Cheeseburger Gothic

This is why he's a former top spook

Posted October 25, 2013 into Politics by John Birmingham

I love this story at BT about Michel Hayden, the former head of the NSA, who was tweeted up by some bloke on a train as he gave a not-off-the-record-now-interview bagging out the Obama Admin, at great volume on a crowded train. Hiding in plain sight, maybe.

Totally worth a look and giggle.

Was kind of amazed by Hayden's reaction to being told he was being pantsed on the twitterz however. Rather than freaking he posed for a happy snap with the guy who just ended his career.

8 Responses to ‘This is why he's a former top spook’

Murphy would have you know...

Posted October 25, 2013

Going home to a fat retirement account soon to be augmented by some sort of consulting job?

Of course he was smiling.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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MurcanDownunder is gonna tell you...

Posted October 25, 2013

His reaction doesn't suprise me. General Hayden's always been a people person. He also has a sense of humour.

I've actually met him a couple of times. First in the early 80s when he was Chief of Intelligence for 51 TFW and I was assigned to a unit at the same air base. I returned to the same unit in the mid 90s and Gen Hayden was touring the Pacific on his way to become Commander AIA.

He walked right up to me on the ops floor and asked if I'd ever left country. I was impressed that he remembered me. Then again, I was the only sailor assigned to that air force unit, so I guess I stood out.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted October 25, 2013

The Michel Hayden you describe isn't the one I knew back in the 80's. He was notorious as "the thing that wouldn't leave" - he was always the last to go home from a party. And he would drink all your beer. And he had this high pitched laugh that really, really grated on your nerves.

puma puts forth...

Posted October 25, 2013

LOLOLOL

MurcanDownunder mutters...

Posted October 25, 2013

Probably still the same guy. I've seen officers go through major changes in personality at different stages of their careers.They're stressed out, overbearing assholes when they think they're at the cusp of a promotion to flag and aren't sure that they've ticked off all the boxes. Once they get their star or resign themselves to the fact that they'll never see another promotion, they sometimes chill out and become really good bosses.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted October 26, 2013

The Michel Hayden I knew back then - before the transformation you describe - also freely, and frequently, described his fear of clowns. I hold no animosity towards the man (even though he still owes me $40.00 that I am sure I will never see again). I sincerely and honestly hope he's gotten over his phobia.

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Brad mumbles...

Posted October 27, 2013

A fear of clowns is perfectly justified given the outbreak of payasesinos that Mexico has been having recently.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted October 28, 2013

Clearly, Mexican clowns are nothing to laugh at.

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Respond to 'This is why he's a former top spook'

The new American centre

Posted October 17, 2013 into Politics by John Birmingham

As scarifying as it's been watching the US do it's crazy man routine over debt ceilings and shutdowns and so on, it must have been incomparably worse being trapped inside the rubber room.

It's tempting to imagine the US political system has lost its mind, torn itself apart in an orgy of partisan madness. But that may not be the case. It might be a question of alienation, not of the extremes, but of the center.

We have quite a few burgers and lurkers from over the pond hanging around these parts and at times they seem to be separated by unfathomable political chasms. But again, that may not be the entire truth.

There's a piece over at Esquire, some analysis and reporting of opinion data that seems to indicate there is a great mass of voters who have been abandoned by both 'mainstream' political parties as the parties have sought to energize their base vote. As willing as some of the encounters have been between, say, Murph, McKinney, Boylan and so on (Yankee dog is always an exemplar of restraint), looking at this survey and measuring it against what I know of their opinions, they don't seem that they're that far removed from each other.

Really, go have a look at it. It's infographic rich and well worth checking out. I was looking at it originally to see whether the results were translatable to a local setting, but I don't think they are. Not most of them, anyway.

Some of the findings about the American center? It's pretty white, and not much interested in policy discussion of diversity. For the moment it is more alienated from the Republicans than it is from the Democrats. It's really not interested in God and guns as a policy issue. And while the center believes that the state should support only those who really, really need it, that distaste for intervention cuts both ways. The center is not interested in being told how to live its life by questionable moral authorities and God botherers.

There's a lot more to it than that, and as I said a lot of the issues covered in the survey data are of marginal relevance to anybody outside the US. But it's still fascinating.

28 Responses to ‘The new American centre’

Murphy reckons...

Posted October 17, 2013

Apparently I'm one of the Pickup Populists.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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MurcanDownunder puts forth...

Posted October 17, 2013

Reading the article makes me think I'm part of the centre. My results from the survey say I'm a right wing talking head. I became a Republican when my High School English teacher told my class she was voting for Jimmy Carter because she loved his teeth when he smiled.
Starting with Clinton and getting stronger with every administration and Congress, I've become more and more Libertarian and less Republican, believing in a more strict interpetation of the Constitution. The founding fathers deliberately made governing difficult in the Constitution because they knew the more power and authority a government has, the more they'll screw things up. I hate all the bastards and believe the federal government's role should be restricted as much as possible. From what I've seen, the government makes things worse every time they try to fix something.
The government should only do what the Constitution requires it to do. Everything else should be left up to the individual states. If someone has a hairbrained idea to either help or control society, let them do it at the state level. If it works out, other states can try it, too. If it makes things worse, the other states should know to stay away from that idea.
I'm just glad I'm here in Australia now, where that clusterfark has limited reach to my life.

Lulu has opinions thus...

Posted October 17, 2013

"If someone has a hairbrained idea to either help or control society, let them do it at the state level."

"I'm just glad I'm here in Australia now"

Those statements seem ... contradictory. Do you dislike federal action on principle, or just as it is practised in the US?

MurcanDownunder puts forth...

Posted October 17, 2013

Yeah, it does look contradictory. I must be a more complex bloke than I thought.

I dislike the way the federal government has been practiced in the U.S. The constitution is fairly specific. There are a handful of fuctions that the federal government is required to perform and everything not specifically mentioned is a right and responsibility left to the individual person and states.

Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted October 17, 2013

Article One, Section Eight doesn't mean anything to you then, right?

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

MurcanDownunder reckons...

Posted October 17, 2013

Not at all. I especially think the enumerated powers should be enforced. It's just that many of these powers are being abused. For example, using the Commerce Clause to prevent someone from growing cannabis in their own backyard for personal use. How does growing your own to fill your personal bong fall under " ... regulate Commerce with foreign Natings, and among the serveral States, and with the Indian Tribes?"

Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 17, 2013

Regulatory power under the Pure Food and Drug Act? <grin>

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Blarkon ducks in to say...

Posted October 17, 2013

Gerrymandering fucked the system. Because there is no need to court the center with candidates, you get extremists who value ideology over getting stuff done. One of the great things about the AEC is that they've managed to keep a lot of seats in Oz competitive - which means that governments that stray too far from the center get turfed on their arse.

Murphy puts forth...

Posted October 17, 2013

The only part that is gerrymandered is the House of Representatives. While one can bitch about it one might point out that the Senate did their job in serving as a check on the House of Represenatives by getting a bill together that will get things rolling again.

Or to put it another way, you can't gerrymander an entire state. Senate Republicans are vulnerable and the ones most likely to be punished. In fact, there had been a chance until recently that the Senate Republicans might regain control of the Senate. That chance is pretty well gone now.

So, while the politicians might not be working optimally it should be pointed out that a vocal minority was finally, eventually, shut out of the process.

What I can't fathom is why the Speaker tolerated this sort of crap for any length of time.

Respects,

Murph

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Blarkon mutters...

Posted October 18, 2013

Because the house has been gerrymandered to the point where it's almost statistically impossible for 90% of seats to switch to another party. As these seats are safe, it becomes a question of ideological purity, with the most ideologically pure candidate getting elected. It isn't in the congressperson's interest to compromise because that would open them to attack from the ideological purists.

As long as everyone is convinced of the genius of the system (which doesn't work though it had a great run) no one will come and revise it before it collapses.

At some point in the not too distant future the house is going to talk itself into pushing the US into a default. Destroying the village to, in their view "save it"

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Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted October 17, 2013

Thomas Jefferson's Strict Interpretation is often trotted out by Conservatives as if it is, "The Truth and Nothing but The Truth," when it comes to what the Founding Fathers wanted concerning the Constitution. They have a habit of interpreting the Bible that way as well but that is another topic.

In fact, they'd have you think, especially if you never had American History 120 or didn't pay attention in class, that Thomas Jefferson always believed in, "small but frugal government," and he always stuck to the strict interpretation model.

We like to talk about Flip Floppers on the Right. Think Thomas Jefferson was a flip flopper?

1. During the Election of 1800 he campaigned against Alexander Hamilton's Finance Plan and specifically agains the First Bank of the United States. The same bank that put the country on sound economic footing until the War of 1812. Funny thing happened once Jefferson got elected.

A. He kept the Bank.

B. He used revenues from the bank to facilitate the acquistion of the Louisiana Purchase.

2. Speaking of the Louisiana Purchase, Jefferson sat down with the Constitution of the United States to see if the Federal Government had the authority to engage in a real estate deal with Napoleon.

Wouldn't you know it, if you stick with the Jeffersonian Interpretation, it doesn't say a fucking thing about real estate deals. Nothing at all.

Suddenly, realizing he was about to lose the center of the country, Jefferson decided that maybe using a bit of Article One, Section Eight, necessary and proper power, might not be a bad idea after all. He could have got himself a constitutional amendment but that would have taken too long given the circumstances. And thus he bought the land and expanded the Republic.

A Republic, I might add, that he had argued was too big to begin with. Going all the way back to Plato's work on The Republic, Jefferson's minions (he couldn't be bothered to show up to class, he was in France sipping wine and eating cheese) at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 argued that Big Republics always went off to the Dark Side to become Big Evil Empires like the Romans did.

Oh and the States do such a great job of managing things. I mean, they did so well under the Articles of Confederation with the Confederation Congress.

Well, except for Shay's Rebellion, which had to be put down by the state militia instead of a central army.

Or maybe the fact that we couldn't pay our bills, get credit or get anyone to pay attention to us as a result.

Or get foreign nations to respect our borders, not incite the Native Americans to mischief, etc, etc, etc.

And giving state power precedence has always led to such wonderful things in our country. Like, well, there was that Civil War that was all about rights and shit.

Yeah, teaching American History for seven years at the college level has probably corrupted me to a degree. Not quite as far to the right on a number of issues.

I'm not particularly sorry about that fact. In fact, it is the one thing Jefferson and I have in common.

We keep an open mind, try to think about new data and act accordingly rather than mindlessly follow some literalist interpretation.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted October 17, 2013

"But it's still fascinating."

Like an insect under a magnifying glass. Fascinating, but ugly, alien and dying.

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yankeedog would have you know...

Posted October 17, 2013

(Yankeedog is always an exemplar of restraint)

Also a National Treasure and Friend To All. Plus, not to put too fine a point, quite the charmer as well. And modest.

I took that Esquire poll and came out as a 'Minivan Moderate', the 14% of the electorate that advocates personal responsibility and everyone doing their fair share. Only 14% of the people with me on two values I think we'd all consider the pillars of a workable nation? That's scary.

My apologies to the world on behalf of America-sorry we continue to look like knuckleheads because the government can't seem to manage economic processes. Sorry we looked like some backwater banana republic or any country ending in '-Stan'. We'll get better at this. Maybe. I hope.

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MurcanDownunder is gonna tell you...

Posted October 17, 2013

What it boils down to for me is that I don't want the government telling us what we can or cannot do, if our actions are not causing harm to others. If I want to blow my paycheck on hookers, drugs and booze at the casino, how is that anyone else's business? It's my life to ruin. It's not the government's job to keep me from being stupid.

NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted October 17, 2013

"how is that anyone else's business"

I'd sugest it becomes everyone else's business when we have to pay for the consequences of your poor decisions.

Being an unconstructed lefty I strongly believe there is a role for government in making individual's lives better. Through providing rehabilitation services, schooling, health & civl infrastructure.

When I was in the USA last year I couldn't believe how Republican the bottom %20 were. I questioned our hosts and they replied along the lines of "Everyone who is poor is convinced they are about to be rich and when they get rich they don't want to be paying taxes." This strikes me as a laughable proposition, but Many USAnians seem to believe it down deep in their bones.

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MurcanDownunder is gonna tell you...

Posted October 17, 2013

Why are you paying for my bad decisions? The problem I have with that thinking is that since you've decided to bail me out from the consequences of my poor choices, you now make claim to decide which of my choices are good or bad, and to manipulate my life in line with your view on how I should live it.

NBlob puts forth...

Posted October 17, 2013

Because no one else will pay for them and it is antihuman to just throw people who make bad choices on the scrap heap. How 'bout the kids of parents who make bad choices? Surely seeing their pinched little orphan faces would make anyone straighten up & fly right? Oh wait,that's right it doesn't. People just go on making terrible choices that affect themselves, their families, their neighbours and fellow citizens. The government has a role to catch those who fall, support them & their families and help them back on their feet.

The science is unequivical; early intervention and harm minimisation save people and the taxpayer in the long run.

Let's return to the example you proposed. "If I want to blow my paycheck on hookers, drugs and booze at the casino, how is that anyone else's business?"

When you're loaded to pussy's bow with the good gear, half a case of beer and a couple of shots "just to even everything out" and you roll your Transam on the way home from the casino, who scrapes you off the bitumen? Taxpayer funded 1st responders.

The problem with Libertarian-ism from my perspective is it assumes that all animals are equal and that much of the social infrastructure just pops out of the ground fully formed.

MurcanDownunder puts forth...

Posted October 17, 2013

Could it be that no one else besides the government will pay for the consequences of my bad decisions is that regular people think that I should be responsible for my own actions?

Of course I believe we should support those who need help, whether that help is physical, emotional, financial, medical or whatever. I just think that "we" means family, friends and community first. Why is government the first and usually the only response?

I also emphasis that we should help. You seem to think we, through the government, must help. I think that many government programs that are set up to help are just minimising the consequences of poor life decisions and not helping people change the decisions they make.

I've done many things wrong in my life. Usually I've had friends or family point out my mistakes. Sometimes I've listened. When I did listen to their advice, things usually improved for me. I didn't need government to step in and hold my hand.

Milage may vary, but I think most people are better off with the support of friends, family and community rather than government.

NBlob mutters...

Posted October 17, 2013

Thank you for your thoughtfull response.

I formed the opinion years ago that I'd prefer a poor system to catch those on the brink of poverty, than no system at all. Of course we'd all prefer a society that didn't result in some, through any circumstance; mental or other health problem, family breakdown, even a lack of moral turpetude causes them to suffer poverty.

It is only in a few lucky countries, over the last century or so that we have beaten poverty. The multi-generational consequences are proven & hideous. To fling people to the wolves of a short, dirty brutish and life to save government revenues seems heartless.

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Lulu has opinions thus...

Posted October 17, 2013

"I just think that "we" means family, friends and community first. Why is government the first and usually the only response?"

The government represents the "we". I pay taxes, and I thereby outsource the 'help' work (identifying the needy, designing programmes, providing the help, etc) to the government. Much more efficient and effective than the alternative.

MurcanDownunder mumbles...

Posted October 17, 2013

Yes. The government does represent "we." That's part of being a Republic. I pay taxes, too. Both here and in the US, btw. Can't get away from the damned IRS even though I haven't lived there in decades.

I also donate regularly to charities such as the Salvos, Red Cross, Doctors without Borders and Team Rubicon. I have friends who have either been helped by these charitable non-government organisations or who actually work for these groups. I disagree with you that the government is more efficient and effective than the alternative.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted October 17, 2013

Yes, but what if you believe that it is better to be "free" than it is to be efficient, effective, educated, healthy and prosperous?

The American model isn't that government represents the "we." Government is the means by which some benefit at the expense of everyone else. Government isn't something that includes; it is something to control by hook or by crook.

Lulu asserts...

Posted October 17, 2013

Which countries have better health outcomes for their people - those in which the government takes some responsibility for universal healthcare, or those which do not? Which countries spend *less* per capita for *better* outcomes than the one in which people are arguing that giving medical cover to poor people is against God's plan?

MurcanDownunder asserts...

Posted October 17, 2013

"Yes, but what if you believe that it is better to be "free" than it is to be efficient, effective, educated, healthy and prosperous?"

That isn't a one or the other choice. You can't have one without the other. I'm in favour of helping people achieve those goals. I just think that more than 90% of the time, government isn't the answer.

damian mutters...

Posted October 17, 2013

The bit that makes us all scratch our heads and wander what the others are going on about, is with what we mean by government, what we think it is, what it's for and how it figures in our societies. Also what it means to be free. Or efficient. Most of us (I think) find the Libertarian versions of these concepts very strange.

That strangeness leads to conclusions that are simply wrong on an empirical basis. We have science that makes some things non-contraversial. But it really comes down to those first principals. So it's fine if you think some abstract ideas override practical benefits and lived experience. But if it means you don't want to help, at least please stay out of the way of those who do.

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yankeedog ducks in to say...

Posted October 17, 2013

While I, too, don't believe 'government' is the magic answer to any society's ills, there are times when 'government' is the only body big enough to do a particular task.

I use as an example passenger rail funding. There are people who complain about Amtrak being a subsidized service. It is. Passenger rail never MAKES money on its own. But all of our roads and airports didn't just magically appear out of the ground one day. Most of those, too, were government projects. Sometimes you need 'government'. A circle of British thinkers touched upon this some years back. Just substitute 'government' for 'Romans' as you read it.

REG: They've bled us white, the bastards. They've taken everything we had, and not just from us, from our fathers, and from our fathers' fathers.

LORETTA: And from our fathers' fathers' fathers.

REG: Yeah.

LORETTA: And from our fathers' fathers' fathers' fathers.

REG: Yeah. All right, Stan. Don't labour the point. And what have they ever given us in return?!

XERXES: The aquaduct?

REG: What?

XERXES: The aquaduct

REG: Oh. Yeah, yeah. They did give us that. Uh, that's true. Yeah.

COMMANDO #3: And the sanitation.

LORETTA: Oh, yeah, the sanitation, Reg. Remember what the city used to be like?

REG: Yeah. All right. I'll grant you the aqueduct and the sanitation are two things that the Romans have done.

MATTHIAS: And the roads.

REG: Well, yeah. Obviously the roads. I mean, the roads go without saying, don't they? But apart from the sanitation, the aqueduct, and the roads--

COMMANDO: Irrigation.

XERXES: Medicine.

COMMANDOS: Huh? Heh? Huh...

COMMANDO #2: Education.

COMMANDOS: Ohh...

REG: Yeah, yeah. All right. Fair enough.

COMMANDO #1: And the wine.

COMMANDOS: Oh, yes. Yeah...

FRANCIS: Yeah. Yeah, that's something we'd really miss, Reg, if the Romans left. Huh.

COMMANDO: Public baths.

LORETTA: And it's safe to walk in the streets at night now, Reg.

FRANCIS: Yeah, they certainly know how to keep order. Let's face it. They're the only ones who could in a place like this.

COMMANDOS: Hehh, heh. Heh heh heh heh heh heh heh.

REG: All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?

XERXES: Brought peace.

REG: Oh. Peace? Shut up!

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SenatorMckinneyTexas mutters...

Posted October 18, 2013

<i>There's a lot more to it than that, and as I said a lot of the issues covered in the survey data are of marginal relevance to anybody outside the US. But it's still fascinating.</i>

I wonder if the result of a similar poll, tailored for the UK or France or Oz would be noticeably different. Perhaps. Don't read too much into apparent indifference to diversity. My take is that it stems from the same antipathetic response to moral lecturers: the center doesn't like being nagged about the virtues of diversity any more than it likes being hectored about the need for Jesus.

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Trashman has opinions thus...

Posted October 18, 2013

Apparently I'm a flaming liberal. As a centre-right Scot (we're rare!) that's probably about right by American standards.

American politics is getting scary...

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Respond to 'The new American centre'

If the US government shutdown was happening anywhere else

Posted October 1, 2013 into Politics by John Birmingham

A brilliant thought experiment at Slate. Writing about the US budget crisis as if the US was a foreign country...

WASHINGTON, United States—The typical signs of state failure aren’t evident on the streets of this sleepy capital city. Beret-wearing colonels have not yet taken to the airwaves to declare martial law. Money-changers are not yet buying stacks of useless greenbacks on the street.

But the pleasant autumn weather disguises a government teetering on the brink. Because, at midnight Monday night, the government of this intensely proud and nationalistic people will shut down, a drastic sign of political dysfunction in this moribund republic.

It doesn't mean this impasse won't be resolved like every other one, but it is great example of the filters we use in media.

The best line is the one about the stockpiles of nuclear weapons.

18 Responses to ‘If the US government shutdown was happening anywhere else’

Murphy puts forth...

Posted October 1, 2013

I haven't bothered with the Slate article yet (because frankly, Slate gives me the shits most of the time). But before I duck over to do the obligatory reading that the detractor brigade will require (one that will probably verify what I already suspect from the sample) I will point out one thing.

They passed a resolution to ensure two things:

1. Soldiers will continue to get paid.

2. That folks will still get their social security checks.

Both of those should be rather ominous to students of history.

That said, this will probably blow over in a month or two max. The Republicans remember the absolute fucking pounding they got the last time they did this. They'll be eager to avoid another such pounding.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

SZF would have you know...

Posted October 2, 2013

#1 helps me sleep a little easier. I'd hate to think the quartermasters at Los Alamos and Oak Ridge are getting IOU slips...

#2 is just human fucking decency.

Good luck over there man, and especially to your mum. Hope they sort it out right quick.

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Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted October 1, 2013

Wow. Seven short little paragraphs?

Sheesh.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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I.F. Adams puts forth...

Posted October 1, 2013

Gov't shutdowns aren't exactly new, and the reasoning behind this one is remarkably similar to several prior re: budget hostage/pissing contests http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_shutdown

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Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 1, 2013

I have just learned that my mother will not receive her Widow's Benefit from the Department of Veteran's Affairs. A so called, "entitlement," she EARNED that benefit after taking care of my father, an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Army who served in Vietnam, was exposed to Agent Orange for his troubles, for seventeen years until he died in 2011.

I'm nominally right of center in many respects, I think most Burgers know that. But I have to admit that I am past tired of the ideological train wreck that is the Republican Party. You'd have my mother go without because you are afraid someone you consider to be undesireable might get healthcare? Oh, and such fine healthcare it will be too since it will most likely be very much like the same substandard, shitty care that I've received from the Department of Veteran's Affairs Medical Malpractice Center.

Find a better way to solve your issue with the current President. Last I checked, like it or not, he won his election. His party controls the Senate. That means you fucking horsetrade for a solution like everyone has done since the Federalist Era.

I do believe I will remember this for the forseeable future.

Dick mutters...

Posted October 1, 2013

Jeez, Murph, that sucks.

Dino not to be confused with mutters...

Posted October 1, 2013

Ditto

Monster Yuppy ducks in to say...

Posted October 1, 2013

Your mum loses her pension because these clowns are having a pissing contest ?

That's. Fucking. Fucked.

Murphy mutters...

Posted October 1, 2013

She got her Survivor's Benefit for this month. If the shutdown continues, she likely won't get the next one.

In the meantime, if you are a veteran on disability, you can probably forget about getting your check after today. If you are a veteran trying to use your rightfully earned (that is not a fucking entitlement) educational benefits, you can probably forget about that too.

Boneheaded stupidity of the First Order.

2014 is just around the corner. Pissing off a bunch of veterans, many of whom have given body parts to the cause? Not smart.

Quokka is gonna tell you...

Posted October 2, 2013

Jeebus Murph. That sucks the big one.

As a RAAF veteran's daughter & one who was supported as a child by Dad's war service pension, and then an allowance from Veteran's Affairs to help me through uni - I know what that would have meant to us if it got nixed, even for a few weeks.

Thinking of your mum & all the vets getting screwed by this debacle. I watched the 7.30 report last night & there was a comment that the guy who has instigated this may have aspirations for the presidency so his real motivation for doing it is to get a name for himself. yeah, as a total a$$hat.

xoxox

Let's hope it gets resolved ASAP.

SZF puts forth...

Posted October 2, 2013

From an outside perspective Murph, people like me find it astonishing that the hard right of the GOP is willing to inflict harm upon the US economy - not to mention population - over what doesn't seem to be that awful an idea (Obamacare) and which appears to be motivated almost solely by ideological differences.

I don't know enough of the detail around what's obviously a hugely complex issue, but surely there's NO good reason to allow the world's largest economy to begin defaulting on its debt? Especially when to the rest of the world it looks like a fit of pique.

Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted October 2, 2013

The latest stunt, aside from aiding and abetting veterans who went to visit various monuments in Washington today (can't blame the vets but as a vet myself, I'm not sure I'd let myself be used like that) is to send separate spending bills to make sure veterans get paid, parks stay open, etc.

They were all shot down. Fund it all or fund none of it. If we let this start, it'll never end.

And as sick as I got of the Democracts saying they were the friends of soldiers/veterans, I'm pretty sick of hearing it out of Republicans. Their actions speak otherwise.

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ShaneAlpha reckons...

Posted October 1, 2013

Welcome to Tea Party Land, the Mad Hatter is seated to your left.

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Blarkon reckons...

Posted October 1, 2013

If you've got a system where it's almost statistically impossible for most seats to change hands, you end up with representatives who can stir up the base of the party rather than ones that need to be able to convince the middle ground that they will make a good rep.

Long term solution is for the US to have an independent body like the Australian Electoral Commission that is responsible for running elections and drawing boundaries. While you have politicians drawing boundaries, you get gerrymandering and as is plainly evident, gerrymandering lead to the sort of ideological nutters getting control of the congress.

The system encourages these sorts of outcomes - so they'll continue until the system is reconfigured.

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BigWillieStyle has opinions thus...

Posted October 2, 2013

Why can't Jed Bartlet be called in to put a stop to this shutdown? He's done it before, only took him an episode and a half.

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Sinnysider ducks in to say...

Posted October 2, 2013

Commiserations Murph,...may I call you Murph ? I find it perplexing that these boneheads could cause financial distress to so many of those who will be deciding their political future next time around; all in the name of ideology.

No doubt, these Tea Party Tossers have ensured that their own remunerations will continue uninterupted.

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Murphy mutters...

Posted October 2, 2013

Murph is fine.

Thanks for the thoughts, folks. My Mom is the one in distress. My income sources are, for the moment, immune to this sort of crap.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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ShaneAlpha is gonna tell you...

Posted October 2, 2013

This is just the preview, wait until the feature called "We aint gonna approve your debt ceiling" opens.

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Respond to 'If the US government shutdown was happening anywhere else'

The Fall of KRudd

Posted September 29, 2013 into Politics by John Birmingham

I took on a difficult commission during the recent election, writing about the fall of the Rudd Government before it fell. Yeah, it seemed like a foregone conclusion and in the end it was. But nobody who does this kind of work has ever forgotten the image of Truman holding up that newspaper screaming out in 300 point type 'Dewey Defeats Truman'.

You don't even have to go back very far in local political history to find an equivalent. Paul Keating's defeat of John Hewson surprised everyone so much that even Keating himself had no victory speech prepared.

I also didnt want to do the standard news review piece where you just regurg' a couple of pars from Fairfax, a couple of pars from the Oz and call it balance. As far as possible I wanted to avoid talking to any of the usual suspects.

Partly that was because I was writing for Anne Summer's new online mag, ASR, and they want to be different. Partly I know from personal experience that 'churnalism' where you just throw in all of the usual ingredients and give it a stir, has no intrinsic value. Hence my decision to interview bookmakers rather than pollsters, and the former soc-media wrangler for Telstra, rather than, say, former party leaders. As the initial commission was framed in terms of explaining Rudd's inexplicable popularity - then reframed as his numbers collapsed - I even considered talking to Lara Bingle about the fickle nature of fame and love.

But she was doing a nude shoot and proved unreachable.

Anyway, the article is at annesummers.com.au

It's an online PDF-based magazine (which should really just become a web and/or native app, perhaps when prss.com finally launches) and you need to subscribe to get the content. But the subscription is free. You can donate if you like, or you can save your coins for yet another Candy Crush rip off.

I think it's an interesting response to the death of the old media and I was going to write about it at length here, but put that off when they commissioned me.

Anyway. Below is my fave par from the story.

... But since 2007, the desire of the parties to conventionalize and control online media has misread it, and Rudd in particular has suffered because so much of his apparent popularity was nothing like the tribal loyalties inspired by the demands of old-school political allegiances and combat; it was more akin to the hyper-accelerated sequence of emergence, metastasizing popularity, over-exposure, backlash and collapse that characterizes the shortened life-cycles of internet phenomenons. he was, in the end, just a trending topic, with less staying power than Justin Bieber.

31 Responses to ‘The Fall of KRudd’

Blarkon asserts...

Posted September 29, 2013

Stopped the annihilation of the party that would have occurred if Gillard had been in the leadership. Having 55 seats is better than 15.

Halwes would have you know...

Posted September 29, 2013

I'm a labor party member (55yo male) and I would have rather gone overboard with Gillard than ever going back to Rudd. Hell, I didn't like him the first time the smug p22fter went on sunrise and it didn't improve. I was however one of the deluded masses that cheered him to victory and hoped for the best. The best thing though was how the party let big gina and twiggy roll him over the mining tax and then knifed him. Labor could never have afforded that kind of publicity. I think Julia was a pretty good PM. One who delivered on labor values like disability schemes, workers rights and the environment. I'm proud of her, and to be a party member with women like her around, but didn't Aussie women give it to her from day 1.? Good old aussie women. Look at her hair ! Look at her clothes ! Do you think he's one of them?" Oh that voice ! isn't it horrible?" all the while failing to realise what shrill vacuous idiots they themselves sounded like. Women belonging to the great unwashed group turned to sunrise, murdoch and alan jones to form their opinions. It's so much easier than thinking isn't it Sheila? I think we might become the dumbest country on earth if this lot keep breeding. The libs never hurt me. I generally put my head down and make money whenever they are in. The libs hurt poor people and, funny as it is, their swinging votes are the ones that always put them in.

HAVOCK21 has opinions thus...

Posted September 29, 2013

still means we have 55 cockheads and that their is a fair portion of the population that think a COMPLETE FKN RETARD LIKE HIM IS OK!. the gutys a SERIOUS fkn retared fkn CONTROL FREAK that needs capping as soon as fkn possible!

Better yert, I love the exposay on PILLARD and how she used the sexisum debat to further her cause, ..SHE SHOULD BE FKN CAPPED AS WELL, GOOD FKN RIDDANCE TO SERUIOUSLY FKN BAD FKN RUSBBISH I SAY, I WOULD NOT PISS ON EITHER OF them if they were on fkn fire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!yeah Tonnnny aint no fkn saint, but for fkn sure, hes not as big an ARSE FKN as that snowy fkn git! and the ORANGE fkn PILLOW...well actually its prolly a fkn sofa in MY fkn OPINION!

Fact is, the LABOUR PARTAAAAAAAAAAAAAY IS LOST...fkn from its members and if its not smart enough to evolve..ITS FKN DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Blarkon ducks in to say...

Posted September 29, 2013

Gillard didn't have the "midichlorians" to break through and communicate her government's accomplishments. The special charisma/force of personality that allowed people like Hawke and Whitlam to cut through and be revered beyond their accomplishments.

You can be the most amazingly competent government in the world - but if the people aren't listening to you you've failed at the "politics" part of the equation.

Abbott doesn't have the "midichlorians" either. He doesn't have to slip far to lose government on the next round and it's hard to imagine him being able to reinvent himself into someone likeable enough to reelect. He's being given a go on the swings, but most people expect that he'll start yelling obsenities and punching, kicking, and verbally abusing the other kids in the playground because it's always been in his nature. He's was a boxer because he likes hitting people.

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Blarkon ducks in to say...

Posted September 29, 2013

He also got to make some changes to party structure that will probably help in the long run. It would be fun to see the conservatives run a vote through their party membership.

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HAVOCK21 asserts...

Posted September 29, 2013

well its least its not run by FKN THUGS and PORN and fkn PROSTITUE using fkn muopets that are supported in turn bt Legal mobs whi aint got not tangles dangles between their colective fkn legs to do jack shit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ANDDDDDDDD! the libs aint much fkn better to be brutally fkn ohonest, not that most LABOUR supports are, but CLIVE...and the shooooters party..yeah baby!, bout time the main stream fkn retards got it in the fkn kneck they have been maniupulating the sytem for that fkn lomng its simply not fkn funny and now they got skewed in teh arse by it. serbves the muppets righ,!

Blarkon mutters...

Posted September 29, 2013

It's when he segues into Clive Palmer that it goes from incoherent ranting to performance art.

HAVOCK21 would have you know...

Posted September 29, 2013

nothing wrong with CLIVE!!!!!!!!!!! And I NEVER FKN RANT!..itslaid out streqms of fkn INTELLECTUAL GODLIFKNESS!

damian mumbles...

Posted September 29, 2013

Nah Orin, it's still incoherent ranting. The shift to Clive just emphasises the lack of connection to any rational basis.

HAVOCK21 has opinions thus...

Posted September 30, 2013

Politicians..thats gotta be the link, then again, I fully suspect that the real link, common tread, might well have Been BOAGS!

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HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted September 29, 2013

Actualky the more I devote precious fkn metalk time toi this, the more I realise its not that the rudd fkn muppet wa s a brigt shooting star or something like that, its that in aqll reality has was more fk akin to a fart in a bottle..funny to look at fnad fkn BAAADD when ya opened it up IMHO!!

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Frip would have you know...

Posted September 29, 2013

All politician's suck - it's just the amount of suck that varies...

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Guru Bob ducks in to say...

Posted September 29, 2013

Krudd never seemed to realise that more than half of his twitter followers were probably waiting for puberty to start, let alone getting old enough to vote. Apparently he was very popular with the same demographic as Justin Beiber. No-one has ever won an election by appealling to people who can't vote... Maybe it also demonstrates how irrelevant the twittersphere is to most people outside the media?

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BigWillieStyle ducks in to say...

Posted September 30, 2013

Meh. The ALP's downfall was set in concrete the moment the shock-jocks and Murdoch tabloids decided to seize upon "There will be no carbon tax under a Government I lead". Wedge the electorate with a single issue, and make it into something bigger than what it actually is, by repeating it over and over and over and over and over and over and fucking over. Keating did it in '93 by making the election all about the GST. Play on people's base fears and prejudices - THAT'S how you win an election.

Accordingly, I suspect Abbott's will be a one-term Government. Give the Opposition a few months and something will come up. George Brandis and Barnaby Joyce using taxpayer funds to attend a private wedding, having their no-speakies policy on boats backfire immediately, and pissing off Indonesia is a promising first two weeks.

Lulu is gonna tell you...

Posted September 30, 2013

I don't hold hope of it being a one-term govt - probably to their 'advantage' to get all that crap in the first two weeks rather than the last two weeks.

BigWillieStyle mumbles...

Posted September 30, 2013

Lulu, the crap is just beginning. Enormous difference between being in Opposition and being in Government - I genuinely think the Coalition are shitting themselves, and they'll come apart at the seams quickly. Pyne has already been rebuked by Abbott for going off script. Abbott's style of leadership, where nobody is allowed off his leash, will cause dissent in the ranks. They'll unravel, and will struggle to recover, because they don't have any big ideas to save them.

Halwes has opinions thus...

Posted September 30, 2013

I particularly liked the way that the truth was handled over the carbon tax. Media outlets, including the ABC, only ever played the first half of the sentence." There will be no carbon tax in a government that I lead however I'm determined to put a price on carbon" was the full statement as I remember it. Australians are pretty stupid and greedy ( a very dangerous combination in my experience) if they think that we can be the worlds highest per capita emitters of carbon and not incurr the wrath of the rest of the world and future generations at some point.

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Guru Bob is gonna tell you...

Posted September 30, 2013

Sadly the electorate have shown that they have a very short memory, lots of times.... In three years no-one will remember or care about ther current stuff-ups...

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NBlob would have you know...

Posted September 30, 2013
I'm still in denial. No-one would let a supporating-fuck like Pyne be education minister. (Please excuse me ladies and those gentlemen of sensitive natures) It stands to reason that no-one would let Julie Bishop chair the UN seciruty Council. Dito Abetz Minister for employment? Andrew Robb Minister for Fisheries &/or Scullion for Indigenous affairs ? Ha, a cheaper joke than a spinning bow tie.

NBlob mumbles...

Posted September 30, 2013

Again with the style fail.

Guru Bob asserts...

Posted October 5, 2013

I thought that they were sending Mirabella over to look after the UN now she doesn't have a job any more?

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Therbs puts forth...

Posted September 30, 2013

Ha! Havsy loves Chris Pyne!

Why does anyone think that Abbott wouldn't avoid questions and do a runner whenever confronted by the press? He. Has. No. Answers. Abbott is the triumphant result of the skills and persistence of teachers of special needs classes. Interesting to see Bishop gloat in the glory of Australia's chairmanship of the UNSC which she thought was a waste of time and money.

Are Abbott's minders really going to let him talk to the Indo Prez? That is sheer madness, he'll be outsmarted before he walks through the door. He ain't the sharpest tool in the shed as he demonstrated when he couldn't win over the independent senators back in 2010. Let's hope Abbott doesn't hand over too much territory in trying to gain traction in his retarded policy of turning back boats and buying boats. Mind you it is fun to have our own dumbed down version of Geroge W at the helm. Comedy gold.

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted September 30, 2013

It was probably Sun Tzu, Ho Chi Minh or possibly Colonel Sanders who said "if you under-estimate your enemy you are lost." I don't think the Mad Monk is stupid per se, the man was a Rhodes Scholar after all. I do think it is the ultimate in "just because you can Get the job, does not mean you can Do the job."

I'll never forget the gold-fish gulping silence on a TV interview when the journo had the temerity to ask a question outside of Toned Abs briefing notes.

Blarkon mumbles...

Posted September 30, 2013

The Rhodes has a few interesting conditions that make a lot of insanely clever people ineligible. Mostly around the "sports" provisions. I know a few people (and one Uni friend) that were awarded the scholarship, and while all of them were sharp cookies, there were a lot of sharper cookies that either didn't apply because they wouldn't meet the non-academic criteria or that they saw going to Oxford as a diversion from where they wanted to go with their academic career. While the Rhodes scholars I knew did go on and do their Ph.Ds, a lot of the ones you hear about don't. It's sort of one of those "get prestigious scholarship but what the fuck do I study?" scenarios - with some people thinking "well I really want to study X and Y and while the scholarship looks amazing on the CV I really want to get to Y as soon as possible" (even more so today where a lot of people run off to create their own startup rather than faffing about with a thesis)

NBlob reckons...

Posted September 30, 2013

Aye, I can't argue that. But one would expect that the recipient of such an honour to be above the velcro-shoe-laces percentile. Unlike Our Minister for Agriculture who struggles with the difference between GDP, PRC and KFC.

Quokka would have you know...

Posted September 30, 2013

There's intelligence & then there's emotional intelligence, and being genius level in the former won't save you if you're utterly lacking in the latter.

Tony is dumb as a box of rocks when it comes to handling people, which is why he resorts to bully-boy tactics when other methods fail.

Normally I hit the mute button when he comes onscreen but the Indonesia visit should be the comedy gold as he blunders round in that mess. I wouldn't miss it for quids.

Lulu mumbles...

Posted September 30, 2013

I did rather enojoy the cartoon in today's Age, showing Tony & Julie in Indonesia:

http://www.theage.com.au/comment/the-age-letters/bigger-and-louder-is-not-always-a-winner-20130929-2umfg.html

w from brisbane would have you know...

Posted September 30, 2013

Like Bob Hawke, Kim Beesley and Malcolm Turnbull; Tony Abbott was a Rhodes scholar. While not wishing to downplay that achievement, I understand that the strong support of influential Jesuits was a significant help in the success of his application.
Abbott had already expressed and displayed his interest in being a political advocate of a conservative Catholic philosophy, being inspired and personally mentored by Bob Santamaria, amongst others.

w from brisbane mumbles...

Posted September 30, 2013

D'oh. I'm blaming wine.
* Kim Beazley.

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Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted September 30, 2013

Like the old officer class of the British Army and Navy, becoming a Rhodes Scholar is more about connections and patronage, not smarts I reckon he has a certain amount of shallow rat cunning but there's about as much depth as a collapsed thought balloon..

"Gold-fishing gulping silence" - gold.

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Dino not to be confused with mumbles...

Posted October 1, 2013

JB

They are all mostly "Ratfuckers".(IMHO)

A few exceptions.

Hope you were renumerated adequately for the profanity.

Any discussion of Politics that doesn't contain any is insincere.

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Respond to 'The Fall of KRudd'

Journalism = Terrorism

Posted August 20, 2013 into Politics by John Birmingham

I missed the brouhaha in the UK over the hamfisted detention and interrogation of David Miranda, the partner of Guardian reporter, Glenn Greenwald who's made much of the running on the Edward Snowden story.

Long story short, the UK government used laws designed to trap and hold terror suspects at border crossings to put a bag on Miranda - not even a journalist, just the partner of a journalist - threatening him with jail if they didn't 'get their stuff back'.

This goonish rum-thugggery and the smashing of Guardian laptops and hard drives would be a dark satire on the modern surveillance state if it wasn't so serious. Most of the west, especially the anglosphere has introduced wide ranging anti-terror laws since 9/11 which have proven themselves to be very attractive legal instruments when faced with uncomfortable public debates about the limits of that same national security state.

The Guardian's editor has written a slightly uneven piece here, which provides a basic rundown. (You can skip the first three pars, they're irrelevant and kind of confusing). The conclusions are dark.

The state that is building such a formidable apparatus of surveillance will do its best to prevent journalists from reporting on it. Most journalists can see that. But I wonder how many have truly understood the absolute threat to journalism implicit in the idea of total surveillance, when or if it comes – and, increasingly, it looks like "when".

41 Responses to ‘Journalism = Terrorism’

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted August 20, 2013

Par 3, Line 2 "surveillance state if it so serious"

surveillance state if it Weren't so serious ?

Sorry, Pedants of the world & all that. Look forward to reading the linked story tonight.

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Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted August 20, 2013

If you want to keep something safe, you don't store it on a computer. I'm no computer expert but I understand that basic fact.

More to the point, maybe it would not be an entirely bad thing if Journalism had to step back from technology to rely upon typewriters and couriers.

Thing is, while I understand the function of the Fourth Estate, I think like many I've grown more than a bit disgusted with the sanctimonius, self righteous, "We are the Patron Saints of Democracy," attitude which is often expressed by some reporters, to include the one Journalism Instructor I had as an undergrad before I decided that was enough of that. As an historian, I find their role as writing the first draft of history to be nearly useless. Most historians regard any given newspaper article with a heavy dose of salt lick.

So I suppose I should be upset that something awful happened to this guy. That said, I can't help but think that the Editor of the Guardian brought it on himself. He pretty much said, in so many words, "Fuck you, I'm going to publish whatever I want in 'Murica where you can't touch me. BTW, our Ace Reporter lives in Brazil." I don't damn him for planning on that action or thinking on it.

I damn him for being a fucking idiot with the security forces and actually TELLING THEM what he was planning on doing.

Anyway, I have a hard time seeing these people as heroes, especially from a publication that takes advantage of the First Amendment to shit all over my home country on a regular basis. Maybe they need to tend to their own home first.

Caveat: Yes, yes, yes, concerned about the Super Surveillance State I am. However, it still takes human analysts to process all of that data and so much of it is basic, mindless kitten teh cute photos and bad memes on facebook. Static and distraction. If I were running the NSA, I wouldn't suck all of the data I could grab, I'd be a lot more surgical and targeted with my approach.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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monkeymind asserts...

Posted August 20, 2013

Doubleplusgood.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted August 20, 2013

Orwell warned us about everything that matters most.

NBlob mumbles...

Posted August 20, 2013

Make sense you lunatic.

Orwell Oh taught me nothing. It reinforced a prior learnt misery associated with being hungry after 8 PM on a Wednesday evening in nowheresville.

Orwell Cambrigdeshire? Even less than that. Since 1150 AD a series of glum parsons have drownded any spark out of anyone in the district at the St Andrew's font.

1,166 funless bastards in Orwell NY have even less to impart. You'd think being "Dry" would teach you some new perspective or something. Nope, just the same cold, rainy kind of nothing that you'll find anywhere in that area. One guy was pretty funny, but only in comparison to his fellow citizens and I think he had some kind of cognitive impairment, so every chuckle was laced with guilt.

Orwell Pa is best not discussed in polite company.

The laborers of Orwell Vermont seems to have sruck rich veins of boring when digging the historical fortifications. They piled up great mounds, berms, ha has and ramparts of boring, then hunkered down behind them.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted August 21, 2013

So many Orwells, so little time before the knock on the door in the night.

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Barnesm reckons...

Posted August 20, 2013

But Murph at its heart this story was about how an the anti-terrorism law was used to detain the partner of a journalist and inspect their private records. I am not sure I understand your arguement of "how the editor of the guardian brought it on himself" as I thought they detained the partner of a guardian columnist.

This was not about protecting anyone, or preventing a terrorist attack. It is hard to consider this as anything other than a vindicitve and punative act on the part of a government employee.

If the use of this power is shown to have been appropriate in this case then I can only beleive this is a bad law since it would mean anyone may be detained without reason.

"If you want to keep something safe, you don't store it on a computer" I would have thought given the massive processing power of a computer it would be easier to keep something safe on it rather than writing it down on a piece of paper or typing it out on a type writer documents which could be taken during his detention much more easily than accessing his harddrive. Surely modern technology improves our ability to protect our information with quantum encryption, public keys, cloud storage, veiled speech data and Palimpsest partitioning.

As you alluded to there is alot of data out there and even with the best software the NSA develops the competing desires to keep information confidential will also lead to developing tools to prevent their finding this information.

Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted August 21, 2013

Barnes, they detained the reporter's partner for these reasons.

1. To show that you can go ahead and report outside of the UK. When you reenter the UK there will be sanction.

2. The man aided and abetted in the distribution of classified material. My country isn't exactly forgiving about such things either. Last time I checked, that was illegal. It was illegal prior to 9-11 as well.

I have to admit, and this is why I never pursued becoming a journalist myself, I do not understand this near mastrubatory, messanic glee with which your standard issue reporter goes after stories like this. They are the first to bitch and whine if there is an intelligence failure which leads to the killing of three thousand plus people. And intelligence failure brought on part in parcel due to a kneejerk reaction which crippled intelligence services in the post-Vietnam Era, particularly here in the United States. Then they are the first to bitch and moan that the intelligence services are too invasive.

Too hot, too cold, just right? Which of the three is it? And can anyone even agree on what just right is? Some nutters would have us disband the intelligence services completely while others would drive us off into the draconian state of 1984.

As per technology, and here I can speak with some authority due to my time in the Signal Corps, the most secure form of communication is one person walking right up to another and verbally telling them what they memorized, making them memorize it in turn. That is right below hand carrying messages by armed courier.

The moment you encode it and try to transmit it, rest assured that someone else will crack that code, eventually, if they are determined enough to do so.

I used to hear all the time in Korea about how our signal hopping radios couldn't be hacked by the enemy. Too sophisticated, the codes were too good, blah, blah, blah. It was a boring day at Sergeant's Time so I stuck my hand up and asked a question.

"What if an OPFOR team neutralized the crew of a SEN rig equipped with a Sincgars radio? What then?"

I would point out, given the rather pathetic performance of the Signal pukes I was stationed with in Korea, it would not have been a difficult task. Once you have a SEN rig that is already synced to the network with a radio, you can begin to tap into the comms of the entire division.

Anyway, anything can be hacked.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted August 21, 2013

"The man aided and abetted in the distribution of classified material. My country isn't exactly forgiving about such things either. Last time I checked, that was illegal. It was illegal prior to 9-11 as well"

To be fair your country also enshrined the principle of innocent until proven guilty, a reluctance to allow search and seizure without probable cause and an distrust of federal government almost enshrined in your DNA.

I do not think that Mr Miranda (and its a bizarre case of nominative determinism that he was denied access to lawyer until the lat hour when he could be detained) was held because he met the provisions of schedule 7 of the UKs Terrorism Act, I think this was a case of a government demonstrating it could threaten you if you did something it didn't like.

If I understand your post you believe this is a reasonable action on the part of an employee acting on behalf of the government. I think this the crux of where we differ as I do not. The law should apply to both its citizens and the legal apparatus of government to act within those laws. I do not believe on this occasion the government acted within those provisions, and just as someone who breaks a law can expect a sanction, I hope that the government when it breaks the law should also expect a sanction.

But this difference in opinion between us is not a bad thing but the heart of a modern, pluralist society with a government of elected representatives. Its citizens debate, argue and then convince those who represent us to enact laws. yes i realise neither of us are citizens of the UK but I am sure the same arguements are being raised by UK citizens.

These powers that were used to detain Mr Miranda unless they are being used for the specified purpose of determining whether the detained person fills the definition of “terrorist” under section 40(1)(b) then the power to detain and question cannot be lawfully used.

And if that is not the purpose, then the power to search for property to assist in determining whether a person is a terrorist is not triggered, and this in turn means that the power to retain any property for evidence in criminal proceedings is also not triggered.

In other words, schedule 7 cannot be used as a fishing expedition for property.

I understand your frustration with what seems like flipflopping on the issue of security and I take your point about an individual passing the information directly being the most secure. Its just that you can not convey the level of information about our world that way any more. The DNA sequence for a modified H1N1 virus that caused such alarm recently, the climate modeling specification that formed the basis for the IPCC, the photos of conditions inside Apple factories in Asia, the evidence needed to prove NSA monitoring of international cable and satellite data all require a storage system better than that offered by shaving a slaves head, tattooing a map on it and then letting his hair grow out.

The problem for governments is the the same sort of people that are good at building these technologies include a many that favour 'lefty' attitudes of freedom of information, open access distrubuted networks. The same difficulties apply to both citizen, journalist and government the challange of course is that the government usually has more to hide. The question as citizens is how much should the government be allowed to hide from its citizens and who decides.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted August 21, 2013

The other aspect of this is a misunderstanding of the different prerogatives, privileges and responsibilities and constraints pertaining to individual citizens and the state. In liberal pluralist societies individuals are free to do whatsoever they chose unless specifically constrained by law, lawfully enacted. The state has no privileges or powers beyond those ceded to it by the citizens. The liberal democratic state cannot just stop you at the airport and fuck your shit up because they want to 'send a message'. (Altho the TSA tries hard, as I understand). The state cand do only what we allow it to do. And in the case of the Echelon network, bcause this is a bout a lot more than just the NSA, the signatory states to that arrangement have been operating well beyond the scope of the laws enacted to allow them to surveil potential terror threats and even further beyond the knowledge of the citizens who elected representatives to pass those laws, and whose taxes pay for the very agencies which have been surveiling and, in Miranda's case, harrassing them.

pi mumbles...

Posted August 22, 2013

> 2. The man aided and abetted in the distribution of classified material.

Holding classified material is now terrorism? Wow. Just wow. By that reckoning, it wouldn't take too much to realise that every journalist, at some point or another, has engaged in a terrorist act.

Murphy puts forth...

Posted August 22, 2013

Don't put words in my mouth. I stated that it is illegal.

John mentions that we the People give the State power. An old, noble political idea and one I spend a fair bit of time talking about in my classroom, especially pertaining to revolutions and the like.

Yeah . . . but is that reality these days? I ask that question because I don't think it is reality anymore. I think the State has grown beyond the means of ordinary citizens to get a grip on it. Like governing entities of past eras, they have grown too powerful, too vast, too wealthy and are controlled by a select few.

So, one could pontificate on a valid idea and wish that the world operated that way or one could realize that the landscape has changed.

The Editor at The Guardian thinks the rules haven't changed. I called him an idiot because they most certainly have changed.

Don't believe me?

See if anyone is really talking about this in two years. See if there is some mass movement, protests, riots or even a revolution which sweeps all of this away. See if anything, really, at the end of the day, changes.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the Revolution is at hand and perhaps it will be televised even.

But I doubt it.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 22, 2013

Don't put words in my mouth. I stated that it is illegal.

John mentions that we the People give the State power. An old, noble political idea and one I spend a fair bit of time talking about in my classroom, especially pertaining to revolutions and the like.

Yeah . . . but is that reality these days? I ask that question because I don't think it is reality anymore. I think the State has grown beyond the means of ordinary citizens to get a grip on it. Like governing entities of past eras, they have grown too powerful, too vast, too wealthy and are controlled by a select few.

So, one could pontificate on a valid idea and wish that the world operated that way or one could realize that the landscape has changed.

The Editor at The Guardian thinks the rules haven't changed. I called him an idiot because they most certainly have changed.

Don't believe me?

See if anyone is really talking about this in two years. See if there is some mass movement, protests, riots or even a revolution which sweeps all of this away. See if anything, really, at the end of the day, changes.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the Revolution is at hand and perhaps it will be televised even.

But I doubt it.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

pi has opinions thus...

Posted August 22, 2013

> Don't put words in my mouth. I stated that it is illegal.

I'm not putting words in your mouth. That statement, right there, is the issue.

'it' MIGHT be illegal. But until someone actually gets CHARGED with something, what it is, is someone saying something, and nothing more. Even stating that it is illegal, without proving it, is slander. Writing it down is libel.

Ya see, that's what courts are for. That's what judges are for. That's what the law is for. That's what probable cause is for. Without probable cause, you don't get to just blanket say "that's illegal, I can do what I want.". You have to have a premise of an illegal act (as in, specifically), apply the statutes of the law to determine whether there is 'probable cause' that would necessitate the need to investigate that act, and THEN you have the right, under the law, to detain a person in connection with the that act that they've been accused of, and that was the subject of the probable cause. If you've done all of that, and find other things that they're guilty of, after you've satisfied all of these prior requirements, bonza.

But 'the act' that Monsieur Miranda was accused of was 'terrorism'. Not theft. Not owning stolen property. He wasn't even technically on UK soil, and so what constitutes 'ownership' would even be in question.

No words in the mouth there Murph. The detainment was flat-out illegal, and of a far worse nature than anything that he was actually guilty of, because he's certainly never going to be convicted of 'terrorism'.

Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted August 22, 2013

Is the document classified?

Yes.

Did the asshole knowingly take classified information and aid and abet in the distribution of said information?

Yes.

If a court finds thus, then he broke the fucking law and he ought to be lining the inside of a jailcell.

If I distributed the code book for any given day when I was in the Army to the local media rest assured my chain of command would toss me in jail and I'd be courts martialed.

The guy knew the risks. He took his chances and now he's been caught.

Frankly, I say prosecute him for what he is. A criminal.

Not, let me be clear, a terrorist.

pi at large has opinions thus...

Posted August 23, 2013
> If a court finds thus,

Did a court find thus?

No.

Barnesm mumbles...

Posted August 23, 2013

The major arguements being enunciated in this discusion seem to have been captured in Quinn Norton's piece 'Bradley (sic) Manning and the two Americas' over at Medium.

An excerpt

To one side, Manning’s release of classified material into the public purview is a declaration of the people’s right to know, and an angry comment on how the world is run behind closed doors. To the other, it represents a force threatening to undermine the system that holds America together.

If you see America as a place within borders, a bureaucratic and imperial government that acts on behalf of its 350 million people, if you see America as its edifices, its mandarins, the careful and massive institutions that have built our cities and vast physical culture, the harsh treatment of Manning for defying that institution makes sense, even if it was, at times, brutal.

But if you see America as an idea, and a revolutionary one in its day, that not only could a person decide her fate but that the body of people could act together as a great leader might lead?—?and that this is a better way to be?—?Manning didn’t betray that America.

The second America doesn’t have that name anymore. It morphed and grew just as the first, promulgated for a moment from the east side of the mid-North American continent, but going on to become a sense of democracy, the rights of man. It merged with the other spirits born of the Enlightenment and became the force behind science, technology, free speech, and populist will.

Then the ideas of self-determination and the freedom to know blossomed as they never had before in the dying days of the 20th century. The second America became a strange and amorphous transnational creature. It became networked.

an interesting read.

Also I realise that she should be addressed as Chelsea Manning but sine that was the title of the peice I left it unchanged.

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DiddyWrote mumbles...

Posted August 20, 2013

It's rather telling isn't it, that with under three weeks till polling day, neither the LNP or Labor have any interest in discussing if it is in Australia's best interest to allow the United States to eavesdrop on just about everybody in the country.

That Telstra has signed a secret agreement with the US State department agreeing that it will break any existing or future Australian privacy laws that run counter to US needs to access information about it's Australian customers is outrageous.

US law supersedes Australian law. Discuss.

pi asserts...

Posted August 22, 2013

It is only since this whole thing has broken that I have installed TrueCrypt and am using it now for file-storage. I turfed microsoft about a year ago for linux, and am now

This is not that idle a concern. I actually work on a site identified as a terrorist target, and I've worked on some of the largest construction projects in the world. The things I talk about, and the things I know, in the wrong hands, would actually be quite dangerous.

The question is... are these people doing anything that would lead you to believe that you should be blindly trusting them? The capacity for blackmail with someone knowing everything you've ever conversed about is scary.

It's a long long process to start plugging these gaps, but I started a year ago, and I'll continue to plug them until there aren't any more. And I'll be teaching my kids how to do this as well.

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Rob is gonna tell you...

Posted August 20, 2013

Perhaps this is a response to Blunty but disinterest in the election may be the result of the priority given to discussion of refugee politics over anythng that would involve any form of detailed analysis.

We exist on the internet which by it's nature is borderless. Even the Guardian editor arrogantly points out he will undertake reporting in whatever juristriction gives them the maximum freedom. Why would we expect corporations and governments to do any different?

Unfortunately what we need is start working on global harmonisation of privacy and IP laws(now there's a mammoth task.)

pi is gonna tell you...

Posted August 22, 2013

I'm not going to wait for that harmonization. I'll use tools that don't require trusting people that have proven themselves not worthy of trust.

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MickH reckons...

Posted August 20, 2013

off topic I know but my fav question asked to Bolt via twitter:

"How does it feel to be a nut and a bolt at the same time?"

ROFLMAO! I laughed till I snorted

insomniac reckons...

Posted August 21, 2013

the best in my opinion was the one asking if he had ever thought about being a journalist

SZF mutters...

Posted August 21, 2013

Personally, I liked "Do you agree that Abdul Alhazred's 'Necronomicon' is the most dangerous book ever written?"

Lulu would have you know...

Posted August 21, 2013

I liked the random nonsensical ones - "Why do birds suddenly appear?" etc

Surtac puts forth...

Posted August 21, 2013

The necronomicon one was my favourite too. :)

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robW puts forth...

Posted August 21, 2013

Professor Boylan, I am curious whether 'legally' a 'spouse' is a private person--as in someone who is not subject to public scrutiny? Can the wife of an ambassador be detained and questioned? Can the spouse of a business person be detained? Or is it only a person suspected of terrorism or trafficing in porn? In the US could we/would we detain the spouse of a suspected drug lord from Thailand if her flight had a layover in Los Angeles on the way to Mexico City?

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 21, 2013

You ask an important question worthy of a serious, bullshit-free answer:

Q: Can the wife of an ambassador be detained and questioned? Can the spouse of a business person be detained?

A: Yes. It can happen. It has happened. It will happen.

Q: Can the wife of an ambassador be legally detained and questioned? Can the spouse of a business person be legally detained?

A: Prior to the fall of the World Trade Center, the answer would have been "no." But since then the limits on the reach of law enforcement have eroded to the point where, even if there are laws checking the abuse of police power, those laws are being ignored. For example, there is no doubt whatsoever that the domestic spying the NSA is doing is illegal, violating more laws than I have time to even contemplate. But the cold, hard truth is that it isn’t going to stop. The legislature won’t stop them and neither will the courts. And they know it – from the Texas State Trooper who stopped three black women driving in a car, said he smelled marijuana and then performed a “cavity search” then and there (see, http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/08/05/lawyers-illegal-body-cavity-searches-of-women-standard-policy-at-texas-traffic-stops/) to the NSA agents reading your email and listening to your phone calls – they know there will be no consequence for abusing their authority.

Q: In the US could we/would we detain the spouse of a suspected drug lord from Thailand if her flight had a layover in Los Angeles on the way to Mexico City?

A: Yes. But it doesn't have to be the wife of a suspected drug lord. Look past the legal. Think politcal. It can be the wife or son or uncle of someone who is publicly critical of the United States or who does something - legally - that we don't like.

I think it is important to point out that we can also push our friends to do it for us. That is what our British cousins just did holding the life partner of a journalist for 9 hours and confiscating all his electronics even though there was and is no legitimate law enforcement/terrorism prevention reason to do so. They did it because someone here told them to do it.

Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 21, 2013

Boylan told me about the body cavity search during our breakfast a couple of weeks back. For those that are worried that I have no outrage left, I was fairly well outraged about that incident and one other he related to me concerning law enforcement.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted August 21, 2013

I really need to work on developing supplemental topics for light conversation.

Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted August 22, 2013

We covered lighter topics when Cindy got the hoodies for the unseasonably cold morning walk in Davis. :)

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted August 21, 2013

I am getting sick and tired of being Captain Bring Down.

Barnesm would have you know...

Posted August 21, 2013

maybe if you did it wearing tights and a cape you'd feel better

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted August 21, 2013

No, not really. The tights itch and the cape is totally gay.

Not that there is anything wrong with that.

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Lulu would have you know...

Posted August 21, 2013
I thought you were Major Bring Down, not Captain?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 21, 2013

I was demoted because I am depressing.

Dino not to be confused with mutters...

Posted August 21, 2013

Whoa guys!

Let me know when Happy Hour is.

I'll come back then.

Ya big bunch a'downers!

On a serious note I hate it when the signet shuts your internet signal.

Do they do it then snigger?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted August 21, 2013

Yes, but only when they do it to you.

Dino not to be confused with would have you know...

Posted August 21, 2013

I hope they don't snigger so much they wet their pants.

It would be funny if they did that!

Now I'm sniggering...

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pi reckons...

Posted August 22, 2013

What it means to be a suspect.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/style-blog/wp/2013/08/21/fbi-suspected-william-vollmann-was-the-unabomber/

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Respond to 'Journalism = Terrorism'

Sports Day and the election

Posted August 15, 2013 into Politics by John Birmingham

Yesterday was Thomas's school sports day. They hold this every year on Brisbane's holiday for the EKKA. (A sort of city based state fair, for my O/S readers. A bizarre anachronism in the 21st century, but a popular holiday). It's a helluva long day, held at the school playing fields which are provincially located many, many miles from the campus, out at Runcorn, about half an hour down the freeway to the coast.

I use it as an opportunity to get my step count up on FitBit. Did 27 000 yesterday. Go me. I was also listening out for conversations about the elction, because I have a long feature to write about Rudd and I was curious as to how he was travelling with the punters. Last year, for instance, everywhere I went through the day, I heard people bagging Campbell Newman. He'd just slashed thousands of public service jobs and hundreds of programs, many of which were also important to provate contractors.

Yesterday?

Nothing. Not a sausage. (Not beyond the bbq area anyway).

I walked around that crowd of about 4000 people for six hours and didn't once hear mention made of the election. Not Rudd, not Abbott, not the parties, the campaign, the coverage, the gaffes. Nada.

It was quite a contrast with my twitter feed, which is all, ahem, a-twitter with daily outrage and rolling derpery. And of course the media can think of nothing else on their front pages. Nor should they. It's our job.

But I got the distinct impression yesterday that in the world of real things, most people just don't care.

48 Responses to ‘Sports Day and the election’

monkeymind swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 15, 2013

I think many don't care. We have had two decades of good economic times. Most people are ok and so what flavour of poly sits in the big chair does not trouble many.

When the good times end then the debate will heat up a bit.

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MickH swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 15, 2013

What I get is people just don't trust abbott and think he will do a Newman but on a much larger scale.

There was an air of palpable relief when Rudd ousted Julia at the water cooler at work.

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Rob asserts...

Posted August 15, 2013

I'm struggling to even pretend to care.

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JBtoo swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 15, 2013

I care a lot. But when the choice is between derp and derpier...

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NBlob reckons...

Posted August 15, 2013

Provate contractors?

I know you've sworn off, but farcebook is an eye opener. The AntiAbbot forces conjur at least one hyperbolic hate-vent daily.

There is a very odd dynamic at play, I call it TodayTonightism by which (it would seem) only the most exclamatory and declarative are Favourited and passed through various timelines.

Also intersting is having a diverse range of FarceBook friends, who favourite 180 degree opposing views.

I chuckled @ the suppository of all wisdom line

w from brisbane ducks in to say...

Posted August 15, 2013

That reminds me of an old joke.

"Doctor, doctor! Do you know you have a suppository behind your ear?"

"Oh, no! Some bum's got my biro!"

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Abe Frellman has opinions thus...

Posted August 15, 2013

Caught Gruen last night and allowed myself to be convinced that the phoney war is about to end and both parties are about to launch into the negative ads. This is likely to prove insufferable.

And watching the news and 730 tonight I came to the conclusion that it's just sliding further and further away from Rudd. I keep telling myself that this is not all bad as long as Turnbull stays on the front bench. And then there is the impact on my wallet, as I'm short Queanbeyan property and it's about to get a lot cheaper.

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Blake mumbles...

Posted August 15, 2013

I read about half a paragraph of a serious political article in the MX on the train on the way home - i thought i was interested but i really wasn't.

The problem with Abbott is not just a Cambell esque cull but Cambell round II that comes when there's a nice friendly coalition government - maybe it needs to happen but it's unlikely to make my life easier.

The problem with all the apathy and the fresh but not fresh enough Rudd is that we're well on track to another hung parliment, i don't think there enough ill sentiment left to give Abbott the massive landslide he was promised a few months ago but Rudd needs to keep pulling rabbits out of his hat right up till election day to have a real chance at staying in.

My problem with Rudd is the lack of creativity and compassion on the Asylum seekers issue.

School on a public holiday? I wouldn't vote for that.

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Barnesm reckons...

Posted August 16, 2013

Its not that I don't care, I do its important. The Australian population is facing really significant issues in the coming years and decades. Its just there is very little separating the two major parties. If i may quote Bart Simpson "The little, stupid differences are nothing next to the big, stupid similarities" this was certainly reinforced when they both said they wouldn't work with minor parites to form a minority government. I can see some slight differences which will dispose me marginally to one or the other but its hardly enough to want to give either the 'mandate' that will no doubt be claimed.

A plague on both their houses, unfortuantelty that means a plague on me as well.

zeniph swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 16, 2013

That Bart Simpson quote is sooo good at summing up this election - thanks

Both parties refusing to form a minority gov – I get it but it's stuuupid just too stuuupid. Negotiation and compromise is the how governments should and have to operate (unless they also control the senate I guess) – but there’s no heroic story in saying we all sat around and came up with a workable solution. There’s no fearless leader image in that. Instead it’s all "I am the fearless party leader, I crushed the opponents and their feeble policies…"

Jayanthi's Atomic Cat has opinions thus...

Posted August 22, 2013
If they're opposed to working with the minor parties, are they perhaps preparing to woo the independents again? 'Cause, you know, my mama said you can't hurry love...

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nhamilton@iinet.net.au is gonna tell you...

Posted August 16, 2013

When did Mr Rabbit become Tony?

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Bunyip swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 16, 2013

Just saw a promo on ABC Brokefist, which highlighted a similar walk around an Under 18's sporting event. Except it was NSW, and I think RL. Maybe you're giving people ideas for stories, JB.

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Moko has opinions thus...

Posted August 16, 2013

I think most do care on a certain level. But I also think most are fairly comfortable with Rudd and the entire vibe has changed since he got the job back. Most people I know feel he has the best intentions for the country and the only ones that had a problem with him in the past were the ones he worked with and the ones with the money.

There's something fundamentally fake ... or offset ... or there's a weird vibe with Abbott. He is undiplomatic and his 'handlers' have to keep him in check. Which is fucking strange when you're talking about a potential PM. Rudd fits the PM shirt. Abbott doesn't.

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Quokka swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 16, 2013

The gruens were hilarious the other night. Do watch it on iView if you missed it.

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dewpoint has opinions thus...

Posted August 16, 2013

I'm struggling to remain interested, there just doesn't seem to be much to be interested in. Each seem to be trying to counter each others policies and neither seem to have any grand view for the future.

Both Rudd and Abbott are really irritating. I can't find anything at all to like about Abbott, Moko seems to be spot on with the 'weird vibe' Abbott has. And Rudd seems to be starting to panic, his confidence/arrogance starting to fragment as he desperately pulls more rushed and unthought through policies out of his hat.

oh for an inspirational leader

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pitpat asserts...

Posted August 16, 2013

Like most above I have a certain ennui about this election. But in it's defence I would much prefer to be bored to death then shot to death e.g. Egypt, Syria, and the rest of the Arab Spring

Jayanthi's Atomic Cat puts forth...

Posted August 22, 2013
Well said, pitpat.

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SZF reckons...

Posted August 16, 2013

Three of us at work have a wager going on this election. My $10 says LNP by 10+ seats, another has LNP by <10 seats, and our third is on an ALP victory.

So, yeah, I'm interested in this election.

I could use the $10.

Lulu asserts...

Posted August 16, 2013

Can I put down $10 for a hung parliament? It would be entertaining just to see what happens, given that both leaders have sworn they will not negotiate with minor parties.

insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted August 16, 2013

to be fair Rudd only ruled out formal deals with minor parties, not minority gummint itself

monkeymind is gonna tell you...

Posted August 16, 2013

I think we would be into core vs non-core promises at that point.

Jayanthi's Atomic Cat would have you know...

Posted August 22, 2013
I'm with Lulu. My bet is more hung than last time. Or was that the state elections....we seem to have had a lotta swinging parliaments, so to speak, in the last few years.

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Surtac ducks in to say...

Posted August 16, 2013

I was sick of the whole thing about two says after the date was set. And I'm ignoring it completely outside what's in my Twitter feed.

What has disgusted me about both major parties is the way they've both dived to the bottom of the sewer to be seen to be the 'toughest' on asylum seeker issues.

It's quite surprisingly quiet here in the workplace too. The election is not a subject that's getting any traction around the coffee machine.

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Therbs mumbles...

Posted August 16, 2013

Its been a three year campaign of "No!". Everyone's sick of it except Abbott, Rudd and Murdoch's subbies who get to draw cock pictures on the front page.

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JG is gonna tell you...

Posted August 16, 2013

I care about the Federal Election to the extent that I don't like any of the parties, and definitely neither Liberal or Labor. Suppose there's the Greens, but they're weak as flat lemonade. Stuck between a rock and a hard place

Could very well be a hung parliament. I don't see a positive outcome this election.

Abe Frellman would have you know...

Posted August 16, 2013

I don't think it will be that close. A hard rain is gonna fall.

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Abe Frellman would have you know...

Posted August 16, 2013

Just saw Malcolm Fraser on the news. He should form a party with El Bulli... The Malcolm Party.

Jess and Lisa O could write the jingle and sing it on the ad. JB could do the "written and authorised by Simon Bedak" (gotta pay the bills)...Rudd's popularity in Qld collapses as a result.

Malcolm then organises a merger with the Veronicas and the Malcolms... The LMNOP. Veronicas back catalog royalty trail is securitised David Bowie style by LMNOP. Proceeds are donated to a fund set up to make reparations to Australian South Sea Islander descendents.

By pointing out his awesomeness to his colleagues they agree to make Malcolm PM.

*Am prepared to wager a tenner against this occurring.

Written and Authorised by Simon Bedak puts forth...

Posted August 18, 2013

These last two comments were spoken by Abe Frellman, John Birmingham, Maggie Taberer, Rhonda from the AAMI advert and Lucy Turnbull. Written and authorised by Simon Bedak, The Malcolm Party, Red Hill, ACT.

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Abe Frellman mutters...

Posted August 16, 2013

** as in: a merger between the LNP, the Veronicas and the Malcolms.

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ShaneAlpha ducks in to say...

Posted August 16, 2013

I'm waiting for Clive Palmer to promise a Dinosaur in everyone's front yard, that would sew up my vote.

I'm at the very least expecting a T-Rex on the grassy roof of parliment.

And perhaps a line of ex-prime ministers. the majestic Hawke and it's magnificent plumage, the somber Keating, sitting on it's branch waiting for something to die, the Howard the possible hobbit missing link, a Fraser pants puddled around the ankles, and, of course, the mighty Whitlam, endlessly droning "Well may we say..."

Jayanthi's Atomic Cat puts forth...

Posted August 22, 2013
LOL Shane, now that is Oz's recent political history in a nutshell. I ways knew something (else) bothered me about Howard. Gold!

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MordWa is gonna tell you...

Posted August 16, 2013

The real problem with Mr Rabbit is he just doesn't seem to know what he wants to do. When most power hungry megalomaniacs eventually rise to the top, you assume there's a secret list of all the craziest policies they were never comfortable admitting out loud to having (but tucked away in the back pocket). With Tone, I swear there's just nothing there - he honestly doesn't seem to have the faintest idea what he really wants to achieve.

Abe Frellman has opinions thus...

Posted August 16, 2013

He wants to achieve victory for the LNP. So that Malcolm can be PM.

Rob puts forth...

Posted August 18, 2013

Rather ironically they would consider Tony Abbot a socialist in America. What with paid parental leave, tax payer funded hospitals and health care, state education, you know Labor makes all these promises with a parade of pseudo left nonsense sprinkled on top , but it is labor who are already sacking Public servants and skewing the budget. They are obnoxious to work for and pathetic ant making real decisions.... but if you dare speak you get branded a facsist. so fuck em and the horse they rode in on,

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Quokka is gonna tell you...

Posted August 17, 2013

What pains me is that there is simply nobody worth voting for.

I would really, really like to vote greens as I'd support a lot of the policy that they say that they stand for.

The trouble is, that in my electorate a vote for the Greens is just a vote for the NIMBYs. I will never forget the big guns from the Greens turning up to campaign hard against the construction of the bus/cycle/pedestrian bridge from Dutton Park to the University of Qld St Lucia campus. That bridge has had an amazing impact on the lives of many as it's made access to UQ so much more accessable to people in the eastern suburbs via the south-east busway.

I'm still completely boggled as to WTF they were on about, trying to block that. There's been other, smaller, similary NIMBY camaigns that they've jumped on the bandwagon about but that one...wow. I really don't get it.

Abe Frellman mutters...

Posted August 17, 2013

Maybe it was a copyright thing.... Green Bridge and all that. (Personally I would've thought they could have used the free advertising).

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NBlob asserts...

Posted August 17, 2013
I propose a UGC rumour.

The Coalition's Green Army policy is actually CONSCRIPTION!
Involuntary service by means of blackmailed dole payments.
The kicker is in a 2nd term GA go from painting rocks white, to shock-troops for Pope Pell's Anti-Caliphate forces.

#NewCrusade

Abe Frellman reckons...

Posted August 17, 2013

Lolz.

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JG mutters...

Posted August 21, 2013

Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott are speaking in my Brisbane suburb right now. #IDontCare

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Jayanthi's Atomic Cat puts forth...

Posted August 22, 2013
And it's not just the OS folk who are EKKA ignorant. I'm in Adelaide and my Brissie teammates had to help me get my head around giving one city a holiday and not the rest of the state. Now THAT should be an election issue.

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JG would have you know...

Posted August 22, 2013

Every Australian state and territory has its own public holiday, AtCat. Queensland has its show holiday (EKKA hol).

Went again this year but only lasted two hours. Should have gone when I wasn't tired at the end of the day. Couldn't stand the crowds and the noise, but I loved the annual EKKA strawberry sundae. :)

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Jayanthi's Atomic Cat swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 22, 2013
Joanna am i right in understanding...But EKKA is only brissie right? The gold coasters were still at work. Is there any other state where only one bit of it gets the holiday?

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Jayanthi's Atomic Cat ducks in to say...

Posted August 22, 2013
Ah, thanks W. Now i get it. Interesting approach! I guess it stops everyone getting plastered all at once, hey. A good policy to prevent public hospital emergency department public holiday overload, which thank God is not my problem anymore. <grin>

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Jayanthi's Atomic Cat swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 22, 2013
Ah, thanks W. Now i get it. Interesting approach! I guess it stops everyone getting plastered all at once, hey. A good policy to prevent public hospital emergency department public holiday overload, which thank God is not my problem anymore. <grin>

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NBlob asserts...

Posted August 25, 2013

(FKN AWSM) to the power of gold+

Finest A1 Quality satire.

1st dog on the moon this morning on Sunday Extra, Radio National.

"Nuclear powered stupid"

NBlob would have you know...

Posted August 25, 2013

http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/2013/08/sra_20130825_0955.mp3

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Respond to 'Sports Day and the election'