Wednesday 23rd of April 2014

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by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2014-04-23 17:53


Rupert Murdoch may be about to throw his support behind Hillary Clinton as the first performers appear in the next U.S. presidential circus, writes Rodney E. Lever.

The next United States presidential election is still a year and a half away, but speculation about the most likely candidates has already begun.

The idea of a woman president is beginning to enter the minds of U.S. voters for the first time in its history.

Unlike Australia, where election fever usually only lasts for a few weeks, theU.S. election program is always the longest and most ballyhooed political event in the world, and dominates headlines for more than a year. Nowhere else is an election such a long-running drama that climaxes in November voting and runs until the winning candidate takes the oath of office in January 2016.

Rupert Murdoch is merely a minor element in U.S. elections. He loves to feel he is central and important, but he will never be able to exercise the level of influence in America that he has shown in Australia and Britain.

Rupert has always played his cards on both sides of the political fence. His history has bounced between conservative politics and Labor — whoever will give him the best deal, the most power, the best financial return.

In America, in recent years, he has had to concede his debt to the Wall Street Republicans and bankers who saved him from the edge of bankruptcy. His Republican-Tea Party loyalty may be thinning now as he considers his own immediate future and that of his two sons.

read more:,6409


See toon at top...

by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2014-04-23 17:48


The 55% of women that now vote Labor — or prefer it. The 51.5% of West Australians, the 53% of South Australians, the 53% of Queenslanders, the 55.5% of Victorians that now vote Labor — or prefer it.

This means, must mean, that the Kevin07 votes are back and the relaxed and comfortable Howardista vote has been smashed, once again, by...?

It’s the ‘non-core promise’ factor, probably.

Gonski, NDIS, Medicare, the ABC and the Old Age Pension they swore would be protected, are being trashed. The anxiety of the carers of the disabled, and everyone has a disabled relative, though gone for a while, is now sadistically restored. And the mistrust women, especially, feel for Abbott (he abandoned his pregnant bride-to-be and made her give up her newborn baby) will not now, ever, be allayed.

But there’s also, I think, a ‘cock-up’ factor in play as well.

Murder has occurred on Manus and two killers are still on Immigration MinisterScott Morrison’s paid staff.

A sea-search for a crashed plane for six weeks has turned up nothing — not even a floating passport. Money that has been spent on this search could have saved Holden, and a quarter of a million livelihoods.

Amid calls for ‘shared sacrifice’, we learn that Assistant Treasurer Senator Arthur Sinodinos got a quarter of a million dollars for fifty hours work and was promised twenty million more.

Amid boasts that ‘the adults are now in charge’ and ‘leadership stability’ was now the go, the Liberals changed premiers in VictoriaNew South Wales and Northern Territory and sacked the Treasurer ‒ a former leader ‒ in Western Australia.

Attorney-General George Brandis has come out for bigotry (88% of Australians think this is crazy) and called climate science ‘medieval’Cory Bernardi has compared gay men with ‘beasts’ and Education Minister Christopher Pyne wants to write colonial brutality out of our history.

And it’s hard to overturn the perception of a sackful of struggling cats in a river.

Bronwyn Bishop is already most lunatic Speaker in our history.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, after former foreign minister Bob Carr’s book, seems a cross-eyed, angry amateur.

Treasurer Joe Hockey’s quest for a surplus seems more and more a tilt at windmills, or the unleashing of a loaded dog.


read more:,6410


Please note that it is illegal to impersonate a fighter pilot...

by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2014-04-23 17:39

With budget deficits supposedly for the next decade and government debt growing, the need for budget repair is regurgitated by any LNP politician within sight of a microphone.

Certainly the ageing population and associated increases in expenditure and declining revenue base is in need of discussion. But the Government has gone beyond this to actually arguing that moving to a surplus will improve the economy.

Tony Abbott has articulated this view many times - such as when he told Parliament that "if you want to fix the economy, you have got to fix the budget first". Joe Hockey similarly claimed that "the bottom line here is that if we are to maintain our standard of living as a nation we have to fix the budget."

Behind such talk is the implicit belief that ongoing deficits are bad for our economy, and the debt is a drag on our growth.

And yet the link between government debt and economic growth is pretty skint. There is a plethora of evidence showing a correlation between the two - that increased government debt occurs at the same time as poor economic growth. But proving that debt causes lower economic growth is rather more tricky.

Economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff in 2010 tried, but after much trumpeting by austerity supporters around the world, it was discovered their conclusions were based on an error in their Excel spreadsheet. Indeed, one of the reasons the budget is projected to be in deficit is because GDP growth is not expected to be high like it was in the 1990s when the recovery from the recession powered the return to surplus.

Saying that fixing the budget will fix the economy is again confusing correlation with causation.

We are also told ratings agencies like budget surpluses. It seems we think more of ratings agencies than they think of themselves. Standard & Poor's lawyer told a court last year that "Triple A does not mean anything hanging out there as a concept," and that it was akin to Top Gear giving a car a good rating.

While it may be nice to have a AAA rating, the reality is our bond rates are driven by numerous factors and presently the difference between Australian and USA's government 10-year bonds yields (or interest rate) is just below the 10-year average...

read more:

by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2014-04-23 07:24



Why is Good Housekeeping's 'intimate test' on vibrators so shocking?



Vibrators became mainstream with Sex and the City in 1998 – but some people still seem confused about women using them

"Is it housekeeping though?" I have bumped into a male acquaintance while clutching the May edition of Good Housekeeping magazine, and he seems confused. The 129-year-old stalwart (91 years old in the UK) made headlines this week with a feature it sweetly and discreetly trails on its cover as "our most intimate test ever". A hundred Good Housekeeping readers, aged between 30 and 80, have tested a range of vibrators to find out if "they're hitting the spot" (If you're interested, the stylish, pebble-shaped Je Joue Mimi was the winner, scoring 77 out of 100 and collecting accolades for not being "scary"). Cue bewilderment from the male populace – my friend eventually decides the feature is a cynical stunt designed to make the magazine "sexy" – and sniggering from the tabloids. The Daily Mirror, for instance, trumpeted the news with the headline: "Housewives' favourite Good Housekeeping magazine shocks readers with SEX TOY review."


Well I never. The only really shocking thing about this story is that women using vibrators somehow constitutes headline news. I am in my 30s (OK, just) and as far as I'm concerned, vibrators went mainstream in 1998, when they were featured on the infamous episode of Sex and the City where Charlotte gets hooked on her Rabbit – a serious vibrating and rotating sex toy that apparently sold out after the episode was aired – and the rest of the gang has to stage an intervention.


I bought my own first vibrator around that time, from a lovely sex shop in Hoxton Square in London called Sh! where you are offered herbal tea as you browse, and men can only go in when accompanied by a woman. I tricked my boyfriend at the time into coming in with me, and when he realised what sort of shop it was he fled in terror and refused to come back. In retrospect we probably shouldn't have got married, but we are happily divorced now so all's well that ends well.


Read more:


and see article at top

by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2014-04-23 07:16



The Coalition whinging about Icac is nothing new

Icac has taken out another senior Tory, just as it has properly destroyed the career of quite a few Labor politicians. Can anyone argue NSW would be better without it?



It had to happen. After last week's controversy which led to the 
resignation of Barry O'Farrell, we started hearing complaints and calls from the Coalition for the corruption watchdog's powers to be reduced. This is not new: it happened very early in Icac's life.

Back in 1990 and in its first inquiry, the commission investigated donations from land developers on the NSW north coast. In his report, the Icac deputy commissioner Adrian Roden QC reported no "proper basis for a finding involving dishonesty", but found against various MPs for "creating a climate conducive to corruption". Among the MPs named were the leader of the National party and deputy premier, the late Wal Murray, the current minister for local government, Don Page, as well as other National party MPs. As with the current Icac investigation, there was a bipartisan element to the scandal, with two Labor backbenchers also implicated.

As soon as Roden's report came down, Murray and his parliamentary colleagues launched a broadside against the body they had helped establish just a year before. As chief of staff to then opposition leader Bob Carr, I watched with a mix of bemusement and amusement as they fulminated, like Dr Frankenstein, against the monster who was meant to destroy Labor, not their own.

Icac was the brainchild of the Liberal attorney general and later supreme court judge John Dowd, and Nick Greiner's adviser and corruption chaser, Gary Sturgess. I came to know Sturgess in later years, and I respect his intellect and sincerity as a policy reformer. In 1989 though, with Labor now in opposition and on the back foot over some of the things that had happened in its 13 years in office, Icac was seen by many in the party as a vehicle for the Greiner government to mount an ongoing attack on Labor identities. It would, they said, be a standing royal commission into Labor.

There was some basis for this concern: when he introduced the Icac legislation, Dowd got caught in a slanging match with Labor's street fighting shadow attorney general, Paul "Benny" Whelan. When Whelan interjected on Dowd, the attorney general lost his cool and said that Icac would be spending a lot of its time investigating Labor. This exposed Dowd to the claim that the Liberals wanted to politicise an independent body.

Read more:

by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2014-04-23 07:06


The Federal Government has given the go-ahead for the next batch of Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) at a cost of more than $12 billion.

The Government will today announce, as expected, it has approved the acquisition of another 58 F-35 aircraft, bringing the total number purchased to 72.

The Government says it will also consider the option of buying another squadron of the jets to eventually replace the F/A-18 Super Hornets.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the JSF is the most advanced fighter in production anywhere in the world and will make a vital contribution to Australia's national security.

"Together with the Super Hornet and Growler electronic warfare aircraft, the F-35 aircraft will ensure Australia maintains a regional air combat edge," he said.

"The F-35 will provide a major boost to the ADF's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.

"The acquisition of F-35 aircraft will bring significant economic benefits to Australia, including regional areas and local defence industry."

The first Joint Strike Fighters will arrive in Australia in 2018 and enter service in 2020.



Another six years before the first of this presently "not yet-good enough" but "by-then outdated" technology can fly in aussie skies... We're paying the instalments in advance because we've got enemies to defeat in 2023 of course. 

Pensions can take a dive, a bomb or a hike. see toon at top.

And by the way, have you noticed these days that most of the MMMM (mediocre mass media de mierda) refers to "the Government" while in the past the MMMM was referring mockingly to the Rudd government or the Gillard government. Now, with Tonicchio in charge it's "the Government" as if to give it more legitimacy... Am I picky?

by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2014-04-23 06:47


The Australian ambassador to Croatia has been summoned after a Coalition MP was reported as passing on the best wishes of the prime minister, Tony Abbott, to a group celebrating a fascist period in the country’s history.

Hughes MP, Craig Kelly, said he was “mortified” at reports he attended the Croatian Club in Sydney last week for an event marking the anniversary of the establishment of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) in 1941.

The NDH wanted to rid the country of Jews, Roma and Serbs and was established after the invasion of Yugoslavia overseen by Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.

“On behalf of the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott who is now in Japan, I impart to you his greetings and good wishes on the occasion of the celebration of April 10, to you and all Croatians in Australia and those in Croatia,” Kelly told the gathering, according to an English translation of the report by Australian-Croatian publication Boka Cropress.

A spokesman for the Croatian embassy confirmed the Australian ambassador in the European country had been summoned by the government to explain the comments, specifically the prime minister passing on his “good wishes”.

Kelly’s office did not return phone calls on Tuesday but released a statement to the news site on Monday saying he was “mortified” at what had been reported and that his words had been taken out of context.

“In what I said, I certainly did not endorse the fascist state of Croatia during world war two in any way,” he said.

“In fact, to the complete contrary, the speech I gave was a strong condemnation of both fascism and communism. I specifically called fascism an evil. And the ‘congratulations’ that I gave, were to the Croatian Community for their fight AGAINST [his capitals] fascism.”


See toon at top.


by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2014-04-22 12:49


It's time for the right to stop tarnishing Christianity's image



It's the burden of Australian faith communities to see that those most loudly trying to politicise their religious identity are those acting with the least selflessness or humanity

I am a person of faith, which is apparently surprising to those who believe that having a margin-noted, dog-eared copy of Marx's Capital Volume 1 obliges one to throw a celebratory party every time Richard Dawkins releases wind. Those who wish to believe that anti-materialist, collectivist politics necessitate a complete abrogation of theism may with to consider that Jesus Christ was, well, an anti-materialist collectivist who was also rather involved in a bit of worship-based religious practice.

Similarly, considering yourself the source of determinative morality in a universe without God doesn't necessarily mean you're rocking a progressive lefty world view. Any rational adult should know that professed belief, lack of it, existential confusion, attendance at meeting, mass, mosque or meandering about the Melbourne laneways is no guarantee of morally unquestionable behaviour, let alone a right-on kind of politics.

In other words, good people can do bad things, bad people can manage absolutely appalling things, and it's unfortunate for anyone trying to live morally when spiritual belief (or non-belief) is invoked as justification for something that damages other people.

The Easter festival is a time of year when the world's Christian believers are supposed to take some time out to engage in ritual and contemplation around the moral lesson of selflessness versus self-interest. It commemorates Jesus Christ marching himself as an innocent man to his own unjust execution to make the point that the sacrifice of the self to meet the needs of a greater (sometimes ungrateful) humanity is what brings both humanity and the self "eternal life". Contrast his example to that of his betrayer, Judas Iscariot, who may have personally made 30 pieces of silver on the denouncing Jesus deal, but later realised he'd traded true wealth for money. In the abject grief of this realisation, he threw his silver away and hung himself.

see also: the santamaria-zation of australia...

by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2014-04-22 09:06


This year is shaping up as an annus horribilis for Australia’s republicans. They have had to contend with Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s reintroduction of Knights and Dames, and now a highly successful visit by the royal family’s new glamour couple.

These pale into insignificance, though, compared to a recent finding that young people are abandoning the cause. It puts paid to the old adage that a republic is inevitable.

Republicans have assumed that they have time on their side. They can afford to wait because the passage of time will see older generations replaced with younger people more likely to want an Australian as the nation’s head of state.

A Fairfax-Nielsen poll has confounded this view. It reported that community support for a republic has dropped to 42 per cent, the lowest level in 35 years and down from a peak of 58 per cent at the 1999 referendum.

A major reason for this drop is that, rather than renouncing the monarchy, young Australians are embracing it. The poll found that only 28 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds support a republic, with 60 per cent rejecting change. It reveals the first Australians in decades that are more supportive of the monarchy than their parents.






Not surprising, really, George Williams (the writer of the piece above... Whoa! Two royal names in one!

Young girls are fed on diet of fairy tales, Lion Kings and frocks for queens, as shown in the magazines (and news items) pushing the royal shit... Young boys are raised on games of biffo in which the elegant knight wins the day and the royal damsel in distress... What else do we want? Captain America? Himself a self-appointed "king" of the fight for justice, blah blah blah...

In the past, there was a bit of social controversy — or education — in magazines (even PIX magazine doing a deep study of tax return — no less) in which some tough issues were discussed (often better than the Q&A biffo) but discussed nonetheless. And boys used to play democratic marbles, while dreaming of becoming a sergeant in the army.

Today's magazines are just here to tell us (I mean tell women) to eat till we get fat — with a cookery section that would sit nicely in a royal kitchen (Nigella "royalty", who apparently cannot get into the US because of her admission to have used cocaine) — then go on this wonderful new diet and if this does not work you can get hooked on one of the professional diet meal suppliers as advertised in the get thin like a star or a princess section. The other main magazine section is devoted to the make-up where the battle between the Paris, New York and London manufacturers of false eyelashes and powders is hot. And so is the anti-ageing cream-lobby sub-section...

Perfection is idealised with "Princes" who have the world at their feet while piloting a fighter plane or the latest Ferrari and with "Princesses" who are the summit of beauty and show they care by visiting hospitals for sick kids. Sweet...

And little girl, even if your face looks like the rear of a truck, YOU CAN STILL DREAM and support the royals who represent your ideals by buying this colourful (but socially colourless) magazine designed to make you dream beyond your dreams.

Should the royal princess look like the rear of a horse, the royalty impression in the community goes down the drain, fast. It's all about image rather than reality of the role of royalty — a role that has been a con-ocracy since day one in the Roman Empire and the Egyptian Pharaohs... Should the royal prince look like Humpty Dumpty, the republicans would win twice over in a jiffy.

The Aussie link to the royalty has been retained just a tad longer by this illusion of beauty and nice like little mice — not by political reality. Political reality can be boring, can't it?... and quite painful to think about it... So we prefer to delegate to the illusionists. The kids may think so... Life is hard enough having to be on social networks where the talk of the day is the princess' dresses that were available "online" but are now sold out... A hoot!


by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2014-04-22 07:52


The sacking of Mr Smith as Attorney-General will be seen as a victory for law-and-order hardliners who have been critical of his support for bail law reform and vocal opposition to mandatory sentencing.

Last year Mr Smith, a former deputy director of public prosecutions, declared mandatory sentencing was an ''ineffective crime fighting tool''. Mandatory minimum sentences were a centrepiece of the government's response to alcohol related violence in February but have been blocked by the upper house.

Ms Parker - a surprise choice as environment minister by former Premier Barry O'Farrell after the 2011 election - has had a chequered time as Environment Minister, most recently drawing criticism over the controversial draft masterplan for the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Domain.

The promotion of Mr Stokes, a parliamentary secretary for renewable energy, indicates he may be in line to take on the environment portfolio.

Mr Perrottet, a leading rightwinger, is chair of the Parliament's legal affairs committee but not expected to be made attorney-general. There was speculation Planning Minister Brad Hazzard may be given the role.

Community services minister Pru Goward will take on planning. Sports minister Gabrielle Upton is tipped to take over community services.

The promotion of Mr Rowell, who is government Whip, will be seen as as another nod to the party's right faction which had been pushing for better cabinet representation than existed under Mr O'Farrell.

see also: 


a "lefty" in this Liberal (CONservative) party is like a colonel in the Genghis Khan army...


Yes, they want to turn new South Wales into a laura norder state like Queensland with jack boots and ultra right wingnut policies... Be afraid, very afraid...