Weekly salon 28/4

1. Any clown can lead a country!

What with our ScoMo and Donald Trump as POTUS, you might think that any clown can run a country. Now in Ukraine we have – Comedy is a tool, a trick – Ukraine will soon see that running a country is no joke. Jack Bernhardt, a comedy writer and occasional performer, takes a look at the news that:

    Volodymyr Zelenskiy, an actor and comedian with no political experience other than playing the role of president in a TV series, has won a landslide victory in Ukraine’s presidential election, with near-complete counting showing he has won over 70% of the vote.

Amazingly Zelenskiy:

    stars in Servant of the People, a massive sitcom about a teacher who accidentally becomes president after a video of him ranting about political corruption goes viral. It’s basically The West Wing if Jonathan Pie was President Bartlet – and yes, I did need to take a shower after typing that.

Last year Zelenskiy registered Servant of the People as a political party and ran for president in what looked like a publicity stunt.
However:

    Zelenskiy has links back to oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, the owner of the channel on which Servant of the People airs, and it’s hard to believe that Kolomoisky isn’t anticipating at least something in return for the man he’s made president.

Bernhardt’s final word:

    The fear is that Zelenskiy is not the anomaly, but the logical conclusion. Comedy has changed the world: it’s doused everything in cynicism, replacing hope with a hollow laugh.

And who now is going to star in Servant of the People? Bernhardt says:

    Every leader needs a hobby, and honestly, is starring in a meta-sitcom that blurs the lines between fiction and reality that much weirder than Theresa May’s walking holidays?

2. British politics is beyond funny

And beyond farce.

In the link above Jack Bernhardt says:

    Boris Johnson made his name off comic appearances on Have I Got News For You, rising to mayor of London with nothing more than a stupid haircut and a propensity to say “wiff-waff”.

Andrew Gimson says For now, Theresa May is the Stop Boris candidate.

The party rules are a problem in making a quick switch, but the real problem is that there is no alternative candidate other than Boris Johnson. They really need two, so that Johnson doesn’t get into the run-off.

Now Nigel Farage’s party surges into European poll lead:

    Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party has surged into the lead for the European elections, according to two opinion polls.

    Having formed only in January, the party has leapfrogged Labour and the Tories and eaten into Ukip’s support.

    A YouGov poll for The Times put the Brexit Party on 23 per cent, Labour on 22 per cent and the Conservatives on 17 per cent. Last week it was on 15 per cent, Labour was on 24 per cent and the Tories were on 16 per cent.

It’s like Pauline Hanson running over the top of ScoMo and Bill. Then we did once have Barnaby Joyce as Deputy PM.

3. Notre Dame goes up in smoke

Arguably this was the story of last week.

A combination of two pictures made on April 16, 2019 shows (Up) people attending a mass at the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral in Paris on June 26, 2018 and (Bottom) an interior view of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris in the aftermath one day after a fire devastated the cathedral on April 16, 2019. – French investigators probing the devastating blaze at Notre-Dame Cathedral on April 15, 2019, questioned workers who were renovating the monument on April 16, as hundreds of millions of euros were pledged to restore the historic masterpiece. As firefighters put out the last smouldering embers, a host of French billionaires and companies stepped forward with offers of cash worth around 600 million euros ($680 million) to remake the iconic structure. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN and – / AFP) (Photo credit should read LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Here are a series of links:

Finally Betoota Advocate advises Berejiklian Flies To France To Advise On Tasteful Luxury Apartments In Notre Dame Restoration:

    “There’s this company called Meriton, they’ll do it for free. You just need to somehow incorporate some luxury high rise apartments in the plans”

My wife has seen many European cathedrals and says it is up there as one of the best. I’m sure they’ll put it back together better than ever from the detailed images they took a few years ago. However, finishing before the Paris Olympic Games in 2024 may be a stretch.

4. Terror strikes Sri Lanka

The first news was Two Australians among the 290 killed in Sri Lanka blasts. This has now been revised down to “about 253”. To be brutally frank, I think it is a problem of inferring numbers of bodies from the body parts.

A good place to follow developments is via the BBC at Sri Lanka attacks. The latest is that there has been actual shooting, described as a gun battle, in the eastern part of the country as police step up raids.

I’ve heard a great deal on radio about the event and its implications. Islamic State no longer have territory, but are loaded with cash, with arounde $6 billion in kitty. They don’t just comprise marginalised groups on the edge, they also have the well-educated, the middle class and the upper middle class in their numbers. The borders of many Asian states are quite permeable.

So Sri Lankan groups had outside help, and what happened was almost certainly being planned before the Christchurch attack. So the notion that it was ‘revenge for Christchurch’ may not be untrue, but wasn’t the prime reason why the attack happened. The attack was to disrupt normal life, to perpetrate terror, kill westerners and target the tourist industry [See also the targeting of Christians in the comment below.]. Sri Lanka can never be the same. Other countries should be alert and alarmed.

On the positive side, there was advance warning to the authorities, albeit ignored, and that warning came from intelligence sources in India as well as the US.

Despite the so-called ‘defeat’ of Islamic State this kind of activity could go on for a very long time.

5. ANZAC day

ANZAC day is now well-established as a day of acknowledgement of those who have served and suffered for the rest of us, rather than the achievement on real nationhood, which is where it was going for a while. Spending $100 million on the John Monash Centre might have helped to concentrate our focus.

This is a scene of what happened at Fromelles, where we lost 5,513 in 24 hours:

Portion of the German 2nd line held by the 31st Battalion, AIF, throughout the night during the Battle of Fleurbaix which took place on 19 July 1916 and 20 July 1916 (AWM A01562)

This is also from Fromelles, not sure what they were doing:

Henry Reynolds talking with Phillip Adams was a bit astonishing. He says reconciliation should see us honouring the brave First Nations peoples in our land as heroes who fought and resisted the foreign invaders. That is, when we see our true heritage as extending millennia before the arrival of the First Fleet. He thinks we need an institution within an institution at the Australian War Memorial, or a separate institution to do the story justice.

Richard Fidler replayed a remarkable conversation with Gwen Cherne in Questioning the line of duty:

    Gwen Cherne grew up in Ohio. She was working in Afghanistan on aid and infrastructure projects when she met an Australian named Peter Cafe.

    He was a security contractor who had trained in the Australian Army, and he’d served in East Timor and Cambodia.

    Gwen and Pete married, moved to Australia, and had two children.

    With Gwen’s support, Pete re-enlisted with the army, but his mental health was deteriorating.

    He was deployed to Iraq in 2016, and while he was there he suffered a stroke.

    When Pete returned to Australia he worried his career was over, and at home his moods became explosive and unpredictable.

    Pete died in 2017, and Gwen believes her family was treated differently by the Department of Defence because her husband wasn’t killed in the ‘line of duty’.

    Gwen is now an advocate for the War Widows’ Guild of Australia and an ambassador for the Invictus Games.

Not to put too fine a point on it, Pete committed suicide after an episode of the domestic violence they lived with became extreme. It is compelling listening. Gwen Cherne is analytical and superbly articulate about what happened. Everyone has a breaking point, and the army broke her husband Pete. We should honour him as a casualty ground up by our war machine that is meant to keep us safe.

These are challenging ideas, but not to be dismissed lightly, as Malcolm Turnbull did the Uluru Statement from the Heart. See:

58 thoughts on “Weekly salon 28/4”

  1. Jumpys roundup,

    1- yeah, when you want power to flow to the tippy top leader, you never get one that uses it the way you want all the time.

    2- see 1.

    3- all those links and the word “ Christian “ was written once. Imagine if Al Haram Mosque in Mecca suffer the same.

    4- see 3. Plus puts to bed notions that poorness, oppression and lack of education are necessary ingredients to bake a terrorist.
    One would think Sri Lanka would now implement “ common sense explosive Regulations “ to prevent this happening in the future.

    5- Lest We Forget.
    Also, no matter your attitude on anything, if you serve in conflict for this Nation, I thank you.

  2. On 4, Mr J.
    I feel confident you are aware that some murderous folk know how to rig up explosives from fertiliser and other unregulated substances.

    See Timothy McVeigh, for example. (Mid-1990s, before 2001 and more recent Islamist atrocities..)

    But by all means restrict the availability of commercially produced or military explosives, bazookas, land mines, RPGs, machine guns and rifles.

    Fine with me.
    Fine with most Sri Lankans, I would guess.

  3. I feel confident you are aware that some murderous folk know how to rig up explosives from fertiliser and other unregulated substances.

    Fertiliser, diesel and household fabricated detonator materials are not restricted to anyone Mate.

    And the idea that, as Brian said, that the bombing of almost 1000 Christians was in retaliation to 100 victims Muslims at Christchurch is fanciful despite the ABC making that connection.

  4. In feudal times the court jester was the man who could say things to the king that needed to be said without being killed for it.
    Perhaps Ukraine has reached a point where they have a leader who can do the same for the people of Ukraine. How many people have been killed in the attempt to keep areas of Ukraine in Ukraine when the people in those areas do identify themselves as Ukrainian and want out?
    There may be reasons for having the court jester as leader of Aus for a while. Christopher Pyne should have replaced Turnbull, a man who took himself far too seriously.

  5. Yeah, The Mincing Poodle has a wonderful sense of humour, spot on.

    Also he’s a fixer, it’s fixed, he fixed it….

  6. … despite the ABC report of a Sri Lankan Minister making that connection.

    Fixed it for you. Apparently you don’t understand what are commonly known as ‘scare quotes’.

  7. Jumpy, re not using “Christian” in 3, Notre Dame is Notre Dame and there is no need to identify what brand of religion it’s in.

  8. Jumpy, I didn’t do a thorough analysis of the Sri Lankan bombings. I thought of putting in the word “Christians” in the targets, but knew it was complicated, so I left it out.

    Probably it is the main point, so I’ll add a note to the text. The Foreign Policy article Sri Lanka’s Christians and Muslims Weren’t Enemies says that the conflict in Sri Lanka has mainly been ethnic, between the Sinhalese and the Tamils, both of which can be Buddhists, Muslims or Christians.

    Apparently radical Sinhalese Buddhist nationalists have perpetrated violence against the island’s Muslims in recent times.

    See also How Sri Lanka’s Christians Became a Target from The Atlantic, and Who are Sri Lanka’s Christians and why were they targeted?

    The latter says:

    Less than eight per cent of Sri Lanka’s population of 21 million are Christian, with many of the population Roman Catholic; Hindus amount to 12.6 per cent and Muslims nearly 10 per cent.

    The vast majority are Buddhist, according to the country’s 2012 census.

    Seems the Christians are associated with the colonialists, mostly Portugese Catholics, and a few Dutch Calvinists. The article quotes a Professor Damien Kingsbury who says:

    the targeting of Christians would appear to be part of a wider global jihadi agenda, not a specifically Sri Lankan agenda.”

    ANU’s terrorism expert Clive Williams said:

    the attacks fit a general narrative “among Muslims, that they have been victimised by crusaders and Christians over many centuries.”

    “They think that Christians are responsible for discrimination and atrocities against Muslims and they will go back to the periods of the crusades and what was done to Muslims during the crusade,” he said.

    I mentioned in the post Is religion good or bad for us? that the Jerusalem massacre in 1099 as part of the First Crusade probably resonated to this day.

  9. You have me puzzled now Jumpy.

    In all the commentary on the murder of Christian worshippers, and tourists in expensive hotels, I’ve not seen any calls for gun control.

    Amongst others, I’ve seen
    # awareness that ISIS is far from finished
    # speculation that ISIS assisted local Islamist groups
    # assertions that foreign (and local) intelligence warned of attacks on Christian churches
    # claims tbat such a well-coordinated group of atracks must have had funding from outside Sri Lanka, and that the planning must have taken so long, that it can’t have been a direct reaction to Christchurch
    # comments that the border of Sri Lanka is “porous”
    # concern that warnings weren’t acted on
    # concern that some jihadist fighters or trainees might have returned to Sri Lanka in recent years
    etc.
    I haven’t seen comments on restricting military style guns, or indeed handguns, yet.
    (By the way, Jumpy, I do know that fertiliser etc is widely available. Apparently farmers use it. Who woulda guessed?)

    ***
    We have a habit of looking for cause and effect, after these atrocities. In my view, it’s not always local. For instance, anti-semitism in France doesn’t explain Bataclan.

    For instance, some local resentment in Kuta for boorishness of Aussie tourists, doesn’t explain the first Bali bombings (as it turned out the murderers were Javanese).

    Some deadly Mafia contest in New York doesn’t explain 9/11.

    Criminal gangs contesting drug sales in Nice doesn’t explain the truck massacre.

    I will admit that the “Charlie Hebdo” murders were a direct result of the magazine’s stance, and death threats had been received.

    Of course, in most nations and many cities there are deadly rivalries, murders, every year. Occasionally a political group will recruit from crime gangs or sub-contract a murder.

    But from what I’ve heard, the jihadi groups attack anywhere they feel like. Recall huge bombs in Africa a few months before 9/11. Predictable? Scarcely.

    Jihadi groups have urged their followers to attack on the streets with knives; some have done so.

    It’s a wicked problem, but I think it’s more international than local.

  10. Brian
    The crusades were in response to violent Islamic jihad expansion though caliphates.
    Do the poor resentful Muslim’s just disregard how they came to occupy Jerusalem at all or is a 1000 year old chip on their shoulders too hard to shake off with those little inconvenient incidents that don’t justify their victim narrative ?

  11. Mr A

    You have me puzzled now Jumpy.

    It seems I have.

    In all the commentary on the murder of Christian worshippers, and tourists in expensive hotels, I’ve not seen any calls for gun control.

    Right, Sri Lanka has very similar regulations to Australia. Even down to ridiculous air rifle restrictions.
    They primarily used explosives, also extremely heavily restricted.

    My point was that the only massacres where the media blame the tools used those involving firearms.

    It lazy low hanging fruit.

  12. Jumpy, I don’t hear anyone blaming the tools right now.

    As to the massacre in Jerusalem, certainly there were atrocities by Muslims, but what you refer to as “those little inconvenient incidents” are described in Wikipedia under Muslims is of an entirely different order:

    Many Muslims sought shelter in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock, and the Temple Mount area generally. According to the Gesta Francorum, speaking only of the Temple Mount area, “…[our men] were killing and slaying even to the Temple of Solomon, where the slaughter was so great that our men waded in blood up to their ankles…” According to Raymond of Aguilers, also writing solely of the Temple Mount area, ” in the Temple and porch of Solomon men rode in blood up to their knees and bridle reins.” Writing about the Temple Mount area alone, Fulcher of Chartres, who was not an eyewitness to the Jerusalem siege because he had stayed with Baldwin in Edessa at the time, says: “In this temple 10,000 were killed. Indeed, if you had been there you would have seen our feet coloured to our ankles with the blood of the slain. But what more shall I relate? None of them were left alive; neither women nor children were spared.”[17]

    The Jews, who had fought beside the Muslims, did not fare much better:

    Jews had fought side-by-side with Muslim soldiers to defend the city, and as the Crusaders breached the outer walls, the Jews of the city retreated to their synagogue to “prepare for death”.[26] According to the Muslim chronicle of Ibn al-Qalanisi, “The Jews assembled in their synagogue, and the Franks burned it over their heads.”

    I don’t hear this specifically as part of the “victim narrative”. I said it resonated, probably. Clive Williams said:

    the attacks fit a general narrative “among Muslims, that they have been victimised by crusaders and Christians over many centuries.”

    “They think that Christians are responsible for discrimination and atrocities against Muslims and they will go back to the periods of the crusades and what was done to Muslims during the crusade,” he said.

    About the time of the crusades, I believe the Saracens from the west were conducting raids on the Christian lands. They stole women, so that some of their progeny showed up with blond hair and blue eyes. They castrated the men and used them as slaves.

    Later under the Ottomans the Muslims threatened Europe, up to Vienna, from memory.

    Past atrocities and invasions do not justify new ones. Western colonialism had pretty much over-run the Muslim lands before WWI. In the peace the West just carved it up and exploited the resources, notably oil.

    Tariq Ali tells in particular how offensive, barbaric and immoral Arab women found Western women, who bared their skin, covering bits with coloured patches of cloth.

    I tend to think the religious element was a cultural manifestation of the basic issue, which was colonial exploitation. Blowback was a leading element, I think, in Al Qaeda and 9/11.

    ISIS is another dimension, in part born of Wahhabi yearning for the 7th century, but a madness and barbarity that goes beyond religion, as many moderate Muslims would say.

    So Christians may be targeted, but these crazies don’t mind killing Muslims too.

    However, I’m not an expert. These are just my current perceptions.

  13. The Western women baring skin, was in hotel swimming pools, from memory.

    Zoot, that’s really helpful from Kevin Bonham.

  14. Brian

    “…Muslim lands before WWI. …. “

    They weren’t “ Muslim lands “ before 570 AD and there aren’t any now that they haven’t occupied through violence.

    Jumpy, I don’t hear anyone blaming the tools right now.

    Because it’s not a firearm, that’s exactly what I’ve been saying.
    Only firearms as a mode of killing get vilified.

    When 15 people were murdered by fire at Childers were there demands by the media for a fire licences imposed and registering of fire tools ?

    The most common tool to murder in Australia is a knife or sharp instrument, licence and registration for them ?
    I don’t soil myself with Twitter so does anyone know any hashtags that trend about “ common sense knife laws “ ?

    I realise the objection to firearms is mainly ignorance but we’d rather not have ignorance drive policies, surely.

  15. I now understand your point Jumpy. !Muchas gracias!

    Haven’t heard anyone directly advocating “ignorance driven policies”, but there’s a fair bit around, masquerading as “well based policy”.

    See: any democratic election.

    Flawed creatures, your fellow humans.

    Here endeth the sermon. Would parishioners on the duty roster polish the floor and turn off the lights please?

  16. Jumps old chap

    You mentioned knives at 4.06pm.
    Over here in Queen Victoria’s State there are certainly restrictions on flick knives (or whatever folk call them now). Also, young men have been arrested and charged with carrying concealed knives.

    The 9/11 hijackers used Stanley knives (“box cutters”) which likely would have flown under any radar on that day, though you wonder how many cartons a traveller might encounter on an internal airline flight….. but I digress.

    Recent events show that Victorian crims use guns to kill each other. In breaking news, it took a five year old to uncover two hand guns in Fawkner Park, lying under autumn leaves. There had been a gunshot murder there, a little earlier.

    But deranged Mr G used a vehicle to mow down innocents in Bourke Street some time ago.

    You never can predict the strangeness, but you can try to reduce the death toll… BTW, should Victoria Police have shot Mr G in front of Flinders Street Station, before he proceeded to Bourke Street? How many wounded bystanders would be an acceptable number?

  17. In actual fact people kill people, not the vegetable, mineral,animal or any periodic table combination they choose to use.

    Wood and stone and rope were the most popular for a very long time before rifles were invented.

  18. * amendment- “ In actual fact only people kill murder people, not the vegetable, mineral,animal or any periodic table combination they choose to use.

    To more accurately state my position.

  19. And should the Victoria Police people have opened fire on the potential murderer person as he drove a car rapidly in circles while yelling abuse in front of Flinders Street Station, with the risk of the Police people’s metal bullets wounding or causing to die some bystander people?

    Some people, composed of all types of atoms and molecules, await your considered opinion.

    Ambi
    Person

  20. Mr A

    And should the Victoria Police people have opened fire on the potential murderer person as he drove a car rapidly in circles while yelling abuse in front of Flinders Street Station, with the risk of the Police people’s metal bullets wounding or causing to die some bystander people?

    I have no idea at all how that’s relevant to what I’m saying.
    I’m not even familiar with the incident your talking about.

  21. Jumpy, I’m not getting into the issue of gun rights in this thread. Perhaps some other time when I’ve got nothing better to do or the spirit moves me.

    You took exception to my phrase “…Muslim lands before WWI. …. “

    They weren’t “ Muslim lands “ before 570 AD and there aren’t any now that they haven’t occupied through violence.

    Of course not, just as there were no Christian lands before Christ. That does not alter the point I was making.

  22. Bilb: I miss spinnifex country, its red soils, empty horizons and all the interesting tracks and wildlife that lives there.

  23. John

    Jumpy: Then there was the anti Adani woman who was injured by a horse apparently ridden by a pro Adani man near Clermont.
    Suggestion for this type of alleged terrorism?

    Looked to me like a Local Central Queensland larrikin decided to lark in his local agricultural show ground in front of a bunch of southern hippies when some silly old getup green decided to shut the gate he rode in at when he was leaving.

    There was a skip in the video, wonder what was cut out and why. Selective editing again ?

    I hope the authorities see fit to charge her with endangering an equestrian and cruelty to animals.

    But I understand the ABC spin on the incident, it’s typical.

  24. BilB, thanks and subscribed.
    I’m currently well on the way to re- entering the motorcycle off-road camping trips after about 20 years.
    Wanna visit the middle in the first 18 months but there’s too many coastal spots to ignore.

    Starting off I’m getting a Kawasaki Versys 300X.

    It won’t be YouTubed and no drones involved.

  25. Pretty good debate if you don’t count the scripted stuff and it being as sloppy as any round 1.

    I don’t think any ringside judges wouldn’t give it to Morrison on points but it wasn’t a decisive TKO win.

    Happy to see the rematch.

  26. Jumpy, irrespective of what the audience thinks, Shorten won the debate with daylight second. It’s seldom as decisive as it was this time. I’ll say more later.

  27. I’m sorry Brian but a Shortens chealeader does not an objective perspective maker make.

    Perhaps investigate a Libertarian centrist sources.

    But do proceed, everyone here but me is voteing ALP/green or green/ALP anyway.

  28. John, Jumpy’s voting is a mystery. I remember him saying he’s never voted Liberal, but I may have mis-remebered, and it may have been state.

    I think his local member is the ‘member for Manila’, ie George Christensen in Dawson.

    If memory serves One Nation did not run. Apparently Christensen’s policies met their brief. That’s speculation, but I did hear that he persuaded ON not to run.

    This time Jumpy will have nine to choose from, including ON Palmer, the Katter mob and Fraser Anning.

  29. What’s all this Brian??

    I’m aware that we Victorians are sometimes hard pressed to understand the politics in the Other Royal State (Queensland). But surely Manila is in the Philippines? Capital?

    Has Ms Palasczuk annexed part of the Philippines and added it to your State? And do the Philippinas get a vote?? Not yet heard Tagalog spoken in Parlt….

    It’s a mystery.

    Perhaps Jumpy will explain.

    Confused,
    First Royal State

    PS we are aware that electorate names change. In Gippsland a seat named after Angus McMillan murderer of locals pastoralist, has been slightly altered and re-named, this time for Sir John Monash (engineer, early leader of the State Electricity Commission, part-time soldier).

  30. Trumpy Jumpy even has the choice to vote Green. not clear whether any of the others could be classified as Libertarian.

  31. Jumpy: A Trump supporter is of course a swinging voter?

    John, Jumpy is on record here claiming that – despite all the evidence to the contrary – he despises Donald Trump just as much as he despises Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
    However, I don’t think I’ve seen a negative comment from him on the subject of Trump.
    And while I’m here, #45 has reached a milestone. I’m not sure how that qualifies him as the best POTUS ever, but it’s not my circus.

  32. John, I’m not sure why you need to play silly buggers with Monikers but if that’s what standard you wanna set then I’m happy to sink there.

    For the record, I think Trump is a scummy human being and think you do too, so attempts at “ guilt by association “ by you toward me is bordering on smear.
    Again, I’m not too righteous to sink there but I’d rather not.

    That said the list of US outcomes since Obama left are many and largely inline with what a Libertarian would want.

    Also, folk here may have noticed I have a contrarian streak. So I’m probably more likely to debunk pom-pom waiving that waive them myself.

    Anyway, of the declared Dem nominee hopefuls, do you see anyone that appeals?

  33. For the record, I think Trump is a scummy human being

    Yet on this forum you have never posted a comment critical of him. Neither have you posted a comment favourable to Mrs Clinton.
    Despite what you say, your actions reveal you to be heavily biased in favour of the pussy grabber who has spent more of his presidency golfing, campaigning and watching television than actual presidenting. A president who is ineffectual because the people he has hired fail to carry out his orders.

  34. Trumpy Jumpy:

    John, I’m not sure why you need to play silly buggers with Monikers

    Banter is a game I enjoy. If it is any comfort, I don’t play the game with people who I hold in complete contempt

  35. Billy Banter was a schoolboy mountain.
    He didn’t look anything like you, oh beardmeister.

    I will admit I was starting to wonder what effect the Jumpy-baiting might have on the Jumpmeister himself.

    At least he didn’t tell you to go and have intercourse with yourself, John D.

  36. John, I’m not sure why you need to play silly buggers with Monikers

    Well Monickers has never complained. I assumed she enjoyed it.

  37. “I did not have sex with that woman, …… Miss Monickers”

    William Jefferson Clint.

    However, I do recall a rather lovely encounter with Miss Nonickers. She was a campaign volunteer, I think, or was she an intern?

  38. Zoot: Remember when the Australian first came out. Leftish paper that helped get Whitlam elected. People said at the time that Murdoch produced it as a bow to his departed father. (Most of Murdoch jnr’s papers were money generating rags with at least one bird with big tits somewhere in the first few pages.) After that his respected mother died and he left his wife to run off with a younger woman. Wonder what drove the change in the Australian and the Murdoch press in general.

  39. John, it was page 3 where the titillating pics went. To encourage you to go beyond page 1.

    I used to know the story, but Rupert started out as a Labor supporter. Not sure what happened, maybe the knighthood that didn’t come, I think it may have been he couldn’t stomach Whitlam.

  40. GOSSIP WARNING

    This is all hearsay but….

    Rupert was flirting with Communism at Uni in England: bust of Leninin his study, attending meetings of CPGB, so some contemporaries claim.

    Mr Murdoch’s first wife a widely respected writer.

    Rupert’s father very influential in his time; e.g. sponsored an exhibition of modern European paintings in Melbourne, helped to wake up the citizens (“National” Gallery old fashioned at the time). The exhibition attracted huge crowds. Remember the days when a trip to Europe was too expensive for most Aussies?

    Rupert’s father a confidant of conservative PMs.

    Rupe ran off with Wendy Deng long before his mother died. Wendy alleged to have wooed Mr Tony Blair much later; her husband Rupert allegedly upset; divorce.

    Rupe is now married again.

    Dame Elizabeth, his late Mum, lived to 100 (?), respected in Victoria for charitable work, e.g. opening up her magnificent garden as a fundraiser several times a year; supporter of National Gallery, etc.

  41. A contender for Headline of the Week:

    Cocaine found in all shrimp tested in rural UK county…..
    Headline : Prawn to be wild.

    Guardian Australia online

  42. Just to ease my curiosity, what media organisations do folk here think are left or right ?

    Perhaps a 7 part ranking .
    1. = far left.
    2. = mostly left.
    3. = left leaning.
    4. = centre.
    5.= right leaning.
    6.= mostly right.
    7.= far right.

    Maybe after that we can look at which media outlets reach the most eyeballs.

    Im think the most eyeballs are presented with 2s and 3s.

  43. MORE GOSSIP
    Ambigulous, I believe Rupert’s father was famously antagonistic towards General Monash (some even say it was because Sir John was Jewish!) Perish the thought that Murdoch Junior might be biased against certain races or belief systems.

  44. Brian
    Would you rather folks contributing to this blog ask others what they are thinking or tell others what others think ?

    Personally the first is preferable and the second is impossible stupidity likely done by mendacious losers unable to hold a civil conversation and best avoided.

    I’m sure you’ve noticed which is which.

  45. Goodness me, I missed that.

    As for me, on my health, sciatica is just fine. I was doing 3 hrs of weeding, and not taking proper precautions, which I knew about. Just got slack.

    I can recommend a good physio with eyes that see through you and a magic touch.

    It’s so long since I’ve had a cold, I can’t remember. Must be 5 years or so. I’ve got one now, so I’m not feeling very bright. Still working though. Can’t remember ever stopping for a cold. Just tired here.

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