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Midweek Mayhem!!


Good afternoon and welcome to Midweek Mayhem, our middle of the week idle chit-chat thread.

Of course, the big event this week was the release of the 2009 Federal Budget, which, by all accounts, was not as drastic as were lead to believe – apart from the resulting deficit of course.

The Liberal party is quick to point out that this is the largest Budget Deficit in Australia’s history while Labor maintains it is not as as severe as the deficits being seen in other developed countries, particularly in Europe.

Tomorrow night we will have our very own LIVE BLOG as Malcolm Turnbull delievers the Opposition’s Right of Reply, so stick around for that one. It’ll be fun!

Anyway, feel free to talk about anything else that’s on your mind, and also a reminder that if anyone has topics that they’d like to post for discussion just send them to blogocrats@yahoo.com.au and we’ll publish them…


44 Responses

  1. Well I’d still like to see a thread as follows –

    “Thanks to the High Income Earners

    This is the place for the blogging community to record their special thanks to the high income earners, the only group to give up something in the budget.”

    If we can’t have a dedicated thread, then I’ll start the ball rolling here and say – thanks for the sacrifice!!!

  2. I want a Kevin 57 t-shirt!

  3. Good point Tom, we should have a dedicated thread, where we can all say thanks to the solid citizens that are being punished by this socialist government.

    Keep up the good work Tom.

  4. Great point Tom.

    I’d like to add my thanks to all those solid citizens that are being punished by this socialist government.

    Thanks Tom.

  5. Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm………!

    I’m a high income earner…………There was not one thing in the budget that affected me. Not even the Health changes as my insurance is already paid for by Mrs Walrus’ generous Japanese employer who selflessly exploit this nation by digging lots of dirt out of the ground and exports it overseas to evil power stations and steel mills .

    Even the Super changes didn’t make much of a diff as I’d already dropped mine down due to poor returns more than anything.

    In fact I’m buggered as to why I even bothered with buying the AFR this morning.

  6. I too am a high income earner and, unless there are some major hidden nasties yet to be revealed, I’m not affected adversely by this.

    That said, if there is a sacrifice being made, I’m happy to make it (within reason, of course). I hope that should I ever fall from the lofty heights of “living comfortably within my means”, the government would be there to help me get back on my feet.

    So I guess I should say “You’re welcome.” 🙂

  7. Our income last financial year was $145,000+ and last year’s tax return cheque was $12,400.

  8. I *used* to be a high income earner…

    … I think you rich bastards got off f**ckin’ lightly…and Rudd & Co still want to give you a bloody tax cut..? GMAB

    I’m glad we got rid of John Howard (who?) & The Private School Bullies but…tough budget my arse!

  9. I’m with reb, that Tubnbill will ‘delievers’.

    Am receiving pursed lips vibes reb..and so having spat it out re Tom, why not some music. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDtcidMR_6I

    I can’t hear it but it looks good 😉

  10. TB, all talk, no action government!

    Did you see Bligh blathering on about not being able to give the lowest paid teachers in the country a pay rise due to the GFC?

    I like the one about so many billion less in GST too…I’m getting tired of the population getting treated as idiots by this inept lot of fools!

  11. Voting in the world’s largest organised event, the Indian election marathon, concludes in a few hours time. The result could be known by the weekend.

  12. Damn you Ray – damn damn damn you! 😉

    I was going to write a post on the Indian election (seeing that I am here) and you have gone and pre-empted me 😀

  13. Now having said that..wonderful to have some down to earth no nonsense comments courtesy of TB.

    Have to now choof. A wonderful evening to all.

  14. Tom of Melbourne, on May 13th, 2009 at 4:59 pm Said

    Thanks to the High Income Earners … thanks for the sacrifice!!!

    Tom tis time to take the tongue out of the cheek. The truth is that under under Howard (and now under Rudd), ‘high income earners’ have had a ball. Under the existing tax regime they benefit when the ‘poor’ get a tax cut; when the ‘middle classes’ get a tax cut and now when the ‘rich’ get a tax cut. Even now their cost increase for ‘private health insurance’ is more than compensated via the latest tax cut as directed to the ‘rich’. But keep up the facade as I am sure it provides comfort to some mathematically illiterate contributors.

    Sacrifice my ar#e.

    Then we have scaper who said:

    not being able to give the lowest paid teachers in the country a pay rise

    Right! But No! Even in their latest MSM campaign, the QTU makes no such claim because it’s patently untrue and besides Battams et al make no such claims.

    scarper, any ‘good’ IR publicity campaign ‘picks’ out comparative data that suits the argument you are advancing and while I have sympathy to their plight I always like some transparency.

    As for Bligh when she talks about an incapacity to pay because of the GFC and revenue shortfalls, she has a strong point. And let’s not forget that Anna in a past life ran strong campaigns when she was a union rep.

  15. Oprah: Nice homes and private jets are totally awesome. (For me, not for thee.)

  16. http://www.qtu.asn.au/mr110509.pdf

    I don’t know why I bother with a self anointed expert on everything!

  17. Sorry Joni.

    I’d forgotten you were in situ. Me, I just get blown away by the scale of the Indian elections. More than 880,000 polling booths. 774 million people eligible to vote. the biggest show on earth has used 1 million electric voting machines over the month it’s been on the road.

    Can I ask you for an ‘on the ground’ opinion on whom might win? The Times of India and BBC are both reporting today that neither of the main parties are likely to win a majority in their own right.

    So, according to the BBC yesterday, there is a chance the very-colourful Mayawatti, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, a woman from the “untouchable” cast, could end up Prime Minister after all the horse trading over coalition-building concludes …

    Are you just working? Do you have time for any R&R?

  18. scaper…, on May 13th, 2009 at 8:09 pm Said:

    I don’t know why I bother with a self anointed expert on everything!

    self anointed ? Care to provide a link? Lol. Some perspective? Or do you reserve ‘perspective’ for ‘prospective’ customers? Lol.

    Then you provide a link to a QTU press release in which the QTU President Steve Ryan is quoted as saying:

    as among Australia’s lowest

    And he is correct. They are among Australia’s lowest, dependent on which pay point and classification one chooses to compare. But that’s not the same as saying they are the lowest paid and the QTU’s TV claim does not make that claim because it would be untrue. False advertising and all that. But scaper, you really must learn to read between the lines. Notice that Steve says in the final para:

    “To use the current and very changeable economic situation as a short-term excuse to deny Queensland teachers decent salaries is a somewhat disingenuous move by the State Government, which wasn’t exactly falling over itself to reward teachers during the good times,”

    Ryan accepts that the GFC is real but deplores that Bligh et al have a bad history.

    But I suspect that Tom might soon appear and argue that Bligh, like Rudd, is a captive of the unions.

    Always a laugh when you contribute scaper. Now don’t you ‘lamaste’ out of here. Lol.

  19. Ray

    Ha – R&R – ya gotta be kidding….by the time I get back to the hotel it is dinner and sleep.

    This weekend I hope to get some sightseeing in. A full report will be made for the blogocrats.

    I have the same news as yourself on India – and the scale of the election is just amazing. From what I do gather, there is some horsetrading going on that will probably see the current PM hold on, but then again, by the time I see the news tonight that might have all changed.

  20. Phelpsy & I have decided to sit in on the LIVE BLOGtm on the morrow.

    We’re hoping for some blatantly partisan commentary, in particular derision of Teh Slopposition, & with any luck some gratuitous pornography.

  21. Look forward to your dispatches Joni.

  22. Phelpsy & I have decided to sit in on the LIVE BLOGtm on the morrow.

    Should be fun. Reb’s last party was good, but he forgot to invite anyone.

  23. DUMMY SPIT Alert …

    Re this “story” : http://www.smh.com.au/national/schoolgirls-solo-sail-irresponsible-20090514-b3ne.html

    Precisely when did it become anybody’s f****ing business to think they can comment on what this young woman wants to achieve in her life, and how she goes about achieving it, when no crimes or misdemeanours are being committed and she has the full, loving support of her parents in order to fulfil her dreams?

    What should she be encouraged to do? Stay home with her f***ing dollies and wait ’til she’s old enough to become an accessory to a penis and a life support system for a f***ing womb? Become an NRL fan? Now, there’s a fine bunch of fellas to look up to, them and their steroid-shrunken little cockadoodles and the half-sucked sultanas they call brains that ricochet wildly around the vacuums of their cracked and empty little skulls.

    These so-called “family groups” should pull their f***ing pinheads in and shut the f*** up, the nosy little sh*theads. It’s none of their damn business and it’s none of ours to think we may have the right to criticise simply because, “Oh, I wouldn’t let my son/daughter do that. I’m such a perfect parent, heavens to betsy’s hemmorhoids, deary me.”

    And don’t give me any of that bollocks malarkey about people under the age of 20 not having their brains being sufficiently developed to make a rational decision. What a load of utter crap that is. If I want examples of emotional infantilism, stupidity or incompetence in the world, I only have to look at some of the lizard-eyed low-lifes scum who work the financial markets who’ve turned the world to crap, or members of the NSW state government, most of whom couldn’t run a lap around a wading pool without killing someone, let alone run a f***ing state government. Or the slavering, rabid and barely literate monkeys who hang around Andrew Bolt’s blog of idiocracy, most of whom make the family from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre look like nuclear f***ing physicists in comparison.

    She doesn’t have enough “maturity”? Compared to f***ing what?

    So, John Morrissey of The Australian “Family” Association and Bill Muehlenberg of the “Family” Council of Victoria, just f*** off. And when you’re own children can even imagine doing such a feat, or achieveing something spectacular, you might have cause to comment. Otherwise, just go f*** yourselves, you twitchy little tools of mediocrity.

    DUMMY SPIT … Over.

  24. I watched Mr Swan’s budget speech and I felt thoroughly wrung out after he concluded and resumed his seat. His speech juxtaposed utter despair and hope without the intrusion of reality. Mr Swan’s budget speech will take its rightful place alongside other great speeches such as The Gettysburg Address, Tribute to Dogs, Their Finest Hour and others. I can’t imagine Turnbull or that clumsy oaf Hockey matching Mr Swan’s brilliant oration.

    I am a little concerned about the habit of the Bird of Paradox when she goes into her nodding routine. It reminds me of the porn movie “Francine the Fellator” in which Francine was ever willing to do the head bobbing thing. Does anyone else see the similarity?

  25. Nice to see Obama didn’t cave to his Left-wing base on the “photo’s”…….


  26. Ross Sharpe (May 14th, 2009 at 10:13 am),

    Jesse Martin is the youngest person to have circumnavigated the globe. He was 17 at the time, so for a 15 year-old girl to attempt this is seemingly ambitious. Still, if her parents are confident that she is psychologically equipped, and technically competent, why not let her have a go?

    The issue more often raised when these trips are undertaken is: Who will take responsibility in the event of a mishap?

    The Australian Navy has more than once sailed deep into the Southern Ocean to rescue stricken round-the-world sailors. Two questions come to mind: Why should they; and: Who should foot the bill?

  27. “you twitchy little tools of mediocrity.”

    Priceless Ross, Priceless!

  28. Who should foot the bill?

    Oh, the poor long-suffering, endlessly whining Aussie taxpayer … “My taxes, my taxes, what have they done to my taxes!”

    “I pays my taxes and lookee what they spend it on!! They should spend my taxes only on those fings which wot I approves of and nuffin’ else!”

    I pay taxes that get spent on a whole bunch of things I couldn’t give a flying f*** at a rolling Krispy Kreme about. That’s one thing about the great Aussie taxpayer, they never shut up about their precious f***ing taxes and no matter what’s spent where on what, there’ll always be someone who thinks it should’ve been spent on them. I pay taxes so imbeciles can play with their balls in paddocks, I pay taxes for religious cults and their so-called “schools”, and I pay taxes because some backwards bimbos and himbos had a productive root and got ’emselves a kiddie even though they’ve never done a day’s work in their useless life. One for mum, one for dad, and one fer der country.

    I don’t care. I’m living a life in the real world out here, not some ideologically driven fantasy of ruthlessly applied accounting perfection. If it weren’t for all the people who actually live in the country, the books would certainly be grand. No expenditure at all, cause there ain’t nothin’ and no-one to spend it on. Eureka, Utopia at last.

    If it bovvers people, they should make a placard with a slogan on it or wear a sandwich board and go for a waddle outside the Parliament for a bit. And if the young woman gets into trouble, they can always send her messages telling her to drown so they can save a few miserable f***ing pennies to put to the mortgages on their crappy bloody McMansions.

    I’m sure she’ll see the logic in it and duly oblige. For the benefit of reducing generational debt, no doubt. How noble and sweet.

  29. Ross Sharp,

    In an attempt to cut through all the holier-than-thou “I’m such a kind-hearted soul I will never complain about, or have an opinion on, what is an appropriate use of this country’s resources” utter bullshit, are you making a case that the government should always come to the rescue of an Australian citizen whenever and wherever their self-centred feats of bravado come unstuck?

    What about an Everest climber? We certainly don’t send the army and airforce to the rescue when one of those intrepid souls breaks a leg near the summit. They are required to pay plenty for those adventures, and make a pact with their fellow climbers that, should someone come to grief, the remaining climbers will endeavour to get them back to base-camp.

    Oh, yeah. And they never, ever attempt such a dangerous feat alone.

  30. I think I have finally worked out why drivers in India use their horns so much – it is simple, they have just outsourced the use of their mirrors to the driver behind.

    Tooting your horn (shut up reb!) is just a way of saying at that “I am here and please do not come into my lane” – whereas in other countries the driver in front would just look into his mirror.

    Easy eh?

    (joni now wobbles his head)

  31. [Scroll on by…

    No torture photos for you, and FBI interrogator Soufan’s testimony flatly contradicts Cheney’s assertions – he describes enhanced interrogation techniques as slow, ineffective and unreliable compared to traditional interrogation methods.]

    Obama seeks to delay release of detainee torture/abuse photos.

    The stated reason is that one of the generals thinks they will inspire people in Afghanistan and Iraq to attack US troops. This may be gross stupidity – the abuse is already well known in those parts of the world – in which case the general should make the case for continuing to hold a leadership position. More likely it is political cover for those who would prefer to keep the American public less informed about the subject and less likely to advocate a thorough investigation. (And as Neiwert points out, the argument that people finding out what you’ve done will motivate them to attack you kind of suggests that maybe you shouldn’t be doing that stuff in the first place if you don’t want them to want to attack you…)

    This diary, by someone who says they are a lawyer, argues that Obama may have a difficult time setting aside the settlement which included the agreement to release the photos.

    FBI interrogator Soufan testified. He said that Abu Zubaydah revealed important information within hours – for which CIA director Tenet prepared a congratulatory letter, until he learned that FBI agents were responsible. A CIA team was sent to use the “enhanced” methods, and Abu Zubaydah stopped revealing useful information. He started again within a few hours after the “non-enhanced” methods were resumed. Note that this occurred initially using even “milder” “enhanced” methods – he clammed up when they were introduced.

  32. Lotharsson,

    On a related theme, Jon Stewart calls-out Nancy Pelosi on her ever-subtly-changing account of what she knew and when about the use of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’.

  33. “I’m such a kind-hearted soul I will never complain about, or have an opinion on, what is an appropriate use of this country’s resources”

    I float gently on a breeze of love for my fellow man, happy as a butterfly, buzzy like a bee, and I wish I was a birdy, to drop a blessing from a tree.

    I am definitely not a kind-hearted soul, and if someone were to try to interfere with the living of my life to tell me I should do this and not that, I would happily rip them 12 new ar*eholes with the rough ends of a box of pineapples.

    If “my” country’s resources are going to be used for something, I’d rather they were used for this than fighting some trumped up bullsh*t war on the other side of the planet. And if the country’s resources are going to be put to some good use, there should be a bucketful more resources to deal with those poor souls who’ve fought this bullsh*t war and come back to deal with the nightmares of what they have seen there.

    Which is completely away from my initial point. This penchant we have for endlessly judging the perfectly legitimate choices some parents make on behalf of their children, or supporting the choices their young adult children wish to make and encouraging them in that.

    The only time it becomes my business or anyone else’s is when a parent is committing a crime against his/her children or neglecting them so severely, the child risks permanent damage. Starvation, bashing, rape, deep psychological abuse, etcetera.

    And yes, this young woman is taking a risk, but I believe she is well enough versed in her passion to be able to take that risk. I have a friend who, for over 15 years now, enjoys strapping a contraption to his back and throwing himself off cliffs to make like a bird. It’s called hang-gliding. He’s never had an accident, because he knows what he is doing. However, if he did have an accident, I imagine this country’s resources, health resources would be expended on him. I wouldn’t deny him that. You might. I wouldn’t.

    Ay, there’s the rub. This is called a “difference” of opinion.

    And now, hello, I must be going, for an auditor needs a spreadsheet and I, excitedly and with great passion, must provide it to him. Such is life.

  34. [Pelosi and torture briefings etc. Scroll on by.]

    Yes, Tony, Pelosi hasn’t been entirely consistent, and should be called on it (as should quite a few others, many with far more direct involvement). Stewart is better at it than most 🙂

    It also appears to be true that there’s little she could have done legally if she had been/was actually told. But as Stewart points out she didn’t even bother to sign Harman’s letter, which looks negligent. (BTW, Harman’s letter went nowhere, and Jay Rockefeller’s attempts to get more information through official channels were apparently stonewalled. It’s likely that any actions outside channels would be violations of national security laws – and lead to charges, whether in the press from Republicans, or in the courts.)

    She’s (currently) maintaining that she was told the CIA was planning to use these techniques when in fact it had already been using them for some time. This position appears to be supported by testimony from Zelikow on how briefings were actually conducted so as to give the “appearance of consultation”, and other briefing timeline documentation (more links in that post), some of which came from the CIA itself.

    But all of that is an intentional distraction from the main point by various interested parties. Republicans are trying to cover their arses by saying Democrats knew about it therefore it was alright (as Zelikow’s testimony makes clear – see link above). I say investigate, and if credible allegations of wrongdoing come to light – by anyone, prosecute.

    Speaking of consistency, the CIA hasn’t been consistent either. They claimed various people were briefed at meetings they don’t seem to have attended, or those people have denied (truthfully or otherwise?) being briefed on the claimed subject matter. The recent CIA briefing timeline dump even had a cover letter that said (paraphrased) “this is all from memory and we don’t stand by it, so make of it what you will”.

    There’s a lot of self-interested arse-covering from all sides going on. Hard to sort out what really happened. Which is why a proper independent investigation is needed.

  35. There’s a lot of self-interested arse-covering from all sides going on. Hard to sort out what really happened. Which is why a proper independent investigation is needed.

    Which is why I’m predicting a proper independent investigation won’t happen – too much damage to both sides of politics. If the Dems thought they’d come through unscathed, it would on for young and old.

  36. Which is why I’m predicting a proper independent investigation won’t happen…

    I’m hoping you’re wrong there, but I wouldn’t bet against that prediction.

    Greenwald looks at how it’s being positioned as a partisan issue
    and cites a lot of evidence indicating that it is not. He provides some analysis (perhaps familiar to many here) analysis of what’s going on in the “investigating alleged crimes is partisan” world view.

    He seems to think that it won’t go away, but I agree with you that he may be over-optimistic.

  37. Thanks Lotharsson. Come over to the Budget Reply thread. There are a few drunks there, but they’re harmless. (Watch out for Toiletboss, though. He’s from South Australia.)

  38. [Scroll on by. Obama’s DOJ threatens UK in order to suppress torture evidence.]

    Greenwald covers Binyam Mohammad’s quest to obtain the evidence that he was tortured in US custody for his court case in the UK.

    And make no mistake, this is a clear threat (never mind that covering up evidence of torture is a separate criminal offence in the UK). They said if the UK reveals the evidence, the US will consider reducing the intelligence information it supplies to the UK, including evidence about possible terrorist plots against the UK. (And of course, it’s all couched in terms of national security – the new and improved catch-all justification…)

    It was originally thought this US threat was engineered by the British, but the ongoing proceedings appear to make it clear that this threat was reiterated by the Obama DOJ after an opportunity for further consideration.

    It’s also hard not to read this as an admission of guilt.

  39. [Scroll on by … Waterboarding of non-terrorist proposed by Cheney(?) to try to justify Iraq invasion…after the fact.]

    Go read the whole thing and judge for yourself. (And I’d still like to see more than one source for this…)

    I’ve got to go now – things to do. Enjoy the Budget Reply thread, Tony!

  40. Hi Joni,

    there was me thinking that an Indian driver “tooting” their horn meant please note, when it comes to me, the road rules are hereby temporarily suspended.

    When in India, I use the trains as much as possible. At the end of my first Indian sojurn, I had three near-death experiences on a 20 km “honking” taxi trip to the airport and felt so stressed out I … needed a holiday.

    My favourite Indian explanation of the head wobble was “can mean yes, can mean no, can mean nothing at all.”

  41. [Scroll on by… Former CIA lawyer says torture briefings were unlawfully nobbled, and those briefed could do little.]

    Read the article by the former deputy counsel to the CIA Counterterrorism Center, and current lecturer at the US Naval Academy.

    She argues that Congressional oversight has effectively been eliminated, or at least badly damaged. The briefings were apparently unlawful – they should have been to a larger group, and whittling down the group size started happening before Bush – and those briefed were being “notified” but had no power to disapprove or make changes. She does give some ideas of the limited options a full committee that was briefed might have had – but Congress would have had to have had the cojones to stand up to an administration blatantly breaking the law, and that kind of courage hasn’t been seen for a long time…

  42. Bud Tingwell has died aged 86.

    Bugger !

    A very good actor .

  43. Oh dear, that is sad.

    Bud Tingwell was a good man.

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