27 thoughts on “Monday message board

  1. Anyone else notice an element of ‘I told you so’ from various columnists – my namesake chief amongst ’em – who went from being violently opposed to East Timor’s independence, to celebrating it (after 1999) as a triumph of Howard the Man of Steel’s determination, to back to their original ‘hard-headed’ position.

    Kelly on Saturday http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,19342685-12250,00.html simply did another backflip even saying that events had proven Indonesia’s 1975 assessment (and by extension Kelly and Murdoch’s) correct.

    What a craven bunch of clowns. Their brown-nosing of Howard knows no bounds: they shower him with praise when things go right, but when they don’t it’s everyone else’s fault.

  2. Republic be damned, it’s time we had a constitutional referendum to define marriage like this bloke does
    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,19364689-401,00.html
    Homosexual marriage advocacy should be consigned to the postmodern dustbin where it belongs with polygamy or marrying Tiddles the Cat. No more slithery multicultural slopes like this http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200606/s1654386.htm (hat-tip Slatts)
    We’re a Judeo-Christian culture and should say so emphatically and constitutionally.

  3. I’m with you Observa.

    Australia was terribly unimpressive against Holland.
    Our defence looked like it did in the Confederations cup and the midfield was not the industrious, hardworking and dominant unit it has been in previous games.

    Perhaps all those very hard training sessions took something out of them.

    On the other hand it is good to get a bad game out of the system before the World Cup and Holland is a better team than Croatia and Japan in particular.

    Unfortunately both Sterjosvki and Wiltshire both showed their lack of class.
    In all of this we drew.

    I am glad Sir Guus disagrees with me

    We will get to the quarterfinals and we could well play Holland in the Semifinals if we improve as I think we will.

  4. BBEP@LP, I don’t see us progressing beyond the group stage based on that performance. The score didn’t reflect very much apart from the fact that Schwarzer is in form. Could have been 4-1 easily. Probably will be against Brazil. We’ll draw or maybe win Japan and lose to Croatia and that’ll be it.

  5. IF they play like that but I don’t think they will.

    Both Japan and Croatia have had disappointing games thus far against Opposition not as strong.

    I do notice that some Pommy papers think on that performance we will get through to the next round!!

  6. Either the Murdoch papers are wilfully misinterpreting a CSIRO study on water costs, or the CSIRO needs a refresher course on basic economics. According to The Australian, water could rise to $10.50 per kilolitre in Brisbane, and ver $11 per kilolitre in Perth, which about 10 times the present cost, unless urban water can be purchased from “hoarding” irrigators.

    Seeing that Prof. Q. has previously estimated a cost from desalination of approximately $2 per kilolitre for desalination, of which about 25 cents is electricity. I recall correctly, he has also estimated for a cost nuclear power at about double present rates as a backstop carbon-free technology, so, let’s have an upper bound of $2.25 for desalination of seawater.

    How can any scenario for urban water that results in prices rising by more than $2.25 per kilolitre make any sense at all, if desalinated water is available in essentially unlimited quantities for this price?

  7. Oh, observa – you and your slippery slopes. You really think gay marriage is going to lead to interspecies marriage? I can only shake my head in sorrow.

    Just to give you a hint why interspecial marriages won’t take off here: which animals can say “I do”? Pretty much none of them, except the odd parrot. And I think repeated calls of “who’s a pretty boy?” during the ceremony would make the ceremony invalid. (Plus do we really want the Kiwis to make “sheep jokes” about us? That would be a turn up for the books.)

    Or if you’re not getting my joke: both heterosexual and homosexual marriage presuppose that both partners can give consent. Animal-human marriage would be illegal anyway, because animals cannot give consent. If I was gay, I’d probably be insulted by your comparison. As it is, I’m just depressed. It’s so reminiscent of comments made by Senator Rick “man on dog” Santorum – arguably one of the dimmest politicians in the U.S. of A, and definitely one of the least popular.

    As for the referendum, I see it as another way of shoring Bush’s declining base in the run-up to the 2006 mid-terms. The United States is facing a lot of problems: two wars, a rise in petrol prices, a trade deficit, endemic corruption among the Congresscritter class and another hurricane season on the way.

    Bush is wasting a lot of time, money, ink, electrons and energy on an illusory “problem” that probably won’t be solved anyway. You need 38 states to approve a change to the Constitution, even if it passes the Reps and the Senate. The last is doubtful; the former even more suspect.

    And do you really want to waste your tax money trying the same here? I think we all know how reluctant Australians are to change their constitution. That’s the sort of “conservatism” I feel comfortable about – not dog-and-pony shows for the wowsers.

  8. Explain to me why Hindu animal marriages and Muslim polygamy shouldn’t be allowed in your brave new world of same sex couples marrying Eh Saigon.
    ‘The 30-year-old bride, Bimbala Das, said: “Though snakes cannot speak nor understand, we communicate in a peculiar way”.’
    Sounds like a bit of Rainbow Serpent Dreaming to me. Why should we discriminate against the odd PETA head just because we don’t understand their Gaia world like they do eh Saigon? In my view it’s a certainly a slithery slope to the Stargate of empty nothingness you’re on me old China. Two grooms or 3 brides and a cobra. What a pomo wet dream for a social nightmare.

  9. Republic be damned, it’s time we had a constitutional referendum to define marriage like this bloke does
    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,19364689-401,00.html
    Homosexual marriage advocacy should be consigned to the postmodern dustbin where it belongs with polygamy or marrying Tiddles the Cat. No more slithery multicultural slopes like this http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200606/s1654386.htm (hat-tip Slatts)
    We’re a Judeo-Christian culture and should say so emphatically and constitutionally.

    If marriage had remained a private civil matter rather than becoming something defined by the state with assigned privledges then there would be no issue. It is only because the state sanctions marriage, gives it special legal status, pays benefits based on it (or removes them based on it), creates rights associated with it, that the issue of fairness arises.

    So long as marriage is an institution with extra state sponsored rights and privledges I support the call to allow for homosexual marriage and equal treatment under the law. Even if it merely means a functional equivalent called something other than marrriage.

  10. The SMH in its editorial today (“Spotlight on IR Changes” – A high-risk gambit for Howard) attempts to explain the rationale for the introduction of the WorkChoices legislation, and they may be correct, but then again I cannot tell. The editorial had it that:

    In theory, Mr Howard should be confident his initiative will succeed. Union membership is declining, and more members of the workforce are individual contractors, reliant on their own skills and market position for what they can charge. Increasingly, those in employment are on individual contracts or are working flexible hours to suit their needs. The old concept of a working life spent with one employer has long gone, while the steady transfer of established jobs to India and China means new jobs will tend to come from nimble entrepreneurs, quick to get a niche product or service onto the market. More start-ups, and more jobs, will be forthcoming if the entrepreneurs do not have to saddle themselves with expensive, protected staff.

    It is passing strange that the demands of the new entrepreneurial economy were so poorly catered for by the old system, and the principal backers of the new arrangement were, as I understand it, the Business Council of Australia. Leaving aside the coy assumption that the increasing casualization of the labor market is highly desired by employees, the editorial raised an obvious question:

    Why meddle with a system that, as Howard admits, has produced higher wages, more jobs, low inflation, the lowest recorded rate of industrial disputes, and longest economic expansion since the gold rushes?

    One thing that bugs me in particular is the use of Orwellian Language, for example the so called “Fair Pay Commission”, by those for whom apparently spin and lies have become second nature, and have long since lost any sense of democratic accountability or ethics. And who will say anything, as can be easily demonstrated.

  11. I’ll add support for polygamy to your comment Terje. I don’t see why any type of union between consenting adults that harms no one else should be stopped by the government.

  12. Robert, from reading the article the first scenario is literally ‘do-nothing’ except conservation — it assumes no new supplies. The third scenario “the introduction of full trading, and a larger desalination plant than the one already being built in Perth” reduces the cost to $4.50 a kilolitre.

    So there’s still an interesting gap between $2.25 and $4.50, and what is the point of the first scenario? Obviously there’s no way it could come about, so presumably it’s just there to point out that water trading and desalination are needed — and/or to get more publicity?

  13. Explain to me why Hindu animal marriages and Muslim polygamy shouldn’t be allowed in your brave new world of same sex couples marrying Eh Saigon.

    As I spelled out for you above: animals cannot give consent, especially consent to marriage. Therefore I disagree with marriages between humans and other animals – be they cats, dogs, porpoises, porcupines, giant squids, colossal squids or box jellyfish. I especially disagree with anyone trying to “consumate” these partnerships, although with the last beast, that will probably be self-correcting. Isn’t that clear enough?

    As for polygamy – well, my view is that you either recognize polygyny (multiple wives) and polyandry (multiple husbands) at the same time, or you recognize neither. Legalizing the latter would probably piss off the Muslims more than legalizing the former. I really have no strong opinion on the phenomenon, except that polygyny as it is sometimes practiced is really creepy. You’re worried about Islam? It’s the Mormon offshoots like the FLDS that give me the shivers. Read The lost boys, thrown out of US sect so that older men can marry more wives. Teenage boys. Thousands of them. That is EVIL.

  14. Just wanted to point out that Bush is a conservative republican who will always be anti-gay marriage – demonising him for it achieves nothing – it is the nature of his politics. Expressing surprise to his opposition seems, well, surprising, sorta like being surprised that the National Party opposes the end of the single desk for wheat exports.

  15. I just watched the Four Corners report on health services in NSW. What struck me was that every one of the places mentioned had a hospital of some kind but they were all very old, at least one dating from 1944. Given the cost of the war and the relative size of the economy back then how come we can no longer fund health (and other) infrastructure like we used to? The same goes for schools, police stations, etc,etc.
    (nb. I would be surprised if a hospital built today would even last 60 years.)
    What has changed in economics that makes things so different today?

  16. The marriage postmodernists will eventually have to face the Social Security issue of the end of married/defacto rates and the introduction of a universal individual rate, lest the default Centrelink position be, prove you aren’t married to the lot you’re living with.

  17. “Given the cost of the war and the relative size of the economy back then how come we can no longer fund health (and other) infrastructure like we used to?”

    I would think you’d only have to look at the size of our PBS and radiology spends nowadays to answer that one David. The real question you have to ask yourself is whether you’d prefer to be medically treated for an ailment or injury in 1944 or 2006? Just take cancers or heart bypass as an obvious example. You might have to queue a year or two for a public hip operation today but in 1944 you’d grin and bear it for life.

  18. I’m completely with you Saigon in making value judgements for heterosexual monogamous human marriage mate. The rest can naff off and call their pecadillos what they damn well like.

  19. Yes, because that kind of behaviour is like, so common among heterosexual couples (whether married or not), it’s a burgeoning problem which can only be fixed by a cheap tuxedo and an inedible cake.

    My problem is whether to put my boy on eBay or take him down to the St Kilda sunday market.

  20. Here’s an example of why I think conventional marriage should be upheld as an iconic social institution and bastardry socially frowned upon.

    Observa,

    I am not clear on whether you imply legal prohibition when you refer to social frowning or if you just mean that as individuals we should be less tolerant and accomodating of certain people who live certain lifestyles. At the moment there is a body of law that prevents employers and landlords from discriminating on the basis of marriage. Would you want such limitations lifted? What exactly do you advocate?

    Regards,
    Terje.

  21. I’m completely with you Saigon in making value judgements for heterosexual monogamous human marriage mate. The rest can naff off and call their pecadillos what they damn well like.

    Er… when did I actually say that? I’m pretty cool with marriage; I am married. A heterosexual marriage, if you need to know. However, I don’t have any objections to gay marriage either. I was trying to explain what the difference there is between getting a partner for life, and a pet for the next 20 years. Obviously I didn’t explain very well.

    Oh… and your last link seems to have nothing to do with marriage at all. That sounds like child slavery. I’m against that as well, if you want to know.

  22. Dick Cheney is also a conservative politician (for some variety of conservative):
    “People ought to be able to free — ought to be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to.” This was about gay marriage, in 2004. On the legal side he’d leave it up to the states to decide, vs. Bush’s attempt to restrict states’ rights in this matter.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2004/08/25/MNGHQ8DV6Q1.DTL
    http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/story?id=1918918&page=1

    I don’t think criticizing Bush over this is any more pointless than demonizing US racists in the 1960s.

  23. Down and Out in Sài Gòn: Since it is legal to eat your pet without consent, I don’t really see why lack of consent should stop you marrying your pet.

  24. Conrad, every culture has its little quirks.

    And perhaps the culture that you call your own values arranged marriages where one or both of the betrothed have no say on whom they are to marry.

    Now, in your culture an arranged marriage between your good self and your favourite Rottweiler may be the matrimonial equivalent of chowing down on your betrothed.

    But in Australia, and in many other parts of the world, a marriage is a contract to be entered into voluntarily. For a contract to be valid both parties to the contract must be capable of understanding the terms of the contract.

    I doubt that even that clever old German Shepherd Rin Tin Tin could achieve a good working knowledge of the marriage vow.

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