Cheeseburger Gothic

By their name ye shall know them. Potato scallops

Posted October 14, 2014 into Blunty by John Birmingham

Rich pickings for the snarky columnist this week. I was almost going to go with #shirtfronting but felt that with all the horrible news around at the moment, the weekends potato scallop/potato cake jihad needed revisting.

A crispy golden choice, if the early comments are any indication. The best, as always, are from those punters who could miss the point for Australia.

Ten cents they cost. Ten cents for a lovely golden medallion of crunchy salty awesome wrapped around a fluffy white heart of perfect potato. It was a fifteen minute walk from school, down the hill and through the centre of town to the Samios family's fish and chippery, but even in the baking, lethal heat of summer it was worth it. For at the end of your trek, nirvana awaited.

Nirvana cost ten cents. And by its name we shall know it.

The potato scallop.

At Blunty.

86 Responses to ‘By their name ye shall know them. Potato scallops’

Lulu asserts...

Posted October 14, 2014
Looking at that picture, I'm wondering if you'd like any potato with your batter.

Darth Greybeard ducks in to say...

Posted October 14, 2014
But the batter is the best part?

Respond to this thread

Timbo would have you know...

Posted October 14, 2014
Imagine my surprise after moving to Tasmania in the mid nineties when I walked into a corner store and ordered three scallops. The price seemed a little high, and then I was handed a bag containing what I assumed to be three deep-fried cojones.

MickH asserts...

Posted October 14, 2014
ROFLMAO!

but they were tasty colones hey!

Respond to this thread

Blarkon would have you know...

Posted October 14, 2014
Do they not do deep fried muscles in QLD and call them scallops?

I'll have the barra, 4 potato cakes, 4 scallops, and a minimum chips.

Bernie swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 14, 2014
Fixed it for you,
"I'll ave the barra, 4 potato scallops, 4 sea scallops a couple of deep fried oysters and minimum chups thanks bro."

Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted October 14, 2014

and the decrease in portion and unregulated size of 'minimum chips' offerred through out Australia should be referred to the appropriate authorities.

BigWillieStyle has opinions thus...

Posted October 14, 2014

@ Blarkon

Another couple of weeks, and there'll be not one, but two sets of "deep fried muscles in QLD". One set owned by Toned Abs, and the other owned by V-Putz. Two sets of pliable, smooth muscles, covered by a deeply tanned epidermis. I understand the two owners will be having a series of contests to see whose muscles are the biggest and best. A swim across the Brisbane River and back, abseiling at Kanga Point with no ropes or harness, a sprint up Mt Coot-Tha, and a BASE jump off the Story Bridge.

* sigh *

Those two, eh?

Respond to this thread

Crocko has opinions thus...

Posted October 14, 2014
Must be a state vs state thing. In Victoria I always knew them as Potato Cakes. But that never stopped them from being compulsory for a serve of fish n chips.

But now I like them with a squeeze of lemon juice so what would I know

Respond to this comment

yankeedog ducks in to say...

Posted October 14, 2014
If it's like a potato pancake (basically fried mashed potatoes), then we serve those up here in the Midwest. If it isn't, well, I'd be in for some anyway. Fried 'taters in any incarnation are good!

insomniac is gonna tell you...

Posted October 14, 2014
No mashed potato in a scallop. Just a slice of potato covered in batter and deep fried, with no regulation as to the thickness of the slice nor the surface area.
My local has nice big round ones whereas others are a bit stingy - all for the same price.

FormerlyKnownAsSimon reckons...

Posted October 14, 2014
that's what i was trying to ascertain. Are the VIC ones those horrible mashed ones that sit in a bay marie for three hours and that's why they call them cakes?

I have a strict rule - if the mashed ones are served up as a potato scallop i boycott for life. In fact, if a sub standard pscal (just trying to get with the times on partner naming rules) is served up i consider throwing a lit match into the fryer as penance for their blasphemy.

yankeedog puts forth...

Posted October 14, 2014
Thank you both. Learned something today about the humble potato scallop! Still sounds good.

Respond to this thread

insomniac mumbles...

Posted October 14, 2014
On an unrelated matter, someone described the latest Abbott outpouring as "Abbott to shirt lift Putin". Giggity

Respond to this comment

dweeze puts forth...

Posted October 14, 2014
All of this noise about cakes vs scallops was hurting my head. So, I did the only logical thing to resolve an argument - bung the words in an anagram maker. From this, the Southern variety yields these gems:
Pack Tea Too
A Cat Toke Op

The Northern variety gives:
Papal Coot Slot
Taco Stall Poop
Total Soap Clop

QED.
So, it's obvious that "Potato Cake" is correct. Who would ever want to munch on a "Papal Coot Slot"? Mmmm, that image just made my head hurt more...

insomniac mutters...

Posted October 14, 2014
In NZ they are known as a potato fritter. How does that fare in the anagram stakes?

dweeze mutters...

Posted October 14, 2014
Over in bro-land, that would be:
Fat Trooper Tit

To their credit, the New Zealish chuppers do awesome kumera chups. If we had those here I would happily forgo any future spud cakescallopfritterthings.

Josh reckons...

Posted October 18, 2014

They're potato fritters in South Australia as well.

Respond to this thread

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted October 14, 2014
I'm not sure I understand: are we talking about a raw potato sliced, battered and deep fried? And if so, why is the batter yellow? Is there some kind of cheese-like product involved? Or is the color due to some spice such as turmeric?


Barnesm would have you know...

Posted October 14, 2014
It may have somethign to do with the oil its cooked in, but the frozen ones, like hash browns have a yellow colour to them as well.

Darth Greybeard reckons...

Posted October 14, 2014
Large slice of potato, coated in dubious batter and fried in deeply suspicious oil, then lethally salted. The yellow colour is more likely to be antifreeze than turmeric I'm afraid. Don't worry Paul, next time you're over I'll shout you a plate of them.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted October 14, 2014
Ah! A greasy, salty, fried carb.

American as apple pie.

Halwes mumbles...

Posted October 14, 2014

I would have thought apple pie was English.

NBlob puts forth...

Posted October 14, 2014
In fried tuber related news, a USAnian was talking up (sic) Tater Tots. After extensive research I have found that these tasty like nuggets are more properly known to civilised folk as Potato Gems.

damian reckons...

Posted October 14, 2014
The slice of potato is pre-softened, either by boiling or by freezing and thawing, possibly both. The batter probably has a bit of maize flour in it, it's not a million miles from a dagwood dog* batter. Though in the sort of places that do upmarket takes on trad junk food, a fine tempura batter isn't unknown**. Waxy potato seems to be the rule... there's nothing worse than a dry or powdery one of these. Also, then they've been sitting in a bain marie for more than a handful of hours they are somewhat horrible, but usually insanely cheap and therefore great student sustenance.

* In Australia, or at least Queensland, a dagwood dog is a sausage on a stick dipped in a heavy, maizey batter and deep fried. I assume this is what USAians refer to as a corn dog, but not having tried one of those I couldn't say for sure.

** Though in such cases you'd expect some kind of nifty additional flavouring in the layer between the batter and the potato.

yankeedog mutters...

Posted October 14, 2014
Damian, from what I can tell, Dagwood dog=corn dog.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted October 15, 2014
Thanks, Damian. I get it now. I know what this thing is. And it has an American soul. I view Australian culture as a British/Asian/Southern European pastiche: fish, chips and beer; pasta bolognese and espresso; yum cha and green tea. But very little with an American spirit.

Until I discovered a potato slice dipped in cornmeal batter and then deep fried. Add a bit of fresh grated jalapeno pepper to the batter, pair the end result with any IPA and you may not like us, but you will understand us just a bit better. Whether you want to or not.

Barnesm mutters...

Posted October 15, 2014

"Add a bit of fresh grated jalapeno pepper to the batter" that sounds AMAZING, and must try to make one this weekend. What if I thow in some cheese between the potato and the batter would that enhance the experience do you think.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted October 15, 2014
You bet. If you can incorporate cheese into it that would be even better. The question is how to do it. Doesn't sound like it would be easy to do if the whole thing is deep fried.

But the jalapeno is easy to add to the batter.

Lulu mutters...

Posted October 15, 2014
PNB, it is possible to deep-fry anything - I know, because I've had deep-fried ice-cream.

NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted October 15, 2014


We live in such a milieu of Americanisms that at times it is hard to seperate the wheat from the crass.


Oz pop-culture is probably 50% USAnian, from Friends to Faith Hill with the remainder being Home Grown or UK sourced. I wasn't around as early as *ahem* some, but just the fact I can sing "There was a little Spanish Flea," the Dating Game theme song & Rawhide probably indicates that it has been such for decades.


Tucker wise, we have representations from USAnian Fast Food; The Colnel has hardened arteries Australia wide and the Burger King has operated under a nom de burger Jack. We have many of your breafast and snacking brands, with strange inexplicable ommitances like Reese's, Pop Tarts Tarts & Frosty Flakes who never got a look in. Root Beer is a perfectly explicable absence; it tastes like distillation of wino arse.


Our Efnic food culture is only slowly moving into the domestic sphere. As I understand it in the 50's a shrimp (prawn) cocktail was the definition of cosmopolitanism. Slowly we adopted rice and pasta dishes. Only in the last 20 or so years curries and stirfrys have appeared on the wider population's home dinner tables. I was quietly pleased to see that The Bobette was cooking herself Laska.


I don't know anyone, without Han heritage who serves green tea or Yum Cha at home.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted October 15, 2014
I have green tea here. But I'm special.

Barnesm asserts...

Posted October 15, 2014
Yes 'special' that's the word for the green tea drinkers.

insomniac mumbles...

Posted October 15, 2014
I have peppermint tea. That's a type of green tea, init?

HAVOCK21 ducks in to say...

Posted October 15, 2014
FKN PUSSIES!!!!!!!!!!! TEA!......FKN TEA!.

Hand in the cards and go stand in the aisle with SKIRTS!

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted October 16, 2014
You're just wrong, Bob. And why? Because I am write.

All kidding aside (and you how it pains me to do that) being a dumping ground for American fast food and media doesn't necessarily lead to adopting American culture - unless commercial exploitation is the same thing as culture. Watching the Brady Bunch and knowing the lyrics to Gilligan's Island isn't a reflection of American culture. I know Saudis who adore American soap operas, love Kentucky Fried Chicken and buy their kids UCLA and Stanford hoodies. Culturally they are as far from American as anyone on earth.

Confusing American commerce with American culture is a common analytical error.

What I am talking about is a matter of spirit. There is an American spirit that is distinct from the Australian spirit. A world view. A shared reality. Sitting with a bunch of friends on a farm outside of Noosa eating bacon and bugs cooked on a wood fired grill and the conversation that surrounded the event was an alien experience for me. Any similar event for similar reasons in any part of the US would entail utterly different food and conversation that reflected an utterly different world view.

But a slice of potato dipped in cornmeal batter and deep fried - that is something that embodies a common spirit.
Take a green tomato and do the exact same thing and watch what happens.

I am not saying you don't have divisions. You most certainly do. All I am saying is that, on a visceral level, your potato scallops speak with a voice that is understood clearly and precisely by me and you. If there are those of you who love them, there are those here who would love them here for the same reasons. If there are those of you who hate them, same thing.

A commonality I find quite delightful. Even if ultimately illusory.

Barnesm mutters...

Posted October 16, 2014
Eloquently put.
I think in Mr Boylan we have our 'Alexis de Tocqueville' for the Australian experience.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted October 16, 2014
Who? That sounds like one of them French names. Are you accusing me of sounding French?

Barnesm would have you know...

Posted October 16, 2014

no sounding per say, but I've seen pictures of you hanging around some of those frenchie types, showing them stuff. Teaching.....

Its suspicious I say

NBlob puts forth...

Posted October 17, 2014
Is my learned friend suggesting that this form of fried food might be considered a culinary calligraphy and appreciated as a thing of beauty and evidence of a craftsperson's hand. As an Arab, Persian, Franc, Moor, Boer, Brisbanite or Davisian can look upon traditional Meiji pictograms and see beauty, despite ignorance of the actual semantic content.

Respond to this thread

Blarkon puts forth...

Posted October 14, 2014
Pretty sure that "Potato Scallops" must be some sort of Bjelkeism.

Respond to this comment

ShaneAlpha asserts...

Posted October 14, 2014
They're called potato scallops because to make scalloped potatoes you slice the potato into disc shaped pieces.

Therefore, you take those pieces,batter and fry and voilà' you have potato scallops.

Bernie swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 14, 2014
This. Just this and nothing else.
You can't slice your spuds into cakes can you? Huh?

Caked potato? I think not, scalloped potato for the win.

Respond to this thread

JG ducks in to say...

Posted October 14, 2014
Definitely potato scallops. I also call chips 'chips', not 'fries'.
JG

Respond to this comment

Halwes mutters...

Posted October 14, 2014

Thank god someone had the guts to say it. On another note, did anyone hear the Riotinto song on Australia all over last Sunday morning. A few local kids made some really good protest music. But, as Bob Dylan said " this land is your land, this land is my land, sure, but the world is run by those that never listen to music anyway"

Respond to this comment

MickH mutters...

Posted October 14, 2014
As a RAAF brat and living in many states as a kid, you soon learn to adaptto the local customs. I used to ask for both in the end.

Respond to this comment

damian asserts...

Posted October 14, 2014
I'm not sure exactly what the regional boundaries are - having spent growing up time in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide and assimilated the dialects from all of them, it's too internal to tell them all apart. But using "potato scallop" and "sea scallop" usually seems to work as far as being sure of the distinction, so I always use the two word forms... and still I'm not 100% sure that "potato scallop" won't draw blank looks in Victoria, where "potato cake" is preferred (I'm still not sure what the correct name for a 750ml bottle of beer is in Victoria).

Sea scallops are of course what the rest of the world calls "scallops", usually inclusive of the (yummy) roe, battered, crumbed and deep fried. The batter seals the meat, which cooks in its own juices while the breadcrumbs crisp up. This means that unless you're careful, biting the end result can spray hot juices all over your shirt. So you bite carefully and suck the juice out, before biting through the delightful adductor muscle meat.

Sea scallops are usually $2 to $3 these days, while potato scallops are still usually around 50 cents*.

* Warning - I haven't actually paid that much attention to the price when ordering fish and chips for years, so this is mostly a bit of a guess

Dick mutters...

Posted October 15, 2014
750 ml bottle of beer = longneck

FormerlyKnownAsSimon ducks in to say...

Posted October 16, 2014
we used to call a 750ml bottle an "angry"

Respond to this thread

Therbs reckons...

Posted October 15, 2014
<DIV style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">

As Greybeard mentioned at Blunty the word scallop is derived from an old French word, 'escalope'. When Jean-François de Galaup, Comte de Laperouse spent six weeks in Botany Bay in Jan/Feb 1788 he and his host, John Hunter had their cooks produce a dish of "scallop'ed potatoes, immersed in a mixture of flour/egg and fried deeply as to provide a most crisp'd and enjoyable outer jack't". and again on February 4th "our cook once more produced his potato d'escallop".


This was on the north shore of Botany Bay.


Unfortunately the Comte never returned to France to spread the potato scallop message his ships being lost on reefs near Vanikoro in the Solomon Islands. Hunter however eventually became governor of the colony of New South Wales and the potato scallop remains his proudest legacy. And yes, Van Diemen's Land and what is now known as Victoria were part of New South Wales in the late 18th Century.


Thus as has been shown potato scallops originated in the brand new colony and were not called "potato cakes", "gems", "fritters" or "hash browns".



</DIV>

Barnesm mumbles...

Posted October 15, 2014
I sometimes think everything I've everexperienced is made up

insomniac puts forth...

Posted October 15, 2014
It still appears unclear what the situation is regarding 'potato rostis'.

Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted October 15, 2014

Some say I spent some time up at the State Library rifling through our host's "Leviathan" notes. Others believe I accessed primary sources, notably the journals and correspondence of Messrs Hunter and Tench. The Boylan School believes otherwise. All I can say is that if the brave Comte had not disappeared then bonds born of gastronomy would have further enriched the verdant cultures of France and Australia.

Respond to this thread

Darth Greybeard puts forth...

Posted October 15, 2014
Thanks Therbs. I hope I speak for all of us when I say that's the best comment/explanation on this subject ever. Fellow Burgers, I believe that is the last word that need be said. Potato (e)Scallops it is.

Respond to this comment

Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted October 15, 2014

Ah, bien. Merci M. le Greybeard.


Fin

Respond to this comment

HAVOCK21 is gonna tell you...

Posted October 15, 2014
Scallops. OMFG, you bunch of fkn heathen air steelin fkn backwards rednecked fkn HICKS FFSAKES!


POTATO FKN CAKES!....NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!! FKN Scallops....fk me!

Respond to this comment

HAVOCK21 would have you know...

Posted October 15, 2014
Did I mention that my Butter Chicken is DA BOMB!

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted October 16, 2014
Yes. You've said that over and over again like an old man telling war stories.

Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 16, 2014

No Havsy, they're potato scallops. You lose.

Barnesm mumbles...

Posted October 17, 2014

I am referring to them as Birmingham's from now on

Respond to this thread

Blake puts forth...

Posted October 17, 2014
Growing up south of the border meant we always called them cakes, although as Mickh and co pointed out above you must acclimatise quickly or you miss out on the experience of the scollop/cake and that is by far more important than a name. Did not that bard write a potato scollop by any other name...?

Unfortunately we struggled for years after the move to deal with the more subtle differences. Many Qld fishy proprietors would select a mass market variety which came from a large blue/white box. Unfortunately the taste and texture was not all that divergent from the receptacle from which it came.

As a employee at such an establishment, the boss did experiment with a homemade variety in fish batter. The inside was as soft as a Victorian but the batter let it down. Whilst many flocked to the new style what surprised me was that many preferred the older style. The qlders had become accustomed to the harder conditions and unnatural texture.

Each to their own.

Of course thats not the only battle of fish and chip culture across the border. Fish down south always invariably meant flake (how can that be! Its not even a fish) but in qld you get a selection with cod being the most common (and my former employee would cross label his fish wnen he ran out anyway)
Also in qld steamed dim sims are too asian so they are almost always deep fried and come in not just the small familiar variety but also a larger yellow type seldom seen down south.

Barnesm asserts...

Posted October 17, 2014

I also recall in QLD that the dim sim's batter/wrap was this almost cadmium yellow and with tips so razor sharp you could cut your cheek on them.

Quite the suprise to move to Melbourne and discovered fried dim sim can be so soft and flavoursome.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted October 17, 2014
The best Australian yum cha can be found in Melbourne.

sibeen has opinions thus...

Posted October 17, 2014
The best Australian everything can be found in Melbourne; including potato fucking cakes!

w from brisbane reckons...

Posted October 17, 2014
Brisbane has the best suchi. Visitors have commented to me, Brisbane is weird because you see so many people walking around eating suchi.
I say to them, try one.
They say, Wow! This is delicious!
Yep.

I have tried them in other Australian cities. They are crap.
A friend of my daughter who is studying in Melbourne was only saying a couple of weeks ago, she loves the city but has tried every suchi dispenser she can find and has yet to find one half as good as the average Brissie suchi.
It's a Brisbane thing. The competitive baseline suchi standard is very high and you have to meet it to survive. Usually about $2.20 each. Buy 2 and it is a nice, filling, right-sized lunch.

Barnesm asserts...

Posted October 18, 2014
what's a suchi,? until I read your post W I had never head of them

damian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 18, 2014
Paul, while many types of steamed or deep-fried dumplings are part of the yum cha experience, and Chinese restaurants definitely serve items with the same name which were the original inspiration, there is still a distinct, vaguely westernised or rather Australianised thing called a "dim sim", which is not really itself a part of yum cha.

The dim sim is a (usually deep fried, but sometimes steamed) mass-produced item supplied frozen by a wholesaler to a fish-and-chip-shop or other takeaway food retail business, much in the same way as the Chiko Roll, which it resembles (and with which it shares Chinese inspiration if not actually heritage). These items are on a similar level with the topical potato scallop, available in all fish and chip shops (more or less).

This is alongside generic premium fish (labelled snapper or barramundi), generic standard fish (labelled cod) and shark meat (labelled flake). On a mass market level all fish is imported, because Australian fish stocks collapsed in the late 90s and will never recover. There is essentially no Australian fishing industry now, short a few boutique upmarket suppliers and cottage-industry level stuff. It was known this would happen, steps were proposed to curtail overfishing, these were rejected as a ridiculous greenie overreaction and fish stocks subsequently collapsed. I think the collapse is still blamed on greenies stopping fishing, rather than the absence of fish, in the usual blame-the-messenger fashion. All I can say is people are idiots and I have no patience at all for this stuff.

It's definitely worth taking a look at the wikipedia articles on "dim sim" and "chiko roll" to properly understand that these are "traditional" (for values thereof that refer to established 20th century popular culture) Australian junk food. I think you'll appreciate the cosmopolitan roots to this stuff.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted October 19, 2014
Marvelous info. But dim sim sounds awful. I must try it on my next visit.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted October 19, 2014
I distinctly remember that about Brisbane (but isn't it spelled "sushi?" I googled "suchi" and didn't come up with anything a person could eat).

w from brisbane reckons...

Posted October 19, 2014
Oh dear, I was spelling it wrong. Sorry. Sushi, not suchi. That would explain Barnesm's mystification. My bad.
That's weird though. I think I used to spell it correctly. That file must have got corrupted.

insomniac is gonna tell you...

Posted October 19, 2014
Paul, if you want to try the true abomination, don't go for the takeaway delight, try the home brand version from the supermarket. On a good day it will be like deep fried dog food.

Respond to this thread

NBlob would have you know...

Posted October 19, 2014
Damian.
"On a mass market level all fish is imported, because Australian fish stocks collapsed in the late 90s and will never recover."
Interesting comment from several ways.

damian is gonna tell you...

Posted October 19, 2014
NBob I'm happy to be corrected or even contradicted on this topic, as I'm not exactly up to date nor especially well informed. But I've noted that local fish is in the premium 10% or less today, or else being sold on the side of the road next to the creek with a trawler moored on a falling-down jetty, or not much more advanced than that. In the early 90s my then-girlfriend's step-dad was an economist in the fed Dept of Fisheries, not exactly a greenie but .... well anyway in those days it was pretty well understood how far we could go and expect the stocks to recover in our lifetimes, and we were on track to push the intensive fishing further than that point. Myunderstanding is that all restraint dissolved in '96. This seems to explain the current situation around imports to me.

So like I say, I'd be delighted to be contradicted. But also surprised.


NBlob reckons...

Posted October 19, 2014
FRDC suggests in 00-01
47% (by mass) of seafood consumed in Aust in domestically produced.
Almost 30% of Aust product exported, partially due to taste (Blech de mere) partially $, Australians won't pay $80/kg for trout. Ditto some of our very low value "shit-fish" exports.

The bad news:
Indoubidably some (too many) fisheries were destroyed by a perverse investment cycle. Orange Ruffy & Pacific Yellow Fin Tuna being a text book examples. When biomass is decimated, potential for stock recovery is dubious. Also we have very limited understanding of inter-species interactions. A classic example is Sea Otter-kelp-urchin relationship.

The good news.
Catch per unit effort seems to be plateauing, which Can be read as validation of management techniques. Some (SOME) of the inshore fisheries most vilified are actually the most sustainable. Classic example is some specific inshore netting fisheries: if the stocks were in decline, catches would plummet when similar effort is put in. But I see catches remain the same year in year out, same nets, same boats, same operators.

NBlob puts forth...

Posted October 19, 2014
https://seafood.net.au/quality/ass.php

damian would have you know...

Posted October 19, 2014
Yeah the message I got was that for many (most) specific stocks, once the threshold was hit the recovery prospect was measured in centuries. Very happy about the "good news", but is this stuff we see as nice to eat?

NBlob mumbles...

Posted October 19, 2014
Inshore netted whiting. (Not trawl)
Double A++ quality if not over cooked. I think I'd trade whiting fillets kg for kg for almost anything. 100% sustainable.

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted October 19, 2014
While we are talking about such matters, while it is very hard to accurately asses any wild stocks & marine species to the power of N.
Estimates are Humpbacks got down to 6% pre-whaling stocks. Now back up to 70%, apparently %100 by 2030.

Ahem
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-16/humpback-whale-trapped-in-shark-net-off-qld-coast/5818766


damian ducks in to say...

Posted October 19, 2014
This is cool. I like whiting.

When I see that $2.4 billion figure, I'm tempted to assume we're looking at more than a few stocks that are already dead and we're just squeezing the last drips out. But that's next to $12 billion for beef. Not sure where that fits with expectations.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted October 20, 2014
At what point will whale stocks rebound so that they can be eaten again?

NBlob puts forth...

Posted October 20, 2014
"Whales" is far to broad a term.
Blue, Minke, Fin & Sei - no.
Southern Wright - maybe, but because they are so cranky you have my blessing.
Australian eastern seaboard humpbacks-
Go for it. By any measure their population is in far better shape than most of the pelagic sharks and any of the big tuna.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted October 20, 2014
I'll ask a Japanese marine biologist mate of mine which are the most tasty. I suspect he knows from experience.

Respond to this thread

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'By their name ye shall know them. Potato scallops'

Worst. Opposition. Ever

Posted October 7, 2014 into Blunty by John Birmingham

At le Instrument.

It might be time to move on from bitching and moaning about the Worst Government Ever, to pondering the possibility that we're also living in the golden age of the Worst Opposition Ever. Some of the worserer newspapers with the dumberest readers made jolly sport a few weeks ago when the Daeshi bandits of ISIS hacked their way into public awareness, solemnly intoning the reliable old chestnut about evil only requiring that good men do nothing before it can get its extra sparkly disco pants on.

But what about the Worst Government Ever? What does it need to boogie oogie oogie until it simply cannot boogie no more?

The answer's simple. The tin-hearted, morally bankrupt ALP of the modern era.


49 Responses to ‘Worst. Opposition. Ever’

insomniac is gonna tell you...

Posted October 7, 2014
After seeing Chris Bowen on the weekend, it reoccurred to me that people like him, Albo, Tanya are all pretty direct speakers, but Bill waffles on a bit and introduces too many hokey sayings into his press conferences. Is that a result of overly excessive focus group crap, or is that just Bill? It would be interesting to see if the former people mentioned would change their speaking style upon assuming the leadership if focus groups really do have that much influence. People want to hear things straight and not spun.

Respond to this comment

Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted October 7, 2014
Still trying to post of at Blunty, however I think the satirical site The_Shovel captured the current ALP strategy in this piece.

Respond to this comment

Darth Greybeard has opinions thus...

Posted October 7, 2014
I don't give a rat's arse about "small targets" or governments being voted out rather than in. I want a political party that will say "This is Australia, we don't run concentration camps with kids." Surely whatever your opinion on where asylum seekers should end up, years in those filthy hell-holes shouldn't be on the list? If we can chuck $40M to a pack of corrupt war criminals in Cambodia to take 5 people, surely we can spend it on faster cheaper on-shore processing?

Shorten is so weak I wonder at times if Abbott has something on him. Our collective weakness for the Strong Man leader will see Abbott into a second term, even if he destroys our manufacturing industries, privacy, press freedom, sells the ABC, Medicare and whistles up racism everywhere. I think LBJ said "I'll tell you what's at the bottom of it. If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted October 7, 2014
I didn't realize that LBJ let that little secret formula to divide, conquer and exploit the poor slip.

NBlob mumbles...

Posted October 7, 2014

I have it from a very good, if slightly batsh!t crazy source that PNB is retained & empanelled by a Conspiracy of Arsewits, serving on their Global Brains Trust . He is tasked with straw man thatching, herring reddening & is one of the consulting architects for logical fallacies & legal constructs.


You know it makes sense.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted October 7, 2014
That's crazy talk.

Respond to this thread

Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted October 7, 2014
You had my vote at ""This is Australia, we don't run concentration camps with kids."

NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted October 7, 2014

Did you hear <A href="http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2014/s4101614.htm">AM this morning</A>?


"It's taken decades but it's hoped the last group of Vietnamese boat people who fled after the war will be resettled in a third country this week.
The Vietnamese nationals have been living stateless in Thailand since the late 1980s but now have almost all the documentation needed to start a new life in Canada.
There they will be allowed to work and for the first time, their children will go to school."


There but for the grace of Dog...


Respond to this thread

Barnesm reckons...

Posted October 7, 2014

is there a problem at the bluntie?

I thought there would have been more comments on a topic like this one, or is it too confusing for the LNP supporters to comment on a blog that says Labor sucks. Would have thought that was their pervue.

Respond to this comment

Rob puts forth...

Posted October 7, 2014

JB. I totally agree with everything you wrote. I would vote Green but they showed their true colours down here in Tasmania and were found wanting.

Respond to this comment

HAVOCK21 is gonna tell you...

Posted October 7, 2014
Cannot get into BT at the mo:

Watching the comments lately about both the current government, the previous and what’s taking place both in the ME and within our own borders, I have noticed quite a vast sum of people squealing. I say squealing and classify that as objecting to what was done or what is now being done.
And why do I call it squealing, well for the most part, that’s what happens when somebody objects to something but has not alternative to offer that is remotely feasible. Pissing and moaning might well better categorise them, so in light of this, I’d like to see the floor opened up to the masses to put forward their ALTERNATIVES of the following:

1 ISIS- what do they propose we do in Iraq and with the fight against ISIS in general?
2 The boat people, where do we process them and how do we process them. That means, under what circumstances are they allowed into the country and if you let them in, in greater numbers, how do you plan to fund it, what jobs and how do we create them and where do they get settled. (I’m not asking to a plan capable of actually being fully implemented as JB blog would not have enough space. But I want some answers, some broad sketching with at least enough detail to show the thought process has actually taken place)
3 We know that ISIS is operating across the Syrian / Iraqi border and that at the moment the IRAQI’s are simply not capable of stopping them. Are we wasting our money on bombing that’s really largely not going to work? Should we increase boots on the ground with a view to severing the border logistics line and then handing over the zone to the Iraqi army?

Now I have not invoked the “the only thing for fkn evil to triumph “line, but I do want an answer to the question: If we choose not to send troops and aircraft, then others do the same and later on we have to face a much larger threat, perhaps even after an event and all, let’s remember Bali and a boat load of other events (lets call them attacks actually). How will we have justified sitting on our collective hands, what’s the point where the threat is sufficient, is it to only ourselves, is it to other states, is sending our troops over there to forestall such attacks warranted ever? And that’s the larger question. At what point do we do something.
After all, this is not a roll out of pink bats scheme or any number of the other ones that failed. And here’s one more question.
Should we simply be looking at what we wish to do, I suspect to a degree like we are now doing, lets not be overly concerned about the rest, but having decided that action of some sort needs to be taken and having further established it’s of a military nature, then we should engage directly with the IRAQI’s as we are now doing. It’s their country and they are our troops, so liaison between the two directly is as it should be in my opinion. We do better when we do it ourselves and that also includes deciding on who we attack, where we attack and how we attack, mated squarely on how we operate, where we operated and the overall methodology for that. The US is a power house, but when it comes to the holistic approach to modern counter insurgency operations they are shithouse and a rather blunt instrument, dare I say it, much like the ALP in opposition at the moment. Whenever the go forward, they are, largely ineffective and simply cause themselves more harm than good. The Specialist well that’s something entirely different and I’ll not slag off the foot fella, he’s doing as he is directed.by and large, it’s the senior commanders and the political restraints imposed upon them, by persons far removed from the conflicts with little or no appreciation of what’s actually required at ground zero.

Barnesm reckons...

Posted October 7, 2014

Do you recall how many refugees arrived in Australia after the Cambodia crisis. The bipartisan solution saw them processed and settled in Australia. I don't recall it generating huge costs, nothing like the billions it is costing for the current overseas solution.

We didn't have a refugee crisis.

Barnesm mutters...

Posted October 7, 2014


With regard to Daesh, I don't think its bombs or nothing.

There have been a few proposals put forward by people who work in the area of middle east politics which have proposed strategies for containment, strengthening structures in surrounding countries, supporting those elements of Islam which oppose the action of Daesh and letting the people in Iraq see what a bunch of bearded nutjobs they are when they are in charge.

I can not see how repeating what we have done before in Iraq and has seen the rise in Daesh in the first place we can expect a different outcome THIS time.

Recent reports would seem to suggest that the most significant outcome of the bombing campaign to date is a rise in the numbers of young dissaffected youths flocking to the Daesh cause.

HAVOCK21 is gonna tell you...

Posted October 7, 2014

The trouble is, if we take the other medium to long term road, I’m fairly certain that we will lose a significant portion of Iraq if not the majority and exponentially increase the ISIS reach and hold. I think, that as a result of people mentioning Vietnam and the likes that the west has made the very large mistake of opting for a clean and far less risking air campaign.
What should have taken place here, was a rapid closing of the Syrian and Iraqi border by light mechanised troops, with close air support and I mean choppers. ISIS will not have a night fighting capability like western teams will and that’s a very large advantage, I’m also wondering what pressure was put on the other ARAB states too, not enough in my opinion.
But sitting back, jawing in this case, I think is and was fundamentally wrong and will ultimately cost more lives. The AIR PATROLS and STRIKES are a joke.

Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted October 7, 2014

I think you are right and a military commitment to the Syrian/iraq border might have been a better way to go. The problem is air patrols and strikes are easy and quick and the government can look like they are doing something, unlikely as it is to work.

Its probably why our government hasn't been as quick to support efforts to control Ebola in Africa. Air patrols and air strikes just wont work and no one in the public could be convienced they would work no matter how much they trumpet it on the front page..

beeso would have you know...

Posted October 8, 2014
I'll take your challenge MR Havock, as soon as you accept mine. Sketch out a plan to reduce the deaths by domestic violence in australia to 5% of what they are now, using a tenth of the money spent on this little foray into the middle east.

Halwes is gonna tell you...

Posted October 8, 2014

How is money going to end deaths by domestic violence? Everyone already knows it's pissweak and wrong to bash anyone weaker than themselves. I do think that we don't reflect hard enough on our collective decision to send troops to kill people in our name though. We are effectively at war and we are, rightly or wrongly, wreaking carnage in another country but you wouldn't know it by talking to most Australians. The thing about killing other people and destroying their homes is that it legitimises their hatred of us and their eventual revenge.

beeso mumbles...

Posted October 8, 2014
We jumped off and committed massive resources to war in another part of the world in an instant. Domestic violence is arguably an easier recognised threat to human life, but just sits there, solved by the, oh well don't hit people mantra.

While http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/oct/07/gloria-steinem/steinem-more-women-killed-partners-911-deaths-atta/ this is a bit simplistic, it highlights the disparity between actual outcomes and good political PR.

We are going to iraq why? To defend our way of life? Yet an easily identifiable risk to human life, right here and now, that has been the same for decades, just keeps ticking over.

Ranty Peanut asserts...

Posted October 8, 2014

http://wartard.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/the-idea-of-isis-history-and-future-of.html
http://wartard.blogspot.com.au/2014/10/the-west-v-isis-air-strikes-just-mean_6.html

On points 1 and 3.

Before anything else, the two links above provide an excellent potted history of where these Daeshi fuckwits came from, who the major local players are, and so on.

Second, I'll take it as a given that "something" ought to be done (by the USA and willing allied governments) about the Daeshi arseholes' destabilisation of the region's existing power balance. People can make arguments for and/or against if they like. I'm not doing that here.

(Really, read at least the "history and future" post. It's a passing fancy to entertain the notion of letting the Saudi ratbastards be hoist on their own Daeshi petard.)

Daesh obviously wants the USA (et alia) to bomb them - the have a very slick media team and they aren't stupid. They know exactly what taunting the USA comes to: Drones and bombs. They'll do as expected and filter into the civilian population. They have few to no permanent bases. Little to no infrastructure. The prospect that dropping bombs on them will significantly degrade their fighting ability is remote. They'll do what their predecessors have done and fade into the civilian population. The USA will bomb hideouts and weapon caches, training camps and SUV convoys. In the process they will doubtless kill more civilians and destroy more civilian infrastructure than they will damage Daesh. Daeshi shitsmears will turn the results of bombings into recruitment material, to attract more fighters, more money, have other organisations ally with them, and carry the Daesh mind-virus farther and farther afield.

Daesh is more than disaffected ex-army fuckstains with AKs and blunt knives. The most dangerous aspect is the idea of Daesh - its existence, relevance, potential.

Bombs will not stop this idea.

Daesh needs to (be seen to) destroy itself.

To do that, there's some political decisions to be made. Who do we want in Syria? Are we willing to prop Assad up against the revolutionary elements we were praising not so long ago? Iran has zero love for Daesh: Can we do an about face and work with Iran to stabilise, and not by having us just stomp in again an overthrow their government? Help Iran will give the Saudi's the massive shits. Are we willing to kick those retrograde fuckers in the nuts and inform them that, while they have a fucktonne of oil, they need to stop sending Shia-haters money, or else we'll see how good their succession planning is. When we finish kicking their scrote up into their nasal cavity, we can turn to Israel and let them know that it time to work for a stable region, instead of constantly shitting in the punchbowl. Turkey, Iraq and the Kurds are close to an agreement anyway. Push for an independent/autonomous Kurdistan.

Apart from that sort of long-term political moves, we can address the immediate problems too.

Instigate Surge 2 - Electric Boogaloo and put every Sunni tribe in the region on the US payroll. It will cost four fifths of fuck all compared to the war options. Pay them more than they can expect from joining/not opposing Daesh and there go all the easy victories for the Army of Criminal Wankers.

The Iraqi PM needs to come to terms with the idea of having a country of both Shia and Sunni, and that shitting all over the Sunni population is a bad idea. That muppet can have that idea crammed into his skull at any time, or, frankly, replace him with someone that can. Give the Sunnis a reason to give a shit about Iraq again, instead of being politically excluded. That, or get used to the idea of two new Iraqs.

Give the Sunnis very real and immediate reasons for not joining Daesh in the forms of carrots. Not sticks.

Next, attack Daeshi money supply. They're selling oil. Make it clear that buying Daeshi oil has Consequences. They're getting money from Saudi, from Yemen, from fuck knows where. Set the accountancy bloodhounds on them - forensic accountants informing the police, resulting in nasty SWAT raids on suit-wearing fuckstains in boardrooms and office blocks.

Freeze bank accounts - they're (allegedly) the most well funded group of arsebastards in the world. They can't rely on cash, surely. Find their banks, take their money. Find out who's laundering their money. Take them out of the picture. Dry up their money supply.

Last, you have access to some of the best trained, best equipped special forces in history - hook that up with all the intel a modern superpower can hoover up. ID the nexus points and take them out - without fanfare, without bluster, just cold, quiet, and very, very specific. No drones. No bombs. Something personal. Maybe a US Marine Raider Stiletto to the base of the skull.

None of that plays well in the media, and doesn't really cram massive amounts of cash into the pockets of the leeches and parasites that infest the military-industrial complex. If you're not blowing the everloving shit out of everything, Halliburton can't charge you $2,000 per brick and sell you concrete at $50 a gallon when rebuilding it.


As for boat people, we change our visa system enough so that asylum seekers can actually get on a plane instead of a boat. We employ (many, many) more assessors in the Immigration department, and we house asylum seekers on the mainland, give them all the medical help they need. Treat them as probably traumatised people fleeing repression, as potential productive Australians in need of help, not condemned criminals fit only for being confined to disease-ridden concentration camps in tropical hell-holes. These people already have job skills, it's not like they some kind of uneducated ignorant fucking savages. Have a government actually interested in full employment again, rather than captive to business interests that demand an unemployment rate high enough to put significant downward pressure on wages. Have government interested and willing to invest in having a highly educated populace. And, if instead of firing Tax department employees who are out there hunting down owed taxes from corporate criminals, we hire more of them and force the likes of Apple and Murdoch's Empire of Shit Media to actually pay what they owe, and return to Australia's Social Democratic past to have a sensible progressive tax system, we can afford all of it. Plus a pony and even a fucking ice cream.

[pant]
[pant]
[pant]

Slightly more incoherent and ranty than intended, but I can't be arse editing. Enjoy.

Halwes asserts...

Posted October 8, 2014
Gees there are some thinkers on here. The contributions to this blog would even make Christopher Pyne think again. If he ever read them and if he could think.

NBlob mumbles...

Posted October 8, 2014
Ranty Peanut.
Good. That's good.
Let the rant fill you, feel the fire coursing through you.
The next stage is to visualise the rant as vortices of pure energy. See the eddies and flow.
Rant masters have been known to use that energy to levitate and allegedly eventually to strike down opponents.

NBlob mumbles...

Posted October 8, 2014
Sorry, my snark sometimes runs amok.



Darth Greybeard has opinions thus...

Posted October 8, 2014
Peanut for PM.

damian ducks in to say...

Posted October 9, 2014
That's okay, the world needs more amok smugglers.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted October 9, 2014
Peanut said:

"Can we do an about face and work with Iran to stabilise [sic] and not by
having us just stomp in again an overthrow their government"

Yes, of course we can, and we are. It is happening now. Our theoretical concern about the destabilizing effect of Iranian nuclear weapons has been displaced by the very real and present desire to provide Europe with an alternative to Russian natural gas - and the Iranian natural gas reserves are enormous.

It is a very exciting negotiation, much more exciting than the monodimensional discussion over the price necessary to purchase the Iranian nuclear weapon threat. That threat was, at best, a far future occurrence, whereas, at this very moment, the winter chill is creeping into an economically depressed and rapidly disintegrating European Union.

AuntyLou mutters...

Posted October 9, 2014
Bravo Ranty Peanut! Well ranted! I think you have quite nicely put forward some excellent points. Now if only someone with actual power would listen. Ah well...guess we will just have to keep shouting at the darkness.....
PNB - glad to hear that some semblance of sense has entered the Iran debate. Now if someone could just apply sense to the Saudi question. But they are our pally-wallies.

Ranty Peanut mutters...

Posted October 9, 2014
Paul quotes
" [...] stabilise [sic] [...]"

Only good "Z"'s a dead "Z". :P

...and good. Because, frankly, if I've had any thoughts that the Powers That Be haven't already been presented with then we might all as well give up.

I'm not even a "proper" nut - just a ground nut, not one of those bloody high-and-mighty tree nuts.

Darth Greybeard mutters...

Posted October 9, 2014
Don't be afraid to be a proper nut. There's rather a lot of them around here but even the sane and sensible ones like me don't mind.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted October 9, 2014
Sorry about the [sic]. It is a professional habit that I realize looks very dickish.

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted October 9, 2014

Not significantly more dickish than the fish tie you wear.

Ranty Peanut swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 9, 2014
Nah, all good. Figured the [sic] was just because of US Cultural Imperialist<tm> "Z" infection. :)

Respond to this thread

Halwes has opinions thus...

Posted October 7, 2014
I don't think that anyone who lived through the last 10 years in Australia expects governments to act in the peoples best interests and not their own. I certainly see as little merit in the competencies of either side. We live in an age of Murdochism where the great unwashed believe anything fed to them. As a lefty I broadly agree with Mr Havocs post but if I was an ALP member I would have to vehemently counter these excellent questions with spin doctor bullshit. I will say this though. Our lefty people are infinitely nicer than their right wing people. We believe in a fair go for everyone, they believe in winner takes all. We believe in collectivism and they believe in individualism. We believe in socialised medicine and they would feed us the American experience. Our women are the earth mothers who nurture and tend their families and communities and their women fuck like there is no tomorrow. Which side am I on again?

HAVOCK21 ducks in to say...

Posted October 7, 2014
Is the risk factor different to us, depending on where we take refugee's from and is the social integration and sustainment costs higher? I'm curious, Cambodian V Sudan, V afghani, V Iraqi V somali, are they all the same?

Respond to this thread

HAVOCK21 puts forth...

Posted October 7, 2014
Is the risk factor different to us, deopending on where we take refugee's from and is the social intergration and sustainment costs higher? I'm curious, Cambodian V Sudan, V afghani, V Iraqi V somali, are they all the same?

Barnesm puts forth...

Posted October 7, 2014

Thats an interesting question, also is there a culture lag on this side. Was it easier to intergrate in 80s, or 90s than it is now?

insomniac is gonna tell you...

Posted October 7, 2014
Even with the current xenophobic chatter, most people wouldn't know someone was a refugee unless it was spelled out in crayon, so integration in terms of not being outed is probably easier than actual assimilation into society.

Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted October 7, 2014
Aren't we making them wear big neon illegal immigrant labels? Wasn't that part of the recent legislation for TPVs?

Respond to this thread

HAVOCK21 has opinions thus...

Posted October 7, 2014
That’s interesting because I have spent the last20 minutes on and off thinking about this. TWO things we use to detect people and that is typically eye sight and noise or the person’s accent. So a person from the Sudan typically has far darker skin, more so than a person from Cambodia and let’s remember they have been here longer as a rule. And the issue of voice does not then really present itself. Also, have you notices that the average height of Sudanese youths seems to be quite tall. That’s another small factor in standing out in the crowd.

So if you then adopt the position that a reasonable proportion of the populous are racially skewed in the wrong direction, be it through ignorance or other more dangerous reasons, then having a presence where you are very readily identifiable unfortunately does not help. And short of trimming the legs, I wish I had an immediate answer.
I think it’s a time process, keep pushing and keep telling the community what is acceptable, but I also think, depending on where they have come from and the circumstances of their arrival we must tailor the integration process for this. If we do not, the integration fails, segregation succeeds and we have a divided community………… and that’s dangerous in our current climate.

Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted October 7, 2014
I think whilst there have been problems, historically Australia has done better than some country's at integrating immigrants. I have no idea why given how much shit they have been given when they arrive.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted October 7, 2014
Barnes - institutional racism/bigotry is not relevant unless coupled with widespread societal racism/bigotry. Sure, you give them hell before and as they arrive, but you provide a reasonably fair playing field after that.

Respond to this thread

Chaz mutters...

Posted October 7, 2014
As soon as someone starts quoting Russel Brand as a font of all wisdom you know the comment thread is FK'd

Darth Greybeard is gonna tell you...

Posted October 7, 2014
I think Comic Sans is the font of all wisdom?

I don't like Russell Brand much. That "joke" on Andrew Sachs was cruel, gross and utterly uncalled for. Having said that, humans are complex beasts and I have found some of his comments sensible, accurate and bitterly angry about things which deserve anger. There are people I like whose beliefs seem illogical and destructive and people I don't like who have the same social justice triggers I do.

There are plenty of complaints about the composition of our current Senate but it's been interesting to see that even people like Leyonhjelm or Day or Muir (god bless him) and even Clivasaurus can, just sometimes, support a sensible idea. Before going back to barking mad. Considering our near-invisible opposition, this loopy Senate might be the best hope of minimising the "IPA list" damage of Abbott's first term.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted October 7, 2014
I adore Russell Brand. He is very wise.

Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 7, 2014
When they announced with High confidence that the Higgs Boson had been found the physicists used comic sans font. They then petitioned Microsoft to change the name to cosmic sans.

Chaz asserts...

Posted October 8, 2014

Greg, the problem is I think he's very false. I don't truly think he believes what he says but is doing it to be maintain a media presence. But yes the Andrew Sachs gag shows the sort of person he is.

Paul, think you mean Bertrand Russel!!


Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted October 8, 2014
Chaz - one of these days you and I will lift a pint together. But until then, bugger off: I know the difference between Russell Brand and Bertrand Russel - one of them is gay; the other had weird sex with Katie Perry. And I do mean weird: I have pictures to prove it. That poor woman. My heart goes out to her. No one should be forced, by love, to endure such machinations.

Barnesm mutters...

Posted October 8, 2014
Wow never new he had it in him. Did it involve a teapot?

Respond to this thread

Des would have you know...

Posted October 8, 2014
Best Blunty i have read in ages….funny how this trend in Labor was already under way when we were at UQ back in the eighties…even then it was clear that the top end of the party (of which uni politics is the petri dish) was being overtaken by sociopathic little monsters and hacks…and here we are a quarter of a century later, with Shorten (another strange Jesuit like Tony), and Anastasia as the state opposition leader…one might have thought that in between there would be some intervening change of direction. i suppose Latham might have been that moment, had it not been for Latham's own wiring problems.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Worst. Opposition. Ever'

Protecting our precious thingies from teh Muzlims

Posted September 30, 2014 into Blunty by John Birmingham

Telling, that the first kommunt on today's Blunty is from somebody who could miss the point for Straya at the 'lympics'.

Like you, I often find myself wandering the streets of our fair city wondering, what can I do to protect our precious Aussie way of life?

"Heaps!" is the answer, especially if I'm carrying a can of spray paint and there's a handy mosque nearby. Nothing threatens our precious Aussie ways and freedoms as much as a nearby mosque that hasn't been spray painted with slogans like "Get the fuck out of our country".

To which Dave replies:

""We didn't fight Hitler at Gallipoli just so a bunch of ... yadda yadda yadda"

Well ... that's because we didn't actually fight him at Gallipoli, the Gallipoli campaign was WW1, during WW2 in Hitler's reign Turkey was neutral.

Goddammit John check your history before publishing.

27 Responses to ‘Protecting our precious thingies from teh Muzlims’

Cintamani ducks in to say...

Posted September 30, 2014
that first comment reminded me of this site - http://literallyunbelievable.org/

It never ceases to amaze me just how idiotic some ppl can be, and how easily 'offended' when uncomfortable truths are pointed out to them

Respond to this comment

Lulu is gonna tell you...

Posted September 30, 2014
Sometimes it's a bit difficult to tell the difference between Blunt commenters who are genuinely obtuse and those who are mocking the obtuseness of others.

Respond to this comment

insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted September 30, 2014
Someone also made the excellent point that it's only the Christian god botherers who turn up at your door early in the morning trying to convert you.
Attention Jehovah's Witnesses: If I answer the door in my jammies, don't say "I know you're busy, but ... ". If I was busy, I wouldn't be wearing the jammies.

Respond to this comment

FormerlyKnownAsSimon reckons...

Posted September 30, 2014
That was a brilliant piece, even though the typical aussie bogan is such an easy target. Needs to be said sometimes. Technically we did fight against Hitler in WW1 just not at that steep beach place. And not against him personally, seeing he was just one of the Hun hordes.

I'm in two minds about the amount of sarcasm on twitter like those ASIO tweets. Sure it's piss funny but i wonder if it is counterproductive sometimes - like signing your name to an online petition, just a useless waste of time - you send a cutting remark on twitter with the latest hashtag about the impending police state and you feel like you have done your bit for standing up to the man. Then the man just keeps on doing what he does best because, hell, everyone is at home on twitter instead of doing something about it.

On saying that - i can also see the benefit. There is nothing like ridicule to make something insignificant - like the reaction to the frightbat thing. The satire makes it look ridiculous and you can't be scared of something that is laughable.

FormerlyKnownAsSimon reckons...

Posted September 30, 2014
oh and one more thing - ties in nicely with the Terry Pratchett post the other day.
Whilst meandering around that link to the reasons to read Pratchett, the quotes page has this from Small Gods:

"Fear is a strange soil. Mainly it grows obedience like corn, which grows in rows and makes weeding easy. But sometimes it grows the potatoes of defiance, which flourish underground"

I don't mean to put him into an already premature grave but he will be one of the first people i will have to tip a drink to when he goes. Never do that over public figures (unless i know them personally . . . which i don't). I've invested so much time in his books that you feel like you have been exposed to the inner workings of brilliance.

Respond to this thread

Surtac would have you know...

Posted September 30, 2014

Yes I read that first communt this morning and nearly sprayed coffee all over the laptop.

I know I shouldn't read the communts, but sometimes I can't look away.


Spanner ducks in to say...

Posted October 1, 2014
I know I shouldn't read the comments. I know I will be disappointed and angry with myrself for reading the comments. But I read them anyway and blame JB because no way is it my fault that I feel angry and stupid for reading the comments.

Darth Greybeard asserts...

Posted October 1, 2014
(it'ss your fault Ssspanner. it'ss alwayss your fault. allllwayss.)

Respond to this thread

Moz is vewy, vewy afrayd. puts forth...

Posted September 30, 2014
Gold, My Birmingham, just gold. And thank you for the Myall Creek reminder.

Did you spot Ms Vanstone putting the elbow in yesterday? I was shocked, much as I was when Mr Ruddock did similar last month. It does seem remarkable that we now have two former Liberal munsters of detention saying they think Mr Morrison might perhaps have gone a little too far.

Respond to this comment

yankeedog swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 30, 2014
""We didn't fight Hitler at Gallipoli just so a bunch of ... yadda yadda yadda"
<font color="#333333">
</font>
<font color="#333333">Well, I got news for you. This whole thing with the Muslims isn't over. Nothing is over until we SAY it's over! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?!? Hell no!

(Germans?)

(Forget it, he's rolling...)</font>
<font color="#333333">
</font>
<font color="#333333">And it ain't over now! 'Cause when the going gets tough, the tough get going! Who's with me? Let's go!</font>
<font color="#333333">
</font>
<font color="#333333">What the fuck happened to the Australia I used to know? Where's the guts, huh? This could be the greatest night of our lives, but you're gonna let it be the worst. "Ooh, we're afraid to go with you, Yankeedog, we might get in trouble." Well, just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this! ISIL, they're dead! Al-Qaeda, dead! Niedermeyer...</font>
<font color="#333333">
</font>
<font color="#333333">Ah! Always wanted that bit from 'Animal House' for something, and the 'Hitler at Gallipoli' comment was very Bluto Blutarsky. </font>
<font color="#333333">
</font>
<font color="#333333">Tune in next crisis, when I use a bit from 'Caddyshack', or possibly 'Stripes'.</font>
<font color="#333333">
</font>
<font color="#333333">C'mon, it's Iraq. We zip in, we pick 'em up, we zip right out again. We're not going to Mecca. It's Iraq. It's like going into Wisconsin...</font>

<font color="#333333">
</font>
<font color="#333333">
</font>

Respond to this comment

yankeedog ducks in to say...

Posted September 30, 2014
Oops! Don't know where the HTML came from...

Respond to this comment

w from brisbane is gonna tell you...

Posted September 30, 2014
Poor Dave just jumped in a bit early. I think if he'd actually read the whole column the penny might have dropped.

My favourite recent comment showing a lack of comprehension was to JB's column about the Brisbane City Council wanting to fine people $5000 for enjoying parks in groups of more than 50.

Paul commented
<blockquote style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; quotes: '';">


w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted September 30, 2014
Open tag alert.

Anyway, what Paul commented was
"I don't think we should be blaming the Greeks for all the trouble. Fair go please."

Which gave me a chuckle.

insomniac would have you know...

Posted September 30, 2014
close the tag by doing this
see?

insomniac mumbles...

Posted September 30, 2014
damn!

w from brisbane is gonna tell you...

Posted September 30, 2014
Yeah, sleepy. I tried that last time.

p.s. Though I did wonder if the Paul comment was PNB being playful.

w from brisbane ducks in to say...

Posted September 30, 2014
PNB, I did get a poignancy, a plaintiveness.

'Fair go please.' a lovely coda to a gently expressed thought that wasn't in the spirit of the pursed-lip, acidic, hateful, hubristic peevishness of true derp.
I didn't care if Paul missed the point. I like the bloke.

Respond to this thread

HAVOCK21 asserts...

Posted September 30, 2014
the only reason it dont fkn work, is that Camels are not compatible with horses!....er

something like that! I guess

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted September 30, 2014
But they are comparable. Camel tastes better than horse. If you cook it right. I know this from personal experience.

Respond to this thread

insomniac is gonna tell you...

Posted September 30, 2014
</I>

Respond to this comment

NBlob would have you know...

Posted October 1, 2014

OMG


Mooloolaba, well known hub of infidel sin, in lockdown after foreign looking chappy with a gun was seen! Le Flic en force, SOGGys en route. WONT SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILLUN?


oh


It was a Corrective services officer supervising a day release group.


I am on the cusp of going ballistic And I aint even a foreign looking chappy. Well maybe a little bit.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted October 1, 2014
We've all seen your beard, Mustapha.

Respond to this thread

NBlob reckons...

Posted October 1, 2014

I was told today that you can "tell when they're serious because they shave their top lip." I restrained myself.


Some people are desperately needing multiple sharp punches to the noggin. It may be unprofessional of me to supply them.


To prove my membership & Bona Fides of Team 'Straya, I shall now have another bacon sammich for my lunch. The first was a bit American - over cooked bacon.


Oh and JB "Faux Derp" = Gold with gold sprinkles.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted October 1, 2014
"The first was a bit American - over cooked bacon."

And it was fuckin' delicious, eh? Eh??

Respond to this thread

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted October 1, 2014

Not as good as the 2nd, with tomato, tabasco & spinach leaves.


Bacon should not shatter when cut or bit, it should be malleable to a degree.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 1, 2014
Forgive me. My mistake. I confused you with someone who knows something about bacon and the powerful correctness of the American Way.


Respond to this thread

Respond to 'Protecting our precious thingies from teh Muzlims'

Remember when Yumi Stynes insulted that SAS guy?

Posted September 25, 2014 into Blunty by John Birmingham

Well she didn't. And neither did Negus. It's been a few years since the incident, which has been forgotten by most people, except Yumi and George. I'll admit that despite having written a Blunty on it, I'd pretty much wiped all the files too.

To provide a bit of context, Ben Roberts-Smith, a VC winner in Afghanistan had been doing publicity when he got back. I doubt that was his choice, but it is the lot of VC winners. Some of the pieces he agreed to do involved some 'big shirtless Roberts'* shots, including one for Men's Health.

The producers of The Circle, a show on the Ten Network, mostly for ladies by ladies (I've been on, and will attest to this) scheduled a discussion about male body image and female perceptions of such off the back of Smith's 'exposure'. The ensuing discussion was all about masculinity and women's ideas of attractiveness, not specifically Ben Roberts-Smith.

And then everything turned to shit.

Negus said "nothing about poor old Ben" before going on to say "but that sort of bloke...what if they're not up to it in the sack?". His comments weren't about Ben Roberts-Smith personally, but about well-built blokes who might pay more attention to their own bodies than their partners. Unfortunately, George was speaking quickly, through his enormous moustache and other people were speaking over him. It's easy to miss his "nothing about poor old Ben," caveat, or ignore it and imagine that Negus had a red hot go.

Yumi's follow up to him, in all the babble and chatter – "Are you, George Negus, intimating he might be a dud root?" – can therefore be seen as a reasonable question directed at Negus, not a joke or a statement directed at Roberts-Smith. Negus denied he was intimating any such thing.

Didn't matter. The bomb went off.

I jumped in on a Tuesday (I think) to defend Yumi, because to my mind she was getting the worst of it and the only reason I could see for the unequal treatment was her race and her gender.

Some of you who've been hanging around here and at Blunty for a while might recall the sort of comments that followed. And if you can't, I'm sure you can imagine the savage derp.

One thing I didn't do though, was question the over arching narrative. Like everyone else I accepted the idea that they'd done something wrong, going so far as to state that they'd shamed and disgraced themselves by mocking Roberts-Smith.

But they didn't. The Press Council recently came to that conclusion too, and although I wasn't a party to that hearing, or whatever it's called – in fact I didnt even know about it – when Yumi's redoubtable hubby drew my attention to it, I didn't see any option but to add my apology to the regrets piled up at their feet by Fairfax. (No ideas what News Corpse did, or if they were even part of the complaint.)

I swapped a few emails, sending my apolz, which I'm happy to add here too. I should have just gone with my gut and jumped in to start swinging without qualification on everyone who was having a go at them. I should have paid attention. Reviewed the tape. Applied the vaunted skepticism for which journalists are supopsedly paid. But I didn't. I accepted the established framing of the story, and in doing so, repeated exactly the same fucking mistake that everyone else did.

The only way to avoid these sorts of egregious fuck ups, which are terribly painful to the people on the receiving end, is either to pay attention in the first place, and if you're too fucking dumb or lazy to do that, to apologise profusely.

Which I now do.

Sorry Yumi. Sorry George.

*A Simpsons reference, which probably I alone get.

25 Responses to ‘Remember when Yumi Stynes insulted that SAS guy?’

tony walsh mutters...

Posted September 25, 2014
<img src="http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/50882973.jpg">

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted September 25, 2014
Hahahahaha.

Respond to this thread

damian mutters...

Posted September 25, 2014
I remember incident and the derp. I don't recall you making a bad show of it then, but while I don't exactly remember, I imagine I must have made the same mistake too.

But the more depressing thing is finding out how internalised the backlash bullshit is with people you'd imagine should know better.Though I think I am having to work on my understanding of the "should know better" bit.

Respond to this comment

Abe Frellman asserts...

Posted September 25, 2014
I could've sworn she also said something like 'He's diving in to find his brain' or some such as footage was shown of the Hyphenator diving into a pool. So don't be too hard on yourself, JB.

HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted September 25, 2014
yeah, I think you are right, I was sure there was a couple of brain dead swipes at the time. Anyway, I guess its not that much of a bother for me...GENERALLY as I CANNOT FKN STAND HER!

Phrases like RABBIT and TOW BAR come to mind. so you get points for being fair and the retraction JB, a couple being deducted for being a mite hard on your self.

then again...I DONT KNOW HER, so stating... well really, the basis of my hating her is perception and what the media sends out, thats really almost as bad as your culpability I think.

I'll put the tow bar away!

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 25, 2014
Havsy, the umpire put up his finger. Time to tuck my bat under my arm and head back to the pavilion.

HAVOCK21 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 26, 2014
Correct.

Assumptions. THE MOTHER OF ALL FK UPS!.

Respond to this thread

HAL 9000 mumbles...

Posted September 25, 2014

Yes, Yumi was targeted because of her race and gender. It occurred to me at the time that the title of soccer great Johnny Warren's autobiography 'Sheilas, Wogs and Poofters' [popularly believed to be the only ones who played soccer in his day] also conveniently gives us the targets of so-called 'politically incorrect' humour. And when someone who was both a sheila and 'wog' [in the sense of non-white] made fun of someone who was none of these things - outrage! No matter that George Negus' comments were arguably more offensive.

It's part of the hypocrisy of the 'politically incorrect' that they complain 'You can't tell jokes any more - whatever happened to the good old Aussie chiacking, piss-taking sense of humour?' Well, wasn't that what Yumi and George were engaging in? Can you dish it out, but not take it?

But having said all that, we have to remember she DID say: 'He’s going to dive down to the bottom of the pool to see if his brain is there', implying Ben Roberts-Smith was thick. That's offensive too.

Craig reckons...

Posted September 25, 2014
She did indeed say that, interesting that the sands of time have scrubbed that from the record, I think Internet vitriol is indeed bullshit, but that article is bein pretty selective.

Craig has opinions thus...

Posted September 25, 2014
nope, I remain unshaken, unless not literal, in which case your euphemism escapes me.

Respond to this thread

BigWillieStyle swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 25, 2014
Looks like that Dino ban expired pretty quickly.

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted September 25, 2014
Nah, I was just distracted for an hour.

pi swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 26, 2014
Sadly, I think it might be time to appoint a few constable ban-hammer-handlers.

Respond to this thread

NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 25, 2014
Yeah, but no. I think this demonstrates but one of the vexed issues that relate to media regulation.
Now Birmo is a gentleman scribe who cares if he gets something wrong. Unfortunately that is not the case with most scribblers.
Self regulation in the Aust media industry is predicated on the assumption that writers & editors are motivated by accuracy and the high esteem of their colleagues.
Many, perhaps most, seem more motivated by staying half a pace ahead of the slavering horde of unemployed writers at their heels. I understand the pressure to produce content that engages an audience, in bulk.

This is similar to the regulation of the health food industry. The assumption is that practioners are only concerned by the best interests of clients & not personal profit. Indoubidably there are some such practitioners, but I'd posit they are a tiny percentage, rendering the efforts at regulation less than pointless.

Respond to this comment

Bucko has opinions thus...

Posted September 25, 2014
Yumi briefly talked about this on one of the ABCs Agony of Life shows (this year I think). She recognised that she said something pretty stupid and apologised to Ben Roberts-Smith who apparently was not too worried about the whole thing.

Respond to this comment

'notch ducks in to say...

Posted September 25, 2014
My kids went to the same school as hers (in the toffy part of Northcote, daaaahling*). While she seemed to be slightly prone to DYKWIAishness**, she and her kid were just another mum and kid. The sad part was when my job took me into contact with the more munty of the munters who approved of the muntishness of the muntocracy calling for her kids to be attacked.

Mind you, we'd seen some evidence - the kid missed a bit of school and the local wallopers might have done an extra lap or three at pick-up time, probably also getting a couple of Beamer X5's or Subarus with triangle stickers double-parking as bonus quota-fillin'.

When the aforementioned munters were confronted with the fact that not only would they be advocating violence against kids, but my kids too, they seemed, for a second, to be rather confuzzled. When presented with the actual consequences of making munter-statements, their 2-volt fuses blew and the munter-lobe in their brains shorted.

Regardless of whether it was used by Channel Teen to boost ratings, or whether Yumi ballsed up and didn't engage brain or did it for the attention was neither here nor there - she shouldn't have to have had that munter-hate thrown at her - and at everyone who may have been close.


*We'd been there a while, increasingly in shitty rentals while the beige-est of rich lefties gentrified the bejeeezus out of the place. We bailed the hell out not long after.

**Don't You Know Who I Am?! There's quite a few C-grade celebs who are prone to it.

Martin reckons...

Posted September 27, 2014
"Regardless of whether it was used by Channel Teen to boost ratings, or whether Yumi ballsed up and didn't engage brain or did it for the attention was neither here nor there - she shouldn't have to have had that munter-hate thrown at her - and at everyone who may have been close."
(I think you missed the point of jb's post ie she didn't stuff up and ten didn't use anything for ratings. Both her and negus were misquoted.)

Respond to this thread

pi is gonna tell you...

Posted September 26, 2014
Can you post the original links for shits and giggles?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 26, 2014
Hopefully more giggles than shits. The former is easier to clean up.

Respond to this thread

FormerlyKnownAsSimon mutters...

Posted September 26, 2014
God, i vaguely remember this - thanks for bringing it up into the forefront of my brain. I'm sure it was next in the queue to get pushed out.

What i want to know is if they covered the question at hand. What if built guys are dud roots or doesn't it matter? Is it enough that you can knife an insurgent in the dark and move onto the next guy before laying some dynamite to blow up a critical piece of hardware? (asking for a friend)

Respond to this comment

Rob is gonna tell you...

Posted September 26, 2014
I always thought she was speaking generally about the subject, not at the subject. I thought Negus came across as a bit of of jealous man and the use of 'dud root' was totes awsm. But the whole attack on her, when she really didn't say anything or denigrate anybody in particular was just a bit off. Bit like the ease at which dickheads attack female video gamers.

Respond to this comment

Craig ducks in to say...

Posted September 26, 2014
The people who threatened her kids or her, or even went to the effort of abusing her publicly are assholes, I make no excuse for them.

But let's reverse the races and genders:
Attractive female model of Asian descent does something incredibly brave and saves some people's lives, and is filmed in a bikini at the pool, throw to studio.

Older female reporter of Asian descent "but what if a girl like that is no good in bed?"

Younger white Australian male "a dud root you reckon? What is she doing now? Diving down to find her brain?"

Do we think this would pass without controversy because it was a white male? I suggest not.

My disappointment with what was said is zero about race or gender.

Respond to this comment

Martin is gonna tell you...

Posted September 27, 2014
Craig has opinions thus- you're not reading what jb said. What you're missing in your example is this-

"Nothing about the incredibly muscly hero in the bikini....but, given that we're speaking of the relative attractiveness of incredibly muscly people in general, do you reckon they might pay more attention to their own bodies than their partners? "

Negus prefaced his observation with a crucial caveat that the media (and you) skipped over. "Nothing about poor old ben",
Easy to do, but still does a disservice to Negus. That's why Fairfax (and jb) apologised- it is a matter of fact, not opinion or interpretation, that neither nexus not stynes called Roberts-Smith a dud root (and their lawyers probably backed that up)

And if it was Sam Newman who'd said "hang on, George. Are you saying Roberts-Smith is a dud root?", there's no way it'd be pinned on Sam. So why Stynes?

As for the brain in pool comment, his own mum or Nan or mates) could have said something similar- "love, did you really have to show Australia you in your jocks and tats, staring off into the middle distance? People might think you look a bit of a dill..." it's hardly offensive to anyone. And it has to be looked at in the context jb outlines...
But if you're determined to be outraged, you can cut-and-paste and omit caveats and context to your heart's/hate's delight...



Respond to this comment

Martin mumbles...

Posted September 27, 2014
Craig, keeping in mind negus' caveat ("nothing about Ben"), I challenge you to find where negus or stynes called Roberts-Smith a dud root. And if you can't, I think you need to reassess how they were misquoted and mistreated. (But if you can, more power to you.)

Craig asserts...

Posted September 30, 2014
just a quick response, I'm going to try find the vid and have a listen/watch again, it appears my legal position needs some shoring up - but nearly all of my response is to the title and opening of the article "remember when Yumi Stynes insulted that SAS bloke? Well she didn't" I only mentioned George to maintain chronology in my hypothetical scenario of reversed genders and races and the whole dud root thing I could care less about, unfortunate they needed IVF to have kids though, but no intent.
Given Ben would be able to use encrypted satellite radios, guided missiles etc etc, the "find his brain" was a dumb and ignorant thing to say, and what his mates and Nan might say doesn't necessarily make it for for telly does it?

Respond to this thread

Respond to 'Remember when Yumi Stynes insulted that SAS guy?'

Lights, camera, Abbott and ISIS

Posted September 23, 2014 into Blunty by John Birmingham

At Blunty.

I suspect the Prime Minister is lying to you. This may come as no surprise, but lying your way to war, even a little one, is an order of magnitude more serious than simply lying your way into office and out of your promises. Some lies lead only to disappointment, perhaps to resentment. Some lead to violence and tragedy and death.

52 Responses to ‘Lights, camera, Abbott and ISIS’

damian puts forth...

Posted September 23, 2014
Dread to think what the communters will be like today :)

BigWillieStyle mumbles...

Posted September 23, 2014
I just got back from the Daily Telegraph's website. You should read the communters on there. The Prime Minister must allow Aussie families to arm themselves!! We must take our country back by any means necessary!! Death to Lefties!!

It's those sort of people that scare me, frankly.

insomniac asserts...

Posted September 23, 2014
I hope you hosed yourself down before coming here - infection control and all that. That stuff's worse than Ebola.

Respond to this thread

Halwes is gonna tell you...

Posted September 23, 2014

That just about sums up the way I'm feeling about all this. Thanks. I despair about this country. I think we must be the stupidest, most easily manipulated people in the world. Now watch Abbott's poll ratings go through the roof.

libber8 has opinions thus...

Posted September 23, 2014
No i think we come second. America would be the most manipluated country in the world forllowed by AUS

Respond to this thread

JBtoo asserts...

Posted September 23, 2014
Thanks JB. It has been heartening to hear a few voices of reason breaking through the bullshit, although I fear it is pissing into the hurricane of newscorpse and shock jocks.
Good to know about Daesh; now back to the bacon and educating my niece.

Respond to this comment

w from brisbane reckons...

Posted September 23, 2014
We are getting into a fairly silly area now as the Government's PR people pull out the old 'we are a country under threat' schtick.

It is a bloody, dangerous schtick when you are seeding a fear of fellow citizens.

I was amused the other day, I shouldn't have been, when someone reporting what was happening on facebook in the awake of the 800 crushing a few idiots.
A young lady sincerely posting her thoughts.
'I'm so afraid I will be beheaded in Sydney today'.


Respond to this comment

Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted September 23, 2014
This is related but not really germane to the topic at Blunty and I'd hate to make unrelated comments over there when every one is so focused and reasonable.

All the social media and news gathering tools I employ, the comments by friends and things work colleagues say seem to surround me with an impression that most see the actions of this government for what they are a desperate attempt to distract the voters so they can drive their ideological stake into the heart of the welfare state. I get the occasional comment on Facebook, or post on blunty but on the whole it seems people see through it.

But I worry that I am living in a bubble and the vast majority do believe this is all true. I wonder if it wasn't better for my perception of reality when the only point of view available was that provided by the old press and I had to face the fact that people supported these sorts of ideas.

No solution just wondering if I was more drenched in the day to day of the mainstream media I might be more terrified, not of Daesh but that the Liberal party will be re-elected.

Penley ducks in to say...

Posted September 23, 2014
You are not alone. I don't really know anyone at all who believes all this national security bullshit. It just seems like fear-mongering 101:how to hoodwink your nation when the polls are down. But then, I now have it on good authority that all the ladies at mum's golf club (not my Mum the greenie though thank god) think Abbott is doing a swell job and we should all be a lot more scared of getting beheaded down at the Corinda Coles. Sigh...

Halwes asserts...

Posted September 23, 2014
I live remotely in the bush and only read the SMH and this blog for news. We can pick up the ABC though. I came here because of Mr Birminghams writing, the effect that it has had on me for many years and the insightful ideas he proposes. You can go a bit troppo out here and become very insular if you aren't careful. For a fair while, if I couldn't fish it, fight it or fck it, I just wasn't interested in it at all. This made me even more boring than I already was. I have only ever commented on this blog. My reason is that this is great community of real thinkers, yes even Dino, and, when I'm wrong / deluded / mistaken then someone points it out. This allows me to get a handle on world events, especially through the insights of our foreign brethren, and adjust my thinking without having to engage with the far right wing. I think that is the difference between us and them. We think and adapt while they just believe. I hear it's a lot easier that way but when I look at the depths to which this country has descended I believe that the only hope is with the thinkers.

Respond to this thread

Rob asserts...

Posted September 23, 2014


I did a FB post yesterday about this issue, but it wasn't half as interesting, well 2 likes and a friend asking if I was drunk posting(being Monday then its a no) "Actually Toned Abs I don't want my freedom curtailed for your political expedience. You fascist prick. And Bill Shorten can f off too."

Hopefully social media can help everyone see through their silly 1970s PR scheme. Maybe they might update their advertising and cover themselves in luminous green and yellow glory 80s style.

BigWillieStyle ducks in to say...

Posted September 23, 2014
Yeah, friggen' Shorten. Man's got about as much credibility as does Toned Abs. Seems to stand for nothing apart from doing whatever's in his best interests. "I'm for Gillard", "No, I'm for Rudd", "The Prime Minister rides a girl's bike", "I will give my support to the Prime Minister on this one because, hey, I don't mind dog-whistling if it means people might vote for me". Jesus wept.

Respond to this thread

Rob puts forth...

Posted September 23, 2014

Oh and that bit about bogans is spot on, no wonder they got busted. Being dickheads. Bogans, either your muslim type or dyed in the wool white trash type in Bridgewater or Chigwell, just can't keep their fat mouths shut at the best of times.

Respond to this comment

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted September 23, 2014


For fun & excitement check out the Anti Mosque protest in Maroochydore.


I'd weep but I'm too damned angry

Respond to this comment

Surtac ducks in to say...

Posted September 23, 2014


Nailed it again Birmo. As far as Crusader Rabbit is concerned, we are a nation of bogans and sheeple.

Bread and circuses wins again.

Respond to this comment

Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 23, 2014
Sending airforce and spec ops over there is to provide footage of our guys 'n gals in action for prime time news items and longer pieces with embeds for 60 Minutes etc.. Apparently war type footage rates well and moves the votes further to the right. Beardy nutjobs with Brit accents lopping off heads on the internet? Sells more papers and advertising revenue for the media owners.

Respond to this comment

Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted September 23, 2014
I guess I'm confused.

Why haven't you run this idiot out of office yet?

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

Therbs would have you know...

Posted September 23, 2014
Because we're fkn idiots and a lot of people eat his fkn bullshit for breakfast and don't question it. It's a lot easier to confect a security issue and point blame at beardy nutjobs than deal with serious internal shit.

Respond to this thread

Cranky Peanut asserts...

Posted September 23, 2014
"Wankbadgers' is great; was "daesh-bags" taken?

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted September 23, 2014
It is now!

Bondiboy66 ducks in to say...

Posted September 23, 2014
''Wankbadger' has now entered my lexicon. Thanks!

Respond to this thread

Blarkon would have you know...

Posted September 23, 2014
The beauty of democracy is that there's a great system to readily replace politicians when something unfortunate happens to them. The politicians seem to forget that they are an entirely replaceable component. If a small asteroid landed on Canberra while parliament was in session, Australia would survive. We'd weep for those worth weeping about. Then we'd elect a new set of politicians to govern the country.

Parliament House was designed and sold as a "peoples house". What it's rapidly becoming is a fortress that protects a political class that isn't even worthy of the nation's contempt.

We've got far more of a chance of being killed in a road accident going down to Coles than we have by a nutter taking iPhone video wanting to decapitate us so that Google can sell a few more advertisements on YouTube.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted September 23, 2014
I think you just wrote my Saturday column.

Blarkon puts forth...

Posted September 23, 2014
Go nuts.

We'd rebuild parliament should it be destroyed. We'd elect new politicians to govern the country should the current lot were transported to the wasabi mines of Blarkonis VI.

You can't destroy a democracy by flattening its buildings or removing whoever is currently wearing the "leader" hat.

You can destroy a democracy by fucking with its internal self perceptions about what its citizens rights and freedoms are.

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted September 23, 2014
Damn, I'm gonna have to delete this comment so everyone thinks I came up with it.

Blarkon reckons...

Posted September 23, 2014
It's interesting isn't it that armed forces personnel are assumed to be willing to lay their lives in the line for the country as part of the job.

The lives of politicians (the ones that would tell those armed forces personnel to go and fight in some foreign death zone) on the other hand are apparently so precious that they need to be provided with a level of security unavailable to all but the richest Australians.

It takes years to train up someone in the armed forces. By design, anyone can be a member of parliament.

Which of these two is more expensive to replace?

Sudragon would have you know...

Posted September 23, 2014
I'm in favor of arming our politicians. But then again, I'm also in favor of shock collars on politicians, for direct feedback from the electorate.

DiddyWrote mutters...

Posted September 23, 2014
Thank you Blarkon, you have just succinctly punctured the enormous bullshit balloon that Abbott and co have been desperately inflating in the last few months.

Excellent.

DiddyWrote is gonna tell you...

Posted September 23, 2014
Thank you Blarkon, you have just succinctly punctured the enormous bullshit balloon that Abbott and co have been desperately inflating in the last few months.

Excellent.

Respond to this thread

yankeedog asserts...

Posted September 23, 2014
I have a 'but', though-

Some people there are really probably scared of a terror act happening down there. It's not, obviously, a good thing to go through. We've been there. Comes to people wanting to do us harm, I want to be thumping them on their turf, not on mine. But I think we here all get that. I don't think that makes that segment of the population 'sheeple', or whatever pejorative you prefer.

That said, we also all know that famous story about the boy who cried 'wolf'. A government has maybe one or two of these 'threats' before EVERYONE says 'You guys leading us are full of crap'. Then something bad really DOES happen and it's a tragedy because no one paid attention because, hey, Abbott's said all this before...

Eh, who knows? Been a long time since I rambled on too much on the 'Burger, so maybe I'll just slink back to my seat in the corner.

Oh, and, Hey Therbs! How ya keepin', troop? Been a while, hope all's good.

insomniac is gonna tell you...

Posted September 23, 2014
There's a segment of the population who are genuinely terrified by terrorists regardless of current events, and then there's a segment of the population who are terrified because Tony told them to be. The first group get caught up in Tony's rhetoric that's used to achieve the aim for the second group, which makes Tony and his cronies a bunch of dicks.

yankeedog has opinions thus...

Posted September 23, 2014
Hit 'er on the head, insomniac. One thing I haven't really heard from anyone in the government there is any sort of reassurance. Sounds like a lot of fear-mongering emanating from officialdom down there. That in itself is not good-makes the government's position look weak.

Therbs mutters...

Posted September 23, 2014
Goin' fine, YD. Pissed off with this arsejuicer of a PM we have and all of his chest thumping cocknockery but that doesn't spoil the taste of a good beer, a nice wine or a fine whisky.

yankeedog ducks in to say...

Posted September 23, 2014
Come live in Illinois, Therbs. Corruption, high taxes for no services, patronage, we got it all. But we also have Bent River Uncommon Stout-the beer that's a complete meal.

Respond to this thread

BigWillieStyle mumbles...

Posted September 23, 2014
John, I suspect you might receive a knock on the door in the next few days. An unsmiling George Brandis and a couple of brown-shirted henchmen. After George administers one of those memory-erasing things like they used in Men In Black, he'll personally blu-tac his DNA to your metadata, and will thereafter track your every move. While being sure to make time each day for stroking his fluffy white cat, evil genius-style, and horsewhipping his factory full of unwed, Muslim, dole-bludging, non-LNP-voting, climate change alarmists.

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted September 23, 2014
Now I am alert AND alarmed.

damian has opinions thus...

Posted September 23, 2014
Good. Your country needs more lerts. And larms.

Respond to this thread

HAVOCK21 mumbles...

Posted September 23, 2014
I'm not gunna say a fkn word!

Therbs reckons...

Posted September 23, 2014
C'mon Havs, I dares ya to say sumfink. Aside from turning the Middle East into a sheet of glass of course.

Respond to this thread

HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted September 23, 2014
I'm in me fkn zen place at the mo!


So don't poke the fkn bear I say! But your last is rather appealing IMHO

Blarkon is gonna tell you...

Posted September 23, 2014
Must be the only Zen place that has 6 trillion decibels of Cold Chisel and Angels blaring in the stone garden.

Respond to this thread

Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 23, 2014

Crank up "Shadow Boxer" louder than loud through a busted up amp and speakers, rip the top off a Reschs long neck and go farken off.

Bondiboy66 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 23, 2014
LIKE

Respond to this thread

Bangar would have you know...

Posted September 23, 2014
Insanity, doing exactly the same thing and expecting a different result, because going into Iraq the first time has worked out so well.

Respond to this comment

Spanner is gonna tell you...

Posted September 23, 2014
Some great thinky here today especially from his Lizardness.

Respond to this comment

JBtoo ducks in to say...

Posted September 23, 2014
I love this blog. You is my people. Going for the gin now.

Bunyip has opinions thus...

Posted September 23, 2014
Seconded.

I'll pass on the gin, but. I'll stick with my Niz?r? Ism?'?l? impersonations.

Respond to this thread

Halwes swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 23, 2014
I think that you just nailed it JBtoo. My wife and I were at the opera house for a play when we were in Sydney last year. We were dressed OK and didn't stand out but I was nervous and uncomfortable. I put it down to being in the city and all the people there but I was not happy. I told my wife how I felt and left it at that. A few days later we went to Penrith trots. I felt comfortable, calm and happy and told her that too. She replied with some prophetic words. "That's because these are our people" she said and I understood immediately.

pi mutters...

Posted September 23, 2014
I'd feel pretty comfortable at both places Halwes. Which (If you don't mind me saying so) also says something pretty important. There's along way for Oz to slide before it gets to the type of segregation that many places apparently enjoy.

NBlob reckons...

Posted September 23, 2014
Pi to two places ?

Respond to this thread

Edward ducks in to say...

Posted September 24, 2014
Abbott was salivating at the thought of sending our people to Iraq, giving a virtual commitment before his boss in Washington told him to press the go button. He missed out in getting involved in the Ukraine so I guess ISIS will have to do. Notice his countenance is getting darker and furrowed, with a 1000 yard stare, a sign of a mind in lockout of reality.

Respond to this comment

NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 24, 2014
We seem largely agreed this is a piece of security theatre aimed a directing Joe & Wendy Sixpack-Homemaker's attention away from Mr Rabbit's less than stellar performance on other fronts.
I was pondering the actual damage Hockey's hippolites have done to our institutions (those described by His Scaliness above, CSIRO, Climate Authority et al), the Real Peril of AGCC VS the potential damage of Beardy Nutters.

But I also wonder if there is a grim sort of threat assessment where If (I think it very very very unlikely) but if some Beardy Nutters were to hypothetically mount a Mumbai 26/11/08 type assault on Sydney, the spin kings believe that to have done Something (highly publicised raids & new anti terror bills) better than to be perceived to have done nothing.
I heard a podcast recently describing the inability to facilitate former allies in Iraq & the Stan migrating to the US, despite there being specific visa categories available. It seemed that nobody @ immigration was prepared to have their signature approving an application by Mr Beard, despite the applicant having proved conclusively & repeatedly to be on The Good Guy's side, Just in case Mr Beard gets shooty
.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Lights, camera, Abbott and ISIS'

A five grand fine for kids' parties in the park

Posted September 16, 2014 into Blunty by John Birmingham

Nice one Quirky.

At the Instrument.

28 Responses to ‘A five grand fine for kids' parties in the park’

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted September 16, 2014
Oh, that is so fucked up for more reasons than I can articulate.

Respond to this comment

Jon asserts...

Posted September 16, 2014
This makes me want to stab someone. Sometimes I hate this fucking nanny state lamb hating, kransky bashing fucking police state we live in. Due to a lack of any bill of rights i'm sure the greeks will just keep cooking anyway. If I get a chance ill drive up there and join the chorus of " Fuck you Copper!"
Long time lurker, first rant.

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted September 16, 2014
Nice way to de-lurk, Jono.

Respond to this thread

Darth Greybeard is gonna tell you...

Posted September 16, 2014
To paraphrase, It's all about ROOLS. Some people hate them (anarchist bastards), some love them (fascist bastards) and most of us will tolerate a few for a quiet life (lazy bastards). Sadly, if you live in Brisbane, you've got rule lovers at local, state and federal level. It fascinates me that Conservatives here and in the US are always boasting about cutting red tape and reducing regulation, while in reality they are gagging to regulate every aspect of our lives. Unchecked we'd be back to sumptuary laws governing what we can wear and eat (eg voucher systems). Terrorism scares enable control over movement and communication and excuse total violation of privacy. False alarms re voter fraud excuse new rules to disenfranchise the poor. They want to know what we say, think and buy and regulate us to the "everything that is not compulsory is forbidden" level - as do many religious cults.

The only red tape that gets cut is the kind that protects basic rights, employment conditions, health or aged care.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 16, 2014
Close, but not quite. They don't enjoy regulation. They hate it. But they hate something more than regulation - i.e., They really, really hate people enjoying themselves in any way. They hate good food, enjoyable sex, public displays of affection and laughter that isn't derisive.

"If any form of pleasure is exhibited
Report to me and it will be prohibited.
I'll put my foot down, so shall it be -
This is the Land of the Free..."

damian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 16, 2014
No, tories like regulation a lot. The thing they hate more than anything else is freedom enjoyed by people they look down on. The thing that you and I call freedom is a hateful thing to them, while what they call freedom is a very abstract thing that is largely meaningless in the world we live in.

I've seen tories close up while they have been getting stuck into some good regulation that applies to people of whom they disapprove. They adore it. It's like air to them.

They really, really don't like regulations that apply to them. But that's very different.

Respond to this thread

Halwes reckons...

Posted September 16, 2014

You mob want to try living in the intervened Northern Territory. It has been truly ruined by federal intervention. You can't even have a beer anymore without 4 coppers having a good look at you and chucking you out of the pub if you dare to even laugh. One funny thing happened last Saturday which was aussie rules grand final day. The cops were in the club and everyone had their eyes down, didn't make eye contact and didn't talk or laugh. When we judged the cops were out the door the whole joint erupted into the team song complete with, dancing, didgeridoo and the great voice of the singer for East Journey, Rrawun Maymuru. It was an outstanding Territory moment. We've got the rabbit staying up the road but he wont meet any of us reprobates. You should see the army of spin doctors designed to keep the great unwashed from telling him what they think of him. He's even got the real army here with him and is getting his meals flown 1000 km's by the air force because I don't think they trust anyone around here not to poison the bastard. He must be smarter than he looks.

Respond to this comment

Sudragon is gonna tell you...

Posted September 16, 2014
Time for flashmobs.

Bunyip asserts...

Posted September 16, 2014
Flash garlicky lamb mobs.

Geez, I wish I lived in a more Northern clime. Only for the lamb, you understand. Oh, and civil disobedience with catering.

Respond to this thread

yankeedog is gonna tell you...

Posted September 16, 2014
I don't have a problem with a big group having to get a permit to use a shelter (barbecue area, whatever). Makes sense. The city should get to charge a nominal fee-$300 seems excessive, though. And $5k fines are way out of line, unless that big party is leaving a mess for the park workers to clean up. Sounds like your governments are picking the time-honored tradition of 'revenue stream generators' from places like, oh, Chicago.

If the groups aren't leaving a big mess, or harassing others, leave them alone. They aren't hurting anything, and there's worse aromas than garlicky lamb.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted September 16, 2014
Oh dear. There are few aromas better than garlicky lamb.

Chaz ducks in to say...

Posted September 16, 2014
Roast beef and roast pork

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted September 16, 2014
Okay. Those are a few.

Got to admit, I loves me some roast pig meat.

damian would have you know...

Posted September 16, 2014
Slowly bubbling chicken curry, with freshly ground spices...

Though I share the love of pork, beef, lamb and garlic.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted September 17, 2014
Okay, so we'll add bubbling chicken curry, with freshly ground spices to the list.

You bastards. You cannot tolerate a seppo of Irish extraction with Greek pretensions to take a little pseudo-ethnic pride in garlicy lamb. With a little fresh oregano. But just a little. And no mint, for God's sake. That is just so goyish.

Lulu swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 17, 2014
The Polish Deli at the Queen Vic Market in Melbourne. I can't get more specific than that - all I know is that I stand in front of their stall and it smells absolutely WONDERFUL. I've never been able to identify if it's a specific cured/smoked pork product which I can smell, or the combination of all of them.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 17, 2014
It is well known that the Polish themselves smell marvelous - which explains their success in the open market.

Respond to this thread

w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted September 16, 2014
Incredibly annoying. It comes down to freedom of association. There are a superfluity of laws to deal with public behaviour in parks:
drinking in an unlicenced area, littering, noise etc etc.

Why add a numbers cap? Probably some well-connected snob imperiously complaining that large groups deny him the picturesque park vista that was in the brochure.

JBtoo mutters...

Posted September 16, 2014
bacon

and all of the above

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted September 17, 2014
I believe bacon is a subset of roast pig meat.

MordWa has opinions thus...

Posted September 20, 2014
"Heh heh heh. Ooh, yeah, right, Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal."

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted September 20, 2014
Damn right.

Respond to this thread

Chaz mumbles...

Posted September 16, 2014

Surprised they haven't used the 'elf 'n safety angle along with needing a 'party plan' and emergency wardens in case little johnny scabs his knee.

I suspect the origins of this regulation gone mad comes from some jobsworth who wanted to see how much it costs to maintain the parks considering all this 'excess' usage


Respond to this comment

Lulu mumbles...

Posted September 16, 2014
$5K fine is excessive, but if you're having a large event, $300 fee doesn't sound unreasonable - depending on how much of a mess you leave behind. It might be better if the fee could act as a deposit, returnable (partially or entirely) if you clean up after yourself.

Dino not to be confused with puts forth...

Posted September 16, 2014
Yes Lulu,
Last time I was in Brisbane*(1992?) the Greek thing was noticable.
The Actuarys will do the Maths and work out the cost.
Personally, I hate individuals who look down their noses.
I see them nearly everyday.
They are spread out and won't go to Gatherings.
They don't go to Gatherings.
They hate confrontation.
They hate being challenged by community.
This is why community gatherings are important.
Peop-le are challenged.
Otherwise we will have a bueracracy.
An illiterate burocracy.
Cultural Illiterarates.
Brain Dead office workers who have never spoken to a stranger.

Respond to this thread

damian asserts...

Posted September 16, 2014
It's another "here we Joh again" on the quiet, dumbed down so much they think we won't notice. Your protest or other public gathering of 50 people or more will be a fine of $5k each, so a nice little minimum take of $250k if our friendly peace officials really decide to play.

Respond to this comment

NBlob mutters...

Posted September 16, 2014
Couple of quick points.
1 Council officers do not have the authority to Require your name & address. They can inquire all they like, but can't compel you to identify yourself like State Gov officers (ahem) can. It may be an offence to give false & misleading info so just politely decline.
2 I strongly encourage anyone who received such a ticket to invite the council to prove it in court. I'd love to see them establish (beyond a reasonable doubt remember) A; Who was responsible for the shindig, B; the >50 people were all attending That shindig, not another coincidentally located in close proximity & C; the accused did not take Reasonable Steps to limit attendees to 49, remember the onus of proof is on them, not you.
3 I'd urge you to have some pity for the poor shmuck in the uniform, it's a job, a crappy underpaid job, but a job.

Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted September 17, 2014

Good points and well made. Just a minor quibble I think the offences would be a civil one, though I might be mistaken "beyond a reasonable doubt" is the standard to prove in crimial matters for civil offences I think its on balance of probablities.

Though my knowledge of such thing is purely based on what our legal services unit tell me verbally during debriefs of prosecutions and they never provide such advice in writing so it tends to be a moving target. Seems to be whatever suits their arguement and denies yours has been my experience.

But I certaily agree challange since given the poor resourcing and understaffed nature of government the poor sod told to enforce the rule is likely to have been provided little training, support or even bee shown how to take notes to rely on in court.

Respond to this thread

Respond to 'A five grand fine for kids' parties in the park'