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Monday Message Board (birthday edition)

March 29th, 2004

Once again, it’s time for the Monday Message Board. It’s your chance to comment on any topic (civilised discussion and no coarse language, please). It’s my 48th birthday today, so I’m too relaxed to propose a discussion-opener.

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  1. March 29th, 2004 at 08:24 | #1

    …for he’s a jolly good fellow, and so say all of us!

  2. Brian Bahnisch
    March 29th, 2004 at 08:58 | #2

    I think that makes you an aries, doesn’t it?

    Actually, that statement has no significance except that it indicates that I know the star sign for the current period, which is not surprising because I share it.

    Happy birthday!

  3. John Quiggin
    March 29th, 2004 at 09:16 | #3

    We Aries don’t believe in astrology.

  4. James Farrell
    March 29th, 2004 at 09:37 | #4

    Happy Birthday, Captain, from yet another Aries.

  5. March 29th, 2004 at 09:52 | #5

    Hey, it was my 29th birthday on Saturday

  6. Mike Hunt
    March 29th, 2004 at 09:58 | #6

    Should Australia bring its troops home from East Timor?

    There are currently more troops on the ground in East Timor than Iraq. If we need troops home to defend Australia then wouldn’t the 440 in East Timor be the place to start?

  7. Geoff Honnor
    March 29th, 2004 at 10:28 | #7

    Happy birthday John. I too have to out myself as an Aries, though like you I don’t believe in any of that rubbish. Still, it would have been be nice to have a star sign emblem other than a sheep…

  8. March 29th, 2004 at 11:07 | #8

    I thought you were a New Zealander Geoff …

    Many happy returns young fella.

  9. kez
    March 29th, 2004 at 11:12 | #9

    Given the amount of political analysis available on blogs, revealing serious concerns about obfuscation of the facts by democratic governments, it is perhaps surprising that i haven’t come across many bloggers who have felt their perspective challenged to the extent that it changed their political affiliation..

    are there any bloggers out there that have reversed their affiliations?

  10. March 29th, 2004 at 11:31 | #10

    So like Esau, Quiggin is an aries man.

    Happy birthday and remember, ’tis better to light 46 candles than sit cursing ‘His Darkness’(©cs).

  11. March 29th, 2004 at 11:33 | #11

    I suspect most ozploggers are, like Quiggers (happy birthday, maestro!), on the northern slopes of forty. By which time one’s world view is forged unto near invulnerability. There’s some tensility there (we’re rarely as certain as the young) but little hope of transformation this side of the deathbed. Anyway, were the wisdom of age ever a match for a lifetime’s prejudice, pride would likely still the confessor’s pen.

  12. March 29th, 2004 at 11:34 | #12

    Oops! Seasonally adjusted figure – “48 candles”.

  13. Geoff Honnor
    March 29th, 2004 at 12:06 | #13

    “I thought you were a New Zealander Geoff …”

    Bi-national Chris. Dad a Kiwi, grew up in Canberra, never found a sheep I could relate to…

  14. March 29th, 2004 at 12:14 | #14

    happy bday john,

    and jason for last week…

    my discussion starter:

    why has the federal government given up on micro reform, as claimed in this gittins piece:

    http://smh.com.au/articles/2004/03/28/1080412234290.html

  15. kez
    March 29th, 2004 at 12:20 | #15

    Gregory Hywood had an article in The Age on Saturday about AG Ruddock’s proposed changes to defamation laws that i’m interested but yet to see anything from bloggers on..

    Also, i’m very interested to see JQ’s perspective on the Kenneth Davidson article (again, The Age, Saturday) on how government’s present the budget to hide the true spending figures..

  16. March 29th, 2004 at 13:25 | #16

    Happy birthdays to John and Jason, who I am surprised to discover is actually slightly younger than me.

  17. derrida derider
    March 29th, 2004 at 14:01 | #17

    Happy birthday, John and Jason. Never mind how old most bloggers are, what about their star sign? I reckon blogging is one of those argumentative spheres that Aries’ are attracted to (yes I’m one too).

    Of course I don’t believe in any of this astrology rubbish, but I’m told it works whether you believe in it or not.

  18. March 29th, 2004 at 14:42 | #18

    Only the young die good.

    I suggest someone send JQ a Tintin book, since he has revealed a lacuna in his education there. If someone can get him “Tintin au Congo” it will really wind him up – Herge didn’t appreciate the underdog’s side of things so well until he met some Chinese, which inspired him to portray things more even handedly in “Tintin et le Lotus bleu”.

    I suppose that says something about people still being flexible as they enter middle age (which JQ must have done in the early ’90s).

  19. stephen
    March 29th, 2004 at 14:49 | #19

    let me join the chorus, and wish you a happy birthday John.

    I’d like to offer an explanation to c8to on why the government has given up on microeconomic reform. IMO, there are two distinct economic policy strands in the coalition: free market liberals, who are inclined towards economic reform, and conservatives – that is, those who positively value maintaining the status quo – who aren’t. The Prime Minister falls at the extreme end of the conservative axis, probably somewhere between a classic conservative and a reactionary hankering to return to mythical “good old days”. When first elected, he saw a need to throw some bones to the liberal reforming wing of the party, and therefore there was a microreform program of sorts. With his subsequent two wins his position within the coalition has strengthened to a huge degree, and as a result he has seen less and less need to support or encourage the radical free market tendency. Any reform entails political risk, and the PM is nothing if not risk averse. Thus microeconomic reform has gone quiet.

  20. March 29th, 2004 at 14:57 | #20

    Now that we have established that bloggers clump around Aries, I reckon there is another one around Leo.

    Am I right?

  21. March 29th, 2004 at 15:42 | #21

    you’re probably right stephen…

    i wonder if costello would push this through, if prime minister…

    it seems like a huge inefficiency, plus fairly easy to push through given support from the big state leaders…

    (although apparently howard has gone some way toward this as detailed in quiggin’s post last week about health: http://www.johnquiggin.com/archives/001578.html

    although as i look at this post now there is an update which says it might not happen)

  22. Brian Bahnisch
    March 29th, 2004 at 22:04 | #22

    Geoff, it’s not just a sheep, it’s a RAM, with great head butting capabilities. There’s some rubbish here and about 4 million other places on the web if you want to waste some time!

  23. March 29th, 2004 at 23:56 | #23

    Speaking of Aries, one of the stand-ups on the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Gala last night told a ripper. Badly remembered and retold, it went:

    I was sitting at the bar when a woman turns to me and says, “What’s your star sign?”

    “Aries,” I replied.

    “Oh, I know all about you. You’re stubborn.”

    “Mmm, not really stubborn.”

    “You’re argumentative.”

    “I don’t think so.”

    “You’re a workaholic.”

    I laughed, “Okay, you’re way off with that one.”

    “Huh, you’re probably not even an Aries,” she said.

    “You know what, I was thinking ‘astrology’s a load of crap,’ but you’re probably right: I don’t know my own birthday…”

    On preview: Hmm. Guess you had to see it.

  24. March 30th, 2004 at 12:10 | #24

    I’m an Aries.

  25. March 30th, 2004 at 13:01 | #25

    Yes David – I’m a Leo.

  26. March 30th, 2004 at 13:18 | #26

    I’m a Cancer. Happy Birthday Jason and John.

  27. Homer Paxton
    March 30th, 2004 at 13:55 | #27

    Happy birthday John, truly all great men turn 48 this year.
    is your age in trend terms 21? Is this statistically significant?

  28. March 30th, 2004 at 18:13 | #28

    Me too on the Leo front. I reckon there are more. Come out and declare yourselves..

    What are the chances of so many Aries?

  29. Jill Rush
    March 30th, 2004 at 20:51 | #29

    I will out myself as an Aries too. Cerebral rules are ok.

  30. Andrew
    March 30th, 2004 at 22:16 | #30

    I reckon all bloggers are somewhere between Aries and Libra.

  31. March 30th, 2004 at 23:49 | #31

    I think Jill should out herself as a blogger. Always interesting.

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