Midweek Mayhem!!

Hello and welcome to Midweek Mayhem!

The place where we get to talk about anything and everything – including bikie gangs – which begs the question; should we call ourselves “the blogatero’s?”

As it much as it may come as a surprise, I’ve never really been attracted to “the bikie scene.”

It’s all just a bit too unkempt for my liking. And with the standard fashion consisting of aged black leather and torn denim, long greasy hair and generally poor hygiene, I still to this day, fail to see the attraction. I doubt I’d fit in anyway, even if I went for the ZZ Top look with the beard and sunnies, I’d probably end up looking like some demented effeminate leprechaun that would be more befitting a bogan Christmas tree decoration than a butch bikie.

In saying that though, one of my neighbours used to be a bikie and he occasionally reminisces about the camaraderie and ‘brotherhood’ that existed “in the old days.”

There’s no denying that some bikie gangs actually do some “good things.” The occasional charity run for sick children and so on.

They also happen to smash people’s heads in, engage in blood-ridden turf wars, execute random drive-by shootings, and pretty much run a large part of the country’s illicit drug distribution network.

In South Australia, the State Government has taken some pretty strident steps towards outlawing motorcycle gangs, and with the recent brutal murder at Sydney airport, there are calls for the outlawing of bikie gangs nationwide.

It seems that the police have pretty much allowed gangs to foster unfettered, and with their formidable fortress like premises, they can present an intimidating and unsettling presence when travelling in formation.

But is “banning” bikie gangs the “right” answer? Some people argue that there are legitimate motorcycle enthusiasts (the retired mum and dad types) that would suffer under such legislation if it were introduced.

What do you think? What is the answer to the increasing violence and all the societal problems that go hand-in-hand with the bikie gangs?

So rev up the hog, and let’s get cruisin…..

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128 Responses

  1. Reb re: It’s all just a bit too unkempt for my liking.

    What about this one?

    http://fineartamerica.com/featured/alan-in-leather-dan-nelson.html

  2. Min,

    I think I could learn to live with that.

  3. Michael Nesmith?! I used to have all his albums …

    Anyhows, wiv der bikies, I reckons if Johnny Howard wuz here, he would have had der whole lot of ’em sent off to an island or fwown em off a boat. Johhny was a tuff little fella, dat’s fer sure and he would’ve shown dem scruffy biker fellas a fing or thwee.

    The hole country has gone to hell in a chook raffle since Rudd came in, and if it weren’t fer the gays, the immigrants and the coloured folk and all the funny-looking marsuperials and arachnerapods, we’d be a whole lot betterer off.

    You can’t go anywhere these days wivout being banged up by some bearded bint on a bike or bashed by a kangarmaroo or bitten by a funnelly web.

    MARK MY WORDS!

    WAKE UP AUSTRALIA!

    Come on, wake up. It’s 11.23 in the morning, ya lazy sot. I need to clean the sheets … I wish you wouldn’t do that … pick another spot will you? That one’s wearing a bit thin and manchester isn’t cheap, y’know?

  4. I’ll have the anthrax ripple…

  5. Well, if they outlaw bikie gangs it’s going to be bad news for that dentist who lives around the corner from me.

    He’ll have to be extra careful when he takes the Hog out for a spin on the weekends, less he be mistaken for one of the Ciminnal Classes and nicked by Mr. Plod.

    Perhaps he should just stay at home and watch tele or blog, like any law-abiding citizen. Or maybe he should lose the Harley and get something less ostentatious, like a Porsche.

    Then there will be no risk of being mistaken for criminal riff-raff.

  6. And also Evan, they had better ban God’s Squad and the other bikie and biker gangs that have raised millions for charities.

  7. I must first “apologise” that I haven’t put up my Politics of War thread (the draft is completed just editing as joni and sreb can confirm).

    However, my computer spit the dummy yesterday and this laptop takes ages to get up a head of steam…

    …on top of that I just read B. Tolputt’s post and thought mine should wait for another day. His will get a few comments I reckon.

  8. TB,

    If it’s easier, you can always email your topics for discussion, and I can upload them for you…

  9. Reb re: I’d probably end up looking like some demented effeminate leprechaun that would be more befitting a bogan Christmas tree decoration than a butch bikie.

    Any blogos offering to help with a Reb makeover? I think that with TB’s help we could just about manage this look. TB can sit on Reb, I can help with the makeup (courtesy of ballet training) and I am certain that there will be a number of other volunteers 🙂

    We can do it!

  10. Drip, drip, drip.

    THE United States offered a Guantanamo Bay detainee the prospect of freedom in return for his silence on allegations of torture during his captivity, a British court has revealed.

    […] In their ruling the judges said there was clear evidence Mr Mohamed had suffered torture…

  11. “I am certain that there will be a number of other volunteers”

    Ooooh. can I do his hair. My mum was a hairdresser and I’ve always wanted to have a go – I think this project might just match my capabilities. 🙂

  12. I suppose the various anti Qantas types here will now offer congratulations at with the executive job slashing.

    http://www.news.com.au/business/story/0,27753,25240100-462,00.html

  13. Lotharsson, on March 25th, 2009 at 1:56 pm:

    great link.

    I always wondered what kept Hicks quiet, when released i thought his anger would get the story told, but fear won again and stopped it somehow.

    America can hide behind a new leader but Bush(and others) must be held accountable for his crimes.
    Bush might aswell lick windows and eat road kill, they dont get any dumber.
    ———————-

    I also wonder what happen to the AWB scandal.
    long time no hear

  14. ‘allo ‘allo Aqua. Don’t tell me that we’ve finally ended up on a blog at the same time. How is the arm?

    Re Hicks..he was under a silence order or else he could be sent back to Gitmo. Everyone said that he would be in it for the $s, amazing that it seems that contra to the newspapers that he might be genuine and just wants to be left alone.

  15. Lotharson/Aquanut/Min

    I am trying to get a new thread on Gitmo written. These pesky pieces of evidence just keep surfacing. I wonder how some on here (who have been missing lately) will react and ignore the evidence.

  16. Do you mean our friend from AZ, Joni? I do believe he said he was ‘out of here’. Not to worry, though, I’ll do my best to stand in for him and point out any instances where opinion is being offered up as evidence. 😉

  17. My arm is fine, watch hides the hole well. In future it can become a secret compartment for illegal activity(drug smuggling).

    Im back to diving. But i need two new licences to continue diving without a fine. hehehe stuff it.(have 12 already) wallet cant take it.

  18. Does anyone know where I can buy a good pair of binoculars?

  19. By gee joni..that’s a motley crew isn’t it, Loth, Aqua, me you, Migs and TB of course and we should dob in Huh (cos his/her Mum was a hairdresser) and lekhni (no doubt still battling with that Indian dust). Wave wave to reb and Kitty.

  20. Does anyone know where I can buy a good pair of binoculars?

    Small world. Jedda has an as new pair for sale on eBay.

  21. Aqua..you’re fibbing..at last count you were having to pack it with antibiotics. Don’t try to kid your Auntie Min, son was a surfer and so I know what these sea ulcers are like.

  22. BTW, I left a link to these videos from Inside Guantanamo on here somewhere last night, but can’t it now. I thought they were fascinating – not at all how I imagined the place.

  23. “It’s all just a bit too unkempt for my liking.”

    Is this reb going rogue in Tassie?

    N’

  24. guaze, lol. i packed it with that slimmy material so the top of the skin didnt heal over. its not that bad it just hurt so much i am milking it for laughs now.

    Its really good Min, if i can dive its good.(rubber glove)

  25. For those who haven’t seen it, a very interesting article by Matt Taibbi in his own…er, forthright…style about the GFC – as power play more than cash grab. Hard to read this and disagree with the opening line:

    It’s over — we’re officially, royally f*cked.

  26. Well thank you Aqua for the update. This is weeks and weeks. This was a severe thing!!

  27. Tony i cant watch that. lost the speed on the internet.

    But i doubt i tells you much about the truth of what took place inside.
    The fact it was built for this purpose is the shame of it,
    trials and freedom do not fall into this catagory, so why the praise.

  28. It’s over — we’re officially, royally f*cked.

    Loth,

    You better send it to JMc. Sounds like it would be right up his alley. (As a matter of fact, he knows the rest of that song; at least he should – he sings it every day.)

  29. Too bad Aquanut. I don’t think it’s a propaganda piece. It doesn’t look like it from the clips, anyway. It’s made by the National Geographic channel – don’t know if they’re political or not.

  30. Miglo, im drinking an expensive bottle of
    Crittenden & co Rose wine. lol

  31. Tony. Actually John McP is a very nice bloke.

  32. I know aqua. And he knows I’m only joking.

  33. That sounds very nice Aqua..how come I wasn’t invited around? Sounds to be a good crew, however Miglo might like to BYO.

    I have to choof shortly due to dinner duties…home made coq au vin with chat spuds sauteed plus veg.

  34. I am trying to get a new thread on Gitmo written.

    More grist for the mill. Constitutional lawyer (IIRC) Jonathan Turley to Obama – stop obstructing investigation of Cheney et al for war crimes!

    He argues that failure to prosecute war crimes make you an accessory to those war crimes, and states:

    “This is the most well-defined and publicly known crime I’ve seen in my lifetime…you’ve got people involved who’ve basically admitted the elements of a warcrime…

    …people are going to wonder why did you [Obama] block this?”

    But of course, this is just another opinion, right…?

  35. I mean Min.

  36. Thank you Tony. And squishy hugs to you too.

  37. I knew that Tony, after the comment about gitmo and then gettin me mixed up with Min i thought your were just having troubles or drinking(both?). 😉

  38. You better send it to JMc. Sounds like it would be right up his alley.

    Giggle 🙂

    However, it’s not really his daily song, at least not entirely. It’s about (to put it very crudely) Big Finance took over the US government, and the rest of the US (and by extension, to some extent, the rest of us here in Australia) get to be peons serving them.

    So it’s time to admit it: We’re fools, protagonists in a kind of gruesome comedy about the marriage of greed and stupidity. And the worst part about it is that we’re still in denial — we still think this is some kind of unfortunate accident, not something that was created by the group of psychopaths on Wall Street whom we allowed to gang-rape the American Dream.

    […]

    The mistake most people make in looking at the financial crisis is thinking of it in terms of money, a habit that might lead you to look at the unfolding mess as a huge bonus-killing downer for the Wall Street class. But if you look at it in purely Machiavellian terms, what you see is a colossal power grab that threatens to turn the federal government into a kind of giant Enron — a huge, impenetrable black box filled with self-dealing insiders whose scheme is the securing of individual profits at the expense of an ocean of unwitting involuntary shareholders, previously known as taxpayers.

  39. Tony & aquanut:

    Launched January 1, 2001
    Owned by National Geographic Television & Film (50%)
    News Corporation (50%)

    In the United States, National Geographic Channel, launched in January 2001, is a joint venture of National Geographic Television & Film and Fox Cable Networks. National Geographic provides programming expertise and the Fox Networks Group provides its expertise on distribution, marketing, and ad sales.
    (wikipedia)

    It’s an EMPIRE I tell ya…a bleedin’ media empire w/ tentacles everywhere.
    8)

    Still, I do like PayTV.

    I’ll probably be less worried when Papa Murdoch hangs up his spurs…never could take to Union-haters & war-mongers.
    N’

  40. And speaking of the insiders taking over government, you can pretty much see it nakedly stated in reports today that Wall Street told Obama to tone down the bonus rhetoric or they would refuse to co-operate. They’re basically saying (as one commentator said):

    Nice country you’ve got there. Would be a shame if anything happened to it.

    And subsequently you see various administration figures basically reaffirming that what’s good for Wall Street is good for the country, even though that’s patently bogus given the events of the last few months.

  41. i thought your were just having troubles or drinking(both?).

    Only the first (just been for a run), but I’m about to rectify that: Coopers Sparkling Ale.

  42. That’s fairly exciting Aqua..me getting mixed up with you. TraaDaaa…I have suddenly become a 38 yr old 6’2″ male diver. I could but wish.

  43. I really strongly recommend that Matt Taibbi article. He lays out how the intentional power grab has proceeded in ways that practically every other commentator has ignored. And he’s an entertaining writer to boot.

  44. It’s an EMPIRE I tell ya…a bleedin’ media empire w/ tentacles everywhere.

    If anyone was gonna know that, it was you, Nas. 😀

  45. Thanks, sreb, but I’ll battle on – the computer is as fast as slow f**t and the keyboard is like treacle and I’m getting back ache just typing this!

    Had great fun this morning watching our electricity meter going backwards, the solar panels are up and running (all on one roof, so no extra payment required).

    Looks like the mad aunt may be “allowed” home next Monday – one psych test to go – could be either way…I’ll take bets? Oops, wrong thread, sorry James, Locker Room more appropriate.

    Please allow plenty of time if you ask me any questions or I vice versa…this is bloody painful!

  46. And speaking of the insiders taking over government, you can pretty much see it nakedly stated in reports today that Wall Street told Obama to tone down the bonus rhetoric or they would refuse to co-operate.

    Well, they do have a point. Obama now wants the same Wall Streeters to partner the government in buying the so-called toxic assets from the banks. They would need some assurance that they aren’t going to be retrospectively taxed if the deal turns out to be a good one and they make ‘too much’ money.

  47. Is wordpress having a meltdown, or is it just me?

  48. “one of my neighbours used to be a bikie and he occasionally reminisces about the camaraderie and ‘brotherhood’ that existed “in the old days.”

    Sounds good. I’m thinking of starting my own club…here’s my first recruit:

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/19/97352501_57b5710c9a.jpg?v=0

    Tell me that didn’t make you smile
    N’

  49. this is bloody painful!

    Can you plug in a USB keyboard TB? – might make it easier if you can. You may be able to connect your monitor too, if it’s still working.

  50. “Only the first (just been for a run), but I’m about to rectify that: Coopers Sparkling Ale.”

    Good one Tony. No point execising if ya can’t enjoy yerself afterwards. I’m gonna walk for half an hour and then grab a Crown Lager.

    and then pumped I’ll play GOING FOR THE ONE by Yes.

    N’

  51. N’

    The boyf would love that as the Dykes on Bykes at MG scare him (and me).

    Maybe next year they could have Bike Bears.

  52. “I really strongly recommend that Matt Taibbi article. He lays out how the intentional power grab has proceeded in ways that practically every other commentator has ignored. And he’s an entertaining writer to boot.”

    Lotharsson, I agree on all counts…I put the link up on the Monday by The Magazine Rack thread…(see nasking, on March 23rd, 2009 at 9:36 pm)…but it doesn’t hurt to push it again. It’s an illuminating article.

    N’

  53. “Maybe next year they could have Bike Bears.”

    joni, I’m there

    http://image01.shopzilla-images.com/resize?sq=140&uid=437700235

    N’

  54. Gitmo , the Cubans have also asked the Americans to leave which also coincides with take what one wants.(might is right).

    Will the cubans be ignored on there own land. Obama has more then just crap to clean, but to respect other nations. Im sure Howards head being so deeply intrenched up Bush’s A-hole was a help in one way or another.

    Afganastan is nowhere near being helped and wont be if after all this time only bullets have had a life in that country. Our soldiers will continue to be mistakes in a land that has been taken over and isnt called Australia.

    Lest we forget the shame we have followed.

  55. Achtung tiny brains!

    It’s come to moi attention via yet another tiresome meeja beatup that Krudd an Odourama are conspirin to reduce the pay of us super stars of management. Again. Well, let me tell yers, it’s gotta flippin stop. Immediately. I mean, what will it take fer yers 2 get it thru yer thick heads that we’re simply bein paid what the market dictates?

    Now, if the Vulture Hedge Fund LLC decides to pay moi $US 580 million per annum to asset-strip smelly third world countries an fleece Central Coast pensioners, Krudd an Odourama an all the rest of yer tiny brains are jest gonna have to accept the fact that moi pay packet merely reflects the average rate of pay for a hotshot Hedge Fund CEO, OK? $US 580 mill is the goin rate for the Big Boss, OK? It’s jest like the award rates of pay yer little ppl are so bloomin keen on.

    Yer follow? Good.

    Let me tell yers straight up, anyone who has a flippin problem with this sensible allocation of corporate resources is either an embittered member of the AL-bloody-P or jest plain twitter an bisted, OK?

    The reality is us Master of the Universe personality types are earnin the big big bucks because we’re worth every cent of it. Unhampered by ancient communal sentiments, we’ll do whatever it takes to bring home the bacon, OK?

    So stop wastin time loiterin at this known extremist blog an get back to work, yer cyber bludgers, or the adorable kitten gets it, OK?

  56. This 5 dollar wine is great. I just need to taste a 10 dollar wine now to see i had it bad.

    I am so drunk. Eatme

  57. Sorry I’m late but I finally got here, only to learn that it’s turned into a cheap wine site.

    That’s despicable.

  58. bout time Mig’s
    Im on overtime waiting for you.

    Just wait till Joni and Reb get the bill.

  59. Miglo i used to work at a winery and you may find it disturbing what acually goes into wine. Not being an alarmist but you should be considering suicide right now.

    I remember frogs,lizards and the occational catapillar in the broth after the machine finished. hehehe

  60. Bad taste in joke about the suicide comment. i blame cheap wine.

  61. Miglo,

    There’s a show on NITV as we speak called The Marngrook Footy Show. It’s a well produced indigenous version of The Footy Show. Gilbert McAdam is one of the hosts; Ronnie Burns is on the panel.

  62. Aqua,

    That 5 dollar wine tastes like camel’s piss.

    Hey, wait a minute…..

    😯

  63. Are you against recycling Tony?

  64. Are you taking the piss aqua?

  65. Only when it’s dromedary urine. Other than that, I’m all for it.

  66. Aqua/Tony,

    I’d love to stay but I have to do some bloody ironing. Considering that it takes me about 40 minutes each shirt my night’s well and truly over.

    Just when I felt like a chat too.

    Tony, your game’s on here tomorrow night at f***ing 11 pm on Fox and 11:15pm on Channel 10. Great start to the season.

    Aqua, sober up.

  67. OK Migs,

    Catch you later. (Looks like I’m going to the game tomorrow night. A friend’s got reserved seats in the members.)

  68. sober up?
    no way im laughing at how you handle an iron, 10 mins to iron, 30 mins to bandge the burns.

    good luck buddy

  69. Cornflakes anyone?

  70. just saw that joni,
    lol
    i am lost for words with that one. 🙂

  71. No tony, its
    milk and keyboard?

  72. Did you say something Aqua? I wasn’t paying attention – I was just watching a cereal on TV.

  73. aquanut, have you ever drank the Sauvignon Blanc called Cats Pee on a Gooseberry Bush?

    Or had Marge n’ Tina?

    http://www.winelabels.org/labels2.htm
    8)
    N’

  74. lol.

  75. No Nasking, i know nothing.
    i only know how much ice to put with my scotch. Wine gets me drunk much quicker.

  76. Thanks for the link to economic armageddon, Lotharson. Cues The Doors, The End.

  77. I know that Min. has brought up teacher pay previously. And Tom of Melbourne was demonstrating concern for teachers the other day and mentioned that remuneration was too low…go me thinking…so I read thru a few articles and found this one worth linking to:

    Weighing up the cost of merit pay

    Wednesday, 04 March 2009

    http://www.ozteacher.com.au/html/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=99:weighing-up-the-cost-of-merit-pay&catid=5:the-hard-word&Itemid=6

    N’

  78. Speaking of Wine Labels.

    It’s a little known fact that Pauline Hanson has her own varietal.

  79. Very interesting N’..re:

    But it is also unclear whether linking teacher bonuses to student achievement, as proposed by the former federal government, works.

    My problem with pay linked to achievement of students is that this would act as a disincentive for teachers to take on classes with challenging students, for example those with disabilities, non-English speakers, social problems as these pupils could drag down the ‘average’ achievement of their classes and therefore effect their pay-packets.

  80. Good one reb..pic duly sent to kids and friends.

  81. I just listened to what sounded like George Brandis (didn’t hear the intro) defending the defence force and saying if the dept. has lost confidence in the minister, he should go!

    I would have thought that the dept. should be told to pull their heads in and obey the minister who represents the govt. of the day. Where’s the proof of ministerial incompetence? Seems more like departmental insubordination.

    Seems Defence and the AFP believe that they should only be governed by a Liberal Party!

  82. “It’s a little known fact that Pauline Hanson has her own varietal.”

    lol…in the clearance bin i take it reb?

    I didn’t realise Philip Ruddock owned a winery:

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/116/306983412_f0c687a51b.jpg?v=0

    N’

  83. “My problem with pay linked to achievement of students is that this would act as a disincentive for teachers to take on classes with challenging students, for example those with disabilities, non-English speakers, social problems as these pupils could drag down the ‘average’ achievement of their classes and therefore effect their pay-packets.”

    Excellent point Min.
    N’

  84. Great link to the Taibbi atticle on the Financial Crists, Lotharsson.

    Loved this bit:

    “So it’s time to admit it: We’re fools, protagonists in a kind of gruesome comedy about the marriage of greed and stupidity. And the worst part about it is that we’re still in denial — we still think this is some kind of unfortunate accident, not something that was created by the group of psychopaths on Wall Street whom we allowed to gang-rape the American Dream.”

    Hah.

    The really insulting thing is that AIG Financial Products people who started the whole mess are the same people who were recently paid massive multi-million bonuses from the US taxpayer-funded Bail-Out funds. People will recall that this caused a bit of a stink and a few red-faces, but that nothing (of course) could be done to stop it.

    Well, not legally, anyway. Law of contract, old boy.

    However, I’ve also heard of another web-site that has published the names and addresses of the same gang-rape artists and more or less invited disgruntled people who’ve lost their life savings, home, job or whatever to grab the 30.30, jump in the pick-up truck and mosey-on over to exercise their First Amendment rights and, ah, explain things to the miscreants.

    Only in America.

  85. Sorry to interrupt…….

    Tipping comp, please see The Locker Room for details. Must resubmit tips if you’ve already done so through Oztips.com

  86. They would need some assurance that they aren’t going to be retrospectively taxed if the deal turns out to be a good one and they make ‘too much’ money.

    Er, no, they wouldn’t NEED that, they just WANT that and reckon they’ve got the power to force it to happen. The terms of the proposed scheme are already rather generous – the government is essentially putting up most of the cash and guaranteeing private investors won’t lose any of their own. Ever had the chance to buy a few lottery tickets – with mostly someone else’s money, and all of your cash refunded if you don’t win? Nah, didn’t think so – one set of rules for the rich, another for the rest of us. It’s essentially naked blackmail – “Wall Street” is saying “we get what we WANT or we take the whole lot of you down”.

    And various schemes to game the proposed system (i.e. manipulate it in ways that were not intended by the government for additional private gain) are already sprouting up all over the net…

  87. My problem with pay linked to achievement of students is that this would act as a disincentive for teachers to take on classes with challenging students, for example those with disabilities, non-English speakers, social problems as these pupils could drag down the ‘average’ achievement of their classes and therefore effect their pay-packets.

    Or as I say at work – “Be careful what you measure – you’ll get it, at the expense of everything else” (especially for measurements that affect pay and bonuses).

    Similar dynamics are discussed (IIRC) by the author of Freakonomics, who has a blog as well as the book(s), and various business books. You have to be very careful how you set up incentive schemes because often they have unintended consequences. Freakonomics discusses a fine introduced by a daycare centre for late pickup. After the fine the incidence of lateness increased – because people now felt more justified in leaving their kids over the scheduled time because they felt they were paying for it.

    Some business books (IIRC “Peopleware” by DeMarco and Lister is one) even suggest that individual merit pay is almost always a bad deal for the organisation as it tends to turn staff into competitors rather than team-mates. The best mechanism is to reward entire teams – if you happen to want teamwork.

    And within schools I’m betting everyone does – teachers should be working together, not against each other. But there’s one more dynamic that Min implicitly pointed out. You want teamwork between schools (i.e. across the entire system), so that gaming the system by funneling students who won’t help your metrics to other schools doesn’t become common practice. So any scheme you set up should be structured to achieve this (not that it’s easy to do so).

    The key problem is how to set up the metrics. You don’t HAVE to measure average achievement levels – it’s just the easiest to measure, but as Min pointed out it’s the easiest metric with which one can systemically pervert the aims of the incentive scheme. A better idea is to measure the improvement in achievement levels (and maybe averages aren’t the best or only way to measure this either). The difficulty comes in how you measure such a thing – there will be many arguments about exactly how to define this as different stakeholders jostle to get the system to lean in ways that are favourable to their interests. And you’re likely to see a more sophisticated form of funneling – schools will try to get hold of students who they think they can improve the most, and subtly deflect students who they don’t think they can improve much. This may not be what you want either…

  88. Er, no, they wouldn’t NEED that, they just WANT that and reckon they’ve got the power to force it to happen.

    Well, they probably will force it to happen – it’s called negotiation.

    Unless, of course, Obama wants this plan to fail through lack of participation by the private sector, as I have seen suggested elsewhere. (The theory being he wants to nationalise the banks, and can claim it is a last resort after having tried other methods.)

  89. I know there are a few here who hated the Bush administration’s use of the term “Global War on Terror”. Well, you can all relax now. The Obama administration has come up with a new name:

    In a memo e-mailed this week to Pentagon staff members, the Defense Department’s office of security review noted that “this administration prefers to avoid using the term ‘Long War’ or ‘Global War on Terror’ [GWOT.] Please use ‘Overseas Contingency Operation.’ “

    Huh?

  90. Tony

    Exactly – WTF!

  91. Lotharsson said: “one set of rules for the rich, another for the rest of us. It’s essentially naked blackmail – “Wall Street” is saying “we get what we WANT or we take the whole lot of you down”….”

    isn’t this an ironic comment?:

    “We can’t allow the world’s worst leaders to blackmail, threaten, hold freedom-loving nations hostage with the world’s worst weapons.”
    (George W. Bush)

    It seems that the War Chimp and various other influential types in America have helped Wall Street & many of the “hang around in corridors like a bad smell” lobbying corporations to become effective blackmail outfits…

    and some of Obama’s decisions of late…& make up of his team…makes one wonder about things sometimes:

    Mazzy Star – I’ve Been Let Down

    N’

  92. Speaking implicitly of “perverse incentives” (unintended and usually undermining incentives created by your brilliant scheme to incentivise people to do the right thing), short term performance bonuses at financial institutions encouraged the creation of bad loans. More of interest in that post – looting by top management and signs of fraud and dirty accounting tricks are usually evident at failed financial institutions…last time the US had a financial crisis, as well as this one.

  93. Lotharsson, big is beautiful if you have the right connections:

    March 25, 2009

    Treasury Doesn’t Need No Powers, It Needs to Use the Power It Has
    Geithner’s Power Grab
    By DAVE LINDORFF

    If Geithner and Bernanke think it is important, and appropriate, to break up dangerously large and threatening enterprises like AIG, why are they not even talking about breaking up Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and other overlarge large banking firms?

    Too big to fail should simply mean too big to exist. It’s that simple.

    Not one more dollar should be spent trying to rescue these zombie banks. In fact, they should be ordered to give back the hundreds of billions of dollars that were already poured into them, most of which they have reportedly simply invested in Treasury notes, since there was nobody creditworthy who wanted to borrow the money. Then the regulators should move in and shut all the big banks down, and begin the process of tearing them apart. Those parts that are deemed hopelessly in debt because of huge holdings of Credit Default Swaps and other toxic financial products should be shut down, with shareholders and bondholders taking the hit. The healthy parts—the banks with all the deposits—can be auctioned off in pieces to smaller state and regional banks.

    Never again should there be federal banks whose branches and brokerage and insurance subsidiaries span the nation and the globe.

    There is no need for such entities. For one thing, they are too powerful politically, with operations in every congressional district, much like the Pentagon and the arms industry, and we’ve seen where that gets us. For another, particularly when it comes to insurance, the regulators are state based, making national companies largely out of reach. Finally, national banks have little or no interest in small businesses and their credit needs.

    If large global firms need bank loans, let the banks organize syndications to accommodate them. That has always worked in the past, and in fact, is still done for big global firms.

    Geithner should be forced to explain why he needs new powers to break up non-bank financial companies, if he is unwilling to use the powers he already has to break up too-large banks.
    (excerpts)

    More here:

    http://www.counterpunch.com/lindorff03252009.html

    Remember this?:

    “I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money-power of the country will endeavor to prolong it’s reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”

    (Abraham Lincoln)

    I HOPE Obama does.
    N’

  94. Perhaps the fear of being labelled a Socialist drives Obama to surround himself w/ some who only demonstrate Socialist tendencies when it comes to bailing out their big wig mates?:

    Obama should save the banks, not the bankers

    Real News Network interview with Tom Ferguson

    Thomas Ferguson is an American political scientist and author who studies and writes on politics and economics, often within an historical perspective. He is a political science professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He obtained his Ph.D. from Princeton University. He is also a contributing editor for The Nation.

    http://therealnews.com/t/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=3478

    N’

  95. I bet ‘Spycatcher’ Malcolm is getting all excited these days:

    Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy — End Credits

    but saying so, and being so, are miles apart…but hey, as long as it’s about creating an IMPRESSION eh?

    “Perception management” is another term used to describe the process of transforming public opinion to conform to a premeditated political agenda.”
    (Propaganda and the Politics of Perception:
    by Michael Carmichael)

    He who finds the millionaire (billionaire these days) finds the puppet of the perception managers.
    N’

  96. Oh dear – Andrew Bolt on Q&A speaking about being moral.

    I am falling off my chair with laughter.

  97. Well joni, The Bolta was quite forthright in expressing his opinion that people shouldn’t be able to publish anything they liked. An opinion, it seems, that doesn’t extend to the poison he regularly spews-out, masked as informed comment.

    Nah, it seems The Bolta can say what he likes, but we must, simply must, have an internet filter to stop all those pinko kiddie-fiddlers out there on da net.

    Precisely how such a filter is supposed to stop someone like that Kraut Pervert who locked-up and raped his daughter for 25 years was not explained.

    We’re just supposed to take it on faith that it will do so.

    Loved Conroy’s refusal to post the current blacklist too. “It would defeat the purpose of a blacklist”, he said. Lovely.

    So there is to be maintained this secret list of sites we can’t access, kept by some ACMA seat-warmer in a desk somewhwere, that we’re supposed to take on faith bans only “prohibited material”.

    Ah, the old “Trust Me, This Government Assures You…..” mantra.

    After 11 years of being “assured” by the Government (and the likes of Andrew Bolt) that there are WMDs in Iraq; Reffos really did throw their children overboard; Workchoices is gonna be good for you; Barak Obama is an al Qaeda stooge…etc etc etc, I’m just not quite prepared to take any assurances I might receive from either source at face value any more.

    How about you?

  98. Exactly – and then Conroy explains away “mistakes” on the list and says that we have nothing to worry about. But if we do not know what is on the list, how can we know that there are not any mistakes on it? Defies logic.

    Also, his explanation of the Qld Dentist is only partly right. Yes it was attacked – but that was years ago and they are now on a secure server and do not get hacked anymore.

    On Bolt – he has just dug a big hole for himself with his “moral” line. How can he possibly justify his anti-climate change stance now? He loves to bring up evidence to support his distorted views, but when the full details are quoted to him he wants to brush them aside.

    Just remember that he is not a journalist – he is an opinion writer – and so facts are not something that he has to be concerned with.

    Did you see how upset he was when someone suggested that his site should be placed on the blacklist?

  99. Could I suggest that the FAQ section has a prompt on how to bold, highlite, and the footy tipping passwords etc,

  100. Also hangover cures

  101. Tom

    Thy wish will be done.

  102. Evan, it a blog is privately operated, and is subject to editorial control, and can be held liable for any defamatory commentary posted, how much are you willing to underwrite them in the case of a successful action for defamation?

    Really, you should try the real world from time to time.

  103. Hangover cures? Now Tom, have you been hitting the White Lightning again?

    I’d suggest a glass of warm milk, a couple of panadols and a good sleep.

    Perhaps you’ll dream of Julia Gillard again.

  104. Joni i really enjoyed Q & A last night.
    Conroy was just spitting words out hoping one would make sence.
    Bolt if only he was a few years younger i would guess he was the child of A Downer.

    # Did you see how upset he was when someone suggested that his site should be placed on the blacklist?
    lol, i cant make out what he was going to say but the look he gave Conroy for jumping on the joke.

  105. Joni,

    On Bolt – he has just dug a big hole for himself with his “moral” line. How can he possibly justify his anti-climate change stance now?

    I’m struggling to follow your logic here Joni. Do you mean to say that Bolt is immoral because he is a climate-change sceptic? Does the same apply to all of us sceptics? Please explain.

    (Thanks for your comment here Aqua – I might have missed this otherwise 😉 )

  106. Tony

    Bolt and Akerman are immoral because they championed the cause against China when it was censoring the internet yet they censor their blogs casting aside anything that can provide balanced argument against their own opinion that contain no threats or vole language but simple facts to counter their biased opinions. The only responses Piers ever printed of mine were ones where he could reply with a nasty verbal attack. Even on the blog he wrote about deteriorating principles and manners.

    One rule for China and one rule for them, thats the immoral aspect of their sites in my opinion.

  107. Tony did you watch it?
    Bolt did make a goose of himself.
    But Conroy stood out the most.

  108. Yes Aqua, I watched the online version this morning. I was watching the football last night, sadly.

  109. Conroy was trying to defend the indefensible.

    As I say – remember that Bolt just writes to get hits and to provoke.

  110. What a choice: Richmond or Bolt!

  111. I won’t defend him on his views on the internet filter, but I thought Bolt made plenty of sense on other topics, particularly on the Middle East and Islam questions. If anyone disagrees, and would like to point out the parts where Bolt was ‘making a goose of himself’, the transcript is here.

  112. What a choice: Richmond or Bolt!

    I know Miglo. It’s been a tough day today.

  113. I found this comment from Bolt very offensive:

    “…there is, in fact, a problem within the Muslim community, a rejectionist strand, which is what makes this different…”

    The boyf and I get racist comments because I am an aussie and he is chinese-singaporean from aussies, comments from people who are my so-called friends who question why I do not have an Aussie boyf.

    Just because Bolt does not see the rejectionist stance within his own community does not mean it is not there.

    It was also his insistence on bring up irrelevant facts (like Buddhism) that makes him look like a goose. He does it on his blog – like bringing up discredited evidence to support his anti-climate change stance.

  114. No Tony
    if i want to do that bit i will go to Bolts Blog and get crap from the source.

    You picked football to watch last night, and you question me. 😉

  115. I found this comment from Bolt very offensive:

    “…there is, in fact, a problem within the Muslim community, a rejectionist strand, which is what makes this different…”~Joni

    You have to read that comment in context, Joni.

    For those who didn’t watch, he was responding to a woman on the panel, Susan Carland, a Muslim, converted from Christianity, who was explaining the negative sentiment she agreed existed towards Islam, as being the same as that which existed in the past towards Chinese and other ethnic groups.

    Bolt was arguing that you couldn’t equate one with the other because there exists a rejectionist strand within the Muslim community, something which Ms Carland had actually said herself in an interview with a Malaysian newspaper.

    From the program transcript:

    ANDREW BOLT: He’s invited you and your husband and, you know, Miss Australia and people like that, but he doesn’t do it with Buddhists. There’s specifically something in the community itself, as well, and I think, to be honest, you mentioned this yourself in an interview with the Malaysian Star Newspaper only a couple of years ago, where you said within the community, being a new convert from Christianity, you face the calls, from within the community, you shouldn’t do this and you shouldn’t do that and you shouldn’t make friends with people who weren’t Muslim and you should withdraw from society and everything that was haram and you said this was a problem for you and I think that’s an acknowledgement there is, in fact, a problem within the Muslim community, a rejectionist strand, which is what makes this different. And I hate to be blunt, I hate to foster – you know, have all these people jeering…

    SUSAN CARLAND: No, you don’t. No, you don’t.

    TONY JONES: Okay.

    ANDREW BOLT: Yes, I do. I do. I’d rather you agreed with me.

    TONY JONES: Quick responses.

    SUSAN CARLAND: The quick response would be absolutely there are people, a very small minority of people, within the Muslim community that are reluctant to engage with the wider community, but this is more…

    ANDREW BOLT: You put it as a majority in this interview and, excuse me, I just read it again.

    SUSAN CARLAND: I said the majority of Muslims reject friendships with…well, I’m afraid that that…

    ANDREW BOLT: You did.

    SUSAN CARLAND: Well, I’m afraid that’s just not correct.

    ANDREW BOLT: Well, you said it there and you…

    SUSAN CARLAND: Maybe your translation from the Malay is not…

    ANDREW BOLT: It was an English language newspaper.

    Bolt explains in further detail on his blog today, with quotes from Malaysia’s Star newspaper.

  116. And my point is that it exists in all societies. He was brining it up as a cheap point. And that is what, IMHO, makes him look like a goose.

  117. “towards Chinese and other ethnic groups” should be “towards Italians and other ethnic groups”

    From the transcript:

    Susan Carland:…If we take Australia as the example, for a while it was this cultural community that was, you know, demonised. The Italians, the Greeks, then it was the Vietnamese. Oh, my gosh, they’re all drug – they’re all in a drug triad and they’re all out to kill us and all those sort of things. It’s just the Muslims turn now. It’s a pity that, as Australians, we haven’t learnt that, you know, once we get to know each other it’s okay, and then we move on to the next group that we’re worried about. I hope that it would finish with Muslims. It’s just, I think, if we can have some human interaction, a lot of those fears and misconceptions can change.

  118. Tony

    There are times when I agree with Bolt (surprise) but while he refuses to permit educated responses which are critical of his viewpoint being placed on his site he is just as rejectionist as Susan Carland.

    You cannot simply pick and choose when rejectionist is good or offensive.

  119. Joni,

    I used to get that too, when I first went out with my partner. (So called) friends would say “Why are you dating (ie settling for) a Chinese guy, when you could have an Aussie boyfriend?

    I’d reply, he doesn’t drink, he doesn’t smoke, he doesn’t take drugs, he’s professional, intelligent, intellectual, thoughtful, sensitive and caring.

    The complete opposite of me really.

    They say opposites attract don’t they?

    Anyway, why would I want to go out with some fickle drug-f**ked Aussie boy from Oxford Street, when I have my distinguished Tony Leung lookalike to keep me company.

  120. Shane I have no knowledge of the criteria Bolt uses for blog moderation. My interest here is his comments on the Q & A program of last night, and I would be happy to discuss those with you on their merits.

  121. Tony

    You may have no knowledge of the criteria Bolt uses for blog moderation but I certainly do. With regards to his answers on last nights Q & A I tend to agree with some of them. I just do not like hypocrites and Bolt is one of them.

  122. Joni,

    I can’t let this one go either:

    He does it on his blog – like bringing up discredited evidence to support his anti-climate change stance.

    I believe you mean controversial, or disputed, evidence.

  123. Dear friends..not a hope in hades of keeping up. And so apologies if I am missing replies.

    Hehe, ladies choice. I am going onto Midweek Mayhem! And not only but also, it’s takeaways tonight.

    Joni at: March 27th, 2009 at 3:59 pm Said..The boyf and I get racist comments because I am an aussie and he is chinese-singaporean from aussies, comments from people who are my so-called friends who question why I do not have an Aussie boyf.

    What? Does prejudice run so deep? You and C’s know that it does, hence your passion for Human Rights.

  124. Question:

    Why are we still loitering here at Midweek Mayhem when I’ve opened up the bar at Friday Frolyks…?

  125. Thank you reb..will head over. Have just sent hubby down the street for a bottle of Bailey’s and takeaways.

  126. Didn’t always agree w/ the be all and end all of the message…but…he was one hell of a singer:

    Frank Sinatra lookin’ at Rita Hayworth – The Lady Is a Tramp

    N’

  127. It was also his insistence on bring up irrelevant facts (like Buddhism) that makes him look like a goose.

    Again, I disagree.

    To illustrate his point that negative sentiment is not something all ethno-religious groups in Australia endure as a matter of course – as Ms Carland claimed – Bolt used the example of another ethno-religious group: Buddhists.

    He pointed out that Buddhists, although far greater in number in Australia than Muslims, have managed to remain uncontroversial. He also claimed that the fact Buddhists are rarely invited on to programs like Q & A to argue their case, while Muslims regularly are, is an indication of the lack of negative sentiment towards them .

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