Open threads

Mar 17, 2012

Weekend Open Thread 17 March 2012

Welcome to a new weekend open thread, for discussing anything we haven't managed to post on yet. To inspire you, here's

Welcome to a new weekend open thread, for discussing anything we haven’t managed to post on yet.

To inspire you, here’s Gerard Henderson arguing with himself.

It’s some years now since Dr (for a doctor she is) Margaret Simons broke off all contact with The Sydney Institute. Why, you might ask. [No. I didn’t – Ed]

[Yes. You did – First Gerard] [No. I didn’t, it was entirely rhetorical – Ed] [Oh, I see. I should’ve known – First Gerard] [Particularly since we’re the same person – Ed] [True. Do you think putting “Ed” remarks in my own text makes me look a little odd? – First Gerard] [Not at all, you’re extremely cool and everyone who matters thinks you’re awesome – Ed]

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26 thoughts on “Weekend Open Thread 17 March 2012

  1. Matthew of Canberra

    “It is legal to come here, ergo people are not being smuggled. Ergo there are no fucking smugglers.”

    I’m not sure it extends THAT far. It’s legal to ask for asylum, but we do have laws about entering the country. The asylum seekers themselves are one thing, but the people who drive the boats are something else. If those boats were carrying something other than asylum seekers, should it be legal then?

  2. Matthew of Canberra

    “Assange being our first, native born …”

    Not without that birth certificate …

  3. AR

    Angra – and the ANC, Frelimo, Fretilin, Pesh Merga etc, never forgetting Raygun’s Contra’s “they are the moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers”.
    Today’s terrorist is often tomorrow’s statesman – had Sands survived he might have been in the Assembly by now, with his bosum buddies, McGuiness & Adams and some nasties from tuther side of the Bogside.
    Can we look forward to Assange being our first, native born, elected President of an free information Republic?

  4. shepherdmarilyn

    When will our lazy media get it through their thick fucking skulls that there is no such thing as a people smuggling boat?

    It is legal to come here, ergo people are not being smuggled. Ergo there are no fucking smugglers.

  5. Fran Barlow

    [I agree with one twitterer: it’s time for this popularity contest of “people’s forums” to be retired.]

    I agree. They are bogus, but it’s always a great opportunity for those who can control them, so they will continue.

  6. Fran Barlow

    [More importantly though, as we know there are about the same number of Coalition members as the government, don’t they ever get sick?]

    They will get sick but

    a) they will rely on the ALP to honour pairs — (and despite this it is tactically wise to do so, since this will corrode the LNP’s ability to implement the no-pairs policy; plays better for them)
    b) Even if they don’t, so what? They aren’t the government. They still lose the vote. Nothing changes. It’s no lose.

  7. John Reidy

    Re Thompson’s illness, I still don’t get the coalitions tactics, obviously they have given up ever getting the independents inside.
    More importantly though, as we know there are about the same number of Coalition members as the government, don’t they ever get sick?

  8. Angra

    AR – yes I’d forgotten Diplock.

    And people WERE of course interned without trial – however Sands was not one.

    But he confessed to terrorist actions. And the evidence is pretty compelling that he ran guns and left his friends to be caught so he could escape, and took part n gungfights with the RUC.

    But the main issue is his claim that he should have been treated as a political prisoner, not a terrorist.

    Seems pretty germaine to current charges against terrorists of an Islamic persuasion. Are they political prisoners or comnmon criminals?

    What’s the difference? Just ask former members of Irgun or haHaganah.

  9. B.Tolputt

    This really belongs in this week’s open thread (*cough*), but here it is for people’s amusement anyway… The Liberal Party reneging on their claim they will pair politicians away for illness.

    Yup, men of their word the Liberals.

  10. Matthew of Canberra

    Just listening to this week’s “On The Media”

    The first article is an interview with the guy behind “invisible children”, the maker of the youtube video that sent the world’s opinionators into a derp-frenzy. It’s worth a listen. There’s nothing TOO surprising in it, assuming you’re a basically-sensible person who took the thing on its face value. But it’s nice to hear a response from the author after all the nonsense that’s been written about it. And, this being NPR, there’s a fairly sensible range of questions about various differing points of view, including that of africans themselves. And yes, criticisms of the paternalist instinct and the attraction of easy virtue are indeed considered.

    There is still intelligent life on radio.

  11. SHV


    That’s interesting, I went to a “forum” last week for my electorate. It wasn’t one of those bogus News Ltd/Sky staged ones. It was supposed be a genuine chance to see ALL the candidates each have 5 mins to speak followed by questions.

    Right from the outset it was obvious that a few blatantly LNP stooges were there. I didn’t see any ALP stooges disrupting things (nobody else was disruptive). These guys (2, with a quieter few muttering approval) yelled interjections, talking points, gratuitous abuse etc.. at most candidates.

    When it came to the LNP candidate it was all “Hear, hear. Well done” etc..

    Unless it was some very cunning ALP plot, it wasn’t very bright tactically as it was obvious that most of the 150 attendees saw it as loud and thuggish and LNP.

  12. AR

    Angra – convicted by a “Diplock” court – ie no jury, secret evidence not open to defence cross examination, hence the blanket/dirty protests.

  13. Deziner

    There was a protest against Cambell Newman in Ashgrove today over his (and his party’s) stance on repealing Queensland civil union law. We turned it into an impromptu march through the streets of Ashgrove to the “people’s forum” held at one of the local public schools. Apparently you could hear us over the live stream from the forum (it was in an open-air auditorium, for some reason).

    There were almost as many police there as protesters, blocking our entry onto the public grounds even if we agreed to do so silently. One person on twitter said there was an invitation for a representative to take part in the forum, but no invitation was offered (AFAIK).

    Anyway, according to the #ashgroveforum tag on twitter, it was stacked with bused in LNP supporters who actually booed Kate Jones for saying she wouldn’t preference One Nation and that nobody else should either. I agree with one twitterer: it’s time for this popularity contest of “people’s forums” to be retired.

  14. SHV

    Imagine someone winning a place in the Senate running on a single issue! Never happen!

    I see he got 14.8% and therefore was elected outright without the need for any preferences.

    If Assange ran in my state I’d vote for him.

  15. Matthew of Canberra


    Assange to run for senate. Nice one

    You can easily pick the really serious campaigns for senatorness. They’re the ones that don’t bother to pick a state, preferring instead to just run for “the Australian Senate”.

    That said, he does look like a cross between tintin and liam neeson in that picture.

  16. rhwombat

    JS: …say no more.

  17. Jeremy Sear

    Putting Crikey and Vexnews in the same breath is mad, but it is Mark Textor speaking.

  18. Fran Barlow

    [He died of suicide after a prolonged hunger strike having previously become famous by daubing the walls of his cell with his own excrement.]

    This was called a “dirty protest”. It’s worth noting the background to this matter.

  19. Liz A

    There is a very odd statement in the Age today about Crikey:

    [It is par for the course for some over-enthusiastic spin doctors in political parties to get gossip sites – such as Crikey and Vexnews, or softer pages of their own organs – to publish uncorroborated reports of wrongdoing by their opposition candidates.]

    I would not characterise Crikey as a gossip site by any standard. I would call it a “special interest news site”, but no more than (say) 9MSN, Yahoo7 or even the Herald Sun website. It seems a rather strange characterisation to me.

  20. calyptorhynchus

    Monkeywrench “Gerard has pinched that [Ed.] thing from Private Eye.”

    …but hasn’t understood it.

  21. Angra

    AR – Sands was NOT interned without trial. He was tried and convicted of terrorist offences several times.

    In 1972, Sands joined the Provisional IRA. He was arrested and charged in October 1972 with possession of four handguns which were found in the house where he was staying. Sands was convicted in April 1973 sentenced to five years’ imprisonment and released in April 1976.

    On his release from prison in 1976, he returned to his family home in West Belfast, and resumed his active role in the Provisional IRA’s campaign. He was charged with involvement in the October 1976 bombing of the Balmoral Furniture Company in Dunmurry, although he was never convicted of this charge with the presiding judge stating that there was no evidence to support the assertion that he had taken part. After the bombing, Sands and at least five others were alleged to have been involved in a gun battle with the Royal Ulster Constabulary, although he was not convicted due to lack of evidence. Leaving behind two of their wounded friends, Seamus Martin and Gabriel Corbett, Sands, Joe McDonnell, Seamus Finucane and Sean Lavery tried to make their escape in a car, but were apprehended.

    Later, one of the revolvers used in the attack was found in the car in which Sands had been travelling. His trial in September 1977 saw him being convicted of possession of firearms (the revolver from which the prosecution alleged bullets had been fired at the RUC after the bombing) and Sands was sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment within HM Prison Maze, also known as Long Kesh.

    He died of suicide after a prolonged hunger strike having previously become famous by daubing the walls of his cell with his own excrement.

    Nice bloke.

  22. AR

    Is Assange trying to replicate Bobby Sands (Irish hunger striker interned without trial in the Maze, elected to Westminster, who died in custody) by being the first Oz Senator to rot in Gitmo, or the mainland equivalent?

  23. monkeywrench

    Gerard has pinched that [Ed.] thing from Private Eye.

  24. SHV

    In the US it is starting to look like a bunch of high profile people could end up in serious trouble for giving “material support” to a terrrr organisation.

    Subpoenae are already on the loose and financial records of speakers agencies are being examined.

    Under the draconian terrrr laws so beloved of a certain section of the community they could be in big trouble because it appears that they took money to advocate in favour of a listed terrrr organisation.

    MSNBC have started to cover it:

    This would be a HUGE story if we weren’t so hypocritical about these laws and designations and the whole terrrr thing generally. Can’t see it anywhere in the Aus media.

  25. Angra

    “Your right to speak and read freely is in danger” claims Mr Free Speech, then quotes at length a speech by Mr Abbott.

    Isn’t this a copyright violation?

    “Once the principle of state-backed control of newspapers is conceded – with offending articles ordered to be disappeared – then we are on a slide to hell.”

    Oh and it’s all due to Finkelstein, the Greens and the ‘media academics” whoever they are. And “Already nearly 10 articles of mine have been “disappeared” from the Internet.”

    Really? Just like the statements to the Press Council about your nonsense?

    LOL Andrew.

  26. Deziner

    A terribly biaseed intro to a piece in the Brisbane Times this morning. Starts with “Indonesian children caught on people smugglers’ boats” (emphasis mine).

    And the media wonders why we question their integrity.

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