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Bringin' the stoopid

Posted February 9, 2016 into Blunty by John Birmingham

THE CSIRO climate science cuts. At Blunty.

They'll be roaring with laughter around the board table at Big Oil as they light themselves another fistful of stogies and wonder whether whether they can afford their own cutbacks to all of the pseudoscientific climate change denier foundations and institutes they've been funding for years.

So grotesquely irresponsible is this vandalism that it is being widely reported in the overseas media, not just in scientific circles in but in the business press such as Forbes, which ran a story on the cuts yesterday entitled, "Australia Cutting Basic Climate Science Research Is 'Head in the Sand' 101".

Still, the cuts will save hundreds of millions of dollars and with the budget under such strain we can't do everything, of course.

Those school chaplains ain't gonna pay for themselves, you know.

7 Responses to ‘Bringin' the stoopid’

insomniac puts forth...

Posted February 9, 2016
I couldn't believe it when I saw that 7.30 interview. I can't believe he is actually a scientist and spout that garbage. The best term I have seen going so far is "spiv".

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Blarkon reckons...

Posted February 9, 2016
An increasing amount of "knowledge work" can be automated. So it's quite possible that CSIRO can maintain or increase its basic climate data collection and analysis through non-human resources. You don't need someone physically checking a rain guage, a wind speed meter, or a thermometer anymore. You can just deploy an instrument package that phones home the data at regular intervals. And for the price of a human being, you can afford quite a few remote instrument packages. Monitoring is something that's going to almost exclusively be done by robots and automated systems. The days of people taking manual measurements are as far gone as the days of people using typewriters and fax machines (which means yes there are some holdouts - but there are also people who still send telegrams)
This is happening all over the economy. A recent Oxford study suggests that within a couple of decades, 50% of current jobs will be automated away. We aren't talking about factory jobs, we're talking about a lot of stuff that in the past required a university degree.

We're seeing increasing numbers of "lights out" datacenters - where tens of thousands of servers hum away without requiring much in the way of human interaction. Facebook has got to the point where one admin can be responsible for 25K servers.

Big data analytics has been progressing at warp speed. Instead of teams of analysts combing over data, you can have smaller teams of people working with orders of magnitudes more data.

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Blarkon mutters...

Posted February 9, 2016
Put another way - it's quite possible that through improvements in automation and data analysis technologies, the CSIRO can learn a lot more about climate even though they have fewer staff - because a lot of that non-apex knowledge work can be handed off to computers.

Peter in the Bleachers puts forth...

Posted February 9, 2016
Blakon
Having looked after the automated equipment you refer to, it takes someone with some idea how it all works to ensure you get credible data. As we all know anyone can deploy modern complex equipment in the Southern Ocean. Further I don't think that all 300 odd jobs are just people who 'collect' the information. I would hazard a guess that a few of them are well regarded scientists who interpret the data and then use it for modelling climate change etc.
Poor decisions are made when the information used to make the decisions is poor. In this case I find it extraordinary that CSIRO are cutting positions like this when the PM is claiming we need to be a smarter and knowledgeable nation!

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted February 9, 2016
Interesting perspective Lord Blarkon, however I suspect it will be some time before 'your plastic pal who's fun to be around' can pose the big questions, then notice when 1 +1 = Antichinus.
JB frequently refers to "be skeptical of the story one most wants to believe" I think this may apply in this instance. Those on my side of the divide are predisposed to accuse the guvmint of carbon feulled ludditism.

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GhostSwirv asserts...

Posted February 9, 2016

For a moment there JB I thought I had transwarped over to the wrong thread and Dawes was a character in your magnificent malignant Here Be Monsters.

And then I realised we are indeed overrun by zombies in this universe, hell bent on eating any brain that is capable of sentient thought and reasoned consciousness.

Where of where is Jane Austen with 12 - gauge when we need her?

Sudragon would have you know...

Posted February 9, 2016
She handed it in during the gun amnesty.

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It put me right off my schnitzel

Posted February 2, 2016 into Blunty by John Birmingham

De facto nudity.

In my face.

At Blunty.

19 Responses to ‘It put me right off my schnitzel’

BigWillieStyle puts forth...

Posted February 2, 2016

Testify. I swim at my local pool several times a week, and I had a nekkid encounter the other day. Hirsute fellow who was sharing my lane wandered into the changeroom a few minutes after me, then proceeded to separate himself from his Speedos, lean casually against the wall next to where I was towelling down, and tried to engage me in conversation about my freestyle. "Hey man, that's a smooth technique you've got there. How often do you train?" "Umm, I dunno, coupla times a week." "Yeah, yeah, cool. So, what time do you normally come down? Don't think I've seen you here before." "Well, it varies, y'know. Please leave me alone now."

Yeesh. I managed to make my getaway fairly smartly, but I could swear he called out as I exited, "If you ever need anything, I'm the Ffederal MP for Warringah."

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w from brisbane puts forth...

Posted February 2, 2016
Exactly right, JB. On this topic, Rugby League legend, Rex 'The Moose' Mossop, put it in a nutshell (oops) when he said, "Nobody should have to put up with having genitalia rammed down their throat."

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted February 2, 2016
Public nudity should only be practiced by attractive women. There. I said it. Had to be done.

Lulu mumbles...

Posted February 2, 2016
PNB, I've been in gym change rooms & let me say that it's not always what it's cracked up to be. I concede that a male perspective might be different, but as a woman who is not a gynaecologist, there are certain angles from which I don't need to see other women.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted February 2, 2016
I admit my observation was idealistic and gender specific, not pragmatic.

Rhino would have you know...

Posted February 2, 2016
A bold and courageous observation nonetheless.

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted February 3, 2016
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-02/nude-yoga-baring-all-health-relaxation/7130906

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w from brisbane would have you know...

Posted February 2, 2016
My sister was staying at a beach house just near Byron Bay. As she threw open the curtains in the morning, the first sight that greeted her was a naked woman standing on her head.

safzoro swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 2, 2016
Hopefully the woman was standing on her own head, and not your sister's. That would be even more shocking, to have a naked woman fall out of the curtains and onto your head. Very disconcerting.

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Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted February 2, 2016
Quite apt that the release of "Here Be Monsters" accompanied today's monster tale.

Dave W mumbles...

Posted February 2, 2016
Urgh, that veiny monster.

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insomniac puts forth...

Posted February 2, 2016
Ms insomniac's daughter resides in Byron, and she has mentioned the fellow in question on a couple of occasions.

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Shifty Tourist is gonna tell you...

Posted February 2, 2016
My partner's father, a well-to-do older gentlemen, who, like many older gentlemen has gone through the usual fads. Fast impractical cars, new wives, motorcycles... but relevant for our purposes, yoga. My partner, and her step-sisters went to stay with her father for a long weekend, and one morning had the misfortune to wander into his exercise room during the performance of said yoga.... Alas, the father had neglected gym clothes or any stitch at all. The entire butchershop was on display in horrifying, horrifying ways.
Needless to say there is a strict, though frequently broken on the discussion of this incident in front of the step sisters.

Shifty Tourist has opinions thus...

Posted February 2, 2016
"though frequently broken >ban< on discussion..."
.... damn failure to proofread.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted February 2, 2016
Trigger warning!

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JG puts forth...

Posted February 2, 2016
This reminds me of a dream I had a long, long time ago. 'Twas a dream that I boarded a bus naked on the main street in Wagga Wagga. Now I lived in WW many decades ago during and post my first ventures as a uni student (back before the institution got renamed, twice). Anyhow, I've always had this dread... was it a dream, or did it really happen? I'm 99 per cent sure it was a dream, but there's always this niggle of a doubt. Those were my marijuana, pseudo (wannabe) hippy, and nude/life drawing artist model years, after all. Glad I got off the stuff. I don't think the sight of a naked other should be forced on one. I admire the human body as a work of art, but that doesn't mean I want to see everybody take their clothes off. Try a cool eye bath, JB. May you live peaceably with the horrid memory of the Byron beastie.

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safzoro is gonna tell you...

Posted February 2, 2016
I grew up with a nudist family. Nothing shocks me. NOTHING shocks me.

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NBlob mutters...

Posted February 2, 2016
When I achieve Benevolent Despot status I shall enact statutes restricting budgie-smugglers more stringently than automatic weapons. SWMBO worked in a beachside bank branch & old dudes would wander in off the beach & discuss investment loans with the slug more or less at her eye-level. Why is it that the less anyone else wants to see you nude, the more likely one is to drop trou?

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jennicki mutters...

Posted February 3, 2016
I have a whole new appreciation for the definition of schnitzel.

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The shandies are Havoc strong at Network Ten

Posted January 19, 2016 into Blunty by John Birmingham

The bosses at Network Ten must have partied a little too hard when all that extra ad revenue came in from the Big Bash League.

It's OK. I understand. If I had just kicked three kinds of hell out of the arrogant tools at Nine, after years getting corn-holed by them, I'd totally drink my own body weight in vodka shambles and dive nude into a mountain of top-shelf cocaine. But that's me. I'm sure the execs at Ten just shared a quick round of shandies which, after decades of running last and making do with less and less, went straight to their thick heads.

How else to explain holding back the rebooted X-Files for a week after it airs in the US? Perhaps they own a piece of BitTorrent?


At Blunty.

11 Responses to ‘The shandies are Havoc strong at Network Ten’

Therbs mutters...

Posted January 19, 2016
In a decade there'll be all sorts of theories on why FTA network television became extinct. Eager Media Studies grad students working on PhD's will churn through millions of words about the internet tar pits, comets and viruses. It is this sort of thinking displayed by Ten which will fuel their battles for ever diminishing academic funds.

HAVOCK21 is gonna tell you...

Posted January 19, 2016
its because they had no PORN!!!!!!!!!!!!!PRON AND WHATEVER SO I AM TOLD!!

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DarrenBloomfield is gonna tell you...

Posted January 19, 2016
It's just disrepectful of the audience it claims to want to satisfy. The fucktards

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w from brisbane ducks in to say...

Posted January 19, 2016
While I agree with what JB said, it seems a little odd to me that people can't wait a week. It's childish.

DarrenBloomfield mutters...

Posted January 19, 2016
*stamps foot* "But I want it NOW!"
how is that childish?

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Surtac would have you know...

Posted January 19, 2016

I'll be doing my usual thing of waiting for the dvd set, though if it turns up on Netflix or Stan, I might be tempted to adopt one of those streaming services to get at it earlier.

We have VDSL2 here at Chateau Dysfunction these days so bandwidth isn't the issue it used to be. And thanks to the good offices of a friend who loaned me her credentials,I know Stan works here.


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Blarkon ducks in to say...

Posted January 19, 2016
So a bunch of FOMO thieves can't fucking wait?

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HAVOCK21 reckons...

Posted January 19, 2016
AND LETS BE REALISTIC..ITS THE x FILES ffsakes!....wahts ta fkn like APART FROM tHINKING MANS CRUMPET!

Lulu swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 20, 2016
DD, aka thinking woman's crumpet?

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NBlob mutters...

Posted January 19, 2016
10 have <allegedly> dropped Bolt as well. Wonder if it was at the same meeting

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Sudragon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 19, 2016
It's the whole 'spoiler' thing.

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Until men change, nothing will

Posted January 12, 2016 into Blunty by John Birmingham

At Blunty. Always a tricky one to write when there's a live legal case:

The psychology of random sneak attacks is the psychopathology of manhood gone wrong and Green is the sort of man who can show others that Simone de Beauvoir was mistaken, that men don't need to find self-affirmation in their fists. It doesn't mean renouncing his professional history as a boxer, but rather foregrounding it. There is a lot of unhinged bullshit floating around the construction of modern masculinity; from the high-pitched whine and special pleading of the Men's Rights movement to the paleo-intellectualism of repackaged red meat and rape fantasies of that sad little movement's daffier micro-celebrities. Hard men like Green are uniquely placed to undermine that crap.

As long as some men feel masculine worth can only be found in aggression and dominance they will walk the streets to deliver on their belief, feeling in their fists the reassurance of their sovereignty. They will prey on the weak, because they are weak.

Of all the things we will talk about when we talk about the death of Cole Miller few will get to the heart of why men do this, to each other, to women and children, to anyone they think they can beat down. Lockouts, licensing restrictions, the criminal code and punishment regimes, they all have their part to play. But until men change, nothing will.

Had me a small taste of the Men Rights movement's special brand o' online love last week, after writng about Chris Gayle, Jamie Briggs et al. They really do live on red meat and rape fantasies.

15 Responses to ‘Until men change, nothing will’

Murphy_of_Missouri would have you know...

Posted January 12, 2016
At my last active duty unit in Korea the bonding exercise was to slap people on the neck or in the back of the head as hard as possible when they weren't looking. I managed to make it to my eighth month before a Sergeant did it to me.

Very nearly struck my first NCO. He wanted to shake on it, say it was cool.

My response was, "Fuck you."

Never said another word to that man again unless duty required it.

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DarrenBloomfield would have you know...

Posted January 12, 2016
Christmas Eve 1988. I was a 21 year old national standard athlete out with my two best mates celebrating the festive season (read, getting thoroughly trashed on Jim Beam and coke) in sleepy Hobart Town. The quest for a late night taxi home saw me and my mate exchange harsh words with a couple of other guys as to who was first in line.
I was king hit from behind, went down, was kicked in the face on the ground.
Fortunately we were at the Liverpool St cab rank, literally spitting distance to the Royal Hobart Hospital. My mate dragged me to the emergency room. Concussion, broken nose, depressed cheekbone, loose teeth. It don't look and feel like it does in the movies...
I had cause to remember that night long ago when I read some of the crap written about this Brisbane guy - "what was a supposedly 'elite athlete' doing out out on the piss". I copped the same speech from my coach. I was lucky enough to be alive to cop the spray. This kid's parents would give the world to be able to be in position to tell him off for being out...
The other reason I remembered that night was because it was only last month I had surgery to fix the deviated septum and other issues resulting from that attack.
I thank my lucky stars I got off lightly. Lots of poor bastards haven't, and won't.

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HAVOCK21 mumbles...

Posted January 12, 2016
I looked at this and almost straight away began typing, then I thought some more. I thought I had a handle on it, you know, change the grog laws, the hours of night clubs being open and the likes and make for tougher sentencing, but that’s not really going to cure it all…is it.Then, I wondered about history. I know from growing up in a country town that Friday and Saturday night were on the grog at the pub and there would be several fights, they then get broken up and the occupants sent on their respective ways and once they were down…well that was it. And that’s now utopia from a fight perspective, because if you go down now there is every real possibility you will continue to have pain put upon you.
So I have some questions:
Why do we have night clubs open until 0500 hours, is it really necessary to have people full of piss and Christ knows what else out drinking at that time. I mean we place restrictive laws on drivers and the likes….why not perhaps ban persons of a certain age from being OUT AT CLUBS after a time point. I ‘m just tossing this out there its off the top of the head mind you.What’s the trend…I mean, how many people were king hit and hospitalise 20 years ago, 30 years ago, can we put the line again the line for the creep of closing times etc…is there any correlation between the two? I’m not sure, but I have not really seen to date studies in that area.The one punch…yes it need to have a greater visible TV ? and social cost attached to it in my opinion and that’s jail time.
I also think FWIW that jail needs to be less of club med and more…hard time IMHO, but that’s a later day topic.Sport, let’s go nuts on the footy field…you don’t see it happening in cricket or golf , so there is no need for it to happen in sport and the penalties need to be much much harsher…throwing punches that is. The simple fact remains in sport, that in contact sport in particular we tolerate too much violence and punching. If a player takes a swing and is off the ground for ten minutes, make no mistake….they will stop throwing punches. If they repeat offend make the penalties greater again. They will stop!UFC- what a great ambassador that one is for controlling violence, let’s have all young kids and Muppet’s try emulate those retards.
Its violence…washing over kids and we all already know what happens there. Let’s toss in video games….yep violent too. Who’s responsible….lets tag the parents and for mine to a large extent they area. So whilst we are on this topic let’s look at the violence associated with raising children, and I am referring to smacking a child, physical discipline. Its waaaaaaay taboo now, but how many kids can we now collectively point too that lack discipline and generally run amok flat fkn out. I would suggest that the level of discipline and manners in the community as a whole is far shittier than it used to be. Is the manners and discipline thing, matching with say video games, TV level violence, UFC and the likes all melting together to help create these issues, they then sit there waiting for the final brew to be dropped in perhaps grog? And poof the person lets fly.
If we change some of these now accepted norms… will it have an impact, given societies gravitation towards instant gratification in great results I am not sure we could suffer the longer waiting period for a generational shift in attitude, that’s not to suggest for a minute I am a proponent of the “ do nothing stance” or its “ going to take a long time so let’s shelve it”. No, we need to take steps and they need to be long, medium and short term as well.

insomniac ducks in to say...

Posted January 12, 2016
Lockout laws appear to be working in Kings Cross and Newcastle. You can guarantee that if the clubs are bitching about it, they must be working.
Agree that clubs shouldn't be open until 5am. Who needs to be out drinking until then anyhoo.
One thing missing is public transport. Trains stop at 1am or whatever. Masses of people affected by alcohol spilling out of the clubs after that have no easy options to get home. Keeping the trains running all night on Friday and Saturday should eliminate half the problem.

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Lulu swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 12, 2016
insomniac, Melbourne has just started all night public transport on the weekends, as of 1st Jan

insomniac puts forth...

Posted January 12, 2016
Excellent.
Now, Victoria, if you are still listening, I'd like a couple of million in small unmarked bills delivered to ...

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JBtoo mutters...

Posted January 12, 2016
Thank goodness for men like you - and Chris Rogers and Wil Anderson and Phil Cleary and, I'm happy to say, I could go on - who speak out and give me some hope.

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NBlob reckons...

Posted January 12, 2016
Mandatory &/or tougher sentences = utter fail. For lots of reasons, but most obvious is the state of Californian prisons after introducing the 3 strikes policy.
I only go Out about 4 or 5 times a year, always to an event; a band I want to see or celebrating something. I limit myself to 3 drinks, maintain a state of watchful loathing and go home ASAP. Out is now the niche for halfwits, deadsh!ts and dropkicks. Why would I pay triple for drinks, rub shoulders with arsehats, be extorted for a taxi home & risk violence done to my person?
I understand "white flight" and recognise that as each normal person avoids nightclubs the C*ckhead to human ratio climbs, but like many many things it is outside of my capacity to influence.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted January 12, 2016
You are wise in these matters, Obi Wan.

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McKinneyTexas is gonna tell you...

Posted January 13, 2016
Since this is a serious topic, I'll drop my other aliases. I disagree that it is a 'male' problem, any more than rape is a 'male' problem. Munchhausen Syndrome isn't a 'female' problem because it afflicts women, it is a disorder.

We are talking about a small subset of the male population that takes pleasure in surprise attacks specifically calculated to avoid a fair fight. Several pathologies combine to this end, including elements of psychopathy and disassociative tendencies and who knows what else--ask a competent shrink. Taking a step back, even someone who leaves the house looking for an ostensibly fair fight has major issues. Desiring to inflict pain, to physically dominate someone else implies all kinds of things about that person, all of which are mental health issues.

I'm not making a pitch for sympathy or even empathy for the perps. A first class, hospitalization-required ass whipping is all good and fine with me. Followed by a nice stretch in a not-fun unit somewhere where the day time temp exceeds 100 F routinely.

Men don't need to change. They need to fix the MF's who do this kind of thing. They need to be 'men.'

Murphy_of_Missouri would have you know...

Posted January 13, 2016
This.

NBlob mumbles...

Posted January 13, 2016
Yeah, but no. I'd grant that a minority of men end up in a scene as terrible as this, but I do believe there is a culture problem.
Why is it that 20,000 people each year in the U.S. resolve disagreements with gunplay?
I am one of the most chilled individuals you are likely to meet. I go out of my way to see the story from the other guy's perspective. I subscribe to Dr Karl's theory that "if you ain't trying to kill me, off you go & good luck to you." I don't suffer road rage, shopping trolley rage, even the type A f*cknuckles I deal with @ work I bear very little animosity to, yet even I 3 or 4 times in the last decade have wanted to f*ck over some mouth breather for disrespecting my wife / daughter.
Not an Aceptable response.
Violence begats violence & ruins lives. We should be past this by now, like we are past miasma & feudalism.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted January 13, 2016
Why is it that 20,000 people each year in the U.S. resolve disagreements with gunplay?

Because they can?

[W]e are past miasma & feudalism.

Yeah, but both are getting the band back together for a worldwide comeback tour.

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Rob mumbles...

Posted January 13, 2016

My sons are regularly harassed when out and about in Hobart. I was too when I was a teen in New Zealand. It worries me that I will have to go to the hospital to pick up my kids after a night out. But the roundhouse king hits thing is utterly bizarre. When I was younger, you might come out of a fight with a fat lip or black eye. (or two black eyes, thank you skinhead) but now kids go for the cerebellum, hit as hard as possible with no thought for the consequences. I knew you could kill someone when I was 18 and how easy it could happen. We had friends hospitalised all the time, after beings stomped on, kicked when down, etc. But this behaviour just reeks of nihilism about life or other peoples lives. Nothing to live for, your life doesn't matter and neither does anyone else.

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jason puts forth...

Posted January 14, 2016
To me this just emphasizes the fact that while we believe we are evolved humans and we have the intellectual capacity to put a man on the moon we are sub consciously still cavemen. Reading these posts there are numerous examples of people who are decent caring human beings that advocate violence against the perpetrators or admit to having stepped over the line previously. And I am as guilty as the next man. I don't think we need to change, we need to evolve as a species.

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O Christmas ham. A tale of love and hatred

Posted January 5, 2016 into Blunty by John Birmingham

At Blunty:

Oh Christmas ham, how did it come to this?

Why does it always come to this between us?

How well I recall our early days together. The promise they held. The excitement at just being around you. I said my love for you would never die, Christmas ham, and I spoke the truth as I then felt it. I could speak no other.

And Christmas ham, we were so good together, weren't we? Even now, when everything has gone so wrong between us, I can still recognise that there was a time, there was a place, they mattered and meant that there was love in the world. My love for you, Christmas ham.

Oh yes, I know others said it would not last. Some were even cruel enough to say I was not man enough for you and that you, Christmas ham were … well, let's get it out there. Too big.

Be sure to enjoy the first comment.

23 Responses to ‘O Christmas ham. A tale of love and hatred’

insomniac is gonna tell you...

Posted January 5, 2016
We are nearing the end of our first ham.
There are rules you know.
1. In addition to making slices for sandwiches, you must also carve off extra ham for nibbling on whilst making said sandwiches.
2. When one is sick of ham, a ham hangover of sorts, one must push on with more ham. A 'hair of the pig' type treatment.
Also, would you be saying the same thing if it was Christmas bacon?

dweeze is gonna tell you...

Posted January 5, 2016
Just yesterday, we polished off the second ham for the season. 2 separate family gorge-fests, 1 kelpie that now looks like a walrus and no partridges in the pear tree. Then I looked in the fridge and saw, you guessed it, ham number 3. Damn you fat brother and your gifts of cured pig...

she_jedi would have you know...

Posted January 5, 2016
OMG if such a thing as Christmas bacon existed I would be doomed! Although, surely it's bacon season year round?

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Nocturnalist swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 5, 2016
Never had that problem. A few days after Christmas we'd bust out one of those monstrous clunky hand-wound mincing machines, bolt it to the kitchen bench and feed the rest of the ham and turkey into it, a slice of each going in at the same time. The resulting hybrid mince would go to making a big stack of rissoles, eaten hot for dinner that night and then snacked on cold for the next couple of days. Food of the actual gods.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted January 5, 2016
This is my future.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted January 5, 2016
Turkey and ham mince? What a great idea.

WA n'ker is gonna tell you...

Posted January 6, 2016
Wrap up your left overs, skin and bone in glad wrap and put in freezer. For winter's, first pea and ham soup!

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Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted January 5, 2016
More beer! More prok!

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Dave W has opinions thus...

Posted January 5, 2016
I'm still excited about our 2nd half leg of Christmas ham. The only question I have is why we don't have these delightful things all year 'round.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 5, 2016
That's like asking why we can't have Cipro whenever we get sick. Because that would ruin it, that's why.

insomniac mumbles...

Posted January 5, 2016
Still, it would be an important experiment to undertake.

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axle mutters...

Posted January 5, 2016
has anyone heard of "hamicide".. it is what happens when you go too far. Many people have committed this year after year without remorse

Dave W swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 5, 2016
Hamicide- the victimless crime.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted January 5, 2016
What are you, some sort of commie, Comrade Boylanski?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted January 6, 2016
If, by "commie" you mean Communist, then I protest that defamatory accusation. I am a Marxist. There is a difference.


w from brisbane asserts...

Posted January 6, 2016
PNB, your Marxism is wonderfully evident in much of your online work. As the great man once said, "If we had some eggs we could have eggs and ham, if we had some ham." Groucho Marx.

Dave W ducks in to say...

Posted January 6, 2016
I thought he was referring to that other Marx, whose #1 singles provide such important and provocative messages like "Endless Summer Nights" and "Right Here Waiting". Richard Marx.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted January 6, 2016
Richard Marx is delightfully dull, I'll give him that, but only that. Groucho is the Marx that precedes my "ist."

Sudragon has opinions thus...

Posted January 6, 2016
Outside of a dog, a Ham is man's best friend. Inside of a dog is all the ham it can get away with begging for...

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Therbs would have you know...

Posted January 6, 2016

Paul, Karl was more the most unfunny Marx Brother (including Gummo). While filming the famous "Contract" scene from 'Night At The Opera' Karl was ejected from the MGM lot.

Driftwood (Groucho): It's all right, that's in every contract. That's what they call the 'Sanity Clause'.

Fiorello (Chico): Ha ha ha ha ha! You can't fool me! There ain't no Sanity Clause!

Karl: But in the modern system of private ownership and the division of labour the worker is estranged from his essential source of identity...

Director: Cut! Get that idiot off the set!


Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted January 7, 2016
Mate, you're the best.

A bit of trivia: Leon Trotsky, while in exile and prior to his assassination in Mexico, spent time in Hollywood and had a part in a silent film called My Official Wife. Many credible historians believe that it was Lenin's personal outrage over Trotsky's bad acting that prompted the push to kill him.

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JG puts forth...

Posted January 12, 2016
Oh yeah. Christmas ham. Love it, and I loved your entertaining love affair with ham Blunty article, JB. Haha. You could be Homer himself, only smarter. Also, you don't have his yellow gut.

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It's not mob rule. It's mob genuine expression of concern

Posted December 22, 2015 into Blunty by John Birmingham

The local paper - an actual paper, The Courier Mail - has been rubbing itself all over the Baden-Clay murder case here in Brisbane. Or it was a murder, until the Court of Appeal decided there wasn't enough evidence of premeditation to carry a murder verdict and dropped the convictiction to manslaughter. It upset a lot of people, but excited the sales department at the Courier which spotted an issue perfectly calibrated to move more papers.

They've been giving front page encouragement to a campaign against... er... against... hmmm... protesting the court thingies... er...

Well, a lot of people were understandably upset that the odious Gerard Baden-Clay seems to have gotten away with murder. Even though he's still doing time for manslaughter.

I stayed away from the Courier's role in the rallies and protests of the last week because it would be unseemly to brawl over it. But today's Blunty does address the wider problems of turning criminal justice into a reality TV voting system.

At the Instrument.

39 Responses to ‘It's not mob rule. It's mob genuine expression of concern’

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted December 22, 2015
Hasn't it always been this way, more or less?

Side-stepping the broader issues surrounding yellow journalism, sometimes inflaming the mob is the only way to get justice out of a corrupt system.

Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted December 22, 2015
Not in the case of Greybeard. He is still on the loose.

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted December 22, 2015
Hundreds wallowing in an orgy of ignorance of due process.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted December 22, 2015
At least there is a social, group activity aspect to it.

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted December 23, 2015
Can you cite studies / case law when Angry Mob action has been beneficial?
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=h4ZyuULy9zs

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted December 23, 2015
Ferguson, Missouri. August 2014
Chicago. Right now.

NBlob asserts...

Posted December 23, 2015
Waiting. Watching. Yet to be convinced.
I'm no fan of democracy, but I do believe incrementalism has its merit. One could point to a dozen or more instances where a despot has been overthrown, only to have The People's Democratic Junta to eventually be far worse by any metric.
I rage against my perception of injustices and lust for the opportunity / power to "make it right." I'm confident those that hold views 180 degrees from mine feel the same way. That scares me enough to put up with, even to be respectful of the most odious arsemonkey ever elected to high office in my country.
Power should belong to the people, if that isn't possible, then it should be in the hands of consensus builders & deal makers. It should never again be in the hands of the most ruthless.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted December 24, 2015
I am a big fan of democracy, even with its foundational delusions and operational lies. Democracy's foundational delusions - freedom, commonwealth, justice, and all people being created equal - are beautiful dreams even if untrue and they create political, social and economic momentum that pushes against the evils that flow so easily from entrenched power and unchecked capitalism - e.g., slavery, mass poverty and justice, health and long life for the privileged few.

But the operational lies of democracy are powerful, fostering the incremental progress you describe, but towards economic slavery, mass poverty and injustice. I would rather it be different, but in the history of the democracy I live and work in, evolution towards fairness only takes place on the brink of revolution. The American laws promoting union formation and requiring collective bargaining would never have happened if there had not been open warfare in the streets between workers and the police, and hired company thugs that threatened a wider worker's revolution like the Bolshevik's pulled off. Jim Crow, racial segregation and de facto slavery would still exist if the power elite were not terrified of a national race war.

I knew the Occupy Wall Street movement would have a meaningful impact when I learned that some wealthy families were moving their assets overseas - just as most French nobility did prior to their revolution.

Our masters bend and give a little back only when they are afraid, and the only thing that makes them afraid is the threat of rioting in the streets. This is the only reason why, after so many years and so many murders perpetrated by law enforcement officers, things are beginning to change.
This is a wonderful thing. I am less afraid today than I was yesterday that my son will end up in jail or die if and when he is pulled over by the police. This change would not have happened without rioting in the streets.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted December 24, 2015
Again, this is an American point of view shaped by American history. Your history was different and seems to model the gradual progress you describe that may still be possible for you. It is not possible here.

NBlob reckons...

Posted December 24, 2015
You never struck me as a Pollyanna optimist.

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JG asserts...

Posted December 22, 2015
Absolutely, John. I was thinking the same thing the other week about this very case when I heard about front pages of The Courier Mail in relation to this case from credible reportage (aka ABC). The Courier Mail seems to have forgotten that journalism is supposed to be unbiased and balanced, or at least attempt to be. There should be as much separation between law and popular sentiment/crowd judgement as (what is supposed to be) separation between state and religion. A pitchfork case.Joanna

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Blarkon puts forth...

Posted December 22, 2015
This is the way of the future. I wonder what it was like to live in an age where the sensibility of an impartial system was self-evident to the populace.

Nocturnalist asserts...

Posted December 23, 2015
There may have been such an age among your chill-blooded reptilian compatriots but I do wonder if there ever was one on this world.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted December 23, 2015
I am beginning to suspect that it all depends on where you are. Here - in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave - the impartiality of the system was and still is a lie, an opiate for the masses. But, thanks to electronic media - from the O.J. Simpson trial broadcast to the Walter Scott shooting video streamed on the Internet - more and more of us are realizing the lie and understand that we've been lied to for a very long time. And it is making people very, very angry. And where I am from, nothing really changes unless big groups of angry people take to the streets - especially in an oligarchy like ours.

Perhaps it is different Down Under.

It has its drawbacks. The example that is the foundation for this discussion illustrates the problems of mob rule. But for my people the threat of a peasant revolt where all of the peasants are armed to the teeth is the only thing that may save us from devolving even further into a high tech feudal state.

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matt would have you know...

Posted December 23, 2015
An indipendant impartial and yes unelected judiciary is the only way of keeping mobs from imprisoning people just because the look guilty

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catmat swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 23, 2015
Hi John,A minor but major point, (which shows how easy it is to get things wrong!) but murder doesn't require premeditation, as you state, just intent. They are different legally. Murder can be a split second decision but still carries intent.Most people understand the difference between murder and manslaughter and do not want the point of difference (intent) removed.I think you (deliberately perhaps for Baden Clay clickbait yourself) misrepresented the concerns of the ``mob'' in King George Square and dumbed down quite a complex issue.Firstly, the primary aim of the people who gathered was to say they would like to see this verdict appealed. The reasons are myriad, but one problem with the Court of Appeal judgement is that contradicts a ruling the original trial judge John Byrne made, while simultaneously finding he did not err. It makes no sense. Byrne explicitly ruled there WAS enough evidence for the jury to infer intent when he dismissed an application by the defence to have the murder charge thrown on completion of the Crown case.IMO the CofA didn't want to criticise a well-respected, retiring judge and took the easy course of hanging the jury out to dry. No wonder people are confused.The legal community in genuinely split over this decision and worried about the precedent it may set - it is not a media beat up.As far as wanting laws changed - that is something to be looked at after an appeal has been decided, but I believe what people are getting at is not changing murder v manslaughter.Rather, it hinges on the fact Baden-Clay was able to argue a scenario (accidental death) on appeal that he flatly denied in the witness box. People feel he exploited a legal loophole, perhaps. Perhaps legislation could be considered that dictates you may not argue anything on appeal which directly contradicts your sworn testimony at trial. It seems logical you don't get two bites of the cherry at selling different lies.I'm not saying I necessarily support this, I'm just saying this argument is a lot more nuanced than you imply.It's just unfortunate it's not something that can be easily explained and digested in a 5sec TV grab, so it is easy to portray people as an ill-informed mob. Thanks.

NBlob would have you know...

Posted December 23, 2015
Nice one catmat a dissenting opinion is always welcome. Usually mocked for lacking nuance, but always welcome.

Quokka swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 25, 2015
I loathe the frothing of the Snail but in this case I see their point.My training is in health science, so while I am not a doctor, I saw enough in that autopsy report to feel concerned whether the death was accidental, opportunistic, intentional or a combination of the above.Things would sit much better with me if the appeal judges had consulted medical experts on the likely cause of death & time of death, based on the evidence. Well, the evidence that GBC's efforts at concealment failed to destroy.
If GBC wants to argue that she attacked him, he pushed her off, & she fell & hit her head, then this needs to be considered on the weight of the evidence from ABC's autopsy.
This we know: She had a chipped tooth, some bruises, she bled out in the Captiva, and they found some shadowing on her brain tissue which indicated a possible mild sub-dural haematoma.
And this is what troubles me.These things tend not to kill you immediately. They can take hours to days to kill you. Yes, they may render you unconscious. Pressure from the bleed builds on the brain & over time that impacts on cerebral function. Early treatment, however, equals good likelihood of recovery.
Consider the news stories you see of the One Punch killers. Admittedly their victims usually get early medical attention to release the pressure off the brain but even so, it's a few days before life-support is switched off due to the extent of the brain damage.
So my question would be, why did the judges make an apparently arbitrary decision that she died soon after being struck, without consulting those with expertise in the field of brain trauma?
We have plenty of neurological experts who could look at those medical images & who could give evidence about how long that kind of injury would take to kill someone - if you withheld treatment.
i.e. was she still alive when he loaded her into the Captiva? was she still alive when he threw her over the bridge?Would she have regained consciousness after sustaining a mild sub-dural haematoma? They didn't find any pain-killers in her system. Did GBC look at his unconscious wife, and make a decision to ensure that she didn't get medical assistance? or did he go that one step further & hasten the process?To my mind, those are questions that judges & juries can't answer. That is for professionals with medical expertise.So if GBC wants to argue his innocence based on 'She ran at me, she was a mad thing, it was self-defence,' then let's have a new trial & consider the science that supports or refutes that.


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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted December 23, 2015
How do you know she is a witch?

Murphy_of_Missouri mutters...

Posted December 23, 2015
BURN HER!!!!

Therbs mutters...

Posted December 23, 2015
If she burns it means she's made of wood and therefore a witch.

Murphy_of_Missouri reckons...

Posted December 23, 2015
YEAH!!!!!

w from brisbane ducks in to say...

Posted December 23, 2015
catmat made some good points. I intensely dislike the Murdoch press campaign against the judiciary and I was uncomfortable with the rally against the Baden-Clay decision. But, that is probably partly due to them being a push for higher penalties. If the rally was against a death penalty decision or against a severe sentence received by an aboriginal in the contest of high aboriginal incarceration rates, then I probably would have supported the protest. The rightness of public protest against judicial decisions is a little vexed.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted December 23, 2015
I know she is a witch because she turned me into a newt.

Quokka mutters...

Posted December 25, 2015
No, you didn't.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted December 25, 2015
Why won't you let me feel like a normal person again?

NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 26, 2015
If that 'like' was used in the SoCal context, because normal people are hard to find, fleet of foot & pre-warned by Aunty Q.

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HAVOCK21 would have you know...

Posted December 23, 2015
if the mob had half a brain they would have placed a call to the .50 fella in the tower referred to as "ALMIGHTY" to place some metal of a slightly more dense variety onto the skin

Murphy_of_Missouri is gonna tell you...

Posted December 23, 2015
But without a Second Amendment, where are you going to get that .50?

Lulu ducks in to say...

Posted December 23, 2015
We have our ways ...

HAVOCK21 is gonna tell you...

Posted December 23, 2015
Murph....I would have slightly less restrictive gun laws here...its smoke and fkn mirrors and shit TB Honest. Same as the fkn road toll bull shit too. Its revenue raising and pandering to a few fkn dreadlcoedk dope smoking unwashed fkn muppets who in all reality should be treated with the same disdain and contempt I woudl afford the retards in china and TBH prolly dispense the exit charge via a .50 which IMHO would be cash and effort well expended. Waht we should realuu have in plave are a set of Pre registerded DF's and then give the grid co ord to the unwashed and tell them its a potential nuke waste dump, then zap the tools when they arrive, also means that the new NUKE subs we lease from the US wont be onstructed by floating bait in surf boards living on tax payer funded benefits that outta be fkn capped as well

damian ducks in to say...

Posted December 27, 2015
Havsy: Murph has simply chosen to be willfully stupid on this. But consider the alternatives and you'll see it doesn't put him anywhere even near the bottom of the barrel.

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HAVOCK21 asserts...

Posted December 23, 2015
I need a beer and holidays I think!

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Rob is gonna tell you...

Posted December 24, 2015


I saw that the mob has spoken and people are peeved. But yesterday the twitter mob moaned about the a decision of the public service to deny a family a visa to visit their dying son. Then the decision got reversed by the Minister. What makes one mob wrong and the other right? Why is one applauded and the other denigrated?

I have serious reservations about the principle of mens rea and its use in jury trials and the adversarial court system that we have. I have studied a case where burglars left an old man tied up and he died from a heart attack and only got Manslaughter, when really I saw it as murder. The man wouldn't have died at that time if the burglars hadn't tied him up and left him. What difference does the accused state of mind or intention to bring about his death in the end have to do with the victims death? A man died because of their actions and crime. But it was the adversarial court system, the weasly words, the turn of phrase that got the charge reduced.

In my ideal world (ie the one I rule as a benevolent dictator and everyone has to listen to Metal) I would abolish manslaughter and have a sliding scale of homicide/murder. And introduce an inquisitorial court system, much like our existing Coroners courts and what exists in Europe now.

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w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted December 24, 2015
A bloke I know accidentally left his briefcase beside his company car in the underground car park in an office tower in the Brisbane CBD. The sight of the lone briefcase led to the evacuation of the whole building. As all the office workers spilling out onto the footpath, a man walking by stepped onto the road to get around the crowd on the footpath. He was immediately struck by a vehicle and killed. Killed because this bloke I know accidentally left his briefcase beside his company car.

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