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April 13th, 2012

A new sandpit for long side discussions, idees fixes and so on.

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  1. April 13th, 2012 at 14:14 | #1

    Incidentally, I noticed Zombie Economics getting a shout out on a recent episode of Rationally Speaking:

    Thought you might be interested.

  2. April 14th, 2012 at 15:00 | #2

    Someone said something about “Labor walked away from their values” and was taken to task.

    In my view it isn’t just a throwaway ‘anti-Labor’ line. I don’t speak for the other commenter but here are some examples to my mind:

    Pro war.
    Anti refugee.
    Pro expanded uranium mining and nuclear waste storage in Australia.
    Free-market fundamentalist/neo-liberal economics and policies.
    The solution to climate change must be a market mechanism rather than regulation.
    Blurring of church and state (eg: chaplains, education and health).
    ‘Pragmatic’ on the environment.
    Pro ‘intervention’.
    Anti Assange.
    Beefed up security state (eg: using ASIO to spy on activists, war on terror).
    Kow-towing to Murdoch.
    (specific Qld example: Asset privatisation even though very unpopular and without campaigning on it).

    This isn’t meant to be exhaustive at all, it’s just that my view is that there is some substance to the idea that ALP today has “walked away” from values it had, or only ever pretended to stand for to attract that segment on the electorate who also hold such values (‘whatever it takes’).

  3. April 14th, 2012 at 15:05 | #3

    Anti-state funded education (just heard Gillard announcing something along the lines of HECS for TAFE).

  4. Alan
    April 14th, 2012 at 16:35 | #4

    The ALP has abandoned distributive justice which was their core value and the reason for their existence. Everything else flows from that one abandonment, whether it’s their absurd environmental approach, their oppression of refugees, their denial of rights to Aborigines, or their conviction that micromanaging everything will lead to good outcomes.

  5. April 14th, 2012 at 17:58 | #5

    Actually, Megan, HECS for TAFE is comparatively progressive – at the moment, the fees are up-front (and large enough to discourage a lot of people).

    Of course, it should be free, as should university, but we’re unlikely to get another Gough in my lifetime.

  6. Ikonoclast
    April 14th, 2012 at 18:15 | #6


    Spot on Alan. Labor are traitors to the working class. Vote Green or vote Socialist but never vote for that treacherous sellout Labor mob again.

  7. TerjeP
    April 15th, 2012 at 00:33 | #7

    Terry McCrann in The Australian:-

    BOB Brown has been an unremittingly destructive force in the political life of this nation. His career in public policy has left not a single redeeming consequence.

    That this has not been more universally recognised can be placed at the collective feet of the Canberra press gallery, the broadcast media in particular more widely, and the assorted current affairs programs led by the ABC’s Lateline.

    I think he is right about the media going soft on the Greens. Some sections of the media treat the Greens like they have God on their side and so they don’t need to be tested on whether they have the actual facts on their side. And now when they do start to cop a little heat from the media they want a media body to regulate things. The Greens are not especially nice people. They deserve much more solid scrutiny by the media.

  8. Freelander
    April 15th, 2012 at 00:48 | #8

    McCrann’s rant about Bob Brown, like much commentary from his ilk, says nothing about the target and much about the assailant.

    There is rarely much information from his ilk. Always you think “Well.He would say that.”

  9. James
    April 15th, 2012 at 01:06 | #9

    I agree with you @Alan. What intrigues me is why a group of intelligent and socially aware individuals would collectively decide to abandon the core principle of social justice for their opponents world view and expect to be rewarded for it. The key to all this is economics, and I suspect the Labor party has gone down this route because collectively they don’t understand economics. Far from being able to sniff out real world zombie theories from a country mile away, the poor people’s representatives are continually bombarded from both within Treasury and academia by an economic conceptual model and its restrictive language that of itself exclude alternatives. Take for example the DSGE model. Here is an intellectual construct of theoretical beauty that as far as I can determine has no relevance to any real world economic scenario, but like a house built on sand totters on the unsightly foundations of fanciful assumptions that underpin all equilibrium models.

    But if a pointy headed person from an important institution tells you that your NAIRU is 5.3% and your current unemployment if 5.3% then we can expect the correct policy response, which is to ignore the unemployed. A classic case of the language limiting the response.

    There appears to be plenty of empirical evidence around that ‘business as usual’ economics has failed miserably to bring social justice and advancement to wealthier societies (being, I suspect, somewhat different to the bootstrap out of poverty case, though I may be wrong). Since the GFC we have seen an ongoing determined trend to wind back distributive policies and accelerate wealth concentration at a global scale. It is like China now has the ideal GINI coefficient, and the west is playing catch-up.

    This of course leaves Australia’s unemployed (and even greater number of under-employed) struggling on a paupers hand-out with no policy in place to either get them into work or to allow them to participate in the fantastic wealth this country produces. BTW, I disagree with the dole, I think everyone should work (or be pensioned), and if the private sector cannot provide the jobs, then the public sector should do so.

    But this of course is irrelevant when it comes to inflation numbers and interest rates, productivity, GDP and financial stability. The unemployed have been reduced to collateral damage in the new economics, and the lie that trickle-down in any of its obscene variants will rectify their plight has well and truly been put to rest.

    So now the Labor party face annihilation at the polls, like cattle to the slaughter yard, and yet almost like innocents in their lack of understanding. As to economics itself, the ideological capture of the profession at both the academic and institutional level will continue to run amok, and continue delivering its fore-ordained outcomes.

  10. Freelander
    April 15th, 2012 at 01:24 | #10

    The standard model “they” work with does not admit unemployment. As markets clear and the labour market clearly doesn’t, unemployment refutes the theory – shows the theory wanting. Unemployment has therefore always been a painful embarrassment. With all the ingenuity of theologians, natural unemployment, the natural rate of unemployment, ‘voluntary’ unemployment, and then the natural rate of unemployment were invented. They are the unemployment you have when you are pretending there isn’t ‘really’ any unemployment.

    One may wonder why they are taken seriously on this one, but then no sillier than the average religious explanation, and those explanations seem to satisfy many.

  11. JB Goode
    April 15th, 2012 at 06:57 | #11

    Of course with your cherished alternative,the standard model of communism, there is no unemployment,the theory works beautifully.The dead have never been an embarrassment,they are simply removed from the record,but one does wonder why it is taken seriously by the ‘intelligent,thinking’ people of the left.Then again many of them are religious cranks led by high priest Flannery “I think that within this century the concept of strong Gaia will actually become physically manifest.”
    No sillier than the average religious explanation, and those explanations seem to satisfy many.Personally I have trouble believing people like that actually exist.

  12. Freelander
    April 15th, 2012 at 07:12 | #12

    @Joey Goode

    Joey! Out of the pouch again?

    This attention seeking is dangerous. Before you know it, you’ll be dingo Tucker!

  13. Alan
    April 15th, 2012 at 07:51 | #13


    Party inversion is actually not all that uncommon. In the US it was Lincoln who founded the Republicans and the Republicans who fought the Civil War, but now they have inverted those positions to the extent that you can talk about the party of Abraham Lincoln becoming the party of Jefferson Davis. The Liberals in the UK did something similar during the First World War.

    The ALP has done it faster and more throughly because, I suggest, of the almost complete absence of democracy within the party. There was simply no way for progressives to have opposed the takeover by opportunists.

  14. April 15th, 2012 at 09:35 | #14

    Good points Alan and James.

    I think the idea of being dazzled by neo-liberal economic theory and lack of internal democracy allowing the destructive takeover are correct, especially in the ranks. But rather than simply opportunists, I think it’s fundamentalist ideologues of the neo-con stripe who did the taking over (and thoroughly successfully, too) at the power core.

  15. Alan
    April 15th, 2012 at 09:45 | #15

    You’re 17. You like politics. A faction leader offers you lifetime employment as union/ministerial staff, then MP, then consultant to the stars (MacBank). All you have to do is get out your soul and hand it to the faction on a platter. Initially I would agree many were dazzled by the neoliberal flashbuzz. More recently I think employment prospects have become much more central.

  16. Dan
    April 15th, 2012 at 10:02 | #16


    Nobody in politics is ‘especially nice’. But until the major parties get real about actual equality of opportunity (not just paying lip service) and global warming/environmental sustainability, they don’t have a realistic model of society and economics, and therefore have no strategic credibility at a party-line level, regardless of what individual MPs/Senators may think. I know plenty of highly-informed Labor voters or even members who despair that the Labor Party is such a neoliberal washout, so you can imagine what they think of the Libs. And I’m not talking about cranks or former Communists here – in fact, far from it. Andrew Leigh, for instance, strikes me as far brighter and forward-thinking than focus groups and party strategists really allow.

  17. Ernestine Gross
    April 15th, 2012 at 10:21 | #17

    “A classic case of the language limiting the response” as well as the argument.

    I wish people who make statements about ‘equilibrium’ would be a bit more careful. They write as if there would be only one thought and one model and it is a 19th century macro-model.

    I also wish people would recognise that the GFC is the consequence of previous institutional changes as well as some still unresolved interesting questions.

    What is happening to the young people? Don’t they want to have work to do? Do they only want to “learn” – “be informed by” – be “instructed to do” the work done by previous generations?

    The entertainment value of those who screem “communism” in response to any empirically founded questioning of contemporary phenomena is very limited.

  18. Troy Prideaux
    April 15th, 2012 at 10:36 | #18

    Freelander :
    McCrann’s rant about Bob Brown, like much commentary from his ilk, says nothing about the target and much about the assailant.
    There is rarely much information from his ilk. Always you think “Well.He would say that.”

    hah, McCrann might wear a hideously feeble excuse for a beard, but I can guarantee you what’s there is extremely well fertilized! Seriously, his editorial content makes Bolt’s look very truthful and credible. His interest rate predictions have an even worse record than Chris Richardson’s 95-2005 decade. The man is a clown.

  19. Chris Warren
    April 15th, 2012 at 11:35 | #19


    Things are far more complicated than this. If the ALP is a traitor of the working class – then so are the universities, journalists, middle class, most trade unoins, and the ACTU.

    The ALP’s policy for workers is essentially – boost capitalism as much as possible and hope that some of the gains can be fed back to workers to placate the majority of them.

    In fact, the real traitors to “the working class” are all those workers who have been placated by delivery of minimum and above wages, superannuation, education and health services and the rising living standard that comes in the form of fancy cars, plasma screens, microwave ovens, mobile phones and so on.

    If fact, Australian society generally has been living “in the best of all possible worlds” where the necessary exploitation of workers is moved offshore (or imported through 457 visas). What plasma TV, mobile-phone addicted worker would ever expect that they too will have to work under the same conditions as Third World workers? Only Royals under fuedalism and plantation owners under slavery lived better.

    I don’t blame the ALP as the ALP just reflects the views of firstly, the electorate, but also significantly, unions and the ACTU. If the ALP was a real ‘traitor’ the unions would disaffiliate. The real blame has to passed through to Keynesians descended from such as Colin Clark who intend that Australia is to become an efficient, productive, competitive, low wage country based on ‘hard working conditions’. This may well be the view of some within the ALP and the ACTU. In the past the ACTU has run its policy almost in tandem with the ALP – see for example the policy on core ILO labor conditions and free trade generally.

  20. JB Goode
    April 15th, 2012 at 13:31 | #20

    @Ernestine Gross
    “empirically founded questioning of contemporary phenomena’
    Just for the record,you do know that the cloudy stuff pouring forth from the chimneys so prominently featured in the propaganda,is water vapour and not carbon dioxide.
    How’s that for empirically founded questioning of contemporary phenomena?

  21. JB Goode
    April 15th, 2012 at 13:51 | #21

    @Chris Warren
    So if we take away “the real traitors to “the working class” (Now where have I heard that terminology before?)what part of “the working class” are left?

  22. Chris Warren
    April 15th, 2012 at 15:59 | #22

    @JB Goode

    How do you propose to do that?

    Why would you do that?

    In essense workers, misled by consumer baubles and a unsustainable welfare state, are traitors to their own selves. They revel in short-term circumstances and close their eyes when looking at the future.

    So if you take away all these, you would probably be left with no-one or possibly a few cranky wannabe vanguardists whose only solace would be that they outnumber the ALP representation in Queensland Parliament.

  23. Ernestine Gross
    April 15th, 2012 at 17:14 | #23

    @JB Goode

    Did anybody ask you to put on record what I know?

    My answer to your question is: Stupid.

  24. JB Goode
    April 15th, 2012 at 17:17 | #24

    @Chris Warren
    Thanks for the clarification Chris and the ALP ref was real funny,but I am still confused.
    How can a worker be a traitor to himself if he is free man, secure in mind and body,and fully capable to decide what is in his best interest.You seem to be saying that the ‘working class’ are so stupid that they don’t know what is good for them.You obviously don’t think of yourself as a traitor ,so what “class”are you from?

  25. JB Goode
    April 15th, 2012 at 17:25 | #25

    @Ernestine Gross
    There are two questions there Ernestine,can’t you count?

  26. Ernestine Gross
    April 15th, 2012 at 18:26 | #26

    @JB Goode

    Where is your second question? (I assumed you are literate.)

  27. Freelander
    April 15th, 2012 at 18:30 | #27

    @JB Goode

    Goode, Goode, Gum Drop …

  28. Ikonoclast
    April 15th, 2012 at 18:43 | #28

    I think Prof J.Q. needs to begin mass deleting of flippant, sniping and trolling comments. Unfortunately, this site has gone down hill badly.

  29. Freelander
    April 15th, 2012 at 18:46 | #29


    I think we have had an influx of Bolt-o-philes.

  30. JB Goode
    April 15th, 2012 at 20:07 | #30

    What sort of response do you expect when you are coming out with tripe like”traitors to the working class”You don’t even know what the working class is.When was the last time you drank your latte out of a jam jar,when was the last time you had to sleep four in a bed with only an old army coat for warmth?When was the last time you had no soles in your shoes?
    Gimme a break!

  31. JB Goode
    April 15th, 2012 at 20:49 | #31

    Let me try again.
    Do you know that the cloudy stuff pouring forth from the chimneys so prominently featured in the propaganda,is water vapour and not carbon dioxide.
    Do you know that ‘carbon pollution’ refers to the life giving gas carbon dioxide.
    If the case for CAGW is so strong and settled,why the deceit?

  32. Chris Warren
    April 15th, 2012 at 20:50 | #32

    @JB Goode

    You are a slow learner – all addicts are traitors to themselves. Australians are addicted to the baubles of consumer society produced by oppressed offshore workers. In this manner, all Australians are traitors to their selves

    It is obvious and clear to all – but you.

    Only you think others are stupid. But this just reflects your guilt.

  33. Ernestine Gross
    April 15th, 2012 at 20:51 | #33

    Now, now, JB Goode – suggesting kinky stuff like foursomes under an old army coat goes a bit far.

  34. JB Goode
    April 15th, 2012 at 20:56 | #34

    @Chris Warren
    Thanks for clearing that up Chris.

  35. JB Goode
    April 15th, 2012 at 21:04 | #35

    @Ernestine Gross
    Well we had to have some fun Ernesto,after all we were living in an old boot at the bottom of a lake,and every day had to get up half an hour before we went bed and clean the lake out with a handfull of warm gravel etc,etc

  36. Ernestine Gross
    April 15th, 2012 at 21:16 | #36

    @JB Goode

    Would you care to direct your message to “Ernesto”, please.

  37. Dan
    April 15th, 2012 at 21:36 | #37



  38. Ernestine Gross
    April 15th, 2012 at 22:19 | #38

    “THE passage of the carbon tax has received a boost, with legal advice to NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell suggesting that a High Court challenge to block the tax would fail.”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/nsw-drops-carbon-tax-challenge-20120414-1×041.html#ixzz1s6wBxJIZ

  39. JB Goode
    April 15th, 2012 at 22:25 | #39

    Hi Dan,so where do you stand on the Gleick affair,is he to be excused because his fraud was for the greater good?

  40. Freelander
    April 15th, 2012 at 23:34 | #40

    I like Gleick’s books. I’ll have to get “Information”.

  41. Sam
    April 15th, 2012 at 23:45 | #41

    As I said before, we could achieve the same effect as JQ deleting the troll’s comments if we simply ignored them. Nothing good will ever come to your life from responding to JB Goode, so what’s the point?

  42. Sam
    April 15th, 2012 at 23:50 | #42

    I mean, we could be quite happy if we left him here chanting, “Greens are silly, CO2 is necessary for life, everyone else is stupid except me.” Who is he convincing? Let’s all agree to just mentally mark him as spam; pretend he is advertising herbal Via%&*ra or something. It’s just a small extra effort to scroll past his comments.

  43. JB Goode
    April 16th, 2012 at 00:20 | #43

    Sam,how could I ignore such a cry from the heart of a fellow earthian,I will have extincted myself by the time you read this so consider me exstunk.

  44. Wooster
    April 16th, 2012 at 00:22 | #44


    JB Goode who?

  45. Freelander
    April 16th, 2012 at 00:27 | #45

    @Joey Goode

    Joey, Joey, Dumb stop

  46. Fran Barlow
    April 16th, 2012 at 07:12 | #46


    Just so. As I’ve noted a number of times, responding to trolls is like scratching mosquito bites. Reason and experience recommends against it, and the satisfaction though great initially, is very shortlived.

  47. Fran Barlow
    April 16th, 2012 at 07:14 | #47

    oops … recommend against it …

  48. Fran Barlow
    April 16th, 2012 at 07:18 | #48

    John Cook’s Skeptical Science has published an entry-level “<a href="http://www.skepticalscience.com/Global-Warming-in-a-Nutshell.html"Anthropogenic Climate Change 101“. This is an excellent first read for those who though literate, are not be climate science geeks.

  49. Fran Barlow
    April 16th, 2012 at 07:19 | #49

    Hmmm too early in the morning … who are not be climate science geeks

  50. Katz
    April 16th, 2012 at 08:05 | #50

    I won’t speculate about what motivates Ayaan Hirsi Ali to make a fool of herself. But the effects of her efforts to do so are clear for all to see: 


    WESTERN liberals, crippled by political correctness, guilt and a romanticised view of Islam, are leaving atheists and Christians bereft in the ”Arab winter”, human rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali says.
    Ms Hirsi Ali, no stranger to controversy, told an audience of several thousand at the Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne, that it was Christians and conservatives who led the way in defending free speech and rights. ”Why is it that secular liberals in the West fail to help? Are they so insecure about the morals they live by and by which they raise their children?”

    She said elections following the overthrow of dictators had produced Islamist governments in Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco, with Islamists also gaining power in Libya and Yemen. ”The plight of Christians is going to be dire. They are killed, their churches destroyed, the women are raped. This is also the plight of Muslim minority sects.”

    She blamed political correctness, white guilt over former colonialism that was actually racist because it did not hold non-whites to the same standards, and a view of Islam as romantically primitive (the noble savage).

    What does she expect “Western liberals” to do?

    Beyond acting as enablers of Bush’s disastrous Middle Eastern follies, what have Western conservatives done? In fact, these flying monkeys have acted as recruiting officers for the Jihad.

    I’m surprised that Australia’s atheists provided the oxygen of publicity to this intemperate, irrational woman.

  51. Fran Barlow
    April 16th, 2012 at 08:10 | #51

    @Fran Barlow

    Let’s try that link again:

    Anthropogenic Climate Change 101

  52. Hal9000
    April 16th, 2012 at 09:12 | #52


    The existence of Christians among the populations of the middle east has forever been marginalised in the dominant narrative. It suits the purposes of both Israel and the Islamists for them to be persecuted away from the glare of publicity. Only in Lebanon, where they participate in government and fought a civil war, is the plight of Christians the subject of much official and media interest. In both Iraq and Palestine, Christian and other religious minorities have been disproportionately represented among refugees and emigres.

    By contrast, the existence of Christians in Sudan is emphasised in efforts to garner support for the continuing series of wars to partition the country, overthrow its governing regime and get down to the serious business of oil exploration.

    Back OT, I must confess to being gobsmacked by the assertion that ‘Christians and conservatives … led the way in defending free speech and rights’. It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it.

  53. Chris Warren
    April 16th, 2012 at 10:24 | #53


    Yes, wasn’t it the Christian militia who destroyed Beirut and perpetrated the Sabra and Shatila massacres. Only Christians are bombing abortion clinics in the US. Ireland was totally destroyed by Christian factions. It was the Christian Masonic Lodges that appear to have driven the terrorism in Italy particularly the 1980 bombing of Bologna railway station.

    Christians have been the most blood thirsty, rapacious and self-deluded of all religions as exemplified in the Inquisition, and Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. Today’s Moslem terrorism is just a type of Christianity with different labels.

  54. Freelander
    April 16th, 2012 at 10:43 | #54

    Ms Hirsi Ali has had a tough life. Sadly she seems somewhat of a libertarian bigot. She is a fan of Haywire and the American Heritage outfit is currently buttering her bread.She will be quickly out on her ear from that’s outfit if she moderates her views.

  55. Freelander
    April 16th, 2012 at 10:45 | #55

    Haywire should be Hayek! Auto correct!!

  56. Hal9000
    April 16th, 2012 at 10:56 | #56

    Half-remembered guilt at the appalling treatment of eastern Christians by the crusaders probably lies somewhere down in the background to accepted wisdom in the Clash of Civilisations narrative. The Muslim hordes had to be portrayed as bestial slayers of babies and defilers of churches, while the massacres by crusader forces of eastern Christians along the Turkish coast and in Palestine were inconvenient to the ‘saviours of Christianity’ slogan. More recently, it suited the US for the Iraqi Shiites to be supported in the post-invasion civil war, and so the Assyrians and other ancient Christian minority sects were forgotten, and their fate sealed.

  57. alfred venison
    April 16th, 2012 at 11:40 | #57

    christian masonic lodges? you mean like black chapters of the kkk? or jewish afflilates of aryan nations? i think you mean “neo-fascist” or “radical right-wing” masonic lodges. the christian democrats were heading the government at that time. also, have you forgotten the “red brigades”?
    alfred venison

  58. Dan
    April 16th, 2012 at 12:26 | #58


    Sometimes autocorrect is perspicacious.

  59. Freelander
    April 16th, 2012 at 13:31 | #59


    You could be right!

  60. Freelander
    April 16th, 2012 at 13:52 | #60

    Isn’t the support for Israel by many in the Christian Right Moral Majority because they believe some bible based prediction that the return of the Jews will result in some sort of Armageddon and the second coming of Christ?

    The greater the suffering, strife and conflict in the middle east, presumably, the happier these Christians must be? A nuclear conflict there will simply be “Mission Accomplished!”

  61. JB Goode
    April 16th, 2012 at 21:54 | #61

    ‘Isn’t the support for Israel by many in the Christian Right Moral Majority because they believe some bible based prediction that the return of the Jews will result in some sort of Armageddon and the second coming of Christ?’
    No it isn’t.It’s because Israel is something that is hated and feared by all fringe dwellers,
    a democracy!

  62. Freelander
    April 16th, 2012 at 22:01 | #62

    Joey. Yes. Israel is a democracy, the same way that white south africa was a democracy. But you are somewhat more ignorant than I thought if you are not aware of the prophesy based support of many in the Christian Right Moral Majority for Israel. Not out of any love of its inhabitants.

  63. JB Goode
    April 16th, 2012 at 22:55 | #63

    I don’t need to be aware of anything except your mindless hate speech.”The greater the suffering and strife the happier these Christians must be”.Is that what you really think? And I am somewhat ignorant?

  64. Freelander
    April 16th, 2012 at 23:03 | #64

    Joey, as the greater strife means to them that we are closer to the prophesy being fulfilled and as that’s what they want of course they are happier. So you are not only ignorant but none too bright if you can’t follow that one.

    Quick Joey! Back in the pouch! I see a dingo coming.

  65. JB Goode
    April 17th, 2012 at 00:03 | #65

    What makes you so differant from them?

  66. JB Goode
    April 17th, 2012 at 00:25 | #66

    Do you have the same opinion of anyone who is of a differant race to you?

  67. Freelander
    April 17th, 2012 at 00:27 | #67

    Joey? What are you on about now? You’re just getting sillier and sillier.

  68. Freelander
    April 17th, 2012 at 00:31 | #68

    By the way Joey, when adults use quotation marks, the text in between is supposed to be an actual quotation.

  69. JB Goode
    April 17th, 2012 at 00:59 | #69

    What am I on about now?It just struck me on reading your demonising of christians that religious bigotry usually goes hand in hand with racial bigotry.
    By the way have you seen the exiting new greens lineup,Motly Crue watch out!

  70. JB Goode
    April 17th, 2012 at 01:01 | #70

    No sh*t!

  71. Freelander
    April 17th, 2012 at 01:12 | #71

    Yes Joey. You’re right. Religion does often go hand in hand with racial bigotry. But I suffer neither defect. Now give your mother a chance, back in the pouch, and get some sleep!

  72. JB Goode
    April 17th, 2012 at 01:52 | #72

    ‘The greater the suffering, strife and conflict in the middle east, presumably, the happier these Christians must be?’
    Sorry sir my mistake in believing my lying eyes,anyway it’s been such a pleasure to engage with my first caring,intelligent ‘thinking’ person.We could have done with you in the Balkans.Say hello to Lee for me(how dare they produce evidence that she is a communist,just how dare they!) and all the very best in your quest for world domination.

  73. Freelander
    April 17th, 2012 at 01:57 | #73

    Joey, it’s not your lying eyes in this case, given your improved use of quotes, but it’s your lying mind.

    You convince no one but yourself with your distortions.

    But why not give everyone a rest?

  74. Fran Barlow
  75. alfred venison
    April 17th, 2012 at 08:33 | #75

    the feds have disallowed state legislation like this before in the recent past but but the mood is shifting. i think canadian pm harper’s statement yesterday at the oas meeting that the war on drugs was a failure was a testing of the waters for the yanks.

  76. Chris Warren
    April 17th, 2012 at 10:48 | #76

    @JB Goode

    Are you a Zionist?

    Israel was born of Stern Gang terror and maintains itself through persistent terror against original inhabitants. It is a theocratic state that bans political parties opposed to the Jewish nature of the State. No independents are allowed to stand for election.

    Israel secret agents regularly roam the globe sabotaging opponents and assassinating them. Israel threatens its neighbours with covert nuclear weapons. It recently tried to get UN support for a war against Iran.

    Israelis continually and regularly oppress the original owners and violently assault protestors. Members of the youth group Sharek were recently attacked by Israeli military. One Israeli commander was videotaped rifle-butting a demonstrator. He has been nominally suspended as a cosmetic response by the authorities.

    See: http://english.pnn.ps/index.php/politics/1388-high-ranking-israeli-officer-assaults-danish-activist

    Israel is only democratic for Jewish people – the rest receive jack-boots.

  77. Freelander
    April 17th, 2012 at 11:33 | #77

    That said, Israel is the ‘only democracy in the village’.

  78. Freelander
    April 17th, 2012 at 14:03 | #78

    White South Africa used to be the only democracy in their village.

  79. alfred venison
    April 17th, 2012 at 21:11 | #79

    dear readers
    for you information, the canadian charter of rights & freedoms is 30 years old today, signed 17 april 1982.
    bravo pierre trudeau !
    alfred venison

  80. Freelander
    April 17th, 2012 at 22:43 | #80

    @alfred venison

    Yes. More freedom for three 1 percent does not ‘trickle down’ into more freedom for the 99.

  81. alfred venison
    April 17th, 2012 at 23:07 | #81

    if you read david climenhaga at the link & understood him you’d know that he says the charter protects the rights of the 99% better than common law & parliament alone and that its the friends of the 1% who aspire to roll it back or undermine it.

  82. Freelander
    April 17th, 2012 at 23:13 | #82


    Don’t disagree with that,and don’t think anything I said disagrees with that.

  83. Alan
    April 17th, 2012 at 23:43 | #83


    It’s notable that what the Canadian article describes as the far right’s attitude to the charter of rights is identical with the ALP’s attitude to a charter.

  84. Freelander
    April 17th, 2012 at 23:49 | #84


    Right wing libertarians infiltrated the labor party a long time ago. The anti-rights is one of their bugbears. The don’t want awful things like ‘human rights’ infringing on the sacredness of property rights and undermining the sanctity of the market economy.

  85. Alan
    April 17th, 2012 at 23:54 | #85

    I don’t think it’s just an issue of recent infiltration. The ALP has been slightly tunnel-blind about the supremacy of parliament since its foundation. But certainly neoliberals don’t like human rights.

  86. Freelander
    April 18th, 2012 at 00:59 | #86


    The infiltration is not at all recent. It began as far back as the seventies and maybe even the sixties. Remember who pushed free trade, dismantled tariffs and turned the Tariff, Board from proTariffs into antiTariffs and then renamed the board Industries Assistance Commission,which became Industry Commission, and then Productivity Commission.

    Similar infiltration across the ditch resulted in Rogernomivdn. Revolution from above. A massive sellout of the working class now almost complete.

    Mission Accomplished!!!

  87. Freelander
    April 18th, 2012 at 01:01 | #87

    Sorry, Rogernomics!!

  88. gerard
    April 18th, 2012 at 10:09 | #88

    Assessing evidence for a causal link between cannabis and psychosis: A review of cohort studies

    Whilst the criteria for causal association between cannabis and psychosis are supported by the studies reviewed, the contentious issue of whether cannabis use can cause serious psychotic disorders that would not otherwise have occurred cannot be answered from the existing data. Further methodologically robust cohort research is proposed and the implications of how evidence informs policy in the case of uncertainty is discussed.

  89. Freelander
    April 18th, 2012 at 10:17 | #89

    Blah, blah,blah…

    Now were going to be subjected to a parade of climate change denial selective quoting to do lord boogellie eyes Moncton proud.

    While, I’ll leave you to it Gerard.

  90. Freelander
    April 18th, 2012 at 10:18 | #90

    Proof by bold font! No less!

  91. Freelander
    April 18th, 2012 at 10:24 | #91

    By the way, carefully read what I said and ignore what you think I said.I am not going to bother with you seriously if you can’t at least get that right.

  92. gerard
    April 18th, 2012 at 10:26 | #92

    it’s a peer-reviewed assessment of the available evidence – I’ve never seen Monckton come out with one of them. what more do you want, smackhead? you don’t accept the Australian government’s own assessment of the evidence either.

  93. Freelander
    April 18th, 2012 at 10:32 | #93

    You’ve got your own facts. You can’t even read the literature properly and you don’t even understand the concept of an overdose.

  94. Freelander
    April 18th, 2012 at 10:36 | #94

    Morphine is quite safe. As long as you don’t try to boost the effect with alcohol or as long as you don’t take an overdose.

  95. gerard
    April 18th, 2012 at 10:47 | #95

    presumably you think the government’s own National Drug Strategy report can’t read the literature properly either.

    most people would regard the risk of death as having something to do with how dangerous a drug is. thousands of people have died of heroin overdoses – too bad you weren’t present to help them dose safely.

  96. Freelander
    April 18th, 2012 at 10:55 | #96

    What I’m saying is you can’t read the literature. As for a particular report, haven’t looked at it and won’t bother. But I can say this in relation to government reports generally, many of them are complete garbage, and simply peddle the hobby horse of some well connected clown who gets to sign off on it. If you had worked on a few you would know that.

  97. Julie Thomas
    April 18th, 2012 at 10:57 | #97

    Radio National has been running a debate on the issue of cannabis use and psychosis. The most recent point of view is from Dr Matthew Large who

    “responds to a critique of his work on pot. Specifically the suggestion that rates of psychosis have gone up because more young folk are indulging. The argument against being that so many, all over the world, are smoking joints, that you’d expect a gigantic surge of psychosis everywhere and, it seems, there isn’t one.”

    Robyn Williams http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/ockhamsrazor/mulling-up-cannabis-and-psychosis/3620244

    Large is quite sure that there is a link and his evidence is fascinating but equally the earlier program by a ‘denier’ is convincing.

    Personally, I am sure there is some sort of link, but it will be ‘multi-factorial’; the effects of pot and any other drug – legal or otherwise – are mediated by individual differences in brain chemistry and also by the way that brain chemistry is modified by environmental experiences.

    The benefits to some of us, from using cannabis, are also undeniable.

  98. Freelander
    April 18th, 2012 at 11:00 | #98

    And morphine not dangerous unless you are silly. Drug addicts do try to kill themselves and they are quite silly. Not a property of the drug but of the user.

  99. Freelander
    April 18th, 2012 at 11:05 | #99

    So the ABC gives air time to a contrarian with fringe views.

    There are good studies that have demonstrated that what he is saying is cr*p.

  100. gerard
    April 18th, 2012 at 11:05 | #100

    I can say this in relation to government reports generally, many of them are complete garbage, and simply peddle the hobby horse of some well connected clown who gets to sign off on it.

    Now that sounds like something Monckton would say about the IPCC. There’s a conspiracy inside Australia’s National Drug Strategy to downplay the risks of cannabis! The report doesn’t come to the conclusions you want, it is therefore garbage.

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