Rage, rage …

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

This was not quite the threadstarter I had intended. However, when facts change …

Harry Leslie Smith wrote a book two years ago, and had this to say about it:

‘As one of the last remaining survivors of the Great Depression and the Second World War, I will not go gently into that good night. I want to tell you what the world looks like through my eyes, so that you can help change it…’

In November 2013, 91-year-old Yorkshireman, RAF veteran and ex-carpet salesman Harry Leslie Smith’s Guardian article – ‘This year, I will wear a poppy for the last time’ – was shared over 80,000 times on Facebook and started a huge debate about the state of society. Now he brings his unique perspective to bear on NHS cutbacks, benefits policy, political corruption, food poverty, the cost of education – and much more. From the deprivation of 1930s Barnsley and the terror of war to the creation of our welfare state, Harry has experienced how a great civilisation can rise from the rubble. But at the end of his life, he fears how easily it is being eroded. Harry’s Last Stand is a lyrical, searing modern invective that shows what the past can teach us, and how the future is ours for the taking.

I couldn’t agree more.

Harry’s Last Stand

611 thoughts on “Rage, rage …

  1. It’s a outside extension made out of heavy treated pine. Rough as guts but looks great against the national park backdrop. I just get finicky about parts that no one will notice .Other than Ned and to a lesser extent Syd.
    I’ll take a pic tomorrow

    • With Bushfire, you and assorted Pubsters, we have an enrichment of beautiful photographs.

      Would any other blog doing the stuff here?

      It’s the amicability and data / knowledge / wisdom that makes it unique.

    • Amusingly that reminds me of some of the less attractive SF posters of the late 70s or 80s.
      All it really needs is a pill-popping Roger Ramjet to come leaping up to save the day *nostalgic chuckles*

  2. The retired not picked example of Boeing design for the JSF
    .Didn’t look the part but couldn’t be any worse than the crap we are going to get with the f35 brick. If only our Govt. had the guts to cancel this order like Canada did we probably would have a budget in a better situation than we have now.
    Thanks Johnny.
    But to be fair labor had a chance to cancel but didn’t so they are equally to blame

  3. Bill Shorten did a town hall meeting in Canberra earlier tonight. If you have an hour to spare here it is –

    • Leone,

      Canberra’s Albert Hall was the home of culture in Canberra until the mid/late 1960s, when the Canberra Theatre complex opened in Civic.

      The Albert Hall is a place with which I was very familiar, certainly in the early to mid 1960s. That’s when I encountered backstage (Scottish and Irish dancing) mums. For some reason, back then, the music mums were absent. Probably a helluva lot better for us singers/instrumentalists.

    • Having been a dance mum, and being recently retired from an involvement with dance mums I couldn’t possibly comment.

    • I remember bush dances where icicles would form on your sweaty skin as you left the hall in mid winter

    • When I was but a little chee-ild, Leone, the dance mums terrified me.

      Nowadays, the tennis / foopal / swimming / gymnastics / music (any type) / dance (any type) parents chill me to the bone.

  4. What’s in your chicken sandwich? DNA test shows Subway sandwiches could contain just 50% chicken

    If you’re one of many Canadians who opt for chicken sandwiches at your favourite fast food restaurant, you may find the results of a CBC Marketplace investigation into what’s in the meat a little hard to swallow.

    A DNA analysis of the poultry in several popular grilled chicken sandwiches and wraps found at least one fast food restaurant isn’t serving up nearly as much of the key ingredient as people may think.

    In the case of two popular Subway sandwiches, the chicken was found to contain only about half chicken DNA.

    Subway’s results were such an outlier that the team decided to test them again, biopsying five new oven roasted chicken pieces, and five new orders of chicken strips.

    Those results were averaged: the oven roasted chicken scored 53.6 per cent chicken DNA, and the chicken strips were found to have just 42.8 per cent chicken DNA. The majority of the remaining DNA? Soy.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/marketplace-chicken-fast-food-1.3993967

  5. Gerald Kaufman, Jewish UK lawmaker and fierce Israel critic, dies at 86

    Gerald Kaufman, the UK lawmaker who famously compared Israel’s actions in Gaza to those of the Nazis who murdered his grandmother, has died at the age of 86 after a long illness.

    Kaufman, a Labour Party member for a constituency in the northern English city of Manchester since 1970, was the oldest member of the Commons, the UK’s elected lower house…

    “I was brought up as an Orthodox Jew and a Zionist. On a shelf in our kitchen, there was a tin box for the Jewish National Fund, into which we put coins to help the pioneers building a Jewish presence in Palestine,” Kaufman began.

    “My parents came to Britain as refugees from Poland. Most of their families were subsequently murdered by the Nazis in the Holocaust,” he recounted. “My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town of Staszow. A German soldier shot her dead in her bed.”

    “My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza,” Kaufman said…

    In their efforts to tamp down any such support, Greenstein points out that even Kaufman had in recent years been the target of relentless accusations of anti-Semitism by Israel lobby groups.

    Journalist Ben White observed that after news of Kaufman’s passing was announced, some social media users celebrated his death and denounced him as a “self-hating Jew” and a “kapo” – a term used for Jews who collaborated with Nazis during the Holocaust.

    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/gerald-kaufman-jewish-uk-lawmaker-and-fierce-israel-critic-dies-86

  6. Donald Trump suggests Jews might secretly be committing anti-Semitic hate crimes on themselves so he looks bad

    Donald Trump has suggested that Jewish people might be committing anti-Semitic hate crimes to make himself look bad.

    After days in which he refused to comment on a spate of anti-Semitic attacks, Mr Trump broke his silence to repeat an neo-Nazi conspiracy theory that has claimed that the attacks are “false flags”. Supporters of that belief – who include leader of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke – believe that such attacks are being perpetrated by Jewish people in order to undermine the White House.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-jews-anti-semitic-hate-crimes-false-flag-reverse-david-duke-kkk-ku-klux-klan-a7604801.html

  7. U.S. Backed Siege of Mosul Shows How Hypocritical Media Manipulates Us

    (ANTIMEDIA) In order to determine the truth when it comes to the mainstream media’s coverage of American-led offensives in the Middle East, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of any article. This is where the most important information can be found. As can be seen in a BBC report on the U.S.-backed offensive to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State, the last line of the article reads:

    “The UN said in late January that almost half of all the casualties in Mosul were civilians. At least 1,096 have been killed and 694 injured across Nineveh province since the start of October.” [emphasis added]

    Compared with a separate BBC report on the Russian-backed offensive to retake the Syrian city of Aleppo, the media’s coverage of these two military operations can hardly be viewed as balanced. In that report, the idea that Russia is constantly killing civilians is laid out in almost every paragraph.

    A spokesperson for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reportedly told Russian state-owned news site RT that the situation in Mosul is “incredibly desperate.”

    In Mosul, 650,000 civilians are reportedly at risk, and as the U.N. has indicated, half of those being killed in the U.S.-backed operation are civilians. The notion that American bombs are safer and more precise than Russia’s has no evidentiary basis, nor does any suggestion that the troops the U.S. military is fighting alongside are less violent than Russian or Syrian authorities. In fact, the troops fighting alongside the U.S. in Iraq are more or less aligned with those attempting to liberate parts of Syria from terrorist groups, anyway. This demonstrates America’s completely bipolar approach to the Middle East given the U.S. has consistently opposed advances made by these troops in Syria.

    http://theantimedia.org/mosul-hypocritical-media-manipulates/

  8. McCain: Trump defense budget not enough for 'world on fire'

    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is blasting President Trump’s proposed defense budget for fiscal 2018, saying that a “world on fire” requires a bigger increase in spending.

    “With a world on fire, America cannot secure peace through strength with just 3 percent more than President Obama’s budget,” McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement Monday. “We can and must do better.”

    The administration announced Monday a $603 billion base defense budget proposal.

    That’s $54 billion more than the Budget Control Act caps on defense spending for fiscal 2018 but well below what McCain and his House counterpart, Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), had proposed.

    The chairmen have argued for a $640 billion base budget for defense in fiscal 2018. Thornberry also expressed disappointment in the administration’s proposal Monday.

    In a white paper released in January, McCain outlined his vision for $640 billion for 2018 with annual increases afterward that bring the defense budget to $800 billion in fiscal 2022.

    The $640 billion is $54 billion above what the Obama administration had projected for 2018.

    Meanwhile, Trump’s request is $18.5 billion above Obama’s projection.

    “In other words, President Trump intends to submit a defense budget that is a mere 3 percent above President Obama’s defense budget, which has left our military underfunded, undersized, and unready to confront threats to our national security,” McCain said.

    Both the $640 billion proposed by Thornberry and McCain and the $603 billion proposed by the administration would blow past the projected cap in defense spending set by the Budget Control Act, which also requires defense and nondefense spending to rise or fall with each other.

    Republicans and the Trump administration have called for ending the caps on defense spending, but Democrats are likely to hold firm in their demand for parity between defense and nondefense spending.

    With Republicans holding just 52 seats in the Senate, they’ll need some Senate Democrats to get on board to meet the 60-vote threshold

    http://thehill.com/policy/defense/321374-mccain-trump-defense-budget-not-enough-for-world-on-fire

  9. Lavrov vs. McCain: Is Russia an Enemy?

    he founding fathers of the Munich Security Conference, said John McCain, would be “be alarmed by the turning away from universal values and toward old ties of blood, and race, and sectarianism.”

    McCain was followed by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov who called for a “post-West world order.” Russia has “immense potential” for that said Lavrov, “we’re open for that inasmuch as the U.S. is open.”

    Now McCain is not wrong. Nationalism is an idea whose time has come again. Those “old ties of blood, and race, and sectarianism” do seem everywhere ascendant. But that is a reality we must recognize and deal with. Deploring it will not make it go away.

    But what are these “universal values” McCain is talking about?

    If we believe the struggle is for “global democracy” and “human rights,” then that may put Putin on the other side. But how then can we be allies of President el-Sissi of Egypt and Erdogan of Turkey, and the kings, emirs and sultans of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman?Lavrov vs. McCain: Is Russia an Enemy?

    http://buchanan.org/blog/lavrov-vs-mccain-russia-enemy-126589

  10. America, Crimea and the Dangers of Hypocrisy

    The Trump administration is continuing the policy of its predecessor regarding the Crimea issue. U.S. ambassador Nikki Haley is the latest official to confirm that point. In a speech on February 2, Haley emphasized that the United States intended to maintain economic sanctions against Russia until Moscow returned the peninsula to Ukraine. “Crimea is a part of Ukraine,” she stated bluntly. She reiterated Washington’s firm position in remarks to the UN Security Council on February 21.

    That stance is nearly identical to the Obama administration’s policy.

    Numerous U.S. officials over the decades have insisted that territorial changes achieved through military force are illegitimate, and that Washington will not countenance such behavior…

    However, Washington’s position concerning similar behavior by U.S. allies is markedly different. (…) when (is) the United States going to demand that Israel return the Golan Heights to Syria. Israel seized that area during the 1967 Six-Day War, a conflict that Israel initiated as a preemptive measure because Syria and Egypt seemed to be making preparations for an attack on the Jewish state.

    Nevertheless, it is an indisputable case of a territorial adjustment achieved via military force, and Tel Aviv’s later annexation of the territory confirms that it will never be returned to Syria. Yet in marked contrast to U.S. policy regarding Crimea, Washington never imposed sanctions on Israel.

    http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/03/01/america-crimea-and-dangers-hypocrisy.html

  11. Australian unions and Labor Party launch bogus campaign over penalty rate cuts

    By Oscar Grenfell
    2 March 2017

    Over the past week, Labor and the trade unions have launched an utterly fraudulent campaign, posturing as opponents of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) ruling to slash the penalty wage rates of up to 700,000 low-paid workers.

    Labor Party leader Bill Shorten, as workplace relations minister in the last Labor government, included penalty rates in a list of award issues to be reviewed by the FWC in 2013…During last year’s election campaign, he pledged that Labor would accept the outcome of the FWC review, as part of a broader pitch to establish Labor’s pro-business credentials.

    The trade unions have already imposed a host of enterprise agreements and backroom deals with the major employers slashing, or entirely eliminating, penalty rates for some of the impoverished sections of the working class. Shorten, a former national secretary of the Australian Workers Union, was directly involved in such deals.

    More broadly, the FWC ruling is a direct product of the entire “Fair Work” laws regime set in place by the last Labor government, with the support of the trade unions, to ban or suppress industrial action and enable the unions to work closely with employers to dismantle workers’ conditions.

    Successive Labor governments have played the central role in implementing the dictates of the corporate elite over the past three decades for the decimation of jobs, wages and hard-won conditions.

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/03/02/pena-m02.html

  12. The morally reprehensible rehabilitation of George W. Bush

    The big chimp is back. No, I’m not talking about the imminent release of the new King Kong film, but the return of George W. Bush.

    Incredibly, or perhaps not so incredibly, given the current insanity, the man who launched a blatantly illegal war based on an outrageous lie – and which destabilized not just the Middle East but the entire world, is now being lauded in Western liberal circles for his tacit criticism of Donald Trump’s attacks on the press and for calling for ‘answers‘ on the new President’s alleged ties with Russia.

    What next? If the octogenarian psychopath Charles Manson comes out and takes the ‘right’ position on Trump, the media, and Russia, will newspapers be quoting him with approval too? You can just imagine the conversations: ‘OK, his ‘Family’ might have killed a few people, but it was a long time ago, and you’ve got to admit Charles is absolutely right about Putin and Trump and the threats to our wonderful free media. Yah?’.

    https://www.rt.com/op-edge/379083-bush-iraq-war-russia-trump/

  13. Billie,

    Icicles?

    Ah yes, I remember them well.

    Truly magnificent evenings at the Yarralumla Woolshed in the olden days.

  14. I went to the “town hall meeting” held by the ALP at Albert Hall tonight A full to just overflowing crowd attended with a dozen or so demonstrators (mostly re Refugees) to greet them.I was curious as to how it would go, and would love to attend a LNP equivalent so as to make comparisons. Our hosts were Gai Brodtman and Andrew Leigh with Gai taking most of the centre stage which surprised me a little as in the past I have thought her something of a meek mouse which detracts from her obvious intelligence.

    There was no doubt who was the star attraction however. Shorten entered to a raucous and warm greeting more like an election campaigh opening night than jsut another night six months after an election beating. Bill was upbeat, warm, serious and mostly fairly direct in his approach and it was obvious he was really talking to whatever CPG hacks were in the crowd as well as the array of news cameras. He certainly managed to get in all the points he would have wanted in the recording, many of them multiple times (penalties, bank RC, tax fairness). Nothing struck me as a possible “gaffe”, but doubtless I don’t have the finely tuned ear of the doyens of the CPG.

    The crowd was a typical Canberra crowd, decidedly feminine, middleclass and genteel intelligentsia. Almost a “doctors wives” crowd. But it was not a normal Canberra ALP crowd. I expected the unions (CFMEU, Transport, AWU, CPSU) who are the backbone of the ALP in the region to be more obviously present but they werent. Maybe they had been told to make themselves scarce and leave the function to the new breed. The questions asked were the usual mixed bag, tarnished in my mind by the number of questioners who hijacked the event to read out long declaratory preambles such as was done by the first questioner who ranted on so long that an initially very sympathetic audience became quite restive before an anticlimatic question was finally posed on refugees and detention centres..Another early questioner had a long statement to read into the record about the undesirability of gumtrees in school yards. I kid you not! As is often the case the best questions came from the younger attendees, one from a Canberra Grammar boy about foreign aid being notable.Another from a young woman re the Adani coal mine was also good and probably showed Bill at his best when he answered that the mine needed to stand up on its economic merits and could and should not expect Govt funds to survive but if it passed those significant hurdles he didn’t see why the ALP should deprive mine workers the opportunity to seek work in a region having extreme difficulty at the moment. His between the lines message was that the mine was extremely unlikely to happen, so why stab the workers when they were down.

    I won’t go through more of the questions, you get the drift. Refugees, Penalties, relocation of PS offices, climate change, family and carers assistance, Tax, fairness etc were the topics mentioned. I had to go after an hour and the last question was from a Scotsman shanghaied to on e of the orphan farms and sexually abused by govt workers. It was a very emotional question and the asker got a hushed arena in which to pose it and a warm and moving and effective answer from Bill.

    Bill, and Gai. did themselves no harm whatever at the event. It was a generally warm and supportive audience looking for intelligent responses and savvy enough for the most part to know what they were getting in response. It was the 41st Bill has done and he has it down pat, to the point of not seeming to have it down too pat. It seems a pretty strong formula to me and I will keep a sharp eye out for another in a neighbouring electorate for comparison, and hopefully a LNP function for contrast.

    Your obedient servant.

  15. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. It’s one of those insomniac early efforts today!

    Peter Martin reports on the biennial report from the OECD that warns of a “rout” in Australian house prices, leading to a new economic downturn, saying both prices and household debt have reached “unprecedented highs”.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/oecd-warns-of-rout-in-house-prices-if-investors-head-for-the-doors-20170302-gup0yw.html
    Paul Bongiorno says that Malcolm Turnbull, his senior ministers and his advisers need a weekend retreat away to work out just where they stand on Sunday penalty rates. He tells Turnbull to wake up. As usual Paul makes a good contribution.
    http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2017/03/02/turnbull-shorten-penalty-rates/
    Paul McGeough writes “Scandals are cruel. Dogged by a trio of Russia-related rackets, Donald Trump learnt late on Wednesday local time that, inevitably, they control a president.
    http://www.smh.com.au/world/jeff-sessions-meetings-with-russian-ambassador-a-blow-for-donald-trumps-new-glow-20170302-gup5gx.html
    Mark Kenny writes that The Turnbull government is under growing pressure to overturn the Fair Work Commission decision to cut some penalty rates, with voter resentment particularly high in regional areas, according to new seat-by-seat polling commissioned by the ACTU.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/government-mps-could-lose-seats-unless-pm-intervenes-on-penalty-rates-new-polls-20170302-guovn0.html
    Multinational tax dodgers are the real leaners writes investigative journalist Michael West.
    http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2017/03/02/turnbull-shorten-penalty-rates/
    Laura Tingle with a very cynical look at the government’s last week. Google.
    /opinion/canberra-lots-of-hot-air-but-a-desperate-shortage-of-gas-20170302-gup55t
    The latest poll shows that One Nation appears to be on the skids as the WA election looms. But Labor might fall short too.
    http://www.theage.com.au/wa-news/wa-election-one-nation-vote-on-the-skids-poll-20170302-gupe6n.html
    Cost-cutting strategies have been blamed for budget carrier Jetstar clocking in the worst airline on-time performance results last year, while its departure punctuality fell by more than nine per cent over two years.
    http://thenewdaily.com.au/life/travel/2017/03/02/jetstar-airline-performance/
    Mark Kenny reports on Paul Keating’s assessment of the two wasted decades with respect to Australia’s foreign policy.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/paul-keating-overdue-foreign-policy-review-demands-new-focus-on-china-20170301-gunwrq.html
    “Helpfully” Tony Abbott has called on Malcolm Turnbull to toughen his economic defence of the industrial umpire’s decision to scale back penalty rates, defying pressure to keep silent on government policy. Google.
    /national-affairs/industrial-relations/abbott-calls-on-pm-to-sell-progrowth-penalty-rates-cut-harder/news-story/71e150b95bbd5409a806938a94922c56

  16. Section 2 . . .

    Meanwhile Richo also has some advice. Google.
    /opinion/columnists/graham-richardson/turnbulls-only-chance-of-survival-is-to-embrace-rival-abbott/news-story/3735f1c5535227dd6c5675eec2aa3314
    Waleed Aly has a look at a couple of current issues and what they are doing to voter behaviour.
    http://www.theage.com.au/comment/if-youre-angry-you-go-to-one-nation-just-disappointed-you-go-to-labor-20170302-guos46.html
    Let’s sit back and watch the cage match between two lovely people – Peter Reith and Michael Kroger!
    http://www.smh.com.au/victoria/liberal-stalwarts-to-go-head-to-head-for-party-president-20170301-guoq8g.html
    A recruitment video meant to attract new university graduates to a life working for Canberra’s Finance Department has been removed from the department’s YouTube channel after it was roundly mocked on social media platforms. It really was THAT bad!
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/public-service/finance-officials-remove-embarrassing-recruitment-video-from-departments-youtube-profile-20170302-gupbt4.html
    What’s this crap from Katherine Murphy?
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/mar/02/bill-shorten-takes-town-hall-test-trump-tax-refugees-and-the-gum-tree-menace
    The shift to the right in America is being mirrored in Australia by a desperately out of touch Coalition government, writes Labor Senator Lisa Singh.
    https://newmatilda.com/2017/03/01/fake-news-and-the-politics-of-the-extreme/
    Grattan on Friday: The art of walking, forwards and backwards, and some thoughts on Brandis.
    https://theconversation.com/grattan-on-friday-the-art-of-walking-forwards-and-backwards-and-some-thoughts-on-brandis-73923
    As I am pulling the Dawn Patrol together I can see on CNN this story on Jeff Sessions developing quickly.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/02/jeff-sessions-calls-for-resignation-claims-lies-russia
    Fergus Hunter on Turnbull’s dodging and weaving over questions on the penalty rates decision.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/malcolm-turnbull-ducks-questions-on-his-penalty-rate-cut-position-20170301-guonjs.html
    Global mining giant BHP Billiton has called on the federal and state governments to provide immediate back-up thermal power generation to ensure reliable and affordable electricity to avoid further supply shortages such as those in South Australia and NSW last month. Over to to you Mr Hunt. Google.
    /business/bhp-billiton-says-electricity-market-broken-calls-for-backup-thermal-generators-20170301-guor4l

  17. Section 3 . . .

    Andrew Elder wonders if Turnbull is on life support.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/malcolm-turnbull-life-support,10070
    Australia has come up empty handed as an international conference calls for support to counter Trump’s “global gag rule” order over abortions.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/australia-pledges-nothing-to-counter-donald-trumps-global-gag-rule-abortion-order-20170302-gupl54.html
    There were 28 million calls to Centrelink in the last year which got an engaged signal, confirming the frustrations of countless Australians who have struggled to get in contact with the agency.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/03/01/28-million-calls-to-centrelink-got-a-busy-signal-this-year/?utm_hp_ref=au-homepage
    Barnaby Joyce is targeting more public service departments from Canberra and other capital in its push to move federal agencies to electorates held by Nationals MPs.
    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/joyce-targets-more-public-servants-for-bush-moves-20170301-guophr.html
    As Donald Trump saluted political civility he farewelled American conservativism writes Paul McGeough.
    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/world/as-donald-trump-saluted-political-civility-he-farewelled-american-conservativism-20170302-guossg.html
    Dennis Shanahan has written that Turnbull has paid the price for lack of evidence in the political argument over penalty rates. It’s a highly critical article. Google.
    /opinion/columnists/dennis-shanahan/pm-pays-penalty-for-lack-of-evidence-as-labor-attack-hits-the-mark/news-story/a000cd0b5e6ccdb5b602a516c46a132d
    John Hewson says the major parties only have one way to beat Hanson but so far they are not up to the challenge. He says our democracy is in bad shape.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/the-major-parties-have-one-way-to-beat-pauline-hanson-but-so-far-theyre-not-up-to-the-challenge-20170301-guop45.html
    Linda Burney has referred Tudge’s alleged unauthorised release of a Centrelink client’s personal details to the media. Given the AFP’s form we shouldn’t expect too much to come from it.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/centrelink-labor-refers-minister-to-australian-federal-police-over-alleged-privacy-breaches-20170302-gup9bq.html
    A Reichstag type event, given the usual Trump hype, could ultimately lead to major law and order crackdowns in the United States, writes Dr Norm Sanders in The Independent Australia.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/how-long-before-donald-trump-burns-downs-the-reichstag,10074
    The founder of Bravehearts has called for the resignation of the Archbishop of Canberra saying he “just doesn’t get it when it comes to protecting children
    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/bravehearts-founder-calls-on-canberra-catholic-archbishop-to-resign-20170228-gunr6i.html

  18. Section 4 . . .

    ICAC has referred Hartcher and Tripodi to the DPP for consideration for prosecution.
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/icac-forwards-prosecution-briefs-for-chris-hartcher-joe-tripodi-20170302-gup76k.html
    The unfettered George Christensen has extraordinarily lashed out at Barnaby Joyce over the government’s reluctance to act on 18c.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/fundamental-breach-of-faith-george-christensen-berates-boss-barnaby-joyce-over-race-hate-laws-20170302-guovfg.html
    Sean Nicholls bemoans the figures that have just been released on pokies turnover and says it’s about time the pokie barons’ profits are also made public.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/time-for-nsw-pokie-barons-to-reveal-their-profits-20170302-guot9h.html
    The ACCC is moving to go for bigger penalties for big companies being proven to ne naughty.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/accc-says-bigger-stick-needed-for-the-big-end-of-town-20170302-gup0j4.html
    Meanwhile Australia’s workplace watchdog has signalled it may take a harder line against embattled pizza chain Domino’s amid mounting allegations of rampant wage fraud and worker exploitation in its stores.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace-relations/fair-work-ombudsman-warns-of-cutting-ties-with-dominos-amid-wages-saga-20170302-gup52k.html
    And ASIC has announced Federal Court proceedings against Westpac, alleging the big four lender failed to properly assess whether borrowers could meet home-loan repayments.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/asic-foreshadows-action-against-other-banks-over-lending-practices-20170302-guot87.html
    Wow! Supermarket giant Coles has pre-empted a government inquiry into unfair payment times for small business by promising it will pay more than 1000 smaller merchandise suppliers within 14 days. Google.
    /business/coles-promises-to-pay-suppliers-within-14-days-20170301-guorm7
    This long time hospitality tells the government to stop burying its head in the sand. She says there is plenty of evidence that there are ongoing, chronic and systemic problems in the hospitality industry with underpayment and they should stop ignoring the problems.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/im-a-waitress-and-i-dont-care-about-the-penalty-rate-cuts-20170302-gup64s.html

  19. Section 5 . . . Cartoon Corner

    Ron Tandberg and respecting the umpire’s decision.

    Alan Moir and Australia Post’s values.

    Broelman really goes after Barnaby Joyce with this one depicting him as a clown. Fair enough!

    Cath Wilcox and the new Centrelink modus operandi.

    David Rowe and Turnbull contemplating a horrible shit sandwich as Potatohead and Cormann go on a walk looking suspiciously like the hatching of a plot.

    David Pope on Trump’s stump speech.

    Ron Tandberg hopes there’s been an Oscar-like mistake with Trump.

    Bill Leak’s still at it!
    http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/56c5f90fe21fdef1264bdbbea79a759b
    Matt Davison has worked out Pauline Hanson’s rise.

    • In my case and the OH, as a couple the medicare levy and surcharge is be a lot more expensive than the cost of top cover from a health fund. There are also benefits like choice of your own doctor, specialist or surgeon, public or private hospital, immediate surgery rather than going onto a waiting list, immediate dental cover and best of all, a free copy of The Daily Terror while recovering in hospital.

    • I’d argue with all those points, but it would fill a couple of pages.

      Experience has taught me something – when you have a health crisis (and I’ve had a couple) there is nowhere better to be than a large public hospital, preferably a teaching one.

      I’ve seen enough of private hospitals through family members to know I’d never want to be in one.

      I’ve always had my choice of surgeon or specialist, or rather, my doctor’s choice..The ‘doctor of your choice’ is just an advertising hook. How is an average person supposed to know which eminent medical specialist is best suited to their case anyway? You trust your doctors to chose the best option, don’t you? If they refer you then that’s who you get, and if you don’t like them you ask for another referral.

      The only issue is waiting time. Why should those who can afford private cover queue-jump for surgery? Why do people have to wait in pain for a year for, say, a knee replacement simply because they can’t afford to pay while those who can afford it get to chose the time for their surgery? If that’s not blatant discrimination then I don’t know what is. Wouldn’t it be better to get some equality back into health care by cutting out entirely government subsidies fro private cover and putting that money into the public system?

      if you want private cover and can afford to pay the ever-increasing fees then have it, but why should the taxpayers have to subsidise your choice? Low-income taxpayers subsiding health care for the better-off. How did we get to this?

  20. Off topic but CRIKEY has gone troppo black screen with just a verticle list of hash numbers. I know they keep badgering me to subscribe but the system is flawed when I log on sometimes the updates are still hours behind or it shows n pages I select the one prior to the last indicated and then after reading it i select next and there is no next or it has no comments and no way to to go back to previous page. Am I being punished or paranoid, whichever my cash stays in my pocket.

  21. bilko

    The Pub is the most stable blog I’ve been on, so it is good enough for me. Sorry you’re having problems, and it is a wise decision you have made the decision not to subscribe if they are so bad. Have you rang or written to let them know? If you have and they don’t respond, they apparently don’t need your money as they don’t care about who reads their stuff.

  22. Those Liberals must be the same all over the world:

    “I don’t recognise the facts. I have not embezzled public funds,” said Fillon.

    “I entrusted some parliamentary work to my relatives because I could trust them and they did assist me and I will prove it.”

    “I have not been treated like an ordinary citizen,” said Fillon as he slammed the timing and speed of the investigation against him.

    “The rule of law has been systematically violated,” he said adding “The presumption of innocence has been entirely eliminated.”

    “It is indeed a political assassination. But it’s not just me they are killing, it is also the presidential election itself.”

    “It is the freedom of the vote and democracy that is being violently attacked,” he added.

    http://www.thelocal.fr/20170302/fillon-hit-by-deserters-as-calls-grow-for-jupp-to-return

    From what I gather Fillon has no chance and will probably be replaced by Juppé.

  23. Poverty in Germany:

    Each year between 2011 and 2015, electricity providers cut off power to at least 300,000 German households who could no longer afford to pay their bills, the government revealed on Thursday.
    The number of houses which could not afford electricity payments varied between 312,000 and 352,000. The power cut-offs were normally due to poverty, with people on state welfare very often affected.

    Meanwhile in 2015, 44,000 households had their gas supply cut off.

    The government announcement – in response to a parliamentary question by Die Linke (the Left Party) – also revealed that between 15.7 percent and 16.7 percent of people in Germany are threatened with poverty.

    “Energy poverty in Germany is a silent catastrophe for millions of people, especially in the cold, dark winter months,” said Eva Bulling-Schröter, energy spokeswoman for Die Linke.

    While Germany is selling more electricity than ever before to other European countries, the government is turning a blind eye to the poor within its own borders who can’t afford their power bills, Bulling-Schröter said.

    https://www.thelocal.de/20170302/over-300000-poverty-hit-german-homes-have-power-cut-off-each-year

  24. You’d think with all the uproar about Tudge and his department leaking personal information to the media Labor might have changed their plans to support this legislation on the grounds it is not wise to give another department the right to reveal private information. But no, it sailed through the reps yesterday with Labor’s full support.

    Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment (Digital Readiness and Other Measures) Bill 2016
    http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r5771

    • A Probyn described Bill’s position with regards FWC as: “soaked in hypocrisy”. There could be some truth in it. It might also bear some truth in this case.

    • Probyn would say that, he works for the ABC and follows instructions.

      If Shorten is a hypocrite for abandoning his earlier commitment to accept the FWC decision then the government is even more hypocritical for not just criticising but actually reversing decisions made by various independent bodies.

      This government did not like the decision made by the FWC in the Victorian country firefighters dispute so they legislated new rules for the FWC.

      This government did not like the Road Safety Tribunal’s decision to increase rates for truck drivers so it abolished the tribunal.

      As Shorten keeps saying, no-one expected the FWC to make a ruling that decreased the pay of 680,000 low-paid workers. He does not intend to give up on those workers.

      It’s OK for this government to trample all over decisions made by independent umpires but when Labor says there has been an unfair decision it’s a scandal.

      Last night on The Project Waleed Aly put on his best ‘I’m a Liberal’ hat and tried desperately to ‘gotcha’ a very serious Shorten. Unfortunately he didn’t do enough research and claimed Labor had set up the FWC (it hadn’t) and had chosen all the members(It hadn’t). Aly got himself into so much strife with his repetitious and dopey questions that he had to be rescued by a panel member asking Shorten for his thoughts on the amount of pee in swimming pool water.

  25. Here’s a thought.

    If cutting the pay of hospitality workers on Sundays by 25% means that employers will (allegedly) be able to afford to employ extra staff then just imagine how many jobs would be created if all those CEOs on multi-million dollar salary packages had their pay reduced by 25%.

    It’s the same reasoning – wage cuts = more jobs.

  26. Chief Snark And Giggler In Chief, Jacqui Maley tells us that Gillard “was accused” (note passive voice) of being too emotional in her misogny speech, as Tony Abbott’s smug, self-satisfied, bully-in-the-schoolyard face was bitch-slapped by Gillard into humiliating recognition – in front of the entire nation – as to how he was being emasculated by her words.

    Jacquie Maley was one of those chief accusers. She wasn’t passive. She was proactive, nasty and patronizing. She wasn’t sympathetic. She was hell-bent. I can remember her, clear as a bell, telling the Insiders audience in no uncertain terms what a disaster Gillard’s speech had been. What a meltdown. What an embarrassment. Gillard wasn’t “accused”, passive voice. Maley was one of her chief accusers. Maley stuck the bloodied knife in, and then twisted it, laughing.

    Now she tells us that it’s the men – including Abbott and Rudd – who are the overly emotional ones. And it’s Gillard who knew how to handle the pressure.

    Does Maley think we don’t remember what a herd-following little shit she was when Gillard was PM?

    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/men-are-they-just-too-emotional-to-govern-abbott-and-co-are-making-a-good-case-20170302-gup0lj.html

    • Fairfax describes Ms Maley as “the Canberra-based Parliamentary Sketch Writer for The Sydney Morning Herald”.

      I take it that means she gets to write light-weight pieces about political fluff. She’s not considered good enough to be a member of the Press Gallery.
      http://pressgallery.net.au/gallery-members/

      So there she is, stuck writing crap about chaps and their emotions, or food allergies, or the end of Cory and Tony’s bromance when she would much rather be in the Parliament House office with the heavy-weights, writing about serious politics.. I could almost feel sorry for her. Almost.

  27. pollbludger (the only crikey site I read) up and running many comments re its early problems this morning stay alert we need more lerts.

  28. I had a discussion with a friend last night who was upset at Bill Shorten’s “hypocrisy” on calling for a FairWork enquiry, then rejecting the decision, after he had said he would accept it, if he became PM.

    First, the condition was “if I am Prime Minister after the election”, and he is not, so the technical condition for agreement is not met.

    Secondly, I think there is little chance that someone who is upset about losing a couple of thousand dollars a year in Sunday penalty rates will suddenly become grittily pleased, and therefore support his loss of income, simply because Malcolm Turnbull says Bill Shorten changed his policy, to the benefit of penalty rates earners.

    • When Bill Shorten agreed to abide by decision of FWC the LNP had yet to stack the commission with proBusiness commissioners
      I think the loss of disposable income will lead to a fall in GDP

  29. Senator Deborah O’Neill at senate estimates.

    This week, we found out the Turnbull government paid a discredited scientist $640,000 to produce a single copy of a 154-page book.

    Of this $640,000 almost half was used on an around-the-world junket and $9444 was used to print this one copy.

    The Turnbull government are asking taxpayers to tighten their belt whilst spending our money recklessly.

    Mr Turnbull and the Liberal Party are out of touch

  30. “PETA Wants”————————– To ensure they are not taken seriously.

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