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Hey there you with the sad face

November 27, 2022
85 Comments leave one →
  1. TB Queensland permalink
    November 27, 2022 1:08 pm

    Dan Wins! IR Bill going thru … next please …

  2. November 27, 2022 7:05 pm

    Peta looks as Mental as Anything.

    So SAD like. Perhaps waiting for the next Greedy Smith effort?

  3. December 1, 2022 9:38 am

    Interesting comments from NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

    “President Putin cannot deny sovereign nations to make their own sovereign decisions that are not a threat to Russia,”

    Seems like a “Principle” that could (and should) be “universalised”. Nations that are sovereign should be allowed to make what decisions they choose provided such decisions are not threats to the sovereignty of others.

    But is it realistic? Perhaps at the heart of the issue is – whether actions (real, imagined or proposed) of the generalised “other” are a threat or not? Should the decision maker (re threats or not) be the one taking the action OR the one which feels threatened by the resulting acts?

    Looking back to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, the United States decided that Russian missiles should not be allowed in Cuba (too close to the US mainland) because they were an unacceptable threat. In due course, they were removed (after a few trade-offs).

    A case of a sovereign Nation making the decision that the presence of such missiles were a threat and it was unacceptable?

    Moving forward 60 years, we see that Russia believes having Ukraine as a member of NATO translates to missiles being too close to the Russian mainland and therefore it’s an unacceptable threat. (First strike advantage.)

    Yes Stoltenberg says NATO is NOT a threat but should he be the one making the decision OR should it be the Russians – the ones who feel threatened?

    Going further, should Iran (a sovereign Nation) be allowed to develop nuclear weapons? Should North Korea (a sovereign Nation) be permitted to develop greater nuclear capacity? Should the Solomon Islands (a sovereign Nation) be permitted to offer a Naval Port to the People’s Republic of China?

    And if the answer to all of the above is NO – then what PRINCIPLES should be cited as a rationale? Or is it the case that there’s no Principle(s) involved other than – might is right?

  4. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    December 1, 2022 12:29 pm

    1. No one has invaded either North Korea or Iran. Did you pay any attention to that fact?
    2. The US didn’t invade Cuba 60 years ago. Did you notice?
    3. Do you understand the difference between diplomacy (which includes sanctions, threats and tough negotiation) and war?

  5. December 1, 2022 4:37 pm

    BHP (read Australia) is now accepting iron ore payment from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) using RMB (yuan) which is further confirmation that the days of a ‘unipolar’ world are now in the historical dustbin.

    The rise of BRICS (plus) et al suggests that the declining American Empire’s almighty dollar is less powerful and their national debt of $31.3 trillion is looking somewhat ominous. So many Nations now unloading US bonds.

    Where will it end?

  6. December 2, 2022 11:54 am

    Macron arriving in the American Empire is being reminded of Kissinger truism:

    “it may be dangerous to be America’s enemy, but to be America’s friend is fatal.”

    Particularly now that the intentions of the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act are realised. And on top of the deliberate destruction of the Nord Stream pipeline.

    Now the EU, as with Ukraine, is out in the cold in so many senses.

    Talk about being slow learners!

  7. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    December 2, 2022 1:22 pm

    “Slow learners” are-
    * Those that support brutal autocratic regimes, and are unwilling to resist their expansion
    * Those that think Kissinger was right. Was he? It are you just very selective with your approval of his views?

  8. December 2, 2022 2:01 pm

    When the American Empire lost what the Vietnamese correctly call the American War, two lessons were learned. First, wars can be lost on the battlefield. Second they can also be lost in the MSM.

    In the American provoked invasion of Ukraine, Zelensky has been ‘winning’ in the (western) MSM by the proverbial country mile. Then Ursula von der Leyen (from the EU) decided to help out by claiming that Ukraine had lost upwards of 100 000 soldiers in the conflict. What a blunder! Telling the truth! It will never do.

    Then the race was on to rewrite, edit, censor her ‘truth telling’. Too late. It’s all over You Tube. And the efforts to ‘re-write’ only make it worse.

    While Russia should have resisted the ongoing provocations begun in 2008, the West (including Australia) continues to fuel this unwinnable war instead of demanding that Zelensky engage in peace talks. As said time, and time again :

    America will fight to the death of the last Ukrainian.

    Australia should move from espousing a simplistic ‘deontological’ moral perspective (driven by good ‘intentions’) to a more sophisticated teleological stance where ‘outcomes’ become the guiding principle.

    All those deaths and injuries (with more to come). All those displacements – about 13 million (internal and external – about one-third of the population) aided and abetted by an elected Leader who promised peace.

  9. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    December 2, 2022 2:35 pm

    In the American provoked invasion of Ukraine…
    Typical stupidity.
    It’s the same defence men use for domestic violence.
    * She wouldn’t do what she was told
    * She was seeing someone else
    * I told her I’d bear her if she continued to disobey me
    As for losses, they are apparently about the same on each side, but Ukrainians know why they are fighting
    MN becomes more pathetic with each comment

  10. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    December 2, 2022 7:35 pm

    Vladimir Putin ‘falls down stairs and soils himself’
    Vlad take a leaf out of Dan’s playbook

  11. TB Queensland permalink
    December 2, 2022 7:48 pm

    Re: Ukraine/Russia … it is always the poorest who suffer the most in any war … both in blood and treasure!
    Like it or not … Russia invaded Ukraine … just as the USA invaded, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan …

    As for our involvement in East Timor … anyone notice that no-one took Indonesia to task for annexing West Papua? Did they pay the price for East Timor?

  12. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    December 2, 2022 8:41 pm

    There is a damning United Nations report on Russian war crime in Ukraine.
    Can you find a similar one on any other country? Including the US?

  13. TB Queensland permalink
    December 4, 2022 12:55 pm

    Including the US?


    Vietnam War
    See also: Vietnam War Crimes Working Group, Russell Tribunal, War crimes during the Vietnam War, and Rape during the Vietnam War
    American soldiers surrounded by beheaded corpses of Vietcong fighters

    RJ Rummel estimated that American forces killed around 5,500 people in democide between 1960 and 1972 in the Vietnam War, from a range of between 4,000 and 10,000.[71] Benjamin Valentino estimates 110,000–310,000 deaths as a “possible case” of “counter-guerrilla mass killings” by U.S. and South Vietnamese forces during the war.[72] During the war, 95 U.S. Army personnel and 27 U.S. Marine Corps personnel were convicted by court-martial of the murder or manslaughter of Vietnamese.[73]: 33 

    U.S. forces also established numerous free-fire zones as a tactic to prevent Viet Cong fighters from sheltering in South Vietnamese villages.[74] Such practice, which involved the assumption that any individual appearing in the designated zones was an enemy combatant that could be freely targeted by weapons, is regarded by journalist Lewis M. Simons as “a severe violation of the laws of war”.[75] Nick Turse, in his 2013 book, Kill Anything that Moves, argues that a relentless drive toward higher body counts, a widespread use of free-fire zones, rules of engagement where civilians who ran from soldiers or helicopters could be viewed as Viet Cong and a widespread disdain for Vietnamese civilians led to massive civilian casualties and endemic war crimes inflicted by U.S. troops.[76]: 251 
    My Lai Massacre
    Main article: My Lai massacre
    Some victims of the My Lai massacre
    Dead bodies outside a burning dwelling in My Lai

    1. The My Lai massacre was the mass murder of 347 to 504 unarmed citizens in South Vietnam, almost entirely civilians, most of them women and children, conducted by U.S. soldiers from the Company C of the 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade of the 23rd (American) Infantry Division, on 16 March 1968. Some of the victims were raped, beaten, tortured, or maimed, and some of the bodies were found mutilated. The massacre took place in the hamlets of Mỹ Lai and My Khe of Sơn Mỹ village during the Vietnam War.[77][78] Of the 26 U.S. soldiers initially charged with criminal offenses or war crimes for actions at My Lai, only William Calley was convicted. Initially sentenced to life in prison, Calley had his sentence reduced to ten years, then was released after only three and a half years under house arrest. The incident prompted widespread outrage around the world, and reduced U.S. domestic support for the Vietnam War. Three American Servicemen (Hugh Thompson, Jr., Glenn Andreotta, and Lawrence Colburn), who made an effort to halt the massacre and protect the wounded, were sharply criticized by U.S. Congressmen, and received hate mail, death threats, and mutilated animals on their doorsteps.[79] Thirty years after the event their efforts were honored.[80]

    Following the massacre a Pentagon task force called the Vietnam War Crimes Working Group (VWCWG) investigated alleged atrocities by U.S. troops against South Vietnamese civilians and created a formerly secret archive of some 9,000 pages (the Vietnam War Crimes Working Group Files housed by the National Archives and Records Administration) documenting 320 alleged incidents from 1967 to 1971 including 7 massacres (not including the My Lai Massacre) in which at least 137 civilians died; 78 additional attacks targeting noncombatants in which at least 57 were killed, 56 wounded and 15 sexually assaulted; and 141 incidents of U.S. soldiers torturing civilian detainees or prisoners of war. 203 U.S. personnel were charged with crimes, 57 were court-martialed and 23 were convicted. The VWCWG also investigated over 500 additional alleged atrocities but could not verify them.[81][82]
    Operation Speedy Express
    Main article: Operation Speedy Express

    2. Operation Speedy Express was a controversial military operation aimed at pacifying large parts of the Mekong delta from December 1968 to May 1969. The U.S. Army claimed 10,899 PAVN/VC were killed in the operation, while the US Army Inspector General estimated that there were 5,000 to 7,000 civilian deaths from the operation.[83][84] Robert Kaylor of United Press International alleged that according to American pacification advisers in the Mekong Delta during the operation the division had indulged in the “wanton killing” of civilians through the “indiscriminate use of mass firepower.”[85]

    3.Phoenix Program
    Main article: Phoenix Program
    Two United States soldiers and one South Vietnamese soldier waterboard a captured North Vietnamese prisoner of war near Da Nang, 1968.

    The Phoenix Program was coordinated by the CIA, involving South Vietnamese, US and other allied security forces, with the aim identifying and destroying the Viet Cong (VC) through infiltration, torture, capture, counter-terrorism, interrogation, and assassination.[86][87] The program was heavily criticized, with critics labeling it a “civilian assassination program” and criticizing the operation’s use of torture.[88]: 341–343 
    Tiger Force
    Main article: Tiger Force

    4. Tiger Force was the name of a long-range reconnaissance patrol unit of the 1st Battalion (Airborne), 327th Infantry, 1st Brigade (Separate), 101st Airborne Division, which fought from November 1965 to November 1967.[89] The unit gained notoriety after investigations during the course of the war and decades afterwards revealed extensive war crimes against civilians, which numbered into the hundreds. They were accused of routine torture, execution of prisoners and the intentional killing of civilians. US army investigators concluded that many of the alleged war crimes took place.[88]: 235–238 

    Other incidents ………………..

  14. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    December 5, 2022 3:06 pm

    Future generations will blame us for 2 important issues.
    1. Being laggards on climate change
    2. Not standing against expansionist autocratic regimes, such as Putin and the CCP

  15. TB Queensland permalink
    December 6, 2022 5:40 pm

    Luke Howarth has the answer … oops the “Honourable”

    JEREMIAH, 29:11

  16. TB Queensland permalink
    December 6, 2022 5:42 pm

    Should I send a Christmas card back?

  17. TB Queensland permalink
    December 7, 2022 8:27 pm

    Hey, reb, just visited your Twitter “site” … I don’t (won’t) have a Twitter account with the new, Manic Overlord as Da Boss … but the WordPress site does seem to be dying …

    … and I’d just like to say a big thanks for the memr’ies, all the fun, all the angst, all the “players”, all the knowledge and diverse perspectives and especially… aaaall the fkn topics!

    And all the friendships … even ToM and the ever present Wally and Kneel and Splats … love youse all … and thanks to the 1.4 million! viewers, all over the world, over the last (I think) 12 years.

    If this site stays alive … I will return.

    Merry Christmas all and a Happier New Year

    Regards to V 😉

  18. Splatterbottom permalink
    December 9, 2022 8:32 am

    Love you too, TB. Music is more important than politics!

  19. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    December 9, 2022 10:19 am

    Russia’s war crimes even worse than United Nations previously thought…

  20. December 14, 2022 6:41 pm

    The fear of the Middle Kingdom continues to lace and flavor the policy drip feed here in Australia – almost unaffected by the change of government. Where once Dutton did the bowing and scraping, we now have SMarles who is even more supine. Why he’ll even grab his ankles if referred to as Deputy Prime Minister.

    Howard won an election by trumpeting ” We will decide who comes to this country … ” but now that bold statement is gone. The American Empire now decides what tribute it wants and the local Satrap simply includes it in the coming budget.

    Less than a decade ago, Australia was the poster child for US allies who refused to choose between Washington and Beijing. But that was then. Now it’s all hands to the pumps – enticed by a promise of nuclear subs (in violation of the NPT) which are about as likely to materialize in the Australian Navy as the mythical Loch Ness monster.

    Satrap or Vassal? Probably too close to call. Besides the difference matters not!

  21. Splatterbottom permalink
    December 15, 2022 11:17 am

  22. Walrus permalink
    December 15, 2022 1:23 pm

    “… and I’d just like to say a big thanks for the memr’ies, all the fun, all the angst, all the “players”, all the knowledge and diverse perspectives and especially… aaaall the fkn topics!….”

    Did I miss something ?

    Is this Lunatic Leftist Shithole shutting down before the lights go out

  23. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    December 15, 2022 4:15 pm

    Yes SB, I think I’ve previously outlined my idea that having an unpredictable, narcissistic, easily offended weirdo in the Whitehouse might act as a restraint on expansionist murderous fascists.
    Putin can plan for every response of a rational president. There is no ability to plan for the response of an unpredictable narcissist like Trump.
    * Putin – “what would Trump do if we invaded Ukraine”
    * Military planner- “it ranges from do nothing to nuke us. It depends on whether or not he perceives that he’s been personally slighted”

  24. Tony permalink
    December 15, 2022 8:14 pm

    G’day Walrus. Thought you’d been cancelled.🤣

  25. Splatterbottom permalink
    December 16, 2022 7:58 am

    ToM, strategic ambiguity is a diplomatic tactic often adopted by the US. It was the previous US policy in relation to Taiwan. At least until the senile dribbling idiot currently in the White House destroyed that position with his angry-old-man bravado. He said that, indeed the US would respond militarily if China invaded Taiwan, causing his minders to walk back the sharter-in-chief’s comments. Trump at least could carry it off. Biden couldn’t and is sleep-walking us into WWIII.

    I prefer to judge Trump on his achievements not his unattractive personality. He actually sent arms to Ukraine after Obama had refused to do so. The Abraham Accords are a massive step forwards for the Middle East. They are something no Democrat or Rino could ever do or would even want to do, preferring to empower Iran instead – the same Iran now enabling the Russians to destroy Ukraine’s infrastructure with drones in return for Russian help developing Iran’s nukes.

    Also, he scared the deep state into exposing itself. A lot of people don’t grasp the enormity of the fact that the FBI lied multiple times to defraud a court to grant warrants to spy on a sitting president. Or that one of the most corrupt DoJ prosecutors spent more than a year investigating Clinton campaign fictions about Trump and Russia, knowing from day one that they were false.

    You seem more obsessed with Trump than his supporters are. I suspect the target market for these is not them but you (and Rick Wilson).

  26. Splatterbottom permalink
    December 16, 2022 8:43 am

    Is this Lunatic Leftist Shithole shutting down before the lights go out

    I took it as a precautionary comment, like a precautionary visit to the nursing home because it is getting near the end and you wanted to say good bye to the old slapper before she keels over or becomes fully non-compos.

    Also things are bit quieter now that the master troll Tom R has quit these pages. Perhaps he is concentrating on his twitter career or that of his nom de guerre.

  27. Splatterbottom permalink
    December 16, 2022 3:43 pm

    I knew it all along!

  28. Walrus permalink
    December 16, 2022 4:07 pm

    “G’day Walrus. Thought you’d been cancelled.”

    Hello Mr TOSY

    Nah not cancelled just chilling over at the Hot Copper forum which you are probably familiar with

    Watched a pay for view webinar by Credit Suisse Energy expert Saul Kavonic yesterday (You may have seen him on TV and Radio this week)

    He is predicting Victoria will be the first to be hit by blackouts next year along with the less important SA.

    What with IR havoc and blackouts next year I wonder just how many will trust Albo when he asks them to vote Yes to change the constitution without telling them in exactly what way ?

  29. Walrus permalink
    December 16, 2022 4:09 pm

    “Also things are bit quieter now that the master troll Tom R has quit these pages.”

    I shall grab my violin

  30. Walrus permalink
    December 16, 2022 4:11 pm

    “it ranges from do nothing to nuke us. It depends on whether or not he perceives that he’s been personally slighted”

    ToM…………… on

  31. Tony permalink
    December 17, 2022 7:04 pm

    Jeez, would you look at that. TB and his band have made a video.

  32. TB Queensland permalink
    December 17, 2022 8:13 pm

    How stupid … sending SES into a “planned” killing ground …

    I guess the police have never heard of booby traps!

  33. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    December 18, 2022 12:41 pm

    Some information for the Putin apologists
    One of the lies put out by the Kremlin is that there were 14,000 civilians killed by the Ukraine military during the civil war. This is completely untrue.
    The figure of 14,000 comes from a United Nations report, but the breakdown is-
    * 4500 were Ukrainian military
    * 6500 were separatist militia
    * 3000 were civilians, and were split between areas occupied by Ukraine and the Russian backed separatists. This also includes 300 civilians that died when the Russian backed separatists used a Russian missile to shoot down a civilian aircraft.

  34. December 18, 2022 6:23 pm

    For those who are “barrackers” and construct their own (somewhat perverted) reality.

    Do try to keep up! (It’s why ‘democracy’ has given us Trump, Biden and Morrison. Lol.)

    The American Empire has been at War since its arrival 250 years ago except for 16 years and at War since WW 2 except for two years.

    Hilarious that those who cite the UN General Assembly know absolutely nothing about its operations over time.

  35. December 18, 2022 6:55 pm

    The American Empire is addicted to a belief in its exceptionalism, grounded in aggression both at home and abroad, For Australia, the greatest military risk is that we become a proxy for the US in its dispute with China in much the same way as Ukraine is in the USA’s dispute with Russia.

    (Of course there were those who didn’t (perhaps still don’t) see it as a proxy war nor did they believe that there was a ‘coup’ way back in 2014). Oh how we laughed!

    Over more than 200 years, the historical record shows that the US Empire has subverted and overthrown so many governments. Indeed, as an ex-President pointed out, it has a military industrial complex that relies on War.

    As others have highlighted – it funds our War Memorial and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and many other fronts for US military and business interests. Try AALA for another outrageous example.

    Australia has outsourced its foreign policy to another. But It’s what Vassals do!

  36. TB Queensland permalink
    December 18, 2022 7:57 pm

    There are none so blind as those who see angels…None so deaf as those who hear gods


    Most of the USA’s invasions are based upon fervent christian beliefs … another US import to Australia … especially seeping into the LNP …

  37. December 18, 2022 8:46 pm

    Yes TB – so many citizens of the USA fervently believe that the “American way” is not only the best way but the “one and only true way”. Armed with that belief, they confront the world with a type of missionary zeal.

    And while we might commend them for their good intentions (being generous), they seem unable to rise above their own cultural soup and acknowledge that while their their way might be best for them, others have different attitudes, values, beliefs and priorities.

    In short, they are ethnocentric through and through.

    (As an aside – journeyed through Turkey with a number of American fundamentalist, southern religious ‘zealots’ who were really put in their place by a local guide who really knew his theology, broadly defined.)

  38. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    December 18, 2022 10:40 pm

    MN never explains why the world would be healthier, happier, safer, more prosperous, if it was left to the CCP and the Putin regime to divide up their spheres of influence

  39. TB Queensland permalink
    December 19, 2022 11:48 am

    MN never explains … etc

    It wouldn’t be a better place – for the same reasons as MN gave for the USA … people have different values …

    Your assumption is that the world would be healthier, happier, safer, more prosperous because of USA influence … just because my neighbour drives a jeep doesn’t mean we all should … a lot of Aussies now drive MGs … Made in PRC … (both are heaps of shit BTW)

  40. Splatterbottom permalink
    December 19, 2022 11:58 am

  41. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    December 19, 2022 12:09 pm

    Then TB, you’re welcome to explain how the world would be healthier, more prosperous etc. if spheres of influence were left to the CCP and the Putin regime

  42. TB Queensland permalink
    December 19, 2022 12:11 pm

    MN, thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Turkey … we stayed in Istanbul and travelled by coach, Pumukkale, and at the terrace pools greeted with the sight of lots of old, fat – bright red, sun-burnt, Russians, waddling around in speedos

    And I never thought I would walk on the beach at Gallipoli. Brought back a rum bottle shard, that our (English) guide found along the waters edge.

    Now look at Turkey – radically changed by another religion … I feel for the Turks … and their cousins lots of cousins running businesses. 😎

    I highly recommend the Netflix series Resurrection: Ertugrul … only 308, 40 minute episodes, in total, we have just watched episode 165 … ’tis about, Ertugrul, the hero of the founding of Turkey. Beware … some subtitles are quite amusing via translation.

  43. TB Queensland permalink
    December 19, 2022 12:14 pm

    ToM, that’s not the question … the question is about the USA … and its methods of “influence” …

    Democracy ain’t democracy … ’tis now in fact Corporatocacy

  44. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    December 19, 2022 1:18 pm

    ToM, that’s not the question …
    That’s pathetic TB. Now you’re the arbiter of the questions that can be asked.

  45. December 19, 2022 2:05 pm

    RE – “… why the world would be healthier, happier, safer, more prosperous …”

    Reveals much as to how a particular individual, located in a particular class, in a particular society, rooted in a particular culture might ‘construct’ a particular idealised world.

    But, make no mistake, those ‘values’ should not be universalised or extrapolated – IF one wants to understand what motivates the vast bulk of others in the wider world.

    It’s (again) ethnocentric! (And yes it’s very, very difficult not to be ethnocentric.)

  46. December 19, 2022 2:28 pm

    TB – these days, the Russians are the leading tourist demographic in Thailand. For some unexplained reason, Russians are not popular in Europe at the moment.

    On the other hand, Thais do not discriminate against Christians. Indeed, in Walking Street (Pattaya), they have several Go Go bars that specialise in Russian entertainers.

    As for Turkey, Erdogan would have Mustafa Kemal Atatürk turning in his grave. What ever happened to the ‘secular’ state?

    Speaking of Turkey (preferred spelling now ‘Turkiye’):

    “Istanbul police and the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) on 14 December announced the arrest of 44 people suspected of leaking information about Palestinian expatriates in Turkiye to the Mossad.”

  47. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    December 19, 2022 2:34 pm

    You’ve (typically) ducked the issue MN.
    At least I admit my position – I’d prefer that there were not superpowers, but since we have them, I’m glad one is an (imperfect) western democracy.
    You just can’t bring yourself to admit that the world would be even more oppressed and dismal if it was just left to the CCP and the Putin regime to divide up their spheres of influence

  48. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    December 19, 2022 2:42 pm

    I also happened to be in Turkey/Turkiye recently. More than any other leader I can think of, Erdogan uses the Trump playbook to appeal to bigots.
    * Creates tension with a neighbour as a political tactic
    * Populist appeal to insular people outside the more tolerant and sophisticated cities
    * Pointless/symbolic crumbs to the religious zealots
    Notwithstanding it’s leadership, it is a most engaging country

  49. December 19, 2022 4:02 pm

    Re – “… ducked the issue ..”

    Perhaps – but maybe I duck the way the “issue” is defined (by you).

    (As an aside of sorts). Just listening to Tim Dunlop on (Big Ideas RN) speak about the rise of the Teals and before them the ‘Voices for’ etc. Both have their roots in ‘kitchen table’ (political) get togethers. Crucially, they advanced via ‘discussion’. With minutes (records) provided at the end.

    Yesterday, listened to Marcia Langton speak about the meetings re “Voice to Parliament” and how Aboriginal groups DON”T proceed by voting but by arriving at a ‘consensus’. Yes it takes time but everyone gets to have a say. Just as it was in the Greek City States (albeit by only male citizens.)

    IN our ‘democracy’ one often hears about the need to “have a conversation with the electorate” BUT there’s no mechanism (structure) that enables that. People aren’t interested in politics because they have no discernable influence. It’s irrelevant to daily life – especially for younger people.

    A couple of weeks ago Media Watch reported that Putin’s popularity was at 79%. (Yes it’s a nation at war BUT.) In China, governments have incredible high levels of popularity as well. In Australia and the USA, popularity of governments is usually ‘line ball’.

    Perhaps we put far too much emphasis on the ‘process’ (voting) which is essentially a contest – with consensus (outcomes) being in retrospect.

    Look at the USA. Enormous spending and yet the contest is between two effing incompetents. Not that it matters (perhaps).

    Foreign Policy is outsourced to the Military Industrial Complex (doesn’t matter who the President is with the origin(s) of the Ukraine conflict, for example, having its roots in the early 1990s). Health Policy in the hands of giant Corporations. Economic/financial Policy outsourced to wall Street. etc etc.

    Enough for now.

  50. December 19, 2022 4:26 pm

    Re Turkey/Turkiye. Yes he’s really popular in the rural areas – not in the cities. Some locals see him as trying to resurrect the Ottoman Empire (what with his Palaces etc.) And he’s certainly opposed to political ‘liberals’. Thus tourist guides were imprisoned early in his new regime.

    Always admired Atatürk, particularly because he really wanted a secular democracy (which was rather brave – given it’s assumed that all Citizens are Muslims.)

    Not religious myself but very interested in religion because of its influence on Culture(s), history etc etc.

    Erdogan is a good politician (pejoratively speaking). Has lots in common with India’s Modi. Both are “independents”. Australia could learn from that.

    We need to be at a far greater distance from the American Empire than we currently are. Like it or not the American Empire is in decline. Not today nor to-morrow but we risk being on the wrong side of History. The rate of change in Geo-Politics is accelerating.

  51. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    December 19, 2022 5:18 pm

    You should try thinking a little more MN.
    * It is Russia that is in serious decline, the invasion of Ukraine is a last gasp for international relevance.
    * Russia’s economy has contracted by about a third in the past decade. It’s loss is equivalent to the economies of Malaysia and South Africa combined.
    * Western democracies continue to hold over 50% of the world’s trade.
    * The EU economy is about the same size as China’s, and that’s without the UK
    * The west is acting with more cohesion and unity that at any time in half a century.
    * BRICS is likely to fall apart, with military clashes currently between India and China, Modi refusing to attend his annual meeting with Putin, Xi expressing reservations about Putin’s war
    Don’t back the the success autocratic regimes

  52. TB Queensland permalink
    December 19, 2022 8:00 pm

    That’s pathetic TB. Now you’re the arbiter of the questions that can be asked.

    What’s pathetic is you changing the question to suit your narrative! As usual … can’t argue your case so change it … to your —– case?

  53. TB Queensland permalink
    December 19, 2022 8:09 pm

    It’s (again) ethnocentric! (And yes it’s very, very difficult not to be ethnocentric.)

    And demonstrates the strange hatred of so many Australians to migrants … who in most cases help to build this wonderful country … we need more migration … and yes it is a lottery … even ten quid Poms were heavily scrutinised for skills/qualifications, children (the future y’know), police checked backgrounds … and I remember being called “ya Pommie bastard!” with venom and being called “ya Pommie bastard” with an arm around my shoulder, a smile on my mates face and a beer in my hand … life’s odd, hey! QUEENSLANDER!

  54. TB Queensland permalink
    December 19, 2022 8:17 pm

    For some unexplained reason, Russians are not popular in Europe at the moment.

    LOL! 😂🤣😅 (Or Oz!)

    As for Turkey, Erdogan would have Mustafa Kemal Atatürk turning in his grave. What ever happened to the ‘secular’ state?

    Indeed! And many of the Turks I met would not have agreed with the direction their country is now travelling. I loved their “brotherhood” of mutual loss with Australia … just for another “royal cause”.

  55. TB Queensland permalink
    December 19, 2022 8:21 pm

    Not religious myself but very interested in religion because of its influence on Culture(s), history etc etc. Bingo!

    Could I add, military history … linked to political history of course. (my interest after conscription) … and my interest in geography

  56. TB Queensland permalink
    December 19, 2022 8:23 pm

    Erdogan is a good politician (pejoratively speaking). Has lots in common with India’s Modi. Both are “independents”. Australia could learn from that.

    Agree … Penny Wong (and Albo) seem to have an early grasp on that … Ms Wong will visit China next year …

  57. TB Queensland permalink
    December 19, 2022 8:27 pm

    You should try thinking a little more MN.


    I used to have a lot of fun with managers like you!

    Don’t back the the success autocratic regimes NO-ONE is! You just don’t comprehend that the USA is not the “answer” but the question … even the EU take the Yanks with a pinch of salt!

  58. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    December 20, 2022 12:13 pm

    Kevin Rudd appointed ambassador to the USA. That’s a good appointment

  59. December 20, 2022 6:39 pm

    As Bernie Sanders points out – “At a time when we spend more than the next 11 nations combined on defense, we should invest in healthcare, jobs, housing, and education—not more weapons of destruction,”

    (BTW – doesn’t include the billions of military aid given to Ukraine.)

    Why not just tell some truth and rename the Department of Defense as the Department of ATTACK.

    And there’s more: – “The $858 billion budget amounts to a roughly 10% increase from the previous year and $45 billion more than the historic sum President Joe Biden requested, and it was approved even after the Pentagon failed yet another audit, unable to account for more than 60% of its assets.”

    What it doesn’t mention is the spending from its Vassals. It goes to great lengths to coerce NATO (read North American Treaty Organistion) to spend 2% of GDP on this Attack capability – 95% of which transfers to the USA’s military industrial complex.

    Not to mention Australia’s regular tributes that are demanded. And paid!

  60. December 20, 2022 7:42 pm

    So Mr Rudd goes to Washington. But in one sense he’s been there for years. Dutton will be furious because he was the one who led the charge against support for Rudd’s ambition re the UN. Turnbull will be supportive.

    Be interesting to witness Murdoch’s reaction(s) as manifest in his (so-called) ‘independent’ media chain. Never likely that Rudd would ever get a Royal Commission largely because Murdoch’s acts of bastardry are already widely known. Nothing further to reveal, Besides, because he’s a Citizen of the American Empire what’s the point?

    Rudd has a brilliant mind but his interpersonals are hopeless – even pathological. But what will be the outcome if Trump is resurrected as President – unlikely as that may be?

    Rudd doesn’t play golf. But because he can curse in any number of languages the game will continue to lack colour.

  61. December 20, 2022 8:13 pm

    Re BRICS and the laughable claim that – (just wishin’ and hopin’?) – “it’s likely to fall apart”

    Did you know that:

    “Algeria, Argentina, and Iran have all applied, while it is already known that Saudi Arabia, Türkiye, Egypt and Afghanistan are also interested, along with Indonesia, ”

  62. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    December 20, 2022 9:07 pm

    1. The 2 biggest economies in BRICS are not far from war, and Modi refused to attend his annual meeting with Putin. It has a long way to go before it is any from if bloc.
    2. Russia devotes more of it’s economic activity to the military, about a third more than the US. It’s just that Russia is a puny economy, with an inflated view of its importance.

  63. December 20, 2022 10:40 pm

    No links equates to no credibility.

    As for BRICS + + – just watch this space. Lol.

  64. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    December 21, 2022 10:16 am

    1. Don’t you follow then international news? Modi refused to meet Putin, about a week ago.
    2. Have you heard of independent research? Look up percentage of GDP the USA spends on the military, then repeat for Russia.

  65. December 21, 2022 4:19 pm

    Yes Modi and Putin hate each other. Lol. They are almost at war. BRICS + is falling apart.

    It’s in ToM’s (unreferenced) News. But it’s not in everyone’s news. Other sources provide evidence that both Nations (Russia and India) proceed on the basis of their interests. It’s an approach Australia could pursue.

    By the way, there’s at least a dozen references that could be provided that offer like evidence.

    ToM do yourself a favor and read some works by Antonio Gramsci (or commentators) on how “common sense” is produced/manufactured. But beware, Gramsci was a jailbird – a prisoner. But with Notebooks.

  66. December 21, 2022 4:23 pm

    Oops. Let’s try some thing different.

  67. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    December 21, 2022 5:41 pm

    PM Modi will not go to Moscow for annual meeting with Putin
    So far, 21 annual summits have taken place alternatively in India and Russia. The last summit was held on December 6, 2021 in New Delhi.

  68. December 21, 2022 6:05 pm

    ToM – from your link

    “Russia-India trade has jumped 170 per cent over the previous year to $17 billion. Most of this comprises oil imports by India. Aside from the trade imbalance that this has created, Delhi has not yet been able to convince Moscow to accept rupee payments.

    Lavrov’s remarks that both sides had detailed discussions about military and technical co-operation including joint production of weaponry belie assessments that India is planning to wean off from its dependence on Russian military hardware. All this may not be what India’s western partners, including the US, want to hear.

    But as the External Affairs Minister put it, if it is a partnership that works to India’s advantage, it is in India’s interest to keep it going.”

    Sounds like they really hate each other! (Shakes head).

    The relationship is reduced to talking to each other – on a regular basis. Shocking!

  69. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    December 21, 2022 8:34 pm

    Your comprehension isn’t too good.
    1. China and India are currently engaged in military conflict. They are the 2 biggest economies in BRICS.
    2. Modi has repeatedly expressed concerns about Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, and refused to attend his annual meeting with Putin.
    You seem to deny those facts.

  70. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    December 21, 2022 9:11 pm

    The split emerges. Africa was largely neutral.

  71. Splatterbottom permalink
    December 22, 2022 8:24 am

    “Kevin Rudd appointed ambassador to the USA. That’s a good appointment”

    Krudd, is entirely unsuited to any form of diplomacy. He thought it would be a good idea to go to China and criticise his hosts on national television, in Mandarin.

    The overweening wanker has form with the Yanks, having put Bush Jr on speakerphone for the amusement of his dinner guests.


    “A review of the first twelve months of the Rudd government in December 2008 by Robert McCallum, Jr., U.S. Ambassador to Australia:
    • Comments that Rudd’s diplomatic “missteps” largely arising from his propensity to make “snap announcements without consulting other countries or within the Australian government”;
    • Notes the government’s “significant blunders” began when the then-foreign minister, Stephen Smith said in February 2008 that Australia would not support strategic dialogue between Australia, the U.S., Japan and India out of deference to China (David Pearl, a Treasury official on Smith’s staff in 2004, told U.S. diplomats he was “very smart but intimidated both by the foreign policy issues themselves and the knowledge that PM Rudd is following them so closely”); and
    • Refers to Rudd’s “control freak” tendencies and “persistent criticism from senior civil servants, journalists and parliamentarians that Rudd is a micro-manager obsessed with managing the media cycle rather than engaging in collaborative decision making”.

    To make matters worse, or at least to explain the inverse proportion of his elephantine ego to his acorn intellect, the stupid little cunt is a Queenslander, not an Australian.

  72. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    December 22, 2022 12:15 pm

    No reasonable person could possibly have listened to Zelensky’s speech and not support their resistance

  73. Splatterbottom permalink
    December 23, 2022 10:35 am

    True, ToM.

  74. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    December 24, 2022 10:37 pm

    Merry Christmas reb and to all those that provide the rational and intelligent comments!

  75. Splatterbottom permalink
    December 28, 2022 12:15 pm

    Merry Christmas, motherfuckers!

  76. Splatterbottom permalink
    January 3, 2023 3:29 pm

    And a thought for the new year:

  77. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    January 6, 2023 12:59 pm

    How good is it that Putin has shown the world that is is able to make a quick transition from fossil fuels

  78. Neil of Sydney permalink
    January 7, 2023 5:07 pm

    I see Prince Harry is in the news again. Why does the media keep giving this guy air space? Does anybody care?

  79. Splatterbottom permalink
    January 12, 2023 2:50 pm

    not that there was any doubt, but Andrews demonstrates yet again that he is a dumb mongrel:

  80. Splatterbottom permalink
    January 12, 2023 3:42 pm

    I hear that the ABC is preparing its usual in-kind donation to the NSW Labor election campaign – this time a hit job on Perrottet. In order to get out ahead of the story Perrottet has admitted to wearing Nazi attire as a young man.

  81. TB Queensland permalink
    January 18, 2023 9:56 am

    RIP Renee Geyer … one of the best.

  82. Splatterbottom permalink
    January 20, 2023 8:03 am

    Agreed, TB. Who do you think our best female singer is/was? Judith Durham? Marica Hines? I did like Colleen Hewett’s version of ‘Superstar’.

  83. TB Queensland permalink
    January 23, 2023 8:33 pm

    Only if you are on the flights I guess…

    Oh, the irony … and the truth of it!

  84. TB Queensland permalink
    January 23, 2023 8:40 pm

    Who do you think our best female singer is/was?

    How do you judge? So many “styles” … I like some singers versions of songs and not others … how to compare Renee Geyer with Judith Durham? Or Colleen Hewitt’s “power” (she did lose key occasionally – but who hasn’t? …

    I do note that Australian “pop” talent has dwindled considerably tho’ … it was hard enough in my day but now?

  85. Splatterbottom permalink
    January 30, 2023 12:41 pm

    Things getting a bit complicated:

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