559 thoughts on “Happy Easter 2017

  1. I don’t watch the ABC’s morning rubbish. I prefer to hang out online. That means instead of wasting time listening to government propaganda I get to see interesting stuff like this –

    Inside Turkey’s Purge
    As the ruling party expands the ranks of its enemies, life in a fragile democracy becomes stranger and stranger.

    The police officers came to the doctor’s door in Istanbul at 6 a.m. — dawn raids usually start then, sometimes 5:30 — and one of them said, “You are accused of attempting to kill President Erdogan.”

    The doctor couldn’t help it; he laughed. “Really? I did that?”

    The police officers smiled, too. “Yes. Also for attempting to destroy Turkey and for being a member of a terrorist organization.”

    “Really?” He looked at them. They carried pistols. “Can I have a cigarette then?”

    The police seemed surprised. They didn’t expect a Gulenist to smoke. I’m not a Gulenist, the doctor insisted. That didn’t help him. He would soon be one of the many thousands of people in Turkey caught in the machinery of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s purge

  2. Unraveling faster than the Poodle running for the exit

    Nicole Gorton, director of recruitment agency Robert Half for the APAC region, said searches for CEOs were often global. “Any age restriction for skilled foreign workers may limit the scope of executive recruitment,” Ms Gorton said.

    “It is very common to have international professionals at the C-suite level in Australian companies as the available local talent market can be limited, making it sometimes necessary to recruit from overseas.

    “The changes might hold the risk that businesses will be further challenged sourcing skilled talent in several areas, leaving them uncertain about their near-future growth prospects.”

    In addition, Turnbull’s plan to abolish 457 visas and restrict skilled foreign talent would “decrease the supply of highly specialised professionals in several functional areas, particularly within the technology sector”.

    “The IT industry is the biggest sponsor of 457 workers, and with the supply of specialised Australian IT candidates not meeting demand in many functional areas, businesses are left with critical skills gaps for which they have relied extensively on foreign-skilled talent,” she said.

    “With the proposed changes where – according to the proposed occupation list – several IT jobs would be removed from the list, the talent gap is expected to increase.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace-relations/hiring-a-ceo-from-overseas-cant-be-older-than-45-under-turnbulls-visa-restrictions-post-457s-20170418-gvn2qx.html

    • IT has an oversupply of unemployed workers. The ACS is trying to get former members to rejoin but why would you join a moribund professional organisation that promoted overseas workers while allowing its members to be retrenched when the ACS President was a head hunter

  3. Could he be the one?

    Why would millions of French people vote for a relative political novice who has never been elected? Emmanuel Macron’s voters told us why in one sentence.
    The 39-year-old Emmanuel Macron has come from almost nowhere, well the economy ministry to be precise, to be a frontrunner in the 2017 French presidential election.

    Despite never having been elected and after only forming his own political movement, En Marche (On the move) one year ago, millions of French voters are expected to back the novice politician.

    It might seem absurd, especially in France where they like their politicians to be familiar faces and preferably over at least 50, but when The Local spoke to many Macron supporters at a rally in Paris they were all convinced he was the right man to lead France.

  4. I’d like Turnbull to explain to me exactly what ‘values’ are exclusively Australian, because I have NFI. As far as I can make out everyone on this planet – except the megalomaniacs and billionaires who run the place – have pretty much the same values.

    If a government questionnaire asks a prospective Australian citizen if they agree with female genital mutilation (not a Muslim practice, by the way, it’s much older than Islam and Christianity) then of course they will say ‘no’ because they know their citizenship depends on it. Ditto silly questions on hitting your spouse or whatever other biased rubbish Dutton decides to include. No-one is silly enough to wreck their chances of citizenship by giving the wrong answers to pointless loaded questions.

    • Only the true maniacs answer those questions truthfully.

      The smart ones – the ones their clever plan is intended to catch-out as Teh Evil Terrorists – smile urbanely and answer “Of course not.”

    • There could be more directly Aus questions.Who was John Howard? Or spelling words such as: Christian, white, bogan, barbie … you know what I mean.

    • “I’d like Turnbull to explain to me exactly what ‘values’ are exclusively Australian,”

      Oh that’s easy… Anything that passes the pub test at the Australian Arms Hotel in Penrith.

  5. I’ve just had a look at the current citizenship test – or at least the practice questions. The actual test is a selection of 20 random questions drawn from the questions in the four ‘practice tests’. To pass the test, you must answer 75 per cent, or 15 out of 20 questions, correctly. I think most Australians would struggle to pass.

    Something interesting popped up. This question –

    .6. Which of these statements about
    government in Australia is correct?
    a. The government does not allow some religions
    b. Government in Australia is secular
    c. Religious laws are passed by parliament

    Click to access practice-questions.pdf

    The correct answer, of course, is (b). (Although if Hanson gets her way it might one day be (a).)

    That puts paid to all those idiotic claims about Australia being a ‘Christian’ country. You would think our politicians would be aware of the Australian Constitution and have the necessary knowledge required to pass a citizenship test, but apparently that’s not the case because to many of them keep telling us ‘Australia is a Chrisitian country’. Some of our politicians don’t even speak proper English – looking right at you, Barnaby.

    If you want to see all four practice tests then go here –
    http://www.aussiecitizenshiptest.com/free-test/1

    They can’t be accessed from the links on the Border Force website. How very efficient! How very convenient!.

  6. Citizen Test questions ? Ah who can forget the Howard classic.

    Bradman out for duck in citizenship test

    A QUESTION about Sir Donald Bradman is expected to be dumped from the citizenship test under an overhaul by the Rudd Government to make the test fairer and more relevant to migrants of all backgrounds.

    The question is one of several Labor believes was written by the former prime minister, John Howard. Another, which expects budding citizens to know

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/bradman-out-for-duck-in-test/2008/01/28/1201369038752.html

  7. Penny gets it

    Early on Thursday, Labor’s Senate leader, Penny Wong, told the ABC the proposed changes to citizenship looked cosmetic and politically motivated.

    “The test is currently in English, it’s a test that was largely designed by John Howard so I have to say this looks to me like the change you make when you want people to notice,” Wong told the ABC.

    “One suspects that Malcolm Turnbull is having a much greater focus on Tony Abbott and perhaps One Nation than on making any real and substantive change here.”

    Wong pointed out that the current pledge required would-be citizens to vov allegiance to Australia and its democratic beliefs, and she quipped if there was a tougher English grammar test in contemplation, then “there might be a few members of parliament that might struggle”.

    She said the current pledge affirmed loyalty to Australia and its people “whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect and whose laws I will uphold and obey”.

    “That’s our current citizenship pledge,” she said. “Now, I think those sentiments are pretty good.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/apr/20/malcolm-turnbull-calls-on-labor-to-back-tougher-citizenship-test

  8. A couple Penny would have in mind as Tony Windsor certainly does.

    TonyHWindsor: Breaking : Hanson to take English lessons in last ditch stand to pass test ,Joyce considering options on mangled English.TA fails on values

  9. Did the sample test got two wrong, about flags. Why are flags so bloody important?

    Anyway, I haven’t made a study of the layout of the Aboriginal flag, and didn’tknow it was an official flag,nor that the top portion is black. So two wrong there.

    Have to admit, though, that having the Australian flag on top of every page DOES allow one to cheat a little when one isn’t sure exactly where the Southern Cross is located, or the precise positioning of the Commonwealth Star.

  10. Just trying to compile a list of some of these “Australian Values” Turnbull might be on about. So far I’ve come up with:

    1. The Dismissal
    2. Lying about WMDs in order to justify invading Iraq
    3. Utegate
    4. Concocting harassment scandal to depose Slipper as Speaker
    5. ‘Ditch the Witch’
    6. Saying Julia Gillard’s father ‘died of shame’
    7. Defending rorters.
    8. Outsourcing falsely claimed debt to debt collection agencies
    9. ‘On water matters’
    10. Paying people smugglers not to smuggle people

    That’s a start anyway.

  11. Tony is very upset –

    ‘Just Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Nutt and I had it’: Tony Abbott lashes ‘sneaky’ leak of Warringah polling.

    Mr Abbott has effectively confirmed the authenticity of the polling data, while saying that just three people had access to the information at the time – himself, Mr Turnbull and campaign boss Tony Nutt

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/just-malcolm-turnbull-tony-nutt-and-i-had-it-tony-abbott-lashes-sneaky-leak-of-warringah-polling-20170420-gvob7p.html

    So who leaked? Nutt or Fizza?

  12. Katharine has this right

    When Andrew Robb was charged with finding out why the Liberals nearly lost government in the winter of 2016, he came back with three pieces of get-your-house-in-order advice straight off the bat: have a plan, define your opponents and secure your base.

    It’s pretty obvious from the events of the political week that the Robb rescue playbook is getting a flogging.

    Let’s map it out.

    One: “Have a plan” – Unveil some headline grabbing migration policies that have the effect of identifying a common and relatable enemy, un-Australian foreigners, who either want to come here and take good Aussie jobs, or sneakily aspire to become citizens despite harbouring manifestly un-Australian values.

    Two: “Define your opponents” – Labor is soft on un-Australian foreigners, just look at them. Soft. Journalists are in the frame too. Have the temerity to ask bleedingly obvious questions – like what is the problem we are actually trying to solve here – and apparently you aren’t on Team Australia.

    Three: “Secure your base” – circle back to point one.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/apr/20/malcolm-turnbull-puts-soundbites-before-substance-in-flawed-comeback-strategy

  13. Well – er – derr – well – ummm –

    Turnbull struggles to answer a simple question about his citizenship changes.

  14. I just noticed something that should have been a bit more obvious to me. There’s been almost a complete absence of the usual “of course the ALP have their troubles too…” messaging in most news articles lately. That little add-on has quietly faded away over the past few weeks. It used to be mandatory. It looks as if it’s been replaced with the Equivalence Tactic – which is the one where a failing of the Liberal Party is portrayed as a failing of politics in general. As in Katharine Murphy’s:

    Turnbull’s chest-thumping, nationalist of political convenience problem was underscored on Thursday when the prime minister in the one breath declared that would-be citizens needed to demonstrate their adherence to Australian values as a matter of allegiance but then couldn’t say precisely what those values were.

    The prime minister had some feelings on the subject – mutual respect, democracy, freedom, rule of law, the fair go – but the values matrix would actually be determined by … drum roll please … a discussion paper.

    Sir Humphrey Appleby might say it’s brave as a government to launch a values offensive ahead of defining the values but that pretty much sums up the vacuousness and febrile opportunism at the heart of contemporary politics.

    Soundbite first, content second.

    No, that’s a Liberal trait. The ALP, by contrast, are forced to defend every single thing they say and do. The press gallery takes care of that. The Liberal get to drop ideas around like dog turds and let the press clean it up. And Murphy would prefer to see the blame spread about rather than sheeted to where it properly belongs. Which is one reason why the Liberals keep on doing it. No matter how lunatic or badly-thought-out their initiatives are, they never get punished for them anywhere except the polls. They just play their Blame Labor get out of jail card and carry on.

    The last few weeks in the political press have followed a well defined weekly pattern:

    1. Great Turnbull Announcement! (Attack ALP, Syria, Snowy, 457)
    2. Widespread rejoicing, he’s on his way back.
    3. [pause]
    4. Well, that didn’t work.
    5. Oh dear, politics is to blame.
    6. What’s next?

  15. Mandy

    The immigration minister, Peter Dutton, has alleged a shooting rampage by Papua New Guinea navy personnel at the Manus Island detention centre on Good Friday was sparked after refugees were seen leading a small boy into the centre.

    But this version of events has been fiercely disputed by refugees – who have accused the minister of lying – and contradicts police and defence force evidence which say the fight was sparked over a football field dispute. The police said “drunken soldiers … rampaged” through the centre, shooting into the air and indiscriminately assaulting people.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/apr/20/dutton-alleges-manus-shooting-rampage-sparked-after-refugees-seen-with-boy

  16. Stories like this break my heart and make me despise NAPLAN. Labor should be very ashamed of inflicting this pointless test on the kids of Australia.

    My Daughter Is About To Fail Naplan, And I’m So Proud Of Her
    When your kid is average, or worse, it is depressingly rare for a school to celebrate their achievements.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/marissa-parsons/my-daughter-is-about-to-fail-naplan-and-im-so-proud-of-her_a_22043712/?ncid=fcbklnkauhpmg00000001

    if I had kids at school now i’d be exercising my right to have tyhem exempted from this test. you can do that, it’s a shame parents don’t know and it’s a shame parents have been hoodwinked into believing their kids MUST take this test and will somehow be penalised or miss out if they don’t.

    Since you are the legal guardian of your child you can state that you don’t want your child to be tested, just as you can state you don’t want your child to go swimming or to participate in any other event. You do not have to give a reason

    Say No to NAPLAN

    Click to access No_NAPLAN.pdf

    • Except the Gillard government pretty much abandoned needs-based funding for their ‘no school will be worse off’ brainfart. That means wealthy private schools are still getting obscene amounts of funding. The original Gonski plan was about equality, not about providing a third swimming pool or a performing arts centre or a rifle range to private schools.

      I understand why NAPLAN was introduced but it has never really worked as we were told it would. Schools definitely do teach to the test, meaning students miss out on lessons in other subject areas. Parents are brainwashed into believing their kids have to sit for the test. I’ve had parents justify it to me with the ‘it helps prepare kids for exams at high school’ story. Which is rubbish.

      I blame the Gillard government for introducing the scheme, even if it was done with good intentions. I blame school principals and classroom teachers for pushing these tests on their students, for causing students unnecessary stress and for indoctrinating parents, I blame parents who accept all the propaganda without question instead of insisting their kids be exempted from these tests.

      The money wasted on NAPLAN should go to schools for worthwhile programs that will do more to improve literacy and numeracy than a standardised test will ever do.

  17. I was due to get FTTH(ovel) in late 2014 but then an Oaf happened. Now i find out I have a
    Farkin’ Turnbull’s Totally Hopeless internet connection available. Will report in once I have a “plan” picked and connected.

  18. “Deeply” is such an overused word.

    Turnbull needs to guard very carefully against coming off second best in a head-on confrontation with the greatest and most enduring Australian value there is: our deeply patriotic duty to call out politically confected bullshit wherever we see it.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/apr/20/malcolm-turnbull-puts-soundbites-before-substance-in-flawed-comeback-strategy

    Why does Kath Murphy use it? Why can’t she just say “our patriotic duty”, never mind the “deeply”?

  19. “I trust the wisdom of the [US] government and administration.”

    Get your laughing gear around that one.

    Leigh did very well. It was one occasion where she didn’t have to dig deeply: she just asked so many questions, each one of which got Waffled.

    No doubt, the msm will call it a triumph for their little darling.

    • Sob when Clarke prophetically said re the Budget do that “He shall be unable to attend”

  20. Just heard on News Radio that the head of the Department Of Insecticides (Or Whatever) that Barnarby Joyce re-located to Armidale has resigned.

  21. A tiler named Blake came to our house today and demolished the upstairs ensuite in 1 hour, right back to the fiberglass waterproofing.

    When Mick The Builder arrived, after Blake had left, we thanked him for recommending Blake.

    “Yair. He’s an energetic little unit, isn’t he?”

    Laugh? I nearly split my sides. I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect description of Blake than “an energetic little unit”.

  22. Dear Pubsters,

    I am now an orphan. My darling mum died at 5am today. It was, according to the nurses, very peaceful, with no discomfort. (She has been on morphine since Tuesday; she has refused all food and water since last Friday.) Somewhere in what was left of her mind I suspect she knew that today is the 4th anniversary of my dad’s demise, so it seems an entirely appropriate time for her to leave.

    She was a wonderful, funny, dynamic woman who led a full and happy life. She was a superb mother, and even in the last few years we have been able to enjoy many good times together.

    So … I am not distraught. The last time I saw her, on Tuesday evening, she gave me a wicked grin and a kiss. What more could a daughter want?

    Various relations and friends around Australia (and maybe even Thailand) have been raising a glass/cup of something to her this evening.

  23. Sorry, Jeremy, it is not

    The dividing lines in this election could not be clearer from the outset. It is the Conservatives, the party of privilege and the richest versus the Labour Party the party that is standing up for working people to improve the lives of all.

    It is the establishment versus the people and it is our historic duty to make sure that the people prevail.

    If you pursue that line you will go nowhere.

    Theresa has said, wtte “Let’s get this Brexit over and done with.” I guess the disengagement of their voters will prevail.

  24. Fiona

    I have no words that are adequate but I will now in your mum’s honour join those ” around Australia (and maybe even Thailand) have been raising a glass/cup of something to her this evening.” . So a toast to what must have been a fantastic mum to have raised such a daughter.

    Haere ra mater Fiona.

  25. Fiona
    Condolences. You will find some comfort that your Mum was able to live closer to you in the last few years and you made some good memories. Thinking of you this evening.

  26. Fiona
    My condolences.
    It’s good your mother’s death was peaceful and pain-free, and I’m sure she chose the time of departure. I’m sorry I never got to meet your mother.

    Thinking of you.

    • I met Heather. She and I had a lovely chat for half an hour while Fiona and Joe were attending to Canberra Chapter matters prior to our last nosh-up in Kingston.

  27. What a cheap political hack is Josh Frydenberg:

    WA Government should ‘put people first and sharks second’, says Josh Frydenberg
    Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg has ramped up the pressure on the McGowan Government to introduce shark mitigation strategies such as deploying drum lines or culling, following a fatal attack.

    Laeticia Brouwer, 17, was attacked and killed by a shark off the Esperance coast while surfing with her father — the 15th fatality since 2000.

    The new Labor State Government did not deploy drum lines to catch the shark and has rejected culling the animals.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-20/shark-attack-prompts-pressure-on-wa-government-to-act/8458368

    l suppose it’s Labor’s fault that this poor girl went surfing on a deserted beach in a known shark-attack area, eh Josh?

  28. Fiona,
    We Pubsters have been privileged to share with you over the past couple of years, a detailed review of your mother’s experience with one of the less desirable features of the aging process that most of us would prefer to avoid.

    It is with great sorrow that I send to you via this medium my heartfelt commiserations towards your loss and my deep appreciation of your tender concern towards my health issues, which are of second order to the concerns you must have been experiencing with your dear mother and her failing health.

    Our kindest regards,
    Scorpio & Mrs Scorpio.

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