13 November, 2016

In reply to Jonathan Pie

There's a video going viral on Facebook where Jonathan Pie explains the Trump win and why the left are responsible for it. He makes a lot of excellent points. In case you haven't seen it until now, a warning that it's NSFW. My reply is below.

"Engage and tell me where you think I'm wrong."
Good advice, so here goes...

What the left is getting wrong is they are using the tactics the right successfully used 15 years ago.

I have been respectfully engaging with those I disagree with for years, going all the way back to Bush v Gore. I have given time of day to people who are demonstrably racist, who described Palestinians as human filth who deserve to be wiped out. And all along I never made it personal or resorted to labels, even when the labels fit.

What I got in return was being called anti-American, a terrorist, a Stalinist, a libtard and even once, a paedophile. This is how the right defended themselves in the noughties and a large chunk of the time it worked.

Now the right are getting a taste of what it was like. I'm not saying that's a good thing because it isn't, but it was the right that set the standards of debate and they're getting what they gave. The abused become the abusers. The bullied become the bullies.

And this also explains how Clinton got the nomination even though she's Republican-lite. The left has become bullied into thinking that if they just behave like the bullies and give the bullies what they want, maybe the bullies will finally like them.

Yes, the left has got to get its shit together, but I treat people the way they treat me and I can't blame others for doing the same.

There is such a thing as objective reality. The Earth is round. Evolution is real. Smoking causes cancer. We should not have to patiently and politely explain these facts from scratch to every nitwit who says, 'Dah, I don't think so.'

Life is too short and your opinion is only as valid as the information you base it on.

And if all this sounds a little bit "elitist," then you're damn right it does! Elite means the best. If you don't want to be part of the elite, then you're the one acting all entitled and wants a prize just for showing up.


12 November, 2016

Not all Trump voters

The world has rarely seen such instant backlashes and counter backlashes as it has seen since the result of the US presidential election became clear.

There are many reasons and angles to these backlashes but the one I want to focus on here is Trump voters who are hurt and offended at the suggestion they are racists.

The hurt and offence are perfectly understandable. Although my feelings on the election have already been made clear, it’s obvious that millions of Americans decided that of all the depressing options that were presented to them, Trump was the least worst. I don’t doubt for a moment that nearly all of them had completely genuine and heartfelt reasons for making that decision, and that these reasons don’t even begin to resemble any kind of racism.

Just in case you need me to say it in as many words, I am happy to:
Not all Trump voters are racists.

But all racists are Trump voters.

Now if you find that statement simplistic, misleading and insulting (because it is!), then I suggest you reflect on that.

Remember this is the candidate who calls for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” Now sure, maybe that’s not why you voted for him, but the last time I looked, you don’t get a line-item veto when you vote for a candidate.

Trump’s proposal was blatantly aimed at a notion that has pervaded right wing politics since 2001: not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims. It’s patently untrue and unhelpful. And now you know how it feels.

Donald Trump was supported by the Ku Klux Klan. Of course, I’m not saying klansmen can’t be right about some things – what day of the week it is, whether it’s raining or not – but I don’t think those are the issues they endorsed Trump on. And for sure, Trump neither sought nor accepted the endorsement, but that almost makes it worse. When the world’s oldest white supremacist group completely independently decides they’re with you, does that not give you pause for just a moment?

Although I profoundly disagree with their choice, I sympathise with all the Trump voters who now feel they are expected to denounce racism before their views can be considered legitimate. It’s like being expected to denounce terrorism just because you’re a member of a faith that includes one seventh of the world’s population. No-one deserves to be considered guilty, or at least complicit, until proven innocent. No-one deserves to be automatically defined by the absolute worst examples of their group – not Muslims, not Christians, not conservatives, and not Trump supporters.

I hope we can all learn from this. I hope Trump voters who feel slandered perhaps have a little more empathy for their Muslim sisters and brothers than they, and their candidate, might have had before. And I hope the people who rightly objected to the idiotic smearing of all Muslims can refuse to make the same mistake just because they feel right is on their side this time. If you’re a Trump supporter, I’ll still ride with you. You can sit beside my friend in the hijab. We might all find something to talk about.

04 November, 2016

Dear America,

Alright, sit down. It’s cards-on-the-table time. We find your election just as comical as you do but I’m here to tell you, it’s not funny any more. This is serious and you need to take it seriously.

But who am I, an Australian, to lecture America on their democratic process? Well let me ask you this: If I were to use the expression, “the leader of the free world,” who do you instinctively think of? Right! I speak to you as a citizen of the free world. You mind your business and I’ll mind mine.

The conventional wisdom is that you’ve got a bit of a dismal choice before you – each is as bad as the other. That’s utter rubbish. But any reasonable assessment, the choice is clear.

Now I don’t like Hillary Clinton any more than you do. And no, that doesn’t mean I’m a Bernie Bro. I wish there were someone in between but, to adapt a line from Donald Rumsfeld, you go into an election with the candidates you have, not the candidates you want.

Many Republican former office-holders are publically supporting Hillary Clinton, and not just because there isn’t a nose-plug strong enough to block out the stench of Trump. The truth is Hillary Clinton is the best Republican candidate there has been all century.

Just think about it: She’s from a southern state, she conducts her campaign with an air of manifest destiny, she’s a hawk on defence, she’s secretive, she takes money from dodgy sources, she’s not good at relating to ordinary people, she gives secret speeches to donors, she’s crap with technology and she gives insultingly lame excuses for her mistakes. What’s not to love? It would be like the third term of the Bush administration. If it weren’t for her surname and her lack of a Y-chromosome, she would be the perfect Republican candidate.

For reasons which they can never satisfactorily explain though, Republicans hate her. Many seem to think she is going to bring about a socialist, sharia, communist, Islamo-fascist dictatorship with compulsory abortions in every school. This is not going to happen. How do I know this isn’t going to happen? Because I remember when Obama was going to do all that, and he has precious little time to make a start on it. Since we know Clinton is to the right of Obama on just about every issue, it’s not going to happen. If you really think it might, then not only should you not be allowed to vote, you probably shouldn’t be allowed outside unescorted.

Ever since the Republican convention, I have used a quote from Ted Cruz in all my comments on the US election: Vote your conscience.

Now, I’m going to borrow a line from John McCain. It’s his 2008 election slogan: Country First.

Okay, we get it – you don’t like Hillary. I don’t like her very much either. And Trump is a Washington outsider? Big deal! So is Kanye West. Would you vote for him? They are more similar than you think. If you want to hand the country over to a reality TV businessperson, vote for Paris Hilton. In terms of building on an inheritance, she leaves Trump in the shade.

I speak to you from a country that, a little over three years ago, decided to eat a shit sandwich just to show how much we hate spinach. We lived to regret it but at least we have a system where his party could fire him two years in when they realised that election-winning slogans didn’t automatically translate into competent government. Vote for Trump and you’re stuck with him for four years. And you have to admit, you have no idea what he’s going to do. By his own admission, on many issues, he hasn’t either.

Anyone who loves their country, regardless of their politics, would surely want a cool clear head in charge over a dangerous unknown quantity. I’ve been called a conservative and I’ve been called a leftist but at heart, I’m a pragmatist. This election is not a choice between two equally awful options. On one side there is a candidate who, if nothing else, has proven experience and competence in public office. On the other side, there is a demonstrably unstable sociopath. To anyone who would put country first, this is not a difficult decision.

If your hatred of Hillary Clinton outweighs your love of your country, then by all means vote for Donald Trump. Otherwise, put country first and vote your conscience.

19 October, 2016

Rigging in the frigging

The latest from the Trump campaign… no, wait. There is only Trump. The rest of his campaign have given up all hope of professionalism and are just wondering how they’re ever going to explain this on their résumés.

So the latest from Donald Trump is that the system is rigged and that’s why he’s losing. Those of you with memories longer than that of a pot-smoking goldfish might remember that he’s tried this act once before when it looked like he might not get the nomination. Once Ted Cruz had pulled out of the race, allowing Trump to again win on pig-headedness alone, suddenly the Republican National Committee wasn’t corrupt any more.

Now, as more and more Republicans decide they can’t hold their noses any longer and desert him, again he assures us the system is rigged. It’s tempting to see this as a pre-emptive excuse for his failure but for once, I think I understand where Donald Trump is coming from.

To understand, you have to look at the world Donald Trump lives in. Even flattering profiles describe him as a reality TV star, but first we need to unpack what is meant by “reality TV.”

Cops is reality TV. A television crew travels with the officers and film what happens. That’s reality. However, most programs that are described as reality TV, including Mr Trump’s iteration, are nothing of the sort. They take naïve volunteers, put them into highly contrived situations, foment conflict and then edit it all together.

Unscripted? Yes. Reality? Forget about it!

And of course, Trump is the star of the show. His abilities are not in question and never tested. He just gets to judge those who are.

Trump’s other major media enterprises have been the Miss Universe pageant – and don’t tell me that’s democratic – and professional wrestling, which everyone knows is fake. In fact, it’s so fake that they don’t even bother pretending it isn’t fake – it’s just a kind of violent beefcake ballet. The point is, the winner is predetermined.

But let’s not forget that these are all sidelines in Trump’s business interests. He also owns casinos.

For those who don’t know what a casino is, I’ll explain: A casino is a place where people who don’t understand statistics go to give all their spare money to people who do.

The first and only thing you need to know about casinos is that the house always wins. (Which makes it all the more curious that Trump managed to bankrupt a few, but that’s another story.) Trump is the house.

When you look at his history, you can see how running for president is actually the most level playing field Trump has been on for decades. Having secured the nomination, he’s now up to the one part of the election he can’t buy or bully his way through – the part where all the people get to decide. And he’s losing – badly.

Having spent so long having the odds literally stacked in his favour, you can understand why he feels the system is rigged when it’s finally a true test of merits. He’s like the dog in the movie Bolt who, because of his training and grooming by producers, doesn’t understand that he’s not actually a superhero.

While Trump supporters have been tying themselves in knots trying to rationalise the “grab them by the pussy” comment (remember the Republicans are supposed to be the party of family values), the most honest explanation is that he’s like the notorious affluenza teen. He’s so privileged and detached from reality that he can’t properly distinguish right from wrong. And he also can’t understand what life is like when it isn’t actually rigged. Of course the election must be rigged if he isn’t winning.

I could almost feel sorry for him if he weren’t such a creep.

Vote your conscience, America.

08 October, 2016

What did we learn today?

Well, we learnt something pretty amazing about Donald Trump. No, really.

We learnt that Donald Trump really does have a skerrick of shame. Not only that, but he'll take responsibility and apologise for at least something, even if he does flip it to his opponent.

However, what we learnt raises more questions.

What we learnt was that somewhere between:
They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists,
Ban all Muslims,”
She had blood coming out of her where-ever,” and
Grab ’em by the pussy,
is a line that Donald Trump and his people have decided should not be crossed.

I would be interested to know exactly where that line is. It’s important, because as disgusting as the recently released comments were, I’m not sure they’re any more offensive than anything Trump has said on a daily basis on the campaign, any one of which would be a career-killer for anybody with a (D) after their name - and rightly so.

In an age when Trump and his running mate shamelessly deny he said things that anyone with an internet connection can prove he did, you have to wonder what is different about this latest incident. Is it that Trump’s sense of decency is on an 11-year delay and that Megyn Kelly can expect an apology some time in 2026?

Obviously, the campaign feels this can damage them more than any of the previous comments, but that only raise the question of whether they have only just realised he’s a pathological sleazebag and that it might be a problem.

Vote your conscience.

Update: A possible answer,

13 August, 2016

A thought experiment

Two sentences:

1: He's rude, arrogant and doesn't know when to shut up.
2: He says what he thinks and he's not politically correct. 

Which one of these is a compliment and which is a criticism?

Before you answer, remember that both sentences mean exactly the same thing.

01 August, 2016

How oppression works

A certain US presidential candidate's in-no-way-racist comments in response to a veteran's parents pointing out the self-evident truth that he has never made sacrifices for his country the way they and their son have, prompted yet another tiresome discussion on a panel show regarding the oppressiveness of face coverings.

For those who need it spelled out for them, here goes:

Being forced to cover your face against your will is oppression.
Being forced to reveal your face against your will is also oppression.

Being forced to remain silent against your will is oppression.
Being forced to speak against your will is also oppression.

The key words here are FORCED and AGAINST YOUR WILL.

Do you get it yet?
If you're making assumptions about whether a woman's demeanour is by choice or by force, maybe you're the one being oppressive.

Mrs Kahn chose to respond to the talking wig's aspersions, but she should never have had to. She has been through enough and has the right to do or not do whatever she wants. Mr Thinskin McTanningbooth has even less shame than I thought.

08 July, 2016

I want to be wrong

I thought long and hard about whether to say this, because it’s going to be confronting and possibly seem opportunistic, but I’m going to say it because I want someone to tell me I’m wrong.

Within 24 hours of each other, two men were shot to death by police in part because they were carrying guns. Not wielding them or brandishing them in any way – just carrying them. And these two killings are really only notable because they were both captured on smartphone video.

Can we talk about gun control now? Please?

I’m not even going to ask for changes to US gun laws. That’s probably a lost cause by now. Can I just ask that the existing laws be applied equally?

Alton Sterling was carrying a gun when he was he was shot on the ground. It was not in his hand. It was in his pocket. He was not legally carrying because of his criminal record but the police officers had no way of knowing his record or that he was not licenced to carry a concealed firearm.

Philando Castile was licenced to carry a gun and informed police officers that he was carrying as he reached to get his ID. He did everything right.

We are told by defenders of the status quo on gun control that guns make people safer. But carrying a gun did not protect Mr Sterling and Mr Castile. Instead, it got them both killed.

We are also told that keeping and bearing arms is not just for personal protection but to protect the populace from a tyrannical government. Yet, Mr Sterling and Mr Castile were killed by officers of the government for carrying a gun.

So far, the NRA has had no comment.

This leads a reasonable person to wonder if there might be some unwritten nuance to the second amendment, and that the nuance is:

White man with a gun:
“He’s exercising his constitutional rights. What a patriot!”
Black man with a gun:

I know this may seem like an unfair characterisation. I know this may seem like an opportunistic cherry-picking of examples. That’s why I want someone to show me where I’m wrong.

I’m not asking as a “prove me wrong, then!” debating tactic. I truly want to be wrong. I have tried hard to avoid saying ‘racism’ but oops, there it is.

Please, please tell me I’m wrong!

05 July, 2016

Election coverage

You might have noticed a lack of election posts here. That's because I've been posting them all at Ausvotes2016. You can view them all HERE.

My latest post is a prediction of what might happen in a Turnbull government's second term - if they get one.

24 June, 2016

The hypocrisy of Brexit

I have to say it’s rather amusing to see Britain resentful of being told what to do by other countries. It seems they’re nostalgic for the days of when there was one rule for Britain and another for everyone else.

Let’s take just one, extremely selective example…

Britain: You there, Australia! Launch a doomed invasion of a country you have no quarrel with as part of our sorting out some personal differences between royal cousins.
Australia: Right you are, guv!

Europe: Britain, be a good chap and take some refugees fleeing conflicts that ultimately arose from a bunch of arbitrary lines you drew on the world over the last century, won’t you?
Britain: How dare you sir? Do you know who I am? I don’t have to be treated like this. I said Good day!

19 June, 2016

The Best of the Best-Ofs: Paul McCartney
(revised and updated)

For someone so prolific, Paul McCartney has released very few compilations, averaging less than one per decade. Pure McCartney is only the fourth – far less than contemporaries such as Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Elton John and even John Lennon, who was only given ten years for a solo career and spent five of those in semi-retirement.

And of these four compilations, the new release is the only one to include his entire post-Beatles career. Here, I will compare it to the others from a previous post in this occasional series.

Pure McCartney - 2016
Firstly, the title is perfect. Shying away from a hits or best-of per-se, the sleeve notes and promotional material state that the album was compiled “with nothing else in mind other than having something fun to listen to.” All the hits you’d expect are here and the remainder of the 4-disc set is evidently made up of Paul’s personal favourites from what I believe the young’uns these days call “deep cuts.” Of these album tracks, many are finally getting the recognition they deserve such as Arrow Through Me and Don’t Let It Bring You Down, while others have already enjoyed a recent resurgence such as Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five and… um… Temporary Secretary.

As you might expect, it does lean a little heavily on the most recent album New but apart from that, it covers pretty much all phases of Paul’s career equally. About time too! Only two regular albums are not represented here; Driving Rain, which is understandable given the painful phase of Paul’s life that it represented, and more oddly, Flowers in the Dirt. Perhaps this is because the latter is being given a deluxe reissue later this year.

There will be minor quibbles. For instance, I think The Song We Were Singing would have made a perfect opening track, and I don’t think anyone would have minded if Bip Bop and Press were bumped for, say, London Town and C’mon People, but did I change the face of 20th century music? No, I did not. This does contain the only CD release of Hope for the Future. It also includes the 2015 remix of Say Say Say, which features more Michael Jackson vocals than the original. It might have been nice to include some other recent non-album singles like Vanilla Sky and (I Want To) Come Home but again, these are minor quibbles.

Despite jumping several decades in places, the sequencing works well providing good flow and contrast across some very different songs. New masters of the tracks are used where available but unfortunately the tracks from Memory Almost Full (ironically, the McCartney album in most dire need of a remaster) are still “brickwalled.”

Predictably, the more reasonably priced 2-disc version preferences the radio songs more but still has an excellent overview of McCartney’s work.

For: Career-spanning, personal, only album release of Hope for the Future
Against: 4-disc version is expensive
Band on the Run from Pure McCartney

Wings Greatest – 1978
Does exactly what it says on the cover. Wings only made one more album after Wings Greatest, the excellent but hit-free Back to the Egg so it can still be considered the definitive Wings collection. It does stretch the definition just a little by including two tracks originally credited to Paul & Linda McCartney, but no-one could possibly begrudge that. It includes five non-album singles but for reasons of space, leaves out Listen to What the Man Said. Wings Greatest was the only album until Pure McCartney to contain the full version of Junior’s Farm.

For: Succinct
Against: These days, represents a comparatively short phase of McCartney’s career.
Band on the Run from Wings Greatet

All the Best – 1987
Originally released as a double-LP All the Best contains nine tracks that were also released on Wings Greatest and add the hits from the 80s. It includes the first album releases of C Moon, We All Stand Together and Goodnight Tonight, although the latter was not included on the single CD. Contains one new song, Once Upon a Long Ago.

The US version of All the Best had a slightly different tracklisting, and includes the live version of Coming Up, (which was the A-side of the single in the US) rather than the album version.

For: Great artwork, Only album release of Once Upon a Long Ago
Against: CD version drops three tracks.
Band on the Run from All the Best

Wingspan – 2001
Released alongside the television documentary and book of the same name, Wingspan is sensibly divided into two themed discs, Hits and History. The collection does employ a rather curious definition of Wings’ career. While it’s fair enough to include pre-Wings tracks from McCartney and Ram, it also covers part of Paul’s post-Wings careers, but suddenly stops in 1984.
On the Hits side, it’s all the usual suspects – ten tracks previously included on Wings Greatest and fourteen that had been on All the Best. The History side delves deeper and does a good job of being a true best-of, including underrated tracks like Heart of the Country, Take It Away and Rockestra Theme. It also includes an early demo of Bip Bop/Hey Diddle, which was previously unreleased and should have remained so. Where available, radio edits included which may be interesting for completists but does an injustice to a beautiful song like Waterfalls, and wasn’t Junior’s Farm already short enough? Again, Coming Up is replaced with the live version on the US version. The smarter thing to do would have been to include it on the History disc, since the live version has never been available on CD outside the US.

For: Comprehensive, separate Hits and History discs, remastered.
Against: Edited versions, weird time period.
Band on the Run from Wingspan

If you had to choose one, choose...
Pure McCartney, 2-disc version. Go for the 4-disc if you want. Wingspan goes into more detail between 1970 and 1984 but Pure McCartney is just that – the first collection including live albums that doesn’t sell half his career short.

See also,

The Greatest - 1998
Japan-only release that is interesting for including My Brave Face and Hope of Deliverance, but bloody expensive. For collectors only. 

Never Stop Doing What You Love – 2005
This collection was issued as part of a sponsorship deal with and investment company. Although never commercially released, it has been available online from certain sellers. It’s mostly a predictable collection of hits, but also includes Put It There, The World Tonight and Calico Skies.

18 June, 2016

Thinking of linking

What I've been reading recently...

Solving homelessness should be a priority for government

Political correctness gone right-wing

The art dealer offended by books: Businessman who wants to close a quaint store in his Melbourne street because of the 'visual impact' on the area

Melbourne mother angry girl can't wear pants as part of school uniform

Malcolm Turnbull will lose if he doesn't win back the Liberal base

Private training provider Careers Australia to pay back $44m to Government, consumer watchdog says

Election 2016: Sophie Mirabella suspects Liberal HQ leaking against her in fight for Indi

This Man Was Deported From Australia Despite Living And Working Here For Twenty Years

How Australia stood up to minister's 'illiterate migrants' comments

Labor NBN raids: Prime Minister deflects Labor accusations over AFP's election campaign investigation

Deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce faces the reality of climate change - some people just have to learn the hard way.

'Ungovernable'? No, Australia changes leaders because they lose their nerve

Turnbull looking for fireworks in long election campaign

Election 2016: Labor has George Christensen and Peter Dutton in its sights

'Growth and jobs': the numbers that debunk a company tax cut

Vulgar, racist Facebook rants return to haunt Midland Liberal candidate Daniel Parasiliti

Silly silly Woy Woy has week spot for king of the absurd

Australia: A town called Woy Woy

Great Barrier Reef stays on UN watch list

Great Barrier Reef doomed but our dome will save us

It's time to ask, 'Could Trump happen here?'

World's widest web? Flood-hit spiders find higher ground

David Koch quits government role on air, tells Fiona Nash to 'get a backbone'

Why is the CFA fighting the UFU?

Victorian firefighters dispute: The burning questions

Pay dispute pits Victoria's volunteer firefighters against professionals

Federal election 2016: Shock poll result for Kelly O'Dwyer. Is Higgins the 'Indi of 2016'?

View from the Street: Mathias Cormann pledges to stop the journalists

Federal election 2016: Mystery deepens over Parakeelia as Cormann ducks question

Election 2016: Barnaby Joyce tells constituent to 'piss off' during heated pub exchange

Tony Abbott's office floated sending Australian troops into Ukraine conflict, defence expert claims

New research: Abbott and Turnbull the worst economic managers since Menzies

The best economic plan: live in a marginal seat

Public servants told it's Armidale or find new jobs

Election 2016: Where do the parties stand on animal welfare?

Bill Shorten’s surprising victory in Leaders’ debate - um, surprising to whom?

The zinger that won the debate for Bill Shorten

Private vocational courses cost taxpayers seven times as much as TAFE, analysis finds

AFP release report into who leaked top secret report on Iraq War to Andrew Bolt

Why Trump’s fake publicist act matters: It proves he’s exactly the weirdo and liar we all suspected he was

Trump's Team: The Bigoted, Unhinged Conspiracy Theorists Benefiting From Donald Trump's Campaign

John Oliver buys and forgives $15 million of debt

Talk grows of replacing Trump at GOP convention

Brock Turner's statement blames sexual assault on Stanford ‘party culture’

Why Conservatives Should Just Say ‘No’ to Trump - The most hilariously wrong way of accidently being right

Democrats Can’t Unite Unless Wasserman Schultz Goes!

Pugilist-poet Ali's race legacy still packs a punch

College Basketball Star Heroically Overcomes Tragic Rape He Committed

July 4th Flotilla 2016 on Bayou St. John to crown Chewbacchus leaders

Five things people should stop saying about Bernie Sanders

Our Worst Presidents Came In With A Lot Of Experience

Donald Trump Picked the Wrong News Editor to F*ck With

Brock Turner and Cory Batey, two college athletes who raped unconscious women, show how race and privilege affect sentences

Donald Trump wanted Moammar Gaddafi’s money

The Concert Across America to end gun violence

[name redacted] was taken off a terrorist watch list, but keeping him on it wouldn't have stopped him from buying guns

Seth Meyers Just Banned Donald Trump From Appearing On His Show – It’s Absolutely Amazing

Orlando shooting: thoughts and prayers from hypocrites do nothing to help

Filmmaker Ken Burns Delivers Blistering Takedown Of Donald Trump At Stanford

Orlando shooting brings hate to its natural conclusion

Pet Alliance to Shelter Victims Pets

McCain: Obama is 'directly responsible' for Orlando attack - Go home, John. It's over.

A history of America doing nothing in response to mass shootings

An Open Letter to [name redacted] from a Survivor of the Orlando Nightclub Shooting

Hillary Clinton Is About to Clean Donald Trump’s Clock

I Am An AR-15 Owner And I’ve Had Enough

Top GOP Consultant Unleashes Epic #NeverTrump Tweetstorm

Boston's Sidewalks Are Covered In Secret Poems

Bob Geldof and Nigel Farage face off in Brexit boat battle down London's River Thames

Jo Cox MP dead after shooting attack

The mood is ugly, and an MP is dead

Associating elbowgate with violence against women is an insult to victims

((( How Twitter Is Teaming Up to Mess With the Nazis )))

In South Sudan, It’s Hard to Tell the Soldiers From the Criminals

Women guitar makers scratched from Gibson history

Moby: ‘There were bags of drugs, I was having sex with a stranger’

9 Things Guitarists Hate…

Ingenious: this is how you correct the audience when they're clapping on the wrong beat

Mastertapes: Paul McCartney

Former Wings guitarist and Northern Ireland music legend Henry McCullough has died

Paul McCartney Talks Summer Tour, New 'Pure McCartney' Comp

Mandatory Fun: “Weird Al” Preps Career-Spanning “Squeeze Box”

Star Wars Hologram Vinyl

Morley Safer, veteran '60 Minutes' newsman, dies at 84

Duncan Storrar: 'A line has been crossed' by media, say community leaders

Owen Jones: Journalist walks out of Sky News show after hosts 'downplay' homophobia of Orlando shooting

No holding back from networks on Rogerson but Alan Jones lies low

Whatever happened to the Sandman?

Capaldi wants classic ‘Doctor Who’ companion back: ‘Susan’s story wasn’t finished’

Ferris Bueller’s missing soundtrack: Why we shouldn’t mourn what we never had

REVEALED: There really was a creepy fifth housemate lurking in cult British TV show The Young Ones

Time for Twitter to grow up

How Yahoo derailed Tumblr

Photos: Nodes Behaving Badly (when FTTN placement goes wrong)

China: (not) talking about a revolution

Mental Health:
6 Signs You’re Actually An Outgoing Introvert, Because Yes, Those Exist - Finally I have a definition

Late sleepers are tired of being discriminated against. And science has their back.

What Does a Dog See in a Mirror?

How The Wrong Verb Meant The Texas GOP Called Most Texans Gay

The least boring photo on my camera roll:

15 May, 2016

Thinking of linking

This week I have been mostly reading...

Australians crave change. But this election won't deliver it

Q&A recap: Audience member delivers an early campaign reminder to all politicians

‘Jobs and growth’ and deja vu: reprising a failed American experiment

Malcolm Turnbull named in Panama Papers

How Bunnings turns the screws on customers

Dutton calls medical evacuation a 'racket.'

Vengeful micro parties go after Barnaby Joyce's scalp

Farmer was deeply depressed when he killed environmental officer, court hears

George Christensen tries to put pressure on Labor over Syrian refugee settlement

The reason why Malcolm Turnbull opted for such a long campaign is because he has to build his campaign team from scratch

Coalition corruption: They are not even embarrassed about it

Why the amount of tax Duncan Storrar pays doesn't actually matter

How negative gearing replaced the great Australian dream and distorted the economy

Preference deals are driven by pure politics

Donald Trump Announces Debt Plan That Would Collapse Entire Global Economy

A Hacker Put Marco Rubio Porn Memes on Two Billboards in Alabama

Crossing the Line: How Donald Trump Behaved With Women in Private

Why does New Orleans have more murders than similar cities? Experts search for answers

'70s High School Art Project Mistakenly Valued At $50K On 'Antiques Roadshow'

Reconciling with president-elect Duterte

Roger Waters on why his fellow musicians are terrified to speak out against Israel 

Turkey could cut off Islamic State’s supply lines. So why doesn’t it?

Online threats are not free speech

Literary magazine Meanjin may close after losing Australia Council funding

Literary magazine Meanjin to have funding cut

The ‘Australian’ Tried To Go After Duncan From #QandA And It’s Backfiring Spectacularly

Malcolm Turnbull and the Panama Papers. It just doesn't seem fair
It’s Not About Duncan

Is everybody happy now?

Why Movie Stars Still Exist Despite Their Lack of Box Office Appeal

Facebook's news saga reminds us humans are biased by design - Preferencing credible sources is not political bias, mmmkay?

Millennials have allies in the emerging grey vote

Six Divisive Regional Slang Terms Likely To Result In An Australian Civil War

Conversations in contrast

Remo Belli, Who Developed Synthetic Drumhead and Changed Music, Dies at 88

The poignant story of Jimmie Nicol: The guy who replaced Ringo Star and lived as a Beatle for two weeks

Bowie in Melbourne, 1987

Why I Deleted Your Band's Promo Email

Global sea-level expert John Church made to walk the plank by CSIRO - The barbarians are at the gate, and they're not waving ISIS flags. 

From Arnold Schwarzenegger to Tuyu the buffalo, the future of protein is not meat

A generation of artists were wiped out by Aids and we barely talk about it

Winona Ryder's turning point

Humour and satire:
Which idiot?

Clickbait of the week:
6 Signs You’re An Outgoing Introvert, Because Yes, Those Exist - closest thing to me I've found

I got stupid on me and I need to wipe if off on you:
Cash can’t beat genetics in class - starts off by comparing Labor tax policy to Hitler (seriously!) and finishes by suggesting academic achievement is decided by genetics. 

The least boring photo on my camera roll:

13 May, 2016

How to sell newspapers

In case you needed further evidence that The Hun is more a political propaganda outlet than a news organisation, today’s new low should leave you in no doubt.

The News Ltd stable has launched a crusade this week against the suburban father who dared to question the government’s tax policy on live television. What made it even worse was that it was on the ABC, which News Corp considers unfair competition.

The Murdoch media has been the loudest to complain about how hard it is for them to make a dollar in the digital age. It’s a fair point, which is why it’s so odd that they would turn again someone like Duncan Storrar.

I am no businessman, and I’m not much of a demographer either, but it seems to me that a lot more people like Mr Storrar would buy and read the Herald Sun than people like Innes Willox, Kelly O’Dwyer or Rupert Murdoch. That’s simple law-of-averages stuff really. There are more Duncans out there than Ruperts.

So why denigrate your main market? Well, the wealthy know there are more poor people than rich people, so they need to convince enough of the poor that the rich are on their side and it’s the really poor who are holding them back. Sounds nonsensical? Yes it does. But why else would the most powerful media outlet in the country, which is already overtly campaigning for the sitting government, sic their editors onto a disabled father?

You know what else people who buy newspapers like? Intellectual and moral consistency. So if you’re going to dedicate the front page to being all sanctimonious about one man’s criminal record, don’t plug an interview with a notorious gangland figure, referred to by his son’s first name, on the same damn page! That just makes you look stupid.
That would be notorious gangland murderer Carl Williams, whose drug trafficking father George died recently.


10 May, 2016

Thinking of linking

What I've been reading lately...

It's on us: The real world consequences of our politics

Writers and publishers voice opposition to new copyright proposals

Australia Post's $9 pick-up service enough to make me go postal

Refugee fighting for life in Nauru hospital after setting herself alight

Infographic: the size of Australia’s government

Peter Dutton hit a low today

Budget 2016: Winners and losers

Budget 2016: Tony Abbott's 'zombies' add billions to Malcolm Turnbull's first budget

Federal budget 2016: The more you look at it, the better it gets

Why The Government’s New Internship Program For Young People Is A Terrible Idea

Don't be cynical: Malcolm Turnbull defends new 'slave trade' internships

Scott Morrison's budget is unusual – but not for the reason he thinks it is

Abbott (still) says the darndest things!

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner has been saved, but George Brandis can still refuse to give up his metadata - Hypocrisy, thy IP address is...

Cuts force online archive Trove to stop adding to collection - Philistines! 

Windsor: ‘I have never owned or sold a coalmine to anyone’

Bronwyn Bishop gives final speech as MP, blaming Tony Abbott for downfall

Dutton risked safety of asylum seeker sent to PNG for abortion, court finds

Liberal Rising Star Copied His Tough Family History From A Fake US Congressman

Q&A recap: questions about trickle-down economics open the floodgates

An alternative to offshore detention

Australia’s Oldest Man, Who Knitted Jumpers For Penguins, Has Died At 110

Ormond College woodman kept the fires burning

The single best joke told by every president, from Obama to Washington

Trickle-Down Economics Has Ruined the Kansas Economy

Republicans in uncharted territory

Republicans Burn Their Voter Registration Cards After Trump Becomes Likely Nominee

City provides sinkhole driving map for motorists; translation requested

Sinkhole de Mayo party on Canal St: When life hands you sinkholes, make margaritas

Watch Republicans Come To Grips With Accepting Donald Trump

President Obama: The TPP would let America, not China, lead the way on global trade

Hillary Clinton turns her attention to Donald Trump

Few stand in Trump’s way as he piles up the Four-Pinocchio whoppers

Trump's New Finance Chair Led a Bank That Made Millions Off Taxpayer Bailouts

Tory child abuse whistleblower: 'Margaret Thatcher knew all about underage sex ring among ministers'

Imam accused of being an ‘Isis supporter’ demands apology from David Cameron

Italian court rules food theft 'not a crime' if hungry - This is the difference between law and justice

Millennials for Martial Law - Those who don't learn from history...

Save The Children video shows what life would be like if British refugees were fleeing a UK civil war

Paul McCartney Meets Women Who Inspired Beatles' 'Blackbird' - I'm not sure about this. It's only recently that he's begun describing Blackbird this way.

Pink Floyd to reissue catalogue on vinyl

Everything wrong with the new Ghostbusters trailer that justifies the hate for it

ABC Radio staff told to put people with 'difficult' accents on air

'Priceless' Mamamia internship sold at a charity auction for $10,000

Logies 2016: Waleed Aly and Noni Hazlehurst ride a glacier into the 21st century

The Subtle Design Features That Make Cities Feel More Hostile - this is just wrong

Study reveals ‘global sleep crisis’ is threat to our health

Hanging With Al Jaffee, MAD Magazine's 95-Year-Old Journeyman Cartoonist

Why wind turbines have three blades

The train goes up, the train goes down: a simple new way to store energy

Flying boats or flying dreams: Could futuristic seaplanes revolutionise air travel?

Perception is its own reality when you’re eating

A 10-Year-Old Hacked Instagram - And Facebook paid him a bounty for it.

Windows 10 free upgrade offer ends on July 29th

Apple Stole My Music. No, Seriously. 

No, Apple Music is not deleting tracks off your hard drive — unless you tell it to

Feinstein-Burr: The Bill That Bans Your Browser

Bono Called Out Christian Musicians For a Lack of Honesty. He Didn’t Go Far Enough.

Mother duck and ducklings waddle through school halls in Michigan

Why is ‘w’ pronounced ‘double u’ rather than ‘double v’?

The least boring photo on my camera roll:

01 May, 2016

Thinking of linking

This week, I have been mostly reading....

Public service's lolly underground protests against treatment of Gillian Triggs

Budget 2016: Tim Pallas rides high while Scott Morrison dithers

Punitive, immoral and now illegal: the verdict on Manus Island

Turnbull’s negative gearing circus rolls on

Far from being silenced, the conservative voice is amplified and disproportionately powerful - "There’s a vast difference between being a victim of discrimination and the reality of fewer people agreeing with you than you’re used to."

The Project's Waleed Aly is in no mood to attend Malcolm Turnbull's negative gearing party

Penetrating insight into John Howard's sex life - you're welcome!

What are the submarines really protecting: Australia or federal seats?

Nauru refugee sets himself on fire in protest, man in critical condition, Peter Dutton says

Nauru refugee who set himself on fire dies in Brisbane hospital

An open letter from Jackie French (AM) in response to the Productivity Commission’s Report on Australia’s intellectual property arrangements

13 Times Australia Was Able To “Live Within Our Means” (Buzzfeed warning)

Goldman Sachs Admits It Defrauded Investors, Receives $5 Billion Fine — But Will Pay Much Less Than That

Spreading hate has backfired on right-wing media: How Fox News unwittingly destroyed the Republican Party

Andrew Bacevich and America’s Long Misguided War to Control the Greater Middle East

Garry Kasparov: Donald Trump And His Enablers Are Killing Democracy

9/11 report: Obama administration 'set to release' secret 28 pages 

Guy's Po-Boys open again after getting clobbered by truck

Pseudoscience in the Witness Box, The FBI faked an entire field of forensic science.

The West Wing's Allison Janney gives White House press briefing ahead of Correspondents Dinner

Government 'phenomenally complacent' over VW scandal, say MPs

How the Sun's 'truth' about Hillsborough unravelled

London without old people is just a factory floor, with no past and no future - The capital is a cruel city for the elderly if they are not in the moneyed 1%.

Patrick Stewart sketch: what has the ECHR ever done for us?

Hillsborough inquests: Jury reaches decision on unlawful killing question

Sir Bernard Ingham: The disgraceful letter Margaret Thatcher's aide sent to Hillsborough campaigners

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Harry respond to Obamas' Invictus Games challenge

10 High Street stores of 1976 that have disappeared

An Israeli Brewery Recreated a 2,000-Year-Old Beer

How being banned can be a blessing

Prince Recognized That ‘if There Ain’t No Justice, Then There Ain’t No Peace’

RECORD COLLECTOR: David Bowie’s Never Let Me Down album from 1987

Miles Ahead and the Wilful Explosion of the Biopic

How 'ugly' comments remind women of the beauty tax we owe to be in public

60 Minutes’ Beirut saga is unlikely to inspire would-be journalists
You know you're stuffed when even the Oz can't defend your ethics. But Planet Janet is wrong - it's not the final severance of 60 Minutes from what it once was. That happened years ago. This just made it impossible to ignore.

The irrelevant face of CNN: What’s behind the empty gravitas of Wolf Blitzer?

Why the Original Darth Vader Is Now ‘Persona Non Grata’ at Star Wars Events

60 Minutes wanted reporter Tara Brown to be ‘involved at critical moments’ of child snatch

When men talk about feminism on television - Nobody books Latham hoping for reason and perspective. The book him hoping for a shitstorm that people will talk about later.

Screen overlay malware on the rise as bot scum battle for dominance

Bodyhackers are all around you, they’re called women

T-shirts with Myra Hindley on them? Modern art has forgotten how to care

A no-strings basic income? If it works for the royal family, it can work for us all

On Forgiveness


Clickbait of the week:
Only in Louisiana! The doughnut po-boy

I got stupid on me and now I'm wiping it off on you:
18 Reasons You Should Ditch Your Bra For A Bralette - Is it part of Buzzfeed's style guide to write about yourself in the second person?

The least boring photo on my camera roll: