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Christa Schwoebel on why she's Not Happy, John!

Hello. On Saturday night I was a guest at a Not Happy, John! event at the Wauchope Arts Hall, hosted by my friend Susie Russell, a Webdiarist who is standing for the Greens against Mark Vaile in Lyne. The only other competitor to Vaile, Labor's James Langley, came along. We sat in a circle and relayed why we became Not Happy, John in prose, songs and performance, before tossing around ideas for the campaign. Wonderful! The first person to have a say was Christa Schwoebel, of Kempsey. She recited a piece she had written inspired by the play Vagina Monologues, which I publish below.  

The Canberra launch of Still Not Happy, John! will be at 5.30pm on Monday 8 October at Manning Clarke House. It will be hosted by my friend Kerrie Tucker, and John Valder will speak. Hope to see a few Canberra Webdiarists there. The flier is here.

Monologue about Democratic Participation

by Christa Schwoebel

When Howard appears on the telly, my hand can’t get fast enough to the “off” button. A lot of my friends abuse the box every time John or George are on the news.  Quite often I throw my slippers at the telly  …  and that’s been the extent of my democratic participation for years.  

Yeah, I had been more active in the past; went to marches and vigils, wrote letters to politicians and to the papers.

Then, 4 years ago now, I went to the Peace Rally before the invasion of Iraq.  There was a huge crowd - never before had there been so many people protesting in Kempsey.

But Honest John said we were all stupid   

Funny that – about stupid people protesting.  Every single person with tertiary education must have been at that rally.  

John said that however many marched in the streets and however loud we screamed, he wouldn’t pay any attention, he wouldn’t listen.   

I bet he now wishes he’d listened! Secretly.

After he brushed us off like a bit of fluff on his lapel, I didn’t say much anymore, hardly spoke to anyone about politics.   

Howard and his ministers sent soldiers into Iraq.  In my name they are participating in a brutal invasion and war.   

Too much “collateral damage” to take in.

My brain and in my belly became empty hollows.  I just closed down.

As I said, there had been a time when I wrote to politicians.  Like, I wrote to the Minister for Immigration, Ruddock.  It was, about the concentration camps for those poor bastards from the boats.  Didn’t call them concentration camps, of course, gotta be careful with words when you write to somebody as sensitive as Mister Ruddock.  I think he used to call them “Welcome, Mate, to our Fair Country Centres”.   

Anyway, as replies to my letters I got bundles of glossy brochures giving me a good rundown on the government policies.  I felt very guilty that they had to cut down trees for paper and spend so much tax payers money for all those explanations.  So I stopped writing.

But then, late last year, he went too far - when he came back from a visit to George Bush suddenly stating that Global Warming was indeed happening and immediately told us his solution: nuclear power!   

Nuclear power?  Nuclear – in the land of sunshine?  Nuclear as in atom bomb?  

He announced that the country would have a public debate about it.   But, in the same breath he declared that everyone with an opinion different from his was “stupid”, “juvenile”, “uninformed” and “behind the times”.   

Every school kid knows that only those resolve to insults who have no valid contribution to the debate.   

And he had called me stupid again!

It jolted me out of my daze.  A kind of fury came over me, the constructive type.   

I don’t feel like fluff anymore, I’ve become an activist again.  Joined a group.  Organise public events to really debate the issues.  I speak about the government's lies at every opportunity I get.   

I even went to the APEC protests with a group of very respectable women

Now I just feel sorry for him.   

I still throw my slippers and I speak out and I vote!

We’ll vote the liar out.

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Happy with Margo.

Hi folks, my name is Brian. I am from a small rural community in East Gippsland Vic, populated mostly by rednecks so a high quality lefty conversation is a rare thing.  Imagine my delight when downloading my recent ration of Late Night Live [LNL] with Phillip A to come across a segment by Margo, which not only told me about SNHJ 2007 but also this website - Hoorah!!

First thing next day I ordered SNHJ-2007 from Booktopia Bookshop  for the princely sum of $30.75 delivered by Aussie Post. Owzat? My eyes are teary with anticipation.

Please please Margo return to LNL soon. It is your natural habitat and you have been sorely missed.

Fiona: Welcome to Webdiary, Brian. I don't know that the site qualifies as "lefty" conversation - indeed, there are some active Webdiarists who would be wounded by such a description. The general aim is to have an inclusive conversation, which certainly gets heated at time, but it's supposed to be a contest of ideas (yeah, those radically dangerous things) rather than a series of personal attacks...

Lefty Conversations

Fiona, I was refering to LNL rather than this webdiary as a lefty conversation, my much looked foward to conversation with Saint Phillip A and his mates.

Fiona: Thank you for that reassurance, Brian. As I said to Alan Curran earlier, we do try to keep ourselves noice here.

So Why is Howard so cockey?

We know that the Bush Jnr. administration has manipulated "democractic" elections around the world, even in their own country.

People should be aware that, with the encouraging polls aside that the "take-over" of our once democratic society is already evident.

Some of the most important issues in this election, IF Howard eventually allows us to have it (sarcasm) are as follows:

  • WorkChoices (which will worsen according to Costello).
  • Climate Change whose involvement is to be dictated by George W. Bush.
  • The debt-laden false economy and the fearful foreign debt.
  • The death of Medicare by "1000 cuts".
  • The privatising of public Hospitals.
  • The Nuclear Reactors sites decided by Commercial interests.
  • Australia becoming the world's nuclear waste depository.
  • Ultimate introduction of conscription to feed young Australians into the U.S. Military/Corporate.
  • The "never ever" GST being used to subjugate the States.
  • The unscrupulous use and abuse of agreements made with the states and with the States' good faith.

All in the name of "war on terrorism".  Fair dinkum.

The worst thing that happened to the "free world" was 9/11.

Let's hope we can elect a government that withdraws us from the vortex of 100 years of war.



 Ernest William "Ultimate introduction of conscription to feed young Australians into the U.S. Military/Corporate".

Did you get this information from Mike Kelly or is it another figment of your imagination? As for WorkChoices, which Burrows and Combet said will cost jobs, how come the the jobless figures out today are lower again?

How can any Reasoning Person Fall for This?

I have written before about the Howard "offer" of preventing spam etc on our computers with "our permission".

I think I called it "Come off it Howard".

When he offered his "gift" of a 24 month contract with Telstra, he didn't explain that the increase in "downloads" would contain what he calls "uploads" - that is E-mails.

Now he says that he will, this miserable skinflint, give us a "free" spam service IF you give him your permission.  Struth!

In addition, this will be operated by ASIO and the Federal Police.

But - it will be free.  But will your computer be FREE of spying? Of course not but, don't complain, YOU AGREED.

Regardless of the past, a real Liberal Malcolm Fraser once said, "There is no such thing as a free lunch".

A universal refusal of this scam could have made things difficult for Howard, but now, like our silent phone numbers in 2004, he will order the surveilance of all of our computers and - who is to stop him?

Fair dinkum - bring on the election.


Federal government payments to states lowest in 10 years

Federal government payments to the states have fallen to their lowest level in 10 years, a new report shows.

The 2006-07 final budget outcome, released last month, showed that payments to the states have fallen from 7.2 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) or about $53 billion in 2001-02 down to 6.5 per cent of GDP or about $68 billion in 2006-07.

No wonder the states are struggling to provide good hospitals, police services and infrastructure. Howard and Costello have been short changing the states for years. The only way we can change this situation is to get rid of the Liberal government. 

Next Year Will Be Very Interesting

Alan Curran, glimpsing at the Australian economy I think whomever happens to be in government will not be very popular by the end of 2008. The Australian economy has an inflation problem. One that is becoming more, and more serious by the month. I think many will be in for quite a shock in the not too distant future (enjoy Christmas).

There are about three remedies any one government can look toward. They are all going to be hurtful. Even if used in combination form. Has any person bothered to ask the potential government's views on consumption, and capital growth taxes? My money would be squarely on this happening as it will be considered politically the best option to slow the economy (the trick is conning the middle class that paying more of the tax burden is worth the pain). Naturally introducing new taxes will eventually fail; the easiest political options always do. However at this particular time of the world economic cycle a move in that direction could potentially have devasting future ramifications for Australia.

If 43% of Australians believe the economy is irrelevent somebody should record their names and telephone numbers. A return to this particular question in twelve months could at least make for some entertaining responses.

Matt Price's horror

I have just read that Matt Price who we have all argued with and agreed with and disagreed with for the past decade has been diagnosed with several brain tumours.

And the wonderful Cynthia Banham is in a wheelchair being stared at by strangers who can't be bothered to be polite.

And an Aussie soldier has been blown to bits on the 1st day of the 7th year of the mindless war in Afghanistan, while 51 mums died in childbirth  and 28,000 kids died of hunger and disease.

And the coward Howard still won't call the bloody election.

The majority finally know it doesn't matter

Howard has not done a single thing to manage the economy and with 43% polled saying it makes no difference to the economy who is in the government that augurs well that finally we are becoming economically literate because Howard sure isn't.

Let's be Fair Dinkum.

Encouraged part-time employment and sells it as a “fully employed” workforce. This will make it appear that the number of JOBS available are increased due to the number of employed people who are working multiple part-time. Fair dinkum.

  • Remove any organised employee advocates, if not by propaganda, then by legislation.
  • Remove or control any independent Authority which may not agree with the restrictions on wages and entitlements. (Including the Australian Bureau of Statistics).
  • Remove the opportunity of free Higher Education.
  • Legislate to restrict funding to public schools unless the Teachers follow the doctrine of the “New Order”. But leave the over-funded private schools alone.
  • Remove skills training by under-funding Tafe and apprenticeships and introduce the 457 visas for foreign unskilled workers who will appear to fill the part-time vacancies of a natural resources booming economy
  • Create a situation where the middle to lower income workers have nothing to sell but their labour which, if they withdraw, they will be prosecuted and denied basic welfare payments. 
  • Legislate a government controlled “Committee” with the power to legally punish workers with the powers given to that unelected Authority by the “New Order”. This requires that the “offenders” are NOT SACKED but prosecuted and in many cases their homes are confiscated.
  • There is more and more un-Australian, even in-human rights related behaviour by the Howard “New Order” which the media does not expose. Howard and his robots are a business at any cost government.  They do not consider services like health, education, age care, employment etc., as anything other than an objective for Corporation profit.

    When you remove the trappings, Howard considers Australians as beggars for employment, in what was once our Nation, by Corporations who rape our natural resources and for the benefit of foreign shareholders. In finality, reason and correlate the actions of these people and forget the media crap of Howard’s gang being unstable. They have been and, they still are, the biggest danger to all that is dear to Australians, and also those who fought and died expressly to prevent the existence of this type of dictatorship in our Nation. I feel that the venal media has betrayed the Australian people with their “calm” attitude to the abuse of our democracy

    Bring on the election



    The Inverted Funnel of Power.

    John Howard wants everything sold and/or privatised - if he can.  True?

    He (and Barnaby Joyce) sold the public majority in Telstra and have created another problem, due to his incompetence, with that subsequently privatised company and, the three Americans who HE welcomed as appointees.

    The story of these sell-outs and obvious avoidance of responsibility are now a "New Order" legend.

    So, what do we think of his "take-overs"; interventions; un-checked abuse of total power; under-funding of all services and the States and the slow but definite power acquisitive, servile Senate and lower house.

    Is there an ulterior motive in all of this or is it just a spiteful little schoolboy "making hay while the sun shines"?

    I believe in the former.

    Howard's behaviour when he thought he was losing that power and his confession that he has "a lot more to do" can only mean a "lot more of the same".

    Our Federation and our Constitution was originally designed to have a fair and democratic sharing of power so that the people of the lesser populated States and Territories had an equal and final say on what would be legislated.

    A clear intention of sharing power and avoiding a dictatorship.

    So who is abusing the Constitution? Who is decimating the Federation's intention of shared power by diluting that of the democratically elected State governments? Who is disenfranchising the voters in the States and Territories?

    A clear intention of removing any organised power sharing to create a fascist style dictatorship.

    If we step back and look at the big picture, it appears that POWER is being withdrawn from democratically elected bodies with the unworkable excuse of giving it to the "communities".

    Whether that was applied to Hospitals or whatever, it would be a major catastrophe. Anyone who has been witness to the failing of Club Boards (community elected on personality) will clearly see the evil intent of Howard and his "New Order" robots.

    And who would come in and take over the mess?

    Alison Broinowski is a Lady with more courage than the "little monster" ever imagined.  Read and reason her "A Fascist Australia".

    Bring on the election before the Howardists spend us into defict.




    A Debt-Laden False Economy.

    It continues to annoy me when the media (and some polls) classify John Howard as more trusted on the economy than Kevin Rudd.

    John Howard, as Treasurer for the Fraser Liberal government, handed down only four budgets - all in debit.

    He additionally has the record for the highest interest rates in Australia's history - 21% in 1982.

    He handed over to the Hawke Labor government in 1983 what can only be called an economic mess.

    So he, personally, should be given a zero for economic management.

    Then we have Kevin Rudd, who has never managed an Australian economy and, to be fair to both parties, he is also a zero due to the unknown.

    So, that has to be at the very least a draw.

    When we consider that the massive Treasury Management team will be the same no matter who wins the election and the fact that one of the prospective leaders has proven that he cannot manage the economy, the Opposition Leader appears as a reasonable alternative.

    Especially when we have all had the chance to realise that John Howard can "never ever" be trusted.  Just too arrogant, mean and tricky.

    IMHO, the most logical result of the latest poll showing that 43% believe nothing will change is a short-priced bet - making the 40% for Howard and 12% for Rudd a "guestimate" result of a decade of propaganda.

    And what about Peter Costello?

    While he bitterly criticises Kevin Rudd for his inexperience in treasury matters, he conveniently forgets that he also fitted that description when he took office in 1996.

    Additionally he would be peeved at the observation by the expert from Macquarie Bank that, with the expertise in the Treasury and the commodity boom, the Treasurer only has to appear to manage a department which manages itself.

    Now what is the general consensus of the ploy of the "not so hones" partnership between Costello and Howard?

    According to quotes from bio's, Howard is a mad spender and Costello has to "find the money" to pay for this cavalier attitude to finance.  Seems to fit the picture at the moment anyway.

    However, the known incompetence and irresponsible spending by Howard must take precedence in our judgement since Costello has proven on so many occasions that he doesn't have the "ticker" to confront his "Boss".

    So let's be fair dinkum and give Australia a new and forward thinking leader to "trim the boar" for our future generations.

    Bring on the election.


    False polls

     Ernest William,"It continues to annoy me when the media (and some polls) classify John Howard as more trusted on the ecomomy than Kevin Rudd".

    That's very interesting Ern, you believe the polls that has Labor ahead but you get annoyed when the polls show Howard better with the economy than Rudd. I suppose when Rudd loses the election you will say that the people are wrong for electing Howard.

    Quite right Alan.

    I think that one of the best attributes this forum has is to do just that Alan.

    I would add though, that I would rather "scream bloody murder" from the highest building, that Australia would be finished as an independent Nation should the "New Order" succeed.

    Howard is continuing to lie, deceive, pork-barrel, wedge and generally spend our money for his own political purposes rather than funding the services which he has allowed to degenerate to third world status.

    Instead of indignant outrage, the venal media is treating this abuse of power and democracy as a normal event - liking it to the Australian Labor Party ads for which that party is paying its own way.  Struth.

    Another tragedy is the death of another Australian Soldier in Afghanistan.

    With Howard's penchant for everything cheap, let's hope that they don't treat his body with the same contempt as they did Private Kovco, by using a cheap mortuary in Kuwait and losing his body.

    Let's hope even further that they do not repeat the disgraceful performance of Howard after Sgt. Russell was also killed in Afghanistan.

    Remember Alan?  Howard had Bush lay a wreath on the tomb of the unknown Soldier in remembrance of that victim of a roadside bomb - and ignored the Soldier's Wife and family to boot!

    Nor did this "man of steel" apologise to that Lady and her family.

    Do you really think that he has changed his spots?

    Cheers Ern G.

    It's started

    Ernest William, as I predicted the Labor incompetants are starting to show their true colours, they have all been kept under wraps by Rudd in the past couple of weeks and the minute he opens the cage this is what happens.

    "Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd has told Labor foreign affairs spokesman Robert McClelland it was insensitive to question the death penalty for the Bali bombers just days before the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attack.

    Mr Rudd said a staff member from Mr McClelland's office had been counselled about the content of the speech.

    "I also understand ... that a person in my own office saw the text of the speech but didn't identify this part of it," he said".

    How can anybody think of letting this inexperienced mob run the country. Can't wait for Gillard and Swan to be let out of the cage.

    This from yourself is equally insensative,

    "Another tragedy is the death of another Australian Soldier in Afghanistan.

    With Howard's penchant for everything cheap, let's hope that they don't treat his body with the same contempt as they did Private Kovco, by using a cheap mortuary in Kuwait and losing his body".

    Richard::  Then again Alan, who would think we could have botched that repatriation so badly?  No, it won't happen again, but it doesn't hurt to ask the question so that they know we're keeping an eye on them. 


    And imagine had a Labor government buggered up Pte Kovco's unhappy repatriation. Major Akkimoto might have gorn into ultra-meltdown, leaving a vast cooking pot simmering with just a coupla sweetbreads floating on top.

    And while we're about it, could we hark back to Trooper Russel's widow, and the miserable Howards' rotten pisspoor snub of her, during the visit of Bush the Minor to a Canberra BBQ with the late Stingray man.

    Woodforde, OAM, Santa GertrudisXBelmont Red - Mmmmmmm, bifu teki!


    Woodforde OAM, How about this lot.

    If Rudd wins, they have a great team of uni graduates and ex-union officials picked to take us into this socialist heaven. Rudd's list of new bodies and enquiries - and this list is not a joke!   A party hack & bureaucrat's paradise!

     All this, and campaigning has barely started, much less the "A new report says.. " season.


    Richard:  Which lists I've snipped to save space

    And for good measure, a quote from Paul Sheen (SMH September 17 article):
     "Then there is the silent rhinoceros in the room. A Rudd Labor government would create the greatest concentration of union power in Australian political history. Labor governments would control all eight states and territories plus the federal government. Rudd's cabinet would be loaded with a dozen former union officials and not a single business creator. His government would have three former ACTU presidents. Three more union heavies, Greg Combet, Bill
     Shorten and Doug Cameron, would have arrived via safe seats. A union lawyer, Gillard, would be deputy prime minister.

    All the union heavies have maintained a disciplined relative invisibility,
     allowing Rudd to run a presidential campaign. They are silent because the stakes are so great, the prize so large. They can afford to wait. Rudd is only one, they are many."

    Finally, the unthinkable - Something unforseen happens to Kevin Rudd - Julia Gillard becomes Prime Minister!




    Richard, I believe the reason you snipped the lists I posted was that they would have embarassed the Rudd team, and not as you say to save space. I think people should see these lists, and they would realise the huge con job Rudd is pulling.

    More Experienced? Howard?

    Alan,  when Howard won the election from Keating, he had no experience  at all of real leadership other than that of delivering a poor imitation of a garden gnome with malignant constipation. A three-legged chair could have beaten Keating!

    Howard has oozed his way through more than a decade of Machievellian mongrelry while he has gained infinite experience at lying, trickery, wedge politics, refugee-bashing, Presidential-arse licking and control freakery.

    Howard deserves to be sent back to the bottom of the garden where he belongs: with the red back spiders, centipedes and a menage of other colourless Coalition gnomes!

    Ah, for the Crean dog vote, loyalty appreciated, Minglike

    I think Howard must find it pretty mean that he is not afforded the same blind loyalty that he has served with for so long now that a change of the guards is due. What would Ming say?

    Loyalty above all else. But not when your time is up. Move along son, the next one is ready.

    At least his fans like Alan don't even dream of using the "if" word. Well done Alan. Even if it takes a mullygrubber we will win eh mate? Welll, not sure about that as Rupert has given the marching orders about 8 months ago and all down wind since then, teflon peeling, all that stuff.

    Gordon is in trouble too, but he made the mistake of giving the go-ahead to the British war with Iran according to the Telegraph and Sparky here said Niet just before the election ... Just amazing how lockstep we have been with US/Brits on policy, legislation, and election activities.

    Alan, your loyalty is commendable. I guess people forget how well Latham was in the polls before the last election and before he had his beer with Bob and got "pancreatitis". I think Kev has vaccinated against any such thing, homeopathically. I did so like the Congo line line. Ahh for the ribald days of westies ruling the roost. Self made very smart and hard honest westies.

    Although Johnny has come a long way from the petrol pump boy (and his brother from tree chopping redneck days of. ..last summer). And that is with never having a beer after work with the lawyer lads, apparently. Just shows if people with all the physical and personality handicaps of Mr Howard can become our second longest serving PM, and inspire such loyalty from such discerners as Alan, well, Crean's dog can.



    I smell panic in the air when Mary j Shepherd, Daniel Smythe and Woodforde OAM use typical Labor/Union tactics of name calling. Just wait for the election and watch as Rudd and Co. unravel before your eyes.

    Richard:  .... and in the left corner, wearing the red and blue trunks...


    Major Akkimoto barking TANKO!! on false polls 

    You have to admit that Howard and his goons have been more untrustworthy on the economy of spending a truckload on "government" TV  adds, Major Akkimoro.

    And Akko, you also have to admit the Howard gang looks more and more like a drunken posse of crooked non-unionised scab bank tellers at a race track, trying desperately to recoup their embezzlements, one step ahead of the law.

    Woodforde, OAM, Brangus

    what the naff

    Woodforde  OAM, what the  "f" is ( a ) "brangus" ?

    Is it benign or venomous? Can you teach it to whistle or is it a consequence?

    ... well, someone had to ask him! 

    Richard:  The trouble is that now we're going to get an answer ;) 


    Paul Walter, "brangus" is a bull, that's where all the b******t comes from.

    Here is the Japanese translation 雄牛.

    Thanks Margo

    Go the Greens indeed, I still can't find a reason to go back to a big party but I have just read some interesting stats. on the pulp mill.    At this point in time Gunn's only add 4% to the Tasmanian economy and despite their grandiose rants the mill will only add 3%.

    Fishing brings in $470 million per year and the mill will only bring in $270 million a year sometime around about 2011 so what on earth is the point of the monstrous damn thing?

    In SA we are building a pulp mill in the South East and Sandra Kanck told me that they won't be using any chlorine so why are they using the muck in Tassie?    Why are they so determined to destroy everything around them instead of fostering further tourism which is currently bringing in more than Gunn's and creating less havoc?

    What is the real kickback - are they doing business with AWB by any chance?    Have they got a lovely dictator somewhere that they are bribing?    Why destroy the lungs of the country when it lowers rainfall, decreases the ability to grow decent produce, salinates the water, destroys the aquifers and so on?

    For a miserable 3% increase to GDP I just don't get it.

    By the way your book was almost sold out today in my book store but they tell me they can't give away John Winston Howard, which I am actually reading and finding fascinating.

    When I read Rudd's bio. by Robert Macklin I got the feel of a real person who had suffered some shocking deprivation, who knew what hardship was and how to deal with it and have empathy for other human beings.

    While I am reading about Howard I just can't find a person in the persona that he has created.

    Now he reckons he will run the election on jobs.   Can you believe the Chutzpah of the sick little bastard?

    You Should Know What To Do Alan

    Alan Curran

    Don't worry about the things Rudd promises and you don't get, worry about the things you will get that he has not promised.

    A broken promise can only ever affect those that would believe the original promise. Given as I never accept anything a politician says at face value; any broken promise has little chance of causing me harm. If you know what this person will do (I' am guessing it will be harmful); you should now be in the process of taking preventive steps to protect yourself. All individuals should be accountable for their own poor decisions. If Mr Rudd turns out to be a poor decision the people that have made it, deserve all that comes their way. I would consider this an essential part of the learning process.

    The Revolution Never Came

    Paul Walter

    We all feel disempowered and for once there is  no obvious way out. So,  Curran is as suspicious of them as the rest,  but his preferred poison remains the coalition, opposite to many others including myself.

    From the posts I have read by Alan Curran he seems to be saying he personally will be a winner irrespective of the result.  If he is enjoying success at this point in time it would be hard to argue he will not be enjoying success at a future point. Elections are merely a means for one to vent anger one day every four years. At the conclusion of all the "anger venting" it is back to normal existence.

    "Meet the new boss; same as the old boss "


    One foot in the grave.

    I'd feel myself a failure if I couldn't be happy without expensive grog and a flash car.

     Knowing that the world is full of starving people who do work hard, for nothin fairer than a bowl of rice a day, I'd like to think money wasted in conspicuous consumption might be better spent on alleviating suferring, than stealing someone else's chances for an ego trip..

    Ego trip

    Paul Walter, my wasted conspicuous consumption is offset by sponsoring 3 children through World Vision, I do not not feel a failure.

    You didn't say that in the other post.

    And I've wasted plenty in my own time, too. Pity about that like, you learn all this stuff about a sense of proportion and the like the hard way just to kark it in the end, anyway.

    Hey Alan, a whimsical thought. Perhaps if there is reincarnation you might be born a kid in some poor place whose life would be even worse, but for the fact that someone sponsored you.

    You are a funny bloke, full of harshness and hardline stuff yet you disclose every so often something like the above or the fact that you didn't rip off your workers. Maybe you are just an old fashioned conservative rather than a twatty, out of touch neoliberal.

    Back to the thread.

    The Mary J Shepherd point concerning economic pros and cons goes to the heart of my fears about the thing too. Am anything but against rational economic decision-making and it is that fact as much as any sentimental stuff about little furry animals that bugs me about decision-making processes involving things like the Gunns paper mill. We just don't seem to have advanced in the last forty years. They develop environmental and economic modelling to apply to these processes and then abandon them when it suits them, and we find ourselves back in the medieval dark ages of government by whim, greed, and prejudice.


    Paul Morrella, you are perfectly right, it will make no difference to me personally who wins the next election. As long as they dont make it illegal to drive a Mercedes and drink Glenfiddich, although not at the same time, they can all go jump in the lake. Don't worry about the things Rudd promises and you don't get, worry about the things you will get that he has not promised.

    pps: "and he called me stupid" ... Crista Sch.

    Just looking at SMH straw poll. 7000 voters.

    Only 17% believe the  Gunns eco safeguards will work ...

    post scriptum

    I notice the poisoned atmosphere in Tasmanian politics has claimed another scalp- this time Ben Quinn,  Dick  Adams' challenger in  Bass.

    The bloke has been told by many in his electorate that they are uneasy about the pulp mill and his penalty for heeding his neighbours has been met with all that now-customary authoritarianism that has become the hallmark of all dealings between the Coalition and  Labor machines and the rest of society, including  those within one or other grouping who have misgivings.

    And that's what sums up what's wrong right across politics at the moment- as per democratic audit. Namely,  the tail wags the dog.

    Speaking of truth ...

    Alan Curran, you wrote:

    ... I have watched as you twist the truth ...

    Odd coming from someone who, whenever asked to substantiate accusations against others, goes missing.

    a quick take

    I see the way things go, the last half dozen posts.

    Are all of our politicians impotent, or just one lot, or  the other? Could or would some of them do better under different circumstances? What is that seems to prevent our leaders from being leaders?

    These questions are what the Gunns issue, long term,  seems to raise as exemplary of everything that is tricky about this stanza of Australian politics.  What has changed and what stayed the same over a generation to have things as they are?  Decline of unions? technology?

    And many other factors could be involved. The public is restless and smells a rat. No not just, or even, Howard. The lot. Politics. 

     Every one knows the "science" including "real" economics as to  environment on specific issues and in general has been willfully obscured by every formation in power in any location you can think of for as long as you care to remember. We know they are probably lying and probable all of them are lying!  We can't work out why. Can their values be so Morlock-like different to ours? We suspect  there are hidden motives:  the mere fact that they are hidden must therefore make them sinister?

    And in the end you get a boil-over of frustration reflected in everyday conversation, including here reflected in the short, sharp exchange between Mary J Shepherd and Alan  Curran.  We all feel disempowered and for once there is  no obvious way out. So,  Curran is as suspicious of them as the rest,  but his preferred poison remains the coalition, opposite to many others including myself.  

    I sense he feels no better than his opponents. Others of us wait and hope for a change of government, but dread that the new lot might be as dishonest as the old lot. Worse that would be, because we would have our guards lowered for someone we trusted rather more, rather than maintaining scrutiny with something that is distrusted, like the spider visible on the ceiling. At least we know  where it is.

    What do the bastards stand for? The Coalition, who we know are bastards and might even be our bastards. Or Labor, worse still if they have succeeded in hiding some sort of genuinely dangerous  phoniness underneath all the affability.

    I'll probably end up risking a change as to my voting choice because from my point of view  I feel  I have less to lose, but, as I've said before, am very suspicious of the alternative  because I believe our politics at this stage of our history,  the globalisation era, that politics ruthlessly eliminates all honesty from all heavyweight politicians and parties as a precondition to their rise to power.  I recommend that folk watch any and all like hawks  to keep these honest, whoever gets into government.

     "Meet the new boss; same as the old boss ", the  Who, "Won't Get Fooled Again", 1974.

    Is a Fascist Dictator a "Leader" or a "Tyrant".

    Quoting from "A Fascist Australia" by Alison Broinowski, item 11 says as follows:

    "Hostility to intellectuals and artists: free expression is attacked and government funding is threatened or removed from those it doesn't approve of.

    Article 11.  Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts.

    "Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia.  It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested.  Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts."

    It also says in the resume:

    Take Number 11, hostility to intellectuals.  Last year Padriac P McGuiness, the Education Minister's lay appointee on the quality and scrutiny committee of the Australian Research Council, opposed 27 research applications in the humanities and social sciences, which he reportedly described as silly, ill-designed, and contributing nothing to knowledge in Australia.  Dr Nelson himself overruled the chair and expert members of the committee and vetoed seven projects without explanation.  The Australia Council has been reduced to conservative conformity, and the ABC is on the way.

    Then, on ABC Lateline yesterday, a debate was held between the Murdoch Editor-at-large Paul Kelly and an "intellectual", Professor Robert Manne.

    This was a perfect example of a fascist doctrine, espoused by Paul Kelly, who is trying to convince Australians that we must not take notice of these intellectuals.

    He does not dispute their intelligence but he insists that the "damage the Howard government has done to Australia" is mainly in the minds of these intellectuals who have nothing positive to say in the debate!

    There is surely no dispute about the political bias of Paul Kelly who has a habit of "band-aiding" his attacks on any opposition to the Howard government.

    Credibility?  I think not.

    Jesus Alan Curran you are weird

    As it looks like the government are going to be wiped out after 11.5 years of lies, wasteful spending, illegal wars and occupations, the children overboard travesty and other horrors you are still whining that the ALP could be worse.

    You need to take a bex and have a good lie down before you implode on your own mindless stupidity mate.


    Mary j Shepherd, I have watched you whine now for nearly 3 years, I have watched as you twist the truth and blame everybody for the sad state of affairs in your life. Methinks you need more than a bex. You are going to have plenty of time in the next 3 years to rant and rave, as you watch all the things that Rudd has promised disappear down the gurgler. Just pray that the Greens don't hold the balance of power after the elections; these loonies could turn us into a 3rd. world country.

    Margo: Hi Alan. I differ, of course. Go the Greens!

    Howard's surplus is blood money.

    A new report says the Federal Government's share of spending on public hospitals has fallen over the past decade.The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) study says the Commonwealth's share fell from 45 to 41 per cent while the state and territories' contribution rose to 51 per cent.

    The Howard government, has underfunded our hospitals by 9 per cent. No wonder our emergency departments are struggling. He would like to take control of all hospitals. I don't think so! This man is the reason the hospitals are failing.  Hospital funding is meant to be 50/50 state and federal. Now we know where the Howard "surplus" has come from - the sick and dying. It really is blood money.

    Keep our eyes on the ball.

    We can always learn if we keep an open mind.

    My wife and I have just spent four days caravanning home from Rockhampton to Tuross Head, and during that time we daily visited the ABC radio stations and TV.

    We were unpleasantly surprised at the biased coverage given to the Howard government, sometimes with up to three "New Order" Ministers in the focus who had nothing whatever to do with the subject matter.

    Opposition shadow ministers were non-existent and even Kevin Rudd appeared to be dependent, almost entirely, on ads paid for by the Australian Labor Party.

    Perhaps the media is the wild card in this election because the $2 billion of our taxpayer funds that Howard has laundered to them over the last eleven years could be seen as a significant IOU.

    Additionally, it is estimated that the "New Order" is spending $1 million of our taxpayer funds to pay for blatant political advertising.

    It irks me to know that the money they are spending to once again try to convince us that black is white has been accumulated by treating their responsibilities to the voters as an aggravating cost factor in the running of their business.

    This from a government which is famous for its cheap and mean attitude to the services that we not only need but are entitled to have.

    This is a government that chooses cheap Garuda air services to transport "government protected" Australians "out of danger" - where five of them died.

    This is the government that did not warn our tourists of the intended Bali bombings because it was "not specific enough" and 88 Australians died.

    This is the "New Order" that out of pure incompetent meanness used a third world cheap mortuary in Kuwait to lose the body of an Australian soldier who died while on active service.

    This is the government whose leader never misses the opportunity of appearing to support Australian service personnel.

    These are the Australians who he commits to serving the interests of his friend George Bush, while having private enterprise spy on them when they return in case they dare to claim a pension.

    This is the government which has lied; deceived; operated in secrecy; divided our people and imposed a reported 500 prohibitions on the Australian media who, nevertheless, appear to be supporting their tormentors. Why?

    The maximum exposure of the "New Order" is obvious and undeniable – why is it so?

    And in the meantime, the media is unabashed in promoting the State Liberal oppositions. While I support that principle, why doesn't it apply to the federal arena?

    After all, if democracy is even in part what it is supposed to be, there is an enormous responsibility on the media. If they want freedom of speech then isn't it reasonable that they demand the same for us?

    Let's see and hear the Opposition views to these fascist activists.

    Or has true democracy become old fashioned?

    Bring on the election.


    This should make your weekend

    Ernest William, This should make your weekend, Ern, Rudd said today:

    "The $5 million spent by the federal government on advertising in that time could have purchased two or three CT scanners which were now urgently needed at Sydney's Liverpool Hospital"

    However the twit forgot to mention that Iemma has just spent $500,000 upgrading a minister's office - funny he never mentioned that. Also he failed to mention the fact that Iemma had a photo op in a PRIVATE ward to show how well he was managing the health system, but the idiot thought he was in a public ward. Maybe the venal media has got it wrong again.

    Now Bob Brown is unhappy with Labor over the pulp mill after this little tidbit:

    "Opposition environment spokesman Peter Garrett says Labor was always prepared to back the mill if it was world's best practice."

    So now Brown says "Garrett is no longer a friend of his, because Labor has sold out the Australian people".

    dazed and confused

    Sorry Alan, you've got me confused. One moment you're going ninety to the dozen about CT scanners and the next you've swapped to something totally unrelated, what Brown might think about "beds are burning" Garrett.

    On the first, of course private hospitals have more equipment than public ones: Howard has made sure they get more money; same as private compared to public schools. The above sectors relate on basis of similarities of misplaced spending priorities according to prejudice rather than need, so I've showed the connection.

    As to Gunns, you neglected to add your opinion of the pulp mill, Alan.

    No point with cheap shots from the side when you won't disclose where you are coming from yourself.

    To me, Gunns and Turnbull is a bit like AWB. It's been conducted on rigged limited terms of inquiry to avoid getting at those facts most in need of being got at. I suppose you will think it "efficient" if they have to revisit a developing mess, say like the Murray Darling is now, in the future when remedial measures will cost society any monies made from the pulp mill plus much more, to boot!

    I find it astonishing that society has not moved forward in forty years, as to honest interest and appreciation of consequences from preparatory planning level, for projects like Gunns dioxin pulp mill!


    Paul Walter, I am not suprised that you are dazed and confused about what is going on. You see what you have to realise is that Rudd & Co will say anything if they think there are votes in it. They have supported the pulp mill, and they are making out that they are clean and green. "It's been conducted on rigged limited terms of inquiry to avoid getting at those facts most in need of being got at". Garrett has accepted the report, and he would not have done that without Rudd's permission.

    For your information I am totally against the pulp mill being built, and I have emailed Turnbull (he is my local member) and told him so. However, I will still vote for him because the alternatives do not bear thinking about.

    Rudd hiding

    Ernest William, I watched every news report I could this evening and not one appearence of 007. I am sure the TV stations would have wanted his comments on the pulp mill. I would imagine he was locked up with his union masters. After all, this is also about jobs and he would not want to mess with his boss (Burrows). 

    They have nothing to say

    Ernest William:

    "We were unpleasantly surprised at the biased coverage given to the Howard government, sometimes with up to three "New Order" Ministers in the focus who had nothing whatever to do with the subject matter.

    Opposition shadow ministers were non-existent and even Kevin Rudd appeared to be dependent, almost entirely, on ads paid for by the Australian Labor Party."

    The reason you did not see any Opposition shadow ministers is that they have nothing to say, except "me too". Even today Garrett appeared on TV saying that the Labor Party supports the pulp mill in Tasmania - this after a week of bagging Turnbull. At least Bob Brown and Christine Milne came out with another load of nutty propositions. You can bet that Rudd will not say a word until he has seen the next Newspoll results.

    I Am Not The Devil

    What I mean to say is: You demonised me from the beginning!

    it was the tail...

    The cloven feet were a dead give away, too.

    Puzzled Constantly

    Paul Walter, thank you for your response.

    If I am to accept that you no longer wish to converse, that would sadden me. I've found your posts most enlightening, and most interesting.

    I ask that you read the structured, posted response addressed to me. How would you accept a person writing in this fashion to you?

    Playing straight is a matter of general acceptance between at least two people. I' am most willing to travel down this path. Are you?


    Yes, Paul Morrella, of course I try to read even posters who are likely disagre with me. Them most of all: if I have something "wrong", these will tell me sooner than my friends.

    Even unlikely cases. And if the inspection proves barren, then am justifiably free to avoid further time wasted by similar examples later, but this time with a clear conscience.

    Gee, We, And, Me

    Gee Paul Walter, did you actually read anything I wrote?

    Think you have tried to airbrush a century (well, a couple of centuries, actually!) of organised and sustained interference in mideast affairs by a technological powerful West. Why do this?

    What history did you think I have "airbrushed", and when did I make mention of the "west"?

    Provided we clean up the shitting mess left for us and our children to deal with in the first part of the twenty-first century, of course!

    What mess do you mean, and who has left it?

    To romanticise history as a sort of Florence Nightingale/John Wayne tableau has us far too close to Hitler's romanticist fact-avoidance nonsense mythologising of the history of the Aryan race, with the resulting Sturm und Drang consequences.

    What does the Aryan race have to do with this topic? The only tenuous link I can find is that many Iranian's are indeed "Aryan". I have no idea what that would have to do with any of this topic?

    Even in our own time we have had a pernicious little rewrite by Samuel Huntingdon, far more dangerous when combined with the "manifest destiny" guff of the US far-right religious nutters, to justify continued Western adventurism throughout the Third World. Where is the "trade" in that?

    The "US far-right religious nutters" do not justify anything to me. I' am a social and economic liberal. The "US religious right would avoid me like Ebola. Your favourite character Al Gore and wife Tipper would be closer to these people than I would. It was not me running around burning hard rock records and calling these records the work of Satan. Do you think there were votes in these "nutter" actions? The music industry in their latest Al Gore love fest sure proved they are a forgiving lot or just dumb.

    To say gross interference didn't happen, as with, say, Mossadeque in the 'fifties in Iran over oil as a good example of the pattern, really either bespeaks ignorance or dishonesty.

    If you are going to call me ignorant, and dishonest at least have the courtesy to base this on something I wrote! 

    Let's not idealise ourselves. Our immediate ancestors down to "us" didn't go to these places out of any selfless desire to help the benighted natives. We are not "nice" Brady Bunch people or, at least, any "nicer" than anyone else. That is just alibiing nonsense.

    When did I write "we" are "nicer" than any other person?

    But we find we are not talking about a theoretical world trade version of cooperativist social intercourse within an abstract level playing field when we talk of "capitalism" à la Paul Morrella.

    Would you care to share with us all what "we" are talking about?

    Rather we should ask, with the benefit of hindsight, whether neoliberal "capitalism" is any more a "possibility" than "socialism".

    Well, socialism is not a possibility in my world. In fact, socialism does not suit my lifestyle. How other people choose to live is down to them, and frankly I do not see it as any of my business. I only ask that they respect my right to choose not to travel down that "road".

    Personally I think an early education in socialism is a good thing in the industry I involve myself in. In fact, many ex-socialists have gone on to great and glorious things. Socialism teaches one the art of "socializing" one's loses, whilst earning a percentage from others gains - the most cut-throat form of capitalism that exists.

    The Keynesian settlement of a couple of generations ago was a move in that direction, but the spoiled brat response of capitalist neoliberalism overthrew that hope and we are now again servants of the machine, from top to bottom. We rediscovered (or had ourselves reintroduced to), our "Road to Serfdom", but in an opposite way to what smug Hayek claimed would happen.

    Again you will have to share with me who "we" happens to be. I enjoy my current lifestyle, and I do not feel anything out of the ordinary has been "spoiled" for me. So you could say: the "we" is minus me.

    PS let's not get in to discussions about "morals". I happen to believe they are best left for places of worship, poker games, and, although in the past, an attractive yet overly chaste young lady.

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