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Monday Message Board

February 3rd, 2014

Last week was pretty much a blur for me, with loads of work and other commitments. It’s already time for another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topi. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please

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  1. February 11th, 2014 at 12:34 | #1

    @Stewart
    I’m sure Halliburton have a branch in the UK …

  2. Fran Barlow
    February 14th, 2014 at 07:09 | #2

    Well, it’s working here too

  3. Fran Barlow
    February 14th, 2014 at 07:11 | #3

    I’ve posted a couple of times and both posts have been rejected, without even going to automod. Briefly, sorry to hear of {…} loss. It shouldn’t happen and really is dreadful.

    That noted, the “war on drugs” is no different from all the other wag the dog and moral panic trickery and hokum. We on the left ought to denounce it and call for legalisation with controlled distribution. The costs of this war to the legitimate interests of working people is probably greater than the official wars of imperialist intervention.

  4. Fran Barlow
    February 14th, 2014 at 07:13 | #4

    Ah wordpress is barring posts with her name!!! Gosh, that is perverse. We can solidarise but not name her.

  5. Paul Norton
    February 14th, 2014 at 07:24 | #5

    When there’s sugar and fat
    And there’s too much of that
    That’s amore

    When they rip off their staff
    And the food makes you barf
    That’s amore

    When their corporate practices
    Are all that we must deplore-ay

    And they do really bad
    Things with songs in their ad
    That’s amore.

  6. February 15th, 2014 at 07:02 | #6

    Does anyone remember Hockey, in the lead up to the 2013 election, trumpeting his plans for a mass privatisation of federal and state public assets? No, me neither.

    I cant see any references to “privatisation” in the LPA election manifesto. I guess that the electorally disastrous experiences of the L/NP’s previous attempts to be honest with the citizenry – Fightback in 1993, GST in 1998 and Work Choices in 2007 – have taught the party to be more circumspect about any nasty surprises in the run up to the 2013 election.

    Obviously privatization is one of those zombie ideas that keep returning no matter how many times they have had stakes driven through their heart. Except nowadays zombies present in the cuddly form of adorable Joe Hockey.

    Say it aint so, Joe!

  7. Ikonoclast
    February 15th, 2014 at 07:46 | #7

    @jack strocchi

    Elected governments now implement policies against the wishes of the majority. Corporate money buys both political parties in our two party system. Thus, no matter which party the people elect to government, policies never change and the incumbent government continues to implement the program of corporate capital. This is what is happening. It is a simple and straight-forward subversion of democracy by corporate capital.

  8. rog
    February 15th, 2014 at 08:15 | #8

    On the one hand we have Bjorn Lomborg mocking Davos et al over climate change, saying that an increase in temps will be of economic benefit and on the other hand we have fellow sceptic Richard Tol, who Lomborg uses as a reference, now saying that it’s all bad.

    “Climate change is real and man-made…After year 2070, global warming will become a net cost to the world, justifying cost-effective climate action.”

  9. February 15th, 2014 at 09:21 | #9

    Fran Barlow said:


    That noted, the “war on drugs” is no different from all the other wag the dog and moral panic trickery and hokum. We on the left ought to denounce it and call for legalisation with controlled distribution.

    The Prohibition movement prosecuted the original “war on drugs”, and it’s base was made up of Left-wing women, much overlap with the Suffragettes. This shows that 19th C women were actually much more powerful in the dreaded days of the Patriarchy. And that the Old Left had a much stronger moral core than the degenerate New Left.

    Authority is supposed to discourage vice, not disseminate it. Turning the government into societies biggest drug pusher is the ultimate reductio ad absurdum of the post-modern liberalism.

    Fran Barlow said:


    The costs of this war to the legitimate interests of working people is probably greater than the official wars of imperialist intervention.

    The Right getting the upper hand in the Mean Streets theatre of the Culture War is the single biggest demographic factor underlying the gigantic boom in urban property values over the past generation. So The “war on drugs” has been a massive economic boom to middle-class urbanites,particularly career women who can now walk the streets safely at night, in their endless search for Mr Big.

  10. Ikonoclast
    February 15th, 2014 at 09:32 | #10

    Jack draws so many long bows I am certain he fought at the Battle of Agincourt.

  11. zoot
    February 15th, 2014 at 11:45 | #11
  12. Fran Barlow
    February 15th, 2014 at 12:54 | #12

    @Jack Strocchi

    Shorter Strocchi … Fran is spot on.

  13. Megan
    February 15th, 2014 at 21:09 | #13

    Well that was easy!

    Climate change has been fixed:

    In a joint statement announced as US secretary of state John Kerry wrapped up a two-day visit to Beijing, both countries said they would work together together “to collaborate through enhanced policy dialogue, including the sharing of information regarding their respective post-2020 plans to limit greenhouse gas emissions”.

    OK, not exactly “fixed” if you want to be pedantic about the meanings of words.

    But still, working together to collaborate through enhanced dialogue and sharing stuff about their plans on what they might do after 2020 – good enough for me!

    So, this is about – in terms of going forward – a framework for a collaborative plan in the future.

    I particularly like that they have wheeled out the wildly successful “Carbon Capture & Storage” solution which has reduced Australia’s GHG emissions massively (speculatively).

  14. Tim Macknay
    February 15th, 2014 at 22:51 | #14

    @Megan
    It’s alright Megan – Clive Palmer has already fixed it.

  15. Megan
    February 16th, 2014 at 00:04 | #15

    @Tim Macknay

    Great! Problem solved then.

  16. Megan
    February 16th, 2014 at 00:38 | #16

    @Tim Macknay

    Did I touch an ALP nerve there with reference to the bogusness of CCS?

  17. Tim Macknay
    February 16th, 2014 at 12:00 | #17

    @Megan
    Not at all! The notion that CCS will form a major part of greenhouse gas mitigation is laughable.

  18. Hermit
    February 16th, 2014 at 12:22 | #18

    I’d generalise the sentiment to say that in political reality there is no short to medium salvation from the problems of or in finding alternatives to fossil fuels. CCS won’t happen, renewables will show strongly diminishing returns after early gains, gas will get expensive, nukes can’t be built fast enough and at some point ‘efficiency’ will become hardship. I realise some won’t hear of any shortcomings in their favourite form of technical salvation.

    Fast forward to 2020 and I think the economy will be subdued and that will be the main reason emissions are a bit lower but not by a lot. It will not be the result of deliberate emission reduction policy like carbon tax or Direct Action.

  19. Fran Barlow
    February 17th, 2014 at 08:35 | #19

    I went along to a Greek Orthodox baptism yesterday. Executive summary? Seriously weird.

    On the positive side, the historian in me liked a real-life experience of what a feature of the ancient world might have been like. The church was bedecked with iconography reminiscent of the Middle Ages and in some cases, earlier. Some of it was Dadaesque, in that the fingers on the saints and Jesus were distended and contorted, much as one might see in a movie about aliens. One of the images appeared to be of “Mary” holding young Jesus on her lap. Young Jesus seemed to be of an indeterminate age between perhaps 6 and 10, but severely malnourished and possibly suffering from some sort of muscular dystrophy or paralysis, with his head resting on his right shoulder. In another image “Mary” was cradling him as an infant but his body wasn’t visible — possibly obscured beneath her garments — with just his head protruding from the intersection of her massive forearm and upper arm. Baby Jesus looked less human than Romulan — with a nasty scowl and ripples across his forehead.

    At the front of the church was a table bearing an image of a dead Jesus mounted in a prone position on a wooden stand. Apparently this was some sort of Easter talisman — children could go under the table for good luck.

    As the ceremony started people filed into the church lighting thin candles, applying holy water, and making elaborate religious gestures. Many of them passed by the iconic images and reliefs at the back either kissing them or affecting to do so. Some went the full smooch but others were more demure. One older woman simply leant forward and touched the image with the tip of her nose. Another settled for air kisses. I wondered what they thought “god” would make of it all or if that were a question that was even germane.

    The demeanour of the child who was the ostensible beneficiary of this rather eccentric mediaeval procedure varied throughout between bemused, irritated, troubled, and inconsolably distressed. That her godfather, who held her before the priest renounced Satan six times (the number of the beast) and then mock spat at the ground plainly made no difference nor even that he swore three times (the trinity of course) that he had joined with Christ. Her mother and even her father were out of sight, and now her clothing was being removed by the godfather so that she could have water splashed all over while all manner if weird chanting took place. Naturally, the whole thing was vide-recorded for posterity. I suppose it’s a moment of which she’ll want to be reminded. Then bring on the swinging smoke producers and more imprecations in Greek about telling Satan to keep his hands off — which seemed ironic in the circumstances and in we went — the child now weeping piteously and others in the congregation going out in sympathy.

    Next thing you know she has a bonnet on with a peak on it that looked suspiciously like K|K head gear and a room full of ostensibly 21st century people were lining up to kiss the hand of the priest and kiss the chid. She loved that. Not.

    I must confess that by this time I saw little to smile about. The ceremony involved a child — entailed one really — but it was not substantively about the child or her needs. It was entirely for the benefit of the adults in the room and so far as they endorsed the procedure, their fears and angst. I observed to one of the guests, a younger woman from upstate New York who was a colleague of hubby’s that “in some contexts watching a middle-aged man disrobe a small child before a priest and hundreds of people, some of whom were video-recording it would be … err … odd”. She shifted about uncomfortably.

    Yes, I can definitely say that yesterday’s proceeding was one of the weirder things in which I’ve agreed to participate. With hindsight, I probably should have given it a miss.

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