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A fair go

Find below a piece by Mishka Góra reproduced here under the terms of its creative commons licence  it was originally published here

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Tony Abbott from his Facebook page

Most of you will already be aware that I am not a fan of Tony Abbott. If you raise the topic of Paid Parental Leave with me, for example, you may wish to brace yourself for a diatribe about the “calibre” of the women our Prime Minister privileges above other hard-working women who stay at home without any pay at all for years rather than months. I will probably also make liberal use of the words integrity and backbone in a less than flattering manner.

Nevertheless, I am disgusted by the plethora of groundless attacks on Tony Abbott that have increased in recent days instead of abating. In particular, a photo of Mr Abbott in his fire-fighting gear seems to have drawn a ridiculous amount of ire. I must say, as a photographer, that it’s a great portrait. No matter how his term as Prime Minister turns out, it’s a photo that he and his family should be proud of and treasure. It is no surprise that his official Facebook page has it as his profile picture.

Many, however, have used this photograph as any opportunity to attack Mr Abbott. It seems he can do no right.

If he didn’t fight fires he’d be accused of being out of touch with the ordinary Australians threatened by the bushfires. When he does, he’s accused of using it as a photo opportunity (even though he’s done this for over a decade).

When some photos turn out to be from previous fires he’s attended, thus proving it wasn’t just a photo op’, he draws criticism for allowing old photos to be circulated.

It’s symptomatic of the sort of people – more than 170,000 of them – who’ve liked the defamatory Facebook page Tony Abbott – Worst PM in Australian History.

Not bad for someone who’s only been in office for less than two months.

And there are others, of course, such as Abbott ‘the Maggot’, the content of which is too obscene for me to repeat.

My point is that, whatever his faults, of which I am sure there are many as he’s an imperfect human being like the rest of us, very few people are giving Tony Abbott a fair go.

Even those who consider his volunteer fire fighting “laudable” have criticised him for not getting his priorities right, suggesting he should be in his office on the end of the telephone at a time of a major fire emergency. I beg to differ.

At a time of unparalleled wireless communications, there is no need for our Prime Minister to be sitting in an office on the end of a landline. A good leader knows how to delegate responsibility to those with the expertise and resources to deal with the situation. I’m glad we don’t have a micro-managing control freak in charge of our nation.

Tony Abbott, in the past few days, has demonstrated we have an Aussie battler and hero as Prime Minister. I may not be an expert on bushfires, but I do know what it’s like to hear the pagers of two work colleagues go off simultaneously and see them scamper off with hardly a backward glance… then hear my own go off sixty seconds later summoning me to the ambulance for a trip into the fire-ravaged bush.

I remember all-too-clearly the overwhelming fatigue after hours standing on burnt-out ground in unimaginable heat surrounded by smoke and ashes. Merely donning fire-fighting gear in such conditions is an accomplishment – the actual work that follows is a feat most of us will thankfully never truly comprehend.

And that’s what makes volunteer fire fighters like Tony Abbott heroes. They risk their lives in the worst of conditions to protect us.

They don’t get paid, and they drop everything they’re doing because it’s an emergency. When Tony Abbott answered his callout with his local brigade, he set an example to all of us to buckle down and get on with the job. It’s about time we did the same and gave him a fair go.

A Woman who says fuck a lot

by Sockpuppet

Here is a post that even the GigGuy might approve of.

I do not as a general rule prowl around facebook looking at womens pages …. much.

I hardly go there .. if at all.

Not a lot anyway.

but I do often go to the page of a beautiful woman I know just to look at her latest posts and photos. She is really beautiful even more than Laura. And hot if nothotter.

Lets call her Kylie. Well lets .. its her real name after all.

Somehow Kylie must of found out I was stalking admiring her from upclose and personal like and now shes removed all her personal info and photos from her fb page.

All thats left is a photo of her two kids (who are pretty ugly like her husband is) … and her “Likes”, you know the other FB pages she “likes”.

Like this one:

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So what is this facebook page about you ask?

Well you fools no need to ask me. If you click on the ‘about’ button and you can find out for yourselfs:

This is a fun page for saying the word FUCK, posting pics and videos that are relevant, classy and in good taste.

Well I think I got the message. Its all in good fun and … um, classy.

I dont really get the point though but I guessed it was okay.

and then I read this post from the un-named author who had been having trouble with trolls by the soundofit:

The fucking fuckwits have been thick today. Today’s have been stupid fucking assclowns mixed with a multitude of twatwaffles. My Page is extremely fucking tame, especially compared to some shitty pages I’ve seen out there. We are globally like-minded ADULTS here, sharing a good time with profanity, sarcasm and other random acts of fun. 🙂

To the fucknuggets: If you want to complain about a Page,… then go find one that is exploiting women and children because they are fucking rampant. Whine and complain there! Maybe you just haven’t looked outside of your bubble to see there are many worse things on FB than me and my friends saying fuck a lot with funny pics.

Oh it looks like we have a raving femmo here.

Like a German Grear only on steroids.

And saying “fuck”. A lot.

And a lot more:

I just banned 17 fuckwads from one thread. About 20 from another and random amounts on others.
Banning fucktards is easy and I fucking LOVE IT…!!
In fact, FB just made it even easier with a new update. 🙂

I only allow quality peeps here! I don’t give a fuck about quantity!
So, if you think I’ll let you stay just to increase a number, you’re fucking wrong.

Look lady you are the one who made your page an open one meaning anyone can comment without first being approved “friend”.

Yet She goes on (and on and on):

I’ll try to explain it simply for the fucking morons because they always return to try and find their idiotic posts which have been deleted. This will give them something to read for future reference on “How Not To Be A Fucking Douchenozzle.”

This is a fucking Page where I have fun with my fucking awesome and engaging cool page peeps. This is MY place, MY way.
This is just like my fucking living room.
And just like my fucking living room, I do and say whatever the fuck I want! If you don’t like it, I don’t give a fuck. You can fucking leave, scroll past, hide it, ignore it or get kicked the fuck out of it. Fit in or fuck off. No one is forcing anyone to stay and you’re free to fucking leave anyfuckingtime. I post whatever the fuck I like. I post what I think is fucking funny. I don’t give a fuck if it offends you. Get control of your emotions instead of letting them drain all over FB like your purulent anal abscess draining in your Pokemon undies.

Yeah well i think they will be back in ever increasing numbers if you keep carrying on like that lady. i dont get you – you want people to be nice and then you write this anonymously? But theres more:

As for the fucking morality police, fuck you too!
I’m an adult. I can think for myself and I don’t need any fucking suggestions from the likes of you either.

And fucktards, you have a serious problem when a fucking joke causes you to piss blood. That’s not my fucking problem. See a fucking urologist for that OR hammer a very long, thorny rose stem into your urethral meatus because I won’t give a fuck.

The 17 morons I banned had a problem with a certain ecard, like it was directed at them personally, which is so fucking stupid as to make me wonder how they even manage to complete a login when they’re clearly not firing on all cylinders. Irrationally emotional twats.

It looks like her “ecard” must of been pretty offensive.

Look at her reaction to the reactions:

Look fucktards, I don’t give a single fuck which adult you fuck!
I don’t care how you fuck.
I don’t care if you fuck a duck, you sick fuck
I don’t give a flying fuck.
In fact, go fuck yourself.
If you’re so insecure about you’re sexuality and you’re choices in life that a simple ecard hurts your feelings, then talk to a fucking therapist about your fucking problems. Complaining about a totally fucking generic JOKE pic on a fucking ecard means you’re too fucking stupid to have internet access. Cancel your internet service and delete your FB account too.
Grow the fuck up.I’m an equal opportunity offender of hypersensitive fuckwads. If I haven’t offended you yet, just be fucking patient and I’ll get to you soon. An even better option, just fucking pack up your overly sensitive, easily offended nature and fucking leave. You won’t be missed by anyone.

*shoots the double bird at all the fucknuts*

This lady has a real problem. I am surprised that Kylie “likes” her and it makes me think different about her.

Well I still think Kylie is hot but this stuff is like anger and bile directed at the world. This woman that Kylie “likes” is not only a loose canon shes likely to go out and kill someone.

I know the Internet is a place where peoples can get there steam out by being anonymous and saying stuff that they would not say normally but I reckon this woman is not “intelligent, classy and educated” not by a long shot.

She is just angry. And foul mouth.

I might tell Laura about the page but I reckon she would rather it be something like this:

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Laura would fit in there.

And in other ‘earth shattering’ news …….

(by Ray Dixon)

No great loss?

No great loss?

The above speaks for itself, although I haven’t yet explained exactly the reason behind my decision to close my blog Alpine Opinion that I started way back in 2005 (and moved to WordPress in 2007).

So here’s a fuller explanation:

The decision to close the blog has more to do with our future plans. We’ve sold a few of our holiday units now and we need to get cracking on our next move or project. I need to focus 100% on that and blogging simply occupies too much of my time when I’m trying to organise a building or renovation project.

An incident on a Facebook group page yesterday (which has continued into today) also helped to cement my decision that the time was right to move on. I found myself the subject of a rather nasty and unnecessary attack over a fairly low-level and short ‘ironic’ post I made. Despite removing the post almost immediately and apologising (to people who weren’t even the subject of the post anyway!), they kept it up. This just reminded me of other sh*t I’ve copped from elsewhere and it was enough for me to say, “Right, I don’t need it – that seals it for me”.

The thing is, I’ve noticed in recent years that social media has dumbed-down so much that blogs are playing second fiddle to the simple-stupid platforms like Twitter & Facebook with their rapid dissemination of idiotic (and vitriolic) rubbish, like what happened yesterday.

It also came on the same day my daughter was going in for her 2nd cancer operation in 4 years. Not that anyone knew that but it shows how those platforms remove all consideration of consequence when they get in that pack-mentality. My daughter’s ongoing and serious health issues are another reason I need to get a move on.

I will of course, continue to drop in to Chez Hall, one of the few remaining political/social blogs worth commenting at, despite what people think and say about its owner, Mr Iain.

I might even write the odd post. Very “odd”.

.

OnYa Annie!

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I seldom call myself a fan of anything these days but I do like Annie Lennox. I like her musical ability to deliver a song with precision, style and feeling and I love her take no bullshit attitude to the Music and celebrity industries, finally I totally concur with her about the execrable talent shows that infest our TV screens.

OnYa Annie!

Cheers Comrades

Why stalkers should be afraid of how they write

As blog master here it is my duty to approve new commentators here and mostly its something that I do with out much thought, If I don’t think that comment is generated by a spam bot it usually gets an easy pass and I welcome a new player into the Sandpit. It is after all more fun for all if I encourage lively debate and lively debate needs differing points of view so I don’t usually care at all what someone believes in as long as they can be civil to others in the comment threads.

In the many years that I have been playing the blogging game there has been a rather long “conga line of suckholes” who have tried to silence me  because they think that I am evil incarnate, or at least a” very naughty boy” that they wish to teach a lesson too. In the process I have had a number of individuals who have reinvented themselves many times under different pseudonyms. Usually I pick them rather quickly and  either give them enough rope to hang themselves or just put them on a watching brief if I am less certain.  It does not take most of them long to return to the tropes and memes that got them banned in the first place others who have been more devious have stayed under my radar for longer until their own arrogance and hubris gives them away.

Imagine my surprise when I saw this piece in the age a few days ago:

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You have to love the way that the Internet makes such tools available to everyone and just how useful those tools would be to someone who has been repeatedly stalked and harassed by individuals flying different flags of convenience.  Surely some of the worst offenders should be less than than sanguine about having to own the words and bile they have sprouted over the years. Now if only I could be bothered to use the software that I have  downloaded…
Welcome to a brave new world Comrades

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Another small step towards civility on the electronic frontier

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Like Ray I find the moves  announced recently by Gillard to hold some internet platforms accountable for their anonymous users activities a good if inadequate start to  making cyberspace somewhat more civil environment for those of us who use it, and lets face it that means just about everyone these days. While many long term users have long resigned themselves to the notion that civilising the online space is “impossible” I am rather more optimistic that civility will be enforced incrementally over time and I think that enforcement will come from the courts acting in both criminal and civil cases to demand that those running the blogging platforms provide the identifying  details of site-owners when those individuals have slandered or defamed real individuals.

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The old aphorism suggests that the longest journey begins with one small step, and I see quite a few small steps happening out there and it may take a while but I expect that like the old wild west civilisation and civility will come to the online frontier eventually.

Cheers Comrades

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The beginning of the end of the pioneer period

In my post the other day I was postulating  a new normal where every internet user was at least known to the service provider that they used so that they could be held accountable for the things that they said and did online. Reading the opinion piece in today’s age makes me think that my predictions/expectations may be closer to fruition than I thought:

A LITTLE over a decade ago, just before the masses discovered the digital universe, the internet was a borderless new frontier: a terra nullius to be populated by individuals, groups and programmers as they saw fit. There were few rules and no boundaries. Freedom and open standards, sharing information for the greater good was the ethos.

Today, the open internet we once knew is fracturing into a series of gated communities or fiefdoms controlled by giants like Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and to a lesser extent Microsoft. A billion-dollar battle conducted in walled cities where companies try to lock our consumption into their vision of the internet. It has left some lamenting the ”web we lost”.

The same firm in some cases now provides not just the content we consume but the devices we consume it on and a plethora of other services to help manage our digital lives, be it email, online storage or e-commerce.

Increasingly, the web kings are expanding into each other’s turf and butting heads with smaller pretenders to the throne, such as Twitter, locking competitors out of their ecosystems but, more importantly, locking us, the consumers, in.

”There’s no question that we are witnessing a clash of the titans over ‘our’ data”, says Jennifer Zanich, serial Australian entrepreneur and now co-founder of start-up Paloma Mobile.

Data is the oil of the digital age, handed over willingly by consumers seduced by the latest flashy new web service. Big data is where the big money is made on the web today, and famous US venture capitalist Mary Meeker describes it as the ”Wild West” of the internet.

So much of the belief in the ungovernable nature of cyberspace is predicated upon the “wild west” view of the internet  but as it becomes a more organised and more commercial rather than Geek space the frontier town mentality will, like the old west fade away to be replaced by a more urbane and dare I say it “civil” environment quite simply because it is bad for business for it to be anything else. So if Asher Moses is correct the commercial imperative will drive a decline in the anonymity of users on the various conduits like twitter and blogs  to the owners of those platforms. Readers can obviously see that that this will be a boon for accountability as governments will pressured into ensuring that their online citizens are protected from both both commercial exploitation and online  abuse.
The online space is changing fast and not all of that change will be entirely beneficial or benign. Personally I find the idea of storing my data in “the cloud” rather unsettling and somewhat insecure (does anyone remember the collapse of “Haloscan” and the subsequent evaporation of millions of blog comments?). I find it hard to believe that everything online will be in anyway “eternal” or permanent as users create more and more content it seems inconceivable to me that we won’t  eventually find the older stuff disappearing  just as the graves in an ancient necropolis melt into the landscape with disuse.  It costs money to maintain an exponentially expanding online archive and the ones paying the bills for that storage won’t shell out forever to maintain those graves when the servers can return a profit by being re-purposed.
Of course like the decline of the old west there are people who just loved the anarchy and lawlessness who will truly morn the coming of civilisation to our online world but they will be very much in the minority as the Mums, Dads and their children outnumber the Geeks and scum-bags who first settled this new electric country and the Mums, Dads and their children  will neither celebrate nor mourn the passing of a period of utter lawlessness that the online  pioneers have had to endure.
Cheers Comrades
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From mindfulness and care comes civility , and civility is the foundation of a well functioning society

Mouse Jim

Of course the other side  to the online anonymity issue relates to the use of social media in and about the workplace, and its the possible employment  repercussions from online interactions that advocates for anonymity usually cite as a reason for their position on the matter. However I think that they are quite mistaken on a couple of levels.

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Firstly  when you are on the boss’s dollar you really have no right to carry out personal business or commentary on  life instead of devoting yourself to the tasks for which you are being paid. It has never ceased to amaze me just how many people who comment on blogs (including my own ) or tweet madly away during work hours and this trend has become even more common with the advent of internet capable smart phones which circumvent any restrictions on the use of workplace  computers.

Secondly there is the matter of how what you may post on social media will reflect upon your employer and the incidents described in the image on the right  (from the AGE) are good examples of the possible negative consequences for being an online  fool or smartarse.

Rather than whining about employers taking note of stupid or malicious online behaviour perhaps those who advocate for the impunity of anonymity on the net should instead realise that the other side of the equation is that if people were as well mannered and respectful online as they are obliged to be in “real” life then the chances of them having any negative consequences for an internet presence will be very small indeed.

I have been blogging for exactly seven years this very day* and during that time I have seen a great deal of change in the online environment   the electric country has become populated with far more ordinary folk rather than being mostly populated by the early adopters of the personal computer and as the demographic has changed so to has the expectations of society about this online  part of life. No longer do is  anarchy and a mostly pseudonymous interaction the norm. Most of us have face-book, twitter or some other sort of social media presence and its up to us all to use our online presence with mindfulness and care for the consequences of publication. This is a good thing as I see it because from mindfulness and care comes civility , and civility is the foundation of a well functioning society, which is after all what we want isn’t it?

Cheers Comrades

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*Happy Blog day to Moi 🙂  🙂

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