Saturday salon 14/7

1. A ray of light

A highlight for me this week was listening to the many segments on ABC RN themed with NAIDOC Week, where the theme was Because of her, we can. Fellahs too, including Archie Roach: a life in song. I loved his cosmology in explaining The Dreaming. We all come from star dust, and to star dust we will return. Straight out of Brian Cox, but he feels it in every molecule of his body, fundamentally feels connected with all living things, and wants to share. Like Buddhism, really.

The week ended with Fred Chaney on Self-determination and respect for remote indigenous communities. It reminded me of when Liberals could be liberals before John Howard got rid of all the ‘wets’. No doubt it was the party apparatchiks, but I prefer to blame John Howard for everything.

Chaney says current Labor and the Coalition are dedicated to destroying each other. There was a time, he said, when there was a bit of respect.

He also seems to think the Commonwealth public service is arrogant, paternalistic, even racist, but in any case entirely dysfunctional, unable to undertake any complex task, and certainly none that involve engaging with and empowering a target group. He also said that Turnbull’s response to the Uluru statement was like being slapped in the face with a dead fish.

2. Local politics is gruesome

Worst in the week was probably Mark Latham becoming one of the great Labor rats of history by attacking Bill Shorten in a robocall spiel authorised by Pauline Hanson in the Longman bi-election.

Longman is a conservative seat, so I’d be a little surprised if Labor won. It might encourage Turnbull to go early to the election.

Shorten has said he’ll leave the personal attacks to Latham, Turnbull, Hanson and Leyonhjelm.

Now Latham has attacked Leyonhjelm, saying he should get out of the bedroom and leave Senator Hanson-Young alone.

There is speculation now that Latham might run for One Nation for the senate in NSW. As Chris Bowen says:

    “We know how this story ends,”…

    “Mark Latham has fallen out with everyone he’s ever worked with and Pauline Hanson has fallen out with everyone she’s ever worked with.”

3. The strange case of Witness K

Lizzie O’Shea writes about Witness K and foreign interference hypocrisy

We bugged the cabinet room of Timor Leste so that we could dud them on negotiations about oil, right? Well, it was clearly wrong, it stunk, but a whistle-blower who wants to tell what happened, and his lawyer, are likely to be locked up under punitive security laws passed with Labor consent.

Andrew Wilkie says that if he spilled the beans now the way he did way back then about the Iraq war, he could be locked up for 10 years and no-one could even talk about it.

Andrew Wilkie won’t shut up, thankfully, and now Wilkie says senior government officials who organised the bugging were the “real criminals”. He and three other politicians have referred the matter formally to the AFP:

    “There’s no way the Police Commissioner can ignore a referral from three Australian senators and one Member of the House of Representatives,” Mr Wilkie said.

    “Today is a day of reckoning.”

    Mr Wilkie has enlisted the support of Tasmanian Greens senator Nick McKim and South Australian crossbenchers Tim Storer and Rex Patrick in referring the matter to the AFP.

Witness K’s lawyer being charged is:

    Mr Collaery, who is a former ACT attorney-general, has described the charges against him as “heartbreaking”.

    A conviction would mean he would be prevented from practising law.

    He has fiercely criticised Attorney-General Christian Porter for allowing the charges to be laid, describing the whole process as a threat to freedom of speech.

Malcolm Turnbull will be seen by history as ruthless and untroubled by ethical principles. Chalk this up as another one for his legacy.

4. Peta Credlin wrote a book

There is a story going around that MUP has a new book by Peta Credlin called On Character. Here’s the cover:

If you Google you get a link to MUP, but it doesn’t find anything. So it’s either fake news, or it’s forthcoming in their “On” series.

Someone suggested there is a typo and it should be On Caricature. Someone else has a few suggestions:

      Kevin Rudd – On Humility

      Peter Dutton – On Compassion

      Barnaby Joyce – On Fidelity

      Mark Latham – On Loyalty

Here’s an image I like:

There’s a similar or even better one in the AFR, but the photo ended up on the cover of Niki Savva’s The Road to Ruin, which sold out in an hour, and was very much about character.

5. Political strategy

Fairfax-Ipsos published a poll of polls for this year, where the combined samples are big enough to mean something in the mainland states. This is how it turned out:

It could cost the LNP 16 seats, 9 in Queensland. I believe Newspoll did a similar summary, which I can’t find, but similarly disturbing for those inhabiting the treasury benches.

Laura Tingle says Turnbull is a problem solver. So the GST changes were to buy votes in WA and massive defence contracts are supposed to keep SA voters in the tent.

So that leaves an election to fight on the eastern seaboard.

Not sure what his strategy is there, but I’ve made a tag for Kill Bill.

[A pity the tags don’t work as a search toll apart from the selected cloud on the RHS sidebar, but we live in hope.]

Meanwhile Kevin Bonham asks whether seat polling is utterly useless. Pretty much, it seems. He says don’t ignore them completely, but I have ignored them ever since they predicted Kevin Rudd to lose his seat by 10 points in 2013.

6. Trump on tour

I think I’ll do a separate post, but here’s David Rowe’s take:

Clearly a man who loves his work.

38 thoughts on “Saturday salon 14/7”

  1. This is a photo of Potsdamer Platz, or more correctly the shopping centre there:

    Here’s photo from the Platz. It was Sunday, when the shops are closed and the place was deserted.

  2. Brian (Re: 1. A ray of light):

    We all come from star dust, and to star dust we will return. Straight out of Brian Cox, but he feels it in every molecule of his body, fundamentally feels connected with all living things, and wants to share. Like Buddhism, really.

    In ABC’s Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery: Brian Cox, broadcast Wed, 16 May 2018, link here, from time interval 6:42, Brian Cox says Carl Sagan was one of his great heroes.

    Carl Edward Sagan (born 9 November 1934, died 20 December 1996, was an American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, science popularizer, and science communicator in astronomy and other natural sciences) said:

    “The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies was made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of star stuff.”

    Another poignant quote from Sagan:

    “Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.”

    Which leads to another Sagan quote:

    “Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds wide awake and a basic understanding of how the world works.”

  3. Danke Brian

    My school days German is woefully inadequate. Had to ask someone to translate your “Bitte sehr”.

    Wiedersehen!

  4. Ambi, my parents spoke a German dialect, I think known as Barossa German, but they gave up speaking German during WW2. I learnt it as a foreign language, did three years university and some honours work. My German should be a lot better than it is, but I learnt it through the literature rather than spoken German.

    Here’s an aerial of Potsdamer Platz from Wikipedia:

    The big circular building is the Sony Centre, quite unusual.

    The history from that link illustrates what a multicultural place Berlin was, right from its foundation.

  5. GM
    This is the place to discuss random issues.
    Ask away.
    However, don’t be surprised if I disengage when the disingenuous Alinsky crap starts flowing.
    Being specific to topic and definitions is also helpful.

  6. However, don’t be surprised if I disengage when the disingenuous Alinsky crap starts flowing.

    Gee thanks Jump, I’d not heard of Alinsky before.
    Apparently there’s a lot of disinformation about him.
    This wouldn’t be the crap you’re referring to, would it?

  7. Rules for radicals zoot, you know exactly what is referred to.
    Exhibit B your Honour.

    And you’re on a time out from me for mendacity.
    Have a lovely week.

  8. Rules for radicals zoot, you know exactly what is referred to.

    Err, no I don’t, and your insistence that you can read my mind is getting tedious.
    When you wrote “disingenuous Alinsky crap” were you referring to “How to create a social state”, which according to Snopes was not written by Alinsky and has nothing to do with “Rules for Radicals”.

  9. GM
    This is tedious and unproductive.

    I see you are still avoiding the questions:

    My comment was on energy policy for the 4th time.

    On your hypocrisy, I think definitely 5 and maybe 2 more of the 15 examples of low argumentative tactics in the list you linked to.
    Others may decide to look into it but I doubt it, life’s to short to waste on that trivially.
    They’ll most probably rest on the tribal side regardless.

  10. Mr J
    I’m on time out? Really? Are you going to make me sit on the naughty step? Or are you going to ground me?

    I’ve had the chance to read the Wikipedia page on “Rules for Radicals” and while I think Alinsky’s tactics are valid I also believe the criticisms of them are well founded and point to a more effective way of promoting change.
    I’m also intrigued that at least one ultra conservative Tea Party group has found his thinking persuasive.
    I could never be a disciple of Alinsky; I’m far to averse to conflict, but I can understand how his ideas would have informed Obama’s community organising. For me this post sums up why activists like Alinsky arose in the USA.
    And I’m still wondering what relevance community organising has to your refusal to address Geoff’s questions on the other thread.

  11. Zoot, we’ve talked about Alinsky in the past, remember ?

    No. (obviously)
    How about linking to the supposed discussion.

  12. Jump (Re: JULY 15, 2018 AT 6:23 PM):

    This is tedious and unproductive.

    Why? I posit it’s because you can’t respond with logical arguments and evidence to defend your ill-informed ideology and unsubstantiated statements.

    On your hypocrisy, I think definitely 5 and maybe 2 more of the 15 examples of low argumentative tactics in the list you linked to.

    You haven’t bothered to identify the specific statements of mine you allege are hypocritical, and linked them to any of the “15 examples of low argumentative tactics in the list“, explaining how they are linked with logical argument.

    You seem to just make stuff up without justification.

  13. Geoff, ask a question, what you posit is not the reality.
    Ask away, I’ll be on for about 30 mins.

  14. Jump (Re: JULY 15, 2018 AT 7:18 PM):

    Geoff, ask a question, what you posit is not the reality.

    You are still evading my challenges to justify your statements.

  15. 5 times now I’ve told you that my statement that subsidies and political interference is detrimental to energy supply and prices was said in relation to energy supply and prices, the “undeniable economic arguments” as you yourself put it.

    I only get trolled for so long bloke till I refuse to reply.

  16. Ambigulous:
    Green with envy. 🙂
    Think Berlin was a Wendisch (Sorb or Western Slav) settlement originally., then the Saxons/Germans and all the participants in the Northern Crusade (against the heathen Prussians and Lithuanians) moved in; King Fred the Great made it a refuge for fellow Protestants (Hugenots from France). Dutch, Danish, Bohemian, Polish and Heinz 57 varieties of Germans (Christian and Jewish) headed there so it ended up a pretty diverse city.

    Hope you have a ton of fun there.

  17. Graham, Ambi, a couple of paragraphs from a thing I wrote a few years ago:

      From 1175 AD Germans moved into Silesia, which forms the south-east extrusion in the middle of the map. Liegnitz is smack in the middle. To the north-east we see Preussen (Prussia) where the Teutonic Knights subdued and Christianised the local Baltic population with great carnage from 1226.

      Earlier than both of those on the northern plain between the Elbe and the Oder rivers, Brandenburg, the precursor of Prussia, emerged from contested movement into Slavic areas from the 10th to the 12th centuries. This move began with Henry the Fowler (father of Otto the Great) taking the fortress of Brandenburg from the Slavs in 929 and was finally consolidated by Albert the Bear who became Margrave of Brandenburg in 1157. He and his successors continued conquering, colonizing, Christianising, and cultivating lands as far east as the Oder. Within this area German and Slavic people intermarried. Christopher Clark in his amazing history of Prussia Iron Kingdom tells us that people also came from France, the Netherlands, northern Italy and England to settle there. In this melting pot Clark also tells us that pockets of Slavic-speaking Wends (Western Slavs) remained into the 20th century.

    Berlin was basically a swamp, but from the time the Germans took over it was a very multi-cult place.

  18. Zoot (Re: JULY 16, 2018 AT 11:02 PM):

    Thanks for the link. Funny at first, then it became more and more frightening – the duped/pranked people shown seem serious (and not very bright).

    Philip Van Cleave, President of the Virginia Citizen’s Defense League says at time interval 1:55, referring to young children (bold text my emphasis):

    Yeah, they haven’t quite developed ah… what we call conscience, where you… you feel guilty about doing something wrong – that’s developing. They’re learning right and wrong. If they haven’t developed that yet, they can be very effective soldiers.

    Chilling! It reminds me of the quote attributed to Aristotle:

    “Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man.”

    Congressman Joe Walsh tries to explain how he was duped by Sacha Baron Cohen.

  19. Danke schoen, Brian and Graham

    We are on a whistle stop tour.
    Very good.

    Keep up your good work!

  20. Interesting contrast of approaches on the same issue.
    One is about giving back, to grown adults, more freedom.
    The other is a money grab and expansion of Government.

    I’m going with the first approach.

  21. One is about giving back, to grown adults, more freedom.

    That’s an interesting interpretation of a bill which absolves the Commonwealth of all responsibility and makes the States solely responsible for the regulation of cannabis use. It seems to be based on the assumption that the States would not institute a money grab and expansion of Government.

  22. Hmm, my reading of DLs proposal is that the Fed is kept out of it, that’s it. What the States do is up to them.
    The greens idea ( not even a bill to put up yet ) is a thumping big new Federal bureaucracy and tax stream.
    As for the greens “ less cost of law enforcement “ bs, if you refuse to pay the tax the same punitive costs are applied.

    Unless, of course, folk have a habit of declaring income and paying GST from the sale of weed.

    Maybe you have, but I’m sceptical.

  23. Jumpy: I am a strong supporter of replacing banning with controlled legalization of a range of drugs. However the last thing we need is Big Cannabis promoting the use of the drug. We have seen the damage done by Big Tobacco, Big Booze and Big Gambling promoting the use of their products.
    Capitalism is good at growing a business. However, what we need with harmful drugs is legal supply that does not encourage increased or irresponsible use.

  24. John
    You seem to dislike any BIG other than BIG Government ( and it’s promotion) can be harmful. And want it to get Bigger.

    On the contrary, Big Health could be seen as harmful with highly regulated prescription medications negative outcomes. Deaths to prescription medication was, it least in Victoria, way above illegal drugs.

    Our highly regulated Defence Force and Fire Sevices FFAS contamination.

    And we’ve touched on Government mandated use of asbestos and lead based paint.

    At least with Capitalism we’re free to choose ourselves as individuals what is best for ourselves, if that turns out to be not optimal then we adjust individually.

  25. Jumpy: Big capital, big advertising helped by big law making it very expensive to challenge the actions of big capital.
    You say:

    At least with Capitalism we’re free to choose ourselves as individuals what is best for ourselves

    Only works if you have the information, time and skills required to make optimal decisions.

  26. Jump:
    You seem to believe that Capitalism gives us choices. Of course it does. Mostly Hobson’s Choices. Or, if they are really generous: choices between horrible and abominable.

    Capitalism is the enemy of enterprise and enlightenment, of innovation and progress.

    The sooner Capitalism goes the way of its mirror-image in evil, Communism, the happier, healthier and wealthier we all will be.

  27. John

    Big capital, big advertising helped by big law making it very expensive to challenge the actions of big capital.

    Compared to challenging Big Bureaucracy in Big Government that control the Biggest Capital, biggest advertisers and Biggest lawyers?

    GB

    Capitalism is the enemy of enterprise and enlightenment, of innovation and progress.

    I disagree with that 100%.
    And let me be clear, I’ve always talked of free market Capitalism not so-called “ crony Capitalism “
    The latter does indeed do the things you say and is facilitated by Big Government.

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