Open Forum: March 10, 2018

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1,062 Responses to Open Forum: March 10, 2018

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  1. Stimpson J. Cat

    Ethnostates for Ethnics!

  2. zyconoclast

    Lovely Russian capella group.

  3. zyconoclast

    First time ever I have managed to do that.
    Woo hoo!

  4. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    I claim this thread in the name of the Durack family, the pioneers of the Kimberly region, and those mounted police troopers, falsely accused of carrying out the “Forrest River Massacre.”

  5. Diesal

    In London, it’s a few months since I was last in victoriastan and not missing it at all.

  6. zyconoclast

    King’s Singers Down To The River To Pray

  7. zyconoclast

    Alleluia – Mozart

  8. Di

    Wow, top 20 or so….been a while!

    So, I have a question.

    Given the manic throwing around of tax $’s that our Foreign Minister & PM are displaying,
    & the complete waste of the last couple of years & Million’s in tax that the ALP through their “obstruction” are responsible for – At what point can taxpayers refuse to pay tax?

    Surely there is some safeguard about this?

    (excuse my ignorance if this is a stupid Q….I have the standard dysfunction between the word tax & my brain)
    Is there any recourse for taxpayers?

  9. zyconoclast

    Papagena/Papageno Duet – Montserrat Caballé y Thomas Quasthoff

  10. Dave in Marybrook

    Penny Wong believes in just the two genders

  11. zyconoclast

    Let me try that again
    Papagena/Papageno Duet – Montserrat Caballé y Thomas Quasthoff

  12. Dave in Marybrook

    Dammit my links aren’t working.
    How do you do it Zyco?

  13. zyconoclast

    I did it by accident.
    I had sent a link via email to someone.
    Then decided to share it with the Cat.
    So I just copied the link from the sent email
    and pasted it into the text box, pressed enter
    and then clicked on post comment.

    It was a complete fluke.

  14. zyconoclast

    ‘For some it’s life and death’: Ian Thorpe turns business coach

    Thorpe’s business partners in the venture are cricketer Shane Watson and performance psychologist Dr Jacques Dellaire.

    What actual business has been Thrope been successful at?

  15. OneWorldGovernment

    Imagine stimpy

    Imagine if Trump got a Peace Prize.

    Unlike that black xunt who did nothing.

  16. OneWorldGovernment

    I want to take on the EU.

    And if pommy land can’t get away from mad merkle then they can go far away.

  17. OneWorldGovernment

    Half the country hates Donald Trump, and even the half that thinks he’s doing a good job often flinch from his boorishness, his nasty public attacks, sometimes even on his own aides. For all the top talent he says he’s surrounded himself with, the president repeatedly attracts among the worst that Washington—and New York—have to offer. No doubt that’s one reason why whatever is thrown at him seems to stick.

    At the same time, there is a growing consensus among reporters and thinkers on the left and right—especially those who know anything about Russia, the surveillance apparatus, and intelligence bureaucracy—that the Russiagate-collusion theory that was supposed to end Trump’s presidency within six months has sprung more than a few holes. Worse, it has proved to be a cover for U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement bureaucracies to break the law, with what’s left of the press gleefully going along for the ride. Where Watergate was a story about a crime that came to define an entire generation’s oppositional attitude toward politicians and the country’s elite, Russiagate, they argue, has proved itself to be the reverse: It is a device that the American elite is using to define itself against its enemies—the rest of the country.

    Yet for its advocates, the questionable veracity of the Russiagate story seems much less important than what has become its real purpose—elite virtue-signaling. Buy into a storyline that turns FBI and CIA bureaucrats and their hand-puppets in the press into heroes while legitimizing the use of a vast surveillance apparatus for partisan purposes, and you’re in. Dissent, and you’re out, or worse—you’re defending Trump.

    Recently, a writer on The New Yorker blog named Adrian Chen gave voice to the central dilemma facing young media professionals who struggle to balance their need for social approval with the demands of fact-based analysis in the age of Trump. In an article pegged to special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictments of the Internet Research Agency, Chen referenced an article he had written about the IRA for The New York Times Magazine several years ago. After the Mueller indictments were announced, Chen was called on to lend his expertise regarding Russian troll farms and their effect on the American public sphere—an offer he recognized immediately as a can’t-win proposition.

    “Either I could stay silent,” wrote Chen, “and allow the conversation to be dominated by those pumping up the Russian threat, or I could risk giving fodder to Trump and his allies.”

    In other words, there’s the truth, and then there’s what’s even more important—sticking it to Trump. Choose wrong, even inadvertently, Chen explained, no matter how many times you deplore Trump, and you’ll be labeled a Trumpkin. That’s what happened to Facebook advertising executive Rob Goldman, who was obliged to apologize to his entire company in an internal message for having shared with the Twitter public the fact that “the majority of the Internet Research Agency’s Facebook ads were purchased after the election.” After Trump retweeted Goldman’s thread to reaffirm that Vladimir Putin had nothing to do with his electoral victory, the Facebook VP was lucky to still have a job.

    Chen’s article serves to explain why Russiagate is so vital to The New Yorker, despite the many headaches that each new weekly iteration of the story must be causing for the magazine’s fact-checkers. According to British court documents, The New Yorker was one of the publications that former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele briefed in September 2016 on the findings in his now-notorious dossier. In a New Yorker profile of Steele this week—portraying the spy-for-corporate-hire as a patriotic hero and laundering his possible criminal activities—Jane Mayer explains that she was personally briefed by Steele during that time period.

    The New Yorker has produced tons of Russiagate stories, including a small anthology of takes on the Mueller indictments alone. Of course there’s one by the recently-hired Adam Entous, the former Washington Post and Wall Street Journal reporter who broke the news that the Washington firm Fusion GPS, which produced the Steele dossier, had been hired by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee—a story that helped Fusion GPS relieve some of the pressure congressional inquiries had put on the firm to release its bank records. No doubt Entous will continue to use his sources, whoever they are, to break more such stories at The New Yorker.

    One person at The New Yorker who won’t get on board with the story is Masha Gessen. Born in Moscow, Gessen knows first-hand how bad Putin is and dislikes Trump only a little less than she dislikes the Russian strongman. Yet in a recent New Yorker piece, Gessen mocked Mueller’s indictments: “Trump’s tweet about Moscow laughing its ass off was unusually (perhaps accidentally) accurate,” she wrote. “Loyal Putinites and dissident intellectuals alike are remarkably united in finding the American obsession with Russian meddling to be ridiculous.”

    Another native Russian-speaking reporter, Julia Ioffe, formerly with The New Republic and more recently, The Atlantic, has some similar reservations. In a September 2016 article for Politico, she threw cold water on the legend of Carter Page, master spy and wheeler-dealer. As Ioffe reported, virtually no one in Moscow had ever heard of Page.

    From the beginning, Gessen saw the collusion story as dangerous, not because she supported Trump but because it fed into a fantasy that convinced Trump’s opponents that they need not bother with the difficult and boring work of procedural politics. And who were the would-be agents of America’s salvation? Spies—the former British spy allegedly responsible for the dossier and countless American intelligence officials using anonymous press leaks to manipulate the American public.

  18. OneWorldGovernment

    cannot say joooish

    but can say antifa

  19. OneWorldGovernment

    can say nazi but cannot say jooish!

  20. Leigh Lowe

    It’s twenty past ‘toon time?

  21. Lysander

    Late…. insomnia….

  22. Leigh Lowe

    What actual business has been Thorpe been successful at?

    His band.
    The Aztecs.
    Long time ago but they were pretty good.

  23. Knuckle Dragger


    We talking about Graham Thorpe or Billy Thorpe?

  24. struth

    Ian Thorpe has been good at blowing bubbles, even out of the water.

  25. Leigh Lowe

    Had to laugh at the Wisdom of Thorpedo.
    “Get a good brand, work hard, treat your customers well”
    No shit, Sherlock.
    And his comment that it is “hard to replace 30-40 hours of training a week.”
    Most people call it a job, Nancy-boy.
    And he is in partnership with Shane Watson.
    What could possibly go wrong?

  26. Snoopy

    “Get a good brand, work hard, treat your customers well”

    Has Thorpie got any further advice for the franchisees of Gloria Jeans, Michael’s Patisserie and Donut King?

  27. Tom

    Sorry, Cats. No toons. The Windows 10 virus decided to restart my laptop over three and a half hours ago and it’s still going. Infuriating!

  28. Tom

    Four hours. Waiting, waiting …

  29. Tintarella di Luna

    Bloody hell, no wonder there was an echo in that other place.

    Lotsa good news in the Oz this morning all of it bad for the bent-eared termite. I put up a comment on Dennis Shanahan’s piece but seeing as there is much censorship of my comments I’ll put it here in case it doesn’t make it past the thought police:

    From the moment Abbott became leader of the parliamentary Liberal party on 1 December, 2009 the fix was in. Unable to win, the black-handed jerks in the ‘Winner’s Circle’ plotted against Abbott to remove him and install the supposedly urbane ‘real’ leader.

    Why Abbott is still part of this cabal of connivers is beyond me, is it stoicism or masochism? Methinks Abbott is even braver than Gunga Din.

  30. Tom

    What a fuckup is Windows 10: constant software failures, won’t run for more than six hours without having to be rebooted and now Microtheft are laying all these patch-ups on users with reboots taking hours. And they make sure there is there is no feedback channel for users on the end of their incompetence.

  31. Tintarella di Luna

    From the old thread – Bettina Arndt’s interview yesterday with Professor Jordan B Peterson. – excellent point about regulating behaviour in the workplace particularly sexually provocative behaviour – any program must be inclusive of women wearing make-up and high heels.

  32. JC


    I went into the Microsoft store yesterday. I gotta tell you their stuff looks better and appears more advanced than Snapple. Snapple is in trouble looking at micro theft’s lineup.

  33. OneWorldGovernment


    I had to go to Linux.

    Still have accessible all my data from Win 7 but refused to go Win10.

  34. OneWorldGovernment

    Shy Ted
    #2656625, posted on March 10, 2018 at 6:00 am

    For Tom

    Pay that one.

  35. OneWorldGovernment

    If Australia is a free trade economy then I am surprised why some folk get upset when people walk in and take what they want.

    Isn’t that true free trade?

  36. OneWorldGovernment

    If Australia is free trade then surely I can go in and smash the beejesus out of any cfmeu and drag whatever scum I like to my union.

    Surely that’s free trade.

  37. OneWorldGovernment

    When I rip the uniform off a Victorian Firefighter surely I will be protecting society from NAZI antifa scum.

  38. OneWorldGovernment

    I need to protect Victoria from Global Warming so we will shut down ALL roads and Tullamarine Airport.

  39. OneWorldGovernment

    And we will burn all yellow taxis to save us from global warming.

  40. Shy Ted

    Responding to reports that his harbour-side mansion had been specially connected to high-speed NBN, Malcolm Turnbull today pointed out that more than a dozen bedrooms, and at least one of the kitchens, are without internet connection altogether.
    Asked what his message was to Australians who were still waiting for the NBN while he enjoyed a 100mbps plan, Mr Turnbull said, “I know how they feel”.
    “There’s nothing more frustrating than ducking off to the butler’s quarters to get some work done, and then remembering that the new wi-fi doesn’t reach that far yet. So yep, I get it”.

    Malcolm Turnbull has clarified his controversial ‘sex ban’, saying screwing the general public was still well within ministerial guidelines.
    “Let me be clear – this is a tweak to the guidelines, not an overhaul. So, yes, obviously the cabinet will still be free to f*ck its constituents as they see fit,” he told journalists today.
    “F*cking members of the public is a practice that’s very much part of the culture. So it would be unrealistic to expect that we could somehow monitor every time that the electorate gets screwed.

    For as long as he can remember, Malcolm Turnbull has wanted to be an inconsequential, powerless leader at the beck and call of a small group of weird old extremist men.
    “As a young boy growing up in Sydney, people would to say to me, ‘Malcolm, you should lead our nation one day!’ And I’d say, ‘No, I want to be a toothless figurehead with no courage or conviction. That’s my dream,’” Turnbull told The Shovel.
    “Some people want to be champion footballers or world-renowned doctors when they grow up. But I always wanted to be an impotent Prime Minister. I think it’s that feeling of powerlessness, of having no real impact, of backing an idea and then dismissing it the following day when someone in the party disagreed with it – that’s what always excited me”.

    Australian families and the Prime Minister will be able to enjoy reliable power for the foreseeable future, following the announcement of the Coalition’s National Energy Guarantee.
    Announcing the plan today, Mr Turnbull said what the nation and the Minister for Wentworth needed was a little more certainty that they would have power tomorrow, next month and hopefully well into next year.
    “This plan is all about consolidating the power we have, and ensuring we have reliable power in the future. And by we, I mean me,” Mr Turnbull said.

  41. OneWorldGovernment

    We need to save Victoria from Global Warming.

    Bulldoze all inner city suburbs out to 8 kilometres.

  42. OneWorldGovernment

    Rhiannon looks like a Russian kangaroo.

  43. JC

    CL’s favourite pharmacist – slightly on the loon side, but really funny – cops 7 years in the clink. He cried.

    Poor Martie

    More here

  44. OneWorldGovernment

    I want to smash Turnbull, Howard and Abbot fair in the face for their scum despicable power shit.

    Mind you, I would burn to death the entire so called “Sick Greens” and Labor without U.

  45. Up The Workers!

    “Rhiannon looks like a Russian kangaroo.”

    Yes, but Skippy’s election policies made more sense and had far more credibility than anything Rhiannon ever came out with.

  46. OneWorldGovernment

    And if any police person wants to interview me then I am more than ready.

  47. struth

    Who pissed Arky off?

    This is a disgraceful state of affairs.

  48. OneWorldGovernment

    Turns out that the biggest shagadag was an ADF arsehole whilst all that Barnaby crap was going on.

    If it turns out to be the most “rightous” prick that I met some years ago then I will go to Canberra and knock his f*ken head off.

  49. Bruce of Newcastle

    The race is on for the first tranny Archbishop!

    ‘Some Women Have Penises’: Church of Scotland Launches Transgender Support Guide

    “Some men have vaginas and some women have penises,” congregations have been told in a Church of Scotland resource urging greater sensitivity towards transgender people.

    The 30-page booklet, a copy of which was delivered to every Scottish church on Tuesday, asks ministers to consider using gender-neutral language for God as part of a range of measures to make their congregation more inclusive for individuals who identify as transgender.

    Testimony featured in Diverse Gender Identities and Pastoral Care includes the demand for a “21st century” update to the “patriarchal” Scriptures, and complaints that “Christian culture” makes life hard for “gender nonconforming” individuals.

    The Church of Scotland seems to have fallen into a bit of a hole. Maybe they should have a read of Romans 1 again.

  50. struth

    May all those no matter their character, deeds, and accomplishments , who have had the burden of being a life support system for a twat, feel secure in the knowledge that we cherish every breath you special people take and we hope you understand that you, as a minority, are in our every thought until the next International Half the World’s Population day.

  51. struth

    You can sort of understand the scots getting a little bit confused about things, with the wearing of kilts and all.

  52. OneWorldGovernment


    Finally got proof about the UGLY ones.

  53. struth

    That should have read…..
    Some men are vaginas and some women are dicks.
    It must have been a typo

  54. Pete of Perth

    Kilts and crotchless undies..

  55. OneWorldGovernment

    No wonder all those QUEERS can’t work out The TRUMP.

    His father was German and his mother was Scots.

    No wonder “the elite” hate him.

  56. OneWorldGovernment

    Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)
    #2656653, posted on March 10, 2018 at 7:06 am

    Seems to be short by an order of magnitude
    The militant construction union has been fined more than $800,000 over its “deliberate, flagrant and systematic” campaign of intimidation to force builder John Holland to sign a union agreement.

    A criminal organization that should be wiped out.

  57. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    Penny Wong believes in just the two genders

    Business in the front, party in the rear.

  58. OneWorldGovernment

    And the filthy sum took the Eureka Flag for their own when what it and the fight at the Stockade was about stopping excessive Taxation.

    When will someone blow away the ACTU Building and STOP scum Union pricks from controlling Superannuation Funds.

    I wonder how many workers know that their Superannuation Funds are propping up useless wind and solar.

  59. None

    CFMEU don’t care about the fines. They’ve factored them into their business model. They are just one giant extortion racket.

  60. struth

    The fine is just the government getting it’s cut, above what it already gets.

  61. OneWorldGovernment

    Then IT IS TIME None to blow them away.

    And take back The Eureka Flag from the marxist communists.

  62. struth

    There has been no economic growth.
    Anyone who tells you there has been, are the type of people that tell you growth in the public sector means more jobs and economic growth.

  63. Tom #2656620, posted on March 10, 2018 at 5:39 am

    Hey Tom. In the short time win10 lived on my new pc, I must say it looked nice.
    A couple of Linux problems, but there is some hope of a resolution.
    With win10, abandon all hope.

  64. Gab

    Professor Jordan Peterson being interviewed in the studio by Neil Mitchell yesterday.

  65. Bruce of Newcastle

    Just in case you thought Iran wasn’t bonkers enough already, it turns out that there is an Iranian Shiite bunch who are even more bonkers that the mad mullahs. They’ve just raided the Iranian embassy in London:

    Armed Men Raid Iran’s Embassy In London

    Four men dressed in black attacked the Iranian embassy in London minutes ago, menacing the staffers with weapons and taking down the Iranian flag. According to Iran’s Press TV, a Britain-based Shiite religious group was behind the stunt.

    According to early media reports, the raiders are four men who had opened their way into the embassy premises, while threatening people on the scene with machetes and baseball bats. The London Police have reportedly deployed around the embassy but took no action in the first couple of hours after the attack.

    The slogans chanted by the raiders indicate that they are members of Sadeq Shirazi Shiite extremist sect. Iran’s Ambassador to Britain Hamid Baeedinejad confirmed the reports on the embassy attack minutes ago.

    The Shirazi sect that has been labeled as “British Shiism” by Iran’s Supreme Leader, operates mainly from London. The sect also runs a satellite network called ‘Fadak’ from London and promotes Shiite extremism against Sunni Islam according to Fars News. The sect is also known to be the religious opposition of the Islamic Republic.

    There can be only one!

  66. calli

    Thank you Pointman, at 1:21. Excellent and informative.

    I always enjoy your posts.

  67. calli

    Just so it’s still out there, a question for our Foreign Minister (who has “doubts” about the NK/US meeting):

    Could we please have an update on DFAT efforts to locate and repatriate Dr. Ken Elliott? If it’s not too much trouble.


  68. calli

    Buffet bothering Ruddbot on Seven, short of breath and long on rhetoric.

    Anxious to let us know he’s in NYC and head of a “Think Tank”.

    Half a world away isn’t far enough.

  69. calli

    Helloooooo! Cat’s out Saturday morning shopping?

    I’ll just run the feather duster over the place and plump the cushions while you’re all away. And scrape up the trolly droppings in the corner.

  70. Bruce of Newcastle

    Andrew Klavan has a nice article on the Left’s retreat into fantasyland:

    At the Box Office and Voting Booth, Leftist Fantasies Bomb

    Early on in a life spent studying the art of storytelling, I came upon an interesting example of narrative power. In his encyclopedic study of mythology, The Masks of God, Joseph Campbell quotes an essay by German ethnologist Leo Frobenius. Frobenius tells of a little girl who plays with three matchsticks, pretending they are Hansel, Gretel and the witch. After a time, she lets out a shriek of terror. When her father asks her what’s the matter, she replies, “Daddy! Daddy! Take the witch away!” In her imagination, the matchstick has become the witch she pretended it was.

    Something similar has happened to the Democratic Party and its communications arm, by which I mean so-called journalists and Hollywood entertainers.

    Read on…

  71. Up The Workers!

    Blessed be the dung-beetles.

    They mightn’t rock, but boy can they roll!

  72. Up The Workers!

    The tattooed hairy-armpitted bull-dyke brigade of the A.W.F.U.L. (Australian Womens Football Underachievers’ League) seem to have kicked a goal publicity-wise.

    Their fame now seems to have spread all the way to the holy haggis-bandits of the Church of Scotland.

  73. None

    Thanks for that link Gab. Mitchell seemed to ask the same question about 3 times over at one point but other than that it was an excellent interview.

  74. Gab

    That first one, Zyconoclast, hits it out of the park!!

  75. zyconoclast

    Snuck in while I wasn’t looking.

  76. Chris

    That’s interesting ; According to the windfarm boosters like Simon Chapman this doesn’t happen.

  77. Dave in Marybrook

    Thanks a bunch Tom!

  78. Dave in Marybrook

    Now you’re just showing off, Zyco…

  79. OldOzzie

    Uncomfortable truths
    Jacinta Price says what few dare about Aboriginal culture. But now the stakes have been raised — and she’s being warned.

    Part 1

    Soaked in blood, with nightclothes clinging to her skin in the thick, muggy heat, Jacinta Nampijinpa Price sprints to the nearest neighbour’s house and begs them to call the police. It is 7am, Darwin, 2008. Five months into a new relationship — the first since splitting with her high-school sweetheart and father of her three kids — and Price is bolting for her life. Drugs and feral outbreaks of jealousy have broken the veneer of the honeymoon period. In the heat of the attack a lamp is hurled at her with such force that it leaves a gash requiring six stitches. “I looked at my hand, it was covered in blood and the blood was dripping down my shoulder,’’ Price recalls. “And I thought, ‘I have to get out of here because if I don’t get out of here, he’s going to kill me.’ ”

    She manages to make a run for it, out the door, feet slapping the driveway of the flats where she lives, across the road and into sanctuary. “I felt like the stereotypical Aboriginal woman victim of ­violence. And I felt really degraded,” Price says now. “Sitting in this stranger’s house, bleeding all over their floor and asking them to call an ambulance for me, and the police. I was just so glad that my kids weren’t there to witness that.”

    The proud Warlpiri-Celtic woman peers at the bushland across the street from her mother’s place on the edge of the Alice Springs township. ­“Immediately there’s a stigma attached to a victim of family violence. And I felt it, straight away. And I felt like, ‘How could I let this happen to myself? Why didn’t I see this coming?’”

    This would be the last time Jacinta Price would be a victim. She broke up with her boyfriend, roused her spirits and took a good hard look around her. In the mirror stood a clever young Territory woman with much to say — although it would take some years for her to articulate all that she’d seen and experienced since she was a tiny kid running through the potholed backstreets of Alice. But soon she began to speak some uncomfortable truths. She lifted the veil on the murderers and rapists and victims in her own extended family and the kinship ties and “cultural excuses” that protect the perpetrators. She has been hailed as a fearless anti-violence warrior and at the same time has become a lightning rod for criticism. But once the lid was off she realised there was no turning back. Despite the vitriol, the scorn, the social media hate campaigns. No running away.

    Weaving through clutter, books and furniture, apaper trail of life well-lived, Price scours the nooks of her parents’ home, searching for a lost Stimson’s python. The reptile’s gone missing, but as the 36-year-old Alice Springs town councillor and aspiring federal politician rightly points out, the snake shit in the middle of the lounge room is a good indication it hasn’t yet fled the roost. Price’s family members are close at hand — her father Dave hovers around the kitchen, colourfully ­criticising a letter in the local newspaper, the ­Centralian Advocate, which he dubs “highly defamatory” and critical of his family. Jacinta’s mother, Bess Price, a former minister in the notoriously dysfunctional Adam Giles-led Northern Territory government, potters around in a back room. The walls are lined with family memorabilia: Bess catching a barra in the Top End, and meeting Barack Obama in the White House; Dave as a “don’t say hippie” young man exploring outback Central Australia; Jacinta as a bright, smiling child; and a portrait of Linawu, the brother who died of leukaemia when she was just three years old.

    On this sun-bitten Red Centre morning, one day before Jacinta Price announces her ambition to run in the next federal election, the bond of family reverberates through the household, with in-jokes, giggles and wry, gentle jibes bouncing off the walls. It’s a bond that has kept this unit sane through some of life’s tougher hurdles: Jacinta’s teen pregnancy (her first baby was due on the day of her Year 12 formal), the kidney disease that almost took her mother’s life, and a string of bloody deaths in the family, including the murder of Bess Price’s sister while the politician held ­parliamentary office. “We were always a very close family because of just the sorts of things that we’d been through … the amount of loss — family — in our lives. Knowing we had to be each other’s ­support network,” Price says.

    Family may never have been a more necessary oasis for Jacinta Price, as political spotfires smoulder across the landscape. Her outspoken views have built her simultaneously into a refreshing ­renegade and a divisive pariah on the national political stage. Her comments about Aboriginal domestic violence being ingrained in traditional culture, and her strident stance around keeping Australia Day on January 26, have brought social media trolls scuttling out of the woodwork, barfing out insults, death threats and racist bigotry. One meme recently emerged of Price Photoshopped next to three Ku Klux Klansman and the caption, “Jacinta Price and her followers”.

    Price’s husband is Colin Lillie, a fiercely bearded Scotsman who earns his crust as a troubadour ­gigging around the country. While not formally hitched, Lillie says the couple were joined “Jacinta’s way — bashed over the head with a nulla-nulla. That’s it, we’re married. In Warlpiri cultural way, I’m accepted as her husband, and I’ve got to take everything on board that comes with that.” The pair became firm during Price’s former life as a musician, when Lillie helped produce her debut album, Dry River. They now have four children between them — Price’s three boys, now in their teens, and Lillie’s son.

    In a newspaper article, Price listed the diverse cultural mix in her own household: “I am half Warlpiri and a mixture of Irish, Scottish and Welsh. My sons are of Warlpiri, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Malay, Indian, French, African, Chinese, Scandinavian and ­German ancestry. My stepson is half Scottish and a quarter Mauritian. They are all 100 per cent ­Australian.” Her point? “Most of the self-identifying indigenous members of our community who claim to feel hurt by Australia Day being held on January 26 would also have white ancestors in their family trees and may not even have been born if the First Fleet hadn’t come.”

    “I wasn’t raised to deal with confrontation with words like Jacinta does,” Lillie offers in the thick brogue of the mining village near ­Edinburgh he hails from. “I learnt at a very young age the ­difference between an angry man and a violent man — an angry man is someone who just talks the talk. A violent man is someone who ­basically doesn’t talk. And that’s what I grew up with. And Jacinta has been able to teach me and help me grow to be a better man by showing me that words are powerful things.”

    Lillie doesn’t subscribe to all of Price’s prickly viewpoints — “we might be husband and wife but, you know, I don’t always agree with everything that Jacinta says or does”. He does, however, ­vehemently believe in his partner’s right to say what she believes. “She’s a politician punk. She really is, she’s a punk when it comes to Aboriginal politics because she’s stepping out from how the Aboriginal community believe an Aboriginal woman should be behaving. And she’s a punk — she’s taking it from the inside out. And I’m extremely proud of her.”

  80. OldOzzie

    Uncomfortable truths
    Jacinta Price says what few dare about Aboriginal culture. But now the stakes have been raised — and she’s being warned.

    Part 2

    Price’s views have attracted the attention of some high-profile allies, including the one-time prime ministerial candidate turned anti-PC baiter Mark Latham, who enlisted her to take part in a televised Australia Day campaign. “I heard her speak at a conference in Brisbane last year and was very impressed by her practical but compassionate approach to the indigenous issues,” says Latham.

    The cavalcade of abuse that dogged Price in the weeks following her involvement in the campaign was “horrendous”, says the one-time Labor leader. “The trolls hate her because she’s the sort of ­person that identity politics would normally applaud — an indigenous woman, an elected councillor from Central Australia. She’s got impeccable credentials for speaking on indigenous issues, but she’s not toeing the inner-city green line, and their only response is abuse and online hysteria.”

    Latham understates nothing when speaking of how far he believes Price could travel in politics. In April, if she is successfully nominated to run for the Country Liberal Party in the sprawling ­Territory seat of Lingiari — which insiders say looks a done deal — she then has the chance to ride into the House of Representatives on the ticket at next year’s election. “I think Jacinta is the most impressive indigenous person that I’ve come across in the political sphere,” Latham says.

    Conservatives across the nation latched onto the Price juggernaut following the intense Australia Day coverage. Asked if she trusts figures like Latham and others now hooked on her and her political ideologies, and whether they have her best interests at heart, she cautiously replies: “Trust is a strong word. I think there are people who are ­valuable to have in your network, put it that way. You need to surround yourself with ­people you trust. There are only a few people you can trust. I’ve learnt that most definitely. And never necessarily trust those who are throwing themselves at you and want to do things for you. Even if they say they don’t ­necessarily want something, there is always something that someone wants.”

    Price’s shift away from life as a musician and presenter of iconic outback children’s TV show ­Yamba’s Playtime into politics was abrupt, triggered partly by watching her mother’s time as a minister. As the Territory CLP Government ­shuddered from scandal to scandal, Bess found herself roped into the melee. She became embroiled in a travel entitlements furore in which her chief of staff Paul Mossman was later found guilty of ­corruptly receiving benefits. Her Aboriginality became part of the debate as she pushed to be permitted to speak her first tongue, Warlpiri, in parliament. Watching from the sidelines, Jacinta says she was getting “really pissed off and upset when I saw people ­saying nasty things. When you see the media ­portray her in a certain way, which was so untrue to who she was, it would get me really angry or upset.”

    By 2015, the younger Price was in the process of a political awakening. She realised she too was now in a position to start raising her voice. The seemingly endless chain of violence in her family led her to speak out. “I got to a point in my life where we had that many deaths in our family. We had that many women traumatised by family violence and children traumatised by family violence,” she says. “And this ‘growing up yapa [Aboriginal] way’ is always like, you don’t talk about the really tough things. You pretend like they don’t exist. You know there are members in your family who have beaten the crap out of your own aunty, who have raped people, and yet your family expects you to pretend that these people haven’t done those things. You’re supposed to turn a blind eye to that. And I think I got to a point where I went, ‘I’ve had enough of this’. And I became quite vocal.”

    In lifting the veil from the largely taboo subject of Aboriginal community violence, Price’s star began to rise. She was hand-picked to deliver a couple of high-profile addresses to audiences at the National Press Club and the right-wing think tank the Centre for Independent Studies. In the latter, in 2016, she told the audience: “Aboriginal culture is a culture that accepts violence and in many ways desensitises those living the culture to violence.” To the press club she admitted she had been placed under immense pressure to withhold parts of her story, saying she was putting her immediate family at risk of violent retaliation. “But why am I standing here if not to hold us all to account for the lack of responsibility, action and justice for these Aboriginal women and children and the thousands of victims of family violence and sexual abuse?” she said.

    Prominent Aboriginal leader Warren Mundine says Price’s uncompromising stance on indigenous violence has never been more necessary. “It’s a voice we need to have in the parliament. Because the current situation is not working,” he says from Sydney Airport, where he is waiting for a flight to ­Darwin where he will meet members of the NT Government dealing with a child protection crisis after the alleged rape of a two-year-old Aboriginal toddler in Tennant Creek. “On the Closing the Gap figures, we’re spending something like $130 billion [in eight years to 2016] and we’re not really confronting the real issues,” Mundine says. “About the social breakdown and family dysfunction in some of these communities. And the alcohol and drugs and so on. So I think she’s spot on. The status quo is not working. We need new blood in there, we need someone to be disruptive and to shake it up so we start actually confronting and dealing with the issues.”

    Labor senator and former NT child protection minister Malarndirri McCarthy warns Price to tread carefully, and reflect on what she’s saying in the national auditorium, so as not to “exacerbate a situation”. “There are moments where I wonder whether they are helpful comments. And I think that Jacinta … I would just say to anyone who’s thinking of standing for political life that you have a greater responsibility,” McCarthy says.

    In her desert hometown, some have begun striking out against Price’s firebrand commentary. A perception that she hasn’t properly consulted with women in town camps and communities has added kindling to the blaze. In late January, a statement attributed to “the Aboriginal women of Central Australia” was read in the Alice Springs council chambers by indigenous councillor ­Catherine Satour, appearing to take aim directly at Price. “To be an Aboriginal leader it requires you to be appointed and recognised as such by the Aboriginal community,” the statement read. “As the Honourable Linda Burney MP so rightfully put: ‘Leadership in an Aboriginal cultural context is not given or measured by how much media you get or if you earn big money. True Aboriginal ­leadership does not come from high-level appointments or board membership. It doesn’t come from and cannot be given by white constructs. Leadership is earned; it is given when you have proven you can deal with responsibility and you understand that responsibility’.”

    While Satour and others flatly deny the speech was pointed at Price, a heated stoush at the ­meeting’s conclusion suggests otherwise. Inflamed on social media beforehand, Price’s relatives showed up to defend her name. Price herself was a no-show, away in Sydney for unrelated business. White activists accompanied a group of Abori­ginal women supportive of the statement. The place was packed. While the meeting dragged on, a din erupted on the council lawns. A ­screaming match between Bess Price and other desert women had broken out, with insults hurled in English and Red Centre languages. The stoush hit fever pitch as Satour left the chambers. It is alleged that an uncle of Price’s stormed up and verbally assaulted the councillor. “Following this statement [being] read is now a matter for a police investigation as I and the Arrernte woman were abused and I was threatened with violence,” Satour says. Territory Police have confirmed a report was filed. Council decided to upgrade its safety measures in the meeting’s wake.

    The mood in the town council is tense. Alice Springs councillor Jimmy Cocking says “there’s a lot of angry people out there who feel they’ve been misrepresented” by Price on a national ­platform. “It’s a lot of responsibility being an elected representative of the community and you’ve got to make sure that you are not creating unnecessary divisions or vilifying sections of the community as well,” Cocking says. “That’s the responsibility that we have and we’ve got to take seriously … that we’re working to find ways that we can heal wounds rather than open them.”

    Another councillor, Eli Melky, says the “issues Councillor Price has championed on a national level” have had little relevance to local council debate. “She’s entitled to have her passions, and is entitled to speak on the beliefs that she has,” Melky says. “And those things that she’s championing like [anti] domestic violence against women — who would disagree with that? Nobody. In fact, we supported the motion she brought to council — I think it’s the only motion that I’m aware of that she brought to council in the two years that she’s been there — about having a policy to support a position of anti-violence against ­children and women.”

    Since securing her seat at a by-election in 2015 alongside CLP compatriot and Alice Springs builder Jamie de Brenni, Price has attended 39 out of 49 council meetings — about 80 per cent. Now deputy mayor, de Brenni is also vice-president of the CLP, helping the party rebuild its Central ­Australian conservative base, of which Price will be a cornerstone. “Jacinta is always knowing what’s best for the community she works for. She’s always been there when people need her. Outside of council, that’s Jacinta Price. When she’s at the council, she’s a councillor,” de Brenni says. “I don’t think she crosses over at all. She speaks her mind, she has her followers, she has her detractors. But that’s nothing that’s brought into the chambers at all. She doesn’t do that and I respect her for that.”

    While acknowledging the limitations of what she can achieve on council, Price believes she has made ground for her Red Centre township. But now her ambitions are overshooting council boundaries. She may soon get the opportunity to try to knock off veteran Labor MP Warren ­Snowdon from the seat of Lingiari, which covers thousands of square ­kilometres of tough, remote Territory terrain — and some of the most difficult indigenous social problems in the nation. “One of the main issues that I want to drive is looking at the Land Rights Act — looking at how the land councils have been operating and having a review of it all,” Price says when asked of her policy plans.

    The Northern and Central Land Councils were set up to control distribution of mining royalties across different indigenous groups — a system now seen by some to be fuelling internal community greed and an increasing reliance on so-called ­“sit-down money”. “I’ve seen the destruction from within my own family because of the royalties ­system, and I believe it is also contributing to ­violence,” Price says. “I’ve witnessed people in my own ­family, my grandfather’s sister being punched at a royalties meeting. And I think it’s all-encompassing in that our Aboriginal men need to feel a sense of value. They need to become part of the economy … which would help alleviate, I believe, the issue of family violence, if men are employed.”

    When asked if she believes some of her more radical statements about male violence could spook some Aboriginal voters, she says, “You can’t hide from the truth. Yes, I have said those things and I’m not backing down from that. But we’ve got to find wholistic ways of dealing with the problem. I have stood at funerals of my own family members and I have spoken about these very tough issues, and have said to my family, as we stand there burying a young person in our family, that we should be teaching our children that this is not normal. We should not be accepting this as normal. And I don’t think anybody wants their family members to be dying so young.”

    In the wake of the alleged rape of the toddler at Tennant Creek she took to Facebook and in ­typical style went right in at the deep end. “I have said it over and over again that a child’s life is far more important than anything else whether that be the child’s culture or kin!” she began. “Those who complain about the high rates of removal of Aboriginal children fail to point out why this is happening. Those of us who push for children to be removed in order to save their lives are ­fighting an uphill battle. The parents are failing their children and then the system is failing the children and this has to stop! The blood of our children is on the hands of those who want to keep pushing the ‘second ­stolen generation’ myth … political correctness and stigma brought on by our ­country’s history renders us useless to act on what is the right thing to do!”

    Perched on their veranda overlooking a rocky outcrop, Bess and Dave Price recount their ­heartbreak and the “betrayal” inflicted by voters at the 2016 Territory election. After a term of chaos, ego wars and ­scandal, the CLP lost all but two seats in an electoral bloodbath. Bess was shafted from her outback electorate of Stuart, which ­contains many of her family members. Partly to blame, says Dave, was Jacinta’s growing out­spokenness, which he believes was “twisted” and used by political enemies to help oust Bess. “Jacinta stood up even though she knew this could do her mother ­political damage. And it did,” he says. “She turned around and looked at us with tears in her eyes and said, ‘You’ve always taught me to tell the truth, no matter what, and that’s all I want to do’.”

    The younger Price was preparing to deliver the address at the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney, where she called out murderers in her family, female genital mutilation and the ­existence of forced child marriage in the Outback. “I know of many stories of rape and murder, stories that belong to women in my family and many other Aboriginal families. Stories that never reach the ears of the wider public,” she told the audience. As difficult as it was to accept at the time, Dave Price beams when reflecting on his daughter’s actions. “We were saying, ‘Please don’t say it now. Let’s wait.’ Because we knew the political consequences,” he says. “Now, looking back, I’m enormously proud that she did, because she told the truth.”

    Jacinta is acutely aware of the bumpy path ahead and admits to the rare moment when she’s wondered, why the hell do I do this? “There are times where I want to run away and go, ‘Come on Colin, let’s just go and move to Scotland and live there’. But then, I know that I can’t do that. ­Something will happen — like [when] a bunch of little Aboriginal kids came up to me one time. I was walking after a pretty tough day and they came up with their bikes and just started chatting away. They’re talking about how this happened and that happened and they’re hungry — and you want to just do things for them. There’s such a brightness in their eyes at such a young age, and you want to make their future brighter. And you’ve got to keep going. I can’t stop while they’re still living the lives they’re living. They’re not thriving or having the sorts of opportunities that my kids have, that other kids have.”

    But Price knows the difficulties of the political landscape. She knows that the path to delivering a future with no more violence, no more victims in remote Aboriginal Australia remains as tough and treacherous as the red desert around her.

  81. duncanm

    1. Government introduces restrictions on common pain killers, introducing overheads in the supply chain (doctors and pharmacists) and significantly lowering sales volumes.
    2. Prices leap (roughly double)
    3. Government asks why and orders inquiry

    Stupid is as stupid does.

  82. Des Deskperson

    VCADM Griggs is back in the news this morning – Oz, paywall protected – with claims from inside the ADF that while a ‘senior’ Army officer lost his command when he entered into a public relationship with a subordinate, Griggsy has received no such treatment for bonking and then marrying a female subordinate – who worked in ‘public relations’.

    Griggs’s squeeze was reportedly a Lieutenant in October 2011 but by late 2014 she was a Commander. My understanding has always been that ADF officers , even those on ‘public relations’ , had to spend a certain period time at one rank before they were eligible for promotion.

    My understanding may now be obsolete, but can any ex ADF cats tell me whether a promotion of two ranks in three years is normal?

  83. OldOzzie

    Sorry about that – Part 1 is in moderation – must be some words that offend in The Weekend Australian Article

  84. Bruce of Newcastle

    Interestingly after lots of anti-Christian lefty artworks there’s now a controversial Muslim artwork:

    The Muslim Student’s Association Had An Harambolism About This…

    I wonder if the artist, who is apparently an anonymous Muslim woman, has had her life insurance cancelled?

  85. Nick

    Thanks Old Ozzie. The pay walled articles are often worth a read.

  86. OldOzzie

    Jordan Peterson finds fellow travellers in the search for meaning – CAROLINE OVERINGTON

    I want to start by saying: if you don’t have a ticket to see Jordan Peterson while he’s in Australia, run and get one. Beg, borrow and steal to get one.

    Except you can’t.

    Peterson arrived in Australia this week for what, to their dismay, local organisers — a small company, True Arrow Events — immediately recognised is a too-short series of lectures in too-small theatres, on too few dates.

    He is sold out everywhere.

    People can’t get enough of the 55-year-old psychologist. So, what will you be missing?

    I went along to the Melbourne lecture on Thursday to find out. I’m not going to deny that I was already a bit of a fan girl.

    Like many people, I stumbled on Peterson online last month when his interview on Britain’s Channel 4 with Cathy Newman went viral. I enjoyed it — enjoyed him — so much, I went and got his book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos and inhaled it in a day. And OK, sure, since then I may have found myself, more than once, happily lost down a YouTube rabbit hole of Peterson ­lectures.

    This was to be the real thing.

    The event was to be held in the sublime surroundings of the Melbourne Recital Hall. It was a warm night and the crowd was mostly on foot, and mostly young but not especially so — there were certainly people middle-aged and older.

    I found myself seated in the second-back row, near the sound mixer, alone yet not, because it seemed like half the crowd had come alone, and I soon found out why: they hadn’t been able to convince friends to come along.

    You want me to sit for two hours listening to some obscure Canadian drone on about the meaning of life — or else maybe pluck my eye out with a fork?

    Pass the fork.

    They had shrugged and come along anyway.

    To my left, I had a super clean-cut guy, Alex Roy, 32, who works for a non-profit. Behind us was the tattooed and beautiful Maggie Baines, 32, who is doing gender studies at the University of Victoria (she sheepishly admitted that her girlfriends weren’t all that happy about the idea of her “going to see Jordan ‘Effing’ Peterson because I guess he’s seen as a bit antifeminist”); and to our right we had brothers Tim and Nathan Morris, 24 and 26 respectively, who stumbled on Peterson while gaming, and soon found themselves “like, not talking about My Kitchen Rules, talking about big issues, like: what is the purpose of my life?”

    Within seconds, everyone had introduced themselves and they were all getting animated, remembering the best things they’d heard Peterson say, when the lights dimmed and Peterson strode on to the stage.

    To my complete surprise, they — indeed the entire audience — immediately rose as one and gave him a standing ovation. He hadn’t even said anything yet!

    His first words were: “It’s three in the morning my time.”

    They cheered that, too.

    Peterson did not say so but he had only just got off the plane. It would be an exaggeration to say that he has been on a speaking tour nonstop since the start of the year, but not by a lot. He’s touring the world and it’s different every night. He decided on his topic for Melbourne just 10 minutes before taking the stage.

    He wanted to begin, he said, with something “spectacularly difficult”. The existence of God.

    Peterson uses Bible stories to illustrate basic points in his lectures, and “people keep asking me, do I believe in God? And I’ve been accused of hedging my bets.”

    It wouldn’t be fair to try to summarise his answer to that question. He spoke for more than 90 minutes, with no notes. If that sounds like your worst nightmare, know this: he does not drone.

    Peterson has an unusual way of speaking that carries you along. Partly it’s the accent — he is a Canadian who has spent time in the US — but it’s also the way he speaks, with his long fingers pressed against his forehead, like he’s trying to push, or maybe even pry, the thoughts out.

    Other times he’s like a mime artist, using his hands to draw boxes in the air, or else he’s doing a sucking thing with his fingers, drawing his hand back, like the movement of a jellyfish.

    He does not shout or insist.

    He’s not a snake-oil salesman or a tub thumper.

    He’s got his doubts, too. And depression.

    There is also the manner in which he paces the stage, lean and hungry. All of Peterson’s clothes are new because he recently has lost more than 20kg by restricting his intake pretty much to moose, elk and steamed broccoli.

    His daughter Mikhaila, 25, has suffered from chronic ill health almost all her life, including a form of arthritis that cost her a hip and an ankle when she was 17, and threatened to crumble more of her joints. She invented a diet that he has now adopted. It’s so strict, the tour organisers had to book him into self-catering hotels and Airbnb where the whole family can prepare their own meals (there being no elk in Australia, kangaroo may have to do).

    Mikhaila Peterson credits the diet with curing her ailments and Jordan Peterson’s depression, which has been severe at times. He is now obsessive about food and veers dangerously close to those gals who claim to cure disease with food, except everyone knows he is right. You do feel awful when you eat junk food, and when you stop you’ll lose weight and feel better, and diabetes and arthritis may well be improved.

    But on with the show.

    What did he say?

    In essence, his point was not a new one: in a million years, who will care that you lived? You will be dust, and so will everything you ever did and everyone you ever loved. “Given that, you can decide that everything’s pointless, and yet we don’t,” he said.

    Human beings tend to live like there is a point to it all. Not just here in the West. Every society has its parables. We are apparently hardwired to accept that there is more. Which maybe means there is more?

    Maybe life does matter.

    Maybe we do, too.

    On the other hand — and we all know this is true — with every person you meet, “you don’t have to scratch very much to find a bedrock of tragedy”.

    “God only knows what’s wrong in your life,” Peterson said. “No doubt plenty, and there is more to come, you can be sure of that.”

    That’s because even normal, well-functioning human beings are burdened by sorrow, and how could it be otherwise? We all suffer because bad things happen to all of us. We all lose people we love and in the end we all die.

    Think about that for even a day and you’ll find yourself on the edge of nihilism. What can rescue us from despair?

    “Happiness isn’t going to do it, that’s very fragile,” Peterson said.

    But meaning?

    That may be the trick.

    But what does it mean, to have meaning in your life?

    Peterson’s ideas are difficult to summarise but essentially he believes that heaven and hell exist in some form on earth, and anyone who has ever done a bad thing knows it.

    When you do a bad thing, you feel awful, and it’s the same when you find yourself being carried along by people or organisations whose values you don’t share, or working in a job that is not fulfilling, or telling lies about your drinking, or even when you’re not doing what you believe in your heart you were put on earth to do.

    You feel awful because you’re walking in the wrong direction.

    Let’s call that hell, since that’s how it feels.

    When your house is in order, when you’re acting with clarity and honesty, when you’re moving in the right direction, you feel better, right?

    That’s the opposite of hell.

    Probably not heaven, since we’re human, but it is better than the alternative.

    Peterson’s idea is that you — the sovereign individual — should start moving as quickly as possible away from hell.

    Away from things that would make you feel bad, and therefore make your world worse.

    Pick your goal — a job more suited to your skills, a more honest marriage, a life filled with more kindness towards others — and head in that direction.

    Catastrophic things will still happen. You will still suffer, because you’re human. But you will be able to bear it.

    The reason we despair, he says, is because we have no target, “sometimes no bow, no arrow, no idea that we’re even meant to be aiming at”. So pick up whatever burden you’ve been given — your personal losses and grief, which you can’t escape anyway — and start moving rapidly in a direction that won’t make your life worse.

    Make good decisions.

    Don’t tell lies.

    Maybe the only life you’ll improve will be your own, but that’s a good start.

    “Fix what’s in front of you,” Peterson said.

    Peterson told the Melbourne audience he had received 30,000 letters in the six months since he rocketed to fame and, in broad outline, they said two things.

    The first group says: “You put into words what I always thought was true, but couldn’t find a way to say it.”

    The second group says: “I’ve listened to you, and I’ve been trying to put my house in order. I stopped making things worse, and lo and behold, they got better!”

    The audience laughed and cheered.

    Ninety-five minutes in, Peterson stepped briefly away from the stage and people were invited to line up behind the microphones, and half the audience rose and rushed toward the aisles, since everyone had a question for him.

    No way was he going to get to them all, which was a shame because unusually for this format — audience participation — even the questions were good.

    He was asked if there is a coming Christian renaissance — he thinks it likely — and about the looming civil crisis in South Africa.

    One guy in an open relationship wanted to know if Peterson admired his decision to voluntarily face the fear and insecurity that develops when you know your partner is sleeping with other people (answer, in short: no).

    A pale individual with a quaking manner asked whether “a person can continue to do graffiti and still say they were aiming to make the world a better place?”

    The crowd laughed, but Peterson paused for a long time, like he wanted to give it serious consideration. “Mostly I think it’s a desperate attempt to get status,” he said ­finally. “And I think you should paint on your own property. But then there’s Banksy.

    “So I hate to say this, but it depends on who you are. Probably you’re not Banksy.”

    It went on for a bit longer, then it was time to go, and of course Peterson got a second standing ovation, but it wasn’t a long one, for everyone was rushing to get outside — and I soon figured out why.

    Peterson was going to be signing. Buy a book and you’d get a chance to meet him, and didn’t that provide a moment to make a local author weep: the queue was 25 wide — that’s wide, not deep — and it snaked through the foyer and right up the staircase, and why wouldn’t it?

    There just aren’t that many roaming rock star philosophers in the world today. You may think it mumbo-jumbo. You may profoundly disagree.

    Even so, it will be a long time since you sat for two hours and considered the big questions with other people keen to have an animated conversation about the world, and our place in it.

    I’d say get a ticket — but of course, you can’t.

  87. duncanm

    Thanks for that one BoN – the comments had coffee all over my screen.

    Hard Little Machine

    Oh well. I guess they should carbomb the place.

    Drunk by Noon

    That’s now refered to as an Islamic purification ritual.
    Please update your problematic language.

  88. My understanding may now be obsolete, but can any ex ADF cats tell me whether a promotion of two ranks in three years is normal?

    As an officer, short of a battlefield promotion, it would be extremely out of the ordinary. A certain amount of time is needed to gain the seniority for promotion.

  89. OldOzzie

    South Africa cricket officials pose with fans wearing Sonny Bill masks

    Cricket South Africa officials have openly taunted David Warner’s wife Candice by posing with fans wearing Sonny Bill William masks on the first day of the second Test.

    The couple was terribly upset after play the latest turn of events which comes just days after another attack on the mother of two by a Proteas player.

    Clive Eksteen, CSA’s head of commercial and marketing, and Altaaf Kazi, the organisation’s head of communications, were pictured smiling with their arms round each other as they stood next to three men in the masks.

    It is a disgraceful new low by the South African cricket which often complains about Australian cricket breaching boundaries of acceptable behaviour.

    The incident follows Quinton de Kock’s abuse of Candice to Warner during the first Test.

    Warner exploded with rage when the South African player made the comments abut his wife in the stairwell of the dressing rooms.

    The ICC intervened and sanctioned both players, but the details of the abuse had been suppressed out of respect for Mrs Warner.

    The Australian player admitted he was wrong and apologised for over reacting while de Kock appealed against his minor sanction claiming he was provoked.

    Warner was upset with the attack on his wife and asked that the details of the slur not be reported to protect her.

    Candice was devastated to think that her past had been used to mock her and her husband.

    South African fans had prepared the masks to taunt Warner but officials had attempted to stop them being brought into the ground out of respect for Candice and their two children who were at the ground.

    Those efforts were undone by the pair.

    The triathlete and football player had been caught in a “tryst” in a hotel in 2007 which was made public.

    Warner has copped a back lash from fans for the way he reacted to the abuse of his wife but was the highest scorer in Australia’s first innings.

    The batsman said this week he endures relentless attacks on his wife from the public but when it was brought up in the first Test he lost control.

    “I’ve been called everything under the sun out the field and that, quite frankly, doesn’t bother me,” Warner said between Tests about the de Kock attack on his wife.

    “The other day I was probably out of line. I’ve seen the footage and I regret the way it played out but for me — it is how I am and I responded emotionally and regretted the way I played out. But I’ll always stick up for my family.

    “I cop it left, right and centre, especially off the field from spectators. I am used to that and it doesn’t bother me. But in the proximity of my personal space and behind me, a comment that was vile and disgusting and about my wife and just in general about a lady was quite poor, I felt, and as I said my emotional response, you saw, was just something that I don’t believe should have been said. And as I said, I will always stick up for my family. ”

  90. zyconoclast

    Black unemployment falls to second-lowest level on record in February

    NAACP gave credit to the long-running recovery that began under former President Barack Obama, rather than to Trump specifically, and noted that blacks still suffer much higher rates of unemployment than whites.

  91. Chris

    My understanding may now be obsolete, but can any ex ADF cats tell me whether a promotion of two ranks in three years is normal?

    The Subaltern’s Toast:

    A sudden plague and a bloody war!

    I don’t know; is a Monstrous Regiment a sudden plague – or a bloody war?

  92. zyconoclast

    City council looks to turn the tide of gentrification in east Austin

    Thursday, the Austin City Council amended and approved a resolution to give the city manager the green light to explore a policy to reverse gentrification in east Austin.

    The city’s Institutional Racism and Systemic Inequities Task Force recommends that Austin adopt their own version of Portland, Oregon’s policy for bringing former residents back to gentrified areas. Austin’s policy hasn’t been finalized yet, but it would give priority status to people applying for affordable housing in east Austin who are part of families who have lived in the area for years or who have been forced out by gentrification.

  93. johanna

    #2656620, posted on March 10, 2018 at 5:39 am

    What a fuckup is Windows 10: constant software failures, won’t run for more than six hours without having to be rebooted and now Microtheft are laying all these patch-ups on users with reboots taking hours. And they make sure there is there is no feedback channel for users on the end of their incompetence.

    That’s weird, Tom, because I also have W10 on a computer bought a few months ago, and have not had any of those events at all. No patches that I know of (unless they were done when I wasn’t using it), no lengthy reboots or anything like that.

    Could it be that later versions of W10 have ironed out a lot of the glitches, while earlier ones are buggy? If so, maybe a cleanwash and re-install of the latest version would be worthwhile.

    My sympathies, meanwhile. It must be infuriating.

  94. Des Deskperson

    ‘As an officer, short of a battlefield promotion, it would be extremely out of the ordinary. A certain amount of time is needed to gain the seniority for promotion.’

    Thanks, Carpe, that’s what I thought too.

  95. cynical1

    You can sort of understand the scots getting a little bit confused about things, with the wearing of kilts and all.

    No jokes about “Lasses who can toss the caber”, thanks…

  96. Nick

    The triathlete and football player had been caught in a “tryst” in a hotel in 2007 which was made public.

    Journo speak for caught rooting in a public bar’s stinky dunny.

  97. Bear Necessities

    Don’t try to out sledge a South Efrican. They sledge each other from birth. It’s in their DNA.

  98. OldOzzie

    Thanks Tom

    Glen McCoy wins – could describe Australia as well

  99. rickw

    In Brunswick sitting in a barbershop waiting my turn.

    Lefty’s have brain damage.

  100. Tel

    Better late than never.

    Michael Ramirez #1.

    Ramirez is a touch dishonest there, not a whole lot of steel making furnaces in Canada.

  101. rickw

    Before asking for your nanny to clean the house, read this.

    Employing low IQ goat fuckers, what could possibly go wrong?

  102. Nick

    In Brunswick sitting in a barbershop waiting my turn.

    Rick, is that the place on Sydney Rd run by quaffed, inner city, tart laden millenials that doubles as a beer/coffee joint ?

  103. zyconoclast

    Andreas Geisel, Berlin’s interior minister, said on Wednesday that hatred towards Germans was on the rise in the capital, but cautioned that it was still far from the norm.

    “What can we do about it? It is clear that we need to intensify our efforts to integrate people. That includes German and ethics courses for refugees, optimally for all of them,” the Social Democrat added.

    What happened to #NotAllRefugees?

  104. rickw

    Moomba festivities starting to ramp up last night. Police and security guards wandering around in groups of four. Not many female officers, maybe they think it’s serious? Police action play set fast boat cruising up and down the Yarra. Wonder what happened to this place?

  105. Nick

    Brunswick has changed Rick. The pub where my grandfather used to have fights into his 50’s, hauling the hapless into the horse trough out the front, the place where one of the Morans pulled a gun on a man for ‘using bad language to a lady’, where naked ladies used to bathe each other as part of the rostered entertainment, now has Greenies eating fusion food in a family friendly environment, stacked high with $800 prams.

  106. rickw

    Rick, is that the place on Sydney Rd run by quaffed, inner city, tart laden millenials that doubles as a beer/coffee joint ?

    No, the muzzo one way further up. Little do these lefty’s and homo’s realise that given enough time these guys will be cutting their throats, not their hair!

  107. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    58 minutes ago

    Those who are trying to shut Ms Price down, claiming that she does not speak for them, said nothing when Ms Onus Williams threatened to “burn the place down,” and nothing when the “Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance” threatened to disrupt the Commonwealth Games because “The Commonwealth is made up of stolen indigenous land.” So I’m presuming they are official spokespersons for the indigenous? And Ms Price is not?

    Comment, on the Oz website, on the Jacinta Price article. Good question.

  108. lotocoti

    whether a promotion of two ranks in three years is normal?

    Legend has it the great Nigel Coates refused early promotion because it was too soon.
    CMDR Mrs VADM must be the brightest star in the Pus.

  109. OneWorldGovernment

    Again I say.

    Whilst all the filth was going down about Barnaby and Campion this shit was happening in the ADF

    VCADM Griggs

    Piss off.

  110. OneWorldGovernment

    Did VCADM Griggs vote for the $50Billion undrawater f*king French crap?

    If he did then he should be lined up and shot.

  111. OneWorldGovernment

    As I understand it Australia has about 30 days worth of fuel at any one time.

    I think its time that we fucked off Sth Australia, Qld, Victoria and NSW.

  112. OldOzzie

    Liberals and Nationals have given up on core belief in small government – CHRIS KENNY

    When questions about who may have fathered the unborn child of the former deputy prime minister’s media adviser are thrust into the national conversation, we may be starting to see how far we have strayed.

    Unless we have descended through some prurient political portal into a reality television world where the nation’s affairs have become the morning tea talk of the day — Agriculture Minister Wants a Wife or My Kitchen Cabinet Rules — there must be more weighty issues to discuss.

    We could move on to threats from the former minister for women to ventilate nasty rumours about female members of the Opposition Leader’s staff. Or we could focus on International Women’s Day when, instead of considering how to protect indigenous girls in remote communities from unspeakable assaults, we saw male journalists castigated for asking Labor’s Tanya Plibersek non-gender specific questions as she and others campaigned for a GST exemption on tampons.

    Malcolm Turnbull marked the day by announcing an ambassador for women in science. The previous week he announced he was writing to all school principals to warn about the dangers of bullying.

    Bring back the Barnaby story; all is forgiven. Half of what passes for national debate is almost as inconsequential.

    Facing an election next week, the Labor Premier of South Australia, Jay Weatherill, is promising to pressure Canberra over the GST on tampons while his crusade for renewable energy continues to penalise women (and men) with some of the world’s most expensive electricity. NSW Liberal Premier Gladys Berejiklian is weathering public consternation over a centralised, government-run, deposit and refund scheme on drink containers, while also introducing new caps on poker machine numbers in areas where there are already too many, and remodelling the greyhound racing industry that it shut down a couple of years ago.

    Our politicians are looking for things to do. Most of their interventions are ridiculous, superfluous or counter-productive — think pink batts, school halls, National Broadband Network, set-top boxes and renewable energy targets. To an unprecedented level, governments are sticking their noses, bureaucrats and legislation into every crevice of our daily lives. When people turn 50 they receive a pack asking for a sample of their excrement — heaven forbid we let people organise their own health checks.

    Perhaps it is no accident that across the nation, governments and their oppositions are unpopular. We don’t like those who are running the joint and, regardless of whether they are Liberal or Labor, we don’t much care for the alternatives either. The left has long been fractured but now voters are turning to disrupters on the right; politicians who promise hardline versions of back-to-basics government.

    It can’t be only me who simultaneously feels over-governed and ungoverned. With governments trying to be all things to all people, they are distracting themselves from those things that really matter. It is as if our politicians suffer attention deficit disorder; they take their eyes off the fundamentals and overstretch themselves in a plethora of unnecessary ways.

    Our beleaguered leaders may consider that one reason they face so many ministerial mishaps and scandals is because there are more frontbenchers than ever. The federal government has 42 ministers and assistant ministers — there wouldn’t be a person in the country who could name them all — and even the NSW and Victorian governments have more than 20 ministers in their cabinets.

    This is how we end up with assistant ministers for cities and digital transformation or for cybersecurity or, as well as a minister for communications, a minister for regional communications. NSW has a minister for innovation and better regulation (as if those goals aren’t mutually exclusive) and an assistant minister for skills (sounds like a football coaching panel). Each ministry demands staff, equipment and, worst of all, an agenda.

    We can perhaps forgive all these intrusions and extravagances from parties of the left — big government is their schtick — but the real change over past decades is how the Liberals and Nationals seem to have given up on their core belief in small government.

    They should shun and attack the rank politicking and cynical vote-buying that targets spending to display empathy towards every conceivable grievance without really expecting to make any difference. This is spin-driven politics that is all about having an announcement to demonstrate a commitment to a cause to try to harvest votes. But the Liberals have embraced it. It is pervasive, creating insatiable demands for intervention at one end of the spectrum and complete dismay at superficial, costly and overreaching government at the other.

    The product differentiation between the major parties has diminished. It is a choice between big governments of one kind or another; like-minded teams vowing to deliver similar outcomes in slightly different ways. There is Labor’s NBN and the Coalition version; Labor’s Gonski and the Coalition’s; the Coalition’s renewable energy target and Labor’s; an ALP parental leave scheme and the Coalition’s; one childcare package or another; and so it goes.

    The ALP’s greatest weakness in the South Australian election must be its deplorable mismanagement of electricity driven by renewable evangelism, yet the state’s Liberals make promises about subsidised batteries, and the federal Liberals support new South Australian solar and pumped-hydro schemes. Nationally, Labor is burdened by reckless renewable energy targets that will visit higher costs and chaos upon all power consumers but we see Turnbull promising to meet the Paris climate policy targets and running taxpayer-funded television commercials spruiking hydro, solar farms and battery spending.

    And they wonder why they trail in the polls.

    If voters want environmental gestures, nanny state laws and never-ending government interventions, they can vote for the past masters — Labor — so why vote for the cheap imitations? The Liberals should provide a clear alternative. It is the only way to fix our fiscal mess and to win back voters from the breakaways on the right. They seem too timid. Every program they oppose will attract criticism — deal with it. Opposing government intervention does not signal opposition to a cause. Government is not the solution to every malady and politics is supposed to be a battle of ideas.

    Still, even with all this and the calamitous brand damage inflicted by the Barnaby shambles in Canberra, the Tasmanian Liberals held power. Perhaps Labor did them a huge favour by proposing a radical poker machine ban they could never accept, thereby forcing them into a strong position of differentiation.

    Steven Marshall should still be able to triumph in SA as voters realise Nick Xenophon wants to choose the government on their behalf. But in my view, the warning signs are flashing for Liberals across the country. In a haze of opinion polls, social media and superficial spin-driven politicking, they have forgotten their mission.

    Thomas Jefferson’s US presidential inauguration speech of 1801 set out the “essential principles” of his government in a typically eloquent list. One, in particular, echoes down the ages: “economy in the public expense, that labour may be lightly burdened”.

    What an elegant call for efficiency and restraint from government — spend carefully so that you don’t have to tax people too much. Voters could do with someone offering that option.

    From the Comments

    – From the welfare-class party, it’s the flipping BS, with the credibility deficit. He just doesn’t stack up.

    From the party formerly known as Liberal, it’s the tittering MT, with the trust deficit. Who has now lead the Coalition for its longest, lowest period of primary vote support in Newspoll history.

    From the backbench, the man who gave a 10 minute radio interview this week and 2 articles in this newspaper were the immediate result. Abbott talking the truth about the absurd Qantas “corporate thought police”. Along with the truth about building a new low-emissions coal-fired power station and scaling back immigration. Of the 30 Newspoll metric Abbott simply said it’s up to Turnbull to tell us all why the test doesn’t apply in his case.

    The truth is, when Abbott speaks, we’re all ears. When Turnbull (and BS) speak, we’re bored to tears.

    – The looter class; when did government departments ever reward efficiency and removing scope of works? If we built competing enterprises we could shut them down and run at half or less the cost.

    The Turnbull Party is indeed a Labor Party knock off, but it’s not “cheap” for tax payers, which is part of the problem. Team Turnbull is also indistinguishable on other issues— like immigration and “multiculturalism”— which have important long term sociocultural as well as economic consequences for our nation.

    So why did the media, including so many journalists at The Australian, work to install a Big Government Leftie as PM?

    You could print this story headlined on the front page of every newspaper across the country for an entire month and it still would not make any difference to those in the political bubble called “Canberra”. Never have I seen a mob (including the media) so far removed from the concerns of everyday people. The Liberal Party in particular exist in their own imaginary world completely insulated from the rest of us.

    – You’re singing my song, Chris!! “It can’t be only me who simultaneously feels over-governed and ungoverned.” I’ve been feeling like that since Turnbull knifed Abbott. Turnbull merely wants to ‘feel the love’ and because of that, he makes his greeny/labor edicts – such as those you name above. He’s too gutless to take the fight up to the Unions and labor. He’s too gutless to fix the power crisis facing the country now, pull out of the Paris Accord and stop all renewable subsidies and he’s most certainly too gutless to do what is needed to bring the ever soaring Govt debt level down.

    Get rid of Turnbull and his Black Hand cabal and most of the trouble will be fixed.

    – “Our politicians are looking for things to do. Most of their interventions are ridiculous, superfluous or counter-productive — think pink batts, school halls, National Broadband Network, set-top boxes and renewable energy targets”

    As Groucho Marx said, “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, diagnosing it incorrectly, and then applying the wrong remedies”. Not much else to say really.

  113. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Xanana Gusmao’s Timor Sea rant is an own goal for his needy nation

    The Australian
    12:00AM March 10, 2018
    Cameron Stewart
    Washington Correspondent

    At face value, there was no hint of the dark diplomatic games being played out behind the scenes at the UN headquarters in New York this week as Foreign Minister Julie Bishop signed a historic treaty with East Timor.

    As a beaming UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres looked on, Ms Bishop and East Timor’s minister for borders, Hermenegildo Pereira, signed the treaty establishing a permanent maritime border between the two countries. It divided the rich spoils of oil and gas in the Timor Sea sharply in East Timor’s favour.

    But behind the smiles, East Timor was seething. Its revolutionary hero, former militant and president, Xanana Gusmao, had just kicked a massive own goal for his country. It began a week earlier when Gusmao had launched an extraordinary attack on Australia.

    In a blistering letter written to the independent Conciliation Committee, set up to negotiate the borders between the two countries, Gusmao adopted his old revolutionary fervour to portray Australia as an overbearing ­colonial-era bully. The issue was whether the estimated $40 billion worth of resources from the Greater Sunrise oil and gas field should be developed in Timor or Darwin.

    Gusmao, as East Timor’s chief negotiator, was insistent that resources be developed in East Timor to maximise the economic benefit to the Timorese people. The only problem was this would require a large pipeline to be built across a deep-sea trench and to build an LNG plant from scratch in East Timor. The other option, favoured by the partners in the Greater Sunrise project, was to use an existing LNG plant in Darwin.

    The Conciliation Commission had just completed an independent review of the two proposals and had delivered its draft report to Gusmao. The report definitively showed Gusmao’s Timor LNG ­option to be unworkable and commercially unviable. He was furious. He drafted a barely coherent letter accusing the Conciliation Commission, established by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, of bias and incompetence.

    “The commission revealed an uncommon generosity in allowing itself to think on behalf of the people of East Timor,” he wrote caustically. He went on to write: “I must say that this is a show of the capitalist mindset which is so common of developed countries. Timor-Leste must learn that such policies and behaviours are ­motors of the world economy.”

    The letter rejects as “a defensive public relation exercise” Australia’s offer to pay $100 million towards building a smaller domestic gas pipeline to Timor as part of the larger plan to develop Greater Sunrise LNG in Darwin.

    He then accuses Australia of all but stealing billions of dollars of resources that should have belonged to East Timor and suggests Australia should direct some of its future revenue towards improving the conditions of indigenous ­people.

    From the Oz.

  114. OneWorldGovernment

    And the ADF

  115. calli

    I’m sure Petersen has read Lewis’ The Great Divorce.

    “But what, you ask, of earth? Earth, I think, will not be found by anyone to be in the end a very distinct place. I think earth, if chosen instead of Heaven, will turn out to have been, all along, only a region in Hell: and earth, if put second to Heaven, to have been from the beginning a part of Heaven itself.”

    His ideas, outlined by Overington, are very similar.

  116. calli

    Tom, I had the same thing happen on Win10 a few montha ago. A 90 minute update, just when I was itching to do some work.


  117. stackja

    Regarding Win 10: there is a active hours setting.

  118. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    He then accuses Australia of all but stealing billions of dollars of resources that should have belonged to East Timor

    Anybody know what the intervention, in East Timor, cost Australia?

  119. OldOzzie

    #2656762, posted on March 10, 2018 at 10:05 am
    Tom, I had the same thing happen on Win10 a few montha ago. A 90 minute update, just when I was itching to do some work.


    Calli, Tom still using Windows XP on my netbook – works fine

  120. None

    Dear god idiot ACTU demanding domestic violence leave with three billboards stunt. Check your white privilege idiot people.

  121. Bruce of Newcastle

    Totally predictable story of the day…

    Cost for California bullet train system rises to $77.3 billion

    The California bullet train project took a sharp jump in price Friday when the state rail authority announced the cost of connecting Los Angeles to San Francisco would total $77.3 billion, an increase of $13 billion from estimates two years ago, and could potentially rise as high as $98.1 billion.

    The disclosure about the higher costs comes nearly a decade after voters approved a $9-billion bond to build a bullet train system. The original idea was that the federal government would pay about a third of what was then an estimated $33-billion project, with private investors covering another third.

    I suppose 200% over budget is good enough for government work. Especially for a plan drawn on the back of a beer coaster. Oh wait, that was another project wasn’t it?

  122. OldOzzie

    Bill Shorten is a ‘transactional leader’ — good for unions, bad for workers – GRACE COLLIER

    Based on his comments relating to the Adani mine, it seems Bill Shorten has no problem at all with publicly saying one thing to one group of people and the complete opposite to another. It doesn’t even seem to occur to the Opposition Leader that anyone may notice. Who would know what the man thinks, what he believes in and who he stands with, on anything?

    When I queried Shorten’s operating methods to someone who knows him well, the airy response came back as though it explained and justified everything: “Oh, but Grace, everyone knows Bill is a transactional leader.”

    It is true that Shorten is often described as “transactional”. Further, this term is the one you always hear when people are trying to account for his seeming lack of core values and belief systems, friendships with the super wealthy and other inexplicable contradictions.

    When someone is described as transactional, what does that really mean to you? I take it to mean the person referred to sees everything as a transaction. It is all about the deal, and any deal with anyone can be done, for anything, as long as they get something out of it, either for themselves or someone else they may wish to reward, who in turn will owe them.

    The word transactional is corporate lingo and really seems to me just a polite way of saying someone is an untrustworthy shyster who would sell his grandmother to the highest bidder.

    Sections of the union movement are banking on Shorten to deliver for them should he win the next election. They are banking on his transactional tendencies and they have good reason to have high expectations.

    Most people think the purpose of the union movement is to look after working people, in workplaces. This is a naive assumption, and wrong. The purpose of the union movement is to put union officials into parliament.

    Granted, union officials in parliament try to deliver for working people. However, the reason unions in Australia formed the Labor Party was so they could own their own political party and, through that, exert control beyond the workplace, and over the whole of society, by bringing in laws that suit them.

    The Labor Party is owned by the unions and all Labor politicians must do what the unions want. If they don’t, they won’t have a job. It is that simple, and so it is that, after all that time, the goal of the unions that formed the party has been achieved. More than 100 years after conception, Australia is regarded globally, quite correctly, as a country basically run by unions, even when their own party is not in power.

    Despite this, some unions are facing serious challenges.

    Under new laws, secret commissions paid to union officials by employers are outlawed. Secret income streams to unions from business must be disclosed, in writing, to workers so they know exactly what the union is getting out of any enterprise agreement.

    The dirty rivers of gold are drying up. If Shorten becomes prime minister, he will, on his first day, find himself starting on a long list of union demands. Unions want several things changed, but fundamentally what they need more than anything is money.

    The best way for unions to increase their income is via new laws that force working people who are covered by enterprise agreements but not members of the union to pay them annual “bargaining fees”.

    In February, at a conference, Sally McManus, head of the ACTU, said that enterprise bargaining “is dying a horrible death” and that the Fair Work Act “is “broken”. Unions, she said, only get a “peripheral role” in a “declining part of the system” by “being bargaining representatives for enterprise agreements”.

    She spoke then of the “protection for those who refuse to join a union, the free riders who benefit from the higher pay and better job security in EAs without any obligation to contribute toward them”.

    “Unions in Australia are in effect required by law to provide their key services for free to a large part of the workforce — placing an enormous burden on those remaining workers who choose to join and make a voluntary contribution for the greater good. If any company was subject to the same rules it would go broke.”

    In the typical workplace that has an enterprise agreement, perhaps fewer than 50 per cent of workers, on average, are union members. If new legislation can force these workers to pay annual bargaining fees, equivalent to union membership subscriptions, then unions can double their income, overnight, with no extra effort.

    If Shorten is truly a transactional person, he will find a way to make bargaining fees happen because the union movement needs money more than it needs anything else. Bargaining fees won’t be popular with working people, so it is likely that employers will end up paying the fees for workers, in some giant version of a deal where business and unions scratch each other’s backs but the workers get screwed.

    Keep an eye out for it, you heard it here first.

  123. Senile Old Guy

    Quote: Perched on their veranda overlooking a rocky outcrop, Bess and Dave Price recount their ­heartbreak and the “betrayal” inflicted by voters at the 2016 Territory election. After a term of chaos, ego wars and ­scandal, the CLP lost all but two seats in an electoral bloodbath.

    A “betrayal” by voters? Well, no. It was a response to the “chaos, ego wars and scandal”. And hubris. Those in the CLP thought that they could not lose, so factions fought for control. But Territory electorates are small, and volatile. The word “betrayal” reflects an entitled point of view, which was a large part of the problem.

  124. Confused Old Misfit

    #2656744, posted on March 10, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Better late than never.

    Michael Ramirez #1.

    Ramirez is a touch dishonest there, not a whole lot of steel making furnaces in Canada.

    But a whole lot of chinese steel sitting on flat cars headed south to the US.
    And a whole lot of chinese steel being re-processes for the US market.

  125. Confused Old Misfit

    #2656761, posted on March 10, 2018 at 10:03 am

    I’m sure Petersen has read Lewis’ The Great Divorce.

    There’s hours & hours of him on Youtube if you really want to get to know the man.

  126. OldOzzie

    Trump’s only certainty on trade policy is he loses, and so do we – JUDITH SLOAN

    I have deliberately stayed away from commenting on the activities of Donald Trump. Let’s face it, there is an abundance of opinionated pundits churning out gazillions of words on the topic; it seemed best if I left the subject well enough alone.

    But in light of his loopy trade decision, it’s time to contribute my two bob’s worth. Let me be straight up — Trump is completely wrong on trade. And unless he can be persuaded to change his mind — an unlikely outcome, I admit — the world economy may be headed for some dark days. The fundamental mistake that Trump makes is to regard international trade as a win-lose proposition between countries. In point of fact, trade is a win-win for participating countries. At heart, he falls into the mercantilist trap of seeing exports as good and imports as bad.

    Having accepted this fallacy, he sees a trade deficit between two countries, where the US is in the red and the other country in the black, as an indication that the US is losing out from the bilateral trade. This allows Trump to add up cumulative trade deficits to make the ludicrous claim that the US is somehow bearing a cost to the tune of $US800 billion ($1 trillion) because of international trade.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. But in Trump’s bizarre world, there must be only balanced trade between countries. In fact, the US has done very well out of international trade, with the gap between imports and exports — the current account deficit — ­effectively covered by overseas ­investors, mainly Chinese. It’s not too dissimilar from the Australian situation although our current ­account deficit, while fluctuating, has narrowed in recent years as a result of ramped-up mining ­exports, favourable agricultural prices and booming international student inflows.

    In part, he seems to get his loopy ideas from his trade adviser, Peter Navarro, who once held an academic position in economics. Based on some of the howlers that Navarro has uttered, he should ­really be handing back his economics qualifications.

    Don’t get me wrong; the rules-based multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organisation as the central regulator, is not perfect. There are still some significant impediments to trade, particularly in agriculture and services. Moreover, most of these impediments do not take the form of tariffs but rather more cunning forms of protection. In the EU, for instance, occupational licensing and rules and regulations attached to professional services markets have the effect of significantly restricting trade in services. Trump is right to call out these impediments to market access.

    And let’s not think Australia is exactly pure on these matters. We have the completely unjustified Anti-Dumping Commission to impose tariffs on imported goods when local producers squeal about being out-competed.

    There is also the point that the distributional implications of globalisation have tended to be underplayed — a point made by US economist Dani Rodrik. While it is true the national interest is served by reducing or removing tariffs, there will be winners and losers in this process. Governments too often have given short shrift to the losers, who are often geographically concentrated and have limited skills outside their industry.

    The real danger with Trump’s decision to impose a 25 per cent tariff on steel and a 10 per cent tariff on aluminium (he has already imposed tariffs on solar panels and washing machines) is the potential for the multilateral trading system to break down.

    In its place, we could see damaging rounds of tit-for-tat behaviour by the large trading nations, similar to what took place in the 1930s after the US hiked tariffs on a large number of imported goods via the Smoot-Hawley Act. Mind you, what Trump has done, at least initially, is small beer compared with Smoot-Hawley.

    Arguably, Trump is seeking to have a bob each way by seeking to justify the tariffs on steel and aluminium on the grounds of nat­ional security, something that is allowed in some form under WTO rules. It is one of the reasons so much of the week was taken up with discussion on whether there would be exemptions from the tariffs. Sparing military partner countries potentially strengthens the credibility of this rationale.

    The problem for Trump would be if the WTO finds his tariffs cannot be justified on national security grounds. The scene then would be set for other nations to impose tariffs on certain US exports — Harley-Davidson ­motorcycles, ­orange juice, peanut butter and Levi’s jeans have been mentioned.

    In many ways it would be a ­replay of the steel tariffs of up to 30 per cent imposed by president George W. Bush in 2002. Steel has always been a politically sensitive industry in the US and Bush was keen to secure votes in Pennsyl­vania. But after retaliatory action by the EU, he quickly changed his mind and rescinded the steel tariffs at the end of 2003. Trump does not want a repeat of those events.

    But even assuming Trump gets away with his steel and aluminium tariffs in the short term and there is no retaliatory action, the question remains: what does he think will be achieved?

    Here’s the thing: there are 50 jobs in the US that involve the use of steel for every job in the steel industry. To protect a small industry with a small workforce, Trump is prepared to sacrifice the living standards of vastly more non-steel workers as well as consumers. It beggars belief that even Navarro, the oddball, could think this was a good idea.

    And what happened to all that anti-China rhetoric that so characterised Trump’s loud complaints about the world trading system and the US coming off second best? China is not a particularly large exporter of steel to the US, coming in 10th largest with a little more than 2 per cent of total steel volumes. If Canada had not been given an exemption, it would have been the economy that would have been worst affected.

    Now one interpretation is that Trump’s tariff announcement was just a form of chest-beating to soften up Canada and Mexico to make some serious concessions in relation to a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement. If that were the case, it would be a curious way of going about this; it also underscores his failure to understand that trade agreements are about mutual gains, not win-lose. The sinking feeling I have is that Trump has no coherence when it comes to economic policy, particularly trade policy.

    One can put up with a degree of idiosyncratic — OK, outright weird — behaviour on his part if this is offset by high-quality thinking and implementation of economic reforms.

    Certainly, there are many ­pluses to his recently completed tax package; there is no doubt the pressure is now on countries such as Australia with high rates of corporate tax. But given the fiscal cost of the package, it beggars belief that Trump would almost immediately agree to additional government spending of more than $US200bn as well as a revised plan to delay the return of the federal budget to balance by 10 years.

    This is the exact opposite of what most economists would recommend, particularly in light of the tight economic conditions that exist in the US.

    In the end, there’s good disruption and bad disruption. At this rate, the Trump experiment is quickly heading towards net bad.

  127. Shy Ted

    Just in time, Tom. We were close to replacing you with a wymmins who would have done the cartoon job a whole lot, better, faster and funnier because they have lady bits.

  128. feelthebern

    There are only a few parts of oz that would benefit from high speed rail.
    From Melb airport to the city.
    From Bris to the GC.
    From Sydney to Newcastle.
    From Sydney to the new airport in Western Sydney.
    Geelong to Melb? That’s one for the Vic Cats.

  129. rickw

    Lefty in the chair before me was slagging of DT.

    Muzzo barber specifically asks me what I think, “I think DT’s excellent!”, yes, he’s pretty good!

  130. OldOzzie

    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Discusses Trade, Employment, Tariffs, China, Taxes, Debt, and “Territorial” MAGAnomics…

    A very confident Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appears on CNBC for a wide-ranging interview on current economic subjects. Within the discussion [14:00] Secretary Mnuchin affirms the U.S. economy is nowhere near “full employment”; an economic reality which highlights how much labor statistics were manipulated by political ideologues the prior administration(s).

    Additionally, Secretary Mnuchin discusses the administrations’ focus on ‘reciprocal trade deals’ as the cornerstone of new trade constructs. This is a seismic shift in U.S. trade position. The secretary replaces the word “globalism” with a more nuanced “world-wide”; and “economic patriotism/nationalism” is replace with the word “territorial”.

    Also worth noting is the larger dynamic of “intellectual property” (vis-a-vis China) and how the inherent Trump policies therein overlay trade positions between the U.S. and China. As we have previously mentioned the USTR Lighthizer 301 investigation into China could be exponentially more significant than Steel and Aluminum tariffs. Secretary Mnuchin confirms this aspect albeit with a measure of necessary opaqueness.

  131. John Constantine

    Australia is only ever a few days from fuel rationing.

    If supply from overseas is interrupted, then private vehicles need to stop burning irreplaceable fuel so it can be stockpiled for emergency use for the duration of the event.

    People mock peppers, but having a few weeks worth of dried food in a cupboard is inexpensive insurance.

  132. Confused Old Misfit

    Judith Sloan’s traditional position is a little disappointing. I was hoping for something more nuanced rather than the argumentum ad auctoritatem.
    But thanks OldOzzie for liberating the article.

  133. Roger.

    It is true that Shorten is often described as “transactional”. Further, this term is the one you always hear when people are trying to account for his seeming lack of core values and belief systems, friendships with the super wealthy and other inexplicable contradictions. When someone is described as transactional, what does that really mean to you?

    A spiv.

  134. rickw

    The fundamental mistake that Trump makes is to regard international trade as a win-lose proposition between countries.

    That’s exactly the reality right now for the USA.

    In point of fact, trade is a win-win for participating countries.

    That’s where he wants to get to.

    Trade is not innately “win-win”, you need to negotiate and bargain to make sure it is. Particularly when your major trading partner has the state level ethics of an alley cat: wholesale IP theft, unjust application of law in country (had your factory seized recently?) and actively seeks to circumvent existing trade agreements, large pile of aluminium in Mexico etc.

    This is pretty basic, but no one seems to get it, win-win is not the default setting in any deal, you need to negotiate to reach that point, everyone starts from a win-lose position.

  135. Nick
    #2656737, posted on March 10, 2018 at 9:27 am
    The triathlete and football player had been caught in a “tryst” in a hotel in 2007 which was made public.
    Journo speak for caught rooting in a public bar’s stinky dunny.

    It’s one thing to think that or to say it here, but to say it directly to her husband is courting danger.
    Because men protect their wives. Because men see the threat extending to their children and react.
    Then the “head of communications” and the “head of marketing” go ahead and publicise the cause of the dispute between the two players. By aggravating the issue SA cricket has sunk to a new low.
    No longer is the problem one of a sledging over-step, but now it’s an officially sponsored, organisation-wide attack on the morals of an opponents’ wife.
    SA cricket has shown itself to be reprehensible and complicit in the de Kock sledge.
    One could be forgiven for assuming it was a team (including officials) strategy to target Mrs Warner in order to get Mr Warner scoring fewer runs.

    Only an immediate sacking of these two officials and a heartfelt apology is going to repair cricketing relations between the two countries.

  136. Fisky

    Too much winning!

    A White House aide close to senior policy adviser Stephen Miller who has advocated strict limits on immigration into the U.S. has been selected for a top State Department post overseeing refugee admissions, according to current and former officials.

    Andrew Veprek’s appointment as a deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) is alarming pro-immigration activists who fear that President Donald Trump is trying to effectively end the U.S. refugee resettlement program.

  137. OldOzzie

    Tariffs and tweets: judge Trump presidency on his actions – GREG SHERIDAN

    Once more the doom-laden, hate-filled mountain of Mordor, sinister and dark and threatening, cracked into foul life. The evil Lord Sauron blinked his fierce and terrifying red eye and goodly hobbits the world over felt their blood run cold and their hearts quiver with fear.

    If not Sauron, is Donald Trump the King Kong of Western politics?

    This was pretty much the tone of the reporting of Donald Trump’s tweet announcing that he would impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports into the US.

    All connection to reality was lost in a hysterical reaction to what were quite modest trade actions by Trump; actions, moreover, that are entirely consistent with similar actions taken by presidents, especially Republican presidents, in almost every recent US administration. The global Trump derangement syndrome has sent the world barking mad.

    At almost every level, Trump is an unappealing character. And his tweets are often wildly exaggerated. He has quite intentionally forsworn the role of secular pope, enunciating universal values and transcendent truths, that American presidents since Franklin Delano Roosevelt have striven, with only mixed success, to fulfil.

    But nearly 30 per cent of Trump’s presidential term has passed. His words remain undisciplined but his actions are quite different. On every measure he has not lived down to the fears his critics held for him. He has done some good things and some bad things. But any sane analysis of Trump has to focus on what he actually does, not what he says.

    The first thing to note about the tariffs is that Trump has indicated there may very well be an exemption for Australia. So all those wiseacres who since the President’s first tweet on the tariffs have been lampooning the idea that Australia has a special relationship with the US are honour bound to admit that, as usual, they got the Trump administration 100 per cent wrong.

    The Turnbull government responded to the Trump tariffs pretty well. Malcolm Turnbull and his ministers continued to argue for free trade, avoided making disparaging comments about our great ally or its president, and pressed every avenue to seek an exemption for Australia.

    If anything they slightly overcooked their comments, contributing a bit to the general hysteria. Although the hysteria was going to happen anyway so there was a political imperative for the Turnbull government to be seen standing up for Australia.

    Probably the single most sensible reaction came from Scott Morrison, who said: “The government is keeping its head and I think it’s very important that everyone else keep their head on this … I don’t think we should be alarming Australians on this.”

    The Treasurer perhaps could have given this advice to the Reserve Bank governor, Philip Lowe, who was so moved by the unutterable infamy of the Trump tariffs as to declare that they were “highly regrettable and bad” and could lead to “a very big shock” to the world economy.

    Of course, the reality was in the qualifying clause of Lowe’s remarks. There could be a very big shock if the world decided to have a trade war in response to the Trump tariffs. In other words, it’s not the Trump action itself, which in fact will have a negligible impact on the global economy, but the hysterical reaction. In which case Lowe’s words are part of the problem, not the solution.

    So how terrible, and how unprecedented, are Trump’s actions?

    The US is by a very long distance the most free market of all the big economies in the world. Last year, the US had a trade deficit in goods of more than $US800 billion. That indicates that whatever the problems of the global economy, an inability to send exports to the US is not one of them.

    When you factor in goods and services, the US trade deficit last year was around $US570bn. The vast bulk of that deficit, nearly $US400bn, is with China alone. Which certainly indicates that whatever else the US is doing, it is not trying to contain China.

    Now Trump has announced a 25 per cent tariff on imported steel and a 10 per cent tariff on imported aluminium. Previously he has imposed tariffs on solar panels and washing machines. So nearly one-third of the way through the apocalypse of the Trump presidency, these piddling trade measures are all we have to show for all the sturm und drang occasioned by the rise of the beast.

    And, of course, no president has ever done this before, right? Oops, in 2002 George W. Bush imposed very similar tariffs on steel.

    George W.’s father, George Herbert Walker Bush, who masterfully oversaw the end of the Cold War and by common consensus is regarded as the last great and honourable statesman in the Oval Office, pioneered the use of section 301 of the Trade Act. This section identifies nations the US regards as behaving unfairly towards it in trade. It gave rise to the even more muscular Super 301. These measures were used to impose tough trade sanctions on Japan, which was then of course a much bigger industrial power than China.

    So this tariff business is pretty wicked by Republican presidents, right? Those good international citizens, the Democrats, would never stoop to such infamy.

    Er, wrong.

    In 1995, Bill Clinton imposed a 100 per cent — yes 100 per cent — tariff on $US6bn worth of luxury car imports from Japan. Indeed, for most of the Clinton presidency, Australian governments disagreed with US trade policy towards Asia. So while Clinton, the noble liberal internationalist, may have been a beast towards Japan, at least he understood the significance of China and was always positive towards it, right?

    Er, no. For a time, Clinton had the policy that he would not accord China most favoured nation status, which is the status necessary for normal trading relations, unless it radically improved its human rights performance. Eventually Clinton dropped that policy, but it was not a thought bubble, it was for a substantial period his declared policy.

    Good thing there is not a liberal internationalist like the early Clinton in the Oval Office today. Otherwise China would never have been able to trade properly with the US, much less run up a trade surplus of hundreds of billions of dollars with the US, because China has gone backwards on human rights since Clinton’s day.

    Surely the enlightened Democrats would never embrace the kind of protectionism Trump goes in for? The single biggest bad thing Trump has done on trade was to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Yet Hillary Clinton, though herself an author of the TPP, had root and branch committed to withdrawing from it. I was close to people in Clinton’s campaign who hoped they could rescue the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But as the campaign went on, it became clearer that Clinton’s position against the TPP — arrived at under pressure from the left-wing Bernie Sanders, who very nearly won the Democratic nomination — was hardening.

    Similarly, Barack Obama never made any effort to get the TPP ratified by congress.

    In other words, based on his actions rather than his words, Trump has evolved into a mainstream president. This is not to say that imposing tariffs is a good idea. It’s a bad idea.

    But there is an element of role-playing pantomime about all this. Trump issues a tweet that is more extreme than the position he is going to implement. This has happened so often now that Trump must know this when he issues the tweet in the first place.

    Then there is a big reaction of shock, horror and outrage, which of course is part of what Trump wants and certainly helps him with his base.

    An overlooked figure in this latest controversy is that 58 per cent of Republican voters support Trump’s proposed tariffs. Congressional rejection of Trump’s moves — not to mention all the Democrats who support tariffs — is likely to be much less strong than may now appear.

    Then, inevitably, Trump backs down a good deal, as he always knew he would.

    So you might say the exaggerated and hysterical reaction is part of the pantomime that leads to the eventual partial backdown. The reaction there­fore plays its part. However, the danger of the reaction is that it misleads the public about the realities of the situation. Australians without specialist knowledge would be forgiven for thinking, after the last week’s media coverage, that the US was the most protectionist nation in the world. In fact, it is the freest trade nation in the world.

    For Australia, Trump has honoured the special rela­tionship in every way. When discussing the pos­sibility of an exemption for Australia yesterday, Trump said: “We have a very close relationship with Australia, we have a trade surplus with Australia … Great country, long-term partner. We’ll be doing something with them.”

    If Trump exempts Mexico and Canada and other US allies such as South Korea he will end up mainly targeting China. But the effect will be utterly trivial because the Middle Kingdom accounts for only about 2 per cent of US steel imports. None-theless, Trump is responding to a real problem. He had a joint press conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven through the week and the Swede acknowledged there was a global glut of steel because of massive subsidised production in China.

    The next tranche of Trump trade action is likely to centre on China. This will generate much less congressional backlash for Trump than the tariffs have done. Indeed, some of the Republicans opposed to the tariffs have urged Trump to take action specifically directed at China. These Republicans don’t like tariffs in general and they particularly don’t like punishing friends and allies who normally play by the rules.

    Mind you, it is worth noting that no country is pure on trade. We all have our protectionist measures, including Australia. Until recently Australia gave domestic carmakers subsidies in the range of $500 million a year. In trade distorting terms these are identical in effect to tariffs. Or look up the level of EU auto tariffs to observe another classic example of EU hypocrisy.

    But if Trump does address Beijing’s systematic industrial espionage and intellectual property theft he will be responding to a real problem that conventional trade rules have been completely ineffective in solving. Trump’s rhetoric and undisciplined tweets certainly make it difficult to sell his policies to an international audience. But Western statesmen and opinion leaders need to move beyond the cheap pleasures of denouncing Trump and instead focus on analysing the reality of his actions.

    Tariffs generally are a bad idea and I don’t think Trump’s latest tariffs are good policy. But Trump’s modest actions will not hurt the international economy. There will be an international trade war only if the major trading powers, all of whom practise less free trade than the US, decide to embark on a trade war. The Trump derangement syndrome reaction seems to be to scream: Trump will make people crazy and I’m going to prove it by being crazy myself!

    For China’s President Xi Jinping to hold up his country as the champion of free trade is almost a Jerry Seinfeld turn in stand-up comedy. Formal tariff barriers are almost meaningless in evaluating China’s openness to free trade. As everyone knows, it controls imports by creating insur­mountable barriers behind its borders.

    Trump is in many ways a very unsatisfactory president. But the crisis in Western governance is morphing into a crisis of Western civilisation.

    For everybody to blame Trump for everything is not only analytically lazy but also politically enfeebling and demoralising. To blame Trump for the massive distortions in the global trading system caused by the size of China’s non-market economy is utterly ridiculous.

    Here’s the secret. Trump is not Sauron; he’s not even King Kong.

  138. Bruce of Newcastle

    There are only a few parts of oz that would benefit from high speed rail.

    From Sydney to Newcastle.

    Aren’t enough customers.
    If I go to Sydney I prefer to use the train. There aren’t many travellers boarding it until you get to Wyong and the Central Coast. To have a VFT stop at every dinky station (like mine) would defeat the purpose of a VFT. Indeed there were so few people using the train to Newcastle main station that they ripped up the line and sold off the land for high rise.

    Newcastle has no real CBD because the CBD such as it is is on a tiny promontory with no room to fit anything much. So we’ve spread out into vast suburbs with poor feeder public transport. It’s like LA.

  139. Tim Neilson

    Old School Conservative
    #2656790, posted on March 10, 2018 at 10:44 am

    As I understand it, the opening bid in the Warner/De Kock stoush was Warner making insulting remarks about women in De Kock’s family.

    If that’s so, I’ve got zero sympathy for Warner.

  140. Confused Old Misfit

    #2656789, posted on March 10, 2018 at 10:44 am

    Good points.
    The default position for many seems to be Trump=bad. (Reasons and evidence presented = 0).
    It follows therefore that anything he does = bad.
    The default position of economists is free trade = Good.
    The default position of most traders (businessmen) is free trade = OK, but if I can get a leg up on the other guy =best. And if I can get a government to run interference for me = better.
    Competition is great for the consumer. Businesses hate it.

  141. Tintarella di Luna

    Have done an out and back to Rouse Hill this morning. There’s a lot of room out there but not sufficient transport infrastructure except for roads, lots of roads and lots of traffic. I wonder if things would get better if Karl Stefanovic, Jessica Rowe or Lisa Wilkinson bought a block of land out there?

  142. OldOzzie

    Holding my nose, I post

    Malcolm Turnbull might want to call a spill after 30th Newspoll trailing Labor – PETER VAN ONSELEN

    With little more than three weeks left before Malcolm Turnbull clocks up his 30th consecutive Newspoll trailing the Labor Party, it is abundantly clear he will need a strategy to deal with the fallout.

    The Prime Minister’s critics will call for him to resign, having measured up to the yardstick for failure he used to prise Tony Abbott out of the top job. But that battle cry presupposes a viable alternative to Turnbull, which at this stage there certainly is not.

    Which is why Turnbull’s best strategy to end criticism of his long-run polling deficit would be to call a leadership spill, win the vote handsomely and carry on as Prime Minister, hoping finally to unpick Labor and its leader, Bill Shorten, in time to be competitive at the next election. This week Turnbull indicated that his intention is to go to the polls in the first half of next year, likely in April.

    His conundrum is that the bold move of spilling the leadership in three weeks would help to end speculation about his Newspoll failure — by employing the “put up or shut up” philosophy — only if any opponent, or an empty chair if there is none, fares badly.

    In the present climate that may be too much of a risk for the Prime Minister. In early 2015 Abbott faced a rebellion, with 39 partyroom votes going to an empty chair less than 18 months into his first term. This devastated Abbott’s leadership, which was damaged even further when he proudly declared after the vote that “good government starts today” — implying that the 39 who voted against him were justified in condemning his performance up to that point.

    Turnbull should be able to keep empty chair votes down in the teens, but you never know. Even a mid-20s result would put him on notice, with the possibility that the consequences could turn out to be worse than the problem the vote was supposed to solve. But that may not be such a bad thing.

    Turnbull does not have viable challengers within his ranks right now: Scott Morrison has been underwhelming as Treasurer and needs more time to rise as a viable leader. Julie Bishop has been immersed in controversies of her own lately, and the party’s right flank would be up in arms were she to take over the leadership. Peter Dutton is the unofficial leader of the right but with questionable charisma to lead, especially from the centre (which is where politics is won). Mathias Cormann is seen as the most competent minister in the government, but as Senate leader he’s in the wrong chamber. Others such as Christian Porter and Josh Frydenberg aren’t ready to lead, and the former will have a tough enough time retaining his seat at the next election (as will Dutton, for that matter).

    Liberals need to canvass all options in deciding whether anyone can replace Turnbull. Timing matters, as does the capacity to unite the Coalition and the fractious sections of the Liberal Party. Any candidate must be seen as a safe pair of hands, to enable a contrast with the Opposition Leader during the election campaign. Such thinking needs to be mature, akin to a business succession plan.

    Calling a spill to solve a political problem usually creates instability that eventually brings down a leader anyway. John Gorton brought himself down with such a vote; the spill forced on Abbott precipitated his demise; and, in opposition, Brendan Nelson’s 2008 announcement of a leadership spill the next day saw Turnbull promptly put him to the sword.

    But victory in such a “put up or shut up” vote also can buy a leader time, as well as limited clean air to succeed or fail. Turnbull probably should be on borrowed time given where things are at. The upside for the party in a tested vote once the 30 Newspoll threshold is hit would be to flush out just how little support Abbott and others have inside the partyroom, as well as to put Turnbull on notice.

    The latter element has the added benefit of forcing thought processes about succession on to the agenda, not to destabilise but to plan for the worst. If by year’s end the Coalition remains in a polling funk, drastic action will need to be considered, and Turnbull frankly needs to be part of such thinking for the good of the party and the government. If such actions are rushed, last-minute and ill-thought-through, that will only add to the panic.

    To be sure, there is no value in blasting Turnbull out, come year’s end, even if the polls stay where they are. The process is more damaging than the outcome is beneficial. Turnbull needs to be in on any plans to move on from him as part of an orchestrated handover — as we have seen done successfully so many times at the state level across the country.

    The problem in federal politics is that prime ministers rarely depart on their own terms. Even John Howard didn’t land his dismount successfully.

    A strong partyroom vote for Turnbull the day after 30 Newspoll failures would silence his detractors and give the government time to finally find its feet. But it also would carry the risk of putting the leadership ball in motion.

    That, however, is no bad thing if it leads to solution-based thinking and includes Turnbull in any exit strategy later this year. Come October the Prime Minister will be 64, the same age at which Howard said he would consider his future. By then Turnbull will also have served three years as Prime Minister, after an election win few thought likely, given the state of the rabble he inherited. It’s not a long stint at the top, but after the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd-Abbott years it’s also not the worst length of service going around. If the ending can be managed well rather than descend into madness — as it did for each of the previous prime ministers mentioned — that would be a significant addition to Turnbull’s legacy.

    Shorten is eminently beatable at the next election; Labor’s caucus knows it and the polls show it. His personal popularity is through the floor. But so is Turnbull’s, and infighting to remove him between now and then, based on enduring poor polls, is no strategy to beat Labor. It’s merely a strategy of payback for Turnbull’s supporters from angry reactionaries, or mindless panic among self-interested marginal seat holders.

    Whichever way Team Turnbull intends to manage the 30 Newspoll benchmark early next month, as well as the ongoing instability that will trail after it all year, putting their collective heads in the sand and ignoring it isn’t a viable option.

  143. OneWorldGovernment


    I want to beat the brains out and feed them to pigs of any scum that supports a VFT from Melbournistan to anywhere.


    Victoria cannot even get their trains working between Melbourne and Geelong, let alone Ballarat or Bendigo.

  144. Chris

    People mock peppers, but having a few weeks worth of dried food in a cupboard is inexpensive insurance.

    Peppers? mmm.
    Cans are VERY cheap now. And mice don’t get into them much.
    Ammunition is currency in troubled times. Write to your NSW MLAs and tell them to stock up before they screw the state up as bad as SA.

  145. Tintarella di Luna

    Shy Ted
    #2656638, posted on March 10, 2018 at 6:28 am

    Thank you most enjoyable post dyspepsia eased significantly, laughter being the best medicine.

  146. Roger.

    As I understand it, the opening bid in the Warner/De Kock stoush was Warner making insulting remarks about women in De Kock’s family.

    If that’s so, I’ve got zero sympathy for Warner.

    Ditto. Likes to dish it out but can’t take it. When does the AC board meet to review his vice-captaincy?

  147. Rae

    When I queried Shorten’s operating methods to someone who knows him well, the airy response came back as though it explained and justified everything: “Oh, but Grace, everyone knows Bill is a transactional leader.”

    It is true that Shorten is often described as “transactional”.

    Collier has been taking lessons from Nikki Savva. Make something up, then state it as fact.

  148. OldOzzie

    Lisdoonvarna says ‘no’ to plan for 115 asylum seekers to move into town

    Locals in Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare, have voted overwhelmingly to reject Government plans to accommodate 115 asylum seekers in the town.

    This follows 93pc of those who voted saying ‘no’ to plans by the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) to house the asylum seekers in the King Thomond Hotel.

    The hotel is owned by Marcus White, who has been centrally involved in promoting the Lisdoonvarna match-making festival every September.

    At a public meeting last week, Mr White said that if people didn’t want the centre to proceed, he would honour that.

    In response to Mr White’s public statement, the local community held a vote by secret ballot at a public meeting organised by Lisdoonvarna Fáilte.

    In response to the question ‘do you want a direct provision centre in Lisdoonvarna?’, 197 voted ‘no’, with 15 voting ‘yes’.

    Now, as a result of the vote, chairman of Lisdoonvarna Fáilte Paddy Dunne has called on Mr White to honour that undertaking and not proceed with the plan.

    He said: “I hope Marcus will listen now and reconsider.”

    Mr Dunne said the vote “is nothing against Marcus and we really appreciate everything he does for the town, bringing in tourists, but it is too much for the community to handle.”

    He said the 115 asylum seekers would increase the 300-strong population of Lisdoonvarna by 38pc.

    He said: “People in the town will be welcoming to a lesser number, but not 115.”

    In response to questions from the local community, the RIA stated that the Minister for Justice had concluded a contract with the owner of the King Thomond Hotel.

    The RIA response stated that “the addition of a maximum of 115 persons over the course of a year should not put an undue strain on existing resources and services”.

    The first asylum seekers were due to arrive on Monday and this has been put back a week due to the current weather conditions. The RIA has told the community in a written reply that the implementation of the plan cannot be delayed.

    Efforts to contact Mr White for comment were unsuccessful.

    Irish Independent

  149. OneWorldGovernment

    Malcolm Turnbull has f*ked the country,

    Sqiggly lightbulbs;

    Killing the Murray Darling Basin the first time with Howard and the second on his own;

    Bought into Paris wanker agreement;

    Destroyed power system;

    Top loaded immigration;

    Employed a f*kwit as treasurer;

    Even had the f*king hide with Howard the Coward to pay for magic rainmakers.

    I want to kick him in the guts.

  150. cynical1

    As I understand it Australia has about 30 days worth of fuel at any one time.

    I think its time that we fucked off Sth Australia, Qld, Victoria and NSW.


    We share our electric.

    Well, until we attempt 50% renewabbles.

  151. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    Poster: I have unfairly benefited from the colour of my skin. White privilege is not acceptable.

    No Prob. Demonstrate some real street cred and go self-immolate.

  152. OneWorldGovernment

    #2656816, posted on March 10, 2018 at 11:10 am

    As I understand it Australia has about 30 days worth of fuel at any one time.

    You didn’t dispute the 30 days.

    I want to smash the face of the entire rooting ADF.

    Shut down all f*king pathways for wankers.

    Buy or pay America $50billion to protect our fuel supplies.

    Ban any French/EU contract ever again.

  153. Roger.

    Locals in Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare, have voted overwhelmingly to reject Government plans to accommodate 115 asylum seekers in the town.

    Anecdotal, but revealing – Irish lass cut my hair recently; reported that her grannie lived in a village that had seen a lot of migration (Irish economic boom more on paper than in people’s lives) and the government had filled empty houses with refugees. Now the Irish residents feel like strangers in their own home. The lass said people feel so let down by their own government which simply follows EU dictates over the will of locals that there is talk that they’d be better off casting in their lot with a post-Brexit UK!

  154. Stimpson J. Cat

    Mikhaila Peterson credits the diet with curing her ailments and Jordan Peterson’s depression, which has been severe at times.

    Other Options Besides Antidepressants Confirmed!
    The Student has surpassed the Master!

  155. C.L.

    Bouncer Trump shutting down welfare-inspired dumping in the US market and now opens the queuing rope, allowing Australia into the club ahead of the deadbeats. Masterful.

  156. OneWorldGovernment

    Cut off every single AID money;

    Stop funding the criminal UN;

    and CUT ALL overseas funding to Australian NGO’s

    Cut every single NON PROFIT.

    The Churches will survive.

    WWF, Greenpeaces, ACF, and all the rest of the scum wont though.

  157. OldOzzie


    Thanks for those 5 videos at the top of the thread – pleasant to listen to.

  158. OneWorldGovernment

    Stimpson J. Cat
    #2656824, posted on March 10, 2018 at 11:16 am

    Mikhaila Peterson credits the diet with curing her ailments and Jordan Peterson’s depression, which has been severe at times.

    Other Options Besides Antidepressants Confirmed!
    The Student has surpassed the Master!

    Fuck off you bald headed mad bastard.

  159. Senile Old Guy

    Quote: The global Trump derangement syndrome has sent the world barking mad.

    Including Judith Sloan. The Trump bargaining strategy is now well known: make an outrageous first bid, then bargain to get a deal suitable for all.

  160. OldOzzie

    Trudeau’s Canada Is Hemorrhaging Full-Time Jobs

    Canada’s labor market eked out 15,400 new jobs in February but continued to struggle as the number of full-time jobs contracted by nearly 40,000, according to a government report released Friday.

    February’s job gains nudged the unemployment rate down slightly from 5.9 to 5.8 percent, but were concentrated entirely in part-time and public sector jobs.

    Part-time jobs were up by 54,700 positions, while full-time jobs declined for the first time in six months, losing 39,300 positions, according to Statistics Canada. The decline in full-time employment follows a terrible January, which saw an overall job loss of 88,000.

    Additionally, the public sector accounted for nearly all of February’s job gains — 50,300 government jobs were added in February, compared to just 8,000 in the private sector, reports CBC News. Economists say the tepid private sector job growth is a problem because increasing employment through the public sector is not fiscally sustainable, particularly when many governments are already running large budget deficits.

  161. Jo Smyth

    Jordan Peterson does not look at all well. He is a troubled man.

  162. Gab

    “But what, you ask, of earth? Earth, I think, will not be found by anyone to be in the end a very distinct place. I think earth, if chosen instead of Heaven, will turn out to have been, all along, only a region in Hell: and earth, if put second to Heaven, to have been from the beginning a part of Heaven itself.”

    Most sane concept I’ve read on here all day.

  163. OneWorldGovernment


    You put me to shame.

    I used to catch rabbits and dry them for the hat trade.

    We would chuck the dried skins in a bag and leave them on the front gate.

    It was always a nice surprise to divvy up the coins.

    LOL. I met a hatterer when I went to Melbourne.

  164. Jo Smyth

    There is no way Australia has been made a tariff free zone without a deal being made and we would have to have promised something in return. Wonder what it could be?

  165. areff

    Been poking about in the Australia Council list of the most recent grants to the artistic community in my seat of Gellibrand. There’s some beauts, but this one takes the cake:

    “I discovered a method of producing brightly coloured stools by swallowing a liquid barium contrast called ‘Liquibar’. These are the video stills from documentation of me swallowing, digesting and excreting the seven colours of the rainbow.”

    The artist, Ms Georgie Mattingly, scored a $10,000 windfall from her artistic “peer assessors”.

    Inspect her oeuvre, and her arsehole, here.

  166. Confused Old Misfit

    Jo Smyth
    #2656833, posted on March 10, 2018 at 11:29 am

    Jordan Peterson does not look at all well. He is a troubled man.

    He suffers from depression and his general health has not been good.
    If you did not see him on this Australian tour you have missed out as he will not pass this way again.
    (Stimpy will not be disappointed.)

  167. Chris

    It is an appalling state of affairs that Liberal Party is transparent to a lefty nong like van Wrongselen because it has no agenda except to pass Labor Party talking points .

  168. Tom

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump · 2h2 hours ago
    Spoke to PM @TurnbullMalcolm of Australia. He is committed to having a very fair and reciprocal military and trade relationship. Working very quickly on a security agreement so we don’t have to impose steel or aluminum tariffs on our ally, the great nation of Australia!

  169. Stimpson J. Cat

    Fuck off you bald headed mad bastard.

    It’s brilliant.
    Imagine an expert mechanic trying to work out the problems with his car for thirty years and his kid suddenly piping up and asking “Have you tried changing the fuel Dad? ”

    A-ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ja!


  170. OldOzzie

    #2656834, posted on March 10, 2018 at 11:31 am
    “But what, you ask, of earth? Earth, I think, will not be found by anyone to be in the end a very distinct place. I think earth, if chosen instead of Heaven, will turn out to have been, all along, only a region in Hell: and earth, if put second to Heaven, to have been from the beginning a part of Heaven itself.”

    Most sane concept I’ve read on here all day.


    you would enjoy Inspector Lewis: Allegory of Love Episode

    Allegory of Love is a season II encore to get us in the mood for the season III premiere, Counter Culture Blues on August 29th. The story is tight and terse and tragic. In an interesting reversal, all of the major players in this mystery appear together in the first scene. We just don’t know how they will all fit in yet.

    In the tradition of Oxford’s famous Inklings, fantasy writer Dorian Crane (Tom Mison – Lost in Austen) is launching his second book Boxlands, dedicated to his “muse and bride” Alice Wishart (Cara Horgan – Jane Eyre 2006). Attending the party is DI Robbie Lewis (Kevin Whatley) guest of his boss Chief Superintendent Jean Innocent (Rebecca Front) who is intent upon matchmaking widower Lewis with her college friend Ginny Harris (Anastasia Hille – Foyle’s War), who is also Dorian’s mother. This appears to be a happy ensemble until the news of the body of a Czech barmaid Marina Hartner (Katia Winter) is discovered by the river the next day. DS James Hathaway (Laurence Fox) and Dr. Laura Hobson (Clare Holman) are first on the scene finding a brutal murder by what appears to be an antique Persian mirror. Beside the body is a note with “Uqbara” written in blood, a town in Iraq recognized by Hathaway.

    All of the literary illusion to the Inklings (C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien) and Lewis Carroll were cleverly interwoven into a plot connected by jealousy, lust, and sex.

  171. Peter Castieau

    Much to my surprise my letter to the editor was published in todays “West”

    Carol Peters (or Dr Peters when the situation requires academic and moral superiority and virtue) (letters 8/3) again trots out the politically correct nonsense about women’s equality.

    In a following letter we are reminded of the failings of three former woman leaders in Julia Gillard, Carmen Lawrence and Joan Kirner.

    The race to put quotas on women in the workplace, leadership and even our defence forces should be rejected for the fashionable, virtue signalling, political correct nonsense that it is. I’ll take merit any day.

    Peter Castieau

  172. Roger.

    Been poking about in the Australia Council list of the most recent grants to the artistic community in my seat of Gellibrand.

    Shut it down!

  173. Zatara

    My understanding may now be obsolete, but can any ex ADF cats tell me whether a promotion of two ranks in three years is normal?

    As an officer, short of a battlefield promotion, it would be extremely out of the ordinary. A certain amount of time is needed to gain the seniority for promotion.

    Unless of course one has sworn to have multiple female infantry company commanders (Captains) in the near future when any current female infantry officers are quite freshly minted.

  174. OneWorldGovernment

    Senile Old Guy

    What I laugh at the most is that Trump has now got American Union Members and Leaders starting to follow him.

    He’s revved Coal, Gas, Oil and now Steel and Aluminium and the Democrats think they are going to have a wave in 2018!

    I think Trump is full on focusing for the 2018 elections to piss off the wish washy Republicans and get the 60 in the Senate.

    Imagine if he sorts shit out with North Korea which immeadiately stops Iran in May 2018.

    Far outsky. I hope he can do it.

    The head of Saudia Arabia has invited the Coptic Pope in Egypt to come to Saudia Arabia.

  175. Roger.

    Economists say the tepid private sector job growth is a problem because increasing employment through the public sector is not fiscally sustainable, particularly when many governments are already running large budget deficits.

    Heh. They tried telling Palaszczuk that too but she didn’t listen.
    These people live in a world disconnected from economic facts.
    In QLD it’s now good economic news that government debt is growing more slowly than previously.
    Meanwhile, we’re about to bite the bullet on a 50% renewables target within 13 years.

  176. rickw

    For China’s President Xi Jinping to hold up his country as the champion of free trade is almost a Jerry Seinfeld turn in stand-up comedy. Formal tariff barriers are almost meaningless in evaluating China’s openness to free trade. As everyone knows, it controls imports by creating insur­mountable barriers behind its borders.

    Judith, do you understand why trade with China isn’t automatically win-win?

    For some reason the default position of our intellectual elite is that Communist Dictators are wonderful whilst democratically elected Presidents are deranged scum who don’t understand anything.

  177. OldOzzie

    Could Donald Trump end up with the Nobel Peace Prize?

    Donald Trump’s acceptance of Kim Jong-un’s invitation to meet is a master stroke. It’s exactly the kind of thing Ronald Reagan liked to do. Reagan, you may recall, announced his pursuit of a missile defense system in March 1983 on national television without alerting his advisers beforehand. Liberals went crazy. Then he decided to end the Cold War by reaching out to Mikhail Gorbachev. Conservatives went bonkers. Reagan, we were told, had become a useful idiot. Today he is hailed as a visionary by all and sundry.

  178. Chris

    Unless of course one has sworn to have multiple female infantry company commanders (Captains) in the near future when any current female infantry officers are quite freshly minted.

    The most dangerous man in the Army is a 2LT with a map and a compass. But a political officer in a very senior role can wipe out multiples with the stroke of a pen, a self-righteous media performance or a Board of Inquiry.

  179. None

    F***ing love how Trump is trolling the world. He could finalise WTO talks in a tweet He’s pissed both China and the EU in one hit.

  180. Tintarella di Luna

    Peter Castieau
    #2656849, posted on March 10, 2018 at 11:38 am

    Great work Peter and to have it published too, well done.

  181. Bruce of Newcastle

    Inspect her oeuvre, and her arsehole, here.

    She wants to be a little careful. Barium is extremely toxic – on a par with mercury.
    The only reason it can be used orally as a contrasting agent is that barium sulfate is very insoluble.
    But in the digestive tract the sulfate may break down under certain conditions.
    Which would be unfortunate for her artistic intentions.

  182. Nick

    Remember the rubric ‘what if Obama had done it’ when examining meeting the Nth Korean despot. I have a sneaking suspicion that the media would be creaming their jeans.

  183. None

    Thanks for that letter Peter!

  184. Senile Old Guy

    Quote: Which would be unfortunate for her artistic intentions.

    But very fortunate for our sensibilities!

  185. OneWorldGovernment

    Stimpson J. Cat
    #2656846, posted on March 10, 2018 at 11:37 am

    Fuck off you bald headed mad bastard.

    It’s brilliant.
    Imagine an expert mechanic trying to work out the problems with his car for thirty years and his kid suddenly piping up and asking “Have you tried changing the fuel Dad? ”

    A-ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ja!

    Thanks Stimpson J. Cat

    I wasn’t sure but that was the best I could do to make sure that you were really awake.

    I’m sorry to be ‘woke’ on you but I so laughed at a movie called “True Lies”.

    I know, I know, I know.

    They stuff up the dance in the last scene but gad the movie is funny.

    And hay, I did that dance at a Labor without U Club ballroom in Canberra one time.

    It was nice to do the dance with a woman that knew how to do the dance.

  186. Roger.

    But the crisis in Western governance is morphing into a crisis of Western civilisation.

    I think you’ll find it’s the other way ’round, Judith.

  187. Zatara

    Excerpt from a US Congressman’s e-mail to his constituents:

    This Tuesday, the House passed S.188, the Eliminating Government-funded Oil-painting Act, which prohibits government money from being spent on oil-painted portraits of government officials. These portraits usually cost around $25,000 apiece of your money – what a waste! If someone in government wants a portrait painted, they can pay for it themselves. This bill has already passed the Senate, so I hope it quickly makes its way to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law.

    Another strike to the heart of the narcissists in government.

    Cleaning the swamp, one bill at a time.

  188. OneWorldGovernment

    Stimpson J.

    I’m sorry but I’m a hairy headed mad bastard.

  189. OldOzzie

    Hodgman’s Tasmania win offers lessons for Turnbull – GERARD HENDERSON

    It came as no surprise that Labor and the Greens ran a “we were robbed” line to explain their disappointing results in the Tasmanian election last Saturday. Labor leader Rebecca White and Tasmanian Greens leader Cassy O’Connor claimed the election had been bought by the gaming industry, which lent its support to Premier Will Hodgman and the Liberals.

    White needed an excuse for the fact her party achieved one of its lowest primary votes in recent decades. As did O’Connor for presiding over the probable loss of two of the three Greens seats in the Legislative Assembly.

    Bob Brown, the Tasmanian-based former leader of the Greens in the federal parliament, came up with the most strident criticism. Speaking on the ABC’s AM program on Monday, he said this was the “most corrupt election” he had seen in Tasmania and whinged that “we have a bought government”. However, he provided no evidence of corruption.

    The comments from the likes of White, O’Connor and Brown are imbued with elitism. They essentially maintain that Labor and Greens voters are smart enough not to be conned by the advertising of the gaming industry but not Liberal voters.

    Even some journalists ran the same line. Speaking on the ABC’s Insiders program last Sunday, Guardian Australia editor Lenore Taylor urged the ALP to hold to its position on poker machines. Commenting on the suggestion that Labor might review its policy, she said: “I think that it would send a terrible signal to vested interests that if they just put enough money into an election campaign to get rid of a policy against their self-interest, that it would work.”

    It is not at all clear that Hodgman prevailed last Saturday on the poker machine issue. But it is clear that some of the politicians on the losing side, and some journalists who resent the result, do not understand Tasmania.

    Labor and the Greens went to the election with a policy to remove poker machines from hotels and clubs and confine them to casinos. There are two such institutions in Tasmania: the Wrest Point Casino in the Hobart suburb of Sandy Bay and the Country Club Casino in the Launceston suburb of Prospect Vale.

    If the Labor-Greens policy had been implemented, it would have meant that a man in Burnie who wanted to play the pokies would have had to travel to Launceston while a woman in Queenstown would have had to head to Hobart. Meanwhile, the absence of poker machines and the customers they attract would have put financial pressure on hotels and clubs throughout the state.

    I was in northern Tasmania in January. Walking through such cities as Launceston and Devonport, it was evident that many ­hotels and clubs, some of them close to residential areas, had poker machines. The casinos in Sandy Bay and Prospect Vale would require car transport for most customers. Whatever the damage caused by the small number of problem gamblers, hotels and clubs give a vibrancy to local life for many citizens.

    It’s true the Federal Group campaigned to retain its poker machines in hotels and clubs throughout Tasmania. That’s what the management of a legal business is expected to do. Yet Labor and the Greens are delusional if they hold the view that the Federal Group “bought” the election for the Liberal Party.

    The fact is that Hodgman presided over an efficient government that was a good economic manager. Unlike during Tony Abbott’s Coalition government, there were no damaging leaks from cabinet designed to de-authorise the leader. And unlike Malcolm Turnbull’s administration, there was no fighting within the Liberal Party, and no coalition that requires managing.

    Then there is Hodgman’s voter appeal. Currently the federal Coalition does not hold any seats in Tasmania. It lost Bass, Braddon and Lyons in 2016 and did not hold Denison and Franklin in the south. Yet last Saturday the Liberal Party in Tasmania won three out of the five available seats in Bass, Braddon and Lyons, and may also do so in Franklin.

    In other words, the party achieved its best outcomes in northern and central Tasmania. And it was least successful in Denison, based in Hobart. Hobart is the highest earning part of Tasmania and is replete with academics, professionals and public servants. It has been described as a “progressive” city.

    Hodgman, whose electorate is Franklin, always understood that, as in 2014, the election had to be won in the lower socioeconomic areas of Tasmania. And he succeeded, achieving more than 50 per cent of the primary vote.

    Certainly the gaming industry’s support for the Liberals was helpful, but only in the sense that it brought the difference between the Liberals and Labor and the Greens on this issue to constant attention of the electorate. Tasmanians are not so foolish as to do the bidding of an industry group. To imply otherwise, as Brown did, is to treat more than half the state’s electors with contempt.

    Tasmania has only a fraction of Australia’s total population. Moreover, it is quite decentralised and its economy is not quite like that of any other state. Even so, the Turnbull government and its advisers can learn from Hodgman’s success.

    The Premier and his colleagues were able to connect with everyday voters, some of whom would have voted Labor in the past. They made a clear pitch to present themselves as pro-jobs for middle and low-income earners in the private sector. Also, the Liberal Party attacked the green-left ethos.

    Then there are the tactics. Unlike Turnbull in 2016, Hodgman did not go to an early election even though he had this option late last year. The campaign was as short as it could be and the Liberal Party stayed on message, despite the fact Tasmania’s electoral system is favourable to mavericks.

    In modern elections, the leader is primarily responsible for the campaign and the outcome — good or bad. Last Saturday, the Hodgman team showed how the Liberal Party can win.

    From the Comments

    Unlike Hodgman Turnbull is nothing more than a Labor/Greens mole. While he prances around the Mardi Gras taking selfies or shows overt support for SSM instead of taking a neutral line the LNP does not stand a chance. He has effectively abandoned the conservative values of the Liberals and doomed this country to union rule after the next election. The pathetic and unworkable anti-bonking ruling was just another straw for the camel’s back especially as it is suspected that the pressure to enact this ruling came from his wife. Where is the leadership?

    MT doesn’t seem capable of learning ANYTHING from ANYONE, he just waffles his way towards a HUGE election loss. What gets me is why his colleagues don’t do something about it

    – The reason why is lack of intestinal fortitude and lack of a spine. Of course the other reason could be that they totally agree with his way of running things and his nonsensical policies, if that is the case then they all deserve to be soundly thumped come election time.

    = Turnbull is not capable of connecting with voters.

    – Would it be possible for the federal liberals to start representing the people; instead of the insiders?

    Don’t think so!

    – The last three paragraphs are key. This is how elections are won. This is what has been completely lost by the Turnbull-led Coalition, which has no grasp, no compass, no hope.

  190. OneWorldGovernment

    #2656870, posted on March 10, 2018 at 11:58 am

    But the crisis in Western governance is morphing into a crisis of Western civilisation.

    I think you’ll find it’s the other way ’round, Judith.


    Surely Judith did not say that.

    If she did I want a debate as to when foul islam invaded Europe and when did the crusades occur!

  191. Boambee John

    But that battle cry presupposes a viable alternative to Turnbull, which at this stage there certainly is not.

    To borrow someone else’s phrase, a drover’s dog would be” a viable alternative to Turnbull”. Even a dead drover’s dog would be.

  192. Confused Old Misfit

    But the crisis in Western governance is morphing into a crisis of Western civilisation.

    Was Sheridan, not Sloan.

  193. classical_hero

    OO, @10:24am. The Democrats slime someone who has dirt on a Democrat. No wonder why mOnty takes such talking points, but it’s yet another rake.

  194. OldOzzie

    U.S. Media Long Carried Putin’s Water – Odd Given Today’s Hysteria
    By Lee Smith, RealClearInvestigations
    March 09, 2018

    Russia Beyond paints a picture of a normal country, with normal concerns, including reviews of Moscow’s trendy restaurants and reports from the latest ComiCon. The Russia depicted in its pages isn’t working with Iran and the Syrian regime to slaughter civilians and gas children. Rather, it’s a global actor in good standing, whose citizens don’t understand why the United States and European Union placed sanctions on their country in response to the invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea.

    Russia Beyond paints a picture of a normal country, with normal concerns, including reviews of Moscow’s trendy restaurants

    This was basically my impression in my 2 week visit to Russia


    zyconoclast’s Post
    #2656544, posted on March 10, 2018 at 12:09 am
    Lovely Russian capella group.

    Is what what we saw in Moscow and St Petersburg, and the smaller cities along the Volga River, young Girls enjoying Life.

  195. Senile Old Guy

    Quote: Hodgman, whose electorate is Franklin, always understood that, as in 2014, the election had to be won in the lower socioeconomic areas of Tasmania. And he succeeded, achieving more than 50 per cent of the primary vote.

    Rather like the campaign run by a recent, successful, candidate for US President.

  196. Shy Ted

    Former NYT Executive Editor Keeps Barack Obama Therapy Doll In Her Purse
    That’s nothing, I have a Michelle Obama anatomically correct therapy doll. If you look under the dress it has a willy.

  197. OldOzzie

    Boambee John
    #2656878, posted on March 10, 2018 at 12:09 pm
    But that battle cry presupposes a viable alternative to Turnbull, which at this stage there certainly is not.

    To borrow someone else’s phrase, a drover’s dog would be” a viable alternative to Turnbull”. Even a dead drover’s dog would be.

    a drover’s dog would be” a viable alternative to Turnbull”. Even a dead drover’s dog would be.

    ” a viable alternative to Turnbull” definitely – “a dead drover’s dog”

  198. Top Ender

    can any ex ADF cats tell me whether a promotion of two ranks in three years is normal?

    It certainly isn’t.

    In peacetime = that is, outside of a WWII scenario – it’s habitual for promotion from captain to major – and equivalents across the three services – to be around 8-12 years.

    Promotion from captain-equivalent to lieutenant-colonel in three years is unheard of.

  199. OneWorldGovernment

    What about the loaded dog?

  200. Bruce of Newcastle

    Who will guard us from the guards?

    Berlin International Tourism Fair: Police Move In To Protect Israel Booth – from Fair’s Own Guards

    An incident occurred at the Israel booth at International Tourism Fair (ITB) at Berlin fair halls on Thursday. Three men of a security company employed by the fair loudly marched towards the booth by the Israel Tourism agency, chanting “Free Palestine”. … Visitors report that the three men were of Arabic ethnicity. It is yet unclear if they had caused trouble before or if police are investigating for causing a disturbance.

    It’s a wicked problem – certain young men have no skills so they tend to get work as security guards, since that job doesn’t need much skill or education. In turn security guards are increasingly needed because of lawlessness, which is made much worse by importing lots of young men with no skills.

  201. Roger.

    Was Sheridan, not Sloan.

    Mea culpa.

  202. OldOzzie

    Baathism Caused the Chaos in Iraq and Syria
    The United States invaded the Levant 15 years ago – but the region’s scorched-earth ideology has kept the fire burning.

    The United States intervened militarily in Iraq in 2003, 15 years ago this month, and the result was war and chaos. But the United States did not intervene in Syria in 2011 when the regime there was challenged, and the result was still war and chaos. Though the media has interpreted the past decade and a half of armed conflict in the Levant exclusively through the failure of U.S. policy, the fact that the policy in Syria was 180-degrees different from the one in Iraq and yet the result was the same indicates that there has to be a deeper, more fundamental force at work in both countries that journalists and historians must acknowledge.

    That deeper force is the legacy of Baathism. A toxic mix of secular Arab nationalism and Eastern Bloc-style socialism that dominated Syria and Iraq for decades since the 1960s, it made the regimes of the al-Assad family in Syria and Saddam Hussein in Iraq completely unique in the Arab world.

  203. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    The most dangerous man in the Army is a 2LT with a map and a compass.

    Overheard, back in the day:
    “Sir, do you know why you are a Second Lieutenant?

    No, sergeant, but I suspect I’m about to find out!


  204. Tintarella di Luna

    Trump and the special relationship with Australia

    Maybe the bent-eared termite might have to get out of the Paris Agreement as a condition of that agreement — I can dream can’t I – wouldn’t that be an absolutely Trumpening of Talkbull? I am getting onto my go to guy St Michael the Archangel.

  205. OldOzzie

    Bruce of Newcastle
    #2656895, posted on March 10, 2018 at 12:26 pm
    Who will guard us from the guards?

    Berlin International Tourism Fair: Police Move In To Protect Israel Booth – from Fair’s Own Guards

    An incident occurred at the Israel booth at International Tourism Fair (ITB) at Berlin fair halls on Thursday. Three men of a security company employed by the fair loudly marched towards the booth by the Israel Tourism agency, chanting “Free Palestine”. … Visitors report that the three men were of Arabic ethnicity. It is yet unclear if they had caused trouble before or if police are investigating for causing a disturbance.

    It’s a wicked problem – certain young men have no skills so they tend to get work as security guards, since that job doesn’t need much skill or education. In turn security guards are increasingly needed because of lawlessness, which is made much worse by importing lots of young men with no skills.

    Look at the Security Guards at Sydney Airport and Sydney and see which ethnic group they come from

  206. Confused Old Misfit

    #2656896, posted on March 10, 2018 at 12:26 pm
    Mea culpa.

    ego te absolvo

  207. OldOzzie

    The arrival of post-Putin Russia


    – Russia’s March 2018 election will mark the arrival of the post-Putin era in Russian domestic politics.

    – Following the vote, Vladimir Putin will focus on shaping the new era, in a process he views not as a search for a successor but as a transfer of power from his generation to the “Putin generation” (comprising politicians who came of age during, and have been shaped by, his rule).

    – Meanwhile, the behaviour of Russia’s major political and economic players will be defined not by the president’s presence in the system but by the expectation of his departure.

    – Despite widespread expectations that the regime will undergo a major transformation, it is unlikely that post-Putin Russia will be an anti-Putin Russia.

    – Moscow will likely maintain its current foreign policy objectives even after Putin’s exit from the Kremlin, but without him Russia will probably be a weak international player.

    The paradox of 2018 can be summarised as follows: Russia is in deep social, political, and economic crisis. In the words of Russian political scientist Yekaterina Schulmann, “today’s political machine is in a low-resources state, operating in calorie-conservation mode, preoccupied with survival rather than expansion.”[1] But, while Russians are aware of this state of affairs, regime change is highly unlikely. There is no critical mass of people demanding radical change and, contrary to Western fantasies, Russians under the age of 25 are among the most conservative and pro-Putin groups in society. It is symptomatic of the times that, according to a recent survey, 50 percent of school-age Russian boys dream of working for the security services.

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