26 July, 2015

Thinking of linking

This week I have been mostly reading...

Australia:
Bronwyn Bishop digs in as office confirms she signed her expense report without checking it

Bronwyn Bishop has never welcomed the kind of scrutiny she applies to others

Bronwyn Bishop's expensive love affair with charter flights began nearly two decades ago - Finally they're starting to notice!

Australian race relations suffering from a lack of political leadership

Bronwyn Bishop’s age of entitlement should be terminated

Bob Ellis says he may have weeks to live after liver tests deliver 'very bad' news

A tale of Two Speakers: Slippery Pete and Chopper Bishop

Former Liberal Leader John Hewson critical of Tony Abbott's response to Bronwyn Bishop expenses scandal

Bishop must resign over incompetence, not bias

Greens circling as Labor dives into treacherous waters

Anthony Albanese criticises Bill Shorten's handling of boat turn-backs policy

The one thing missing from the government's long-term counter-terrorism strategy

A rort of Bronwyns or a hide of Bishops?

Canberra musical instrument maker carves niche business despite online sales revolution

Federal Opposition 'very concerned' about investigation into Bronwyn Bishop's travel entitlements

US:
Responding To Trump, Lindsey Graham Takes His Frustrations Out On His Phone

3 dead, 7 hurt when gunman opens fire in Lafayette movie theater The gunman was a 58yo white male who regularly ranted against feminism on public access television. So not terrorism then.

Trump Is the Poison His Party Concocted

A Very Still Life: The Art and Music of Jack Kevorkian

UK:
Sexist coverage of Liz Kendall and female politicians is insidious and demeaning

World:
The white male gaze that drives child sex tourism

Science:
Remembering the Apollo 11 Moon Landing With the Woman Who Made It Happen

NASA Just Announced the Discovery of a ‘Second Earth’

NASA Captures Stunning Image Of Pluto Eclipsing The Sun

Pluto’s Breathtaking Farewell to New Horizons

Scientists are building a system that could turn atmospheric CO2 into fuel

The size of the solar system if the moon were one pixel

Body politics:
My wedding was perfect – and I was fat as hell the whole time 

Metal health:
Facebook, depression & dogs: Send me an Angel

Media:
No One Wants to Admit It, but Reddit Can't Be Saved

Gawker’s Existential Crisis

Humour and satire:
Admit It: You People Want To See How Far This Goes, Don’t You?

Northern Territory Set To Become Australia’s Worst State

I got stupid on me and now I need to wipe it off on you:
Donald Trump campaign tweets photo with Nazi soldiers

The least boring photo on my camera roll:
Johnny Fuckin' Marr!

12 July, 2015

Thinking of Linking

This week I have been mostly reading...

Australia:
Tony Abbott's human rights man Tim Wilson racks up $77,000 in expenses

Barnaby Joyce banned from Q&A – what will Malcolm Turnbull do now?

Q&A: Barnaby Joyce takes Tony Abbott's program boycott order 'on the chin'

Barnaby Joyce obeyed Tony Abbott's Q&A ban 'out of deference'

Lacking a 1984 memory hole, Tony Abbott reduces ministers to unpersons

The return of Helen Demidenko: from literary hoaxer to political operator - Get back in the bin!

Marriage equality: Abbott focused on remaining distracted

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce slams Abbott government over Shenhua coal mine approval

Barnaby Joyce says approval of Shenhua mine shows 'the world has gone mad' - No Barnaby, just the government you're a part of. Good of you to notice.

Tony Abbott has dramatically escalated his war on wind power, creating a new cabinet split and provoking a warning he is putting international investment at risk. - So much for "open for business," eh?

Barnaby Joyce either 'incompetent or lacks influence in cabinet' over coal mine approval: Labor

Tony Abbott's pointless whims uncover those who refuse to minister to him

Windsor Hotel to close, tower plans dumped - very upset about half of this.

Broadbent denies Mafia ties

US:
Muslim Community Rallies to Rebuild Burned Black Churches

Top psychologists bolstered CIA, Pentagon torture

Can’t Fire Him: Republican Party Frets Over What to Do With Donald Trump

World:
Greece debt crisis: Australian businessman promises to give money to distraught pensioner

Music:
Double J to broadcast live from ACMI's David Bowie Is... exhibition

Fans unite for major David Bowie Is music exhibition in Melbourne

The Pope rocks:
A Radical Vatican? Naomi Klein on Laudato Si’

Pope calls greed 'the devil's dung'

Tech:
Google's Dream Robot Is Running Wild Across The Internet - I don't think I like computers any more

Adobe Flash is terrible and it’s time to kill it

Decision time: Uninstall Adobe Flash or install yet another critical patch

I got stupid on me and now I need to wipe it off on you:
For Tony Abbott, financial stability starts in the fruit and veg aisle 

It started with a loudmouth, but the Q&A saga just grows

Vale:
Roger Rees Dies at 71

The least boring photo on my camera roll:



08 July, 2015

Quit being such sooks!

...or, The unavoidable Zaky Mallah comment:

Somebody should probably tell Tony Abbott or his handlers about the Streisand Effect, which has become the name for unintentionally publicising something by trying to suppress it.

I would have thought that after two and a half weeks, there would be nothing left to say about the Abbott government’s ridiculous overreaction to the appearance of Zaky Mallah on Q and A. Yet here we are.

I can confidently say I would never have heard of him if it weren’t for the government’s confected outrage because for once, I didn’t even watch the program. I admit that Q and A is my favourite weekly rage-watch, but two Mondays ago, I was just too tired and too sick of derp to be bothered with it. Despite that, I now know his name, as does everyone else in the country. Can you name anyone else who has asked a question from the Q and A audience in the last seven years? Exactly!

I’m not here to say anything about the appearance. I didn’t even see it. As objectionable as his views may be, I thought this government supported free speech and indeed, even defended the right to be a bigot. Evidently, you need to be the right kind of bigot.

The prime minister’s “Whose side are you on?” comment was enough to ensure that the segment of the program in question would be seen and heard by millions more than the political tragics who make up the bulk of the Q and A audience. It was also revealed he regards the program as a “lefty lynch mob” which is a petulant attitude towards the notion of government being held to account. Just as the whole issue was beginning to die down, he stoked it again by ordering all government frontbenchers to boycott the program - because nothing gets your point across like not talking to people.

At this point, you have to wonder about the prime minister’s capacity for the job. At a time when he’s whipping up fear about terrorism, what hope has he of confronting an actual threat if he throws a three week (and counting) tantrum over a nasty person being on the tele for five minutes? Does he really have, to use his Liberal predecessor and mentor’s term, the ticker?

Then, just when you think the government couldn’t be a bigger bunch of crybabies, today they went meta. The ABC blinked two weeks ago and announced a review of the program. One of those chosen to lead the review, Ray Martin (and we will avoid any cheap shots about a former host of A Current Affair reviewing journalistic ethics), appearing on the Sunrise program (ditto) said that the government boycott of Q and A was silly. And rather than let it go, two government senators are now suggesting that Martin should step down from the review. What do they want next, a review into the review?

The coalition has made a lot of noise about being an adult government but its reaction to the merest hint of criticism or not being able to completely control the flow of information has been utterly childish. If it’s to be taken seriously on anything, this government needs to quit being such a bunch of bloody sooks.

 
 

04 July, 2015

Thinking of Linking

This week, I have been mostly reading...

Australia:
Listen up: democracy means even jerks get a say

Children cast as ‘demon spawn’ in Abbott’s vaudeville anti-terror play

Hazelwood owner issues ‘call to arms’ against coal

Abbott has given up on debt and deficit reduction, but few have noticed

Joe Hockey wins $200,000 from Fairfax in 'Treasurer for sale' defamation case

Time to tell the truth before I'm gagged: Australia's detention centres ruin lives

Open letter regarding the Border Force Act 2015

Won’t someone please help poor Erica?

Q&A episode another outburst of government creep

Abbott government's rebadged Medicare Locals tied up in legal stoush over name

Australian climate policy paralysis has to end, business roundtable says

The Coalition is engaging in double talk on climate policy – it has no other option

Libertarians aren't our allies in building a progressive Australia

Same-sex marriage: even if Abbott wins, he loses

MPs claim almost $10,000 in travel expenses for Pollie Pedal fundraiser 

Tony Abbott is firmly in 'Dubya' mould but the Liberal party is open to change

Sydney siege: Tony Abbott's office knew Julie Bishop had misled Parliament three days before correction

US:
Why Donald Trump Isn’t A Real Candidate, In One Chart 

Activism fomented by Koch brothers turns against them

5 things Republicans would call treason if Democrats did them

Media:
When Malcolm Turnbull makes excuses for bad journalism, democracy suffers

Short and not very sweet

Joe Hockey's defamation victory may yet turn to disaster

When Malcolm Turnbull makes excuses for bad journalism, democracy suffers

Meet Peter McEvoy, the faceless man behind the Q&A scandal

Q&A head formally warned

World:
A Unified Theory of Pope Francis

Zimbabwe is paying people $5 for 175 quadrillion Zimbabwe dollars

NZ parliament passes motion on Nauru

The Guardian view on the Greek referendum: hard to imagine a more dismal choice

Europe’s Many Economic Disasters

Music:
Bowie tribute artist Jeff Duff: a skinny white guy with a soulful voice

Science:
The impact of vaccination heterogeneity on herd immunity

Tech:
Microsoft details how it will upgrade users to Windows 10

The secret, hidden cost of your smartphone

Food:
Where to Get the Best American Food in Melbourne

History:
Did The Soviets Build A Better Shuttle Than We Did? 

Vale:
Nicholas Winton, Man Who Quietly Helped Hundreds of Children Escape From Nazis, Dies at 106

Sir Nicholas Winton: saviour, people smuggler, hero?

The least boring photo on my camera roll:


27 June, 2015

Thinking of Linking

This week I have been mostly reading...

Australia:
Citizenship could be stripped for damaging commonwealth property

TAFE job cuts in NSW more than double what State Government initially flagged

Victorian Liberal Party uses terror threat to raise funds for Tony Abbott 

Whistleblowing and other new crimes

National security? How about some national maturity first?

Asylum-seeker policy a dark spot in Australia’s history

Tony Abbott's federal election preparations

Gambling with education

A Plague a' Both Your Houses 

Pension assets test changes worse than claimed says Industry Super

Julia Gillard: the timid ABC is rewarding Tony Abbott 

Julia Gillard on the moment that should have killed Tony Abbott's career - but it didn't. What does this tell us about the electorate?

Don’t believe Abbott stands for lower taxes

It's a slippery slope if we enact laws based on fear rather than reason - Ricky Muir

'Caught red-handed': How Tony Abbott's national security push is being used for political gain

US:
How Jim Obergefell became the face of the Supreme Court gay marriage case

Is it time for the Confederate flag to be as taboo as the Nazi swastika?

World:
Al-Jazeera journalist arrested in Germany

Speed, the 150-year-old tortoise dies in US

Media: 
Zaky Mallah: ABC cowers in the face of Q&A fallout

Zaky Mallah, Q&A, and the media at its worst

Furore over ABC's Q&A mishandled

To ABC attackers: Three strikes and you're out 

Food:
Culinary comeback: it's time to reheat instant noodles

I got stupid on me and I need to wipe it off on you:
Rick Perry calls Charleston church shooting an 'accident' 

The least boring photo on my camera roll:


20 June, 2015

Thinking of Linking

This week I have been mostly reading...

Australia:
House prices: is the ground beginning to shift at last?

Abbott's green light to people smugglers

Treasurer Joe Hockey's gaffes on housing have put more lead in the federal government's saddle-bags

U.N.: Australia paid migrant smugglers to turn boats around

Indonesian police documents detail boat turn-back and alleged payments to people smuggling crew

People smuggler cash: Stacks police say were paid to send asylum seekers on a 'suicide mission'

Winter wonderland in the Red Centre as hail transforms desert

'Totally trashing the tradition': Former Speaker Anna Burke hits out at successor Bronwyn Bishop over Q&A appearance

Turnbull breaks ranks on citizenship, declaring constitution cannot be compromised How far gone are we when this is considered a maverick position?

If Labor wants a shot at the next election it needs a leader who is not Bill Shorten

Moral compass follows the votes for Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten


US:
The Charleston Shooter: Racist, Violent, and Yes – Political

It’s not about mental illness: The big lie that always follows mass shootings by white males 

World:
Pope Francis blasts global warming deniers in leaked draft of encyclical

The Pope has put Catholic climate sceptics on notice

Why Conservatives fear Pope’s Climate Letter: A Radical Attack on the Logic of the Market

Music:
An interview with Harry Williams, Bowie collector Also one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet.

Media:
How one man destroyed the Food Network: Guy Fieri has made culinary TV into a viewer’s hell

Humour and satire:
Piss-Stained Cardboard Box In Sydney Sells For $590,000

Mental health:
I am fighting alcohol - and losing 

Faith:
A few thoughts on Laudato Si   Part 2

Clickbait of the week:
Left behind, boy's stuffed tiger goes on big adventure at Tampa International Airport

The least boring photo on my camera roll: