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Rostrum!

October 18, 2013

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Public political debate has now become an endless game of Pong, where the ‘Left’ and the ‘Right’ simply expel rhetoric into public space to be rejected by the other, writes Grant Wyeth…

My parents don’t know anyone who would vote for the ALP or Greens.

My friendship and cultural circles don’t know anyone who would vote for the Coalition.

Both view those without their voting intentions as highly strange, suspicious and people to fear. The opportunities, and the desire, for conversation are non-existent.

In mainstream political discourse we talk about ‘Left’ and ‘Right’, or ‘progressive’ and ‘conservative’, as political groups, hanging on to antiquated notions of consistent political ideas, but in fact it is becoming increasingly evident that these are now simply cultural groups.

We can broadly describe a culture as the behaviours and beliefs of a particular group of people. These behaviours and beliefs compound themselves as they are continually practiced. Large distinctions in cultures occur when groups are isolated and not exposed to any different influences or practices.

Both of these cultural groups are what could best be described as ‘subscription packages’; with a checklist of positions to hold in order gain membership.

For the ‘Left’ we have positions that fall under the umbrella of socially liberal and economically interventionist. For the ‘Right’ it is the binary opposite: socially conservative and economically liberal. Regardless of the outcomes they produce these are the standpoints of the tribe.

These coalitions of ideas feel consistent because everyone in the group continually reiterates them. The beliefs of the group are reinforced by the group’s beliefs. With an added constant suspicion of outsiders, any attempt to influence their positions is vigorously resisted.

The internet was meant to be the great conversation, the space where difference would converge and enlightenment would prevail. Yet it instead seems to be forming into information ghettos, where these ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ groups inhabit spaces exclusive to one another. Increasingly this is even becoming the way that we consume our mainstream news.

While news outlets have always had perspectives and agendas, we are now experiencing what is best described as the ‘Foxification’ of news. It is a model that preaches solely to the converted and strokes and manipulates their biases. In the US we have seen Fox’s tribal rival MSNBC adopt this model for the ‘progressive’ cultural group with similar success.

In Australia this is mimicked in a less extreme, but still significant, fashion by the News Ltd/Fairfax divide.

As a result public debate has now become an endless game of Pong, where these two cultural groups simply expel rhetoric into public space to be rejected by the other. The suspicion between the two cultural groups is so strong, that if one iterates a position then the other simply claims the opposite must be the truth.

Persuasive arguments aren’t worth communicating because there is little intention of them being considered. Greater comprehension or even conversion are not motives. The objective is solely about expressing one’s outrage at topic du jour.

This kind of rhetoric is designed solely to consolidate one’s position within the pack. It is a combination of conformity to the group and a desire to increase your power within it. The louder you yell, the more impassioned your indignity, the more removed you are from the other reviled group.

Social media plays an important role in highlighting this phenomenon. There is the obvious echo-chamber of following only those who are members of your tribe.

However, there is also the interesting device of changing a Facebook profile picture to indicate a voting intention, or using a Twibbon to demonstrate support for a cause. These are not intended to be a persuasive arguments, in fact there is no argument at all. The audience is their peers, an indication that you above reproach with your adherence to the team.

This firm adherence to the group is expected of each member of the group, and anyone who would stray will not be tolerated.

Former ALP President and prominent Indigenous Australian Warren Mundine is a good current example of this. It is believed that he is ‘selling out’ by working with the new conservative government on indigenous issues. Instead it is expected that he get in the trenches and throw solution-less grenades at them. The conflict between the two tribes takes priority over any potential positive results. Conflict is the oxygen that they need to survive.

Conspicuous free-market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs insistence on choosing warriors like Andrew Bolt and Janet Albrechtsen to speak at their events indicates that their intentions are combative, and not persuasive.

No other organisation looking to attract sympathisers would go anywhere near such polarising figures. These are hostile acts, roadblocks to conversation that entrench mindsets and make finding consensus increasingly difficult.

During the election campaign I had to explain to my mother that Kevin Rudd’s use of the phrase “working families” was an attempt to talk to her. As a member of a family that worked she was offended that someone not from her tribe would use a term that described her in his vision.

It was an indication of the depth of this cultural divide.

I’m not naïve enough to believe that differing political allegiances have ever simply been disagreements in the approach to problem solving. Yet the idea that we view our opposing group in this political culture as actively nefarious is highly detrimental to any problems being solved. 

Grant is a freelance writer and political analyst. View his full profile here.

 

 

 

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165 Comments leave one →
  1. October 18, 2013 4:39 pm

    How people go broke playing the pokies…

    http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/3871090.htm

  2. October 18, 2013 4:57 pm

    Ummm-aaaah!

    pokie-hater! free-market-contravener!

  3. October 18, 2013 5:09 pm

    What’s with the ‘no public comments’ shit? I can’t tell which gutter crawlers last commented. It makes it very hard to launch a harrying tirade against their meagre opinions!

  4. October 18, 2013 5:11 pm

    It’s a wordpress issue boss…

  5. October 18, 2013 5:14 pm

    Bastards!

    How dare they interfere with my free service! Don’t they know I’m entitled !!! 😯

  6. October 18, 2013 5:16 pm

    Exactly boss, I demand compensation!!!!

  7. TB Queensland permalink
    October 18, 2013 5:42 pm

    Well, Grant Wyeth, hits the nail squarely on the head I reckon … great Rostrum article, sreb!

  8. egg permalink
    October 18, 2013 5:57 pm

    Julian Burnside is overreacting.

  9. October 18, 2013 6:12 pm

    l`ve read several posts similar to Wyeth`s before.
    He too got stuck in teh-left/right thing that suits simple folk and journalists, that can`t see that there are many more than `two` view-points. The Burnside pic up-top of post, is a 3rd-viewpoint, which from my observations would represent many commenters here better than just left/right. There are plenty that don`t like `either` side, just don`t tell Grant.

  10. October 18, 2013 6:14 pm

    Did anybody else notice the global cooling seemed flammable this week.?

  11. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    October 18, 2013 6:42 pm

    This seems reasonable analysis.

    There is no longer any place for those of us that are socially progressive and economically conservative.
    ————–
    I’ve had a little to do with Warren Mundine over the years, I’ve found him to be committed to progressive indigenous polices, independently minded and ethical. He deserved a place in parliament in front of about 75% of the current lot.

    ALP barrackers have viciously turned on him because he’s decided to try to advance indigenous policy under the current government.

  12. egg permalink
    October 18, 2013 6:42 pm

    Bushfires have nothing to do with AGW and everything to do with a wayward jet stream, which accounts for a couple of days of heat, then cooling and heat again all within a week.

    As you are probably aware, a wayward jet stream is pretty much what we would expect with global cooling, as its behaviour is directly linked to our star.

    This is fascinating, I thought the story of our origin was settled.

    http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/oct/17/skull-homo-erectus-human-evolution

  13. Ol' Sancty permalink
    October 18, 2013 7:00 pm

    Burnside’s a supercilious cnt.

  14. egg permalink
    October 18, 2013 7:04 pm

    Hi James, I sort of agree.

  15. egg permalink
    October 18, 2013 7:19 pm

    ‘Over reacting?’

    Both leaders are conscious of the political risks involved, they really only want to speed up the bureaucratic process. Eliminating green tape will be good for conservation in the long run.

    The biggest hurdle coming up is fracking.

  16. October 18, 2013 7:55 pm

    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘Burnside’s a supercilious cnt.’ ” ‘ ‘ ‘
    Sounds like somebody has a dose of bench-envy oh 🙄 snacky,
    ls his `gavel` bigger than your gavel.?
    .
    .
    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘There is no longer any place for those of us that are socially progressive and economically conservative.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘
    l some-what agree yomm, teh-left/right shit rammed down the publics throat, probably represents a lot less of people, than their `actual` opinion of things once they finally get the `full-and-true` story on things. Most of us don`t fit neatly into the red bucket or blue bucket.

  17. TB Queensland permalink
    October 18, 2013 9:26 pm

    Burnside’s a supercilious cnt.
    🙄
    🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄

    Of course he is …

  18. October 19, 2013 8:54 am

    lt`s nice to see `recent`comments` have been released under foi

  19. Dianne permalink
    October 19, 2013 9:54 am

    I have heard Julian Burnside speak. He is not supercilious. He is not arrogantly superior, contemptuously indifferent and haughty. He advocates on behalf of the voiceless.

  20. TB Queensland permalink
    October 19, 2013 10:48 am

    The state/standard of literacy in this country is demonstrated by this paragraph by:

    PATRICK LION, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER…

    Mr Abbott said the legacy could also be captured by a centre on the Western Front for Australians to see their war history, like what the Canadians had done to commemorate their efforts.

    http://www.news.com.au/national-news/rsl-against-tony-abbott8217s-national-war-cemetery-in-canberra-plan/story-fncynjr2-1226742725168

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Di, I could be wrong but I suspect 99% of us here would agree with you …

  21. October 19, 2013 10:54 am

    I agree with Dianne…

  22. October 19, 2013 11:05 am

    #Burnside
    Fully agree with you comrade_Dianne_no_longer_under_bed,
    lt is only the not-so-brights that live an information-lite lifestyle that don`t realize Burnside is highly knowledgeable on what he speaks about.

  23. October 19, 2013 11:57 am

    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘”The proposal was rejected in 2010 or 2011 when the government asked us and the RSL’s position hasn’t changed because the membership came back, quite collectively, with a big no,” Mr King said.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘
    +
    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘Australians’ Arlington”, could be built in Canberra to commemorate the Anzac centenary, Tony Abbott proposed yesterday.

    But war veterans rejected the proposal, saying families of the dead would be forced to travel too far to visit the graves of their loved ones if the proposal went ahead.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘
    http://www.news.com.au/national-news/rsl-against-tony-abbott8217s-national-war-cemetery-in-canberra-plan/story-fncynjr2-1226742725168
    .
    .
    Such fcuking yankophiles continue to push (usually_shit) yank ideas onto the public and refuse to respect the recent results. lt shits me to death, this continued yank-fawning/groveling that the canberra clowns do. They should grow a backbone and develop some self-respect.

  24. Dianne permalink
    October 19, 2013 12:00 pm

    Thanks all. Reporting from my lair under the Sealey Posturepedic (Queen sized).

  25. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    October 19, 2013 7:08 pm

    Julian Burnside is a barrister, it’s a profession required to exaggerate the points they make. He does this well and is an effective advocate.
    ————–
    I’m off for some thirst quenching shiraz!

  26. egg permalink
    October 19, 2013 7:32 pm

    Perhaps I’ve been a little harsh on Julian, he did come up with the ‘Tasmanian Solution’.

  27. Ol' Sancty permalink
    October 19, 2013 8:55 pm

    I don’t like the idea of refugees paying good money to be dumped onto a leaky fishing boat. It is a dangerous and exploitative trade.

    I don’t like seeing them drowning at sea.

    I don’t like our nation’s humanity being exploited.

    I think our nation ought to be more humane in that we should not only increase our refugee intake but also improve greatly our assistance in settlement of refugees.

    Burnside characterises those views as racist. I am not racist. Burnside is a lazy and supercilious cnt for making that characterisation, amongst other things.

    He is unable to make his political case without offensively characterising those who hold a different view….the supercilious lazy cnt.

  28. October 19, 2013 9:00 pm

    “I don’t like our nation’s humanity being exploited.”

    😯

  29. October 19, 2013 9:10 pm

    It’s odd how the dog botherers who are so obsessed with what’s right and what’s wrong are so far removed from any semblance of what is right and what is wrong.

  30. Ol' Sancty permalink
    October 19, 2013 11:09 pm

    That’s pretty vague, Reb. Please be more specific.

  31. egg permalink
    October 20, 2013 7:01 am

    ‘Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has instructed departmental and detention centre staff to publicly refer to asylum seekers as ”illegal” arrivals and as ”detainees”, rather than clients.

    ‘The directive has been criticised as a ”profound” shift by a leading asylum seeker agency, which says the new terms are designed to dehumanise people.’

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/minister-wants-boat-people-called-illegals-20131019-2vtl0.html#ixzz2iCSLJwha

  32. October 20, 2013 9:44 am

    ln the interests of `accuracy`,
    l have screeched several times about Federal-Politicians `pay-scale` starting at 170K_pa has been incorrect according to Barrie and his guests on the clever-couch. They say the number is 190K_pa for the back-bencher, which makes their claims/rorts look worse.
    #Trough-Snout #lnsiders

  33. October 20, 2013 9:52 am

    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘I don’t like the idea’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘
    Well, Oh 🙄 Snacky,
    l don`t like the `idea` we spend fcuking billion$(waste) persecuting desperado`s, while at the same time Teabags-Cranks demand National-Infrastructure(nbn) be reduced to 3rd-rate by the same Cranks that `claim` they are economically superior.

  34. October 20, 2013 10:06 am

    oh 🙄 snacky on #burnside
    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘He is unable to make his political case without offensively characterising those who hold a different view’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘
    .
    Then you are willfully ignoring just about every post and comment on this blog oh 🙄 snacky, the burnside quote have been fully explained and debated on this blog in the past, you have even been participating, it is you who is being lazy oh 🙄 snacky, and remember, your dog is watching you.

  35. egg permalink
    October 20, 2013 10:38 am

    Hmmm ….

  36. October 20, 2013 4:03 pm

    I have arrived in Brisbane for a conference and already I can’t wait to leave.

  37. TB Queensland permalink
    October 20, 2013 4:07 pm

    Avoid the CBD loike the fkn plague … DO NOT go anywhere near The Valley!

    And don’t get on the train to the Gold Coast!

    The city is nice to look at on the horizon … from a bout 30kms away! 😉

  38. TB Queensland permalink
    October 20, 2013 4:09 pm

    BTW, have ou left the airport, yet? Just askin’ … 😆

  39. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    October 20, 2013 4:20 pm

    Brisbane is a handy transit point. An hour and a half north is good surf and some decent restaurants at Noosa, and an hour and a half south is good surf and decent restaurants in Byron Bay!

    Other than that, I hear Brisbane has –
    • A river
    • Some swamps
    • A fake beach

    No wonder they’re all coming to Melbourne.

  40. October 20, 2013 4:43 pm

    We’re going to the “hinterland” whatever TF that is…

  41. October 20, 2013 5:13 pm

    It’s like Penrith in the hills.

  42. October 20, 2013 6:37 pm

    Penrith is discovering the global cooling is quite flammable nowadays reb, so don`t get singed in the `hinterland`.

    To add to TB`s list, the town on the border with nsw is another `hot-spot` worth avoiding, can`t think of it`s name at the moment, but has as much trouble as gold-coast and fortitude-valley.

  43. TB Queensland permalink
    October 20, 2013 7:21 pm

    Tweed Heads/Coolangatta 00000000000000000000007 ….

    No wonder they’re all coming to Melbourne. LOL! Who? The Taswegians?

    Last week I couldn’t spell Melbournite … now I are one … hehehhahahhohoh … bloody hell … Melbourne is the economy that people survive in … 😯

    Which “hinterland”, sreb? Not fkn Kuralbyn? 🙄

  44. TB Queensland permalink
    October 20, 2013 7:45 pm

    I tend to agree with this … and not becaue I’m partisan but its true …

    http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/national/labor-policy-key-to-reduced-boats-burke/story-e6frfku9-1226743269430

    Policies take time to take effect …

  45. October 20, 2013 7:49 pm


    this one is for oh 🙄 snacky and dumpty

  46. October 20, 2013 8:15 pm

    http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2013/10/20/honesty-in-language/
    there is a lesson here for oh 🙄 snacky,
    if he can be bothered to learn it. #burnside

  47. Walrus on Overseas Assignment permalink
    October 20, 2013 8:24 pm

    Hello all

    Hiding out in Galle in Sri Lanka at the moment with a group of 10 friends.

    Nothing has changed around here at GT I see

    Catching a boat back

    Fires are getting a lot of coverage here and are a constant on Aljazeera or whatever it is

  48. October 20, 2013 8:32 pm

    I am the very model of an immigration minister

    In charge of refugees and matters maritime and sinister.

    At school I studied hard at maths and lessons alphabetical,

    I learnt the scriptures backwards and the canon evangelical.

    I made my rise to greatness from political obscurity

    Conflating xenophobia with national security.

    Endlessly I preached the word to ordinary Australians

    Arousing fears their homes were being overrun by aliens.

    I blamed the Labor gang for this invasion of Muhammadans

    Who wear the burqa, pray to Mecca, starve themselves at Ramadan.

    Fanatics who would have us all obeying their sharia laws

    They’d ban the Easter Bunny and abolish dear old Santa Claus.

    But! Now that I’m the minister I’ve vowed to turn the boats around,

    I’ve got a three-star general to keep our borders safe and sound.

    The bleeding hearts and Greenies call me cruel and confrontational

    But I riposte: “My lips are sealed on matters operational.”

    When Jakarta once accused me of egregious hypocrisy

    I shrugged my shoulders lightly and replied: “Well, that’s democracy.”

    And though it’s not much help in dealing with the Indonesians,

    I quote the Bible’s letters of St Paul to the Ephesians.

    With humanity and decency my only motivation

    I am standing resolutely at the frontiers of the nation.

    And armoured in self-righteousness I spurn each rude inquisitor

    For I’m the very model of an immigration minister.

    (With a bow to Gilbert and Sullivan, and to the Melbourne comedian Ben Pobjie, who tweeted the first two lines.)

    smhcarlton@gmail.com
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/fixing-australian-labor-party-doesnt-start-with-shouting-from-the-rooftops-20131018-2vs3g.html

  49. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    October 20, 2013 8:32 pm

    730 quotes CW – here is a lesson here for oh snacky,
if he can be bothered to learn it. #burnside

    But the joke is in the thread, which advises – ”Feel free to speak your mind.”

    Which of course is the last thing they want there, and in fact they prefer to ban those who do!

    730, you really are an hilarious dill.

  50. egg permalink
    October 20, 2013 9:01 pm

    ‘Catching a boat back’

    Lol

  51. October 20, 2013 9:03 pm

    ”Feel free to speak your mind.”
    exactly yomm, unless you`re burnside of course, who will need `special` approval from oh-snacky

  52. TB Queensland permalink
    October 20, 2013 9:05 pm

    Yes, egg, Wally’s usual “subtle” humour … beware the RAN and SAS, Wally, they might turn you (around) … otherwise enjoy! 😆

  53. October 20, 2013 9:25 pm

    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘they prefer to ban those who do!’ ‘ ‘ ‘
    so yomm, you`re still stinging coz the pensioners have swept you into the troll-trap, seems l can `speak-my-mind` with no problem.

  54. October 20, 2013 9:34 pm

    ‘ ‘ ‘Tweed Heads/Coolangatta’ ‘ ‘ that`s the one, thanks TB 🙂
    .
    Glad you`re having a good time in SriLanka Walrus, l was a bit worried the pups had shot-down the deathstar 🙂

  55. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    October 20, 2013 9:41 pm

    Not at all 730.

    It’s just hilarious that you reference the dills.

  56. October 20, 2013 10:03 pm

    http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/national/labor-policy-key-to-reduced-boats-burke/story-e6frfku9-1226743269430
    While l agree TB, it takes time for policy to take effect,
    Limited-News did plenty of screeching that
    1-it wasn`t working,
    2-taking too long,
    now they are trying to display they actually deal in `news` instead of propaganda (too_late_for_some-of-us) but it is not much good giving voters election reporting `after` the election. They still don`t point out Govt (either_flavor) wasting billion$ tormenting desperados.

  57. egg permalink
    October 21, 2013 7:44 am

    Countering the slurs at the cafe …. channelling the Bolter.

    ‘FOR 14 long hours over the weekend, Tony Abbott was just one of 1392 anonymous, sooty-faced firefighters battling to keep the relentless NSW bushfires at bay.

    ‘His favoured white-shirt-blue-tie combo was swapped for yellow overalls as Australia’s 28th prime minister joined his Davidson RFS brigade on a back-burning operation in Bilpin, near the Blue Mountains, for a night shift that began at 6pm Saturday and finished at 8am yesterday.

    ‘If not for a couple of photos circulating on Twitter, it’s a fair chance that Mr Abbott’s weekend exploits would have gone unnoticed.

    ‘His office did not issue a statement until the blurry image of the PM giving the thumbs-up from behind the wheel of a fire truck appeared on the social media site.’

  58. Splatterbottom permalink
    October 21, 2013 8:44 am

    I’d begun to think that Mike Carlton had lost it these last few years, but his Gilbert & Sullivan is brilliant!

  59. IPA permalink
    October 21, 2013 9:59 am

    “We have a corrupt, hard right-wing Coalition government, led by self-seeking hypocrites.

    “We have a weakened, right wing Labor opposition unable, it seems, to restore decency.

    “And we have a country, once great, now seen as selfish, greedy and cruel and we have no political leadership at all.”

    He says that like it’s a bad thing.

  60. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    October 21, 2013 10:22 am

    It seems Abbott’s activities as a volunteer fire fighter attract the opprobrium of the usual mindless types.

    What is it with the lazy, lard arsed types?

    Abbott rides a bike, runs, swims or does some community volunteering and he gets the derision. I’m not fond of his political orientation, but active types should be encouraged.

    On the other hand, have Gillard, Rudd or Shorten ever showed any interest in any activity beyond the narrow world of self interested politics?

    Have any of that lot ever volunteered for anything?

  61. Meta permalink
    October 21, 2013 10:30 am

    (Dilettantes are doubleplus good! Encourage the dills’ daily derring-do stunts! Go the dills!)

  62. TB Queensland permalink
    October 21, 2013 11:36 am

    I’d begun to think that Mike Carlton had lost it these last few years

    The Minister just bought me a copy of MC’s First Victory … first few pages seems like it will be a good read …

    He says that like it’s a bad thing.

    … sarc … ToSY? 🙂

  63. TB Queensland permalink
    October 21, 2013 11:43 am

    PM is 24/7 … playing the country hero doesn’t cut with me …

    If Rudd had done this … it too would have been a “stunt” … but he would have been portrayed as not trusting the firies …

    And to crow that “no-one would have known” if a foggy foto wasn’t shown on twitter … is ludicrous … I know the media are lazy shits but Abbott is the PM … covered 24/7 …

    My concern is not how good a bush fireman Abbott is but how well he can run the country …

  64. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    October 21, 2013 11:44 am

    Jesuit schools have a program of ‘volunteering’ for community service, except it is compulsory for students.

    Abbott and Shorten both went to such schools, but Shorten’s idea of volunteering is handing the knife to someone else.

    It really is pathetic that mindless partisan types just can’t acknowledge that even some conservatives can be properly motivated on occasions.

  65. Splatterbottom permalink
    October 21, 2013 11:52 am

    “If Rudd had done this … it too would have been a “stunt” … but he would have been portrayed as not trusting the firies …”

    Rudd did try that sort of thing.

    The difference is that Rudd took a camera crew with him. He got kudos from the usual arse-lickers and even from the Hun.

  66. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    October 21, 2013 11:52 am

    Though ‘mindlesa’ wasn’t a reference to you TB.

  67. Splatterbottom permalink
    October 21, 2013 11:57 am

    You mean TB is mindfully partisan, ToM?

  68. egg permalink
    October 21, 2013 12:14 pm

    TB the PM is a natural athlete, always has been. He likes to get out and do stuff, like a real man. Why anyone would be derisive of his community activity is beyond me.

  69. IPA permalink
    October 21, 2013 12:41 pm

    Some people dislike volunteerism and philanthropy because they are antithetical to government paternalism.

  70. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    October 21, 2013 12:44 pm

    Abbott only get the photo opportunities because he was volunteering.

    Gillard’s photo opportunities were …walking the dog, sitting in a chair for some photoshopped women’s magazine images, standing next to her gormless dork boyfriend. Gillard has only ever done non paid work that was associated with he political ambitions.

    Shorten’s recent photo opportunities tend to be associated with his latest wife.

  71. egg permalink
    October 21, 2013 1:15 pm

    Wally must be acting in his official capacity.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-18/packer-in-talks-with-sri-lanka-over-casino-plans/5031342

    Or he might have organised 10 mates to go into a Galle consortium … accommodation.

  72. Splatterbottom permalink
    October 21, 2013 1:16 pm

    Good point IPA. How dare private individuals usurp Big Brother! People should be forcibly prevented from all forms of voluntary community activity. How will we all become dependent on the state if communities look after themselves? It is ridiculous that all these self-sufficient goons are permitted to strut about seeking the kudos and love that properly belongs to Big Brother.

  73. TB Queensland permalink
    October 21, 2013 2:21 pm

    You mean TB is mindfully partisan, ToM?

    Only as much as you, sweetie … 😛

    As I keep telling ya … we have no pollies from any party/faction worth me becoming “partisan” over these days … twats are simply … twats …

    Why anyone would be derisive of his community activity is beyond me.

    I could reply to that … but it’s be too obvious … 😉

    Some people dislike volunteerism and philanthropy because they are antithetical to government paternalism.

    Or just fkn vague, ToSY? (I had to look up “antithetical” … academics 🙄 )

    You and sb, obviously missed – or chose to miss …

    My concern is not how good a bush fireman Abbott is but how well he can run the country …

  74. Splatterbottom permalink
    October 21, 2013 2:28 pm

    You are welcome to your concerns, TB and indeed that is a concern I share. My comment was merely to add some information about Rudd’s humanitarian volunteer efforts as you seemed unaware of them.

  75. Splatterbottom permalink
    October 21, 2013 2:35 pm

    Also, Chopper has confessed to four killings. It seems that he confined himself to lowlife types: a pedophile, a gangster, a bike boss and a unionist.

  76. TB Queensland permalink
    October 21, 2013 3:00 pm

    … information about Rudd’s humanitarian volunteer efforts as you seemed unaware of them.

    I’m unaware of many things … thank you …

    … a pedophile, a gangster, a bike boss and a unionist.

    It seems you too are unaware of some things …

    … as an ex member of the AMWU I can assure you most unionists don’t actually relate to the other three arsehole groups you mention – though they were probably all catlicks, except the unionionist … (BTW, uni unionists aren’t really) … 😛

    People in glass houses? Partisan perhaps? 😉

    BTW, I don’t much care about confessions from arseholes like Chopper Reid either … wasted space … much like one of his arsehole predecessor, Ned Kelly, also given way too much airplay …

  77. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    October 21, 2013 3:08 pm

    The AMWU provides excellent career paths…for officials…from union hacks to political time servers.

  78. egg permalink
    October 21, 2013 3:52 pm

    ‘I could reply to that … but it’s be too obvious … ‘

    🙂

  79. egg permalink
    October 21, 2013 4:42 pm

    CU found this link, which gives us a watermelon’s viewpoint.

    http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/is-much-of-media-coverage-of-prime.html

    I would be very surprised if our supreme leader’s photo didn’t find its way into the Daily Mail, which would make Putin very jealous.

    Can you imagine any other international leader behaving in this fashion?

  80. TB Queensland permalink
    October 21, 2013 5:02 pm

    The AMWU provides excellent career paths…for officials

    I don’t think the AMWU exists now, soes it, ToM?

    The point I was making BTW, was that corrupt union officials should not taint the rank and file … who are NOT interested in a career or corruption …

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Can you imagine any other international leader behaving in this fashion?

    What “fashion” is that … there a re many sides to, Tones …

    He does tend to aim for macho man popularity … Putin does have his moments too ..

    https://www.google.com.au/search?q=putin+macho+man&newwindow=1&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=RsNkUpuHKMaTiAfD-4GICw&sqi=2&ved=0CCkQsAQ&biw=1628&bih=911

  81. TB Queensland permalink
    October 21, 2013 5:20 pm

    This photo of Vladimir is quaint …

  82. egg permalink
    October 21, 2013 5:22 pm

    With Putin its just sporty stuff, by comparison Abbott looks like a socialist standing shoulder to shoulder with real people to fight a common foe.

  83. TB Queensland permalink
    October 21, 2013 5:28 pm

    I can assure you Abbott is no socialist … or did you mean national socialist?

  84. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    October 21, 2013 6:37 pm

    Putin has man boobs!

  85. egg permalink
    October 21, 2013 8:11 pm

    This story by Fitzgerald and Holt is a year old, but it shows Abbott as a man who wants to get his hands dirty and hang out with ordinary folk. Here is a brief segment of when Tony was working at the Bulletin and thinking of a serious career in politics, late 1980’s.

    ‘But which of the major parties was the more suitable?

    ‘Labor’s previous 30 years of hostility to Santamaria weighed against it but Abbott wrote, “our roots and the origins of our political culture are there”. But if the ALP was not “dominated” by Santamaria-style ideas, it would succumb to “the grip of the Left or of soulless pragmatists”. This was intolerable.

    ‘However, the Liberal Party was just as problematic. It was “without soul, direction or inspiring leadership”, while its members were divided between “surviving trendies and the more or less simple-minded advocates of the free market”.

    ‘The Liberal Party’s mixture of “hand-wringing indecision or inappropriate economic Ramboism and perhaps their lack of political professionalism” struck Abbott as a fatal combination.’

    – See more at: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/how-tony-abbott-laboured-over-choice-of-party/story-fn59niix-1226494801586#sthash.fg4DzsCP.dpuf

  86. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    October 21, 2013 8:31 pm

    For roughly two decades, bodysurfers have held claim to set times during summer months when only they can ride the break. They say they need the part-time ban because it is unsafe for them to try to compete with other surfers.

    I’m sick of body boarders, leave the waves for people who really appreciate the waves, ie board riders. Others can play in the shallows.

    This is “The Wedge” which the real surfers demand!!

    OI!

  87. TB Queensland permalink
    October 21, 2013 8:34 pm

    Did you know there was a “financial crash” in 1893 in Australia when “tens of thousands of people lost their life savings” … ?

    Nothing changes if you continue to do what you have always done …

    Evil exists when good folk do nothing …

  88. TB Queensland permalink
    October 21, 2013 8:36 pm

    I’m sick of body boarders, leave the waves for people who really appreciate the waves, ie board riders. Others can play in the shallows.

    That would be offensive to Tony Abbott the socialist …

  89. egg permalink
    October 21, 2013 8:45 pm

    There was also a depression in the 1840s.

  90. egg permalink
    October 21, 2013 8:53 pm

    The financial depression of the 1840s in Australia must have begun in the US and like a contagion it had a knock on effect.

    ‘The Panic of 1837 was an American financial crisis, built on a speculative real estate market. The bubble burst on May 10, 1837 in New York City, when every bank stopped payment in gold and silver coinage. The Panic was followed by a five-year depression, with the failure of banks and record high unemployment levels.’

    Wiki

  91. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    October 21, 2013 9:18 pm

    North Bondi has some stupid rules too, in summer. It is time to get rid of all the surfing red tape.

  92. Walrus on Overseas Assignment permalink
    October 22, 2013 5:10 am

    I must say I am very surprised about SL. Gorgeous place.

    I like dogs but they do slightly overdo it for canine lovers here

    Staying in a balcony room at the Galle Face Hotel in Colombo tonight. Looking out over the Indian Ocean almost deafened by the sound of the surf sipping upon a Lion Beer.

    People like Richard Nixon, Viv Leigh, Checkov, Mark Twain, Lord Mountbatten have stayed here.

    Plus some scarf wearing socialist called Che Guevara or whatever.

    I thought socialists stayed under canvas or hid in jungles?

    Anyway it’s undergoing renovation in parts at the moment but still a great colonial 1864 hotel.

    Ciao

  93. TB Queensland permalink
    October 22, 2013 9:04 am

  94. egg permalink
    October 22, 2013 9:08 am

    Looks good, needs some refurbishment.

  95. Splatterbottom permalink
    October 22, 2013 10:18 am

    It is good in a superficial way. Absent a unicultural consensus on religion we are pushed back to “empathy” or some other arbitrarily adopted premise as a starting point for our laws and morals. In substance, this is no different to adopting a particular religious basis for morality.

    The thing is that “empathy” or feelings about what is right or decent or just vary wildly across cultures and time. For example, Stephen Pinker deals with some aspects of this in The Better Angels Of Our Nature and also in The Blank Slate.

    To take an example, my premise is that society should have laws which maximise individual liberty, limiting it only where it is necessary to protect the liberty of others. On an individual basis I favour the neighbour principle – do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Yet there is no real basis for either of these. I can assert them and if others happen to agree then perhaps those arguments will win the day in the public square.

    Other rules resonate more with people from other cultures or times. In New Guinea there is still a culture of the blood feud and the need to restore honour by killing rival tribesmen who have offended it. This is not a lot different to the culture of dueling which killed a US vice-president.

    Evolutionary biologists will see patterns in the types of behaviour that are selected for in particular societies and it may be that this sort of selection allows some form of consensus about what is right or wrong or where our “empathy” should be directed.

    In the end, appealing to “empathy” is just an arbitrary rhetorical tool. Likewise, choosing a particular religion as a basis for laws or morals is equally arbitrary. It is a mistake to think that one method is inherently better than the other.

  96. TB Queensland permalink
    October 22, 2013 11:09 am

    … we are pushed back to “empathy” or some other arbitrarily adopted premise

    Organised religion having a “deeper” meaning, I suppose?

    BTW I’m a firm believer in the ten commandments of Judeo/Christian religion … it saddens me that most Christians and Jews aren’t) … its a good job that most Jews/Christians don’t realise that there are many more …

    To take an example, my premise is that society should have laws which maximise individual liberty, limiting it only where it is necessary to protect the liberty of others.

    Indeed a simple take on democracy is a society where you can do whatever you like … unless the law forbids it …

    Yet there is no real basis for either of these.

    Of course there is … you just wrote it … do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    In simple terms be friendly towards people and they are generally friendly towards you (there is no such thing as absolute) … most people find it difficult not to smile if you smile at them … try it.

    The opposite of course is the subject of TV shows … be agressive towards your neighbour (literally) and it generally escalates – if they decide on fight rather than flight – some neighbours simply move on (flight) – pick your mark well …

    … there is still a culture of the blood feud and the need to restore honour by killing rival tribesmen who have offended it … yes there is blood feud but it is sickeningly aimed at women and children who are kidnapped, tortured, raped and murdered not the men … they know its wrong, they are just cowards and nasty people that practice it … men and women have been killing in god’s (of all shapes and sizes) name for centuries … its wrong … taking another person’s life is wrong … (caveat, I will defend my family and a friend’s family to the death!)

    In the end, appealing to “empathy” is just an arbitrary rhetorical tool.

    Of course it is … but not as longwinded as a catlick service or wasteful of time money and resources as cathedrals, and the bishopric … nor as hypocritical as confessions and prayers … and having to be told every week what is right and what is wrong … maybe people who are empathetic don’t “need” religion …?

    It is a mistake to think that one method is inherently better than the other.

    No-one thought that … it is simply a simple, alternative approach, to life in a society … you simply assumed that it was proposed as being “better” … just as many religious people assume a superiority because athiests and agnostics are not believers …

    I recently had a small group of JW’s ring my door-bell … I told them I knew a little of their religion* and that if I were to join their religion I would end up with membership number 144,001 … they had a sense of humour, genuinely laughed and kindly dropped me from thier house-call list.

    *a former friend and his wife joined JW when our social group was in the formative years of early twenty year olds, we attended their wedding (being curious I did a little research at the time – they thought I was going to join at one stage!). They slowly drifted away from the group … Pity he was a good guitarist … 😉

  97. Splatterbottom permalink
    October 22, 2013 11:40 am

    “Organised religion having a “deeper” meaning, I suppose?”

    You suppose wrong.

    What I said was: “In substance, this is no different to adopting a particular religious basis for morality.” and “In the end, appealing to “empathy” is just an arbitrary rhetorical tool. Likewise, choosing a particular religion as a basis for laws or morals is equally arbitrary. It is a mistake to think that one method is inherently better than the other.”

    “Of course there is … you just wrote it … do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
    In simple terms be friendly towards people and they are generally friendly towards you (there is no such thing as absolute) … most people find it difficult not to smile if you smile at them … try it.
    The opposite of course is the subject of TV shows … be agressive towards your neighbour (literally) and it generally escalates – if they decide on fight rather than flight – some neighbours simply move on (flight) – pick your mark well …”

    My point is that that is a completely arbitrary decision to adopt such a rule. Whether we adopt it because it appears to us to be a socially useful rule or because it makes us feel good or because we believe god told us that it is correct is irrelevant.

    ” … yes there is blood feud but it is sickeningly aimed at women and children who are kidnapped, tortured, raped and murdered not the men … “

    Not so. From my reading on the subject, the main target is usually the bloke who stole your pig or killed your brother. Women and children are collateral damage.

    “they know its wrong”

    On the contrary New Guinea tribesmen believe it is the only thing to do. And they know that the feud will continue if they do it, but they feel unable to live with themselves if they do not uphold their honour or that of their family or tribe. Islamic honour killings, on the other hand appear to be more focused on women and children.

    “maybe people who are empathetic don’t “need” religion …?”

    Good for them. They are entitled as anyone else to their arbitrary choices on these matters.

    “you simply assumed that it was proposed as being “better” “

    Maybe because you ceaselessly spruik your method, and spend a lot of time in tedious flatulent denunciations of organised religion eg: “Of course it is … but not as longwinded as a catlick service or wasteful of time money and resources as cathedrals, and the bishopric … nor as hypocritical as confessions and prayers … and having to be told every week what is right and what is wrong … maybe people who are empathetic don’t “need” religion …?”

  98. egg permalink
    October 22, 2013 12:30 pm

    Let’s not forget, we are little more than glorified apes.

    I would like to say more but don’t have the gall.

  99. TB Queensland permalink
    October 22, 2013 12:31 pm

    “Organised religion having a “deeper” meaning, I suppose?”

    You suppose wrong.

    Not a supposition on my part … but I do “confess” to just a touch of sarcasm, sprinkled with cynicism …

    On the contrary New Guinea tribesmen believe it is the only thing to do.

    You lived in PNG when?

    Maybe because you ceaselessly spruik your method, and spend a lot of time in tedious flatulent denunciations of organised religion

    I don’t have a “method” … nor do I “spruik” … I think that’s “catlick speak” … (“flatulent”? LOL) … “tedious”, not to me … “denunciation” because it is often needed – watch a couple of Royal Commissions … the Irish are here to find abused people sent in the 50’s by guess who?

    I have nothing to defend …

    And why does religion have to be “organised” …

    … I just discuss the subject after a lifetime of bombardment about the virtues of said religions, from church, schools, family, politicians, door knockings, TV and radio advertising – (now thankfully mostly gone) – and observing and (on occasion) suffering a lifetime of hypocrisy, money grubbing, child fiddling, cruelty, cheating and deceit … backed up by millions of reams of historical documentation, (adding mass murder) of which I’ve read but a few …

    … I often need to cleanse my thoughts … 😉

  100. egg permalink
    October 22, 2013 1:08 pm

    On further investigation it appears that Arrius Calpurnius Piso and his extended family put pen to paper and wrote the gospels of the New Testament, starting around 75 years after the event.

    Before that time it was just oral history.

  101. Splatterbottom permalink
    October 22, 2013 1:20 pm

    “You lived in PNG when?”

    How is that relevant? My statement is either right or wrong! The fact that you have lived in PNG hasn’t helped you get that one right, has it?

    “And why does religion have to be “organised” I didn’t say it did????? I said your denunciations were of organised religion, which is true, no?

    “… I often need to cleanse my thoughts … “

    Why not just wipe your arse before talking through it?

    (Only joking with that last one – I couldn’t resist the lovely opportunity you presented me with.)

  102. egg permalink
    October 22, 2013 1:23 pm

    🙂

  103. TB Queensland permalink
    October 22, 2013 2:17 pm

    How is that relevant? My statement is either right or wrong! The fact that you have lived in PNG hasn’t helped you get that one right, has it?

    Yes. It has.

    Part of that experience was having my 16 yo son kidnapped at gunpoint by ten “raskals” (stupid term) and travelling/working in the Highlands between 1988 and 2003, permanent residency in P Moresby in 1987/88 … and having a village chief as a colleague … the same son ended on the UN Peace Keeping Force in Baugainville … working with the seven rebel leaders … I think I can claim some knowledge …

    FYI, missionaries have done far more harm than good in PNG … one of my management team, from NZ, was primarily there as a missionary … (expats fall into three categories – missionaries, mercenaries or, misfits)

    I don’t understand your point re: “organised” religions …

    Why not just wipe your arse before talking through it? (Only joking with that last one – I couldn’t resist the lovely opportunity you presented me with.)

    That I knew you would take … 😉

    But I did wonder how you would do it … as expected a personal insult + foul language … 🙄

    Love they neighbour, hey? Do unto others, hey? Actions speak louder than words … pity religious believers only hear, The Word … 🙄

  104. egg permalink
    October 22, 2013 2:34 pm

    The New Testament was written by Piso’s family to stop the Jewish faith becoming the dominant religion throughout the Roman Empire.

    It would be a different world today if Piso and his family hadn’t written this best seller.

  105. Splatterbottom permalink
    October 22, 2013 3:00 pm

    My interest in other cultures comes from trying to understand why they do things that our culture would find unacceptable. I don’t think it is good enough just to say stuff like “they know its wrong, they are just cowards and nasty people that practice it”.

    One thing that really struck me was an account of one participant in a PNG blood feud. He knew that by continuing the feud he was likely to become a victim sooner or later. He wasn’t a coward by any usual measure. However, he did feel that he could not live with himself, that he would not have any self-respect and that he would prefer to die if he did not fulfill his obligation to take revenge for the death of his brother.

    This is an account from the Solomon Islands which accords with what I have read about PNG (I looked but couldn’t quickly find anything directly on PNG):

    Kuschel spent a total of about eighteen months between 1968 and 1983 researching this topic. In addition, he uses the expertise and information of other researchers who have studied Rennell and Bellona society and culture. His main conclusion is that Bellona’s feuds were not the result of competition for limited economic or land resources. Rather, they were caused and maintained by cultural values that emphasize reputation and prestige, of both individuals and social groups. Moreover, Kuschel emphasizes that Bellona’s feuding is socioculturally rule governed and patterned (for example, women and children were usually spared and there was respect for certain sanctuaries).

    I don’t think your comment about the participants in blood feuds knowing that it is wrong, and that they are cowards is very helpful in understanding why people participate in them.

    As to my comment about your disparagement of “organised religion”, that is what you usually attack – institutions like churches. I haven’t seen you attack, say, deism, and I doubt you would do so because it is the failings and hypocrisy of institutions that (quite understandably) seem to get up your nose. I wasn’t looking for an argument on that point. 🙂

    personal insult + foul language

    A winning combination don’t you think? Especially when so well executed!

  106. Splatterbottom permalink
    October 22, 2013 3:08 pm

    “The New Testament was written by Piso’s family to stop the Jewish faith becoming the dominant religion throughout the Roman Empire.”

    The Jews weren’t proselytisers so why was there any prospect that they would become a dominant religion? If anything, Christianity is an offshoot of Judaism that does proselytise and did become the dominant religion with the help of Constantine and then Theodosius who made it the state religion of the Roman Empire.

  107. egg permalink
    October 22, 2013 4:20 pm

    Very good point splatter, from my scanty reading the Jewish faith was becoming popular in Rome (naturally) and as it was the seat of power I imagine Piso wrote his fictions to discredit them.

  108. TB Queensland permalink
    October 22, 2013 4:57 pm

    I don’t think your comment about the participants in blood feuds knowing that it is wrong, and that they are cowards is very helpful in understanding why people participate in them.

    Nip up to Moresby for a weekend or better still Mt Hagen or even better Tabubil or Goroka … I’m not an academic and quite frankly don’t give a FF what researchers (expecially from a distance) write …

    The cowards are the raskols who prey on women and children and innocents instead of the perpetrators …

    Its a bit like India being up in arms about Australia being racist … or reading about being “in the trenches” but not experiencing the shells or small arms … you never know till you’ve experienced it …

    Most PNG people are pretty much like us love family, parties, friends, success for each other …

    Who do you think are the majority landowners in PNG? You might be surprised if you look it up …

  109. egg permalink
    October 22, 2013 5:41 pm

    Ignore my previous ignorant comment, Rome had unbridled contempt for Judaism, Piso wrote his fictions during the first Roman/Jewish War.

  110. Splatterbottom permalink
    October 22, 2013 6:02 pm

    “The cowards are the raskols who prey on women and children and innocents instead of the perpetrators …”

    Yes, but I wasn’t talking about the criminals like the raskol gangs.I don’t know how you made the mistake of taking that meaning from my original sentence which was:

    “Other rules resonate more with people from other cultures or times. In New Guinea there is still a culture of the blood feud and the need to restore honour by killing rival tribesmen who have offended it.”

    Clearly I’m discussing different cultural practices, not ordinary criminality.

  111. Splatterbottom permalink
    October 22, 2013 6:50 pm

    Egg, I hate break this to you, but there is no way one person wrote the New Testament. There are too many inconsistencies and writing styles.

    For a start the New Testament consists of gospels, Acts, various letters and Revelation. At the time (and it took at least 300 years to agree on what was in the New Testament) there were many more gospels, acts, letters and apocalypses floating around.

    The Piso stuff is just crass crankery. If you want to look at the origins of Christianity and the Bible, Bart Ehrman is a good place to start. He is an academic who has written both scolarly and popular books on the subject. His lectures are available on the internet and on some torrent sites.

    Back to Piso – it is inherently unlikely that some family published some documents which gave rise to a religion. How would that work? And why wouldn’t they just write one gospel with everything in it? And make it consistent? And how did they disseminate their writings? Make multiple copies and what? Go about preaching and setting up churches? Most people then couldn’t read. Writing a book is not the way to found a religion.

    It is more likely that Jesus existed and that his followers preached his teachings, orally at first, and as they got older started writing down their experiences. Paul wrote his letter mainly to give advice to the various churches he founded in Asia Minor. There is no doubt that the development of the New Testament is very interesting and the history is a long way from settled but the Piso stuff is not to be taken seriously.

  112. egg permalink
    October 22, 2013 8:24 pm

    Yep, I did some more reading before I saw your critique and agree the Piso thingy is a no brainer. Also it does make sense that his followers spread the word before it was eventually written down.

    I’ll take my time going over your link.

  113. TB Queensland permalink
    October 22, 2013 9:07 pm

    Yes, but I wasn’t talking about the criminals like the raskol gangs.I don’t know how you made the mistake of taking that meaning from my original sentence which was:

    No, mistake it was just another direction in the discussion … contrary to your belief the “warriors” are quite happy to kidnap, rape, torture and kill family in place of perpetrators … yes there are tribal battles – I’ve actually driven through one … the chiefs stopped the spears and arrows so we could proceed … but pay back is not an honourable process as you seem to think …

    Who do you think are the majority landowners in PNG? You might be surprised if you look it up …

  114. egg permalink
    October 23, 2013 8:19 am

    We are taking in refugees fleeing the Blueys.

  115. egg permalink
    October 23, 2013 8:54 am

    ‘The Daily Telegraph revealed on Monday that Treasury and Reserve Bank officials warned Mr Hockey the economy was at risk of slowing to 2 per cent growth or below within 18 months.

    ‘Mr Hockey has nominated road, rail and airport infrastructure as a key priority of the government’s to boost economic growth.’

    Simon Benson in the daily terror.

  116. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    October 23, 2013 9:28 am

    So Hockey is increasing available debt to $500,000,000,000.00 – That’s quite a lot of money.

    Has he been listening to the Catching Up School of Economics … ‘you have to spend money to make money’

  117. TB Queensland permalink
    October 23, 2013 9:43 am

    That’s quite a lot of money.

    67%! (Apparently) And its a fkn lot of money!

    How do you make a small fortune? Start with large one! Boom! Boom!

    If this is Liberal Party “economic management” then a lot of voters have been dudded!

    On the subject of fortunes … this is interesting!

    http://www.news.com.au/technology/business-technology/csiro-scientists-have-found-gold-growing-on-gum-trees-near-wudinna-on-the-eyre-peninsula/story-fn5lic6c-1226744812235

  118. egg permalink
    October 23, 2013 10:10 am

    Money grows on trees, but on a more serious note ….. infrastructureinfrastructureinfrastructure.

    Spending taxes appropriately on transport, with a large input from Chinese investment, should get us out of the red in due course.

  119. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    October 23, 2013 10:34 am

    Are pink batts ‘infrastructure’?

    Is replacing the children’s open space/play area at school with a shed ‘infrastructure’?

    There is a record of waste in infrastructure, but the current debt levels are due to recurrent expenditure, and if this government is planning to increase debt by 60%, it will have plenty of explaining to do.

    The ALP was profligate, this government needs to do a whole lot better.

  120. Splatterbottom permalink
    October 23, 2013 10:37 am

    “No, mistake it was just another direction in the discussion …”

    Which is why it totally failed to answer my point about the relativity (and hence uselessness) of “empathy” as a basis for laws and morals. Basically it amounts to “if it feels good, do it”. Empathy is the bit that sometimes makes you feel good about being nice to others. As such it is as arbitrary a choice as basing laws and morals on religious beliefs the adoption of which is another way of feeling good.

    “If this is Liberal Party “economic management” then a lot of voters have been dudded!”

    It was there for all to see in the election campaign. The Coalition proposed to spend more, tax less and pay off the debt. That was never going to happen. Either they will break their promises or be an economic shambles, and either way they will earn the contempt of the electorate.

  121. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    October 23, 2013 11:10 am

    Hockey’s plan is to allow us to rack up debt of up to about $100,000 per household.

    Even if he doesn’t plan on reaching the ceiling, the signal this sends is just f**king stupid.

  122. egg permalink
    October 23, 2013 11:24 am

    ‘Are pink batts ‘infrastructure’?
    ‘Is replacing the children’s open space/play area at school with a shed ‘infrastructure’?’

    Inappropriate infrastructure is not good business acumen. Hockey wants to build Badgery’s Creek airport, presumably with Chinese input through bonds and manpower. This is the sort of thing the Coalition is intending.

  123. TB Queensland permalink
    October 23, 2013 11:45 am

    Which is why it totally failed to answer my point about the relativity (and hence uselessness) of “empathy” as a basis for laws and morals.

    You brought up laws … and the dog-botherers take the high ground when morals are brought up … I’m not the one with a bee in his bonnet … I suggest you look at the image I posted originally … 😛

    It was there for all to see in the election campaign. I didn’t say it wasn’t – I just said alot of people (who don’t see such things coming – were dudded) …

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Hockey wants to build Badgery’s Creek airport, presumably with Chinese input through bonds and manpower.

    Why Chinese input … most Australian civil engineers, project management teams, plant operators etc are out of work at the moment …

  124. TB Queensland permalink
    October 23, 2013 11:56 am

    Some interesting (I think anyway) reading for you, sb (as you indicated an interest in other cultures) …

    http://milda.aidwatch.org.au/sites/default/files/Rosa%20Koian.%20Women%20in%20patrilineal%20and%20matrilineal%20societies%20in%20Melanesia.pdf

    http://www.lands.gov.pg/Services/Land_Administration/LA_Services/Land_Acquisition/Land_Tenure.html

    These issues create a great deal of payback problems in both patrilineal and matrilineal villages/tribes … I’m sure you can figure out how need and greed figure in clashes, murders and assassinations … it also explains why women and children are often targetted in payback/compensation disputes rather than the perpetrator … apart from going for the “soft targets” …

    … and yes a pig is worth more than a wife in tribal PNG …

  125. egg permalink
    October 23, 2013 12:54 pm

    ‘Why Chinese input … most Australian civil engineers, project management teams, plant operators etc are out of work at the moment …’

    The Chinese have a way of getting big infrastructure up and running at a reasonable price and on time, so they would be the prime movers but will most likely employ Australians too. For easy facilitation.

  126. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    October 23, 2013 4:55 pm

    So the government is drawing up the terms of the investigation into union, slush funds, governance. No doubt the terms of reference will be broad enough to cause anxiety to the unions/ALP generally and both Shorten and Gillard personally.

    The key with Shorten will be ensuring that the embarrassment for him is scheduled conveniently.

    Remember a year ago when there was some blog speculation about Abbott’s marriage and an alleged affair in his office? No doubt those that promoted that speculation will squeal when stuff emerges about Shorten.

  127. TB Queensland permalink
    October 23, 2013 5:03 pm

    Well the investigation is needed, ToM and I too believe that union office holders and accounting practices need to be accountable in the same way that any business is … `

    I’d like to see the right faction cooked slowly … Howes in particular … wasn’t Arbib part of the coup too?

    But then I was dissapointed with the “I can’t remembers” of Howard/Downer and Co in the AWB scandal … enquiry debacle …

    Tarred and brushed with the same feathers all …

  128. October 23, 2013 5:08 pm

    I’m back!

    And I have to say it’s nice to be back in Victoria – Australia’s most sophisticated, stylish and cultural State.

    You can tell a lot about a city from its airports and waiting around at Brisbane airport, is akin to what I imagine it must be like at a Centrelink office.

    Judging from most people, it appears that shorts, singlet and thongs is considered “high fashion.”

    Fortunately we had access to the Virgin lounge, but it appears that they let almost anyone in their too.

    You can always tell business travellers who are from Queensland versus those from “the rest of the world.”

    It’s the short sleeve business shirts that give them away. The polyester ties, and patterned socks sitting comfortably in a pair of well-worn, scuff ridden Hush Puppies.

    The weather was nice enough, although it was a little hot for my liking. It appears that moisturiser is a foreign concept with most people having crater-ridden sunburnt skin that looks positively reptilian. You can hear it crackle as they walk past.

  129. October 23, 2013 5:25 pm

    Hypocrisy Watch!

    I see that Catching Up who previously chastised bloggers for criticising Julia Gillard over her stance against gay marriage – calling any such discussion “not sensible” – is now frothing at the mouth over Tony Abbott’s intention to challenge the marriage equality act in the ACT….

    Hypocrisy much…..?? 🙄

  130. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    October 23, 2013 6:21 pm

    Catching Up contradicts herself from comment to comment, expecting consistency of principles over the months is just too much to expect!

  131. TB Queensland permalink
    October 23, 2013 7:08 pm

    It’s the short sleeve business shirts that give them away. The polyester ties, and patterned socks sitting comfortably in a pair of well-worn, scuff ridden Hush Puppies.

    They must have the gay Queenslanders … just which Virgin lounge were you in? 😛

  132. TB Queensland permalink
    October 23, 2013 7:28 pm

    AND I bet you missed the Brisbane Airport art display of recycled car bonnets … 😯 …

    Classy … 🙄

  133. October 23, 2013 7:32 pm

    Yes, you’d be right…. 🙄

  134. TB Queensland permalink
    October 23, 2013 7:50 pm

    heheheh … you should see it … it really IS awful … oh, but it is “interactive” … 😆

  135. TB Queensland permalink
    October 23, 2013 7:55 pm

    Can anyone tell me the problem with this report?

    Did Defence cause the ‘megafire’?

    The Defence Department has confessed it was responsible for the Lithgow State Mine blaze which destroyed several homes, a Channel 7 report said.

    Defence and the RFS launched a joint investigation at the weekend into whether army explosives training may have been responsible for the blaze.

    Defence has not confirmed the report.

  136. egg permalink
    October 23, 2013 7:57 pm

    Confusion reigns.

  137. egg permalink
    October 23, 2013 8:33 pm

    Thinking of Wally and speculating on the coincidence of his overseas trip.

    ‘James Packer’s plans to build a $400 million casino resort in Sri Lanka face further delays after opposition by religious leaders and politicians in Sri Lanka forced the government to alter tax concessions granted to Crown Resort’s consortium.

    ‘The changes will delay the passage of legislation granting tax concessions to the project.
    The legislation was originally scheduled to go before parliament this week.

    ‘Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, Investment Promotion minister, said the decision to alter the deal’s terms came after various opposition politicians said Packer was getting concessions not given to local entrepreneurs and Buddhist leaders said the casino could be detrimental to Sri Lanka’s culture.’

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/james-packers-sri-lanka-casino-faces-delay-20131023-2vzzc.html#ixzz2iXHigYHb

  138. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    October 23, 2013 8:56 pm

    Melbourne really is the centre of culture and civility, for Australia.

    Brisbane is more like our very own version of Houston, Texas, which is nice (for them)

  139. egg permalink
    October 23, 2013 11:00 pm

    Human error coupled with a strong defence.

    ‘The RFS later said there were no total fire bans in place on October 16 when the army started the fire.

    ‘NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell said it shouldn’t be forgotten that the defence department had also provided a lot of firefighting assistance.’

    – See more at: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/bushfires/winds-fan-nsw-blue-mountains-bushfires/story-fngw0i02-1226745072374#sthash.QhcOjEZW.dpuf

    The other day the authorities publicly humiliated a couple of stupid young girls for trying to light a fire. Its important to get our priorities right, the army inadvertently started a ‘megablaze’ because they were equally stoopid.

  140. egg permalink
    October 24, 2013 7:51 am

    ‘Fairfax Media can also reveal that army ranges across Australia are failing to develop bushfire plans in accordance with Defence rules. A source with close knowledge of army training area management said Defence brass knew of the shortcomings in setting up bushfire plans but had not acted because of a lack of resources.’

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/confirmed-army-exercise-started-blaze-in-blue-mountains-20131023-2w1vt.html#ixzz2ia31Q5ds

  141. egg permalink
    October 24, 2013 8:10 am

    ‘THREE months after Kevin Rudd announced his Manus Island solution, the temporary facility assembled to house boat arrivals is full, causing a backlog on Christmas Island.’

    See more at: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/policy/island-backlog-as-manus-fills-up/story-fn9hm1gu-1226745580504#sthash.IE6zXHaP.dpuf

    I agree with Burnside, Tasmania is the only island left.

  142. egg permalink
    October 24, 2013 8:21 am

    The ABC and SBS are safe and will not be privatised, according to Tony.

    “Every politician sometimes feels that he or she has been hard done by, whether it’s at the hands of the ABC or sometimes, perhaps Neil, here on 3AW. We sometimes feel hard done by,” Abbott said.

    “I think it’s true at times there is an ABC/Sydney Morning Herald/Age view of the world if you like. That said, there is probably also a Daily Telegraph/Herald Sun view of the world – and it might be rather different.”

    Murphy in the Guardian

  143. TB Queensland permalink
    October 24, 2013 11:16 am

    Brisbane is more like our very own version of Houston, Texas, which is nice (for them)

    Wai, thenk ya, TaaM … glad ya preciate thet …

    You too, want to visit Mt Hagen airport … fun in the sun … and buai painted floors …

  144. TB Queensland permalink
    October 24, 2013 11:18 am

    “Every politician sometimes feels that he or she has been hard done by, whether it’s at the hands of the ABC or sometimes, perhaps Kneel, here on 3AW. We sometimes feel hard done by,” Abbott said.

    😛

  145. TB Queensland permalink
    October 24, 2013 4:50 pm

    The Australia we must avoid at all costs …

    … the Empire is crumbling … ask yourself, “If people are paid so poorly … where does all the money go?” … the difference between living in a society and surviving for someone else’s economic use …

    Robber Barons … “legally” rob anyone including the people who work for them … see if you can spot the one that isn’t a Robber Baron …

    This explains why many people fought Workchoices … and its about conditions as well as pay …

    In a society people share the spoils of endeavour … focus solely on the economy and a few profit and live a bloated lifestyle at the expense of the many …

    Welcome to Über Kapitalism … let’s stick to capitalism …

    http://www.abc.net.au/iview/?series=2298893#/view/47286

  146. October 24, 2013 4:57 pm

    That’s gold TB!! The confusing tradies thing…. 😆

  147. TB Queensland permalink
    October 24, 2013 5:37 pm

    LOL! The mind boggles at a reply to things that are the “same” that join together???

  148. TB Queensland permalink
    October 25, 2013 12:29 pm

    When I was in my early thirties I had my cholesterol checked (my mother’s was 9 and there was a history of heart attacks family in her family and one from diabetes …

    … my choleterol is now under 5 … that first test showed as 8.5 …

    Naturally I altered my diet quickly … canola and peanut oil for cooking, skim milk (none in tea or coffee), one egg a week, no avocado, limited and particular nuts, margarine not butter etc etc …

    Most of the “do not” foods have been “dismissed” now eg eggs, avacado, prawns …

    BUT almost a couple of decades ago we decided that no-one really knew … admittedly gut feeling but it revolved around watching a documentary on how margarine was manufactured … why substitute chemicalised vegetable oil for naturally produced butter … we changed back … do your own test … put some butter and margarine on a plate, put it in the garden and watch the ants … they don’t go near the margarine!

    So, last night’s Catalyst about the myths of cholesterol was a “must see” for The Minister and me …

    http://www.abc.net.au/iview/?series=3453381#/view/47209

    Apart from medical science being challenged by medical experts (watch the guy from the Heart Foundation squirm) … once again it demonstrates how society is held in contempt by ego, greed and profit … scientists after all are just people …

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    On a different subject … look out for Coles’ big Centennial Birthday celebrations (and specials???) next year in April …

    According to Mike Carlton in his book, “First Victory”, about HMAS Sydney and SMS Emden, three brothers opened Coles in April 1914 …

  149. egg permalink
    October 25, 2013 12:37 pm

    ‘… scientists after all are just people …’

    Strongly agree.

  150. Neil of Sydney permalink
    October 25, 2013 5:04 pm

    And people wonder why politicians are not trusted.

    http://foreignminister.gov.au/transcripts/2013/bc_tr_130602_sky_news.html

    PAUL KELLY: Can I check, Minister, will you serve out your current Senate term?

    BOB CARR: I’m looking at the term after that. I’m going to beat Strom Thurmond.

    PAUL KELLY: So you will seek a second term as well as completing the current term?

    BOB CARR: And a third.

    PAUL KELLY: No, no, no, don’t, sorry. Will you complete the current term?

    BOB CARR: Yes.

    PAUL KELLY: And will you seek another term because I think you indicated you would at the press conference with Julia Gillard when your appointment was announced.

    BOB CARR: Yes, that’s right, I did. I did it very eloquently and I’m glad you remember.

    PAUL KELLY: Yes and but you didn’t answer the question. Will you seek a second term as you indicated then you would?

    BOB CARR: Yes, yes.

    PAUL KELLY: You will, you will?

    BOB CARR: You mean – by second term you mean one after the – a term after the one that I’m going to be elected to, I hope, as number one on the party ticket on September 14, one after that?

    PAUL KELLY: That’s right.

    BOB CARR: Six years, seven years beyond that?

    PAUL KELLY: That’s right.

    BOB CARR: Yeah. And then I’m going to keep seeking them.

  151. TB Queensland permalink
    October 25, 2013 5:45 pm

    You’re a slow learner, Kneel …

    You could dredge up tens of similar transcripts for pollies of all colours …

    BTW, did you know that the Liberal party actually won the last election?

    Still … just demonstrating the poster for todays Rostrum! I guess … https://theguttertrash.com/

  152. Neil of Sydney permalink
    October 26, 2013 1:11 pm

    But TB if a Coalition politician had made a commitment like Carr did, and then broke it like Carr did, he would he hounded to his grave by Labor supporters.

    And it beats me why this Obeid stuff does not stick to Carr. Bjelke Peterson got plenty of abuse for corrupt behaviour of his ministers. Carr should be given the same treatment.

  153. TB Queensland permalink
    October 26, 2013 1:27 pm

    Your probably right, Kneel … and they would be just as stupid … er, JBP was also corrupt …

  154. Neil of Sydney permalink
    October 26, 2013 1:42 pm

    JBP was also corrupt …”

    Was anything ever proven or did he get the blame for what his ministers did?? If not Carr should get the blame for what Obeid did because Carr appointed him as minister in his govt when he was Premier of NSW

  155. armchair opinionator permalink
    October 26, 2013 2:48 pm

    Was anything ever proven or did he get the blame for what his ministers did??

    🙄

    FMD, the brainwashing has been completed, now fkn officially brain dead

    newsflash, there’s been an election

    neil is still in the trenches, still punch drunk and fighting on like that japanese soldier who was in the jungle for 20 odd years and had no idea the world had moved on.

  156. Neil of Sydney permalink
    October 26, 2013 2:52 pm

    “FMD, the brainwashing has been completed, now fkn officially brain dead

    Bob Carr has just come out and said that he would be leaving Parliament.

    That is after multiple times promising he was going to stay.

    But i think i get your point. We should be commenting on the govt. If that is your point i do not remember Labor supporters commenting on labor too much when they were in power.

    And over at the Cafe it was wall to wall comments about Abbott for the last three years.

  157. October 27, 2013 1:10 pm

    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘Ros Phillips sent a press release yesterday claiming the recent change to same-sex marriage laws in the ACT would confuse tradies including plumbers’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘
    .
    dear old ros would do better spending more `quality` time with mr-phillips and less time dog-bothering, tradie-bothering and bride-bothering

  158. TB Queensland permalink
    October 27, 2013 3:17 pm

    i do not remember Labor supporters commenting on labor too much when they were in power.

    So, make yer mind up, Kneel, if we criticise, Abbott & The Acolytes, either we are all ALP supporters here … or we aren’t … or … you have recall problems (sympathy if you suffer the latter – it would explain quite a lot of your posts) …

    ‘Cause this ain’t the Cafe … and you would have seen regular complaints and criticism, concerning the Labor governements and politicians just past, from a number of us who don’t profess support of ALL tory OR ALP policies … however, if we criticise a Tory decision or its kite flying or operations we are all Marxist, left wing, communist, Bolshies, who tell continuous lies and can’t be trusted …

  159. Neil of Sydney permalink
    October 27, 2013 3:30 pm

    “‘Cause this ain’t the Cafe

    O.K. this ain’t the Cafe. But most leftist blogs concentrate on the Coalition if they are in govt or not.

    I guess it just comes with being human. Humans are tribal.

    But i do know if a Coalition MP said something like Bob Carr did and then did the opposite like Bob Carr did, he would be hounded to the grave by (most) ALP supporters.

    Just go through Carr’s statements at the link i gave at 5.04PM. You cannot be much more definite than that.

    And while i am aware that the Coalition is in govt i do recall ALP supporters still bring up Children Overboard and AWB.

  160. TB Queensland permalink
    October 29, 2013 11:18 am

    Another example of The Robber Barons … let’s make as much money as we can while we can …. and fuck the human species … what comes first? Society, or economy?

    http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/here-come-the-superbugs-highranking-doctor-says-antibiotic-era-is-over/story-fneuzlbd-1226748691034

  161. TB Queensland permalink
    October 6, 2014 7:48 pm

    TLQ

    Do you do sarcasm?

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