Posted by: graemebird | August 27, 2010

Raping The Ballot: Prelude To Tyranny And Blood In The Streets.

Do people really understand the enormity of what they are proposing? The moronic and contemptuous idea that we ought to have another election? You stupid fucking cunts? We just HAD an election. We know what the results are. No-ones got any business so much as suggesting such an outrage, EXCEPT FOR THE INDEPENDENTS. It is entirely up to the independents AND NO-ONE ELSE whether we go back to another election or not. They and only they have the absolute moral right to make that call. One other person may possibly have the LEGAL right to foist that decision on us. And that may be the Governor General. But this would be a treasonous (in spirit) thing to do. It would amount to an attempt to destroy this nation.

So its up to the independents to make the call. Can anyone even imagine why this would not be the case? Since when is it that if you don’t like the outcome of the election you get to decide to have another one? Who amongst you has the right to rape the ballot until such time as you get the result that you want from it. Most of you who are making this request are barely naturalized foreigners. Fuck off home if you don’t understand what liberty is about.

The end of the liberty of the European people can be seen as having come about when Brussels decided that its okay for them to rape the ballot until they got the vote they were after. The European union, having been rejected by many nations in the polls, simply turns around and plans a new poll, to reverse the old one. There will be tyranny or mass violence in the streets over this. How could it be otherwise?

No-one predicted the violence in Bangkok earlier this year. But we ought to have predicted either this violence, or for Thailand to fall under full-blown tyranny. Since the norms upon which power was meant to change hands was brazenly subverted. What follows such a subversion has to be a move in the direction of tyranny, or a more immediate violence.

In British history you had norms of succession when it came to the crown. When the succession order became ambiguous, or when the norms of secession were breached, civil war, violence or tyranny always loomed.

I’ve been dismayed by the loose talk of the irresponsible fool, Shanahan in the Australian. Its just so fucking hard to believe that people could be this oblivious and stupid. WHAT IS THE FUCKING PROBLEM?

And you guys over at Catallaxy. Pull your stupid heads in. Again WHAT IS THE FUCKING PROBLEM? The problem is in your little minds. The problem is your stupidity. Otherwise; you tell me what the problem is?

First I thought it was just Shanahan who had lost his mind. Then the people at Catallaxy. Now this madness has spread to the ABC. Some irresponsible bitch was just asking for people to respond to the question “Should we have another election.” Its none of their business. What is the matter with these people? How can someone possibly imagine that its anyones business other than the business of the independents? Of course if someone wants to defect from one of the major parties, then it becomes THEIR business as well. But no-one elses. No-ones.

This is all about saying that rural people are worthless niggers. Non-humans. Socialist non-persons. Kulacks. A lower form of animal life. Pull your fucking heads in you racist cunts. You are not that smart. You are not fucking smart enough to be looking down on rural types, and when you get smart enough, I’m sure they will let you know. You are not that smart; In fact you are fucking dummies. And I can prove it. Answer the question: WHAT IS THE FUCKING PROBLEM?

We will see that no sensible answer will be forthcoming.

Its just so sad how so many people can so easily be carried away by malign hysteria. Choose reason and logic. And stop being racist cunts.

When the violence and mass-slaughter breaks out in the US we will retrospectively be able to trace it back to the Paulson vote. Paulson put his bailout plan to the Congress. They rejected it. So he raped the ballot, and placed the vote before them again, after criminally bribing the Congress. This means violence, and-or, ruin and-or tyranny. I know some of you fucking dummies are unable to think conceptually. But take it on trust if you are just incapable of comprehending the causal reality of it all.



  1. I thought I’d share some of these concerns with Dennis Shanahan directly:

    Pull your head in Shanahan. Its not your call. No-one has the right to rape the ballot until it gives them the answer of their choosing. This is a very dangerous suggestion you are making. You ought to publicly retract.

    What is the problem in the first place? Your article doesn’t reveal any problem. Its a tone of voice article. Apparently you disapprove of rural people making ambit claims for two or three weeks. Calm down and have a think about it. This is an incredibly unrighteous and dangerous suggestion you are making.

  2. Check out the humility and good humour of the lady in Bob Katters office. Just what you would expect from an office dedicated to their constituents. The caller is being pretty rude. Yet the lady in the office never loses her sense of humour about it:

  3. Graeme, Guy Rundle speaks for those who get it (published in yesterday’s Crikey) republished everywhere.

    “You can tell that something that resembles politics is happening in Australia now, by the chorus of derision that professional insiders are directing at the three rural independents, and any suggestion that this impasse of a result may be an opportunity for the country to stop and think about what sort of political institutions and processes it wants.

    With the ‘doughty three’ (like that huh?), releasing their seven point letter to the PM, the establishment commentariat has gone into panicky overdrive in an attempt to head it off. It’s bad enough the Greens have snuck into the Lower House (for a second, not first time), now there’s three possibly, four independents.

    And that godamn WA National won’t take the whip. You can see why they’re spitting. Imagine if you had to report politics on your front page, rather than writing a series of memos to party heavies, cunningly disguised as actual news.

    Thus Michelle Grattan in The Age:

    Rob Oakeshott sees safety in his bold model for consensus politics — but others will see naivety. Parliamentary reform is one thing, and much needed … But Oakeshott’s proposals go way beyond ordinary change.

    What? Beyond change that can be absorbed back into the system? Noooooooooooo!!!!

    This is a terrible election result for Australian foreign policy, Greg Sheets Sheridan wrote, mourning that the man of steel would not be succeeded by the age of Iron. The Greens are less fussed about Afghanistan than they were about Iraq…But they might make the difference in dissuading it from offering any increased help there, or undertaking any new security role either.

    God, a prudent foreign policy with checks and balances on war? Nooooooooooo!!!!

    None of this will be easy as demonstrated by the confused ramblings of Rob Oakeshott during the past 24 hours, Paul Polonius Kelly remarks. Forget the nonsense that party politics has taken a blow or is in retreat.

    Not easy? No business as usual? Nooooooooo!!!!

    Tim Soutphommasane, the Oz’s pet left philosopher, counselled against ‘educated despair’ by which he meant any meditating on whether things could be done other than through the existing party shells.

    And Dennis Shanahan simply wants a new election to be held immediately, and to keep repeating it until we get it Right.

    The 2010 election result has offered that rarest and most blessed of things, a rupture and a discontinuity in the process. It’s one that makes it impossible to sell the line that the parliamentary electoral system we are ruled by has some deep-seated pole of wisdom that somehow expresses rather than imposes a political form. What the result is making clear to people is the inherent arbitrariness of the system, its closed nature, and the way in which that is obscured when a party is elected with an unchallengeable majority.

    The difficulty for the business as usual crowd, is that they spend so much time celebrating the virtues of the single member electorate system, that when it throws up a number of actual single members, they can’t damn it out of hand.

    And when such members begin to suggest that the process by which they were chosen could be reflexively acted on by both MPs and the public, the business-as-usual crowd panic about stability. Weird, isn’t it? Post-election Iraq has been without a government for several months, with no working coalition in sight, and this is an example of democracy at work. Australia has a few days or weeks with no majority party but a process of rational and open negotiation, and it’s a disaster.

    What has happened in Australia, in little more than the wink of an eye, is that the political question has been pushed into an entirely new dimension. Ever since the 1970s the economic question has lain moribund as a major political division, no matter what lip service is paid to the gulf separating etc etc, and the occasional flashpoint such as WorkChoices.

    The political question who leads, how and through what institutions has barely been regarded as political at all, or cynically manipulated, as in Howard’s handling of the Republic debate.

    The virtual stasis of both these questions is one reason why so much political energy flows into cultural questions and why culture wars become the dominant mode of struggle.

    Once an interruption such as the 2010 election makes it impossible for that stasis to be maintained, the energy flows back into the political question, and real change can be imagined by all except those whose job depends on nothing changing ever, ie the mainstream commentariat.

    Once that happens, the left/right divisions based overwhelmingly on the economic (and social-cultural) question cease to be of primary importance, and there is the possibility of new processes, and new flows which make provisional blocs in different ways. It’s the most imaginative solutions that become the most possible.

    Thus, why should we not consider Rob Oakeshott’s idea of a multi-party cabinet? Why is Dennis Shanalamadingdong’s idea of a whole new election the ‘sensible’ idea, while Oakeshott’s idea that the people who actually have been elected form a government seen as the whacky one? The Constitution recognises parliament, the GG as head-of-state, and her/his appointed ministers as government. It has nothing to say about prime ministers or parties.

    So Shanahan’s suggestion is that the system has failed because it worked.

    What’s happened in this election is that the process of parliamentary electoral politics which is minimally democratic and the party-based politics of interests, which isn’t democratic in the slightest, have come into contradiction, in a situation where the system usually silently serves the interests. The profound cynicism and mild fear of the commentariat have caused them to back the interests against the system.

    The process has left many people high and dry, desperate to catch up. Thus Paul Kelly, who disguises his cynical anti-democratic power elitism by sporadic attacks on cultural elites, is desperate for a cozy party system that can be nagged to impose a yet more neoliberal agenda, against the oft-expressed wishes of the mass of the Australian people.

    The fetishisation of ‘stability’, as if the country was Bosnia-Herzegovina one heartbeat away from a shooting war, is a con. If we are so pusillanimous as to entirely subordinate our political process to the flickering of the global markets, then we may as well let Goldman Sachs choose the government.

    Stability is the very achievement that allows a country the luxury of uncertainty, when isolated outbreaks of actual public will throw up an ensemble capable of creating a new situation. I’m under no illusion that the rural independents are about to put the whole constitution and political apparatus into play. But they don’t need to.

    The mere process over the last three days has done more to make visible the invisible structures of power, and their potential (if not straightforward) transformability, than a hundred civics lessons. Other gains, such as an increased role for private members bills, would serve to bang the wedge a little further into the old tree dead.

    Stability is not the issue, nor is it the danger. The danger is a politics so deadened that only the most demented and monomaniacal, the Feeneys, Shortens, and Bitars, can stand it, and everyone else retires to their private lives. The more the commentariat shriek in fear, the more interesting the ride.

    The independents and minor parties should push this process until the rivets are popping. “

  4. Well thats great Philomena. I thought it was just me that was put out by all this mean-spirited talk of subverting the election result. As far as I can make out this was a very clean election. Cleaner than usual. No mass lying campaign. There is some funding issues to do with Greens getting international help. But they are legally entitled to accept it currently. And its not immoral that they do so for the time being. Thats more under the heading of a long-run subversion threat. Not any case of wrong-doing.

    So all and all a clean campaign. A very good and optimistic result. And yet you get this craven belly-crawling to Canberra. To the Canberra duopoly. The cravenness goes way beyond issues of left and right. So its good that some of the left are in a bad mood about it as well.

    There is a definite anti-rural vibe going on here. A sort of lazy disrespect for people who get out and about in the fresh air. A clubby nastiness for wide open spaces and for the very concept of “independence” itself.

  5. Yeah I’ve just read what you’ve quoted a couple more times and its really very good. I didn’t read all of these people. Only Sheridan and Shanahan. But its a spontaneous outbreak of stupid, amongst people who are often pretty level-headed and sober. A good think that Rundle was so deftly able to carve them up before it all got way out of hand. Hopefully this might be the end of this crazy meme. I think I’ll need to keep following through at Unleashed though, just in case this dysfunctional thinking starts getting some momentum.

    I know it sounds nutty when I say stuff like that. But the only attitude one can take is that the outcome depends on oneself alone. Whereas in reality you are hoping that dozens of others will be trying to neutralize the same sort of terrible thinking before its too late.

  6. No, it is not just you Graeme, many liberty-loving people are enlivened by these developments.

    In fact I say those who aren’t are politically toxic to the body politic.

  7. What’s this about Greens and international help? What are you referring to?

  8. “In fact I say those who aren’t are politically toxic to the body politic.”

    Right. But hopefully with most of them its just a moment of stupidity and they’ll be over it within a few days.

    I don’t know much about the overseas funding of the Greens. I’m not alleging any bad behavior. Shanahan mentioned it in an article today.

    Its just a bit of a long-term worry if we don’t deal with the issue of outside funding sooner or later. I’m not saying its a Green problem.

  9. Shanahan is a dope and has no idea.

    The Greens have always been genuinely volunteer based groups. And in recent years like all political parties they’ve reaped the financial benefit of being reimbursed for costs according to electoral percentage. This year, e.g., this $ allowed local Greens groups to direct mail rather than do the labor intensive yakka of letterboxing by hand.

  10. Right I wasn’t meaning to single out the Greens for some sort of opprobrium. I’m only saying that overseas funding is a long-run concern that we ought to deal with sooner or later. Even if it were for a worthy cause, it opens up our elections to potential manipulation down the track.

    Here is something I managed to get through at Unleashed:

    Graeme Bird :
    27 Aug 2010 5:27:48pm

    There is an extremely dangerous and despicable meme going around where people ask “Should we go back to another election.”

    Any of you who have found yourself making this suggestion: Its none of your business and its not your call. We already had an election, it was a pretty clean one, and no-one has the right to rape the ballot until such time as it coughs up the result that they want.

    Reply Alert moderator

  11. Tony needs to talk to the Germans. They have a new tank with a system of rapid-reloading. Its got a very long range and yet is very mobile. This makes it ideal for the “defense-in-depth” component of an Australian military effort.

    To get the rapid reloading ability they’ve separated the charge from the shell.

  12. Thanks to Bob Katter all things country seem to be making a comeback if Channel nines Saturday morning show is anything to go by. Leila is wearing a big white hat. Here’s an adaption of the Bob Katter advertisement. Katter is a fellow who delivers. In retrospect it now seems that the original advertisement was somewhat under-promising.

    After playing the adaption I have no choice but to post a Lyle Lovett version of the Jerry Woodward song. To me Lyle Lovett is true excellence in country music. Its a bit of a shame he isn’t more of a looker or at least looked more like a country music star. He should be a lot more successful even then he is.

  13. All is explained here.

  14. “Q: Can we go straight to another election.

    No. The parliament must meet. The only way we can go straight to another election would be for the parliament to meet and be so deadlocked that no full-time government could be formed.”

    Well thats good news. What an outrage it would be to adopt this new and hateful habit of beating up on the ballot until it squeals out the result that the bigshots want.

  15. Marine-Phytoplankton looks like it has the potential to become the main feedstock of the world. Right now since cultivating it is just started off, its being sold as a health food. This may not be the snake oil that it might sound. For one thing, since the plant material is microscopic, it requires little effort to digest. And sea water happens to be full with the sort of trace elements that our soils can often lack. There may be other things going on there. The ocean has a high ph. Whereas anaerobic critters and cancer cells thrive in low ph environments. They also don’t like oxygen. All I’m saying is that the potential is there for it to do some good and people should be open-minded about it.

    This womans dad had an aquaculture operation producing shellfish. So he started growing marine phyto-plankton in order to feed these shellfish. He was sick with cancer and one day started eating the marine phytoplankton and he wound up losing the cancer. So he began to attribute his being cured to the product.

    Anyhow now he can produce 40 tonnes of Marine phyto-plankton per day. Since the plankton is microscopic they cannot filter all of it out. So they wind up sending more of it out to sea then what they take up with the new seawater they keep bringing in. They would have to recycle the seawater, to keep getting the trace elements out of it. The water they put back in the ocean is “fresher” then what they take out. The story goes that this leads to more abundant sea life around the area of his aquaculture operation. A good news story from the point of view of the ecology. And for people who like to catch fish. Its such a good news story, once imagines it could be “the next big thing” or one of them.

    Now forty metric tonnes per day is a lot of output. And the thing is this is held to be quite a low energy operation. The sun providing almost all the energy, and even though this is close to Vancouver. Not a city known for its endless hot sunny days. Obviously there is not much in the way of a fresh water requirement. One by one we see that the normal constraints to the production of other crops and feedstocks just don’t apply. Its got to be a massive capital investment. But the variable input costs are going to be minimal. This would make the new industry the sort of “nuclear-power-plant” of food production. In that the capital costs may be high. But the ongoing costs would be far cheaper in the longer run then about any other imaginable way to grow that level of plant material.

    I recommend taking the taxes off all aquaculture production. Its pretty clear that we are overfishing and we need to deal with that. But we also want to get the capital investment going to get to where we can put marine phyto-plankton (and perhaps even zoo-plankton) at the base of our commercial agricultural food-chain. Right now its just a niche health product. But its clearly a food source that doesn’t have these traditional limitations that so many other foods (like beef produced from pasture) has.

    So whilst now its an expensive niche-product. The potential is there for it to be the base of meat production, fish-farming, fertilisers and on and on. Because its a product that could grow at 50% per year and no end in sight. With its price going down every year as well.

  16. Bob Katter getting what looks to be a ringing endorsement from former Queensland Premier Russell Cooper. (Russell Cooper was only Premier for a brief time in 1989). Even what starts out looking as condemnation (due largely to ABC editing) from Peter Beatie winds up looking like support by the end of the clip.

    The big problem has come from the neoclassical-Keynesian economic consensus. Which views the loss of primary industry and manufacturing as a normal part of economic development. This idiotic and wrong view, in the absence of an actual understanding of economics, is what has pushed these conservatives into what looks like socialist approaches to the rural areas. Had there been a strong dissenting and economically sophisticated block of opinion in the economics profession, these guys would be natural small-government supporters.

  17. New kid on the economics block.

  18. Right but he’s pretty lost really. He’s making the same mistake the neoclassicals are making.

    What the neoclassicals do is talk as if the outrageous status quo is capitalism, and then they swamp anything thats going wrong with a lot of happy-talk.

    Whereas this fellow is talking as if the outrageous status quo is capitalism, and he’s pointing out things are going wrong with it and its not working to some sort of reasonable satisfaction.

    But both these characters are making the mistake of talking as if the outrageous status quo is some sort of functioning free enterprise system.

    Now thats a pretty basic mistake to make. So I don’t hold out much hope that he will have a lot of worthwhile stuff to say. Its unlikely that either of these parties have a clear conception of how a functioning system would work.

  19. Mr B

    At least this Hun isn’t afraid to take on the fractional reservists.

  20. From Unleashed:

    Graeme Bird :
    30 Aug 2010 5:22:57pm

    Goodness me. These three decide who will be government. Its not too much to ask that these departments do their job. What the hell else they going to do?(these departments) They are just going to sit there feeding off us and spending all our money anyway. These people are salaried people. Its not too much to ask them to do their job?????

    Also this idea that the information is in the public domain. So what? Its got to be summarised and presented to the independents. Matters are supposed to be moving forward with some sort of despatch. If the treasury already has the information in the public domain WELL GREAT. Then treasury et al ought to have the information at their fingertips.

    So no trouble. They can get on with it. Don’t be running interference for these people so that they can be lying around doing nothing, or otherwise causing trouble.

    Reply Alert moderator

  21. Graeme Bird :
    30 Aug 2010 7:00:04pm

    War is all about matching ends with means. We lack the means to bring peace and humane society to Afghanistan. Our partner in this undertaking is bankrupt. And we cannot be flippant about the protection of this continent of ours.

    When we talk about protecting a continent this also includes being able to head off foreign regime manipulation of our leadership and our elections. This means getting out of debt. This means creating an environment where people are willing to join our armed forces and not be destroyed by their membership. It means being able to prevail against nuclear intimidation.

    Can we really do all that and create a nation out of Afghanistan? This is a territory that hasn’t been a “nation” for a very long time if ever. And what are we striving for? We are in fact striving for the creation of a second Islamic Republic. This is insane.

    If this is an armed aid project LETS CALL IT THAT. Lets not pretend it is in our national self-interest. An aid program may or may not justify itself, but dishonesty is never justified in cases like this.

    I wouldn’t mind so much if we were setting up a single small sanctuary where women could travel too to be quits with this Islamic extremist bullying. Because we might be able to achieve such a thing. But we are involved in a hopeless pursuit. Its not fair on the Mothers of the boys we are killing for this unattainable goal.

    Reply Alert moderator

  22. Here is a response to the above post that I thought was interesting:

    jusme :
    30 Aug 2010 9:19:34pm
    i suggested elsewhere that rather than execute women for crimes that aren’t crimes here, that they exile them. australia could take some easily.

    on the flipside, i reckon some ‘westerners’ would maybe prefer to live in a society that holds such high value on fidelity and the like.

    the taliban aren’t any different to any other government that executes people for, say, carrying drugs.

    Reply Alert moderator

  23. Graeme Bird :
    30 Aug 2010 5:53:08pm
    Now come on. Yes there is mineral wealth. But thats no reason to get our guys killed. You want to stop talking about this subject in a dishonest way. We aren’t there to steal any mineral wealth. We keep on giving our own away. We are there to shore up our relationship with the Americans (not a good way to do this) and to bring peace and civilised politics to the Afghan people (not something within our capability).

    These are two good reasons to be there. One of them isn’t in our national interest. To the extent that we want to help out we don’t need our fellas in harms way. The other motive is lazy unfocused diplomacy. We ought to be able to stay tight with the Americans and bring our kids home both.

    Reply Alert moderator

  24. Mr Bird

    The agents of fractional-reserve must have turned this once courageous man

    • But he was never courageous. He was always just a transplanted male model looking for a photo-opportunity. I wrote an whole thread on his vanity without knowing he was gay. It was Jason Soon that alerted me to the fact that he was a homo, only after I wrote the essay. The essay will still be there but I had to get rid of this collection of male-model photos that he was putting about, since I was having computer-space problems.

      As far as I know I was the first person on the side of reason-in-climate to take a shot at him. Because like Graham Humphreys he’s a homo. Like Graham Humphreys, he’s a narcissist. Unlike Graham Humphreys he isn’t radically irrational. So I was hoping my critique might reach him.

  25. Mr B

    This guy may be a Kraut Bastard but at least he is taking it right to those Fractional Reservists.

    • We don’t have the original or the context. But he was wrong to take a shot at all Jews like that. I wonder if there isn’t some problem with elite-minority networking sometimes. But then I think you’ve got to say that, if thats what you mean. Plus its not true that we cannot integrate Muslims. We can integrate them, but we cannot turn them into Australians at the same rate, or with the same percentage total of population, as with other types of migrants. So we’ve got to slow down the migration of male Muslims. Its not at 12.5% of total. We’ve got to slow that right down, or at least slow the male component down.

      Be careful how you say things Rand. It will reflect poorly on me, if people simply assume I agree with you.

      We want to treat all citizens fairly, as the saviour of Christianty would. But since we cannot accept all refugees and willing migrants, we don’t need to be stupid or suicidal, when it comes to the choosing.

      • Fucking fractional reserve Bastards. I hate those bank-cash-pyramiding Cunts as much as you do, Mr B.

  26. Nick Gruen

    Pure poison

    • Yeah he’s a fucking menace. And the thing is with assholes like that they refuse to listen. He used to hang out at Catallaxy and if the malevolent cunt had just fucking LISTENED to me he wouldn’t have helped to subject this country to such vandalism.

      What the rest of you, who laugh at me, getting angry at people like Nick, don’t get, is that YOU DON’T HAVE TO PAY THIS MONEY BACK. You look at the massive debauch of it. It has reduced our economic growth in the short-run, it has given us a smaller economy from which to pay the money back. And now we need to pay it back. US!!!!!! the ever dwindling band of net taxpayers, not getting massive family benefits, or benefiting from job protection, or any of that gear. The stress we are being forced under is the end of humane society unless something gives. Since it all falls on small-to-medium business and non-job-rigged taxpayers. Thats where the burden falls. So its clear that over the years upward-mobility will be blocked. Success will become progressively less to do with virtue and more to do with politics. And the blockhead dandies who are benefiting from this situation, and telling themselves that they are so very smart, will live in their ego-fed world right up until the whole thing falls apart with Alaric, Attilla, or Alexander.

      You bloodsuckers feed off and block people like me, you are really just condemning your grandchildren to die with blood in their eyes, and dust in their mouths.

  27. Malachi Stilt-Jack am I, whatever I learned has run wild, From collar to collar, from stilt to stilt, from father to child.
    All metaphor, Malachi, stilts and all. A barnacle goose
    Far up in the stretches of night; night splits and the dawn breaks loose;
    I, through the terrible novelty of light, stalk on, stalk on;
    Those great sea-horses bare their teeth and laugh at the dawn.

    William Butler Yeats

  28. That one eludes me a little bit Philomena. The fault is all my own. I cannot quite get the context. It will probably come to me if I give it some time.


    “Australia voted, now the independents should too”

    Well they ARE going to vote. Yes they are. You might not think they aren’t but they are going to vote. Did you suppose for one minute that the independents would abstain from voting?

    So what are you saying Dominic? That they ought hurry up? Why should they? They have to negotiate hard and with all due diligence. Can you all stop acting like small children? Who cannot wait a couple of weeks for an ice-block?

    This is serious grown-up stuff. The running of a nation for at least three years, and probably six or more. Not just a nation but a continent.

    Go overseas for a couple of weeks if you cannot stand the suspense. Meanwhile the grownups have to do the best job of negotiating that they can.

    It doesn’t matter if it takes a month or two. It will only be a couple of weeks but if it took another two months it wouldn’t matter. Actually it would be a good thing.

    • You are so polite. The poem posted was a response to your legitimate feelings of despair, which all sensitive sentient beings experience.

      The poem is about affirming life in the face of death.

      Brian Keenan, an Irish academic was taken hostage in Beirut in 1986 by a group of fundamentalist Shi’ite militia. He was held over four years in virtual solitary confinement. Asked later, after his release, what was the most important thing he learned from his forced inwardness, Keenan said: “In one sentence. Seeing, feeling and knowing the entrancing loveliness of others. You see like you’ve never been able to see before”.

      • This might be one of those cases where I’ll have to take the easy way out and read the literary criticism to get the understanding. Of course that means I won’t appreciate the poetry, until maybe ten years later when it has some freshness to it.

        I do remember that I thought I understood some of Yeats stuff. Though no individual poem comes to mind. I remember quite liking a fellow called Browning. You like any of the Browning stuff? This is from a long time ago. But I do remember thinking some of the Browning stuff was pretty neat.

  29. Graeme Bird :
    31 Aug 2010 6:57:11pm

    But here you don’t contradict Tony. The liberals would probably do a great many things wrong. But this particular moronic labour ascendancy can do virtually nothing right.

    This is not the competent, human and successful Hawke-Keating partnership. Nor is this the sort of team, with Kim Beazly as part of the duo that probably would have kicked a great many goals for us.

    This current Labour team is not the entirety of the Labour party. They are what they are and they are entirely useless. The sooner all of them are a bad memory the better. Better for us. Better for the Labour party.

    Reply Alert moderator

  30. Graeme Bird :
    31 Aug 2010 6:37:37pm
    “Australia voted, now the independents should too”

    Well they ARE going to vote. Yes they are. You might not think they aren’t but they are going to vote. Did you suppose for one minute that the independents would abstain from voting?

    So what are you saying Dominic? That they ought hurry up? Why should they? They have to negotiate hard and with all due diligence. Can you all stop acting like small children? Who cannot wait a couple of weeks for an ice-block?

    This is serious grown-up stuff. The running of a nation for at least three years, and probably six or more. Not just a nation but a continent.

    Go overseas for a couple of weeks if you cannot stand the suspense. Meanwhile the grownups have to do the best job of negotiating that they can.

    It doesn’t matter if it takes a month or two. It will only be a couple of weeks but if it took another two months it wouldn’t matter. Actually it would be a good thing.

    Reply Alert moderator

  31. Graeme Bird :
    31 Aug 2010 6:25:29pm

    There is no hurry. People are mistaking their own personal sense of suspense, with the job the independents need to do.

    This is the governance of a continent for three years (for the love of the neurotically-impatient everywhere.) And everyone is talking as if the independents are doing something wrong??? WHAT ARE THEY DOING WRONG???? Someone tell me. Spit it out. They are not doing anything wrong. They are acting like responsible adults.

    Now everyone who is getting impatient with them, just have a good long look at yourselves. This is not some sort of topic for nihilistic whim-worship. This is a matter for long and patient negotiations. Thats what we are seeing from the independents. And we ought not want anything less. Their constituents ought not sit still for anything else.

    Reply Alert moderator

  32. jaycee :
    30 Aug 2010 8:48:23pm
    Crikey, Graeme, with all this aggro, one would presume that you support the entire public service from your purse alone!…Say!, just how much tax do you pay?…

    Reply Alert moderator

    Graeme Bird :
    31 Aug 2010 7:01:26pm

    Dude. You know damn well that as a practical matter in this country, that if you pay tax, and aren’t benefiting in any substantial way from it, that the less you have to pay, the more onerous each dollar is.

    We all get hurt far more than our actual tax burden by the fact that these guys eat up all the small business retained earnings. Since if these were reinvested there would be a permanent labour shortage. And the average bloke then would have all the options.

    Reply Alert moderator

  33. Graeme Bird :
    31 Aug 2010 7:25:53pm
    You know what the big problem is? The big problem is that our economists never understood our new currency, banking and exchange system. The left want a lot of interventions, since they see the problems as they emerge. The right just assume its self-balancing and so they go into a lot of happy talk as we lose our ability to make and grow things.

    The fact is our currency and banking system, is not a voluntary exchange system. Its not a free-enterprise system. It may approach text-book “perfect competition” in some senses. But it has been acting as if to put us in permanent disequilibrium. For around 30 years we have had a currency-banking setup that has acted as if to permanently overvalue our dollar. If we continue with this setup we will be systematically impoverished. But before we are a poor nation we will have lost our sovereignty.

    On one side of the argument Hekyl calls for trade barriers, subsidies and import bans. On the other side Jekyl says that losing our industry and agriculture is a good thing. Jekyl cites “comparative advantage” in total non-understanding of the concept.

    If the working economists understood what was wrong with our currency-banking nexus, and could explain it to Bob Katter, we could effect a solution without trade restrictions, that would totally turn around the fortune of Bobs constituents, and turn Bob against agrarian socialism for all time.

    Why not simply choose a thriving agricultural and manufacturing base for Australia? We can do it my oath we can? Whose against it?


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  34. No I don’t like Robert Browning at all. Sorry to waste my time.

  35. Gee thats pretty harsh. It is true that I haven’t
    really developed any serious flare for poetic interpretation. I was just trying to remember if I could think of a poet I took a shine too a long time ago.

  36. The first poem:

    The Hippopotamus’s Birthday

    He has opened all his parcels
    but the largest and the last;
    His hopes are at their highest
    and his heart is beating fast.
    O happy Hippopotamus,
    what lovely gift is there?
    He cuts the string. The world stands still.
    A pair of boots appear!

    O little Hippopotamus,
    the sorrows of the small!
    He dropped two tears to mingle
    with the flowing Senegal;
    And the ‘Thank you’ that he uttered
    was the saddest ever heard
    In the Senegambian jungle
    from the mouth of beast or bird.

    E.V. Rieu

  37. Mr Bird

    This Oriental appears to share your views

    Mr. Meas prefers to identify as a Reagan Republican. Unlike the countless other Reagan votaries in the party, Mr. Meas offers a convincing claim that the 40th president was quite literally his personal savior. “I owe my life to him; he allowed me to come here and he fought Communism,” he says.

    Like most in the grass-roots movement, Mr. Meas rails against the health-care bill and illegal immigration, and says we need to slash personal and corporate tax rates. But he can also drift into the hyperbolic, declaring that “having lived under a totalitarian regime . . . I know what it is like to have lost all of your freedom”—stopping just short of comparing the Obama administration’s policies to those of the Khmer Rouge.

    Mr. Meas possesses a pronounced libertarian streak. At a recent debate, he struck a rare discordant note when he echoed the heterodox Republican Rep. Ron Paul in arguing that the Federal Reserve needs to be audited, then eliminated. Later in the same debate he waved a copy of the Constitution, declaring it the only document upon which all laws need be judged.

    • Right. He sounds like a fine American. He sounds like a walking-talking good-argument for getting policy so good that it becomes in our self-interest to accept more refugees. Notice the finely demarcated taxonomy of what I’m saying here. Now policy is so rotten that most refugees will likely be a bit of a burden for the working poor incumbent Australian. Whereas if our economic and public policy settings were a lot lot better we would see that it was in our interests to expand our intake of refugees and other migrants. And people living under policy excellence would perceive this to be the case. We want to be for justice and humanitarianism. We want to regain our own liberty, and then to extend the benefits of our regained liberty to every worthy young man and every young women on the globe. We want to starve the worst societies of their people. These things we would see to be good, ethical, and surpassingly-righteous.

      But policy currently leaves us in a position where this is against the interests of the working poor of our nation. Perhaps even against the interests of the nation proper.

      But this does not mean we must not aspire to be in a position where we can RIGHTLY AND PATRIOTICALLY absorb a great many more refugees. And one day potentially all of the worlds poor, downtrodden, and persecuted, for temporary work visas in the inland.

      “Notice the finely demarcated taxonomy of what I’m saying here…..”

      This is one of the basic habits of good science and philosophy and especially of the Western tradition. It comes from Aristotle. Who started off as basically a biologist. And so his whole mode of thought was laced with taxonomy.

      But taxonomy, as an habit-of-thought, may have reached a greater pinnacle in the Western world via Aquinas, who Aristotles habits of thinking like a true believer. More Aristotlean then Aristotle himself in some ways. Aquinas seemed to take the taxonomy-of-thought habit to an even more extreme level. And perhaps this sort of thinking had a ready soil, due to the influence of some of the exemplary anecdotes and fine judgements of the savior of Christianity (here I appraise Jesus as if a literary character) …….. well all this together seems to have fashioned or heightened a strikingly Western mode of thought that today is almost being swamped.

  38. Mr B, Robert Browning was a fine poet I concede, though not in any way a favourite perhaps because I always associate him with “My Last Duchess” which always, still does, made my flesh crawl.

    • Right. I haven’t yet investigated what it was that made me take a shine to him. I also took a shine to Rudyard Kippling. But I can identify the reasons for that.

      1. Gunga Din struck me full force right away as a poem I liked. It was always and still remains my second favourite.

      2. I perceived that Rudyard was about as politically incorrect as any poet ever (at the time). This gave me the motivation to read his stuff with some patience and to find some of the good stuff, or at least some of the stuff I could muster some affinity for.

      3. I thought that the imperial British Empire was a pretty good thing at the time. And Rudyard was a pro-Imperial chauvinist. Now I think that imperialism is almost never acceptable. But I don’t think we can be too silly about the Brits. As Empires go it was noted for being a good thing in some places and during some decades. That doesn’t justify Empire as an ongoing thing. But we ought to take a balanced view.

      One thing I remember Browning saying was that of course man should over-reach else what is heaven for? I thought that was pretty cool. But then again over-reach is a devastating thing when its other peoples asses on the line. The over-reach of both Churchill and Hitler would attest to that.

      • Kipling was not on the curriculum at my Catholic girls’ school though Conrad was and I was never drawn to Kipling thereafter though I still read Conrad today.

        Interesting in that both represented the experience of empire as the main subject of their work, the big difference being that Kipling didn’t question imperial rule. For him India’s best destiny was to be ruled by England.

        Conrad OTOH was sickened by his experience in Africa, both physically and psychologically, and became deeply alienated from the imperialist, racist exploiters of Africa and Africans that he witnessed and which contemporary history highlighted. His novels also drew on ideas from Darwin, Nietzsche and the Zionist Max Nordau to explore the great fault-line between scientific, liberal and technical optimism in the 20th century and pessimism about human nature, especially but not solely w/r/t the behaviour of ruling elites and their courtiers and beneficiaries.

        Conrad also drew on white travellers’ tales like those of H.M. Stanley in Africa written from the pov of unquestioned superiority of the Europeans over the “dark races”.

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