Oz Blog News Commentary
Red Bluff Monday, October 6, 2014 - 17:23 Source

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 21:31 Source

built in coffee maker Nespresso is the trustworthy brand name in coffee manufactured by Nestle. Everybody that loves espresso knows its taste depends on the high quality coffee grinds.

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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.

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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


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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.

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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.

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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: 778
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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Thursday, July 10, 2014 - 15:12
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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: 794