Cheeseburger Gothic

It was a very crowded bar, after all

Posted January 2, 2016 into Politics by John Birmingham

From my bit in the Herald today:

This was not a sex scandal. Jamie Briggs resigned over an abuse of power. To define his predatory behaviour as any other than that implies an element of consent, which was clearly absent from his harassment of a young diplomat in a Hong Kong bar; a bar which was, as it transpired, very crowded.

The former minster would like you to know that.

It's most important you understand that the bar was very popular and "as it transpired, very crowded". Why, so crowded and so popular that almost anything could happen. A fellow's elbows might be jogged. He could accidentally stumble into someone. Why, even with the best of intentions and most honourable and innocent of designs it is a passing possibility that in such a crowded and popular venue there could be initiated the sort of glancing contact that some might misinterpret as less than 100 per cent appropriate.

But really, in such a popular and, as it transpired, crowded bar, who is to stay what actually happened? To quote The Simpsons' long-serving mayor of Springfield, Diamond Joe Quimby, "That could be anyone's ass!"


22 Responses to ‘It was a very crowded bar, after all’

Abe Frellman mumbles...

Posted January 2, 2016
The former minister's statement also seemed to make a lot of the fact that he had paid for the dinner that occurred immediately prior to the incident (with his OWN money no less; did I mention it was his OWN money?). Do you think that was included to head off some sort of media frenzy over who pays for these jaunts, or because, y'know, he paid for a steak dinner and HK is expensive, particularly on the island and all, so the least she could've done was... um?

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted January 2, 2016
Ooh, Vicar, you are awful.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted January 2, 2016
"...so the least she could've done was... um?"

How times have changed. I remember the day when a quite, intimate dinner at McDonalds was enough to close the deal, or at least create the expectation of sexual reciprocity. Now it takes a steak dinner in a crowded HK nightclub.

The world has grown colder, and we face the winter alone.

insomniac mumbles...

Posted January 2, 2016
It's probably always their own money, right up to the point at which they submit their expenses claim, upon which it becomes our money. Just another example of a truthful lie.

Abe Frellman is gonna tell you...

Posted January 3, 2016
Indeed. Might be worth a follow up article in a few months after submitting an FOI for the former minister's expense claims for meals and entertainment on the date in question, JB.

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Barnesm would have you know...

Posted January 2, 2016
one of my disappointments with the Movie Suffragette is the scene where the women are being taught jujitsu techniques wasn't immediately followed by them dressed as ninjas sprinting across the London skyline Wuxia style to sweep down and deliver righteous asskickings to all an sundry until the vote was given.

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Spanner puts forth...

Posted January 2, 2016
Call this a scandal? Amateurs. I long for the days when our Prime Minster Toned Abs would shove and onion up his arse and set fire to his head to distract us for the bollocksed up mess that was the government.

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Arbalest has opinions thus...

Posted January 2, 2016
The author doesn't really know what happened in the crowded bar full of witnesses, but seems comfortable in asserting that the consequences haven't yet balanced the alleged crime. Perhaps some sort of public flogging - execution by incineration on the parliamentary forecourt would sate the author's desire for social justice?

Spanner swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 2, 2016
Look we could prove he was practicing witchcraft by building a bridge out of the former Junior Minister for Groping Public Servants or we could have a trial by combat. In this trial by combat Brigsey, AKA the Brigsniator when he is on the piss, has to eat as many onions as he can to prove he is as manly as Tony or fess up and take his punishment and become the ambassador to the USA.

JBtoo mumbles...

Posted January 2, 2016
Knowing the politician in question as a nasty, small-minded bully, in my humble opinion such consequences would actually be far too good for him. Karma is a bitch, apparently.

Abe Frellman asserts...

Posted January 3, 2016
Perhaps if his contrition extended more to the act itself than the fact that the public servant was offended he might be getting more sympathy.

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she_jedi ducks in to say...

Posted January 2, 2016
What astounded me was that no one in the Liberal party seemed surprised that he'd do something this stupid. I think he was anonymously described as a "bit of a loose cannon when on the turps." How the hell does someone like that get pre-selected, much less make it to the ministry? (That's a rhetorical question. I know exactly how someone like that gets pre-selected. The Boys Club is alive and positively thriving in 2016).

The one positive out of this is that the diplomat was empowered not only to lodge a complaint, but have it dealt with, rather than have it swept under the carpet or told to suck it up and have a sense of humour about these things. One wonders if that would have happened if Abbott was still in power; and that's more about the entrenched attitudes of entitlement and power than a dig at Toned Abs. If an entire cabinet sees nothing wrong with having only one female minister, you can imagine what their reaction would have been to allegations of sexual harassment against one of their own by a junior diplomat.

WA n'ker is gonna tell you...

Posted January 3, 2016
Have you all forgotten Western Australia's very own former state minister Troy "Sir Les" Buswell? This conservative superstar could drink and grope Briggsy under the table any day. Oh oh, pun. Sorry.

Lulu mumbles...

Posted January 4, 2016
The WA state minister for chair-sniffing?

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robW is gonna tell you...

Posted January 3, 2016
OT here, but curious, JB, on your writer's take on being late for your publisher's deadlines. GRRM officially admits he can't keep up with Game of Thrones:
http://grrm.livejournal.com/
Personally I know what it's like being late on a project. Some people take it personally and then lock up, never to deliver...

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Abe Frellman asserts...

Posted January 3, 2016
And de fun don done... http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-03/leaked-photo-woman-who-filed-briggs-complaint-disgraceful/7065154

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Abe Frellman mumbles...

Posted January 4, 2016
And now Peter Dutton is helping out. This is simply glorious.

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Brother PorkChop reckons...

Posted January 4, 2016
They're politicians, what do you expect? Liberal, Labor, whatever the flavour there is the same percentage of twats as in the general population, or maybe a little higher i guess due to the narcissistic sociopathic nature of many pollies.

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Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted January 4, 2016

Dutton apologised for "doing a Dutton", i.e. sending an SMS to one of Unky Rupe's political editors calling her a "mad fucking witch". The journo, Samantha Maiden accepted his apology in good humour. Yeah, journo's need to be able to brush it off and that's probably fair enough but it clouds both the original offence by Briggs and the leaking to News Corp of the picture of the diplomat when privacy should have been paramount. Then of course there's the old "mad witch" language reminiscent of "Ditch The Witch" sloganeering during Abbott's leadership of the Tories. The culture of "Damned Whores and God's Police" remains and in fact is thriving in the cloistered LNP.

If a gal happens to complain about sexual harassment the excuse is that either it was "just a bit of fun and boys will be boys" or intimating that she was asking for it, "what was she doing there anyway?". The former being the God's Police, the latter being Damned Whores. This is a recurring theme in Australia. Women aren't meant to be in bars and if they are they're fair game for predators.

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DarrenBloomfield has opinions thus...

Posted January 5, 2016
I think Briggs' explanation that he kissed the woman's neck 'while running' should be accepted on face value, and the matter dropped.

Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted January 5, 2016
Yeah, 'cos she was just asking for it.

DarrenBloomfield would have you know...

Posted January 5, 2016
This was my inspiration. I was going for irony.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-13/jamie-briggs-tried-to-tackle-tony-abbott/6939924

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Internet fame another iteration of waiting tables

Posted December 18, 2015 into Politics by John Birmingham

Some stark lessons about the value of getting big in social media. (Spoiler warning: there is none).

And yet, despite this success, we’re just barely scraping by. Allison and I make money from ads that play before our videos, freelance writing and acting gigs, and brand deals on YouTube and Instagram. But it’s not enough to live, and its influx is unpredictable...

The high highs and low lows leave me reeling. One week, I was stopped for photos six times while perusing comic books in downtown L.A. The next week, I sat faceless in a room of 40 people vying for a menial courier job. I’ve walked a red carpet with $80 in my bank account. Popular YouTube musician Meghan Tonjes said she performed on Vidcon’s MainStage this year to screaming, crying fans without knowing whether she’d be able to afford groceries.

It's a fascinating piece of writing which is more about the dying of the American middle class than it is just about growing your Instagram audience.

Money anxiety is a deep and longtime trigger for me. I’ve almost quit Just Between Us a few times, once after spending hours hysterically crying in my parked car because I wasn’t sure how I was going to make rent. My parents couldn’t help me financially because they had their own problems. I had already sold some of my old clothing at Crossroads and Buffalo Exchange. Allison’s parents offered to lend me money, but I wasn’t comfortable taking from them. Finally I borrowed money from a very kind friend who I’ve since paid back. During that time, I had more than 70,000 Twitter followers.

It's not all bad though. I'm sure Larry and Sergei got paid.

Props to SixColors for the original link.

18 Responses to ‘Internet fame another iteration of waiting tables’

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Rob reckons...

Posted December 18, 2015

so far I have made $26 bucks from my internet endeavours. In the words of Deez Nuts ' I ain't in this for the money or fame, but if I stack a little change, well fuck it, I wont complain'

I do wonder if the 160,000 viewers of my youtube channel give a curly rats ass if I get some money out of it.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted December 18, 2015
Apparently they'd prefer you as their slave.

Rob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 18, 2015


More a chair moistener with an ego and lots of video.

I think I've come full circle I used to work for free to break into the TV industry and after a while I made some money, but it wasn't enough to live on, so I gave up and did other things. Now I do it for free, for the fun and beers with bands. Media production has always been a hard road. I've been doing this since I was 17, and never made any real money. I'm still waiting to break even from my last exhibition (why oh why wont someone buy my Thresh drawing?) Next exhibition in January and I'm already $200 in the hole from materials and framing, no guarantee I will sell and no support apart from marketing from the gallery (which I am Ok with). I did Law to subsidise the creative output any way and its working out, I don't skimp on materials and can do anything I want. Stupid costumes, graphic design, tattoos included. :)

FormerlyKnownAsSimon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 18, 2015
enough talk! now get back on the tubes and dance!

NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 18, 2015
"...after a while I made some money, but it wasn't enough to live on..." Amen, +1, & Testify.
And that, right there is how I ended up in a blue shirt measuring fish. And Every Day Since (10 fkn years) I've wondered how I can get back behind a camera, without simultaneous foreclosure & subsequent divorce.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted December 19, 2015
Long before the Internet I hoped I would earn my living as a writer and
achieved some success selling television pilot concepts (e.g., a Hogan's Heroes parody tentatively titled A Gypsy in Auschwitz:
I got $500 for that horrible idea; and then there was Homoside, a crime
drama focused on the dark, dangerous side of the closeted gay
lifestyle that began with murder and ended in scandal ["are you saying that Senator Henderson was gay??"] every single episode) but not enough to support myself exclusively through writing - and they stopped buying my TV concepts when they realized I was making fun of them.

I saw law as my only viable option. Did I give up my dreams in exchange for financial security? Most likely, yes. But I still manage to poke fun at idiots every now and then - and get paid to do it - and that is really what it was and is all about for me. So I can't complain.

NBlob puts forth...

Posted December 19, 2015
Getting paid to poke fun @ idiots is one of life's simple pleasures. I have to be discreet though, have had 2 x ministerial complaints for "mocking & disrespectful tone." Felt like responding with "Please advise how I should respond to such 24k asshattery?"

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted December 19, 2015
I feel your pain, mate. But my circumstances are different. If anyone complains about me using a mocking or disrespectful tone I refer them to the Human Resource Director (me using a clearly fake upper class British accent) and then, employing a respectful tone, I mock them some more. I know I shouldn't, but I can't help myself.

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted December 20, 2015
Again, jealousy.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted December 20, 2015
There are no grounds for jealousy. I am sure your fake British upper class accent is as good as mine, if not better.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted December 18, 2015
There is something strangely poetic about it all. Unbelievable fame without fortune of any kind other than the fame itself.

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dweeze puts forth...

Posted December 21, 2015
Geez - 10k per year. You musta had the wrong ggs. I was in the game 20 years ago and was making 5 times that.

Not that any of those A-list asshats at ARCA (in your link) would recognise my 8.5 years of living on the road. I lost just as many mates as they did....grrrrrr.

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Blarkon has opinions thus...

Posted December 19, 2015
Digital Serfdom. Google owns the fields. Google profits from the fields. Google generously allows you to work the fields.

Rob asserts...

Posted December 21, 2015


content providers of the world unite. You have nothing to lose but your URLs.

The Digital revolution has in the end, just meant a bunch of anti competitive monopolies got replaced by even fewer anti competitive monopolies. We are probably lucky Google cant digitise food. (for the moment anyway)

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Bedes asserts...

Posted December 22, 2015
When the going gets semi-weird, the semi-weird turn semi-pro

Therbs reckons...

Posted December 23, 2015
Doesn't work for deaf poets.

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Nice little air force you got there, pal. Be a shame if anything happened to it

Posted December 17, 2015 into Politics by John Birmingham

The BBC recently sent reporter to overfly the reefs and shoals China has been building up into artifical islands in the South China Sea. They got short shrift.

Our plan was simple, if daunting. From Palawan we would fly directly to Pagasa, land and refuel. Then we would fly south-west and circle the Chinese-controlled reef called Fiery Cross, where China appears to be building a major air and naval base. We would return to Pagasa and refuel again. Finally we'd fly back to Palawan via Mischief Reef. This is another Chinese-controlled reef, very close to the Philippines, where land reclamation has been going on this year on a huge scale.

Our objective was two-fold. To get as close as possible to the new Chinese-controlled islands in order to film the construction work going on. And just as important, to see how the Chinese would react.

...

As our little plane bounced down the gravel runway on Pagasa my heart was beating fast, excited and nervous. Half an hour's flight south of the island I saw a yellow patch of land out of the window. On top of it was a large white blockhouse. I recognised it immediately from satellite photos.

"That's Gaven Reef!" I shouted to Jiro over the din of the engine. "Remember we sailed past it last year. They'd just started construction then."

No sooner were the words out of my mouth than a loud and aggressive voice came over the radio.

"Unidentified military aircraft in west of Nanxun Reef, this is the Chinese Navy. You are threatening the security of our station! In order to prevent miscalculation leave this area immediately!"

The pilots of our far-from-military Cessna banked away to the west. But the warnings continued, over and over, in Chinese and in English, getting louder and more agitated.

The Beeb was chased all over the area before managing to get a few pics of Meiji Reef which had been turned into something closely resembling a military airfield. It would put PLA war planes eight minutes away from the Philippine coast. As they were leaving with Chinese warnings loud in their ears they picked up an exchange between the PLA forces who'd just shooed them away and the crew of an Australian Orion aircraft.

Then over the radio came a very different voice, with a different accent.

"China Navy, China Navy," the voice said. "We are an Australian aircraft exercising international freedom of navigation rights, in international airspace in accordance with the international civil aviation convention, and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea - over."

The US has done several high profile freedom-of-navigation flights and sailings through the South China Sea in recent months, including one by B-52 bombers. But Australia has never publicly announced that it is doing the same - so this felt like a bit of scoop.

We heard the Australian message being repeated several times, but did not catch any response from the Chinese side.

The response, such as it was, came shortly after the story went public. A state owned Chinese newspaper, The Global Times, editorialised that the RAAF had no role to play in the dispute and "It would be shame if a plane fell from the sky".

The ABC has a nice report, which some very droll lines from the Chinese side.

11 Responses to ‘Nice little air force you got there, pal. Be a shame if anything happened to it’

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted December 17, 2015

Yeah, if push came to shove, bags not being within coee.

SWMBO was watching Madame Secretary the other night, in one scene the Sec of State called in the PRC's consul to ask if a hack originated from China. He responded with words along the lines of "When we come for you it wont be with hacks or guns, we'll just repossess you."

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DarrenBloomfield puts forth...

Posted December 17, 2015
I love the understatement.
But nothing beats the Japanese Emperor's speech of surrender in WWII (not that the word ever got used). The best bit - the observation that the war in the Pacific had turned out "... not necessarily to Japan's advantage... "
"Indeed, We declared war on America and Britain out of Our sincere desire to ensure Japan's self-preservation and the stabilization of East Asia, it being far from Our thought either to infringe upon the sovereignty of other nations or to embark upon territorial aggrandizement.
"But now the war has lasted for nearly four years. Despite the best that has been done by everyone – the gallant fighting of the military and naval forces, the diligence and assiduity of Our servants of the State, and the devoted service of Our one hundred million people – the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest."

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HAVOCK21 is gonna tell you...

Posted December 17, 2015
be a fkn SHAME if they hit a mysterious GAS pocket and the reef blew the fk up!....2000 pounder style......

Halwes swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 17, 2015
It's OK. They can just move the whole thing to the new Chinese province of port Darwin.

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Murphy_of_Missouri ducks in to say...

Posted December 17, 2015
Hey, won't global climate change simply wash those islands way?

NBlob asserts...

Posted December 20, 2015
Fascinating podcast recently (I'll see if I can hunt up the link) comparing a command economy's capacity to respond to a *Situation* as compared to Whitebread democracy. It avoided the usual platitudes and dug into case histories, comparing Katrina & Deep Water Horizon VS the Shen Geng (sp?) earthquake. The take home for me was: overall response was similar in efficacy, the PRC was more faster better in the first fortnight, but then pretty much left the locals to it. As a result people are still living under tarps 2 winters later. The USA took longer to mobilise, did a deeper, longer response, then gave the dissatisfied ( & people are perpetually dissatisfied) a megaphone to slam those that came to their aid.
Then the podcast extrapolated to slower evolving crises- pollution, global warming etc. it suggested that while the PRC has greater theoretical capacity for concrete decisive action, having no equivalent of a Senate for grandstanding, filibuster etc, nor pesky civil society NGOs, both systems are So beholden to interested parties that the actual tangible response are equally ineffective.

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Steve asserts...

Posted December 20, 2015
NBlob: "When we come for you it wont be with hacks or guns, we'll just repossess you."
US govt debt owed to China is a much bigger from for the Chinese than it is for the Americans. The Americans have already spent the money. The Chinese need to get it back.
US govt bonds are China's single largest financial asset - an asset that can become worthless overnight if the US govt decides to default on bonds held by China. Think of what that would do to China.
When you owe the bank a million dollars and can't pay it back, you have a problem. When you owe the bank a trillion dollars and won't pay it back, the bank has a problem.

NBlob reckons...

Posted December 20, 2015
Absolutely agree Steve, but I doubt the US would be prepared to cop the blowback that would come with defaulting or a 'haircut." Ask the Greeks how popular their T Bills are at the moment. Last I heard they were cheaper than two ply bog roll.
We need the Sausage King's input. Frellman paging Abe Frellman, please pick up a white courtesy phone. Knowledge trumps guesses.

NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 20, 2015
In total, China owns about 8 percent of publicly held U.S. debt. Of all the holders of U.S. debt China is the third-largest, behind only the Social Security Trust Fund's holdings of nearly $3 trillion and the Federal Reserve's nearly $2 trillion holdings in Treasury investments, purchased as part of its quantitative easing program to boost the economy.
http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/moneymatters/ss/How-Much-US-Debt-Does-China-Own.htm<font color="#191919" face="Helvetica Neue, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif">
</font>

w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted December 20, 2015
China sold about 15% of their U.S. bonds this year because they needed the money. The bond market didn't blink and most of the bonds were snapped up by domestic investors. There is a lot of confidence in U.S. bonds and a upwardly moving U.S. market.

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted December 21, 2015
Give that man a gold star.

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A little bit of Toned Abs in Every Fuckface von Clownstick

Posted December 12, 2015 into Politics by John Birmingham

Of course the Herald wouldn't let me call Trump that, but it would have improved the column.

Old Joe Stalin used to have a name for the woodenheaded leftists who refused to see his true nature even as he piled the corpses up in front of them. Useful idiots. Interestingly, if you ask Google Translate to render the phrase in Arabic, you get a picture of Tony Abbott in Donald Trump's fright wig. There's no hiding from el Goog's all-knowing algorithm.

The joke candidate for the US Republican Party's presidential nomination is looking less of a joke with every new outrage, unless your taste in jokes runs to a quiet Beavis-n-Butthead style hurr-hurr-hurr while watching a horribly failed vat-grown clone of Hermann Goerring pull the wings off butterflies and fart out the Horst Wessel song.

Read it all here.

23 Responses to ‘A little bit of Toned Abs in Every Fuckface von Clownstick’

insomniac ducks in to say...

Posted December 12, 2015
I think Tony is suffering from the lack of the guiding hand of Prime Minister Credlin. He always went a little off reservation whenever she took a personal day. Now he has no leash whatsoever; roaming free.

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Blarkon ducks in to say...

Posted December 12, 2015
Rise of *successful* crazy politicians can probably be mapped against the decline of main stream media.
Journalism is being replaced by activism - because activists will write articles for free (or close to it) and journalists want to be both independent and paid, something that no longer works in this new silicon valleyist "content should be free" economy.

GhostSwirv puts forth...

Posted December 12, 2015
Sadly I believe Blarkon is most spot on here - we already witnessed the failure of the MSM in Oz to firstly hold the Coalition to account during the 2013 election campaign ... then to take almost two years to realise the crazy that is Tones.

Now we're returning to Malcolm's Coalition is just as good as Tone's pre-election, no scrutiny, no calls for accountability nor detailed analysis of policy, despite the NBN and the GST ... but wait Bill Shorten is texting while driving ... surely front page NewsCorpse news, much more important than two three sitting ministers involved in a conspiracy to bring down a federal government via nefarious attacks on the Speaker of the House.

But I digress, the Donald is indeed the product of decades of Republican bile and negative waves directed at anything that engenders fear in the general, ill-informed USApopulace ... no wonder edumacation is seriously underfunded there.

It won't be long before Donald and Tones share the same podium ... a PM deposed by weak minded forces and a wannabe Prez the shining example of how to fix the problems of the world ... as long as the MSM doesn't mention the politics of the right basically inflamed the current situations we find ourselves in the Donald and Tones will continue to flourish and gain support.







Halwes ducks in to say...

Posted December 12, 2015
I thought that the press must have been letting the will of the people be heard by not launching into them immediately after the election. I didn't detect incompetence but I did detect reticence which I put down to a fear of what the coalition had planned with regard to gutting the ABC. The first stage of that was the scrapping of the localised 730 report which cut our information flow in the bush markedly

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JBtoo asserts...

Posted December 12, 2015
Thank goodness for Canada, a shining beacon of hope that sanity can prevail in some electorates

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Murphy_of_Missouri mumbles...

Posted December 12, 2015
He'll flame out like Ross Perot did.

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Dave W ducks in to say...

Posted December 12, 2015
The story I heard (maybe it was here) was that Reagan wouldn't get nominated by the current GOP, as he'd be too left wing for them. This scares me when it comes to this hairdo/parasite combo called Trump.

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NBlob asserts...

Posted December 12, 2015
"The race to the bottom" has been won.

damian is gonna tell you...

Posted December 12, 2015
I think you mean the race of the bottoms.

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TeamAmerica has opinions thus...

Posted December 12, 2015
@Murphy_of_Missouri- "He'll flame out like Ross Perot did."
Eh, maybe; I hope so. But he may be assembling a new coalition. Disaffected blue collar whites, blacks who don't like competing with
illegals, and people who don't trust either party, as well as people
unhappy with Obama' clueless response to domestic terror attacks (which
offered Trump another opening). IOW, only 52% of eligible voters normally vote, and he may be assembling a coalition of non-voters and unhappy Dems and Repubs. Trump's politics are variable; he seems to follow polls pretty carefully and is very good at self-promotion. Like Obama in 2008, he offers hope, which has a strong appeal, and has a similar cult of personality. The first primary is in New Hampshire in January, and I'm hoping his campaign starts to collapse there.

Murphy_of_Missouri reckons...

Posted December 13, 2015
Nobody competes with illegals. The illegals do the work no one else will do no matter how desperate they get.

Lulu swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 14, 2015
the fact that 2 out of Trump's 3 wives have been foreign-born proves that there are some jobs Americans are not desperate enough to do.

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Halwes is gonna tell you...

Posted December 12, 2015
I've been struggling with the fact that Aussies think its OK, or maybe don't think about it at all, to bomb Syria. I'm not sure that we understand the collateral damage involved and it isn't something the nightly news dwells on too much. I'd rather have the SAS on the ground than bomb them. At least the killing is less indiscriminate.

damian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 12, 2015
Oh no we do not think it's okay, not most of us anyway. And yes, ground forces might be better. But the politics around this are all basically insane at the moment, there's nothing with power to influence events that's amenable to rational thought.

Halwes swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 12, 2015
You reckon most of us don't think its OK.? You seem to have more faith in the intelligence and compassion of our fellow Australians than I do.

Des would have you know...

Posted December 16, 2015
maybe this thread isn't representative of Australia at large, but if it were left to the most bellicose warmongers who inhabit this site, we (meaning the White western powers) would have already bombed Syria into the stone age a couple of years ago, when the bogus 'red line' was drawn, on spurious intelligence about chemical weapons..... it may be that in the ensuing time, the macho neo-con posture has become less acceptable or funny, and therefore those most vociferous armchair generals around here have pulled their heads in. it is a bit hard to get too puffed up when its becoming common knowledge that ISIL is a paid up mercenary army, being let loose to knock off Assad, which is of course, the main game..see Ghaddafi, Saddam, et al.

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Halwes reckons...

Posted December 13, 2015
Reading Steinbeck's East of Eden. It's tearing my guts out. I think this man is one of the greats. So much to reflect on and some paragraphs are so deep that you can reflect on them for hours. Today's SMH listed Ascendance as Bill Shortens holiday read. Ascendance isn't something Bill will be doing in the new year. He probably needs to be rolled but I can't think of a viable contender

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spiral puts forth...

Posted December 15, 2015

i'm french, i live in Toulon, i have familly in Paris, had a scare during the 11/13 attacks, no familly members involved, but what we did have last week end was election for regional leaders, first round was a HUGE Far Right (what we call Front National) and gigantic scare to have them to over a few of them in the second Tour, luckily, we had a massive flow of people coming to vote, and we dodged it, can't say what's going to be on the Presidential elections, but we dodged it nonetheless... for now...understand; I believe we should do more in regards to Terrorism, but these hateful and racist assholes are a blight in every country. Useful idiots indeed, the fact that they had such high numbers in the first tour, revigorated the people of France and allowed us to have much more people coming to vote on the second tour, anyway... just to say that every country has it's share of Von FuckFaces :D


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TeamAmerica has opinions thus...

Posted December 15, 2015
@spiral- "first round was a HUGE Far Right (what we call Front National)"When I heard that Marie LePen had forced her father out of the NF party, I was hoping it meant she wanted to move the party away from its fascist past. I gather that did not happen. If she did not want to moderate the party,do you know why they had this conflict?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted December 15, 2015
He advised her to "unbutton that top button" if she wanted to curry favor with the average French voter. For Marie, that was the last straw. Exit dad.

w from brisbane would have you know...

Posted December 15, 2015
Perhaps a more key moment in the family split was when one of Mr Le Pen's dobermans ate Ms Le Pen's cat. (true story)

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted December 16, 2015
That cat probably had it coming.

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The new defence minister

Posted September 21, 2015 into Politics by John Birmingham

First of some occasional pieces for SBS. I'll probably go thinky, for the most part.

The Australian military has been in the field for a long time now, the quiet decline of the post-Vietnam years nearly two generations removed from the RAAFs interdiction in Iraq and Syria, highly politicised naval contributions to border control, more conventional maritime operations in the Middle East and intense and continual special forces deployments across the globe.

Nonetheless, descriptions of new minister Marise Payne taking control of the Defence while the country is at war are breathy and overblown. Australia is not at war and has not mobilised its enormous national resources to make war on any foreign state. But tens of thousands of its war fighters and their machines have been routinely engaged in combat operations since the 9/11 attacks. Thousands more were deployed to East Timor a couple of years before that. Supporting them will indeed constitute a significant part of the responsibility Marise Payne now takes up, but it is by no means the greatest challenge awaiting her.

It's all here.

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Murphy_of_Missouri has opinions thus...

Posted September 21, 2015
It seems to me that if Vietnam and the Philippines can agree that they need to stand together against China's push into their maritime territories, then Australia should surely join in with that coalition. If I were going to increase training quantity and quality with anyone it would be with those two nations, going so far as to establish basing rights in both.

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NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted September 21, 2015
A guest on RN Breakfast made positive comments about Minister Payne's experience in the dept. delivering pensions & benefits, one of the largest & most complex administrative departments.


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Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 22, 2015
I just hope that Payne has the depth of character and strength of spirit to accomplish what all of her predecessors have failed to achieve - the annexation of New Zealand.

Lulu has opinions thus...

Posted September 22, 2015
Therbs, I assume you're hoping that happens before the end of the rugby world cup, so that we can claim the near-inevitable All Blacks win as our own.

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Quokka ducks in to say...

Posted September 22, 2015
Surely it's all about the sheep.

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Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted September 22, 2015
I await havoc's learned, balanced nuanced discourse on this issue

Murphy_of_Missouri ducks in to say...

Posted September 22, 2015
FUCKIN' CAP DA MUTHAFUCKAHS!!!!

You know, I just can't sustain it.

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The Member for Phwoarr

Posted September 17, 2015 into Politics by John Birmingham

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dweeze mumbles...

Posted September 17, 2015
Malcolm in the Middle's answer to 2/3 Tony's Underpants.
I'm scared.

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Halwes is gonna tell you...

Posted September 18, 2015
The other grub that I hope sinks without trace is Ian McDonald. Surely an industry minister that presides over the amount of jobs and industries lost to this country during his tenure can't possibly survive

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Barnesm reckons...

Posted September 18, 2015

That's not helping.

I was started by the amount of vitriol that Malcom Turnbull's coup generated from some LNP members in the comments sections on news items. Some seemed quite miffed.

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Stuart reckons...

Posted September 18, 2015
Wally Aly has an interesting take on this: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/malcolm-turnbull-needs-to-ditch-the-neocons-and-connect-to-middle-australia-20150916-gjojxk.html

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Rob ducks in to say...

Posted September 20, 2015
If everyone could pop over to my blog and click the Viagra ads and the game of heroes link. That would be great. So far I've earned $1.18 from google.

Rob puts forth...

Posted September 20, 2015
well that comment should be in the story above this one. But for some reason also kinda fits the man and his couch.

Quokka ducks in to say...

Posted September 21, 2015
It would make more sense if you changed your handle so it reads 'Malcolm reminds us'.

Rob has opinions thus...

Posted September 21, 2015
The problem with 'Malcolm reminds us' as a handle of any sort, it may be out of date by the time internet popularity beckons.( I give him 22 months until another spill) I have totally stuffed my YouTube channel by using my current choice of rubbish name. Doh.

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AKM. would have you know...

Posted October 10, 2015
I was reading with glee that Brian Griffin (sorry....Loughnane....) was resigning.... I read the article while watching Serenity for the millionth time.....and it struck me that the resignation was identical to the scene in which The Operative assists the Alliance doctor to fall on a sword.
Especially the dialogue by the Alliance doctor about River Tam......could imagine the good Brian uttering similar words about how much Credlin knows..........
Well worth watching that section again....easily found on the YouTube....

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AuntyLou mutters...

Posted October 10, 2015
Yeah... AKM, I apologise but I got sidetracked by the blooper reels. I am sure you were making a very salient point - but I just can't pass up Mal saying "kid taking a dirt nap with the baby Jesus" or doing a little dance. Maybe when the LNP puts out a blooper reel. Sorry...

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