29 November, 2015

Thinking of linking

This week I have been mostly reading...

Julie Bishop had eyes in coup meeting plotting against Tony Abbott

Australian all-electric bus drives into record books – 1,018km on one charge

Hunters & Collectors frontman Mark Seymour condemns use of Holy Grail at Reclaim Australia anti-Muslim rallies

Face of Reclaim Australia rally Nathan Paterson insists: I'm not racist - How horrible it must be to be judged on how you look

Tax transparency: full list of exempt companies revealed as Senate battle looms 

Angry Liberal MPs question Tony Abbott 'resistance movement' and Monkey Pod lunches

Masters director Melinda Smith resigns as D-Day looms for Woolworths - "Labour costs are different in Australia to the US," she said. "Christmas in the US is in the middle of winter, which is different to Australia." File under 'Ya think?"

I am a tax cheat – and the Tax Lady is after me

Clubs NSW backs down, drops defamation case against Wilkie

Clive Palmer says Mal Brough asked him to help 'destroy' Peter Slipper

Windfall for wind farm watchdog: PM's part-time commissioner to nab $600,000

'Classic Ponzi scheme': Sydney house prices cost 12 times the annual income

Bad reception for PM: The Lodge’s renovations interfere with neighbours’ mobile phones

AP FACT CHECK: Most GOP Candidates Flunk Climate Science - File under "Ya think?" part 2

‘More men named Mike have killed people’

Ike’s Advice: How to Avoid a Multiplicity of Fears

America Is Too Dumb for TV News

Trump almost got it right: Some people were arrested for celebrating 9/11 — but they were Israeli

A White Male Terrorist Shot More People Today Than Refugees Have Since 9/11

Why are the Mersey tunnels closed at night? 

Cameron doesn't know what he's doing so he shouldn't go to war

WhatsApp messages show Israeli soldiers knew they were about to kill a child

'It's not enough to consider ourselves good men because we don't bash women'

The Katering Show Announce New Season For ABC; Are Very Worried About The Internet Crushing Them

Climate Spectator closes

The Age Music Victoria Awards Hall Of Fame Concert

How Apple Is Giving Design A Bad Name

The Islamic men feeding Sydney’s homeless

At first light: the most iconic camera-less photographs – in pictures 

How 10 Famous Artists Would Plate Thanksgiving Dinner

Humour and satire:
Perspective Advisory System

The week in stupid:
Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi mistakenly quotes American neo-Nazi

The least boring photo on my camera roll:

Bill Shorten presents “That’s Who I Am”

I heard Bill Shorten speaking on Insiders this morning. In the clip from earlier this week, he said:
“Just so people understand, and people should expect: I never give up because I won’t, because I don’t. That's who I am.”
And I wondered if I was hearing a speech from the leader of the opposition or a Taylor Swift song.

So that made me wonder how one would work as the other…

22 November, 2015

Thinking of linking

This week I have been mostly reading...

Why is Tony Abbott making so many media appearances while Malcolm Turnbull is away? - Political journo surprised Tony Abbott broke a promise. Bless.


In Light of Paris Attacks, 26 GOP Governors, One Democrat to Refuse Syrian Refugees - Hundreds of gun attacks every year, but one fake Syrian passport is found on a terrorist on the other side of the world, and the home of the brave shits itself. Just embarrassing. 


Saudi court sentences poet to death for renouncing Islam - our allies in the war against extremism.

Related to all the above:




Mental health:


Humour and satire:

I got stupid on me and now I'm wiping it off on you:

The least boring photo on my camera roll:

18 November, 2015

Born free

I am so happy for Tony Abbott. Really, I am. He’s back where he belongs – and I don’t mean that in a nasty way.

Despite his incredible desire for the job, being the prime minister never really suited him. He wore the leadership like a like a school uniform he was required to wear when he would have preferred to be in his footy gear.

Basically, executive government cramped Tony’s style. The mundanity of having to deal with the day-to-day issues of government, feigning an interest in things that were never on his agenda, and the need for compromise that leadership brings wasn’t really what he wanted.

As David Marr pointed out in his Quarterly Essay, Political Animal, for much of his time in parliament, Tony Abbott seemed to prefer using his office to write lengthy opinion pieces for sympathetic publications, to the business of government or representing his electorate.

With Tony Abbott’s return to the opinion pages of The Spectator and The Australian, we can see now that his removal as leader was not an act of treachery, but an act of mercy. He is free now. He has been returned to his natural habitat, where he can advocate for his worldview without having to answer pesky questions or convince cross-benchers. He has the best of both worlds – a major platform to speak on how government should act, without the tedium of actually governing.

There are those who are far better at saying how things ought to be than being responsible for how things are, and Abbott is certainly one of them. Don’t feel bad for Tony. Whether he realises it or not, he’s where he always wanted to be.


17 November, 2015

Correlation is not causation

Like any other sentient being, I’ve had thoughts flying all over the place regarding the terrorist attacks on Paris over the weekend. Most of what I have to say has been said far better by many others but even so, I thought I would break things down for those who should know better.

Picking out a few characteristics of the attackers does not tell you how or why the attacks happened. It should be obvious, but from the look of many attitudes, it seems that some need reminding.

Yes, they were Muslim.
That doesn’t make it a Muslim thing. Nor does it make it a religious thing.

Yes, at least some of them were Syrian.
That doesn’t make it a Syrian thing.
It doesn’t make it an immigrant thing and it certainly doesn’t make it a refugee thing. Refugees are the ones fleeing murderous extremists.

And yes, one of them did travel as a refugee.
Out of millions.
So if you want to use this as a pretext to reject refugees, remember that you are already 4.5 times more likely to die falling out of bed than in any kind of terrorist attack, and that is before we even factor in terrorists who specifically masqueraded as refugees. If you still think that’s something worth worrying about, you probably think Powerball is a sound investment.

If we are serious about confronting the threat – and no-one is denying the threat – we have to stop bending the situation to our own prejudices.

It’s also a fact that they were all male, as are the overwhelming majority of terrorists of all creeds. Maybe it’s a male thing?

So why aren’t men being called upon to renounce terrorism or else be presumed sympathetic to terrorist causes?

They were all in their 20s. Maybe it’s a youth thing. Maybe we should lock everyone up until they’re 30.

Or would that be ridiculous?

=   =   =
A couple of other short observations:

  • If the US wants to stand with France, as they should, they could start by apologising for calling the French cheese-eating surrender monkeys when they refused to be part of the invasion that ultimately allowed ISIS to flourish.
  • To those who want to blame gun control: If you seriously think that a handful of people with concealed handguns could, in a large, dark, loud room, take out a bunch of fanatics firing Kalashnikovs indiscriminately, then you probably watch too much television.

15 November, 2015

Thinking of linking

This week I have been mostly reading...

Parisians open their doors to strangers with hashtag #PorteOuverte

French Authorities Say The Death Toll In Paris Attacks Could Exceed 120

All attackers dead, police say, after shootings and explosions kill at least 150 in Paris 

The Lessons of Paris: They Choose Death, We Choose Life

Muslims Around the World Condemn Paris Attacks - "The idea that the remaining 1,599,965,000 Muslims ought to jump on Twitter and condemn ISIS isn't just silly, it's a definition of prejudice. But here we are."

Muslim groups strongly condemn terror attacks in Paris 

Terrorism Is Not A Religious Act

Refugees Blamed For Terrorist Acts, One Person Nails The Response

Doing Something

Rural communities warned to chlorinate after waterborne brain-eating parasite kills three children

TURC clears Shorten, does itself no favours

ALP powerbroker Joe Bullock quits right faction in disgust

Apartment Living

Playing spot the difference with revamped question time

Donation to lord mayor Robert Doyle sees him step aside from council decision on controversial CBD apartment tower

Tropfest cancelled after 'huge hole' in funding

Cartoons From Detention: Eight Drawings By A Man On Manus Island 

Free at last, Ranjini is deemed not a security threat after all

A mother's decision not to resuscitate her disabled son 

Nugan Hand bank mystery: Michael Hand found living in the United States

UN review puts Australia on the spot over human rights record

United Nations slams Australia on boat turnbacks

Estimated 50 foot wide sinkhole swallows several vehicles in IHOP parking lot

The Life and Death of an Amazon Warehouse Temp - What the future of low-wage work really looks like.

Edwards Rips Into Vitter At Louisiana Debate

Why #MerryChristmasStarbucks is Everything Wrong with American Christianity

The Dispersants Used After the BP Blowout Did More Harm Than Good

Carson points to secret info to defend ridiculous claim

Ted Cruz Forgets the One Rule of Saying You're Cutting Federal Agencies

American GOP Gleefully Politicizes Paris Tragedy As World Recoils In Disgust

The House science committee is worse than the Benghazi committee

Cemetery of souls: the refugee crisis on Lesbos – in pictures 

Our Mourning is Broken: Paris and Privilege

What ISIS Really Wants

U2 review – a near-triumph of hope over experience 

Live review: They Might Be Giants

Allen Toussaint, the legendary songwriter and pianist, has died 

Squeeze: 'competing with your own past is hard'

Christmas Without Tears

Roger Waters: Still Kind of Full of Piss and Vinegar

Sly Stone awarded millions in unpaid royalties after court ruling

Eagles of Death Metal, a Band Known for Wit, Now Mired in Tragedy

BBC Question Time Audience Member Lambasts The Sun's Stig Abell For Hypocrisy Over Corbyn

Apple’s iPad Pro Finally Heralds The Post-PC Era: Tim Cook - Yeah, um, nah.

Facebook is now scanning your camera's photos to make sure you send them to your friends - Get stuffed!

Buggy code can kill Outlook

Why mosquitoes seem to bite some people more 

Male tits would rather starve than give up their partner, study suggests

Malcolm Fraser burnt insider's memo that could have stopped the Dismissal

It's going to be okay

Did Americans Really Call French Fries "Freedom Fries"? - so I'm that old?

Humour and satire:
First Dog on the Moon's handy guide to the difference between Uber and taxis 

The least boring photo on my camera roll:

07 November, 2015

Thinking of linking

This week I have been mostly reading...

'The day I meet you in the emergency department will probably be one of the worst of your life' Read this one. It's worth it.

Coalition proposes reducing childcare payments to rich families 

Kings Horses – The Dark Side Of The Melbourne Cup

Modelling from Curtin University shows lifting the GST rate from 10 to 15 per cent could add nearly $4000 to the average family budget.

What if Aboriginal people helped all Australians to connect to country?

Human teeth found in meal served to asylum seekers on Manus Island 

Nationals risk losing voters over coal seam gas, Greens leader Richard Di Natale says

Grave fears held for Melbourne Cup runner Red Cadeaux

Melbourne Cup is not the problem

Red Cadeaux pulls through Melbourne Cup injury

Pyne has 'no friends on other side'

Raising GST to 15% 'will cost poorest families 7% of disposable income'

The problem when everything is on the table - in which Laura Tingle compares the new Liberal policy debate to Mr Creosote in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life.

Question Time a ‘playground’ when you’re trained for war like Captain Mona Shindy

Raising the GST is pointless if done to cut taxes on the rich

Republican Translator: Your Go-To Guide For Understanding GOP Catchphrases

Massive crack opens in Wyoming mountains

University Releases Orwellian Social Media Policy, Hopes Students Are Too Dumb To Fight

To Save Campaign, Jeb Bush Hires TV Wizard Who Trains Fox News Anchors

Why Libertarianism is Extreme Conservatism

'Iron-ass' Cheney and 'arrogant' Rumsfeld damaged America, says George Bush Sr

Mum and I were relieved to get a council home - today's homeless families won't be so lucky

Indonesia is burning. So why is the world looking away? 

Ahmed Chalabi, Iraqi exile who helped spur U.S. invasion, dies of heart attack

Unhappy? Welcome to Bhutan – the nation of 90% joy 

We Took Part In An Australian Aid Program. It Was More About Helping Your Country Than Ours 

Canada's New Minister Of Defense Is This Badass Sikh-Canadian Warrior

Canon Andrew White: 'Vicar of Baghdad' on leading a church in Iraq and being in the crosshairs of Isis “If you want to make peace, you can’t just do it with the nice people. Nice people don’t cause the wars.”

Autistic and Epileptic, In a Rock Concert 

Margaret Pomeranz: the feisty first lady of the Australian screen tells why she couldn't stay away

New 'Star Trek' TV series coming in 2017 

8 Things the New Star Trek TV Series Must Have

How Trevor Noah Is Making The Daily Show His Own, Without Changing It Completely

Jon Stewart signs deal with HBO to create 'short-form digital content' 

Kitchen Cabinet is good but may not be good for you

Kerry O'Brien resigns from ABC, taking his many awards but leaving a legacy 

Kerry O'Brien leaves ABC's Four Corners program after five years as presenter

It's only an awkward society that believes Stevie Payne needs to be a 'joyous beacon'

Germaine Greer is ruining the world again

Was Jar Jar Binks the most powerful Sith in Star Wars?

Hello, I’m Mr. Null. My Name Makes Me Invisible to Computers

Malcolm Fraser delivers proof John Kerr lied over the dismissal

VCE maths problem: Can you solve the 50 cent question?

Here’s why dogs tilt their head to the side

Guinness Is Going Vegan - The point this article misses is that it's not consuming trace amounts of fish that it the problem, so much as the process requires dead fish.

Mental health:
13 Things to Remember If You Love A Person With Anxiety

Humour and satire:
Henry Rollins Driving App Tells You How Hard It Would Have Been to Get There in the 80’s

Melbourne Cup 2015: a heartwarming, rags to riches rollicking horsey tale - Yep, it's complex.

Clickbait of the week:
This Spoof Kids Book About Hipsters Is Hilarious

I got stupid on me and now I'm wiping it off on you:
Malcolm Turnbull's 1999 referendum loss behind dumping knights and dames: David Flint

Tony Abbott, the 'opinion and thought leader' should stay in Parliament, says Eric Abetz

Ridicule of Tony Abbott's religious beliefs is 'bigotry at its most shameless', says George Brandis - Yes, THAT George "people have the right to be bigots" Brandis.

Ben Carson believes Joseph built Egypt’s pyramids to store grain — and it just might get him some votes - Carson can't possibly be as dim as he comes across but it goes to show you can be brilliant at one thing and awful on most other ways. He and Dawkins deserve each other.

The least boring photo on my camera roll:

01 November, 2015

Thinking of linking

This week I have been mostly reading...

Police to investigate alleged training fraud

Nick Xenophon wants politicans to stop double-dipping 

Wyatt Roy spends big, claiming $540,000 in office expenses

Malcolm the messiah

Bernie Fraser says Government's 'moral case' for coal mines is 'nonsense'

'Dad, why are we here?': No money, no life and a baby on the way at Nauru

Tony Abbott may have lost the top job, but he still has a job

Catholic priests slam Tony Abbott's anti-immigration Margaret Thatcher Lecture

Australian officials paid asylum seeker boat crew, Amnesty investigation alleges  

Asylum seeker found dead at Brisbane airport 'feared deportation' 

Australia Zoo crisis: Humans and animals both mistreated, say ex-staff

Turnbull is starting to push his progressive hand

Ex-PM suggests Christ was weak on border protection

Tony Abbott’s vain hope

Tony Abbott's ideology laid bare: no compromise, just fight, fight, fight

Australia’s biggest meat-eaters title nothing to brag about

An Engineer Explains Why Trump’s Wall Is So Implausible

‘Pharma bro’ Martin Shkreli gets ‘schooled by a real f*cking doctor’ during disastrous Reddit interview

Bush Admin. Secretly Warned Republicans To Sell Stocks A Week Before 08 Crash

Ted Cruz’s best moment of the Republican debate was also completely wrong

GOP and the Rise of Anti-Knowledge

The 18 best restaurants in New Orleans - Now THIS is going to start arguments, and if you have to ask why, then...

Tax credits vote: PM accuses Lords of breaking constitutional convention - Two things here: What does it say when a bunch privileged old buffers understand the community better than elected representatives, and NOW the Tories think the Lords is undemocratic.

Free the Naked Rambler

Grant application rejected over choice of font

Tony Blair apologises for Iraq war 'mistakes' - and admits there's a good chance the war allowed the likes of ISIS to rise. But who could have known? Oh, only the hundreds of people who said so at the time.

Doctors Without Borders Says Yemen Hospital Is Destroyed

New top deck for Queen Emma Bridge

What first attracted De Niro and pals to billionaire casino owner James Packer?

The real genius of “Sweet Jane”: The 2 little letters out of Lou Reed’s mouth that say so much 

Phil Collins Plotting Comeback: 'I Am No Longer Retired'

Live review: Robbie Williams

Live review: 10cc - Actually, I wrote this one, so show it some love, eh?

Caring too much. That's the curse of the working classes

David Remnick: ‘We are too complicated to just be called serious’ 

Sean Hannity Uses Fake News Website To Claim ISIS Will Invade America

Junk Food Journalism: Why Annabel Crabb’s Kitchen Cabinet Is Toxic 

John Oliver Doesn't Want Donald Trump On His Show Ever

1% to stop the slaughter!

Australian birds a lot smarter than we might think

Tracey Stewart Reveals the One Thing She Told Jon That Made Him Change the Way He Eats

Jon Stewart And His Wife Start Sanctuary For Abused Farm Animals

MIT discovers the location of memories: Individual neurons

These Photos Show How The World Might Look To A Person With Autism

Processed meats rank alongside smoking as cancer causes – WHO - this is probably overstating the case, but any reason to stop is a good one

WHO is terrible at communicating their findings

Does Europa’s ‘chaos terrain’ hide a salty ocean?

The 33 Trickiest Questions Apple Asks Its Job Applicants

Gough Whitlam: 40 years on, the Dismissal still intrigues

Theology and Hate

RIP Harriet Klausner, The Web's Most Prolific Book Reviewer

Clive James: ‘People congratulate me for staying busy, as if that were a formula for extending life’

Humour and satire:
Free speech champion Biff Bootface in: 'Mystery on Guano Island' 

Tony Abbott Has Been Denied Re-Entry To Australia

I got stupid on me and I need to wipe it off on you:
The Myth of Basic Science - Warning: this is medical grade stupid. Conclusion: Stuff would have happened anyway

Tony Abbott urges Europe to adopt boat turnbacks in response to refugee crisis

The least boring photo on my camera roll: