Oz Blog News Commentary
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: 88
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: 72
Public Opinion Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - 09:24 Source

It is now pretty clear that the Abbott Government, in turning away from the public service, has contracted out its public policy to the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) and the Business Council of Australia (BCA) turned away from the public service and that the task of the Abbott Government is to implement the recommended policies.

Read more Views: 72
Public Opinion Monday, August 11, 2014 - 09:31 Source

The Abbott Government continues to think of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS ) as a terrorist organization along the lines of Al Qaeda, thereby implying that it will conduct terrorist operations in the west and in Australia.

Read more Views: 86
Damian Smith Friday, August 8, 2014 - 15:14 Source

To The Member for Warringah,

Mr Abbott I wish to invoke the rite of parlay. 

I am a writer, comedian, satirist and social commentator. I am an environmentalist, a socialist, an intellectual and a free thinker. In short I am as diametrically opposed to your regime as you can possibly get. And oppose you I do, regularly, loudly and sometimes vehemently. But I write this missive under a banner of peace. 

Read more Views: 415
Public Opinion Thursday, August 7, 2014 - 08:47 Source

The widespread surveillance of activity on the phone and online advocated by the spooks and government allies in the name of security paints us all as potential criminals. Just in case we do the wrong thing, or are up to something, it would be best to keep an eye out.

When we haven't consented to that, the surveillance becomes invasive. WikiLeaks, the phone-hacking scandal, the Snowden files indicate he extent to which our communications are being monitored by the e triumvirate of state, press and data-harvesting corporations.

Read more Views: 92
Thursday, July 10, 2014 - 15:12
Read more Views: 79
Heathen Scripture Tuesday, July 8, 2014 - 15:01 Source

Write that you’re ashamed of your country and the same bullshit argument descends like a dead snapper. Within three minutes Internet time, someone who doesn’t share your disenchantment will say “Why don’t you just fuck off to North Korea then?”

This is either a subtle recruitment strategy by agents of the Kim dynasty, or a series of Aussies woofing at the wrong foliage. Disappointment in your own country doesn’t mean you hate it and want it boxed up. It means you care enough that you want it to be better. Patriotism that denies all fault can dine out on a juicy choad.

Read more Views: 173
The Sniper Tuesday, July 1, 2014 - 17:26 Source

I thought it might be useful to explain what is happening in Australian politics.

First up, these “Liberals” are not the Liberals you once knew. They are US Republican-style Tea Party fruitcakes. They get a kick out of punishing people. Bible bashers, but people who use religion as a tool to keep the uneducated, the unaware in line.

Read more Views: 629
Red Bluff Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 11:32 Source

My post for Global Voices: Australian Shock and Outrage at Egyptian Sentencing of Al Jazeera JournalistsUpdate from @no_filter_Yamba:

Read more Views: 73
Things Bogans Like Monday, June 23, 2014 - 20:26 Source

It was a simpler time. Back in the good old days, it was enough for the bogan to scuttle onto a cheap flight to Bali or Thailand, get its hair braided, drink Bintang or Chang, and become exceptionally sunburnt. Which is not to say that the bogan can’t still enjoy those things. Instagram now groans under the weight of filtered photos of new tattoos and scooter accidents.

Read more Views: 1,184
Things Bogans Like Monday, June 23, 2014 - 20:26 Source

It was a simpler time. Back in the good old days, it was enough for the bogan to scuttle onto a cheap flight to Bali or Thailand, get its hair braided, drink Bintang or Chang, and become exceptionally sunburnt. Which is not to say that the bogan can’t still enjoy those things. Instagram now groans under the weight of filtered photos of new tattoos and scooter accidents.

Read more Views: 219
Labor View From Bayside Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 15:28 Source

The Boardwalk #1In 2012 political donations to parties in Queensland were capped at $5000. Donations from related corporations were treated as one from a single entity. Anonymous donations of $200 or more were banned.However, there was a get-out-of-jail-free card. Gifts to political parties were uncapped so long as they were not for campaign purposes.

Read more Views: 66
Red Bluff Monday, June 16, 2014 - 11:32 Source

From my latest post for Global Voices:

Read more Views: 67
Labor View From Bayside Wednesday, June 11, 2014 - 17:45 Source

Money to burnIt is easy to guess why cigarette company Phillip Morris gave the Liberal and National parties more than $100,000 before the 2013 Federal election. But why do other companies and business people make political donations of thousands of dollars?

Read more Views: 93
Damian Smith Monday, June 9, 2014 - 21:27 Source

To The Hon. Bill Shorten,

Mr Shorten, I’m concerned.

My concerns regard yourself and the party that you lead and represent. Recent reports speculate that you are considering not blocking supply to this farcical attempt at fascism masquerading as a budget, that you would consider doing so “undemocratic”.

Read more Views: 334
Sunday, June 8, 2014 - 16:41
Read more Views: 52
Sunday, June 8, 2014 - 07:00
Read more Views: 54
Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - 22:24
Read more Views: 51
Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - 22:02
Read more Views: 56
The New Social Democrat Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - 14:31 Source


Read more Views: 528
Damian Smith Saturday, May 24, 2014 - 15:55 Source

A few months ago I wrote a post which went a little viral. It was a detailed precis about how the Abbott government is descending rapidly into fascism. The fascist traits in this case were defined in 2003 by Dr Lawrence Britt in his very pertinent work “The 14 Defining Characteristics of Fascism" which can be found here.

Read more Views: 592
Labor View From Bayside Friday, May 23, 2014 - 15:07 Source

More on the murky world of New South Wales Liberal Party fundraising and donations:In yesterday’s homework for Dare We Call it Whitehousegate, the challenge was to identify the 2009 managing director of Tenko Management Pty Ltd.

Read more Views: 91
Labor View From Bayside Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 14:33 Source

The strange case of Prime Minister Tony Abbott's daughter and her scholarship to the Whitehouse Institute has all sorts of connections. [Disclaimer: No inference of wrongdoing should be drawn from any of this information.]Some background from the Guardian Australia:

Read more Views: 85
Red Bluff Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - 11:03 Source

Some initial reactions on twitter to Australia's deal to resettle successful asylum seekers in Cambodia:!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.c

Read more Views: 58
Damian Smith Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - 14:51 Source

There’s a routine I do in my show where I compare the front page stories of the major newspapers of whatever city I happen to find myself in at the time. Since this is Australia it is usually a comparison of the local Fairfax offering and some News Limited pabulum. 

I tend to write out a full script of all my shows, word for word. I can deviate from that structure, but I need to have the structure there to feel comfortable. It’s an aspie thing. Here is, word for word, the script for the routine:“Compare the front page stories for that day”

That’s it.

Read more Views: 388
The New Social Democrat Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - 11:32 Source

4689010-3x4-700x933Clive Palmer’s negotiations with Christopher Py

Read more Views: 538
The New Social Democrat Monday, May 19, 2014 - 14:12 Source

Tony Abbott has been caught out claiming that the Howard government “took a big hit in the polls” after its first budget in 1996.

This is not true.

But you have to wonder what the “sales strategy” on the Budget is now all about?

Maybe the Prime Minister is trying to convince himself.

More likely, he’s talking to his own troops, who are probably in a state of considerable disarray and panic.

Read more Views: 517
The New Social Democrat Monday, May 19, 2014 - 12:20 Source


Read more Views: 755
The Stump Monday, May 19, 2014 - 10:12 Source

A string of hackneyed phrases passed through my mind at “India’s Verdict”, the Australia-India Institute’s lunchtime election watch event in Melbourne last Friday. The food was excellent, the company (most of them, at least) was jubilant, and as I struggled for an articulate way to express my fears, all that came to mind were cliches.

“Elephant in the room” was one. “Farted in church” was another. Not to mention “caught between the devil and the deep blue sea”.

Read more Views: 830