Oz Blog News Commentary
Poll Bludger Sunday, April 20, 2014 - 04:57 Source


Blue and red numbers respectively indicate booths with two-party majorities for Liberal and Labor. Click for larger image. Map boundaries courtesy of Ben Raue at The Tally Room.

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North Coast Voices Sunday, April 20, 2014 - 00:16 Source
Photograph of Japanese whale hunt found at Sky News
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North Coast Voices Sunday, April 20, 2014 - 00:15 Source
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Table Talk: Bob Ellis on Film and Theatre Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 22:53 Source

Which film do the experts acknowledge ‘kick-started’ the revived Australian film industry twenty years after Menzies effectively abolished it, in the early 50s? Which two great iconic male film stars were in it, one old, one young, at, respectively, the …

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Harry Clarke Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 20:16 Source

Nearly 1/5th of Chinese agricultural land is toxic.  Forget about measured economic growth targets – this is a madness. (6)

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Andrew Leigh Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 17:40 Source



SUBJECT / S: Tony Abbott breaks yet another promise on pension cuts; Kevin Rudd; Climate Change.

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John Quiggin Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 17:02 Source

I’ve written many posts and articles making the point that the political right, in most English speaking countries[1] has been taken over by a tribalist post-truth politics in which all propositions, including the conclusions of scientific research, are assessed in terms of their consistency or otherwise with tribal prejudices and shibboleths.

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Table Talk: Bob Ellis on Film and Theatre Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 15:06 Source

It’s possible the Liberals don’t know yet what damage they’re in, but I suspect they do.

Consider the figures, or the figures we thus far know about.

In an age of tightening of belts, Campbell Newman charges Di Girolamo five thousand dollars for a mere conversation, and Sinodinos charges him, and the taxpayer, twenty MILLION dollars for…let’s see…persuading O’Farrell to sign a deal, which involves the portage of sewage, and half a BILLION dollars gratefully received.

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Your Democracy Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 14:47 Source


one of them

From the SMH...


Three months later an opening arose when corruption allegations forced the resignation of the now jailed union boss Michael Williamson, who had been appointed to the State Water Corporation in the last days of the Labor government by treasurer Eric Roozendaal.

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Peter Garcia-Webb Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 12:36 Source

Attorney General George Brandis thinks he is Voltaire, but actually he is a hypocrite. When he wants to, he uses authoritarianism to shut down a debate on the way the Tony Abbott government deals with asylum seekers. And then, when he wants to, he accuses the Opposition and others of using the same authoritarianism to shut down debate on climate change. Both The Guardian and The Age carry a report of an interview George Brandis […]

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Table Talk: Bob Ellis on Film and Theatre Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 11:21 Source

What Australian Prime Ministers have played themselves in feature films — as opposed to appearing in newsreels, like Chifley in Newsfront, pasted into surrounding dramas? What three actors have played Ben Chifley? What three actors John Curtin? What Welsh, Australian, …

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Table Talk: Bob Ellis on Film and Theatre Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 10:45 Source

It is very, very probable Abbott has met Di Girolamo more than once. He is a major Liberal donor and money-raiser. And to say he never met him, though he met me a dozen times, and dined with me thrice, goes against all common sense.

And it is moreover certain, quite certain in my view, that Nick Di Girolamo will become, henceforth, the Brian Burke of the Liberal Party.

Anyone seen eating with him in the past five years, or standing on a wharf with him, or on a boat deck with him, or accepting, as Campbell Newman did, money from him, money in thousands from him, or, like Sinodinos, millions from him, will be toast.

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The Australian Independent Media Network Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 10:38 Source


thethinkerI have been critical lately of our system of government and have been inspired by the words of Ted Mack, Tony Fitzgerald and others (including commenters here) as well as looking at other democracies, to think about a system that might address some of the concerns I have.

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Table Talk: Bob Ellis on Film and Theatre Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 10:17 Source

I suspect the underlining of the word ‘all’ in O’Farrell’s letter to Di Girolamo, a self-incrimination that no sensible politician would contemplate, is in different ink to the handwriting.

I ask a forensic expert to look into this.

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Table Talk: Bob Ellis on Film and Theatre Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 09:27 Source

In what film did Bob Ellis and Les Murray appear as incompetent criminals? Who directed it?

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Table Talk: Bob Ellis on Film and Theatre Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 09:11 Source

(From Drew Forsythe)

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Politically homeless Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 09:03 Source

Barry O'Farrell misled ICAC and had to resign. It's still a pity that he's gone from the Premiership, and it's taken me days to work out why.He made his way up through the Liberal Party with the deft touch of getting along with everyone without being anyone's patsy. He spent time observing all of the players in the NSW Liberals up close, including their weaknesses and how to get around them. It's part of the reason why I both liked him and rated him as a real political operative, not just a player but a stayer, attaining a state to which most political-class dickheads can only aspire.

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Table Talk: Bob Ellis on Film and Theatre Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 08:11 Source

Ralph Fiennes’s film about Dickens’ affair with the actress Ellen Ternan (involving, as the Claire Tomalin book revealed, a public separation from the wife who bore him ten children; a denial in The Times that sex was involved; a born-dead bastard child, quickly buried and covered up; periods of depressive madness, his and hers; a knighthood foregone; chill glances over cigars at the Club) can be compared, as the work of an actor-director, with Citizen Kane.

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En Passant Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 07:47 Source

The world of the lobbyist is a veritable forest of corruption and yet these weeds prosper and grow in the fertiliser of party politics.

It’s the obverse of a bear farting in the woods. Everyone heard former New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell let one rip at the Independent Commission Against Corruption hearing and within a day he had resigned. Yet all the other ruling class bears are destroying our olfactory and other senses and no one gives a shit.

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The Australian Independent Media Network Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 07:15 Source

Abbott Lest We Forget.

The Guardian has judged him as ‘’politically incorrect to the point of dementia’’

New Statesman said Abbott represents ‘’politics at its most crass, exploitative and disturbing’’

UK Labour MP Paul Flynn called him ‘’a bigoted airhead’’

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Table Talk: Bob Ellis on Film and Theatre Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 06:59 Source

Will Abbott now expel Di Girolamo from the Liberal Party?

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Table Talk: Bob Ellis on Film and Theatre Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 06:47 Source

It is possible what happened was this. O’Farrell signed on to Gonski, enraging Abbott, and signed on to NDIS, enraging Brandis, and refused as well to sell off state assets, enraging Hockey, and these three power-wielders intrigued against him. He favoured gay marriage also, and they wanted him gone. He was a crablouse in their pubic hair and they wanted him gone.

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Hoyden About Town Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 06:00 Source

Please feel free to use this thread to natter about anything your heart desires. Is there anything great happening in your life? Anything you want to get off your chest? Reading a good book (or a bad one)? Anything in the news that you'd like to...

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Duck Pond Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 02:08 Source

The tradition of Easter, including it pagan antecedents, does not make any real sense here in the Southern Hemisphere. We are in Autumn, heading toward Winter.

Our seasons are out of joint with their cultural underpinnings. Still it was interesting, I thought, to hear that the Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne espousing the importance of culture by suggesting that it was a good thing that Aussie Rules, unlike the other football codes had not scheduled a match for Easter Friday. This can be fixed, the real prevailing materialist cultural imperative will see to it.

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North Coast Voices Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 00:16 Source
It’s not just that then NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell denied in evidence before the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) that he had received a bottle of Penfold’s Grange wine worth almost $3,000 from Nick Di Girolamo on 20 April 2011, nor his failure to declare this gift on his member’s disclosure declaration, that caused him to resign.
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North Coast Voices Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 00:15 Source
The Dogs Swam Out The Window
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Digitopoly Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 00:09 Source

A month ago, the music group, Wu-Tang Clan decided to do something we ‘economics of digitisation’ folks have always dreamed about: they decided to make just one unit of their next album.

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Peter Garcia-Webb Friday, April 18, 2014 - 23:12 Source

Can someone please explain why WordPress would bring out a new version the day before Easter? Would it not have occurred to them that if something was wrong there would be no one around to fix it? Apparently not. Version 3.9 has at least two sets of bugs: The much vaunted improved visual editor does not work on many themes and when you change something, the widgets in the sidebar disappear. Visual editor This is […]

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Hoyden About Town Friday, April 18, 2014 - 22:46 Source

Quite a few people I know are fans of Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles, centred upon a scapegrace Scots nobleman navigating the intrigues of the Tudor/Stewart/Suleiman era whose talents and flaws (and associated collateral damage body count)...

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The Australian Independent Media Network Friday, April 18, 2014 - 20:20 Source

bananaWhen you see Tony Abbott as Prime Minister, Joe Bullock elected in front of Louise Pratt, Bronwyn Bishop as Speaker, Tim Wilson given a job as a Human Rights Commissioner, Sophie Mirabella building submarines, and Alexander Downer showered with gifts from every direction, you know democracy is ailing if not already dead. It’s time for change.

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