Tuesday, May 31, 2011

And something else

Following on from my last two posts - a question. "Why won't anyone else in the mainstream media call them on it"?

Why don't Fairfax staff and the rest of the non-Murdoch media tell it like it is and expose the Coalition's dingbat behaviour for the un-Australian and destructive BS that it actually is? Why indeed?

The simple answer is fear. And their desire to remain within the old boys club.

Our so-called senior journalists and their colleagues are all fearful of the power that Murdoch and Abbott wield over their jobs and their promotional prospects. It's pathetic.

I watched Ross Garnaut deliver his final report today and then listened to the lame questions put to him by these same journalists. Not one actually displayed any real understanding of what Garnaut is on about. Actually reading would challenge some of them - lightweight the lot.

Ross Garnaut has credibility and spent a bit of time today explaining his report with its associated science, logic and reasoning. It was clear, concise and it made a lot of sense. As someone who has followed his climate work since 2007, I can say that he is an impressive individual who has dealt with this problem in detail and with class and style.

But tonight and tomorrow in *our media* we will see the most god-awful and distorted picture presented by these so-called journalists - because they "don't get it" - and their employers think that they are in the "outrage business".

It's just crap - pure and simple.

Monday, May 30, 2011

More Stimulus Probably Needed

Following on from my previous post - I just wonder if "The Coalition" clowns think that the rest of us are completely stupid.

Because why else would they have spent the last year or so ranting and raving about our government stepping in and spending money during the global financial crisis? All in support of the Australian economy as the private sector pulled the pin? Why would they want to remove any government stimulus before it had done its work - and guarantee that our small businesses were decimated? Why else would they want Australia to have a similar GFC experience to the United States and Europe? And why would they want an unemployment rate around 10%?

Duh - I don't know either.

Actually on reflection, I do know. They think that we are as stupid as they pretend to be. They are so opportunistic and reckless and incompetent that they think they can say and do these things and that the rest of us will have forgotten it all between 5 minutes and 6 months later. And they do it because they are just a rabble without any morals or principles. Oh and they do it because Rupert told them to.

Fortunately there is now a permanent record of their stupidity to be found in the history pages of the internet.

Not only are Monsignori Abbott and his dingbat cronies Robb and Hockey incompetent - but they are also a serious danger to our society. They are clearly not an alternative government, never were and never will be.

We can't afford these clowns any longer and the sooner the Liberal party works that out the better.

Wherefore art thou Stimulus?

So the Australian economy is apparently now *weak* - according to the ABS and the people who track these things. Business indicators here, Car sales here and housing here.

It looks like things in OZ are now getting a little tougher.

But don't expect any more *stimulus* measures from the Australian government - because as we have been constantly told by the *experts* those measures are useless and unnecessary and a waste of time and money.

Or according to the Coalition brains trust and News Limited parrots they are.

Because only a year or so ago they were all banging on about how the *stimulus* was unnecessary and a waste of public funds and other made up BS.

Now of course every half arsed Coalition supporter wants a new *stimulus* package to save their favourite industry.

I just watch all this with total amazement.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Special Report

It might be that many of us are not concerned with the long term - thinking that we need to deal only with the here and now. The today as opposed to the tomorrow.

I suppose when the value of your house is continually going up - regardless of what you do - then thinking about today as opposed to tomorrow is quite natural. The day after tomorrow will be better and we will think about that then.

But when your house price trajectory is in the other direction then you will be very concerned about tomorrow as opposed to today. Because tomorrow will mean that your wealth is somewhat less than it was yesterday.

And that is the thing that we seem not to fully appreciate. House prices go down - as well as up. And when they do start to go down then they usually keep doing that for quite some time.

Instead of thinking that our government will bail us out again and again - we probably should be starting to take a bit of personal responsibility.

And one of the things that will help with that is to become a little better informed.

I know that is a foreign concept for many but let’s forget our press and television - and let’s start to seek out the sources of knowledge and information that will help us to deal with uncertain times.

Lots of them exist - and anyone who has been reading my posts will know where to go to find them.

A special report on Australia by The Economist - audio here - is surprisingly good. As is Bill Mitchell. Now I know that Bill can be a little verbose - but this is well worth reading.

The piece I loved and can't resist quoting is this assessment of Julie Bishop by the conservative columnist Greg Sheridan.

"The opposition’s response, through Bishop, was pathetic. It was internally contradictory, unprincipled, amoral beyond even the exigencies of parliamentary hypocrisy and profoundly stupid. Bishop was a dud shadow treasurer and is now a dud foreign affairs spokeswoman. But her response on China betokens a much broader crisis for the opposition. The Liberal Party is now not so much a political movement as a collection of unemployed former ministers in search of a public service to do their thinking for them.

Bishop’s press release of August 19, surely one of the dumbest press releases issued by a foreign affairs spokesperson"

One of the ways that we can become a little better informed is to mark down the nonsense thinking of "The Coalition" until their leadership start to tell the truth and articulate real policy that is aligned with the interests of all Australian's.

Because if you continue to ignore them they will keep doing this sort of sh*t to attract your attention.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Make my Daydream

For the one or two of you who know who Sarah Palin is and what she has been up to - this is just hilarious.

Friday, May 27, 2011


Andrew Elder has a remarkable insightful piece here - a must read for anyone interested in the way our politics and our media intersect.

And it raises a big issue - when are we going to have a national debate about the war that we have been prosecuting in Afghanistan now for over ten years? And which has cost us 24 young lives and untold amounts of treasure?

When do you think our democratic processes will ensure our people actually get to understand and talk about this war and its impacts and to decide if it's something that we want to continue with?

Oh you mean never?

So it's quite OK for governments on both the Liberal and Labor sides to think the people of the nation aren't smart enough or mature enough to be told the truth and to engage in a serious debate on this shitty little war?

Hell no - the geniuses in the parliament are much more capable of making these important decisions for us all.

Apparently it's not something the politicians think we need to have a conversation about but the people have decided to have it anyway - which is why the asylum seeker debate is so toxic.

Couldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding

The rest of the world has been observing our shenanigans - and they are not impressed.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Quality Information

Here and here are a couple of today's gems from the two best information sources in the nation.

Truth, facts and logic - without the dingbat filter. How refreshing.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Poorly Informed

Crikey has been running an interesting regular piece on the gouging of Australian consumers by local "Bricks and Mortar" businesses. I don't want to make it easy for the non-Crikey readers to find it. But if you are interested then go to the Crikey web site and start looking.

I have been thinking and talking about this for some time and am really surprised that it took so long to get into the public domain.

The reality is that we Australian's have been paying too much for stuff for far too long. Four or five years ago I was ranting about how we were paying too much for housing. Two or three years ago cars were on my list. Today I am raving about shoes and cosmetics and bike gear. Tomorrow?

And finally it looks like some of us are paying attention - because the *OZ retail industry* is in slowdown mode. And they don't like it very much.

Not so long ago Gerry Harvey and other retailers were moaning about how internet retailers were eating their lunch and how the lack of GST on internet purchases was so unfair and other baloney.

Well it turns out that the price difference between online and offline retail prices is usually much much more than the GST component and these offline retailers have been gouging Australian's for decades.

Why is it for example that cars in Australia are nearly double what they are in the USA?

And how do you think Gerry Harvey became a billionaire?

Is it magic or because we haven't been properly informed?

If the bricks and mortar world want to stay in business then they will need to get competitive. But they aren't used to that and so they will try to squeeze their supply chains - probably starting with their staff.

So I guess we can get ready for another round of "Whingeing" about "Workplace Flexibility" and how we need to make it easier to re-deploy Australian workers and bring in more cheap labour from elsewhere.

Because we couldn't ask the billionaires to reduce their share of the cake could we?

Microsoft doesn’t get the cloud

Is it just me or is Microsoft updating Windows 7 a lot lately? Now I understand why they are doing it - because while the thing might be marginally more stable than XP it is still full of bugs and inconsistencies.

But don't take my word for it - Have you tried deleting a directory using Windows Explorer lately?

And for a person like me who works almost exclusively *in the cloud* - it is damn inconvenient and time-wasting to be installing updates, rebooting my laptop, waiting for the config to finish, logging into Windows, waiting for the config to finish again, firing up the browser and then logging back into all my cloud based apps. So 1980's and so unnecessary.

Microsoft doesn’t get the cloud. If they did they would have a lightweight operating system that just works and doesn't need this continual stream of fixes to update previous installed fixes and so on. I suppose if they did get the cloud then they would be Google - or something similar. And they couldn't possibly build an operating system that doesn't involve a thousand engineers, a hundred million dollars and ten years elapsed time because that wouldn’t be the Microsoft way - would it?

Balmer clearly doesn't use Windows 7. Because if he did then he would be yelling at Microsoft engineers to fix the thing and make it more friendly and usable for people like me.

He probably uses a Mac or Android or a paper notepad - all of which do work as expected.

Great Ideas

Some of the smartest thinking and writing in the nation is going on - here.

Why did it take so long to surface?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Politics have Changed

Our politics have changed - partly because politics in the USA have changed - where the opposition Republican Party is now commonly known as the Party of Cranks.

Our Liberal Party is the local version of the Republican Party - they look and act the same and both run similar far right agendas. They are both in opposition and likely to stay there and they both HATE that fact - because they both think they are the natural party of government. Their members are mostly delusional and ignorant and they both attract more than their fair share of strange supporters.

In both countries the legitimate elected government of the day has been subjected to abuse, lies, smear and innuendo - largely orchestrated by puppeteer News Corporation and directed by its Chairman, Rupert Murdoch and President of Fox News, Roger Ailes. Who, judging by their Wikipedia photo's are both old white and ugly males. But also by other mainstream media who are jealous of the eyeballs that this obnoxious behaviour attracts - and they want some of that too. Here in Australia even the publicly funded broadcaster - your ABC is doing it.

And old Uncle Rupert is of the view that his ideas and opinions are the only ones that count. Nothing else matters - he is the expert, the genius and the chief.

Which is why our leader Julia met him for a private one-on-one conversation when she was last in the US.

Previously Rupert would travel to Australia to meet with our political leaders and present his list of requirements - it’s a little bit sad that our political leaders apparently now travel to him to get their riding instructions.

And now Julia and her Ministers and their minions can't seem to understand why they are on the nose with the actual voters. You should all get your eyes tested and have your hearing examined. And an IQ test might also be appropriate.

Because people this is war. You are quite happy to support the dingbat shooting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and send our boys over there to be killed and maimed but apparently you have no idea that the Republicans and Liberals and News have declared war on moderate governments in the US and in Australia.

And even if you did know that then you would not know how to respond. There is a solution but it's not worth mentioning if you don't even know what is happening.

The very first thing that you should be doing is reading the riot act to the ABC Board. But you won't.

I am not sure if it's because you are gutless or incompetent.

Friday, May 20, 2011

We Do Stupid Here

This is just double dumb.

And why would any nation and its people tolerate this.

You lot don't need my commentary to realise that our people need to get a grip.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

No Need for News

These days I have no need for News Limited and do my very best to avoid reading whatever is spewing forth from the "Heart of the Nation" or that which is made up and embellished by Melbourne's "Outdoor Toilet Companion".

These days all of my news and information comes over the net - originating with a few trustworthy and selected global and local sites - none of which have an affiliation with News Ltd.

This has all been made possible by some rather cute software - none of which I can tell you about here.

And as far as I can tell there are three major benefits.

First I get to see and hear the truth - often straight from the horse's mouth but always without having to navigate Rupert's *dingbat* filter.

Second I get a low-bias and high-quality intellectual analysis and opinion around the events that comprise the news - as opposed to a manufactured one that pushes a dodgy agenda.

Thirdly, I feel better - because the real news is nowhere near as confused as the pap that the rest of you have to consume.

Actually that last point is a significant one. I have been experimenting with this stuff for over a year now and I certainly think there are health benefits from avoiding pap. I haven't studied this in a scientific way but I am pretty sure that you will feel better if you avoid the made up nonsense that dominates our MSM.

I hope someone who has the time and the resources to undertake a proper scientific study will do so and publish their work - soon. Because this will be another significant nail in the coffin of our mainstream media.

Which brings me to our very own ABC. What is going on at 7:30? Can Mr Ullmann actually conduct an interview without looking and sounding like a bully boy? Can Ms Sales present a story without impersonating a 12 year old?

Now it might be that some people were turned off by Kerry but at least he knew what the job was. This year the place is starting to look like a grade school.

I'm sorry people but if you seek respect and interest and eyeballs from your audience then you have to be credible and capable of engaging with them. Comprende?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Skill Shortages - The Truth

So here it is - a factual expose of the truth around those "skill shortages". Or at least the imaginary ones that are used as an argument to bring in more skilled migrants.

"Yet far too many – at least 40% based on the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Australia – fail to get work in their professional field within the first six months".

"The more recent Continuous Survey of Australian Migrants indicates that 22% of skilled migrants are unemployed or under-employed after the first six months".

"Of more than 90 respondents, all with university degrees and relevant experience in their home country, only 18% are in appropriate employment".

So this just confirms what many of us already knew - the whole "skill shortages" charade is a scam - that has been engineered to put pressure on existing workers, to keep them under the thumb and to put downward pressure on wages and conditions.

Who said WorkChoices was dead?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Real News and Information

One of the most striking things to happen in OZ in mid 2011 is that we finally have some real competition in our media.

Two new organisations - here and here - seem to have changed our news and information landscape forever.

Not so long ago the only place where you could get your news and information was our notoriously inaccurate and biased mainstream media. Now we have these two quality journals actually producing real truth and facts - quelle horreur how will Rupert cope?

Aside from informing Australians with a quality and nuanced view of the world they will hasten the demise of our MSM. And it’s about time too.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bernard Keane

Now this article by Bernard in Crikey today nails the problem perfectly. Here is a sentence that I thought was spot on.

What ails our current crop of political leaders is a confusion between the national interest and the national obsession with self-interest, between the public good and telling the public how good they are.

When oh when will Julia and her crew grow a pair of walnuts and start to deal with this problem?

Because the simple reality is that the longer they delay the worse the problem gets and the more emboldened the dingbats become.

You are losing market share because the voters think you are weak and that you don't stand for anything - and Murdoch is milking that for all it's worth.

For goodness sake take charge - bash some heads together and tell Murdoch to piss off.

Or continue to do nothing and prove that he is right.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Big Jobs

So Wayne has announced that our Labor Government will *create* another 500k jobs over the next two years.

Very interesting Wayne - good on ya. There is some doubt about whether those jobs will actually be *created* by our government but lets ignore that for the moment and focus on the history.

In terms of Full Time jobs, the Australian economy *created* around 185k jobs in 2008, *lost* around 36k jobs in 2009 and *created* 391k of them in 2010. Part Time jobs looked like this. 2008 +27k, 2009 +165k and 2010 +134k.

So in 2010 391k FT and 134k PT jobs were added to the nation. Total of 525k actual real jobs as measured by the ABS. The average of the 3 years leading to 2010 were 180k FT and 108k PT - a total of 288k.

And you are forecasting the creation of 500k jobs over the next two years? Or say 250k each year.

I don't want to alarm anyone but this is roughly half the rate of job creation that we saw in 2010 - and slightly less than the average growth rate over the past three years - which INCLUDED the Global Financial Crisis.

Is Wayne expecting another GFC to impact his job creation activities?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

State Governments

Bill Mitchell has a fascinating article here - which should be compulsory reading for every state politician - especially those who have some budgetary responsibility.

Bill spoke to the folks in Tasmania yesterday - I hope he is scheduled to speak with the other state governments soon ;-)

And his commentary on the federal budget is pretty close to the truth. But you probably won't see any of this in the mainstream media anytime soon.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Brave Enough

There is no doubt that if the nation had a few courageous political leaders who would stand up and confront the big issues and who could communicate directly with the people about them - then it would stop the rot that has long infected our polity.

If the nation had such people then the rogues and the deniers - who peddle nonsense dressed up as fact - would find them exposed as the charlatans they are.

If we had a few such people in the parliament then the asylum seeker nonsense would have been neutralised long ago. A carbon trading system would be in place and our parliament would be concerning itself with the big issues facing the nation.

But we don't. Our politicians won't stand up because then we would notice them and they would be outside their comfort zone and they might even have to make some tough decisions. Much better to stay low and invisible in the lemming like crowd. After all they will still get paid and enjoy the same perks regardless of whether they believe in anything.

If we had courageous politicians then we wouldn't have been suckered into participating in two illegal wars - that killed millions of people and which have created much of the asylum seeker problem that so bothers us now.

The consequences of weak leadership are huge. And it's not just that our political processes end up focussing on trivia - it's more the lost opportunity of not dealing with big issues.

Big issues like clean energy production and distribution, water and food security, jobs and job security, the innovation that is needed to keep the place growing as our carbon based industries decline and - our place in the world.

There is an opportunity for our government to use the circus of its annual budget to deal with some of these big issues. The quality of its content will determine if they have been successful - or not.

Sad State of Affairs

This nonsense around asylum seekers and the "Malaysian Solution" is poor form. As Julian Burnside points out here - it’s a solution in search of a problem.

Those Australian's who understand the consequences will be seriously distressed.

Distressed because on the one hand we have an Opposition Leader who has been busy fanning the flames around asylum seekers - knowing full well that a large subset of our population are bigoted and racist and uninformed. He sees an opportunity and is simply chasing after the bogan vote. Just like a dog after a car. He is not at all concerned or bothered by any implication beyond next week. Apparently he doesn't realise that his hate campaign is turning large numbers of real Australian's off him and his political party. He thinks the *rusted ons* will always vote Liberal. Think again Fido.

And on the other hand we have a Prime Minister who is clearly not brave enough to stand up and be counted and to act like a leader and tell the truth to the Australian people. She has been intimidated by a populist Opposition Leader and has decided to join him in his pursuit of the bogan. Instead of telling him to piss off her actions are pissing off Labor Party supporters - who are moving elsewhere in droves.

It's poor form when the two most powerful political leaders in the country have agreed to beat up people who have fled their native land in search of a better life and who have ended up on our shores as asylum seekers - seeking our help.

All for the sake of winning a few hundred thousand bogan votes. They both behave as if those bogan votes are more important to them than human rights. Are they?

It's a blot on our democracy that we have allowed this behaviour to exist at all. We need to re-set our political processes to banish this trivial pursuit of the lowest common denominator and its related bigotry and racism and ignorance.

We can start by replacing these two political actors with genuine leaders who understand and value our nation and know the meaning of that word - Leadership.

And then follow up by rejecting the supporters of this obnoxious behaviour next time we front up to the ballot box.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

New Liberals

So the Canadians have changed their political landscape. We need a game changer here in OZ.

The best way for an enterprising Australian political entrepreneur to engineer a game changer - would be to start a "New Liberal" party and to get a few high profile Australians - from a range of cultural areas to stand up and support it.

Bag the ideology and the baggage and the BS - emphasise "middle of the road" and "middle class" and support that with a few well known moderate faces from business, sport and the community - with 150 capable candidates and you will have it in the bag.

Only a few simple criteria.

Make sure you do it closer to the next election - so there is less of an opportunity for anyone to ask the hard policy questions. We wouldn't want the candidates to be confused by too many questions.

Ensure your candidates have an opinion and an idea and know how to express them - we don't want shrinking violets. But also make sure they understand that the game is to win. They can't offend anyone.

If you could find 150 capable candidates who could walk and talk the party line and be seen as strong and moderate then you could easily blow the Liberal and Labor parties into the weeds. Your success would probably only last for one election - and one parliamentary term but who cares. It would be a game changer.

The right time to set it up is now - because our media is so broken that there is no possibility that they could worry you with any of the hard questions. And the *new paradigm* social media hasn't quite matured enough to replace them yet.

And the people of the nation are crying out for change. New blood, fresh ideas, capable leadership, quality candidates and a moderate political party would cream it.

Oh wait - isn't that what Robert Menzies started back in 1945. I wonder what went wrong with that?

Plain Speaking

Clear and informed plain speaking is what we need - and what you will get if you read Bill Mitchell - here.

Here is an extract to set the scene.

"Today’s economic data releases in Australia confirmed what all the previous data is telling us – the economy is slowing and may even be going backwards. The latest estimates of tax revenue are showing that the Federal government will receive much less this financial year than they forecast in the last Budget (May 2010). It is thus no surprise that the estimated deficit has been revised up. A responsible government, entrusted with the duty to ensure public welfare is advanced (via employment growth etc), would see these developments as a sign that they should craft further fiscal stimulus initiatives to arrest the slowdown. What does the Australian government propose? Even harsher spending cuts than previously hinted at. Why? Because they are going to pursue a budget surplus by 2012-13 by hook or by crook. It is an obsession. Is that responsible? No, it is mindless vandalism and an abrogation of prudent fiscal management. Their excuse? We are booming and at full employment. Reality check – back to the data – 12 per cent labour underutilisation, retail sales contracting etc. Their ideological blinkers have led them into denial".

But apparently this way of thinking or speaking doesn’t seem to be very prevalent in Canberra. Or at least within our political class. Surely someone - on the backbench at least is a little concerned.

You would imagine that our Government would be keen to keep the Australian miracle economy alive - but they seem to be too busy worrying about what Monsignori Abbott will say and do in response to their upcoming budget - than be concerned about dealing with the actual economy.

It's a particularly weak Government that manages to get itself into a p*ssing contest over when the budget will be back in surplus. A contest that it can only lose because no matter what it says or does - the Opposition will do it better or faster or do more of it. All without having to prove a thing.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

OZ bloggers are top notch

I am often struck by how good Australian bloggers are. There is a quality in the Australian blogosphere and twitterverse that is outstanding. It goes way beyond our size.

The Australian traditions of a "fair go" and "speaking our mind" and "open-ness" and truth-fullness" have easily and readily transferred to our independent electronic media.

Some of the world's best economic, financial, social, political and *other* commentary can be found at independent Australian blog-sites.

I can't name them because there are far too many and I don't want to miss anyone out ;-) But they know who they are. There is a quality here that is just remarkable.

And my friends and I celebrate it - regularly. I am having a glass of wine in celebration now.

Cheers to you all.

How Oz of them

Chris Graham has a beauty here - entitled "Larissa Behrendt: Lies, damn lies, and The Australian’s statistics". It's a classic.

He finishes with this.

"With that in mind, I think it might be time for our national broadsheet to dump the smear and gossip and get back to its well-worn recipe of blind ideology paraded as fact, and gross misreporting masquerading as quality journalism".

It's all very amusing.


There has been a lot of bumpf written and spoken about our unemployment and underemployment and how there are "serious skills shortages".

Seemingly rational people writing for our media never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

Because the ABS figures around unemployment and underemployment clarify the situation a bit. In round numbers we have about 5% unemployed and 7% underemployed. This means that around 12% of our workforce is not working as much as they would like. 12% clearly puts the lie to the concept that we have "full employment".

The question we should be asking is why 12% of our workforce is either out of work or want more work?

* Could it be because they are lazy, immobile, unskilled and unqualified?

* Or is it because there are not enough real jobs?

Now if you are in the first camp then you would probably want to use a big stick to beat those people up and get them back into the workforce. If you were a little compassionate then you might even want to help them become more mobile and to educate them.

But what would your solution be if the second case were true? How would you generate more jobs and more work for those with jobs? Wave the magic wand, mumble incoherently or just write the manufactured BS dictated by your right wing employer?

The ABS numbers identify around 595k unemployed people. ABS underemployment numbers show that there are around 73k people who would like more full time work and around 733k people who would like more part time work. These are big numbers Virginia.

In terms of the largest group (part time underemployed workers) 22% of men and 16% of women reported that they would move interstate if offered a suitable job. It's likely that there are similar percentages for the other groups.

So much for their lack of mobility.

And of part time workers who would prefer more hours, 128k had a bachelor degree or higher, 71k had an advanced diploma, 133k had a certificate - while just 152k had year 10 or below.

So much for their lack of skills.

Isn't it time we had a real debate about these things - using *truth* and *facts* instead of the made up nonsense that gets pushed by our media - and exploited by our politicians?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Older People

The thing that bugs me today and has bugged me for decades is why we don't value the ideas and opinions of our older people.

Many other cultures do value their older folk. They use them as sounding boards, ask them for advice and they look after them as they age. They love and respect them. They value them.

But here in Australia - we mistreat and discard anyone who is over 60. Why?

Because we don't value experience. Unfortunately few of us are educated enough to know why experience matters. We all have the view that at 20 something we already know everything that matters.

Until the sh*t hits the fan and then we look for someone to blame. Whatever happened to the idea of taking some personal responsibility?

The main consequence of not taking responsibility is that *things* sneak up on us - because we aren't informed enough to know what is going on - like Mr D's expose here. I particularly like the following paragraph.

"Is it any wonder, then, that politicians are reluctant to tell people the truth – the truth, for instance, that electricity prices are going to go up regardless, that our tax system rewards property speculation, that a budget surplus is not an end in itself, that we are in Afghanistan purely because our alliance with the US requires us to be and that we cannot afford the middle class welfare that has built up under successive governments".

Of course most of our "old" folks already knew these things. Did the rest of you?

Wheat from Chaff

A big news event today with Osama Bin Laden killed by the Americans in Pakistan. The President in his normal well polished manner proceeded to inform us direct from the White House about 1:36pm AEST.

And then the media commentary and analysis started. The Twitterati have been tweeting away all afternoon - with the occasional post from the ABC and others.

But the real class act is over there at The Conversation - with stories here and here. Without doubt this is where the news action is.

If you want to understand the story and the implications then this is the place to go.

It must be a bit of a surprise to our mainstream media. They have been mucking about with trivia and manufactured BS for so long that they didn't realise that Andrew Jaspan has snuck in and eaten their lunch.

And a good thing it is too. Go "The Conversation".

It’s come to this

I have been watching with some amusement the debate down there in Adelaide that is raging around a scheme to re-develop the "Adelaide Oval".

The main characteristic of the so called debate is that "truth and facts" have gone missing in action - but who is surprised by that?

Apparently today, the members of the SA Cricket Association (who control the existing oval) will "vote" on whether the re-development will proceed. And so a few thousand geriatric Adelaide elite are tasked with making this decision for and on behalf of everyone in the state. As if? What was that about the "old boys" club running the place?

Apparently all the other vested interests stakeholders have already agreed that the re-development is necessary and the taxpayers - via the State Government are funding it to the tune of $535 million. Of course most of these vested interests stakeholders already have their snouts lined up at the trough. All ready for the starters gun.

From what little factual information is available, the con argument is that it is a waste of public funds that could be better spent on other more pressing state infrastructure. Infrastructure that would benefit all South Australians - not just a few "old boys".

The pro argument is that if this development doesn't go ahead then the people of the eastern states will be laughing at little old Adelaide. Say what? So there isn't a *pro* argument - there is merely a story being put about by the vested interests stakeholders that the place will be viewed as "anti-development" if the thing doesn't happen.

I think we have been here before - usually when some vested interests stakeholders have managed to scam some deal or another that ends up costing the poor old taxpayer and it is in danger of being vetoed then we hear how the place is about to become a "laughing stock".

Someone should quietly explain to Mr Rann and his cronies that they have a responsibility to manage the place for all South Australian's - not just those "old boys" who are obsessed with cricket and football.