and Reith should be behind bars. Other nominations?

nasking

3/02/2011Hi Lyn & Talk Turkey...I thought Abbott was queried far more than usual. It made him look like a dickhead. Perhaps my expectations have lowered because of the usual pathetic questionin' of Abbott. :) However, I will watch the interview again...I was writin' at the time. Cheers N'

nasking

3/02/2011Okay, just rewatched Abbott interview. He was asked 9 questions specifically relating to the anti-flood levy site & emails sent out calling for donations'. Was also asked a few times if he was "embarrased"...and one questioner asked if he had been "insensitive". Certainly the queries could have delved deeper...but on the whole I was surprised at the pursuance of this topic by some members of the press gang. However, I would say that the press pack sound less confident as a whole when questioning Abbott...some even seem intimidated. Or act as tho they are just goin' thru the motions. The occasional journo comes across as tho they are feeding him. Abbott's replies were stock crap...he reminds me of the young fellas I'd catch out disruptin' class or thievin'...that blank stare...avoidin' the heart of the issue...makin' excuses by accusin' others of doin' same...takin' NO responsibility...moral infants. N'

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3/02/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

TalkTurkey

3/02/2011Erm . . . Nasking . . . I think they must've truncated or gutted the version of the "interview" I saw here . . . I don't think they asked ANY questions in the Abborttion b/cast on ABC 24 here! Just a bumbling blurrrrrrk. Was that what you saw Lyn?

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3/02/2011Hi Lyn reCaptcha can be irritating. Sometimes I can’t make out the words, so I click the circular refresh icon to the top left of the reCaptcha icon to get another two words, and sometimes have to try several times to get two words I can read. I find this more productive than trying to guess what the words are, and then having my interpretive efforts rejected by reCaptcha. I notice that the words are more obscure than before, and some are but shadows of words. This is to thwart the spammers who continually devise more sophisticated programs to beat reCaptcha. It certainly has reduced spam to almost none, and I suspect those that get through occasionally are hand sent, rather than by an automatic spamming program. You will remember when we were getting up to two hundred spam a day. Overall, despite the tediousness of reCaptcha, it is much preferable to being overwhelmed with spam.

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3/02/2011Folks Back at my computer, I see that in the last twenty-four hours three more of our regulars have become ‘followers’ of Adastra5 on Twitter. So I’ll keep it going for a while; the more who become followers, the more worthwhile it will be.

Lyn

3/02/2011Hi Talk Turkey They didn't show any questions at all on the Abbott press conference I saw, on ABC 24 1.30pm. Good description TT [quote]Just a bumbling blurrrrrrk[/quote]. Cheers

Lyn

3/02/2011Hi Ad Not having the spam like we did before, has been wonderful. I wasn't complaining about Recaptcha, just thought maybe something was wrong. Ad, Thankyou so much for the tip, I didn't know the option was there,on the circular refresh button, [b]get a new challenge ( new set of words), magic again.[/b] Three TWITTER followers overnight, that's good, maybe more tonight. Cheers

Calligula

3/02/2011FS – Since you asked. Allegations – Re – glitch and “changed conditions” Referring to ABC radio local, Qld disaster broadcasts. Doubt they’d have transcripts. I fear that at the time the 2IC police force felt that cyclone was – 1 - panning out as a bit of a fizzer 2 – coming inland elsewhere than predicted. Other instances – OIC Qld police refusing to explain why private helicopter carrying privately purchased groceries was refused flight clearance to Grantham at a known time of great need. Other matters sent to me at – http://calligulashorse.blogspot.com/2011/01/we-are-masters-and-were-here-to-protect.html#comments also – http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/printer_62045.shtml - which source might read as a bit right-wing to some readers but nonetheless is of concern. To summarise – Much hard work has been put toward harm minimization in Q. It appears that some have erred on the side of caution while others have been perceived as having exceeded their authority to the extent of impeding the actions of those experienced and well placed wanting to render assistance. As for the media with the emergency? Stuck staring at four walls for weeks with only ABC radio reports left the impression that broadcasters/announcers operated likewise to ‘embedded’ journos in a war zone. An aura of selected information covering these mistakes of ‘Top down micromanagement’ of cadres of relatively inexperienced, underequipped and very fatigued emergency workers.

2353

3/02/2011The post above was written by some one who doesn't have a clue about emergency management, the law in relation to unexplained deaths or the need for those directly affected by a horrible situation to grieve. Emergency management involves explaining clearly and succinctly the worst potential outcome in a way that most people can understand, hopefully encouraging the people that will be affected to take the appropriate action to minimise or eliminate the potential for people to be injured or worse. If occasionally they get it wrong and over emphasise the potential damage to life or limb - is this a bad thing? While the ABC is a part of the emergency services they rely on information being provided by others and can only pass on what they are told. As a resident of South East Queensland, I am well aware that the emergency services locked down Grantham and surrounding areas - all the media were advising of the fact regularly. The district was a crime scene due to the ongoing investigation into the deaths of a number of people that were literally washed away, as required by law. If this alleged helicopter is not another urban myth - serves them right. The owner certainly would have been able to contact the authorities and come to a suitable arrangement which would have retained the integrity of a crime scene as well as fulfilling the delusions of grandeur of the owner. We were only discussing at work today how long it would take before people (usually for political ends) would start to suggest that the Governments involved wasted money through over preparing for the recent natural disasters across the country. Looks like it's started already.

BSA Bob

3/02/2011ABC TV news doing its bit to smother the Abbott donation thing this evening. Mild, almost amused criticism of Abbott seguing into a "they all do it, so who cares about this?" finale.

Calligula

3/02/2011Fine Mr numbers – That’s the sort of excuse I’m accustomed to hearing from petty bureaucrats and those of the Abbott species. Problem is it doesn’t address fact. I’m not creating agenda. You are. Well done.

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3/02/2011NormanK We haven't heard from you today, so I guess your power is still off in Home Hill. We were mightily relieved to see on today's news that there had been no injuries, so we know you are OK. We hope the damage at your place was not too great, and that you will be back with us soon. Sleep well tonight.

Lyn

3/02/2011Hi BSA Bob Isn't it amazing, no remorse from Mr Abbott, no apologies, no embarrassment, just it's standard practice to ask for donations, the Labor party does it on their emails. But Abbotts email, was bashing the Government over the levy, people will starve, higher taxes, rave, rave, and then at the end asks for donations to the Liberal Party to campaign against the flood levy. Copy and paste below: ([[b]quote]Tony Abbott Leader of the Opposition PS. Click to donate to help our campaign against Labor's flood tax[/quote][/b]) What! are they, going to campaign against every bill now, is that standard practice too. Standard practice to ask for donations for a campaign against the Government, Oh! dear Cheers

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3/02/2011Miglo Thank you for your kind remarks about this piece. I'll respond to your email tomorrow. Nasking Thank you too for your complimentary comments. I really do hope you are right - that our efforts in the Fifth Estate are having an effect on the Fourth Estate. That would make our efforts well worthwhile. It's been a long day, so I'm packing it in for the night.

Rx

3/02/2011On the last sitting day of Parliament in 2010 Abbott came under some of the heaviest fire of his time as Opposition Leader. Julia Gillard put in one of her most fiery performances. Some excerpts: [i]"a man who can always give you a comprehensive picture of what he's opposed to, but he can never give you a picture of what he stands for" "He is a prize fighter who always keeps fighting, but he no longer knows what he's fighting for." "In looking for bricks to throw at the government, he's actually getting those bricks from the foundations of the Liberal Party" "Competition, they used to believe in that, no, he's pulled that brick out and he's thrown it. "Markets, used to believe in that, no he's picked that brick out and he's thrown it." "This is a pitbull that has turned on its master and it is time the Liberal Party woke up to it."[/i] The West, 25 November 2010 http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/8391123/abbott-pulls-libs-apart-brick-by-brick-pm/ Not surprisingly, the ABC's [i]7.30 Report[/i] that evening made no reference whatsoever to Julia's ferocious attack or Abbott's humiliating dressing-down. It's as though it didn't even happen, if you were to go by the coverage by Their ABC. It's likely nothing will change this year. Julia now has the goods on Abbott, and will tear strips off him in the House. He'll be blasted to bits and the pieces scattered all over the room ... and his partners at the ABC will turn a blind eye. "The bias of omission". If they do cover it at all, going on the ABC's previous form, it will be from the angle of what HE says about her, not what SHE says about him. Knowing what we're up against in seeking balanced, genuine coverage of politics by the ABC this coming year, Swordsfolk of good honour will need to be vigilant for [b]bias by omission[/b], and call them on it if/when it happens. We can formally complain to that department of the ABC charged with handling complaints - Audience & Consumer Affairs - and send emails/letters to the Executive Producer of the program itself. It's important we all ensure the ABC is held to account for its output, or they will continue to believe they're not accountable.

Lyn

4/02/2011[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Cyclone Yasi: Overington thinks it hyperbole, Greg Jericho, Grog's Gamut[/i] The headline and the piece of utter contemptuous tripe that Overington wrote was to do with Cyclone Yasi http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ [i]Lies, Damn Lies and Maxwell Smart, The Bannerman[/i] the reporting from the Conservative Express these days. It’s a sad indictment on the media in general and conservatively oriented media in particular http://www.waddayano.org/blog/2011/02/lies_damn_lies_and_maxwell_sma.php#more [i]An ugly, cynical move by Abbott, but what did we expect? , John Biringham, SMH[/i] Not mendacious, ugly, disgraceful and cringe worthy. Yes Tony Abbott, I'm looking at you. http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/blogs/blunt-instrument/an-ugly-cynical-move-by-abbott-but-what-did-we-expect/20110202-1admx.html [i]Coming Back Atchya!Ashghebranious,Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] hero of the tax payer to [b]donation asking scumbag [/b]– roughly a week it seems. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com:80/2011/02/03/coming-back-atchya/ [i]Tony Abbott: capitalizing on natural disaster, Admin, Independent Australia[/i] Abbott showed his true colors by filling his front bench with extreme right wingers – such as the dreadful, shrewish, Sophie Mirabella; the belligerently obnoxious Cory Bernardi; and the imbecilically incompetent Kevin Andrews http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/politics/tony-abbott-capitalizing-on-natural-disaster/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=tony-abbott-capitalizing-on-natural-disaster [i]Abbott puts foot in mouth over levy – Dont pay a levy, Pay US, Saynotony. Say no to Tony Abbott[/i] less than a dollar a week for the 12 months of its operation – but inviting donations to the Liberal Party. http://sayno2tonyabbott.wordpress.com:80/2011/02/02/abbott-puts-foot-in-mouth-over-levy-dont-pay-a-levy-pay-us/ [i]A Tale about donations and a flood of political emails, Richard Farmer, The Stump[/i] Why, even the Labor Party, he argued, had donations information on a flood-related email it sent out to its own supporters last week. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/ [i]This is no time for point scoring, Ron Burgess, Business Spectator[/i] spokesman saying it had been added "by the Liberal Party". (Funny, I thought that was the party he led?) http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Yasi-Queensland-floods-cyclone-politics-pd20110203-DPS9Y?OpenDocument&src=sph [i]Tony Abbott - nothing but fail, Massivespray. Spray of the Day[/i] must prompt the “brains” of the Liberal party to consider a fast exit stage right for him…but http://sprayoftheday.wordpress.com/ [i]No time for gutter politics, Coffee with Ruby[/i] If he is acting on the advice of political advisors they should be sacked immediately. If he is acting alone he should be sacked by his party. http://coffeewithruby.wordpress.com:80/2011/02/03/no-time-for-gutter-politics/ [i]Abbott's Levy Too Far, John, True Politik.[/i] The post script plea for donations to campaign against flood levy http://truepolitik.blogspot.com/2011/02/abbotts-levy-too-far.html [i]Gillard, Abbott, Brown. OH WHY, Cosmicjester, Groupthink[/i]. Donations not for Queensland but for his campaign to stop a levy designed to rebuild Queensland. http://www.groupthink.com.au/2011/02/03/gillard-abbott-brown-oh-why/ [i]Tony Abbott begs for donations to block financial support for QLD, Reb, Gutter Trash[/i] Liberal Party is more concerned with filling its coffers to block Queensland from receiving the proceeds of the flood assistance program. http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2011/02/03/tony-abbott-begs-for-donations-to-block-financial-support-for-qld/ [i]Dormant Egypt Explodes – Time for Democracy to Bloom on Fertile Ground, Nasking, Cafe Whispers[/i] Attorney General Phillip Ruddock repeatedly denied he was ever aware of Habib’s whereabouts, as did PM John Howard and Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer. http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/dormant-egypt-explodes-time-for-democracy-to-bloom-on-fertile-ground/

Feral Skeleton

4/02/2011Calligula, I'm over your petty conspiracy theories. Go find yourself a grassy knoll to speculate upon. I asked for evidence, not speculative assertion. Anna Bligh must be exhausted, however she is still going about her job daily, following southern States Daylight Savings hours in order to get information to the rest of the country. Same with her Emergency Management team members. To get her head around that information in order to convey it to the rest of us she would have had to be up even earlier, after, no doubt, getting to bed late the night before with the weight of Queensland on her shoulders. Calligulla, if you were any sort of a reasonable human being you would lay down the cudgels. However, in this instance you have more in common with Tony Abbott than anyone else I can think of.

Feral Skeleton

4/02/2011lyn, Could you do us a favour and chase down the guests that are down to appear on the first episode of Q&A this year? Thank you. I saw it on Twitter but can't remember anymore than it was a troubling line-up in that it seemed unusually skewed towards Conservative-leaning panellists with very little 'Balance' in the other direction. I just thought about it after reading Rx's exhortation for us to remain ever vigilant wrt ABC this year. This is but the first example for Q&A this year I fear.

janice

4/02/2011Good morning all. I hope and trust everyone is surviving the weather conditions mother nature is tossing at us. We haven't heard from NormanK yet but that is probably because of the lack of power in the aftermath of Yasi and our Tweety Bird Lyn was posting yesterday evening but hasn't said much about the impact on Magnetic Island (unless I missed reading something). I'm cynical enough to believe that Abbott and his party see a good opportunity to swell the coffers of the party in asking for donations to help STOP the flood levy. His hyprocasy, lack of morals and mean spiritedness have no bounds, yet I hear and read his blind selfish followers still trumpeting his thoughtless lines in the hope he might yet get the keys to the Lodge. Listening to the radio this morning I hear banana farmers etc calling for Govt subsidies. I have no objection to this as it is not, in my opinion, an unreasonable request, but I can't help wondering if these same people are also against the flood levy, the NBN and everything else in Abbott's negative book. People are quick to ask for government help but slow, or even reluctant, to support a modest levy to help replace the lost infrastructure that is crucial to their businesses and farming enterprises. Anna Bligh has shown nothing less than magnificent leadership during these disasters but I wonder if people will remember her strength, compassion and help when it comes to giving her a big tick in the ballot box.

Ad astra reply

4/02/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Patricia WA

4/02/2011Hi, Janice, to your last para can I add a big hear, hear! I've been trying to comment at media sites about the brilliant work done by Anna Bligh and her government with their forward planning and efforts throughout this disaster. Her leadership and coordination with the Queensland police, weather information and rescue services together with other community organisations like Red Cross, in preparing the State for this unprecedented climatic event has undoubtedly saved hundreds of lives. Their thorough preparations and conscientious attention to detail throughout the past few days have been an inspiration to watch. Wonderful what good government can do working with the cooperation of its citizens! I can’t understand why there’s not more mention of this in the media. Are they disappointed perhaps that there’s so little drama and loss of life to report? I guess good news is no news, because none of the main media outlets have printed my comment. Our friends at Cafe Whispers and Grog have, of course. By the way I've just come from GG where he has done a soul searching post about his 'over the top' reaction to Caroline Overington's blase dismissal of the cyclone disaster as 'Much Ado!' 'About Nothing' is not said, of course, but we all know what she was implying. Unusually no comments were printed by the Oz on her article, so I can only imagine they had a blitz of complaints about it. Which it deserves. Grog has nothing to apologise for. Righteous anger can sometimes be very effective. It is work like his which will help raise media standards which I agree with AA need to improve.

janice

4/02/2011Patricia, I reckon there isn't much mention of Anna Bligh's magnificent leadership in the media because she is a Labor Premier and nothing Labor can possibly be good. On the other hand there is lots of criticism of our PM though so it's a matter of holding back praise for Anna and attacking Julia. I read Grog's post re his reaction to Overington and posted a comment to the effect that I think he's being too hard on himself - the softly softly, nice slap on the wrist is lost on today's journos and I firmly believe we should all come down as hard as possible on them to get them to listen to our message that media standards need improving asap.

janice

4/02/2011Patricia, I left a message at Cafe Whispers for Miglo in the 'how to' section which may not be the best place? It might be easier if you ask Ad astra for my email addy since I'm a bit dense when it comes to negotiating the cafe whispers site to contact Miglo in order to make contact with you. Forgive my obtuse, dyslexic mind. Cheers.

Lyn

4/02/2011Hi Janice I didn't post Island View, yesterday, who was blogging every hour from Magnetic Island, because we have heard no more from them since 8.18pm Wednesday night: [b]Blogging Cyclone Yasi, Island View, Blogging Townsville I'm posting from Magnetic Island [/b]8:10pm 02/02 The background roar is getting louder - I still cant work out whether it's the sea of the wind. One thing is for sure - they are both pretty wild! 8:18pm 02/02 Check this out - it might be an hour or so old http://bloggingtownsville.blogspot.com/ [quote]lack of morals and mean spiritedness have no bounds[/quote] I agree with you Janice, this last episode is disgraceful, Abbott is definately trying anything to get attention, even if it's abusive attention, practicing the old saying "better to be abused than ignored", and he will be ignored once the Liberals lose control of the Senate in June. I wish we could hear from NormanK very soon. Cheers

TalkTurkey

4/02/2011 Rx wrote: [I'll cherrypick bits - TT] ‘On the last sitting day of Parliament . . . Julia Gillard put in one of her most fiery performances. Some excerpts: "a man who can always give you a comprehensive picture of what he's opposed to, but he can never give you a picture of what he stands for" [and other examples] Not surprisingly, the ABC's 7.30 Report that evening made no reference whatsoever to Julia's ferocious attack or Abbott's humiliating dressing-down. It's as though it didn't even happen, if you were to go by the coverage by Their ABC. . . . Julia now has the goods on Abbott, and will tear strips off him in the House. He'll be blasted to bits and the pieces scattered all over the room ...’ [ A few days ago I said similarly – “ I can't wait now for Parliament to sit. This will be Gillard's time to shine. She will take chunks out of Abbortt, you watch. He can't evade her any longer. He can't dodge her in the House. I am licking my lips. Just you wait Phoney Tony just you wait. Can you imagine the ammo she has on him and how she will relish the chance to fire it. OOOOhhhh. Shudder of anticipatory pleasure.” But I think Rx’s prognostication is probably more realistic: . . . ‘and his partners at the ABC will turn a blind eye. "The bias of omission". If they do cover it at all, going on the ABC's previous form, it will be from the angle of what HE says about her, not what SHE says about him.’ Rx continues: ‘. . . Swordsfolk of good honour will need to be vigilant for bias by omission, and call them on it if/when it happens. We can formally complain to that department of the ABC charged with handling complaints - Audience & Consumer Affairs - and send emails/letters to the Executive Producer of the program itself. It's important we all ensure the ABC is held to account for its output, or they will continue to believe they're not accountable. Rx’ TT says: Yes yes yes yes and yes, but there's the rub . . . HOW to hold them to account? I've had a bellyful of police internal investigations and suchlike, internal investigations are a JOKE. Internal complaints, Bah! The ABC should be subject to FEROCIOUS INDEPENDENT REVIEW. That's where Ad astra should come in! On 24/1 Jason wrote: Rx, ABC and SBS board appointments! Expressions of interest must be submitted by close of business on Friday 11 February 2011 www.dbcde.gov.au/.../abc_and_sbs_board_appointments Jason So I wrote about this a week ago - Seems like a month! – (Not a sausage.) COME ON SWORDSFOLK, PRESS THE MAN! Ad you have unique gravitas and we need you to step up to the ABC plate. What a difference one person like you would make! Ad astra, please make your thoughts known to us on this, and quickly. You could do so much good on the ABC board, more perhaps than all the huffinpuffinstuff here on the Sword - but because of it too, all these people behind you will give you heaps of clout, ntm what it will do for the status of TPS itself. But we can't nominate you without your say-so, and we have to do it in bulk, and we have ONE WEEK. This is one shot we should not miss. SPEAK UP EVERYONE!

janice

4/02/2011Hello Lyn - I got the wrong end of the stick there didn't I? I must say I was somewhat gobsmacked to think of you on Magnetic Island when I thought you resided in Vic or SA. I cfould be wrong there as well :)

nasking

4/02/2011[quote]I think they must've truncated or gutted the version of the "interview" I saw here . . . I don't think they asked ANY questions in the Abborttion b/cast on ABC 24 here![/quote] Talk Turkey & Lyn, why doesn't that surprise me? The ABC are just not doin' an appropriate job of scrutinisin' Abbott. Yet again. I noticed in the few minutes I watched of ABC Breakfast News this morn that the "Abbott email" episode was basically dismissed as a "side issue". I can imagine that if it had been Gillard in Opposition doin' such she woulda been roasted slowly over hot coals. I also noticed that Peter Reith was on SKY NEWS Agenda playin' it both sides of the fence when it came to the Egyptian events...sickeningly, his recommendation was for a "free market system similar to China's"...ignoring of course the fact that China is not a democracy and has become one of the great examples of authoritarian capitalism across the world...providing ideas & motivation for torture, protest clampdowns & censorship to both despotic regimes & Neo-Con led democracies. N'

nasking

4/02/2011Political Sworders will find this worth reading: [quote]Tony Abbott in Ipswich firing line Shayne Neumann has taken a swipe at Tony Abbott over a verbal fight over funding for flood-affected Ipswich. Mr Abbott has refused to criticise a letter from him to Liberal supporters that attacked Labor’s $1.8 billion flood levy and then called for donations to help fight the levy. ‘‘Only a Prime Minister who is out of her depth would seek to exploit people’s generosity to flood victims to try to win acceptance for yet another new tax,’‘’ it said. Mr Abbott has attacked the tax stating it is unfair to impose a tax on people, especially on those who have donated to disaster relief. At the bottom of the letter is a link inviting recipients to ‘‘click to donate to help our campaign against Labor’s flood tax’‘ The Federal Member for Blair, Mr Neumann, today accused the Opposition Leader of being “greedy and self-centred” over comments on flood funding. “Once again, Mr Abbott has proved that he’s more interested in political gain than helping to rebuild Queensland,” Mr Neumann said. “In the aftermath of two natural disasters in Queensland, he was sending out emails exploiting those natural disasters to raise money for the Liberal Party. “While the rest of us are digging deep to support fellow Queenslanders, Tony Abbott is asking Australians to dig a little deeper to support the Liberal Party. “Tony Abbott never misses an opportunity to put his own selfish political interests and opportunism first, ahead of the national interest.” Mr Neumann said that Australians expect their leaders to put aside their own interests at times like this. “Not Tony Abbott. He has shown once again that he is incapable of putting the national interest before his own opportunistic political interest,” Mr Neumann said. “He’s played politics from day one of this crisis, and he is playing politics now. “If a levy was good enough for Mr Abbott to pay for his election promises last year, how is it not good enough to help rebuild Australia after the floods? “With Tony Abbott’s proposed paid parental leave scheme, business would have been slugged with his 1.5 per cent levy from 2012. “In stark contrast, the Federal Labor Party will deliver business a tax cut from next year.”[/quote] http://ipswich-news.whereilive.com.au/news/story/federal-member-for-blair-shayne-neumann-takes-swipe-at-tony-abbott-over-ipswich-flood-relief/ Spot on. (Cross-posted w/ Cafe but I thought it essential reading) N’

Feral Skeleton

4/02/2011Lol, just saw coverage of One Trick Tony's Shadow Cabinet meeting in Western Sydney(where else?). It seems as if he has tweaked his 'Anti Tax'(even when it's a Levy) message to, "Australians should not be asked to pay a new tax when the country has just suffered through so much disaster." Cute, but no banana, Tony. Isn't that exactly when Australians should be digging a bit deeper, and foregoing one coffee/week to help out the fellow Australians in their time of direst need? It's just the Bush doctrine for taxpayers of, 'All care, no financial responsibilty', that he employed during the Iraq War, which was a great financial drain on the US but the first war the populace was not asked to pay for. Also interesting was to see the seating arrangement for the Shadow Cabinet meeting, in what looked like the 2nd floor of the Best Western Hotel in Paramatta. There was Prissy Pyne, sitting up close and personal next to his Dear Leader, and Malcolm Turnbull, sitting with arms crossed, looking vaguely uncomfortable and with a 'You prat, Abbott' look on his face. :)

TalkTurkey

4/02/2011 Swordsfolks! Let me remind you of Ad astra's words at the beginning of this thread! "The Media needs to pull up its socks in 2011. If it doesn’t, it will become increasingly irrelevant to thoughtful people, and will serve only to provide flimflam for the unthinking, the disinterested, the feckless. In case some of you are groaning, ‘not hammering the media again’, my response is ‘yes, yet again’, for unless those of us in the Fifth Estate continue our quest for competent reporting, the poor standard we see much of the time will continue to deprive the electorate of relevant information and what it needs to know to make decisions at election time." Ad astra CONCLUDES: "Will you join us on The Political Sword during 2011 in making a small contribution to cleaning up the political media in this country? To do nothing would be unthinkable." May I EMPHATICALLY make the point that THE BEST SOMETHING WE CAN DO is to get a VOICE on the ABC BOARD, and there is one most obvious candidate, LET Ad astra KNOW we want him to accept our nomination. DON'T HANG BACK. We have the right to PRESS him, he's almost "noblesse oblige"'d out of his own scabbard! Ad we would all recognise that there is work and sacrifice involved but this is what is needed - for Australia and the World. SPEAK UP SWORDSFOLKS! NOW! Yes NOW!

Lyn

4/02/2011Hi Janice Don't worry my lovely, little friend, you know, we have around 170 contributors on TPS now, it is hard to remember who said what , anyway no matter because everything that gets said on TPS is interesing. I live in Hervey Bay, we thought we would get bad weather, king tides, lots of rain, wind, which we usually get from any cyclone aftermath, but no nothing, just normal weather here, as a matter of fact, stinking hot, the humidity today and yesterday must be 100%. Cheers

Lyn

4/02/2011Hi Nasking Thankyou for the link to the Local Newspaper, all our favourite bloggers are giving Abbott a bashing as well, the more the better. I thoroughly enjoyed your article yesteday at Cafe Whispers. Dormant Egypt Explodes – Time for Democracy to Bloom on Fertile Ground, Nasking, Cafe Whispers Attorney General Phillip Ruddock repeatedly denied he was ever aware of Habib’s whereabouts, as did PM John Howard and Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer. cafewhispers.wordpress.com/.../ Tony Abbott in Ipswich firing line, Local News Ipswich Mr Abbott has refused to criticise a letter from him to Liberal supporters that attacked Labor’s $1.8 billion flood levy and then called for donations to help fight the levy. http://ipswich-news.whereilive.com.au/news/story/federal-member-for-blair-shayne-neumann-takes-swipe-at-tony-abbott-over-ipswich-flood-relief/ Cheers

Feral Skeleton

4/02/2011lyn, Did you know this: [quote]Australia's oldest living supercentenarian, at 111, is Mrs Miriam Schmierer, born on August 20, 1899, near Gatton in Queensland and now lives in Hervey Bay.[/quote]

Patricia WA

4/02/2011Janice, apologies! By the way you are in good company trying to find your way through this amazing world of what can be instantaneous communication! I still have L plates on. I have learned though that the thing about blog sites is that things happen and are commented on so quickly that ideas and messages can get swallowed up and forgotten in a nano second. Never lost but they might as well be. All the tension and drama of the cyclone has not only meant the oversight of your message at CW, but it has also held me up on finishing my chronological notes on my 'pomes' for my brother in the UK who hasn't a clue about what's been happening here and would not understand the relevance of the rhymes or the significance of the satire. As I write it occurs to me that you don't need that - just my basic chronological daily entries. I'll be in touch asap if that's enough for you for the moment. Cheers.

Feral Skeleton

4/02/2011janice and patricia WA, Here's a positive piece about Anna Bligh from a most unusual source: http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/No-bullshit-Bligh-sets-a-new-standard-for-politicians/ Enjoy! :)

Ad astra reply

4/02/2011TT Thank you for your strong vote of confidence in me in insisting that I should be nominated for the ABC Board. It certainly is an influential forum. While I would not dream of putting myself forward, if you or someone else who visits [i]TPS[/i] wishes to nominate me, I would be willing for the nomination to go forward. I could supply personal details by email if contact is made with me via the ‘Contact’ tab on the top menu. It would surprise me though if those responsible for constituting the ABC Board were interested in including a retired medical academic, but one can never know.

Ad astra reply

4/02/2011Folks I'll be out for a couple of hours; I'll be back later this afternoon.

Patricia WA

4/02/2011Wonderful indeed. Penberthy deserves a pat on the back too - for giving credit where it's due. I'm about to give him just that. Thanks FS.

adelaidegirl

4/02/2011On [quote]30 Rock [/quote]last night Liz Lemon was wearing some environmentally sensitively manufactured clothing and her boss, Jack whatsit, cynically said it wasn't so hot because the parent company was Halliburton. She said, it's not true because the left-wing newsletter she reads says so. Jack told her the left-wing rag was owned by Rupert Murdoch. And who owns Rupert Murdoch? he asked. Halliburton. It's a joke, isn't it?

Lyn

4/02/2011Hi Hillbilly Well if somebody else is a supercentenarian, at 111, maybe it's our climate, so therefore I could be a supercentenarian, at 111 one day do you think. I'll just keep exercising my fingers on this keyboard and see what happens. I didn't miss your comment request for the Q&A panel, I will go and have a little looksee later. Cheers

janice

4/02/2011Lyn, Hervey Bay - of course I should have remembered that because I have a cousin living there whom I visited a couple of years ago. Whilst the old grey mare aint what she used to be, my memory is deterioriating much too fast for my liking. Patricia, [quote]As I write it occurs to me that you don't need that - just my basic chronological daily entries. I'll be in touch asap if that's enough for you for the moment.[/quote] That's fine by me - many thanks. FS, Thanks for that link. I agree with Patricia that Penberthy deserves a pat on the back for his article.

Lyn

4/02/2011Hi again Hillbilly Forgot to mention the extremely, important (not) breaking news Cabinet Meeting today. [quote]just saw coverage of One Trick Tony's Shadow Cabinet meeting in Western Sydney(where else?).[/quote] I just caught a piece at 11.30am on ABC 24. They showed a snippet of Abbott talking to the media, then the newsreader said: [quote]But he won't say if he has spoken to the Independents.[/quote] [quote]And he won't say how or what, in the budget they would make spending cuts[/quote] These two statements were loud and clear, and I thought, how good is that. The journalists should be pressing Abbott at every opportunity as to where he would cut spending. Oh! by the way I never heard anymore mention today about the NBN saving 50 billion (lie), maybe Abbott has been called on that three word slogan.

Feral Skeleton

4/02/2011lyn, The Opposition and their supporters are incorrigable with their lies about the cost of the NBN. What they do is conflate the value of the Telstra infrastructure that is being ceded to the NBN and the money that is being paid to Telstra for it with the money that is being put in by the government, which is between $23-26 Billion. Add it up, plus the Liberals are now adding a gratuitous $10 Billion extra, for some reason as far as I can see, and what do you get? A lie from the Lieberals! :)

nasking

4/02/2011Lyn, unfortunately I'm beginning to think the NBN rollout may have to be delayed...or at least slowed due to other global circumstances. It pains me to say it. But the fact that Mubarak & his horrid regime w/ the aid of some "usual suspect" American media are creating more instability in the Arab states rather than providing for a necessary peaceful transition of power...means that the repercussions could spread far & wide and lead to a strengthenin' of the bankrupt Iranian regime's hand...outbreaks of more violence across the Levant...and intellectual Egyptians joinin' extremist causes they may never have entertained as bona-fide in the past. This could result in a reinvigorated al-Qaeda and even new organisations that might focus on disrupting tourism in Egypt...and transport along the Suez...and change the very nature of peaceful protest movements in Syria, Algeria, Yemen, Jordan & elsewhere...the consequences could be dire for the global economy. As I commented elsewhere re: global warming & the lack of appropriate action by governments...and on the Egyptian situation: Sadly, our countries live in a loopy state of ‘denial’…and I fear that it will take the loss of millions, if not billions of people, mass extinctions and loss of vast areas of habitable land & agriculture before the hold of the climate change ‘deniers’ and their fossil fool puppeteers is loosened to see the urgent action taken that is so necessary. I have lost all confidence in political & corporate leadership to take us down the appropriate path…and w/ the domino effect of uprisings in Arab states (understandable) and the wobbling of China (overheated in far too many sectors, inflation etc., nationalism vs dissidents) & the EU shakiness…combined w/ the market casino repeating so many previous mistakes in their renewed exeburence…steadily rising oil prices…add these ongoin’ natural disasters of epic proportion, I foresee enormous strains on our economic & social well-being in the near future. Unfortunately, the window of opportunity has narrowed to a slit…and one can only imagine the influential religious kooks & profiteers who will use these disasters to promote their nutty agendas…particularly as 2012 nears…and untried war criminals & other so called “sinners” across the world look for redemption &/or other opportunities to implement authoritarian capitalist regimes. Frankly, I think a National Disaster Relief Fund is the way to go…and sadly the NBN may have to be delayed as we prepare for possible global upheaval…and numerous natural disasters. Unfortunately, the seeds were sown well before Gore failed to dispute the election of 2000…electric cars were mashed…Arab/Muslim states invaded by the Bush lot…and the ETS abandoned. I do not believe there is any coincidence that the rise of the Murdoch empire (including Fox News) and other cable networks w/ connections by shareholders & ads/funding to oil companies, major Arab state projects, Gulf States, Israel (incl. lobby groups) runs parallel to this increasing global instability. Somewhat reluctant allies who have managed to take us down the path of insanity. ------------------- If the Egyptian situation does not lead to a rational & compassionate result...I fear that our present Australian government will require a great deal of revenue to deal w/ the consequences...of that and other climate & economic-related disasters as outlined above. We are at a precipice...and it's time for many Australians to look beyond their own borders...whilst also demonstrating understandable concern over cyclone & flood victims...and assist those w/in them. We can no longer afford to focus parochially...nor plan for the short-tem. N’

Lyn

4/02/2011Hi Talk Turkey Now to mention Ad, while he is not listening. I would adore it if Ad were on the ABC board, wow marvellous. But and it's a big but. From some information that I have learned from Ad's comments here, ABC board duties would increase the size of his retirement portfolio. Ad is still a very active board member on "The Medical Board" in Melbourne, He is also CEO of a large family, He is our TPS General Manager, He is Leading Hand Gardiner, the only operator in charge of the ride on mower, He is still an active Doctor attending to relatives and friends, who are aging and frail, He is chief Mr popularity, Grandfather to lots of adoring grandchildren. I think he cooks too, scones jam and cream. His lovely wife fits in those busy days as well. [quote]this is what is needed - for Australia and the World. [/quote] I agree Talk Turkey, Ad would be the perfect person, if he agrees to fit the duties in his busy life. Woops! I just scrolled back, Ad has been here and I missed his comment. [quote]I would be willing for the nomination to go forward. I could supply personal details by email if contact is made with me via the ‘Contact’ tab on the top menu. [/quote] Isn't that comment from Ad fantastic. Well Talk Turkey are you going to nominate Ad? [b]Please tell me again what we have to do to nominate Ad Astra[/b]. cheers

Jason

4/02/2011N, "I'm beginning to think the NBN roll out may have to be delayed...or at least slowed due to other global circumstances. It pains me to say it." I'm yet to see any compelling reason to do so! If as Abbott says there is "fat" to be cut lets cut Family trusts,means test private health and baby bonus, negative gearing and since we're not under immediate threat do we need a new fleet of submarines and destroyers to be built? N plenty of areas that could be cut and as a first world country we can chew gum and walk at the same time. What was one of the purposes of the mining tax? Keep the faith

Rx

4/02/2011I am more than happy to add my nomination for Ad Astra for a seat on the ABC Board. Thank you for saying you'll accept the nomination, Ad. Can someone inform as to how an individual may be nominated. Thanks.

Feral Skeleton

4/02/2011Here's a brilliant little blog that was linked to in John Birmingham's piece today: http://www.girlclumsy.com/2011/01/gettin-heavy-on-levy.html

Feral Skeleton

4/02/2011Comedy Gold. A part of a comment about Tony Abbott from JB's blog today: [quote]This just staggers belief. I always believed the man was a dill, but seriously he has jumped in with the biggest pickles in the jar this time.[/quote]

Jason

4/02/2011RX, I hope this Helps! http://www.dbcde.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0013/132340/Position_description_ABC_board.pdf

Jason

4/02/2011Sunrise Mel & Kochie Bringing the Devastation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qahoDSndyVw&feature=player_embedded

nasking

4/02/2011[quote] plenty of areas that could be cut and as a first world country we can chew gum and walk at the same time. What was one of the purposes of the mining tax?[/quote] Jason, I agree that the NBN could go ahead if we saw more redistribution of income & profits...and cuts to aspects of middle class welfare (ensurin' we don't put undue pressure on small business & hospitals)...but when you look at this government's track record...and the growin' resistance movement, I just don't see it happenin'. Regarding the resistance movement...opposition to government policy & redistribution of moneys: Miners pay to get rid of Rudd & super profit’s tax whilst climate change devestates the planet, including Australia: http://www.smh.com.au/business/a-snip-at-22m-to-get-rid-of-pm-20110201-1acgj.html?comments=113 We learn yesterday: [quote]Gina Rinehart, first woman tops on Australian rich list SYDNEY, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) — Australian energy and resources company Hancock Prospecting boss Gina Rinehart has been crowned Australia’s richest person after seeing her wealth rise 7 billion AU dollars (7.07 billion U.S. dollars) in the past year, U.S. magazine Forbes Asia released its collection of Australia’s richest on Thursday. Forbes Asia announced that Rinehart, the daughter of mining magnate Lang Hancock, had topped its rich list with a fortune estimated to be 9 billion AU dollars (9.09 billion U.S. dollars). Rinehart, 56, inherited her father’s company in 1992, becomes the first woman to be recognized as Australia’s richest person on Forbes rich list and saw her wealth skyrocket last year thanks to rising iron ore prices and exports to China. Also in mining, Fortescue Metals chief executive Andrew Forrest dropped from the top spot to second place with 6.9 billion AU dollars (6.97 billion U.S. dollars) to his name, while coal miner Chris Wallin entered the list for the first time with his 1.3 billion AU dollars (1.31 billion U.S. dollars), taking the 16th spot. Gaming mogul James Packer came in at number three with 4.4 billion AU dollars (4.44 billion U.S. dollars) after buying back into the media market with a stake in television broadcaster Ten Network.[/quote] http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-02/03/c_13718060.htm And now Packer & Murdoch’s lot are combinin’ w/ the Melbourne Storm…as they have w/ Channel Ten…and who else bought significant shares in TEN? Yep, Gina Rinehart. Who also now has: [quote]Rinehart builds stake in Fairfax to 4 per cent [/quote] http://www.smh.com.au/business/rinehart-builds-stake-in-fairfax-to-4-per-cent-20110120-19y08.html So much for democracy when those who have inherited money can bring down PMs & influence elections to protect & increase their privileges. I reckon this government has been caught flat-footed when it comes to the growth of opposing forces owning shares in various media outlets and bodies that are used as propaganda tools to undermine theirs & alternative policies. The ALP have been far too slow moving...and accomodating to those who have a vested interest in screwin' the average folk in order to protect their own wealth & privileges and build on them. The NBN rollout could help this situation...but the time frame for rollout & costs will ensure the opposition have plenty of time to sabotage it. And take government. The government might be better to focus on other key service delivery areas for now. Including dentalcare. And some kind of National Disaster Relief Fund to appease Independents. Then they can use the climate change argument/focus to get some kind of carbon tax thru in July that could also hook-into the mining boom. Whilst bringing in grants to rebuild after disasters...it's important to look after the natural disaster affected...and delay the NBN stimulatin' effect until other infrastructure that is immediately useful is put in place. Just sayin'. N'

Feral Skeleton

4/02/2011Nasking, Just take a little while to think about the NBN, especially in Queensland. Then think about the floods. Think about where the infrastructure for the NBN is slated to go. Into areas where the old Copper Telstra lines were and which Telstra has agreed with the government to decommission. So why not put the NBN in there now as part of the rebuilding effort? Ditto for the Cyclone Yasi affected areas of Queensland. Money well-spent IMHO.

Feral Skeleton

4/02/2011They really are unreconstructed WorkChoices addicts in the Liberal Party: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/robb-pushes-harder-line-on-labors-retrograde-ir-laws/story-e6frg6nf-1225999803090

Feral Skeleton

4/02/2011Compare and contrast with Labor Party policy: http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2011/02/04/210541_ntnews.html

nasking

4/02/2011Feral, you're failing to look at the bigger picture...sure, you could rollout the NBN in areas of Rockhampton and other large regional towns as you repair other infrastructure...but is it going to happen? If the government rolls out the NBN at the pace they have super clinics & trade training centres & affordable housing then we are in real trouble. Particularly as I believe there will be many more emergencies for the government to deal with. N'

Jason

4/02/2011N, Take your points on board, but as Julia once said we'll govern like we have a 20 seat majority! Now is the time to Govern and show leadership! As for Abbott and his opposition to the "flood Levy" he said he would put out a detailed response to the cuts that he would make before parliament sits! and that on Tuesday 8/2/11 still nothing! Don't get sucked in, and with many areas probably in need of having the copper cable replaced start putting in the NBN fiber

2353

4/02/2011The latest NBN furphy is that the areas of North Queensland with the NBN installed on power poles (this bit is important) failed during the passage of Cyclone Yasi while the wireless network didn't. Someone told me they saw it on Bolt's blog (so it must be true :) ). "The NBN is being installed in the ground" I say - "it's Telstra/Optus cable TV on the power poles". So after doing a quick search and finding a photo of NBN cabling being installed IN Tasmania (cyclone free I believe), they walked away with their opinion changed. Who wants to go to Bolt's blog and tell him the facts of life. Last time I went there I felt sick for a week!

Feral Skeleton

4/02/2011Nas, Read the article I linked to above your last post. Jason's right, you ARE getting sucked into Murdoch & the Opposition's agenda. NBN= No one wants or needs SkyTV, The Australian, or any of Murdoch's products anymore. It also equals TV on the Internet, from anywhere in the world, anytime. From the smallest home studio to the largest media conglomerate(Progressive, of course!), and everything in between. It's a beautiful thing. Embrace it! :)

Feral Skeleton

4/02/2011Nas, I forgot to add, wrt the article, it proves that Labor can implement successfully, and do keep their promises. It's just that the instantaneous gratification generation have infected our collective consciousness.

Jason

4/02/20112353, "Who wants to go to Bolt's blog and tell him the facts of life?" I think it would be easier to turn water into beer, walk on water or get John Howard to vote Labor , than explain anything to Bolt!

Feral Skeleton

4/02/2011Jason, What about this, eh? http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/01/31/3126091.htm?section=business Only in WA would they try and get away with this bs. Still, it's good to have the Liberals in power there to remind everyone what they would be like if they got back into power federally, as Robb's speech to the Liberal Kidettes showed.

NormanK

4/02/2011Hi all, Back up and running. All is as well as can be expected, in fact if someone had offered me this outcome on Tuesday morning I would have grabbed it with both hands. Lots of green damage, no structural upsets here and power out for a couple of days. That was the scariest cyclone I've ever sat through and we should be grateful for no huge loss of life. Guess I'll have to catch up on my reading homework. Abbott's been behaving himself, has he?

Feral Skeleton

4/02/2011Ad Astra, You are going to love this: http://andrewcatsaras.blogspot.com/

nasking

4/02/2011"Don't get sucked in" Jason & Feral, kinda low to say I'm gettin' sucked in by a media group I've always adamantly opposed...fought for many a year. I do not worry about their views...I think for myself. Feral, I never agreed w/ changing Kevin Rudd as PM. You & I disagreed on that issue. It has caused many unecessary complications. But times moves on, as does politics...and we work w/ the cards we are dealt. I sincerely believe the government is now walking into a disater if it does not rethink on the basis of these natural disaters & recent global events. Not to mention underlyin' pressures in the community. For instance, a single mum/teacher in my wife’s school is in the predicament where she can barely afford food & medication for her ill children because of the rising cost of rent, food, electricity, water & so on. That’s a bad state of affairs. And this is a woman who doesn’t gamble, smoke or go on holidays. These people desperately need relief. As do many across this country...people who have to rebuild & others who don't, like that teacher. Service delivery will be a key to this government staying in power. And providing assistance & programs that ease real financial, housing & medical pressures. The NBN will not do much of this in the window of opportunity the government have left. To ignore such facts is a blinkered approach that will bring down this government before the next election. The priorities are changing & more flexibility is required. I know you disagree...but NEVER put me in the camp of the News Ltd freaks...I've spent a decade exposing that lot. You might want to read the comments on my latest post to get a sense of my view of the Murdoch lot. It's important to read/hear & reflect on the views of others who are yer allies. Before it's too late. I hope I'm wrong. N'

Ad astra reply

4/02/2011NormanK Welcome back - how good to hear from you again. We have missed you. We are so grateful you have emerged unscathed from Yasi, despite its terror. We look forward to reading your wise comments again.

Jason

4/02/2011N, I didn't mean "getting sucked in" that way it was more in the context of if you hear something long enough people start to believe it!

nasking

4/02/2011No probs Jason. I'm get where yer comin' from now. Be assured I don't heed the propagandic mumblings of the Abbott Libs & News Ltd. I just like to pose alternative POVs & give feedback from others at times. Tests mettle. Anyway, keep articulatin' yer views...you do so passionately & persuasively. They could use you & Feral & Talk Turkey & aA etc. out there promotin' the government. BTW, was glad to see the media are finally beginnin' to question Abbott's suitability as leader & his judgement. I think plenty of Aussies already are. Cheers...off for a cold tinny...real hot & muggy here. N'

Ad astra reply

4/02/2011Folks Thank you for your supportive remarks about my being nominated for the ABC Board. Lyn, after reading your account of my activities, I can now understand why I seem to be constantly on the go. But that has been the story of my life.

TalkTurkey

4/02/2011NormanK Good to hear you're safe and not too damaged. Poor Dunk Island! Nasking, I'm sure not about to say anything insulting, and I don't really think Jason or Skelly meant to hurt your feelings . . . No-one in their right mind would doubt your stance. The fact that I don't agree that the NBN should be shelved is very far from thinking that we're on opposite sides. Your sincere posts are the first non-Coalition arguments against the NBN and though I don't find a convincing reason it should be canned doesn't mean your post isn't to be noted. I just think that everything has to be done, repairs to infrastructure and new infrastucture both. I do not foresee a future in which Oz is behind the 8-ball wrt modern communications. We need it more than most, being so isolated. What we don't need is warplanes and submarines - there's plenty of construction jobs now without such rubbish. Gina and Twiggy between them could entirely fund the necessary work and only have a few billion each left. But anyway Nas as I said earlier, we value your posts a lot, the growlier the more I feel empathy with you. There is room for sincere thoughtful disagreement on The Sword and on the Left generally, without rancor.

Lyn

4/02/2011Hey Everybody What's going on here? I just checked TPS Twitter button and nobody is following Ad Astra5, can't be possible. Only me, Cocmicjester, easygoing 777, and ethistan Please all my friends on here, can some more people please follow Ad on the Twitter Button. Hillbilly what about following Ad, Jason, Talk Turkey, Norman K, Nasking, Miglo, Patricia Wa, BSA Bob, Kerry, Adelaide Girl, DM Weir, Graeme, Rx, Acerbic Conehead, Macca, BH, Jimbo, Sawdust Mick, Jane, 2353, Mick of Kambah, Bring back Maxine, Janice, Monica, Bilko, Min, Gravel, Michael, Bushfire Bill, Jane, Catching up, perardua, I can't list you all, anyone going to be a follower please. Looks like I will have to go tweeting for followers now. Cheers

Lyn

4/02/2011Hi Norman K How lovely and wonderful to hear from you. We are all so glad you and your family are safe, and thankyou for keeping us in touch. Cheers

Ad astra reply

4/02/2011Nasking Stopping or slowing the roll out of the NBN will ‘save’ precious little as NormanK so eloquently pointed out in a comment he made on January 26 at 1.01 pm in a HillbillySkeleton piece [i]Why can’t we live together? We’re all part of the human race, after all[/i]. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2011/01/22/Why-cane28099t-we-live-together-Wee28099re-all-part-of-the-human-race-after-all.aspx This is what he said: “[i] Possibly preaching to the converted but I want to put to bed the Regressives' notion that scrapping the NBN will go a long way towards alleviating the cost of repairs from flood damage in Eastern Australia. "I won't revive the debate about this being infrastructure spending for the long-term benefit of all of us - this has been eloquently dealt with elsewhere. "Rather, let's have a look at the raw numbers. “If you are a dyed-in-the-wool Conservative, you might choose to believe that if the NBN were scrapped or even postponed tomorrow the federal government could "save" $50 billion. More than enough to cover the flood bill twice over. This figure is a complete nonsense and belongs in the minds of those who don't wish to give the subject any thought at all or are trying to score political points. See below. “Slightly more thoughtful but none-the-less flawed is the idea that the "savings" would amount to $43 billion - the overall cost of the build. This figure incorporates government investment and NBN Co privately raised funds, none of which is actually sitting in the Budget ready to be "saved". In other words, none of this is the much-vaunted "taxpayer dollars" so fiercely defended by the Coalition when in Opposition. It sits outside of the Budget structure and therefore can not be "saved". “Perhaps the $27 billion commitment by the federal government to the building of the NBN could be regarded as a "saving" if we stopped the roll-out. Once again, these are not taxpayer dollars. They are borrowed dollars which the government is going to invest in special infrastructure with a reasonable expectation of eventually recouping their investment including interest paid on the loans. “Which brings us to the taxpayer dollars involved in this venture - i.e. money which will have to come from the Federal Budget to facilitate the construction, money which could, in theory, be spent on other things. The only taxpayer dollars which need to be accounted for across the forward estimates (next four years) are the interest repayments on the loans. “Before we get to the punch-line of just how big these "savings" would be, let's entertain some of the "costs" of announcing the delay or indeed cessation of the NBN roll-out. We need look no further than the housing insulation scheme for a reasonable model of what the consequences might be. “Right now sub-contractors are at the very least training the trainers who will teach the new workforce best practice in how to conduct the roll-out. These same subbies will be looking at investments in machinery, tools and personnel in order to be best-placed to bid on contracts when they come up for tender. Capital investment in the millions of dollars will have already occurred. “Millions of metres of fibre optic cable will be required to fulfil the needs of NBN Co once the project reaches a decent head of steam and it would be a foolish manufacturer indeed who doesn't already have plans for increasing production to accommodate this need. It is not unreasonable to imagine that the "go ahead" button was pushed once the Gillard Government reached a deal with the Independents and Telstra was brought on-board. A modest stock-pile of cable almost certainly exists, ready to facilitate the acceleration when it occurs. More millions of dollars invested in expectation of the NBN going ahead. “The "boxes" required to connect the cable to itself, to service providers and to the end-user will be required in seriously high numbers. Some of these boxes have been decided upon in terms of design and proposed provider while others are still in the evaluation stage. Never-the-less, huge numbers of these will be required over the next ten years and, once again, if a company wishes to win contracts for their supply they will have to prove that they have the means of manufacturing and supplying them at a competitive price. Not to mention, what to do with what has already been rolled out? “So, if the insulation scheme is anything to go by, the government could expect compensation claims in the hundreds of millions of dollars for reneging on in-principle agreements, existing smaller contracts and the possible collapse of businesses who have made investments in the reasonable expectation of future profits. “Back to Mr Abbott's "savings". According to the Departments of Treasury and Finance, they have this to say on the subject as part of their costings of Coalition election promises : a reduction of $900 million over four years to public debt interest savings from reversing the ALP's policy to build the NBN. www.scribd.com/doc/36771897/Coalition-Costings “Nine hundred million dollars. Not $50 billion. Not $43 billion. Not $27 billion. $900 million. A mere drop in the ocean for the expected expenditure on flood repairs which according to some estimates could go as high as $20 billion. Any thought that the $27 billion earmarked to be borrowed to fund the NBN scheme could be swung around to fund other things (like flood repair//hospitals, etc.) is another complete nonsense because by their nature these expenditures would be "on budget" and therefore entail the use of taxpayer dollars. “So the next time Abbott or Hockey or Joyce or Robb front the cameras and call for the abolition of the NBN because the "savings" could fund the flood recovery effort, bear in mind that they are speaking of $900 million over four years. “Is it any wonder that those of us with a low tolerance for bullsh*t are disdainful of this current Opposition who have such a flagrant disregard for truth?[/i] NormanK’s argument is convincing don’t you think?

Lyn

4/02/2011Hi Ad [quote]Lyn, after reading your account of my activities, I can now understand why I seem to be constantly on the go. But that has been the story of my life. [/quote] Ad, did you smile to yourself, I hope so. Cheers

nasking

4/02/2011Cheers Talk Turkey, you make useful points. aA, thnx for that info by way of the ever articulate Norman. And yes, ad Astra would make a great member of the ABC Board. :) N'

Ad astra reply

4/02/2011HFS Thank you for the Andrew Catsaras link. What a cogent piece he has written. If only media managers would read and absorb it: [i]Independent analysis and observations of Australian politics[/i] http://andrewcatsaras.blogspot.com/

Ad astra reply

4/02/2011Yes Lyn, I did smile - so did my wife!

Ad astra reply

4/02/2011HFS Girl Clumsy's: [i]Gettin' Heavy on the Levy[/i] http://www.girlclumsy.com/2011/01/gettin-heavy-on-levy.html is delightful. My guess is that she will get no takers. Miserliness and embarrassment are not mutually exclusive.

Feral Skeleton

4/02/2011Nas, [quote]For instance, a single mum/teacher in my wife’s school is in the predicament where she can barely afford food & medication for her ill children because of the rising cost of rent, food, electricity, water & so on. [/quote] You.Have.Got.To.Be.Joking. This woman, lives in Queensland(rent cheaper than Sydney), has a job as a Teacher ferchrissake, is dumb enough to allow herself to pay for water in her Rented house, and is struggling to find money for food, medication for her sick children and electricity? And she does not gamble, smoke or go on holidays? She must be the most hopeless money manager in Australia then. Does she regularly lose all her money down the back of the couch, or buy her children Billabong clothing instead of food? I can't figure it out. You know why I can't figure it out? Because I am a Single Mum with 2 teenage children that I am bringing up in Rented accomodation in Sydney. You know the place? The one that Kristina Kenneally just stated publically has the highest cost of living in the land! I mange to put food on the table every night of the week for my kids. Good food, like steak-based meals, Chicken Breast fillets, 5 Star Mince Spag Bol, and I buy heaps of fruit, nuts and vegetables, plus make lunch for them every day to take to school, out of high quality bread. In fact, I don't buy cheap bread at all, unless I want to slum it. All my Electricity bills are paid for by my having arranged a Direct Debit weekly to my bank account, of enough money, which I have calculated from my past bills, with a bit more thrown in for future rises, to cover for it. My children are well-dressed, here and there a Rip Curl or whatever piece, but mainly from K Mart & St Vincent De Paul. I bought a new car(well, 10 years old, which is 'new' for me) last year, and I'm going to Albury to visit a friend for Easter. I usually can afford a small holiday every other year, on the cheap. I also have a son with a few chronic medical problems, as well as my own, age-related problems which need me to have to go to the Chemist on almost a weekly basis for medications. I must admit, I don't smoke or gamble either. Still, we generally want for nothing-one computer or laptop for each of us, plus a couple of gaming consoles, XBox Live subscription and big Broadband download limit to pay for each month. Plus a few Mobile phones. I do it all on a Carers Benefit + Family Tax Allowance for the kids! In Sydney! And I live in a beachside suburb, not a crap Outer Sydeny hellhole/Public Housing area! There is only one thing I can think of that this 'Noble Single Mum' does with her money. She spends it all on Maccas and Dominos pizzas. I can't think of where else it goes. I mean, she'd have to be getting >$1000/week, which is about twice what I live on...successfully.

Feral Skeleton

4/02/2011NormanK, I am so glad you're OK. :)

Feral Skeleton

4/02/2011Where's that nominating form for Ad Astra to go on the ABC Board? This is outrageous: [quote]4 Corners is doing a story on, wait for it, The REAL Julia.[/quote] I can see Kerry O'Brien is bringing his sneering condescension with him from the 7.30 Report. Oh, they must think it is such a jolly jape to have a go at the PM in this way for their first show back for the year, and with O'Brien now in the host's chair. It will really 'set the tone' for the new parliamentary year, and the year of political reporting to come on Their ABC.

Feral Skeleton

4/02/2011This is the line that Abbott will be taking to Queensland tomorrow: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/schools-watch/ber-failures-linked-to-flood-levy/story-fn56ulhe-1226000196432? That is, that if Gillard had 'managed' the BER funds better she'd have enough to pay for Flood/Cyclone Reconstruction. Not that a 97.3% success rate, greater than most Private building jobs, is enough to make the Opposition happy. It should have been 100%! The Opposition really are evil, aren't they? Note, also, how they are trying to use the old Howard tactic of 'Divide and conquer', by making the distinction between Public School BER project costs, and the others.

Lyn

4/02/2011Hi Everybody Sunday Morning TV- Feb 6 http://sundaymorningtv.posterous.com/ February 3, 2011 Sunday morning TV, Feb 6 #auspol - Who's back with them?Your guide to this Sunday morning's political and business interviews Full program listing avai-lable at: http://sundaymorningtv.posterous.com/ 8.00am Ch10's Meet the Press Paul Bongiorno is joined on the Panel by The Age's Michelle Grattan and Malcolm Farr from news.com.au Together they interview Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Chairman of the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, Major General Mick Slater. 8:30am Sky News 601 Australian Agenda On Sky News Australian Agenda this week, Environment and Water Minister Tony Burke is interviewed by Peter Van Onselen and panel Paul Kelly and Matthew Franklin from The Australian. Also, Andrea Slattery - head of the self managed super association and this week appointed to a Government committee to look into super off the back of the Cooper Review. 8:35am Ch7 Weekend Sunrise - The Riley Diary Political editor Mark Riley takes a look at politics of disaster. 8:38am Ch9 Today on Sunday - Laurie Oakes interview The Laurie Oakes interview will return to your TV screen next Sunday, February 13. 9:00am ABC1 Insiders On the first Insiders program for 2011, Barrie Cassidy interviews the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. On the panel: the Sydney Morning Herald’s Lenore Taylor, the Courier Mail’s Dennis Atkins and new panellist, [b]Niki Savva[/b]. And Mike Bowers talks pictures with the Australian’s Jon Kudelka. 10:00am ABC1 Inside Business & on ABC News 24 @ 5.30pm This week on Inside Business Alan Kohler talks to the head of Australia’s largest general insurer, Suncorp Group, Patrick Snowball, about the impact of recent natural disasters. Alan also talks to the outgoing head of the Business Council of Australia, Katie Lahey, about her decade pushing big businesses barrow through the corridors of power

Ad astra reply

4/02/2011Thanks Lyn for the Sunday morning schedule - I can see we are really back into it. Folks I'm turning in for the night - there will be a new post tomorrow.

Feral Skeleton

4/02/2011So, Insiders is back with 3 Murdochistan employees: Savva, Atkins and Kudelka, PLUS an interview(probably a soft one), with Tony Abbott. Well, that will be 'Fair and Balanced' then. You know Abbott will just use the whole exercise to trot out his latest attack against the government and the Levy, will avoid any scrutiny about his own political faux pas this week, and then his Talking Points will be reinforced by 'the panel'. Groan. Wonder if Niki has had any filler injected into her wrinkles over the Xmas break to fill out her face for the new TV gig? :)

NormanK

4/02/2011On behalf of North Queenslanders all over the Galaxy, your humble correspondent offers thanks for your kind thoughts and prayers over recent days. I hope Tony Abbott keeps pushing this anti-levy barrow for all he's worth. In the magical land of the ever-present, he and his cohorts have no doubt forgotten that many of the people affected by Yasi (or their friends, neighbours and relatives) were the same people who claimed their CentreLink cheques during the Ingham floods and immediately pledged them, in full, to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal. As individuals said at the time : "we've only had a bit of water through the house, those poor buggars have lost everything." Well this time it's Queenslanders who have lost everything - not just in Yasi but in the floods as well which were of a size and/or duration and/or frequency such as we have not seen before. "Cut the fat" will wash with rusted-on LNP voters but Abbott should remember an awful lot of undecided voters up here came his way last election and if there is a perception that he is with-holding support for a hasty recovery, he will suffer for it. Also to be borne in mind is the fact that there is a real north versus south mentality in North Queensland and the NBN is seen as something which will even up the balance a bit. Nothing would suit us better than to know that Brisbanites are, in effect subsidizing our relatively cheap internet packages (because, the myth goes, we generate heaps of wealth and those bludgers down south reap the rewards). More seriously, businesses (primary, secondary, retail) are all crying out for the NBN to help lift productivity and encourage decentralisation which is seen as being key to the survival of small and medium sized towns struggling for relevance beyond their one principal reason for being i.e sugar cane, coal, port facilities, cattle, tourism etc. They need the NBN in order to diversify and attract fresh blood. So go on, Mr Abbott, come to NQ and pour scorn on the NBN, tell us wireless is the way of the future and tell us a levy is an unjust impost on the rest of Australia brought about by a few million rednecks choosing to live in a dangerous part of the country. If you get offered a banana by a little red-headed bloke, I wouldn't eat it if I were you.

2353

4/02/2011Very quickly Lyn, I don't have a Facebook or Twitter account. I really don't think that the world needs to know if I get a paper cut on my index finger, I filled the car up or I went on another long day trip for work. Others in my family do have accounts (and frequently complain that I don't) but I really can't see a need for them that can't be fulfilled in some other way including picking up a part of the POTS (Plain Old Telephone System) and actually talking to someone. If I did have Facebook/Twitter, I would certainly follow people like Grog, AA and so on. I'm not against the concept, the Queensland Police Twitter account is a wonderful and useful thing - I just wish that I had found it prior to the floods in Brisvegas - but really I'm not that interesting.

Jason

4/02/2011Friday, February 4, 2011 Political Pond Scum Well this may be a record. It’s taken less than 24 hours for me to break my pledge not to be personal and not to add to the hate. But I really want to say this: Mark Latham, you are a complete and utter wanker. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2011/02/political-pond-scum.html

Lyn

4/02/2011Hi 2353 Thankyou for your reply to my call for followers to Ad Astra by using the Twitter facility provided by Ad Astra on "The Political Sword. Ad is trying to determine whether it is worthwhile to have the twitter option or not. I think you have missunderstood me, the button is not really provided to play on. This is how I use it. Firstly I do not talk on Twitter and I certainly think is is stupid, tweeting people, about one has a cut on a finger, Filling up the car with petrol, or in the Supermarket buying a loaf of bread, or going to the beach, that is just nonsense. Ad has had the button available now for 1 week or so, during that time I have been able to [b]Re-tweet [/b]Ad's column to the people I follow. Who are: Grog's Gamut, Abc Mark Scott, Ashe's to Ashes Blog, Possum on Pollytics, Laurie Oakes, Julia Gillard, Pure Poison, Tim Dunlop, Bernard Keane, The Notion Factory, and others, in other words my favourite Political bloggs. They in turn then re-tweet to their followers and so it goes on. [b]So you see for "The Political Sword it is a good way to get the excellent articles, Ad Astra is writing about, out in the public arena.[/b] I have tried to type this reply up clear and properly for you. Cheers .

TalkTurkey

5/02/2011Lyn, When I learn HOW to tweet I'll start doing it I suppose, but I don't understand it atm. That should give you an idea of how much idea I haven't. NormanK "If you [Abbortt] get offered a banana by a little red-headed bloke, I wouldn't eat it if I were you." Great line but what d'you want to go warning him for? Now EVERYBODY, this is important. PLEASE READ TODAY! http://www.dbcde.gov.au/.../abc_and_sbs_board_appointments If we want to return Auntie to being OUR ABC, Ad astra's presence on the Board would be a great step. I don't know any more than any of the rest of us about framing Aa's nomination, probably less than most, but we must do the very best we can. Ad astra has a very good claim imo, he would bring much to the position. Please read the guidelines and spend some time crafting a tribute to him which you think may contribute to the success of our application. And post it! Thank you Ad astra for being prepared to answer this call, I will be in touch via email but let me further ask that you yourself write what you think would be an appealing application. Don't be self-effacing. We have just a few days to cobble it together. But if Swordsfolks between us can't put a pretty good case then who could? BTW Miglo (and I hope you've chased that mean ol' Wolf from your door) and Grog, and Mr Denmore, and all the other conscientious bloggers, will ye no' lend a hand? I s'pose it's bit weird, mostly we are anonymous, but in some ways that will allow sincerity and forthrightness to flourish, and your comments on Aa's behalf will shine. I just wish I had more nous in matters like this, but maybe someone else is really clever at it? (Hoping!?) Speak up!

TalkTurkey

5/02/2011 Folks Sorry if that link in my post at 12.53 AM didn't go where it needs to, and if the one below fails go to Jason's post at 3.09 PM yesterday. Sorry I'm such a dunce. http://www.dbcde.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0013/132340/Position_description_ABC_board.pdf

Rx

5/02/2011[i]So, Insiders is back with 3 Murdochistan employees: Savva, Atkins and Kudelka, PLUS an interview(probably a soft one), with Tony Abbott. Well, that will be 'Fair and Balanced' then. [/i] About as "fair and balanced" as any show on FOXNews. I suppose in their "fair and balanced" way, Their ABC will put Niki Sava into the chair on the left because she describes herself as a "conservative lefty". Never mind that that's a contradiction in terms, and the fact that she finds a way to attack Labor or the Labor PM in everything she writes. -- Jason, thanks for the link to Position Description for ABC Director. -- Ad Astra, Thanks for saying you'll throw your hat into the ring for a position as Director. If there's any way we Swordsfolks can assist in compiling ideas your application, I'm sure we will all contribute whatever ideas we have. I would if it were me be convincing them of the depth of commitment you've always had to the necessity of a responsible, ethical public broadcaster. Especially in the face of the near monopolistic Murdoch empire with its bias, political agenda and enormous power (worldwide and Australia). I'd be pointing out that this means so much to you that you've been giving your time and energy to running a blog devoted to the state of the media (and politics broadly) for [i]x[/] months. Pardon me if I'm stating the obvious angles, but I do believe you have and would make a good case ... and we all here know the ABC needs people of integrity and merit to return it to respectability. All the very best, Ad. I appreciate the work you do.

Ad astra reply

5/02/2011NormanK Thank you for yet another thoughtful comment. It is so good to have you back, safe and sound, and to be able to enjoy your comments. I have just posted a piece that was inspired by a comment you made about 'The Right to be Angry'. Indeed that is the title of the piece.

Rx

5/02/2011Feral Skeleton, What gets me is the different treatments given to the Parties by ABC in its coverage of politics. Take [i]4Corners[/i]. As you've pointed out it's opening the 2011 broadcast year with a program about Julia Gillard. Sure as you say it's likely to be one big attack job from start to finish. And being the debut program for 2011 it will set the 'tone' for the year to come, as you so correctly put it. So we've got an (expected) attack on Labor / Labor leadership as the lead item of [i]4Corners[/i]. Now, take the ABC's daily news output, in particular that of radio bulletins and the online news site. Anyone who's observed for more than a couple of days and given the matter more than a moment's honest reflection can't help but have noticed how the majority of political stories lead in with that-now infamous phrase: [b][i]"The Federal Opposition says ..."[/b][/i] So we've got the dissemination of Coalition talking points being the lead item in most political stories. It's the inconsistency. On the one hand [i]4Corners[/i] opens with an attack on Labor. On other hand it's typical for news items to open with promotion of the Coalition (with, of course, their attacks on Labor). Bias takes numerous forms (as you pointed out in an earlier piece here on [i]The Political Sword[/i]). Treating the sides differently so as one side nearly always loses out, is another manifestation of bias. The ABC seems to be getting worse with its bias, not better. Pushing the envelope to see how much avoidance of its Charter it can get away with?

Ad astra reply

5/02/2011Rx Thank you for your generous remarks and your support. It will be interesting to see how the ABC goes about selecting its Board, and who is acceptable as a member.

Ad astra reply

5/02/2011Folks I didn’t add the link to today’s post [i]The Right to be Angry[/i] as I sent the comment from my iPad and haven’t yet worked out how to copy a link into a comment there. I’ve had a lot of delays using Next G on my computer this morning, so have resorted to the iPad. Anyway, here it is: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2011/02/05/The-Right-to-be-Angry.aspx

Feral Skeleton

5/02/2011Damn you Andrew Bolt for your anti-Global Warming Scepticism, and Tony Abbott for calling Climate Change, "Absolute crap"! It's already 35 degrees here on the Central Coast of NSW, and will go to at least 40 degrees again, at the tail end of the longest heatwave for many a year. We have also just broken the record for the greatest number of nights with >20 degree overnight temperatures, as in, it's never been this hot for this long overnight before! Of course, the mealy-mouthed Mr Bolt would counter that, well, there was a record x number of years ago which was broken. Was that Global Warming too? Which is why it's about time we started countering this disinformation with the fact that Climate Change will see an increase in the Frequency and Intensity and Duration of catastrophic climate extremes, not that because they also occurred previously and now that means 'Climate Change is Absolute Crap'. I wonder if the Coalition and their boosters will start believing when the Climate Change-induced devastation of our Food Bowls, such as occurred in Queensland again these past couple of months, starts happening more regularly and the prices go through the roof and we can't feed the rest of the world anymore, and Food Riots, such as sparked the turmoil in the Middle East atm spread? I doubt it. The Coalition will just continue with their Blind Faith and extreme short-termism, seeking to score petty political points and sowing the seeds of doubt about it all. Losers.

nasking

5/02/2011[quote]This woman, lives in Queensland(rent cheaper than Sydney), has a job as a Teacher ferchrissake, is dumb enough to allow herself to pay for water in her Rented house, and is struggling to find money for food, medication for her sick children and electricity? And she does not gamble, smoke or go on holidays? She must be the most hopeless money manager in Australia then.[/quote] Feral, we have no idea about the debts this woman was left w/. However, yer arrogant & dismissive approach to her ordeal is exactly what lost Paul Keating his election. No empathy. You must listen to the people on the ground who are doin' it tuff...not condemn them. You are a passionate poster...and useful reaearcher...and articulate as hell...a wonderful contributer here...but let's not lose touch w/ the people on the ground & their worries/pressures. As I have commented on Cafe Whispers: a Tea Party style revolt in this country could really devestate this government. That is why it’s so important the government learns from the US example. That includes being CLEARER about programs & policies. Not doing too much at once. FOCUS on service delivery & needs of real people on the ground. Ensuring you sell your achievements/accomplishments. Tangible evidence required. Don’t war w/ the media…use & promote alternatives…but also provide mainstream media offers they can’t refuse in order to deliver yer message. Having control of spending rather than giving it over to states. Ensuring one tax increase leads to another tax is cut or abolished. To start w/. Cheers N’

nasking

5/02/2011Furthermore, this teacher has 4 children. She has 3 ill children by way of genetic diseases. Three she has to buy special food for. She's on a basic teacher wage...nowhere near a thousand a week. She's on contract. No healthcare card. No rent assistance. etc. She's had to relocate twice in the last two years related to domestic violence problems...has a court order. N'
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