Blissful Ignorance & the Bastardisation of Science for Fun & Profit

I’m a Scientist. So I frankly find it offensive when industrialists such as the Koch brothers in America, our own mining billionaires such as Gina Rinehart, public relations specialists such as ‘Lord’ Chris Monckton from the UK, and other Right Wing types, try and convince me they know more about a scientific subject than I do.

I’m speaking about the attack on science by the Right, which is spreading like a virus through the corridors of power in our parliaments to the point of a capitulation to, if not an outright endorsement of, conspiracy theories and anti-science propaganda.

It is being done so as to serve the interests of the vested interests and not the interests of the people. It is leading to a degradation of open democracy.

Not only that, but their almost limitless supply of funds has seen them buy a variety of spruikers for their cause. Some even formerly respectable individuals and scientists, willing to sell their integrity to the highest bidder.

A major part of the problem is the fact that the media is failing to give an accurate reflection of what is overwhelming scientific consensus on subjects, most especially climate change, because it has been bought and paid for by a single powerful industry focused on its bottom line at the expense of rational debate, forcing a media increasingly dependent on that industry for its survival to give as much weight to its self-interested agenda as it does to non-partisan scientists and their evidence-based conclusions.

They are also targeting our schools. For example, the Right Wing, Koch brothers-funded think tank, The Heartland Institute, actually developed a curriculum teaching children that climate science is a controversial matter. On the other hand, facts demonstrate only 24 peer-reviewed articles reject global warming, compared to an overwhelming 13,926 scientific articles that reinforce the science behind it.

However, this is where the Right insinuate themselves in order to launch their attacks on the science from, by zeroing in on the contents of the 24 articles that reject global warming, giving them the same, or more, weight in their arguments attacking the AGW science; at the same time as ignoring the 13,926 that support the theory of climate change.

In fact, it has become a gravy train for formerly moderately-remunerated Questacon roadshow presenters, such as Jo Nova (real name Jo Codling, but it doesn’t quite have that pizzazz that Right Wing warriors need in a name, so ‘Jo Nova’ she became), to jump aboard as the best vehicle they could identify that would take them to a better life. So she sold her scientific soul to the highest bidder so that she could provide the surface sheen of scientific credibility to the credulous that populate the anti carbon tax rallies she speaks at and who frequent the blog she writes on behalf of the vested interests in the fossil fuel & mining industries, whose agenda she furthers and who are the ones who sign her pay cheques.

And so invested has Jo Nova, molecular biologist, become in their cause that she sounds as if she even believes it herself. Ditto Bob Carter, geologist.

It must be admitted, however, that there are anti-science views perpetuated on the Left too. Such as those about nuclear power production via the latest, infinitely-safer technology than that of decades ago, when the major accidents happened (except when it comes to building nuclear power plants in areas prone to earthquakes, which is just silly and has nothing to do with science). Or the anti vaccine movement, that originated on the counter-cultural lunar Left, but the Left nonetheless.

However, the difference between Left & Right anti science can best be expressed this way:

On the Left you fail to see a mainstreaming of anti-science views. Indeed, the Gillard government has overruled the anti nuclear power forces in the Labor Party, by agreeing to expand the mining of uranium and the sale of it to power nuclear reactors in other countries. Plus, kept an open mind on the subject of nuclear power for Australia, but mainly as fuelled by thorium, even in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear reactor meltdown disaster.

And that’s typical.

What you get on the Left is a large amount of dissension and discussion and pushback against those who make scientifically-questionable claims, and, as has ultimately occurred in the anti vaccine situation, the ultimate banishment of these ideas from serious consideration.

And what that means is that Anti Science doesn’t shape policy in the same way on the Left, as it increasingly is doing on the Right.

Yes, you will find extremes, as I said-islands of ideology where, basically, Monsanto and its GM crops is the Great Satan, and vaccines are causing autism. But there is no currently pressing issue that I can think of, to equal anthropogenic global warming denial/scepticism on the Right, where the Left is monolithically in denial of basic science, or where this drives mainstream political policy, for example, drives the stance of many elected Liberal, National, DLP & Family First politicians.

Which points to the fact, observed increasingly, that unlike small ‘l’ Liberal moderates, many big ‘C’ Conservatives, who now populate the Liberal and other parties, openly wear their distrust of science as a badge of honour, and devote their energies to bringing to governments around the world, policies which sideline science. Also to denigrating the serious scientific endeavours the majority of selfless members of the scientific community engage in on behalf of society, and replace it with pseudo science, which serves the agendas of the vested interests who back them.

Fronting it to the community will be the pseuds like Jo Nova and Bob Carter, scientists by name but not by nature.

By nature they are more like this:

and should be treated as such.

They can use all the fine-sounding scientific words they like, as this blog shows by deconstructing a Jo Nova speech to an anti carbon tax rally:

http://itsnotnova.wordpress.com/2011/06/23/joanne-nova-speaks-well-what-about-her-science/

Which shows they can have their own scientific opinions, but they can’t have their own scientific facts.

However, it doesn’t make them right simply because they sound reasonable to the casual, unscientifically-trained observer.

So, Don’t Believe the Hype!

Real scientists, doing real work in their field of expertise, climate science, show that the effects of CO2 on climate are real.

To sum up, debate and dissension around science is a good thing. Attacking the scientific method & the results it provides, is not.

Very simply, while most people continue to hold science and scientists in high regard, an increasingly large share of the Conservative political elite, office holders, candidates, and mouth pieces are taking seriously anti-science positions.

While the scientific community see the theory of global warming to be as strongly based as the theory of gravity, those dominating large sections of our own Liberal & National parties, attack climate scientists, and accuse them of being engaged in a global cabal to falsify scientific facts-the IPCC.

Or they create pseudo-scientific & medical data to support faux maladies such as ‘wind turbine syndrome’, to justify their attacks on the nascent renewable energy industry:

http://www.independentaustralia.net/2013/life/health/anti-wind-farm-lobby-claims-break-all-laws-of-physics/

Many senior people in the Liberal Party, such as Tony Abbott & Cory Bernardi, denigrate the theory of evolution, with their support for introducing creationism into science classrooms.

When it comes to environmental regulatory actions, they adopt the catch-cry of ‘Too much regulation and red tape gets in the way of business just trying to survive & prosper’, in order to sanction practices which scientists have warned against. For example, the health risks and impacts on the environment of mining by-products.

Also, hiding under the guise of ‘sound science’, or ‘common sense science’, Conservative politicians promote polluter-driven, or vested interests-benefiting, pseudo-science to skew policy away from honest, science-based discussion. For example, Nick Minchin’s continued intransigence with respect to the effects of second-hand smoke on health.

Next to a chilling quote by one of the foremost polemicists of the Right’s ‘anti science brigade’, Rush Limbaugh:

“The four corners of deceit: government, academia, science, and media. That’s how they promulgate themselves, it is how they prosper.”

It is this position that is increasingly taken up by too many ‘small government’ Libertarian politicians. Expertise and knowledge and institutions that value these are the enemy.

Sadly, people of this ilk are making understanding and support of science an ideological litmus test.

While climate change denial/scepticism is central to that litmus test, it is far from the only element, as I have already outlined. Though ‘denialism’ over global warming has become a cause célèbre within the Conservative movement.

Limbaugh again:

“Science has become a home for displaced socialists and communists”

Plus, he has called climate change science “the biggest scam in the history of the world”.

Why should we care?

Because his words and the following they have, are bullets to the heart of the scientific community. They are influential and his arguments percolate through Conservative politics and into legislative action, or inaction, on the part of governments as electorates adopt those principles he espouses and vote accordingly to elect representatives who espouse them.

The movement is also averse to science-based regulation, which it sees as an excuse for intrusive government.

It is not hard to understand the damage that anti-science syndrome suffering ideologues create.

The achievements of science are core to our existence, from medicine that saves our lives, to analytical tools that enable speed-of-light communications (NBN!), to …..

Demonisation of science fosters, in the near and long-term, a weakened economic competitiveness for the nation, for all nations. And, it will lead to a much weaker nation in the decades to come, due to loss of competitive advantage that a belief in science at its core and a fostering of love and respect for science in the community and the classroom can lead to. Not to mention a much-weakened nation and globe due to the catastrophic effects of climate chaos, which will make the droughts longer, the floods bigger, and the cyclones more intense and frequent.

And the self-interest of a few should never be allowed to get in the way of doing what true ‘common sense science’ dictates is the right path to follow. We just can’t afford to be led up the garden path by these people any longer.

1,769 thoughts on “Blissful Ignorance & the Bastardisation of Science for Fun & Profit

  1. Nice escalation in terms here in this Daily Telegraph piece on the possible increase in the Medicare Levy:

    It would mean those earning $50,000 would pay about $250 a year more, on $75,000 it would be a $375 hike, while the slug would be $500 extra for someone on $100,000. Someone on $200,000 would pay $1000 more.

  2. Maybe what we desperately need is a local version of the Huffington Post, linking to reliable information sources/articles from both mainstream and social media and placing it all under the one banner.

  3. Does The Daily Smelly ever contrast how much extra per year a person would pay for National Disability Insurance with the costs of a catastrophic accident on a person’s lifetime earning potential foregone plus the costs of treatment WITHOUT an NDIS? Or the cost of bringing up a Disabled Child?

    NO!

    They always go for the cheap shot and the low blow.

  4. Another great article from Stephen Koukoulas:

    We should all be grateful for the fact that our taxes aren’t being hiked oppressively or our services slashed simply to meet the objective of a budget surplus that no one outside Australia gives two hoots about and that if delivered, would all but guarantee an economic slump and an unemployment rate nearer 7 per cent.

    Hands up the economic zealots who want that?

    Read more: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/4/30/federal-budget/budget-deficit-just-stone-shoe#ixzz2RuNKb6R8

  5. Does The Daily Smelly ever contrast how much extra per year a person would pay…

    They run the Murdoch line on Healthcare and Disability: if you get sick or hurt it’s your fault, and you’re on your own.

  6. They run the Murdoch line on Healthcare and Disability: if you get sick or hurt it’s your fault, and you’re on your own.

    …And don’t expect us rich bastards to put our short hands in our long pockets for you. Like. We. Care!

  7. What we should all keep in mind is that the Opposition avoids talking about their own costings, and misrepresents what the Government is doing, and perpetuates smears, and runs fear campaigns on things like Mining Tax and Carbon Pricing, in a responsible and adult manner. Committing yourself to nothing, and ditching promises and commitments all over the place, and making up figures and talking purely in hypotheticals in order to present worst-case scenarios – these are all appropriate actions.

    When you place that in contrast to all these Government stunts – committing to broadband and road infrastructure, commissioning an extensive report on education and then doing something about it, the NDIS and health policy in general, allowing a conscience vote on SSM, making asylum seeker policy a bipartisan effort, managing the economy so that the indicators are all exactly where they should be, conducting people’s forums, putting a price on carbon in the face of overwhelming opposition and making it work – I think you’ll see who are the adults in the room.

    And this Government insistence on answering questions at press conferences. Who do they think they are? And having achieved the full set of AAA ratings, who’s to say they won’t put them in peril? They certainly might. And we can’t afford that. You have to keep your expectations low, it’s the responsible thing to do. AA+, that’s appropriate for this country, overachievement just raises expectations that the ALP can’t possibly match – and if they do, that they can’t possibly keep matching forever.

    We don’t deserve to have a proper broadband network, and we don’t deserve to have health and education sectors that function properly. We don’t deserve intelligent asylum seeker policy with regional cooperation. And we certainly don’t deserve unemployment under 6%, or a strong dollar, or low interest rates. We can’t afford them. And only a responsible and adult political party can return those settings to where they should be. We’ve had it too good for too long and it’s time we stopped. You should all live worse lives for the good of the Liberal P… the country.

  8. Another example of the ignorance and over dependence on spell checkers by ABC on line editors or whoever writes /reviews the on-line news articles… This line from an article on the problems contractors have had on the new ASIO headquarters..

    “We’ve basically done our doe [money] in terms of materials and all the other costs….”

    in context of money, ‘doe’ should be spelt as ‘dough’, as it relates to bread also being slang for money, and bread is made of dough – and as they put money in brackets its not like they didn’t get the reference. ‘Doe a deer, a female deer..’

    If I see american ‘spelling’ on our ABC I will totally lose it.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-30/claims-asio-building-is-hurting-construction-industry/4659524

    ok, end of pedantic rant….

  9. Aguirre
    Now you have to ‘fess up to being that fly on the wall that everyone talks about. You’ve been to all their strategy meetings and letting their secrets out. 🙂 🙂

  10. “We’ve basically done our doe [money] in terms of materials and all the other costs….”

    in context of money, ‘doe’ should be spelt as ‘dough’, as it relates to bread also being slang for money, and bread is made of dough – and as they put money in brackets its not like they didn’t get the reference.

    They’ve done their doe because the costs were too deer? *ducks*

    Did anyone catch Sloppy Joe’s interview with Virginia Trioli this morning?

    Unfortunately this hasn’t happened, but the consolation prize for what has been one of ABC News 24′s better mornings has been to see Virginia Trioli, ask an evasive shadow treasurer Joe Hockey whether he wanted her to answer his rhetorical questions for him.

  11. Maybe Al Gore could open up a new Progressive media outlet with the profits he made from selling Current TV to Al Jazeera.

    Hell! Why don’t Al Jazeera open up an outlet in Oz!?! I’ll even offer to be the female Graham Richardson for them! Or Rachel Maddow. Or Cenk Uyger.

    I’m flexible! 😀

  12. Maybe I should rephrase it…

    Maybe what we desperately need is a local version of SOMETHING LIKE the Huffington Post (not necessarily the huffpost itself), linking to reliable information sources/articles from both mainstream and social media and placing it all under the one banner.

  13. Sloppy and Virginia this morning.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-30/hockey-says-budget-in-disarray/4659678

    Well, after viewing that, it seems Hockey certainly has The Fire in his belly.

    It seems that basically the economy is (hopefully temporarily and only modestly) out of control right now, shown when the numbers the economic modellers come up with are unreliable, and that the government has believed the boffins in Treasury, much to their disadvantage, and has been putting out the most optimistic projections provided by thrie “experts”.

    It’s a turkey shoot for the Coalition at the moment.

    $12 billion isn’t a lot of money – about 1/100th the size of the economy – but you can’t blame Joe for blowing it up. We seem to be “the best of a bad bunch”, the only place that offers even a small hope of investment returns for international investors, so don’t expect the dollar to devalue and things to consequently improve in the short term.

    I thought his reference to death duties was a bit over the top, and cutting back on public servant numbers isn’t particularly structural in nature. He does seem serious, though.

  14. A different take on the looming deficit.

    Calm Down About The Deficit
    by Ben Eltham New Matilda

    Just how bad is Australia’s deficit problem? According to most of the mainstream media, pretty bad. The weekend papers were full of deficit doom and gloom, with most of the blame sheeted home to a government supposedly living beyond its means.

    *****

    But what really matters for the health in the budget in the long run is the strength of economic growth. A deficit this year of $15 billion is around 1 per cent of our gross domestic product of approximately $1.5 trillion. If the economy grows more strongly over time, that is by far the best way to increase the long-term budget balance.

    And the best way to increase economic growth is to lift productivity, particularly the productivity of our labour force, by skilling up our workforce and bringing hitherto excluded members of the population into gainful employment.

    It just so happens that Labor has two policies currently aiming to do exactly these things.

    http://newmatilda.com//2013/04/30/calm-down-about-deficit

  15. I was expecting The Greens and 4 Corners to get one of their fellow travelers in as a worker, equipped with a secret camera, to either or both of Manus Island or Nauru, and then use it to gee up support(The Greens), in the run-up to the election, or as a pointless stick to beat the government over the head with(4 Corners), in their relentless search for Brownie Points and ratings from their Greens-voting constituency.

    They NEVER present the other side of the argument though. The fact that a People Smuggling network exists at the other end of the boat-borne asylum seeker chain(and no amount of ‘But they’re desperate!’ will change the fact that this is an industry set up to make money); plus these people WILL continue to place their own and their family’s lives at risk in order to circumvent a system that aims to be fair and generous to refugees, by placing themselves in inadequate for the purpose boats that break up and sink in heavy weather.

    So what if they have sewn their lips together and gone on a Hunger Strike!?! They decided to do it of their own free will in a tawdry attempt at emotional blackmail of the government because they don’t like the fact that they didn’t get the outcome they paid the People Smugglers for.

    Basically, there has to be some rigour in the system, or it will be brutally exploited by the People Smugglers, and Australia truly will have ‘Lost control of it’s borders’.

    This whole story today is a beat-up, pure and simple, and should be seen as such.

    Anyway, I thought they were fleeing for their lives from persecution? Living on Manus Island or Nauru for a few years should be a doddle compared to that then.

    Still, all they seem concerned about is giving Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison another excuse to go in even harder and to reinforce their support in the community and, ultimately, if elected, introduce an even harsher regime.

    Great work, S H-Y! Not!

    Still, she’ll be re-elected I guess. Which is what really counts to her.

  16. Sigh. Most of the ‘20000 increase in the Public Service since 2007’ has been in Defence and the Reserves, NOT the archetypal PS pen-pusher.

    Are the Coalition planning on reducing the numbers in the areas that have really increased? No!

    Instead they are using this artificially-created alarum about PS number increases as a cover to disguise their intention to outsource to their mates in Private Industry the services the real Public Servants perform, and to wipe off the face of the earth various departments they have in their sites.

  17. 2gravel:

    The sad thing is that a lot of people actually think that way. Sort of a cross between:

    – The ALP have created the conditions for economic meltdown, and even though there’s no evidence for it, we have to do something about it now

    … and

    – It’s far more sustainable for Australia to be a mediocre country economically, because it’s not right for us to be doing so well

    The first is your bog standard fear campaign, the second is cultural cringe. It’s better for us to actually have something to complain about, because otherwise we’ll go looking for things. That’s the thinking.

    For the Liberals, there’s really no point being progressive. Nobody wants them to be, and it just causes problems for them every time they attempt it. Deep down, people just don’t care very much whether the Coalition are going to be competent or not. It’s of no interest to them. Tell them the benefits of carbon pricing these days and they’re likely to say, “not my problem, mate, I don’t see any difference”. Same with almost any ‘progressive’ issue. Most of them won’t see the point of the NBN until they’ve got it. Then they’ll just wonder what all the fuss was about. Government does it, Government doesn’t do it, what’s the bloody difference?

    Complaining about the budget deficit doesn’t mean people care about the budget deficit. A lot of them don’t like the ALP because they never have. And the others are doing it because of all the bad press the ALP are getting. The prevailing attitude is, “I saw it on the news, and why would they lie to me?”

    Ultimately, we’ll have a broken political system for as long as the press remains un-cleaned-up. Politics can actually work unhindered, during the term, no matter what the press do. But there’s a breakdown in the link between governments doing stuff and how that stuff gets reported. That impacts on polling and, in the end, elections. We all know about it, and journalists have an appalling level of credibility. But most people don’t want to take responsibility for their own decisions, they want to be able to say, “it’s because of…” such and such. And reportage is as useful a thing to blame as anything else.

    If you want to sheet it home to one thing, it’s that well over half the population don’t take their political choices seriously. Because we’re all ultimately self-centred, they take defending the arbitrary choice they made more seriously than the choice itself. Test it out if you like. Ask anyone about their political thinking and they’ll get very defensive and territorial about things they’ve barely given a moment’s thought to.

    Or in one sentence – “Bloody Abbott – I’m still going to vote Liberal though.”

  18. I just read 10 them cfmeu members turned out

    This tells me. Labor is alive and doing well in vic.

    The opp leader there should of. Joine d. The. March

    Hoping we see more of. This

    I am hoping Abbott.soon mentions
    Work choices

    Some one has. To draw him out on this

    It want. Be the press.

    So how could it. Be achieved
    Then we may see people on the street

    U cannot see tweetss

  19. C@tmomma – you should put it out there. “The Coalition are going to slash numbers in Defence and Reserves!” If that’s where the increases have been, then that’s what they should be accused of doing.

    And if anyone tries to correct you, reply with, “That’s where the increases have been, what do you think he’s talking about?”

  20. I have. Notices. Some labor posters over ther saying

    Abbott will do this and that, in. Gov.

    Iam wondering is this a sort of. Psychology for. Readers

    Who. Think it. Cannot. Happen

    I don’t like to do that it sound
    Like we have. Given up.

  21. Acquire makes a great point

    Aust, do. Not like their. Army cut back.

    On the whole , there are. Exceptions. Like some of. Us,

    But yes. It should be , made a big deal

  22. They. Are Devine, the Pom Pom finishes nthem off

    What a wonderful person. Julia is

    So many talents

    God I hate the liberals

  23. If. Only All blogs had pics, they would see what we see.

    There is so much to our pm.

    Abbott has nothing
    To
    Share with people

    But only wants ,power

  24. C@Tmomma

    [Still, she’ll be re-elected I guess. Which is what really counts to her.]

    Nights out at the Kennedy Room are very important to her.

  25. If. Only All blogs had pics, they would see what we see.

    There is so much to our pm.

    Abbott has nothing
    To
    Share with people

    He had a photo yesterday that shared way too much information with the people. 😉

  26. Denese – I don’t know. People are a fickle bunch. My main contention is that a lot more effort ought to be put into cleaning up the media than to working within it.

    Natural attrition will take care of some of it. Newspapers are dying, and I don’t think they’ll ever make their online model work properly.

    The fact of the matter is that journalism doesn’t necessarily have to be a career any longer. Analysis is done extremely well by part-timers whose actual career is elsewhere. Fact-gathering is easier than ever now that everything the major parties say and do is posted online.

    I think politics can be more direct than it is. If leading politicians were expected to front up regularly to open questioning sessions such as the forums we’ve seen lately, instead of one-on-one interviews with political journalists, it would be an advantage for all of us. Have them moderated if you like, have them in front of a panel of political commentators on occasion. But make them live. There’s no excuse not to have that. And we learn a lot more from public scrutiny than from in-house chats, which is all a lot of televised interviews are.

    If we can get used to the idea that next-day analysis is dead news, and that therefore newspaper reportage and shows like Insiders are useless, we could get somewhere.

  27. Afternoon

    Catching up on posts.

    C@t

    My post re cfmeu protest was not having a go at your comments, but rather a rhetorical question for Napthine who was bitching about the union conducting a one minute silence. Sorry if it came across as having a go at you. I was so incensed by the state fibs reponse. It really pissed me off

  28. At the moment the worst aspect of politics, and the one people are most sick of, is Being On Message. The current model amplifies the slogans. What is needed is a model that strips them away. Live interviews, input from members of the public, and televised forums all point the way.

  29. Acquire, from your comments new have to make. People
    Understand Abbott is a Very different liberal
    Not like the old style. M. Frazer,

    And Abbott. Will not be going away if elected

    I noticed. , it was. Dash Abbott. Wtte. Ect.

    I don’t think. They get it that Abbott would and a couple others

    Would have complete control over the party

    And. Us,

    We have to get out is. What u see now. Or. Don’t see, is what

    U get.

    Power hungry people

    With nothing to offer. Us

    life will change and Abbott will,be going no where

    Some how they thinkhe will be going ,after. If elected.

    No why would he

  30. This will make me sound like a hard-harted old cow, but who cares?

    My Twitter feed today has been full of tweets from bleeding-heart types sobbing over the plight of those poor little kiddies incarcerated on Manus Isaland. I don’t think these people were aware of what happens to boat people until last night. Now they are wallwong in faux grief. You almost have to wipe the crocodile tears off the screen to read their crap, and to make it one thousand times worse, it’s being re-tweeted and re-tweeted constantly.

    The dopiest comment has to be ‘What if they were our kids?’ Well, they aren’t your kids are they, they never will be. Your kids are safely at their nice middle-class school in your nice middle-calss suburb today, allowing you, their nice middle class mummy plenty of time to tweet. Although I don’t quite grasp how tweeting one’s anguish to a bunch of people you don’t know from a bar of soap in 140 or less tear-stained characters will help anyone. Still, it will make mummy feel all warm and fuzzy because she has ‘done something’.

    Let’s counter all the sobbing and the angst with some cold, hard facts.
    # The parents of those kids on Manus Island and Nauru chose to pay people smugglers small fortunes to put their kids and themselves on leaky old boats so they could get around Australia’s immigration system. Most are economic refugees.
    #Real refugees are stuck in camps in third world countries, probably for ever, because they do not have the money to fly the whole family to Indonesia and then pay a people smuggler for a boat passage. The conditions these people endure make Manus Island look like the Packer family’s country estate.
    #The familes in these detention centres have accommodation similar to that used and enjoyed by a couple of million Australian families during their Christmas holidays. Accommodation not much worse than the places some Aussie familes live in full time. Accommodation that is better than that tolerated by too many indigenous Austslians.
    #The families have decent food, health care and their kids are being educated. It is not the Australian government’s fault if you decide to drag a child with a disability or a serious health problem half way around the world only to end up in a detention centre on Manus Island. You knew what you were doing.
    #No-one is locked up.
    #No-one in detention goes hungry (unless they choose to use starvation for emotional blackmail), no-one is left to deal with their own health problems, no-one lives in fear for their life.
    #Genuine refugees will eventually be allowed to live in Australia with all the rights and privileges that go with that. If you are genuine you’ll put up with the wait.
    # There is an alternative – ask to be sent back home.

  31. So that’s. What. I try. To do on Pb

    But it’s aimed at lurkers

    One get. No response at all fromposters
    Some how they seem very. Disconnected
    Cannot put my finger on it,

    Strange
    Once ther was good conversation

    Now it all high browl dribble that ordinary folk,don’t understand

    So I try to be as grass roots as,I can,

  32. I looked at the photo of Gai Waterhouse on the front page of the DT. At first glance I thought it was the PM. Same hairstyle and hair colour. She had sunglasses on. Not the stylish frame Julia wears. The thought came into my mind that they were trying to make Gai look untrustworthy in the same way they’ve always tried to do the same with Julia.

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/superracing/robbie-waterhouse-points-finger-at-john-singleton-in-more-joyous-saga/story-fn67r1j3-1226631857852

  33. Aguirre,
    Yes, I often wonder whether shows like Insiders have outlived their usefulness. Except to create controversy and get the Talking Points out for the day for one or other political party. So? We can get all that direct from the parties themselves these days, as spacey’s e-mails show.

    Not only that, but even shows like Q&A appear to be sputtering, as all the panelists are given the questions beforehand and thus are able to come prepared with their lines learnt. There’s hardly an occasion when anyone goes off-piste with a comment. So the point of it becomes specious.

    Although, I will admit that last night Tony Jones showed what could be possible if he just got a bit of the fire in the belly and challenged the outrageous statements that some make. Like he did last night with Jamie Briggs’ more obnoxious comments.

    Maybe we might even see more of this as TJ looks down the barrel of what a Privatised ABC might mean for TV political journalism in Australia and thus decides to go off the reservation with guns blazing as he remembers that old saw about ‘journalistic integrity’?

    There has to be at least one journalist who has paid off their mortgage and is thus prepared to kick against the pricks?

    We live in hope that someone will fight to forestall a lobotomised nation. 🙂

  34. Leone

    We have a new gen on twitter that have not been around ,very long.
    Are they the new. Greens,
    “”..”————————————————

  35. What I would like to know is how exactly the islanders on both Manus and Nauru live. All I know is that they’re very poor and need handouts. I assume that they would encounter the same problems as AS if they needed medical attention. Sure they have freedom, and that’s important, but in terms of comfort I would like to have some objective comparisons.

  36. Vic apparently the questions

    Where
    Different
    From the usual
    I. Saw. It disgusted on Pb

    But one has to beg the question

    Why all over the place,

    Who knows

  37. Well, well well, the IFU is facing a …. tah!dah!……budget deficit!!!!! What was that line again? Something about if you can’t manage your budget you can’t manage…? Perhaps they will have to do what Sloppy says the government should do – rein in their spending.

    Crikey’s tips and rumours has all the gossip. I’ll have to post just bits here because it’s long and it’s locked.

    “Here’s an interesting group email from – er – IFU chief John Roskam to supporters, which sheds a little light on the group’s finances. It now has just over 3200 members and an annual budget of $3.22 million, and Roskam is passing the hat around to make up the final $440,000…….. You can check out one of the IFU’s recent annual reports here — doesn’t tell you much about who the money’s coming from …

    Here’s the link to the financial report, if you care.

    Click to access 1292283744_document_ipa_-_2010_financial_report.pdf

    Blah blah blah about the IFU winning two victories –
    “We won on the law that would have made it illegal to make a political comment that offended someone and we won on government regulation of the media. On both issues the Gillard government capitulated. As you know the -er- IFU fought hard, and often alone.”

    Blah blah backslap, backslap, blah blah…

    “The -er – IFU’s budget for 2012/13 is $3.22 million — and every cent of it comes from voluntary contributions from our members and supporters. $3.22 million pays for the operations of the IFU including the salaries of 20 staff, the rent on our office, as well as events, printing, and mailouts.”

    And…..
    “….the IFU’s budget for 2012/13 was $3.22 million. Of this so far this year we have raised $2.78 million.

    Some recent fundraising milestones include our 70th Anniversary Dinner which raised $303,610…………..Also, at the end of last year our Christmas Appeal raised $115,421 from just over 400 donors.

    Between now and 30 June we need to raise $440,000 to make our budget for this year. To close the gap we have two major fundraising appeals coming up.’

    So dig deep people, they really need the cash, they have all those ABC regulars to pay.
    http://www.crikey.com.au/2013/04/30/tips-and-rumours-868/

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