11 October, 2015

Thinking of linking

This week I have been mostly reading...

It’s a tawdry legacy Abbott defends, and he makes a tawdry spectacle of himself defending it.
Desalination plant could be switched on

Campbell Newman biography: Handful of book shops refuse to stock book - Instant Karma's gonna get you!

Brace yourself Australia, it’s about to get really hot

Federal government asks Australian Federal Police to find Nauru whistleblowers

Xenophon gives the main parties a Senate solution

Rehabilitating Abbott

Royal Children's Hospital doctors refuse to return children to detention
Tactical Experts Destroy the NRA’s Heroic Gunslinger Fantasy

Bernanke: I’m not really a Republican any more

Doctors Without Borders airstrike: US alters story for fourth time in four days 

Bobby Jindal’s New Strategy? Be Worse Than Donald Trump

Julio Iglesias says he will no longer perform in Trump casinos

Churches come together for Habitat for Humanity home build

Police find man extremely high, curled up in pile of Doritos and cookies:

How the Koch brothers and the super-rich are buying their way out of criticism 

Why the phrase ‘first world problem’ is condescending to everyone 

Musician Jim Diamond dies 

The Verdict recap: Karl Stefanovic's shout-fest was a stinking mess, and no match for Q&A ...surprising absolutely no-one

Curiosity's Drill Hole and Location are Picture Perfect - Look at this picture of Mars!

How Modern-Day Dirigibles Can Plug The World's Transit Gaps 

Google's 'Don't be evil' creed disappears as company morphs into Alphabet 

What happens to your digital content if the provider goes out of business?

Firefox will stop supporting web plugins (except for Flash) by the end of 2016

O.J. by the Sea

I got stupid on me and now I'm wiping it off on you:
Once a high-flying politician has been brought down to earth, Australia’s tall poppy syndrome works in reverse - Yeah, I'll take that bet, Rowan.

'Christian Muslims' welcome, says Hanson

If you were in any doubt that Reagan would be "too liberal" for the modern Republican party...

08 October, 2015

The Rules: Keeping it real

Oh, for pity’s sake Rupert! Do you have to make it so bloody easy?

I would have thought that to be as rich and powerful as you are, one would have to have at least a modicum of sense. Oh well, you know what they say about assumptions. Or are you playing the ‘doddery old man who, despite a 60-year reputation for being a control freak, doesn’t know what’s going on in his own businesses’ shtick that you pulled in front of the Leveson inquiry?

For you, and anyone else who needs to be told, here are the rules:

If you renounced your citizenship in order to own a television network, you don’t get to talk about who is real.

If you took up citizenship of another country, not because you love the country or believe in its values, but to expand your personal empire, you don’t get to talk about who is real.

If you frequently use the word “we,” when referring to the concerns of Australia, and of Britain, and of the United States, you don’t get to talk about who it real. I’m all for internationalism but you have made your choice.

If you’re an old white man, you don’t get to decide what makes a “real” black man. I thought you might have learnt that from your minion at Southbank after he came unstuck doing something similar. Oh, but who am I kidding?

Finally – and this is for anyone – if you’ve found a black person you like doesn’t prove you’re not a racist. In fact, using the “Look, here’s a black person I agree with, so I’m totally not a racist,” angle is actually pretty racist. We might not have thought you were until you brought it up. You might as well tell us who some of your best friends are, and how much you liked The Cosby Show or Michael Jackson before he went all funny.

And one last thing, Rupert: Don’t ever call yourself Australian again. I know you like to claim to still be Australian when it’s convenient to you but you are not. You said so, under oath without purpose of evasion, on September 4th, 1985. So don’t talk to anyone else about being real.


07 October, 2015

Clichés Translated

Part four of an occasional series

“He tells it like it is.”

He upholds my prejudices.

04 October, 2015

Thinking of linking

This week, I have been mostly reading...

Doctors group condemns Medicare review as an attack on GP integrity

Catholic church in Bendigo holds talks with anti-Islam group

Newman ‘never comfortable’ with asset sales

Newman a dud politician?

Senior government minister Mal Brough under federal investigation

The problem with the ban against Chris Brown "these campaigns are inconsistent at best, racist at worst."

Step away from the microphone - Tony Abbott isn't helping himself

Tony Abbott should stop playing the sore loser and retreat gracefully

Climate sceptic Maurice Newman not reappointed as government adviser GOOD!

Treasurer Scott Morrison sticks to plan to move public servants out of Canberra

Abbott's downfall caused a 'civil war' on the right. But can the left take advantage of it?

Timeframe for UN Security Council bid 'unambitious', Tanya Plibersek says

Dear Treasurer, here's how to answer those economic questions

'It's surreal': Australia's first Indigenous minister, Ken Wyatt, on his promotion

West Coast Eagles former star Daniel Chick lifts the lid on toxic drug culture in 2006

Hundreds of Liberal members resigning after Tony Abbott exit - LOL!

Tony Abbott's self-indulgent and damaging farewell radio tour

All codeine-containing medications could be prescription-only from next year

Dick Smith savages Malcolm Turnbull for shielding rich from tax transparency

NSW lagging in national digital skills race

Journalist Peter Greste Calls on Australia to End Secrecy over Offshore Asylum Detention Centers

Carly Fiorina Really Was That Bad

Maple Street Book Shop closing after half-century in business

Mass shootings since Sandy Hook, in one map

Armed vet destroys gun nuts’ argument on mass shooters by explaining why he didn’t attack Oregon killer

Jeb Bush rejects tighter gun laws after Umpqua shootings: ‘Stuff happens, there’s always a crisis’ - Is this what they call "compassionate conservatism"?

If We Treated Other Public Health Issues The Way The Pro-Gun Crowd Treats Shootings

UK student visa policy could shut out future leaders, says thinktank

Russia admits it won’t kill Islamic State only - Now riddle me this, patriots: Wouldn't now be a really good time for Syria to use those weapons of mass destruction that Saddam Hussein gave them before he was overthrown?

Dad of activist sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia "shocked" by son's response to execution order 

Astonishing bravery of the boy who faces being beheaded then crucified in Saudi Arabia for taking part in protest when he was 17 - Are we going to bomb Saudi Arabia?

Ten things that happened at my wedding in India

BBC John Peel Lecture by Brian Eno

Roger Waters on Reinventing ‘The Wall’ and Plans for a Final Arena Show

The Neuroscience of Drumming: Researchers Discover the Secrets of Drumming & The Human Brain

Electron Microscope Shows How Vinyl LP's Are Played

Whitesplaining - what it is and how it works

The way to kill a complex city is to chase out all the poor people – and their food 

Want men to stop hitting women? Stop talking about “real men”

Andrew Bolt Has Epic Whinge About Australia's Takedown Of His M8 Tony Abbott

Aspirin 'can double life expectancy in cancer patients', study says

Black hole is 30 times expected size

NASA Confirms Evidence That Liquid Water Flows on Today’s Mars

Scientists to bypass brain damage by re-encoding memories 

Anxious border collie Archie escapes Qantas and transport staff, goes on run - but he's okay now.

I got stupid on me and I need to wipe it off on you:
Barry Humphries decries ‘finger-wagging puritanism’ So nothing to do with the fact that you're advertising News Ltd and your jokes from the 70s aren't funny any more?

The least boring photo on my camera roll:
I am very, very lucky.

28 September, 2015

Is AB OK? Don’t worry, he is.

By now, you’ll have read or read about Andrew Bolt’s love letter to the memory of Tony Abbott as prime minister.

Why couldn't you tell the truth before, Andrew? Were you lying? Again?
It has even led some to wonder if Mr Bolt should be put on 24-hour watch for his own safety.
Are we at peak unhinging? I wish it were so.

Fear not, friends. Andrew Bolt is not rocking back and forth whimpering under his desk. Instead, he is wearing a grin the size of Ralph Malph’s saying “I still got it!” while he creams himself over all the outrage he has provoked again.

And Bolt, gentleman that he is, has also taken the internet heat off his Sydney colleague Miranda Devine, who wrote something downright dangerous yesterday.

Bolt hasn’t snapped. He still knows exactly what he’s doing.

27 September, 2015

Thinking of linking

This week I have been mostly reading...

Joe Hockey in line for plum post, despite being a political loser who was almost sacked

Chris Brown concert tour posters replaced after Melbourne activists' 'I beat women' sticker campaign

Cory Bernardi: new right wing party could challenge Liberals - Would probably raise the collective IQ of both parties.

A sour, bitter episode, Tony Abbott’s career will cast a long and oppressive shadow

Peta Credlin breaks silence, slams media’s ‘tripe and bile’

The victims and casualties of Peta Credlin’s wrath

Tony Abbott's policy muddle was clear to all

Tony Abbott's department discussed investigation into Bureau of Meteorology over global warming exaggeration claims, FOI documents reveal

Bronwyn Bishop voted against Tony Abbott because he’d forced her out as Speaker

There's a righteous impatience to this newly empowered electorate "Maybe this is instability. Maybe it's democracy."

Xenophon takes aim at Turnbull

Sexism isn't responsible for Peta Credlin's own failures

Peta Credlin: Everyone to blame but a failure of a chief of staff

Hand the power of preferences back to the people

Guess who really stopped the boats? (hint: not Abbott)

Dear Scott, here's the way to go

A new leader does not cover up a $20 billion budget hole

How Tony Abbott's government was the least productive since 1971 

Bidding farewell to Peta Credlin, the woman who broke all Canberra's rules 

Ahmed Mohamed's parents handed out pizza to reporters outside their home Worst. Terrorists. Ever!

GOP's Muslim moment: why Trump, Carson are so unsettling to party

Fact-checking Martin Shkreli's claim that Daraprim is 'underpriced, relative to its peers' (Spoiler: False!)

Caught on camera: The moment Peter Greste learnt of pardons in Egypt

Young suicide bomber weeps before final mission

Yazidi woman raped by 'American jihadi' to testify to Congress

Russia exhumes bones of murdered Tsar Nicholas and wife

Fact-checking the link between climate change and ISIS (Spoiler: Mostly true)

Liberal leadership spill coup sparks News Corp 'civil war' More popcorn!

The war between Donald Trump and Fox News is back on

Morrissey says 'there is no need for me to say goodbye' as he plays 'final' UK gig in London. Says there is no point touring if he can't get a record deal

Album rescue series: Aerial by Kate Bush

Don Henley In Conversation With Billy Joel

Something Changed: Pulp's Different Class Revisited

Frank Zappa And Zubin Mehta Talk Music

Industrial farming is one of the worst crimes in history

A camera fast enough to show the speed of light! 

This Slug Has Such a Big Penis It Has to Mate Upside Down

Pluto’s surface looks like “dragon scales” in NASA’s new high-res colour photos

How PowerPoint is killing critical thought 

Why Brave New World is No Longer the Terrifying Dystopia it Used to Be

Humour and satire:
An Australia Out Fax

Halal Linked To Terrorism By Complex Series Of Imaginary Connections In Cory Bernardi’s Head, Enquiry Finds

I got stupid on me and now I need to wipe it off on you:
The Science Behind Richard Dawkins’ Problem with Ahmed Mohamed

Radicalisation Awareness Kit: Government's new booklet for schools links green activism, 'alternative music' to terrorism

Tony Abbott: my legacy the key to victory at next election

The least boring photo on my camera roll:

21 September, 2015

Richard Dawkins joins Sarah Palin

…or, Irony – what even is it?

Richard Dawkins has attracted criticism (in other news, it’s Monday) after joining and amplifying accusations that Ahmed Mohamed committed some kind of fraud in claiming to have “invented” the clock that got him arrested for taking a bomb to school.

Firstly, so what if he hacked a bought clock instead of assembling one from virgin components? What were YOU doing when you were 14?

Dawkins’ nitpicking included the rather racist allowance for the possibility that the young brown kid didn’t have a full understanding of English…

…but in my opinion, the worst in his series of tweets on the topic was this one, prefaced with the classic weasel words, “If this is true…”

With that comment, Dawkins veers towards the deranged ramblings of Sarah Palin in implying there may have been sinister motives. Here we have one of the loudest advocates of reason and rationality, with no evidence other than a YouTube clip and his own feels, suggesting Ahmed might have been playing some kind of double-bluff in order to get attention.

With all due respect Professor, I think you might be projecting. I’m sure it’s not that you can’t process the idea of a Muslim boy with a passion for science being victimised for his race and/or religion.

In admitting he’d gone too far, Professor Dawkins explained he was feeling a bit sensitive.