Monday, 31 May 2010

Finally! A positive post about Dinosaur Racing

Regular readers will be well aware of my aversion to public investment in V8 racing in Townsville. But finally today, some related news that I applaud.
RACEGOERS driving to this year's V8 Supercars event face fines of $300 if they park illegally
At last we get a public return from our $30 million public investment - mind you, Council will need to write over 100,000 tickets to cover the full bill!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

What do Mooney, V8s and toilet paper have in common?: A letter from Slim

Hi Islander
The recent letter and campaign update from the Mooney Kamp tells us a number of important facts and also allows some speculation, because that is what we like to do!
  • "the fight ....... will be hard fought" - outstanding prose from one of JCU's finest?

  • "cuts to services and a return to the worst aspects ........ including work choices" - is this what Mooney is promising?

  • "broad based Campaign Committee" - does this mean they'll sit around on their big fat arses, like last time, when they could not "out" Tyrell's team as Liberals

  • "I will be campaigning on a range on a range of local issues including health reform" - he'll be at the V8 races dispensing toilet paper and making all sorts of spurious claims to all the drunks about who brought the V8 races to town and just how soon they are going to open the case that contains the PET scanner

  • Vi Cox has opened the Currajong ALP Branch purse strings at last for her beloved Tony - Colbran's taxpayer-funded business expenses no longer required; get well soon

  • Barry Mitchell as campaign director - have the loving couple of Mitchell and Jack Wilson kissed, cuddled and made up? Or has Jack been asked that famous old ALP saying - do you like sex and travel?
The next campaign meeting will be 31 May at the office. Will there be space on the campaign team for a few "National Party" members? How about some "Liberal Party Members"? How about some "Independent Party" members?
You going to the meeting?

Cheers - Slim

How Murdoch's press manipulate the news # 256

Owned by the same ex-Australian, now American, that owns our very own Townsville Bulletin:
Fox Erases Applause from Obama's West Point Speech
Amazing!  Sort of puts the Bully's efforts to manipulate local 'news' about yoof out-of-contol and homeless blackfellas to shame - but I'm sure they'll get there if they keep trying.

What is going on in conservative politics?

First the LNP in Qld started to implode:
07 March - Revelations that four Queensland LNP members fail to ask a question in Parliament
16 April   - Prominent Queensland Young LNP activist Nick Sowden, shows his racist colours in a very public twitter post
05 May   - Beaudesert MP Aidan McLindon and Burnett MP Rob Messenger quit the party
11 May   - Wendy Richardson, Former LNP candidate for Barron River up Cairns way resigns
20 May   - High profile Brisbane City LNP Councillor Nicole Johnston resigns.
20 May   - Federal LNP MP Michael Johnson gets turfed-out of the party for his shady fundraising
Today     - LNP staffer quits John-Paul Langbroek's office over 'dirty political tactics'

And now comes the news that former PM Malcom Fraser has quit the Liberal Party in protest at their shift to the right!
Very weird (and certainly not a good look)
From Paul Norton  commenting at John Quiggin's Blog:
Q: What is the difference between The Simpsons and the Liberal-National Party?
A: One is a dysfunctional family of hilariously comic individuals, the other is a cartoon series created by Matt Groening.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

What is it about South Australia and wierdos ?

Police raid Agape Ministries of God doomsday cult properties from AdelaideNow

Slim posts the first election pamphlet

Occasional contributor, Slim Cayenne, sent in this scan of Mooney's first Election pamphlet with the following comment:
Puffery and hyperbole will be commonplace from now. Well, only if it wasn't already!

The wait for these basic services is over ONLY if anyone has forgotten that these items/equipment/infrastructure will not be delivered until 2012.

Way past Rudd's, McLucas', Mooney's and Lucas' political life spans.

You're spot-on in your observation about puffery and hyperbole Slim, but I’m not so sure of your longevity diagnosis for Rudd at least

It's been a most strange week in conservative politics

Reprinted in full because it says it all really.  By Bushfire Bill in The Political Sword:
I regard myself as a pretty hard nut to crack but I have to admit it... today I'm gobsmacked.

Gobsmacked... that yesterday The Australian could introduce an article by Mirko Bagaric - the man who wrote the book on torture - in defence of the ethics of Tony Abbott's lying (they're only white lies, natch), leaving it to Tony's conscience as to whether a lie is in a good cause. I guess we, the Voters, are just supposed to accept Tony's (and The Australian's) decision on the matter.

Gobsmacked... that Joe Hockey had the temerity to front the Press Club... with no policies, no costings and no idea except to demolish anything and everything Labor has set up in the past couple of years.

Gobsmacked... that the Right thought they could get away with these pathetic excuses for participation in the National Discourse.

This is one of those occasions where I don't know how to begin to criticise the last day's worth of politics. It's not that there's nothing to criticise. It's just... where do I start?

The lies, the convolutions, the deliberate idiocies that Joe Hockey told Kerry O'Brien last night on the 7.30 Report were so monumentally galling as to be beyond rational criticism (given restricted bandwidth... which is another Coalition policy, of course... no NBN).

I can only assume that Joe has been told, 'It'll be fixed up in the morning, mate. Don't worry. Get a good night's sleep Joe.'

That he and Robb can claim that retaining 30% company tax is a saving when the very tax they are claiming to axe - Labor's reduced rate of 28% - is based on a law - the Resource Super Profits Tax - they have sworn not to enact is bad enough, but then to say that if Labor is re-elected they'll block it somehow is too much... what I mean is that if Labor is re-elected, and reduces company tax to 28%. how can getting rid of it be a Coalition government savings measure... because the Coalition won't be in government... See? I'm trying to be rational. It's a character fault I have. You can't be rational with monstrous stupidity such as this. So I won't go on trying. Red Kerry himself gave up after six minutes trying to make sense of it. Greg Jennet this morning on ABC radio told listeners, "It's a bit complicated... but please bear with me...". So perhaps I'm in good company.

Either Joe has been advised the media 'fix' is in, or he's even more stupid than even I dared to believe (and his regard for the Voter is even more cynical than I thought possible). Is politics really bunk? Do they actually expect us to believe this claptrap that passes for sober political policy-making?

Yesterday - all of it - was a monument to absolute political and social buffoonery. What can the Coalition expect us to cope with, now that we've seen the absolute worst they can dish up as rational decision making? For once (many may give thanks) I'm stumped for words.

So it seems was Dennis Shanahan, who, in place of his usual hyperbolic paean of praise for anything the Coalition does, says or implies, managed to stump up with just 333 half-hearted words on yesterday's Press Club fiasco (can I use that word... or is it reserved only for Insulation and the BER?). Michelle Grattan only managed 191 words, although six of them were "Policy vacuum a recipe for political disaster".
According to Dennis, Joe Hockey only "left the impression he didn't turn up at the National Press Club with a detailed list of budget cuts and costings for his budget-in-reply speech yesterday." He had it in his hand, didn't he? One single A4 page wasn't it? He waved it around a bit, right? What more did the hostile media crowd in attendance want? Answers to questions? The cheek!

The silence this morning in the newspapers and on the airwaves is deafening. It's as if the media have collectively sucked in their breath in shock, and no-one wants to be the first to ask 'What the hell happened?' Things are so quiet, even the birds have stopped singing in the trees outside my office window. So why do I still hear those tom-toms beating in my brain? Oooooh... my head hurts.

Does yours?
Full article including links is here

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Credit where it’s due

Regular readers of this blog will well know the problem I have with how The Townsville Bulletin portrays the youth crime issue and, in the process, young people generally.

But today they are running an excellent piece by Glenn Dawes, Assoc. Prof., Sociology and Criminology at JCU – I recommend it.

Congratulations to the Bulletin for publishing a balanced perspective on the issue. The big question now is whether they actually absorb any of the article and adopt a similarly balanced approach to their reporting of youth crime on the front pages in the future.

Saturday, 8 May 2010


Peter Martin put me on to this and I agree - this movie should be a hit!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Well, I thought it was funny #3

Fiona Katauskas in

When you’ve found your whipping-boy, whip it, whip it good

Following my long post yesterday, I see that the Bulletin is at it again today (so much for the power of the blogosphere!).

Today’s front page screamer (not available online - isn't that interesting!) moves from the completely inappropriate “war-zone” language of yesterday’s Bulletin to talk of “madness” and pleas for the Premier’s intervention. The hook for today’s beat-up? - the release of the most recent Statistical Review by the coppers.

The article quite rightly expresses concern at an apparent increase in assaults in the last year and manages to note later that, in reality, the data only indicates reported crimes and is not a count of actual crime. But they then somehow manage to imply that all of this is evidence of a youth crime problem (“madness”?).

The data they use is for all ages and says nothing (repeat, nothing) about youth crime. In fact, it also says nothing about Townsville – the data is for a region covers that about ¼ of the State and that stretches from the coast to the NT border.
Unfortunately, the coppers report isn’t available online as yet (check here later) – it will be interesting to see whether in fact there is any type of reversal in the trending decline over recent years in young offenders involved in crimes against the person (see here).

Furthering the impression that this is all about kids (and welfare mothers for that matter), the article then goes on to regurgitate Mooney’s proposal to somehow withhold welfare payments (not quarantine them) from the parents of bad kids – however that is going to be decided (see the end of this post).

We finish off with news of a new police operation targeting kids in Kirwan and a report that 100 kids have been checked (presumably, that the coppers had seen and perhaps talked with) in 3 days (and NOT broken any laws necessarily). Finally, there is a listing of ‘crimes’ detected (presumably) in that operation and again, no evidence that they were committed by young people – despite the implication.

All in all, shoddy work and a totally meaningless analysis - as we’ve come to expect from the Bulletin. But then whipping boys (or is that dead horses) are there for one thing – to whip.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Hey Man

I wonder whether anyone at The Bulletin has ever walked on the other side of the road? Written and played by Zucchero and the great B B King:


Vigilante press – The Bulletin gets its posse & Mooney gets a whipping-boy

The Bulletin will not give up easily. They are determined to elevate the city’s young people to the position as our number 1 problem (and best newspaper seller)

They started their latest effort to create the news (as opposed to reporting it) two Fridays ago with a page headed “Gang Violence: the fightback” (see this post). Included there was a story manufactured from a few quotes by some lone unnamed individual who’d presumably rung into the Bully with an idea to set up a “Guardian Angels’” type community-watch group.

Of course, one man does not a vigilante group make. and the next day (Saturday 24th) three people turned up to his Victoria Bridge ‘rally’ – well actually one if you don’t include the ‘organiser’ and his missus

Undeterred by the small turn-out (despite the Bully’s free publicity), the Bully reported the following Wednesday (28th) that “Residents band together to fight Townsville crime” and publicised another meeting by the ‘group’ for yesterday (Sun 2nd May).

To generate a bit more heat and momentum for that meeting, the Bully then ran a story on Saturday: “Trouble at Willows, parents blamed” with the introduction “Willows Shopping Centre resembled a war zone on Thursday night”. Apart from the bad business sense in getting most military personnel off-side with the belittling use of the term “war zone”, this was a fair attempt to whip-up a bit of community outrage – reports (of reports) of 300 kids at the Willows that night (no wonder the Willows marketing managerseemed pretty unconcerned by it all), a witness to 5 kids screaming at each other… they even ran a video online of the “mayhem” that night.

I’d encourage you to have a look at the video here – no gangs, no fights, no ‘mayhem’, no ‘war zone’ just what looked like a few groups of kids with not much to do and little money to do it with.

Which brings us today’s report of the community meeting held yesterday and apparently attended by 30 people – although it’s not actually clear whether this number includes the politicians, coppers and hangers-on who were there (a count of the number of households present would have been much more enlightening, if somewhat less impressive).

Judging from the Bully’s report, three things came from the meeting:
  • Tony Mooney returns to type and tells us that the parents of all bad kids are on welfare (and presumably black)

  • The Bully got its vigilante group sorry, “resident-led patrols”, which it will no doubt now send a cub reporter out with one night with to do an expose on the city’s underbelly

  • The coppers actually already run a community-based law and order program – it’s called Community Watch! It’s well established, been around for decades, and in most suburbs where groups form they then fold up after a year or two when the residents involved come to understand that crime in their area isn’t actually anything like as bad as they perceived it to be.
I wonder if the Bully, Mooney, Wallace, the coppers or anyone else (like a Bulletin journalist) at the meeting thought to check with a few local kids about what to do? My guess is that they would have said – “give us something to do”.

By the way, Mooney’s proposed withholding of welfare from ‘bad parents’ will not get up:

  • the policy is in fact for the quarantining of part of a person’s welfare so that it can only be spent on certain goods, and

  • it’s unworkable in terms of kids on the streets at night who are not under-age and not breaking the law.
A bit of a worry when the aspiring federal member doesn’t understand federal policy or program limitations!!

But then I’m sure that won’t stop the Bully from milking the ‘story’ for all it's worth.

Determined to maximise the unruly kids and their bad parent angle, the Bully’s online ‘coverage’ (I use the term loosely) today is actually headed by a story about the Police’s “disgust” at the behaviours of kids at Grooving the Moo.

Despite lots of reporting of the impressions of one copper, the only fact in the story was that “by 3pm, five people had already been taken to hospital by ambulance due to severe intoxication”.

Sounds like the real story was about the management of entry to and alcohol serving at the event - but it is unlikely that it will get written, given that the event organisers had probably spent 10-15,000 on advertising in the Bully in recent weeks.

From the kids and parents i've spoken to this morning, it was a great event, well managed, fantatsic music and a happy crowd.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Just in case you ever wondered...

A Fart Chart of the USofA from Mother Jones. California is number 1 apparently:

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Well, I thought it was funny #2

I've only just come across this although aparently it's been around for a while. Words and vocals by Robert Lund.  I blog alone too.