Oz Blog News Commentary
Sunday, March 16, 2014 - 10:35 Source

Odd that all commentators talk still of ‘two party preferred’, asserting that in South Australia the Liberals vote was ’52.7, two party preferred’.

The voters elected not two parties but four. Two Independents, Brock and Such, won seats as well. And they thus removed, surely, in a 47 seat parliament, 2 or 2.5 of the Liberals’ vote, ‘two party preferred’. Because the voters preferred them.

What use, therefore, was the phrase, last night, and the counting method it employed? What did it mean?

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Sunday, March 16, 2014 - 09:30 Source

Which director made a masterpiece in every genre but science fiction?

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Sunday, March 16, 2014 - 06:39 Source

The judge in the Daniel Morcombe case said rightly that prolonging the gaol term of child rapists will encourage them, like Peter Cowan, to murder their young victims after enjoying them. It is a very troubling business, not least because the media, and some politicians, regard the rapists as sane and reasonable people whom they can persuade to stop doing what they like to do, by threat of punishment.

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Sunday, March 16, 2014 - 06:06 Source

In 2010 I was the only commentator to predict that Labor in South Australia would survive; with, I said, 27 seats. They got 26. Yesterday I alone said they’d survive again; with 25 seats. They got 23; or I think they did. And with Bob Such’s help will survive again.

I know Bob Such. He physically resembles Kim Beazley, very closely, and for this and other reasons I like him. The Liberals attacked him viciously in this campaign, as they have for twenty years, and it is likely, barring miracles, that Jay Weatherill will be Premier still when the last of the postal votes are exhausted, and recounted, in a fortnight’s time.

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North Coast Voices Sunday, March 16, 2014 - 00:15 Source

Letter to the editor in The Daily Examiner on 13 March 2014:Jail plan pilloriedIn response to the front page article: Gulaptis says Grafton jail could house 'one punch' thugs (DEX 8/3).Referring to proposed mandatory sentencing for offenders who throw lethal coward's punches while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, Mr Gulaptis suggested there "was plenty of room" at Grafton to accommodate offenders like Thomas Kelly's killer Kieran Loveridge."As far as I am concerned, these thugs can be locked up in the Grafton jail ...

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North Coast Voices Sunday, March 16, 2014 - 00:10 Source


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The Tally Room Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 23:20 Source

At the end of the night, the election result in South Australia is extremely close, and we don’t know who will be forming government.

At the moment, the ABC has called the result in 46 out of 47 electorates, and these seats break down along these lines:

  • ALP – 23
  • LIB – 21
  • IND – 2

The electorate of Mitchell is the closest seat, with the Liberal Party leading by 148 votes at time of writing.

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The Tally Room Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 22:30 Source

Tasmanian voters elected a Liberal government tonight, but a number of seats are still up for grabs.

In four out of five electorates, the Liberal Party has gained a third seat. In two additional electorates, another seat is yet to be decided. In some other cases, it is clear which party will win a seat but it is not clear which particular candidate will end. In Denison, the party balance will remain steady at 2 Labor, 2 Liberal and 1 Greens.

At the moment, the number of seats per party is:

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Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 19:22 Source

The news that MH 370 flew for five hours north-west after turning off its transponder confirms what I said five days ago, that a hijacking was involved. Its direction, north west, suggests Afghanistan, or Kazakhstan. The number of Chinese on …

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The Tally Room Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 18:30 Source

11:17pm – I’m going to leave the results there for the night. A wrap-up of the South Australian results will be up shortly, including some analysis of the key races and the Legislative Council, where it appears that the three incumbent crossbench MLCs have held their seats, with an outside chance for the Shooters and Fishers.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more analysis.

Until then, I leave you with this map of the new South Australian electoral map.

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Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 17:47 Source

Which three Oscar-winning Hollywood actors played Clarence Darrow, two on film and one on the stage?

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The Australian Independent Media Network Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 13:51 Source

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

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Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 13:16 Source

(First published by Independent Australia)

A nervous headline in the Australian, ‘Libs at risk of falling short in quest for majority rule’, over a Newspoll mooting a massive, massive swing to the Liberals of…0.7 percent, with 5 percent ‘uncommitted’ or ‘refused’, indicates, in my view, a loss of one or two seats and Labor comfortably staying on in South Australia tonight.

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The Tally Room Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 12:00 Source

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announced on Monday that the next New Zealand election will be held on September 20.

I’ll be providing a full guide to the election, but won’t be able to start until the new electoral boundaries are finalised in April.

In the meantime, this chart shows the polling trend since the beginning of 2012.

NZ Polling 2011-14

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Public Opinion Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 11:44 Source

The mainstream media says that it is foregone conclusion. After 12 years of a Labor Government voters in SA want change and a new majority Liberal Govt. With Tasmania going Liberal it will be Liberal Governments everywhere in the Australian federation except in the ACT. Public polling indicates that the Liberals will win the election in SA. So this election is done and dusted.

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Peter Garcia-Webb Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 11:31 Source

George Brandis and his mate David Irwin have pulled off an award winning spy manoeuvre and planted a FinSpy program on a computer used by a senior CIA operative covering US interests in the Dead Sea area.  An official working in the Australian parliament who does not want to be named because he is not authroised to make this statement, told me all about it. Here’s a brief abstract of some of an email exchange George got hold of from Langley. The emails were between two senior CIA analysts; let’s call them Mr A and Ms B. Mr A: Hey, […]

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The Australian Independent Media Network Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 09:46 Source

RefugeesBill Shorten recently called for new policy ideas for the Labor Party. Well here’s one.

Let’s have a new policy on asylum seekers.

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The Australian Independent Media Network Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 09:21 Source


“Arts Minister George Brandis has defended moves to block government funding for organisations that unreasonably refuse corporate sponsorship following the “preposterously unreasonable” termination of Transfield’s sponsorship of the Sydney Biennale.

“Senator Brandis also indicated that any ”commercially sound” company, including tobacco companies, should not be ruled out for arts sponsorship.

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Popular Science Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 08:42 Source

What's the latest cosmology gossip? According to the BBC, the field is awash with rumors that next week, American scientists will announce the detection of gravitational waves: incredibly small ripples carrying energy across the void of the universe.

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Popular Science Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 08:00 Source

Holy cow, you're thinking, this Doug Main character must be a genius, to have come up with a discovery of such staggering magnitude. Well, I'll let you think what you like, but the revelation came to me in the form of a tweet, by reporter Emily Crockett. A slice of key lime for you, Emily.

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Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 07:50 Source

I had planned a few jokes (‘The Dirty Dozen (17): The Rembrandt Caper’), but it’s better than that. Some over-the-hill art experts, Frank, Jim, Dick, Don, Walter and Jean-Claude, track down the treasures of Europe, which Hitler was planning to immolate, and, though some are destroyed (we see Raphael’s Portrait of a Young Man, crinkling and melting) they are, in hundreds of thousands, brought back to various museums, churches, town halls, and the empty apartments of gassed and cremated Jewish collectors.

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Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 07:28 Source

At lunchtime on Thursday 27 March, I’ve been invited to speak at the National Press Club, on the topic ‘Battlers and Billionaires: Australian Egalitarianism Under Threat’. I will talk about why inequality matters, and the risk that the wrong set of policies will threaten an egalitarian ethos that is fundamental to who we are as Australians.

I’d be delighted if you could join me. Tickets can be booked at the National Press Club website.

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Popular Science Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 07:27 Source

 The story goes something like this: Once upon a time, we exterminated the wolves from the Rocky Mountain West, including the part that would become Yellowstone National Park. We thought this was a good idea because wolves frightened us, and also because they ate the domestic livestock we liked a lot more.

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North Coast Voices Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 06:10 Source

It would be impossible to dream up such a political gaffe….

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North Coast Voices Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 05:30 Source

Sydney Morning Herald columnist Mike Carlton has provided some wonderful imagery in a piece he wrote about Chris Kenny, a scribe who pens pieces for The Australian.In today's Herald Carlton wrote (in part):The Tories and their army of media toadies wage their war on the ABC with increasing fury, sniping here, a charge from the big battalions there. Whimpering in the trenches is one Chris Kenny, once a factotum to Lord Downer at the peak of his global glory, now a minor columnist for The Australian and a hugely unwatched talking head for Sky News.

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Popular Science Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 04:00 Source

Here's a roundup of the week's top drone news, designed to capture the military, commercial, non-profit, and recreational applications of unmanned aircraft.

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Popular Science Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 03:14 Source

Strange to say, fallen logs, leaf litter and other forest debris doesn't decay as quickly around Chernobyl's most affected areas as it does elsewhere, Smithsonian reports. When scientists set out to study the phenomenon, they found that lingering radiation from the 1986 nuclear meltdown is stunting fungi and other microbes' ability to break down leaves in parts of the land that's most contaminated.

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MacroBusiness Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 02:44 Source

    Europe Europe’s Fast Track to Youth Employment (Project-Syndicate) ECB’s Weidmann: Euro Level Not a Policy Target (WSJ Real Time Economics) Global Investing and the European Enigma (Pragmatic Capitalism) Irish economy in surprise decline, threatens debt-cutting plan (EU Observer) Slovakia deflation puts more pressure on European Central Bank (Euronews)   Russia Ukraine. Russian debt [...]

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MacroBusiness Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 02:35 Source

Europe Draghi Says ECB Forward Guidance May Help to Curb Euro (Bloomberg) Why the ECB Should Buy American (Project-Syndicate) Europe’s Middle-Age Trap (Project-Syndicate) Paralysed ECB leaves Europe at the mercy of deflation shock from China (Telegraph) Global house price league table: Spain and France languish (Telegraph)   United Kingdom London Powers U.K. House-Price Growth to [...]

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Peter Garcia-Webb Saturday, March 15, 2014 - 01:45 Source

Alex Kane is an assistant editor for Mondoweiss; his articles are usually well worth reading. His latest, an account of a lecture by journalist David Sheen presented at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center is no exception.  The lecture was a blistering indictment on the racist war against Israel African Refugees. In the past three weeks, David Sheen has been on a lecture tour in the US. The details Sheen presents on his tour are downright chilling and devastating.  And as he notes, the climate for African asylum seekers has only gotten worse in recent months, with the […]

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