Weekly salon 6/1

1. Australians care if politicians tell lies, but people in the US don’t

Stephan Lewandowsky and others undertook a study which found the people in Australia cared if politicians told the truth, and were likely to take notice of fact checks. When they did the same study in the US they found the effect was 10 times less.

They speculate that this is because politics is much more polarised in the US.

2. Donald Trump will not go quietly like Nixon

Impeachment is a two-step process: first, the House of Representatives votes to impeach, then the accused official is put on trial before the Senate. A two-thirds vote in the Senate is needed to sustain impeachment, resulting in removal from office.

In 1974 three articles of impeachment were approved by the House. Nixon was advised that the Senate judgement would be unanimous.

    Nixon stepped down on Aug. 9, 1974. One month later, he was preemptively pardoned of all federal offenses arising from Watergate by his former Vice President Gerald Ford, who succeeded him as the nation’s 38th commander-in-chief. Nixon was able to recede from the limelight, disgraced but free.

Although Pence would likely do the same for Trump, the article says Trump will hang on to the bitter end:

    Trump will remain until the bitter end and seek reelection, not because he is a man of courage and principle, but because he has no other safe personal option.

A presidential pardon is limited to federal offenses. An offense that violates a state law is not an offense against the United States.

    At present, there are at least three major investigations underway in New York that ultimately could lead to criminal charges against Trump. They include investigations opened by New York City and New York state for tax fraud, as well as probes of the recently shuttered Trump Foundation for self-dealing, money laundering and illegal coordination with the Trump presidential campaign. The president could also be implicated by the district attorney’s office in Manhattan, which is looking into whether the Trump Organization falsified business records to hide his hush payments to Daniels and McDougal.

By convention, however, state authorities wait until a president leaves office even if that means he benefits from a statute of limitations.

While there is already enough on the record to impeach Trump, I understand that Nancy Pelosi, the new Democrat Speaker of the House, will not move against Trump unless she knows that Republicans in the Senate will back her. She is also waiting for what Robert Mueller comes up with.

Mueller seems to have done plea bargains with some pretty big fish, which indicates he is hunting even bigger fish. This episode of Russia if you’re listening looks at who Mueller is hiring. He has brought in 20 lawyers with expertise covering financial crime, bribery, money laundering, public corruption, Russian espionage and national security. He has also hired people with experience in arguing cases before the Supreme Court.

Looks like the fun is just beginning. And now the House of Representative under Democrat leadership of the committee process will start to get busy too.

3. I was a cable guy. I saw the worst of America.

    A glimpse of the suburban grotesque, featuring Russian mobsters, Fox News rage addicts, a caged man in a sex dungeon, and Dick Cheney.

Lauren Hough is a six-feet tall lesbian who looks a bit like a man, who:

    was born in Berlin and raised in seven countries, and West Texas. She’s been an Air Force airman, a green-aproned barista, a bartender, a livery driver and, for a time, a cable tech. Her work has appeared in Granta, Wrath Bearing Tree and The Guardian. She lives in Austin, Texas.

In this piece she relates experiences she encountered in people’s houses in Virginia where she worked as a cable tech for 10 years. It’s over 6000 words, but I think essential if you want to understand America.

On one occasion a man had been particularly rude to her. Workers installing a swimming pool next door had cut the cable. While he was ranting she saw his wife, repeatedly wiping a clean bench.

Then filling out paperwork in the van there was a knock on the window. The woman was polite and called her “ma’am”:

    She said she was sorry about him. I said, “It’s fine.” I said there really wasn’t anything I could do. She blinked back the flood of tears she’d been holding since God knows when. She said, “It’s just, when he has Fox, he has Obama to hate. If he doesn’t have that …” She kept looking over her shoulder. She was terrified of him. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I just need him to have Fox.”

On another case a woman was reluctant for her to go down into the basement. She said:

    “Do you really? It’s just it’s a mess.”

Lauren replied:

    “Unless you have a kid in a cage, I don’t fucking care.”

Turned out she had a man in a cage:


    Blue-collar customers were always my favorite. They don’t treat you like a servant. They don’t tell you, “We like the help to use the side door.” They don’t assume you’re an idiot just because you wear a name tag to work and your hands are calloused. The books on their shelves aren’t bound in leather. But the spines are cracked. Most of them, when you turn on the TV, it’s not set to Fox. They’re the only customers who tip.

In the end she hurt her ankle, had surgery, it didn’t heal properly, but couldn’t get disability because the HR section of the firm had effectively disappeared. So now she’s back working in a gay bar.

4. Mark Zuckerberg should resign

For several years now Mark Zuckerberg has been promising to fix Facebook, having admitted that he has responsibility for what is posted there and how the facility can be used for purposes which are anti-social to say the least, including organising genocide. The Guardian asked a range of experts. Their advice? ‘Resign from Facebook’: experts offer Mark Zuckerberg advice for 2019.

There is heaps he should do, but he won’t, so he should go.

5. Budget atrocities continue

Here in Oz, our government would have us believe that the budget is in the best shape in years. However, budget cuts continue. Remember back in the 2013 election campaign, when Kevin Rudd told us an Abbott government would “cut, cut, and cut to the bone”. He was right. Before Christmas Leaks show Border Force slashing airport staff at Christmas as budget cuts bite:

    The Australian Border Force is quietly slashing staff numbers at airports over the busy Christmas period and is believed to have suspended a fleet of boats supposed to protect the nation’s northern waters, in cost-cutting moves that insiders say threaten national security.

    The cuts to critical frontline operations, which critics have blamed on “catastrophic” budget blowouts, raise further questions about the performance of the quasi-military organisation following reports that it is plagued by a toxic culture of bullying and harassment.

The workforce has been progressively casualised, and now has been cut by up to two-thirds in some areas.

Now as Health Minister Greg Hunt’s announced of $10 million in funding for human trials of a UQ-developed dementia treatment, the Government is ripping $56 million out of Queensland university research, including $31 million from UQ. That’s part of an Australia wide cut worth $328.5 million across Australia over four years. That affects our universities’ global rankings, making it harder to compete for international students. Education is our third biggest export earner, apart from the investment return of the actual research.

6. Adani blames the Queensland Government

Adani points blame at Queensland Government as major mine delayed again.

However, State Government won’t be rushed and has told the company to go back to the drawing board on a controversial groundwater management plan.

Labor is planning a package of measures to guide the transition away from coal that will be triggered by of a more ambitious emissions reduction target, including the creation of a new statutory authority to oversee the transition and the programs intended to ameliorate it.

The Greens, as is customary, are more direct, simplistic and in fact political in proposing legislation making it illegal to dig, burn or ship thermal coal by 2030.

Now Larissa Waters apparently has a bill to ban mining in Galilee directly. Ian Macfarlane, who now represents mining interests says the bill is attention seeking and bound to fail.

He’s probably right. Such a bill would trigger sovereign risk and compensation claims. It’s purpose is political – to try to win inner city seats from Labor.

109 thoughts on “Weekly salon 6/1”

  1. Brian: Part of what the Greens have to do is “redefine reasonable.”

    The Greens, as is customary, are more direct, simplistic and in fact political in proposing legislation making it illegal to dig, burn or ship thermal coal by 2030.

    Banning thermal coal completely by 2030 may be unreasonable in your mind but the 2030 campaign makes banning by 2040 looks more reasonable because the Greens are going for 2030. Without the 2030 campaign 2040 looks a lot less reasonable.
    Given the speed with which renewable power can be installed I think a 12 yr warning of a thermal shutdown is not unreasonable as long as byproduct thermal from a met coal mine can still be sold.

  2. I’m still waiting for the activists to understand that the phrases “always was, always will be, Aboriginal land!” and “sovereignty was never ceded” will SINK any indigenous referendum once the LNP draws the floating voters attention to them.

  3. John, I think we have to get to zero net emissions by 2030 or earlier, if possible. It’s just that you never hear it from the Greens, although it is their policy. What you get looks like opportunistic stunts rather than part of a coherent plan.

  4. Brian

    Every time the CO2 debate goes beyond electricity generation, Barnaby jumps up saying “The greenies want to cull our cattle herds, make us all go vegan, lock up the rivers, decimate country towns, close down the timber industry,….”

    And no-one seems to answer him, even though national totals show that transport and agriculture and manufacturing each makes a sizeable contribution to our net emissions.

    Transport and agriculture. …. fertile areas for big cuts without culling? Manufacturing energy sources converted to solar electricity?

  5. Brian: In terms of the next election/emissions what really counts is what the parties are proposing to do during the next term of government is what really counts. 2030 targets are a meaningless diversion.

  6. Yes John

    And it appears the PM’s plan is to do not very much at all since he frequently claims that

    Australia is on track to meet its Paris emissions targets in a canter.

    Some horse!
    Some canter!!

  7. Ambigulous (Re: JANUARY 7, 2019 AT 2:13 PM)

    And it appears the PM’s plan is to do not very much at all since he frequently claims that

    Australia is on track to meet its Paris emissions targets in a canter.

    From the IPCC SR1.5°C FAQ 2.1 (bold text my emphasis):

    Countries that formally accept or ‘ratify’ the Paris Agreement submit pledges for how they intend to address climate change. Unique to each country, these pledges are known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Different groups of researchers around the world have analysed the combined effect of adding up all the NDCs. Such analyses show that current pledges are not on track to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. If current pledges for 2030 are achieved but no more, researchers find very few (if any) ways to reduce emissions after 2030 sufficiently quickly to limit warming to 1.5°C. This, in turn, suggests that with the national pledges as they stand, warming would exceed 1.5°C, at least for a period of time, and practices and technologies that remove CO2 from the atmosphere at a global scale would be required to return warming to 1.5°C at a later date.

    A world that is consistent with holding warming to 1.5°C would see greenhouse gas emissions rapidly decline in the coming decade, with strong international cooperation and a scaling up of countries’ combined ambition beyond current NDCs. In contrast, delayed action, limited international cooperation, and weak or fragmented policies that lead to stagnating or increasing greenhouse gas emissions would put the possibility of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels out of reach.

    Australia’s carbon emissions are going up, not down. So ScoMo is telling fibs. So if Australians care about politicians lying then it suggests ScoMo’s future prospects beyond the next election are likely poor. Or do you think ScoMo will be forgiven?

  8. “Cheats Never Prosper”

    or so our primary teachers used to tell us kiddies in the 1950s.

  9. 🙂

    One of them had a bottle in a brown paper bag under his desk. Grade 4. It took a friend’s Mum to point out that teacher’s thirst. At the age of 9 I didn’t understand what she was saying.

    He was keen on spelling and arithmetic, as were his colleqgues. I don’t recall any slurring of his speech.

    He had a barber’s strap hanging on a nail on the classroom wall. He threatened us with “the strap”. I don’t recall it being used. He taught me to abhor capital (and corporal) punishment.

    Second half of the 1950s, suburban State Primary School, in the reign of Queen Victoria – or one of her descendants.

  10. Ahh, reminiscing about primary school…
    I am young enough to have had a proper hippie teacher for years 5, 6 and 7, same one.
    She and I got along brilliantly. The most enjoyable 3 years of my education by far.

    Then high school happened 🙁

  11. You youngsters don’t know how lucky you are! Actually, Jumpy, looks like you do know.

    I didn’t hear about hippies until I’d left high school.

  12. Grade 4 teacher was blessed with

    not colleqges.

    As mentioned, he was a keen speller.

    Some of his former students need to do better, and improve their spelling!!

  13. She was a hippie alright, Hotel California and Moon Shadow were part of our music curriculum that we all sung in unison every week 🙂

    Years later I worked on a trout boat with a Bloke that regularly sold bush weed to her and her husband.
    Back in those days a sales transaction consisted of a sesh before cash.
    Good egg she was.

    She end up Principal for my year 7.

  14. A “sesh before cash”?
    Please explain.

    …. and is bush weed a non-indigenous plant species?

    Prof A
    Botany Dept.

  15. Had a WWI officer as my 4th class teacher. He used me as the school speech maker which helped build up my speaking confidence. Also used me to talk about things to the class that I had found out things about. Gave him time to do his paperwork. (He was also the headmaster.)
    Envy your time with the hippie teacher Jumpy. Hippies appeared after I got married. (All I had to do to become a recognized radical was to grow a beard – much harder for my kids to become recognized radicals.)

  16. Just to let you know I’m still here. We had a fire at our place yesterday. The electric motor that pumps the pool water through the filter caught on fire.

    Son Mark was down there having a fag and noticed (he’s not allowed to smoke in the house). My wife threw sand on it to put it out.

    The shed would have caught on fire, where Mark still has 28 boxes of books stored. I had all my mowing equipment there – offloaded to get the ute a good cut and polish job.

    Probably a 10,000 litre water tank would have ended up with a melted side.

    It was only luck that saved us.

    I’m working on a review of climate science via the numbers, based on a New Scientist article.

  17. John
    I don’t think she thought of herself as radical at all, it was just herself being as free as she could doing what she liked.
    Perhaps, if I think about it, she was a major libertarian influence in my formative years.

  18. Lucky that Mark is banned from smoking in the house……
    Good to have him feature on the blog – though in an unpredictable way and a very worrying event.

    Onya Mrs B!!
    Congratulations to all quick-thinking and effective “emergency responders”!

  19. Jumpy:

    I don’t think she thought of herself as radical at all, it was just herself being as free as she could doing what she liked.
    Perhaps, if I think about it, she was a major libertarian influence in my formative years.

    Hadn’t thought of the Hippies as libertarians but the Liberal Democrats and the hippies have a shared view about lots of individual freedoms.
    Our hippiest son refers to us as “his hippie parents.” Wife and I don’t feel compelled to conform but my wife’s Christianity and our and the hippiest son’s attitude to helping those at the bottom of the pile and society in general separate us from what you paint as your form of libertarianism.

  20. Libertarians in general prefer individual voluntary charity rather than enforced collective charity.
    The real hippies preferred freedom, giving and love over compulsion, force and penalties.

    My teacher never threatened or punished anyone that I remember. Lots of encouragement a led by example.

    There doesn’t seem to be any anger or animosity generated by the real hippie approach.
    But unfortunately too many of the real hippies grew older and morphed into the moral authoritarians they rebelled against.

  21. Jumpy


    What I’ve heard, in Australian examples at least, was that the idea of an inner-city “commune” (these days called a share house?) or a rural back-to-the-earth “commune”, often foundered on such rocks as
    * sexual jealousy
    * laziness
    * smoking dope instead of weeding and tilling and watering
    * ignorance of horticulture or animal husbandry
    * loss of faith in communitarian ideals
    * the bossy attitudes of a minority

    Well, what can we say?
    Could it be that a strong, fair marriage is a better foundation for individual and group life, in many cases?

    Awfully boojewah.
    Bourgeois conformism!! How uncool, how square!

    I remember the Sixties, and am glad to have been alive then.

  22. There’s a Netflix Doco, “Murder Mountain” which shows what happened to the survivors of some of those rural communes. (Spoiler: they went into marijuana farming)
    As someone who remembers the Sixties, I recommend its depiction of people who were prepared to live by their principles (as opposed to staying put and complaining about the status quo).
    It’s definitely not all sweetness and light.

  23. Thanks zoot, I’ll look into that one.
    Another recent Netflix one to see is “ Free State of Jones.”

    And I don’t care what others say, I liked “ Bird Box “.

  24. Yes, they lived by their principles, zoot.

    and it wasn’t all sweetness and light

    Neither was it for those who stayed put and tried for minor, piecemeal improvements/reforms within more regular or conventional lives.

    But as Saint Malcolm Fraser once preached, “Life wasn’t meant to be easy.”

    Youse bl**dy reap what youse bl**dy sow.
    Hippie, free woman, free man, or conformist.

  25. Here’s a question, what is the most environmentally evil company in the World ?

    Just want to see if, even amongst this tiny group, a consensus can be reached.

  26. “evil” is so old-fashioned, J.

    Too many theological overtones.

    How about a more modern term?

    And why focus on corporations?
    Surely there must be plenty of environmentally careless, destructive, irresponsible governments that do more harm than any company?

  27. We may get to Governments after this Mr A.

    If you have a better terminology than “ evil “ then put it in question form.

    Perhaps we should try and find consensus on the question first, be my guest, I’ll not going to get upset.
    Under 15 words would be good.

  28. Jumpy, I’ve noticed that in posing these questions you never start the discussion by sharing your viewpoint.
    Don’t you have an opinion on the topic you seek to raise?

  29. Hi all and Happy New Year!
    If I can hark back to earlier posts where “old” teachers got some comment… I have been corresponding with my 5th class primary teacher. Now 90+ he actually recalls me and many other things about school in those 1950 days. I told him I was in the US Nov/Dec 2018 and he was interested in how citizens were responding to Trump. He also mentioned that someone he knew had received numerous embarrased apologies for Trump. To answer his question about the attitude of the US people to Trump I gave the following note. Bear in mind I saw only a fraction of the population, I’m biased over Trump and I was there for just three weeks. I visited both west (Washington) and east coast (North Carolina).

    My comment to Roy, my old teacher:
    “About Trump and how he is received in the USA. Nearly all the folk I met were deeply embarrassed by his antics. Seemingly, most were unaware of the broadscale attack on normative politics and democracy – that left me incredulous. I met a couple of dead-set Republicans who thought Trump was a blood relative of a very famous person born around 2,000 years ago. They also had a lot in common with people who were adamant that the earth was flat. But the scary part was that they were absolutely not negotiable with their views in any discussion on any point, and would not concede any point despite clear proven evidence. There is also a link between Fox News and the Trump base. Trumpers only watch Fox, and Fox is in reality, the Trump propaganda machine. Trumps base is apparently ~35% of voters, a similar proportion make up Fox subscribers. I’m ashamed that the ogre behind Fox is Murdoch, who seems to revel in the role of international king-maker.
    I am disappointed that Americans don’t seem to feel the outrage they should, but I think the answer to that is that they have been hoodwinked by the incredible corruption of their democracy by “hand-over-heart” showmanship for so long.
    If you’d like to read a pretty stunning book see: Stone, R. 2013, The Man who Killed Kennedy: The Case against LBJ Skyhorse Publishing, NY. The first 50 pages gives sufficient pause to rethink your early perceptions and drive you to reach for another glass of Pinot. It forces a re-think of years old perceptions and that can be quite uncomfortable.”

    Geoff M I invite you especially to seek out that book (it’s not by the Roger Staone associated with Trump) to find compelling evidence of the corrupt and captured democracy that seems to be the America of today – and yesterday and yesteryear.
    I think that to a lesser extent our political culture shows similarities to the US model, again shaped by a history of powerful masters (I won’t say “elites, they weren’t in the beginning) from colinisation forward.

  30. Geoff Henderson (Re: JANUARY 10, 2019 AT 8:49 AM)

    Geoff M I invite you especially to seek out that book (it’s not by the Roger Staone associated with Trump) to find compelling evidence of the corrupt and captured democracy that seems to be the America of today – and yesterday and yesteryear.

    Why, what particular insights do you think I should be aware of?

    In the description for the book, it includes (bold text my emphasis):

    Consummate political insider Roger Stone makes a compelling case that Lyndon Baines Johnson had the motive, means, and opportunity to orchestrate the murder of JFK. Stone maps out the case that LBJ blackmailed his way on the ticket in 1960 and was being dumped in 1964 to face prosecution for corruption at the hands of his nemesis attorney Robert Kennedy. Stone uses fingerprint evidence and testimony to prove JFK was shot by a long-time LBJ hit man—not Lee Harvey Oswald.

    I saw a doco a few years ago that suggested that JFK was accidentally shot by a secret service agent (apparently still drunk from the previous night’s drinking session) following in the security detail car behind JFK’s car as the motorcade accelerated, in response to the first shot(s) by Oswald, and then the secret service agency covered it up afterwards. Interesting and quite compelling theory.

  31. Geoff M I have been for many years aware that US politics were “orchestrated”, and had been for a long time, beginning perhaps as early as when the great rail roads were being built, the rise of the media moguls, finance gurus and industry. These functions led to dynasties of immense wealth and power. Some are still very evident on the American landscape.
    In my naivety I lost track of how pervasive the captured democracy was. I recall the cold war vividly and the perception of war between USSR and the US being so likely that in the US, schools had attack drills (hide under your desks). JFK stared down the USSR and the world breathed more easily. JFK was all but diefied until fairly recently as the stories about the Kennedy’s emerged.
    Stone’s book outlines the antecedents to Kenedy’s rise and the role played by LBJ. In doing so, it is clear that the actors were not using a blank canvas for their machinations. I think the book is well researched and delivers well reasoned conclusions based upon compleeing evidence that I know you appreciate.

  32. Zoot

    Jumpy, I’ve noticed that in posing these questions you never start the discussion by sharing your viewpoint.
    Don’t you have an opinion on the topic you seek to raise?

    Yes I have an opinion, but to address your first sentence, I haven’t got a solid answer to the question

    what is the most environmentally evil company in the World ?

    Individually we weight different qualities.
    Some may say a certain media outlet has a certain amount of demerit points, some may give Monsanto a certain amount, or the largest coal mining companies, largest co2 investor company, whatever company physically burns the most fossil fuels…etc…
    It’s impossible that they’re all the same company so which is the worst given your individual weighting of each element ?

    Even a top 5 list would help.

    Or was your comment a dodge like Mr A’s ?

  33. Jumpy, your comment sounds like a dodge.
    As for me, I don’t have an opinion because I can’t see the point of wasting time trying to single out one company as the most evil (or the most beautiful or the most caring or the most deviant or the most scrofulous or whatever).
    I have a life.

  34. Well I thought in a space that bitchs and moans about evil corporate environmental vandals ruining the planet on a regular basis that I’d have at least one opinion.

    Too much effort it seems.
    Fair enough I suppose.

  35. As a general rule, I’m not much interested in “worst” or “best” lists.

    I hope that the worst examples of malfeasance will be exposed by the press and/or lead to prosecutions if laws were broken.

    Not much impressed by lynch mobs using Facefist or other conduits.

    Your vague suggestions might lead you to further investigations. Then you could let us know what you find out.

    BTW Jump, do you consider “corporate social responsibility” a complete crock??

  36. No even 1 candidate eh, no attempt at all ?
    And then want me to answer a question.

    Ok, fine.

    BTW Jump, do you consider “corporate social responsibility” a complete crock??

    That’s determined by the individuals that make up “ society “.
    Unless they’re compelled because of an unavoidable corporate monopoly. And I did ask for examples of such entities but that was dodged too.
    And I did ask

  37. Oh, if anyone got a Powerball ticket, best of luck.
    80 mill looks to be the threshold my Wife has for potential gambling winning chance.

  38. I don’t know of ANY unavoidable corporate monopolies, that’s probably why.
    But there was bitching and moaning about them when I asked.

    Don’t pretend you’re interested in honest reciprocal discourse zoot.
    It’s too obvious you’re not.

  39. Jumpy, here’s how your hippie teacher should have taught you to do it:
    Who do people here think is the greatest scientific thinker of the last 200 years?
    I’d vote for Darwin over Einstein because his findings are such an elegant explanation of how species arise. But I’d put Einstein a close second. What do you think?

  40. Apologies Jumpy, I didn’t realise you were actually looking for a stoush; I was under the impression you were seeking (rather clumsily) to start a discussion. Ignore my last comment and replace it with:

    Well I thought in a space that bitchs and moans about evil corporate environmental vandals ruining the planet on a regular basis that I’d have at least one opinion.

    1. Got some examples to back up your assertion?
    2. Maybe you need to ask a different question.

  41. GeoffH, all the best for 2019 to you too. It is always interesting to get feedback from your US trips. And what a privilege to meet your ninety plus 5th class primary teacher Ron. Yeah, the precious formative years and remarkable teachers.

    For me one of the most remarkable thing at school was not necessary a teacher. The first time I discovered the library … worlds literally opened up for me. It was like first time entering a Tardis.

    Growing up all over in Switzerland I had many teachers. At the age of about 8 at State School we had for about 2 years a Steiner School trained teacher named Fritz. He was considered ‘alternative’ by the adults. Looking back he must have unleashed the, what a later teacher coined, ‘renaissance person’ in me. Years later my step-father in law was also high up in the Steiner School and we talk about it. Their focus is on the development of the “hand, mind and heart” of the child in an integrative playful way. Fritz was a vegetarian and always had nuts in his pockets, on which he noshed on, hence his nickname “Nutty”.

    Would loved to talk to “Nutty” now and thank him. It is kind of handy to be mindful and in touch with ones emotion in the rapidly changing and complex worlds we are living.

  42. Yes Ootz

    The library is a Tardis, an Aladdin’s cave, a museum, a non-electronic Internet, a Kindle to wander around, a forest, a botanic garden; a gelato shop with an unlimited range of new flavours.

    Doing things by hand, learning about materials, textures; animals, birds, insects and plants: the world as a Library.

    Good on ya , Nutty!
    Und danke schoen Ootz.

  43. Yes Ambi, I am lucky to have spend most of my life with a librarian as partner. Formidable and resourceful creatures they are.

    You will find today Librarians are even way ahead on your “electronic internet”. Last week my better half conducted several coding workshops for 10-16y and 5-10y olds with Lego Mindstorms and Edisons. A new medium and language requires a new reading and writing. Librarians are enabling the way of the future as well as are the gate keepers of the past.

    Brian, do you remember the Azaria Chamberlain experiment I conducted some years ago on a Weekly Salon to illustrate “false dichotomy”, a major cognitive trap. In controversies or debates, we often find false dichotomies cause unnecessary social friction and stall mates. There is another one of these common logic errors, which if you allow, I would like to demonstrate in an other similar survey/experiment. It may help us on here to be mindful of our common inherited cognitive biases, which can cause unnecessary friction, such as displayed in this thread. It may help to show a discussion in a different light and hopefully break down some barriers of understanding and aid effective communication with each other.

  44. I remember being astonished by the Chamberlain stuff which I thought I knew pretty well.

    So go for it, Ootz. New Weekly salon not ready yet and these threads last two months before comments shut down.

  45. Geoff H, from a bit I’ve read about how ‘America’ was formed, democracy was pretty much on the nose back then.

    And often when there was talk about the ‘rights of man’ in the 18th century, apart from women not being considered at all it was pretty much the wealthy and the privileged, mostly property owners they had in mind.

    So franchise was limited.

    So when they designed the college system to elect the president, it was a review system to make sure the voters didn’t make a mistake.

    The president’s powers were limited and the role of the state in general was minimised.

  46. Ootz – snap!

    My wife is a librarian.
    (Hope she’s not the same lady…. doesn’t seem like a bigamist..)

  47. Thanks for sharing Ootz, a bit of sentiment is good. I’ve been a tertiary student this last decade and met a few outstanding academics who really draw you in with their obvious passion and command of their field.

    Interesting your Steiner experience. I think there is a school in Kuranda. I looked at Piaget (?) many moons ago but all I recall is that he placed a lot of emphasis on making learning a pleasurable and rewarding experience. I kept that in mind for many reasons, including getting my own kids and now grandchildren into learning. Mixed success, but one undergraduate and one PhD candidate. I’d like to do a bit more but would like someone else to pay for it…

  48. Time magazine is reporting that Glaxosmithkline has invested $300 million to access the gene information of 23andme (sic). I think it means that all those people who sent DNA samples for analysis should be concerned that their file may be accessed by one of the worlds largest pharmaceutical companies. I have not read the full article but so far the implications apparent to me are quite scary. Even your relatives can have their DNA properties inferred. Can I suggest people google Time and search Glaxosmithkline

  49. Brian, yes the third scenario in the Azaria Chamberlain case is astonishing once you get your head around the false dichotomy trap of Dingo vs Lindy, for which there is ample hard evidence that it could be neither of them. Because of the trap you may not pay attention to the relevant crucial evidence. And that was my point, how our perception of things can easily and very strongly be waylaid with big potential to stifle us in many ways personally and socially.

    So the cognitive trap or bias I want to demonstrate this time is not based on a sensational case as the Azaria Chamberlain. It is more mundanely based on common driving experience. There would be better or more pertinent experiments available to illustrate the bias. However, these would be less suitable to do online in a forum such as this.

    In order to lower the margin of error we will need more subjects than just the few commentators on here. So my suggestion is, that you all become my research assistants and help me do the survey with as many participants as possible with subjects across all eligible ages and gender.

    So if you could please ask your friends, family, work etc. to respond to a question and provide a rating. That will make the experiment more legitimate and fun, as well as make it a more memorable experience. Because with a small sample size we may not get the effect we are looking for, especially since I want to keep the survey simple too. So here is the question I want you to answer yourself first and then ask others with a driving licence.

    The RACQ (NRMA, RACV if applicable) asked me to rate my driving skills on a survey, how would you have rated your driving skills on a scale from 1 to 6, as in low to high

    Please keep it simple, don’t explaining too much why you ask this question and get them to pick a number fairly quick. Then just record all the answers and post them in a comment in raw form on this thread. If you surveyed 6 people then write responses individually as you receive them eg 3,5,2,4,1,6

    Have fun 🙂

  50. Ootz, as a matter of interest, why is it out of 6, rather than 5 or 7? Is it so that there is no middle point?

  51. My initial trade was as a librarian. One of my proudest reference librarian achievements was at Wattle Park Teachers College, where one of the staff asked me to find the big blue book she had taken out a year ago.

    We found it, but it turned out to be small and green!

  52. Another was at the university of Adelaide, where students were not allowed to borrow from the main collection. They had a special collection of about 20,000 books that they could borrow.

    Anyway I came across a cache of books on a shelf which were more or less on the same topic, but assembled from diverse Dewey numbers. Clearly a student had put them there so that they could continue to use them the next day.

    Good for him/her, but the books were effectively lost to anyone else.

    Being a good librarian I took them, shelved them back in their proper place, and left a note there apologising to the student.

  53. Ootz, if I may, are you trying to research something similar to the Dunning-Kruger effect ?

    There’s a rich harvest on it inter webs for that.

  54. Looks like we all have a story about library people. As an undergrad one of my cohort (Bill) was training as a librarian. His wife to be was also a fellow student and I would go fishing with him. Years pass, about 49 actually, and Bill, in his current role as Chancellor of James Cook uni will hand me my degree in March. Something about that piques me, but I don’t know why.

  55. Hmm just read that last post and realised I made a dumb error. I used to fish with his wife-to-be’s father… I hope that clarifies things. Maybe I should have said Bill’s future father in law, or maybe just shut up even.

  56. On Steiner, when I was studying education in thew 1970s there was a typology or model of education that ran from domestication through to freedom:





    There was much talk of AS Neill’s Summerhill, also of Paulo Friere’s Pedagogy of the oppressed and Ivan Illich’s Deschooling society.

    Schooling in the main remains stubbornly in the Essentialism mold leavened by Progressivism, where the original philosopher was John Dewey. Lecturers were more inclined to talk about Maria Montessori than Rudolf Steiner and Waldorf Education.

    Methodologically they a pretty much polar opposite, though I know some kids who went Montessori and they turned out brilliantly.

    Seems Steiner is quite popular and growing, and QU now has a degree in Steiner education.

    There is one in Samford, but I never got to see it. To me he seems to be at the virtuous end of the spectrum, though I don’t think many would hold all the tenets of anthroposophy, or in biodynamic farming use methods such as “burying ground quartz stuffed into the horn of a cow, which are said to harvest ‘cosmic forces in the soil.'”

    Geoff H, Ausubel was pretty much unreadable, and thankfully when I was studying people had moved on a bit. I had his book, which made a good doorstop. I recall son Mark when he was about 8 picking it up and reading aloud the first paragraph fluently. That was probably just before he read War and Peace for the first time. As a parent it was hard to keep up!

  57. Ootz, as a matter of interest, why is it out of 6, rather than 5 or 7? Is it so that there is no middle point?

    Brian, it looks like you know a thing or two about research design 🙂 You’d understand then that I won’t divulge, at this stage, my considerations for the metrics of the dependent variable, as the experiment is already enough compromised as is to make it fit the purpose on here, which is to demonstrate a common cognitive bias. But to answer your question, a little bit yes but mainly no.

    It is important to remember the emphasis for this exercise is not to actually test everyone and then fit you into ‘good’ or ‘bad’ categories. We all have been captured by this cognitive bias many times. It is one of the most studied biases in Social Psychology, as it is behind most friction in society in one way or another. It has been speculated that it serves an evolutionary purpose most of the time, but in crucial moments it can be counter productive. Hence if we are aware that you and I are predisposed to a certain way of thinking, we then have a choice to free us from such bias when it is counterproductive or disruptive in our interactions.

  58. … are you trying to research something similar to the Dunning-Kruger effect ?

    Thanks jumpy.
    I have clearly stated several times, I don’t do RESEARCH with this EXERCISE in learning about one of the most common cognitive biases in our society. And just because I mention “society” it is not intended to be a virtue signalling lefty greenie communist conspiracy with the aim to stick ‘uneducated’ and ‘deplorable’ labels on to people. I would be surprised if you can find me ever have used the Dunning Kruger label on anyone. Mainly because I am aware of the effect of the bias I would like to demonstrate here. It is a common observable habit displayed in various degrees by all of us. It gets us by most of the time, but at times stifles our interests considerably.

    I would have thought that particularly you with your libertarian approach to life and as a business person, would be very interested to liberate your self from cognitive restraints and be given choices. So that you can truly be yourself and be more effective in your interaction with others.

    BTW I am aware there is lots of stuff one can search and lookup on the internet and in libraries. To assess, interpret and apply the results thereof that is my interest, and I don’t mind sharing for the benefit of all 🙂

  59. Yeah, ease up ootz.
    A simple yes or no would have done.

    I’ll do my own “ experiment “ some day too.
    Considering you, in consecutive comments, praised Brian for his knowledge of “ research design”and go on to admonish me for using the word.

    Yep, every now and then I’ll drop an exact quote from someone else here that you’ve responded in the past to and see what differences there are.
    Sort of a “ who said it rather than what was said “ test.
    Experiment with one of your cognitive biases that is clearly evident.

    Should be fun 🙂

  60. Another question is how and why humans evolved cognitive biases, for what purpose ?
    Can we quantify it, is it measurable like “ risk “ is but “ threat “ is not ?
    If so we should be able to rank folk based on that and I’m sure ootz will do very well, as enlightened and intelligent he obviously is.

  61. I’ll take your bait Mr J.

    I’m told we humans have a tendency to more quickly see a moving object than a stationary one.

    Could that bias have helped our ancestors more readily spot (and avoid) creatures whose propinquity might prove risky? E.g. a predator, reptile or stinging insect??

    That could be a bias worth having and Charles Darwin (admired by zoot and millions of others) might have argued that such a bias, if heritable, would slowly grow over many generations.

    And not only in our own species.

    This is about individuals, not at all about group (defensive, protective) behaviour.

    The above is a suggestion, not an experiment.

  62. Jumpy, I simply acknowledged that Brian understands how to construct experiments, which in technical terms is called research design. Second, I wanted to make absolutely clear to you and others, that what I intend to do here is not actual research, but a crude experiment to illustrate a common thinking flaw. In Part to assure you and others that you are not guinea pigs or lab rats and partly because under the circumstances you can’t really call it an experiment. Kind of like when you do a mock up for a client so they know what the finished work will look like.

    WRT risk and threat as a choice of words, like non verbal behaviour, words can be very revealing about the person if one listens and observes very carefully and understands their context. A long time ago I came across a book by Desmond Morris called Manwatching: Field Guide to Human Behaviour . I found it so fascinating and helpful I spent weeks going through it. Later in live I got hold of another fascinating book called An Introduction to Social Constructionism by Vivien Burr. Similarly she shows how the study of language can be used as a focus to understand human behaviour and experience. The theory is that ‘discourse’ or use of language provides a mirror to the reality that people doing the talking have constructed themselves. Like many postmodernist methods it has coped it’s fair share of criticism, but with a bit of practice I have found it very helpful to get the gist of where someone is coming from. I guess you’d be doing a similar thing when you meet with clients or builder, there would be key words or phrases which are dead give aways of how they see things.

    Further to the use of threat vs risk, you have to understand how we process dangerous encounters. Again, I came across a book called Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman who collated a lot of research in that area and coined the term as such. Due to the structure or evolution of our brain, the perception of a threat goes straight to the reptilian part in our brain which results in the classic fight or flight responses. Actually I would like to add a third one which is commonly observed with reptiles and chooks, namely freeze. These are all behavioural responses we see in humans too and they do have their place in our repertoire as they obviously help our survival as a species when immediate action is required. These type of responses we commonly refer to as emotional responses, as there is not much cogitation going. In contrast a risk implies thinking, a behaviour we engage in when we have time to save our bacon. Because it takes time and skills to do a risk assessment and to conceive, evaluate and implement effective and often complex responses.

  63. Ootz

    Jumpy, I simply acknowledged that Brian understands how to construct experiments, which in technical terms is called research design.

    Ok, whatever you say. I’m not totally convinced but I’ll leave it there for civilities sake.

    As for the “ threat “ lecture, I’ve seen it used here many, many times in relation to “ climate change “ ( the context I used ) with nary a peep of corrective word play or judgmental defensiveness that you displayed above toward me.

    You sound as though your trying to learn about yourself as much as others, perhaps I’ve helped.

  64. If it makes anyone feel good when I get tortured, I’ve had an off and on discussion with the Taipan for the last 3.5 hours on replacement options for our 14 yo blinds.
    To be fair the old ones are buggered but I really, really DONT CARE what she gets !

  65. !!News flash!!

    Some dude on the inter tubes, declares that he was some kind of Jesus Christ figure:

    … feel good when I get tortured …

    According to him is married 😉 to one of the worlds deadliest snake and admits

    I really, really DONT CARE what she gets !

    The man has previously expressed

    whatever you say. I’m not totally convinced but I’ll leave it there for civilities sake

    We can safely assume he will have a similar position on highly significant global risks given his delusions.

    So far he has attracted one comment, offering some ancient wisdom.

  66. Apropos, forget ‘the experiment’ when the evidence for the common cognitive bias i wanted to demonstrate has been prominently right under our noses for days on all threads. So here it is, one of the most common human error, the Fundamental Attribution Error.

    Put simply, it’s the term for when you attribute someone’s behavior to their character rather than their situational circumstances.

    We tend to focus on characters rather than the play and this enables and hinders us in different ways. The effect appears to sustain it self evolutionary on a similar level like the fast ‘reptilian’ reaction to immediate threads. We would be overwhelmed if we’d have to process every event we face in details of the situation before we respond to some characters. However, in some crucial moments it pays to be aware of this predilection to focus on the character, in order to have an opportunity and skills to do a detailed scan of the situation to avoid being deceived and cause harm, injury, insult or bore oneself and others.

    Here is the link to a pop psychology explanation in context with driving, which is easily transferable to other activities like commenting on social media. The pop explanation is a bit rough and ready so I’ll include a professionally more acceptable version, which in true psych fashion runs it through the nature-nurture mill in its critique.

    There you go, the first to point out an example of me falling for it in any thread gets a satchel of my famous home dried bananas sent to 🙂

    Brian, I am glad you asked me that question, as it was the metric for the null hypothesis. How many questions not the ratings 😀

  67. This is how bizarrely Ootz conducts himself.

    JANUARY 16, 2019 AT 2:53 PM
    !!News flash!!

    Some dude on the inter tubes, declares that he was some kind of Jesus Christ figure:

    … feel good when I get tortured …

    Those “ … “ on either end of my ‘ quote ‘ are there to deceive.

    This persons “ situational circumstances “ don’t excuse his that behaviour.

    And a history of it from memory.

  68. Far from it Jumpy, you are jumping at ghosts!

    The way I quote you there adheres to academic writing style according to the APA Style Manual, as well as to commonly accepted journalistic standards. The quotation marks mark that the content in between is a direct quote from the previous mentioned source, and the three punctuation marks on either end designate that there is additional text before and after the actual quote in the whole sentence.

    Here some example quotes of the following sentence:

    The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dogs.

    He was just blowing his horn as a ” … fox jumps over the lazy dogs.”

    “The quick brown fox …” was forever a tease.

    He distinctly described a ” … quick brown fox (who) jumps …”.

    However, if you quote just one or two words where it is obvious that they are lifted from a sentence you don’t need the punctuation marks. As in

    He called him a “lazy dog”.

    So in fact I deliberately indicated to the reader that this particular content has been lifted out of a sentence and thus does not show the whole picture or if you like the “situational circumstances”. I apologise if I have tested your sensitivities, but I assumed you knew.

    Check it out yourself and come back to me if that is wrong, so I can adjust my style of quoting to your standards, thanks. We may we have to go through all the different types of quoting and agree together on a particular writing style for each of them, to establish the same standards in order not be misunderstood or offend anyone. Until then the APA Style Manual will do me, thanks.

    But otherwise good effort in applying my recent “lecture”, as you have called some of my similar contributions.


  69. So in fact it was you jumpy, who fell for the FAE. You hastily or habitually judged my character and forgot to consider the situational circumstances of standard quoting practices.

    No home grown dried bananas for you yet, but keep on trying 🙂

  70. Brian, wrt your social democracy theme, John Quiggin had an interesting forward looking article in the Guardian called Socialist utopia 2050: what could life in Australia be like after the failure of capitalism?. It is a rehash of some of his earlier writing like “Socialism with a Spine” and a politics in the pub speech I have read before. He clearly maps out how life in Australia could look like after major economic restructuring with the inclusion of a Tobin tax, less consumption and a focus on quality of life. He finishes with:

    The socialist world of 2050 would not be the kind of utopia dreamed of by abstract theorists. It would not be one of complete leisure or perfect equality, let alone perfect people. But it would provide nearly everyone with a better life, and more opportunity to pursue their own path to happiness, than we have today.

    Food for thought, more so it provides an alternative vision and instills hope, after the massive market failures and vertically integrated corruption brought on by neoliberalism with its illusion of endless growth, vapid consumption and pathological greed is good mentality.

  71. Hugh White, respected security analyst and Professor of Strategic Studies at ANU, makes the case and sounding the warning bell of an awful decision we may have to make in not too distant future.

    What would we say if Washington asked to base nuclear-armed missiles, aimed at China, on Australian territory? It’s not an entirely hypothetical question. Amid all the talk of a new cold war with China, the strategic logic of America’s plans to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty plainly suggests that such a request is a real possibility.

    If the request comes—and it could come quite soon—Australia would face a truly momentous choice. If we agreed, our relations with China would face a crisis far, far worse than the recent chill from which the government has been working so hard to extract us. To refuse would be to abandon our ally in what everyone in Washington now sees as the decisive strategic contest of our time. Either way, Canberra’s fragile effort to avoid taking sides in the epic contest over the future of Asia would be smashed.What would we say if Washington asked to base nuclear-armed missiles, aimed at China, on Australian territory? It’s not an entirely hypothetical question. Amid all the talk of a new cold war with China, the strategic logic of America’s plans to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty plainly suggests that such a request is a real possibility.

    If the request comes—and it could come quite soon—Australia would face a truly momentous choice. If we agreed, our relations with China would face a crisis far, far worse than the recent chill from which the government has been working so hard to extract us. To refuse would be to abandon our ally in what everyone in Washington now sees as the decisive strategic contest of our time. Either way, Canberra’s fragile effort to avoid taking sides in the epic contest over the future of Asia would be smashed.

  72. I don’t think US nuclear missiles are pointed at anything until the last minutes before launch , theoretically they could be aimed at the US if it’s hacked somehow.

    And Chinese nuclear missiles can be sent our way.

    Ultimately there’s no use in panicking about that, there’s nothing at all we can do about it.

    If Australia is smart we’d allow both China and the US to have 2 or 3 launch sites each out in the middle of nowhere like Mataranka.

    And charge a hefty rent.

  73. Zoot I am still digesting Attribution Errors now you throw this one in…
    As I see it, under the Trump USA, America seems to have surrendered economic and influential primacy in the SE Asia region, and perhaps clings to a decaying (?) military primacy. Think of the land reclamation and the arming of a Chinese navy ship with a rail gun. Further Trumps record of appearing to be unsupportive of long-term “friends” has generated in me, a lack of confidence that we can rely on the US if we had to make a choice.
    In the broader Pacific region, Chinese policy is well aknowledged as China’s quest for powerful influence. Their Belt and Road program, some 7 Trillion dollars over 100 years speaks for their seven-generation planning philosophy.

    Back to nuclear hosting of US arsenal. Pine Gap has for years been rumoured to be a target because it plays (apprently) some crucial navigational role, directing missiles or whatever on behalf of the US. I guess actually hosting nukes ranged at China heats that risk up considerably, and as thing stand now I would rate that as unacceptable. Especially if our confidence in the US is no longer iron clad. It’s not just that someone might actually light the blue touch paper, in a cold-waresque scenario, we may become a bagaining chip.
    Now, I am wondering if there is a politician in Australia who can turn their creative powers towards a viable pathway forward.

  74. Mr J

    Do you repeat bits of quotes when you quote them?
    Is that what youse are talking about?

    For a briefish little paperback on Australia’s strategic choices, may I recommend Paul Dibb’s book from 2018? He had senior roles in Canberra in the 1980s and 1990s, witnessed parts of the Cold War, regards a week in 1983 as one of our closest shaves (for accidental global nuclear war), and – almost – predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union at a time when most expert analysts disagreed strongly with his viewpoint.

    Inside the Wilderness of Mirrors. Australia and the Threat from the Soviet Union in the Cold War and Russia Today, Paul Dibb; Melbourne University Press, 2018.

    Bonzer little gem.

    My excuse for mentioning n*clear w*r, again, is that Ootz and Jumpy started it.

  75. I think Quarterly Essay has an issue “Without America” or something like that.
    Bad me, I have not read it

  76. I haven’t been flippant on the other thread about the question which comes first, peak fossil or peak economy. There is an increasing number of economists and financial commentators which are playing with that idea.

    During the last global crisis, central bankers, to the delight of politicians, discovered that the marginal cost of printing money is zero. It cost the banks nothing to print more money to bail out bad behaviour.
    But, sooner or later, someone will have to pay the price. So much dirt has been swept under the carpet, it is reaching the ceiling. By the look of things, the world is facing an imminent financial crash or a climate catastrophe. Very happy alternatives.

    Here are some of the factors which could possible leading tothe great unwinding. It ends with this interesting nugget:

    Instead of just trying to predict and prevent crises, policymakers should also ensure that economies can cope with them when they happen. This requires strong welfare states, a financial system that ensures that good projects can acquire financing even in bad times, and a willingness and ability of policymakers to take strong counter-cyclical policy actions via expansionary government spending, tax and interest rate policies. Rather than engage in futurology, we should ask whether such institutions are in place now. I fear the answer is: not sufficiently so.

  77. Geoff M, two last comments held up in moderation. I think it was dropping initial caps that made you a stranger to the system. Now they’ve been approved, the system should recognise you if you prefer to go that way.

  78. Ootz: Part of the rational for rampant free trade is that it creates interdependencancies that mean damaging your enemy does serious damage to your economy because you have damaged the means of producing things you need.
    The downside here is that when a critical trading partner gets into trouble for whatever reason it is hard to avoid being damaged by this.

  79. Haha, “ rampant free trade “ doesn’t exit legally in the US or Australia.
    Everything is regulated, I would argue over regulated.

    On the Nuclear bombs issue, I wish people would stop bed wetting about it, and Governments stop wasting resources on it.
    The risk is tiny.

  80. Jumpy are you taking the piss?

    Whatever the quantum of risk, the outome is nothing less than catastrophic.

  81. Jumpy is not taking the piss, he is accusing others of bedwetting.

    Macho man vs. nuclear bomb??

    My money would be on the fissionable material every time. Not that it’s a fair wager.

    Jump old bean, the fact that we have had “only” one atomic war – and very one-sided it was – does not indicate that the probability of another nuclear war is zero.

  82. …. “wasting resources on it…”

    Do you mean the manufacture and maintenance of nuclear weapons and their associated missiles, subs and bombers?

    Or civil defence preparations (minimal in Australia )??

  83. Jumpy: Compared with the Menzies era there is much less control over the money and goods that pass over our border and a much higher dependence on imports to keep our country going. Whether this is a good thing or not is still a matter for debate.
    What happened in the Menzies era was strongly influenced by the great depression and WWII. (Whitlam was the last prime minister to have fought in WWII.)
    The great depression is an object lesson in the risks of globalized free trade.

  84. JD what were the common causal elements, if any, of the Great Depression and the Global Finacial crisis/meltdown/GFC?

  85. JD what were the common causal elements, if any, of the Great Depression and the Global Finacial crisis/meltdown/GFC?

    I’d say Government interference in the market had a causal element.
    The US affordable housing act and guarantees plus shithouse ratings agencies for the GFC.
    And the fed tightening money supply caused a depression, the Smoot Hawley protectionism made is “ great “.

    Two different approaches, one artificially loosening money supply, one artificially tightening.

    Similar results.

    That’s my non-economists understanding at present.

  86. I’d say Government interference in the market had a causal element.

    Of course you would. And you do. Frequently.

    Here’s how a privately run market works (warning, it’s a long read)

  87. Don’t like what Amazon is doing, don’t use it, use something else immediately.
    Don’t like what your government is doing, stiff titties, the next Government will be only slightly different.

  88. Tough t*tties.
    Stiff cheese.

    Never “stiff t*tties”, unless Mr J has very special and deeply personal experience, that he should just keep quiet about.


  89. Mr A,
    It would give me more confidence in your ability to be fair minded if you directed your brand of pedantry more equally among all contributors.

    Unless it’s a thinly veiled attempt to dodge the guts of the content and context to distract as it did.

    Being a “ benefit of the doubt “ sort that I am I invite you to respond to the essence of my comment.

    ( not going to go all GM on the issue and demand links and appeals to selected authority figures)

  90. Apologies Jumpy

    Sometimes I go for the low-hanging fruit without stopping to think.

    Had a very good day out on Sunday, arrived back at the blog in a lighthearted mood.


  91. OK I know this Salon is slightly old now but the firts topic dealt with politicians telling lies.
    At this moment Trump is being noted for his on-going lies, especially about collusion or even contact with Russia. His denials often include his campaign, associates, even family.
    The New York Times has published a graphic that I think is worthy of a few minutes time. Whilst Mueller has yet to be a hopefully clear report on his findings, it seems impossible, if the NYT graphic is correct, that Trump will come out OK. Please see: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/01/26/us/politics/trump-contacts-russians-wikileaks.html?emc=edit_mbau_20190127&nl=morning-briefing-australia&nlid=8568672120190127&te=1

  92. Does Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr get accused of influencing that article ( and other articles by the NYT ) as much as Murdoch get accused of influencing the news outlets he controls ?

    I don’t think so. I’d be surprised if many folk recognise the name Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr.

    Meuller may eventually find something but as yet he’s only acted on thing unrelated to US President Trump colluding with Russia or anyone else.

    The whole thing stinks of “ Not My President “ DNC BS to me.

    I take a bit of interest because we’re all monkeys and the world is the circus I live in.

  93. Oh I dunno Jumpy

    I reckon a few of the indicted have connections to Mr Trump’s Presidential campaign, and the US seems confident it has identified Russian malefactors involved in hacking and false reports during the campaign.

    And as a matter of interest, what did you make of candidate Trump at his own rally, calling on the Russian govt to help him find 30,000 deleted emails of Ms Clinton’s? Did that strike you as odd?

    In a weird campaign circus, I thought that stood out as much as his audio-on-the-bus “locker room talk”.

  94. All you can say about the US at the moment is that, if Putin did influence the campaign to get Trump in as president, Putin has got good value for his efforts. Even in his wildest dreams he wouldn’t have expected Trump to shut down America.

  95. Mr A

    And as a matter of interest, what did you make of candidate Trump at his own rally, calling on the Russian govt to help him find 30,000 deleted emails of Ms Clinton’s? Did that strike you as odd?

    He did ?
    I haven’t seen that.

  96. The event was in Florida on 27th July 2016.
    Mr Trump, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you are able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

    And then, by strange coincidence, some Russian hacking was done on the same day.

    Mr Mueller will be onto it.

  97. Russia, if you’re listening is an ABC RN program with 17 episodes.

    I’ve heard five, I think, and I’d say Mueller has Trump on toast. It still depends on how it plays out from here. Nixon actually resigned, he wasn’t sacked, but only when his own side in Congress told him they’d vote him down.

  98. Jumpy, Arthur Gregg “A.G.” Sulzberger is the publisher of the failing New York Times as of January 1, 2018.
    Try to keep up.

  99. Supplementary question for Jumpy:
    In calling the article in the failing New York Times “BS” are you saying it is not factual?

Comments are closed.