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Monday, 08 February


Tony Abbott and his captain's picks continue to haunt Australia North Coast Voices

It would appear that when he was prime minister the MP for Warringah, Tony Abbott,  was not only telling political lies of omission and commission to Australian voters – he may also telling them to his own government.

The Australian, 1 February 2016:

Sharp tensions between Tony Abbott and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop were exposed yesterday with the revelation of a rock-solid pledge in writing by Mr Abbott to back former New Zealand leader Helen Clark as the next UN secretar­y-general.



The Turnbull Government continues the Abbott Government's failure to protect Australian marine life from foreign super trawlers including the Geelong Star North Coast Voices

Image of Geelong Star (formerly FV Dirk Dirk) and position heading towards the Bass Strait on 28 January 2016

Geelong Advertiser, 2 February 2016:

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Sunday, 07 February


Can-can-cancelled, and the grievances surge to the surface like a pulsating alien emerging from the belly ... if you can handle that image ... loon pond

Perhaps it was watching the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra over the weekend that made the pond think so fondly of this Rowe cartoon (and more properly formatted Rowe here).

Yes, the streaming was working for once, and the Berlin Philharmoniker app was giving the Venezuelans away for free, and they were pounding away at Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, and being an agile multi-tasker, at the very same time, the pond was reading Gary Wills saying everything the pond has only thought, in his review of E. J. Dionne Jr’s Why the Right Went Wrong, under the header The Triumph of the Hard Right, currently in The New York Review of Books, and outside the paywall for the moment.

Quick, rush to read it here, while the pond prepares a few quotes, because Wills' thesis is easy enough to grasp: 

The sense of betrayal by one’s own is a continuing theme in the Republican Party (a Fox News poll in September 2015 found that 62 percent of Republicans feel “betrayed” by their own party’s officeholders). The charges against Eisenhower were repeated against Nixon, who brought Kissingerian “détente” into his dealing with Russia and renewed diplomatic ties to China. On the domestic...


Roundup 7 Feb Catallaxy Files

Don Aitkin, hot off the press on the shock to the CSIRO when they are taken seriously that the science on warming is settled. With some great links to “restarting the climate debate” and John Christie at the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space & Technology. Nerds shoulds see the full paper.

Modern living. Tom Champion on commuting in 2021.

Spiked in the UK on the week that was. Anti-Jewishi prejudice on campus in the US.

Why Australian students are becoming increasingly disengag...


And so visionaries like Netflix will come unto these shores and live the Australian malware dream ... loon pond

The pond has gone quiet on the NBN, yet recent links by a correspondent stirred the pond to thinking, or perhaps to brooding.

At least it's not brooding about the Jensenists shamelessly using what should have been an apology as a chance for a grab at more cash in the paw funding, so that angry Sydney Anglicans should be "resourced" for the doing of the making good (here) ...

Oh just sell a cathedral or two ... stop building that temple to fundamentalist theology, Moore College, and splash the cash to assuage your guilt ...

No, better to not go there, and instead look at what the reptiles make of it all, now that their dream of a broken NBN has come to pass ...

Sure enough,  the reptile technology pages make for much laughter. This is a snapshot of yesterdays top stories ...

Uh huh, down at the bottom was that recycling of the NBN's unseemly and unwholesome praise of itself, developed by the usual ploy of getting a mob to come up with a result much desired ...

Well minister, as we all know, it's wise to know the answer to an inquiry before it starts ...


Think for yourself: The Zika virus Independent Australia

Think for yourself: The Zika virusAs mainstream media outlets rub their hands together in Burns-like anticipation of the next pandemic, critical thinker John Turnbull takes some time to learn about the Zika virus and separate fear mongering from medical reality. read now...


Contrasting perspectives Catallaxy Files

Here is Chris Berg on the role of politicians:

Are they there to represent the views of the voters in Parliament – effectively employees whose job is to do the bidding of their electorate as faithfully as is practicable? Or are they there as sort of an elected aristocracy – placed into power as a popular endorsement of their inner selves?

Fair question – very fair question.

Here is Peter van Onselin answering Chris’ question:

Voters are consumers now, seeing politicians as servants who must satisfy their needs.

The thing is this: politicians have always been servants, it’s just that the electorate is less deferential having been previously sold on the politicians are an elected aristocracy model.

Mind you electoral behaviour has been less tolerant of those politicians that advertise their arrogance.

Chris Berg goes on to tell the famous story of Edmund Burke who told his constituents – after he had been elected:

Certainly, gentlemen, it ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinion, high respect; their business, unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasures, his satisfactions, to theirs; and above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interest to his own. But his unbiassed opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened co...


A smile is not enough The Political Sword

[The Turnbull residence at Point Piper, Sydney]

After Turnbull toppled Abbott in September the polls turned in favour of the Coalition; Turnbull’s ‘satisfaction’ rating was high; and he had a commanding lead over Shorten as preferred prime minister. The big question for Turnbull, the Coalition, and indeed Labor, is whether he can maintain those poll numbers all the way to an election.

In my view there are already signs that suggest he will not. That may not yet be showing in polling but unless he acts to meet public expectations those polls will slowly drift away from him.

When Turnbull first won the post as prime minister, he could not stop smiling. In his victory speech, in early interviews and press conferences, he was ceaselessly smiling. Between christmas and new year, when he announced the demotions of Brough and Briggs, he was no longer smiling. Perhaps it was no smiling matter but it was a hint that the pressure of the job is starting to tell.

Turnbull has a reputation as a ‘small l’ liberal with his views on gay marriage and climate change. He does represent an electorate where such views go over well and, especially after Abbott, the wider electorate also saw such views as a hopeful sign for the future. So far, however, Turnbull has done nothing to action such views: he has accepted the position that the gay marriage issue will be put to a plebiscite and not just a parliamentary vote; and, although signing up to the Paris agreement on climate change action, he will stick with Abbott’s ‘Direct Action’ policy (which most experts suggest will fail to deliver). It appears this is a result of deals done with the Right of the Liberal party to secure the top job or, at the least, bowing to the reali...


Misogyny: Alive and well under Turnbull Independent Australia

Misogyny: Alive and well under TurnbullJohn Haly reports on the lack of moral compass displayed in the legislative and policy direction of both Abbott and Turnbull with respect to women. read now...


Confirmed this Sunday ... no sign of wit or life under the Polonius tree, just another shaggy dog joke running wild and free ... loon pond

So what's new this Sunday?

Oh okay Devine's imitation of a screeching harridan, fresh from the Jacqui Lambie school of deportment, isn't news, it's so stale even the pigeons would turn up their noses at the crumbs.

The funny thing is, the pond doesn't have the slightest interest in Australia Day, Australian of the Year, David Morrison or all the rest arising from the gathering of gazebos, yet it's possible to have a faint twinge of sympathy for the lad, because once the Devine gets the smell of blood in the nose, it's like watching a rabid hyena go to work ...

Naturally the pond sought refuge in nostalgia ...

Ah, a Ming the Merciless cartoon.

That can mean only one thing ... the pond is catching up with the deep thinking of prattling Polonius, and what's the odds he'll be wandering back in time to a golden era, where men were men and banyan trees were banyan trees ...



This infantile individual has followers in Australia? North Coast Voices

This is the world according to very infantile Daryush “Roosh” Valizadeh creator of Return of Kings:

“1. Men and women are genetically different, both physically and mentally. Sex roles evolved in all mammals. Humans are not exempt.
2. Men will opt out of monogamy and reproduction if there are no incentives to engage in them.


The strange case of Julian Assange continues..... North Coast Voices

Julian Assange has reportedly been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 12 June 2012, a total of 1,328 days since he sought asylum there.

The legal matter which triggered his request for asylum remains unresolved to date.

On 5 February 2016 the Office of High CommissionerHuman Rights, United Nations, issued this statement:

The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Deems the deprivation of liberty of Mr. Julian Assange as arbitrary


The selling of Marco Rubio Catallaxy Files

We don’t vote in American elections so it is all academic in a way. But it is worth having some sense of who’s doing what and where things are heading. A Malcolm-led Liberal Party may be the best there is across the world, so think about that. This is Mickey Kaus on The Rubio Menace which more or less says the same as I did in my post yesterday on Rubio Would be a Disaster. This might bring out the extent to which the American election cycle is a charade which, given the unstoppable success of Hillary, we knew already. This is Rubio who has taken up the mantle that was supposed to fall to Jeb Bush.

Bush is explicit about his support for mass immigration and amnesty. Rubio has now effectively wormed his way into a position where championing mass immigration and amnesty would involve breaking what seems to be an explicit policy pledge. But anyone who has followed Rubio knows that’s exactly what he’ll do. a) He’s done it before, having opposed amnesty when seeking his Senate seat only to become its front man on arriving in Washington; b) He dissembled when necessary to push the Gang of 8 bill, why not dissemble now? c) The GOP establishment thinks that’s exaclty what he’ll do; d) His retreat from the Gang of 8 has been grudging and weaselly, always giving as little ground as he thinks he can get away with until he discovers he has to give a little more; e) He still hasn’t repudiated the bill, let alone apologized for it; and most important, f) actually achieving an Enforcement First solution would mean standing up to the Democrats, who will demand quick legalization, and the bulk of the GOP Congressional caucus, who will be happy to settle for a fig-leaf of enforcement they can try to sell th...

Saturday, 06 February


Rubio would be a disaster Catallaxy Files

The Republican establishment is now backing Marco Rubio to the hilt against Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. I actually saw Rubio speak in Las Vegas the day before Trump and I could not believe how weak and ineffectual he came across. The words were all right, but the lack of conviction was palpable. No one came away fired up about his prospects, unlike my experience when I had listened to Rand Paul (the year before) or Donald Trump. Hillary will eat Rubio for lunch.

But what makes Rubio likely poison is his lack of creds on border protection. This was published just two months ago, in December, The Ugly Truth About Marco Rubio And His Gang-of-Eight Amnesty Bill and represents a very strong attitude among Republicans:

Rubio was a Jeb Bush acolyte who embraced the Tea Party and ran for senator in Florida against Charlie Crist. Crist was the popular sitting governor in the state and Rubio was thought to be a huge underdog. However, the grassroots embraced Rubio. Just to give you an example, very early on I organized a coalition that endorsed Rubio and encouraged people not to give money to the NRSC over its endorsement of Crist. I even called for NRSC chairman John Cornyn to RESIGN over his decision to get involved in the race on Crist’s behalf.

Back then, Rubio was talking very tough on immigration by necessity. Although Rubio is significantly more conservative than Crist, the conservative base would have never rallied to his side if he had supported amnesty; he would have lost in a landslide. In other words, Rubio’s anti-amnesty position was one of the central promises of his campaign. In fact, Rubio slammed Charlie Crist for being pro-amnesty and very specifically said he opposed giving illegal aliens citizenship. Back then, Marco Rubio sounded like Jeff Sessions on immigration. . . ....

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