Open threads

Jun 22, 2012

Weekend talk thread June 22 – 24

The weekend is here. For old time's sake, here's a video of the Grey Fergie muster at Bendemeer, NSW. [youtube][/youtube]

The weekend is here.

For old time’s sake, here’s a video of the Grey Fergie muster at Bendemeer, NSW.


44 thoughts on “Weekend talk thread June 22 – 24

  1. John Reidy

    As yes, the midwinter lantern parades – a great way to fight back the darkness, as
    [Outside in the distance
    A wildcat did growl
    Two riders were approaching
    And the wind began to howl]

    In my mind generation or two on from Keats.

  2. Jack Sparraaggghhh

    I can’t get The Pull Factor here. They just don’t seem to broadcast it in the ACT.

    Sheesh, think of his national audience share if it was broadcast in ACT. Must be some kind of conspiracy by the gubment to suppress the trooth. Anyway, Gina will fix it like she will Fairfax.

    Thank God for the interwebs. The Bol Repor’s youtube channel must be like a Radio Luxembourg for the nannied citizens of our nation’s capital.

  3. jules

    Marsall law. Awesome. I saw that one too Phil. Almost corrected them too, then thought whats the point?

  4. Phil Vee

    Angra @ 37
    So the question is, has Andrew actually read the poem and if so does he understand it?

    I think he read the first verse. Anarchy, blood dimmed tide, innocence lost. Its very scary. Thank goodness his supporters can see through it.

    Just a question Andrew. If things got really bad before the next election and we did have rioting in the streets to a point that the army was deployed, at what point is ‘marshall law” bought in? If this was the case could it stop the federal election going ahead next year if the country was in a turmoil? It worries everyone to think that the government remain in power because of instability. We are really in unchartered waters at the amount of anger out here.

    ausebell of leisure coast (Reply)
    Sat 23 Jun 12 (10:34am)
    Glenys replied to ausebell
    Sat 23 Jun 12 (03:14pm)
    The Australia Day riot appears to have begun in response to misinformation passed on by somebody who was with Gillard’s government at that time. A few more such riots, possibly bigger ones, could provide a reason for Labor to introduce ‘martial law’ and delay the next election.
    Keep your cool, everybody. We could be in for a rocky ride in the coming year!

    I can’t argue with the last sentence. Please Bolties…… keep your cool!

  5. jules

    Angra @ 37 Lovecraft actually co-wrote a story about Harry Houdini being dropped into the bowels of the great pyramid to witness a rite by undead monstrosities in worship of the beast the Spinx was originally meant to represent, well a five headed tentacled thing meant to be its paw anyway. It was based on an allegedly true experience – at least according to Harry Houdini, who the story was credited to until the late 30s.

  6. jules

    Bolt’s blog is full of the passionate intensity of the worst, as is his favoured candidate for PM. Who funnily enough, just happens to be slouching toward Bethlehem as Phil Vee mentioned. An uncontrollable mystery on the bestial floor, he waits to do the bidding of those pale unsatisfied ones.

    John R, hows it going? I went to the lismore lantern parade, to take my v young daughter to her first fireworks display. She loved it, wasn’t scared at all, spent the evening waving to the crowds and the parade participants and squealing in delight. It made for a great weekend.

  7. Angra

    I think Hackett has been closely advised by Charles Prentiss. On 60 Minutes he’s giving the classic “admit everything, plead extentauting circumstances and through yourself on their mercy” ploy.

    Mind you that did earn Charles a stint in jail.

  8. Angra

    Phill Vee – Yeats was responding to the dark forces gathering in Europe post WW1 and it is a pretty perceptive prophecy of the coming of facism. So Andrew’s ‘messiah’ is wearing jackboots.

    Yeats has a thing about skulking Sphinx-like beasts which for him symbolised mindless destruction (shades of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu).

    He wrote in the introduction to his play The Resurrection, “I began to imagine, as always at my left side just out of the range of sight, a brazen winged beast which I associated with laughing, ecstatic destruction”, noting that the beast was “Afterwards described in my poem ‘The Second Coming”.

    So the question is, has Andrew actually read the poem and if so does he understand it?

  9. John Reidy

    How was everone’s weekend? Hello to Dave and Jeremy – as the clock ticks down.
    I am listening to Cold Chisel’s East, which might become a Sunday night ritual.
    Earlier this year my wife went for a walk at about 5pm with strict instructions for my eldest son to do his history homework.
    She came back an hour later and I had the album on, replaying “Star Hotel”, and drinking a beer. In my mind it was a tiny smoke filled room.
    My son was in the corner working (or trying to) on his essay. I think I had split some beer on him.
    She came in, turned the stereo off and said what is going on?
    My son said I am doing my essay, its on ‘The sixties and the rise of Australia Pub Rock'”.

    I think I am going to have to get some Resch’s.

  10. Phil Vee

    Andrew Bolt starts out mocking the PM’s Dept for preparing a discussion paper for a summer retreat of Parlt Secretaries last January.
    The paper has been leaked and according to Bolt it warned of riots if economic conditions deteriorate. Quote “The 2004 Redfern riots and 2005 Cronulla riots show the potential for real or perceived inequality to give rise to important events of protest and violence.”
    Why is this so? According to Bolt , “riots are a sign of increasing tribalism” because the “centre cannot hold”.
    You might think he is referring to Paul Kelly from his recent book “March of the Patriots” which diagnosed our contemporary problem as being that the political centre cannot hold to support a stable majoritarian two party government. The mainstream is giving way to minor parties and Independents and not holding together. But no! Andrew Bolt uses that phrase as a link to Yeats’ poem “The Second Coming” so he must mean something completely different.
    So let us examine the Yeats’ poem and see what relevance there is for contemporary Australia and try to see what Andrew is talking about.
    The Second Coming” is a poem about the contrary but consecutive forces at work in history, as one phase of history ends and another begins. The poem is about conflict between an old world and a new world. It predicts a rough beast slouching towards Bethlehem to be born at the time of such a turning point. It could be just a poetic metaphor, of the beast moving from the spiritual world to the real world.
    Or maybe it is real, and Andrew has seen it. The rough beast is the Messiah coming to scrub down this vile and decadent world and wash away the sinners, fornicators and credit card users. Yes that’s it!! The world is falling apart according to Andrew because we are all arguing amongst ourselves in our pathetic democracy, naked self interest and “mere anarchy”.
    God will soon come in the guise of a hard tough love Conservative who will be able to sweep away this soft tribalism and lead us into the Light; to a new dawn of self reliance and cleanliness where we can all be One with the Oneness. What will this Messiah look like? What is the “vast image of our Common Spirit of the People”?

    He will have a blank gaze, pitiless as he stares off into Bethlehem. He will move slowly like a lion with big thighs. Sshhhh I can hear his name being whispered. Father, Father, ab-ba, Abba, ABBOTT !!!

    TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
    The darkness drops again; but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

  11. Phil Vee

    OK I dug deep through the bowels of the Bolt blog and here is the best explanation I can find about why McClelland’s speech is worthwhile. Evidently it is all based on unfounded fear, which God will banish when he brings forth the Light. (I may have got this wrong, so read this and see what you think.)

    Once Tony Abbott (A man of strong moral fibre and faith, may God grant him strength in the struggles to come) is swept into office, I think he must make it a priority in his first time (hopefully one of many) to call a full Royal Commission into the entire Union movement, with a specific focus on the matter involving Julia Gillard during the timeframe in question.
    This whole affair just hints at something far, far worse than the C.Thompson affair…I only hope the fears many harbour are unfounded, but we must bring forth the light of day and reveal what must be revealed regardless.
    JohnO of Melbourne (Reply)
    Fri 22 Jun 12 (12:40pm)

    marymac replied to JohnO
    Fri 22 Jun 12 (02:11pm)
    I am with you brother. Prayers and all.

  12. Matthew of Canberra

    “And more on this as it develops”

    Code for “I intend to keep banging on about it”. And he has the gall to describe other publishers as “gossip sites”.

    I can’t get The Pull Factor here. They just don’t seem to broadcast it in the ACT. Not sure why. Do we have some unusually strenuous local defamation laws? Are we considered a “lost cause”?

    I mean … they’re paying money to MAKE it, but don’t bother broadcasting it. Does anyone else think that’s odd?

  13. Mercurial

    Kevin’s been to the gym.

    Apparently that’s a sign he’s preparing for a shot at the leadership (what isn’t these days?). Mind you, if he is serious about it, he really should think about losing a few of the pounds he’s stacked on since being rolled.

  14. Jack Sparraaggghhh

    Caught the last few minutes of the Bol Repor just in time for Andy’s exhaustive two minute spot on the McLelland sh!t-storm.

    He featured the footage of Sen Joyce in the Senate asking rhetorically, of Gillard’s defense that she knew nothing, “Is that believable? Is that believable?” Yep, that’s their best shot, their best shot.

    Upon which Andy closed with, “And more on this as it develops” — evidently considering there’s still sufficient carrion on the carcass for a return feeding frenzy.

  15. Matthew of Canberra

    “Almost as if he had an ear in the chamber”

    Well, yeah. I’d assume so 🙂

    This reffo-boatpeople business. I saw a map on the tell this week and it never occurred to me before, but … I can solve all of our “border protection” issues in one easy move.

    Take a gander:

    Let’s just give christmas island to indonesia, then lease back a navy base. All boat people / people smuggling / whatever issues … gone. No more boats, nobody risking their lives, no stupid laws, no posturing, no sociopaths suddenly pretending to care about humanity, nothing. A whole political issue taken off the table in an instant. Just sign a treaty, jules, and it’s gone.

    We’ve got a bit of australian territory just off the coast of java – close enough to be worth a shot, far enough to be dangerous. Well, let’s just change the name on the gate. Then the indonesian navy can start taking responsibility for its own frikkin’ shipping (a little point that seems to never get enough attention when we’re whipping ourselves – where the frack is the indonesia? Are they BLIND?! Or do they only give a toot about overloaded, sinking boats if they’re likely to sink in their waters?).

    Of course, nobody’s going to take it on as an idea – nobody likes giving up a little piece of empire.

  16. Jack Sparraaggghhh

    SHV, I guess ultimately it doesn’t matter what’s in the Hansard. If it’s said loudly and longly enough in the “free, rambunctious media” that this is so, then it becomes ‘reality’ for all intents and purposes. The vast majority of people don’t look at the record (even though they pay for it).

  17. Jack Sparraaggghhh

    Matthew, it probably doesn’t really matter whether they can make anything stick. The govt is vulnerable to anything that makes it more on the nose, and obviously any mud will do, even old low-viscosity mud. Just keep chipping away with the help of partisan media hacks.

    I haven’t had much of a chance to look today, but wonder if anyone’s seen any reportage of the Brandis and Joyce carpet bombing. Was half expecting an Andy column this weekend to feature some florid quotes. Perhaps next week — how could he resist?

    And good catch on his part to pick up on McLelland’s remarks. Almost as if he had an ear in the chamber. And then B & J in the Senate the next day. The perfect storm. (And ain’t I exercising exemplary restraint in not dropping one of those gutless MFEDs.)

  18. SHV

    Phil @ 17,

    It’s got me stuffed.

    Out of curiosity, I checked the Hansard (pdf):;fileType=application%2Fpdf#search=%22chamber/hansardr/c3691419-911e-4e11-b6bf-09c7da360bc2/0000%22

    At around page 50 of the pdf (page 34 of the actual record) you’ll find McClelland’s contribution to the debate on toughening up ‘Fair Work’ to deal with abuses of union funds. He mentions Gillard once (in the context of a case they were in, as lawyers, on opposite sides) and doesn’t mention Wilson at all. He refers to cases he was involved in, particularly in the mid 1990s, dealing with those questions.

    You couldn’t possibly read an imminent overthrow of Gillard into that no matter how much wishful thinking you put into it. Let alone a 2 week timeline.

  19. Matthew of Canberra

    Jack Sparraaggghhh –

    That whole thing is bizarre. If somebody actually has some new evidence, then just table it in parliament and get on with it. If this is just going to be another round of airing old allegations that have already been answered, then I wonder why it’s a labor MP who’s doing it, and not the oppo (then again, maybe the oppo’s got too many of its OWN skeletons to worry about?)

    AB’s obsession is consistent with previous hang-ups. He doesn’t seem to drop grudges easily, and he did seem to be genuinely outraged when his employer stopped him from publishing potentially defamatory allegations … that he had no proof of … and apparently didn’t believe anyway … but it’s the principle!

    This current government are an odd bunch. It seems to contain a few members who can’t quite decide whether they’re rather be in government themselves or trying to stop all the other labor MPs from being in government.

  20. RobJ

    Oh, and when the Aussie media is talking to Bob Carr why don’t they raise the comparison between Assange and Taylor? The mainstream media are shit too! (That includes the ABC.)

  21. RobJ

    Assange is a weirdo but he’s our weirdo, he’s an Australian, let’s contrast the efforts that the government are making for Assange with the unfortunate Melinda Taylor, there’s just no comparison!! Or how about Bali Boy?

    Our Govt are very shit in many many respects and they piss me off. Australian citizenship is worth bugger all if the Govt don’t like you, it isn’t just the coalition it’s Labor too!

  22. calyptorhynchus


    And I thought I was just channeling Robert Graves.


    Re the Tom Waterhouse ads, here’s something to make you smile/weep. I complained about ACT fair trading about the ads and here is their response:

    “You indicate that Tom Waterhouse has used misleading advertising such as “increase your betting intelligence”. You claim this implies that a person betting on the website is more likely to have better success than betting elsewhere…
    it is the opinion of this office that this statement would not be considered misleading as It implies that you will gain greater knowledge regarding your betting options, not that your odds are greater, by using his website.” [grammar and punctuation emended]

    I, for one, welcome our new corporate masters.

  23. Marek Bage

    Angra @ 14;

    Actually I think Milton is quoting P. Ovidius Naso.

    …who, in turn, is quoting calyptorhynchus!


  24. Steve777

    Interesting clip Sancho @ 1. Many Australians receive all of their information about what’s happening in the country and the wider world from the Daily Telegraph and 2GB (or their counterparts in other cities), topped up by A Current Affair / Today Tonight.

    I get most of my news from ABC radio, topped up by ABC TV and on-line news sites, including the Sydney Morning Herald and Crikey. I don’t watch or listen to news or current affairs on commercial radio or TV. I am reasonably well-informed but I have often been regaled by relatives or acquaintances with the latest outrage of which I had not previously heard: school kids not allowed to have a Christmas play because it might offend Muslims; asylum seekers and/or dole bludgers and/or juvenile delinquents put up in 5 start hotel; the havoc that will be wrought by the carbon tax / mining tax / means testing of health care rebate. Also, many elderly people who don’t get out much seem to think that Sydney’s streets are so awash with gangs and crime that they are genuinely afraid for themselves or their families.

    Much of our media seems to be driven by an agenda to increase ratings / circulation by pushing peoples’ hot buttons and making them angry. In addition to this, especially in the case of the Telegraph and its equivalents in other regions, they are pushing their proprietors’ political agenda.

    All of this does not bode well in a future where an Abbott government is perfectly comfortable with the Murdoch media, Fairfax is dominated by Gina Rhinehart and the ABC is nobbled and eventually sold off.

  25. Adam Rope

    Angra @ 16, nothing from “This is living” BCF?

    Or are they worried people might actually go outside, and not watch the adverts – sorry, sport?

  26. Phil Vee

    I remember last year there was a story saying the Huff Post would set up in Australia. I hope that idea died a horrible death. Here are todays most popular stories on the Huff Post.

    Upsetting Footage Of Bus Monitor Being Bullied Causes Outrage (VIDEO)
    Kris Humphries Claims Kris Jenner Staged Kim Kardashian’s Sex Tape
    Man With 100-Pound Scrotum Turns Down Free Surgery Offer
    Another Allegation Of Naked Flesh Eating In Florida
    Nadine Morano is not racist: her best friend is “more black than an Arab”
    Why I Invited A Third Person Into My Marriage
    Which Porn Star Do You Look Like?

    And The Age today, most popular
    15162 Live AFL: Sydney Swans v Geelong
    3409 Government reveals details of public-sector job cuts
    1059 The crushing of Kevin: kindness saved the day, says Rein
    712 Secretary jailed for $340K mining-giant theft
    697 Mansion built on gold goes on sale

    and today, most popular
    Delta finds new love on The Voice
    Now this is what you call bad PR
    Not again. Naked man bites chunk off man’s arm
    Baden-Clay denied bail over flight risk
    Scientists find hot, weird, little guys in the sky
    Qantas fears Virgin deal will send it broke
    Interwebs rally raises $275k for bullied grandma

    I find this comforting. There is only one story common between the Huff Post and Age/News. The bus monitor getting abused and raising money.
    I live in a sensible country.

  27. Jack Sparraaggghhh

    Andy refers to that McLelland business as “a story I broke yesterday.”

    Evidently he pores endlessly over the House Hansard for just such juicy “oblique references” in relation to his pet topics.

    It was, of course, entirely fortuitous that Senators Brandis and Joyce in parliament today pursued Andy’s breaking story.

    Naturally there’ll soon be a print column quoting heavily from the Hansard to air a number of assertions made under parliamentary privilege which Andy couldn’t normally make off of his own bat.

  28. Phil Vee

    SHV @ 12
    I think even the hacks are nervous about hyping a Ruddstoration now as people are sick of it, and it just sounds silly. So they have gone back to the normal “shock and awe” stories, keeping the smoke blowing even when there isn’t a fire. Bloody hell they are good at it too.

    The scary thing is the cheer squad who descend on this stuff, howling for JG blood. With them on the team the hacks don’t have to specify Rudd they just have to keep blowing smoke. I presume there is a Newspoll this weekend.

    What McClelland’s role in all of this is, I do not know. Can someone enlighten me? Is he being verballed or did he know saying “Bruce Wilson” and “Gillard” in the same speech is enough to send the Right off their faces?

  29. Angra

    The Gruen Transfer has some important lessons for us all.

    The top ads on 9 tonight during the league matches are –

    – Tom Waterhouse
    – Beer
    – Bunnings Warehouse
    – Sportsbet
    – More beer
    – Big fucking 4wds

    Australian men are stupid – I think the ad guys have worked this out.

  30. ian milliss

    It’s not just the mainstream media that has groupthink problems. A comment I made today on a Global Mail article about Fairfax has been butchered to the point of unintelligibility, presumably because I mentioned Peter Wicks.

    The article by Bernard Lagan had a howler of a paragraph beginning “For all of the adversity, however, The Sydney Morning Herald has been able to maintain leadership in Australian journalism. Kate McClymont and the former Herald Canberra journalist, Mark Davis, uncovered the Craig Thomson affair, which still threatens to bring down the Gillard Government. The newspaper’s political commentator, Peter Hartcher, is regarded as the country’s best in print’ etc.

    I commented simply that Peter Wicks had done the investigative work that SMH had failed to do and demonstrated that the real story was Kate Jackson, her husband and other officials far more than Craig Thomson. I didn’t link to IndependentAustralia or any other publication and it wasn’t defamatory yet it all got the chop.

    It seems that the Global Mail has learned nothing from its early failures and is headed straight down the same path of suppressing criticism that characterises much of the rest of the media.

  31. Angra

    Actually I think Milton is quoting P. Ovidius Naso.


  32. Angra

    calyptorhynchus = you’re cut’n’pasting Milton’s Areopagitica

    “Truth indeed came once into the world with her divine Master, and was a perfect shape most glorious to look on:

    But when he ascended, and his Apostles after him were laid asleep, then straight arose a wicked race of deceivers, who, as that story goes of the Egyptian Typhon with his conspirators, how they dealt with the good Osiris, took the virgin Truth,

    ltough you also could refer to Stephen Baxter, Upton Sinclair, or even Chakotay in Star Trek: Voyager.

  33. SHV

    Phil @ 10,

    I had a bit of a busy day today. Not much time until now for internet or other media.

    Never go anywhere near News Ltd as a matter of principle, but in the car at about 1:30pm briefly listened to a bit of the Senate live on ABC radio and heard the LNP going on about the imminent ALP leadership change from Gillard back to Rudd which we all apparently “know” as a fact.

    I knew instantly that this was yet another News Ltd fabrication. If I read your comment correctly, this WASN’T all over today’s News Ltd?? Was it the other way around this time (ie: they feed the words to their elected moppets to say in Hansard – which they can then report and we get the self-feeding cycle)?

    They even based it all on what McLelland said.

  34. gtpfb13

    IPA boss John Roskam today quoted by Bolty.

    The requirement that reporting be “fair and balanced” is a recipe for political manipulation and for the erosion of freedom of speech.

    (my bold)
    Doesn’t that make it just perfect as the Fox News trademark/ slogan?

  35. Phil Vee

    Andrew Bolt has got a lengthy post or two running now about McClelland’s speech in the Parlt relating a history of union corruption. McClelland was speaking to a bill to toughen up laws relating to Fair Work Australia.
    This has “lifted the lid” on an “explosive” story that resulted in a “devastating” performance by Barnaby Joyce in the Senate, and its a “shot across the bow” of Gillard, according to AB.

    What is it about you may ask. The old dead horse of Gillard’s ex-boyfriend and her role in setting up bank accounts for him. You can sometimes judge the emptiness of Bolt’s argument by the length of his rant and that is true here as well. it got a huge response…. a total of 342 responses in a day, all of them in furious agreement that this spells the end of Gillard.

    All I can say is there must be a doozy of a James Ashby/Qld LNP story due soon. I think the Right is doing some roadside back-burning to smoke out the area.

    (in the LOL section there is Brandis calling Glen Milne and Bolt “heroic journalists” for their courage in revealing this story.)

  36. Angra

    And MoC – also some republican controlled States in the US are pushing electoral enrolment reform which is a blatant attempt to disenfranchise poor and black and young voters. No ID less than 2 yrs old? Can’t vote. Moved addresses recently and can’t prove where you currently live to our satisfaction? Can’t vote. Had any convictions? Can’t vote.

    Surely no connection?

  37. Angra

    Andrew’s pushing the line that 19% ownership of a media outlet gives you the right to take editorial control. He derides Fairfax jouirnalists for wishing to retain editorial independence, and huffily adds “No link to Crikey.”

    How childish.

  38. Sancho

    Lately there’s been a bit of support in the American conservative media for making land ownership a condition of enfranchisement, and these things often leak into the local right-wing thinking.

  39. Holden Back

    So Bronny doesn’t like citizens fulfilling their legal obligations, (or exercising their rights), because they might vote for somebody else? What a dedicated democratic warrior she is!

  40. calyptorhynchus

    Gina Rinehart has come for a lot of criticism recently, not least on these pages. But I have to tell you that a few days ago I saw her on television and was moved to poetry.


    Cadmus and Athene

    Athene spoke and Cadmus sowed
    The precious dragon’s teeth—at once
    He saw an army burst from the earth,
    Twisted figures, straining, heaving
    Bed-rock and baked soil aside…
    Driven to break earth’s s crust.

    They looked, then advanced on him,
    Poisonous vapours rising from them,
    Limbs glowing with heat.
    Cadmus hurled a stone amidst them
    Watched them turn on one another—
    From that army only five lived.

    And Cadmus saw the goddess had spoken
    Not for him only, but for other generations:
    With pride he saw the earthmen’s threat
    Vanish, and willing servants gained,
    With wonder he guessed at future
    Straitened times, and their conclusion.


  41. Matthew of Canberra

    Heh …

    I enjoy seeing a lib try to find arguments for not enrolling voters.

    They’re all for democracy, and all. But it shouldn’t be too easy.

  42. jules

    Remember this post by Toby? And something Dave once mentioned about arguing on the internet being pointless cos refuting someone’s opinion can make them more likely to reinforce that opinion in the face of all evidence and most logic?

    This is a paper on cognitive bias by AI researcher Eliezer Yudkowsky. Its pretty good and very interesting.

  43. Sancho

    Watched a bit of a Rachel Maddow clip via Right Wing Watch. It’s all about strange American partisanship, but I think what she says during the first minute and a half is a nice description of what’s happening in Australia as well:

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