Oz Blog News Commentary
The Sniper Monday, November 17, 2014 - 14:04 Source

Politicians lie to avoid telling the truth.

There seems to be a consensus that politicians lie in order to get elected. Those who tell the truth tend to lose elections.

The consensus theory says the electorate wants to be lied to because it does not want to hear the truth.

I challenge this theory. I can’t imagine anyone thinking ‘I want you to lie to me. Tell me there will be no income tax increase because I’ll vote for you and if you win and then increase my income tax that will be just fine. Thank you very much.’

Read more Views: 554
Red Bluff Sunday, November 16, 2014 - 12:49 Source

My latest Global Voices post: What World Leaders Should Discuss at Brisbane's G20 Summit

The G20 summit on 15- 6 November 2014 has done what terrorism has never managed to do – shutdown the centre of an Australian city, namely Brisbane. Just the arrival of Barack Obama has been a showstopper.

Watch this space.

Read more Views: 606
Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 11:36
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Labor View From Bayside Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 11:36 Source

According to the Herald Sun yesterday:

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Friday, October 31, 2014 - 10:37 Source

deck maintenance serviceEveryone desires the deck to look like an attractive out-of-doors addition to their home that would last for a very long period of time. However, it might also turn out to be a dangerous and an ugly thing with no proper maintenance and treatment. The timber should be ensured to be proficiently taken care of by decking oil.

Read more Views: 953
Red Bluff Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 10:03 Source

The Castan Centre for Human Rights Law has launched a new video series - Have You Got That Right?:

Read more Views: 638
Things Bogans Like Tuesday, October 28, 2014 - 08:50 Source

Adrift in an endless galactic sea, the bogan can sometimes feel so small. Not even bicep curls and a gigantic house can lend the bogan a sufficient sense of scale. Then there’s the minor problem of eternity. 24 months interest free is baaasically forever, but what about after that?

Read more Views: 809
Red Bluff Monday, October 6, 2014 - 17:23 Source

From my latest post for Global Voices Online: Burqa Banished Behind Glass in Australian Parliament

Read more Views: 752
Public Opinion Thursday, October 2, 2014 - 13:06 Source

The Abbott Government's rhetoric is that they are absolutely determined to stop the trajectory that Labor left, which is debt going to $667 billion in 10 years, which is $25,000 for every man, woman and child. They won't give up on doing what is right to address the legacy that Labor left. We are paying a billion dollars a month every single month just to pay the interest on Labor's debt. Without change, that is ratcheting up to $3 billion a month.

Read more Views: 1,313
Damian Smith Saturday, September 27, 2014 - 11:34 Source

Treebeard: Hroom, hmm, come, my friends. The Ents are going to war. It is likely that we go to our doom. The last march of the Ents. 


I turn 30 at the end of the year. A significant milestone some would say. But next week, something far more momentous is happening. The South Sydney Rabbitohs will be playing in the grand final. Momentous because, in my nearly 30 years of life, this has NEVER happened.

Read more Views: 860
Public Opinion Friday, September 26, 2014 - 13:07 Source

The first tranche of the Abbott government's new anti-terror legislation---the National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No 1) yesterday passed the Senate yesterday with bipartisan support. This amends the ASIO Act 1979 by adding a new section 35P (amongst others) to extend existing state and federal prohibitions on the disclosure of information regarding policing for anti-terrorist purposes.

Read more Views: 1,408
Public Opinion Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - 09:58 Source

The Abbott Government continues to say that its intervention in the 3rd Iraq War is for humanitarian reasons. It is, the ministers say, a limited intervention to assist the Yazidi minority group in Iraq earlier this year after Isis attacked them. Now we have an estimated 100,000 Syrian Kurds fleeing Islamic State (Isis) advances across north-east Syria. Recall that the US armed IS to fight the Assad Syrian regime.

Read more Views: 1,485
Public Opinion Friday, September 19, 2014 - 12:27 Source

So we have a counter terrorism raid with over 800 police bursting into homes in Sydney, Brisbane and Logan, hovering helicopters, 15 arrested and detained, four charged. Oh, and the media were duly recruited and the major mainstream TV outlets supplied with footage of the commando-style operations, filmed and supplied by the police themselves. The police also helpfully supplied still shots of the action to the newspapers.

Read more Views: 1,016
Public Opinion Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 10:04 Source

In his ANU Policy Outlook 2014 keynote, "Public policy resilience and the reform narrative", at the ANU Ken Henry, the former Treasury Secretary, argues that policy reform proposals are unlikely to be implemented, and even less likely to prove resilient, unless accompanied by a compelling narrative.

Read more Views: 1,272
Grog's Gamut Friday, September 12, 2014 - 13:52 Source

Before I start, I think we should all pause to honour the many brave individuals who have taken to social media in the past few days to let everyone know they hate U2. Swimming against the tide is a very tough thing to do; I just hope their reputations can recover. But we should thank them as well – it’s not often social media in 2014 can take you back to 1988.

Read more Views: 1,282
Friday, September 12, 2014 - 13:52
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Damian Smith Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 12:00 Source

The Internet Slowdown is coming, and it's going to be huge.:

You guys know me. I’m all about causes and fighting for them but I usually do things my own way and fight on my own terms. But this one is big and we need numbers. Please, get on board because the ramifications are huge


Read more Views: 996
Public Opinion Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 08:06 Source

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (Asio) has signalled that the terrorism threat level in Australia could be raised to high from medium. The rhetoric is that of manufactured fear is about a death cult over there posing a threat in this country.

Read more Views: 1,001
Labor View From Bayside Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 14:21 Source

The political donations money laundering scams have left more very dirty hands in New South Wales. In fact, revelations reach the heart of Tony Abbott's Liberal/National coalition government. The latest to be exposed is the Speaker of Australia's House of Representatives, Bronwyn Bishop. Kate McClymont reported yesterday on the latest ICAC (Independent Commission Against Corruption) hearings for the Sydney Morning Herald. First the connection to Abbott's chief of staff Peta Credlin:

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Monday, September 8, 2014 - 13:40
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Public Opinion Monday, September 8, 2014 - 13:40 Source

The Abbott Govt celebrates the removal of carbon pricing and the mining tax and stopping the asylum seeker boats from reaching Australian shores. That represents a roll back of Labor's policies and the rhetoric is that ridding the country of a minerals tax will boost income and create jobs even though the investment boom is over, the price of minerals is falling, and the mining tax raised very little money.

Read more Views: 1,023
Damian Smith Saturday, September 6, 2014 - 13:20 Source

I did an interview a little while back on the subject of blogging. With tedious inevitability the question arose “how do you deal with the haters? The trolls? The negative comments?” Simple. I don’t read the comments.

I never read the comments. Good or bad. (Unless they come directly at me, by email or Twitter, but that’s another story)

Why would I care what other people think? I don’t do this blog because I have an insatiable need for the insight of the common man, because I have some craven need for the approval of strangers. I do it because I enjoy writing it - there doesn’t need to be any end game beyond that.

Read more Views: 1,085
Damian Smith Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - 23:30 Source

A couple of things that I’ve learned as I wave a cowboy hat and ride this live explosive we call Earth:

Stop being so fucking prudish. Seriously, the universe is out there, beautiful and terrifying in it’s infinity and you’re worried about some grainy, pixellated areola. 

You’re all far too hung up on sex. It’s fun and it’s cheap and that should be more than enough to make it the nation’s number 1 pastime. Just be an adult about it.

Read more Views: 894
Monday, September 1, 2014 - 08:29
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Public Opinion Monday, September 1, 2014 - 08:29 Source

It's mission creep under the guise of humanitarian help--to prevent genocide against beleaguered minorities in northern Iraq. It follows the RAAF humanitarian supply airdrops to thousands of people still stranded on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq. Australia's’s response to Islamic State (Isis) should be on humanitarian aid.

Read more Views: 1,090
Public Opinion Friday, August 29, 2014 - 08:29 Source

The Renewable Energy Target has been a success. It's built up a wind and solar power generation industry at a very low cost to electricity users and, along with carbon pricing it has helped to reduce pollution and energy efficiency. It has helped to create Investment in windfarms, solar PV'S and other large-scale renewables, created jobs, and help to start the shift to decarbonize the Australian economy.

Read more Views: 1,427
Public Opinion Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 09:15 Source

Contrary to the rhetoric from the Abbott Government Australia doesn't have an imminent debt crisis or a budget emergency. Australia has a long-term structural budget problem caused by an ageing population, which the Coalition is not seriously addressing.

An ageing population means the government needs to spend more (on pensions and health care) it will also receive lower income tax. If the government does nothing it will experience a rise in the structural budget deficit.

Read more Views: 1,379
Damian Smith Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 15:09 Source

“Ridicule dishonors a man more than dishonor does.” Francois de La Rochefoucauld 

The good thing about the internet is that it gives everyone a voice and an ability to be heard. There can be no better example of this than during the recent crises in Turkey and Syria where tales of atrocities on the ground were brought to you directly by those who were suffering them.

Read more Views: 948
Public Opinion Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 08:06 Source

The Coalition has changed its budget rhetoric.

It has dumped the budget crisis/ rhetoric and sovereign risk in favour of there is no need to worry as most of the appropriations bills have passed the Senate and that there is no problem if the Senate doesn't hurry up with the rest of the budget. The rest --Medicare co-payment, deregulation of universities, tough new arrangements for the unemployed etc--- amount to $25 billion.

Read more Views: 742
Public Opinion Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 19:14 Source

Here's the picture of the child clutching the severed head of the Syrian soldier. According to the mainstream media the young boy (seven years old?) pictured with the severed head is the son of convicted terrorist Khaled Sharrouf, who escaped Australia on his brother’s passport late last year, three months into the Coalition's watch. It's all Labor's fault says the Coalition.

Read more Views: 739