Notice

September 9th, 2013

Due to technical difficulties, there will be no more new posts until further notice. Please visit my Facebook public page for links to discussions of policy issues.

Categories: Metablogging, Site News Tags:
  1. Susannah Dale
    September 10th, 2013 at 15:17 | #1

    I am pro vaccine but until about 2000 The triple vaccine contained mercury as a preservative. there is no mention of this in your article.

    regards
    Susannah Dale

  2. BilB
    September 11th, 2013 at 04:04 | #2

    Abbott urged to dump promises and cut government spending.

    This would make Abbott a mega liar.

    No biggey for him, so here comes the recession that we didn’t need to have!

  3. September 11th, 2013 at 10:35 | #3

    Susannah, the mercury in vaccines was probably not mentioned because there is no evidence that the levels of mercury in vaccines were high enough to be dangerous. Infants receive vastly more mercury from coal plant emissions and from they and their mothers eating fish, whale, plants grown on contaminated land, plants over treated with mercury fungicide, and animals that have eaten contaminated plants. While it’s a good idea to limit exposure to mercury, the amount of mercury exposure resulting from vaccines was extremely small compared to other sources. (If mercury in vaccines was having a significant effect that should be visible as a bump in health data as it was phased out. I’m not aware of there being any bump. Was there a bump you can tell us about?)

  4. TerjeP
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:37 | #4

    I love the new senate! However maybe it will put John Quiggin out of a job. Oops.

  5. Will
    September 11th, 2013 at 11:51 | #5

    TerjeP :
    I love the new senate! However maybe it will put John Quiggin out of a job. Oops.

    You’re sprightly today! Did you just receive a government contract or something?

  6. Fran Barlow
    September 11th, 2013 at 13:13 | #6

    @Will

    I love the new senate! However maybe it will put John Quiggin out of a job. Oops.

    Gosh but you are a gratuitously nasty person. Why volunteer that? What enlightenment did you hope to bring to this place with your remark?

    There are few things less worthy of humans than Schadenfreude, and when this is not even closely connected with any specific malfeasance by the person in question it becomes less defensible yet.

  7. John Quiggin
    September 11th, 2013 at 14:05 | #7

    No one needs to worry about me. My regular job keeps me plenty busy enough, and I have plenty of other options.

    But climate denial will have lots of costs including, in the long run, for the political right. We are already seeing this in North America.

  8. Mel
    September 11th, 2013 at 14:40 | #8

    PrQ:

    “But climate denial will have lots of costs including, in the long run, for the political right.”

    I hope you’re right but I reckon the political right will rewrite history to make themselves look good.

  9. Crispin Bennett
    September 11th, 2013 at 14:40 | #9

    @Fran Barlow It may be unworthy, but it’s also surely one of the great satisfactions in life (not to mention a demonstration of the superiority of the German language). Let them enjoy their crowing moment. We’ll get a turn (didn’t you have even a tiny joyful flicker when Howard lost his seat in 2007?).

  10. TerjeP
    September 11th, 2013 at 14:41 | #10

    Fran – if John was in personal financial peril as a consequence I’d be more circumspect. However all indications are that he isn’t at the hard up end of the income spectrum. Perhaps I could phrase it differently however truth be told I am truly delighted at the prospect of the climate commission and the associated green rent seekers being run out of town. The advocates of this nonsense showed no sensitivity when it was imposed on the rest of us so my sympathy is pretty much non existent. Shut it down and salt the soil.

  11. Fran Barlow
    September 11th, 2013 at 15:29 | #11

    @Crispin Bennett

    It may be unworthy, but it’s also surely one of the great satisfactions in life

    I find that paradoxical. Can a person who takes their ethical paradigm seriously take satisfaction in things one deems unworthy? I’d say not. If one suffers a mosquito bite, one scratches to salve the itch, but later, one regrets that one has done so because the pain is the more terrible.

    I see Schadenfreude as something like this. Someone offends you, and an ancient culturally metaphysical impulse allows us to derive satisfaction from some subsequent misery. In some cases the pleasure is heightened if we can believe that we had some hand in inflicting it or exacerbating it. Perhaps we feel empowered and/or that “poetic justice” or “bad karma” or similar caugght up with them. I suspect most of us feel this from time to time — but it’s not an admirable thing, because it means the marks of the ethical primitive are upon us. Really, it’s something for which those of us who seek authentic community and who look to a world in which policies aimed at approaching it can have no place. It’s a shameful thing, and testimony to the ethical work each of us must yet do.

    didn’t you have even a tiny joyful flicker when Howard lost his seat in 2007?

    I lived at the time in Bennelong and worked hard to help unseat him and took pleasure in his defeat but that reflected my strong belief that his paradigm of politics would be set back more surely if he, as well as his filthy regime, were turned out. My happiness had nothing to do with his personal suffering, whatever it might have been.

    It was enough for me that his conduct was seriously corrosive of authentic community and with that in mind, the privileges he had both as an MP and as PM were not merely unwarranted but a hazard to progress. Once these had been radically curtailed, my interest in his life chances to declined to approximately that of any other human I don’t know. I hope he lives, learns and becomes the best person he can be. I fear seriously that he will draw his last breath without having done so.

    Sadly, his replacement as PM squandered the moment, returning us to the status quo ante.

  12. Fran Barlow
    September 11th, 2013 at 15:40 | #12

    @TerjeP

    truth be told I am truly delighted at the prospect of the climate commission and the associated green rent seekers being run out of town.

    Ah … “green rent seekers”. The dogma speaks. It is telling that it’s those seeking to protect ecosystem services rather than tainting them that you regard as “rent-seekers” to be run out of town.

    The advocates of this nonsense showed no sensitivity when it was imposed on the rest of us

    You don’t specify what “this nonsense” is — science? policy analysis? an explicit carbon price? — possibly that reflects your high dudgeon. It’s impossible to say what kind of sensitivity or how much of it was lacking when imposing it upon … err … you. Personally, I’m not letting you speak unchallenged for “the rest of us”. (Though if you have some specific “us” in mind who has authorised you to speak on their behalf, I might allow that)

    so my sympathy is pretty much non existent. Shut it down and salt the soil.

    Again, your allusion is telling. In your apparent rage at being imposed upon in some way that you can barely specify you choose a metaphor based on malicious dealing with the ecosystem. Your solidarity with the filth merchant community is very clear. Perhaps that’s the “us” you intended when speaking of insensitive dealing above.

  13. alfred venison
    September 11th, 2013 at 16:59 | #13
  14. Ikonoclast
    September 11th, 2013 at 22:10 | #14

    Yep, TerjeP wants to “run people out of town”. Fran is right. The imagery is revealing. As soon as the intolerant get a win they start the dog-whistling, the baying and howling. If they get a positive response from others in their pack they escalate slowly and surely from imagery into open oppression. That’s how it works.

  15. rog
    September 11th, 2013 at 22:28 | #15

    Like tarring and feathering and Kristillnacht being “run out of town” belongs to a time when mobs and gangs made their own laws.

  16. September 12th, 2013 at 00:37 | #16

    Here’s a direct quote from me on August 22 (on this blog):

    Proceeding on the assumption that you don’t already know how this works, I suggest you look into “Glenn Druery” – he was the champion who delivered the Shooters the NSW Upper House and was also working hand in glove with (supposedly ex-LNP) Greg Barns to lately destroy the Wikileaks Party by preferencing the ultra right above the Greens in an attempt – hopefully futile, but possibly yet successful – to deliver control of the Senate to the LNP via the election in WA of a Nationals at the expense of a Greens (Scott Ludlam).

    The Greens are not responsible for that.

    And you are supposed to believe that “nobody saw this coming” when it comes to the anti-green-micro-party preference phenomenon?

    If so many ‘ordinary’ people were onto it so early, the only explanation for the sudden surprise in the establishment media is either ignorance or complicity.

  17. September 12th, 2013 at 01:04 | #17

    To further make the point, this is from a “Letter to the Editor” section from Tuesday’s SMH:

    It’s interesting to note that the new LDP senator David Leyonhjelm is also the registered officer of the Outdoor Recreation Party (Stop the Greens) and reportedly controlled the preferences of another two ”micro” parties – including Smokers’ Rights.

    But it gets worse, the LDP did a deal to exchange preferences with both the Sex Party and the Shooters and Fishers. Unfortunately, the LDP failed on its end of these deals. The Sex Party and Shooters and Fishers are not happy – take a look at their websites.

    One has to ask where were the journalists on this one – why wasn’t this headline news? Some light needs to be shone on the activities of the LDP to avoid a repeat performance.

    Of course it’s verboten to even think of conspiracies, on this hallowed day of all, but you’d have to wonder how hard it is to join so few dots for the people who are paid so well to tell everyone what to think.

    Hopefully the fact that Murdoch was unable to deliver (and arguably even got in the way of – especially in Western Sydney) the LNP ‘Abbottslide’, proves my theory that the people are screaming for decent journalism.

  18. Fran Barlow
    September 12th, 2013 at 06:36 | #18

    Reply to @CrispinBennett in moderation since 15.30 yesterday … not sure why … one more try …

    It may be unworthy, but it’s also surely one of the great satisfactions in life

    I find that paradoxical. Can a person who takes their ethical paradigm seriously take satisfaction in things one deems unworthy? I’d say not. If one suffers a mosquito bite, one scratches to salve the itch, but later, one regrets that one has done so because the pain is the more terrible.

    I see Schadenfreude as something like this. Someone offends you, and an ancient culturally metaphysical impulse allows us to derive satisfaction from some subsequent misery. In some cases the pleasure is heightened if we can believe that we had some hand in inflicting it or exacerbating it. Perhaps we feel empowered and/or that “poetic justice” or “bad karma” or similar caught up with them. I suspect most of us feel this from time to time — but it’s not an admirable thing, because it means the marks of the ethical primitive are upon us. Really, it’s something for which those of us who seek authentic community and who look to a world in which policies aimed at approaching it can have no place. It’s a shameful thing, and testimony to the ethical work each of us must yet do.

    didn’t you have even a tiny joyful flicker when Howard lost his seat in 2007

    ?

    I lived at the time in Bennelong and worked hard to help unseat him and took pleasure in his defeat but that reflected my strong belief that his paradigm of politics would be set back more surely if he, as well as his filthy regime, were turned out. My happiness had nothing to do with his personal suffering, whatever it might have been.

    It was enough for me that his conduct was seriously corrosive of authentic community and with that in mind, the privileges he had both as an MP and as PM were not merely unwarranted but a hazard to progress. Once these had been radically curtailed, my interest in his life chances to declined to approximately that of any other human I don’t know. I hope he lives, learns and becomes the best person he can be. I fear seriously that he will draw his last breath without having done so.

    Sadly, his replacement as PM squandered the moment, returning us to the status quo ante.

  19. Fran Barlow
    September 12th, 2013 at 06:38 | #19

    Reply to @CrispinBennett in moderation since 15.30 yesterday … not sure why … and my “one more try …” has also been modded. There are no “naughty” words … ah … wordpress .. Please delete the first PrQ

  20. Crispin Bennett
    September 12th, 2013 at 10:47 | #20

    @Fran Barlow Schadenfreude, for non-psychopaths, is nothing if not paradoxical, for sure. But I don’t think all paradoxes need to be chased away, and am too doubtful about a preordained harmony between reality and homo sapiens’ cognition to rank consistency as epistemological top-dog. Desirable, yes, but not always rank-pulling.

    From an ethical rather than cognitive outlook: I’m far too despairing of human progress to consider us as one common humanity. I take right wing / corporatist interests to be, materially, the enemies of what I believe to be ethically decent, and I don’t wish them well.

  21. Fran Barlow
    September 12th, 2013 at 11:56 | #21

    again in moderation hmmm

  22. Crispin Bennett
    September 12th, 2013 at 12:48 | #22

    Fran Barlow :
    again in moderation hmmm

    I had the same a couple of times lately. I then got the same comments through when I resubmitted with the href removed from the blockquote. But that may have been coincidental.

  23. Fran Barlow
    September 12th, 2013 at 13:10 | #23

    @crispin

    I’m far too despairing of human progress to consider us as one common humanity.

    Well that’s significant. I’m a humanist you see. I see humanity as offering the possibility of authentic community, as well as, of course, barbarism. I am persistently disappointed of course, or more precisely, impatient, and deeply troubled at what I see as avoidable suffering, but never despairing.

    I wonder though if malice — and that is what Schadenfreude is when dissociated from a mere reflection on the malfeasant conduct of others — is ever something that can drive people to be the best they can be. Aren’t you troubled by those who seem so ready to trade on malice — to dine out on it — albeit that their passion may be for something worthy? Malice, in my experience, is corrosive of humanity. Those who carry it with them live worse, and think worse of others and become weary in the struggle for a better world earlier than those who look to the possibility lying dormant in their fellows.

    I take right wing / corporatist interests to be, materially, the enemies of what I believe to be ethically decent, and I don’t wish them well.

    You use the language of right and wrong, of the “ethically decent/non-decent” showing that you do have an objective standard by which to judge others conduct. People are their own authors, at least in part, and wishing them well is not the same as wishing their malfeasant conduct persists and that they do not come to understand and deal with the world as do the ethically decent.

  24. Fran Barlow
    September 12th, 2013 at 13:11 | #24

    No crispin … it’s not the anchor tag …

  25. Crispin Bennett
    September 13th, 2013 at 10:51 | #25

    Fran Barlow :
    You use the language of right and wrong, of the “ethically decent/non-decent” showing that you do have an objective standard by which to judge others conduct.

    I am certainly an objectivist about ethics. Also however a biological realist about the human species, which I take to conflict somewhat with humanism (or other prescientific belief systems, or indeed any overarching notion of ‘progress’).
    I think relative and temporary reduction of creaturely suffering is the best that can be hoped for. That aim is probably assisted by cultivating some pleasure in (or at least desire for) misfortune for those who are willing to increase suffering for their own benefit. I consider many corporate and right-wing interests to come under that category.

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