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Three smoke trails from Kevin 747

A week is a long time in politics and no one can be unaware that over the last few days the new again Dear Leader has had some rather mixed blessings , in the first instance he has made that rather audacious agreement with PNG that has been largely lauded as being something that might work. However we have also had the riot and extensive damage of the facility on Nauru which has caused about 60 million bucks worth of damage, with the sort of bad press that Labor has received for years on the “asylum seeker issue the latter does very much take the shine off the former which is starting to show a few cracks anyway as PNG now insists that it will only resettle those who are formally accepted as refugees:

PNG made it clear over the weekend that it was willing to resettle asylum-seekers who were given refugee status but would not do so for those who fail that test, keeping them in detention if no other countries agreed to accept them. The approach could breach the capacity of the Manus Island detention centre within weeks given the current rate of boat arrivals if Labor’s plan does not quickly curtail the people-smugglers’ trade.

Source 

So despite some indication that the Rudd scheme may be an effective deterrent its success is far from being a done deal. That said we should not EVER forget that it was Rudd himself who created the problem in the first place with is ill fated decision to change from the successful Howard model in 2008.  Some how I don’t think that Rudd’s culpability will be as easily forgotten as  Labor hopes.

The changes to the way that leadership of the parliamentary party is decided looks likely to be waved through the caucus as well which has to count as a win for the new again Dear Leader but I personally can’t see what has been proposed being a long term benefit to the party.  While it may well make it harder to achieve a coup while the party is in government it also means that the party will be less able to change its leader in the face of incompetence or leadership failure which means that    someone as bad as Gillard will be virtually non  removable apart from electoral defeat or being encouraged  to resign “for the good of the party”.  Like a lot of “progressive” ideas it sounds good in principle but I can’t help thinking that a rule change like this one could end up doing more harm than good .

which brings us around to the reason for all of the frenetic efforts from the new again Dear Leader, namely the desire to be in the best possible position to call the election. The latest scuttle-butt suggests August 31 barely a fortnight sooner than Gillard’s mooted  September 13 but light years away from her utterly hopeless position:

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Thus we find that Labor, instead of giving us the needed concrete changes prior to the election  offer us three illusions. Firstly that they have changed the Carbon tax when they can not get their changes through the parliament. Secondly they are set to make the leadership more difficult to change which has to mean that a bad leader can endure well past their use-by date and finally they are giving the us the illusion that they have found a s9olution to the boats with the less than rock solid deal with PNG.

As I see it the honeymoon is all but over for Rudd and that things can only get worse from here on in because already the contrast between the new again Dear leader and his predecessor are fading fast. Personal popularity of its Dear leader won’t save Labor from the consequences of its misrule over the last six years and while they may loose fewer seats than they would have under Gillard  I still can’t see them winning the election either.

Cheers Comrades

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Upsetting Mammon. Rolling Stones style

In my younger days we used to see Rock and Roll as something of a subversive art-form and to my mind that is one of the most clever and devious half truths of any commercial enterprise because it has almost always been the case that it is a way to make serious money and to commercially exploit the punters. After all what is not to like about the energy of our biological imperative being exploited in the service of Mammon? Who among you does not have a favourite popular music tune associated with  the quest for your significant other?  Who out there does not get stirrings in the loins when they here their song on the radio? Sadly for the Rolling Stones it seems that their “licence to print money” reputation has reached its use-by date as they discover that their fans will no longer max out their credit cards for the transient pleasure of hearing them play while Mick Jagger prances around on his zimmer frame.

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The expected reward for hubris is of course public humiliation as even Mammon does not smile upon being taken for granted and being expected to endorse the vanity of the Rolling Stones. It sort of makes me think that there is a very good argument for bowing out with some style and dignity rather than milking the fans for every possible penny for as long as they can.

Cheers Comrades

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Clean up on aisle two!!!

“Alternative” medicine is something that is both a huge money spinner for its purveyors and it  overwhelmingly  the case that most of it has almost zero evidence to back up the many claims made about these pill potions and devices they  are just flat out  and unmitigated bull shit.   Its bullshit that plays upon a couple of societal    memes. Firstly it plays upon the notion that if something is “Natural”  then it can’t harm you, well Ricen is a natural substance found in the seeds of the castor oil plant but if you ingest even a small amount of it you will die a painful and  horrible death. Secondly it relies on the mistrust of the scientific method and the scientific establishment in essence its the product of an all pervasive conspiracy theory about “big Pharma ” and their desire not to better the health of humanity but to make money from the drugs that they produce. The thing is that rather being a critique of the capitalism of the drug industry what purveyors of the “alternative” pills potions and devices  see a good economic niche which allows them to cream off a motza from a very gullible public ever keen to be healthier with the least amount of effort possible.

Have you got that I am a total cynic about alternative medicine?  Good! then you will understand why I find the news that  the Chaser Boys are being sued for defamation so amusing:

In the segment, broadcast on March 21, presenter Craig Reucassel is seen saying the case of Swisse’s product ‘‘highlights everything that’s wrong with the regulation of natural medicines in Australia’’. Reucassel, his Chaser colleague Julian Morrow, who also appears on and produces The Checkout, executive producer Nick Murray and the ABC are named as defendants. Advertisement Mr Murray said on Thursday evening: "We deny all the ridiculous imputations and will be defending it vigorously". In addition to asking the court to order the removal of the segment from the ABC website, Dr Sali seeks aggravated damages because the defendants ‘‘were recklessly indifferent as to the truth of the program’’ and broadcast the segment without contacting him or ‘‘making any proper enquiries as to the truth of the program’’. Dr Sali is the founder of the National Institute of Integrative Medicine, which conducted a clinical trial on the product and according to The Checkout was funded by Swisse. ‘‘The program was meant and was understood to mean that the plaintiff performed clinical tests... and then manipulated the published results for the commercial benefit of Swisse,’’ Dr Sali alleges. (click for source)

In the segment, broadcast on March 21, presenter Craig Reucassel is seen saying the case of Swisse’s product ‘‘highlights everything that’s wrong with the regulation of natural medicines in Australia’’.Reucassel, his Chaser colleague Julian Morrow, who also appears on and produces The Checkout, executive producer Nick Murray and the ABC are named as defendants. Mr Murray said on Thursday evening: “We deny all the ridiculous imputations and will be defending it vigorously”. In addition to asking the court to order the removal of the segment from the ABC website, Dr Sali seeks aggravated damages because the defendants ‘‘were recklessly indifferent as to the truth of the program’’ and broadcast the segment without contacting him or ‘‘making any proper enquiries as to the truth of the program’’.Dr Sali is the founder of the National Institute of Integrative Medicine, which conducted a clinical trial on the product and according to The Checkout was funded by Swisse. ‘‘The program was meant and was understood to mean that the plaintiff performed clinical tests… and then manipulated the published results for the commercial benefit of Swisse,’’ Dr Sali alleges.
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The thing is I can’t help thinking that Dr Sali may well end up doing his company more harm than good by serving a writ on the producers of the Checkout because there is one fundamental and essential defence against any claim of defamation and that is the truth. If what you say is the truth then it does not matter a jot how much harm that utterance may do to an individual or their business. It will be an interesting case to watch and I for one am on the Checkout’s side on this issue.

Cheers Comrades

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“Earth Hour” and the virtues of eating cake

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Ah that environmental equivalent to the hate week that Orwell spoke of in 1984 is almost upon us and like hate week  its all about manipulating the feelings of the proles so that the dominate religious  ideology can be both strengthened and reinforced.  Thus when we are exhorted to turn off our lights for earth hour those of us who do not plunge our homes and business into darkness can paint targets on our foreheads for the faithful to aim at with their condescending scorn.However like a lot of religious mumbo jumbo the underlying assumption about the effectiveness of this act of environmental contrition will be grossly overstated as will the culpability of humanity for the claimed changes in the climate. With that all in mind  I found Bjorn  Lomborg‘s argument in today’s Oz most compelling:

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You don’t have to succumb to the group think about the “virtue” of turning off your lights or worse yet joining in to the immoral stupidity of getting your snout into the Photovoltaic subsidy trough that drives energy costs up for everyone else. There are better ways than these empty gestures to tread lightly on the planet, holiday in this country rather than taking that jet fueled jaunt around the planet, use your appliances and cars until they are worn out instead of replacing them when the warranty runs out. Forgo the pleasures of the fashion industry by only buying new clothes when your old ones are worn out, heck you could even seek a better balance between the need to be clean and the frequency and duration of your showering. All of theses things are going to make more difference to the planet than turning your lights off for one hour, especially if you have, like yours truly, already  been using the most efficient LED lights (that use 85% less energy than an incandescent bulb )for quite some time …

Never been a big fan of cake Comrades

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Who polished Craig Thomson’s Knob?

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The deliberate ineptitude of the Labor government over the Craig Thomson affair is as amazing as it is unsurprising and I am rather darkly amused that it is only now that someone has decided to try to find evidence that it was actually Thomson’s knob that got polished in those brothel transactions that were made on his union credit card. Talking about an obvious path to the truth that has been deliberately avoided for political reasons would not be unfair  in this case.

The roller-coaster ride is far from over for Labor on this issue and aren’t we conservatives enjoying seeing them scream as the  car dives over yet another  precipice?

Cheers Comrades

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Front row Julia and Wayne
Second row Chris and Penny
Third row Peter and Greg

Julian Assange’s complaining lungs

That hero of the left seems to be unhappy about his health and the accommodations at the Ecuadorian embassy, at least that is the latest spin from the Guardian:

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Am I the only one to think that this is the same sort of old and tired ploy that some holiday makers at Club Nauru are playing? You know say that this place is making you sick to garner sympathy in an effort to get what you want?
If Assange is well enough to use a treadmill then he can’t be that ill and in any event he always has the option of leaving the embassy and surrendering to the British authorities who will be more than happy to transfer him to Sweden where I hear  that they have some top notch health services for those with complaining lungs, heck if things get real bad they might even consider transferring him on to the USA where they have the best medical facilities that money can buy and a clear willingness to consider him an honoured guest within some very secure accommodations that promise very long tenure and even free legal advice…

What more could this boy from my part of Oz possibly want?

Cheers Comrades

On Julian’s Christmas list?

Another nail in the coffin for Julia Gillard’s credibility in the AWU scandal?

For those who want to see Gillard’s involvement in dodgy deals  as entirely innocent, well may I suggest that you don’t watch this interview?

For those of us who are enjoying the PM squirming about her involvement in union skulduggery please watch and enjoy.

Cheers Comrades

 

Yep its the perfect pick me up for a conservative on this bright and sunny November morning.

When I need a laugh there is nothing more Jolly than checking out the “environment” section of the Guardian where you can be sure to fine the latest in environmental Corporal Jones (Vale, Clive Dunn) impersonations:

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Now there are a couple of really major and naive assumptions in this rather silly piece not the least of which is the fact that the judiciary does not have the powers imagined by the author in the first place, secondly even if they did getting members of the legal profession to all agree about something is rather like herding cats (strangely quite few lawyers are cat lovers) thirdly the argument is profoundly undemocratic and it denies the people the right to chose their own governments and to have those governments do their bidding. Finally it reveals that inner totalitarian that seems to live within the heart of every Greens supporter. Yep its the perfect pick me up for a conservative on this bright and sunny November morning.
Cheers Comrades]\

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