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Monday Message Board

February 2nd, 2004

For the first time in many weeks, the Monday Message Board is on time and under budget. Please post your thoughts on any topic (civilised discussion and no coarse language, please).

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  1. Homer Paxton
    February 2nd, 2004 at 09:29 | #1

    I would like some help please.

    I wrote to my MP aka the grumpy old man.

    I asked about mutual obligation. I thought it was about unemployed people having to do something because the Government was giving them money ( in my day it was called the dole).

    I also asked what sort of mutual obligation a farmer has to do when they get government assistance.

    I was surprised to find out MO is about IMPROVING prospects of gaining employment while giving something back to the community. It thus has no application to farmers.

    Is this another ‘sloppy’ piced of policy or is that what was said when it started. Is my fading memory fading too fast?

  2. Dave Ricardo
    February 2nd, 2004 at 09:40 | #2

    Homer, for a religious person, you sure need a lesson in political theology.

    Farmers deserve unconditional handouts because the are The Salt of the Earth.

    Farmers whose appalling farming practices cause the earth to become salinified are especially the Salt of the Earth, and so especially deserve unconditional handouts.

    Here endeth the lesson.

  3. observa
    February 2nd, 2004 at 09:49 | #3

    As some of you may have guessed by now the observa is not one who believes all evil in the world can be overcome by smelling the butterflies and making pleasant conversation. He sometimes thinks it would be nice to have a sea-change, where all is sweetness and light, free from the concerns of the world, where he could procreate and bring up cats and rely on the protection of others. Unfortunately observa’s ancestors have taught him to be aware of any impending offer of a free shower without the need for soap and towel. The observa may think a Gianna is sometimes too naive for her own good, but he is also aware that she and others like her, provide a valuable guard against the tendency to hear the crunch of a jack-boot around every corner and the call for a Spartan state.

    With this in mind the observa knows that some people like Gianna could never countenance military intervention under any circumstances. This is because, to be blunt, when you do, you are throwing away all reason and saying do as I say or die. Most recently observa has been comfortable with supporting this approach in GW1,Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, ET and the Solomons. To the observa, military intervention in all these circumstances was necessary to remove the heavy sound of jack-boots smashing on innocent faces. Although the circumstances of each varied somewhat, as did the participants, they all had had the strong common thread of tyranny running through them, to raise the observa’s support for military intervention. However he is aware that a strong body of opinion thinks there is one odd conflict amongst these. Can you look carefully at each military intervention and tell which one is odd man out and why?

  4. John
    February 2nd, 2004 at 10:06 | #4

    Let’s look for one where the claimed rationale was patently dishonest and was recognised as such by the majority of members of the UN Security Council.

    Let’s add a range of unavowed but widely-known motives, many of which were discreditable or set dangerous precedents.

    Finally, let’s note that the one motive common to all the cases mentioned (the right of the world community to intervene in crisis situations on the basis of disinterested humanitarian concern) has been seriously discredited by its attachment to a war of choice, sold to the citizens of the participant countries in the way described above.

    I don’t think we need to open the envelope to guess the odd man out.

  5. Homer Paxton
    February 2nd, 2004 at 12:39 | #5

    David your namesake (?) was a religious person I am not. I am a mere christian (some may even say God botherer).

    I understand what you sat about Farmers my query was the introduction of mutual obligation.

    My memory has it that the reason for it was that people had to some some community work BECAUSE they were getting financial backing from the Government.

    Is this right or was it about assisting job seekers getting employment?

  6. Jill Rush
    February 2nd, 2004 at 20:47 | #6

    Mutual Obligation was introduced so that the unemployed could give something back to the community in return for the money they received. It’s aim was also to ensure people had a place to go and something to do so that they wouldn’t slip into long term unemployment so it kicks in at 6 months unemployment.The only training involved was that organised and paid for by the individual – this has changed slightly under Job Network 3.

    The Mutual Obligation system has meant that significant numbers of unemployed have spent up to 2 years of their lives at one stretch engaging in Work for the Dole, so that they are not able to spend meaningful time looking for work, as if they miss a Work For the Dole session for a job interview or training they are liable to be breached and lose a significant portion of their dole or sign up for even more Work for the Dole.

    If farmers claim the Newstart Allowance or the old fashioned moniker used by John Howard “the Dole” they will probably be exempt from the requirements of Mutual Obligation as it will be too hard to enforce without providing other services in the local community.

    As for drought assistance you can be assured that there are plenty of reasons why a farmer will miss out – wrong electorate, wrong state, partner and children not suffering enough, some rain in the district 6 months ago – the key feature of almost every measure that this government has produced is the complexity and red tape it involves, so it sounds good in a media release, but means that few actually benefit. If they do they will probably have earned it and they won’t be on easy street.

  7. February 3rd, 2004 at 10:43 | #7

    Wow. Measured, complete and convincing. Game, set and match.

  8. February 3rd, 2004 at 13:27 | #8

    Can anybody see any positives in having Dick Cheney as a running mate? Last election he was perceived as an experienced and somewhat moderate voice that could guide Bush. Now he’s seen as chief of the crazy neo-cons, and shill for Halliburton. And he lacks any personality that the electorate can warm too. What does he offer?

  9. February 3rd, 2004 at 15:57 | #9

    I would like to share the contents of an email which a friend has just forwarded to me:-

    > This test only has one question, but it’s a very important

    > one. Please don’t answer it without giving it some serious

    > thought. By giving an honest answer you will be able to test

    > where you stand morally.

    >

    > The test features an unlikely, completely fictional situation,

    > where you will have to make a decision one way or the other.

    > Remember that your answer needs to be honest, yet spontaneous.

    >

    > Please scroll down slowly and consider each line – this is

    > important for the test to work accurately………

    >

    > You’re in Florida…In Miami, to be exact…

    >

    > There is great chaos going on around you, caused by a hurricane

    > and severe floods…

    >

    > There are huge waves of water crashing down on you…

    >

    > You are a CNN photographer and you are in the middle of this

    > great disaster. The situation is nearly hopeless.

    >

    > You’re trying to shoot very impressive photos. There are houses

    > and people floating around you, disappearing into the water.

    >

    > Nature is showing all its destroying power and is ripping

    > everything away with it.

    >

    > Suddenly you see a man in the water; he is fighting for his life,

    > trying not to be taken away by the masses of water and mud.

    >

    > You move closer. The man looks vaguely familiar.

    >

    > Suddenly you know who it is – it’s George W. Bush!

    >

    > At the same time you notice that the raging waters are about

    > to take him away…forever.

    >

    > You have two options. You can save him or you can take the best

    > photo of your life.

    >

    > So, you can save the life of George W. Bush, or you can shoot

    > a Pulitzer prize-winning photo, a unique photo displaying the

    > death of one of the world’s most powerful men.

    >

    > And here’s the question: (Please give an honest answer)

    >

    > Would you select colour film, or go with the simplicity of

    > classic Black and white?

  10. Stewart Kelly
    February 3rd, 2004 at 21:26 | #10

    Hmmmm, hard one…. :)

  11. February 3rd, 2004 at 21:45 | #11

    Gotta be black & white for W.

  12. Homer Paxton
    February 5th, 2004 at 10:02 | #12

    Jill many thanks

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