Saturday salon 23/9

1. Same sex marriage campaign goes ape

All day yesterday I heard that a same-sex marriage campaigner planted one on Tony Abbott, with Abbott and all and sundry saying it’s emblematic of how the Yes campaign is being prosecuted.

Turns out that 38-year-old Hobart DJ Astro ‘Funknukl’ Labe reckons:

    he is a lone anarchist that “felt the need to headbutt Tony Abbott because I didn’t think it was an opportunity I’d get again”.

As you do!

He’d had a few, and now he’s sober he reckons it had “nothing whatsoever to do with marriage equality.”

However, it plays into the framing of the No campaign, as does the children’s party contractor, Madlin Sims, who sacked one of her entertainers known only as Madeline who put a frame on her private Facebook profile picture that said “it’s OK to vote no”.

Sims reckons it was homophobic “hate speech”, which it wasn’t. Any way she didn’t need to make a public fuss about it if she did not want her business linked with the entertainer’s views. She had the option of simply not giving her more work.

Phil Coorey reckons the Noes have quickly claimed victimhood. How many noticed that a 14-year-old Dubbo girl was threatened with death after supporting same-sex marriage, a Burnie cafe was threatened with arson, and police had to evacuate AFL HQ and cordon off the street when they made their views known?

The Conversation has an Explainer: what legal benefits do married couples have that de facto couples do not?

Frank Bongiorno thinks On marriage equality, Australia’s progressive instincts have been crushed by political failure.

He says our leaders trail public opinion, which is dangerous for our democracy.

In short, it helps generate the kind of disaffection that the surveys tell us is now increasingly characteristic of Australian democracy. We come to believe that what is best about our country exists despite rather than because of their political system.

This attitude:

    produces national stroppiness and erodes trust and confidence. In short, it helps generate the kind of disaffection that the surveys tell us is now increasingly characteristic of Australian democracy.

This week as the ABS forms appeared in leteer boxes, so did a pamphlet warning darkly that gay marriage will impact schools, free speech and religions and charities. Our leaders are taking us backwards, rather than simply legislating the rights of a minority accepted by the majority.

2. Malcolm Roberts in trouble

One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts was a citizen of the United Kingdom at the time of his nomination, the High Court has found. And it seems he knew it.

When he tried to send an email to British authorities with the subject line “Am I still a British citizen?” before the election (emphasis added) he gave himself away. And his attempts to resolve the matter were less than impressive.

It’s for the full bench to decide, but attention has moved to who might replace him. The money seems to be on Pauline Hanson’s sister. There’s some feeling that Pauline won’t want Roberts back. He’s too much competition for the limelight.

3. Keeping up with Trump

Last weekend my attention was drawn to the efforts of an American called Matt Kiser, who runs a site What the F**** Just Happened Today, which gives a blow-by-blow account of what Trump is up to, tweets and all.

That was Day 239: Sick and demented. Day 245 was not quite so interesting.

This week we have had “Rocket Man” “on a suicide mission” calling the other bloke a “mentally deranged US dotard” as the war of words reaches new heights, with one threatening to explode an H-bomb over the Pacific and the other threatening to wipe him and his regime from the face of the earth.

My informant last weekend also had a great site listing what Americans believe, like only around half know where New York is. It wasn’t this one, where we find that a quarter believe the sun goes around the earth and more than three-quarters of Americans believe there are indisputable evidences that aliens have already visited our planet. Or this one, where 29 percent of Americans think that an armed revolution in order to protect liberties might be necessary in the next few years.

Then there is this image of how they think of the world:

A surprising number think chocolate milk comes from brown cows, and nearly 20 per cent think Barack Obama is a cactus.

4. New Zealand goes to the polls

It looks as though New Zealanders will wake up with the same prime minister when the go to the polls. There is a chance that the “Jacinda effect” will put Labour’s Jacinda Ardern in a position where she can form a coalition with basically conservative Winston Peters and his New Zealand First. Peters has worked with Labour before.

For us, however, it is good to know that when you have decent people in politics they can conduct a campaign mainly on policies. On this side of the ditch Malcolm Turnbull has chosen a different path.

Germany is also showing that elections can be reasonably civil, if a little boring. I’ll do that one in a separate post.

49 thoughts on “Saturday salon 23/9”

  1. North Queensland Cowboys in another NRL grand final after beating Sydney Roosters 29-16 at SFS

    Once again, brilliance from Michael Morgan and a super finish by Kyle Feldt have rescued the Cowboys at finals time, sending them into another grand final.

    Eighth-placed North Queensland upset the second-placed Roosters 29-16 to set up a grand final against minor premiers Melbourne.

    Feldt, the man who scored the game-tying try in North Queensland’s 2015 grand final win, produced another brilliant and pivotal finish on Saturday night, while Morgan, who threw the miraculous final pass two years ago, enjoyed a wire-to-wire masterclass.

    The injury-riddled Cowboys hardly seemed to miss Johnathan Thurston, with Morgan’s kicking, passing, running and tackling all at the highest possible level from start to finish.

    NSW can’t even get a team in the grand final let alone win at state of origin.

  2. John, Andrew Johns pointed out that in the four teams this weekend there were 22 of the 26 players who played State of origin for Qld this year.

    Of course there were a few handy players from NZ, Fiji, PNG and elsewhere also.

    Menahwile there were at least three NSW players, including the captain, in the losing team tonight, although it wasn’t their fault.

    I think Paul Green is a bloody good coach, though the bloke who coached the Roosters is no slouch. Great match, and the goal kicking leaves our Rugger boys for dead!

  3. Clearly Malcolm Roberts is a replicant, an early model, where they didn’t get the brain power right, and they turned up the brightness in the eyes a bit high.

  4. Mighty Tigers!*

    *obscure football reference

    Hills Hoist: simple mechanical device using solar and wind power to reduce moisture content of items suspended tactically on supportive metal cords and separated using gravitation; equipped with mechanical altitude adjustment; also used as playground equipment by transgressive young humans experimenting with circular motion and centripetal forces; no digital components; grid-independent; sturdy and reliable but not very bright.

  5. Several commentators assert that the NZ electoral system (MMP) almost guarantees a well-hung Parlt.

    The late Mr Lange hated the idea that a majority party would always need to form a partnership or coalition.

  6. Our best government for a long time was the Gillard minority government. Being a successful minority government means that you cant just barge in and do what you want. The NZ system seems to have been producing good government.

  7. PB: My recollection of Robert’s CV was that it was reasonably impressive. He was general manager of a large underground coal mine in central Qld and has worked as a consultant since then. My take is the problem is that he may have been the smartest man in the room too often and the result is intellectual arrogance.
    Both the senante and One Nation may be better off without him.

  8. That’s a joke, right ?

    Considering it was followed by the Rudd MkII, Abbott and Turnbull govts, no, that’s 100% accurate.

  9. Please tell me, other than legislation passed, any long term achievements of the Gillard Government.
    And don’t say NDIS , SSM or Gonski, I’ve got bulk debunk on those.
    What exactly did Gillard do, other than play the gender card ?

  10. Please tell me any achievements of the Abbott or Turnbull governments. (eg Have they passed any legislation?)
    And please don’t insult our intelligence with “stop the boats” or “axe the tax” or “ditch the witch”.

  11. She, and Wayne, actually had the budget trending towards surplus. At least they were trying, unlike what’s happened since.

  12. She, and Wayne, actually had the budget trending towards surplus

    Nope, made up forecasts are not reality.
    Remind me who promised the last surplus and delivered….

  13. Some sort of guilt by association to folks I don’t know and haven’t read is less than nothing Brian, I don’t worry about less than nothings.
    You brought up surpluses, not I.
    Let’s see them.

  14. I will say Hockey and Morisson are just as shity as Swan evidently.
    Partizan hackship has no place an economics.

  15. Jumpy, budget forecasts are not just “made up”. Other than that we’ve been over this territory here and here. See also the links at the end of that second link.

    You’ll need to do a bit of work rather than simply make assertions if you are to be taken seriously.

  16. Jumpy, budget forecasts are not just “made up”

    Show me an accurate one, otherwise, using your tactical shutdown phrase, I can’t take you seriously.

    Can we please rise above blogism manoeuvres…* sigh….*

  17. I will say Hockey and Morisson are just as shity as Swan evidently.

    So the Abbott and Turnbull governments are no better than the Gillard government.
    Thus John D’s statement still stands

  18. Our best government for a long time was the Gillard minority government.

    Quod erat demonstrandum ?
    Not even.

    But enough of this futile pursuit of ernest political/economic discussion, G’nite.

  19. Jumpy, there is a difference between just “made up” and honest estimation. And not even historical budget figures are “accurate” but are a best calculation and subject to revision.

    It’s not a shutdown phrase, I just want more than blather.

  20. Kevin Andrews was on the box in the last few days claiming that same sense marriage was a communist plot! (I think it was on insiders but am not sure.) Looks like the communist threat has moved from under the bed to on top of the bed?
    The trouble is if you keep on saying the same thing often or not people will start to believe.

  21. John, I saw Kevin Andrews and it was a disgrace. I think he called it a Marxist plot.

    I agree that the No campaign are giving the impression that there is something darkly sinister about the same-sex campaign. Australians don’t take much to make them say, no.

  22. Some bloke called Mr George Clooney has given his considered opinion of Secretary Hillary Clinton as a Presidential candidate last year:

    “She was more qualified than even her husband was when he was elected president, but she’s not as good as communicating things … When she got up and gave a speech, it didn’t soar,” Clooney said.

    “It was frustrating because I never saw her lift her game. I never saw it … I think that she wasn’t particularly good at articulating the things that she wanted to do.”

    Dud candidate, I think.

    Mr Clooney has also been very impolite about the President. George claims that he himself did all sorts of menial jobs before he got his big chances (I think he’s an actor…); unlike Mr D Trump, “who sh*ts in a gold toilet.”

  23. It continues to amaze me that the entertainment elites think they are better positioned to judge policy than regular folk that live with the effects.
    But I suppose they sell fantasy for a living like most politicians do.

  24. Mr Clooney objects to being called part of a “Hollywood elite” because Mr Clooney pulled himself up by his bootstraps. He contrasts this with young Donald, brought up in a wealthy family.

    Personally I don’t think millionaire property developers are part of an elite or a ruling class.

    Personally I think the style of one’s toilet fittings are an irrelevance. A person’s character, wisdom, judgement, etc. matter more to me than where and how she excretes.

  25. Actions and resultant objective outcomes are what matters more to me, ” character, wisdom, judgement, etc ” seem too subjective.

  26. I would have thought the incumbent POTUS with his background in reality television and his starring turn in the wrestling field (OMG, did you see what he did to Vince McMahon?) would have qualified as a member of the “entertainment elites”.

  27. Well, an elite that played entertainer, yeah.
    I can think of at least 1 immigrant Trump invited into his mansion, not sure about Clooney.

  28. I will say that had Sanders got the Dem nomination ( HRC rat arseing BS in the primaries aside ) he would most probably, in my opinion, be POTUS today.
    Not an outcome I would welcome but that’s my take on it regardless.

  29. Is “rat arseing” an elite sport, Mr J?

    Is it related to the infamous “Chinese have rat-f****d us!” statement of Mr K Rudd?

    Are the Chinese elites? Was Mr Rudd part of an elite?
    What “actions and resultant objective outcomes” would you attribute to them?

    Please explain.

  30. …… seem too subjective….

    Careful now, Mr J.

    Please don’t wander down that path where only numbers, measurements, $ and physical objects are valued.

    They have their place, but extreme reliance on such “objective” items may tend to exclude
    aimless sojourning
    and everything else that enriches human life and distinguishes us from clocks, rocks and Hills Hoists.

    Just a thought.

  31. “made up forecasts”, sir?

    Forecasts are always acts of imagination, sir.

    Econometric forecasts are usually based on some raw data, but needs must, they include assumptions (based on economic theories and past observations).
    They are forecasts.
    They describe the future, which is in principle unknowable.
    They are acts of imagination.

    So are weather forecasts.

    So are your tips on football match outcomes.

    The future is a foreign country, we don’t know what they do there.

    So it would be a waste of time to describe a particular set of forecasts as “made up”, wouldn’t you agree?

    /message from the future

  32. Brilliant comments, Ambi.

    Jumpy, if Sanders had been the candidate they would have coloured him as Marx personified. or more particularly Marx as realised by Stalin and Mao.

    Jumpy, going back further, you should read Gillard’s My Story. There is a good review at The Conversation. I was impressed with her mastery of policy detail across all portfolios. She tried to move tham all in a direction beneficial to the Australian people.

    A shame about Abbott the destroyer, and Turnbull the rather aimless chair of the committee, and generator of brainless ideas, and slogan’s to out-do his predecessor, with Joyce’s hand firmly around his short and curlies.

  33. Mr A,
    ” Rat arsed ” is normally used to describe extreme drunkenness but I was borrowing a Ruddism.

    Many of the most destructive people were described as having ” character, wisdom, judgement, etc ”. In fact were heavily into,
    aimless sojourning
    empathy ( for their favourites )
    Can you think of their names ? Brian mentioned a couple.

    As for forecasts, depends on who affects their formulation.
    Swans mining tax revenue forecasts springs to mind.

  34. Brian

    Jumpy, if Sanders had been the candidate they would have coloured him as Marx personified. or more particularly Marx as realised by Stalin and Mao.

    So ?, the Dems and media and Celebs coloured Trump as a rapist, Hitler, KKK idiot and 3 million more voters turned out than Gingrich !!

    And no, I’m not reading politicians big-noteing their crack after we chuck em out, none of em.

    Just out of curiosity, do you read conservative politicians biographies ?

  35. So ?

    All I’m saying is that the Republicans and the Trump campaign would have thrown shit at him like you wouldn’t believe. There is no way of knowing that he would have beaten Trump.

    That’s all.

    Jumpy, if you want to dump on Gillard I think it’s fair that you read her side of the story. 130pp is on how she did it, followed by about 320pp on why. It’s surprisingly interesting.

    It happens I’ve read a few books on the Rudd – Gillard – Rudd years. None of them are biographies.

    I’m not keen on biographies, but if I did it would most likely be about a writer, thinker or artist.

  36. Jumpy, if you want to dump on Gillard I think it’s fair that you read her side of the story.

    Does that fairness test apply to anyone “dumping” on anyone ?

  37. Jumpy, if you read the review I linked to, John’s assessment of Gillard does not seem unreasonable.

    This is a left-oriented site and wasn’t set up for you to do sundry dumps on leftist figures like Bill Shorten or Gillard. If you want to argue a case, with evidence, that’s fine by me.

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