261 thoughts on “The 17/11/2013 Starter Post

  1. Here’s a good point that our media have comepletely overlooked –

    Daft (& evil) Coalition policy 9: Abbott’s support of torture
    At least our PM says he does. From Crikey.com:
    “…the Prime Minister stated “my government deplores the use of torture but we accept that sometimes in difficult circumstances difficult things happen”.

    Australia does not merely “deplore” torture. We are a signatory to the Convention Against Torture, which states that no circumstances justify torture; the official position of the Australian government is that the prohibition on torture is an absolute right. “No circumstance justifies a qualification or limitation of absolute rights. Absolute rights cannot be suspended or restricted, even during a declared state of emergency.”

    Abbott appears to have directly contradicted that position. Today, Civil Liberties Australia has called upon the Prime Minister to clarify his remarks and indicate that our position remains that we never endorse torture. The Prime Minister should do so as quickly as possible“.

    http://www.harryrclarke.com/2013/11/18/abbott-supports-torture/

  2. It’s amazing what comes up at senate estimates – so much for the virtuous Mr Abbott saving taxpayers money by bunking with the recruits at the AFP hostel. Turns out it was just another expensive stunt.

    TAXPAYERS are forking out $3000 a week in rent for a luxury Canberra house that Prime Minister Tony Abbott has chosen not to use.

    The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) leased the property as a temporary replacement for The Lodge, which is undergoing a major refurbishment.

    Senior DPMC official Elizabeth Kelly said the department signed a 12-month lease on August 31, a week before the September 7 federal election.

    It signed even though neither Mr Abbott nor then Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd had been able to inspect the property due to their election campaign commitments.

    Ms Kelly said the department had wanted to find accommodation “comparable” to The Lodge.

    But after the election, Mr Abbott opted instead to stay in a modest flat at the Australian Federal Police training college in Barton.

    http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/a-week-for-house-pm-doesnt-use/story-e6frfku9-1226762690806

  3. Abbott appears to have directly contradicted that position. Today, Civil Liberties Australia has called upon the Prime Minister to clarify his remarks and indicate that our position remains that we never endorse torture. The Prime Minister should do so as quickly as possible“.

    Not only that, but he needs to be asked to qualify our relationship with Sri Lanka in the light of it.

  4. Kitten update
    The kittens did not go away the other night, they have been living in a tangle of fern, jasmine and shrubbery right next to the verandah, about 2 metres from where I’m sitting right now. Apart from one little mew the other night I have not heard them make a sound and had no idea they were there until I happened to glance out the window and see them on Saturday. It’s not a bad place for a feral mother cat to choose as a maternity ward. All our past cats have loved hiding in there.

    I looked at the options online. The local RSPCA won’t take strays unless they are sick or injured. Council isn’t interested. That left the local animal welfare group.I spoke to a lovely lady called Leonie (fancy that) and she confirmed my impression that this was the only place that would help. They will trap cats. although they are not supposed to do that. She is bringing two traps over soon, and we’ll see what happens.

    This group does not euthanaise, unless an animal is too sick or injured to survive, or if it is feral If the vet says this kitty is feral then she gets the big green needle. Sad, but it’s one less feral cat out there. If she’s not feral she will be neutered and cared for until such time as someone adopts her. If no-one does then she stays with a foster family for life. The kittens should be OK, if it’s not too late to start taming them. They will be well looked after.

    Leonie and I had a long chat about what we think of people who don’t have their pets de-sexed and people who are mean to animals.

  5. It is, IMO bloody ridiculous that the taxpayer has to foot the bill for the whims of their PM who refuses to live in the accommodation provided for him. The only option he should be given is to take what is given or pay for alternative accommodation at his own expense. Since he doesn’t want to live in Kirribilli House in Sydney, then he should foot the bill himself for the security etc that is necessary for him to stay put in his own home.

  6. The MAd Monk sounds creepy after todays news about child abuse by church authorities with this paragraph from The Canberra Times

    It sits, vacant now, in one of Canberra’s most desirable suburbs, Forrest, unloved by a prime minister while Mr Abbott consorts with police cadets.

  7. Breaking: Indonesia will recall its ambassador to Australia and "review" Australian diplomatic positions in Jakarta, Indonesia says.— Ben Cubby (@bencubby) November 18, 2013

    Australia will be asked to provide and "official and public" explanation for spying, statement says.— Ben Cubby (@bencubby) November 18, 2013

  8. I don’t think The Idiot will be speaking to anyone in the Indonesian government. He will send that unequalled FA expert, BishJ, to tell any lies that his government chose on the day.

  9. This little black duck

    [ I don’t think The Idiot will be speaking to anyone in the Indonesian government.]

    I think it may be more that nobody in the Indonesian government would speak with The Idiot.

  10. Perhaps we could organize a special rendition of our PM to Kopassus. I’m sure they would like a nice cuppa with him.

  11. For some reason this makes me think of Tones’, Mesma and Morriscum’s Indonesian diplomatic efforts.

  12. Cats were mentioned a lot yesterday. Here’s a clip of my nephew’s cat, now aged 18 years , still showing a maternal caring interest in his black labrador dog.

  13. I knew Abbott would make a huge stuff-up of our international relationships, but I did not expect so much excrement to hit that fan so soon. It has to be some sort of record. Should someone contact the Guiness Book of Records?

  14. From Stephen Koukoulas, via Twitter –
    Indonesia: 12th largest export market for Australia: 11th largest supplier of imports to Australia. In 2012; Exports $4.9b; Imports $6.3b
    Main exports to Indonesia: Wheat $1.3b; Crude petroleum $316m; Aluminium $295m; Copper $248m.
    Main imports from Indonesia: Crude petroleum $2.6b; Gold $788m; Iron, steel $303m; refined petrol $203m
    Australian services exports: education $581m; travel $309m; Service imports from Indon: travel $1.8b, transport (boats?) $188m
    Australian investment in Indonesia in 2012: $6.8 billion.

    Now all at risk thanks to The Idiot and his gormless clot of a foreign minister.

  15. We now have Abetz pitted against Faulkner and Wong. It is surprised how much he does not know.

    Arrogance is amazing. Finance and Public Administration.

  16. Can we now at least say that The Shit Has Hit The Fan?

    Treating the Indonesians like nig-nogs does NOT go down well.

  17. RE. Indos recalling dilomats… Note my prescient post at 4.45PM EST.
    On the money again BB.
    Will all blow over once the darkies realise their mistake

  18. This may make the suspension of the live cattle trade pale into insignificance.
    Spying on the president,his wife, Vice -Pres etc, now confirmed will test the idiots great diplomatic skills.

  19. And while it may have gone on under labor as well, The Idiot is now the PM. and it is up to him and his mates to sort it out.

    A slogan won’t work this time Fool

  20. How connected are we these days ? A weird song from Norway. WTF ? Nearly a quarter of a billion hits in a couple of months . Fox apparently the Norwegian slang for marijuana.

  21. [ We now have Abetz pitted against Faulkner and Wong. ]

    Not waving, drowning! Watching Abetz trying to walk on a bed of eggshells under the forensic questioning of Faulkner is some of the funniest stuff I have seen for years.

    This mob are so far out of their depth that it is verging on the hilarious! 😉

    It is either going to be a long, painful three years, or an hilarious three years.

    Take your pick. Either or both could be correct! 😉 And, blimey, don’t they hate facing Faulkner!

  22. Cannot help but think it is time for Abbott to drop his obsession getting even with asylums seekers, and begin to focus on the real problems that face this country,

    This obsession, along with his toxic tax, is colouring his judgment.

  23. [ This obsession, along with his toxic tax, is colouring his judgement. ]

    Blimey! What Judgement? This character has never demonstrated any semblance of judgement in the whole time he has been a Member of Parliament,

    Can’t see hi suddenly demonstrating any now! 😉

  24. Cory Bernadi is spending his time digging dirt on the PM. Surely that is history and no long of importance.

    He is actually showing himself up.

  25. There is nothing, nothing, that this mob can conjure that will surprise anybody from here on in after reading this!

    [ Under the inquisition of Labor senators John Faulkner and Penny Wong, several surprising plate facts have been gleaned, the tastiest of which is that the crockery and cutlery in the Prime Minister’s and other ministers’ offices is “automatically” replaced at the commencement of each new Parliament.
    Advertisement

    At a cost of $80,000.

    It all began with Ms Mills explaining how, due to budgetary constraints on her department, she had had to go begging to the Department of Finance for a “co-contribution” to the cost of replacing the plates and knives for the 44th Parliament.

    “Unless you’re going to Tiffany’s or something, it’s not going to be a massive saving for you,” returned Senator Faulkner.

    The policy, said Ms Mills, was to automatically replace the plates and knives, at the rather whopping price tag of $80K.

    “I wasn’t aware that crockery was replaced with a new Parliament,” intoned Senator Faulkner gravely, ]

    http://www.watoday.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/crockery-cracked-as-parliament-balances-books-20131118-2xqcd.html?google_editors_picks=true

  26. My friend’s friend’s Hadley defamation case proceeds apace…

    It was a Sydney super bout. Talkback king Ray Hadley versus defamation specialist Clive Evatt, and the lawyer tried to land a huge punch.‘

    Mr Evatt asked Hadley whether the main aim of his radio show was to entertain.
    ‘‘Inform and entertain,” Hadley replied. Mr Evatt asked what evidence Hadley had for his assertion that it was not Mr Ahmed’s first offence. ‘‘Because 87 per cent of sexual assaults were repeat offenders,’’ Hadley said.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/ray-hadley-gives-evidence-in-kim-ahmed-defamation-case-20131118-2xr3q.html#ixzz2kzi4LbTT

    Looks like Ray may have picked one of the errant 13%.

    According to my source, there are more revelations to come yet…

  27. Terrific, forensic examination of FOI that Ms. Gillard might have blocked, when we have a government that has shut down all applications.

    Mostly concerned with her, I think media adviser and her partner. One concerned 457 visa and the other her car. Of course it was Hadley who was knocked back

  28. This is not a good look if the allegations are substantiated. There is a ‘gung-ho’ element in most volunteer emergency services that need educating in common sense

  29. Our ‘frugal prime minister’ had not had his crockery replaced. Pfffft. That’s only because Margie hasn’t had time to come in and choose a design. Rumour has it she’s interested in this –
    http://bernadetteschaeffler.wordpress.com/tag/most-expensive-china/

    She told a close friend that after years of not being able to afford anything but Big W’s cheapest crockery (that damned $710,000 mortage) she has a hankering for the finer things in life.

  30. Abbott routinely gets away with saying one thing in one place and the exact opposite in another, often on the same day.

    Murdoch newspapers and 2GB etc.cover for him, smoothing things over and making it alright.

    We all have our own opinions of Abbott’s connections, patrons, excuses, explanations and motivations.

    None of these mean a hill of beans.

    In the present circumstances, it is only SBY’s opinion that counts.

    The relationship with Indonesia – touted as “strengthed” and “extended” by captive, sycophantic journalists who seem to think their job extends no further than writing Man-Love columns and hagiographies about Abbott – is now officially on the rocks.

    We’re not talking nuance or rumour here, nor quoting our of context or any other namby-pamby interpretation.

    The Indonesian ambassador has been recalled. Let that sink in for a few seconds.

    Oh… and there is no Daily Telegraph in Jakarta.

    I will look forward to seeing Abbott get up again tomorrow in Question Time and tell us (with straight face) that the relationship between Australia and Indonesia is strong and getting stronger, and that all his policies are proceeding uninterrupted, with the full blessing of Indonesia.

    Every time he says this it give further impetus to the Indonesians to prove his claim false.

    In these matters only their opinion counts.

    The rest is utter and complete bullshit.

    Tony Abbott wanted to be Prime Minister – the blokey bloke, the firey, the surf lifesaver with the hearty handshake that could melt hearts and forge friendships – and now he is. He should start doing his job and stop relying on Murdoch bullshit and sandpapering over cracks to get him out of a jam.

    The reality of today is that our relationship with Indonesia is at its lowest since Konfrontasi, and getting lower, every time Abbott claims that not only is it getting stronger, but that he swindled SBY when he met him a few weeks ago.

    Today he said in parliament that ALL the pre-election policies – incuding tow-back and buy-back – were in force and as “Strong” as ever. He may as well have accused SBY personally of being a child molester.

    What he said today meant something: it meant that Abbott regards the Indonesians as easy pushovers, so easy that he can lie to the parliament – in public, on the record – about his dealings with them. It meant that he felt able to dispose of his negotiations with and promises to the Indonesians with the easy nonchalance that he disposes of every single other contradictory utterance that he has ever made… as long as he has powerful people – from QCs hired by his rich father when Abbott was a student, to the media empire of Rupert Murdoch in his adult life – to cover for him.

    It might cut it in the Daily Telegraph, but it won’t cut it in the Jakarta Post.

    Abbott has yet to learn this lesson.

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