Saturday salon 11/11

1. Bier her

Bier her, Bier her, oder ich fall um, juchhe! You can hear the German drinking song here.

Today we could remember Armistice day, ending the First World War 99 years ago, or Ned Kelly hanged on 11 November 1880. Then there was the dismissal of Gough Whitlam 25 years ago, and the important Harvester Case on November 8, 1907. Before we get too far past it I want to remember 31 October 500 years ago when a cranky friar in Saxony let it be known he was not happy with the Catholic Church. However Martin Luther’s biggest contribution to modern life may have been to liberate German beer.

People have been celebrating the 500th anniversary of the determined friar Martin Luther hammering his 95 theses to the door of the castle church of Wittenberg. Informed opinion is that it actually did not happen. I heard a Catholic historian say it is a story that was made popular in the 19th century. Nor were there necessarily 95 theses, but thereabouts.

In the article Luther is described as a “stout, sensual and gregarious monk.” Beer had been a monopoly product of the Catholic Church. Luther was hugely proud when his wife Katharina, amongst many other accomplishments, opened a brewery.

I warm to Luther went I hear that apart from loving music and writing many hymns, he muchly enjoyed sex, and in contrast to Catholic teaching, did not consider marriage a sacrament, but an earthly custom formalised by the state.

I might go into Luther a bit more some other time, but British theologian and political philosopher John Milbank made an idiot of himself on The Philosopher’s Zone, cherry picking from Luther, Calvin and Henry VIII’s problems of generating a son to discern a Manichean metaphysic, or something.

The Brits never understood metaphysics, it was a Continental thing, and didn’t really get going in the modern world until René Descartes (1594-1650), who was born about 50 years after Luther (1483-1546) died. Metaphysics hit a peak with Immanuel Kant, in the late 18th century, then you either took a track via the gloomy Dane, Søren Kierkegaard, of German idealism via Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, possibly coming together again with Martin Heidegger, but people shy away from him a bit because he prospered under the Nazis. They probably didn’t know what he was talking about.

Any way props (or Prost!) to Martin Luther, a man of feeling who knew how to live in and enjoy the real world

2. The truly sad NBN disaster

The NBN has been much in the news lately, for all the wrong reasons. The best account by far of how we got to where we are was on The Money program with Richard Aedy, Fibre Optics: A look at Australia’s NBN. Well worth half an hour of your life.

Seems back in John Howard’s day Telstra under Sol Trujillo offered the government to build them a fibre network if the government would just tip in $5 billion.

There was not a lot of love between the ‘mad Mexican’ and the government, so they told him to take a jump. Eventually you get to a point where Turnbull saved the NBN from destruction, which was what Abbott wanted, but made the whole thing incomparably worse.

Quite simply, every country in the world, practically, is building fibre-to-the-home. We will do that too, but at much expense and about 20 years late at best. Paul Budde says there is no alternative to tipping in some government investment. NBN will never make enough to pay its way. It’s meant to be sold, but no-one will buy it for the $50 billion or more it has cost.

Two of the experts reckoned that splitting up the band width into small pipes to be onsold to customers by the telcos is stupid. Let the customers have access to the whole bandwidth and pay for what they use.

Those two blokes didn’t quite see the logical outcome of this line of thinking. Get rid of the telcos as retailers and let NBN sell direct to customers. They only get in the way and make a proper muddle of things.

3. Meanwhile in Queensland…

Meanwhile I heard on local radio today Steve Baxter, Queensland’s chief entrepreneur (yes we have one, set up by this ‘do nothing’ Labor government) getting really excited – really, really, really excited. Best thing since sliced bread, or he put it as the equivalent or better than bitumen roads.

When the Queensland electricity networks were set up they added a fibre optic cable for their own purposes. There is heaps of excess capacity which they are now going to make available to regional businesses.

Baxter said it was not relevant to homes, but every business in every town on the grid will be as well-connected as central Brisbane. He thanks the minister for her role in making this happen. “Go Leeanne Enoch”, he said.

Labor has set up a $420 million Advance Queensland fund. Here’s the latest news. And here’s Ms Enoch’s media statement in September.

    “There is a clear role for government as an enabler, which is why, to the end of June, we have committed more than $205 million of the Advance Queensland investment to 1650 innovators across Queensland.

    “Their projects will drive 4821 jobs, and with Queensland now second to New South Wales in the number of startups, we are well on the way to becoming the Startup State.

It’s bursting out all over, even in Mackay.

What an exciting time to have an election!

4. In the Land of the Free

Andrew Romano talking to Sarah MacDonald on radio last night ran through some of the developments. About five days ago 26 people were shot in Texas, but already America is just moving on. After Las Vegas, Republicans in Congress and the NRA called for changes in the law, but exactly nothing was done.

With Harvey Weinstein, by contrast, things have happened:

Scroll down and you’ll find Louis C.K., thought to be the best US comedian of our times. On occasion he masturbated in front of women, mind, asking their permission first.

His statement of admission and regret is worth a read. We’ll have to wait and see whether, like Kevin Spacey, he’s killed his career.

Romano also spoke of the Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, who has not denied that he dated teenage girls when he was in his 30s. Seems not all of them appreciated the way he went about it.

You may have heard that British defence minister Sir Michael Fallon has resigned after a newspaper article said he touched radio presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer’s knee in 2002.

The version I heard suggested that he was probably getting ahead of all the other allegations which would surely follow. Reports suggest there is an endemic problem in the British parliament. Male pollies in their 50s and 60s hiring young female staff.

British women have also simply had enough, apart from Weinstein himself cutting a swathe through London.

5. Here in Oz

Here in Oz Townsville One Nation candidate Mark Thornton owns a sex shop Cupids Cabin. There have been social media quotes like:

  • “Good sex should be in the gray (sic) area between ‘tickle fight’ and domestic violence”.
  • “I’m selling bra’s (sic) inbox a pic of your titties so I could see if I got your size”.
  • “A blowjob a week can lower a man’s risk of heart disease. So don’t be shy girls save a life!”

He reckons he just owns the place, it’s his missus and the staff who do this stuff.

Pauline Hanson is standing by her man, although it did lead to a train-wreck interview.

Politics in the Sunshine State.

100 thoughts on “Saturday salon 11/11”

  1. Dismissal 42 years and counting….

    Would you mind not advertising sex shops on this site? I write not as a Lutheran, but as a stolid Victorian.


  2. Ambi, I think it was on late night radio last night Trevor Chapel (?) said 25 years since the dismissal. You are right, I didn’t think about it.

    I’ll correct it in a minute.

    It is permissible to talk about the citizenship thing on this thread. I didn’t have room for it.

    Laura Tingle in the AFR points out that we won’t have a properly certified parliament until about March next year at the earliest

    Phil Coorey says it’s Brits (and other NZ and Canada) who are getting caught. They don’t feel foreign in the sense that the the others do.

    Malcolm Turnbull says he’s calm in a crisis, and he is except when he loses his cool, which is quite often.

    Anthony Green says Richard di Natale has lost the plot thinking the GG should intervene. The PM has not lost supply or confidence in the house, there is no rule that says you can’t have any number of bi-elections, and the GG normally acts on the advice of the PM.

    The AFR has 10 HoR in the frame, including John Anderson, who has now fallen through. They have two Labor.

  3. Ambi, without sex, where would we be? And if God made it what is not to like? The more the better, surely!

    Yes, I know, all things in moderation, and sex shops involve the reification and commodification of human experience!

  4. Di Natale says Turnbull won’t survive Christmas.

    Now that John Alexander is gone, the effect will be:

    Of the 148 remaining members of the House, 74 are from the government, including the Speaker, Tony Smith. Labor has 69 members and there are five crossbenchers.

    That means the government cannot win a vote on the floor of the House without the support of at least one crossbencher.

    This is because winning a vote amongst the 148 remaining members requires 75 votes.

    On the other hand, if Labor and the crossbench voted together, they would have a combined 74 votes, which would be enough to defeat the government. This is because the Speaker only has a vote where there is a tie on the floor of the House

    Here’s Rowe’s cartoon from the AFR:

  5. Maybe the reason the Southerland Springs Church Massacre was dropped so quickly is because it goes against the left media narrative.

    A huge fail by the State, he was already ineligible to purchase firearms due to domestic violence convictions yet passed background checks. He had them illegally.

    Plus he was prevented from furthering his rampage by a person the media hates, a white, god fearing, Texas NRA instructor with an AR-15.

    ” Good guy with a gun stops bad guy with gun ” story is pro-2nd amendment, we can’t have that now can we.

  6. Vincent van Jumpi

    You are correct: that particular shooter seems to have had his guns illegally. Now I would argue that to say “it’s not the guns it’s the shooter” is

    1) facile, because shooting does require a shooter, unless these murderers start using drones

    2) ignoring the widespread gun ownership which helps murderous nut jobs to “hide in plain sight” (at an extreme contrast, a guy walking into a pacifist unarmed community with a rifle would immediately be disarmed or at the very least, reported to police)

    3) ignoring the many instances when weapons are acquired on the black market (apparently criminals like owning a gun – who would have thought?)

    4) putting too much faith in ownership checks, mental health checks, prohibitions on certain categories of felon

    5) ignoring the propensity of “heat of the moment” incidents to result in death, e.g. domestic disputes, road rage, botched burglaries, botched bank hold ups, etc.

    6) ignoring the social milieu which in some nations and communities seems to encourage shootings – instances include large parts of USA, Nothern Ireland during decades of “the troubles”, cities on various continents afflicted by gang warfare, ….

    You are most welcome to your admiration of the 2nd Amendment. Keep it on a shelf next to your Conceptual Art Prize. Let us know when you emigrate with your family to the USA.

  7. Brian at 10.21pm

    Indeed, where would we be.
    No worries. Just didn’t expect to see the word “t*tties” here.

    But I must confess, I did quote those Facebook phrases to someone very near and dear to me. In the Sunshine State, how do you spell E L ECTION ???

  8. The US has a very low homicide rate ( and falling) by world standards, far lower than other countries that totally ban gun ownership eg. Venezuela ( rising).

    The mode is irrelevant.

    In Australia knives are a bigger problem and I open carry some form of blade all day every day.
    It doesn’t make me more likely to stab people.

    Gun phobia is just silly.

  9. What you have just demonstrated there Jumpy with your observations is that guns in the hands of trained professionals are safe whereas guns in the hands of the public are not.

    It was a shooting instructor as you have pointed out who had the training to recognise a situation, obtain a weapon, and then use it safely to injure an attacker. I’m pretty sure that is the take away message from this disaster.

    As to the news coverage, it was stated at the time of the shooting and well before the revelations about the nature of the killer were known that it was decided to under report rather than glorify the the actions of the killer. Already the bump stock manufacturer is seeking to up his sales based on the imagery of the Las Vegas Shooting. Your conclusion that the news blackout is some how a cover up is mostly false. At best for the government the news hose down is convenient, rather than deliberate.

  10. The knives, eh?

    Quite handy face-to-face, so domestic violence and milk bar robberies spring to mind.

    Not so handy if you want to murder concert goers or church attendees.

    The Las Vegas murderer was unlikely to smash his hotel window and begin hurling knives or swords across towards the concert venue. [Actually, there’s always a first time….. Don’t want to give anyone ideas… 🙁 ]

    In the church, several people would have tackled a knife wielder, got him on the ground, and most likely such an incident might never have reached our news retailers.

    It’s good if the US murder rate is dropping. As an outsider, methinks they have a long way to go, still.

    BTW, after some police investigations of the Las Vegas mass murders, I heard that the alleged shooter had allegedly carried out at least one dummy “practice run”. Apparently when a Lorde concert was held in Las Vegas.

    If that had turned into a murder rampage, imagine the Aussie and NZ press coverage. A Takapuna lass , no less. {Look it up.}

  11. Mr A
    You are perpetuating the myth that the gun killed people, which is wrong, and diverts from addressing the root causes.
    This particular loon was given only 12 months for repeated domestic violence and cracking the skull of his step son, presumably without a firearm.

    Again, murder is a crime, the tool used is irrelevant, you just don’t like one particular type.

  12. Ambi, I thought what was printed in Murdoch and Fairfax would be here, below the line. That is, not at the top of the post that displays first up.

    When I was young, I didn’t expect to read in a American Western, when a cowboy was shot, “Holy f***ing hell. I’m kilt!”

    Nor a bit later did I expect to read in Chaucer about the nun, I think it was, kissing someone’s “naked **se.

    I’ve heard language expert Roly Sussex explaining how offensive “Where the bloody hell are you?” was in some places you wouldn’t expect.

    It’s all customary, and I know that there are feminist sensitivities, but I wanted to show it like it was, and repeated in the press.

    Ambi I’m really pushed for time at present. can you explain what you mean about:

    In the Sunshine State, how do you spell E L ECTION ???

    I simply don’t have time to go back and check.

  13. FYI List of countries by intentional murder rate. The US had 5.3 vs 0.98 per 100,000 for Australia. There are plenty of countries that are much higher than the US but when you compare the US with countries we think of as similar to us the US is very high.
    The Groote Eylandt Aboriginal murder rate was high, averaging over 20 per 100,000 for the time we lived there. (The 20 was based on ones I specifically remember but I seem to remember that the rate was at least twice that. (No murders occurred in the rest of the population. Contributing factors for the higher Aboriginal rate included:
    1. The Aborigines fought with weapons, not hands.
    2. The Groote Eylandters had a reputation for aggressiveness before settlement.
    3. Payback and obligation were important. One man that worked for me was killed as payback for killing someone from another clan.
    4. Killing women by husbands when the women were suspected of playing up was traditionally accepted . (My wife lost 2 women she knew for this reason.)
    5. Traditional defense against spears consisted of dodging. Booze didn’t help this defense.
    6. Booze in general increased the risk of fights starting.
    I suspect none of the murders I was aware of would have occurred if there had been no weapons available. However, some of them would probably involved conscious seeking of weapons to use for the murder.
    Not sure what would have happened if automatic weapons were available. Payback works better if it is targetted.
    I guess the message here in terms of the US is that a lot swings on culture and history. The US past and cowboy vs indian culture doesn’t help.
    In terms of crazies they will kill a lot more if they have automatic guns that can kill a lot of people before they get away and fight off attempt to stop the gunman.

  14. It’s not the one off mass killings that define any countries homicide rate.
    Nor is it the amount of guns, knives, pressure cookers,trucks or ammonium nitrate.

    The easy lazy political out is guns.
    Murder happened way before guns and it’ll happen if we magically wish them all away.

  15. Further to the above, people need to understand what One Nation are doing to our political discourse.

    Last night on TV we saw Qld ON leader Steve Dickson, with Hanson standing beside him, say something horrible was being taught to Queensland girls in schools. You got a bit of an idea, but the ABC bleeped the words out.

    Cut to education minister Kate Jones, who said that was offensive and simply not true.

    I checked with my wife this morning. She didn’t know what Dickson said.

    From FB where they had subtitles and nothing was bleeped out, he said the Queensland schoolgirls were being taught how to masturbate and how to strap on a dildo.

    I think it’s better we know what these idiots are saying.

    In our letterbox we’ve just received two fliers. One is from which says “PUT LABOR LAST” to stop the late term abortion legislation they are said to be planning.

    The other is from which says “STOP LABOR & GREENS EXTREME SEX EDUCATION”. It says that :

    Schools can decide that parental consent is not needed for a student to undergo irreversible hormonal treatment.

    They are suggesting that the LNP will “axe these radical programs” which apparently teach transgender, ‘genderfluid’, that boys can identify as girls and use girls’ toilets etc etc.

    Mark keeps saying what happens in Qld can happen in a place near you.

    BTW ON are getting as much as over 30% in one seat which was once considered Labor. The experts on the radio this morning say, barring something extraordinary, the election is done and dusted. In central and northern Qld Labor is going to lose seats. With the expanded parliament (89 to 93), they will need to pick up around 7 seats in SEQ. Just won’t happen.

    The reckon it’s LNP but needing ON to actually pass anything through parliament.

  16. On the national scene, Bob Katter has just put a price on his support for supply and confidence while we are without Barnaby Joyce and John Alexander. It’s $4 billion and includes $2 billion for the taxpayer to build Adani rail and $800 million for the Hells Gate Dam.

    The latter is NW of Townville and would double the irrigation land in Northern Australia. Recently a Townsville firm won a contract to study the feasibility.

    That is clearly an unnecessary step in Katter’s mind.

    In my mind, I’d confused Hells gate with the Fitzroy Gap Dam, which is near Rockhampton. The Fitzroy drains an area about the size of Victoria and the dam scheme would be bigger than the Snowy.

    It’s a big country up here!

  17. It’s not the one off mass killings that define any countries homicide rate.

    Who here has suggested they do?

  18. Zoot
    Not an insinuation, a fact.
    Did I accuse anyone of it in you view ?
    The answer is NO since I’m unable to coax an honest answer from you ever.

  19. So we all agree it’s not one-off mass killings which define any country’s homicide rate, a self-evident fact if ever there was one.

    Did I accuse anyone of it in you view ?

    Obviously not. I was wondering why you would state a self-evident fact (unless it was to suggest someone here was confusing gun deaths and homicide rates).

  20. Oh good, we can agree the gun debate is a waste of time and focus on the murder rate and it’s causes.
    I’ll even, being in Rome, leave out the murders of the prenatal lives taken in the math.

  21. Of course.
    In my line of work 2 litres is recommended.
    Not at work today but a habit is a habit.

    You ?

  22. Esteemed host
    at 10.57am

    Sorry, Election was referring to a very old joke where the words “election” and “erection” get confused.

    I don’t mind the word t*tties. Just hadn’t spotted it here, previously.


  23. J

    I would of course like the murder rate to decrease in every nation.

    Reducing gun ownership, restricting sales to unsuitable owners, etc is what I would call “low hanging fruit”. Any idea why the Howard Govt authorised a brief amnesty and a large gun buy back scheme?

    Hint: they weren’t running low on scrap metal.

    The other thing about high gun ownership is the greater likelihood of accidental shootings, you know, toddler plays with toy, shoots his Mum dead. Armed policeman mistakes object in hand for gun, shoots person dead. Remember the Aussie born US resident who threatened an officer with her night dress recently and paid the ultimate price??

    An Aussie cop might think the object in my hand was more likely a stubby or sausage roll. In the US the object might well be a gun. Best to shoot the guy dead. Better safe than sorry, eh?

    Another effect in the US is the propensity to assassinate political figures. I instance several Presidents, even dear old Ron Reagan had an attempt on his life, not with a saucepan, but surprisingly enough, with a gun. I instance Robert Kennedy and Martin L King, Malcolm X, several anti-discrimination activists in the deep South, …

    What effect does this have on the polity? And then the US even extends its assassination plans to Cuba, Indonesia, …

    Russia seems to prefer poison-tipped umbrella (London) or radionuclides (London) but uses guns here and there.


  24. Ambi, thanks for sorting that out. Joke probably better in audio with a Japanese accent!

    Back at 2.41pm I said:

    The experts on the radio this morning say, barring something extraordinary, the election is done and dusted. In central and northern Qld Labor is going to lose seats. With the expanded parliament (89 to 93), they will need to pick up around 7 seats in SEQ. Just won’t happen.

    I’ve been comparing notes with Mark. Said expert was Griffiths Uni’s Paul Williams. Mark says he’s a really nice guy, but is always wrong. He sounds learned but just serves up the conventional wisdom.

    So, Mark doesn’t know who will win, but he reckons it is still open.

  25. If we were discussing deaths caused by automobiles I assume Jumpy wouldn’t insist that the topic had to be homicide rates (or maybe he would, who knows?)
    The “gun debate” centres on deaths by firearms, and it is undeniable that the USA, with its relaxed gun laws has a higher rate of death by firearms than comparable societies where there are stricter controls on gun ownership, like Canada and Australia.

  26. On guns in the US Rebecca Levingston on local radio this morning did an interesting interview with Scott Stevens. He heads up the religion department in the ABC, was born in the USA, does an interesting radio gig with Waleed Aly.

    Stevens thinks that people buying guns escalated after the civil war. Since then neighbours have been seen as a potential threat and gun ownership went wild. He says that people who are strongly patriotic and religious are the gun owners. The ones who believe in God, flag and country.

    He reckons there is actual research in the US which says people who know their neighbours are less likely to own guns.

    Every time there is a massacre people run out and buy more guns, so the whole thing is self-perpetuating and getting worse.

    He’s contrasting the vertical emotional orientation or affiliation with the lateral. Says his brother has guns and asks him “What are you doing to keep your family safe?” The short answer is that Stevens emigrated to Australia!

    The program is here, I think in the second half of the two hours.

    There was another program recently, can’t remember which, with an American scholar commenting on the rise of the alt right in the US, which he said had pretty much taken over the Republican party. He says it is strongly authoritarian, representing up to 35% of the people, and quite intolerant of other views or values. It favours the US being a white homeland. If allowed, they would make life so intolerable for other races they would just bugger off somewhere else.

    He said, at base it is genocidal.

    He said it, not me, and I wish I could find the link, but politics matters.

  27. Zoot
    Nobody is wanting to ban automobiles, der.

    The ABC has a religious department!!?
    Good grief, it’s worse than I though!
    Anyway, it’s evident that every time democrats threaten to bastardise the 2nd Amendment then gun sales go up.
    Obama was the best firearms advertisement the US has ever had.

  28. J 7.04pm

    Nobody proposes to ban cars outright. But have you noticed that sustralian courts cancel the driver’s licence of a driver who has a proven history of reckless or dangerous driving endangering or taking life?

    Similar to the US guy who shouldn’t have had guns, IMO.

    Dangerous drivers pose risks to themselves and others.

    Why do we punish drivers with high blood alcohol or affected by drugs?? Could it be that they most probably become dangerous when intoxicated?

    Public safety sometimes has to come before high jinx and merrymaking with firearms.


  29. Mr J

    It seems less important now that we are busy lowering gun deaths, but anyhow
    is a suburb of Auckland and I think the singer known as Lorde has a Takapuna connection.

    Lass = youngish woman
    NZ = nearby nation

    Always happy to help.

  30. It just seems to me, of all the things that cause death, a hugely disproportionate amount of attention is focused on guns.

  31. I may be wrong Brian but I think that a lot of people in Qld do not want to see Qld run by a government that depends on ON support to govern. This includes LNP voters who think ON is the pits and would prefer to see Labor in power without ON support.
    What was said in the Courier Mail this weekend may focus some people’s minds.

  32. Nobody is wanting to ban automobiles, der.

    I for one would be grateful if you use your new library card to learn a bit about logic.

  33. John that is still our best hope.

    Jumpy, Religion and ethics. Self evidently important, I would have thought.

    Scott Stevens says that many in the US value their right to own arms so highly that they are willing to bear the collateral of people being killed. Dead humans just don’t rate in their calculus.

  34. The ABC has had a Religion Department since Adam was a lad (the addition of Ethics is relatively recent).
    Back when the Internet was was new, the department was headed by Stephen Crittenden, who somehow ended up also managing the ABC’s entry into the digital world. For a while there they were a fine example of how to embrace the new technology (and if memory serves without any real budget).

  35. Down here in Victoria we had at least a decade of disproportionate attention on road deaths. The Herald and Sun News Pictorial ran a campaign after the annual death toll had peaked above 1000.

    Now, it took many years, but with breathalysers, compulsory seat belts, improved road design, lower speed limits in towns, the death toll was lowered significantly.

    The effort continues: speed cameras, road patrols, air bags, better brakes, detection of unlicenced drivers, anti-theft devices, driver drug testing…..

    Nanny State TV ads promoting safer driving…….

    A long, slow, purposeful sequence of actions showing tamgible results. Individual and social benefits. Road injuries reduced, along with fewer deaths.

    A social problem tackled (but not solved) by everyone.

  36. Oh this is delicious.
    ON is not a mighty behemoth.

    New Senator sworn in to replace Malcolm Roberts then resigns from ON immediately


  37. Guessing ON will get more than greens again.

    Trad should hold Sth Brizzy which is probably the furthest and most opposed to Adani.

  38. Trad will lose South Brisbane only if Libs come third and they go against the party preference voting ticket in numbers.

    One Nation, poor man went into a meeting and was attacked. He walked out with head spinning. Had been a family friend and longtime supporter of Pauline.

    Then his staff were shut out of a meeting, even though the same staff who had worked for Malcolm Roberts.

    He says he hasn’t resigned from ON, he’s been shut out.

    It was almost as quick as Mal Meninga, who resigned in mid-sentence when he opened his mouth in his first press conference as a candidate.

    Pauline’s antics might just win Palaszczuk the election.

  39. Brian

    Poor Mal Meninga. It was a radio interview and unfortunately for Mal it was filmed and gets replayed occasionally.

    From memory, the candidate said, “Oh sh*t, I can’t do it this. …” took off his headphones and walked out.

    I reckon the vast majority of people would think, “Yes Mal, I could never be a candidate either!”

  40. zoot at 10.47pm

    That’s gut-wrenching. We could do well to think more often about the dead and their families, rather than focussing interest and attention on the alleged shooter.

    (Back in the 1990s there was a spate of fatal shootings by Victoria Police members. I mentioned “police shootings” to a visitor from Adelaide who had been in the Qld Police when younger. She said, “Oh, you call them ‘police shootings’ here, do you? In South Australia we would call them murders.”)

  41. ** Mugabe News **

    It seems that the Zimbabwean Army has taken over the state broadcaster, the ZBC. The Army claims it wants to deal with some “criminals” around President Robert Mugabe.

    A coup? Office politics gone crazy??

    The Army says that the President and his family are “safe and sound”.

    Phew, for a moment I was really worried! 😉

  42. The big news today has got to be the gay marriage thing surely, I’ve been listening to ABC.

    And the results are in

    And which electorates were the most bigoted anti-SSM homophobics ???
    All neo-conservative LNP seats right ?

    The worst of the worst were Blaxland,Watson, McMahon, Werriwa, Fowler, Parramatta, Chifley, Calwell and Barton !
    Nup, all 9 are ALP!

    But I had a hunch, and I know correlation doesn’t mean causation, and it appears that list matches closely the seats most highly occupied by Muslims.

  43. and in the ABC coverage on the evening TV news, the “Muslim” factor was mentioned only once.

  44. Yeah, it’s weird, I was lead to believe the Christian conservatives were the baddies…
    Apparently it’s ALP Muslims!

    No wonder trust in the media is falling through the floor.

  45. Yeah if we didn’t allow Muslims to vote we’d have had an even better result for equality.
    Are Abbott, Abetz, Patterson Bernardi et al thinking of converting (to be with kindred spirits)?

  46. Question is what effect Tony Burke and Chris Bowen voting YES in parliament when their electorates voted overwhelmingly NO, 70%, 65% respectively?

  47. Question is also what effect Tony Abbott voting NO in parliament when his electorate voted overwhelmingly YES, 75%?

  48. Waiting for an ABC op-ed to explain why labor seats were the most against SSM.
    I hope it’s Mungo McCallum or Van Badham.

  49. Too right zoot, time these Governmental swamp creatures represented their constituents rather than their party.
    Remember when Penny Wong was a NO when Gillard told her to be ?
    And Shorten was not sure what Dear Leader said but sure it’s right and backs it totally.

    These are the people to run your life ?
    Na, no way.

  50. Untwist your knickers Jumpy, it’s starting to sound like you agreed with the Muslims who voted No.
    Meanwhile David Marr has an excellent piece in the Grauniad. He’s a very talented writer.

  51. Haha, no, I don’t wear knickers.
    And Marr I would rate on the lowest rung of the journalistic ladder. If you watched Insiders you’d know.

    Straight up question to you zoot, why do you think the 9 electorates most opposed to SSM vote ALP ?

    Answer just 1 please, with sugar on top.

  52. After much deliberation and considerable mental effort, I have searched my soul and come up with your answer.

    Who cares?

  53. Now it’s your turn Jumpy.
    Did you vote No like all those Muslims?

    Answer just 1 please, with sugar on top.

  54. I voted Yes.
    That’s an answer.
    Why are you so answerphobic zoot ?
    ( under the circumstances I can’t really expect an answer )

  55. Jumpy, I don’t know what you expect.
    I gave you an honest answer.
    Was I supposed to say that Muslims vote ALP? Or was it the hardline Roman Catholics and the happy clappy Hillsong lot who share a fundamentalist dogma ? (My Muslim neighbours were in favour of equality BTW)
    Seriously, who cares and what possible significance does it have apart from some rah, rah, hooray for my side binary barracking?

  56. Jumpy, You’ve got a very shallow understanding of how products and technology get developed. I’m no going to do a long winded explanation, only to say that government spending through many institutions is the backbone of technological advancement. Without the government funded education at all levels technology would grind down to a very slow pace.

    As for being taxed less, there is a phenomenon which limits personal earning power for those without command of a multiplier (most people) to a small percentage above their general needs for the environment in which they live. What that means is that while you imagine that if you did not have to pay taxes you would have that much more money to spend. Wrong. What would happen through competition is that your gain would very quickly erode your income back the previous margin above you needs. Only you would be in a worse position due to the loss of the government services that you previously enjoyed.

    I’m sure that there is a name for this phenomenon but I don’t know what it is, I only know that it delivers like clockwork.

  57. Jumpy, before you go asking questions like that get yourself informed.

    Read Andrew Jakubowicz at The Conversation and listen to him at the Religion an Ethics Report.

    I think I heard Abbott say he’s vote “yes” because his electorate did. I know that Tony Burke’s position before the survey was that he’d vote “no” because his electorate was that way inclined. Matthias Cormann, who I respect, said he’d vote “yes” even though he believes “no” because of the overall vote. And he is the one negotiating with Penny Wong and others to get a compromise that will pass.

    Richer folks of any stripe, even Muslims, tended to vote “yes”. Really religious of any stripe tended to vote “no”. Chinese are not religious, but tend to vote “no” unless they are rich or have been here for a while.

    It is a complex interplay of factors.

  58. Here’s how all the pollies will vote.

    Quite a few are scratching their heads, but it looks as though it will go through easily.

    Brandeis has proposed two amendments (from the Oz):

    The first would ensure civil marriage celebrants would be able to conscientiously object to marrying a gay couple.

    The second — and more sweeping change — would ensure that people of faith were not punished or discriminated against for adhering to and promoting traditional marriage as consistent with their religion.

    I think both will fly with Labor, provided the first is restricted to celebrants and not extended to bakers, florists and such.

  59. Fran Kelly just asked Tony Burke MP about what she termed the “disconnect” between electors in his electorate, and those in predominantly “yes” areas.

    Oh FFS Fran!! People have different opinions. Different views. Different allegiances. Different beliefs. We all differ, Fran. The task of a MHR is somehow to represent electors and choose all sorts of compromises and policy positions.

    I think they call it “democratic politics, with a representative parliament”.

    After twenty years of hearing various shallow spokespersons say “we need a national conversation”, it appears to me that for some, what they really meant, was “we need the nation to agree with me“. Pathetic.

    One strong point made by Mr Burke, was that results of opinion polls on ‘social issues’ don’t usually get segmented down into tallies for individual electorates.

    I think he was suggesting to Fran that on many issues, opinions diverge widely across Australia.


  60. Brian at 10.53 pm.

    You mentioned that “richer folk tended to vote YES”.

    Just a tangential observation: a Malaysian told me a couple of decades ago, that “as soon as the average per capita income in a (Muslim) nation rises above $US 5000, the appeal of fundamentalism declines.”

    Not sure if that was based on sociological analysis.
    They were responding to my question about the prospects of a small, fundamentalist Party…..

  61. Ambi adjoining electorate Blaxland was 74% No. I was about to make some dumb assumptions but thought to look at the electorates demographics. It seems that the high incidence of Catholicism and Islam are the drivers of the No vote in that area. The website is really useful. I’m going to be spending a lot of time there.

    What came out clearly to me is the very small number of people involved in manufacturing. Now that might seem like manufacturing does not matter, but the reality is that manufacturing is the most highly automated enterprise sector (read multiplier) other than computer number crunching dominated sectors (accounts). What that means is that looking at manufacturing positions is a measure of economic strength (if the manufacturing jobs decline there will be a huge amount of product missing from the retail sector or there is a surge of imports).

    Anyway very interesting to me.

  62. Yes, BilB the Catholic Church clearly and strongly opposed same sex marriage. Is there a map of Catholic adherents, electorate by electorate?

    As far as I’m concerned, religious believers are entitled to hold their own views of marriage. But imposing those views on others, well….. that’s where difficulties arise, IMO.

    Interesting about manufacturing.
    Certainly there’s a multiplier effect.
    Here in Victoria, enormous attention paid to the direct job losses at Hazelwood, for Engie employees and contractors.

    But very difficult to quantify the multiplier effect on other jobs: milk bars, cafes, schools, medical practices, builders, real estate agents, ……

    It may take a while to show up, because some of the older Hazelwood exes may spend up big, locally, using their redundancy payouts. Crunch time still a year away?

  63. The first would ensure civil marriage celebrants would be able to conscientiously object to marrying a gay couple.

    Surely they should also be allowed to conscientiously object to marrying a coloured couple, or an asian couple, or two red heads?
    Why don’t we just establish a register of bigots.
    Then gays, Jews, Irish etc would know not to disturb them by trying to give them business.

  64. Definition of bigoted in English:


    Obstinately or unreasonably attached to a belief, opinion, or faction, and intolerant towards other people’s beliefs and practices.</blockquote>

    Zoot, you’d be on that register.
    But it’s about religious beliefs, what religion teaches marriage isn’t for red heads, Asians ,blacks, Jews or Irish ?

    In any event, trade of goods or services must be voluntary for both parties. If 1 party disagrees with terms then the transaction is obliged morally not to proceed.
    Apply this to any transaction.
    Take for example the ancient noble trade of prostitution, should a straight male prostitute be legally forced to provide service to a man against his will ?

  65. No, J

    Look at zoot 12.12 again:
    “ensure civil marriage celebrants…”

    What the zootmeister mentioned was about secular celebrants, not religious officials.

    You have heard of acivil celebrant, haven’t you?
    The celebrant you hire when you DON’T want your ceremony held in a synagogue, temple, church, mosque,….


    BTW, is a contribution like mine here, an example of
    sharking the Jump???


  66. I’m constantly confounded and extremely curious by the totally contradictory views some folk have about simple trade.

  67. Jeez Jumpy, I would have thought the invisible hand of the market would have made any laws guaranteeing someone’s right to discriminate against their customers redundant.

  68. And while I’m here Jumpster, I’d appreciate some examples of my obstinate or unreasonable attachment to a belief, opinion, or faction, and my intolerance towards other people’s beliefs and practices.
    As I recall, you are the only commenter on this blog who has called for another commenter to be banned.

  69. Jump

    I was responding specifically to this, within yours of 4.38pm today, [in the Year of Our Lord 2017, inshallah, all my work done for God, praise be]; which I took to be an attack upon a statement of zoot at 12.12:

    But it’s about religious beliefs,…. “

    Thus Wrote Jumpy

    Perhaps I misunderstood your meaning?

    You seemed to be suggesting that bigotry is only ever held against particular religious beliefs.

    And yet the definition you cite, says:

    intolerant towards other people’s beliefs and practices

    Note: not ‘religious beliefs’, just ‘beliefs’.


  70. mr a
    I made a clear distinction between religious discrimination and ideological discrimination plus, as a bonus, trade discrimination.
    Sorry you missed it.

  71. Zoot
    Evidence I called for someone to be banned please.
    But the usual diversion tactics are getting sad and old.

    The subject brought up by mr a, and you commented on before me, was conscientious discrimination be made illegal or not.
    I believe it should NOT be, what say you?

  72. The subject brought up by mr a, and you commented on before me, was conscientious discrimination be made illegal or not.

    1) discrimination is already illegal, conscientious or not (and the subject was brought up by Brian). Nobody is trying to make it illegal and
    2) religious bodies already have exemptions to anti-discrimination laws.
    You appear to be arguing for a change to the law so that any bigotry will be protected as long as it’s “Conscientious”.
    Do you think bigotry is generally a good thing? Do you have any historical examples where bigotry led to an improvement in society’s general well-being? (hint: Germany, 1933 is not a good example).

  73. Oh, apologies your highness, I didn’t answer the previous question completely.
    3) I agree that discrimination against people on the basis of their gender, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual preference, religious belief (is there anything I’ve missed?) should be illegal.

  74. and until further notice, I will not be commenting on the practices of male prostitutes, m’Lud.

    the artist once known as Mr A.

  75. And there it is,

    3) I agree that discrimination against people on the basis of their gender, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual preference, religious belief (is there anything I’ve missed?) should be illegal.

    So if you walk into a shop ( your obviously the money part of the transaction) and discriminate by choosing consciously the Australian made product over the Chinese made product, that should be illegal.
    Bigot ( your twisted definition) you are .
    Got it.

  76. zoot, when that guy is at work, he (or part thereof) is likely to be straight, in the geometrical sense.

    The Geometer Fomerly Known as Mr A

  77. Another example,
    You want to hire a bricklayer ( again you’re the money side )
    2 applicants show up.
    A 25 year old black man with no experience and a 65 year old Asian woman with 10 years experience.
    Do you discriminate or hire them both for half the hours each ?

  78. So if you walk into a shop ( your obviously the money part of the transaction) and discriminate by choosing consciously the Australian made product over the Chinese made product, that should be illegal.

    What? Have you any idea how gormless that argument is?
    When did products for sale become people (I specifically cited people, just as the legislation does)? Which heading does “country of manufacture” fall under – ethnicity, sexual preference, gender, age, disability or religious belief?
    By your definition people who prefer Vegemite are bigots, as are people who prefer Marmite.
    If you were only half as smart at you think you are, you’d still be at least four times smarter than you actually are. Give that library card a work-out. Please.

  79. I’ve had more enlightening exchanges with a back fence, and the fence was more forthcoming with answers.

  80. Another example,
    You are an Orthodox Jew that owns a catering business ( you’re the service side now ) and a lesbian hitler group want you to serve pig in a spit.
    Will you be a bigot ( your twisted definition). ?

  81. Back To The Dictionary Corner

    J, may I call you J?
    Not too informal?
    Too brief?
    I think we’re on initial terms, J.

    “discrimination” has several meanings, and perhaps you are confusing two of the meanings….

    “To discriminate” can be part of an act where a person chooses between alternatives. Dunno about you, but if I’m buying peaches, I will tend to choose the non-rotting ones. I will discriminate between those on offer, possibly discriminate between shops if there’s a choice.

    That is related to the phrase “taste and discrimination”: someone says that person X has a good eye for fine artistic or literary works. Person X chooses. Person X decides which art to buy, or which art exhibition to attend. “Each to his own (taste)”. Those choices are personal, individual; you may think snobby.

    But the rejected artist doesn’t complain that she has been discriminated against; she adores the free market in which her works are put forth for people’s consideration. The art exhibition that is poorly attended doesn’t take a case to some Anti-Discrimination Tribunal.

    Then there’s that meaning associated with unfair employment practices, prejudice against a racial or religious group, physical violence against an ethnic or religious – or heaven help us – a disabled man in a wheelchair. Refusing to serve an Aboriginal because of his ancestry. Refusing to offer rental accommodation to Negroes (Trump Snr, they allege). Trundling millions off to death camps. Refusing to employ Catholics (Melbourne, 1930s), shooting professionally qualified adults (Cambodia, Pol Pot). Look, it’s a sorry history in many ways, this human story.

    But once you recognise the disgusting nature of this type of behaviour, well, you can support (or work to improve) things like Anti-discrimination laws, UN Declarations, etc.

    Or you can choose a different path.

    Which side are you on, J?

  82. Haha, that old crap, ” accused them for what you do, your side will love it ” schtick.
    There’s a comedy podcast site with your name on it zoot, lol..

  83. J

    If you were a lesbian Hitler group you would simply be wasting your time going to that caterer.*

    So if you had any sense, you would not approach him/her.

    Your mention of “hitler” may come under the Godwin’s Law.
    And I don’t mean Grech.

    This correspondence is now closed.

    * and if you had any sense of history or shame, you would not use the name ‘hitler’ FFS

  84. A, you make a distinction we’re there is no difference.

    Another example,
    You’re an entity that has 50/50 gender policy and 10 positions vacant, 20 applicants in a blind test and the best 15 are women.
    Who do you hire ?

  85. There’s a comedy podcast site with your name on it zoot, lol..

    What on earth are you talking about? Are you pissed intoxicated?

  86. No zoot.
    In answer to the ? you asked for at 8:23, ethnicity was the discrimination .

    That’s 2 answered, your turn.

  87. So a Bond’s T-shirt made in China has Chinese ethnicity while a Bond’s T-shirt made in Vietnam has Vietnamese ethnicity?
    Donald Trump’s MAGA caps (Chinese made) are ethnic Chinese?
    You are seriously offering that as an argument?

    What’s the weather like on your planet?

  88. I have ceased my correspondence on this topic with *****, but if anyone else cares, I retain my right to be horrified by ethnic cleansing, political murders, torture, and the elimination of many millions of Jews, gypsies, Slavs and “mentally deficient” people under the rule of, and foreign invasions by, the National Socialist Party in Germany.

    In some cases, emotion is a guide to policy and action.


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